Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sometimes I get reminded...

...that I'm not on the same page as everybody else.

I mean, my first thought when I saw this picture was "Oh, a British Q.F. horse artillery piece. Everybody knows what one of those is, because it's the gun from the duel at Néry, where three Victoria Crosses were awarded. That's the gun from the famous painting in the Imperial War Museum..."

Only, oh yeah, not everybody knows about Néry because not everbody's as big a nerd as I am...

33 comments:

PQ said...

Well done, Tam.
There would not be many Americans who would have known that.
The gun in the photo is still in service today with the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, based in London.
The Troop provides gun salutes on ceremonial occasions such as Royal Birthdays and visiting Heads of State.

Lorimor said...

Wow, you are a nerd. But a great source of historical info nevertheless.

:)

Tam said...

Hey, Néry is one of those great war stories, like Thermopylae, the USS Johnston, Rorke's Drift, the Alamo, and Camarón. Everyone should read about it.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Kudos to both Tam and PQ.

So refreshing to read Internet stuff written by people who know what they're talking about.

Ride Fast said...

Wow, well done. Néry is pretty obscure, well, outside your circle, obviously.

dantesfiringrange said...

You are not even in the same book as everyone else. But then again, I wouldn't read this blog religiously if you were.

Bob said...

You know what, Tam? There was a time in this country when you didn't have to apologize for being educated, or feel embarrassed about it.

Tam said...

Sigh.

I know. Believe it or not, it used to be desirable.

Although there's always been a nasty current of populist bumpkinism seething just under the surface of the American pond.

Mad Saint Jack said...

(River) Tam can kill you with her brain.

Nat said...

Plus Tam gets called "SEXY" in the comments. Not that that is why she linked it....

og said...

You may be a nerd, but you're OUR nerd, and that's just fine. I'd rather know ten decent smart people than a hundred thousand liberals.

Will Brown said...

Now for the profoundly important question; are we drawn here despite or because of your thorns?

:)

w/v: stscopal; the patron saint of near-sighted riflemen, mit or sans wo.

Lorimor said...

:) That's why I visit here. I learn about the darndest things. Obscure or not, they're interesting.

In my world anyway, "nerd" is "cool".

Justthisguy said...

Yeah, but The Donovan is still 'way ahead on collecting, and just as nerdy.

staghounds said...

Not just the painting- they have one of the actual Q battery guns at the IWM, right there on the floor where you can touch it.

Jack Cornwell's piece from Jutland, too.

Pretty amazing.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

too many gaps in my WWI history knowledge...

Peter said...

For those who want to read the saga of Néry:

http://www.chakoten.dk/nery_010914_2.html

It's a gripping story. The three VC winners are all profiled on Wikipedia as well.

Ed Foster said...

Am I a nerd too? I know about Nery, and I even know that the thing in the muzzle is called a tompion.

Anonymous said...

Tam is just about the perfect woman: knows history, especially military history, tall, attractive, can outshoot most (90% at least)of her readers, knows more about guns than most museum curators, can cook tasty-sounding tidbits, and drinks good beer, and can debate the merits of various micro-brews. Damn, what a woman! (I only said almost perfect because she might have a flaw or two, I haven't seen one yet, but you never know)

fast richard said...

The likelyhood of learning something new is one of the reasons I keep coming back to Tam's blog. Sometimes it is something obscure that I am interested to hear about, but won't dig into. Other times, it is something I think I will look into further. This duel at Nery sounds like one of the latter. Any battle that is mentioned in the same sentence with Thermopylae, and Rorkes Drift is something I want to know about.

Thank you for what you do, Tam.

The Freeholder said...

I had never heard of The Affair at Néry until now, and just Googled up a brief account. All I can say is WOW. What men they were.

Noah D said...

What struck me about the original photoshoppery claim was that if the upper tube is the barrel with the tampion in place, and recoil-damping systems were a later invention...then what was the lower tube supposed to be?

Nery's one of the events I don't know enough about; my Great War knowledge is a bit lacking.

Also, bonus points for USS Johnston. Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors is a hell of a read.

Lorimor said...

Ditto on "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors". Helluva read.

Joseph said...

Tam,

Being a WWI history buff, I know a bit about Battery L. Uh, and I am familiar with all the other actions you listed. The USS Johnston's story is pretty amazing...An iron ship with iron men.

Don Meaker said...

Gosh, if only I was a few years younger. I would definitely be in love.

Old NFO said...

No geekier than we are Tam...

Ken said...

Well done. I've been to the Imperial War Museum, and I don't even remember the painting.

Lorimor said...

Well, I've been been doing some online reading about Nery. Pretty tough bunch o' hombres.

Thanks Tam!

Ed Foster said...

You got me looking at some old WWI vintage photos, and thinking about all the men in the family who were there. The ones I remember anyway. My mother's father died while she was a baby, from the effects of the gas.

They were different somehow, even from the WWII and Korea guys. Not perhaps as professional, the Americans anyway. More the rock steady Gary Cooper types, who did great things with reckless abandon, accepting obscene losses as part of the job.

It seemed like those calm, quiet men would be there forever.
When I wore my campaign hat home and saw the sparkle in my Great-Uncle's eyes, I felt as if I'd entered a sacred place.

And now there are less than a dozen of them left in the entire world. I'd almost forgotten what a sense of reverence, almost awe I felt around them as a kid.

Someday anybody who remembers Hue and Phu Bai will be as rare. I intend to do a lot of living between now and then, but when the day comes, it will be an honor to know I'll be laid near men like that.

Odd, isn't it, that Shakespeare, who never engaged in anything more violent than a few tavern brawls, got the handle of it so well?

Everybody knows the "Band of Brothers" quote at the end, but Google up the entire speech. Historically silly, I know, most of Henry's army was Welsh and wouldn't have had a clue what he was talking about, but it is one of the most powerful things he ever wrote, and it still grabs at something deep.

PQ said...

Just thought I would throw in another photo as there seems to some interest judging by the comments.

This is one of the actual Nery guns:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shimgray/2403370250

docjim505 said...

Lorimor - Ditto on "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors". Helluva read.

Just finished that myself. Wow.

Without any disrespect to the other brave sailors and airmen of the Taffies, I must say that it's a damned shame that there isn't a HUGE monument to Captain Evans somewhere. IMO, the man's courage and fighting spirit rank him among our greatest heroes. It speaks volumes that his gunnery officer's first thought upon seeing the Japanese fleet was that (paraphrase), "Captain Evans wouldn't run away. He didn't know how."

If you haven't read about this giant of a man, DO!

B Smith said...

I am drawn here because of her scorns ;-)

WV: skerry. sometimes, yeah, she is.

T.Stahl said...

It was in 1999, my best friend and I had finally met IRL for the first time and were sitting in a bus heading towards Hereford. We were talking about Merhavas and 140mm tank cannons and were happy that we finally had found another geek to talk about things like that.

Regarding Tam, I'm sure that Julie from MHI is based on her. The black hair and glasses are just a disguise. ;-)