Monday, December 07, 2020

The Halifax Explosion

I managed to live to the ripe old age of 81 and had never heard of the Halifax Explosion of Dec. 6, 1917. Until the atom bomb, it was the largest explosion known to mankind. Two ships tried to evade a collision both loaded for the war effort in Europe, but hit each other. The Mont-Blanc was carrying 2,925 metric tons of explosives—including 62 metric tons of guncotton, 246 metric tons of benzol, 250 metric tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT), and 2,367 metric tons of picric acid. About 2,000 people died, and many thousands injured, people come out to watch see only the smoke and then there was the explosion. I happened to hear the author John U. Bacon being interviewed about his book, "The Great Halifax Explosion : A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism."

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