Saturday, October 10, 2015

Postblogging Technology, August 1945, II: Unconditional Love

Group Captain R_. C_.,
OC Special Intelligence Interpretation Unit,
RAAF Richmond,
NSW, Australia. 

Fatherly Brother:
One more note from me from San Francisco. You will be glad to hear that your daughter-in-law is to be released from the hospital next week, that your grand-daughter flourishes, as also the twins under the care of Fanny and Mrs. Judith. Babies, babies, you will say, and well you might! Certainly I shall, at least when I get back from Napa, and before I am off to Virginia. What an exciting life I lead! 

Things will not be all domestic for your return, however. We have word that the Navy is to send your son to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the Fall term. But Brother George's ship is expected in Vancouver next month. All are disappointed to hear that you must fly to London before your release. Nevertheless, Christmas in Santa Clara!

Here at home, "Miss C." and "Miss V.C." combine to bring interesting word. Apparently, the low interest rates are presenting some difficulties to the university as it seeks to renew certain mortgages written at its foundation. Their sixty year terms are up at the end of the year, and the holders have expressed some reservations about renewing at current terms. The interesting point here is that the  instruments are said to be very candid in certain matters, specifically in naming a certain former President as co-beneficiary. And so did the Governor provide for his bastard, you might say. But the point is an individual is not, and cannot be, a charitable institution. Investors with long memories, I am told, might still take some personal satisfaction in getting their money back. 

Or, more likely, a bit of judicious blackmail --it is not as though this is likely tobe allowed to become public! Now here is the thing. The Engineer has conceived the notion that "Lieutenant A" is the young man to call around San Francisco, and perhaps elsewhere (I am told that there is even  a brigadier in Berlin holding a note) to get the matter settled and the mortgages rolled over. This is where "Miss V.C." is concerned, because somehow an arrangement for her to drive Lieutenant A around the city has been proposed. Well, driving is courting in these parts --I am not sure about espionage!

We shall see if there is a safe in a Gold Coast mansion for Wong Lee to investigate at the end of this; and whether the Engineer is more embarrassed to be known as the son of the Governor, or as a half-caste, whether or not his mother was an "Indian princess." 
There's something about Mr. A if she's still willing to see him after three months of B.O. . . .

I Remain Your Most Humble and Obedient Little Sister,
v. Q

Flight, 16 August 1945
“Peace on Earth” The paper was at the point of going to press when the Japanese surrender became official. The paper is pleased that Britain does not have to fight the “unbeaten millions of the Japanese Army,” that no more atomic bombs need to be dropped, and that we can now liberate the POWs.
“Atomic Energy” On the other hand, no-one knows what happens when a neutreion collides with a nucleon to make electreions and photoneions, except people who aren’t allowed to say. So then they whisper in the ears of their friends, who explain to the press, who proceed to write down the Chinese whispers.
“War in the Air”
Japan really ought to have surrendered. And then it did. There are many reasons why it ought to have surrendered. The paper will now fill out a page-and-a-half explaining them. The one reason it did not is that it resisted unconditional surrender. Now, finally, it has surrendered unconditionally, on the condition that the Emperor be retained as a guarantee that the Japanese will have some say on their future constitution. Since the Allies have always said that was what would happen, this was not really a condition, and so this is a genuine unconditional conditional surrender. If the Germans didn’t hate Hitler so much that we wanted unconditional surrender as much as anyone, I suppose the moral would have been that we ought to have crashed some planes into ships to see what we could get.
Also, the endlessly talked-up Martin Mars crashed less than two weeks after entering service, and Air Commodore Gayford, of the Long Range Flight, has died.

Here and There
The Mediterranean Air Force has been disbanded. Air News tells us of a new and superior German parachute. The English have larded up the board of the new College of Aeronautics with various worthies, including half-dead air marshals, dubious businessmen, ancient scientists, and slightly less ancient mariners. Obtaining actual students remains a high priority, and some may be procured next year.
It would take aeronautical science another seventy years to figure out how to divide by zero. Also, the SFU Len Norris collection has the worst seach functionality ever. 

J. Langdon Davies, who writes about science for the Daily Mail, grets the “terrific news that Allied scientists have at least succeeded in tapping the cosmic energy of the atom” by suggesting that the new government need no longer bother nationalising the coal, electric and gas industries, as they are about to become obsolete and irrelevant due to atomic energy. The NACA, on the other hand, thinks that many years of research and development will be required before tiny little atomic bombs are exploding in engine cylinders, so that the petrol engine has ten years of life in it yet.

