…Make Believe?

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Do you remember what it was like to play “make-believe”?  Perhaps you imagined yourself as a cowboy, or soldier, an astronaut, doctor, nurse, fireman or some other challenging and exciting role.  Weren’t those fun times?

Know what could make those times even more exciting?  Dressing up in costume!  Come to think of it, perhaps make-believe is something that we never really outgrow: to wit, consider all the adults who dress up for Halloween, or who festoon themselves with patriotic gear on national holidays or Christmas attire.  And that, I think, is just fine!

Halloween is, of course, the prime time for dressing up and make-believe.  It doesn’t really matter who you are or your station in life, on Halloween you can become something else or someone else for a few hours.

Today’s photo is of my 6-year old grand daughter from this year’s Halloween.  What was she?  She was Ariel, the character from Disney’s Little Mermaid.  Now, I’ll grant you that her costume is rather a hodge-podge of color and style, but when you are six years old, the power of make-believe is very, very strong!  And she was having a great time….and that’s what it is all about!  Even if you aren’t a princess, on Halloween (or whenever you play make-believe), you can be.  But then, come to think of it, I think she really is a princess!  And a princess can wear anything she wants to!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, 32 British Lancaster bombers attacked and sank the mighty German battleship Tirpitz.

Tirpitz displaced 42,900 tons as built and 51,800 fully loaded, with a length of 823 ft 6 inches, a beam of 118 ft 1 inch and a maximum draft of 34 ft 9 in. She was powered by three Brown, Boveri & Cie geared steam turbines and twelve oil-fired Wagner superheated boilers, which developed a total of 163,026 shaft horsepower with a maximum speed of 30.8 kn (57.0 km/h; 35.4 mph) on speed trials. She was bigger than her sister ship, the Bismarck, and the largest battleship ever built by a European country.

In January 1942, Hitler ordered the Germany navy to base the Tirpitz in Norway in order to attack Soviet convoys transporting supplies from Iceland to the USSR. The Tirpitz also prevented British naval forces from making their way to the Pacific. Winston Churchill summed up the situation this way: “The destruction or even crippling of this ship is the greatest event at the present time… The whole strategy of the war turns at this period on this ship…”

Attacks had already been made against the Tirpitz. RAF raids were made against it in January 1942, but they failed to damage it. Another raid was made in March; dozens of RAF bombers sought out the Tirpitz, which was now reinforced with cruisers, pocket battleships, and destroyers. All of the British bombers, once again, missed their target.

Sporadic attacks continued to be made against the German battleship, including an attempt in October 1942 to literally drive a two-man craft up to the ship and plant explosives on the Tirpitz‘s hull. This too failed because of brutal water conditions and an alert German defense. But in September 1943, six midget British subs set out to take the Tirpitz down for good. The midgets had to be towed to Norway by conventional subs. Only three of the six midgets made it to their target. This time, they were successful in attaching explosives to the Tirpitz‘s keel and doing enough damage to put it out of action for six months. Two British commanders and four crewmen were taken captive by the Germans and spent the rest of the war as POWs.

But it wasn’t until November 1944 that the Tirpitz was undone permanently. As the battleship lay at anchor in Norway’s Tromso Fjord, 32 British Lancaster bombers, taking off from Scotland, attacked. Each bomber dropped a 12,000-pound Tallboy bomb and two hit their target, causing the Tirpitz to capsize, and killing almost 1,000 crewmen.

Ironically, the mighty Tirpitz fired its guns only once in aggression during the entire extent of the war-against a British coaling station on the island of Spitsbergen.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: When a person diets or deprives himself of food, the neurons in the brain that induce hunger start eating themselves. This “cannibalism” sparks a hunger signal to prompt eating.

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