Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Weekend Workout 04 (week starting February 9, 2014)

Battle Stations
(remember: larger versions of all visuals can be seen by clicking on them)

1. From the days of the British Raj, Blighty – distorted from the Urdu 'vilayati', meaning 'foreign' – came to be used as a word for England, used by the British themselves. During World War I, what was a 'Blighty wound'?

2. In an earlier Weekend Workout set, I had made mention of the false name under which T.E. Lawrence applied to join the RAF after World War I. The RAF Recruitment Office where Lawrence enlisted was run by the person in the photo. He reported in his autobiography that Lawrence first submitted false papers indicating that his name was Shaw, which resulted in his initial rejection. Within an hour of being rejected, Lawrence returned to the office, with a directive from the War Office indicating that he was to be taken on, regardless of any discrepancy in his papers or medical condition. This officer accepted him, and sent a warning to the induction centre that a new recruit who had strong establishment influence was arriving. Name this gent.

3. "Awuleth' Umshini Wami" (English, "Bring me my _______ ___"), is a popular Zulu language 'struggle song' used formerly by members of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Given its militant nature, its continued use at rallies by Jacob Zuma since he became President of the country has often come under fire. What is an 'umshini wami', the first word derived from the corresponding English term?

4. On April 1, 1933, the Indian Air Force commissioned its first squadron, No. 1 Squadron, with four of these biplanes. Name the plane.

5. The person at extreme right in this photograph with President Lincoln, George B. McClellan and other officers at the Battle of Antietam, 1862, graduated last of 34 cadets in the West Point Class of 1861. Ordinarily, such a showing would be a ticket to an obscure posting and mundane career, but he had the fortune to graduate just as the onset of the American Civil War caused the army to experience a sudden need for new officers. His name, though, has lived on longer than most of his fellow officers', though again not to any great credit of his. Name him.

6. Which is currently the longest ongoing conflict, one that began in 1950?

7. Mahasweta Devi’s novel 'Aranyer Adhikar' ('Right to the Forest', 1977), which won her the Sahitya Akademi Award for Bengali in 1979, is an account of a late 19th-century rebellion against the British Raj led by which tribal leader?

8. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the British army, he served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. In 1940, he was captured by the German army in France, and was held as a POW for five years. In the 1960s, he was chosen for the film role that he became identified with because of his work with director Terence Young in the 1950 war film 'They Were Not Divided', in which he played a tank gunner. His signature role was that of Major Geoffrey Boothroyd, whom he played in 17 films. Name either the actor being described or the short name we better know the character by.

9. The shortest war in history was fought between the United Kingdom and which other party on August 27, 1896, lasting approximately 40 minutes?

10. Here's an image of the Param Vir Chakra medal. Besides the Lion Pillar, it features four representations of a mythological weapon forged using the bones of the sage Dadichi. Name the weapon.

1. A wound serious enough to require recuperation away from the trenches (back in 'Dear Old Blighty') but not serious enough to kill or maim the victim. It was hoped for by many, and sometimes self-inflicted. 
2. Captain W. E. Johns, later to become a famous writer and creator of the Biggles character
3. Machine gun
4. Westland Wapiti
5. General George Custer, famous for his 'last stand' in a battle against a coalition of Native American tribes at Little Bighorn in 1876.
6. The Korean War.
No peace treaty was ever signed between North and South Korea, meaning they are "technically at war". The armistice in 1953 ended the fighting that began in 1950, and both sides agreed to seek a peace treaty. This was not signed by South Korea, but was signed on their behalf by the United Nations Command.
7. Birsa Munda
8. Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q in the James Bond films starting with 'From Russia With Love' and ending with 'The World Is Not Enough'
9. Zanzibar
The immediate cause of the Anglo-Zanzibar War was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on August 25, 1896 and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamud bin Muhammed, who was more favourable to British interests, as sultan. In accordance with a treaty signed in 1886, a condition for accession to the sultanate was that the candidate obtain the permission of the British consul, and Khalid had not fulfilled this requirement. The British considered this a casus belli and sent an ultimatum to Khalid demanding that he order his forces to stand down and leave the palace. In response, Khalid called up his palace guard and barricaded himself inside the palace. The ultimatum expired at 09:00 East Africa Time on August 27, by which time the British had gathered three cruisers, two gunships, 150 marines and sailors, and 900 Zanzibaris in the harbour area. Around 2,800 Zanzibaris defended the palace. The defenders had several artillery pieces and machine guns which were set in front of the palace sighted at the British ships. The British bombardment which commenced at 09:02 set the palace on fire and disabled the defending artillery. A small naval action took place with the British sinking a Zanzibari royal yacht and two smaller vessels, and some shots were fired ineffectually at the pro-British Zanzibari troops as they approached the palace. The flag at the palace was shot down and fire ceased at 09:40. The sultan's forces sustained roughly 500 casualties, while only one British sailor was injured. Sultan Khalid received asylum in the German consulate before escaping to Tanganyika. The British quickly placed Sultan Hamud in power at the head of a puppet government. The war marked the end of Zanzibar as a sovereign state and the start of a period of heavy British influence.
10. Vajra


