Brussels Sprouts And Their Role In History
Now, it is common knowledge these days that Hitler's final great offensive in the last years of WWII was the Ardennes Offensive of 1944/45, also known as the battle of the Bulge. What was not appreciated at the time by the Allied high command was just how desperately short of vital supplies the Third Reich armies actually were. The Ardennes Offensive was Hitler's bold attempt to capture and hold the Allied army's massive supply of Brussels sprouts, vital - of course - for the full functioning of any army.
German intelligence were aware that the American army was - in particular - massing huge quantities of the vital Brussels sprouts just behind their frontlines in preparedness for their own massive push - and - of course - in time for Christmas.
The German's audacious plan would have succeeded if the Allies had not quickly worked out that it was their stockpiles of Brussels sprouts that were under immediate threat. The bold plan put forward by the Allied Generals was a heavy gamble, but it paid off. They ordered their front-line chefs to begin boiling their entire stocks of Brussels sprouts, and - most importantly - to keep them boiling well past a state of fully preparedness.
So, when the weather altered and the wind direction changed, it blew the smell of over-cooked Brussels sprouts straight into the faces of the advancing Germans. Then the Reich troops knew that they would not be able to replenish their stocks of Brussels sprouts and any sprouts that they did capture from the Allied frontline kitchens would be overcooked to the point of inedibility.
Later in this series, we will discuss the major strategic role that Brussels sprouts have played in world history, such as Hadrian building a wall to protect the Roman Empire's most northern supplies of Brussels sprouts from the northern barbarians, thus thwarting the barbarian's fiendish plan to deep-fry the Roman's entire stockpiles of sprouts.
Then there was, also, Napoleon's retreat from Moscow when his over-long supply line of Brussels sprouts direct from France broke down. Even when his troops could get sprouts, they were of poor quality - dry, wizened and frozen solid. Of course, this led to a massive collapse of morale. Eventually, the lack of good quality sprouts forced a massive retreat where thousands of French troops died from a pitiful lack of sprouts.
And, of course, not forgetting - of course - how the Spanish conquest of the Americas was a result of the Spaniards overwhelming sprout superiority.