## Tuesday, March 08, 2011

### Tuesday Trivia

The answer to yesterday's question is:
Merlin. A variant of this engine was used in the North American P-51 Mustang as well.

Today's question is:
If you divided the length of the American Civil War, in years, by the length, in years, of American combat in World War II, would the ratio be greater or less than 1? Justify :-)

<1

1942-1945 WWII 3.5 years
1861 - 1865 War between the States ~4 years
.875 < 1
These dates could be all messed up though.

socalmike said...

Civil War lasted from April 61 to April 65 - 4 years.
WWII lasted from Dec 41 to Aug 45 - less than 4 years.
Ratio is over 1.

pseudotsuga said...

Ratio greater a bit greater than 1.
Justify:
WWII combat was a bit short of 4 years (1942, 43 ,44, and most of 45);
Civil war 1861-65, 4 years long almost exactly.

W.R. Chandler said...

Since American participation in both wars was almost exactly 4 years, whatever mathematical difference there is, it will be small.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Trick question Darren. The definitions of each are very hard to exactly define. Pearl Harbor (7 Dec 41) to VJ-Day (2 Sep 45) is just under four years. Firing on Fort Sumter (9 Jan 61) to the surrender at Appomattox (9 Apr 65) was just over four years. So in this case, the ratio of Civil War/WWII length is > 1.

However, if we look at the first American ship sunk of WWII, the loss of the Raymond City (8 Nov 40), now the WWII has become just shy of five years making the ratio < 1.

Oh, but was Appomattox really the end of the Civil War? The remnants of Quantrill's Raiders under Archie Clement didn't surrender until December 1966. Thus, you can make the argument that the Civil War lasted just over five years. Ratio > 1.

But wait, where did we lose the first American in action deemed part of the WWII experience? Well, one could make the argument that it would be Freddie Falgout who was killed during the Sino-Japanese War on August 20, 1937. Thus American involvement in WWII becomes just over eight years. Ratio < 1.

And these are just a couple of the milestones one could use to justify an answer. There are many more that I didn't mention.