"Ford Nucleon" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -

In brief news, some French managers and technicians are in the country looking at air factories. The Australians are closing RAAF schools, while Moscow radio reported a model airplane poweredby a rubber band which stayed aloft for 26 minutes, covered 4 miles, andreached 7,600 feet. Admiral Preston is to be the new chairman of Titanine, while Peter Masefield is going to Washington as Air attache, and Brigadier General Millison is the new American AOC Mediterranean, though Americans need to say “Commanding General, US Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations.”
“Indicator,” “Flying the Spitfire XIV: A Few Impressions of the Later Spitfire Marks: The War’s Ever-Young Veteran: Maintaining Consistent Handling Qualities with Quantity Production”
As Indicator says, the only aircraft from before 1938 still flying in combat at the end of the war were the Ju 88, the Douglas Boston, and the Spitfire. Aside from the much changed B-17, the Spitfire has by far the longest service career. It’s also the smallest, though. Surely that ought to count for something? And, of course, he misses the Bfw109. The Spitfire XIV is the long-winged, long-nosed, five-bladed Spitfire variant flying the two-stage, two-speed blower-equipped Griffon 65. Indicator tells us that, apart from the better-organised but still “busy” cockpit, his first striking impression was the oversized throttle with its long range of action. This is necessary, he tells us, because there is such a range of power needed, and because torque is so great late in the takeoff. You need lots of space to shift the throttle in, in other words, to have the control you need not to flip your plane on its back and die in flames. Other than that, handling is swell! All the constant speed controls are automatic and inter-connected, so the  new pilot cannot kill himself with his propeller, carburettor, radiator gills, or, in normal conditions, booster pump. In unusual conditions, presumably, it makes a good suicide. Trim setting is easy: full port bias, so that the plane goes forward, and not in the direction (round and round and round) that the spinning crankshaft would like it to go in. Providing that the tyres don’t blow up. The engine has +18 boost, the Griffon having been systematically hardened to such metallurgical extremes by a few tweed-clad gentlemen taking time out from reading Ovid and shooting grouse.  Once (very quickly) at altitude, the Spitfire XIV is an acrobatic delight, thanks to a large, adjustable tab, of the automatic-servo type. The horse may be a maniac, but the reins are tight.
Perhaps I sound bitter here, but I am recalling some things said about the performance of the later marks of the Bf109, where the same problems of vicious handling with the imbalance of power and control surfaces are as examples of the mediocrity of German engineering to be seen. And, of course, since German engineers are all products of the great Evangelical universities, it comes right back to the wooden-headed, all-theorising North German mind. (South German minds too alcohol-softened. . !)
Finally, the Spitfire XIV is much harder to crash at low speeds than it might have been.
“Atomic Fission: Mr. Churchill’s Statement on the History of the Evolution of the New Bomb”
Credit is given to His Majesty’s Government in the first instance for recognising the potential of the atomic bomb, and before the Coalition, so that it was under Sir Neville Chamberlain, and before Churchill entered the government that the universities of Cambridge, London (Imperial College), Liverpool and Birmingham were set to work on the atomic bomb. At the time of the Coalition, the work was assigned to the Ministry of Aircraft Production, and a committee under the leadership of Sir George Thomson set up. Mrs. C. would point out that he has the right last name. “Why not?” Mrs. C. burns with never being able to say that she is at the party because of her true family’s money and influence, while I see the point of the son of the great man. He was chosen to be a bureaucrat, not an inventor, after all. Privilege will not make you a better physicist, I am told, but it but it certainly wears off the edges!

Make fun of my haircut all you want. My son and seven of my other students won Nobel prizes.What's your advisor done for you?

From Thomson’s committee, leadership was passed to Sir John Anderson once it was established that an atomic bomb might be feasible in this war, within the Department of Industrial and Scientific Research, with the codename “Tube Alloys.” I wonder what Sir J.C. would say about that, after his adventures with American tube alloys? At this point, names must be mentioned, including Milord Brabazon, Sir James Chadwick, Professor Peierls, Drs. Halban, Simon and Slade, Sir Charles Darwin, and Professors Cockcroft, Oliphant and Feather.  From October 1941, the Americans more-or-less took over, because they had all the money. Canada has mines. Thank God we beat the Germans! The Prime Minister congratulates himself on sending commandoes to blow up the heavy water plants in Norway that might have had something to do with atomic bombs. But, I am told under oaths of confidence, did not. Though as I understand it, you would know, having been busy at one point developing thousands of feet of film in search of stray atomeons such as might have been given off by a “heavy water moderated bomb.” (I use Tommy’s words, because otherwise I would say things like “Fifth Ray” and “luminiferous aether.” How does that come to have a character, anyway? I understand why Burroughs gets translated into Chinese, but what Chinese reader ever cared about the “luminiferous aether?”)
Multi-Point Injection: The S.U.Company’s Contribution to Direct Fuel Injection”
The SU Company wants everyone to know that their direct injection system wasn’t just copied from Daimler-Benz. It was an improved copy. Sure, the one SU actually built, supplied injected fuel into the supercharger, but SU wanted to inject it into each individual cylinder from the beginning, and eventually got permission from the Air Ministry. Now they have a multi-point injection system like the Germans, only with lower injection pressure and a longer induction period. This has become more important in recent years because it is hard to distributed tetraethyl lead equally to all cylinders, and the SU system alleviates the effects of too little lead (predetonation) and too much (corrosion.) The final paragraph leaves me uncertain that this system is actually in service yet, or whether it has perhaps been removed from service pending a solution to TEL corrosion. 
“Fifty-Fifty Air Force” As part of its ongoing effort to not be part of World War II, Turkey accepted a variety of German and British aircraft to let them know that the Fuehrer and the Prime Minister were thinking of them. The paper finds it surprising that the Turks prefer the Heinkel III to the Liberator III.
V. L. Gruberg, “It Must Not Happen Again: Control Problems of German Aviation: Secret Preparations After Last Defeat: Lessons of the Past” As any busybody headmaster can tell you, the only way to stop student hijinks is with busybodying, petty regulations, and a resolute refusal to address grievances, and possibly veiled threats of a Polish invasion.
“The Norden Bomb Sight: A System of Instruction Between Autopilot and Bomb Sight: An Automatic Speed and Distance Calculator” Carl Norden invented his bombsight “as early as 1928,” and his automatic pilot, the Stabilised Bomb Approach Equipment, in 1935. I mostly heard about it in 1942, when the Air Ministry's officials could not believe that it would turn out to be as primitive as it was. SBAE, “Like all autopilots,” consists of gyros, servo-motors and follow up systems “to render the degree of control surface deflection proportional to the deviation of the aircraft.” I think that means that the autopilot automatically pilots the airplane. I am very lucky with my Chinese engineering dictionary! With the SBAE activated, the bombardier actually steers the plane through the autopilot, with flight gyros and banking motors.  The plane being set on an intercepting course, it then remains to calculate when a bomb released at the right point in time and space will strike the target, using various details of target movement (if moving), wind speed and so on. The Norden bombsight calculates all of this automatically. So that is all that the bombsight itself is, a calculating machine!

Seafire XV Off the Secret List” The Navy has a version of the Spitfire with a 1,890hp Merlin engine, making it the fastest naval fighter . . . in Great Britain. I do not know what the fastest naval fighter in Germany is, but I imagine it is a biplane with floats, because that’s how long it has been since the German navy had time and energy for that sort of thing. I wonder what England’s excuse is?

