Daily archives: September 7, 2010

links for 2010-09-07

  • The science of making small-batch, high-proof alcohol has remained largely unchanged for centuries. You let yeast perform its magic on something containing sugar (fruit, corn, molasses) mashed up in water. Then you separate the alcohol by boiling the potion and capturing the steam. (Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water.)
  • We have already seen the exterior of this weird vehicle inside one of the previous posts. Now we are going to look inside of it. So, let’s get it started!
    (tags: russia)
  • This is one of the weirdest exhibit of the Air Force Museum in Monino, the Moscow Region: a Bartini plane that was turned into an ekranoplan. Today we’ll study the exterior of the vehicle.
    (tags: russia)

Blitz Spirit

It’s the 70th anniversary of the Blitz. I’ve been following the Battle of Britain Day By Day blog since last month, today it stepped up a gear with a long post about the first day of concentrated bombing on London.

By coincidence, I’m also reading First Blitz, an account of the German bombing campaign against London and the south of England during the First World War. After Zeppelins were no longer effective, the England Squadron flew Gotha and Giant bombers at first in daylight and then, as England’s air defence improved, on night raids. The numbers of aircraft and tonnage of bombs were significantly lower than in the next war, but this was one of- if not the- first time large raids were mounted against an enemy city.

I’m halfway through the book right now. It’s a simple chronological recounting of raids, developments and countermeasures, but told in such a way as to remain interesting and based upon accounts from the attackers and defenders for balance. My only quibble is in its use of the word Blitz. It was my understanding that Blitz came from blitzkrieg and was first used to describe the bombing campaign of 70 years ago. It feels to me like the WW1 campaign has been retroactively renamed as a Blitz, either by the book’s writer or earlier historians, and contemporary writers would have called it something else. That aside, the book is proving an interesting read on early air warfare.