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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea


When someone is in a situation from which he cannot save himself we say that he's "between the devil and the deep blue sea."
It was one Colonel Munro who coined this phrase while serving for Sweden against Austria in the Thirty Years' war.
At one point in the advance Colonel Munro, because the Swedes had not given their cannon sufficient elevation, found his troops moving toward the Austrians in the direct line of fire of their own battery divisions to the rear.
He quickly dispatched a messenger to the commanding Swedish battery officer with the note: "Raise your cannons, we are between the devil and the deep blue sea." The cannons were raised and the battle was won.
Ever since, between the devil and the deep blue sea has been a handy phrase used to by people when caught on the horns of a dilemma.
Reference: Korach, Myron, Common phrases and where they come from, The Lyons Press, Connecticut, 2002.

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