Letters To My Grandson: Cat Warfare…Flying Ace Sir Snaggle-Puss

cat-pilot

            Flying Ace Sir Snaggle-Puss

Dear Grandson,

I thought I would write this week about another impressive “Cat Warfare” cat….Sir Snaggle-Puss.

Sir Snaggle-Puss was a very famous allied fighter pilot during World War I.  This cat excelled at chasing and downing “birds.”  Sir Snaggle-Puss was known for his superior surprise attacks, taking out lots of “birds”,  showing no mercy and having a way with the ladies.  He could make his airplane, machine gun and favorite felines purr.

World War I (WWI or WW 1), was the First World War. It was fought in Europe and lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918.  More than 70 million soldiers fought in the war.  Over nine million soldiers and seven million civilians died during this conflict.

All of the world’s great economic powers of that time period engaged in this war.  There were two opposing alliances.  The Allies, our side, included the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, Russian Empire and United States.  Russia wasn’t as much help as you’d think as they decided to have their own revolution at the same time.  Total chaos and bedlam for them, but that is another story.  Our enemy during WWI was the Center Powers alliance that consisted of Germany , Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire.

It is interesting to note that before this war most of these European countries were ruled by monarchies or kings and queens. Many of which were actually family (cousins) because they were the descendants of Britain’s Queen Victoria. It is sad to think that so many lives were lost, due to one heck of a family feud over getting more stuff.   The regular people did learn this lesson and after the war there were very few kings or queens left in power.

World War I was the first major conflict that involved the large-use of aircraft as a weapon of war.  Tethered observation balloons had already been employed in several wars, including the United States Civil War (1860-1865) and would again be used extensively for artillery spotting. Germany employed  Zeppelins for spying on and bombing Britain and the Eastern Front. The Navy’s use of an ocean going aircraft carrier was first tried during WWI.

However, it was the airplanes that came into its own during this war. Airplanes were so new to warfare that pilots learned by trial and error. This process led to the development specialized planes including fighters and bombers, and sadly many dead brave young pilots. Lessons were learned and their sacrifice was not in vain!

As the famous flying ace Sir Snaggle-Puss notes in his autobiography,   “I, Sir Snaggle-Puss flew a fighter airplane during the great war.  Ace fighters, such as myself, were the best of the best.  No bragging, just fact!  A pilot could not become an Ace unless he shot down five or more enemy planes.  Your “kills” had to be confirmed by an eyewitness.

Being a great pilot had its perks, there was the plane, the great looking leather jacket and the ladies.  Yes, ladies just loved pilots.  We were real war heroes.  The pretty young kittens thought we were romantic knights in shining armor.

There were a lot of improvements to planes during WWI.  The most important as far as I was concerned was made in 1915 when “synchronization gear” was installed in our planes.  This invention allowed my machine gun to fire through the arc of the propeller without striking its blades.  Before this the phrase,”never knew what hit you” took on a whole new meaning.  I must say it was a comfort to know that from that time forward the enemy was in more danger than myself from my machine gun.  Yeah, for science and engineering!

During the war I was one of the allies top Ace’s.  I shot down over one hundred enemy planes or as I like to call them “birds”. I know that my personal effort brought a quicker end to that awful war.  I was knighted by King George V  for my bravery and daring. So I really am a heroic knight,  No bragging, just fact.”

Yup, that Sir Snaggle-Puss the World War I pilot cat was quite a character.  Speaking of characters your grandpa says hello. I hope you had a great week in school and lots of fun with your friends.

Have a great week.

Lots of love and hugs!

Grandma Pat

 

 

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