"Wherever you find a fathom of water, there you will find the British."
- Erected in AD 113 to commemorate the Roman conquest of Dacia, Trajan’s Column has hundreds of figures on the 625-foot spiral frieze that winds around its 98 feet, most of which depict soldiers, barbarians, siege works, horses, villages, animals, weapons, and so forth, grouped into 78 “scenes,” of which about two-thirds include images of the Emperor himself, usually shown oversized, just to remind everyone who was in charge.
- Of some 27,000 troops from Napoleon’s satellite Kingdom of Italy who took part in the Russian campaign of 1812, only about a thousand survived to return home.
- Fr. Joseph T. O’Callahan, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the desperate struggle to save the USS Franklin (CV 13) on March 19, 1945, was the first Jesuit ever to serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy.
- Several novels, such as John Dos Passos’s 1921 Three Soldiers, have characters who are jailed or even executed for desertion from the Army, but during World War I only 5,584 U.S. soldiers – out of nearly 3.5 million enrolled – were charged with desertion, of whom about half were convicted, few served much time, and none were executed.
- Originally scheduled for February, the premiere of Verdi’s opera Aida, held in Cairo on December 24, 1871, had been delayed because the costumes and sets, as well as Auguste Mariette, the Egyptologist who had designed them, were trapped in Paris, first by the Prussian siege (September 19, 1870-January 28, 1871) and then during the revolt of the Paris Commune (March 18-May 28, 1871).
- Pursuing the retreating Turks after the Battle of Megiddo in September of 1918, troopers of the Indian 18th Lancers (now Pakistan’s 19th Lancers) captured hundreds of prisoners and £20,000 in cash, which they turned over to the Army, prompting historian Kaushik Roy to write, “Their ancestors, Mughal, Maratha, or Pindari horsemen, would have been appalled.”
- From the late 1940s into the 1960s, U.S. Air Force radar operators were sometimes nicknamed “scope dopes.”
- Until “The Golden Age,” the ancient Greeks had no word for “war” in the definitive sense, as in “The Trojan War”, using instead words that properly translate as “The Trojan Affair”; from the late First Century B.C. they began to be use “polemos”, which seems originally to have meant “warfare”, “wartime”, “fighting”, or even “strife” to mean “war.”