Something From History You Probably Never Knew...

Found out about McNamara's Morons today.
Not a great story, nor outcome for the participants

However, as an Arrser of BELM vintage, I am duty bound to highlight it was very optimistic of the US to consider deployments to the jungles of South East Asia where the augmentation of ice cream and balloons to enhance battlefield engagement would inevitably be impaired....
We had the Royal Pioneer Corps...


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Found out about McNamara's Morons today.
Not a great story, nor outcome for the participants

However, as an Arrser of BELM vintage, I am duty bound to highlight it was very optimistic of the US to consider deployments to the jungles of South East Asia where the augmentation of ice cream and balloons to enhance battlefield engagement would inevitably be impaired....
Forest Gump and Bubba weren't made up..
 

Chef

LE
Found out about McNamara's Morons today.
Not a great story, nor outcome for the participants

However, as an Arrser of BELM vintage, I am duty bound to highlight it was very optimistic of the US to consider deployments to the jungles of South East Asia where the augmentation of ice cream and balloons to enhance battlefield engagement would inevitably be impaired....
The nearest UK equivalent that I could think of were the 'Bantam battalions' of WWI' where the height requirements were reduced I'm not sure how successful it was. There were a lot of recruits who weren't up to it physically. No matter how it was presented fundamentally the same reason, lack of bodies for the front.

Wasn't Lt Calley of the My Lai hearts and minds episode someone who wouldn't have made officer but for the war?
 
The nearest UK equivalent that I could think of were the 'Bantam battalions' of WWI' where the height requirements were reduced I'm not sure how successful it was. There were a lot of recruits who weren't up to it physically. No matter how it was presented fundamentally the same reason, lack of bodies for the front.

Wasn't Lt Calley of the My Lai hearts and minds episode someone who wouldn't have made officer but for the war?
IIRC the bantam battalions were formed because they were being denied the opportunity to serve. Notably, after a few months of army training and a proper diet (unavailable through poverty or whatever) meant that some found themselves of normal height. Source … many, many years ago
 
We had the Royal Pioneer Corps...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
God bless the Chunkies*




*named after their favourite type of ice cream
 
IIRC the bantam battalions were formed because they were being denied the opportunity to serve. Notably, after a few months of army training and a proper diet (unavailable through poverty or whatever) meant that some found themselves of normal height. Source … many, many years ago
Charles Carrington said as much but he didn't specify the bantam battalion troops.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
IIRC the bantam battalions were formed because they were being denied the opportunity to serve. Notably, after a few months of army training and a proper diet (unavailable through poverty or whatever) meant that some found themselves of normal height. Source … many, many years ago
Between 4'9" & 5'2" Some of them just short, others a lifetime of poor diet or very young. Montgomery was a staff officer in a brigade in 35th Division,the only full Bantam division.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
Wasn't Lt Calley of the My Lai hearts and minds episode someone who wouldn't have made officer but for the war?
This -


- besides being an astonishing read all round, is quietly scathing about the differences in performance between US Navy and US Air Force pilots in Vietnam, due at least in part to requirements for competencies being deliberately relaxed by the USAF in order to make up numbers. The USN didn't have that option, since a high baseline level of skill will always be required in order to successfully get an aircraft onto a carrier deck in one piece.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
This -


- besides being an astonishing read all round, is quietly scathing about the differences in performance between US Navy and US Air Force pilots in Vietnam, due at least in part to requirements for competencies being deliberately relaxed by the USAF in order to make up numbers. The USN didn't have that option, since a high baseline level of skill will always be required in order to successfully get an aircraft onto a carrier deck in one piece.
Reminded of the old T-shirt:

Fly Navy
Sail Army
Walk sideways
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Spanish explorers landed on the coast of modern-day Florida, on April 14, 1528. They made the first inland exploration of North America.

Of 300 men on the expedition only four survived.

An early chromatograph @FranciscoPizarro:

la Perroquet dit << Quand c'est Trop? C'est TROPICO! >>


One of the survivors of the expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, wrote the first book describing the peoples, wildlife, flora and fauna of inland North America in his Relacion, published in Spain in 1542.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
One of the survivors of the expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, wrote the first book describing the peoples, wildlife, flora and fauna of inland North America in his Relacion, published in Spain in 1542.
Also available in English (and a thoroughly unrelenting tale of misery it is too):

IMG_3043.jpg
 

4(T)

LE
The nearest UK equivalent that I could think of were the 'Bantam battalions' of WWI' where the height requirements were reduced I'm not sure how successful it was. There were a lot of recruits who weren't up to it physically. No matter how it was presented fundamentally the same reason, lack of bodies for the front.

Wasn't Lt Calley of the My Lai hearts and minds episode someone who wouldn't have made officer but for the war?

The Bantam btns were formed when there were plenty of recruits - including very many who were quite strong but vertically challenged. Many of them were miners, navvies or agricultural workers, so more than durable enough for service.
 

Chef

LE
@Pteranadon @4(T) Thanks for that. That was pretty much how I understood it. I'm trying to remember where I read the other bit, although I would imagine many shorties may have had other health problems.

I've just finished 'The complete McAuslan' and GMF mentions the short Glaswegians, something like

'Once the biggest men in the UK now stunted by three generations of poverty'.

Then says that regular feeding and training saw them bulk out and some gain height. Possibly at 17-18 they may not have finished growing (plus 'Stand up straight you 'orrible little man!!' stuff).
 
The Bantam btns were formed when there were plenty of recruits - including very many who were quite strong but vertically challenged. Many of them were miners, navvies or agricultural workers, so more than durable enough for service.
I always understood that it was height requirements that were an issue to enlistment and most were fit enough (barring usual issues like eyesight etc).
As a bit of a thread drift, we had a lad binned off a Chieftain driving course as he simply wasn‘t strong enough to lift the back decks. That was the story, anyway.
 
This -


- besides being an astonishing read all round, is quietly scathing about the differences in performance between US Navy and US Air Force pilots in Vietnam, due at least in part to requirements for competencies being deliberately relaxed by the USAF in order to make up numbers. The USN didn't have that option, since a high baseline level of skill will always be required in order to successfully get an aircraft onto a carrier deck in one piece.
You say that but...I know two USN aviators. I know this is not the Vietnam generation, but their training is not as technical as you may think. They learn how to fly, but not about aerodynamics or aeronautical science. One of them explained to me how they were taught the Bernoulli principle with a series of slides showing some stick men pushing up and others pushing down. This was used as the model and the stick men cropped up for all flight configurations, attitudes and met. However, they practiced a lot, a real lot, until their aircraft and its capabilities became an instinctive extension of themselves. Also, if you f4ck up three times you get grounded.
 

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