Opportunity Costs

Edward Luttwak

  • BuyThe Bombing War: Europe 1939-45 by Richard Overy
    Allen Lane, 852 pp, £30.00, September 2013, ISBN 978 0 7139 9561 9

The scenes of terror which took place in the firestorm area are indescribable. Children were torn away from their parents’ hands by the force of the hurricane and whirled into the fire. People who thought they had escaped fell down, overcome by the devouring force of the heat and died in an instant … The sick and infirm had to be left behind by the rescuers as they themselves were in danger of burning … And these days were followed by more nights of more horror, yet more smoke and soot, heat and dust and more death and destruction … Posterity can only bow its head in honour of the fate of these innocents, sacrificed by the murderous lust of a sadistic enemy.

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[*] Italian industrial workers visiting British plants in the 1980s could not believe how meanly their British counterparts lived, with fish and chips at home and beer in Benidorm, instead of their month-long driving holidays through Greece and winter scuba in Sharm el Sheikh; today, they are far more likely to be unemployed.