The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from November 2015

Not what that one’s up to

November 30th, 2015 · No Comments

“It is my earnest hope—indeed, the hope of all mankind—that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and […]

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Tags: The Second World War

No going back

November 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“Of 71 major Japanese cities, four had escaped major damage in the war—Kyoto, Kokura, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Because Kyoto housed sacred religious shrines, President Truman removed it from consideration as a site. In the end, the target that was chosen was Hiroshima, a manufacturing city of 350,000 residents, because of a vast military installation, a […]

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Tags: The Second World War

Wake up, we’re about to be bombed

November 28th, 2015 · No Comments

“The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to use female pilots in combat. . . . The 588th Night Bomber Regiment, which flew ancient Polikarpov PO-2 biplanes, became known as the Nachthexen, or Night Witches, a name given to them by the German soldiers against whom they flew daring night attack missions. […]

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Tags: The Second World War

Quality, not quantity

November 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“Although the number of American Indians in the Marine Corps never exceeded 800 during the war, 375 to 420 of them performed a unique service in the Pacific theater, beginning at the battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. Military leaders decided to use the Navajo language—a language virtually unknown except to the relatively small number of […]

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Tags: The Second World War

The house of the rising sun

November 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“Japanese society permitted a young woman to teach, nurse, or work in the textile industry, but once her marriage was arranged, she was expected to quit work and concentrate on raising a family. But by the summer of 1943, after Japanese military expansion in Asia had been halted and the Allies were gaining the upper […]

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Tags: Economics · The Second World War

For all the good it did them

November 25th, 2015 · No Comments

“Hitler’s Third Reich was slow to consider women for active roles in the war effort much less put them in uniform. The main reason was that Nazi ideology saw a woman’s primary role as a mother, and as a result, the government was loath to use women in any industrial or military setting. In 1935, […]

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Tags: The Second World War

Resistance was not futile

November 24th, 2015 · No Comments

“Women played crucial roles, with many emerging as leaders, in the Resistance movements across German-occupied Western and Eastern Europe from 1940 to 1945. Tens of thousands of women joined the Resistance, and they came from all walks of life—housewives, businesswomen, students, stage performers, and princesses. They fought bravely with guerrilla bands, helped to sabotage enemy […]

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Tags: The Second World War

They were not to be trifled with

November 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Soviets mobilized their women swiftly. . . . an estimated 800,000 women served in the Soviet armed forces. The Soviet Union was the only country in World War II to send uniformed women into combat. About a third of the women soldiers received instruction […]

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Tags: The Second World War

She even had her own song

November 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

“One of the enduring symbols of the contribution of women in World War II was Rosie the Riveter, a smiling girl in overalls and a bandana who represented the many thousands of women toiling in war plants from coast to coast, and who exhorted others to join them. These women, who filled the ranks of […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Uncle Sam’s girls

November 21st, 2015 · No Comments

“A total of 350,000 American women served in uniform in World War II. They were all volunteers and, on average, were older and better-educated than their male counterparts. About 5 percent of U.S. nurses served overseas, and 30 were killed in action.” – The World War II Desk Reference, Douglas Brinkley and Michael E. Haskew, […]

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Tags: The Second World War

Pretty maids all in a row

November 20th, 2015 · No Comments

“Despite the immediacy of the German threat in 1940, Great Britain was slow to mobilize its women for war. At first, the country depended on volunteerism to fill its women’s auxiliaries, but a low response convinced Parliament to pass a law in December 1941 requiring young unmarried women to register for national service. Most went […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Second World War

He could count that high, too

November 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” – Josef Stalin (quoted in The World War II Desk Reference, Douglas Brinkley and Michael E. Haskew, eds.)

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Tags: The Second World War

Doing the right thing

November 18th, 2015 · No Comments

“The Germans allowed the Danish civil service to maintain control of most of the country’s legal and domestic affairs but an active resistance against Nazi occupation developed and engaged in acts of sabotage. In early 1943, Hitler curtailed Denmark’s relative independence and ordered the SS to round up and deport the country’s 8,000 Jews. Denmark’s […]

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Tags: The Second World War

Answering the call

November 17th, 2015 · No Comments

“I joined the army ‘cause there wasn’t anything else around. Not just for a colored man but for anyone. I had a large family, and we were really poor. I knew the army would give me three meals a day and a little pay, so I joined up. . . . I knew that the […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Because

November 16th, 2015 · No Comments

“Because the unemployment rate in 1939 averaged about what it had been in 1931, some economists argue that the New Deal had failed to both put people back to work and to enhance private investment. However, others argue forcefully that the appeal and success of the New Deal had less to do with economics than […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Prisoners of the state

