Quiz show in which the aim is to be interesting. Stephen Fry marshals military matters with Sheila Hancock, Jeremy Clarkson, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.
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This programme contains some strong language.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening
and welcome to QI,
where tonight we're on parade for all things military.
Here to do battle are the flag-waving Jimmy Carr.
The sabre-rattling Sheila Hancock.
The war-mongering Jeremy Clarkson.
And the ambulance-driving Alan Davies.
Now their buzzers are suitably belligerent.
MUSIC: Theme from The Great Escape
MUSIC: Theme from 633 Squadron
MUSIC: Ride Of The Valkyries by Wagner
And Alan goes...
March! March! March! March!
March! March! March!
What was unusual about Britain's war with Finland in 1941?
Well, not a shot was fired.
No, it was the only time, I think,
that two democracies have ever gone to war with one another.
-That's a hell of an alarm.
-Does it know what we're thinking?
How did you know that?
Welcome to my world!
11 years ago, Jeremy Clarkson, you said, on this very programme...
That that was true!
..that the 1941 Anglo-Finnish War was the only one
fought between two democracies.
Yeah. Well, have we declared war, since the show, started on France?
No, there had been others before.
A viewer named Otto Lowe has written to us...
-Otto? He'd know!
-..to point out that we were wrong.
So we're retro-actively taking points from you today.
You had a slightly bad start to the year, but now it's got terrible!
-I'm really sorry.
-It is 11 years ago I mentioned it!
There was the fourth Anglo-Dutch War of 1780 to 1784.
-The Football War of 1969...
-What was that?
..between El Salvador and Honduras.
-The Football War.
Had Honduras kicked a football into their...?
It only lasted ten hours, it must be said.
Was there a half-time?
Well, I'll go back to my original answer, then,
which was not a shot was fired.
I'm afraid that's not true, either.
13 people were killed in the Anglo-Finnish War.
The British attacked a port called Petsamo on 30th July, 1941.
I still think it's the only proper war fought between two democracies.
Oh, give in, Jeremy, give in.
If you'd gone home after the programme and looked it up,
then you'd have known.
I did look it up before I mentioned it 11 years ago!
Well, Wikipedia has got more accurate since then. But, erm...
The fact is, despite its reputation, the Anglo-Finnish War of 1941
is not the only time two democracies have fought each other.
Now, if I can be serious for a moment.
More than 100 million people were killed
in wars during the 20th century
and the total number of people ever killed by wars
could be as many as one billion.
Einstein described war as "a cloak that covers acts of murder."
And Antoine de Saint-Exupery called it "a disease, like typhus."
With all that in mind, here is my question to you.
Why did Hitler have such a silly moustache?
Thank God for that! I thought I was on the wrong show for a minute.
It all got very serious.
I'm sure you'd agree with my description of war, Sheila?
I would, absolutely.
This is a difficult show for me to be on because I'm a Quaker pacifist.
So I'm not an ideal person on the thing.
Were you born a Quaker?
No, I wasn't. I was "a Quaker by convincement," as they call it.
-Is that what it's called?
Because my family, the Fry family, were very early Quakers.
-Of course they were, yeah.
-It's a very admirable thing.
-And the pacifism is taken very seriously, isn't it?
Well, it's a lovely thing until Hitler comes along
and then it's not much use.
Well, if we'd have done something about it before Hitler came along,
-then maybe we would have...
-Shaved his moustache off!
And I think the reason he had that moustache
is he was probably a fan of Oliver Hardy.
Ah, well, it's certainly true that they were popular in the '20s
and increasingly in the '30s among...
-Well, Charlie Chaplin, of course, is best known.
But, supposedly, Hitler changed from
what was a relatively bushy moustache...
You may have seen a famous photograph of him as a gefreiter,
a corporal, in the First World War. There he is on the left.
But there are a couple of stories. No-one's quite sure which is true.
There was a fellow who served with him, Alexander Moritz Frey -
Great Uncle Alexander -
he was in the same regiment in the First World War as Hitler
and he said that Hitler trimmed it into the familiar toothbrush
in order to fit into the gas mask properly.
Frey's account is controversial, apparently.
He went on to become a satirist and fantasy novelist,
starting a family tradition.
But here's a point about Hitler. He's judged very harshly by history,
but he did kill Hitler.
That's... I can't take that away from you, Jimmy.
-Credit when credit is due.
Some historians believe that Hitler only adopted the 'tache in 1919.
And his sister-in-law, who lived in Liverpool...
What, she had one as well?
She may have done. Do you know what her name was?
-Almost, as it were.
Yeah, that was her name. Bridget Hitler.
-Is that true?
Yes. She was married to Alois Junior, who was Hitler's half-brother.
And they had a son, William Patrick Hitler.
William Patrick Hitler went to America
and won a Purple Heart in the Navy.
Changed his name, I presume.
Eventually, to Stuart-Houston, I think.
And he claimed he wanted to forget anything to do with his uncle,
but he named his first son Alexander Adolf Stuart-Houston.
Aren't there still, in the American phone book...?
I know there's a weird fact,
it's quite interesting, might work on this show,
where there's still, I think, nine people called Adolf Hitler...
-..that were obviously born before he came to...
Oh, watch it, because in 11 years they're going to ask you a question.
-You'll be, "Arrgh!"
You're simmering about that, aren't you?
I'm not a sore loser, but...
Anyway, yes, Bridget in her memoirs said that he came to visit Liverpool
and that she told him that he should trim the ends of his moustache
to make it less bushy.
But as she put it, "As in most things, he went too far."
That's put him in his place.
Hey, take it easy, Bridget.
Yeah, I know!
Yeah, and speaking of things going a little bit too far,
here's a question on mutinies.
Everybody remembers the mutiny on the Bounty,
but give me the name and rank
of the man who was overthrown and cast adrift in an open boat?
-Fletcher Christian. Wasn't he the one that...?
Is this just the BBC still getting at me?
You were about to correct Sheila, weren't you?
I was about to say, no, Fletcher Christian was the one who...
..did the mutinying, but Captain...
Was he a captain and was he called Bligh?
He was called Bligh. He was called William Bligh.
But he was a lieutenant commander.
I thought it was Marlon Brando.
Oops, what happened there?
Yeah, he was a commanding lieutenant on the Bounty
and there was a mutiny, and what was the mutiny about,
what was the prime cause of it?
-They couldn't get Netflix.
-You would think they could...
-Was there a shuffleboard incident?
-They could flick their net to catch...
-Bligh was being too strict.
Well, they had been in Tahiti,
where they had enjoyed the hospitality of Tahitian women.
Beautiful food and fabulous climate and they just loved it so much,
and Bligh insisted that they all get back on the boat,
to get back to their duties.
Do you remember what the duties of the Bounty were?
-They were collecting flowers, or something. No, some food.
-Breadfruit, that's it.
Because they thought that may be the magical food for the British Navy.
But they were really resentful at the idea that they had to get back
to their duties and they eventually cast him adrift in an open boat.
And they gave him just a sextant and a pocket watch
and, miraculously, he made it all the way to Timor.
It was a remarkable feat.
But Bligh seems to have had problems commanding people,
because he was made Governor of New South Wales
quite a few years after the mutiny, and they mutinied.
There was a military putsch to kick him out.
-He obviously had the knack.
-He had a bit of a knack.
-So this guy had a knack of upsetting people he worked with.
Yes, other mutinies - describe the Mutiny of the Monkeys.
Mutiny of the Monkeys?
It seems to be that the one in the middle is going to an England match.
Peter Tork had had enough.
Oh, The Monkees! Very good.
-See what I did there?
-I do see what you did there.
He wanted a go on the hat,
and the one who always had the hat wouldn't let him have the hat.
Anyway, the gig was cancelled.
The one who had the hat, his mum invented Post-It notes.
Yes, which came about because they were bad stickers.
They were actually a failure,
because they didn't stick properly, then they thought, hang on a minute.
They should have used superglue,
because that never sticks anything to anything.
-I've lost the thread of this conversation!
Yes, you may not be alone, Sheila!
Somehow, they were talking about...
You see, it was the Mutiny of the Monkeys, showing pictures of monkeys,
-they were talking about the pop group...
-I was there with that.
One of them... Who wears the hat, Mike Nesmith?
His mother invented Post-It notes...
-Or was it Tippex?
-It was in fact Tippex.
-Was it Tippex?
Oh, well, you got a free Post-It note fact, anyway.
Yeah, very true.
So, no, we are in the world of primates here, actual monkeys.
Mutiny of the Monkeys?
Well, it was called the Monkey Mutiny, it was in 1890,
a British vessel called the Margaret,
which travelled from Durban to Boston
and it contained a consignment of 400 cockatoos, 12 snakes,
two crocodiles, some monkeys, a gorilla and an orang-utan,
to be delivered to an American zoo.
Almost immediately, things started to go wrong.
I think I've seen a documentary about this.
Is it called The Life Of Pi?
-More or less, yes!
-Sorry, that actually happened?
-With the tiger, yes.
-So, come on, what kicked off...
They were on a boat...
Well, the rats ate the grain, which was intended for the cockatoos,
-so they all died.
-400 cockatoos, dead.
Food for the crocodiles!
Yeah, there was a storm, the snakes and the crocodiles escaped,
so, the crew barricaded themselves into their cabins
and wouldn't go out, but then, fortunately, the crocodiles
and snakes fought each other until there was only one
crocodile left, and eventually some cargo fell on it and it was killed.
So, the truth could then come out...
And they all got new shoes.
Then, the monkeys escaped and climbed the rigging,
then they were swept off to sea and drowned.
Where were the human beings while all this was happening?
-They had hidden themselves
in their cabin for a lot of it. They were scared.
But by the time they did get to Boston, there was a gorilla,
three monkeys and four parrots left, out of that whole consignment.
That is why Boston Zoo is shit.
-That's the survivors' photo, then!
Anyway, so, a mob of monkeys caused a mutiny on the Margaret.
What's a better way to get out of the Army than shooting
yourself in the foot?
Putting your underpants on your head and pencils up your nostrils.
AS ROWAN ATKINSON: "And remember to say...uh-bibble.
"You must say...uh-bibble." Erm...
-Anyway, are we talking about now, or in history?
-First World War.
-Is it to say you were homosexual?
After the war, there was the conscription,
-the war was over...
-Oh, national service.
You had national service, and I know one or two actors
who pretended they were gay to get out of doing conscription.
I've known more actors who pretended they were straight, but there we are.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
You are right to be in the area of sexual behaviour, shall we say.
Because there was this idea of a "Blighty wound",
where in the First World War,
you'd shoot yourself through the foot in order to be invalided...
Chop your cock off.
Well, any of those, if you were discovered doing them,
would be a shootable offence.
-It was considered desertion.
-Cheesegrate it off.
If you haven't tried it, don't judge.
Sorry, so, did people really shoot themselves in the foot?
Did that happen a lot?
Not a lot, because they would just be accused of cowardice and desertion.
-So, there was another way.
-Well, a very particular kind of fraternising.
-Pursuing an officer.
-You do get leave, even in Flanders...
No, you don't have to go that drastic!
-Oh, that would be all right.
Look, come on, you're on leave, you go to Rouen or a Le Havre...
-Oh, sexually transmitted disease.
Sexually transmitted disease is the answer.
What did you have to get in a brothel to get out of...
Well, venereal disease, usually it was the pox or the clap,
syphilis or gonorrhoea.
And you were five times more likely to have a venereal disease
-than you were trench foot, on the front.
-Then why didn't...
Forgive me for asking, but why
didn't everybody simply go to a brothel
in the hope that they could get a dose...
-They just about did, that's my point.
-It would be tremendous!
But it was quite well treated,
and there didn't seem to be any utterly terminal or terrible
form of venereal disease, so, you would get your few months off,
and that for something, for that war...
Then you could go home and see the wife.
-"All right, love?
"Nice to see you, but we've got to rest this up..."
There were 75,000 prostitutes in Paris alone,
less than 10% of whom were licensed.
According to one contemporary report, 171,000 British troops visited
brothels in a single street in Le Havre in just one year.
Makes you proud, doesn't it?
During the German occupation, it was an offence for a prostitute
to give a German soldier a venereal disease,
and the offender could be imprisoned to keep other men
safe, but as soon as they started retreating, towards the end of
the war, they released all the women with venereal disease, in the hope
that the pursuing enemy would catch the clap, essentially.
-Dear, oh, dear.
-They really were marvellous times, weren't they?
-War is such fun.
who wrote probably the best memoir of the First World War,
Goodbye To All That, the poet,
he said there were no restraints in France, "These boys had money
"to spend and knew that they stood a good chance of being killed
"within a few weeks anyhow. They did not want to die virgins."
And that kind of says it all, I think. Oh, dear!
-I was told this show would be fun!
Everybody said, "Do QI, it's fun!"
Well, catching the syphilis IS fun, at least. It's all the rest of it.
It's proving your point about war.
Yes, soldiers in World War I could get off by... by getting off!
Which of these was originally used for military purposes?
-The bumper car.
-Not the bumper car, in fact.
-The Ferris wheel.
-Not the Ferris wheel.
-That thing that goes round, for sea sickness.
Well, there we are, we've all gone for something different.
That's rather pleasing.
And the only one that's correct is the merry-go-round.
Which was originally used for that purpose of war training.
You would sit on the horse and a servant would have a ring
and you'd have a lance and you would go round and round
and you'd try and get your lance through the ring
to practise your accuracy.
I mean, that's surely bullshit. No?
No. A merry-go-round was invented to...
-That can't be right.
-A carousel, it was called a carosello and...
So the original was sort of like a tennis ball machine.
Yeah, kind of, yeah.
Call Of Duty is better, isn't it, really?
But while we're on the subject of fairgrounds,
there had been a particular problem in the Boer War,
where they'd noticed that the British were not very good
at aiming and firing rifles.
So they passed special laws.
-One of the basics, really, isn't it?
They passed special laws
that allowed fairgrounds to have rifle ranges,
so you could fire rifles, live ammunition.
-Sorry, there's live ammunition in the fairground?
-Have you never gone to one of those?
-But it's always like a little cap.
-Yeah, a pellet.
I mean, mostly, you get the pellets, but what is allowed, in law,
even to this day, is live actual ammunition, proper ammunition.
-In a fairground?
What, a 7.62 mm...
Up to .23.
-It is frowned upon if you bring your own gun.
-I was going to say.
I just want to make it absolutely clear for Jeremy.
If I turned up with my AK, I'd get all those balloons.
But a .22 would work. So you could have that.
It would be quite good to turn up at a fairground with an AK-47
and go, "I think I'll be taking that bear home."
"Someone needs a cuddle."
Have you ever fired an AK-47?
Er, not in anger, Jeremy.
No, somebody put it onto automatic
and quite literally stood me in front of a barn door
and I missed it.
-As we all would.
It just flies around like a mad thing.
Of course, the man that did that isn't here to tell the story.
Very unfortunate incident.
It never breaks down and it never hits anything.
-And what, it just flies...
-It just does that.
And then rushes about in your hands. Terribly dangerous.
Well, that explains all of the series of The A-Team.
So it is actually realistic, the idea that, you know,
no-one got shot, ever.
Nobody could possibly get shot with an AK,
not unless you weren't aiming at them.
If I aimed at you, most of the audience would be history.
Well, that's you. Not everybody.
I mean, if they knew how to handle it.
No, it's pretty much everybody.
Unless you're a burly Russian shot putt enthusiast,
then you could probably hold on to it. But I couldn't.
-I fired a machine gun in Vietnam.
-Really, did you?
Did you hit anything?
I hit the end of the field.
A field's reasonable.
But they'd got all these old weapons from the American war
and you go up and you buy bullets.
-"How many bullets do you want?"
-Oh, my goodness.
I think I bought ten bullets.
And they put it in and then you squeeze the trigger
and they've gone, like that.
You think, "Oh, I wish I had more."
That's the evil of guns, isn't it? It triggers something.
Sheila, you're a Quaker pacifist. Have you got any good gun stories?
I'm not allowed!
It would be so good, though, if you went,
"Yeah, has anyone ever had a go on a bazooka?"
That's what we were told, that you could bazooka cows and things,
but I didn't get the chance to do that.
-You're a vegetarian!
-We had a...
You see, this is what guns do, isn't it?
Vegetarian of the Year.
The other thing that I learned about was that they used cattle...
Oh, no, that was a stand-up routine I did. That's not true.
I think you're beginning to blur the lines.
It's come to something when I'm struggling to remember a fact
and it's something I made up myself.
Anyway, one important skill for a soldier is map reading.
But why are maps so difficult to fold?
Well, because now they're on your phone, so you've got to break it.
Well, we've got some ones that aren't on a phone.
My father was a navigator in rallying and he could...
Oh, was he?
He could fold one in the passenger seat of a Mini Cooper
-in the dark at night.
-Did he pass that skill on?
-This is torture, you know?
-So whenever I go to fold up a map...
-Genuinely, this is my idea of hell.
-Of hell, yeah.
It is hell.
That's right, because there are...severe problems.
So there they are.
I mean, I'll tell you, probably the best idea
-is not to unfold it in the first place, Stephen.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hey, well done!
That is 12 seconds.
It's like anything with maps, my father was a navigator.
And I know what all the symbols mean.
Sheila, we've missed our turn!
Right, I'll race you.
Oh, oh, we'll cheat...
You're sort of doing what I do there, I think.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
My car is just full of those.
-Haven't you got a satnav?
-Where would we be without satnav?
Hey...! "Where would we be?"
Elstree. Probably at those studios, I don't know.
Come on, everyone, make an effort.
The fact is, most maps have got nine folds one way and two the other,
which means that there are 2,048 different ways of folding them.
-Two to the power of 11.
A man called Miura, who was an aeronautical designer,
was doing solar panel foldings
and he came up with this way of doing it...
And all you have to do is that and it folds.
You just push the corners together.
And it doesn't matter what you...
-And what's more...
-It wouldn't work.
-It wouldn't work if you gave it to me.
-Stephen, could you...
-Well, I'll give you one.
The one that you've got there, is that a map of Mars?
You've got one there.
And you just take the top-right and bottom-left corners,
-or any other way.
It's so folded, it just does it by itself.
-Take the corners and push them together.
-Oh, my God!
That's it! Jeremy, you've done it!
-But this man is the greatest genius who ever lived.
-Isn't he? I know!
-Who is he?
He's called Miura, he's a...
Of course, what you don't realise, he was trying to make a crane.
Koryo Miura his name is, and they are very handy.
I would have been so fucking pleased if I'd invented that.
Well, there are other things you can do with folding.
I've got some tissues here. And if we...
-Oh, what are we doing now?
You're each... If I can give you each a tissue.
All right, so I'll pass...
There we are. Pass it down. Oops...!
-What are we doing with the tissue?
-And I'll have one here.
OK, so what are we up to?
-What you're trying to do is scrunch it up...
-Oh, yeah, OK.
-..like this in your hands.
-And you scrunch it up. And then...
-Stick it right up your bum!
You try and think of an animal...
Like, I'm thinking of an animal.
I'm thinking of a sort of swan or something like that.
-I've really scrunched mine up.
-I'm thinking of a swan.
-Like that, can you see my swan?
-Do I have to think of a swan?
There you are...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
There we are.
Tiger. I've got tiger.
-I've got absolutely nothing at all.
I thought of a badger, but it got run over.
Excellent! Well done, all.
Now, an army is said to march on its stomach,
but what is the most morale-boosting thing you can find in a meat pie?
-Well, motivation wise, it would do wonders.
-A Greggs steak bake.
-People in pies.
I'll tell you the story behind it and you might think that
there probably was never quite such a morale-boosting pie.
It was Philip the Good, and Philip the Good was the ruler of Burgundy.
-There we are, then, red wine...
-And in 13...
56, probably, I wouldn't be surprised... 1454...
-LAUGHTER He, um...
He held a feast for knights
and squires and pages and lords and so on.
It was a PR stunt to promote a crusade that he wanted
to hold against the Turks. They had taken Constantinople.
Anyway, he had a feast, it was called the Feast of the Pheasant,
and it included a meat pie which contained 28 musicians...
..who played throughout the meal. Yes, alive! It was a vast pie.
A Manneken-Pis, which was urinating rose water,
a castle that squirted orange punch into its moat,
and a lion chained to a pillar, that protected a statue of
a nude woman who served mulled wine from her right breast.
It sounds like a party at Elton John's house.
Well, in this case, after this enormous pie, a giant came on,
with an elephant on a leash, the elephant had a castle on its back
and the castle had a dishevelled nun, whose hands were held in
prayer, and she implored Philip to go on a crusade to save Constantinople.
-A dishevelled nun?
He immediately leapt to his feet, made an oath to retake the city
and all his guests, caught up in the excitement of the pie, which had so
boosted their morale, that they said they would go on the crusade, too.
And that's why it's always a good idea to invade the Middle East.
Well, actually, they were very fortunate, because they didn't
-go on their crusade, despite the morale-boosting pie.
-They didn't go?
No, they didn't, because Charles VII of France, who was the King,
said that he thought it was a terrible idea.
-So, they had the pie for nothing.
-I'm fascinated by this dishevelled nun.
Yes, well, the word "dishevelled" is used in Chaucer, you may remember...
-I don't remember, Stephen.
-Did you know him at all, Sheila?
-He uses the word hevelled.
-"The man's head is cleanly hevelled."
So, dishevelled means uncombed. So, the nun was uncombed, it seems.
Though it's often used of clothes as well now.
Yeah, Philip the Good, he certainly knew how to throw a good party.
What's the worst thing you can find in a Morrison Sandwich?
Well, Morrison was Food Minister during the war.
-Ah, you've got straight to it.
-He was in charge of sandwiches, was he?
He was, in fact, in charge of home defence. And he came up...
Making sure no-one got in and took them.
-Not the Home Guard, exactly,
but he came up with a home defence idea, which was a type of shelter.
-It was for the more deprived families and they...
-Not the Anderson?
-It was indoors.
-..they were given free. It was indoors.
Indoors, as opposed to the Anderson shelter, which was outside.
