The horror of the air war, in one stark map

This graph shows how badly German cities were hit by Allied bombing raids.

Image: G.W. Harmssen, Reparationen, Sozialprodukt, Lebensstandard (1947), in Deutsche Geschichte in Dokumenten und Bildern.
  • Despite Göring's assurances they wouldn't get through, Allied bombers rained destruction on Germany in World War II.
  • This 1947 map takes stock of the devastation: Berlin and Hamburg half destroyed, some smaller cities wiped out.
  • The history of the air war over Germany is a chilling reminder of the peculiar horror of mechanized warfare.
Keep reading Show less

Secret bunker from WWII found in Scotland

Winston Churchill had a secret army, and bunkers like this would have hidden them during a German invasion.

Image: © FLS/AOC Archaeology
  • Scottish foresters have recently stumbled on a hidden bunker dating back to WWII.
  • It is one of hundreds of bunkers designed to hide a secret guerrilla army in the event of a German invasion.
  • For the sake of protecting the site, its precise location will not be made public.
Keep reading Show less

Persistence, Not Genius, Is the Reason We Know Einstein’s Name

In 1905, Albert Einstein's mother thought he was a genius, his sister thought he was a genius, his father thought he was a genius – but that was about it, says author David Bodanis.

Einstein had three great character traits. "I might not be more skilled than other scientists," he liked to say, "but I have the persistence of a mule." If he built a house of cards and it came crashing down, young Einstein would exhale and start again, says biographer David Bodanis. He languished for many years in a patent office in Switzerland, unable to get a job as a high-school teacher, while in the top drawer of his desk were four recently completed papers – two of which were Special Relativity and E=mc2. He pressed on with his work until people noticed. Secondly, Einstein had a thick skin. One bad whisper can shatter most mere mortals, but in 1920 there was an anti-Einstein rally at the Opera House in Berlin, where people opposed to "Jewish science". Later still, in 1933, highly educated students from Göttingen, one of the greatest university in the world at the time, burned his books. Thirdly, he was inherently noble. He had a great conscience for his fellow humans, and used a huge amount of his income and other raised money to get people out of Germany and safely to America. Despite having thick skin, he was not callous – he had great sensitivity for humanity as a whole. Though the FBI did not let him be part of the team that built the atom bomb, Einstein’s work paved the way for the technology. When he heard the U.S. had dropped the bomb on Japan, he was grief stricken, and said "If I had known I wouldn't have lifted a finger." David Bodanis' most recent book is Einstein’s Greatest Mistake.

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast