Dirty Dozen Question

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Jake, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Jake

    Jake Guest

    When the DD capture Colonel Breed's HQ during the wargames, there's a scene where Bronson takes what appears to be a handful of silver sticks (looks like pens) out of his pocket and hands them to his cohorts. Anybody know the significance of this?
    Jake, Mar 13, 2005
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  2. Jake

    Dick Sidbury Guest

    This is from memory so it could be wrong but could it have been cigars
    in aluminum tubes?

    Dick Sidbury, Mar 13, 2005
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  3. Detonators?
    E. Barry Bruyea, Mar 13, 2005
  4. Jake

    J.P. Guest

    I kid you not.
    Ballpoint pens.
    They were stealing them.
    Although the producers stretched things a lot, Ballpoints were popular
    among american flyers.
    I think the "dozen" saw a profit item.
    It's a stretch, but that's what it is.

    takes what appears to be a handful of silver sticks (looks like pens)
    out of his pocket and hands them to his cohorts. Anybody know the
    significance of this?
    Remove original MPAA ratings to reply.

    J.P., Mar 14, 2005
  5. And they are ubiquitous now - but at one time ball-point pens
    were very expensive. The ink was not totally cheat-proof as you
    could transfer things like signatures from one piece of paper to

    In the first few years they sold up to $25 each - and this was
    in the era of Fords and Chevys that cost $1200.
    Bill Vermillion, Mar 16, 2005
  6. I always thought they were needles filled with some type of knockout
    In fact I think that was the Plan-B they talked about?
    tabernacle2002, Mar 17, 2005
  7. Jake


    May 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Number 10 Delay Switches

    Those devices were late-model aluminum-bodied revisions of the original #10 Delay Switch that was designed and manufactured by the British, and which would have been in wide use in that area of the European theatre during the latter part of WWII. These were often also called "pencil detonators" or "timing pencils."

    The delay mechanism worked through chemical erosion of a metal wire which restrained a striker under spring pressure, and as such was not a very accurate timing device. The chemical agent (copper chloride) was contained in a glass vial inside the body tube, which was very thin. Crushing the tube released the agent which started eroding the wire. When the wire weakened to a point where the spring could break it, the striker hit the percussion cap, causing it to ignite.

    The end of the device that looked like a lattice cage was where one embedded the detonator into the explosive. If you slow down the DVD and zoom-in very closely you will notice what looks like a shiny metal wire near that lattice cage; this is the safety strip which blocked the striker from hitting the percussion cap, and was removed before deploying.

    These devices were so unreliable that they had to design-in an “inspection hole,” which you can also see near the safety strip when you slow down the DVD and zoom-in. You crush the body to start the delay and then you look through the inspection hole. If you can see through it, it’s (supposedly) good to go once you remove the safety strip; if not, that means the thing already tried to detonate on you, and the only thing preventing it from doing so was that safety strip! If this is the case you were supposed to discard it and then try another one.
    AdamChurvis, May 29, 2013
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