-Which I spent my life in.
And a dear friend of mine was in one of those
-and her house took a direct hit and she survived.
One of the things we wanted to say
is that it was actually not, as it might seem,
a rather unsafe contrivance.
-But it actually worked really, really well, it seems.
-Yeah, it did.
But there was one problem. Sometimes, the top bit,
which was solid metal, and the bottom was solid metal,
sometimes, the top bit just crashed down
and the person was caught in what was then called a Morrison Sandwich.
-But it was considered safer.
And it was also quite loved, unlike the Anderson shelter,
which was pretty hated, is that right?
Well, I quite liked it, actually.
You used to sit, be outside and you could watch,
you always had binoculars and you could watch the dogfights going on,
-you know, in the Battle of Britain and...
And you felt kind of safe down there.
The only thing was that you were frightened
that you'd be trapped in the shelter.
I sleep with my hand over my head,
because there was an escape hatch
at the back of the Anderson shelter with a spanner
that you would use to get out.
And I used to sleep like that on my bunk, and I still do.
I sleep with one hand over the head.
You could probably sleep somewhere else now, Sheila.
This one on the left...
This one on the left, it's actually a weight test.
It's being tested for how much it can take.
And, as you can see, it's a fair amount of weight.
There was one in my uncle's garden, I remember.
What, an Anderson shelter?
-There is one on my farm and it's just full of pornography.
-It's just full of Men Only, Mayfair... All from the '70s.
Is that where you keep your collection?
That used to be a thing, though, didn't it?
Whenever you'd walk through woodland, I remember as a teenager,
there would be pornography lying around.
-In the hedges.
-In the days before the internet.
There was just porn lying about in the woods.
Does anyone else remember that? Is that just me? It's a thing, right?
-No, it is!
You used to walk through the woods and there would be porn lying about.
Everywhere. I was never able to get
to the sweet shop without encountering pornography.
Well, this is very odd! Why in the woods? Why in the woods?
I think that's when, possibly, people went and bought some
pornography and thought, well, I'd better not bring that home.
Then they'd drive home and leave a single shoe
-in the central reservation, which is the other thing.
And unravel their cassette tape. There we are...
That's everything done now for the day.
Cassette tape, single shoe, strong pornography in the wood.
What a strange world you live in.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Anyway, yes, Morrison Sandwich...
Morrison's sandwiches, as opposed to Morrison Sandwiches,
which were people caught there.
There's a Morrison's sandwich, and, of course,
they're delightful, fresh and charming and I wouldn't want
to suggest anything about them that was unpleasant.
-You've never had one in your life, have you?
-Well, no, but...
I know they exist.
So, yes, Morrison Sandwiches could be deadly,
but Morrison's sandwiches are, of course, delicious.
How do all-female military battles differ from all-male ones?
They all tidy up afterwards.
-I don't think humans have ever had an all-female war.
No, I wouldn't have thought so.
The Amazons were supposedly female soldiers, but they fought men.
The reason there has never been an all-female war
is there's plenty of me to go round, I think.
They might have to bail out.
-So, we are not talking about human beings, in that case.
-Oh, an animal war.
-An animal war,
-conducted purely by females of that species.
-Is it the praying mantis?
-Not mosquitoes, but...
-You were right with insects.
-A bee war.
-Bees went to war?
-Yes, bees' war on other hives, other colonies.
-Yes, Australian stingless bees...
-The Queen bee?
The Queen is the one who doesn't fight,
but all the other females, who are sterile...
-Are there other female bees?
-Yes, but they are sterile.
They launch a turf war against another colony.
The main attack method is to bite the leg or wing.
But because they have six legs,
they can keep going until they have got no legs left.
-These are not British bees...?
-British bees would never...
They would leave them at home, making honey!
-British lady bees, exactly.
-British bees wouldn't bite legs off.
-When the victory...
-There are some weird animals in Australia.
The colony that wins, they install their Queen
and kick out all the others, who are left to die,
-because they can't survive unless they are in a colony.
Yes, it's all rather grim.
In Scouting For Boys...
Sorry, your hobby...?
It is a strange title.
It is, of course, by the founder of the Scouting movement...
What does one think of a man who can say something like this?
He said of bees, "They are quite a model community,
"for they respect their Queen and kill their unemployed."
-Does he say that?
What begins with M that you could shoot with one of these?
Those guys are tiny!
A mallard is very good, absolutely. You recognise what that is?
-It's a punt gun.
-It is indeed a punt gun.
-There's a few punters in.
You're good on guns, aren't you, Jeremy?
