Soviet Hearts&Minds in Afghanistan (1988)

The Soviet army’s fixation with large-scale military operations during the war proved completely unproductive and did little to further Soviet war aims. Rarely did the 40th Army or the Afghan army hold terrain after clear­ing it of anti-government forces. In 1986, the commander of the Soviet armed forces told the Politburo that, “There is no single piece of land in this country which has not been occupied by a Soviet soldier. Nevertheless, the majority of the territory remains in the hands of the rebels . . . There is no single military problem that has arisen and that has not…
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Reading a Gentleman’s Mail (Philippines, 1898)

To the President of the Rev. Govt. , Malolos, from Cailles, Pineda, Sept. 15, 1898, 5 :  I inform your excellency that I have complied faithfully with your orders.  The outgoing force was grand.  I am at the head of a column of 1,800 men, almost all uniformed, three bands of music; left Singalong for Ermita, going through the San Luis paddy fields to the Puerta Real, Manila.  As we came to the Luneta from Calle Real, Ermita, Americans and natives fell in behind, yelling "Viva Filipinos, Viva Emilio Aguinaldo."  We answered "Viva America, Viva la Libertad."  The Americans presented…
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The Duke Counts his Beans (1812)

Gentlemen, Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.  We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable.  I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer.  Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.…
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The Joys of Camp Life in ’62

One day a man with very strong anti-Union sentiments was caught putting a villainous compound into the spring from whence the regiment obtained drinking-water.  On being remonstrated with, he said he meant to poison the – Yankees! After shaving his head and applying molasses and flour, the men amused themselves by chasing the poor wretch back across the bridge into Washington. “A stalwart female," says Lieutenant Bemis, "…dressed in gaudy attire, with rounded skirts, made frequent trips from Georgetown to our camp across the Aqueduct bridge.  She was allowed to pass several times unmolested, when a suspicion arose that there…
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“If Japan and America Fight” (1921)

By looking at the American army, one will come to the  conclusion that, in point of discipline and skill in the art of war, the Americans are the worst of all nationalities.  Referring to the American forces who participated in the recent war , the eye-witnesses tell us that the Americans have not made much progress for improvement .  Moreover, the method of command adopted by the American officers is infantile compared with that of the Japanese army.  I have no hesitation in saying that even if the American army were superior in number to our army, we need not…
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Letter to a Soldier (1863)

MARSHALL, MADISON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA July 20, 1863. REVIS: DEAR HUSBAND: I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that me and Sally is well as common, and I hope these few lines will come to hand and find you well and doing well. I have no news to write to you at this, only I am done laying by my corn. I worked it all four times. My wheat is good; my oats is good. I haven’t got my wheat stacked yet. My oats I have got part of them cut, and Tom Hunter…
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The Soldier as Pack Animal (1907)

Excepting the knapsack, which is too rigid, the equipments are generally good, but the necessity for adding a heavy pair of shoes to the already weighty load carried by the infantryman is not seen.  The inconveniences caused by an occasaional broken shoe are of infinitely less importance than those resulting frm loading hundreds of men with unnecessary weight.  It should be the duty of the supply and transport departments, or, in our service, of the Quartermaster Department, to provide the shoes when needed.  The weight to be placed on our men deserves the most careful consideration, espeically as modern battle…
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“Parachute Jumping” (1925)

I have been asked many times to describe the sensations one gets when jumping.  The first one was a real thrill, but the confidence aroused by the perfect functioning of the chute made any future thrill hard to raise, as one has nothing but anticipation of a pleasant glide to earth before him when he knows his chute and its safety factor.  The life of a parachute instructor, with its schedule of jumps with each class, becomes dull, and we often were forced to think up some new stunt that would drive away the ennui of the routine. We made…
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Hanging Looters in Mexico (1847)

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, JALAPA, April 30, 1847 GENERAL ORDERS No. 128 (Extract) 7.  As the season is near when the army may no longer expect to derive supplies from Vera Cruz, it must begin to look, exclusively, to the resources of the country. 8.  Those resources, far from being over-abundant, near the line of operations, would soon fail to support both the army and the population, unless they be gathered in without waste and regularly issued by the quartermasters and commissaries. 9.  Hence, they must be paid for, or the people will withhold, conceal or destroy them.  The people,…
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Military Housekeeping (1866)

One snowy day in the winter of 1866-67, Alice B. Baldwin, escorted by her husband, Lieutenant Frank D. Baldwin, arrived at Fort Harker, Kansas. When the lieutenant stopped the Army ambulance in which they were traveling, Mrs. Baldwin asked, "Where is our house?" The landscape was void of buildings. All she could see was a snow-covered mound from which a stovepipe protruded. This was it, her new home in this frontier fort - a dugout. Mrs. Baldwin entered the dwelling and gazed about with mounting disappointment. "The sordid interior filled me with gloom, scarcely lessened by the four-pane glass window,…
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