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Monday, January 04, 2016

The Yeomen Of The Guard

World War Two: the Household Cavalry prepares for combat...

At the general's final inspection before the division left England for war, he had asked one of the Yeomanry colonels whether everything was in order. The colonel replied, "Oh, I think so, George." The general gently pressed for details - ammunition? Vehicles? Non-coms' training? Gas-masks? The colonel scratched his head and said, "Dash it, I don't know about any of that, George... but we've got forty dozen of champagne, well crated, and the pack of foxhounds is in fine fettle."

- from John Masters' autobiography, "The Road Past Mandalay."


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Paddington said...

As one US observer said about WWII, "The British has the bravest and best-trained soldiers in the world, led by the most incompetent officers."

Your anecdote reminds me of the regiment which was massacred as they marched across Afghanistan in the 1800's, transporting, among other things, two grand pianos.

The British have been a magnificent people, with too many idiot leaders.

A K Haart said...

Is that why Rommel was known as the Desert Fox?

Demetrius said...

Not long after Stalin died, by the Elbe, I was on a top secret intelligence caper. We had two command vehicles, one for occasional use the second full of booze.

Sackerson said...

I say, that's very good, AK.

Sackerson said...

D, while shooting (I think) one of the Three Musketeers films the author/sciptwriter George Macdonald Fraser would refresh the cast on location from the well-stocked boot of his car. Not sure how Western civilisation might have developed without booze.

Don't suppose you can say anything about your mission?