MOO Reports:
Weather at War II - Patriotic Weather

by Andrew Worley

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.



. 1999-2003 Justin Taylor / John Dray

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