"The supercharger clutch developed a tendency to slip at high rpm and boost settings, making it dangerous to attempt carrier landings. This problem was finally solved early in 1947 by adopting a new clutch." Picture is of a Corsair, not a Seafire XV, but the point remains.
Civil Aviation
“C.E.R.C.A.: Commonwealth and Empire Conference on Radio for Civil Aviation” . I know that Mrs. C. gives these short shrift on the assumption that the diplomats will talk for virtually forever before things are done, and then it only remains to report on the final results. I think this sells diplomacy short, so if you want a fuller account, just let me know!
In other news, the French are looking at flying boats for their North African service, except perhaps in areas that are arid? The bi-weekly service between Lisbon and Oporto will only be allowed to carry three members of one family, and the AustralianNationalisation of Airlines Bill has passed. (There are also details of airports in Philadelphia, Berlin and Geneva, and of exports to Argentina, because it has politely declined to be too excitable.)
“What Does the Private Owner Want?” Asks Barry Hilery. A nice schnitzel with a dry white, Mr. Hilery, and a Vienna torte with coffee afterwards. Well, that’s what I want right now, and while admittedly I am not a private aircraft owner, I also don’t pretend to speak for them! Especially at a page and a half’s length. J. Cohen (Fl. Lt.) writes to ask a math question, complete with diagrams. It looks as though the paper is a little short of letters this week. Perhaps the usual gaggle of letter-writers are distracted by current events.

For the purposes of relevance, imagine that this is yet another pencil sketch of a proposed "private owner type." "Sachertorte DSC03027 retouched". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Time, 20 August 1940


Mrs. Skuce and Allison continue the discussion of best and worst American presidents. The former President of Ecuador writes to explain that no Ecuadorian public official has ever taken a bribe. There is a wide a range of disagreement with Sgt. Bundenthal’s self-evident observation that German girls are the prettiest in the world. 

The paper admits to being surprised that Clement Atlee is the Prime Minister of England. Being opposed to the sun rising in the East ought not make one expect that it will rise in the west! A “WilliamF. Buckley, Jr., Lieutenant, Jr. U.S.A,” writes that while Catholics hate godless Communism, they are all in for the alliance with Russia against Japan, and for the prevention of future wars. Gordon Flint notes that if the 57mm recoilless rifle can be fired rifle-style, and creates a backblast of flame four feet wide and 13 ft long, Fort Benning’s real secret is its fireproof gunner. C. Y. Slobicki writes that the Pan-American Highway has not been abandoned, butmerely passed on to the Public Works Administration, and it is hoped it will open in 1947.

“The Peace: The Bomb” The paper cannot come up with a coherent sentence about this. Instead, it uses many subtitles all in a row. If you will pardon some romanji, I will quote directly from the English a passage I cannot possibly translate. “The race had been won, the weapon had  been used by those on whom civilization had the best hope to depend; but the demonstration of power against living creatures instead of dead matter created a bottomless wound in the living conscience of the race.”  The paper goes on to summarise the long, nervous days while we waited for the surrender to become official. It’s hard to capture in words already, especially as I went down to Grant Avenue to join the celebrations there, and the paper hasn’t the slightest interest in printing those pictures. Or of the awful riot over on Market Street.


Talks on charges and jurisprudence for the war crime trials continue. American base requirements in the occupied Pacific are being discussed. Stimson is rechecking the numbers to see if the army can be cut, now. Almost everyone with 85 points or more will be out in the next ten days or so, probably a half million men. The men still in transit across America or waiting to ship in Europe will not go to the Pacific now, but the divisions awaiting embarkment in California are to go, as an army of occupation for Japan.

“To the Bitter End” Various Japanesedie-hards have not surrendered yet. A ship was torpedoed off Okinawa, and the Russian invasion of Manchuria continues.

“My God!” Some accounts of Hiroshima, and a suggestion that it was the mission commander who diverted the second bomb to “second-choice” Nagasaki after the other target was reported overcast.

“The Locusts” It is calculated that Japan had 900,000 men in China; 600,000 Japanese and 300,000 puppet troops in Manchuria, 150,000 in Tonkin and Thailand; “diseased remnants” in Burma; and a half-million or so spread from Southeast Asia to the bypassed Pacific islands. Somehow, they must be shipped home and “squeezed into the teeming” home islands.

“Atomic Age” Etc, etc. The technical facts are these: progress in explosives has been surprisingly slow. TNT is barely twice as powerful as black powder. An atomic bomb is 12,000 times as strong as the same weight of TNT. 123 planes could carry as much destructive power as all the bombs dropped in WWII. Right now, only the US, Britain and Canada possess the secret of this power. How long that will last is another question, because “secrets are perishable.” It is thought that the Russians advanced the time table of their attack in Siberia because they expected the bomb to end the war before they could join, otherwise.

“Technology” It has long been known that the “atomic” energy locked in atoms was vast, and from some atoms was emitted as radioactivity. James Chadwick discovered in 1932 that the neutron had no charge, and so could be shot at atoms. 
A physicist is a man who can make a hundred pound suit look like a bad t-shirt by brain power alone.

Enrico Fermi soon started to do just that, and found that uranium split with a most satisfying ka-boom. In 1938, Otto Hahn found barium amongst the remains of a neutron-uranium bang. Lise Meitner realised that it had to be a remnant of the uranium atom which had been split, did the math, found that some of the mass of the original uranium atom was gone, concluded that there must be some excess energy due to what Einstein said about the speed of light and twins in star-ships, and was sent off to get coffee and cake for the men so that Neils Bohr and the Princeton lads could take the credit for discovering "fission." The trick was then to keep it going with a “chain reaction.” Such chain reactions are possible with either a rare isotope of uranium, or the soon-discovered artificial element, plutonium. 

This still required a “moderator” to slow down the neutrons, such as heavy water. U-235, the rare “isotope” is very expensive and difficult to separate from regular Uranium-238. Making plutonium in a “reactor” is easier, but the story quotes a scientist who was present when the first such reactor, in the midst of south-side Chicago, started to “cook.” He says that it was very lucky that there was enough moderator in the pile to stop the chain reaction. This is why the work was transferred to Hanford, because the “reactors” would unleash clouds of long-lasting, poisonously radioactive waste. Even the cooling water that bathed the reactors became radioactive! This cooling water might even have been used in a power plant, as it was enough to heat the Columbia River “appreciably.” The actual bombs consist of small masses of either plutonium or U-235, which are brought together by explosions of TNT to form a “critical mass” in which the “chain reaction” can take place.

“Last Days”

Are described the nervous last days of war in Japan. War Minister Anami’s call for resistance to the end is noticed. So are the rumours that the Emperor might be deposed, and Crown Prince Akihito called to continue the war. The papers called for peace, the Government for total mobilisation. There was no food, and no electricity, and all were waiting for the Emperor. 

