|"I cannot tune a harp nor play a lyre, but I know how to make a small city great."|
|--||Themistocles, son of Neocles,|
urging the Athenians to built a fleet,
- Martin Schwartz (c. 1450-1487), a notoriously brutal mercenary who was killed commanding Landsknechts – German pikemen – for the Yorkists against Henry VII of England during the Battle of Stoke Field (June 16, 1487) became a professional soldier because it was both more exciting and more profitable than his initial career choice, cobbler.
- During the First World War, an estimated 32 million Americans joined the Red Cross, nearly a third of the population.
- Early in 1921 Winston Churchill, then Secretary for War and Air, proposed recruiting African troops to help suppress the Arab Nationalist uprising in Mesopotamia (Iraq), which met with some interest in the British Army, but was quickly forgotten as the revolt petered out by year’s end.
- In 260 BC Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio was given command of Rome’s first fleet, and promptly let it be trapped and destroyed by the Carthaginians in harbor in the Lipari Islands, north of Sicily, for which he was ever afterwards referred to as “ Scipio Asina – Scipio the Ass”.
- Between 1756 and 1815 some 26,000 orphaned or impoverished boys were sent into the Royal Navy by the Marine Society, a charitable foundation, of whom about a quarter were named “John”, with “William”, “Thomas”, and “James” together accounting for about another quarter.
- By September of 1916, the British Expeditionary Force in France required 1,934 tons of rations, munitions, and supplies per mile of front per day.
- Canadians have been awarded the Victoria Cross 80 times, and the Medal of Honor 41 times, the latter including two awards to Robert A. Sweeney (1853-1890), an Ordinary Seaman in the U.S. Navy, for saving men from downing at the risk of his own life, on Oct. 21, 1881, and Dec. 20, 1883.
- While British medical records from the First World War indicate that only about 0.32 percent of casualties were inflicted by the bayonet, it’s worth keeping in mind that these figures are based largely on men brought back to dressing stations, and thus may omit hundreds or even thousands of bodies that were never recovered.
- During the Russo-Finnish “Winter War” of 1939-1940, the Red Army distributed about 50,000 decorations, including 400 awards of the highest honor, “Hero of the Soviet Union”, nearly four for every one of the 105 days of fighting.