Fancy-AM 234 - History

Fancy-AM 234 - History

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A whim, caprice.

(AM-234: dp. 530, 1. 184'6", b. 33'; dr. 9'9", s.
15 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3"; cl. Admirable)

Fancy (AM-234) was launched on 4 September 1944 by Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Co., Seattle, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Skeel, and commissioned 13 December 1944, Lieutenant F. D. Abbott commanding.

Following shakedown and antisubmarine training, Fancy departed for Pearl Harbor on 15 February 1945. In company with Rampart (AM-282) and YMS - 8 and YMS-287 she steamed to Seattle, sailing thence to Kodiak and Cold Bay where she was readied for delivery to Russia under Lend-Lease. Transferred on 20 May, she was officially out of commission the following day. Reclassified MSF-234 on 7 February 1955, Fancy remains in Russian possession.

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SR 234 begins at an intersection with US 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) on the northern edge of the town of Dumfries. The state highway heads northwest as Dumfries Road, a six-lane divided highway that passes southwest of the Dumfries Road Commuter Lot, a park and ride facility, before it meets I-95 at a partial cloverleaf interchange. North of Dumfries, SR 234 parallels Quantico Creek and follows the border of Prince William Forest Park to the southwest. The state highway also passes many residential subdivisions on the highway's northbound side in the community of Montclair, where the highway reduces to four lanes at Country Club Drive. SR 234 curves to the north at Independent Hill, which the highway bypasses. The old alignment through the village, which contains the remains of the Greenwood Gold Mine, is designated SR 234 Old. SR 234 passes through the communities of Canova, Cornwell, and Lake Jackson, where the highway crosses the Occoquan River just east of the community's namesake reservoir. Just north of Lake Jackson, the state highway intersects Prince William Parkway (SR 294), which connects Manassas and Woodbridge. [1]

Just north of Prince William Parkway, Dumfries Road turns north toward the city of Manassas as SR 234 Business. SR 234 continues northwest as Prince William Parkway, a four-lane divided highway western bypass of Manassas. The state highway passes to the east of Manassas Regional Airport, which is accessed via Clover Hill Road. Just north of the airport, SR 234 crosses over Norfolk Southern Railway's Washington District rail line, which is also used by Virginia Railway Express's Manassas Line, whose western terminus is at the Broad Run/Airport just to the west in the community of Bristow. Just north of the rail line, the state highway meets SR 28 (Nokesville Road) at a three-level interchange featuring flyover ramps from both directions of SR 28 to SR 234. SR 234 continues north past the Prince William Science and Technology Campus of George Mason University, which features the Hylton Performing Arts Center, then intersects SR 674 (Wellington Road) and Sudley Manor Drive, which connects Linton Hall to the southwest with Bull Run to the northeast. SR 234 continues northwest, intersecting Balls Ford Road before reaching a trumpet interchange with I-66, at exit 44 on I-66. SR 234 joins the interstate in a concurrency east for three miles to a partial cloverleaf interchange with Sudley Road at exit 47, where SR 234 leaves the concurrency and meets the northern end of SR 234 Business. [1]

SR 234 heads north from I-66 as a four-lane divided highway that reduces to two lanes at the entrance to the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, and then enters Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run. The state highway intersects US 29 (Lee Highway) within the battlefield park. After leaving the preserve, SR 234 passes through the community of Sudley Springs, where the highway crosses Little Bull Run and curves to the west. The state highway heads through the community of Catharpin before reaching its northern terminus at US 15 (James Madison Highway) in the hamlet of Woolsey north of Haymarket. [1]

Most of SR 234 southeast of Manassas, for 15.85 miles (25.51 km) from State Route 28 in Manassas towards State Route 31 (U.S. Route 1) at Dumfries, was added to the state highway system in 1928 as State Route 709. [2] The final 2.50 miles (4.02 km) were added in 1929, making SR 709 a continuous Manassas-Dumfries route. [3]

In the other direction, from Manassas northwest towards Gilberts Corner, 6.42 miles (10.33 km) were added in 1930 and 1931. [4] In 1932, the rest of the road to Gilberts Corner, now State Route 705 and U.S. Route 15 north of Catharpin, was added to the state highway system. [5] [6]

SR 709 became State Route 234 in the 1933 renumbering, as did State Route 721 (Brunswick, Maryland to south of Purcellville, now State Route 287 and part of State Route 690). The gap from U.S. Route 50 at Aldie (west of Gilberts Corner) northwest to Philomont on State Route 734 and then north towards Purcellville on SR 690 was never filled.

In the 1940 renumbering, the northern piece of SR 234 (through Purcellville) became part of State Route 17. SR 234 was rerouted to continue northwest on SR 734 from Philomont to Bluemont (also never transferred to the primary system), where it absorbed the short State Route 245 to State Route 7. At the same time, a short piece of SR 234 south of Gilberts Corner also became U.S. Route 15. [7] Also around that time, SR 234 was rerouted to head west rather than northwest from Catharpin, using a longer piece of new US 15 (from Woolsey north to Gilberts Corner). [8] The piece at Bluemont was transferred to the secondary system in 1943, [9] truncating SR 234 back to Gilberts Corner and beyond to its current end at US 15.

In 2005, the Commonwealth of Virginia designated Route 234 between U.S. Route 1 and Interstate 66 as the Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Highway. [10]

The 2005 widening of SR 234 to four lanes in the areas of Independent Hill and Canova have resulted in some minor realignments. A former stretch of SR 234 through Canova has been renamed Canova Drive, and SR 234 was moved about 1 block east. At Independent Hill, Bristow Road has been extended onto former SR 234, and SR 234 itself was realigned about 300 meters north.

During the late 1990s the SR 234 Bypass was constructed to route through traffic from I-66 to the southeast around downtown Manassas. The existing portion of SR 234 was renamed SR 234 Business. [11]

Bi-County Parkway Edit

The Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance has recommended a new limited access highway extending SR 234 past its intersection with I-66. The highway would junction and re-connect with current SR 234 in Catharpin near the Manassas National Battlefield, and then follow current SR 659 to US 50 in Loudoun County. [12] The goal of the project is to connect Prince William County and Loudoun county to alleviate congestion between Manassas and Washington Dulles International Airport. While the Loudoun County Commonwealth Transportation Board has approved the project, many Prince William County residents oppose the plan. [13] [14] In March 2016, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted to remove the Bi-County Parkway from its long-range planning blueprint. [15]

Tri-County Parkway Edit

The Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance has also proposed a Tri-County Parkway. The highway would start near the intersection of SR 234 and SR 28 and follow Godwin Drive to I-66. It would then follow SR 621 east of Manassas National Battlefield Park, ultimately connecting to Loudoun County Parkway. The project would link Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties and provide an alternate route between Manassas, I-66 and Washington Dulles International Airport. [16] Some Prince William County supervisors support construction to extend Godwin Drive, as opposed to the Tri-County Parkway, due to the lower cost and lesser disruptive impact on residents and businesses. [17] The project is supported by Prince William Supervisor Pete Candland. [18]

SR 234 and Balls Ford Road interchange Edit

As a part of the Transform 66 project, the current at-grade intersection of SR 234 and Balls Ford Road will be converted to a diverging diamond interchange at a cost of $167 million. As a part of this project, Balls Ford Road will be realigned about 0.50 miles (0.80 km) south, where the interchange will be constructed, and a new grade-separated bridge will be built over the Norfolk Southern Railroad Line. In addition, Balls Ford Road would be widened from a two lanes street to a four-lane divided roadway between its intersection at Devlin Road / Wellington Road through the interchange to Doane Drive. This project coincides with a separate project to widen Balls Ford Road between Doane Drive to Ashton Avenue. Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2020 and be completed in late 2022. [20] [21] [22]

