War’s a slap in the face!
QUESTION In 1943, while visiting a military hospital in Sicily, U.S. General George S. Patton slapped a soldier suffering from battle fatigue — to the horror of those present. What happened to the GI he slapped? This was Charles herman Kuhl. he was born on November 6, 1915, in Mishawaka, indiana, and was a carpet fitter before joining the war effort in 1943.
he served as a private in Company L, 26th infantry Regiment, 1st infantry Division, part of Lt- General George s. Patton’s seventh Army, which was engaged in an arduous campaign to seize control of sicily from the Germans and italians in preparation for the invasion of italy.
On August 2, 1943, Kuhl was admitted to the 3rd Battalion, 26th infantry aid station and transferred to the Army’s 15th Evacuation hospital near Nicosia, where his medical card said ‘psychoneurosis anxiety state, moderately severe’.
On the afternoon of August 3, Patton made one of his frequent hospital visits. After praising the physically wounded soldiers, he came across Kuhl and asked him what was the matter. The soldier replied: ‘i guess i can’t take it.’
Patton slapped Kuhl across the chin with his gloves, then grabbed him by the collar and threw him out of the tent, shouting ‘Don’t admit this son of a bitch’ and ‘You hear me, you gutless bastard? You’re going back to the front’.
Following the incident, Kuhl was found to have chronic dysentery and malaria. Patton’s actions might have been motivated by a report given to him by General Clarence R. huebner, Commander of the 1st infantry Division to which Kuhl belonged. huebner told Patton: ‘The front lines seem to be thinning out. There seems to be a very large number of “malingerers” at the hospitals, feigning illness in order to avoid combat duty.’
When Patton’s commander, General Eisenhower, learned of the matter, he ordered Patton to apologise.
Patton’s encounter with Kuhl was depicted in the 1970 film Patton, where Kuhl was played by Tim Considine.
in an interview, Kuhl related that when Patton apologised personally, ‘he said he didn’t know that i was as sick as i was’. Kuhl added that: ‘i think at the time it happened he was pretty well worn- out himself.’ Despite calls to remove Patton, Eisenhower realised that his maverick general was too important to the war effort: ‘if this thing ever gets out, they’ll be howling for Patton’s scalp, and that will be the end of Georgie’s service in this war. i simply cannot let that happen. Patton is indispensable to the war effort — one of the guarantors of our victory.’
After the war, Charles Kuhl returned to indiana and worked as a janitor for Bendix Corporation, an engineering firm. Kuhl had married in 1940. he died in Mishawaka on January 31, 1971, and is buried at the city’s Fairview Cemetery.
G. Coles, Birmingham.
QUESTION What happened to Mary Berry’s first TV co-host Paul Kaye? PAUL KAYE did do some presenting work on Yorkshire TV’s Farmhouse Kitchen in the seventies but can’t be described as Mary Berry’s co-host. in one episode i recall him demonstrating how to make beer. he was far better known as one of the pioneers of pirate radio.
Born Paul Kazarine in Barnstaple, Devon, in 1934, after leaving school he worked in rep and in 1952 became stage manager of a theatre company in Nairobi.
he joined the Kenyan police and saw active service during the Mau Mau emergency. he then moved to Cyprus, where he produced a radio programme, Jazz For The Forces.
When Radio London was launched at the end of 1964, Kaye became its news reader, the first voice heard on the station. his reports on the half-hour were punctuated by jingles and dramatic music long before the BBC followed suit. his theatrical voice was one of the industry’s most distinctive.
in August 1967, the Marine Offences Act became law, and the first voice on Radio London became the last as Kaye closed the station down when he was heard to announce: ‘Big L time is three o’clock and Radio London is now closing down.’
Kaye moved to Radio Luxembourg, where he became programme director for the English service. in 1969 he returned to England to take up a three-year contract as announcer/linkman for Yorkshire TV in Leeds. in 1972 he went freelance, and took up a variety of jobs, including two weekly shows for Pennine Radio in Bradford and as presenter of hot stuff, a jazz programme on Radio hallam.
he continued to work for Yorkshire TV, working alongside Radio London colleagues John Crosse and Earl Richmond as well as Redvers Kyle, Keith Martin and Terry Davis.
in November 1980, Kaye was due to give a talk in stevenage, herts, when he was taken ill and died a few days later, aged 46.
Jim Stevens, Maidenhead, Berks.
QUESTION How is the ‘impact factor’ of scientific journals calculated? ThE quality of the journals in which scientists publish can make or break their career. A scientist must publish in ‘leading’ journals, with a ‘ high journal impact’ factor (JiF).
The JiF is supposed to give an ‘objective’ measure of a journal’s quality. it is a figure derived from the number of scientific citations a journal receives. On one level, a citation is simply a reference within an article to a published or unpublished source, but it’s more important than that — it refers to past scientific evidence that validates the scientist’s work.
in the early part of the century, raw citation counts were used by scientific librarians to determine which journals were worth buying or placing most prominently on their shelves.
in 1955, Eugene Garfield published a paper in science where he proposed an impact factor based on citations. By 1964, he and his partners were publishing the science Citation index ( sCi) and introduced the idea of a JiF number.
Garfield explained how to use the sCi in 1967: ‘When calculating the JiF, one takes into account the overall number of citations the journal received in a certain year for the two previous years and divides them by the number of items the Journal Citation Report (JCR) considers “citable” and were published that year.’
The JiF does not make comparisons across disciplines. Each discipline has a different size and citation behaviour (for example, mathematicians tend to cite much less than biologists).
The journal Nature has a 2014 JiF of 41.456, while Acta Numerica, the journal with the highest 2014 JiF in the Mathematics category, has a JiF of 7.364.
The science Citation index is today operated by Thomson Reuters.
Dr Ian Smith, Cambridge.
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Direct hit: Patton (left) and Kuhl