Well, I shot one of those, but I shot a clay pigeon with it.
And proved that a man can actually fly.
So don't tell me you weren't on a punt?
No, I wasn't on a punt and there's a sort of momentum thing goes
and you get it going and then you just can't stop it.
And I was airborne for 20 minutes.
That's one of the reasons they have them on punts is...
-I mean, the boat goes backwards.
-That's the point.
You could fire that in Norfolk
and you would wind up in Stavanger three weeks later
More or less true. But also, more distressingly, perhaps,
if you like waterfowl,
one shot can destroy up to 50 at a time.
-So you could have...
-So is it shot like a shotgun?
Yeah, it's just a huge amount of blast.
I mean, I know you're a vegetablist, which is fine...
What I don't understand about these
is that if you actually hit a duck, it vaporised it.
And apart from licking the lake or the grass...
..there's no nutritional value from an atomised layer.
You're pretty much right.
Seriously, why do they have such a great big gun for it?
-Well, it was used in the United States of America, of course...
..in the early part of the 19th century.
But even the Americans realised
they were going to deplete their waterways just too much.
So, by 1860, it was banned. You couldn't use it any more.
-And then they use hand grenades now.
-Yes. They do, yeah.
I got picked up, this is another gun story, and I apologise, Sheila,
but I got picked up by a man once at an airport in Phoenix
and he was a big noise in the NRA and we had very little in common.
And he drove along in complete silence
and he just turned to me after about ten minutes and went,
"What is your personal preference of firearm?"
As a small talk. That was small talk.
-"I don't really have one, mate."
-And you said punt gun.
"Punt gun, mate."
Yeah, I should have done.
I tried that earlier with Sheila. We didn't really hit it off.
I almost want to go to a rifle range with you
to see you with one of these guns.
You're obviously hopeless at it.
The punt gun was used to massacre mallards, Muscovy ducks,
mergansers and other mother-duckers.
From ducks to Drakes.
What was the name of the fleet of ships
that got its arse kicked in 1589 during the Anglo-Spanish War?
The Spanish Armada.
-Oh, taking one for the team now.
-Well, I knew that would come.
-Yeah. That was 1588, the Spanish Armada.
-Is this the next year?
-The next year.
-They came back and had another go?
-No, this is what's so interesting.
This is the English Armada.
What's interesting is we just don't teach this in schools,
but it's a far worse defeat on the English.
Was this Cadiz?
No, Cadiz was singeing the King of Spain's beard, as it was called.
-It was a success.
-Cadiz is pronounced Cardiff, by the way.
IN SPANISH ACCENT: Cadiz. Cadiz.
But if you say Cardiff,
you're much closer to the way the Spanish say it.
-As I've found out.
Just say Cardiff and they go, "Oh, si, si. That way."
You walked to it?!
If you say Cadiz, they go, "Que?"
But, anyway, it's nothing to do with Cadiz.
Was it the one where we went and did too long?
No, what's interesting about this is that the English had a plan.
Having seen off the Spanish Armada,
Drake, filled with confidence,
thought they would really defeat Philip II of Spain
and we would really finish the job.
Instead of which, we lost 40 ships and it was an utter disaster.
But they don't teach it in English schools.
The Spanish Armada that is taught a lot and we celebrate
was not really that much of a triumph, to be honest.
We didn't sink their ships in the great battle.
The fire ships that Drake invented to send into them
didn't destroy any Spanish shipping.
So it was just not really that great a triumph.
It was the wind that beat them, not really Drake.
But where... What... I've forgotten what the question was about 1589?
What was the name of the fleet of ships that got its arse kicked?
Oh, it's the name of the fleet of ships. I don't know.
-It was the English Armada.
-Oh, was it? Yeah.
-Yeah, well, I don't want to learn about that.
-I learnt about HMS Victory.
And they used 60,000 trees to make HMS Victory.
They would grow oak trees and when they were saplings,
they would tie ropes round them
so that branches would grow into bends, because they needed...
To make the hulls and the keel, you needed oak in that shape,
-so the growing of the oak was an extraordinary...
-Amazing, isn't it?
Extraordinary expertise went into it.
The year after the Spanish Armada,
an English Armada was soundly beaten by Spain.
But we don't really like to talk about it.
That was something that people are generally ignorant about.
And here are some more.
Fingers on buzzers, if you please.
I'll give you 100 points if you can name one of the countries
where either the first or last shots of the First World War were fired.
-It's worth it, for 100 points.
It's where that guy, the king, the man was shot in the carrier.
-Where was that?
