Monday, February 18, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 18, 2008

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

In late summer, 1940, with intelligence reports warning of intensified German bombing raids, Churchill examined and advised on every aspect of Britain's preperations for the attacks.

Here's a minute he sent on August 30 to the heads of "all Departments concerned:"

We must expect that many windows will be broken in the bombing raids, and during the winter glass may become scarce, with serious resultant damage to building if not replaced.

The utmost economy is to be practiced in the use of glass. Where windows are broken, they should , if possible, be boarded up, except for one or two panes. We cannot afford the full-sized windows in glass. All glass not needed for hothouses should be stored if the hothouses are empty.

I saw at Manston a large hothouse with a great quantity of glass,; enough was broken to it useless, and I directed that the rest should be carefully stored.

What is the condition of glass supply? It would seem necessary to press the manufacturers.

Government buildings should all be fitted with emergency windows, containing only one or two glass panes, which when the existing framework is blown in, can be substituted. Let me have a full report on the position.
Part of Churchill's genius involved his ability to simultaneously attend to broad strategy and small details such as those unbroken window panes in Manston.
Winston S. Churchill, Their Finest Hour. (p. 664)