Squadron Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Squadron. Here they are! All 199 of them:

Siren Song This is the one song everyone would like to learn: the song that is irresistible: the song that forces men to leap overboard in squadrons even though they see beached skulls the song nobody knows because anyone who had heard it is dead, and the others can’t remember. Shall I tell you the secret and if I do, will you get me out of this bird suit? I don’t enjoy it here squatting on this island looking picturesque and mythical with these two feathery maniacs, I don’t enjoy singing this trio, fatal and valuable. I will tell the secret to you, to you, only to you. Come closer. This song is a cry for help: Help me! Only you, only you can, you are unique at last. Alas it is a boring song but it works every time.
Margaret Atwood
Rogue Squadron doesn’t run. Unless we really, really have to." "No, this will be Wraith Squadron’s mission." "We don’t mind running. Even when we don’t have to.
Aaron Allston (Solo Command (Star Wars: X-Wing, #7))
I don't have to blow up everything I see... I just like to.
Aaron Allston (Wraith Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #5))
I can kill with a single word. I can hurl a ball of fire into the midst of my enemies. I rule a squadron of skeletal warriors, who can destroy by touch alone. I can raise a wall of ice to protect those I serve. The invisible is discernible to my eyes. Ordinary magic spells crumble in my presence... But I bow in the presence of a master. -- Lord Soth to Raistlin Majere
Margaret Weis (Time of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #1))
Impressionable men in the squadron like Dobbs and Captain Flume were so deeply disturbed by Hungry Joe's shrieking nightmares that they woudl begin to have shrieking nightmares of their own, and the piercing obscenities they flung into the air every night from their separate places in the squadron rang against each other in the darkness romantically like the mating calls of songbirds with filthy minds.
Joseph Heller (Catch 22)
(“An eye for an eye,” Mac said at the squadron reunion. Until everyone was blind, Teddy wondered?)
Kate Atkinson (A God in Ruins)
Need to get to Ruislip by sparrow-fart though', said the squadron leader. 'Think you can do that? Can I come along for the ride?
Robert Rankin (Retromancer)
I marked their location in case Kell wanted to blow them up or something.” “I don’t have to blow up everything I see. I just like to.
Aaron Allston (Wraith Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #5))
Honoria, you see, is one of those robust, dynamic girls with the muscles of a welter-weight and a laugh like a squadron of cavalry charging over a tin bridge. A beastly thing to have to face over the breakfast table. Brainy, moreover. The sort of girl who reduces you to pulp with sixteen sets of tennis and a few rounds of golf and then comes down to dinner as fresh as a daisy, expecting you to take an intelligent interest in Freud.
P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3))
I'm the smartest man in the world. Once I wore a cape in public, and fought battles against men who could fly, who had metal skin, who could kill you with their eyes. I fought CoreFire to a standstill, and the Super Squadron, and the Champions. Now I have to shuffle through a cafeteria line with men who tried to pass bad checks. Now I have to wonder if there will be chocolate milk in the dispenser. And whether the smartest man in the world has done the smartest thing he could do with his life.
Austin Grossman (Soon I Will Be Invincible)
Parents are unpredictable when their children are involved,” Harding said. “I’d much rather fight a squadron of Forgotten than deal with an affluent mother who thinks her son is in danger.
Brandon Sanderson (The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1))
The mythology warped and twisted back along itself until Buffy Summers, the girl who once railed against the unfairness of being Chosen, looked at a squadron of girls who were just like she'd been and took away their right to Choose.
Seanan McGuire (Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them)
As Han once told me, "Stealth and subtlety work well, but for making lasting impressions, a blaster does just fine.
Michael A. Stackpole (Rogue Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #1))
So rode the squadrons out against the grey steel foe, adding another dash of red to the sunset glow.
Günter Grass (The Tin Drum)
No genuine Irishman could relax in comfort and feel at home in a pub unless he was sitting in deep gloom on a hard seat with a very sad expression on his face, listening to the drone of bluebottle squadrons carrying out a raid on the yellow cheese sandwich.
Flann O'Brien
The fuel for imagination comes from the feeling in your heart.
Charles A. Cornell (DragonFly (Missions of the DragonFly Squadron #1))
...and then quite suddenly I found that I had no rider, that I had no weight on my back, and that I was alone out in front of the squadron.
Michael Morpurgo (War Horse (War Horse, #1))
She had a laugh like a squadron of cavalry charging over a tin bridge.
P.G. Wodehouse
With a little ingenuity and vision, he had made it all but impossible for anyone in the squadron to talk to him, which was just fine with everyone, he noticed, since no one wanted to talk to him anyway.
Joseph Heller
Often we may even smile or laugh at adversity, but all people share the same passions. They are merely manifest differently according to one's culture and conditioning.
Yasuo Kuwahara (Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot's Own Spectacular Story of the Famous Suicide Squadrons)
Janson gave him a look that was all mock cheer. “Oh, wonderful. I killed his father. He hates me. He knows how to make bombs. Come on, Wedge, how does this story end?
Aaron Allston (Wraith Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #5))
She raised her head and saw a squadron of fighter planes. She stretched her hand high as if she could grab hold and climb away from what she had done, from who she was.
Sarah Sundin (A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory, #2))
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds (20) In ranks and squadrons and right form of war, Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol. The
William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar (The Modern Shakespeare: The Original Play with a Modern Translation))
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Mission One is the meeting with Zsinj. Face commands and has chosen Dia and Kell to accompany him. This is all intelligence gathering, very delicate, which is why the crew is full of deadly killers.
Aaron Allston (Wraith Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #5))
Chorus of old men: If we give them the least hold over us, 'tis all up! their audacity will know no bounds! We shall see them building ships, and fighting sea-fights like Artemisia; nay if they want to mount and ride as cavalry, we had best cashier the knights, for indeed women excel in riding, and have a fine, firm seat for the gallop. Just think of all those squadrons of Amazons Micon has painted for us engaged in hand-to-hand combat with men.
Aristophanes (Lysistrata)
When Galen was first courting Jessamy,' Raphael said with a brush of his thumb over her nipple when their lips parted, 'he began to teach flight skills to the little ones. Over time, it has become a tradition—Galen is always the one who gives basic flight instruction to the babes, and some, like Izak, never stop training with him.' The idea of Galen, with his wings akin to a northern harrier’s, leading a squadron of babies—not all of whom could fly exactly straight—had Elena shaking her head. 'I’m sorry, I need to see to believe this. It’s like you just told me the sky turns purple every Wednesday.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6))
A mosquito. Up here, once the bloodthirsty insects got a bead on you, they came in like a squadron of fighter planes. They made a noise like an incoming missile, had the sting of a harpoon, and their bite left a lump the size of a golf ball. Here
L.A. Dobbs (Telling Lies (Sam Mason Mysteries, #1))
Rising above the squadrons, so he was visible to all, he raised his arm and his sword. “This is our land,” he said, augmenting his voice so it’d reach every man and woman, mortal and immortal, who’d fight this day. “We will not be intimidated, and we will not surrender. We did not begin this war, but we will end it!” A roar shook the world, arms and voices raised in solidarity.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6))
The important thing is to keep them pledging,' he explained to his cohorts. 'It doesn't matter whether they mean it or not. That's why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what "pledge" and "allegiance" mean.' To Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a glorious pain in the ass, since it complicated their task of organizing the crews for each combat mission. Men were tied up all over the squadron signing, pledging and singing, and the missions took hours longer to get under way. Effective emergency action became impossible, but Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were both too timid to raise any outcry against Captain Black, who scrupulously enforced each day the doctrine of 'Continual Reaffirmation' that he had originated, a doctrine designed to trap all those men who had become disloyal since the last time they had signed a loyalty oath the day before. It was Captain Black who came with advice to Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren as they pitched about in their bewildering predicament. He came with a delegation and advised them bluntly to make each man sign a loyalty oath before allowing him to fly on a combat mission.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
A green X-wing closed in tighter to the formation. "Yes, sir." Though distorted by the comm system, the voice sounded indulgent rather than military. "That's 'Yes, Wedge' until we're formally returned to duty." The commander smiled. "Or perhaps, 'Yes, Exalted One.' Or 'Yes, O envy of all Corellia.' Or-
Aaron Allston (Wraith Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #5))
I sat down in the middle of the garden, where snakes could scarcely approach unseen, and leaned my back against a warm yellow pumpkin. There were some ground-cherry bushes growing along the furrows, full of fruit. I turned back the papery triangular sheaths that protected the berries and ate a few. All about me giant grasshoppers, twice as big as any I had ever seen, were doing acrobatic feats among the dried vines. The gophers scurried up and down the ploughed ground. There in the sheltered draw-bottom the wind did not blow very hard, but I could hear it singing its humming tune up on the level, and I could see the tall grasses wave. The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers. Queer little red bugs came out and moved in slow squadrons around me. Their backs were polished vermilion, with black spots. I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.
Willa Cather
Permission to speak, sir?" the chief of boat of the Alexandria said. "When do you ask, COB?" Vancel replied. "Sure." "Hate the situation that we're in, sir," the COB said. "Really getting to hate fish. Don't want to think about what's happened ashore, sir. But this Wolf Squadron thing is like the best soap opera ever." "And turns out she got knocked up by sitting where the guy had spewed in his sleep!" "No fuckin' way!" "That has got to be the lamest excuse ever! 'No, seriously, Mom, I got pregnant from a life raft deck!
John Ringo (Islands of Rage & Hope (Black Tide Rising, #3))
Alright, we’ll have 20 ‘Foxtrot’ pushups,” the SCC roared, “are you ready?” “Yes sir,” the Squadron shouted. “1,” he said, and bent down for a pushup. “Foxtrot,” we hollered, and did a pushup. “2,” he shouted and this continued with everyone being their loudest in the end. This was a kind of energy instilling act, which kept up the morale of the Squadron.
Rajat Mishra (Can I Have a Chocolate Milkshake?)
Be resolved that honor is heavier than the mountains and death lighter than the feather.
Yasuo Kuwahara (Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot's Own Spectacular Story of the Famous Suicide Squadrons)
You can’t reduce sapient lives to numbers and exchange them like credits.
Aaron Allston (Iron Fist (Star Wars: X-Wing, #6))
I was told by “Chesty” Puller* years ago, there is only a hairline’s difference between a Navy Cross and a general court-martial.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
A gang of wild turkeys patrolled the edge of the forest, upright and alert, looking oddly saurian and menacing, like a lost squadron of velociraptors.
Lev Grossman (The Magicians (The Magicians, #1))
Sergeant Paul Ramoneda, a twenty-eight-year-old baker with the Ninth Food Service Squadron, was one of the first to reach the bomber.
Eric Schlosser (Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety)
It did not require a great deal of imagination to picture a world in which power had passed into the hands of Al Capones with their private bombing squadrons.
James Hilton (The Definitive James Hilton Collection)
eye for an eye,” Mac said at the squadron reunion. Until everyone was blind, Teddy wondered?)
Kate Atkinson (A God in Ruins)
Congratulations flew fast and furious when Major Mullen’s squadron landed, for it had unquestionably been one of the most successful ‘shows’ ever undertaken by the squadron.
W.E. Johns (Biggles Learns To Fly)
Focus on the squadron, Naasir. I will take care of Lijuan.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8))
This, she realized suddenly, was probably the best squadron command she would ever have—unless,
David Weber (In Enemy Hands (Honor Harrington, #7))
will not risk the patrol boats. The Surete has squadrons all
Robert Ludlum (Robert Ludlum's Bourne Collection: 8 Great Novels)
Sophia “Seawolf” Smith was one of the founding members of the Wolf Squadron. As such, despite being fifteen, she was a shareholder and not a minor one, as well as being a member of the Captain’s Board as skipper of the thirty-five-foot Worthy Endeavor. The boat had gotten beaten up by nearly six months at sea, not to mention the zombies that took it over, but it was still her boat.
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
Heading into the race, the perception among political professionals and the press had been that the rival campaign squadrons were more or less evenly matched. But as the smoke cleared, a consensus quickly emerged that the Democrats had methodically been building an atomic clock while the Republicans were trifling with Tinkertoys. Chicago’s mockery of Boston was hushed but withering.
Mark Halperin (Double Down: Game Change 2012)
Men,” Colonel Cargill began in Yossarian’s squadron, measuring his pauses carefully. “You’re American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
The last traces of his intellect would vanish as his body no longer put oxygen into his brain. Then he’d be promoted to colonel and run the personnel squadron. It was an inevitable chain of events.
Joe Zieja (Mechanical Failure (Epic Failure, #1))
The castle of Enysfarne was a dark and towering force that hovered over what was left of my innocence. It contained my destiny, of that I had no doubt whatsoever; a fate that threatened to wipe the blush off my face and turn me into the man my father always wanted me to be... Veronica Somerset, Dragonfly.
Charles A. Cornell (DragonFly (Missions of the DragonFly Squadron #1))
fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife; That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the division of a battle knows More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric, Wherein the toged consuls can propose As masterly as he: mere
William Shakespeare (Othello)
Once an air squadron commander, he knew there were many things one could not control when engaged in battle, and that knowledge dictated an iron-willed insistence that what could be controlled must be brought to perfection.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
Gabe taps Michi on the shoulder. “I can understand any hesitation on your part, Michika. If you wish, you can stay behind with your family …” “Nuh-uh, not a chance!” She brushes Gabe’s hand off of her shoulder. “If my best friend’s gonna be risking her life to kick New Empire ass, then I wanna be right there with her in my asskickin’ boots.
