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August 27, 2014


Richard J

From recent reading:


"A word on setting houses on fire."

(Worth reading, by the way.)


Or this from Richard F Burton...

"...to the northwards, clusters a native town, rising phoenix-like from the ruins. It was bombarded to correct a mutinous tendency, in 1854, by H. M. S. Scourge..."



Sir Charles Gwynn's "Imperial Policing" had, IIRC, an entire chapter on how best to burn villages. (Top tip! Allow the inhabitants to remove their Korans and aged relatives before you set fire to their roofs, in order to minimise resulting dissatisfaction.)

Richard J

Which, in slightly less war-crimey news, reminds me that when someone first reconstructed an Iron Age roundhouse, they not unreasonably put a hole in the thatch for the fire place.

And were then surprised to find out that they'd basically created a furnace. Turns out that the smoke basically drifts up to just above head-height and then diffuses through, while acting as a helpful fumigant against bugs etc. too.

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