Hullo there. On Monday, Wojtek and I should be playing the opening turn of what promises to be an astonishing demonstration of ineptitude on my part. I had hoped to start today, for the whole synchronicity with history thing, but the getting of ducks-in-a-row always takes a little time.
Incidentally, in pre-Soviet times, I'm told that Polish lancers used to hunt hedgehogs on horseback. Let's see if I can eke out a little delayed retribution.
Now, cast your gaze back with me, if you will, to the far-distant time of December 5, 1941, in a smoke-filled office in scenic Pearl Harbor, Hawaii...
TOP SECRET NOFORN
Selected excerpts from joint services planning session for RAINBOW-5, 12/05/1941
RADM (Acting ADM) Kimmel, USN
MGEN (Acting LTGEN) Short, USA
LT Prestwick, UNS, stenographer
K: ...says 'why the long face?' Pretty good, huh?
S: [n.b. GEN Short at this time has organized approximately 100 paperclips in a 3" x 3" square area of the tabletop, packed as closely together as possible] Mm. Very entertaining, Kimmel.
K: Ah, Short, there's something I've been meaning to ask you...
K: About those hangars...you know...at the airfields...
S: What are you driving at, Kimmel?
K: I don't pretend to know anything about powered flight, Short, don't get me wrong, but don't you put airplanes inside of them?
S: Kimmel, Kimmel, Kimmel. We've been over this a hundred thousand times. The Jap (or Hawaiian) is a treacherous and untrustworthy sort. At any moment, hundreds of ostensible golfers could produce sabotage-type implements from their golf bags and cripple the Army Air Force on the ground. Best to keep the planes where we can see them.
K: I just feel like it would be just as easy to guard them in their hangars, is all...
S: Is that so? Well, by the same token, I note you never seem to set up torpedo nets in Battleship Row, Admiral.
K: Don't be absurd. They look hideous, and spoil the fishing.
A Brief Summary of Lt. Gen A E Percival's career, 1914-1941
1914. Enlists in British Army
1915. Heads to FRance with the Service Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment
1916. Comissioned as captain, Essex Regiment
1919. Operations in Russia and the Baltic countries.
1920. Anti-IRA operations in Ireland. Heroically defeats ~20 suspected Fenian pheasants in one afternoon.
1923-1924. Staff College, Camberly. Final Paper: The Art of Nonviolence, a new method of Warfighting. First in Cricket team.
1936. GOC, 1st Royal Rapid Reaction White Flag Force.
1938. Staff paper: "Malaya: A Useless Appendix of the Empire".
1940. GOC, Earl's Court/Knightsbridge Fortress Region, London.
1941. Renounces war as a solution to man's problems, GOC Malaya.