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An-22 Antei Cock - Nomenclature

The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand formed the Air Standards Coordinating Committee (ASCC) in 1954, which devised a system of code names for Soviet aircraft. This followed the practice adopted by Allied nations in 1942 for designating Japanese aircraft. many times NATO was not aware of any Soviet designation, let alone a nickname assigned to any aircraft due to the intense secrecy behind the Iron Curtain. As in the earlier system, the ASCCs system used names that were easy to remember and could be easily understood over poor voice radio links. Soviet aircraft and missiles were assigned reporting names based on its primary mission, C being for Cargo transport and civil aircraft.

These NATO designations do everything but evoke fear in their western counterparts. To reduce the risk of confusion, unusual or made-up names were allocated, the idea being the names chosen would be unlikely to occur in normal conversation, and be easier to memorize. Single syllable words denoted propeller-driven, while multiple syllables denoted jet-powered aircraft.

Cock is most often used to refer to either birds or guns. A cock is a rooster, but it's also the hammer on a gun that can be adjusted to fire it.

The Russians named the An-22 "Antei" - for the giant son of Greek god Poseidon. Antaeus, according to one of the many Greek allegories devised for explaining the story of the wars of the Gods, represented the sand of the desert, and was thence reputed to be the offspring of the Earth. In the mythological history of Osiris, Antaeus was the one person who had the double character of a friend and an enemy of the Gods. Typho and Antaeus were the enemies of the good deities Osiris and Hercules. Antaeus, son of Gaia and Poseidon, was a Libyan giant who appeared invincible. He challenged all passers-by to a wrestling match which he invariably won, upon which he slaughtered his adversary. The struggle between Heracles and Antaeus does not occur in archaic art.

The scene represented on the coins of Tarentum as early as the fourth century BC. From this time onwards the lifting of Antaeus occurs repeatedly in bronzes and statues, and especially on coins and gems. Yet even here there is little evidence for the later version of the story recorded by the scholiast to Plato, and by Roman poets, that Antaeus being the son of earth derived fresh strength from his mother every time he touched the earth, and that Heracles therefore lifted him from earth and squeezed him to death. There are a few late monuments which may have been influenced by this form of the story, and Philostratus gives a detailed description of the scene; but these are the exceptions and there can be no doubt that in the majority of cases, Heracles lifts Antaeus not to crush him, but to throw him.

Usually Heracles lifts Antaeus to his right, and the whole attitude denotes that he intends to hurl him with all his force to his left. Even in the late realistic monuments where Antaeus is represented with an expression of intense agony, the attitude of Heracles is preserved, and though the agony might denote the squeezing to death the attitude of Heracles is neither necessary nor appropriate to such a process.

The earliest legendary prince of Mauretania mentioned in history is Neptune, and next to him were Atlas and Antaeus, his two sons, both famous in the Grecian fables on account of their wars with Hercules. Antaeus, in his contention with that hero, seems to have acted with great bravery and resolution. Having received reinforcements of Libyan troops, he cut off numbers of Hercules men. But that celebrated commander, having at last intercepted a strong force of Libyans sent to the relief of Antaeus, inflicted on him a total overthrow, in which both he and the greater part of his forces were put to the sword. This decisive action put Hercules in possession of Libya and Mauretania, and consequently of the riches of these kingdoms.

Hence arose the fable that Hercules finding that Antaeus, a giant of enormous size with whom he was engaged in single combat, received fresh strength as often as he touched his mother earth when thrown upon her, at last lifted him up in the air, and squeezed him to death. Hence, probably, was the origin of the legend of Hercules taking the globe upon his shoulders from Atlas, and overcoming the dragon which protected the garden of the Hesperides, where he gathered all the golden apples which it produced, by which, it is presumed were symbolized the riches which fell into his hands by his victory.

From the defeat of Antaeus nothing remarkable occurs in the history of Mauretania till the times of the Romans, who brought the whole country under their jurisdiction, at the same time with the rest of northern Africa.

The forms of the word Atlas, to wit, Atlantis, Atlante, &c. are apparently compounded of the names Atlas, or Atal, i. e. tall, lofty, &c. and Ante, Antaeus, which is a prefumptive proof, that they both belonged to the fame perfon, and confequently, that Atlas and Antaeus were the fame king of Mauritania: the word Atal answers very well to the stature of Antaeus, according to Pliny and Plutarch. Plutarch writes that the Africans reported to Sertorius, that Antaeus was buried in Tingis, a giant of a wonderful stature; but Sertorius being unwilling to trust common fame, which gave out that his body was of a most prodigious length, caused his sepulchre to be opened, where he found his corpse of an amazing length; he was exceedingly astonished, and immediately offered up sacrifices to the gods, and closed up the tomb again, whereby he confirmed the report of the inhabitants, increased the fame of the sepulchre, and added new honors to the fame of Antaeus.

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Page last modified: 22-03-2018 18:28:15 ZULU