War Oddities

War Oddities

Two Dollars will be paid for each War Oddity accepted and published in this column. Address contributions to War Oddities, Maclean’s Magazine, 481 University Ave., Toronto. Source of the information must be given.

January 15 1941
War Oddities

War Oddities

Two Dollars will be paid for each War Oddity accepted and published in this column. Address contributions to War Oddities, Maclean’s Magazine, 481 University Ave., Toronto. Source of the information must be given.

January 15 1941

War Oddities

Two Dollars will be paid for each War Oddity accepted and published in this column. Address contributions to War Oddities, Maclean’s Magazine, 481 University Ave., Toronto. Source of the information must be given.

Splinterproof millinery is now worn by some London women. A steel lining is edged with rubber, and a sponge is placed between this and the silk lining in order to obviate any pressure on the head. The hats are designed in all the fashionable styles.

Twenty-four hours after a house had been bombed in England, men clearing the wreckage heard a peculiar noise, and, after frantic digging, found a four-monthsold baby unhurt in a dresser drawer. Its father, mother and grandmother were killed.

All England is conscious of the debt it owes to the R.A.F. Nevertheless, when a defending plane makes a forced landing on private property, the R.A.F. is liable for damages, which are always paid promptly. Practically all such awards have been turned back to the Government.

Newspapers in unoccupied France quote French soldiers as reporting that German motorized units “tank up” from a water tap. This corroborates a reix>rt that German chemists have produced a synthetic gasoline in tablet form, which when dissolved in water provides a fuel capable of operating the army motors. Whether it will operate airplanes is not yet known.

Deafness, which used to bar men from the army, should be treated as an asset, E. H. Whitefield, president of the Vancouver Adult Deaf Association, argues. In England deaf-mutes are engaged in shot blasting. Because of the tremendous noise, only deaf-mutes are able to stand the strain.

“Boom” went an explosion one night recently, awakening everyone in residence at a boys’ school near Oxford. The staff did their duty nobly and well, and just when all the children were assembled to be marshalled into their air-raid shelter, news came that the trouble was only ginger ale bottles bursting in a near-by factory fire.

There is a parrot in a southeast coast English town that has learned to imitate an air-raid siren. As a result his owners have been streaking for air-raid shelters much more often than anyone else in the town. Not only does the parrot screech like a siren, but he follows his cry with an imitation of anti-aircraft gunfire.

German parachutes which are used to drop mines into the sea are made of turquoise-blue silk, with heavy cords to match. In one English seacoast town, several girls have converted salvaged parachutes into blouses, with the cord used as a belt.

Thousands of homeless people of East London had a free lunch when bombs smashed a packing plant and the stew from the cauldrons had to be distributed immediately to prevent waste.

In at least one English town, a man whose duty is to remove time bombs, wears a tin hat painted white, instead of the usual brown or black, and this hat entitles him to instant right of way through all traffic.

Motor cars with “tin hats” have appeared in Britain. Their roofs are covered with a steel plate, with a small space between it and the roof top, to provide protection against shrapnel.

The prize German complaint is that the British are setting false fires in their own cities and towns in order to mislead Nazi aviators accustomed to route their flights by the blazes from their bombs. This, the Germans say, is a typical trick of the tricky British.

The Australian Red Cross is employing Australian cockatoos to solicit funds. The birds have learned to say, “Cocky want a penny,” and seldom do they fail to get a donation. Already they have raised thousands of pounds.

Germany’s propaganda department has released photographs showing a crowd of Guernsey people heiling Hitler, with no German trooper in sight to influence them. It is advanced as proof that the Channel Islanders are well satisfied with Nazi rule. What happened was that a band concert was given to attract a crowd, then an officer asked all those who could speak English to hold up their right hand. When all did so, the cameras clicked.

A German refugee entered Baltimore with $40 worth of gold in spare false teeth. “Uncle Sam” gave him a cheque for $40 in exchange for the “gold import” of “unrefined bullion.”