What Did Officers Actually Do?

“In return for their privileges, what did officers actually do? The simple answer, at least for regimental officers, is that they gave leadership, took responsibility, and set an example, if necessary, by dying. … Implicit was the assumption that the officer would be the first to die in battle. Officers were the first out of… Read More

Advertisements
Advertisements

Good & Bad…

“In the British Army, there are no good battalions and no bad battalions, no good regiments and no bad regiments. There are only good and bad officers.” Field Marshall Sir William Slim (1891 to 1970) echoing Napoleon. William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim of Yarralumla and Bishopston, was a British Field Marshal and Chief of the… Read More

Corporal says Arguing is barred…

“October 21st [1914] More bayonet instruction this afternoon. Our chaps are beginning to hold their weapons as if they meant business. Wetted my stripe today at dinner in the tent with drinks all around, and took the opportunity to intimate that I was to be addressed as “Corporal” in the future, and not by my… Read More

Live with the Men…

“Live with the men, go everywhere they go. Make up your mind you will take their risks, and more, if you can do any good. the line is the key to the whole business. Work in the very front and they will listen to you; but if you stay behind you are wasting your time.… Read More

Practical Application…

“Leadership is the practical application of character.” Colonel R. Meinertzhagen, CBE, DSO (1878 to 1967), Army Diary, 1899‐1926, 1960 Richard Meinertzhagen was a British soldier, intelligence officer, and ornithologist. He had a decorated military career spanning Africa, where he was credited with creating and executing the infamous Haversack Ruse. While early biographies lionised Meinertzhagen as… Read More

Being Human & Understanding…

“July 24th [1916] I suddenly spied two panic‐stricken Jocks blundering back from the trenches over the open. I went out and brought them in to the C.O. I don’t suppose the case will go further, partly because the C.O. is human and understanding, and partly for the honour of the regiment. I think he let… Read More

Teaching German in the US

“With its large German immigrant population, Ohio was the first of several states to permit teaching in German alongside English. By 1900 some 4% of elementary-school pupils in America were taught at least partly in German. After the first world war anti-German sentiment led to the end of those programmes and, in Ohio and Indiana,… Read More