light dragoons

I only learned recently that in the 18th century British Army (Light Dragoons Blog News), About one in ten colonels serving between 1713 and 1763 were of Huguenot origin, and they were still better represented in the lower ranks of officer. (John Brewer, The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783.)

I also read that between mid-March and mid-July of 1918 that is, about four months the Germans lost nearly a million men in their big offensive.

In other British military news, I also learned recently that the British ambassador to Iraq during World War II was named Cornwallis1.

Another World War II bit: I don t think I knew that Standartenf hrer Joachim Peiper, who oversaw the Malmedy massacre of American PoWs in December 1944, had previously been an aide de camp to the fiend Heinrich Himmler.

From left field: I ve also learned that the Romans oversaw coal mining in England in the 2nd century AD. I knew that tin was a very early export from the island, and also I think bronze. Ever since I was in the town of Mousehole (pronounced a lot like Mosul ) I ve wondered how much Phoenician or Arab trading occurred in SW Cornwall, and how much linguistic influence they may have had there. Anyone know?

Meantime, back in the US of A, an interesting milestone: In 1890, the United States imported large amounts of fish from Europe for the first time. (This was done because the herring stock in the western North Atlantic was depleted by industrialized fishing using steam engines and machine-made nets.) It is interesting to me that this occurred at about the same time the American frontier was declared closed.

I also read recently2 that the dropout rate at the Marine Scout Sniper Course is 50 to 60 percent. Still, not as high as SEAL school, I am told.

Speaking of the Marines, here3 is the odd story of how a Marine terminal lance corporal once stole an A-4 Skyhawk and then, after flying it out over the California coast, returned to base.

And how did this guy wander into the section of Wright-Pat4 where they keep the alien spaceships?

I also learned (from a review in the new issue of Journal of Military History) that two weeks after Gen. Lesley McNair5 was killed by friendly bombing in Normandy, his only son, who was chief of staff of the 77th Division, also was killed.

And here is something I still don t know: How are those manmade Chinese islands gonna survive the first big typhoon? Verily, the works of man will crumble under the wrath of the skies. Anyone got any answers?

Photo credit: Rygel, M.C./Flickr6

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  1. ^ Cornwallis (
  2. ^ read recently (
  3. ^ here (
  4. ^ the section of Wright-Pat (
  5. ^ Gen. Lesley McNair (
  6. ^ Flickr (

Star Wars: The Force Awakens1 has finally opened in theaters with the biggest opening day of all time2, on its way to set a new opening weekend box-office record3. None of this is particularly surprising, given the new generation of filmmakers now in creative control of the iconic franchise, but it helps that the movie is actually really good4. Now that The Force Awakens is a certified commercial and critical hit, stretching the franchise off into the horizon forever no longer seems like a hypothetical gamble.

Rather than three years in between films, fans will revisit the Star Wars universe again next year, albeit in a very different way. 2016 s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story5, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla6), is as veiled in secrecy as any other part of the franchise but we know that it will feature a lot of practical sets and effects, Hannibal7 star Mads Mikkelsen8 as a good guy and probably the classic stormtroopers9 and Darth Vader10 himself.

Rogue One has been described as both a heist film and a war film, and as a franchise entry which does not focus on the Jedi or the Force, it seems that the filmmakers are reaching for a different overall tone than the main narrative entries. Now, a new report from Forces.tv11 (via Cinema Blend12) reveals that director Edwards seems to be aiming for a certain level of authenticity by casting roughly 40 members of the British military as Rebel background extras on the set in Cardington in Bedfordshire, England.

The extras are comprised of members of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, and part of an Army Air Corps Apache helicopter unit all of them unable to talk about the specifics of what was shot on the set When told that military personnel were wanted as extras on Star Wars, the squad were highly skeptical. According to one anonymous source:

When our Officer Commanding asked us if we wanted to be an extra in the next film during a morning brief, nobody put their hands up. We all thought it must be a wind-up. It took him most of the day to convince us that he really did know someone who was looking for a body of men to mill around in the background and do what they were told.



  1. ^ Star Wars: The Force Awakens (
  2. ^ the biggest opening day of all time (
  3. ^ opening weekend box-office record (
  4. ^ really good (
  5. ^ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (
  6. ^ Godzilla (
  7. ^ Hannibal (
  8. ^ Mads Mikkelsen (
  9. ^ classic stormtroopers (
  10. ^ Darth Vader (
  11. ^ (
  12. ^ Cinema Blend (
  13. ^ (

An interesting skirmish in the Seven Years War. Image from here1 Kronoskaf entry2.
French units were Germans in French service like Bentheim and Royal Baviere and the Bercheny Hussars – see below. So a good colourful skirmish.


  1. ^ here (
  2. ^ entry (