[LMB] RE: Betan Military

Robert A. Woodward robertaw at drizzle.com
Wed, 26 Dec 2001 21:59:00 -0800

POUNCER <altpouncer at yahoo.com> asks:
>Louann Miller <louann_m at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Pouncer wrote:
>> >what was the planned
>> >mission for a body nicknamed "the thin blue line"?
>> I assumed it was a Kipling reference
>> It's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and "chuck 'im out, the
>> brute!" but it's "thin red line of heroes" when the guns
>> begin to  shoot.
>Okay.  So, a question for historians on list. What
>was the strategic mission of the British Army of
>the Tommy Atkins period, which afforded that body
>the nickname "the thin red line" ?

I think it is a metaphor for the British Army in general.

>If it's a Kipling reference -- and always provisionally
>assuming the holovid guys have a historical as
>well as aesthetic reason for making it -- why is that
>reference appropriate?

IIRC, "the thin red line" is older than Kipling. I have a vague
recollection that it is actually a Battle of Waterloo reference and it
alluded to the English tactical doctrine on how how many ranks of infantry
they had when in a line formation (the British Army used fewer ranks than
most continental armies - thiner and longer lines combined with faster
reload rates due to more training resulted in more firepower).

Robert A. Woodward    robertaw at drizzle.com http://www.drizzle.com/~robertaw
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.