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September 30, 2014

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Al Nofi's CIC
  Issue #214, September 22th, 2008  
  This Issue...
 

Infinite Wisdom

"Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general."

--Barbara Tuchman,
The Guns of August

 

La Triviata

  • “Parataxis,” a lit-crit term describing works in which “discrete segments of either poetry or prose follow each other in sequence,” like Caesar’s "Veni; vidi; vici," is actually the ancient Greek military word for “deployed for battle,” that is, with the troops formed up side by side.

  • In the early years of the nineteenth century, Regular Army enlisted men were wont to refer to general officers as “Big Bugs,” a practice that seems to have continued until after the War of 1812.

  • The only Canadian warship lost during World War I, the patrol vessel Galiano, which foundered in heavy seas in Queen Charlotte Sound on October 31, 1918, was named after Cdr. Dionisio Alcala Galiano of the Spanish Navy, who, before being killed in action at Trafalgar, had explored that very stretch of the northeastern Pacific.

  • Between 1620 and 1719, about 30-percent of all Swedish men who reached the age of 15 died in military service, including two kings, Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII, making the death rate for male sovereigns 50-percent.

  • In 1914, some of the first French prisoners of war to arrive in Germany were warmly received by the people, and offered wine and sweets.

  • Reportedly, upon being offered an honorary doctorate by Oxford University during his visit to England in 1814, the eccentric Prussian Field Marshal Blucher asked if his Chief-of-Staff Gneisenau could be made an honorary apothecary, as he could not have achieved his victories without him.

  • During the late 1870s, the normal working day of officers assigned to staff duties at the Austro-Hungarian Imperial-and-Royal War Ministry in Vienna ran from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • For aiding casualties during the Battle for Hue City in February of 1968, the Marines awarded the Bronze Star Medal, with “V” for Valor, to journalists Al Webb of U.P.I., David Greenway of Time, both of whom were wounded, and Charles Mohr of The New York Times, the only civilians so honored by the corps in the Vietnam War.

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Portions of "Al Nofi's CIC" have appeared previously in Military Chronicles,

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