September 30th, 2009

Inventing a Polish placename to order--can it be done?

Place: Prague and eastern Poland
Time: 1937-38

Two characters are about to travel to a town that one of them chooses at random, by shutting his eyes and setting the point of his pen down on a map. I had hoped to make the town's name significant in a peculiar way: when written out in Hebrew, it reads Nun Gimel Hei Shin, NGHS. Because it's the 24th of the month of Kislev, and because these characters intend to do something that most people would regard as miraculous, they believe that they've chosen rightly.

Is it possible for a Polish place name to fit this condition? (It would be interwar Poland, in the former Pale of Settlement, if that's any help.) I've looked at maps, but they don't help me much because I don't know the basis for the construction of Polish place-names, and without that, I'm bound to commit some howler.

If it can't be done, I'd be equally grateful to find that out, too.

Lipizzan Stallions and Operation Cowboy

Setting: Germany, Late April 1945.
Searching: I've done the general stuff, and I've gotten way more hits that I ever thought I would with just searching "Lipizzan", "Lipizzan Stallions", and "Operation Cowboy" but when I try to find more specific details, I either find nothing, or what I find has a nasty habit of contradicting another source.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1007241/index.htm
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3723/is_200606/ai_n17177005/?tag=content;col1
http://davidgettman.dragoons.org/Operation%20Cowboy.pdf
http://www.adjutant.dragoons.org/TBred%20Spring%2006.pdf

Have all been the most helpful so far, but it's still way less detailed than what I want to know.

Mostly I would love more information on Colonel Reed and his involvement (there is supposedly a journal he kept floating around somewhere and I was tracking the museum exhibit on him but hit a dead end right around Fort Polk) in the operation.

However I would love anything that is just more detailed. I actually called up a museum dedicated to the 2nd Cavalry but the man assured me all of the horses were killed and eaten by the Russians. As I know this to be untrue I rather doubt what little information he gave in addition to that. Although he was kind enough to point me toward the Society of the Military horse, but their site is more toward modern military horses and while I'm still looking I've not found anything that talk at all about what I want. Or even a number or contact place. There's a forum but it seems to be mostly for collecting and buying/selling memorabilia so I'm a little hesitant to post there with my questions.

I know there's a movie that's supposed to be really good, but it's put out by Disney and, well I've heard stories about how accurate some of their other documentaries are.