JF Ptak Science Books Post 2632
Earlier this morning I was looking at a collection here of British political leaflets (half around the 1893-1895 period, and then a bunch around the election of 1945) when I read a very dynamically-designed handout on how the Conservative government mobilized private industry into wartime production, and concentrating on the much-beloved and critical creation of the "Mulberry", or the Mulberry Floating Harbor. It was striking to me as the creation of the enormous floating harbor was a deep secret as it was an essential element in supporting/supplying the Allied invasion force in Normandy--and yet here it was, used by the Conservative party in an effort to re-elect Prime Minister Churchill, in a publication printed perhaps just a year after they were pulled across the Channel and presented to the world.
And it happens again in the following leaflet, though this one employs more of the previously secret stuff.
I should say that this election in July 1945, just weeks after VE Day, produced what must have been a very surprising/shocking result, a result probably none the less surprising ti the unexpected victor, Clement Attlee, whose Labor Party produced a seemingly impossible small landslide victory over the (probably) most important man to the Allied war cause in WWII, Winston Churchill, and the Conservatives. (Churchill would return the favor in 1951.)
Be that as it may, in this leaflet, "Free Enterprise Helped Us To Win", produced by the Conservatives and ending with the ringing slogan, "Vote National", used a number of the important and secret military developments of WWII as examples of private enterprise contributing to the war effort and standards of free enterprise. Included here are:
- the private designers who helped produce the singular Spitfire and other warplanes;
- F.I.D.O, the Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation, which was a system installed at airfields by which (as teh acronym tells us) dissipated fog and smog so that bombers and fighter planes could land in foggy conditions;
- P.L.U.T.O.: "Pipe Under the Ocean", an enormous operation, was an oil pipeline that stretched from England under the Channel and basically deep into Europe, a much more efficient and effective way of getting fuel to your advancing armies than, say, the German shipping fuel across the Mediterranean where Rommel's necessary petrol was happily torpedoed;
- and as mentioned the Mulberry Harbours, plus the "sticky bomb", the "flying dustbins, the Spigot mortar, and the P.I.A.T...all brought about by Free Enterprise, according to the leaflet.
I'm not saying anything about this in a judgmental way--I was just very surprised to see all of this here, in a public handout leaflet, a brief description of some formerly very secret stuff.