"Forget I said That!"
The speed with which Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army drove across France in the late summer of 1944 is well known. Only a little less well known are the problems Patton's drive caused rear echelon element trying to keep the troops supplied with fuel and ammunition. But few know that Patton's famous drive also created problems for the Army Air Forces.
In fact, so serious were these problems that at a briefing, a staff officer from Brig. Gen. Otto P. Weyland's XIX Tactical Air Corps complained bitterly of the difficulties which air force ground element were having in keeping up with the Third Army's rapid advance.
Whereupon, Patton leaned over and, in a stage whisper, said to Weyland, "Opie, it would be a terrible thing if the ground forces should outrun the air forces, wouldn't it."
That was the last anyone ever heard from the air force about any problems "keeping up."
The Cost of War
During the American Civil War, one method of inducing men to enlist was to offer a cash bounty. Even after the institution of the draft by the Union in mid-1863 - over a year after the Confederacy had resorted to this step - the practice of awarding bounties continued, since a county that fulfilled its draft quota through voluntary enlistment was free from conscription.
Of course, competition among localities for the available manpower was fierce. There was a Federal bounty, and virtually every state offered an additional bounty, as did many counties and most cities. It is believed that some $750 million in good nineteenth century money was paid out in bounties during the war to convince some 1.8 million men to join the Union armies, or roughly $435 for each man. This enormous sum was ...
- equal to the entire army payroll for the whole war, at a time when privates made $15 a month.
- greater than all quartermaster expenditures for the war .
- equal to twice the cost of all rations issued during the war .
- five times greater than the cost of all 7,892 pieces of artillery procured by the Union Army during the war.