Saturday, April 23, 2011

"At the end of the Spanish-American War, in 1898, the United States occupied Cuba. Rioting mobs in the street, along with outbreaks of malaria and yellow fever, created havoc in the country. Lieutenant James Moss was sent with is troops to maintain order; they were successful. The unique thing about Moss's 25th Infantry of only 100 men was that they were a bicycle corps -- they all rode bicycles, they were all black, and they never once used their weapons while in Cuba."

-- Source: Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts

I've seen this in various forms throughout the Internet. It's not true. The bicycle corps was finished soon after the Ft. Missoula to St. Louis ride. Moss tried to convince the army to let him make another trip, this time to San Francisco but the higher ups stated that there was no more need to experiment. I am not sure where Asimov got this. The 25th Infantry did go to Cuba and they fought, so they most certainly used their weapons. A myth close to this one is that the bicycle corps broke up riots in Havana, using their bicycles as shields. There is no source material to confirm this and much that contradicts it. -MJH


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