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HABBAKUK - Biblical prophet who said "Cast your eyes over the nations and be amazed, astounded. For I am doing something in your own days that you would not believe if you were told it" Hab 1:5

Note: this is a short version of the page at the Archives and Collections Society.

WWII project to fool the Germans with an overgrown aircraft carrier. The idea was spawned by an English chappie called Geoffrey Nathaniel Pyke, who invented "pycrete" (Pyke / concrete) a mixture of ice and sawdust that was extremely strong and very slow to melt (rumour has it that Winston Churchill was very impressed with a chunk of it that he experimentally took into his bath tub with him.)

The original plan was for one (at least) "aircraft carrier" 2000 feet long, weighing in at 1.8 million tons. Walls 50 feet thick would house generators and refrigeration equipment to keep the thing from self-destructing. Then living quarters and even hangars would be added.

The inevitable happened - costs got out of control. It was estimated it needed 8000 men 8 months and $70 million (at that time, early 40's!) to build. Finally the British Combined Ops HQ put it quietly to rest, but not before a 60 foot by 30 foot "model" was built here in Canada (on Lake Patricia, Alberta). The model, made by just a handful of workers in two months, disguised to look like a boat house (to hide it from "enemy reconnaissance") weighed over a thousand tons and was completed in March 1943.

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18/3/99 revised 8/5/01   Copyright © 1999
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