I’ve spent the whole day training others to deliver presentations, part of which required me to listen to short presentations by each of the delegates on a topic of their choosing. The subjects were certainly varied; learning to play a keyboard, the seven wastes, scuba diving at the Farne Islands and the Movember moustache challenge among them, but by far the most intriguing title, and as it turned out the most entertaining presentation was Panzer Mice!
In this we were treated to the story of how a brilliant wartime manoeuvre saw the Russians parachuting crates of mice over German lines, so that the highly trained plucky rodents would seek out the innards of Panzer tanks, nibble through cables and halt the German armoured advance towards Moscow. This lead to the deployment of cats as an SS countermeasure, only to be thwarted when subsequent Russian crates contained dogs in an escalation of this mammalian arms race.
Of course the story is a fiction, but it does have basis in fact for the 22nd Panzer Division was indeed halted by the intervention of mice, but mice inadvertently introduced by the Germans themselves after straw used in the insulation of the tanks against frost, proved an attractive nesting spot for the rodents.
In confessing to his subterfuge, the presenter did speculate as to whether this story had inspired the American development of incendiary bats for use against Japan. This time the story is true as you will see if you follow this link.
Anyway, all this entertainment meant that I was late getting home, and although the skies were already darkening I was without a portrait for today. A quick trip to the beach and I thought I had my subject, but he scuppered my plans by wading away from me into the sea!
Luckily I met Natalie shortly afterwards, and although the light meant that her portrait is not as sharp as I would have liked, there is enough light in her eyes to produce a pleasing picture I think. Her dog was kind enough to pose too.
- Say no to Movember (kernelmag.com)