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Knight to Castle 4.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

CASTLES WERE THE STORAGE DEPOTS OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

SINCE WARFARE INCLUDED CASTLE SIEGES THAT LASTED MONTHS OR EVEN YEARS, BESIEGING FORCES NEEDED LONG SUPPLY TRAINS.

LIKEWISE, THOSE HARDY FOLKS HOLDING DOWN THE FORTS, SO TO SPEAK, NEEDED TO MAINTAIN STOCKS BY KEEPING THEIR OWN SUPPLY LINES OPEN.

THE OUTCOME OF A SIEGE WAS OFTEN DECIDED BY WHOSE LOGISTICS SYSTEM FAILED FIRST.

THIS IS THE MOSTLY TRUE TALE OF HOW ONE SUCH LOGISTICS CHESS MATCH FINALLY ENDED AFTER SEVEN LONG YEARS IN COLD, DAMP, RAINY WALES ...

1468 AD.

CAMPED OUTSIDE THE IMPREGNABLE CASTLE HARLECH IN WALES, THE COMMANDER OF THE YORKIST FORCES, LORD WILLIAM HERBERT, IS CHILLING WITH WALTER DEVEREUX, THE 7TH BARON OF FERRERS.

AND BY 'CHILLING,' WE MEAN THAT LITERALLY.

SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND, BILL?

AYE, WALLY. WHY DO THEY CALL IT THE WAR OF THE ROSES, WHEN IT'S TOO BLOODY COLD HERE FOR ROSES TO BLOOM?

BUT IT'S AUGUST.

THAT'S MY POINT. WE'VE BEEN AT THIS SIEGE SO LONG, I CAN'T EVEN TELL A WELSH SUMMER FROM WINTER ANYMORE.

ALL I KNOW IS THE SKY WEEPS MORE HERE THAN A TROUBADOUR WHO'S LOST HIS MUSE.

MILORDS ...

WHAT HO! WHO'S THIS THEN?

MILORDS ... WE'VE REALLY GOT ... THE LANCASTRIANS ... ON THE SKIDS ... NOW!

{SIGH} YOU SAID THAT THREE YEARS AGO.

MILORD, I PROMISE THIS IS IT. WE FINALLY CUT OFF THEIR PESKY SEASIDE SUPPLY CHAIN. BY OUR CALCULATIONS, THEY HAVEN'T GOT ENOUGH GRUB TO LAST ANOTHER WEEK.

NO GRUB, YOU SAY? AH, BUT THESE 7-YEAR-ITCHY HOLDOUTS ARE CLEVER. WHAT IF THEY RESORT TO GRUBS, PLURAL?

WE'VE GOT THAT COVERED, TOO. WE SNUCK SOMEONE INTO THE KEEP DISGUISED AS THE ORKYNNIN MAN.

THERE WON'T BE A GRUB OR LOUSE LEFT WRIGGLING BY NIGHTFALL. NO MIDNIGHT SNACKS FOR THOSE LANCASTRIAN DOGS!

CAN IT BE TRUE, WALLY? HAS THE TIDE TURNED IN OUR FAVOR?

SHALL I SEE MY DEAR WIFE ANNE AT LAST? WILL I BE ABLE TO BATHE AND SHAVE AT LEISURE? AND CAN I FINALLY EXCHANGE THESE INFERNALLY WET DUNGAREES FOR DRY ONES?

MEANWHILE, INSIDE THE STOREROOM OF BESEIGED CASTLE HARLECH, THE CASTLE COOK GROUSES TO THE SUPPLY CLERK ...

ALWAYS WITH THE ANJOU PEARS, AMERAWDWR.

DID YOU TELL 'ER 'IGHNESS THAT WE'RE OUTTA ANJOUS?

BUT I CAN DO A NICE BLOOD PUDDING.

ACTUALLY, COOKIE, WE'RE OUTTA BLOOD, TOO. NOBODY HAS ANY LEECHES LEFT.

THE SUPPLY SHELVES ARE BARE.

BARE!?

CONSTABLE EINION! WHAT BRINGS YOU TO THE SUPPLY ROOM?

I HAD TO SEE THIS FOR MYSELF.

BY THE BISHOP'S HOLY TOENAIL, IT'S TRUE!

THESE BINS ARE EMPTY, SERGEANT AMERAWDWR!

HOW COULD YOU FORGET THE CLASSIC SUPPLY MOTTO?

IF IT'S AUTHORIZED, IT SHOULD BE IN STOCK OR ON ORDER!

UMMM, I THOUGHT THAT WAS JUST A MOTIVATIONAL SLOGAN, SIR.

OHHH ... THIS DOESN'T BODE GOOD.

BUT SIR, REMEMBER WHAT YOU ALWAYS TELL US, 'CHIN UP ... FOR TOMORROW IS ANOTHER SIEGE DAY!'

THAT WAS THE MOTIVATIONAL SLOGAN!

NAY, I MEANT THAT THESE EMPTY SHELVES DON'T BODE GOOD FOR YOUR CAREER, AMERAWDWR. YOU CAN KISS THAT PROMOTION GOODBYE.

SIR!

SIR, THE YORKIST LOUTS ARE BOILIN' OVER THE HILLS LIKE ROACHES!

THEY'RE COMING FROM BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH! NIGH 9,000 MEN STRONG.

EH? ROACHES, YOU SAY? BAKED, BOILED OR FRIED, THEY'LL DO IN A PINCH.

OUR HUNGRY BELLIES MUST BIDE, COOKIE. RIGHT NOW, WE NEED YOU TO BOIL UP SOME KETTLES OF PITCH!

THE ENEMY IS ON OUR DOORSTEP!

DO WE HAVE ANY PITCH?

I USED IT FOR PORRIDGE LAST WEEK.

THE GATEHOUSE AT CASTLE HARLECH ...

WHAT'S THE HOLDUP WITH THE PORTCULLIS?

IT SHOULD BE DOWN BY NOW!

THE QUICK-RELEASE CATCH IS BROKEN, SIR.

DO I LOOK LIKE I JUST GOT OFF THE CART FROM LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLL? NO EXCUSES, SOLDIER!

BUT WE DON'T HAVE THE PARTS TO REPAIR IT, SIR.

THEN SLASH THE ROPES! DO I HAVE TO COME UP WITH EVERY PLAN B, TOO?

ACTUALLY SIR, COOKIE BOILED THE ROPE UP FOR SOUP SOME WEEKS BACK. AND SERGEANT AMERAWDWR TOLD US HE COULDN'T ORDER ANY MORE ROPE.

SAID HE JUST COULDN'T GET THE HANG OF THE NEWFANGLED SUPPLY SYSTEM.

THAT'S BECAUSE PRIVATE AMERAWDWR SHIRKED HIS HARLECH CASTLE SUPPLY SYSTEM (HCSS-ARMY) TRAINING!

AYE, YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT. I SAID PRIVATE!

D'OH!

MIGHTY CASTLE HARLECH SURRENDERED TO YORKIST FORCES ON THAT FATEFUL DAY IN AUGUST 1468, AFTER A GOOD 7-YEAR RUN.

THE MORAL HERE IS THAT WHILE LOGISTICS MAY NOT SEEM EXCITING ...

... ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO A BATTERING RAM OR TREBUCHET ...

... THE FACT IS IT'S TURNED THE TIDE OF HISTORY MANY A TIME!
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Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Cartoon
Date:Dec 1, 2014
Words:737
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