According to Ian V. Hogg: Twentieth Century Artillery, with premeditated destructive effect! While it could and frequently did fire smoke, that was only one of its many tasks - Hogg notes that the name was a way of getting around the Versailles Treaty provision that barred Germany from having too much heavy artillery. Which brings us round to metaphorical smokescreens again...
Much of the definition here seems to be a mis-reading of The Fifth Elephant, where Vimes's briefing notes tell him that "the fifth elephant" may refer to "a thing which does not exist". This connotation is further related to the A-M expression "Klatchian mist." Other meanings of "fifth elephant" include "a thing which is other than it seems" and "a thing which, while unseen, controls events", or an éminence grise. This is defining "fifth elephant, not "Klatchian mist". (The HarperCollins paperback also spells grise wrong; I wonder if that's just Harper.) --Old Dickens 19:36, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
- I think you're right --Sanity 13:57, 12 January 2009 (UTC)