SR 234 and University Boulevard intersection Edit

A quadrant roadway intersection is planned at the intersection of SR 234 and University Boulevard in Manassas. Construction is expected to start in Fall 2020 and be completed in Fall 2022. [23] [24] [25]

A completed portion of the bypass was used prior to it being open to traffic as a scene in the 1998 disaster film, Deep Impact. [26] About 2,100 extras and 1,870 vehicles were used to stage the traffic jam scene for that film. [27]

CountyLocationmi [28] km DestinationsNotes
Prince WilliamDumfries0.000.00 US 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) – Triangle, Woodbridge, Weems-Botts MuseumSouthern terminus
0.550.89 I-95 – Richmond, WashingtonExit 152 (I-95) partial cloverleaf interchange
Independent Hill7.9012.71 SR 619 west (Bristow Road) to SR 646 / SR 3245 – Quantico National Cemetery, Prince William Forest ParkFormer SR 234 north eastern terminus of SR 619
8.9014.32 SR 3245 south (Independent Hill Drive) to SR 646 / SR 619 – Quantico National Cemetery, Prince William Forest ParkFormer SR 234 south northern terminus of SR 3245
Brentsville14.5023.34 SR 294 east (Prince William Parkway) / SR 649 west (Brentsville Road) – WoodbridgePrince William Parkway transitions from SR 294 to SR 234 north western terminus of SR 294 eastern terminus of SR 649
SR 234 Bus. north (Dumfries Road) – Manassas, Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center
Southern terminus of SR 234 Business
16.5926.70 Clover Hill Road – Manassas Regional Airport
City of Manassas18.2029.29 SR 28 to US 17 – ManassasInterchange
Prince William19.2030.90 SR 840 (University Boulevard) – George Mason University-Prince William Science and Technology Campus
20.0232.22 SR 674 (Wellington Road)
SR 621 (Balls Ford Road) to SR 234 Bus.
Future interchange current at-grade intersection
22.7536.61 I-66 west – Front RoyalSouthern end of concurrency with I-66 exit 44 (I-66) northwestern terminus of Prince William Parkway
I-66 east / SR 234 Bus. south (Sudley Road) – Washington, Manassas
Northern end of concurrency with I-66 exit 47 (I-66) northern terminus of SR 234 Business
26.3342.37 US 29 (Lee Highway) to I-66 – Warrenton, Washington
Woolsey33.9254.59 US 15 (James Madison Highway) / SR 601 (Waterfall Road) – Culpeper, LeesburgNorthern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Route 234 Business (Manassas) Edit

State Route 234 Business (SR 234 Bus. or 234-BR on some maps) in Manassas is a bannered primary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia, and traverses both Prince William County and the City of Manassas. SR 234 Business is known by three names: Dumfries Road in Prince William County and Manassas, Grant Avenue in the City of Manassas, and Sudley Road in the City of Manassas and Prince William County.

SR 234 Business starts in the south as Dumfries Road as a four lane undivided highway. As it passes by the Prince William County fairgrounds [30] before it enters the City of Manassas, it becomes two lanes. After entering the city, Dumfries Road passes by residential neighborhoods and becomes a four-lane divided road, and crosses Wellington Road. At Wellington Road SR 234 Business changes to Grant Avenue, which is a four lane undivided highway that passes by a townhouse development (Georgetown South) and retail developments before entering Old Town Manassas and crossing over SR 28. Shortly after this point Grant Avenue reduces to two lanes, then divides into a boulevard with spaces for on-street parking, and passes by homes, some of which are antebellum in architecture.

When Grant Avenue meets Sudley Road, SR 234 Business turns to the northwest along Sudley Road. This road is a four-lane divided highway that passes by the Manassas U.S. Post Office, the Prince William Hospital (part of the Novant Health System), the Manassas Mall, and several business establishments. SR 234 Business ends at the intersection with I-66, that also carries SR 234. SR 234 continues northward from there along Sudley Road.

SR 234 Business was first formed as part of SR 234. When the Prince William Parkway / Manassas Bypass was completed, it was numbered SR 234, and the section through Manassas was renamed SR 234 Business.

Fancy was launched on 4 September 1944 at Seattle, , Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Skeel, and was commissioned on 13 December 1944 with Lieutenant F. D. Abbott in command.

U.S. Navy, World War II, 1944-1945

Following shakedown and antisubmarine training, Fancy departed Seattle for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 15 February 1945. Selected for transfer to the Soviet Navy in Project Hula – a secret program for the transfer of U.S. Navy ships to the Soviet Navy at Cold Bay, Territory of Alaska, in anticipation of the Soviet Union joining the war against Japan – Fancy, in company with three other ships earmarked for Project Hula – her sister ship USS Rampart  (AM-282) and the auxiliary motor minesweepers USS YMS-38 and USS YMS-237 – departed Pearl Harbor on 7 March 1945 and steamed back to Seattle, arriving there on 19 March 1945. She then proceeded to Kodiak, Alaska, and then to Cold Bay to begin familiarization training of her new Soviet crew. [3] [4]

Soviet Navy, 1945-1960

Following the completion of training for her Soviet crew, Capable was decommissioned on 21 May 1945 [1] at Cold Bay and transferred to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease immediately. [1] Also commissioned into the Soviet Navy immediately, [1] she was designated as a tralshik ("minesweeper") and renamed T-272 [2] in Soviet service. She soon departed Cold Bay bound for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Soviet Union, where she served in the Soviet Far East. [3] The Soviets converted her into a naval trawler in 1948 [ citation needed ] and renamed her Vyuga. [ citation needed ]

Fancy-AM 234 - History

By Robert F. Dorr

When the Arado Ar-234 Blitz jet bomber first appeared in the skies of Europe, most Allied airmen did not know what it was. Many had never heard of jet engines, let alone a jet bomber. Fewer still knew that the Ar-234 was a shining star in Adolf Hitler’s constellation of wonder weapons, the super-secret and super-technology arsenal that the Führer hoped would reverse the Reich’s declining fortunes.

The Allies First Glimpse at the Arado 234 Blitz

Hitler certainly never asked for an opinion from Don Bryan. At high altitude east of the Rhine bridgehead on March 14, 1945, American fighter pilot Captain Bryan was on his way home from a bomber escort mission when he spotted an Ar-234 making a bombing run on the pontoon bridge at Remagen.

At this juncture, the American fighter pilot may have known more about Hitler’s secret jet than anyone else on the Allied side. While most Allied pilots never even glimpsed one, this was Bryan’s fourth encounter with an Arado. In December 1944, he became, he asserted, the first Allied pilot ever to see one in the air.

After studying drawings of the jet in a Group Intelligence document, Bryan spotted Ar-234s on two more occasions later that month. During his third sighting, the Luftwaffe warplane crossed his flight path beneath him, flying from left to right. Bryan went after the Arado, but it pulled away. That was when he realized that while his North American P-51 Mustang fighter was fast, the Ar-234 was almost 100 miles per hour faster.

“I’m not letting one get away from me again,” Bryan thought out loud.