Don A. Martinez (The Insurgent's Journal (Phantom Squadron #3))
The challenge of a journalist is to condense a thousand thoughts into a single sound bite. The challenge of an author is to place a simple idea on a canvas as infinite as your imagination. No doubt about it. I have the easier job.
Charles A. Cornell (DragonFly (Missions of the DragonFly Squadron #1))
It was among the knowledgeable others that one hoped to be talked about and admired. It was not impossible—the world of squadrons is small. The years would bow to you; you would be remembered, your name like a thoroughbred’s, a horse that ran and won.
James Salter (A Sport and a Pastime)
Actually, using the Daleks would be a masterstroke. Everyone loves Doctor Who - who wouldn't be thrilled by the sight of a real-life Dalek squadron rolling down the high street, glinting in the sun? The sheer excitement would genuinely make the accompanying loss of liberty seem worthwhile. To liven things up even more, our rasping pepperpot overlords would be colour-coded. Blue Daleks would deal with minor infractions, and would spend most of their time issuing warnings and administering minor shocks - but they'd also be chummy and approachable, and willing to pose for photographs with your nephew. Red Daleks, on the other hand, would be emotionless killing machines. Imagine the atmosphere outside a pub on a hot summer's day: a Red Dalek trundles past, and the convivial hubbub suddenly fades to a whisper. Everyone stiffens. And then he turns the corner and a communal sigh of relief goes up, and the drinking continues and the jukebox plays louder and louder... community spirit lives again. Admit it: it'd be fantastic.
Charlie Brooker (Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline)
Strange as it may seem, the Air Force, except in the air, is the least mobile of all the services. A squadron can reach its destination in a few hours, but its establishments, depots, fuel, spare parts, and workshops take many weeks, and even months, to develop.
Winston S. Churchill (Their Finest Hour (Second World War))
Red Army cavalry divisions also ranged far into the rear, mounted on resilient little Cossack ponies. Squadrons and entire regiments would suddenly appear fifteen miles behind the front, charging artillery batteries or supply depots with drawn sabres and terrifying war-cries. The
Antony Beevor (Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943)
Willy Lazeer is an acquaintance. His teeth and his feet hurt. He hates the climate, the Power Squadron, the government and his wife. The vast load of hate has left him numbed rather than bitter. In appearance, it is as though somebody bleached Sinatra, skinned him, and made Willy wear him.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
A quarter of them came from countries overrun by the Nazis as well as from the Dominions: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia and South Africa. There were so many Canadians that they formed separate RCAF squadrons, and so later did men from other countries, such as the Poles and French.
Antony Beevor (The Second World War)
Early June, Providence, Rhode Island, the sun up for almost two hours already, lighting up the pale bay and the smokestacks of the Narragansett Electric factory, rising like the sun on the Brown University seal emblazoned on all the pennants and banners draped up over campus, a sun with a sagacious face, representing knowledge. But this sun--the one over Providence--was doing the metaphorical sun one better, because the founders of the university, in their Baptist pessimism, had chosen to depict the light of knowledge enshrouded by clouds, indicating that ignorance had not yet been dispelled from the human realm, whereas the actual sun was just now fighting its way through cloud cover, sending down splintered beams of light and giving hope to the squadrons of parents, who'd been soaked and frozen all weekend, that the unseasonable weather might not ruin the day's activities.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
As Ariel recounted the events of her dream, two magnificent, batlike wings grew from the backs of her shoulders, stretched as if preparing to fly, then retreated back into their host. The sound heard when the wings disappear is the giggling of Alanna, who watched the event much the same way I did, in rapt wonder.
Don A. Martinez (Dinétah Dragon (Phantom Squadron, #2))
By eroding their sense of shame we've made immorality normal, not only in the world but also in the forbidden squadron. ...their new Christian friends recommended some of the movies Fletcher had been wondering if he should now avoid. I was delighted one of them said, "This is a great movie--only one sex scene, and the f-word's only used a few times." 'Titanic' is one of my favorites. How many Christian young people have watched it in their own homes? Think of it, Squaltaint. Suppose someone in the youth group said to the boys, 'There's an attractive girl down the street. Let's get together and go look through her window and watch her undress and lay back on a couch and pose naked from the waist up. Then this girl and her boyfriend will get in a car and have sex--let's get as close as we can and listen to them and watch the windows steam up.' The strategy would never work. They'd know immediately it was wrong. But you can get them to do exactly the same thing by using a television instead of a window. That's all is takes! Think of it, Squaltaint. Every day Christians across the country, including many squadron leaders, watch women and men undress and commit acts of fornication and adultery the Enemy calls an abomination. We've made them a bunch of voyeurs! Churches full of peeping toms.
Randy Alcorn (Lord Foulgrin's Letters)
Amongst these brave soldiers was Dfr Vir Singh (Retd) of 4 Horse, whose flesh was charred off his bones by a Cobra missile that hit his tank. He spoke with great regard for his Squadron Commander Maj Bhupinder Singh, MVC, who too was severely burned in the same attack after they had destroyed many tanks in the Battle of Phillora. When the then Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri visited a dying Maj Singh in the Army Base Hospital, Delhi, the officer had tears in his eyes. A touched Shastri told Maj Singh that tears didn’t become a brave soldier like him. Maj Singh replied, ‘Sir, I’m not pained because of any injury. I’m anguished that a soldier is not being able to salute his Prime Minister.
Rachna Bisht Rawat (1965: Stories from the Second Indo-Pak War)
As much as he loved to fly, in the prewar years he regarded his RAF aircraft more as a tool for cracking open English high society than as a weapon for defeating Britain’s enemies.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Justice was the vice of bold, honorable men who died swift, stupid deaths, and vengeance was justice without the sheen of respectability.
Alexander Freed (Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #1))
nothing, absolutely nothing, scares an alcoholic—not even death.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
Seek only to preserve life -- your own and those of others. Life alone is sacred.
Yasuo Kuwahara (Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot's Own Spectacular Story of the Famous Suicide Squadrons)
At the end of the day, everything and everyone can be stolen from us. But not our integrity.
Sarah Noffke (Degeneration (Kurtherian Gambit Universe; The Ghost Squadron #4))
If this story were to have a moral, then I would say: “Just name a hero and I’ll prove he’s a bum.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
Churchill almost single-handedly changed the mood of a nation. Shaking the British out of their lethargy, he imposed his “imagination and will upon his countrymen,
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
A word of advice to you men. Many times in your Marine Corps career you are going to feel like resigning. But don’t forget: one son of a bitch or four or five cannot ruin the Corps.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
Nineteen members of an Army detachment were arrested on pot charges at a Nike Hercules base on Mount Gleason, overlooking Los Angeles. One of them had been caught drying a large amount of marijuana on land belonging to the U.S. Forest Service. Three enlisted men at a Nike Hercules base in San Rafael, California, were removed from guard duty for psychiatric reasons. One of them had been charged with pointing a loaded rifle at the head of a sergeant. Although illegal drugs were not involved in the case, the three men were allowed to guard the missiles, despite a history of psychiatric problems. The squadron was understaffed, and its commander feared that hippies—“people from the Haight-Ashbury”—were trying to steal nuclear weapons.
Eric Schlosser (Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety)
Ariel sighed. “How are you not self-conscious about that?” Kitty chuckled. “Hey, I got used to it in a hurry, and I kind of like the side perks. I always wanted to … y’know, be superhuman, do some of the things I’ve been able to do with this setup.” She curled her tail up to take it in her hands. “Now I know how the guys feel, having something extra in your pants tends to be awkward after a while.
Don A. Martinez (The Advance Guard (Phantom Squadron, #1))
the good people weren’t put here to keep evil in check. Evil was put here to remind us that there’s a reason we fight. It’s to protect what we should value most: Life. Life itself is the greatest treasure.
Sarah Noffke (Degeneration (Kurtherian Gambit Universe; The Ghost Squadron #4))
In the eyes of his contemporaries, Caesar was cast in the mold of a Catilina: bright, radical and scandalous. He had already acquired an exotic reputation. His adventures during his teens when he had been on the run from Sulla had been only the start. In his twenties, like many young upper-class Romans, he had gone soldiering in Asia and won the Civic Crown—an award analogous to the Medal of Honor—for conspicuous gallantry in action. He may also have had a brief love affair with the King of Bithynia, but it did not inhibit his vigorous sex life among the wives of his contemporaries back in Rome. A Senator once referred to him in a speech as “every woman’s man and every man’s woman” and for the rest of Caesar’s career he had to endure much heavy-handed jocularity about the incident. A few years later Caesar was captured by pirates, who were endemic in the Mediterranean; while waiting for his ransom to arrive he got onto friendly terms with his captors, but warned them that he would return and have them crucified. They thought he was joking. They were not the last to underestimate Caesar’s determination and regret it. AS soon as he was free, he raised a squadron on his own initiative, tracked down the pirates and executed them, just as he had promised.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
On Growing Old Be with me, Beauty, for the fire is dying; My dog and I are old, too old for roving. Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying, Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving. I take the book and gather to the fire, Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute The clock ticks to my heart. A withered wire, Moves a thin ghost of music in the spinet. I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander Your cornland, nor your hill-land, nor your valleys Ever again, nor share the battle yonder Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies. Only stay quiet while my mind remembers The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers. Beauty, have pity! for the strong have power, The rich their wealth, the beautiful their grace, Summer of man its sunlight and its flower. Spring-time of man, all April in a face. Only, as in the jostling in the Strand, Where the mob thrusts, or loiters, or is loud, The beggar with the saucer in his hand Asks only a penny from the passing crowd, So, from this glittering world with all its fashion, Its fire, and play of men, its stir, its march, Let me have wisdom, Beauty, wisdom and passion, Bread to the soul, rain when the summers parch. Give me but these, and though the darkness close Even the night will blossom as the rose.
John Masefield (Enslaved and Other Poems)
Trapped with his men in no man’s land, Hutchison saw, to his amazement, “a squadron of Indian Cavalry, dark faces under glistening helmets, galloping across the valley towards the slope. No troops could have presented a more inspiring sight than these natives of India with lance and sword, tearing in mad cavalcade on to the skyline. A few disappeared over it: they never came back. The remainder became the target of every gun and rifle.
Adam Hochschild (To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918)
Later than usual one summer morning in 1984, Zoyd Wheeler drifted awake in sunlight through a creeping fig that hung in the window, with a squadron of blue jays stomping around on the roof. In his dreams these had been carrier pigeons from someplace far across the ocean, landing and taking off again one by one, each bearing a message for him, but none of whom, light pulsing in the wings, he could ever quite get to in time. He understood it to be another deep nudge from forces unseen, almost surely connected with the letter that had come along with his latest mental-disability check, reminding him that unless he did something publicly crazy before a date now less than a week away, he would no longer qualify for benefits. He groaned out of bed. Somewhere down the hill hammers and saws were busy and country music was playing out of somebody's truck radio. Zoyd was out of smokes.
Thomas Pynchon (Vineland)
He had been living in a down-town Y.M.C.A., but when he quit the task of making sow-ear purses out of sows' ears, he moved up-town and went to work immediately as a reporter for The Sun. He kept at this for a year, doing desultory writing on the side, with little success, and then one day an infelicitous incident peremptorily closed his newspaper career. On a February afternoon he was assigned to report a parade of Squadron A. Snow threatening, he went to sleep instead before a hot fire, and when he woke up did a smooth column about the muffled beats of the horses' hoofs in the snow… This he handed in. Next morning a marked copy of the paper was sent down to the City Editor with a scrawled note: "Fire the man who wrote this." It seemed that Squadron A had also seen the snow threatening—had postponed the parade until another day. A week later he had begun "The Demon Lover."… In
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
The fundamentalist (or, more accurately, the beleaguered individual who comes to embrace fundamentalism) cannot stand freedom. He cannot find his way into the future, so he retreats to the past. He returns in imagination to the glory days of his race and seeks to reconstitute both them and himself in their purer, more virtuous light. He gets back to basics. To fundamentals. Fundamentalism and art are mutually exclusive. There is no such thing as fundamentalist art. This does not mean that the fundamentalist is not creative. Rather, his creativity is inverted. He creates destruction. Even the structures he builds, his schools and networks of organization, are dedicated to annihilation, of his enemies and of himself. But the fundamentalist reserves his greatest creativity for the fashioning of Satan, the image of his foe, in opposition to which he defines and gives meaning to his own life. Like the artist, the fundamentalist experiences Resistance. He experiences it as temptation to sin. Resistance to the fundamentalist is the call of the Evil One, seeking to seduce him from his virtue. The fundamentalist is consumed with Satan, whom he loves as he loves death. Is it coincidence that the suicide bombers of the World Trade Center frequented strip clubs during their training, or that they conceived of their reward as a squadron of virgin brides and the license to ravish them in the fleshpots of heaven? The fundamentalist hates and fears women because he sees them as vessels of Satan, temptresses like Delilah who seduced Samson from his power. To combat the call of sin, i.e., Resistance, the fundamentalist plunges either into action or into the study of sacred texts. He loses himself in these, much as the artist does in the process of creation. The difference is that while the one looks forward, hoping to create a better world, the other looks backward, seeking to return to a purer world from which he and all have fallen.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
Wars, wars, wars': reading up on the region I came across one moment when quintessential Englishness had in fact intersected with this darkling plain. In 1906 Winston Churchill, then the minister responsible for British colonies, had been honored by an invitation from Kaiser Wilhelm II to attend the annual maneuvers of the Imperial German Army, held at Breslau. The Kaiser was 'resplendent in the uniform of the White Silesian Cuirassiers' and his massed and regimented infantry... reminded one more of great Atlantic rollers than human formations. Clouds of cavalry, avalanches of field-guns and—at that time a novelty—squadrons of motor-cars (private and military) completed the array. For five hours the immense defilade continued. Yet this was only a twentieth of the armed strength of the regular German Army before mobilization. Strange to find Winston Churchill and Sylvia Plath both choosing the word 'roller,' in both its juggernaut and wavelike declensions, for that scene.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The squadron of men-of-war and transports was collected, the commodore’s flag hoisted, and the expedition sailed with most secret orders, which, as usual, were as well known to the enemy, and everybody in England, as they were to those by whom they were given. It is the characteristic of our nation, that we scorn to take any unfair advantage, or reap any benefit, by keeping our intentions a secret. We imitate the conduct of that English tar, who, having entered a fort, and meeting a Spanish officer without his sword, being providentially supplied with two cut-lasses himself, immediately offered him one, that they might engage on fair terms. The idea is generous, but not wise. But I rather imagine that this want of secrecy arises from all matters of importance being arranged by cabinet councils. In the multitude of counsellors there may be wisdom, but there certainly is not secrecy. Twenty men have probably twenty wives, and it is therefore twenty to one but the secret transpires through that channel. Further, twenty men have twenty tongues; and much as we complain of women not keeping secrets, I suspect that men deserve the odium of the charge quite as much, if not more, than women do. On the whole, it is forty to one against secrecy, which, it must be acknowledged, are long odds. On the arrival of the squadron at the point of attack, a few more days were thrown away,—probably upon the same generous principle of allowing the enemy sufficient time for preparation.
