Al Nofi's CIC
|| Issue #29, April 4, 2001
- Infinite Wisdom
- la Triviata
- Short Rounds
- History's Most Embarrassing Moment? - Almost
- Some People Haven't a Clue
- Briefing - British Empire Mobilization in World War I: Ground Forces
"Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates."
- The Spanish Crown ransomed the survivors of the Armada of 1588 at an average rate of about 100 florins, roughly a seaman's wage for one year.
- Of 142 dispatches emanating from the headquarters of United States Army Forces in the Far East in the period from December 1941 through March 1942, 109 (76%) included the name of only one person, the theater commander, General Douglas MacArthur.
- First airplane shot down in combat was an Italian recon plane, done in by Turkish rifle fire during the 1911 Italo-Turkish War.
- Frederick the Great of Prussia, greatest of the "Soldier Kings," liked to entrain his officers at dinner, but being a tightwad, scrimped on the wine, so that it was not unusual for his guests to bring a flask or two of their own.
- Apparently the first woman veteran to serve in Congress is Representative Heather Wilson (Rep., N.M.), who rose to captain in the Air Force in the immediate post-Vietnam War period.
- During the Napoleonic Wars the "Kingdom of Italy" supplied about 200,000 men to the French army, more than half of whom died.
- During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, a total of 543 ships were subjected to naval or aerial attack, 221 (40%) by Iran and 322 (60%) by Iraq.
- Although over the age for military service, Abraham Lincoln patriotically supplied a substitute to serve in his stead during the Civil War.
History's Most Embarrassing Moment? - Almost
Napoleon once had an encounter on the battlefield that was not only almost fatal, but could actually have been embarrassing as well.
In September of 1813, during the Leipzig Campaign, Napoleon was reconnoitering enemy lines escorted by elements of the 23eme Cheveauleger, commanded by the redoubtable Baron Marbot. Russian troops were active in the area, and the Emperor and his escort were proceeding with care, lest they blunder into the arms of the enemy. Then, quite suddenly, it happened.
A brigade of Russian light cavalry emerged as if from nowhere and swooped down on Napoleon and his escort. Reacting quickly, Marbot ordered a hasty retreat, and the party narrowly eluded being attacked by the 1,100 Bashkir tribesmen., and thus Napoleon survived to fight another day.
It was just as well, fortunately for history, for otherwise it would have been hard to explain Napoleon's death at the hands of troops of a Tsar so poor that they had to use bows and arrows.
Some People Haven't a Clue
Recently a left leaning radio station in a major American city played what the announcer called a "rare piece by Richard Strauss, recorded in the presence of the composer by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Herbert von Karajan in 1943."
Both Strauss and von Karajan were notorious Nazi collaborators. And, of course, in 1943 Vienna was firmly under Nazi control. Apparently the broadcasters hadn't a clue.
Or perhaps they believe that art is above politics. In which case can we look forward to their sponsorship of an exhibition of paintings by Der Fuhrer himself?