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Friday, 28 July 2006


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That is one campaign I have avoided learning about, I know just enough to realize the how acute your description is.

Now the Peninsular campaigns have the same story of the bravery of the solidiers and the stupidity of the hign command, but redeemed somewhat because the British had a reasonably competent commander with enough political pull to insure most of his immediate subordinates were reasonably competent.

C’est la change - C’est plus meme chose!

Cheer up, my French is one step above

Je ne parle pas ou n'écris pas français

Read it, Hank, it is not to be missed! Also, what is amazing in retrospect is that in the following century another victim of hubris went and made exactly the same fatal error - thank God! Truly, the First Law of War is 'never invade Russia'.

I would add one other footnote. The Italian army has always been considered something of a joke because of their poor performance in WWII which, of course, had nothing to do with their courage and much more to do with their reluctance to fight and die on behalf of the Germans. Anyway, as Zamoyski makes clear in this book, in the Russian campaign of 1812 the Italians were superb.

I've just got 1599 for my birthday. I hope Shapiro is better than another US academic who recently wrote about Will: 'Greenblatt comments that "as a country boy, he had almost certainly seen his share of sharp-quilled porcupines." ' The famous porcupine colony of Stratford had heretofore eluded historians.

"sharp-quilled porcupines".
Perhaps he was referring to the 16th c. critics!

Let me know what you think of the book.

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