Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Archive for October 29, 2014

A camouflaged road 10 km from Russian border, in Finland; June 27, 1941

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Apparently the purpose was to conceal the road from a Russian watchtower which was located at the border.

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Batterie Mirus, Guernsey; ca. 1942

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Batterie Mirus was an artillery gun emplacement built in Nazi occupied Guernsey, disguised as a cottage to fool aerial surveillance.

(Background: During World War II, the Channel Islands were the only part of Britain captured by the Nazis. During a long and brutal occupation the Nazi’s essentially turned the islands into stationary battleships, pouring more concrete into fortifications and gun emplacements than was poured in the rest of the Atlantic Wall combined. The largest guns in The Channel Islands were situated in Guernsey, at the Batterie Mirus. They had a range of around 51km, meaning they could theoretically hit the coast of France.)


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German Alpenkorps soldiers posing on a mountain; ca. 1915.

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Hiter, Speer and entourage mesmerized at the Schwerer Gustav. Largest and Heaviest artillery ever used in combat; ca. 1941

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Also know as Dora, Krupp was responsible for its development. It saw very little combat as the gun proved to be a logistical nightmare. Stands as the largest-calibre rifled weapon ever used in combat, the heaviest artillery piece ever built by weight and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery.

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The Schwerer Gustav could fire armor-piercing rounds weighing over 7,000kg (~15,000lb) with a muzzle velocity of ~700 m/s (~2,400 ft/s)

(Size compared with the OTR-21 Tochka.)


The Airship Graf Zeppelin lands smoothly on the ice- strewn waters of a bay at the Frans Josef polar islands to deliver post to the Soviet icebreaker Malygin; ca. July 1931

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Some more information on the Graf Zeppelin’s Arctic Flight.


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The shells from an allied creeping bombardment spent in a single day on German lines; ca. 1916

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Prisoners work at Belbaltlag, a Gulag camp for building the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal; ca. 1932

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Usually these pictures were propaganda and featured criminals, not political prisoners. Read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for a good description of “shock battalions” in the gulags. Note the plump faces and clothes on these prisoners.


250MB hard drive; ca. 1979

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To think now, I have 16gb of flash storage on my phone and 3 terabytes of hard disk space with an extra 250gb of solid state storage on my computer but back then this was groundbreaking stuff. Makes me scared for the future in a way. Imagine when we think back and say “I can’t believe I ONLY used 3 terabytes”.


Canadian Soldiers take back a wounded from the front during the battle of Passchendaele; ca. November, 1917

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Douglas Haig’s chief of staff, Launcelot Kiggell, reportedly broke down and wept when he finally visited the Passchendaele battlefield in the autumn of 1917, saying “Good God, did we really send men to fight in that?”


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Flight of G3M Bombers over the Aleutian Islands; ca. 1943

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