History's Trainwrecks


003 - Keep Your Pants On

Season 1, Ep. 3

One privilege of rank is getting to keep your pants on.

In the early days of World War II, American Major General Mark Clark was on a top-secret mission in German-occupied Algiers to persuade the French commander not to resist the planned Allied invasion of North Africa, codenamed Operation Torch.

On his way back to the submarine, the general worried that his wet pants (and the two thousand dollars in gold he had in his belt) might drag him down. He turned to the next lowest ranking officer and ordered him to surrender his trousers.

It's good to be in charge.

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Sources for this episode:

“Flawed, but Essential: Mark W. Clark and the Italian Campaign in World War II” Mikolashek, Jon, Florida State University, 2007

“Mark W. Clark” Wikipedia

“George C. Marshall” Wikipedia

“Operation Flagpole” Wikipedia

“Top Secret: Gen. Mark Clark’s Daring Operation Flagpole” Schultz, Duane, Warfare History Magazine, 2019

“Spain during World War II” Wikipedia

“Operation Torch” Wikipedia

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