Friday, June 19, 2009

"The Art of" - A Great Creative Mind Which Altered History

As you know, I consign the term " the art of" to the process of creativity, whether or not it is endemic to the fine arts; for example, I have already written about the joy of creation as it applied to the great physicist Robert Oppenheimer.
May I again deal with creative genius outside of music and its artistic partners?
One of England's most brilliant engineers, Reginald Mitchell, spent many hours gazing at the flight patterns and motions of birds, and directly utilized his senses in designing an all-metal airplane in 1932 that could exceed 400 miles per hour, at a time when that speed was considered beyond possibility.
His vision found reality past his death in 1937, when after further years of research and modes of fabrication, the Spitfire was pitted, along with its brilliant cousin, the Hurricane, against Hitler's gigantic military machine, when Hitler planned the invasion of Great Britain, after his occupation of France.
Only a handful of men, several hundred in number, dealt the Nazi air force such a severe blow in what was called the Battle of Britain, that Hitler was forced to cancel the invasion, and without defeating England and going to war with Russia, Hitler fought the two-front war which destroyed him and his quest for world domination and what Churchill warned as a "a new dark age."
If it were not for Mitchell's Spitfire (along with the Hurricane), the German Me - 109 might well have governed Britain's skies, and history might have taken a different course.
And so; like Beethoven or Mozart, a great creative mind altered the course of history.
Like Roosevelt, who died just a few weeks before the defeat of the Nazis, Reginald Mitchell did not live to witness the fruits of his labor, let alone his vision.



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