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The Weather factor

Tony B

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The Weather Factor



Erik Durschmied

Coronet paperbacks

ISBN 0340 76806 1


Subtitled how nature has changed history. This book has been on my shelf for some time. Andreadavide's post about the end of the Great War in Italy reminded me. One of the chapters intitalled The White Death is a graphic account of the war on the Tyrolean, Italian front, on which the author's farther served. Although not totally military each of the 15 chapters is a detailed explanation of the effects that weather has had on crucial events. the range is from the Irish Potato Famine up to the Mekong delta in 1965. The last chapter is a review of how weather manipulation might be used in future military actions.


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The Allies would have been slaughtered at Waterloo had it not rained torrentially for 12 hours before the battle.


Napoleon was only ever going to win by beating the Brits and the Germans in two halves. He had to beat the Brits before the Germans turned up. Wellington had his infantry lie down behind the crest while Napoleon rained cannon fire on them. The French artillery could not drop the shot any closer than a handful of yards behind the infantry because of the crest and the sodden ground soaked up all the energy of the shot rendering it useless.


Hours of artillery fire which might have devastated the British forces were wasted as the clock ticked down to the arrival of Blucher.


Not as simple as that - there were plenty of other factors.




Hitler timed the Ardennes Offensive to nullify Allied air monopoly so that he could get his tanks to Antwerp before the cloud cleared. He failed miserably and the tactical air forces had a turkey shoot when the weather did clear.

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