There is no room here for the midnight flight of a southern politician from Nakasaki to Tokyo in an American plane, as there should not and never will be. In China, the Communists of course ruined everything by rushing to take positions from the surrendering Japanese. It is like there is a civil war there, or something. A communist-inspired Korean independence movement has suddenly materialised in Yenan. In England, the Daily Express’s Nat Gubbins said that while the election had killed conservatism in Great Britain, the atom bomb had done so in the rest of the world. A “suicide wave” is said to be sweeping Germany. Various Spanish exiles have various reactions to the Allies’ snubbing of Marshal Franco.

“Wives and Witnesses” Marshal Petain’s trial continues.

Canada at War notices that a grain elevator at Port Arthur has exploded, killing 20 and wounding 34; and that there is another Radium City at Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, where Gilbert La Bine dug a radium mine and processing centre before the war, which was taken over by the Government of Canada in January 1944 for secret reasons, now explained.

President Truman promised to feed Europe next winter, and won a great many hands of poker on the trip to and from Potsdam.

“Sudden Shift;” and “On and Off;” End of war means the end of mobilisation, and the end of economic controls, more or less, sooner or later. 

No-one’s sure of the details, but the WPB now promises 500,000 cars in 1945, up from 250,000, and canned goods are off the ration list. The Navy has already cancelled 95 ships, including the 45,000t battleship Illinois, the 27,000t carriers Iwo Jima and Reprisal, 20 heavy or light cruisers. Various munitions, shipyard, and aircraft plant workers do not know when, or if, their jobs will end.  

“Disaster In the Wheatlands” The worst railroad wreck of 1945 kills 34 aboard the Great Northern’s Empire Builder just outside Michigan City, North Dakota. North Dakota is an American state. so is South Dakota, in what is obviously a deliberate attempt to confuse foreigners looking for Dakota.

Business and Finance

“The Winner” America made vast numbers of weapons and trucks and ammunition. That is how it won. Now it must reconvert it all. Cars, refrigerators, dishwashers, tires, nylons, are all eagerly awaited, while on the other hand, Alcoa has no idea what it will do with all of its aluminum refining capacity.

“No Thanks!” U.S. Steel has refused the Defence Plant Corporation’s terms for the Geneva, Utah plant, and instead intends to expand its existing Columbia Steel Co., subsidiary of Pittsburg, California. This narrows potential bidders for Geneva to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, and the Kaiser organisation, and Kaiser doesn’t want it.

“Phones for Jobs” Giant $65 billion American Telephone and Telegraph Company has announced that it needs 70,000 additional employees to meet all its postwar plans for new phones, new circuits, replacement phones, and high-capacity cable for transcontinental services.

Science, Medicine and Education

“Radar” America spent half again as muich on radar as on the atom bomb, but the atom bomb has eclipsed the public revelation of what all that money bought, even though radar is already a $2 billion industry. 

Time says that this was going to be the cover, before the atom bomb. Poor radar. Almost famous.
Radar is noted for helping battleships hit various targets, including Bismarck, when it was only outnumbered one to two, and so could sink Hood with a single hit. Radar was “chiefly responsible for defeating the U-boat and the buzz-bomb.” In peacetime, it is good for GCA and weather forecasting. Various famous American radar scientists are mentioned, but in contrast to the blizzard of names in the British press, Americans move on quickly to institutions: the MIT Radiation Laboratory, Bell Telephone Laboratories, the Naval Research Laboratory. American “progress in radar was paralleled by a team of British physicists.” Germans also must have “paralleled” American work, since their research began in 1935. The Japanese and French also appear to have paralleled American work first. The paper is particularly impressed with the potential of a British gadget called the magnetron,etc, etc. This is because practical “microwave” production might have all kinds of uses. “They flow through pipes like water, are reflected by human bodies, can be ‘modulated’ to carry sounds and pictures.” But not with magnetrons! See, Cousin W.? I do listen! Some scientists now even dream of bouncing a radar signal off the Moon.

GM is donating $4 million to the fight against cancer. The “stratovision” concept of Glenn Martin aircraft broadcasting television signals with Westinghouse equpkment gets another airing.

“Sense or Nonsense?” The first rule of clubs, schools and such which restrict Jewish admissions to quotas is to deny that they do any such thing. Dartmouth’s President, Ernest Martin Hopkins, made that mistake several times over the last few months, and now it is a scandal. He explains in his own defence that Dartmouth is a private, selective institution, and that it must have all sorts of quotas, and if it let all the Jews in who qualify, it would be all Jews. Which seems like it might be a problem for Dartmouth, and not the Jews!  

Art, Literature, Music, Movies, Press, Etc.

Terence Duren “frail, 40, ferocious lampooner of womenhood” had a display at the University of Nebraska, with  a competing show by Dale Nichols. Then the two said rude things about each other, and all Nebraska was set to light. (Nebraska is an American state, my sources tell me.) Karl Hofer had had a show in Berlin, which makes me long to be back, just to see certain “gentlemen” and look them in the eye until their gaze turns down.

Museum of Nebraska Art (Google cache), 

The Mutual Radio Network cannot be embarrassed enough for breaking into Double or Nothing to report the false Japanese surrender. Street and Smith has a new magazine, Pic. Excellent news, because the paper can reminscce about Deadeye Dick, Buffalo Bill, Frank Merriwell, Oliver Optic, Horatio Alger, and other things it read as a boy. As for boys now, It can now be revealed that censors tried to suppress a Superman story in which he was exposed to the 3 million volt beam of an atom-smashing cyclotron.

Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Mcalister Ingersoll, editor of PM magazine, has married Elaine Brown Keiffer, a Life staffer, after she received her Reno divorce from Lieutenant Mortimer Howell Cobb. Dead are Henry Taft, brother of the late President, and another man on my Air Ministry list, the American rocket scientist, Goddard.