  1. 1. Outsider
    3. Shining or Burning Spear
    4. Westlanders
    5. Ulysses Grant
    6. North vs. South Korea
    8. Biggles
    9. Ireland
    10. Thunderbolt

  2. 4.gipsy moth
    6.Korean war
    7.kunwar Singh
    Julian D'Costa
    10. Trishul

  3. 1. A wound on the buttocks?
    3. AK 47?
    4. Spitfire?
    6. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
    7. Birsa Munda?
    8. The character is Q.

  4. 1. Blighty wound – non-critical one that could (hopefully) get one sent off the battlefield nevertheless. Would Watson’s Jezail bullet qualify? I only hope the good doctor wasn’t malingering, given that the bullet’s position shifts from story to story. Here’s ‘additional input’ from a Sherlockian site: Watson mentioned his wound from a Jezail bullet, received during the fatal battle of Maiwand, in three of the stories. In A Study in Scarlet, he told us that he was wounded in the shoulder, "grazing the subclavian artery". In The Sign of the Four, he stated that his wounded leg hurt. And finally, in "The Noble Bachelor", he said that the Jezail bullet "in one of his limbs" bothered him. Holmes mentioned his wound in both "The Resident Patient" and "The Cardboard Box" in the famous "brown study" scene when he observed that Watson's hand "stole towards [his] wound", but he didn't say where it was.

    One popular, and possible, explanation (LOL-worthy, in my opinion) of these inconsistencies is that Watson was shot while he was bending over at some point during the battle. The bullet could have conceivably passed through his upper leg, then lodged in his shoulder. At various times afterwards, one wound or the other would bother him enough for him to complain about it.

    2. T.E. Lawrence’s recruiter – Capt. W.E. Johns! I didn’t know, I confess to googling. That’s one amazing fact, Annie. I would have held a question like that close to my chest awaiting the next big quiz to show it off. Thanks for sharing.

    3. Zulu Q: Gun? Plane?

    4. IAF Plane: No idea.

    5. Lincoln pic: The time frame suggests Custer, not sure.

    6. Longest conflict: Internal, such as the one between the Colombian government and guerrillas? Or are you looking for a cross-border situation?

    7. Aranyer Adhikar: No idea!

    8. Q! (Desmond Llewelyn).

    9. Anglo-Zanzibar war (thanks for throwing in at least a couple I knew).

    10. Param Vir Chakra: Indra’s vajra (KBC has its uses!) SHEKHAR

  5. 1. A wound to take you out of the action.
    3. Machine gun
    8. Q

  6. This one is tough ... but you and Anil say that we should at least give it a try to keep you guys motivated. So here goes.

    4. Fokker
    5. Custer
    6. The Naga Conflict?
    7. Birsa Munda
    8. Q
    10. Brahmastra?

  7. 3. Machine Gun
    7. Birsa Munda
    8. Q
    9. Zanzibar
    10. Vajra

  8. 1. A wound from friendly fire
    3. Shiny spear
    4. Puss Moth
    6. The Korean War
    9. The King of Zanzibar (I hope)
    10. Brahma Astra