Frederick Marryat
No, Faith ain’t gonna get charged with assault. I’m not even sure the incident occurred cause neither are you. You get three days off on the Alpha to get your head back together. Then you decide if you want to help out or go in a hold. Or, hell, I’ll drop you off at a little town and you can fight zombies for supplies and fish for your supper. If you decide you want to help, God knows we need people who can organize and you should be able to do that. But if so, you’re going to have to climb down. And you sure as shit had better figure out a way to apologize to Lieutenant Smith or at some point you’re going to end up shark bait. Because the Marines, with the exception of Captain Milo ‘I’m scared of zombies’ Wilkes, just absolutely hate your fucking guts. And the one group you do not want pissed off at you in this Squadron is the fucking Marines. And of all the Marines, the one you seriously do not want to get on the bad side of is Faith Marie Smith. They call her Shewolf for a reason…
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
Why not stop awhile? Your record is pretty good; you might form younger pilots, and in time go back to your squadron." "Yes, and people would say that, hoping for no more distinctions, I have given up fighting." "What does it matter? Let people talk, and when you appear in better condition they will understand...you will admit that human strength has its limits." "Yes," Georges interposed, "a limit which we must endeavor to leave behind. We have given nothing as long as we have not given everything.
Henry Bordeaux (George Guynemer, Knight of the Air (Wwi Centenary Series))
Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the inoffensive joint squadron operations officers, were both mild, soft-spoken men of less than middle height who enjoyed flying combat missions and begged nothing more of life and Colonel Cathcart than the opportunity to continue flying them. They had flown hundreds of combat missions and wanted to fly hundreds more. They assigned themselves to every one. Nothing so wonderful as war had ever happened to them before; and they were afraid it might never happen to them again.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
I have never been brave, but most of the things for which I had been given credit for bravery were nothing but daredevil stunts. I was trying to build up my own ego, trying to imitate the bravery of people I had read about or had been told about in the years gone by.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
A villain. The enemy. Sandor watched Sophie tug on her eyelashes—her nervous habit, back in full force. “Nothing is going to happen,” he promised, tucking her blond hair behind her ear with a surprisingly gentle touch for a seven-foot-tall goblin warrior. It definitely helped having Sandor back at her side—especially after almost losing him during the battle on Mount Everest. And Sandor wasn’t the only goblin at Foxfire anymore. Each of the six wings in the main campus building had been assigned its own patrol, with two additional squadrons keeping watch over the sprawling grounds. The Council had also added security throughout the Lost Cities. They had to. The ogres were still threatening war. And in the three weeks since Sophie and her friends had returned from hiding with the Black Swan, the Neverseen had scorched the main gate of the Sanctuary and broken into the registry in Atlantis. Sophie could guess what the rebels had hoped to gain from the elves’ secret animal preserve—they obviously didn’t know that she’d convinced the Council to set the precious alicorns free. But the registry attack remained a mystery. The Councillors kept careful records on every elf ever born, and no one would tell her if any files had been altered or stolen. A bubble popped on Sophie’s head, and Sandor caught the box of Prattles that had been hovering inside. “If you’re going to eat these, I should check them first,” he told her. Sandor’s wide, flat nose scented no toxins in the nutty candy, but he insisted on examining the pin before handing them over. Every box of Prattles came with a special collectible inside, and in the past, the Black
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
I was soon discharged from the rehab center and sent back to the SAS. But the doctor’s professional opinion was that I shouldn’t military parachute again. It was too risky. One dodgy landing, at night, in full kit, and my patched-up spine could crumple. He didn’t even mention the long route marches carrying huge weights on our backs. Every SF soldier knows that a weak back is not a good opener for life in an SAS squadron. It is also a cliché just how many SAS soldiers’ backs and knees are plated and pinned together, after years of marches and jumps.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.    Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported, “Light, bearing on the starboard bow.”    “Is it steady or moving astern?” the captain called out.    Lookout replied, “Steady, captain,” which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.    The captain then called to the signalman, “Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees.”    Back came a signal, “Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees.”    The captain said, “Send, I’m a captain, change course 20 degrees.”    “I’m a seaman second class,” came the reply. “You had better change course 20 degrees.”    By that time, the captain was furious. He spat out, “Send, I’m a battleship. Change course 20 degrees.”    Back came the flashing light, “I’m a lighthouse.”    We changed course.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
The Empire was crumbling every day. Trillions of people were free because of the Rebellion. Because she was a general running a battle group instead of a cell leader flying the Ghost on one mad assignment or another. Still, she missed her old crew. Her family. She wished they all could have been with her aboard the Lodestar.
Alexander Freed (Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #1))
decisive feature. Tank divisions or brigades, and still more smaller units, could form fronts in any direction so swiftly that the perils of being outflanked or taken in rear or cut off had a greatly lessened significance. On the other hand, all depended from moment to moment upon fuel and ammunition, and the supply of both was far more complicated for armoured forces than for the self-contained ships and squadrons at sea. The principles on which the art of war is founded expressed themselves therefore in novel terms, and every encounter taught lessons of its own. ENEMY DISPOSITIONS Nov. 18. OPENING PHASE Nov. 18–19 The magnitude of the war effort involved in these Desert struggles must
Winston S. Churchill (The Grand Alliance: The Second World War, Volume 3)
So he's right?" Sophia said. "From what I've read, yes. That was known back when you were...Never mind...Just...Technically he is right. Over." "Ick," Sophia said. "I just...Maybe calling you wasn't the best choice, Da. Over." "I'm glad you did. We never get to talk. But, I've got to get this straight. This Walker guy thinks she got pregnant from involuntary emissions on the damp bottom of a lifeboat? Over." "Yes," Sophia said. "She's...virgo intacta. And they're both...Like Olga said, only virgins could be that incoherent about it. Over." "You're not particularly incoherent about it, over." "You've been talking to us about it since we were kids in one way or another," Sophia said. "And let's just say this cruise has been a real eye-opener." "I'd say sorry but I didn't start the Plague. Okay, Walker. What's his medical background, over?" "I'm not sure," Sophia said. "He said he took a course once that included advanced midwifery. I'm not even sure what that means except it has to do with delivering babies." "God knows we're going to need it. Okay, I'm going to get the CDC to call you and see if they can confirm what you've said. I'm also going to pass this around in the official news bulletin. Over." "Uh, isn't this a little private, Da?" Sophia asked. "Well, it's that or every little old lady on the Boadicea will be beating him with their canes. Squadron, out.
John Ringo (Islands of Rage & Hope (Black Tide Rising, #3))
I didn’t know what he was yelling about, but he said he would handle it, and I was to have you report IMMEDIATELY. He also said I could smell when you were coming because you would be like a bourbon factory. He said you were a bull-necked, flat-nosed son of a bitch who would have no cap or raincoat because you didn’t have brains enough to wear them.
Gregory Boyington (Baa Baa Black Sheep: The True Story of the "Bad Boy" Hero of the Pacific Theatre and His Famous Black Sheep Squadron)
The answer," the torture droid said, "is simple: The Emperor who ordered Operation Cinder, who oversaw countless genocides and massacres and created an Empire where torture droids were in common use, was not a man of secret brilliance and foresight. "He was a cruel man. Petty and spiteful in the most ordinary of ways; and spiteful men do spiteful things. Whatever else he intended, that is the root of it all.
Alexander Freed (Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #1))
Berlin. November 18, 1917. Sunday. I think Grosz has something demonic in him. This new Berlin art in general, Grosz, Becher, Benn, Wieland Herzfelde, is most curious. Big city art, with a tense density of impressions that appears simultaneous, brutally realistic, and at the same time fairy-tale-like, just like the big city itself, illuminating things harshly and distortedly as with searchlights and then disappearing in the glow. A highly nervous, cerebral, illusionist art, and in this respect reminiscent of the music hall and also of film, or at least of a possible, still unrealized film. An art of flashing lights with a perfume of sin and perversity like every nocturnal street in the big city. The precursors are E.T.A. Hoffmann, Breughel, Mallarmé, Seurat, Lautrec, the futurists: but in the density and organization of the overwhelming abundance of sensation, the brutal reality, the Berliners seem new to me. Perhaps one could also include Stravinsky here (Petrushka). Piled-up ornamentation each of which expresses a trivial reality but which, in their sum and through their relations to each other, has a thoroughly un-trivial impact. All round the world war rages and in the center is this nervous city in which so much presses and shoves, so many people and streets and lights and colors and interests: politics and music hall, business and yet also art, field gray, privy counselors, chansonettes, and right and left, and up and down, somewhere, very far away, the trenches, regiments storming over to attack, the dying, submarines, zeppelins, airplane squadrons, columns marching on muddy streets, Hindenburg and Ludendorff, victories; Riga, Constantinople, the Isonzo, Flanders, the Russian Revolution, America, the Anzacs and the poilus, the pacifists and the wild newspaper people. And all ending up in the half-darkened Friedrichstrasse, filled with people at night, unconquerable, never to be reached by Cossacks, Gurkhas, Chasseurs d'Afrique, Bersaglieris, and cowboys, still not yet dishonored, despite the prostitutes who pass by. If a revolution were to break out here, a powerful upheaval in this chaos, barricades on the Friedrichstrasse, or the collapse of the distant parapets, what a spark, how the mighty, inextricably complicated organism would crack, how like the Last Judgment! And yet we have experienced, have caused precisely this to happen in Liège, Brussels, Warsaw, Bucharest, even almost in Paris. That's the world war, all right.
