Martyl Langsdorf, Doomsday Clock Designer, Dies at 96…
“Mrs. Langsdorf was a painter who specialized in abstract landscapes. Her husband, Alexander Langsdorf Jr., was a physicist who had worked on the Manhattan Project developing the atomic bomb. In 1945, as preparations were being made to drop bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dr. Langsdorf and others formed the Bulletin as debate was escalating within the group about what it had created. … Mrs. Langsdorf’s career designing magazine covers stopped and started with that first magazine issue of the Bulletin (which declared that it was 11:53 p.m.).”
“Order of Fifinella” logo designed by Walt Disney for the WASPs “the pioneering organizations of the civilian female pilots” who supplemented the US Air Force during World War II. From Virginia Streeter Collection via San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives and mudwerks
Second post today on the theme of underground: Sweden’s WW II bunkers — “… more than fifty underground bunker substations built during World War II. Concealing powerful generators, bomb-proof, cooled by underground rivers.” More images here.
Shortly before WWII it was therefore decided to build a decentralized structure with mobile power converters that could be moved to shelters, spread out all over the country. As the war progressed, the decision was changed to favor blast-proof shelters, typically caved as solid rock tunnels. Several layers of extremely tough doors were designed to protect against a direct hit. Although the converters are fairly efficient, feeding up to 10 MVA with 90% conversion efficiency or so, several hundreds of kilowatts of heat has to be cooled away. This explains a lot about the shelter design that seems strange at first sight.
Here’s “Pam”, a key part of “Operation Mincemeat” from the British intelligence services in WWII. Details below. Fascinating. via publicdomainbitch
MI5 staff member pictured on beach. This ordinary looking snapshot was taken and planted as part of a complex WWII intelligence plan known as Operation Mincemeat.
The intention was that this photograph would make other documents secreted with it seem more authentic. These documents, passed on to German agents after they were found on a body washed up on the coast of Spain (planted by British intelligence) suggested that the Allies were not planning an invasion of southern Europe via Sicily. This led to a weakening of German defence of Sicily which assisted the eventual Allied attack.
UK National Archive