The Bluenosed Bastards of Bodney

The usual soup over Germany has been transformed into brilliant sunshine on March 14. Eleven of the German jet bombers from flying unit KG 76 (Kampfgeschwader 76) were attacking the newly constructed floating engineer bridge south of the Ludendorff Bridge, which was the last traditional bridge standing on the Rhine when it was captured by soldiers of the U.S. 9th Armored Division on March 7, 1945.

Bryan, of the 352nd Fighter Group, the Bluenosed Bastards of Bodney, was an air ace and commander of the group’s 328th Squadron. Bryan saw the Arado pulling off the bridge and maneuvering into a tight turn to evade a formation of American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. This maneuver compromised the jet bomber’s strongest asset, its superior speed, and Bryan was able to position himself so the German would have to fly toward him.

Photographed at an airfield in Germany, this Arado Ar-234 V13 is representative of the 13th prototype of the aircraft and the variant that set the production standard for the twin-engine jet bomber.

Bryan dived at the bomber and fired a burst of .50-caliber gunfire that disabled its right engine. Now, Bryan was able to stay behind him and continue firing. “I don’t know what the hell was on his mind,” said Bryan in an interview, “but he should have gotten out of that airplane while he was high enough. I think he was afraid I would shoot at him in his parachute, which I would never do.”

The Arado pilot, Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Hirshberger, waited too long to jettison his roof hatch and attempt to escape from his cockpit. He went down with the aircraft. It was his first and only combat mission.

The Fastest Combat Aircraft of 1945

Able to reach a speed of 540 miles per hour, the Arado Ar-234 Blitz was the fastest combat aircraft in the world, slightly faster even than its cousin, the Messerschmitt Me-262 jet.

It was the world’s first operational jet bomber, and in many ways the most advanced of the Third Reich’s secret weapons. It was important enough that Hitler referred to it several times in staff meetings with his military leaders. Hitler was especially annoyed that Britain’s De Havilland Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft, constructed largely of wood, was speedy enough to zoom over Germany with near total impunity. The Führer often boasted to his staff that the Ar-234 jet was even faster than the prop-driven Mosquito.

The Ar-234 was a product of the German company Arado Flugzeugwerke. It was the Arado response to a 1940 German Air Ministry requirement for a fast reconnaissance aircraft. Walter Blume headed the Arado engineering team.

Blume had been a fighter ace during World War I with 28 aerial victories and had been gravely wounded on a combat mission. Blume could appear absent-minded at times, prickly at others, but he had studied aeronautical engineering for more than two decades and was up to date on the jet engines that some touted as the wave of the future. He was responsible for all of the key design features of the Ar-234, assisted by engineer Hans Rebeski and others.

On their drawing boards, they conceived an aircraft that was extraordinarily clean. It had smooth, flush-riveted exterior skin. It had rakish lines and eventually tricycle landing gear. Where most planes needed a bulge or a step for the cockpit windshield, the Ar-234 had a completely smooth, glass-covered nose in the manner of the American Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber. The engine arrangement was similar to that of the better-known Me-262, with long, deep-throated nacelles slung beneath the inboard portion of the wing.

The design was code-named the E370, and the new aircraft was built for a projected maximum speed of 485 miles per hour, which it eventually exceeded with ease. Its projected range of about 2,000 miles was a little less than what the Air Ministry wanted, but officials in Berlin liked the design and ordered two prototypes, known as the Ar-234 V1 and Ar-234 V2.

Designing the Ar-234

The success of the new plane would be dependent on the engine intended for it. The engine was the Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojet designed by a team headed by Dr. Anselm Franz of the Junkers aircraft company. It eventually became the world’s first jet powerplant to enter production and become operational. But early jet engines being developed by the Germans and the British, with the Americans lagging a distant third in jet engine development, were cantankerous, unreliable, and trouble prone.

Design work on the Ar-234 airplane went smoothly. The Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine was another matter. Tests that began in October 1940 were delayed by constant technical problems, including vibration of the compressor blades. Steel blades had to be developed to replace the original alloy blades. Still, early versions of the engine sputtered, smoked, and died. One blew up on a test bench. The vibration problems continued until a second overhaul was made of the stator blade design. These and other problems delayed the engine and that, in turn, delayed both the Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter and the Ar-234—for reasons unclear, the latter more than the former.

Once it became workable, the production version of the engine, the 004B-1 was rated at 1,980 pounds of thrust, which was comparable to the turbojet Frank Whittle was developing for the British. Even then, the Jumo typically had a service life of only 10 to 25 hours. Like all turbojets, it was sluggish in responding to the pilot’s hand on the throttle.

An early version of the Arado Ar-234 jet bomber is assisted by a trolley during takeoff. The apparatus fell away as the plane became airborne. Note the skids that were utilized for landing purposes.

The plane’s landing gear was not part of the original design. Blume’s design team was very much aware that the Luftwaffe was not fully satisfied with the plane’s range and endurance. To increase internal fuel capacity, they initially dispensed with wheels. Early Ar-234 versions took off using a three-wheeled trolley and landed by means of skids that worked well on a grassy surface. For increased thrust during takeoff, Ar-234s used Hellmuth Walter designed liquid-fueled, rocket-assisted takeoff (RATO) boosters, one mounted beneath each wing.

A One-Man Bomber

The Ar-234 was not as large as it looked. When American ace Don Bryan first spotted one, he thought it was an American A-26 Invader. But the A-26 had a wingspan of 71 feet and was intended for a crew of three. In contrast, the Ar-234 had a wingspan of just over 46 feet. Its crew consisted of just a single pilot who, as Bryan later said, “had to be a very busy and very lonely man.”

The pilot got aboard by pulling down a retractable step on the left side, climbing up kick-steps, and entering via the roof hatch. This hatch could be discarded, but there was no ejection seat and a pilot’s prospects of getting out of the Arado under any circumstances were never good.

The pilot operated conventional throttle and rudder pedals, and clear plexiglas gave him a superb view in all directions. Between the pilot’s legs was the complex Lofte 7K tachometric bombsight. At the start of a bombing run, the pilot was expected to swing the control yoke out of his way and fly the aircraft using the bombsight control knobs, looking through the optical sight. Alternately, he could fly the aircraft using the yoke and use a periscope sight, derived from the type used on German tanks, mounted on the cockpit roof and associated bombing computer to make a diving attack. Despite the very narrow landing gear that became standard after the skids were abandoned, the Ar-234 performed well when taxiing, taking off, and landing and was not unduly vulnerable to crosswinds.

Flight Testing the Arado

Although Arado began construction of the Ar-234 prototype at its factory in Warnemunde in the spring of 1941, almost two years elapsed before the manufacturer received its first engines. No one seems to know why Willi Messerschmitt’s aircraft company was able to get Jumo 004 engines for its Me-262 in June 1942, while Arado was forced to wait for its first engine until February 1943. For months, Blume and his engineers looked at the unfinished shell of the first plane, called the Ar-234 V1, and followed reports of Messerschmitt’s aircraft undergoing flight tests.

The Ar-234 V1 prototype made its first flight on June 15, 1943, not at the factory but at the company test facility at Rheine Airfield. At the controls was Arado chief test pilot Flugkapitän (flight captain) Selle, whose first name seems to be lost to history. By September, four prototypes were flying. The second prototype, the Arado Ar-234 V2, crashed on October 2, 1943, at Rheine near Munster after suffering fire in the port wing, failure of both engines, and various instrumentation failures. The aircraft dived into the ground from 4,000 feet, killing pilot Selle.

