Al Nofi's CIC
|| Issue #24, Febuary 28, 2001
- Infinite Wisdom
- la Triviata
- Short Rounds
- "Firepower Kills!"
- An Early Commentary on Defense Analysts?
- Briefing: The Armies of 1914: Prescribed Ratios Among the Arms
"Battles are not always fought by efficient soldiers."
--Rafael de Nogales
- The last occasion on which monarchs commanded on both sides in a battle was at the Slivnitza, November 17-19, 1885, when the Serbians under King Milan were soundly beaten by the Bulgarians under Prince Alexander Battenberg.
- The presidency of Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) was the only one in American History during which not a single major combat ship was added to the navy.
- Attila the Hun, famous for ravaging Roman Empire in the mid-fifth century, while consummating his marriage to a teenaged girl.
- Arguably the first American casualty of the Second World War was Robert Short, of Tacoma, Washington, a former U.S. Army Air Corps pilot, working as a salesman for Boeing in China, who made several demonstration flights against Japanese aircraft in a Boeing Model 218 Fighter, scoring at least one kill, before being shot down by Japanese naval aviator Yoshiro Sakemago in an A1N2 off the carrier Kaga, near Soochow on February 22, 1932.
- Count Luigi Fernando Marsigli, who later became a marshal in Hapsburg service and went on to found the Institute of Science at the University of Bologna, managed to survive the general massacre of prisoners by the Turks after the Battle of the Raab in 1683 because of his skill with an espresso machine.
- The Austrian Army field service regulations of 1806 remained in force until 1866.
In 1898, during a period of rising tensions between the British Empire and the Boer Republics of Southern Africa, the British decided to impress upon the uncouth burghers the power and effectiveness of modern military technology.
They staged a demonstration of artillery fire. A flock of 100 sheep were led on to a hill. A battery of the Royal Artillery then proceeded to shell the hill with some of Her Majesty's best for fully 20 minutes. When the smoke cleared it transpired that all of the sheep were completely uninjured. Indeed, to add insult to injury, there were now in fact 101 sheep on the hill, for a pregnant ewe had delivered during the bombardment. The British attempt to teach the Boers a lesson had failed.
Or perhaps not, for the Boer War broke out a few months later.
An Early Commentary on Defense Analysts?
In exile after his disastrous defeat in the Second Punic War, the great Carthaginian general Hannibal traveled through the Hellenistic kingdoms of the east seeking safety, and the possibility of stirring up new enemies against Rome.
At one point in his travels he chanced to be in Ephesus, in Ionia, a guest of the Seleucid King Antiochus I. The local prominenti spared no expense both to entertain and impress the great commander.
Thus, when, one day, Hannibal expressed an interest in hearing some of the many philosophers who made the city their home, his new-found friends urged him to visit Phormio, for he was, they said, an expert in the theory and practice of war. Interested, Hannibal attended one of Phormio's lectures.
Hannibal listened quietly as the brainy intellectual - who had never done a day's military service in his life - droned on and on about the conduct of war. When the lecture was over, Hannibal still said nothing, but merely walked quietly walked away.
Later some of his friends asked him what he thought of the great Phormio. Hannibal looked at them for a moment, and then said "In my lifetime I have seen many mad men. But never have I seen one madder than Phormio."