“Orders from Tokyo,” the movie about planned and actual Japanese atrocities in Manila, gets another airing. “Out of the Night” and “Ten Cents a Dance” are the best of the August movies, which are not very good in America, because who goes into a cinema in August? We’re all off to Napa, or the beach, or the mountains, or anywhere. This year, apparently, we are taking an old Trollope novel with us. (Well, speak for yourselves, as I am taking The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Flight, 23 August 1945
“Air Power’s Place in the War” The paper promises an explanation from Major Robertson. . . In spite of the promise here, you will find nothing below about this article, and you should be very grateful for that.
“Refuelling in the Air” Before the war, the paper used to talk about this, as it seemed to be coming on strong. Perhaps it will come along strongly in civil aviation again, and the paper can write about it some more. The paper urges the Ministry to have a close look.
Here and There
Americans are bombastic and frequently misstate the facts. The paper hopes that Air Marshal Colyer’s dinner speech in Washington the other day to the effect that Germany was months ahead of the Allies in jet development will have an effect. RAF and WAAF demobilisation has been accelerated. De Havilland, in fact, makes the fastest aircraft in the world. Japanese balloon bombs are ridiculous, although several did in fact land near the atom-bomb plant at Hanford, Washington, which I’ve never heard mentioned in the press before. Now that Colonel Devereaux has “relinquished his position as chairman and managing director of High Duty Alloys, Mr. Spence Sanders has now relinquished his position as deputy managing director. . . “

Hanford, 1960

Hawker Tempest II: Most Powerful British Single-engined Fighter: Bristol Centaurus Engine” The paper is amused that the Tempest II comes after the Tempest V, and there is as yet no sign of the Tempest I.

Civil Aviation
“Landing Rights Wanted: American Interest in the Middle East: Future Traffic Volume” Half the excitement in civil aviation negotiations appears to be over who gets landing rights, where. 
Civil Aviation News
Guernsey Airways congratulates itself on carrying 800 passengers and 14 tons of freight over the last five years. Is this a joke? The South Africa-England “Springbok” service will start this year.  Dr. Lytle S. Adams’ “air seeding” scheme gets more free publicity. US Air Transport Command has started a weekly Paris-Madrid service.

“Payload and Long Range: How Refuelling in the Air Can Help: Technical Problems Solved: Full Details of SirAlan Cobham’s Latest developments: Method Now Completely Safe and Reliable By the Editor “ Fuck the censor, I hear the paper shout! What the fuck am I going to run now? Oh, wait. Here’s some ancient piffle about Cobham’s air petrol stations in the files.
“Master Bomber’s Posthumous V.C.” Squadron Leader Ian Willoughby Bazalgette (it’s pronounced “Fanshaw”) gets his VC.
“Civil Sterling” Who knows? It could happen.
Airstrip on Coral Strand” The RAF has built an airbase on the Cocos Islands in case the Indians tell the RAF that here’s your hat, what’s your hurry after independence.
“Radar: Story of a War-Winning Device: Some of the Men Who Developed It: British Scientists Solved Centimetric Wave Problem: Germans Were Always One Jump Behind Allies” The paper now admits that “gen boxes” and “magic eyes” were radar, and that all its readers knew that all along. “For the benefit of anyone who might be hazy on the point,” it then provides a one paragraph explanation of radar, of a very English sort, since it takes the use of a cathode ray tube for granted. I shall have you know, Mr. Englishman, that not every country is rich enough to put one of those on every radar! It goes on to explain the “magnetron,” which reminds me of an eye-glazing “instructing the docents” session at the Air Ministry in early 1944, where I was supposed to be given all the details that my buxom bombshell spies were to worm out of Allied aircrews while seductively cuddling and cooing at their horrible Gestapo microphones in the eavesdropping cells. Although Cousin S got drunk enough to be entertaining at the end, and, as I've already mentioned, Cousin W. bent my ears afterwards about how the magnetron was a lucky gimmick, and that I should really attend to details of the Crossley proximity fuze –as though any of my dazed Rhodesian airmen would have known about anything about that.
The paper wants to make it very clear that the English gave radar equipment to Americans. “It is by agreement with our Allies that the British Press should confine itself to giving publicity to its own people, while the American Press deals likewise with the equally valuable contributions of its own scientists.” Sir Stafford Cripps says that only the fact that the English had been working on radar since 1933 (in "parallel" with the Americans, I suppose) kept them a “jump” ahead. The first working radar came in 1935. On the day our armies marched into Prague, a 24-hour radar watch on the whole coast began. By the Blitz, a dizzying array of radar and radar-related equipment was in use, and the names of English physicists come so thick and fast that it is no surprise to hear that fully 90 of them were working at the main research station. I even remember a few of the long list of names I was supposed to listen for, although because they are “Oliphant” and “Bellringer,” I am even more skeptical about those old Air Ministry briefings. Here are forty names of scientists who might have been visiting the air garrisons! Take notes if one of the prisoners mentions them! Well, of course we are going to remember Herr Professor Elephant and the Hunchback of Westminster Abbey. “Professor John Smith” might be more important!
On a more useful note, the paper spends a good quarter of a page on centimetric radar, as generated by the magnetron of great renown, though the paper lets us know that R. W. Sutton’s receiving valve was equally important, something else Cousin W. explained to me in arrogant tones. The magnetron, he said, was an obvious trick, if elegantly done. The trick was to use it as part of a system. Well, and so the English had. But to extend the trick to new applications was another matter, and so I was upon the fuze, etc, to instead  focus. I do not know how the gentlemen of the Air Ministry took Cousin W.’s help, but I must say that his arrest was not a complete surprise to me, even if it did help inspire me to flee the country. That and how well Fat Chow looks in a well-cut Swedish suit.   The paper also mentions OBOE and REBECCA-EUREKA, but then falls silent, with no mention of the 3cm wavelength gadgets that were the subject of the last seminar I attended, on my way to the train station and my little nest amongst the bales, Constantinople-bound.  I suppose that to reveal such secrets would be a step too far, lest a new war break out tomorrow.
Mitsubishi S-03 ‘Tony’” This is the Japanese fighter with the licensed Daimler-Benz engines, which the paper says was the most common Japanese Army fighter by the end of the war, and a very good one.