In flight tests, there were constant problems with the takeoff trolley and the landing skids. On one flight, the pilot correctly jettisoned the trolley at an altitude of 200 feet, but its parachute failed to deploy and it was smashed. The skids often stayed in the extended position when they should have retracted, or collapsed when they should have been extended. At this rate, Arado experts and Luftwaffe officers agreed, during mass operations a typical airfield would become cluttered with disabled Ar-234s and following aircraft would be unable to land at all. Another drawback was that the Ar-234 could not taxi on the skids. It had to come to a halt and then be moved using a crane. Recognition of the need to change the landing arrangement prompted cancellation of a planned production version called the Ar-234A.

The Arado’s First Missions

Despite the problems, the Ar-234 V7 prototype became the first jet aircraft ever to fly a reconnaissance mission. On August 2, 1944, Lieutenant Erich Sommer whizzed over the Normandy beachheads at about 460 miles per hour and used two Rb 50/30 cameras to take one set of photos every 11 seconds. Although the Allies supposedly had air superiority over the beaches, Sommer’s warplane returned with unscathed.

The Ar-234B Schnellbomber, or “fast bomber,” introduced a widened fuselage that permitted conventional landing gear, albeit with a very narrow track. The B model, first flown on March 10, 1944, piloted by civilian test pilot Joachim Carl, who replaced Selle, was slightly heavier than reconnaissance versions at 21,720 pounds. Because the Ar-234 was slender and entirely filled with fuel, it had no room for a bomb bay. Its bomb load had to be carried on external racks.

The added weight and drag of a full bomb load reduced the speed, so on the B model two 20mm MG 151 cannon with 200 rounds each were added in a remotely controlled tail mounting to give some measure of defense. Since the cockpit was directly in front of the fuselage, the pilot had no direct view to the rear, so the guns were aimed through the periscope. No record exists of anyone ever hitting anything with these guns. Many pilots removed them to save weight.

Taken on March 15, 1944, this frontal view of an Arado Ar-234 V9 reveals the placement of a 1,000-pound bomb carried externally along the center line of the plane’s fuselage.

It was not until June 1944 that 20 Ar-234Bs were produced and delivered. Some of these were diverted to the Luftwaffe test center at Rechlin. From October 1944, the German air unit known as KG 76 began to convert to the Ar-234B-2 bomber. The group began flying missions during heavy fighting in the Ardennes. In March 1945, coming in at low level and slinging bombs almost horizontally, after several attempts KG 76 finally succeeded in collapsing the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, but by then the loss of the bridge had little effect.

“I liked the Arado very much,” said former Luftwaffe pilot Willi Kriessmann, who lives today in Burlingame, California. “It was a wonderful plane. I thought it was designed better than the Messerschmitt Me-262. It was a single seater, so we didn’t have time to practice much, so we had some ‘dry classes.’ Landing and taking off was very different from a prop plane.” Kriessmann noted that the RATO units often did not work properly.

224 Arados Produced

Two different configurations for a four-engined version of the Ar-234 were built and flown. The sixth and eighth planes in the series were powered by four BMW 003 jet engines instead of two Jumo 004s, the sixth (Ar-234 V6) having four engines housed in individual nacelles, and the eighth (Ar-234 V8) flown with two pairs of BMW 003s installed within “twinned” nacelles underneath each wing. These were the world’s first four-engined jets. They offered no performance advantage over the twin-engined version.

An improved Ar-234C was the final production version. This model introduced an improved pressurized cockpit and larger main wheels. A “crescent-wing” Ar-234, foreshadowing Britain’s Handley Page Victor bomber of the 1950s, was under construction but never flown.

Kriessmann was assigned to ferry Ar-234s from the factory “to different places where they installed optical equipment and bombing equipment. I flew the first one on December 12, 1944, from Hamburg to Kampfgeschwader 76 and the last on May 1, 1945.” KG 76 flew the final Ar -234 sortie of the war against advancing Red Army troops near Berlin.

Plans existed for the manufacture of 2,500 Ar-234 Blitz bombers, but they were cut short by the war’s end. Total production was 224 examples of all versions of the Ar-234.

Surviving After the War

Today, the only surviving aircraft in this series is an Ar-234B-2 bomber (werke number 140312) on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, at Dulles, Virginia, replete with RATO units.

This survivor was among nine Ar-234s surrendered to British forces at Sola Airfield near Stavanger, Norway, after operating with KG 76. A technical team led by U.S. Colonel Harold Watson and known as Watson’s Whizzers collected this and other German high-tech aircraft to be shipped to the United States for flight testing. The aircraft was flown from Sola to Cherbourg, France, on June 24, 1945, where it joined 34 other advanced German aircraft shipped back to the United States aboard the British aircraft carrier HMS Reaper.

Reaper departed from Cherbourg on July 20, arriving at Newark, New Jersey, eight days later. Watson’s pilots took two Ar-234s from Reaper to Freeman Field, Indiana, for testing and evaluation. The fate of the second Ar-234 flown to Freeman Field is unknown. A third Ar-234 was taken off Reaper and assembled by the U.S. Navy for testing, but was found to be unflyable and was scrapped.

After receiving new engines, radio, and oxygen equipment, werke number 140312 was transferred to Wright Field, Ohio. Flight testing was completed on October 16, 1946. After a period of time in storage, during the early 1950s the Ar-234 was moved to the Smithsonian’s Paul Garber Restoration Facility at Suitland, Maryland. The Smithsonian began restoration in 1984 and completed it in February 1989.

Some aviation experts believe that the Jumo 004’s technical problems could have been overcome earlier, that other reasons never fully explained were responsible for delays with this aircraft, and that hundreds of Ar-234Bs could have been in service by the time of the fighting in the Ardennes. The Arado jet bomber, they say, could have substantially delayed the Allies’ victory.

Others insist that while the Ar-234 was a technical marvel, the only jet bomber used in World War II, the Allies had the enormous advantage of sheer numbers of men and machines. By this reasoning, the Ar-234, despite its high-tech qualities, could not have delayed the war’s inevitable outcome.

US History

Please note: The audio information from the video is included in the text below.

The Twin Towers During the Attack
Source: National Park Service

On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked by an Islamic terrorist group called al-Qaeda. They hijacked four passenger planes and used them as weapons to crash into buildings. Two of the planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City while another plane hit the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after the passengers attempted to retake control of the plane.

  • 8:46 AM: American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
  • 9:03 AM: United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashed into the South Tower at 9:03 AM.
  • 9:37 AM: American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. crashes into the Pentagon.
  • 10:03 AM: United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, New Jersey crashes into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when the passengers attempt to take control. Authorities believe the terrorists' target was the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Twin Towers Collapse

The airplane fuel on board the passenger planes caused an intense fire and extreme heat in the Twin Towers. Eventually, the structural integrity of both buildings gave way and the towers collapsed. The South Tower collapsed first followed by the North Tower around a 1/2 hour later. Several other buildings and skyscrapers around the Twin Towers collapsed as well.

The death toll from the attacks was devastating. All 246 passengers and crew on the four airplanes died along with 2,606 people at the World Trade Center and 125 at the Pentagon. In total, 2,996 people were killed during the attacks, including 2977 victims and 19 terrorists.

September 11 National Memorial
Photo by Ducksters

There are many stories of heroes on the ground and in the air during the attacks. The firefighters and police of New York City worked diligently to save thousands of people before the buildings collapsed. Many of them gave their lives including 343 firefighters, 72 police, and 55 military personnel. The passengers aboard Flight 93 also fought back to gain control of the plane. They knew they were probably going to die, but they didn't let the plane crash into a building where more would die. We will never know just how many lives their bravery saved.

