We got home yesterday afternoon from a visit to Ft Sill, OK and Denver, CO, a trip that also let us catch up with a lot of what’s happening in the country. Ft Sill is the world’s preeminent artillery development and training center. If you are an American cannon cocker or tactical missile man (Army or Marine), you have gone through Ft Sill. The place is located on an ideal patch of land that has little use for things other than maneuvering guns and impacting shells. All of us who graduated from there agreed that ‘if the world needed an enema, then they’d stick the tube …’, you know the rest.
The Army base itself is a small, well-kept city home to thousands of GIs and their dependents. We also train our allies’ artillery officers there, so you see a lot of different uniforms on base. On this occasion the historical (pre-Civil War) fort hosted the veterans who served in Babenhausen, Germany during the Cold War from the 1940s to the 1980s. Babenhausen was already well-established in American history by the time WW2 ended.
Located in Hessen, Babenhausen was the home base of the Hessians who fought ineffectively (cf. Washington crossing the Delaware) for the British in our Revolutionary War when King George III got a deal for mercenaries he couldn’t refuse from a long lost German cousin who ran into some money problems. (see also ‘Babenhausen Remembers’)