R. E. Gregory notices that air power won the war, and that English airplanes are the best in all the world. E. N. B. Bentley (A. F. R. Ae. S.) writes in to argue with J. B. Hurren, to the point that beating up on the Japanese when they are down is no proof of the invincibility of seaborne airpower. Douglas Deans writes that Peter Masefield overestimates the advantages of air travel. W. G. Roberts points out that not enough aviation-related is being done at the factories built alongside the big new airfields. Making “rubber clothes” is silly, when more, bigger, faster airplanes could be built. But how shall they stay dry in the rain?
Flight, 30 August 1945
“the Future of Aircraft Manufacture” Somewhat more civil aircraft, many more military transports, new naval air types, a new flying boat.
“Occupation by Air” Some of the occupying forces arrived in Japan by air. The thought is that this was worth doing to secure the coastal defences ahead of the arrival of the fleet. The other thought is that the paper is struggling to find some special “air” relevance.
“Towards the All-Wing Ideal” Canadian Car and Foundry has built a Burnelli “Flying Wing.” The paper finds this worth mentioning. The paper also mentions a Westinghouse Electric/Glenn Martin scheme to use aircraft “flying at great heights” as carriers of television transmitters, to cover larger areas than is possible with a ground transmitter. Petrol is cheap in America, it says. The included map says that we will get our television from Sacramento. No!

Frank Smyth, New Guinea correspondent of “Wings,” the RAAF official journal, “Tac. R. Beauforts: Royal Australian Air Force Enthusiastic About Their Bristols in Aitape Campaign.” Mrs. C. summarised one of these articles by writing out the noises boys make when playing with toy planes, and I am tempted. For those of us who do not have all the “gen,” the title is a bit mysterious, until Mr. Smyth translates it. The idea here is that the Australian army had to do something about the Japanese garrison of Wewak, which was in the difficult, mountainous terrain of the Prinfce Alexander and Torricelli mountain ranges. The Australians came up with the daring scheme of flying over and looking down! For this they used “Australian-built Beaufort bombers.” The Beaufort, it turns out, was ideal for looking down at things, a fact which Mr. Smyth finds remarkable.  So remarkable that he repeats it again and again! Several named individuals did especially good jobs of looking down, such as Flight Lieutenant Max Tomlinson, “grazier of ‘Emu Hill,’ Inverell, N.S.W. [which] has been in the Tomlinson family for just on a century,” and Flight Sergeant D.B. Roberts, who does not pasture sheep.
“Nakajima Army Fighter ‘Tojo,” A less common fighter than the Zeke or Tony, but it “needed to be treated with due care in case it had a good pilot.”
Here and There
A Gloster Meteor has been provided to the RCAF so that it can say that it has a real jet. Some Hurricanes have been sent to Ireland. People will be interested(!) to hear that, on disbanding, the Motor Industry Fighter Fund still had £48 in its treasury, which it gave to the RAF Benevolent Fund. Lord Mountbatten, who was in England when Japan surrendered, took 31 hours to fly back to his headquarters in Kandy in his personal York, flown by Sqdn Ldr J. F. Matthews, of Iver Heath, Bucks.  (No word on grazing conditions on Iver Heath.) The Soviet Air Force cancelled its 20 August Air Day show over Moscow on account of bad weather. RAF Transport Command has flown 100 Dutch children to a holiday resort in Scotland for a nine-week’s recuperation. So there are holiday resorts in Scotland! Wing Commander P. B. “Laddie” Lucas, sports writer and international golfer, has married Mrs. Jill Doreen Addison. Miss Addison’s sister, Thelma, is married to Group Captain Douglas Bader. Dowty Equipment’s new employee manual is quite attractive. Canadair, in Montreal, switched to building the C-54 just before the end of the war with Japan. Canada is also selling 7000 aircraft engines, mostly training types, but including Perseuses and Merllins, as war surplus.
“Admiral’s Expediter” The Admiral (Air) has a very nice Airspeed Expediter. The rearmost port chair is the Admiral’s favourite, and has a folding mahogany writing table. Although sound-insulated with sepak, the paper is concerned that, because the cockpit is open to the  main cabin, should any windows be open in it, the sound will carry into the cabin “without let or hindrance.” All this opulence will naturally impress Continentals, says the Englishman.
“Expansion” The paper is very impressed with a new Fairey machine tool head for truing up the bore of a tube.

“Fate of Fokker Factory: How the Germans Were Outwitted During the War: Original Works Ready to Resume in About Three Months” Fokker only cooperated with the Germans a little, this time around.
“RAAF Air/Sea Rescue: How an American Pilot was Picked Up from Under the Noses of the Japs by a Walrus of the Royal Australian Air Force” It turns out that this should actually read “How Two Native Boys in a Canoe Rescued An American Aviator and Brought Him to a Walrus of the RAAF swinging at Ease by the River Bank”
“Is this What They Want: Experimental American Design for the Owner-Pilot: Twin-Boom Pusher With Tricycle Undercarriage” It doesn’t look like a schnitzel and a nice white wine. The “Skycoupe” doesn’t even have hat room, unlike the design that other fellow from Aviation was hawking the other month.  It will have spot-welded skin, when it is actually built, though, and a flat-four Frankling 4ACG-119, rated at 113hp at 3500rpm at sea level.

E. T. House, “Air-Atlantic: Recollections of a Pioneer Flight Made Eight Years Ago: Duration 20 Hours, Range 2,854 Miles” To think that eight years ago only this was; that our submariners were then two years from challenging the might of the Royal Navy.

Subtext alert! It's about being torpedoed below.

