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During WW2, the military built a small piece of Berlin out in the desert near Las Vegas. Its buildings were built according to German standards, using the same layers of wood and masonry, etc., all so that experiments could be conducted into refining the types and mixes of bombs to be dropped on the real city. The aim, as I recall from Mike Davis' description of this, was to see what combo of bombs would best set off a firestorm - a self-feeding fire that would be extremely difficult if not impossible to stop once it got going.

Ah, thanks to the miracle of the Web, you can read his piece about it here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34204778/Mike-Davis-Berlin-s-Skeleton-in-Utah-s-Closet
Winslow @ BLDGBLOG: Urban Target Complex National Monument
Reposted fromfreundeundhelfer freundeundhelfer

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