The conquest of France in 1940 supplied the German forces with a hefty inventory of French-built sea mines. The Luftwaffe came up with a plan to drop them by parachute over Britain, not only on port facilities but on inland targets as well. They could be timed to explode at roof level, or to lie on the ground and then go off. See here and here.
Sylvia Townsend Warner has a short story "The Trumpet Shall Sound" about a funeral which would make a fantastic half-hour film with some unexpected CGI toward the end, and that's all I'm saying.
This 1982 West German five Deutsche Mark coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of Goethe's death reproduces the most important bit of the famous portrait Goethe in the Roman Campagna painted by Johann Tischbein around 1786. Working in a very constrained space the coin's designer is forced to suggest the contour of the great writer's hat and cloak with a notch beside his chin. But it also looks like an inverted speech bubble with the text outside and the picture of the speaker inside. The coin is from the online catalog of the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. See also.
Today is Victoria Day, the public holiday to celebrate the birth of Queen Victoria and unofficially mark the beginning of summer in Canada. Victoria Day always falls on a Monday so as to cause a long weekend and consequently lands on Victoria's actual birthday of May 24 only once in a while. The holiday is our last sentimental link to the 19th-century monarch whose person was at one time central to our political and social identity. We buy a lot of beer in anticipation of the beer store being closed, and some of us drown in lakes. In parts of Canada Victoria Day is also known as Firecracker Day.
This year the governments of the Commonwealth are all amending their statutes to allow the Crown to pass to the eldest child of the monarch, instead of the eldest son. This means that if Kate and William's first child is a girl she will probably be Queen of Canada in the second half of this century, if we stick with the monarchy. Might that Queen be named Victoria after Queen Victoria? (Or Victoria Beckham)?
Female lineage doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves, and is normally invisible because there is no shared family name. But if you treat the given name Victoria as a marker, you can draw a tree that overhangs much of Europe.
The first is Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, born in 1786 in Germany, who married her second husband, King George III's fourth son, Prince Edward the Duke of Kent, in 1818, displacing his mistress of many years Julie de St-Laurent, a Canadian. Her daughter the future Queen Victoria was born in 1819. Edward died almost immediately and Princess Victoria carried on as the Dowager Princess of Kent until 1861, a headache to her daughter.
When Alexandrina Victoria was born she was fifth in line to the British throne. Then George III died (1820), her father the Duke of Kent died (1820), her cousin the Princess Elizabeth died (1821), the Duke of York died (1827), and George IV died (1830). William IV had no surviving legitimate children, so from 1830 Alexandrina Victoria was first in line. William IV died in 1837, and the princess became Queen Victoria. She married in 1840, had nine kids, and reigned the British Empire until her death in 1901. She is the most famous person of the 19th century.
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield had an older brother Ferdinand, who had a daughter Victoria, born in 1822, Queen Victoria's cousin and contemporary. She married Louis d'Orléans in 1840 and was afterwards known as Victoria, Duchess of Nemours. Her son married into the Brazilian royal family, which was ousted in 1889.
Queen Victoria's first child was a girl, whom she named Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. In 1858 this Princess Victoria was married to Prince Frederick William of Prussia, heir to the Prussian throne. In 1871 Prussia defeated France and upgraded Frederick William's father's title to German Emperor. In 1888 Frederick William inherited the title of Emperor, making his wife Victoria, German Empress and Queen of Prussia. But Frederick William died almost immediately, and Victoria spent the rest of her days as dowager empress. She died in 1901, just a few months after her mother. If the 2013 rules of succession had been in place in 1840, this Victoria would have become Queen Victoria II in 1901.
Frederick William's sister Louise had a daughter named Viktoria (1862-1930) who married the future King of Sweden and is known as Viktoria, Queen of Sweden.
Victoria the German Empress had eight children, the eldest of which inherited the German throne in 1888 and is still remembered by English-speaking people as Kaiser Bill. Her fifth child was Princess Viktoria of Prussia. Viktoria was born in 1866, and was married in 1890 to a German prince, Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, who died in 1916. They had no children. The German Empire became a republic in 1918. Viktoria married a Russian dancer in 1927, and died in 1929.
Edward VII, brother of Victoria the German Empress, had a daughter called Princess Victoria (1868-1935). She never married.
Princess Alice, the sister of Victoria the German Empress and Edward VII, married Prince Louis of Hesse who eventually became Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and they had a daughter known as Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (1863-1950) until she married Prince Louis of Battenberg, after which she was styled Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven. She was the mother of Louis Mountbatten.
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the brother of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress and Princess Alice, had a daughter named Princess Victoria Meita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1876-1936). She married, then divorced, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, and then married Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia. After the Russia Revolution they dragged around Europe while he claimed the throne of Russia.
Helena, the sister of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress, Princess Alice, and Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and had a daughter Princess Helena Victoria (1870-1948).
Beatrice, the sister of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress, Alice, Alfred and Helena, married Prince Henry of Battenberg and had a daughter Victoria Eugenie (1887-1969) who in 1906 married King Alfonso XIII of Spain. She is the grandmother of the present king.
Kaiser Bill had a daughter named Viktoria Luise (1892-1980). When she was eighteen they named a steamship after her. That's her on the left in the photo, wearing the death's head hat.
