The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 4

Entries from October 2015

That that, you Fascists

October 31st, 2015 · No Comments

“Rea Leakey, a Kenyan-born subaltern (and first cousin of the famed anthropologist Louis Leakey) commanding a light reconnaissance tank of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, joined with the Hussars in an attack on the Italians’ Beau Geste-style Fort Capuzzo. Once within range, Leakey found himself forced to fire his service revolver at the fort through […]

[Read more →]

Tags: John Bierman and Colin Smith · The Second World War

Think, man

October 30th, 2015 · No Comments

“Prime Minister to Minister of Agriculture, September 26, 1940: ‘I am far from satisfied at the proposal to reduce pigs to one-third of their present number by the middle of the autumn. This is certainly not what was understood by the Cabinet. . . .  Meanwhile, what arrangements are you making for curing the surplus […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

They got lucky, too

October 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“It was a great, quaintly organised England that had destroyed the Spanish Armada. A strong flame of conviction and resolve carried us through the twenty-five years’ conflict which William II and Marlborough waged against Louis XIV. There was a famous period with Chatham. There was the long struggle against Napoleon, in which our survival was […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

A good-faith argument

October 28th, 2015 · No Comments

“It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events. In one phase men seem to have been right, in another they seem to have been wrong. Then again, a few years later, when the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

If we want to get anything accomplished

October 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“Revenge has no part in politics, and we should always be looking forward rather than looking back.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Same goes for counter-insurgency

October 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“When armies approach each other, it makes all the difference which owns only the ground on which it stands or sleeps and which one owns all the rest.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Clean under it from time to time

October 25th, 2015 · No Comments

“When you have got a thing where you want it, it is a good thing to leave it where it is.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

A friend in need

October 24th, 2015 · No Comments

“The transfer to Great Britain of fifty American warships was a decidedly unneutral act by the United States. It would, according to all the standards of history, have justified the German Government in declaring war upon them. The President judged that there was no danger, and I felt there was no hope, of this simple […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Tight with Their Majesties

October 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“The King changed his practice of receiving me in a formal weekly audience at about five o’clock which had prevailed during my first two months of office. It was now arranged that I should lunch with him every Tuesday. This was certainly a very agreeable method of transacting State business, and sometimes the Queen was […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Smokin’

October 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

“On November 15 [1940], the enemy switched back to London with a very heavy raid in full moonlight. Much damage was done, especially to churches and other monuments. The next target was Birmingham, and three successive raids from the 19th to the 22nd of November inflicted much destruction and loss of life. Nearly eight hundred […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

As ye sow, so shall ye grimly reap

October 21st, 2015 · No Comments

“One day after luncheon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kingsley Wood, came to see me on business at Number 10, and we heard a very heavy explosion take place across the river in South London. I took him to see what had happened. The bomb had fallen in Peckham. It was a very big one—probably […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Bathing nations in blood

October 20th, 2015 · No Comments

“I have often wondered . . . what would have happened if two hundred thousand German storm troops had actually established themselves ashore. The massacre would have been on both sides grim and great. There would have been neither mercy nor quarter. They would have used terror, and we were prepared to go all lengths. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

That’s the way to do it

October 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“When I said that the French Army, fighting on, wherever it might be, could hold or wear out a hundred German divisions, General Weygand replied, ‘Even if that were so, they would still have another hundred to invaded and conquer you. What would you do then?’ On this I said that I was not a […]

[Read more →]

Tags: The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Smoke ’em if you got ’em

October 18th, 2015 · No Comments

“Most people know that the surviving leaders of the Third Reich were prosecuted at Nuremberg before an international military tribunal in 1945–1946, and that a substantial number of them, including the head of the Luftwaffe and the ‘second man in the Third Reich,’ Hermann Göring, the former foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Hans Frank, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Politics & Law · The Second World War

The voice of experience

October 17th, 2015 · No Comments

“Past experience carries with its advantages the drawback that things never happen the same way again. Otherwise I suppose life would be too easy.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

He speaks figuratively, methinks

October 16th, 2015 · No Comments

“An accepted leader has only to be sure of what it is best to do, or at least to have made up his mind about it. . . .  If he trips, he must be sustained. If he makes mistakes, they must be covered. If he sleeps, he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Politics & Law · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

There were giants in the land

October 15th, 2015 · No Comments

“If the present tries to sit in judgment on the past, it will lose the future.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Much less write