Harry Graf Kessler (Journey to the Abyss: The Diaries of Count Harry Kessler, 1880-1918)
I built, of blocks, a town three hundred thousand strong, whose avenues were paved with a wine-colored rug and decorated by large leaves outlined inappropriately in orange, and on this leafage I'd often park my Tootsie Toy trucks, as if on pads of camouflage, waiting their deployment against catastrophes which included alien invasions, internal treachery, and world war. It was always my intention, and my conceit, to use up, in the town's construction, every toy I possessed: my electronic train, of course, the Lincoln Logs, old kindergarten blocks—their deeply incised letters always a problem—the Erector set, every lead soldier that would stand (broken ones were sent to the hospital), my impressive array of cars, motorcycles, tanks, and trucks—some with trailers, some transporting gas, some tows, some dumps—and my squadrons of planes, my fleet of ships, my big and little guns, an undersized group of parachute people (looking as if one should always imagine them high in the sky, hanging from threads), my silversided submarines, along with assorted RR signs, poles bearing flags, prefab houses with faces pasted in their windows, small boxes of a dozen variously useful kinds, strips of blue cloth for streams and rivers, and glass jars for town water towers, or, in a pinch, jails. In time, the armies, the citizens, even the streets would divide: loyalties, friendships, certainties, would be undermined, the city would be shaken by strife; and marbles would rain down from formerly friendly planes, steeples would topple onto cars, and shellfire would soon throw aggie holes through homes, soldiers would die accompanied by my groans, and ragged bands of refugees would flee toward mountain caves and other chairs and tables.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
I have to tell you, Major, if we don't get these bombs and stop this Jap fleet, they're gonna come in here and bomb the hell out of this place and maybe recapture it. Then their planes will be dropping these bombs on you. I've gotta have these bombs, sir, or we'll have a disaster on our hands.' Lupo asked who the major's superior was. The Army officer mentioned a colonel who stationed out toward the front. 'He's out fighting a war, and I'm not going to bother him." 'Well," Lupo said, "that's just too bad." The pilot pulled out his service revolver and pointed it at the major. Then Lupo handed the pistol to his radioman, Earl Gifford, instructing the flabbergasted aircrewman to hold the Army officer at bay. Lupo climbed into the cockpit of his plane and hailed the Fanshaw Bay on the radio. His fellow pilots from VC-68 and other Taffy 3 squadrons were already inbound
James D. Hornfischer (The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour)
Faith’s like a goddess to the Marines, and she’s actually good at her job, especially given she’d just finished seventh grade. Which is an important job. She does really important shit. “Right now, you’re just getting your head together. Like the pamphlet says, maybe you decide to help out. We can use people who know how to get shit done. Not just as military. I only took the Lieutenancy they offered cause I have to work with the Navy and Marines to get my job done and it helps. But there’s lots of ways a guy with your background and work ethic and general get-it-done attitude could help. Problem being, even if you wanted to, right now the only reason the Marines haven’t gotten together to kick the crap out of you is that they’re too busy. When they get less busy or, for example, this evening when they break from killing zombies, I would not want to be in your shoes.” “So what is this?” Zumwald said. “A military dictatorship? Beatings for free?” “Yeah,” Isham said, looking at him as if he was nuts. “We’re on ships. And they are all officially US Navy vessels. Even most of the dinky little yachts. The commanders, including this one, are all Navy officers, even if the ink is still wet on the commissions. And even if they weren’t, captains of vessels at sea have a lot of legal control in any circumstances. By the way, I talked Captain Graham, boss of this boat, out of pressing charges against you for assault. Because you don’t get how badly you fucked up. I get that. He’s another Faith lover, but it’s also you don’t get to just grab any cookie and tell her you want another scotch. You don’t. This isn’t Hollywood, and, sorry, you’re not some big time movie executive anymore. You’re a fucking refugee in a squadron that spends half its time on the ragged edge. Still. You got no clue how tough it is to keep these vessels supplied.
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
Cadets saavdhan,” our Squadron drill instructor shouted at us, and we all came to attention. “Saab, inka drill accha nahi hai. Poora 102 course kaamchor hai, inko khub ragda do,” he said (their drill movements are pathetic, entire 102 course is a shammer, roger them nicely). Then moving towards one of us in the second file, he shouted, “Ye tumhaari belt hai ki ghaagre ka naada?” Apparently, one of us had a loose belt. In fact, it was probably just fine but ideally, the belt was supposed to be as tight as physically possible. “Saab,” D-Lo said to our Squadron instructor, grabbing the cadet from his belt from the front and shaking his entire body from the middle. “Poora ka poora Squadron, to Zero-point,” he said angrily (send the entire Squadron to Zero-point). Saying that, he moved ahead to attack the next Squadron. “Zero-point poora course,” our Squadron instructor screamed at all of us, and we sprinted towards this not-so-coveted place, with him following us.
Rajat Mishra (Can I Have a Chocolate Milkshake?)
So that is how we came to be standing in a sparse room, in a nondescript building in the barracks at SAS HQ--just a handful out of all those who had started out so many months earlier. We shuffled around impatiently. We were ready. Ready, finally, to get badged as SAS soldiers. The colonel of the regiment walked in, dressed casually in lightweight camo trousers, shirt, beret, and blue SAS belt. He smiled at us. “Well done, lads. Hard work, isn’t it?” We smiled back. “You should be proud today. But remember: this is only the beginning. The real hard work starts now, when you return to your squadron. Many are called, few are chosen. Live up to that.” He paused. “And from now on for the rest of your life remember this: you are part of the SAS family. You’ve earned that. And it is the finest family in the world. But what makes our work here extraordinary is that everyone here goes that little bit extra. When everyone else gives up, we give more. That is what sets us apart.” It is a speech I have never forgotten.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I was soon discharged from the rehab center and sent back to the SAS. But the doctor’s professional opinion was that I shouldn’t military parachute again. It was too risky. One dodgy landing, at night, in full kit, and my patched-up spine could crumple. He didn’t even mention the long route marches carrying huge weights on our backs. Every SF soldier knows that a weak back is not a good opener for life in an SAS squadron. It is also a cliché just how many SAS soldiers’ backs and knees are plated and pinned together, after years of marches and jumps. Deep down I knew the odds weren’t looking great for me in the squadron, and that was a very hard pill to swallow. But it was a decision that, sooner or later, I would have to face up to. The doctors could give me their strong recommendations, but ultimately I had to make the call. A familiar story. Life is all about our decisions. And big decisions can often be hard to make. So I thought I would buy myself some time before I made it. In the meantime, at the squadron, I took on the role of teaching survival to other units. I also helped the intelligence guys while my old team were out on the ground training. But it was agony for me. Not physically, but mentally: watching the guys go out, fired up, tight, together, doing the job and getting back excited and exhausted. That was what I should have been doing. I hated sitting in an ops room making tea for intelligence officers. I tried to embrace it, but deep down I knew this was not what I had signed up for. I had spent an amazing few years with the SAS, I had trained with the best, and been trained by the best, but if I couldn’t do the job fully, I didn’t want to do it at all. The regiment is like that. To keep its edge, it has to keep focused on where it is strongest. Unable to parachute and carry the huge weights for long distances, I was dead weight. That hurt. That is not how I had vowed to live my life, after my accident. I had vowed to be bold and follow my dreams, wherever that road should lead. So I went to see the colonel of the regiment and told him my decision. He understood, and true to his word, he assured me that the SAS family would always be there when I needed it. My squadron gave me a great piss-up, and a little bronze statue of service. (It sits on my mantelpiece, and my boys play soldiers with it nowadays.) And I packed my kit and left 21 SAS forever. I fully admit to getting very drunk that night.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I clutch to William’s hand. “I can do this.” He nods and pulls me tight into his arms. “I know you can. I believe in you.” I hug him tightly. I don’t want to lose this … I don’t want this to change anything; I still want to love this man when this is over. “Take care of the others.” He whispers in my ear. “I will.” He picks me up and kisses me, deeply and desperately, for a long time. When we finally release our lip lock, we’re both in tears. His voice is barely a whisper. “I love you, Alanna.” I stroke his cheek. “I love you.” It’s the first time we’ve both said it out loud at the same time. Something about that makes me feel very hopeful, despite the circumstances.
Don A. Martinez (Infernal Eighteen (Phantom Squadron #4))
I'm probably just as good an atheist as you are," she speculated boastfully. "But even I feel that we all have a great deal to be thankful for and that we shouldn't be ashamed to show it." "Name one thing I've got to be thankful for," Yossarian challenged her without interest. "Well..." Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife mused and paused a moment to ponder dubiously. "Me." "Oh, come on," he scoffed. She arched her eyebrows in surprise. "Aren't you thankful for me?" she asked. She frowned peevishly, her pride wounded. "I don't have to shack up with you, you know," she told him with cold dignity. "My husband has a whole squadron full of aviation cadets who would be only too happy to shack up with their commanding officer's wife just for the added fillip it would give them." Yossarian decided to change the subject. "Now you're changing the subject," he pointed out diplomatically. "I'll bet I can name two things to be miserable about for every one you can name to be thankful for." "Be thankful you've got me," she insisted. "I am, honey. But I'm also goddam good and miserable that I can't have Dori Duz again, too. Or the hundreds of other girls and women I'll see and want in my short lifetime and won't be able to go to bed with even once." "Be thankful you're healthy." "Be bitter you're not going to stay that way." "Be glad you're even alive." "Be furious you're going to die." "Things could be much worse," she cried. "They could be one hell of a lot better," he answered heatedly.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
He suddenly felt the intense sad loveliness of being as being, apart from right or wrong: that, indeed, the mere fact of being was the ultimate right. He began to love the land under him with a fierce longing, not because it was good or bad, but because it was: because of the shadows of the corn stocks on a golden evening; because the sheep’s tails would rattle when they ran, and the lambs, sucking, would revolve their tails in little eddies; because the clouds in daylight would surge it into light and shade; because the squadrons of green and golden plover, worming in pasture fields, would advance in short, unanimous charges, head to wind; because the spinsterish herons, who keep their hair up with fish bones according to David Garnett, would fall down in a faint if a boy could stalk them and shout before he was seen; because the smoke from homesteads was a blue beard straying into heaven; because the stars were brighter in puddles than in the sky; because there were puddles, and leaky gutters, and dung hills with poppies on them; because the salmon in the rivers suddenly leaped and fell; because the chestnut buds, in the balmy wind of spring, would jump out of their twigs like jacks-in-boxes, or like little spectres holding up green hands to scare him; because the jackdaws, building, would hang in the air with branches in their mouths, more beautiful than any ark-returning dove; because, in the moonlight there below, God’s greatest blessing to the world was stretched, the silver gift of sleep.
T.H. White
The journey up to battle camp started badly. “If you can’t even load a bloody truck with all your kit properly, then you’ve got no bloody chance of passing what’s ahead of you, I can assure you of that!” Taff, our squadron DS, barked at us in the barracks before leaving. I, for one, was more on edge than I had ever felt so far on Selection. I was carsick on the journey north, and I hadn’t felt that since I’d been a kid heading back to school. It was nerves. We also quizzed Taff for advice on what to expect and how to survive the “capture-initiation” phase. His advice to Trucker and me was simple: “You two toffs just keep your mouths shut--23 DS tend to hate recruits who’ve been to private school.” The 23 SAS were running the battle camp (it generally alternated between 21 and 23 SAS), and 23 were always regarded as tough, straight-talking, hard-drinking, fit-as-hell soldiers. We had last been with them at Test Week all those months earlier, and rumor was that “the 23 DS are going to make sure that any 21 recruits get it the worst.” Trucker and I hoped simply to try and stay “gray men” and not be noticed. To put our heads down and get on and quietly do the work. This didn’t exactly go according to plan. “Where are the lads who speak like Prince Charles?” The 23 DS shouted on the first parade when we arrived. “Would you both like newspapers with your morning tea, gents?” the DS sarcastically enquired. Part of me was tempted to answer how nice that would be, but I resisted. The DS continued: “I’ve got my eye on you two. Do I want to have to put my life one day in your posh, soft hands? Like fuck I do. If you are going to pass this course you are going to have to earn it and prove yourself the hard way. You both better be damned good.” Oh, great, I thought. I could tell the next fortnight was going to be a ball-buster.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
So that is how we came to be standing in a sparse room, in a nondescript building in the barracks at SAS HQ--just a handful out of all those who had started out so many months earlier. We shuffled around impatiently. We were ready. Ready, finally, to get badged as SAS soldiers. The colonel of the regiment walked in, dressed casually in lightweight camo trousers, shirt, beret, and blue SAS belt. He smiled at us. “Well done, lads. Hard work, isn’t it?” We smiled back. “You should be proud today. But remember: this is only the beginning. The real hard work starts now, when you return to your squadron. Many are called, few are chosen. Live up to that.” He paused. “And from now on for the rest of your life remember this: you are part of the SAS family. You’ve earned that. And it is the finest family in the world. But what makes our work here extraordinary is that everyone here goes that little bit extra. When everyone else gives up, we give more. That is what sets us apart.” It is a speech I have never forgotten. I stood there, my boots worn, cracked, and muddy, my trousers ripped, and wearing a sweaty black T-shirt. I felt prouder than I had ever felt in my life. We all came to attention--no pomp and ceremony. We each shook the colonel’s hand and were handed the coveted SAS sandy beret. Along the way, I had come to learn that it was never about the beret--it was about what it stood for: camaraderie, sweat, skill, humility, endurance, and character. I molded the beret carefully onto my head as he finished down the line. Then he turned and said: “Welcome to the SAS. My door is always open if you need anything--that’s how things work around here. Now go and have a beer or two on me.” Trucker and I had done it, together, against all the odds. So that was SAS Selection. And as the colonel had said, really it was just the beginning.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Since I did Selection all those years ago, not much has really changed. The MOD (Ministry of Defence) website still states that 21 SAS soldiers need the following character traits: “Physically and mentally robust. Self-confident. Self-disciplined. Able to work alone. Able to assimilate information and new skills.” It makes me smile now to read those words. As Selection had progressed, those traits had been stamped into my being, and then during the three years I served with my squadron they became molded into my psyche. They are the same qualities I still value today. The details of the jobs I did once I passed Selection aren’t for sharing publicly, but they included some of the most extraordinary training that any man can be lucky enough to receive. I went on to be trained in demolitions, air and maritime insertions, foreign weapons, jungle survival, trauma medicine, Arabic, signals, high-speed and evasive driving, winter warfare, as well as “escape and evasion” survival for behind enemy lines. I went through an even more in-depth capture initiation program as part of becoming a combat-survival instructor, which was much longer and more intense than the hell we endured on Selection. We became proficient in covert night parachuting and unarmed combat, among many other skills--and along the way we had a whole host of misadventures. But what do I remember and value most? For me, it is the camaraderie, and the friendships--and of course Trucker, who is still one of my best friends on the planet. Some bonds are unbreakable. I will never forget the long yomps, the specialist training, and of course a particular mountain in the Brecon Beacons. But above all, I feel a quiet pride that for the rest of my days I can look myself in the mirror and know that once upon a time I was good enough. Good enough to call myself a member of the SAS. Some things don’t have a price tag.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Lieutenant Smith was asked by Mister Zumwald to get him a drink,” Wilkes said. “She responded with physical violence. I counseled her on conduct unbecoming of an officer and, when she reacted with foul language, on disrespect to a superior officer, sir, and I’ll stand by that position. Sir.” “I agree that her actions were unbecoming, Captain,” Steve said, mildly. “She really should have resolved it with less force. Which I told her as well as a strong lecture on respect to a superior officer. On the other hand, Captain, Mister Zumwald physically accosted her, grabbing her arm and, when she protested, called her a bitch. Were you aware of that, Captain?” “She did say something about it, sir,” Wilkes said. “However… ” “I also understand that you spent some time with Mister Zumwald afterwards,” Steve said. “Rather late. Did you at any time express to Mister Zumwald that accosting any woman, much less an officer of… what was it? ‘The United States Naval services’ was unacceptable behavior, Captain?” “Sir,” Wilkes said. “Mister Zumwald is a major Hollywood executive… ” “Was,” Steve said. “Excuse me, sir?” Wilkes said. “Was a major Hollywood executive,” Steve said. “Right now, Ernest Zumwald, Captain, is a fucking refugee off a fucking lifeboat. Period fucking dot. He’s given a few days grace, like most refugees, to get his headspace and timing back, then he can decide if he wants to help out or go in with the sick, lame and lazy. And in this case he’s a fucking refugee who thinks it’s acceptable to accost some unknown chick and tell him to get him a fucking drink. Grab her by the arm and, when she tells him to let go, become verbally abusive. “What makes the situation worse, Captain, is that the person he accosted was not just any passing young hotty but a Marine officer. He did not know that at the time; the Marine officer was dressed much like other women in the compartment. However, he does not have the right to grab any woman in my care by the fucking arm and order them to get him a fucking drink, Captain! Then, to make matters worse, following the incident, Captain, you spent the entire fucking evening getting drunk with a fucktard who had physically and verbally assaulted a female Marine officer! You dumbshit.” “Sir, I… ” Wilkes said, paling. “And not just any Marine officer, oh, no,” Steve said. “Forget that it was the daughter of the Acting LANTFLEET. Forget that it was the daughter of your fucking rating officer, you retard. I’m professional enough to overlook that. I really am. There’s personal and professional, and I do actually know the line. Except that it was, professionally, a disgraceful action on your part, Captain. But not just any Marine officer, Captain. No, this was a Marine officer that, unlike you, is fucking worshipped by your Marines, Captain. This is a Marine officer that the acting Commandant thinks only uses boats so her boots don’t get wet walking from ship to ship. This is a Marine officer who is the only fucking light in the darkness to the entire Squadron, you dumbfuck! “I’d already gotten the scuttlebutt that you were a palace prince pogue who was a cowardly disgrace to the Marine uniform, Captain. I was willing to let that slide because maybe you could run the fucking clearance from the fucking door. But you just pissed off every fucking Marine we’ve got, you idiot. You incredible dumbfuck, moron! “In case you hadn’t noticed, you are getting cold-shouldered by everyone you work with while you were brown-nosing some fucking useless POS who used to ‘be somebody.’ ‘Your’ Marines are spitting on your shadow and that includes your fucking Gunnery Sergeant! Captain, am I getting through to you? Are you even vaguely recognizing how badly you fucked up? Professionally, politically, personally?
