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Amazing New WWII Documentary: The Cold Blue

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“New” as in a couple years old. I’d never seen or heard about it. It’s on HBO now. It’s some new restored footage on the 8th Air Force B-17 raids over Germany. There was that old documentary highlighting the Memphis Belle where camera crews would ride along with them and a few other planes. This is additional footage that never got used and to use it today, it had to be carefully restored, about 75 minutes of it, and it’s waaay better footage than on the old doc. 

Sony TV’s have a setting where it adds/interpolates extra frames per second to give it the video look, like soap operas were filmed. Using that setting with some of this footage, is surreal. It has the look like it’s happening right now live, almost like it’s fake because you’re not used to seeing footage like this. Some of it is average, a lot is great, and a decent amount is just amazing. 

I consider myself a WWII junkie, and I actually learned some new stuff I didn’t know. Towards the end of the war, they had formations of a 1,100 B-17’s all together doing pattern bombing. That’s about 4.5 million lbs of bombs being dropped all at once on an area target. It’s easy to forget that the B-17’s were flying at 25,000 to 30,000 ft. No pressurization or heat. So they would go from sea level to Mt. Everest elevation in a matter of a couple hours where there’s only 1/3 of the oxygen as at sea level. And the temperature varied from -20 Deg F to -60 Deg F, and there were air openings in the plane for guns and other things, so flying at 160 mph they had wind chill factors that were hard to believe they could survive. Some guys would get fluid in the lungs and brain due to the elevation and die. Some would pass out and have a hand stuck to plexiglass and have to have a hand or fingers amputated. 

Some of those guys had to fly 14 hour missions 5 days in a row. They’d go from freezing cold and bored to complete adrenaline rushes. It’s just way over the top what they asked from those kids, mostly 19 to 23 year olds in crews of usually 10. If your plane was going down, you already had to have your shoot on, and only had about 30 seconds to get out before the speed to the ground got too high, the spinning of the plane became too great. You’d usually only see a couple of guys in a crew make it out. 

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4 minutes ago, Nevada Convert said:

“New” as in a couple years old. I’d never seen it or heard about. It’s on HBO now. There’s some new restored footage on the 8th Air Force B-17 raids over Germany. There was that old documentary highlighting the Memphis Belle where camera crews would ride along with them and a few other planes. This is additional footage that never got used and to use it today, it had to be carefully restored, about 75 minutes of it, and it’s waaay better footage than the old doc. 

Sony TV’s have a setting where it adds/interpolates extra frames per second to give it the video look, like soap operas were filmed. Using that with some of this footage, is surreal. It has the look like it’s happening right now live, almost like it’s fake because you’re not used to seeing footage like this. Some of it is average, a lot is great, and a decent amount is just amazing. 

I consider myself a WWII junkie, and I actually learned some new stuff I didn’t know. Towards the end of the war, they had formations of a 1,000 B-17’s all together doing pattern bombing. That’s 4 million lbs of bombs being dropped all at once on an area target. It’s easy to forget that the B-17’s were flying at 25,000 to 30,000 ft. No pressurization or heat. So they would go from sea level to Mt. Everest elevation in a matter of a couple hours where there’s only 1/3 of the oxygen as sea level. And the temperature varied from -20 Deg F to -60 Deg F, and there were air openings in the plane for guns and other things, so flying at 160 mph they had wind chill factors that were hard to believe they could survive. Some guys would get fluid in the lungs and brain due to the elevation and die. Some would pass out and have a hand stuck to plexiglass and have to have a hand or fingers amputated. 

Some of those guys had to fly 14 hour missions 5 days in a row. They’d go from freezing cold and bored to complete adrenaline rushes. It’s just way over the top what they asked from those kids, mostly 19 to 22 year olds in crews of usually 10. If your plane was going down, you already had to have your shoot on, and only had about 30 seconds to get out before the speed to the ground got too high, the spinning of the plane got too great. You’d usually only see a couple of guys in a crew make it out. 

My father in law was on a B-17 crew that flew numerous bombing missions over Germany. 

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1 hour ago, soupslam1 said:

My father in law was on a B-17 crew that flew numerous bombing missions over Germany. 

