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

Posts tagged “bombs

Soldiers posing with unexploded German shells exactly 100 years ago; December 16th, 1914

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The raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby, which took place on 16 December 1914, was an attack by the Imperial German Navy on the British seaport towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool, West Hartlepool, and Whitby. The attack resulted in 137 fatalities and 592 casualties, many of whom were civilians. The attack resulted in public outrage towards the German navy for an attack against civilians, and against the Royal Navy for its failure to prevent the raid.

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An English girl comforts her doll in the rubble of her bomb-damaged home; ca. 1940

This photo and other fantastic images can also be found in Anthony Beevor's Second World War. A great read that gives a fantastic overview of the whole war from Europe to Africa to the Pacific.

These reminders are important for future generations (like us) to not take peace for granted, and to remember that it’s easy to clamor for war if it’s someone else’s house and nation that’s about to get bombed, but when the tables are turned and the bomb whizz over your head, this mechanized mass murder, or whatever watered down PC name war-hungry politicians may give it, is a whole ‘nother beast.


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“Personnel inside the data processing center for COBRA DANE, an intelligence-gathering phased-array system specially constructed to monitor Soviet ballistic missile testing on Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula”, 1977

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The Enola Gay landing after dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Imagine being there. Seeing the plane leave, and then come back, not really knowing what it did.

Imagine being there. Seeing the plane leave, and then come back, not really knowing what it did.

 


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What was it like to be shelled in World War I?

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Here’s one description, from German officer Ernst Jünger’s 1920 memoir Storm of Steel:

“It’s an easier matter to describe these sounds than to endure them, because one cannot but associate every single sound of flying steel with the idea of death, and so I huddled in my hole in the ground with my hand in front of my face, imagining all the possible variants of being hit. I think I have found a comparison that captures the situation in which I and all the other soldiers who took part in this war so often found ourselves: you must imagine you are securely tied to a post, being menaced by a man swinging a heavy hammer. Now the hammer has been taken back over his head, ready to be swung, now it’s cleaving the air towards you, on the point of touching your skull, then it’s struck the post, and the splinters are flying — that’s what it’s like to experience heavy shelling in an exposed position.”

 

And several more, collected in Arnold D. Harvey’s A Muse of Fire: Literature, Art and War(1998):

Here is some descriptions of the sound: 

“For the civilians herded into the ranks the sounds of shell and bullet were strange and unexpected as well as frightening and called out for description. At close quarters an artillery barrage sounded ‘as though the earth were cracking up like an egg of super-gigantic proportions tapped by a gargantuan spoon’: it created, according to the same witness, ‘A veritable crescendo of sounds, so continuous as to merge and blend into a single annihilating roar, the roar of a train in a tunnel magnified a millionfold: only the rattle of the machine-gun barrage, like clocks gone mad, ticking out the end of time in a final breathless reckoning, rises above it’. At a greater distance it was ‘like someone kicking footballs — a soft bumping, miles away’, or a noise, felt rather than heard ‘like the beating of one’s heart after running’. A German infantry officer recalled, ‘If you put your hands over your ears and then drum your fingers vigorously on the back of your head, then you get some idea of what the drumfire sounded like to us’.”

“The sound of an approaching shell, it was claimed, ‘can be imitated by a suitable rendering of the sentences, “Who are you? I am (these words being drawn out to full length) — (a slight pause) — Krupp (very short and sharp!).”‘”