Things I didn’t know, Vol. 3: Forrest, SEALs, cannon bores, and much more
Here are some things I learned recently.
Here are some things I learned recently:
— The first American general to die in World War II was Nathan Bedford Forrest III, grandson of you-know-who. (I still say there is a good book to be written about U.S. generals in the Second World War who were descended from Confederate generals.)
— I am told that there is about one 0-6 for every 40 people in the Navy SEALs. I don’t know if this is good or bad. It sounds bad, of course. But if they really are a strategic force, maybe you need a colonel-equivalent for every platoon-equivalent. And maybe as we move away from mass forces, this will prove to be the model for the future. In the 21st century, will mass continue to have a quality all its own?
— The invention of the bored cannon led directly to James Watt’s invention of the steam engine. (Both involved the ability to make large cylinders and pistons.)
— Arkin is back. Worth checking out.
— From Bethel College’s John Haas: “The US and Great Britain were not ‘Allies’ in WWII, because FDR didn’t want the hassle of submitting a treaty to the Senate. Historians can refer to them as lower-case ‘allies,’ since they were cooperating, but FDR called them ‘the United Nations’ which, being only a phrase, needed no congressional approval.”
Robert H. Thurston/Flickr
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