Heroes Among The Battlefields

Grind for April 14th, 2019
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

– Groucho Marx.

Get Out While You Can

The Headline

US, India, and others evacuate personnel from Libya amid intense fighting

The Grind

Rebel forces led by General Khalifa Haftar advanced on Tripoli from the east last week, leading to intense fighting that left 21 dead and 27 wounded.

The fighting, which continued for days despite the UN’s request for a humanitarian truce, prompted the US to pull a contingent of troops out of Libya.

“Security conditions in pockets of the country have declined,” said Colonel Christopher Karns. “It is important various terror-affiliated groups, such as ISIS, don’t have a map of our whereabouts.”

Italy, India, and the UN have also evacuated personnel from the region.

The Background

The violence in Libya began in 2011, when protests against corruption and unemployment deteriorated into civil war.

NATO intervened to help the National Transitional Council overthrow then-leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was assassinated in October 2011.

The power vacuum led to the formation of dozens of militias, most of which have allied with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) or General Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

Haftar’s invasion of Tripoli, which he had threatened for years, has left Western nations with few options to help de-escalate the violence. UN-backed peace talks are scheduled for April 14th, but it is unlikely they will dissuade Haftar from his attempt to capture Tripoli.

History News

The Headline

Famous Polish General Casimir Pulaski was probably a woman

The Grind

According to a Smithsonian documentary released this month, the famous Polish-American hero credited with transforming the American cavalry was female or intersex (born with sex characteristics that do not fit the typical definition for male or female).

The announcement follows the careful inspection of Pulaski’s remains, which were discovered in a coffin in Georgia.

“The skeleton is about as female as can be,” says Charles Merbs, a forensic anthropologist from Arizona State University.

Researchers confirmed Pulaski’s identity by comparing mitochondrial DNA from the skeleton with that of Pulaski’s living relatives.

The Background

Casimir Pulaski was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1745. He became interested in politics at a young age and participated in Poland’s uprising against Russian domination of the Commonwealth.

In 1777, with a recommendation from Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski traveled to America to participate in the Revolutionary War.

“I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it,” he wrote in a letter to then-General George Washington.

Pulaski earned the rank “brigadier general” after saving George Washington’s life at the Battle of Brandywine (September 1777). It was his first military engagement on American soil.

Pulaski continued to fight for American freedom until 1779, when he was killed by cannon fire during a cavalry charge on British-held Savannah, Georgia. He was 34 years old.

The Takeaway

Pulaski is typically portrayed as a skilled horseman and fierce fighter who led a private personal life. He never married or had children.

By all accounts, Pulaski lived his whole life as a man.

“I don’t think, at any time in his life, did he think he was a woman,” says Merbs. “I think he just thought he was a man, and something was wrong.”

Did you know… Erotomania is a type of delusion in which the person believes another person is in love with him/her.