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  •  Great reply. The thing is, though, that oil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, devtob

    refineries weren't actually all that vulnerable to bombing, for three reasons:
    1) The engineers that designed them recognized the day-to-day risk of fire, so built them out of non-flammable materials, mostly concrete and steel. Containment ponds and other features were standard due to ordinary risks, let alone bombing;
    2) Large and effective fire-fighting infrastructures were, again, SOP. This included weed and brush control, on-site fire-fighting equipment, and other measures both passive and aggressive;
    3) High explosive bombs rely on blast effect to do damage, and refineries offered few possibilities of blast containment. They were open to the sky, large networks of pipes and girders and such, where blast could dissipate easily. Much the same effect as when the Germans tried to bomb the radar towers in England in 1940.

    Nearly all the leaders in WWII just assumed that oil fields and oil refineries would be easy targets for bombers because they contained large amounts of volatile substances. This assumption led to some of the strategic directions the war took (like Hitler trying to hold on to the Crimea because the Soviets could use it to bomb the Romanian oil refineries.)

    But they were mistaken. Refineries were hardened targets, by their very nature. Oil fields, even more so.

    -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

    by Wreck Smurfy on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:23:41 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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