Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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It is rather sobering to walk amongst the ruins of the German fortifications. Though very little remains, and they're really wasn't a whole lot there to begin with (it doesn't take much to hold off an invading force when dug in), it's easy to see how it all fit together. The big guns, the little guns, the jagged trenches, the offset walls to protect the entrances -- everything has such a clear purpose and brutal efficiency. I couldn't help wondering if we'd have defended our shores in the exact same way, with the same configurations, the same technologies, had we been threatened in the same way. The science of killing takes no sides.

In both gunposts through which I crawled I found a curious pattern: one corner of the interior was eroded, or worn, or damaged more than the rest. Most of the interior was remarkably well preserved -- fifty years of weather having shown virutally no sign. However, in one corner, shards of rusting steel rebar snaked out of the concrete in a twisted mass, the wall broken and crumbling away. It took a moment to work out the angles and the reasons, but I stood shocked when I realized it must have come from allied sea-side bombardment: each crushed corner was diametrically opposed to the gunpost entrance, facing directly to the sea down the precise trajectory of a massive allied gunbarrel.

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