"With all military histories, it is necessary to remember that war is not a matter of maps with red and blue arrows and oblongs, but of weary, thirsty men with sore feet and aching shoulders wondering where they are."
|--||George MacDonald Fraser, |
The Border Regiment,
- Although usually thought of as bedecked with ribbons and orders, it appears that Gen. George S. Patton wore all his honors only once, when sitting for a portrait.
- The international campaign that eradicated small pox in the world’s population between 1959 and 1979 cost about $300 million, equal to about five hours of global military spending of that final year.
- Acting on a suggestion by air power enthusiast William “Billy” Mitchell, in September of 1921, mine owners in West Virginia hired civilian aircraft to drop bombs on striking workers.
- The coup on December 2, 1851 that turned President Louis Napoleon Bonaparte of the Second French Republic into Emperor Napoleon III of the Second Empire, was code named “Project Rubicon,” after the river famously crossed by Caesar in 49 BC.
- On January 1, 1934, the Nazi regime decreed that when spelling something over the radio or telephone one was required to use the appropriately Aryan “D as in Dora” and “S as in Siegfried” rather than the “Jewish” words “David” and “Samuel.”
- During operations between Kut and Baghdad in Mesopotamia in 1916, Arab irregulars indiscriminately harassed both sides so annoyingly that presidential son Kermit Roosevelt, serving as a volunteer with the British, reported rumors the Turks had offered a three day truce so that the two sides could join forces and drive the marauders away.
- As late as April 6, 1941, just eleven weeks before they were to launch Operation Barbarossa and invade the Soviet Union, the German high command were also developing plans to put eight divisions into Spain to capture Gibraltar and then invade northwest Africa and nine into Libya to help the Italians invade Egypt, and follow up with 14 into Turkey, and later 18 to press on into Iran and then on to Afghanistan, to prepare for an conquest of India.
- For a time during the reign of Nero (AD 54-68), Servius Sulpicius Galba, (later emperor for a few months in 68-69), lived in retirement at Fundi, half way between Rome and Naples, supposedly with a coach at the ready loaded with 10,000 gold aurei (about 80 kilograms), should he have to flee imperial wrath; worth perhaps $3-$3½ million today, the gold was relatively much more valuable in ancient times.