‘A Bullet in the Dirt’—Readers’ Letters Reach out for Answers

Present in France

Whereas serving to my in-laws with yard work close to Beaugency in Tavers, France, I got here throughout a bullet [see photo above] within the filth. My father-in-law mentioned he had discovered them earlier than and that he had been advised they have been machine gun bullets from the Franco-Prussian Struggle. My very own analysis makes me suppose it’s too large for that. It’s about 42 mm lengthy, 11 mm in diameter and weighs 48 gr.

I assumed I would test in with the consultants. Any concepts?

Troy Snell

Honolulu, Hawaii

Historynet Chief Army Historian David T. Zabecki responds: I’m nearly sure this can be a mitrailleuse bullet. Some fashions of the gun have been chambered for 13 mm, however 11 mm was extra frequent. The load can be proper. The usual was 50 gr. I’m additionally sure this explicit spherical was by no means fired. The mitrailleuse barrels have been rifled. If this factor was within the floor for 100-plus years, the rolled paper tube and gunpowder disks would have lengthy since dissolved. The brass base cap might be nonetheless there within the floor someplace.


“Breakthrough at Saint-Lô,” by Ron Soodalter (September 2021), mentions the 4 highest-ranking American troopers killed within the warfare—Lt. Gens. Lesley J. McNair, Frank Maxwell Andrews, Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. and Millard Harmon. I discover it considerably disappointing that Soodalter unnoticed Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose, commander of U.S. third Armored Division, who was killed in motion on March 30, 1945. Rose is taken into account one of many biggest fight generals of the warfare. Sadly, he’s additionally one among World Struggle II’s biggest forgotten commanders, as is said within the well-written e book Main Common Maurice Rose, World Struggle II’s Biggest Forgotten Commander, by Steven L. Ossad and Don R. Marsh. I suppose Ossad and Marsh hit the nail on the top.

David C. Diefendorf

Banning, Calif.


After studying the January 2021 situation, I felt compelled to find and skim each Agent Sonya, by Ben Macintyre [Interview, by Dave Kindy], and The Coastwatchers, by Eric Feldt [subject of a feature by Ron Soodalter]. Macintyre as all the time makes historical past so pleasurable and colourful together with his accounts that the textual content reads extra like an action-adventure than a historical past e book. I used to be not accustomed to the identify Ursula Kuczynski however have studied World Struggle II particular operations and intelligence organizations lengthy sufficient to acknowledge her mentor, Richard Sorge. Macintyre is to be congratulated on the unbelievable quantity of element he presents for minor in addition to main gamers on this work. Not all communist brokers have been fanatics however believers of their trigger, husbands and wives with households hoping to contribute steadiness to world energy by passing secrets and techniques to the Soviets. Sonya realized too late of Joseph Stalin’s purges, which claimed a variety of her good pals and fellow brokers.

I’ve studied the Struggle within the Pacific however haven’t actually seen or heard a lot concerning the function of the Coastwatchers till I learn Soodalter’s article [“Not in Colorado Anymore”]. Whether or not Commonwealth or American, civilian or navy, these males lived an especially harmful existence reporting on Japanese military and navy actions within the southwest Pacific islands from 1941–45. If captured or betrayed to the Japanese, few would survive. Royal Australian Navy Commander Eric Feldt was answerable for the “Ferdinand” [Coastwatchers] group, and who higher to put in writing its historical past. His storytelling is edge-of-the-chair stuff, and I’m stunned Hollywood didn’t make a characteristic movie from his e book.

Gary Cota

Inexperienced Lane, Pa.

Not Second Greatest

Loved the Might 2021 situation, however I have to take opposition to the quilt caption that hyperlinks the U.S. 1st Infantry Division (“Large Crimson One”) with “Second to None.”

As a member of the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) Affiliation and the son of a 2ID Korean Struggle veteran (1950–51, CO, heavy mortar firm, ninth Infantry Regiment, aka “Manchus”), I must level out that “Second to None” is the 2ID’s official motto, which the division tagged itself throughout World Struggle I when it was one of the best U.S. Military infantry division within the warfare, whatever the 1ID being Gen. Pershing’s favourite. I do know the 2ID ranks, together with the U.S. Marine Corps’ fifth and sixth Regiments, additionally take offense.

I stay up for future problems with Army Historical past. Have an awesome historical past day.

Rolfe L Hillman III

Abingdon, Va.

Editor responds: No offense meant to the 2ID or Marines. Editor Stephen Harding (a former 1ID mortarman) was carried away by esprit de corps.


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This text appeared within the March 2022 situation of Army Historical past. For extra tales, subscribe and go to us on Fb.


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