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Old September 29, 2008, 03:12 AM   #302
Citizen Carrier
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Join Date: July 10, 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 671
Here's an anecdote I remember from the book "Yangtze River Patrol", about the U.S. Navy gunboats that patrolled the Chinese River.

In the 1920s one of the gunboats, Monocacy I believe, was making it's way upriver to a port city. As it neared the city it came under intermittent rifle fire from the banks. It wasn't particularly accurate fire, as there really weren't any Chinese marksmen to speak of, but it was galling even though nobody was hurt. It was observed the fire was coming from Chinese soldiers, not bandits.

Upon arriving at the city the boat's commander paid a visit to the large home of the general in charge of Chinese troops in the district to complain about the sniping.

The general explained the skipper shouldn't worry about it too much, as the soldiers were just young men in high spirits eager for adventure.

The skipper replied that he understood completely. As a matter of fact, he had some young men just like that on the ship. Just before leaving for the visit, he caught these young men aiming the 3-inch gun on the fantail at the general's large villa. And with a live round in the breech no less! The sailors explained that the house made too much of a tempting target to use for "aiminig practice".

The next time the boat visited that city, they were not fired on from the shore.
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