“If you get blown up, I don’t care!” : William Tecumseh Sherman to a Confederate prisoner ordered to dig for land mines.
During the Civil War, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman had a great mine-clearing technique:
On 8 December 1864, an officer’s horse triggered a “torpedo.” The horse was killed, the officer maimed, and men who had charged the mouths of cannon were repelled by this new form of warfare. Sherman wrote, “This was not war, but murder, and it made me very angry.” It made him so angry that he used Confederate prisoners to initiate the first “demining” operation in history. The hapless prisoners were made to, “. . . march in close order along the road, so as to explode their own torpedoes, or to discover and dig them up.” Apparently, Sherman was the first to introduce noncombatants to mine warfare; he was not the last….
The word got out, and it was the last time the Confederates planted mines in Sherman’s march to the sea.
That’s one solution to the biggest threat faced by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Al-Qaeda and Taliban excrement are just about wiped out, so they’ve resorted, almost exclusively, to using mentally retarded girls as suicide bombers and planting roadside Improvised Explosive Devices.
I have this thing against taking prisoners anyway, so why not round them up and give them two options: police up the IEDs or be executed on the spot.
Works for me.