As Capt. Tom Davis stands at the tailgate of the military cargo plane, the night air sweeps through the hold. His eyes search the black terrain 1,200 feet below. He grips the canvas of his reserve parachute and takes a deep breath.
Davis and the men who make up his Special Forces A-team are among the most highly trained soldiers in the U.S. Army. It’s 1972, and Davis isn’t far removed from a tour in Vietnam, where he operated along the Cambodian border. His communications sergeant served in Command and Control North, which was responsible for some of the most daring operations in the heart of North Vietnamese territory. But none of the men has ever been on a mission like this before.
Their plan: drop into Eastern Europe, make their way undetected through forested mountains, and destroy a heavy-water plant used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
Leading up to the operation, during four days of preparation, Army regional experts briefed them on routes of infiltration and anticipated enemy patrols. The team pored over aerial photographs and an elaborate mock-up of the target — a large, slightly U-shaped building. It’s situated in a wide, open area with a roving guard, but at least the team won’t have to sneak inside.
Hanging awkwardly from the parachute harness of Davis’s intelligence sergeant is a 58-pound nuclear bomb.
Hanging awkwardly from the parachute harness of Davis’s intelligence sergeant is a 58-pound nuclear bomb. With a weapon this powerful, they can just lay it against a wall, crank the timers, and let fission do its work.
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 44th week, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I play chess and have been working on being a better player. I only recently started playing quite a bit…. vs Shredder. I am really very very good at Backgammon. I am either World Class or Expert level most of the time.
Take a set of chess pieces and throw them all away except for one knight. Place the knight on any one of the 64 squares of a chess board.
Can you make 63 legal moves so that you visit every square on the chess board exactly once? As a reminder, a knight can move two squares in a straight line, followed by a ninety degree turn and a move of one further square. It might seem like a hard task, but this set of moves, called the knight’s tour, can be achieved in too many ways to count.
If you are able to make the 63 moves and end up on a square from which you can move back to the original square with the 64th legal move, then this is known as a closed tour. Other tours are called open tours.
This article is really about a math problem and the way to solve it.. Ants apparently use this technique all the time.
I have been very very interested in Cyberwarfare for several years. The discovery of Stuxnet was a signal of a new type of War in my estimation… It turns out it might be more difficult then previously imagined to wage Cyberwarfare.
More interests than I can count.. enjoy Foreign Policy, Current events, Books, Game theory,Sports (both watching and participating) and of course my Labradors. Love Mountain Biking!
World class backgammon player.