Saturday, 20 February 2021

Recently I Have Sometimes Heard The Word Decimated Used,

the prefix comes from the Latin decimus, meaning "tenth", 

and arguably to be decimated is perhaps one of the curliest punishment in the Roman army, from the article“All of the accused men, no matter the army rank or the social status, were divided into groups of ten men. Each of the men was subject to the lottery either by grabbing a stone from the sack or by drawing a straw. The man who grabbed the white stone or drew the shortest straw was killed, the Roman legionaries often faced death. The death sentence was not terrifying to them. It was the way how the execution was carried out that made the decimation a cruel punishment, every tenth legionary was clubbed down by his remaining nine comrades, imagine that you have to kill a friend with whom you’ve marched for years, shared meals with, and fought side by side”, the scene depicted above shows a legionary being beaten to death by his comrades, image  
and it is alleged that decimation did not stop with the end of the Roman Empire, Luigi Cadorna was a disaster as a military commander, the Italian army’s chief of staff at the outset of the First World War, the 64-year-old field marshal would go on to become the architect of some of the most futile and disastrous offensives of the entire conflict. In 1915 alone, his ill-conceived assaults on enemy Alpine strongholds on the Isonzo front cost his nation more than 250,000 lives. But while utterly hopeless as a strategist, administrator and a leader of men, Cadorna did excel in one area: unalloyed ruthlessness, nearly six percent of all soldiers in the Italian army were brought up on some charge or another by the aging tyrant and more than 750 men were executed on his watch. No nation shot more of its own during the First World War than Italy, it has even been claimed (although not without some controversy) that after a 1916 mutiny by soldiers of the 141st Catanzaro Infantry Brigade, Cadorna tore a page from history and actually ordered the unit to suffer a good old-fashioned decimation, so now I know, if a population is decimated, 1 in 10 die.

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