Who were the attackers?

There were 19 terrorists involved in the hijackings. They were members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden.

The effects from the attacks were felt for many years. The U.S. economy struggled as the stock market crashed. Things were even worse in New York City which had to deal with the dust, debris, and destruction of so many buildings. Many had to deal with the death of friends and loved-ones and the loss of jobs and businesses.

The United States government, led by President George W. Bush, retaliated with a "War on Terror." The U.S. attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan and searched out leaders and members of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was able to hide out in mountain caves for many years before he was finally hunted down and killed in 2011.

One World Trade Center Building
Photo by Ducksters

There are memorials to the victims at each of the three locations of the attacks. There is the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

King George III speaks for first time since American independence declared

On October 31, 1776, in his first speech before British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together to sign of the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledges that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.

In his address, the king spoke about the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the revolutionary leaders who signed it, saying, 𠇏or daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this country.” The king went on to inform Parliament of the successful British victory over General George Washington and the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, but warned them that, “notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign.”

Despite George III’s harsh words, General William Howe and his brother, Admiral Richard Howe, still hoped to convince the Americans to rejoin the British empire in the wake of the colonists’ humiliating defeat at the Battle of Long Island. The British could easily have prevented Washington’s retreat from Long Island and captured most of the Patriot officer corps, including the commander in chief. However, instead of forcing the former colonies into submission by executing Washington and his officers as traitors, the Howe brothers let them go with the hope of swaying Patriot opinion towards a return to the mother country.

یواس‌اس فنسی (ای‌ام-۲۳۴)

یواس‌اس فنسی (ای‌ام-۲۳۴) (به انگلیسی: USS Fancy (AM-234) ) یک کشتی بود که طول آن ۱۸۴ فوت ۶ اینچ (۵۶٫۲۴ متر) بود. این کشتی در سال ۱۹۴۴ ساخته شد.

یواس‌اس فنسی (ای‌ام-۲۳۴)
آب‌اندازی: ۱۲ مه ۱۹۴۴
آغاز کار: ۴ سپتامبر ۱۹۴۴
به دست آورده شده: ۲۱ مه ۱۹۴۵
اعزام: ۱۳ دسامبر ۱۹۴۴
مشخصات اصلی
وزن: 650 tons
درازا: ۱۸۴ فوت ۶ اینچ (۵۶٫۲۴ متر)
پهنا: ۳۳ فوت (۱۰ متر)
آبخور: ۹ فوت ۹ اینچ (۲٫۹۷ متر)
سرعت: ۱۴٫۸ گره (۲۷٫۴ کیلومتر بر ساعت)

این یک مقالهٔ خرد کشتی یا قایق است. می‌توانید با گسترش آن به ویکی‌پدیا کمک کنید.

Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600

Chapter 1. Asiatic Cholera in Naples in 1911 [00:00:00]

Professor Frank Snowden: Good morning. We can get started. And this morning will be a slightly different style of lecture. You’ll notice that you don’t have handouts, and that wasn’t an oversight. It was actually because you won’t need them this morning. What we’re going to be doing is something of an experiment, which is that it seemed to me that it was useful, when you were reading various historical works, that sometimes the author of one of them should explain and discuss with you how they came to be as they are. So, that was one of the reasons that I put my own book, this one, on Naples, on the reading list. And I thought this morning I’d try the experiment of a different kind of lecture, where I talk to you about how it came to be the work that it is.

We’re moving on now from the material on the Paris School and on plague and smallpox, to our next major epidemic disease, which was the great feared disease of the nineteenth century, which was Asiatic cholera, which hit Europe — it wasn’t an endemic disease — it hit Europe for the first time around 1830, and returned in a series of pandemics in various waves. And normally the official historiography has it that about the last epidemic in Western Europe was in the 1890s. And the statistics of the WHO in the various countries of Europe support — and the literature as well — support this conclusion, that Asiatic cholera, after the 1890s, returns again to Western Europe only in tiny little outbreaks, the last of which was 1973.

So, there really isn’t supposedly a history of cholera in the twentieth century in Europe. And it’s that that I want to challenge and to talk with you about this morning. Now, as I began — and here we can start into how the book came to exist at all. I, at the time — well, one, there’s this sort of, as I started doing research on a very different topic, I had, in a sense perhaps, been primed for an interest in cholera. I had been primed because I had lived through an outbreak in Rome in 1973, and I had noticed a number of things that had captured my attention — because this was Italy, this world seventh industrial power at the time — and I remember some strange phenomena.

Being in Rome — the epidemic had started and found its epicenter in the city of Naples. And cars had, at that time, license plates that bore the province of origin of the vehicle, and cars in Rome that had Naples license plates were being stoned by the citizens of Rome. It was also true that in the fish and vegetable markets near the apartment where I was living, that the stalls of the fish and vegetable sellers were attacked and overturned by crowds. So, this seemed something that captured my imagination very clearly. And then the minister of health went on television and said that you really didn’t need to worry because all you had to do was to squeeze — because the Vibrio, the bacterium that causes Asiatic cholera, is highly susceptible to acid so all you have to do is squeeze a little lemon juice on your raw mussels, and then you can quite happily eat them which I wouldn’t advise any of you.

In any case, it was also true that this prime minister and the minister of health visited Naples and the infectious diseases hospital there. And there’s an Italian magazine in which pictures of them appeared, and you could see them almost running down the wards, as they were visiting the patients, and behind them they had their hands — you can imagine them trotting — with this gesture, which is a gesture to ward off the evil eye in Italian culture. So, this seemed rather strange in the world’s seventh industrial power. In a sense I had, then, this subliminal message that came from an earlier experience.

But there I was, a decade or so later, and my project was — I thought that I was interested in political philosophy and social history, and I was working on the disappearance of the European peasantry under the press of economic circumstances, and major transformations in the countryside, and the coming of the commercial revolution in agriculture, urbanization and the Industrial Revolution. But I began to have my imagination captured by numbers of references that I began to find around the early twentieth century to cholera in Italy around 1910. And that seemed a little surprising to me, and it really began — I began to read more about it. And it seemed to illustrate how people’s lives were lived, and their standard of living, much better than the project that I originally began with.

Chapter 2. Concealment? [00:06:22]

And, so, I let this medical project have a life of its own, and this is what eventually became my book. As I was working more on cholera, however, something else came to the forefront of my attention, and that was a conflict between what I read about cholera in the literature and what I was beginning to find in my own research. The literature said that there wasn’t a major epidemic in the twentieth century in Europe, the last major one being in the 1890s. But I was beginning to find odd references to some very strange events, particularly in the summer of 1911, and I began to think that perhaps a very interesting policy of concealment was taking place that is, an epidemic that was concealed by the authorities. And Naples once again was a very interesting place.

Now, Naples is, if you’re interested in cholera in the West, Naples is a very interesting place because it was the city — it was the largest city in Europe in the nineteenth century, and it was scourged the most often by this affliction. And I’m going to be arguing that it was scourged also in times that aren’t recorded in the standard historiography of the subject, and in particular in 1911. It also is an extraordinary place because it has something happen that you won’t find elsewhere, and that is this is a city that was actually, after the dreadful epidemic of 1884, was rebuilt in order to make the city cholera-proof, so that it wouldn’t return.

