Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Baron.

This is coolbert:

Baron Munchhausen, the man who has become synonymous with the teller of tall-tales, DID have a fairly successful military career.

Did participate in military campaigns, a cavalryman, an officer NOT of high rank, but still respectable and competent.

"Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen (11 May 1720 – 22 February 1797) (sometimes spelled Munchausen in English) was a German baron born in Bodenwerder . . . and later joined the Russian military. He served until 1750, in particular taking part in two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks."

During his productive but NOT outstanding military career he was named [and held the ranks of]:

* "a cornet in the Russian cavalry"
* "promoted to lieutenant."
* "named a Rittmeister, a cavalry captain."

"A cornet is a new and junior officer." "Traditional duties - - The cornet carried the troop standard, also known as a 'cornet'." "The rank of Cornet was the equivalent of the infantry rank of ensign"

A cadet officer, a cornet, equivalent to the ensign. Even as a man of noble birth, the good Baron still had to pay his dues, start from the bottom and show they was a man of merit and worth who could perform military duties in a suitable fashion.


Here for instance, in Chapter Ten of the tall-tales, the good Baron relates how he:

* "Pays a visit during the siege of Gibraltar"
* "Sinks a Spanish man-of-war [warship]"
* "Destroys all the enemy's cannon"
* "frightens the Count d'Artois [the enemy commander], and sends him to Paris"
* "Saves the lives of two English spies"
* "raises the siege"

And did so more or less single-handedly and without having even broken a sweat. But he was a noble man and possessed natural bearing and demeanor - - wasn't he! And all of these incredible deeds were understood by readers of the time to be told in good-natured-fun and not to be taken seriously? I think that was the case. NOT presented as fact and an esteem building exercise purely for the benefit of the Baron.

The Baron was NOT a fake military hero/prevaricator/imposter/poseur'!!


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