Friday, January 14, 2011

Leave tap runing and soap in bottom of basin

When Major Nott was bundled off to the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915, being a commissioned officer he was expected to provide his own revolver and soap, and naturally he opted for the hard chunk of public-skool carbolic in a melamine case. Thus he survived.

Sadly, most of the regiment were equipped only with army-issue soap that was designed for hygienic efficiency rather than bullet-stopping qualities, or else they stuffed the breast pocket of their shirts with tobacco pouches or Bibbles or whatever. The long and the short and the upshot of it all is that so little was left of Major Nott's regiment after the retreat from Gallipoli* that it was discretely disbanded and the survivors were folded into the Cameron Highlanders to make up their own depleted numbers, which is how a Home Counties Englishperson** became an honorary Scotsman; and how his grandson has sometimes been known to wear the Cameron of Erracht kilt. No photographs are available.

When Rumsfeld and Cheney sent American infantry off to Iraq with woefully inadequate body armour, forcing their families to stump up for gear with better bullet-proofing, they were merely following in a time-honoured tradition.

Experiments reveal that a pump bottle of almond-&-pomegranate shower gel in the breast pocket affords NO PROTECTION from a .303 sniper round. And they call this progress.

* "Gallipoli" is of course the plural form of Gallus Polis, evidently Chickentown.

** Apparently there were also a small proportion of Colonial troops also represented at Gallipoli. Mainly Canadians.

12 comments:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

No photographs are available.

So, no fan-service from the good Doktor? I want a refund!

The J.C.C. song linked is a fave of the bastard.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I am (ALMOST) hesitant to common-tate on this post, given my recent prior history of commentary-slaying...

HOWEVER, I must support the Riddled crew efforts to clean up the internets. Cthulhu, would approve (if he isreal).
~

mikey said...

More likely an 8x57mm round fired from an MG-08 than a .303 round fired by a sniper using a captured Lee Enfield.

Further discussion is available, but only in mikey's explaining voice...

Substance McGravitas said...

Why not just send chain mail? THAT'll scrape the dirt off your skin.

Smut Clyde said...

Checking the bar of soap, the bullet is not really a properly rifled shape of any particular calibre, but is rather a spherical lump of lead. So when I say "sniper" I really mean "some poor Turkish lad armed with his grandfather's blunderbuss". It is a term of art.

Another Kiwi said...

I know of men 'oo 'ave shot their own soaps to try and get out of serving

Smut Clyde said...

I would certainly grant a psychiatric discharge to whoever filmed the initial episode of 'Shortland Street'.

ckc (not kc) said...

You should have seen the boys following me down...I can tell you I never had much left by the time they were all finished.

...gives a whole new slant to "after you with the soap"

mikey said...

What's kind of interesting here, if I may, is that some of the real pioneering wildcatters in the fifties were developing high-velocity varmint rounds around .22 slugs on top of necked-down .30-06 brass, stuff like .22-250 and .250-3000, and one of the kind of weird things they did was cast bullets in .22LR brass using this really hard solid grey industrial laundry soap. It was solid enough to hold together, but it was WAY softer than lead, and at velocities over 3000 FPS it would make small critters vanish in a pink mist. All of which led to to the development of .223 REM, which was the source for 5.56 NATO and 5.45 Russian and just about every intermediate military rifle cartridge in general use around the world today.

So there you have it. Soap and bullets and imperialist oppression, all in one succinct blog comment. This was fun, wasn't it?

Smut Clyde said...

Experiments reveal that a slab of lead in your shirt pocket is good protection against people firing a chunk of laundry soap at you.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Experiments reveal that a slab of lead in your shirt pocket is good protection against people firing a chunk of laundry soap at you.

not if they are shooting at your head.

alison said...

Speaking of the fambly tartan - I've still got our mama's kilt & it sure as heck doesn't fit me. You, being of a slimmer persuasion, might find it more accommodating... U wannit?