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
Yossarian went to bed early for safety and soon dreamed that he was fleeing almost headlong down an endless wooden staircase, making a loud, staccato clatter with his heels. Then he woke up a little and realized someone was shooting at him with a machine gun. A tortured, terrified sob rose in his throat. His first thought was that Milo was attacking the squadron again, and he rolled off his cot to the floor and lay underneath in a trembling, praying ball, his heart thumping like a drop forge, his body bathed in a cold sweat. There was no noise of planes. A drunken, happy laugh sounded from afar. 'Happy New Year, Happy New Year!' a triumphant familiar voice shouted hilariously from high above between the short, sharp bursts of machine gun fire, and Yossarian understood that some men had gone as a prank to one of the sandbagged machine-gun emplacements Milo had installed in the hills after his raid on the squadron and staffed with his own men. Yossarian blazed with hatred and wrath when he saw he was the victim of an irresponsible joke that had destroyed his sleep and reduced him to a whimpering hulk. He wanted to kill, he wanted to murder. He was angrier than he had ever been before, angrier even than when he had slid his hands around McWatt's neck to strangle him. The gun opened fire again. Voices cried 'Happy New Year!' and gloating laughter rolled down from the hills through the darkness like a witch's glee. In moccasins and coveralls, Yossarian charged out of his tent for revenge with his .45, ramming a clip of cartridges up into the grip and slamming the bolt of the gun back to load it. He snapped off the safety catch and was ready to shoot. He heard Nately running after him to restrain him, calling his name. The machine gun opened fire once more from a black rise above the motor pool, and orange tracer bullets skimmed like low-gliding dashes over the tops of the shadowy tents, almost clipping the peaks. Roars of rough laughter rang out again between the short bursts. Yossarian felt resentment boil like acid inside him; they were endangering his life, the bastards!
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
The last man crossed the deck: the clinking ship’s company was dismissed, and Jack said to the signal-midshipman, ‘To Dryad: Captain repair aboard at once.’ He then turned to Rowan and said, ‘You may part company as soon as I hear from Captain Babbington whether the transports are in Cephalonia or not; then you will not lose a moment of this beautiful leading breeze. Here he is. Captain Babbington, good day to you. Are the transports in Cephalonia? Is all well?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Mr Rowan, report to the Commander-in-Chief, with my duty, that the transports are in Cephalonia, and that all is well. You need not mention the fact that you saw one of the squadron crammed with women from head to stern; you need not report this open and I may say shameless violation of the Articles of War, for that disagreeable task falls to your superiors; nor need you make any observations about floating brothels or the relaxation of discipline in the warmer eastern waters, for these observations will naturally occur to the Commander-in-Chief without your help. Now pray go aboard our prize and proceed to Malta without the loss of a minute: not all of us can spare the time to dally with the sex.’ ‘Oh sir,’ cried Babbington, as Rowan darted over the side, ‘I really must be allowed to protest – to deny – ’ ‘You will not deny that they are women, surely? I can tell the difference between Adam and Eve as quick as the next man, even if you cannot; just as I can tell the difference between an active zealous officer and a lubber that lies in port indulging his whims. It is of no use trying to impose upon me.’ ‘No, sir. But these are all respectable women.’ ‘Then why are they leering over the side like that, and making gestures?’ ‘It is only their way, sir. They are all Lesbians – ’ ‘And no doubt they are all parsons’ daughters, your cousins in the third degree, like that wench in Ceylon.’ ‘– and Lesbians always join their hands like that, to show respect.’ ‘You are becoming an authority on the motions of Greek women, it appears.’ ‘Oh sir,’ cried Babbington, his voice growing shriller still. ‘I know you do not like women aboard – ’ ‘I believe I have had occasion to mention it to you some fifty or sixty times in the last ten years.’ ‘But if you will allow me to explain – ’ ‘It would be interesting to hear how the presence of thirty-seven, no, thirty-eight young women in one of His Majesty’s sloops can be explained; but since I like some decency to be preserved on my quarterdeck, perhaps the explanation had better take place in the cabin.’ And in the cabin he said, ‘Upon my word, William, this is coming it pretty high. Thirty-eight wenches at a time is coming it pretty high.
Patrick O'Brian (The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8))
…Folks want to hear the real stuff - how those boys felt during their training, the girls they had, what they let out when they were drunk, how they felt on the last day…. The human stuff!
Frederick E. Smith (633 Squadron)
Colleague, given that I’m detached to go hunting bandits, I’d be grateful for the continued loan of your horses until we return. A squadron of cavalry could make all the difference when we’re chasing around the forests after shadows.’ Licinius gave him a jaundiced look. ‘You’ve got sticky fingers, young man. Every soldier that comes into contact with your cohort seems to end up as part of it. Hamian archers, borrowed cavalrymen. I’ll even wager you that the half-century of legionaries Dubnus borrowed from the Sixth will end up in your establishment. And yes, you can extend the loan if you think it’ll do you any good, and you can keep that decurion you promoted to command them.
Anthony Riches (Fortress of Spears (Empire, #3))
«Questo liquido è tecnicamente una minestra» continuò Jack, dopo aver tolto il coperchio. «Posso scodellartene un mestolo?» «È piacevole vedere resti di piselli così antichi e consunti che perfino i vermi non li hanno voluti e sono morti al loro fianco, così che ora abbiamo per nutrimento preda e predatore; è ancora più piacevole vedere l'infame mistura servita in questa splendente zuppiera, testimonianza della gratitudine di mercanti delle Indie Occidentali.» «Abbiamo cercato di vendere l'intero servizio, ma gli argentieri hanno storto il naso. Ora ne sono contentissimo: per quanto poveri, nessuno lo è più di un marinaio su una nave senza provviste, ma una crosta la si gusta meglio in un bel piatto d'argento.»
Patrick O'Brian (The Yellow Admiral (Aubrey & Maturin #18))
After the war, Manor returned to New York University and finished his degree in 1947. Later that year he became an instructor at the air tactical school at Tyndal Field, Florida. Following that assignment he went to Maxwell Air Force Base at Montgomery, Alabama, and helped organize the squadron officers’ school, staying on to teach the first class. He departed Maxwell for the Tactical Air Command air-ground operations school at Southern Pines, North Carolina.
William H. McRaven (Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice)
A squadron of Vautours, Israel's longest range fighter-bombers, landed and taxied in pairs up to a ramp. A stop watch was started the second they touched down. Within 7½ minutes the aircraft had been filled up with fuel and oxygen, their cannons had been reloaded with ammunition, ten bombs had been hung from their wings and they were airborne once again. After the war one of the attachés asked General Hod how long the turn-around time of the Israeli aircraft had been. Hod replied that he had seen
Randolph S. Churchill (The Six Day War)
I was relieved when I counted my shoes that there were less than 100 pairs. I lined them in three squadrons, ready for combat. The kamikazes in the vanguard were ready for the Oxfam shop. In the second chevron were the old favourites with heels worn down, their future in the balance. In the rear, with medal ribbons and fancy tooling, the Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks went back in the velvet bags and boxes they had come in.
Chloe Thurlow (Trespass)
Nangako lang ako sa sarili ko! -- Na wala dapat sa ating mamamatay nang mag-isa!
Macoy (School Run: Who are the Black Squadron? (School Run, #6))
Although they weren't a superior force; Captain Hudson and his group had two distinct advantages. First they represented the Realm of the Galaxies; an authority that had not been challenged in 100 years. And second, the LMC squadrons were trying to escape. Their pilots did not want to engage in a fire fight.
Kenneth S. Murray (The Second Creation)
Shortly after Seward departed, a report arrived from China that the U.S. Navy commodore in command of the American squadron had come to the aid of the Royal Navy during a fierce battle to capture the Taku forts in northeastern China. The U.S. commodore explained his decision to join the fight by declaring “blood is thicker than water.” This
Anonymous
There is one fierceness of Jews that I like a whole lot", the Texan told her one night, during a discussion of the Virginal intercessions and saintly go-betweens, of the baroque hierarchy of priests and monsignors and bishops and archbishops and cardinals and pope that lay between God and the Catholic soul, which Sofia found pointless and mystifying. "Most people, no, they don't like to go straight to the top, not really. They need to sidle up to a proposition, come at the thing a little off-center. They feel better with a chain of command," D.W. said, an old Marine squadron commander whose years in the Jesuit order had done nothing to diminish his tendency to think in military terms. "Got a problem, you ask the sergeant. Sergeant might go to a captain he knows. Most folks would have a hell of a time getting up the nerve to bang on the general's office door, even if he was the nicest fella in the world. Catholicism makes allowances for that in human beings." ..."But the children of Abraham? They look God straight in the face. Praise, Argue! Dicker, complain. Takes a lot of guts to deal with the Almighty like that.
Mary Doria Russell (Children of God (The Sparrow, #2))
she’d learned in the past weeks that death was a broken promise.
Alexander Freed (Shadow Fall (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #2))
Boldness, that is the key to winning,’ he remembered. ‘When you have prepared yourself, your men and your ship for combat, at the end you must be prepared to roll the dice. To charge when others urge caution, to turn at bay when all about you cry retreat, to throw in your own life as you would the last chip in a game of hazard.
Chris Durbin (The Leeward Islands Squadron (Carlisle & Holbrooke Naval Adventures #2))
We have, in fact, used the good name of England to cover up a massacre.” What, O’Malley wondered, would “this dislocation between our public attitude and our private feelings” portend for Britain’s future dealings with both the Poles and the Russians?
