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Navigation in the desert

Discussion in 'North Africa: Western Desert Campaigns 1940 to Ope' started by bronk7, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..in 1991 the US used GPS in the Gulf War to navigate what the Iraqis thought was unnavigable desert
    GPS and the World's First "Space War"

    ..the LRDG navigated much greater distances ...I find it odd that the Iraqi military could not navigate the desert in 1991
    ..I would think some units/etc got lost in the desert in WW2....and the LRDG was not a large unit of tanks/etc..
    ..but the Iraqis--living in the desert--couldn't navigate it?
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Or didn't want to. The Bedouins have been navigating the desert for thousands of years without compass or GPS!
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..interesting point....good call ..I'm going to google that-thanks
    ..it was not the first time a defender had been surprised from an ''impossible'' direction
    ...I'm wondering if some of the terrain was just not passable for heavy vehicles.....?

    quick search here:
    Lawrence of Arabia . Desert Survival . Navigation | PBS
     
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Let's not forget that one mob was lost in that sandy waste for FORTY FLIPPIN' YEARS.
     
  6. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    WW II they had compass and at night, the stars. I read one account where a British private said they got used to using the stars at night. Dunno if the LRDG used sextants but it's been decades since I read Shaw's book.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    "
    Navigation[edit]
    All trucks of the LRDG were equipped with the Bagnold sun compass and some trucks were also equipped with a P8 Tank Compass.[48] Each patrol had a navigator who always rode in the second truck in the formation. He was equipped with a theodolite and astronomical position tables with which to plot star sightings, and maps.[49] Watches were used and adjusted each evening using the GMT time check.[48] One major problem faced early on by the LRDG was a lack of accurate maps for Libya in particular. Patrols had to do their own surveys and make their own maps of each route they took. In July 1941 the Survey Section was formed to carry out this task.[50]"

    Long Range Desert Group - Wikipedia
     
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  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    thanks all replies ..at least they should've had a few ''specially' trained troops to be able to navigate the desert....a group like the LRDG....
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The lines and the roads were usually all the navigation the dog faces needed. Every night was clear, usually, so finding Polaris told them where the Med was. Right from there to Egypt, left to Tunisia.
     
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Good logic, but it didn't always help. Contrary to popular belief the weather in the Mediterranean is not always clear.
    Lady Be Good (aircraft) - Wikipedia
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Gee, didn't know that. Other than living in Sicily for three years and driving completely around that puddle.
     
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