iSteve commenter syonredux points us toward this astringent passage from Chuck Yeager’s autobiography, written with the great ghostwriter Leo Janos:
Atrocities were committed by both sides. That fall our fighter group received orders from the Eighth Air Force to stage a maximum effort. Our seventy-five Mustangs were assigned an area of fifty miles by fifty miles inside Germany and ordered to strafe anything that moved. The object was to demoralize the German population. Nobody asked our opinion about whether we were actually demoralizing the survivors or maybe enraging them to stage their own maximum effort in behalf of the Nazi war effort. We weren’t asked how we felt zapping people. It was a miserable, dirty mission, but we all took off on time and did it. If it occurred to anyone to refuse to participate (nobody refused, as I recall) that person would have probably been court-martialed. I remember sitting next to Bochkay at the briefing and whispering to him “If we’re gonna do things like this, we sure as hell better make sure we’re on the winning side.” That’s still my view.
By definition, war is immoral; there is no such thing as a clean war. Once arimies are engaged, war is total. We were ordered to commit an atrocity, pure and simple but the brass who approved this action probably felt justified because wartime Germany wasn’t easily divided between “innocent civilians” and its military machine. The farmer tilling his potato field might have been feeding German Troops. And because German industry was wrecked by constant bombing, muntions-making was now a cottage industry, dispersed across the country in hundreds of homes and neighborhood factories, which was the British excuse for staging carpet bombing and fire bombing attacks on civilian targets. In war, the military will seldom hesitate to hit civilians if they are in the way, or to target them purposely for various strategic reasons. That’s been true in every war that has ever been fought and will be fought. That is the savage nature of war itself. I’m certainly not proud of that particular strafing mission against civilians. But it is there, on the record and in my memory.
Chuck Yeager, Leo Janos- Yeager: An Autobiography.
Also, Dick Allen, RIP.
Allen, who was known, to his dislike, as Richie Allen when he was National League rookie of the year in 1964 (presumably after former Philadelphia Phillies star Richie Ashburn) and later Rich Allen and finally Dick Allen, was a tremendous baseball slugger. But he was a petulant prima donna who did not mix well with Philadelphia’s obnoxious boo-bird fans. Bill James wrote of him:
The second-most controversial player in baseball history, behind Rogers Hornsby, Allen had baseball talent equal to that of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, or Joe DiMaggio, and did have three or four seasons when he was as good a player as anyone in baseball, but lost half of his career or more to immaturity and emotional instability.
Modern statistical analysis shows that his 1972 MVP season with the Chicago White Sox was one of the better offensive years of the era.
During his baseball days, he drank a lot and spent more time at the horse track than working on his fielding, so it’s nice to see that he stabilized his life after he washed up at age 35, and lived a long life with his wife of 50+ years, finally dying at 78 in his hometown of Wampum, Pennsylvania.