The U.S. At War, CIVILIAN DEFENSE: To Meet the Improbable

The block wardens met at 8 p.m. in the Borough Hall. It was like a town meeting. The atmosphere was serious, solemn, a little ponderous. They were practical men, met to discuss practical steps to be taken. Nobody suggested the extreme improbability of the Luftwafte bombing this little country town; all the discussion, all the questions centered about the practical details of what to do when the Luftwaffe came.

The chairman, a serious young man, talked of incendiary bombs (one plane can carry as many as 2,000), of the consequences of a lucky...