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Gentlemen, you have seen for yourselves what criminal folly it was to try to defend this city. . . . I only wish that certain statesmen in other countries who seem to want to turn all of Europe into a second Warsaw could have the opportunity to see, as you have, the real meaning of war.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
By all accounts, Stalin, who was both prepared and well organized, was easily the best negotiator of the three leaders. American and British officials marveled at his mastery of the details of military operations and diplomatic issues. Indeed, many years later, Anthony Eden wrote: “If I had to pick a team for going into a conference room, Stalin would be my first choice.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
sitting behind the controls of his Hurricane, taking on a squadron of deadly Messerschmitts, when
David Walliams (Grandpa's Great Escape)
Major General Colin Gubbins, who headed the British agency charged with inciting sabotage and subversion in occupied Europe, observed after the war that of all the European countries overrun by the Nazis, “only the Poles, toughened by centuries of oppression, were spiritually uncrushed.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Another woman working for British intelligence was perhaps the most spectacular Polish spy of all during the war. Known as Christine Granville, she was actually Countess Krystyna Gizycka (née Skarbek), the young and beautiful scion of a Polish aristocratic family.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Shuddering in his efforts to repress a yawn of nervousness, he asked in his flat northern voice: "How´s Margaret these days?" The other´s clay-like features changed indefinably as his attention, like a squadron of slow old battleships, began wheeling to face this new phenomenon , and in a moment or two he was able to say: "Margaret".
Kingsley Amis (Lucky Jim)
Wrote Kennan after the war: “The truth is—there is no avoiding it— that Franklin Roosevelt, for all his charm and for all his skill as a political leader, was, when it came to foreign policy, a very superficial man, ignorant, dilettantish, with a severely limited intellectual horizon.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
most controversial of these movies—one whose production had been virtually commissioned by OWI and encouraged by Roosevelt himself—was Warner Bros.’ Mission to Moscow, which seemed more interested in saluting Stalin and his regime than in praising the grit of the Russian people.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
I can dream,” Syndulla said, and her smile was sadder than Quell would’ve expected.
Alexander Freed (Shadow Fall (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #2))
Yet here the pilots were in England, fêted and pampered by the upper echelons of society, glamorized in movies and the press, enjoying themselves in spite of any guilt they may have felt. And here were their hosts and hostesses, with their very British insouciance, acting as if there would always be an England. In one context, this attitude was infuriating; in another, it was one of Britain’s greatest strengths.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
By the war’s end, Poland was the fourth largest contributor to the Allied effort in Europe, after the Soviet Union, the United States, and Britain and its Commonwealth.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
He finally managed to pull his foot out of his boot, fell free, and opened his parachute a few thousand feet from the ground. He landed in the backyard of a suburban cottage, in the middle of the owner’s prized rose garden. Rushing out of the house, the owner proceeded to give the dazed young Pole a mild lecture about the importance of not trespassing on private property. But the English passion for privacy soon gave way to English cordiality: the man took Pisarek into his house and brewed him a pot of tea.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Edgar Allan Poe would go so far as to volunteer to fight with the Poles in their 1831 uprising against the Russians.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Charles arrived around eight a.m. with a squadron of Drabants and began riding along the bank at the water’s edge to inspect the men and their positions. Some of the Russians from the force which had been driven back remained on one of the numerous islands in midstream, and they began to fire at the party of Swedish officers across the water. The musket range was short and a Drabant was shot dead in his saddle. Charles, without the slightest care for his own safety, continued his slow ride at the water’s edge. Then, his inspection finished, he turned his horse to ride back up the bank. His back was to the enemy, and at that moment he was hit in the left foot by a Russian musket ball. The ball struck his heel, piercing the boot, plunging forward through the length of the foot, smashing a bone and finally passing out near the big toe. Count Stanislaus Poniatowski, a Polish nobleman accredited to Charles XII by King Stanislaus, who was riding next to the King, noticed that he was hurt, but Charles commanded him to keep quiet. Although the wound must have been excruciatingly painful, the King continued his tour of inspection as if nothing had happened. It was not until eleven a.m., almost three hours after being hit, that he returned to his headquarters and prepared to dismount. By this time, the officers and men near him had noticed his extreme pallor and the blood dripping from his torn left boot. Charles tried to dismount but the movement caused such agony that he fainted. By
Robert K. Massie (Peter the Great: His Life and World)
Major - de Coverley was a splendid, awe-inspiring, grave old man with a massive leonine head and an angry shock of wild white hair that raged like a blizzard around his stern, patriarchal face. His duties as squadron executive officer did consist entirely, as both Doc Daneeka and Major Major had conjectured, of pitching horseshoes, kidnaping Italian laborers, and renting apartments for the enlisted men and officers to use on rest leaves, and he excelled at all three....He also iked to arrive in a city just before the occupying Allied force so that he could ride in a jeep at the front of the conquering army.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
In life you will face a lot of Circuses. You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments. July 1983 was one of those tough moments. As I stood before the commanding officer, I thought my career as a Navy SEAL was over. I had just been relieved of my SEAL squadron, fired for trying to change the way my squadron was organized, trained, and conducted missions. There were some magnificent officers and enlisted men in the organization, some of the most professional warriors I had ever been around. However, much of the culture was still rooted in the Vietnam era, and I thought it was time for a change. As I was to find out, change is never easy, particularly for the person in charge. Fortunately, even though I was fired, my commanding officer allowed me to transfer to another SEAL Team, but my reputation as a SEAL officer was severely damaged. Everywhere I went, other officers and enlisted men knew I had failed, and every day there were whispers and subtle reminders that maybe I wasn’t up to the task of being a SEAL. At that point in my career I had two options: quit and move on to civilian life, which seemed like the logical choice in light of my recent Officer Fitness Report, or weather the storm and prove to others and myself that I was a good SEAL officer. I chose the latter. Soon after being fired, I was given a second chance, an opportunity to deploy overseas as the Officer in Charge of a SEAL platoon. Most of the time on that overseas deployment we were in remote locations, isolated and on our own. I took advantage of the opportunity to show that I could still lead. When you live in close quarters with twelve SEALs there isn’t anywhere to hide. They know if you are giving 100 percent on the morning workout. They see when you are first in line to jump out of the airplane and last in line to get the chow. They watch you clean your weapon, check your radio, read the intelligence, and prepare your mission briefs. They know when you have worked all night preparing for tomorrow’s training. As month after month of the overseas deployment wore on, I used my previous failure as motivation to outwork, outhustle, and outperform everyone in the platoon. I sometimes fell short of being the best, but I never fell short of giving it my best. In time, I regained the respect of my men. Several years later I was selected to command a SEAL Team of my own. Eventually I would go on to command all the SEALs on the West Coast.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
since the draw-down in forces triggered by the 2010 defense review, the units the Laundry can draw upon have been depleted. There are now just two SAS squadrons, 120 men in total, to cover all contingencies: and only half of them are available at any given time. If the shit really hits the fan they can draw on the regular Army and the Air Force for support, but there will be delays in getting everyone up to speed.
Charles Stross (The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7))
why it shou'd create more surprise, to see [a lady] preside in a council of war, than in a council of state. Why may she not be as capable of heading an army as a parliament; or of commanding at sea as of reigning at land? What shou'd hinder her from holding the helm of a fleet with the same safety and steadiness as that of a nation? And why may she not exercise her soldiers, draw up her troops in battle array, and divide her forces into battalions at land, squadrons at sea, &c. with the same pleasure she wou'd have in seeing or ordering it to be done? The military art has no mystery in it beyond others, which Women cannot attain to. A Woman is as capable as a Man of making herself, by means of a map, acquainted with the good and bad ways, the dangerous and safe passes, or the proper situations for encampment. And what shou'd hinder her from making herself mistress of all the strategems of war, of charging, retreating, surprising, laying ambushes, counterfeiting marches, feigning flights, giving false attacks, supporting real ones, animating the soldiery, and adding example to eloquence by being the first to mount a breach. Persuasion, heat, and example are the soul of victory: And Women can shew as much eloquence, intrepidity, and warmth, where their honour is at stake, as is requisite to attack or defend a town.
Sophia Fermor (Woman Not Inferior to Man)
That was the most flagrant display of overt independence and disobedience I have ever had the misfortune to witness,” the squadron leader began severely.
Sarah Brazytis (Lighten Our Darkness)
They knew they were good, and they dared the enemy to give them a chance to prove it. No longer did their unspoken fears whisper about the dark decks as they stood toward battle. No longer did they lick their lips nervously and fret for the first gun to fire and set them free from anxiety. They were seasoned fighting men with an awareness of their own strength and mission, and they faced combat with confidence and composure, marked neither by fear nor theatrical heroics.
Ken Jones (Destroyer Squadron 23: Combat Exploits of Arleigh Burke's Gallant Force)
Man impatiently yearns to penetrate the future, but as often as not the veil which hides tomorrow is the merciful dispensation of a shielding Providence.
Ken Jones (Destroyer Squadron 23: Combat Exploits of Arleigh Burke's Gallant Force)
they fought for each other, not some plan from high authority.
Alexander Kent (The Inshore Squadron: The Richard Bolitho Novels (The Bolitho Novels Book 13))
One of the problems with writing about Room 40, especially as a pioneer for Bletchley Park, is that Hall was operating, not just outside the law, but outside all conventions. He kept his ruses in his head, managed them by force of personality and his own charm, and wrote very little down. In the years after the war, he tried to deflect the real story over and over again by inventing little untruths and obscurities. So we will probably never know, for example, if it was Hall’s fake signal to Admiral Maximilian von Spee’s squadron in the Pacific which lured them so disastrously to the Falklands, where the battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible lay in wait.
David Boyle (Before Enigma)
This might be the moment to explain the origin of the idea of ‘battlecruisers’ which were to play such a role in this and the other actions in the North Sea. It was originally Fisher’s idea to launch a new class of warship that was as big, or bigger, than a capital ship – a conventional battleship – but was faster and therefore less well protected. They would be “stronger than anything faster and faster than anything stronger”. Their high point was the successful destruction of Von Spee’s squadron in the South Atlantic. After that, they tended to be used as fast scouting units ahead of the battlefleet, which took them into conflict with other battlecruisers, for which they had not really been designed. The British battlecruisers, sleek, vast and beautiful and under the command of the dashing Sir David Beatty, lay at anchor in the Firth of Forth, so that they could speed south to prevent the bombardment of English seaside towns by units of the German High Seas Fleet.
David Boyle (Before Enigma)
It also helps to create a shared space, such as a web forum or a suggestions book, for airing mistakes. Borrowing an idea from Toyota, Patounas has put up a communications board in his squadron headquarters where any crewmember can call attention to a problem, and every case is promptly investigated and addressed.
Carl Honoré (The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better In a World Addicted to Speed)
Half an hour later the telephone bell began to tinkle and my heart throbbed tumultuously with hope and fear. There came, at the bidding of an operator, a flying squadron of sounds which with an instantaneous speed brought me the words of the telephonist, not those of Françoise whom an inherited timidity and melancholy, when she was brought face to face with any object unknown to her fathers, prevented from approaching a telephone receiver, although she would readily visit a person suffering from a contagious disease.
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
Being in the Navy wasn’t always enjoyable.  Many of the times, hell, maybe most of them, it was pretty miserable.  But it felt right.
Jonathan Brazee (Fortitude (The Navy of Humanity: Wasp Squadron Book 4))
As vanguard of the invasion, the cavalry’s mission was to reconnoiter the position of the Belgian and French armies, to watch out for British landings, and to screen the German deployment against similar enemy reconnaissance. On the first day the duty of the advance squadrons, supported by infantry brought up in automobiles, was to seize the crossings of the Meuse before the bridges were destroyed and capture farms and villages as sources of food and forage. At Warsage, just inside the frontier, M. Flechet, the Burgomaster of seventy-two, wearing his scarf of office, stood in the village square as the horsemen clattered over the cobblestones of the Belgian pavé. Riding up, the squadron’s officer with a polite smile handed him a printed proclamation which expressed Germany’s “regret” at being “compelled by necessity” to enter Belgium. Though wishing to avoid combat, it said, “We must have a free road. Destruction of bridges, tunnels and railroads will be regarded as hostile acts.” In village squares all along the border from Holland to Luxembourg the Uhlans scattered the proclamations, hauled down the Belgian flag from the town halls, raised the black eagle of the German Empire, and moved on, confident in the assurance given them by their commanders that the Belgians would not fight.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The Guns of August)
Thirteenth
Ira Wolfert (Torpedo 8: The Story of Swede Larsen’s Bomber Squadron)
The board suggested that Stringham's Atlantic Blockading Squadron be divided in two, approximately at the state line of the Carolinas. This action would not only simplify and tighten command along the coast, it would also take into consideration the differing topography of the northern and southern sections of coastline. The northern section, known as the
Peter Kurtz (Bluejackets in the Blubber Room: A Biography of the William Badger, 1828-1865)
The 38th Squadron could report a count of two hundred German dead in front of its lines. The 326th Volks Grenadier Division was finding its position at the pivot of the Sixth Panzer Army offensive a costly one.
Hugh M. Cole (The Ardennes - Battle of the Bulge (World War II from Original Sources))
Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed. They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers. To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new stratagem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again. Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that 'The Star-Spangled Banner' was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.
Joseph Heller
By keeping back the twenty-five squadrons from the lost Battle of France, he acted toughly, wisely, and ungallantly; and he turned the war to the course that ended five long years later, when Hitler killed himself and Nazi Germany fell apart. This deed put Winston Churchill in the company of the rare saviors of countries, and perhaps of civilizations.
