(Square Fish, 160 pp.)
A collision of two ships, one loaded with munitions, in Halifax Harbor in 1917 caused an explosion of unparalleled magnitude. “Blizzard of Glass” tells the story of this devastating disaster and the heroic recovery efforts in its aftermath.
“When Mont-Blanc’s cargo exploded, it was the largest manmade explosion that had ever occurred. It remained so until August 6, 1945, when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II.
“Alan Ruffman and David Simpson, two scientists who later studied the explosive power of Mont-Blanc’s cargo, estimated that the temperature at the center of the explosion was about 9,032 degrees Fahrenheit – more that three times hotter than the temperature needed to melt iron. The initial speed of the shock wave as it traveled out from the explosive cargo was about 5,000 feet per second – nearly five times faster than sound travels through air. No one could outrun the supersonic blast.”