Richard North, 04/11/2004  

I could not resist remarking on the historical parallel raised by the central role of Ohio state in the current US elections, and earlier events. Ohio once again it seems – depending on your point of view – has come to the rescue of the free world.

The previous occasion, as history buffs will know, was when the Ohio – pride of the Texaco fleet – limped into the Grand Harbour, Valetta on 15 August 1942, with its precious cargo of gasoline, thus lifting the siege of Malta.

This coincided with the feast of Santa Maria ans was widely regarded as a miracle by the highly religious peoples of Malta. Had the Ohio not made it, Malta had been scheduled to surrender to Axis forces by 31 August, the repercussions of which for the whole of the Allied campaign would have been profound.

Europe may not even have been released from the tyranny of the Nazis, now to be able to boast about exporting its "European values" back to the Americans.

And why OH 10? That's what the British matelots nicknamed the ship, just to wind up the Yanks. In certain things, nothing changes.

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