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Al Nofi's CIC
  Issue #219, October 27th, 2008  
  This Issue...
 

Infinite Wisdom

"Fighting for one’s country sounds fine until you start on the job."

--Captain R. B. Britten,
37th (Buckinghamshire) Company
Imperial Yeomanry,
South Africa, 1899

 

La Triviata

  • Although one of the most redoubtable soldiers in the history of the U.S. Army, presidential son Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., who earned a Medal of Honor on Utah Beach to add to an already impressive collection of decorations, was so careless of his appearance that an aide said he could be mistaken for a battalion cook.

  • During China’s Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), male peasants were liable for two years of military service between the ages of 23 and 56.

  • Between 1585 and 1595, Elizabethan England subsidized the Dutch in their war for independence from Spain to the tune of £100,000, and Henri of Navarre in his effort to secure the throne of France in the amount of £300,000, at a time when Crown revenues were only about £250,000 a year.

  • A the outbreak of World War I, George Dyson (1883–1964), the first Director of Music of the Royal Naval College, volunteered for military service, and while serving in the trenches wrote a manual on the use of hand grenades, before being invalided out as “shell shocked,” later becoming a distinguished composer.

  • Between 497 B.C. and 338 B.C., a period including its “Golden Age,” it appears that Athens was at war on average about two out of every three years, and possibly as many as three out of every four.

  • Beginning in 1919 and continuing through 1937, nearly five years into the Nazi regime, the U.S. Army War College Historical Section assigned a field grade officer to the German Kriegsarchiv in Potsdam to assist in preparing American official records of the Great War; the first officer so-assigned being Maj. Walter S. Krueger, who had actually been born in German, and would later rise to command the Sixth Army during a later world conflict.

  • On the eve of war with Britain in 1812, William Eustis was not only Secretary of War, but also effectively quartermaster general, commissary general, commissioner of pensions, Indian commissioner, and commissioner of public lands, to perform which duties he had a staff of about a dozen.

  • From 1907 through 1915, Conrad von Hotzendorf, Chief-of-Staff of the Austro—Hungarian Army, wrote about 3,000 letters, some as long as 60 pages, to Gina von Reininghaus, his mistress and, after her divorce, his wife, an average of little more than one missive a day.

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

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