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Standing in the open and with no access Guatemala City Guatemala to specialist conservators, many of the First World War field pieces (including the Childers howitzer) gradually rusted and fell into general disrepair. The persistent grief that many who served (or lost family members) in 1914-18 and 1939-45 experienced has, with their gradual passing, Guatemala City Guatemala similarly departed our general consciousness. One consequence has been that, along with a rising romantic embrace of a perceived warrior past, a number of Fried Krupp’s big guns have been restored to their former, grey-painted glory. In economically Guatemala City Guatemala challenged small towns, any obtrusive artefact that might cause passing tourists to stop and engage with local businesses is worth preserving. Kids climb over the Guatemala City Guatemala cold steel of these physically imposing death machines, while adults may, for a variety of reasons, be intrigued and/or appalled.

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Modern armies are still equipped with field artillery, though canon shells may take second place to rockets (perhaps launched from high-flying drones) when it comes to targetted murder from a distance. Electronics and lightweight alloys are replacing the iron component of Bismarck’s iron and blood, though there’s still plenty of blood being spilled. But responsibility for this can’t in any way be laid at the feet of either the ThyssenKrupp AG of today, or the citizens of modern Essen. In our time, we’re more likely to encounter Krupp emblazoned on a set of kitchen scales, a coffee maker or the lifts (elevators) in a tall building. Regrettably, though, their swords into ploughshares strategy has by no means caught on across the planet.

If there is some relic of the old Krupp munitions works that can still be seen in Essen we weren’t invited to go there. But we did visit one great monument to the Ruhr of former times, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex. In decades of going to scientific meetings this was the first time I’d had the experience of being entertained and dined at a coalmine.

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