Bombs and rockets

The Economist draws attention to the risk of nuclear war: New actors with more versatile weapons have turned nuclear doctrine into guesswork. Even during the cold war, despite all that game theory and brainpower, the Soviet Union and America frequently misread what the other was up to. India and Pakistan, with little experience and less […]

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I fear that my list of project ideas, which I assemble out of an optimistic hope that the future will bring a long span of free time for such undertakings, includes an idea for a screenplay. It would be a film in the style of Apollo 13 (technically and historically accurate, and developed with lots […]

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“The merciless shelling had no pattern. It was aimless and incessant. Each day it seemed to increase in intensity. Mortars and the grinding howl of rocket-firing Katashkas soon added to the din. Most people now spent much of their time in cellars, air raid shelters, flak tower bunkers and subway stations. They lost all sense […]

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“‘I have no doubt,’ Von Manteuffel told his staff, ‘that on Hitler’s maps there is a little flag saying 7TH PANZER DIV., even though it got here without a single tank, truck, piece of artillery or even a machine gun. We have an army of ghosts.’” Ryan, Cornelius. The Last Battle. 1966. p. 395

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“By now confusion was beginning to sweep the German lines. Shortages were apparent everywhere and in everything. A critical lack of transport, an almost total absence of fuel, and roads thronged with refugees made large-scale troop movements almost impossible. This immobility was producing dire consequences: as units shifted position, their equipment, including precious artillery, had […]

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“In all, one third of Reymann’s men were unarmed. The remainder might as well have been. ‘Their weapons,’ he was to relate, ‘came from every country that Germany had fought with or against. Besides our own issues, there were Italian, Russian, French, Czechoslovakian, Belgian, Dutch, Norwegian and English guns.’ There were no less than fifteen […]

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“From Speer’s office Reymann made a quick visit to one of the defense sectors on Berlin’s outskirts. Each of these inspections only served to deepen Reymann’s conviction that Berlin’s defenses were an illusion. In the strutting, triumphant years, the Nazis had never considered the possibility that one day a last stand would be made in […]

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“As people waited for news, they hid their anxiety in grim humor. A new greeting swept the city. Total strangers shook hands and urged each other “Bleib übrig” – Survive. Many Berliners were burlesquing Goebbels’ broadcast of ten days before. Insisting that Germany’s fortune would undergo a sudden change, he had said: ‘The Führer knows […]

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“It almost seemed as if the authorities were not prepared to face the fact that Berlin was endangered. Although the Red Army was now barely thirty-two miles away, no alarm had been given and no official announcement had been made. Berliners knew very well that the Russians had attacked. The muffled thunder of artillery had […]

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“Inside the fort the noise was almost intolerable. Added to the firing of the batteries was the constant rattling of automatic shell elevators, which carried ammunition in an endless stream from a ground floor arsenal to each gun. G Tower was designed not only as a gun platform but as a huge five-story warehouse, hospital […]

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