Caledonia, a Short Empire Flying Boat, was loaded with long range fuel tanks to carry 2,320 gallons of gas and 120 gallons of oil, compared with the usual 636 gallons gas, 58 gallons oil. The four engines were standard Pegasus Xs, giving 740bhp at takeoff using 87 octane gas. Maximum takeoff weight was increased from 40,600lb to 45,000, increasing wing loading from 27 to 30lb/sq ft,and power loading from 13.7 to 15.3 lb/bhp. “Since that time, under the stress of war conditions, the same type of aircraft has operated at considerably higher weights.”  New navigational facilities included H/F and M/F radio stations on the ground, allowing astro-navigation to be combined with direction finding loops. The aircraft had, as loaded, an endurance of 20.1 hours, giving a range of 2854 statute miles at a reckoned true airspeed of 142mph at a cruising altitude of 6000ft,wich calculated mean gas consumption of 0.42lb per bhp per hour. This gave a six hour still-air flying reserve on the 1,960 mile Foynes-Botwood flight, allowing 45 minutes for taxying and idling, giving the maximum 20mph headwind to be overcome, and allowing the use of an alternative landing spot within three hours of Botwood if it weather prevented landing there. Westerly winds frequently reach 40 to 60 mph in the winter, when major depressions settle in south of Greenland and north of Iceland. Thus it is only from May to October that such flights are possible. The low altitude also reduces the risk of icing. In the event, Caledonia made the flight in 15.4 hours, yielding an airspeed of 124mph, hence a headwind of 15mph. On the return flight, a tail wind of 17mph gave a flying time of 12 hrs 33 min.
“ICAN: International Commission for Air Navigation, Past and Future” ICAN: more jobs for diplomats, as long as they know about planes!
“C.E.R.C.A.: Conclusions and Recommendations: Value of Radar” The Commonwealth talks about civil aviation are over, and we are now allowed to tell you about what they thought of radar. They think it is nice.
Civil Aviation News
There are not enough alphabetical diplomacy-shops for civil aviation, so the one in Montreal is now dubbed the P.I.C.A.O., which is short for something. I.C.A.N.  had a meeting, T.C.A. is an airline, not a congress, and is to have more services to various places in Canada. Russia wants an air service connecting Moscow to America via Alaska. Pan-American and BOAC are up to new services and a forced landing (no-one hurt), respectively. The Canadian Burnelli is noticed, and so is a vocational training scheme to teach members of the Aeronautical Engineering Association about Dowty landing gear.
“An Aircraft Position Indicator” Wing Commander C. Hole is advertising a strip-map “indicator” driven by some kind of clockwork. It will be attached to the bulkhead, and show interested passengers the silhouette of an aircraft moving across the map at the calculated rate. Wing Commander Hole needs a bigger pension, or perhaps for his brother-in-law to get him some undemanding job in the depths of the office, where he can sit amongst piles of papers and look important, while slowly drinking the day away.
Major F. A. de V. Robertson, V.D., “Aircraft as Life-savers” Evacuating Wounded: Repatriating Prisoners of War” The Major explains that aircraft can now be used to carry people from place to place. Including wounded people, and prisoner of war people. This happened in old times, in Iraq and India and such, and then actually in this war, for example, in the Western Desert, sometimes with old Vickers Valentias. Then it happened more in Normandy. Cases of airsickness were reported. Sometimes, there are welcoming committees for returning prisoners of war. Sir Walter Scott said something about women. Sometimes, WAAF nurses flew to Normandy, and came back with dirty clothes. Some of the POWs from East Asia will be troopshipped home, and this will lead to seasickness and unpleasantly sticky heat in the Red Sea, which is bad. Hilariously, a returning prisoner of war says that even though the weather is better in Austria, he is still glad to be back in England.
As a writer, Major Robertson really does seem well suited to be Wing Commander Hole’s secretary.
B. Stokes writes in with another correction of fact in the recent Hurren article. An anonymous correspondent writes that air refuelling seems like a very uneconomical way to run an airline, and asks for more details. The Editor predicts that Sir Alan Cobham will be glad to oblige. Several writers provide to enlighten Fl. Lt. Cohen on velocity of circular motion.   

Time,  27 August 1945


W. G. Martin on the atom bomb: “Ye fools and blind.” Walter G. Taylor and John L. Balderston, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, generally agree. Several writers are displeased with the German girl who brought up the Negro question in connection with Germany and the Jews a few issues back. Motes and beams, but which the mote, and which the beam? Tom Lennon has an argument with the paper about whether or not the Venus de Milo is too wide in the seat. Several writers have opinions about the paper’s style. The paper chides American correspondents in Greece for being too pro-ELAM after one writes to complain about its coverage. The paper points out that it was a British investigatory mission that said so first. We are told of an exhausted Japanese soldier, recovered from a raft, who was trying to use a map torn from the 2 August number of Time to navigate.

The publisher’s letter uses the atom bomb to sell a History in the Making series of reprints from the paper and its stablemates. Crass.


“A Job for an Emperor”

General MacArthur is to command the occupation force in Japan, which is appropriate, because he is the most emperor-like of American generals. Here is the many-paged cover story about him. Many pages I do not have to summarise!

Another story below accounts for the actual Emperor’s doings and whereabouts, and profiles the new government that was in power for a good half an hour. Various Japanese generals and admirals have committed ceremonial suicide. The paper cannot decide whether it finds harakiri more barbarous than it finds the non-suicidal generals and admirals shameless.

“Light on Asia” T. V. Soong and his daughter photograph well, and his secret treaty with Moscow is surely innocuous.

“Socialist Era” The first King’s Speech of the new government did not feature Labour ranks in dungarees listening to Comrade King exhort the working classes to expropriate the bourgeoise. 

The opposition leader than had an unusual job for a reply to the speech, which was to explain the atomic bomb programme, expound on US relations, talk about displaced persons, and cast dark shadows upon Professor Laski.

“Dishonour but not Death” Marshal Petain is convicted of being Marshal Petain, but will not be executed. Meanwhile, French socialists have a meeting in Paris, where the food is awful.

“Delayed Fusion” Italy is having trouble putting a government together. A reported 30 “liquidations” a night are clearing Milan of Fascists.

Wan Wan Sui” “China, Ten Thousand Years” cry the ecstatic crowds of Chungking to the victorious Generalissimo. Meanwhile, “Yenan crackles with defiance.” The paper suggests that Yenan is in open rebellion. Has the paper checked this fact? Has it sought a second opinion about whether a civil war might lead to open rebellion? Yenan is also accused of receiving the allegiance of the Japanese puppet troops.

Latin Americans are excitable. Another German U-boat has appeared in Argentina, U-977. Anyone who thinks that a typical Nazi refugee would make it to Argentina on one of our submarines, unless every lifeboat and vest on the boat was already expended, does not know our boys!

“Days to Come” The war is over! Reconversion is the order of the day, etc. Actual news: meat will be off the ration list in the next few weeks due to the cancellation of army setasides. Butter won’t be off for a few months, sugar not before 1947. With 7 million fewer cars on the road than on 7 December 1941, the 600,000 expected by April 1946 are barely a start. Threee million in the next year is more like it. Tires will be unrationed in the next four months. Gasoline is off the rations. 400,000 new homes are expected over the next year, at a possible $1 billion/year rate next summer. Shoe rations will probably end in October, and alarm clocks will appear that month. 2.6 million applications for new phones will be filled by April of next year. No-one knows when Pullman restrictions will be eased.