So, we see an extraordinary — we talk about the impact of infectious diseases, and here we see a case study of a place where the city itself is reconstructed specifically as result of an epidemic catastrophe, in order not to make another one possible. We can directly see in bricks and mortar, and in the sewers underground and the buildings above, and in the layout of the city, you can see the impact of cholera and of the idea of miasma. Because the miasmatic interpretation was the one under which had guided the reconstruction of the city, which happened in the wake of the 1884 catastrophe. But in 1911, there was no public record of a major epidemic. I had a whiff of the fact that there was, but I couldn’t prove it.

So, how do you go about demonstrating an epidemic that doesn’t have a literature? I thought that the first thing that would be useful to do would be to visit Naples, and in particular to visit the Naples Cemetery. The cemetery is a very large one — you can visit it yourselves — and it’s a very monumental grand cemetery. And I went in the middle of the week with the idea that I would go to the registry and perhaps there find records of burials, and that I would also be able to see in stone the victims of a major epidemic. In other words, the first idea I had was that you can’t — in order to prove that there was an epidemic, you would have to have a sudden bulge in mortality in the summer months of 1911. And I thought I could demonstrate that by visiting the Naples Cemetery, and if there wasn’t a sudden excess of death in the summer, then I would know that I was actually on the wrong trail entirely and I should abandon my project.

Well, as I was walking through the monumental cemetery — I think it was a Wednesday or a Thursday — I suddenly had a car pull up alongside me, and the man inside said, “Get in, get in.” I don’t know exactly how you would have reacted. I hesitated particularly as it was a cemetery in which on a Wednesday and a Thursday I found myself completely alone, except for this strange request that I get in a car with someone I had never seen before. Well, it turns out, as we talked, that he was the director of the cemetery, and he had come to rescue me. And, so, I did eventually get in, and he took me out of the cemetery, scolding me and telling me that I was obviously a stranger, an outsider and a foreigner who knew nothing, and that, in fact, the Naples cemetery is the most dangerous place you can be in the city, which has a long history of organized crime, because during the week this was, in fact, where the local mafia did its drug deals, and that everyone in Naples knew this except me, and he was possibly saving my life by removing me.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t welcome. I was welcome to come back on Saturday and Sunday, because that’s when all the people of Naples do come to pay their respects to their relatives, and there are flower stalls and gazillions of people frequenting the cemetery then, and the registry office with the records was also open then. I also discovered that there was, in fact — by reading the newspapers surrounding the time of my visit, that that very summer there was the — I was doing a little checking up, and it turns out that the rector of the cemetery wasn’t kidding me at all — that there was a major drug bust in this very cemetery. And the way they had done it was that they had wired the tombstones, and in this way they had pulled off a major move against the Camorra, which is the local, if we like, subset of the organized crime families in Italy, and one of the most important crime syndicates in the world, in modern times.

Chapter 3. Search for Evidence [00:13:27]

So, that was — that brought me back on a weekend. And on the weekend I discovered that there was, in fact, a big mortality bulge that there were lots of people who’d been buried in the summer of 1911, well in excess of the year before, 1910, 1909, or the years that were succeeded, 1912 or 1913. And there was a book that registered the deaths and burials, and there was a huge bulge in 1911. So, I knew something had happened. And something was interesting, because one of the features of the book that’s the register of burials is that they provide the neighborhood from which the deceased was resident. But in this case they, instead of the usual record of a neighborhood, they had the marking Cotugno Hospital, was the last place that the deceased had been. And the Cotugno Hospital, then as now, was the infectious diseases hospital of the city.

I suddenly knew that there was this great excess of mortality in the summer of 1911, and that the mortality was from infectious diseases, because the people had been buried in vast numbers from the Cotugno Hospital as their last port of call. Then the next thought — and I think a lot of historical work is a bit like detective work — and I found myself playing a sort of detective role. So, my next place to visit was the Cotugno Hospital of Infectious Diseases. And I made two findings there that were confirming me in my vision of what might have happened that they were — there was in the library of the hospital, the hospital itself had preserved its own records, patient records. And after some persistence, I was allowed to look at patient records in the hospital, and found something interesting and mysterious, and that was that there were records of the patient records through 1908, ‘09, ‘10, and the first half of 1911, and then suddenly there were no records at all.

There was a mysterious disappearance of the records of the patients of the hospital. Then I went to the library of the Infectious Diseases Hospital, where there was a second interesting thing, which was that the hospital had its own research journal that it published, recording the research findings of its own physicians, its own house physicians and interns and residents. The result of that was to discover that for surprise, surprise, in the summer of 1911 the physicians of the Cotugno Hospital were doing lots and lots of research on therapeutics for Asiatic cholera. They were experimenting with giving patients ice, and lots of other therapeutic procedures that we’ll talk about in a couple of minutes. So, I now knew that the physicians of the Infectious Diseases Hospital were enormously preoccupied with Asiatic cholera.

Then the next place was to go to the local archives, where I was told that my idea was impossible, there was no such thing that there also — the local records had been moved during the Second World War out of the city for safekeeping, to the Sanctuary of Monte Cassino, an abbey outside of the city. But I think a number of you have heard of Monte Cassino. It became a major battle site in the war, and so the abbey itself and all of the archives went up in flames, and so all the records of the city for the period I was interested in were destroyed. And I was told that a project of the kind that I was imagining was inconceivable and also couldn’t be carried out. So, what do you do next if you think there’s a major epidemic and you want to demonstrate its existence?

The next thing that happened was that I had the idea that this was a time, in 1911, that was the height of mass emigration of Italians — that is, I’ve said that I had been studying the disappearance of the European peasantry and its transformation into workers or urban dwellers, and a part of that was the extraordinary story of Italian transoceanic migration, in large part to this country, but also to Australia and other places. So, I thought if there really was a mass movement — and Naples is and was then a port. It was one of Europe’s, along with Hamburg, major port cities. And what Naples specialized in — if Hamburg specialized in goods and services, Naples specialized in the export of people, and in particular Italian emigrants to New York City.

There was enormous transoceanic migration. I thought well, if this is true, and these thousands, hundreds-of-thousands of emigrants are moving through the city of Naples, and there is a major cholera epidemic, and they’re arriving at Ellis Island, well surely some of them will have been afflicted with the disease, and there would be records there of that, at Ellis Island. Well, as it turns out, this was true. There were records. Cholera did break out on a series of emigrant-bearing ships in the summer of 1911, and people were quarantined for the disease — Italians, that is, who had last been in Naples — were quarantined for the disease on Ellis Island. And indeed, there had been a number of people who were released from quarantine and fell ill on the mainland. And, so, there are perhaps a dozen cases of people who fell sick in New York State and not on Ellis Island itself. So, we know that there was then — there were Italian emigrants coming to the United States who were afflicted with the disease.

Chapter 4. Advances in Cholera Therapeutics [00:21:05]

This led me to think, well, I do have a project, and now the point is to prove it further. What can I find out about its reasons? What are the politics of concealment, and so on? And I was lucky then because I was interested in a physician called Leonard Rogers, who was one of the world’s experts in tropical medicine at the early years of the twentieth century. And it was he who in 1908 [correction: 1909] made a major discovery. In terms of the therapeutics of Asiatic cholera, down to 1909, there was nothing that physicians could do that was effective and helpful for their patients, and so the case fatality rate was something like fifty percent for Asiatic cholera. In 1908 and 1909, Leonard Rogers, who was a British physician working in India, had found that he could reduce the mortality from fifty to fifteen percent — the first major advance in therapeutics — and he did it, one by a simple building on something that had been observed from the 1830s, and that is to say that cholera kills by dehydration.