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden (born 1977) is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne.
When Japanese visitors to the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung in Berlin find themselves in front of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti, do they wonder, "When are they going to paint the other eye?" In Japan the figure of Daruma receives a second eye when some important task has been completed. Perhaps Nefertiti's one eye is saying, "You still haven't returned me to Egypt."
The 2. Eishockey-Bundesliga (2. BL for short) is the second tier of professional ice hockey in Germany. There are currently thirteen cubs, a few of which have been in the top tier, the DEL. Several locked-out NHLers have signed with clubs in the 2. BL.
Each club plays 48 games in the regular season. The top eight clubs go into the playoffs: quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, all best-of-seven. The winner might gain promotion to the DEL, if it's a year they're doing that.
The 2. BL is sometimes open to relegation/promotion at the bottom end. Last season the five non-playoff teams took part in a playout tournament, in which each team played each other twice. Fischtown Pinguins fared the worst, but were reprieved when the winner of the third-tier Oberliga declined promotion. (At least, I think that's how it turned out.)
The clubs are:
Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers. Founded in 1991, Die Steelers were league champions in 2009. Their rink is the Eisarena Ellental, which seats 2,662. Bietigheim-Bissingen is in Baden-Württemberg. (Among other attractions the town boasts a Japanese garden, created to honour Erwin Bälz, the founder of modern medicine in Japan.) Colours: green, white and blue. [T.J. Galiardi of the Sharks and Joshua Bailey of the Islanders have signed with the Steelers.]
Eispiraten Crimmitschau. Officially Eishockey Und Tennis Club Crimmitschau. This is one of three clubs in this league that are located in the state of Saxony, the part of the former DDR that bordered Czechoslovakia. The ice hockey half of the club was founded in 1927. Their rink is the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark, which seats 5,222. Red, white and black. There is no such thing as an ice pirate, though with the opening of the Arctic Ocean that could change. [Chris Stewart of the Blues and Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers each played five games with Crimmitschau before moving on to Liberec of the Czech Extraliga. Clarke MacArthur of the Leafs has signed with Crimmitschau.]
Dresdner Eislöwen. There is no such thing as an ice lion, either. Founded 1990. They play at the EnergieVerbund Arena (capacity 4,200) in Dresden, Saxony. Colours: blue and white.
Fischtown Pinguins. From Bremerhaven on the North Sea. Founded 1974. Colours: red, white and black.
Hannover Indians. Founded in 1948. The Indians play at the Eisstadion am Pferdeturm (capacity 4,608). Blue, white and red. There should be a tournament between all the European hockey clubs nicknamed The Indians.
Heilbronner Falken. Falcons. Red, white and blue. They play at Kolbenschmidt Arena (4,000) in Heilbron, Baden-Württemberg. Founded 1980. [Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings and Bruno Gervais of the Philadelphia Flyers have signed with Heilbronner.]
ESV Kaufbeuren. Red and gold. They play at Sparkassen Arena (4,600) in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria. Founded 1946. They have been second-tier champions six times over the years.
Landshut Cannibals. Founded in 1946. They were members of the DEL for five years in the Nineties, when they adopted the Cannibals brand. (The Nineties have a lot of bad sports marketing decisions to answer for.) 2012 2. BL champion. Städtische Eissporthalle Landshut holds 4,996. Red and white.
Lausitzer Füchse. Foxes. Their rink is the Eisstadion Weißwasser (capacity 2,750) in Weißwasser, in the part of Saxony known as Oberlausitz, hence the Lausitzer. The club was founded in 1950 and won the East German league 25 times under the name SG Dynamo Weißwasser. Colours: blue and gold. [Jaroslav Halak of the St Louis Blues has signed with Lausitzer.]
Ravensburg Towerstars. This team from began as a skating club in 1881, and took up hockey in 1968. They won the league in 2011, but it did not earn them promotion. Blue and white. Eissporthalle Ravensburg holds 3,300 fans. Ravensburg is just a few miles from Lake Constance, which separates Germany and Switzerland. [Adam Hall of Tampa Bay has signed with Ravensburg.]
SC Riessersee. This venerable club was founded in 1920. They play at the Olympia-Eissport-Zentrum (capacity 6,929) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games. They have been champions of Germany or West German ten times, most recently in 1981. Colours: Blue and white. [Matt D'Agostini of the Blues and Rick DiPietro of the Islanders have signed with Riessersee. After first signing with EV Füssen of the third-tier Oberliga, Erik Condra of the Ottawa Senators has upgraded to Riessersee.]
Starbulls Rosenheim. Three time West German champs in the Eighties, and members of the DEL for six years in the Nineties. Städtische Kathrein-Stadion holds 5,900. If the emblem of Rosenheim, Bavaria, were a star and a bull, I could understand the name Starbulls, but it's a rose, so I don't. Colours: green, white, red and black.
SERC Wild Wings. The coat of arms of Schwenningen in Baden-Württemberg features a swan, and it's the swan's wild wings that give this club its unusual name. They play at the Helios Arena (capacity 6,215). They spent nine years in the DEL. Colours: double blue and white.