November 27th, 2010


[PHOTO] Ruhr Express

Ruhr Express (1)

This is the 'Ruhr Express" insignia on one the first Lancaster bomber built at the Victory Aircraft plant in the Ontario community of Malton and displayed at the Canadian Air & Space Museum.These very successful and numerous aircraft were used for bombing raids into continental Europe.

Ruhr Express (2)

This doggerel expresses the sentiments of the builders of the Lancaster bombers.

-by George Sins; 6 August, 1943 (an employee of Victory Aircraft Ltd.)

May the Gods above you ever bless,
And keep you safe, the Ruhr Express,
May you do your job and do it well,
And blow the Axis clean to hell.

We saw you born, you wondrous thing,
We watched you grow and then take
May you fly long through war-torn days,
And give us cause to sing your praise.

The job is hard you have to do,
But, we have faith you'll see it through,
May we have ever cause to bless,
Our new ship born, the 'Ruhr Express.'

We gaave waited long to see the day,
When you would take wings and fly
At last you roar a thunderous tune,
And Hitler too will hear it soon.

So hgere;s to you the 'Ruhr Express,'
Speed on your way, may Heaven bless,
Your every effort this war to cease,
So once again we live in peace.

Here's to the men your gallant crew,
The RCAF who will see you through,
God Save The King, may Heaven bless
Your crew and you, the 'Ruhr Express.'
forums, me, non blog

[FORUM] War: what next?

The ongoing unpleasantness in Korea, which has the potential to erupt into a devastating Second Korean War but seems considerably more likely the self-limiting power games of the North Korean military elite as a new leader succeeds, has reminded me, at least, that Korea is the only area of the world where the potential of the Cold War to become a devastating conflict exists. (I exclude Taiwan, inasmuch as the trend seems to be towards Taiwanese rapprochement with China--trade agreements aside, at least hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese live in Shanghai alone. This does not seem to me likely to augur a resumption of the Chinese civil war.)

To an almost miraculous degree, the world is free of the risk of Great Power conflict. The world seems to be increasingly integrated from the cultural and economic perspectives, Great Powers (rising and otherwise) seem to be more interested in joining the world system than not, and not a one seems interested in igniting any sort of cold war. The Great Powers seem to have bought into non-zero-sum paradigm of international relations. (Or have they actually bought into that?)

Most wars seem to have been displaced to the periphery of the world system. Relatively low-tech insurgencies seem dominant, sometimes locally based and sometimes depending on foreign sponsorship, frequently marked by the commission of atrocities against subject civilian populations, some of these insurgencies seeing effective outside intervention, some not, and most remaining of only humanitarian interest to outsiders. (Or have they remained durably displaced?)

Has war become outmoded as a latent threat in international relations, at least at the core of the world system? Or does it have some potential yet for renewed chaos?