Weather at War II - Patriotic Weather
It has been the dream of many military minds since the advent of war many
thousands of years ago - controlling the weather. Many times weather has decided
the course of history. However, strangely it seems that weather normally favours
the defending force...
Mongol leader Kubla Kahn sent two fleets to invade Japan, first in 1274 but
then again in 1281. The second fleet carried 100 000 men. Both times however,
the fleets were destroyed just off the coast of Japan. In Japan they now call
this strange patriotic weather the 'Kamikaze' or 'divine wind'.
Russia has also been protected twice by patriotic weather. First during the
invasion by Napoleon (see Weather at War 1) and secondly during the Nazi
invasion in the Second World War. Both times the armies were halted by unusually
cold weather. The invading soldiers were unprepared for the freezing
temperatures. The most famous example occurred at Stalingrad, the turning point
of the war and the biggest battle in history. The Russian army surrounded the
German Sixth Army, and because snow covered the ground no help arrived and the
Germans were forced to surrender.
Britain has also been protected by patriotic weather. The mighty Spanish
Armada (a fleet of ships carrying Spanish soldiers to conquer England) was
destroyed by another freak storm. By the time the fleet returned home it was
only a fifth of its original strength.
In the future the unpredictability of weather in war may end as techniques of
weather manipulation improve - the megalomaniacs dream. Rumour says that the US
army has spent millions on a hurricane creation project in Alaska. Hurricanes
could be used to disrupt lines of communication before an invasion.... remember
that hurricanes have the power of 40 hydrogen bombs.