Herman Wouk (The Winds of War (The Henry Family, #1))
A Squadron Commander who can't take his best friend out and shoot him can't Command worth s*#t" -Steep Turner
William L. Smallwood
We won the bloody war. Never again, we said. Then Hitler comes along and starts building his squadrons of panzers and fighter planes—purely for defense, he assures everyone, and we believe him. Even when he marches into the Rhineland we believe him. Two years later he's trampling all over bloody Austria, and now he's ripping Czechoslovakia to pieces. And still our Prime Minister says he trusts him!” His
Michael Dobbs (Winston's War)
Nearly six weeks of hard fighting resulted in No 303 Sqn achieving the top score for any RAF fighter unit of the Battle of Britain - 126 confirmed kills – despite the squadron having only participated in the second half of the campaign! Urbanowicz,
Robert Gretzyngier (Polish Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces))
disrupted by the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear weapon. If Green Pine was knocked out, SAC brought online in October 1967 the first of twelve Emergency Rocket Communication Systems (ERCS) at Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base. Instead of a warhead, the special ERCS Minuteman missiles contained a powerful UHF transmitter that would broadcast launch orders to U.S. forces along the missile’s trajectory, creating, in effect, a high-flying radio broadcasting tower. The launch capsules of the 510th were retrofitted with large, floor-mounted telephone consoles that the crews quickly dubbed “knee knockers,” since they hit their knees on it whenever turning their chairs. With the arrival of ERCS, the very last remnants of the U.S. government in a nuclear war would have likely been the voices of the missileers of Whiteman’s 510th Missile Squadron. In an emergency, the crews would use the console to record launch orders onto the ERCS transmitter (the airborne command posts could record an Emergency Action Message remotely). Then either the capsule crew or an airborne command post would have launched the missiles, each set on a different trajectory to blast in a different direction. For thirty minutes after launch, ERCS-equipped Minutemans would broadcast “go codes” to any bomber, submarine, or missile silo along its path, the last communication of a destroyed
Garrett M. Graff (Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die)
SAC created the Headquarters Emergency Relocation Team (HERT), based at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant about 150 miles west of Omaha, a convoy of EMP-hardened command posts mounted on tractor-trailers that would have deployed out into the vast open American West during an attack. Later renamed the Enduring Battle Management Support Center and staffed by the 55th Mobile Command and Control Squadron, the unit’s patch hinted at its Doomsday task: A Grim Reaper sneaking through the night carrying a lightning bolt.
Garrett M. Graff (Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die)
The next few weeks were a real struggle. Mental turmoil was a new emotion for me, and not a fun one. I felt I had let myself down, and that I had wasted four months of my life to hard, cold misery, and all for nothing. I was depressed and I felt useless. And that was on a good day. The only silver lining was that my squadron training team had invited me back to try once more--if I wanted to. It would involve going all the way back to the start. Day one. It was a truly horrendous concept. But they didn’t invite people back who they didn’t feel potentially had the right attitude or abilities to pass. That was some small glimmer of hope, at least. At this point, my greatest enemy was myself. Self-doubt can be crushing, and sometimes it is hard to see outside the black bubble. I tried to look at the situation objectively--I’d failed Selection only a third of the way through the course--what chance did I really have of passing if I tried again? My family said that maybe it wasn’t meant to be and that I had gained an invaluable experience from it. This just made me feel worse. Yet through it all, a little part of me, deep down, believed that I could do this--that I was capable of passing. It wasn’t a big part of me, but it was an ember. Sometimes an ember is all we need.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Ed Amies, one of my oldest and closest friends, told my simply that: “So often, God’s callings have a birth, a death, and then a resurrection.” I had had the birth, and had got stuck into Selection; I had had the death, at that fateful dam in the Welsh mountains--now was a logical time for the resurrection. If my faith stood for anything it was this: miracles really can happen. So I made the decision to try again. This time, though, I would be doing this alone. I knew that support from my family and friends would be much less forthcoming, especially from Mum, who could see the physical toll that just four months had taken. But I felt deadly serious about passing this properly now and I somehow knew that it was my last chance to do it. And no one was going to do it for me. Some two weeks later I listened to a mumbled message on my answering machine from Trucker. He’d got lost on the final part of a march. After hours of wandering aimlessly in the dark, and out of time, he had finally been found by a DS in a Land Rover, out to look for stray recruits. Trucker was dejected and tired. He, too, had failed the course. He went through the same struggle over the next few weeks that I had, and like me, he was invited by the squadron to try again. We were the only two guys to have been asked back. With greater resolve than ever, we both threw ourselves into training with an intensity that we had never done before. This time we meant business. We both moved into an old, secluded, rented farm cottage some six miles out of Bristol. And, Rocky-style, we started to train. The next Selection course (of which two are run annually) was just about to start. And just like in Groundhog Day, we found ourselves back in that old dusty gymnasium at the squadron barracks, being run ragged by the DS.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Individual admirals and captains made their fortunes from their share of prize money, which was divided according to prize law of an extreme complexity that testified to its importance in the system. Ships’ captains of a victorious squadron divided 3/8 of the total value of captured ships and cargoes, depending on whether the squadron was under the orders of an admiral, with 1/8 reserved for a captain who was a flag officer if one was on board. Lieutenants, captains of marines, warrant officers, chaplains and lesser officers divided 1/8. Another 1/8 went to midshipmen and sailmakers, and the remaining 2/8, or 25 percent, to seamen, cooks and stewards. Prize law allowed an intricate adjustment based on size and armament to equalize the share of larger and smaller ships, on the theory that the stronger ships did most of the shooting and had more numerous crews. The adjusted rate was worked out by applying to each ship a factor calculated by multiplying the number of the crew by the sum of the caliber of the ship’s cannon. Clearly, prize money received more serious attention than scurvy or signals. As
Barbara W. Tuchman (The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution)
She was a two-seater and I fired five rounds into her. She burst into flames and fell upside down. Although she dropped like a stone, I saw her observer climb out of his seat and jump clear of the flames. He must have preferred that kind of death to the chance of being roasted.3 Captain Albert Ball, 60 Squadron, RFC
Peter Hart (Somme Success: The Royal Flying Corps and the Battle of the Somme, 1916)
You're the new squadron commander,' Colonel Cathcart had shouted rudely across the railroad ditch to him. 'But don't think it means anything, because it doesn't. All it means is that you're the new squadron commander.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
In the cockpit of one of the most lethal tactical weapons the world had ever seen, McDowell faced the limits of American conventional military power. He framed his squadron’s place in the Afghan war of 2011 in frustrated terms. A mission from ship to shore, he thought, was like flying in airspace around LAX, one of America’s busiest airports, and then trying to find and attack a gang member with high-explosive weaponry and cause no civilian casualties—in greater Los Angeles. This was not how to defeat a gang.
C.J. Chivers (The Fighters)
Dane and Marco and the boys all fled the stage but I was still playing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’. I tried different interesting arrangments. Mozart’s twelve variations and Elton John style. Even Billy Joel/‘Piano Man’-ish. Then I had a brainstorm and thumped it out like Jerry Lee Lewis, with my feet on the keys and everything, and that seemed to confuse the guy waving the gun. Anyway he didn’t shot me. By now I was really getting into ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, actually getting the old flash while I played it over and over, I don’t know how many times, and I sort of hypnotised myself. I was in a trance. People had thrown every available bottle and can and busted seat at me. Now they started on the fire extinguishers, and they were frothing and spurting and rolling around on the stage. Even the over-roided security joined in, and the bouncers were throwing stuff at me, too. I didn’t care. I was in a daze. I felt bulletproof and above it all, and when I eventually finished I stood in front of the redwood crucifix with my arms out, covered in fire-extinguisher foam like a snowman, and bowed to the audience. And then for some insane reason I pushed over the crucifix, which was difficult because it was heavy and splintery, and it cut my hands so I was bleeding everywhere, and I deliberately rubbed the blood all over my face. Then I put my foot on the crucifix, like a big-game hunter with his kill, like Ernest Hemingway with a dead lion, and raised my bloody fist in victory. And there was a sort of roar then, a deep roar lie a squadron of B-47s. And I passed out on the stage. I came to with someone furiously screaming. An amazing octave range, about five – from an F1 to B flat 6. It was your mother standing over me like a tigress, waving a broken seat, and preventing the Texans from rushing the stage and stomping me to death, they were wary of this wild, high-pitched little chick and backed off. As I stumbled back to the dressing-room, Tania was yelling that she wished the oil-rig guy had shot me, and this was the end, she’d really had it. And the record-company people were just staring at me open-mouthed like I was a lunatic. And outside, our tour bus had been set on fire, and there were no extinguishers left, and the police and fire brigade got involved, on the side of the Texans, and there was suddenly a visa problem. So that was it for Spider Flower in America. And for your mother and me, as it turned out. Pg 188-9
Robert Drewe (Whipbird)
THE AMERICANS Major James Pitman: West Point graduate, lover of dogs and horses. Executive officer of the 42nd Squadron of the 2nd Cavalry. Lieutenant William Donald “Quin” Quinlivan: Career cavalryman. Assigned to the 42nd Squadron of the 2nd Cavalry. Colonel Charles Hancock “Hank” Reed: Virginia-born, expert horseman, commanding officer of the 2nd Cavalry. Captain Ferdinand Sperl: Swiss-born naturalized U.S. citizen. Interrogator attached to the 2nd Cavalry. Captain Thomas Stewart: Son of a Tennessee senator. Intelligence officer in the 2nd Cavalry.
Elizabeth Letts (The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis)
It’s always up to us, isn’t it?”  Mercy said. “Us.  The Marines.  Warriors.  That’s what we do.  That’s what we’ve always done so the rest can live their lives.
Jonathan Brazee (Ace (The Navy of Humankind: Wasp Squadron Book 3))
Another time, while on patrol with a small four-man team from my SAS squadron, out in the deserts of North Africa, we were waiting for a delayed helicopter pick-up. A 48-hour delay when you are almost out of water, in the roasting desert, can be life-threatening. We were all severely dehydrated and getting weaker fast. Every hour we would sip another small capful from the one remaining water bottle we each carried. Rationed carefully, methodically. To make matters worse, I had diarrhea, which was causing me to dehydrate even faster. We finally got the call-up that our extraction would be at dawn the next day, some 20 miles away. We saddled up during the night and started to move across the desert, weighed down by kit and fatigue. I was soon struggling. Every footstep was a monumental effort of will as we shuffled across the mountains. My sergeant, an incredible bear of a man called Chris Carter (who was tragically killed in Afghanistan; a hero to all who had served with him), could see this. He stopped the patrol, came to me, and insisted I drink the last remaining capful from his own bottle. No fuss, no show, he just made me drink it. It was the kindness, not the actual water itself, that gave me the strength to keep going when I had nothing left inside me. Kindness inspires us, it motivates us, and creates a strong, tight team: honest, supporting, empowering. No ego. No bravado or show. Simple goodness. It is the very heart of a great man, and I have never forgotten that single act that night in the desert. The thing about kindness is that it costs the giver very little but can mean the world to the receiver. So don’t underestimate the power you have to change lives and encourage others to be better. It doesn’t take much but it requires us to value kindness as a quality to aspire to above almost everything else. You want to be a great adventurer and expedition member in life and in the mountains? It is simple: be kind.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
The Dreadnought battleship itself was one victor. By its survival (not one was lost) it had appeared to justify both its mighty artillery and the diabolical ingenuity that had been expended on its defences. The other victor was the Dreadnought’s first enemy, the torpedo, which governed commanders’ judgments, by its threat or its reality caused squadron engagements to be broken off, and whole fleets to flinch away in fear.
Richard Hough (Dreadnought: A History of the Modern Battleship)
have a high percentage of fighter pilots, but there was no telling about the new crop of retreads. It was tough for them, with very little time in the airplane and the responsibilities of rank and leadership thrust upon them. The delicate balance between flying skill and tactical judgment was difficult to learn. Learning to subordinate your own fear was even more problematic. I knew now that everyone faced it in some degree. How you dealt with it determined whether you were a fighter pilot or simply someone flying fighters. The flow of retrainees from the short courses had begun to affect our losses. Filling the squadrons throughout Southeast Asia took a lot of manpower. We were getting the bodies, but we were no longer getting the skill levels. You couldn’t prove it, of course, but things were happening that didn’t bode well for the future.
Ed Rasimus (When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot over North Vietnam)
Napoleon said, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.
Jonathan P. Brazee (Crystals (The Navy of Humankind: Wasp Squadron Book 2))
naval power, with her long, graceful lines and nicely proportioned turret and superstructure arrangement—the epitome of the balanced capital ship. That she should be annihilated within seven minutes was far more shocking than the defeat of the new Prince of Wales. Admiral Holland, who went down with his ship, has been criticized since on several counts, mainly for his close 'line' tactics controlled from the flagship; these were appropriate for the great battle squadrons of the First War and the tactical games during the interwar years, indeed they were necessary to prevent confusion and the masking of friendly fire, but they were quite unnecessary for a squadron of only two vessels. In this case they were actually harmful for they forced both British ships to enter the action with rear turrets out of bearing, thus reducing an initial superiority in heavy guns to equality with the Bismarck; when the Hood mistook her target this equality became an actual inferiority so far as that ship was concerned.
Peter Padfield (Battleship)
Behind every calculation, every decision, every signal, every turn of the helm, was the deeply held conviction that the disaster of defeat must always be greater than the rewards of victory. The belief that governed all the tactical moves at this one confused melee was that the individual Dreadnought, the squadron, the fleet must be preserved, even at the cost of victory over the foe.
