Monday, March 23, 2009

Today In History: Miscellenia.

On this day in....

...1775, Patrick Henry stood before the Virginia House of Burgesses and delivered his famous "Liberty or Death" speech.
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

...1933, the German Reichstag passes the law that effectively gives Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.

...2003, the 507th Maintenance Co. delivers an important lesson in weapons maintenance and the importance of malf drills on the road outside Nasiriyah.

...2006, the Federal Reserve stops publishing the M3 money supply in order to avoid giving people the vapors.


Anonymous said...

And yesterday Obama cotinued his comedy stint from Leno to 60 minutes!

Turk Turon said...

One step forward, three steps back.

2003 was Jessica Lynch. There were reports that her group was unable to return fire because all of their weapons malf'ed. All of them: M-9s, M-4s, M-16s, SAWs, 50-cals, everything. And a report was actually published in the U.S. papers blaming Break-Free CLP for the malfunctioning arms. This report got no traction because it was pointed out that the weapons that were not maintained with Break-Free were also reported to have malf'ed. Probably lack of maintenance (they were cooks, as I recall) and insufficient training.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should stop by St John's church today and pay my respects. I was just there over the weekend for the Irish festival but it would hurt to go again.

wv: spoloodi - an explosion in a noodle factory.

Anonymous said...

That should have been "wouldn't hurt".

Joanna said...

"they were cooks, as I recall"

What was the line in Band of Brothers, where if you were in Winters' company you'd be a rifleman first and a radioman second?

Unknown said...

Mess Sgt: "Leggings?! Hell, sir, I'm a cook!"

Gen Patton: "You're a soldier. $20 fine.

Anonymous said...

Damn, but they could write speeches in those days. And give them.

And Patton was right. The bad guys don't care if you are a cook.

Anonymous said...

My dad and another guy were on outpost, and when they got to about 3 hours overdue they walked back in. Service Co. HQ was always the kitchen. When they got to the kitchen it had been hit dead on by an 88 and all the cooks were splattered on the cobblestones. Since the officer was dead, Reg. didn't know they were out there, and pulled out. So they had to walk three miles from Krinkelt to Elsenborn, 16th of December 1944.
Cooks are soldiers too.

Hunter said...

Re: P. Henry's speech:
I had to learn that speech forty-one years ago. Virginia History, sixth grade, Mrs. Cobb's class, at Jackson-Davis Elementary. We visited St John's on a field trip most every year.
And now...sad to say, I can no longer remember the sequence of the statuary on Monument Ave starting with Matthew Fontaine Maury.
But I still remember Henry's speech.

Ketchikan, AK

Anonymous said...

It is in vain, sir ...

My God, dear lady, do you expect us to believe that Mr. Henry was able to carry on with such a speech without the use of a Teleprompter?

Oh, what a different time we live in. In my grandparents' day, they used to sell records of great speeches made by famous people, for they were so eloquent without being overboard, and roused people to action by appealing to their better natures rather than to their base ones.

Hard to believe it's 20 years now since the retirement of one of the finest speakers to be in the Presidency.

wv: racula - is that a creature with black eyes and a striped tail that also sucks your blood?

Anonymous said...

The misadventures of Ms. Lynch (I can't bring myself to use a military title in describing her) are one more example of why we should institute something like the old Victorian British Comisarry Corp.

Differently uniformed non-combatants performing support functions, built around a permanent cadre, fleshed out with short term hires.

I would think plenty of former military would sign on for a six month tour as contract civil servants. Hell, I would. If we have to provide security details for them anyway, why waste military training on people who obviously forgot it as soon as they left basic training?

I'm not about to play the inter-service rivalry game here. "One Fight, One Force" was long overdue. I was a Marine, but I owe the Army Airborne a big one. I owe them two big ones actually. And, there are jobs the Marine Corp can do better than the Army, and jobs the Army can do better than the Marine Corp. But Jesus Fracking Christ, we all could fight.

As an MOS2111, I was technically support, but I spent as much time in the field as most legs I knew. It's a cliche, but we all were riflemen first.

I realize the Army has a different structure, with it's mix and match modular brigades allowing it a flexible response to changing problems.

But if all or most of the Army's personnel were in combat units, it could easily double or triple the number of boots on the ground without being forced to enlarge.

Firehand said...

Son told me that in Basic it didn't matter what MOS you were going into, you ALL learned the infantry work. And kept it up in AIT. But, at that time at least, a lot of the support units didn't bother to keep that training up. And it cost.

I remember having to memorize the Gettysburg Address and recite it, points off for missed words. When you're expected to learn something instead of recite it from paper or a screen, it do make a difference.