October 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“The bread ration was now down to under 200 grams a day, and often little more than 100 grams. The horseflesh added to ‘Wassersuppe’ came from local supplies. The carcasses were kept fresh by the cold, but the temperature was so low that meat could not be sliced from them with knives. Only a pioneer […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

At the rat-haus

October 13th, 2015 · No Comments

“If there was any wood to burn in the small bunker stoves, smoke emerged from little chimney stacks, made from empty food tins rammed together. Duckboards, tables, even bunks as men died, were broken up as fuel. The only substitute for real warmth was a fug, created with packed bodies and tarpaulins, but men still […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

Use an equalizer if necessary

October 12th, 2015 · No Comments

“You never saw a counterpuncher who was punchy. Never lead against a hitter unless you can outhit him. Crowd a boxer, and take everything he has, to get inside. Duck a swing. Block a hook. And counter a jab with everything you own.” – Ernest Hemingway (interview by Lillian Ross in The New Yorker)

[Read more →]

Tags: Ernest Hemingway · Lit & Crit

Take me to the river

October 11th, 2015 · No Comments

“Our lives are completed at the moment of death: until then we are incessantly becoming, our potential outstanding like a debt. But as soon as we are all that we are ever going to be, we vanish, and it is left up to the living to process the meaning of a life—or, rather, to give […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Verandah

The best lack all conviction

October 10th, 2015 · No Comments

“We’ve sold people on sure. And we’ve sold people on omniscience, and on the loudest, most declarative voice. That has been damaging just in terms of human civilization. The people who are the most certain are often the ones who lead us in the wrong directions.” – Eric Asimov (interview by Meara Sharma in Guernica)

[Read more →]

Tags: Politics & Law · Verandah

You never stood a chance

October 9th, 2015 · No Comments

“We don’t think backgrounds mean anything. We don’t want to think that who your parents are should control your chances for success in life, but they do.” – Eric Asimov (interview by Meara Sharma in Guernica)

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Verandah

Yep

October 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“If you’re twenty years old and you’re not angry there’s something the matter with you, and if you’re angry and you’re seventy you’re an asshole.” – John Waters (interview by Meakin Armstrong in Guernica)

[Read more →]

Tags: Verandah

For the good of all

October 7th, 2015 · No Comments

“Over 1,500 factories had been evacuated from the western regions of the Soviet Union to behind the Volga, particularly the Urals, and reassembled by armies of technicians slaving through the winter. Few factories had any heating. Many had no windows at first, or proper roofing. Once the production lines started, they never stopped, unless halted […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · Economics · The Second World War

Learning their lessons

October 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“Although shelter was the first priority, civilians faced the virtual impossibility of finding food and water. Each time there was a lull in the bombardments, women and children appeared out of holes in the ground to cut slabs of meat off dead horses before homeless dogs and rats stripped the carcass. The chief foragers were […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · Economics · The Second World War

If you can’t crawl, we will carry you

October 5th, 2015 · No Comments

“The medical services in the Red Army were seldom regarded as a high priority by commanders. A seriously wounded soldier was out of the battle, and senior officers were more concerned with replacing him. Yet this attitude did not deter the very bravest figures on the Stalingrad battlefield, who were the medical orderlies, mainly female […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

You can’t get a medal for that

October 4th, 2015 · No Comments

“Men fell silent when the vodka was produced, everyone eyeing the bottle. The strain of battle was so great that the ration was never considered enough, and soldiers were prepared to go to desperate lengths to meet their need. Surgical spirit was seldom used for its official purpose. Industrial alcohol and even anti-freeze were drunk […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

Fate worse than death

October 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

“With ill-defined front lines, and a defence in depth of no more than a few hundred yards in places, command posts were almost as vulnerable as forward positions. ‘Shells exploding on top of our command post were a common occurrence,’ wrote Colonel Timofey Naumovich Vishnevsky, the commander of the 62nd Army’s artillery division, to a […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War

They’ll slap you silly, you try any of that monkey business

October 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

“The armored spearhead of 16th Panzer Division had advanced virtually unopposed across the steppe for nearly twenty-five miles. ‘Around Gumrak,’ the division recorded, ‘enemy resistance became stronger and anti-aircraft guns began firing wildly at our armored vehicles from the north-west corner of Stalingrad.’ This resistance came from the batteries operated by young women volunteers, barely […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Antony Beevor · The Second World War