Queen of Battle

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Apr 28 02:30:57 UTC 2004

> Interesting! I'm familiar with "cannoncocker," and my wife is named
> after St. Barbara, the patron saint of the Artillery. (Her father was
> an artilleryman in WWII.) But both the existence of the song and the
> existence of the phrase, "king of battle," are new to me.
> At the gates of Fort Dix stands - or, perhaps, stood - a billboard
> reading,
>         Fort Dix
>         Home of The Infantry
>         Queen of Battle
> I wonder whether there is/was a similar sign at Fort Sill.

As an old cannoncocker myself (sort of, I was really a chemical officer, but
assigned to a Field Artillery unit), "King of Battle" is a common term in
artillery circles. Both the "king" and "queen" of battle are allusions to
chess. 19th C. battles were typically won when you captured the enemy's
artillery (the "king") and infantry is the most powerful "piece" on the
field (the "queen").

The song, however, is a new one on me. I've never heard it, despite having
attended numerous St. Barbara's Day celebrations.

--Dave Wilton
  dave at wilton.net

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