Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, September 03, 2007


This is coolbert:

From my previous blog entry on Raoul Monclar, leader of the French battalion fighting in Korea, 1951.

"Their leader was a battle-scarred veteran of the Legion who led them in battle wearing his monocle, a beret, a bright red scarf--and using a cane to compensate for his limp."

That cane carried by Raoul Monclar into battle MAY NOT HAVE BEEN JUST FOR THE LIMP!

Here from John Keegan, "The Face of Battle".

[Sir John now, that he has been recently knighted. A military history writer receiving a knighthood! Bully for him!]

On the demeanor and appearance of the British officers leading their men "over the top" on the first day of the Somme Offensive, 1 July 1916.

"Officers were being brought hot water with which to shave . . . tidying their uniforms . . . Major Jack put on his silver spurs . . . ALL CARRIED STICKS, POLISHED BLACKTHORN WITH A SILVER BAND IN THE IRISH REGIMENTS, MALACCA CANES OR ASHPLANTS WITH A CURVED HANDLE."

We must be all on the same page with this. Those British officers going "over the top", did so UNARMED EXCEPT FOR A CANE!!

The cane - - was a symbol - - of the gentleman and the leader. The goal of the gentleman and leader being to command and direct, and not to be involved directly in the killing, that being the role of THE MEN [the enlisted]!!

"an officers's role to lead and direct, not to kill" [Keegan].

Could this be so with Raoul Monclar too??!!

[Douglas Mac Arthur used to carry a cane too I believe, AND WAS NOT SUFFERING FROM INFIRMITY. It is reputed that during World War Two the General received a letter from a small boy asking, "you carry a cane, are you feeble?" The General threw the cane away immediately and never used it again.]




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home