Cool, is he still alive?

My grandfather was a top executive at Lockheed in Burbank and worked closely with Kelly Johnson in designing planes from the late 1930’s to the early 1970’s. He helped design and supervised production of the P-38 Lightning during WWII, was in charge of the production of about 2,500 B-17’s per a contract with Boeing, the U2 Spy Plane design, the SR-71 blackbird design, etc. He was a big part of starting up the Skunk Works program that the U2 and SR-71 were an early part of.  It sucks, he died way to young in 1973 of a heart attack and would’ve been around for the stealth plane designs. But those guys were type A high stress workaholics back then, and it certainly shortened his life. There’s some boxes we have of his that have lots of pics of what was going on at Lockheed and I’m going to create a website with them on there just so it’ll be there for future generations to see. There’s not a lot of that stuff out there. Workers weren’t allowed to ever take pics for obvious reasons. 

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7 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

Cool, is he still alive?

My grandfather was a top executive at Lockheed in Burbank and worked closely with Kelly Johnson in designing planes from the late 1930’s to the early 1970’s. He helped design and supervised production of the P-38 Lightning during WWII, was in charge of the production of about 2,500 B-17’s per a contract with Boeing, the U2 Spy Plane design, the SR-71 blackbird design, etc. He was a big part of starting up the Skunk Works program that the U2 and SR-71 were an early part of.  It sucks, he died way to young in 1973 of a heart attack and would’ve been around for the stealth plane designs. But those guys were type A high stress workaholics back then, and it certainly shortened his life. There’s some boxes we have of his that have lots of pics of what was going on at Lockheed and I’m going to create a website with them on there just so it’ll be there for future generations to see. There’s not a lot of that stuff out there. Workers weren’t allowed to ever take pics for obvious reasons. 

Cool stuff!

My old boss's grandpa was a propulsion engineer at Lockheed. He had a signed "award" thing from McNamara for working on the Polaris missile. 

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10 hours ago, soupslam1 said:

My father in law was on a B-17 crew that flew numerous bombing missions over Germany. 

My great-grandpa was in the Luftwaffe, so they may have literally been in direct combat, which is pretty wild. And 80 years later their son in law and great grandson argue on the politics section of a mid major college sports conference message board. 

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8 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

Cool, is he still alive?

My grandfather was a top executive at Lockheed in Burbank and worked closely with Kelly Johnson in designing planes from the late 1930’s to the early 1970’s. He helped design and supervised production of the P-38 Lightning during WWII, was in charge of the production of about 2,500 B-17’s per a contract with Boeing, the U2 Spy Plane design, the SR-71 blackbird design, etc. He was a big part of starting up the Skunk Works program that the U2 and SR-71 were an early part of.  It sucks, he died way to young in 1973 of a heart attack and would’ve been around for the stealth plane designs. But those guys were type A high stress workaholics back then, and it certainly shortened his life. There’s some boxes we have of his that have lots of pics of what was going on at Lockheed and I’m going to create a website with them on there just so it’ll be there for future generations to see. There’s not a lot of that stuff out there. Workers weren’t allowed to ever take pics for obvious reasons. 

He died several years ago. He had some pretty cool memorabilia including his old flight jacket and pictures of his plane and flight crew. My wife said his plane was hit by flak and he had some plexiglas wounds but declined the Purple Heart. She said he told her whenever they were going on a mission there was a mug that was turned over when they woke up. When he returned to the states he trained future flight crews. 

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3 hours ago, SalinasSpartan said:

My great-grandpa was in the Luftwaffe, so they may have literally been in direct combat, which is pretty wild. And 80 years later their son in law and great grandson argue on the politics section of a mid major college sports conference message board. 

A friend I grew up with that lived a few houses down had parents that were kids in Germany during the war, and his dad was forced to be in the Hitler youth. 

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15 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

Cool, is he still alive?