Well, that first shot in Sarajevo was not the shot of the war.
It's what caused the war later.
Oh, you mean soldiers shooting.
Once the war was under way,
-the first shot that was actually fired in it...
-The Isle of Man.
-No. I'll tell you.
It was Togoland.
That was the next thing I was going to say.
Where is Togoland?
Next to Disneyland.
It is now called Togo, but it was called Togoland then.
It's the middle of the Pacific, isn't it? Somewhere a long way away.
No, you may be thinking of Tonga or something. This is Africa.
It was a German colony. And on the 4th August, 1914,
the British Empire declared war on Germany
and three days later it attacked Togoland,
-Germany's small, but strategic colony there.
-Is that Namibia-y way, then?
No, it's much further up, near the Gold Coast, that sort of area.
And Regimental Sergeant Major Alhaji Grunshi
was the first to shoot back when the German-led police force
shot the approaching British forces, colonial forces.
-He was obviously better at it than Jeremy.
-So he became...
-Did he actually hit anything?
He didn't necessarily hit anybody,
but he became the first member of the British Army to fire a shot in the war.
Because I'd be the perfect armed guard for a Quaker meeting.
You would! You would!
I'm loving everything that you're so bad with guns.
-You missed again.
-Yes, I have.
But the war also ended in Africa, in fact.
The last actual battle took place
on a golf course in Northern Rhodesia, which is now called Zambia.
They stopped fighting eventually,
but German troops fought on for ages
in what is now Tanzania, Tanganyika as it was.
And they surrendered on November 25th, 1918.
If you shoot someone on a golf course,
is it considered polite to shout "Fore!"?
-You'd think it would be the least you could do.
So, yes, 14 days after the Armistice was the last shot of the war
that anybody can find, which was in Tanganyika.
So, yeah, the first shots of World War I were fired in Togo,
the last in Tanganyika.
And, finally, our last question.
What happened to the last of the Mohicans?
He had a haircut.
-Wild West show?
-Well, what is a Mohican?
-Well, aside from a hairstyle, yes.
Well, it's an Indian. Native American tribe, is it?
-Oh, no, wait...
-You said what?
Have I... I've gone and trodden on one of those land mines.
Because you can't say Indian, can you?
What do I say, Native American?
No, actually you can say Indian.
I found, doing a documentary all over the reservations...
-I can say it?
-..they called each other Indians.
I nearly got fired for that once.
Things go around, don't they?
The American Indian Movement is the premier political body
fighting for the rights of American Indians
and they call themselves the American Indian Movement, AIM.
It's a whole new world since I left.
There are two sets of Native Americans, American Indians,
that have been known as Mohicans.
They're the Mohegans, who live in Connecticut
and run the Casino of the Sky.
Yeah, the Mohegan Sun Casino, I've been there.
-It's called Mohegans, is it?
And then the Mahicans or Ma-he-cans,
also provide a gambling service for you
at the North Star Mohican Resort in Wisconsin,
known as "the Midwest's Friendliest Casino".
The guy on the right there is rubbish.
The worst Native American ever.
-It doesn't work, does it?
-Not joining in, is he?
He's going, "No-one told me we were supposed to dress as Indians!"
"I look ridiculous!"
The Mohican hairstyle, which you've alluded to,
is only called that in Britain.
-What do they call it in America?
-They call it Mohawk.
Yeah, but actually, neither Mohicans, neither the Mohegan...
Whichever one you choose, none of them had their hair like that.
Nor do Mohawks have their hair like that.
It's the Pawnees who have their hair cut like that.
But for some reason, Mohawk and Mohican is there.
So, we haven't seen the last of the Mohicans.
They're still coining it in their casinos.
Ker-ching, ker-ching, chin-go ker-chook-chook-chook, ching ching.
As Neville Chamberlain said,
"In war, no matter which side may call itself the victor,
"there are no winners, all are losers."
And so it is with QI.
But let's see who is the least losing of them all.
Lord, oh, bless my blimey...
Well, I have to say, it's a fantastic score
for a first-time performance.
Wow! Look at that!
Quaking away at minus 2 is Sheila Hancock!
In second place, with minus 8, it's Jimmy Carr.
-Minus 8 is good, that's great.
In third place, going great guns, it's Jeremy.
Minus 13. APPLAUSE
Which means... How did you do that?
And only just last is...
Alan on minus 14.
That's all from Sheila, Jimmy, Jeremy, Alan and me.
And I leave you with this deep thought
of American humorist Jack Handy.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war,
"a world without hate
"and I can picture us attacking that world,
"because they'd never expect it."