The bodily fluids flow out of the rectum and the mouth through vomiting, at an extraordinary rate, so that human beings lose up to three-quarters of the fluid portion of their blood serum. And, so, from the 1830s onward, one of the therapeutic ideas was why not simply replace the fluids? There were major attempts early on to get people to drink lots of liquid. That doesn’t work because you simply vomit it up. It has no effect, except to make the patient weaker. So, having discovered that, there were attempts by physicians to replace the fluids intravenously. The problem early on was that there was not a knowledge — there were several problems. How much liquid do you actually administer? And many patients died of heart failure from an excess of fluid. It was also a time before the discovery of the germ theory of disease, and so although they were given drips that had clean water, it wasn’t sterile and patients died of septicemia.

It was also true that another discovery, which was that the patients — what made people persist with rehydration is that this administration of liquid caused the patients to feel much better briefly. For a few hours they seemed to recover. They would sit up in their beds and feel infinitely better. So something clearly positive was going on. But what it was wasn’t understood. And what happened was that the administration of fluid was trying to replace fluid that had the same salinity as the blood in the body. Unfortunately, that is not retained by tissues, and it merely pours out of the body again. And, so, the patient who had momentarily, for a few hours, felt better, relapses, and even the continuing of this therapeutic attempt had no positive effect.

Well, Leonard Rogers discovered in 1909 a number of things. He measured the amount of fluid loss. He used distilled water, and he made it a hypertonic — that is, much more saline than the blood fluid. And the result of that was that it was retained — through mechanisms that aren’t very well understood, the fluid was retained. And, so, Leonard Rogers was able to save the lives of the vast majority of the patients he treated for Asiatic cholera in India, and he wanted to — the problem was this was a time in medical history when there were racial ideas of disease, and it was thought the fact that he had discovered this with Indian bodies would have nothing to do with European bodies.

So, partly for humanitarian reasons and partly for scientific reasons, he was looking for an outbreak of cholera in the West, in which he could apply his therapeutics and demonstrate their ability to save life, any human life. And in 1911, because he was watching very closely, he realized that there was an epidemic afoot in Italy, and he sought permission to go to Naples to demonstrate the efficacy of his new procedures. Soon I had Leonard — I was in contact with Leonard Rogers’ family — and I had access to his papers, and his discussion of what happened to him in the summer of 1911. Which was that to admit him to the hospital at Naples to train physicians in saving lives, the best available practice, the only therapy that had any effect, would be to admit the presence of an epidemic.

And, so, he wasn’t allowed to come to mainland Italy. Instead he was allowed a two-week visit to Sicily, where the disease spread as well. And the Italian physicians there called him the “prince of medicine,” because they had a survival rate, under his direction and his new rehydration method, of eighty-five percent, which was extraordinary by international standards. He had discovered the first effective therapy, one that is in fact the basis of present-day therapy for cholera, which is oral rehydration. Leonard Rogers’ methods have been perfected, but he was the one who found an effective rehydration system.

Chapter 5. Concealment in Conflict with Patient Care [00:27:39]

Soon we knew, then, that the state in Italy, for various reasons, was preserving a secret and denying its own citizens the most effective, the only effective available system of care. So, Leonard Rogers left Italy in great disappointment, after only being allowed to visit the cholera wards in Sicily, and was denied by the state the ability to visit Naples, which was the epicenter of what was happening. The next thing I was able to discover was that the records for this epidemic — there were records, but they existed not in the usual places that scholars would think of to study public health. The first files on this that I discovered were in police records. And they happened in an odd way, which was that the prime minister of Italy ordered the state police in Italy to deal with a new offense, which was sanitary defeatism. And in order to preserve silence and not promote sanitary defeatism, they began tapping the telephone lines used by physicians, and censoring and opening physicians’ mail.

In the city of Venice in 1911, there were actually the police records that demonstrated the following: which was to say that the Venice Medical Society decided quite sensibly in the summer of 1911 that it would save lives and enable people to protect themselves by publishing pamphlets and distributing them, about Asiatic cholera and how you can protect yourself against it. And they printed thousands of these, and wall posters as well, to put up on the walls of Venice. Instead, the Medical Society was visited by the police, who confiscated and burned all of the pamphlets and all of the wall posters, and told the physicians of Venice, the city, that to propagate health and sanitary defeatism would be fatal to their careers. So, this was all preserved in the records of the police regarding the summer of 1911 in Venice.

The next place that I visited then was the National Archives here, and discovered that Italy had signed, in 1903 — and this means that all of the things that I’m telling you about marked a violation also of international law. Because in 1903 there was a Paris Sanitary Convention, which made the full disclosure of infectious diseases mandatory for — Italy and the United States were both signatories, along with a series of other countries. And the physician who represented the United States in 1903, a major cholera expert named Henry Geddings, was now stationed at Naples with the U.S. Embassy, directing the medical service there. Why Naples? Because Naples was the center of mass emigration from Italy to the United States, and there were health inspections that took place in the city before departure, and Henry Geddings was therefore in charge of protecting the health of the United States by heading off infectious diseases before people even boarded the ship.

Well, in 1911, there’s an extensive correspondence, and a very unhappy correspondence, by Henry Geddings and people in the United States, including his superiors and his family, about his experiences in the city, where he tried to report to the United States Government that there was a major epidemic of Asiatic cholera. He found that his life was threatened in the city of Naples, and his superiors in the United States were not at all enthusiastic about receiving his message of what was taking place, and so the United States Government — you’ve met [U.S. Surgeon General] Walter Wyman in your study of the bubonic plague and the Barbary plague in San Francisco. Well, we meet him here again, actually colluding with the Italian government in the suppression of knowledge about this important major infectious disease, against international law that the United States had actually signed.

Then there were — in addition to that, I then went back to the police files and discovered that there were also health statistics that were coming in to Rome, reporting events in the Italian provinces, and they included statistics for Asiatic cholera. But the prefects, who were the highest authority for law and order in each Italian province, today as then, were actually sending back, to help officers in the various provinces, the statistics they were receiving, saying that, “These aren’t good statistics we don’t want them, send us something better.” And, so, you actually see the process by which the state manufactured the health statistics that were subsequently published, and are the basis for the historiography. And you can read those statistics in World Health Organization reports, and Italian Government reports, and in U.S. Government reports of the summer of 1911.

Chapter 6. Why Conceal? [00:33:49]

Now, why is this true and why was this so sensitive? This meant that I needed to go back in time. My first idea was to write the second half of the book, about concealment. And I’m introducing that — I think that’s important in our course — because we’re talking about various strategies of public health, and so far we’ve looked at plague regulations and we’ve looked at vaccine. But there’s — as you will remember probably from the SARS outbreak, that China practiced a policy of concealment at the outset. What I’m trying to say is that concealment is also a style of public health policy. And I think our newspapers rather misled us in leading us to believe that this was simply unique to China, something very unusual. I would argue as well that this is probably something that’s been resorted to a number of times, and this epidemic of 1911 is a good example and a good case study in which one can find the actual documents of the concealment, and the reasons that it took place.

Well, why this pressure? Why does the prime minister of Italy collude, and why the United States, the Surgeon General of the United States, also colluded with that? Indeed, I would tell you another little anecdote, which was that Walter Wyman had a friend who was — friends, a couple he knew — who were the parents of young Johnny, who just finished his B.A. degree in 1911 — I’m sorry not here in New Haven, but rather at that other unmentionable place in Cambridge, Mass. And having finished his degree in 1911, as a newly minted Bachelor of Arts, he was planning a grand tour, which was going to take in Italy. And Italy had — this was the fiftieth anniversary of Italian unification, and there was a major fair with a grand U.S. pavilion, and Johnny was planning to visit until, that is, he got a letter from his friend, the U.S. Surgeon General, who wrote to Johnny’s parents that this trip simply wasn’t on in the summer of 1911, because due to infectious diseases it wasn’t safe to visit Italy.

