"A pom pom is an excellent weapon when you are using it, but it is a horrid thing when the other chap has got it."
|--||Sgt. P.C. Jonas, 12th Battalion, |
Imperial Yeomanry, South Africa, 1900,
on the 37mm Vickers-Maxim Quick Fire gun.
- During his first Italian campaign (April 1796-April 1797), General Buonaparte defeated three armies, capturing more than 150 colors and standards along with some 40,000 troops, with much of their equipment, not to mention “the most fertile plains in the world,” with an army that never exceeded 30,000 men.
- A dubious account records that the Roman Emperor-aspirant Clodius Albinus (r. 193-197) was a gourmand who once breakfasted on 500 figs, 100 peaches, ten melons, four dozen oysters, and 100 beccaficae, a little bird native to Italy that is particularly fond of figs, before having some grapes for dessert.
- Irked at Wellington’s imperious manner, George IV (1820-1830) often referred to him in private conversation as “King Arthur,” a nickname that found some popularity among the Duke’s political opponents.
- When the Great Condé (1621-1686) offered a reward of 50 louis d’or – an enormous sum – to anyone who could set fire to a heavily defended enemy palisade, one of his soldiers surprisingly offered to do the deed for a promotion to the much-less proftiable post of sergeant instead, which, proving agreeable to the general, he promptly did.
- During World War II the LCT (R) or “landing craft, tank (rocket),” often seen in films of amphibious landings, could fire 729 projectiles in a few seconds, which, according to an estimate by the Royal Navy, was the equivalent of 80 cruisers or 200 destroyers firing simultaneously.
- When King Charles V of France (r. 1364-1380) asked his young son, later Charles VI (r. 1380-1422), whether he preferred the gold and diamond-studded royal crown or the polished steel royal war helmet, the boy opted for the latter, though in the event he proved an extraordinary inept monarch, whether on the battlefield or in court.
- As a teenager John Stark (1728-1822), who later won the Battle of Bennington, was forced by Indians to run the gantlet, but, wresting a club from one of his tormentors, defended himself so well that the rest of them decided to make him an honorary chief.
- Complaining that the cavalry was not doing well during the retreat from Moscow in 1812, Marshal Murat demanded an explanation from General of Division Etienne-Marie-Antoine Champion de Nansouty, who replied, “. . . the horses possess no patriotism. Our soldiers fight pretty well, even when they are without bread, but the horses will absolutely do nothing unless they get their oats."
Portions of "Al
Nofi's CIC" have appeared previously in Military Chronicles,
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Chronicles (www.militarychronicles.com), used with permission, all rights