So asks reader Will, an engineer who’s evidently familiar with the story of pykrete. He’s referring to a story, almost certainly made up, about Churchill’s first, er…exposure to the material. It’s said that one day in early 1943 Lord Mountbatten showed up unexpectedly at Churchill’s country home carrying a mysterious box. Informed that the prime minister was in the bath, Mountbatten leapt up the stairs saying “Good, that’s exactly where I’d hoped he’d be.” He burst into Churchill’s bath room and surreptitiously plopped a chunk of pykrete into the steaming tub, right between Chuchill’s legs. It didn’t melt, and the next day Churchill authorized operation Habakkuk.
It’s a funny story, but speaking for myself I find the thought of Churchill discussing military strategy in the buff disturbing. Who knows, maybe he did. And maybe the Yalta Conference actually happened in a hot tub. Anything’s possible, but brrrrrrrr…what a thought. Clearly I need a weekend. Have a good one, all!