Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 24, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Today we begin a four-part series concerning Britan's response to Germany's use during WW II of delayed-action bombs.

In Their Finest Hour Churchill records:

In the middle of September, a new and damaging form of attack was used against us. Large numbers of delayed-action bombs were now widely and plentifully cast upon up and became an awkward problem. Long stretches of railway line, important junctions, the approaches to vital factories , airfields, main thoroughfares had scores of times to be blocked off and denied to us in our need.

These bombs had to be dug out and exploded or rendered harmless. This was a task of the utmost peril, especially at the beginning, when the means and methods had all to be learned by a seriess of decisive experiences

I have already recounted in Volume I the drama of dismantling the magnetic mine, but this form of self-devotion now became commonplace while remaining sublime.
The Germans had first began using delayed-action fuses during WW I and the British quickly countered in kind.

At the outbreak of WW II, Churchill advocated dropping mines with delayed-action fuses into Germany's vital and heavily trafficked Kiel Canal, something he mentions in Their Finest Hour.

Tomorrow - How Britain set about reducing the problems presented by delayed-fuse bombs.
Winston S. Churchill, Their Finest Hour. (The Riverside Press, 1949) (pgs. 360-361)


Anonymous said...

I remember the show "Danger UX/B" on PBS. Gripping.