Richard Hough (Dreadnought: A History of the Modern Battleship)
One afternoon while the air wing practiced for the big show, the pilot of one of our fighter planes flew over the ship at seven thousand feet, moved a switch, and an electrical malfunction released a weapons rack from his plane. That rack fell over six thousand feet and hit the pilot of an A4D in our sister squadron on the head as he called the one-eighty for landing. Smitten, the A4D rolled inverted and plunged into the ocean. Fate.
B.K. Bryans (Flying Low)
Olya “Lynx” Federov sat in the cockpit of her fighter. The Lightning-class attack craft that formed the mainstay of the Confederation’s fighter corps were sleek and powerful. The pilots of the fleet almost universally loved the design, save for one factor. The cockpits were too small, too cramped. But Federov didn’t care. She was slight in build, barely forty-five kilograms, and not much taller than a meter and a half. Her body was lithe, flexible. She’d wanted to be a dancer when she was younger, until she’d seen a squadron of fighters putting on a show on the vid. Flight had captured her imagination that day, and her life became a relentless pursuit of a slot at the Academy, one which saw success three days after her nineteenth birthday, when she received her billet in the following year’s class
Jay Allan (Duel in the Dark (Blood on the Stars, #1))
And so I went to bed. I was the last one left, the last one out of a bunch of boys who belonged to 83 Squadron at the beginning of the war, to fight until the end of Hitlerism. They had all fought well, but they had paid the price. Some were prisoners of war, I knew, but many were dead. As I lay in bed thinking, I knew I was lucky to survive, but it would come to me any day now. We would go on and on until the whole squadron was wiped out, then there would be new boys to carry on our traditions, new squadrons, new gadgets and new ground crews to crack jokes with us as we took the air. I did not see any point in living. For the moment I didn’t even care about Eve. All my friends had gone now—there were new people—different—with different views on life, different jokes and different ways of living. I was the last one left.
Wing Commander Guy P. Gibson VC DSO Bar DFC Bar (Enemy Coast Ahead [Illustrated Edition])
3 INCIDENT IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL Not long afterwards, a Belgian ferry, the Oudenbourg, was steaming its way from Ostende to Ramsgate. In the straits of Dover the duty officer noticed that half a mile south of its usual course there was something going on in the water. He could not be sure that there was no-one drowning there and so he ordered a change of course down to where the perturbance was taking place. Two hundred passengers on the windward side of the ship were shown a very strange spectacle: in some places a vertical jet of water shot out from the surface, and in some of those vertical jets there could be seen something like a black body thrown up with it; the surface of the sea for one or two hundred yards all around was tossing and seething wildly while, from the depths, a loud rattling and humming could be heard. "It was as if there was a small volcano erupting under the sea." As the Oudenbourg slowly approached the place an enormous wave rose about ten yards ahead of it and a terrible noise thundered out like an explosion. The entire ship was lifted violently and the deck was showered with a rain of water that was nearly boiling hot; and landing on the deck with the water was a strong black body which writhed and let out a sharp loud scream; it was a newt that had been injured and burnt. The captain ordered the ship full steam astern so that the ship would not steam straight into the middle of this turbulent Hell; but the water all around had also begun to erupt and the surface of the sea was strewn with pieces of dismembered newts. The ship was finally able to turn around and it fled northwards as fast as possible. Then there was a terrible explosion about six hundred yards to the stern and a gigantic column of water and steam, perhaps a hundred yards high, shot out of the sea. The Oudenbourg set course for Harwich and sent out a radio warning in all directions: "Attention all shipping, attention all shipping! Severe danger on Ostende-Ramsgate lane. Underwater explosion. Cause unknown. All shipping advised avoid area!" All this time the sea was thundering and boiling, almost as if military manoeuvres had been taking place under the water; but apart from the erupting water and steam there was nothing to see. From both Dover and Calais, destroyers and torpedo boats set out at full steam and squadrons of military aircraft flew to the site of the disturbance; but by the time they got there all they found was that the surface was discoloured with something like a yellow mud and covered with startled fish and newts that had been torn to pieces. At first it was thought that a mine in the channel must have exploded; but once the shores on both sides of the Straits of Dover had been ringed off with a chain of soldiers and the English prime-minister had, for the fourth time in the history of the world, interrupted his Saturday evening and hurried back to London, there were those who thought the incident must be of extremely serious international importance. The papers carried some highly alarming rumours, but, oddly enough, this time remained far from the truth; nobody had any idea that Europe, and the whole world with it, stood for a few days on the brink of a major war. It was only several years later that a member of the then British cabinet, Sir Thomas Mulberry, failed to be re-elected in a general election and published his memoirs setting out just what had actually happened; but by then, though, nobody was interested.
Karel Čapek (War with the Newts)
Democracy is grinding work. Whereas family businesses and army squadrons may be ruled by fiat, democracies require negotiation, compromise, and concessions.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
She could summon security if she wanted to, or a squadron of flying monkeys.
Jane Lotter (The Bette Davis Club)
Our curious Western relationship with the country reinforces their strange status. We beg them to buy yet another squadron of supersonic interceptors to go with their latest platoon of tanks, plead with them to keep the price of oil low, and praise them as reliable partners in the Middle East while turning a very blind eye to their extreme distaste for democracy, not to mention the fact that they supplied nearly all the 9/11 terrorists and continue to promote dissent in the Islamic world.
Tony Wheeler (Dark Lands)
opened fired
Michael G. Thomas (Knighthawk Squadron (Star Crusader, #2))
Nerves got the better of the most experienced pilots during Rhubarbs. On one occasion, two of Robertson’s fellow 111 Squadron pilots flew over the Channel up into cloud then came down and slipped over the coast. They spotted a train and shot it up before heading back home. They were surprised on return to be called into the Station Commander’s office. What had they been shooting at? A train. Did they damage it? Yes, quite a bit. Did they realise the train they’d shot up was heading to Margate?16
John Nichol (Spitfire: A Very British Love Story)
I felt the hum of a cicada travel up my spine and a squadron of dragonflies hover in my stomach.
Bianca Bowers (Cape of Storms)
Soldiers of the Eastern Front! Filled with grave concern for the existence and the future of our Volk, I decided on June 22 to direct an appeal to you in order to forestall the threatening attack of an opponent at the last minute. As we know today, it was the intention of the rulers in the Kremlin to destroy not only Germany, but also Europe. Comrades, you have realized two things in the meantime: 1. This opponent armed himself militarily for his attack to such an enormous extent that even our greatest fears were surpassed. 2. Lord have mercy on our Volk and on the entire European world if this barbaric enemy had been able to get his tens of thousands of tanks to move before we could. All of Europe would have been lost. For this enemy does not consist of soldiers, but, for the most part, of beasts (Bestien). Now, my comrades, you have personally seen this ”paradise of workers and peasants” with your own eyes. In a country, whose vastness and fertility could feed the whole world, a poverty reigns that we Germans cannot imagine. This is the result of nearly twenty-five years of Jewish rule which, as Bolshevism, basically reflects the basest form of capitalism. The bearers of this system are the same in both instances: Jews and again Jews! Soldiers! When I called on you to ward off the danger threatening our homeland on June 22, you faced the greatest military power of all time. In barely three months, thanks to your bravery, my comrades, it has been possible to destroy one tank brigade after another belonging to this opponent, to eliminate countless divisions, to take uncounted prisoners, to occupy endless space. And this space is not empty, it is a space in which this opponent lives and from which his gigantic war industry receives raw materials of all types. In a few weeks, three of his most vital industrial districts will be completely in your hands! Your names, soldiers of the German Wehrmacht, and the names of our brave allies, the names of your divisions, regiments, your ships and squadrons, will be tied for all time to the mightiest victories in world history. Proclamation to the soldiers of the Eastern Front Fuhrer Headquarters, October 2, 1941
Adolf Hitler (Collection of Speeches: 1922-1945)
A man will brave danger at the head of a cavalry squadron all glittering with steel—but solitary danger, strange, unforeseen, and really hideous?
Stendhal (Scarlet & Black)
The prerequisites of the German economic miracle were not only the enormous sums invested in the country under the Marshall Plan, the outbreak of the Cold War, and the scrapping of outdated industrial complexes-an operation performed with brutal efficiency by the bomber squadrons-but also something less often acknowledged: the unquestioning work ethic learned in a totalitarian society, the logistical capacity for improvisation shown by an economy under constant threat, experience in the use of "foreign labor forces," and the lifting of the heavy burden of history that went up in flames between 1942 and 1945 along with the centuries-old buildings accommodating homes and businesses in Nuremberg and Cologne, in Frankfurt, Aachen, Brunswick, and Wurzberg, a historical burden ultimately regretted by only a few.
W.G. Sebald (On the Natural History of Destruction)
I came to know and like some Germans later on. But I hated the enemy then for what they tried to do to Johnnie Cock and what they did to Johnnie Dewar, our squadron leader, later in the battle. He parachuted out, but when we found his body, it was riddled with bullets. Some of our people say what wonderful men the German pilots were personally. But I still feel that men who could shoot boys in parachutes are not people I want to know.14
Stephen Bungay (The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain)
In their open front cockpit the crew were completely unprotected from the bitter lash of the wind. And the same westerly winds also proved an additional threat when at last, mission accomplished, they tried to fly back to safety: The prevailing wind was against us when returning from any flight over the lines and when it was strong, as it often was, our ground speed was much reduced thereby presenting us as ‘sitting birds’ for the anti-aircraft guns. When landing back at the aerodrome I have known the wind speed to be greater than my landing speed, so that I had to use my engine to get down after finding that my aeroplane was flying backwards relative to the ground.7 Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Hopkins, 22 Squadron, RFC
Peter Hart (Bloody April: Slaughter in the Skies over Arras, 1917)
They’d understood that the Emperor who’d built an interstellar civilization and governed for two decades was dead, and that his Empire wouldn’t endure without him. That without an heir, the Empire’s sins (and they were many—the most zealous loyalty
Alexander Freed (Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #1))
Cinder had been a turning point. Loyal soldiers who had executed whole planets at the Emperor’s behest had seen billions of lives snuffed out for no strategic gain and known that the moral calculus had changed.
Alexander Freed (Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #1))
revealing pilot’s-eye view of the Spitfire and the 109 is given by Squadron Leader Paul Day in the Yorkshire TV production on the Spitfire in the series Equinox, written by Brian Johnson, Uden Associates, Channel Four 1990.
Stephen Bungay (The Most Dangerous Enemy: A History of the Battle of Britain)
Born in 1635, Henry Morgan was a Welsh plantation owner and privateer, which was really the same as a pirate, only with the consent of the king who was Charles II of England, Scotland, and Ireland at the time. Little is known about Morgan’s early life or how he got to the Caribbean. He began his career as a privateer in the West Indies and there is evidence that in the 1660’s he was a member of a marauding band of raiders led by Sir Christopher Myngs . Having an engaging personality he soon became a close friend of Sir Thomas Modyford, who was the English Governor of Jamaica. Captain Henry Morgan owned and was the captain of several ships during his lifetime, but his flagship was named the “Satisfaction.” The ship was the largest of Morgan’s fleet and was involved in several profitable conflicts in the waters of the Caribbean and Central America. More recently, on August 8, 2011, near the Lajas Reef, off the coast of Panama, a large section of a wooden hull, that is believed to have been the sail ship “Satisfaction,” was found by Archaeologists from Texas State University. In 1668 Captain Morgan sailed for Lake Maracaibo in modern day Venezuela. There he raided the cities of Maracaibo and Gibraltar and taking the available gold divested the cities of their wealth before destroying a large Spanish naval squadron stationed there. In 1671 Morgan attacked Panama City during which he was arrested and dispatched to London in chains. When he got there, instead of imprisonment he was treated as a hero. Captain Morgan was knighted and in November of 1674 he returned to Jamaica to serve as the territory’s Lieutenant Governor. In 1678 he served as acting governor of Jamaica and again served as such from 1680 to 1682. During his time a governor, the Jamaican legislature passed an anti-piracy law and Morgan even assisted in the prosecution of other pirates. On August 25, 1688 he died on the island, after which he became an inspiration and somewhat of a glorified hero in both pirate stories and in the movies.
Hank Bracker
Midtown was a war zone. We flew over little skirmishes everywhere. A giant was ripping up trees in Bryant Park while dryads pelted him with nuts. Outside the Waldorf Astoria, a bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin was whacking a hellhound with a rolled-up newspaper. A trio of Hephaestus campers fought a squad of dracaenae in the middle of Rockefeller Center. I was tempted to stop and help, but I could tell from the smoke and noise that the real action had moved farther south. Our defenses were collapsing. The enemy was closing in on the Empire State Building. We did a quick sweep of the surrounding area. The Hunters had set up a defensive line on 37th, just three blocks north of Olympus. To the east on Park Avenue, Jake Mason and some other Hephaestus campers were leading an army of statues against the enemy. To the west, the Demeter cabin and Grover's nature spirits had turned Sixth Avenue into a jungle that was hampering a squadron of Kronos's demigods. The south was clear for now, but the flanks of the enemy army were swinging around. A few more minutes and we'd be totally surrounded.
Percy Jackson, The Last Olympian
PROLOGUE
Sarah Noffke (Exploration (Kurtherian Gambit; The Ghost Squadron #2))
Relatively few Frenchmen, with the notable exceptions of General Charles de Gaulle and his followers, made any attempt to flee the country and continue resisting from outside.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)