November 15th, 2015 · No Comments

“The radio announced that Hitler had come out of his safe bomb-proof bunker to talk with the fourteen to sixteen year old boys who had ‘volunteered’ for the ‘honor’ to be accepted into the SS and to die for their Führer in the defense of Berlin. What a cruel lie! These boys did not volunteer, […]

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Tags: Adolf Hitler · Politics & Law · The Second World War

At least temporarily

November 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“A democracy aroused can conquer any evil.” – Douglas Brinkley, The World War II Desk Reference

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Second World War

What ever is the point of it all

November 13th, 2015 · No Comments

“In the middle of this twenty-first century some backpacker yet unborn may chance upon this place, recall vaguely that it was the scene of ‘a famous victory’ and wonder, like Old Kaspar after Blenheim, what was the point of it all. He should know that El Alamein was the place where at last—and even before […]

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

Worse than pissing in the wind

November 12th, 2015 · No Comments

“It is unwise to throw a grenade uphill in the dark.” – John Bierman and Colin Smith, The Battle of Alamein

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

It’s all the same

November 11th, 2015 · No Comments

“What is true and beautiful must not be imitated but experienced according to its own individual and superior laws.” – Józef Elsner, composition teacher to Frédéric Chopin (quoted by David Dubal in The Essential Canon of Classical Music)

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Tags: Verandah

Just say no

November 10th, 2015 · No Comments

“For three days most men had slept very little, and now fatigue was beginning to take its toll. Major Flatow, the stocky Yorkshire Territorial who had named his tank ‘Attila’, had been told with the rest of his regiment to take the benzedrine pep-pills they had been issued. These amphetamines, whose pre-war use had been […]

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

Herr General’s final ride

November 9th, 2015 · No Comments

“[General} Stumme went missing and the Panzerarmee became a headless beast, able to snarl and lash out locally but without the guiding intelligence to co-ordinate its responses to the British. At first light on the 24th [of October, 1942], Stumme, having received precious few situation reports from his army, set out to find out what […]

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

Face the other way

November 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“Here we will stand and fight; there will be no further withdrawal. I have ordered that all plans and instructions dealing with further withdrawal are to be burnt, and at once. We will stand and fight here. If we can’t stay here alive, then let us stay here dead.” Lieutenant-General Bernard Law Montgomery, upon taking […]

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

Drop and give me fifty

November 7th, 2015 · No Comments

“Montgomery had always shown indulgence towards his men’s need for what he liked to call ‘horizontal refreshment.’ When his battalion was serving in Egypt, he had made sure that the Alexandrian brothels were managed in a way that would leave the Warwicks in good health. But when he tried the same thing in France in […]

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

Elizabeth Carver was her name

November 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“In the summer of 1937, while on the beach at Burnham-on-Sea, Betty was bitten on the foot by some kind of insect. Blood-poisoning set in and she was admitted to a local hospital. At first Montgomery, busy with manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain, failed to realize how sick she was. But as her condition worsened he […]

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

We’ll have none of that in this army

November 5th, 2015 · No Comments

“In an order to Rommel dated 13 June 1942, Hitler referred to ‘numerous German political refugees with Free French forces’ who should be ‘immediately wiped out in battle’. Where they escaped being killed in battle they were to be shot out of hand ‘unless they have to be temporarily retained for the extraction of information’. […]

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

Maybe they’ll give you a medal

November 4th, 2015 · No Comments

“While the opposing armies faced each other, motionless, along the Gazala line, a small and highly unconventional unit was in training under conditions of the tightest security at Mersa Matruh, 320 miles to the east. Its members wore German army uniforms, carried German weapons and German identification papers, drilled in German and gave and received […]

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

Not everyone’s cup of tea

November 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

“In desert war—then and subsequently—the tank is the primary weapon, an armour-plated monster spewing fire and destruction as it plunges straight ahead to its objective. Or so it seems to the ‘poor bloody infantry’ as they deploy, naked and horribly exposed, across an unforgiving landscape of rock, grit and thorns. To the men inside the […]

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

Early recycling

November 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

“We all had dysentery and that was worse than the enemy fire. During daylight you couldn’t leave your hole to relieve yourself. Still, when the Germans dropped ‘surrender leaflets’ they made good toilet paper. Your tin hat came in handy, too. You could use it as a shovel, a cooking pot, a toilet and a […]

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Tags: Economics · John Bierman and Colin Smith · Lit & Crit · The Second World War

Nothing a shot can’t clear up

November 1st, 2015 · No Comments

“Among the Allied military, the better-smelling fleshpots of Cairo and Alexandria were not the exclusive preserve of headquarters staff. A field officer taking a well-earned break from the desert could share facilities with ‘the gabardene swine’ of GHQ, as many front-line soldiers called them, and, if so inclined, pick up one of the attractive Nicoles […]

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Tags: Economics · John Bierman and Colin Smith · Lit & Crit · The Second World War