I'd say something about "disruption" here and multiple careers and the gig economy, but it would  just be depressing.

“Administration” The latest new names in the Administration are Dean Acheson and Ben Cohen. Mrs. C.’s beloved governor has appointed William Fife Knowland to replace Hiram Johnson. The Democrats will run Manchester Brody against him next year. His Dad got him the job; let’s see if he can keep it.

“Top Brass Plans” Now that the war is over, George Marshall, already past the retirement age, will go soon. General Arnold, younger but prematurely aged by the strain of the war, will also soon retire. Eisenhower will likely succeed Marshall, Spaatz or Eaker or an even younger man will follow Arnold. The Navy is where the real power struggle will break out. Nimitz wants COMINCH, with Spruance as another candidate. Navy “radicals” want to break off the deadwood and install Arthur Radford, 175 on the Navy List. At a lower level, the question of who gets sent to the Pacific is still vexing the Army even now that an occupation for Japan is being assembled, and not an invading army. POW liberation is going ahead quickly, with paratroopers being dropped into some camps to speed the process.

“Men Against the Sea” Indianopolis was torpedoed and sunk far too long ago, and the survivors only finally found this Tuesday. 880 of 1196 crew were lost.

""to War and Back with Emil Koch" Emil Koch, a 39-year old mechanic at General Electric, has gone right on working through the reconversion, waling directly from the assembly line where he built giant searchlights to one where he is building washers. This is because he is a key man, who worked 84 hours for a period after Pearl Harbour, and 48 hours since, at a dollar an hour, plus time-and-a-half. There is talk that the first washers will be converted to polio packs. As though I needed to be reminded again about polio. . . 

Science, Medicine, Education

“Ratproof Cotton” The new, stronger cotton is “acetylated.” In other pest news, DDT is everywhere,. (There was an article a few weeks ago about a chemist who made it at home.) 

"Transplanted Teeth" Doctors Harry H. Shapiro of Columbia and Bernice L. Maclean of Hunter College report successfully transplanting teeth buds from kittens to other kittens and full-grown cats. In the future, it may be possible to transplant tooth buds from children whose mouths are crowded with teeth to gap-teethed adults. 

"Neglected Heroes" The paper reports that a false limb laboratory has just been established in Detroit.. The point is that it is scandalous that this did not happen earlier.

"Optical Illusion" The OPA is under fire after entries in its price control lists are noticed, such as "All baseball equipment" being removed from price controls, except balls, mitts, gloves, bats, apparel and shoes.

"All or Else" The American Property Administration has begun large lot sales of surplus property in Europe, with Belgium picking up 250 locomotives and cars. 

"Spender Out" Almost unnoticed in the flood of news last week

 is the news that Alvin Harvey Hansen, "Harvard's New Dealish, free-wheeling Lucius N. Littauer professor of political economy, will no longer act as consultant to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His left-wing view that public spending is needed to balance demand during business recessions, and there is no need to worry about the staggering size of the national debt will no longer be heard, for Marriner Eccles is scared stiff of inflation, does not think it can be avoided, feels that it must be minimised, and has sold the Truman Administration. Or, Eccles in, Hansen out, debt out, balanced budget in. I just hope that the President knows what he is doing.

"More Jobs for More Workers"

The Committee for Economic Development's marketing committee reported this week that there would be work for 53.5 million people in "194Q," apparently 1947.

From the present labor force of 51.3 million, younger workers will go back to school, some women  to housework, and the overaged to retirement.Population increase, which normally adds 500,000 people a year, is cancelled for one year by war casualties. Once these adjustments were made, the Committee gets 60 million—5.9 million more than in 1939 when 8.9 million were unemployed.

By surveying business, the Committee matched these to  $80 billion of goods produced in 1947 (based on 1939 prices), an increase of 42% over 1939's $56.8 billion.Expected increases are automobiles, up 75.8%, transportation equipment (except automobiles), up 74.3%; tobacco products, up 69.4%; chemicals, up 58.2%; rubber products, UP 47.3%; food products, up 33.6%.
Allowing for a 6% increase in man-hour productive efficiency since 1939, the manpower needed to produce 1947's manufactured goods will be 13.4 million—a 34% increase over the ten million on manufacturers' payrolls in 1939. By applying and revising 1939's ratio of industrial workers to workers in all other categories —i.e., agriculture, distribution, and service industries—they reached the figure of 53.5 million jobs, leaving 6.5 million people with no jobs. With a deduction of 3.5 million for the armed services, this leaves 3 million for a "floating labour force" of the briefly unemployed.

Press, Art, Literature, Radio, Cinema, People, Etc

In spite of peace, it is still August, so there is no new radio and practically no new movies. The Office of the Censor has been shut down, and Collier’s is embarrassed to have a cover story about how bloody the invasion of Japan is going to be. Homer Bigart is back in America. Neew England has a new magazine, and Jane might run in American papers if she will only wear clothes. (Her appeal can then be the high-quality humour. 

The Metropolitan reports that it has discovered a "16th Century fraud" with infrared photography detecting a crossed-out signature on a claimed Mantega painting that turns out to have been by Carpaccio. It's a little late for redress, but it is an infrared photograph, so it qualifies as technology news. 

"Weep No More" A biography of Stephen Foster, Chornicles of Stephen Foster's Family by his niece, Evelyn Foster Mornewreck, corrects previous views of the great American song writer. It turns out that he was well-bred, well-paid, respectable, a family man, and an anti-abolitionist Democrat.  

 Uncle Harry is reviewed this week. a thriller produced by Joan Harrison, who was formerly Alfred Hitchcock's secretary. (No doubt just like I was a "secretary" at the Foreign Ministry. Grr!).  It sounds more distressing than it is --the ending apart. Seriously, it was all a dream! The paper is pleased that it gives Geraldine Fitzgerald something to do. Over 21 is a "moderately successful comedy" in which the paper detects some kind of lampoon of Ralph Ingersoll. 

This week's featured book reviews are something by Mencken that you can take or leave as you take Mr. Mencken, a poetry collection from Malcolm Cowley and a history of the "first Americans in North Africa," something that apparently happened about 1800 or so.  Ancient memories. . . 

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