At the U.S. Pavilion, also, the people, the organizers, wrote back to Washington, saying that they were scandalized and horrified because American citizens were not being warned that in fact there was cholera rampant in Italy and their health was at risk, and there was no knowledge of this and no coverage of it in the press. Well, why would this be happening? The first thing is that by this time there was an enormous stigma associated with Asiatic cholera. Asiatic cholera in Western Europe and in North America was supposedly vanquished by the bulwarks of sanitation and public health. Cholera is spread by the ingestion — in only one way — which is the ingestion of food and water contaminated with fecal matter. And, so, it really is an indictment of sanitary standards. And therefore one of the features was a matter of national pride for Italians not to admit that there, in fact, there were these deficiencies in sanitary standards, in a nation that was supposedly advanced and, as they would have said, civilized.

So, part of it then is avoiding stigma this was an important part of what happened. But in addition, there was a patriotism involved, because this was the fiftieth anniversary of Italian unification, and the whole world was descending on Italy or so it seemed, and Italians hoped. And to destroy the festivities by putting them off, by warning the world that cholera was rampant in Italy at this time, would have had enormous economic repercussions for tourism, a major industry. It also would have had major repercussions in terms of Italian pride in canceling the whole of the celebrations, a second feature. Another feature has to do — is the fact that I’ve just said, that the Italian economy and Italian standards of living were dependent in part on the export of people at this time. These were emigrants who came to these shores, and to South America, and then sent back very large-scale remittances that were very important to the Italian economy. And what would’ve happened if the 1903 Sanitary Convention terms had been enforced, in Italy as it should have, and was legally committed to doing, had announced the presence of Asiatic cholera, that would have stopped emigration to these shores and to South America. And that was something that Italians did not want to risk. And this also could have had repercussions in terms of civil disorder.

There was a fear that, then, too — cholera, as we’ll see, is much associated with social tension and disorder, and that was another fear that was very much in the minds of Italians. But then there’s something very specific, and that is that — as I said in the beginning of our talk this morning — that Naples had been made supposedly cholera-proof after the summer of 1884, when a catastrophic epidemic had ravaged the city, and massive commitment of funds — Italian but also Neapolitan and from abroad — had been devoted to this rebuilding of the city. The problem is — I’ve already said that Naples was the center of the Camorra, of a major criminal syndicate, and was a place where funds often disappeared in mysterious channels. And one of the features of the rebuilding project was that the money largely went into undisclosed and corrupt channels.

Here we have a city, which has supposedly been built like the Titanic, just hitting another iceberg and discovering that, in fact, the funds that were to have made it safe have been misspent. And there was an opposition to this municipal government in Naples, which was using health as one of the complaints of the opposition parties. The opposition parties in Naples at the time were republicans, socialists, anarchists. And so part of the danger then, from the standpoint of the government of the day, was that to admit this would lead to a major local scandal, and would, if you like, legitimate the complaints and accusations of a radical leftwing opposition. So, a consideration of political stability was also part of the calculation. And this, in fact, was a motivating factor for the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Government that here was a friendly government that was being lampooned and lambasted by a radical, very left-wing opposition, and it was better to cooperate then with the government, the legitimate government, in the face of this opposition.

Well, this concealment then went forward, and it was orchestrated at the very highest levels. The press was censored. Health defeatism actually then became something that the police regarded as an infringement and repressed. We’ve seen the way in which physicians and public health authorities were censored and were threatened. In addition, it was not discussed in parliament, and it wasn’t even discussed in the Naples Municipal Council. And if you read the reports — and I read the discussions of what was being discussed in Naples in the summer of 1911 — you see a discussion of the need for hiring lots and lots of nurses, the need for many more doctors. And you see that they’re importing massive quantities of snow from the Apennines and the Alps into the city, and it’s taken to the Cotugno Hospital. And there, if you correlate that with what the physicians were doing, they were giving ice to cholera patients on the ward to deal with the tremendous thirst that they had, and to replace, they hoped, some of the fluid that they were losing through the course of the disease.

So, that was all — this conspiracy then is not a casual one. It’s organized from the top down, and is a very major and well-organized plot to conceal the existence of this epidemic. In addition then, what were the consequences of concealment? I want to argue that — throughout this course — that public health is dependent on accurate and timely information. We’ll see that today, in that a major feature of public health policies is surveillance and monitoring, and the availability of information, nationally and internationally, is vital to contain and prevent pandemic afflictions. So, one of the features — and I think 1911 is a good example of what happens if you don’t provide information.

Chapter 7. Effects of Concealment [00:44:59]

A first thing that happened was that this disease spread through many provinces of Italy. It was not contained domestically. Fortunately, it did not spread to these shores and to Argentina and to other places where large numbers of Italians went. But I think that was no thanks to the Italian government, it had to do with serendipity and good luck. What I could say was that the Italian government, with the collusion of the U.S. government, was placing the health of this country, and the health of Argentina in particular, at risk. It was placing at risk the health also of international visitors to Italy, tourists and people who came to see the celebrations of 1911. And one of the truly unfortunate parts of the concealment effects is that it led to thousands of deaths of Italians. Because the patients on the wards of the Cotugno Hospital, and elsewhere in Italy, were systematically denied what was then the best available international practice, which is the administration of rehydration therapy, as developed by Leonard Rogers, and Italian doctors weren’t allowed to know that this was the state-of-the-art and the way in which it was possible to save Italian lives, reducing mortality from fifty to fifteen percent, or something like that.

If you look at the Cotugno ward, what were the physicians doing instead? Well, instead, because cholera patients become tremendously cold and look as though they’ve been cadaverized, they were immersing cholera patients in hot tubs. Because for the same way as their energy was failing, they were administering them stimulants, caffeine. And there were various experiments with other things that were meant — because there wasn’t a therapy that was known to work, there were lots of experimental therapies that were being tried. Strychnine, which you know better as rat poison, was also administered to cholera patients, in an attempt to revive their energy and their flagging health. Also there were attempts at rehydration therapy. But this took the form that was now outdated, after 1908, of trying to get the patients to suck on ice, or to drink, or to be injected with isotonic saline solutions that is, of the same content of salt, same salinity as the blood, which by 1908, through a century of experience, was known to be entirely useless. And these were the kinds of therapies that were being practiced, plus simply supportive nursing care. And as I said, the hospital was recruiting very large numbers of nurses.

So, nursing care and various experimental and sometimes heroic interventions that led to a very high mortality rate, when in fact it was possible to save about eighty-five percent of patients. Well, I’ve run out of time, and so I’ll just say then that this is how this particular book came to be. And I ended up writing, adding on, that in order to understand 1911, it was absolutely crucial to see 1884 and the steps that had been taken, unfortunately not so successfully, to make Naples cholera-proof by the early twentieth century, when sadly it wasn’t. And I think there’s a story there of concealment as a public health policy that I wanted to alert you to as yet another style of public health, and one that has very — it’s not good for your health — and has very dire consequences. So, thank you.

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The TWA Museum, with recommendations from the CDC, the City of Kansas City, and the American Alliance of Museums, will introduce the following required protective measures:

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