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Remember back in elementary school when the teacher lined us up single file and then gave the kid in front a written statement? The kid in front was then supposed to read it to the kid behind and that kid would verbally pass the information to the one in back of him and so on. The kid at the end then wrote down the info passed to him and gave it back to the teacher. The teacher (in our classes' variation) would then write both the initial and final versions on the blackboard and the differences would be discussed.

So it was with the installation of a huge (27 ton) German Radar Antenna on the island of Crete. The German engineers from the manufacturer, Telefunken, wanted to closely supervise the mounting of this huge sauerbraten pot looking apparatus on a concrete tower built by the Greeks.

Unfortunately for the Germans, the operator of the crane spoke no German, only Greek. The German engineer responsible spoke only German and rudimentary French. (He had been a POW in a French camp). The French engineer on site spoke French and rudimentary English. I spoke English and rudimentary Greek, but had no knowledge of the hand signals the Greek crane operator was used to, so yet another link was put in the chain...a Greek out of Alexandria in Egypt who knew the hand signals, but spoke only his dialect of Greek.

With this human information chain in place the attempt was made on a windy (it was ALWAYS windy on the mountain) day to lift and swing this sucker into place. It was critical that as soon as the mounting holes were lined up, the sauerbraten pot be dropped the last foot or so immediately.

Well, you can imagine what happened: the wind blew and the sh*t flew and somehow in the course of transmitting the intelligence the big pot got dropped too fast and too soon. It landed on the tower alright, but hit so hard that the tower sunk in ground on one side so that you now had a leaning tower of Pisa with a 27ton Radar Antenna mounted on top of it. The Greek Military Junta threw the crane operator in the calaboose...which I don't think was fair.



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