Home Forums General General Your mysteries of military history Reply To: Your mysteries of military history

John D Salt

Pedant Alert!

Yes, pedant is indeed alert.

Oh! A Prile of Pedants!

See, that’s interesting, I’d have spelt it “prial”.

Warrior? Could be either, couldn’t he/she? One who makes war? A brave soldier?

I rather like this exegesis of the contrast:

Personally I see “warrior” as entirely American in modern usage, and rather worrying in its apparent glamourisation of war. The British Army may sometimes talk about “warfighters”, but I don’t hear the word “warrior” thrown around as if fighting were something to take pride in for its own sake. In the British Army, a Warrior is an IFV, in the same tradition of naming AFVs after hairy-arsed ancient combatants that gave us “Chieftain”, “Conqueror” and “Centurion” (although the latter would certainly have been a soldier).

Although I am reminded of the story of Queen Victoria visiting a wounded Irish soldier during the Crimean War. Her Majesty, deeply moved, burst out “Oh! This terrible war!”, and the soldier, seeking, doubtless, to comfort her, said “Sure, but it is better than no war at all”.

Okay John, then explain pickelhaube to me. Or anyone. Please.

Errrm, German for “pointy hat”, as for all good German inventions the Russians did it first, and I have always vaguely assumed it was based on the strange idea that you can intimidate people by looking taller. Presumably early trials of close-order drill in elevator heels and stilts determined that tall hats were less unwieldy than tall footwear.

Alternatively the inventor of the Pickelhaube may have heard of the “Hat Theory of Military History”, devised by my old wargaming chum Richard Hurley (who also possesses a fine collection of military millinery), which states that, on the whole, the side with the silliest hats wins.

All the best,