Tuesday, December 7, 2010

military folly

During the build up of forces to face Russia's Czar at the Crimea in 1854 cholera broke out in the army. 'When the British sailed from Varna on September 7, men aboard the more than six hundred transports were dying right and left of the disease. At night the bodies were tied with weights and dumped overboard, but, because the weights were too light, the bodies rose again as gases expanded in them, and the troopships were followed by the ghastly spectacle of corpses, kept upright by the weights, bobbing along with just their heads and shoulders out of the water.' (page 195, Great Rivals in History, by Joseph Cummins)

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