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Re: [WarOf1812] 'Fair' history, was Naval Battles

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  • Raymond Hobbs
    ... This is a very general statement, and I am not sure it holds in current historical research. I do not know of any historians who claim this. Of course,
    Message 1 of 44 , Aug 2, 2000
      BritcomHMP@... wrote:

      > Interesting stuff Ray, personally I think the biggest fault in historical
      > research is the belief that there is 'one truth' that is just over the
      > horizon.

      This is a very general statement, and I am not sure it holds in current historical research. I do not know of any historians who claim this. Of course, Mel Gibson did
      in the opening of 'Braveheart'!!!!!!!!! I have not seen 'Patriot' - but it seems we have already had this discussion.

      >
      > When I did my little piece on the Battle of New Orleans it came home to me
      > quite forcefully that there might have been only one battle but depending
      > which side of the line you were one it was a totally different event.
      > For the Americans, a force that they thought would be all but invincible was
      > coming at them again after they had beaten back similar attacks on two
      > previous occasions.
      > For the British an ill disciplined and indifferently led force which had put
      > up a less than average defense to cautious probes was suddenly fighting with
      > determination.

      Have you read N.F. Dixon, On the Psychology of Military Incompetence. (1976)? Written by a combat officer (Royal Engineers), and psychiatrist. He adopts Janis's notion
      of 'Groupthink' very well.

      >
      > I think Wellington put it well when he said you might as well try to write
      > the history of a ball as a battle. You might know who attended and some of
      > the major events but to work out exactly who was dancing with whom at which
      > particular point was impossible.

      Yet there are and were Generals and Field Marshalls who did not accept this point of view, and went ahead and wrote their versions of battles and campaigns - Eisenhower,
      Montgomery, Horrocks, Schwarzkopf come to mind. None of them were trained historians. But their 'accounts' are useful in adding to the collection of data, which in
      cludes their own personality and character. None contain THE truth, as you say.

      Voltaire wrote, 'God is in the details.' Now, if we could just find enough of them.....!
    • BritcomHMP@aol.com
      In a message dated 8/7/2000 10:41:04 AM Central Daylight Time, alaidh@yahoo.com writes:
      Message 44 of 44 , Aug 7, 2000
        In a message dated 8/7/2000 10:41:04 AM Central Daylight Time,
        alaidh@... writes:

        << And I think that we already discussed that it was
        S.O.P in those days to toast a city AFter everybody
        but the rearguard had passed through, and we are in
        agreement that Jackson was both pragmatic and
        cold-blooded enough to stick the local boys with the
        distinct oppoprtunity to defend their Gallic honor by
        being tasked with the job of slowing down the Brits
        "until the wounded and woman and children have been
        safely moved to a place of safety (Natchez just popped
        into my head<g>)"

        Ah but you forget Fitz,Vincent Nalty for one had already guessed what was in
        the back of Jackson's mind. Several of the locals were already very anti
        Jackson so I think the idea that Jackson and the regulars would be alowed to
        swan throgh town while the locals were assigned to a second defense is not in
        the realm of reality. It is always wise to remember that the Ursuline Nuns
        were praying for the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succour that the city
        be saved, this is usually interpreted as praying for the defeat of the
        British but that is not necessarily so!


        <<BTW, I get the impression that you are familier with
        historical miniatures wargaming, from your book - may
        I ask what rules are currently being used there with
        the group in Chalmette? Just Curious. >>

        I am afraid not, I gave up wargaming when I discovered re-enactment. That
        section of the book was written by someone else, its part of the Osprey
        format. Personally I would have liked to put more about the battle in it.

        Cheers

        Tim
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