Wednesday, May 19, 2010

la petite guerre

LEFT: Death of British General Braddock, Battle of Monongahela River, 1755

"The French Canadians and Indians advanced close.

Noting that the British ranks reloaded to ordered drumbeats, they picked off the officers and the drummers.

Confusion, then panic, spread through the British ranks. The battle became a slaughter."

--W. J. Eccles, The French in North America, 1500–1783

In the 1700s, drummers were usually 10- to 18-year-old boys.


Margaret said...

Oh, not the drummers:
boys, still;
then still boys.

Like waking up from an animal blur, they fell apart without the steady percussive toll at young hands.

Fresca said...

I know, I felt so sad for the drummers, those "still boys".

Yet there's a sort of Monty Python black humor to the British in wilderness warfare--like, if you're going to come at someone with a piece of fruit, you really shouldn't be surprised if they drop a 10-ton weight on you...

Margaret said...

. . . .unless that fruit is a Blackberry, in which case you can engineer warfare with a touch of the hands, (the naming of edge-technology as fruit is a little eerie to me).

We learned about the Battle of Nicopolis in Hst. the other day, and about the Christian knights who, charging their ranks in full chivalric zeal and splendour, defeated with great swoops the initial cluster before bounding over the hill, (in the heightened spirit of valiant warfare, no doubt), to find they had only pecked at the surface of the Ottoman hordes. They were slaughtered.
It was sad and a little funny - like Don Quixote.

Manfred Allseasons said...

Death to the French!! one of Foresters better books...ahem...

Clowncar said...

after some Civil War battle (I don't recall which one), thousands of dead and dying boys lay on the field of battle as a brilliant display of northern lights filled the sky. the victors interpreted it as God celebrating their victory. the vanquished thought it was the tears of God.

Fresca said...

M'GET: And there's always the Charge of the Light Brigade [in the Wrong Direction].

MANFRED: Thanks, you always make me laugh.
You will be happy to hear, perhaps, that indeed the war does not turn out so well for the French...

CLOWN: Funny how we seem to think God loves slaughter, eh?