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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #13 - June 4, 1989

			Pipes Digest #13 - June 4, 1989

In the pipeline:

- Two from Bill Thacker about the Battle of Britain, as it was really fought!

- One from yr. obd't. servant, about summer tobacco suggestions, and the
  smogfights which, nearly half a century ago, filled the London skies with...


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From: [email protected]
Subject: Jersey shops and new members of the family

Steve Masticola writes:

(re: visit to the Tinder Box)

>The attendant (a youth who didn't appear too savvy about pipes - he asked me
>if I was interested in a "messerschaum") 

Well, aren't you ?   Most people would kill for one !

The youth of today may have forgotten that time in 1940, the Blitz,
when the dreaded Messerchaums ruled the skies over Britain.  These
deadly German fighter pipes were the scourge of the Royal Pipe Force,
and left ashes wherever they went.   The Germans had something of a
technological advantage, of course; fueled by high-octane Turkish tobaccos,
the Messerschaums smoked faster than the more traditional English Spitfires,
and packed a tremendous bite; as a drawback, this fuel made the Messer's
easier to light.

Of course, the tides were finally turned by the arrival of the Americans;
our Pipe-38 (Lighter) , P-47 (Thunderburl), and P-51 (Mouthsting)
were more than a match for for anything the Germans could carve.  The few
remaining Messerschaums are real collectors' items, though I've heard
they're difficult to smoke in a tailwind.


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Bill Thacker			att!cbema!wbt	     ??????????????????

From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Messerschaums

In the last Pipes Digest, someone noted that the clerk at a local Tinder
Box offered to sell him a "messerschaum."  I'm astounded that any
pipe afficianado would turn one down !

Maybe kids today are too young to remember back to those frightening days
of 1940, when the dreaded Messerschaums ruled the skies over Britain. A
failing of our educational system, no doubt...

For those unfamiliar, the Messerschaum was Germany's premier fighting pipe
in the early years of WWII.  Its light construction and excellent cooling
properties enabled it to smoke high-octane Turkish tobaccos, which
generally burned too hot for the more conventional English briars.  The
result was a fast-smoking pipe, highly maneuverable, but dangerously easy
to light.  Despite the latter failing, it was clearly superior to the older
British fighting pipes.

The only possible English counter was to increase the Latakia content
of their tobaccos, and to smoke these high-test mixtures in the aptly-named
Spitfire which, while nearly the equal of the German pipe, was extremely
uncomfortable to smoke; pilots had to have periodic time off to recover
from 3rd degree tongue burns.  Doggedly, though, the Royal Aromatics Force
fought off the Pipewaffe, until America's entry into the war added
thousands of modern pipes to the British arsenal.  The Germans were finally
beaten when the bombing of the Rumanian tobacco fields near Ploesti
deprived them of their powerful fuel, forcing them to use lower grades
of homegrown, poorly aged and blended.o

Truly, though, that  dark time, when Britain alone stood in the face of
the Nazi blitz, was British smokers' Finest Hour.


8-) 8-) 8-)


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Bill Thacker			att!cbema!wbt	     ??????????????????



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From: Steve Masticola (?????????????????????????)
Subject: Summer smoking, and pipe warfare!

Rick Shoopak writes:

	With the coming summer I was wondering whether anybody had a
	particularly favorite outdoor smoke.  

Well, I did, anyway - "Bean's Mixture", from L. L. Bean himself! In fact,
for a long time this was my favorite smoke. Bean's no longer sells it, and I
have only a small sample left. I heard somewhere (here? the Ephemeris?)
about a tobacconist who can duplicate any blend, given a sample; I'll have
to get on the stick and re-locate this shop.

In general, though, I'd tend to prefer natural or light-aromatic tobacco.
Scanning through "The Ultimate Pipe Book", a mixture of Virginia (for
flavor) and long-cut Burley and/or Maryland might be nice. Perhaps you could
get all three and run an experiment!


		And now for something completely different...


Thanks to Bill for his, as usual, insightful comments on the Messerschaum
fighter pipes. Bill, unfortunately you forgot to mention the Messerschaum
ME-262, the world's first jet pipe. 

The ME-262, produced toward the end of the war, had a top speed of an
astonishing 400 bowls per hour and could blow rings around any fighter pipe
then on the Allies' drawing boards. Due to the high G(unk) loads, pilots of
the ME-262 had to tape their tongues to keep from blacking out in the fierce
fire of battle. The ME-262 had nothing to fear from Allied fighterpipes;
dozens of American B-29 Smokerfortress bomber pipes never made it back to
their home racks when they encountered the Messerschaum jets.

Fortunately for the Allies, Nazi dictator Adolph Bitler decreed that the
ME-262 would be used as a bomber rather than a fighter. The tiny two ounces
of Perique explosive that the Messerschaum jets could carry in their
bomb-bowls was no threat to the Allied Forces. Soon after Bitler's fateful
decision, Allied high-altitude daylight precision smoking stemmed ME-262
production, and shortages of high-nicotine Latakia fuel from Ploesti spelled
its final demise.

				   - - -

In later chapters: the story of the helipipeter, from its invention by Igor
Smokorsky to the jungles of Vietnam and the devastating, giant "Gooey"
helipipeter gunkship.

				8-9 8-9 8-9 

Now, really...

From the _Ephemeris_, kind of with permission, a bit about pipe smoking in
the Battle of Britain.

"I flew many missions as wingman to the group commander, Col. Henry Spicer,
a daring pilot with bristling mustaches, who loved to dogfight and could
care less about personal risks. Spicer smoked a big briar pipe, and on the
return home, he always dropped down to below 12,000 feet, unhooked his
oxygen mask, and had himself a smoke. As his wingman, I dropped down with
him right over Paris. German flak guns began pounding at us, but I could see
Spicer in his cockpit tamping his tobacco and lighting his Zippo. We were
practically over the rooftops when the tracers flashed by my canopy. I spoke
into my mike: 'Christ, Colonel Spicer, we're gonna get shot down.' I saw him
chuckle through a cloud of pipe smoke. 'Relax, laddie,' he replied. 'Those
bastards couldn't hit a billboard.' Colonel Spicer was later shot down by a
burst of white flak near the French coast, after he had descended to 12,000
feet to light that damned pipe. He bailed out over the channel, but the
Germans picked him up."

- From _Yeager_, by General Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos.


Also see _Reach for the Sky_ by Paul Brickhill, about Wing Commander Douglas
Bader, the legendary legless British ace. Bader also liked to smoke his pipe
in the cockpit, but had different ideas about what was dangerous - he smoked
while he was on oxygen, a serious fire hazard. Like Spicer, Bader was also
shot down and captured by the Germans (and attempted escape twice, despite
having no legs!) Conclusive proof - pipe smokers have character!


Enough war stories! Please send me something peaceful! Until next time,

	Smoke in peace,
	~\U Steve.


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 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #13 - June 4, 1989
  2. Subject: Jersey shops and new members of the family
  3. Subject: Messerschaums
  4. Subject: Summer smoking, and pipe warfare!
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