JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 917
[This post is a hybrid category bridging “Blank and Empty Things” and “A History of Holes”—it is really an entry for blank and missing things making holes]
1. The Soviet Union’s foreign minister Molotov1 wanted to make it very clear
to the rest of the world that his country was not bombing civilian targets in
2. Molotov insisted that targets that were being bombed near Finnish cities were actually airbases.
2.1 Also, since the complaining FDR was over 4000 miles away there was no way that he could “see” what was being bombed.
3. If there were civilian targets that looked as though they were being bombed, then
3.1 they weren’t being bombed; and
3.2 if anything at all was going on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was dropping bread on the town’s/city’s starving inhabitants.
4. So far as
undefended, non-military targets were concerned, the
5. Therefore, what we’re seeing in this image above are not bombs, but bread; that, or the houses were airbases, which would turn the bread back into bombs.
Molotov insisted that no civilians were direct targets of
Soviet bombing campaigns in
This strikingly designed image is from the 17 February 1940 issue of The Illustrated London News; the design is by G.H. Davies, the phenomenal ILN draftsman, and elegantly (and forcefully) depicts the innards of the bomb and its effect on its target.
It is a spectacular and brilliant presentation of the new(ish) Soviet hybrid terror bomb that was being used in the non-existent attacks on Finnish cities. [The 5’ bomb was made to be deployed in two sections: the front end of the bomb inside the false nose cone contains dozens of incendiary bombs, released by a revolutions-generated cap propeller, which fall away from the main section of the bomb, which contains a high explosive.]
Since the non-existent bombs that were not being used against non-military installations and were actually bread, the Finns gave the weapons the nickname of “Molotov’s Breadbaskets”.
This was just a down-right nasty bomb, and the illustration shows it falling on and destroying a quiet town with no visible military advantage. The town not being bombed was called Sortavala, which—after numerous Soviet attacks in December 1939—was in actuality destroyed by Soviet air power on 2 February 1940.
The man ultimately responsible for this campaign and the murder of millions of his own countrymen through means of induced starvation, disappearances and ruthless killings—Joseph Stalin—was post mortem dispatched in much the same manner as the reasoning listed above. Stalin was ignored to the point of non-existence, de-Stalinized and left entirely out of the 50-volume second edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia2 published just a few years after his 1953 death. Stalin executed his brutal and long-time political compatriot Lavrentii Beria, (1899 - 1953) right before his own death, ordering that people who owned the GSE to physically cut out the Beria entry. It is unfortunate that Stalin could not have been denied his existence 30 years earlier.
Molotov, on the other hand, in spite of his enormous sins against humanity (as principle architect of the Great Terror, the extermination of millions of Ukranians, and etc.) was finally removed from government following Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaigns (i.e. by 1962) and managed to live out the rest of his life alive, not dying until 1986 at the age of 96.
(The "Molotov Cocktail" by the way was not named for him by Soviet soldiers or freedom fighters or whatever fighting for the USSR—it was named for the petrol bomb used by Finnish soldiers and civilians fighting against the Soviets invading their country in 1939/11940 and again in 1943/4)
1. In 1940 Molotov was the foreign minister of the
2. The GSE had a somewhat complicated publishing history, winding up with 65 volumes over its two editions, constructed with very questionable state-controlled X-Ray communist vision spectacles. There is so much in these volumes that is wrong/sanitized/fiction that I have no idea how a non-specialist might be able to use the thing.