My grandfather was a top executive at Lockheed in Burbank and worked closely with Kelly Johnson in designing planes from the late 1930’s to the early 1970’s. He helped design and supervised production of the P-38 Lightning during WWII, was in charge of the production of about 2,500 B-17’s per a contract with Boeing, the U2 Spy Plane design, the SR-71 blackbird design, etc. He was a big part of starting up the Skunk Works program that the U2 and SR-71 were an early part of.  It sucks, he died way to young in 1973 of a heart attack and would’ve been around for the stealth plane designs. But those guys were type A high stress workaholics back then, and it certainly shortened his life. There’s some boxes we have of his that have lots of pics of what was going on at Lockheed and I’m going to create a website with them on there just so it’ll be there for future generations to see. There’s not a lot of that stuff out there. Workers weren’t allowed to ever take pics for obvious reasons. 

My friend's father was an engineer at Lockheed in Burbank when we were teenagers in the early seventies. I didn't understand how he got them but the father somehow acquired all of Jimmy Doolittle's charts and notes for the 1942 raid on Tokyo and he would regale my dad with stories about Doolittle while Dad told him about having been strafed by an ME 262 in Belgium in late 1944. The first hobby I ever had was making model WWII airplanes with Dad which when finished would be hung from the ceiling of my bedroom.

In addition to the B-25 Mitchell, we made the B-24 Liberator, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the Dauntless Dive Bomber.

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20 hours ago, Nevada Convert said:

Sony TV’s have a setting where it adds/interpolates extra frames per second to give it the video look, like soap operas were filmed. Using that setting with some of this footage, is surreal. It has the look like it’s happening right now live, almost like it’s fake because you’re not used to seeing footage like this. Some of it is average, a lot is great, and a decent amount is just amazing. 

What?!?! Sony TVs can do that on the fly? I knew there were machine learning algorithms doing that to ‘restore’ old videos but had never heard of TVs being able to.

 

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1 hour ago, bsu_alum9 said:

What?!?! Sony TVs can do that on the fly? I knew there were machine learning algorithms doing that to ‘restore’ old videos but had never heard of TVs being able to.

 

Yup, they can do it on the fly, and have been for a long time. My TV is a 1080p that’s about 13 years old. They can take 24 FPS which is fairly standard for film and TV viewing and turn it into 60 FPS video. I forgot the name. I think Cinemotion is something else. I’ll check. 

OK, for my year they call it Motionflow. There’s a high setting for 60, and a low setting....can’t remember the FPS for that. Probably 40. And you can have it turned off. It’s really cool. The newer 4K TV’s are getting closer to the “soap opera affect” anyway. A lot of people hate 60 FPS for movies. But It’s awesome for bringing old film to life. 

The most mind blowing thing I’ve ever seen is the WWI documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old”.  That film is incredibly restored, and when you see it at 60 FPS, you can’t believe it’s real. 
 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_Shall_Not_Grow_Old

 

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4 hours ago, 818SUDSFan said:

My friend's father was an engineer at Lockheed in Burbank when we were teenagers in the early seventies. I didn't understand how he got them but the father somehow acquired all of Jimmy Doolittle's charts and notes for the 1942 raid on Tokyo and he would regale my dad with stories about Doolittle while Dad told him about having been strafed by an ME 262 in Belgium in late 1944. The first hobby I ever had was making model WWII airplanes with Dad which when finished would be hung from the ceiling of my bedroom.

In addition to the B-25 Mitchell, we made the B-24 Liberator, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the Dauntless Dive Bomber.

That’s cool. 

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12 hours ago, SalinasSpartan said:

My great-grandpa was in the Luftwaffe, so they may have literally been in direct combat, which is pretty wild. And 80 years later their son in law and great grandson argue on the politics section of a mid major college sports conference message board. 

There were a lot of Americans that came from Germany in past generations and still had family in Germany. Politically, nuking Germany would’ve been tougher to get a lot of support vs. a place like Japan where racially and culturally, they didn’t have the standing the Germans did in the US. Good thing we didn’t have to nuke Germany and too bad we had to in Japan. 

With the Germans fighting the Russians, the amount of lives lost would rival our Japanese nuke campaign. In the tank battle of Kursk, for about 10 days in a row, about 31,000 died on the front every day. You can go on farm land there right now, dig about 5’ down and you’ll find everything from soldiers, weapons, everything. There are guys on YouTube that go out digging for an afternoon and in no time they have a bunch of WWII artifacts. They leave the skeletons. 

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