Re: Thoughts, Sharpe, etc.
>From: "Paul W. Schulz" <pwschulz@...>am
> a. On Sharpe: Perhaps I'm a bit sensitive about this this one since I
>the one who suggested the us of Mr. Moore, the shows RESEARCHER as aand
>possible source of information. But we need to remember some definitions
>some facts about the entertainment world.Paul,
> Novel: a work of FICTION designed to entertain and produce
>income, it may or may not have a historical premise.
> Movie: a non printed action (live or animated ) version of the
> Movie Prop: Ninja Swords, Giant War Clubs and apparently Chosen
these are good points you are making.
Sorry if I might have come off as
strident re Sharpe, as I was trying to make a lighter comment on the phenom,
but in Email, it sometimes comes out not quite the way it went in. Yes, Mr
Moore was the researcher and adviser to the series' producers, who
basically with the star Mr Bean, just ignored much of what he advised, in
heighten the excitement factor or something. As Mr Moore wrote me a while
had told the producers that what they were doing was inauthentic,
unrealistic, etc. wherupon, one of them said, ah, but think how bad it would
have been had you NOT been here....
I haven't heard from Mr Moore for quite along time, ever since he offered to
send me piles of source materials on the 95th, which haven't arrived (that
was in May 98), but perhaps he is quite busy . I hear he's on location a lot
for movie companies. To be frank, he wanted me to advertise the 3/95th on
the "Sharpe's" website; but, as I really don't know whether I want to get
involved in someone else's commercial venture (and was not quite sure
whether I wanted would-be Sharpes turning up at our events as they do for
the 95th in England- these "ringers" are a real problem), I politely
declined Mr Moore's offer, and have not heard from him since. That's all.
I wish him well, and when we were in contact he did offer me some good
advice on powder horns and the like; very knowledgable. But, when you work
for a movie company, authenticity is a mere bagatelle to be gambled on or
away, depending on the situation. After all, they're signing the checks. Am
I right, Benton?
>No, but it's amazing to us end-of-the-century jaded types who look back on
> Folks as I've told you before I am a Paramedic Instructor. I don't
>particularly think "Rescue 911" or "Emergency" (1970's era) are good
>training films. For that matter neither was the "Sands of Iowa Jima."
the callow innocent youth who fell for the John Wayne myth of the GI always
doing the right thing, fighting fair, and being a good guy- and then we
ended up at My Lai, just as the patriotic French ended up hated and despised
in Spain, fighting their guerilla war- choose national myths carefully, I
>These>shows did and do raise interest in EMS. The educate the public to alimited
>extent and more importantly get people interested in the job and they joinAs long as everybody out there knows that it's all fiction, NOT history, and
>our ranks. Shape has the same potential. Remember it was made for a
>commercial purpose and therefore had to be interesting, exciting and have
>eye catching characters.
shouldn't be taken as such. In my experience, people don't read much
anymore in general. I used to be a teacher and was continually amazed to
find out how moronic the curriculum, students and teachers had become.
Perception has become reality: if it's on the TV or Net, it must be true, it
Oh, by the way I was a professional actor from
>80-83. This shows informs a public that at least now knows they're armywest
>fought in Spain in the 1800's (this the same public that thought the 1982
>task force would be back in a couple of days as the Falklands was a bit
>of Scotland.)I'd think that, too, but an Email reenactor pal of mine, Richard MacFarlane
of the UK 33rd Foot (Napoleonic) is forever chuckling at the "tourons"
(tourist + moron) in the UK who think Waterloo is just a train station in
England and that Wellington was famous only for the boots! War in Spain?
Was that in World War Two? Peninsula War- what peninsula? He hears it all
the time. Just because the British speak with "accents" (my wife is British-
Scots, actually), doesn't mean they're all the sharpest knives in the drawer
(exc. for her, of course), just like some Tourons in the States....
>What a producer/director does with research provided to themI did. The books, as I said before, aren't bad, but as the guy who's in
>is up to them, ONLY THEM. If you don't like that, stop watchin' the show,
rifle green, I get to hear about it repeatedly more from the misinformed
public than anybody else does, exc. maybe for the Glengarrys.
>but stop grousing about it.Esp. in November, I am remembering the many veterans who fought, got
wounded and died so that we may enjoy our free speech, ladies and gentlemen.
>I get confused when some of you draw knivesyes, I'm not too sure about the US troops as Dutch, but in all fairness I
>a TV show but say come to Napoleanic events as Dutch the crowd doesn't get
>close enough. Contradictions do that to me.
think that was done so that others wouldn't feel left out. Reenacting
politics can be a ticklish area; and as I' m sure anybody in the hobby in a
supervisory capacity can tell us, it's damned if you do, damned if you
I have no idea what the Dutch reenactors feel about that, but I think a look
at a recent entry in the Sharpe's Guestbook
( http://sharpe.stayfree.co.uk/guestbook.htm ) from a Marc Schafenaar of
the Netherlands gives an indication of what the Dutch reenactors think of
the British point of view.....man! We're talkin' bad hair day!
> b. Now on to some serious stuff. I do have one account of soldier
>loading orally. This was a common but not "official" practice of some of
>US Mounted Rifles, particularly those from Kentucky (that much lead intheir
>mouths could explain alot of behavior from those Kentucky guys even to thisThis was originally done by the Prussians with their "self-priming" musket
>day). This was done while moving on horse back. By over boring the touch
>hole the Volunteer was able to prime the weapon from inside the barrel and
>loading was done in these cases strictly with the powder horn. Spillage was
>prevented by insuring the horn was in the muzzle before dispensing the
of the late 18th cent. Basically an over-sized touch-hole. But loading
powder DIRECTLY from a powder horn- I think some of that lead was going to
This technique was used primarily against Indians but may have been
>used against the 41st (I have know hard evidence on this method at theEven the British Cavalry realized that the sword was more effective then
>Battle of the Thames). Coffee's men were noted to have used this as well.
>The advantage appears to be that it could be done by a practiced volunteer
>(US Volunteers were well equipped, reasonably trained and well above the
>"standard" militia) even at a trot, which if you will ask any horseman is
>quite a feat.
their Paget popguns, and dispensed with them before they came over here, if
I'm not mistaken.
> The practice feel out of use as weapons changed and has neverthe
>been seen at an event for obvious reasons. Now before you hit the reply to
>author key... these men were not soldiers, infantry or more importantly
>European. Theirs was a task somewhere between Cav and Inf with no real
>guidance to work from. I have never, ever read or heard of accounts from
>British soldier or his officer that a bullet was placed in his mouth byMe either, and I got a howl out ofreading and seeing it in the series whose
>anyone other that the surgeon.
name we dare not speak of (like the Scottish play!- Ohmigosh- I just
compared Cornwell and Bean with the Bard! *grin***)
>Amen to that- we are, after all, playing with 19th century assault
> c. Safety: There is a man who can be located on John Secks website. He
>commands Steele's Rifles (US unit out of Ohio) he has been working on a set
>of comprehensive safety rules since the Civil War boys almost got our hobby
>shut down this year a Gettysburg. His rules are complete but I don't feel
>overwhelming. It might be worth a look.
>The 95th did their job- and damned well. Just in a lost cause at Nawlins.
> d. Rifles at New Orleans: This should be fun.
>square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of
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>The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of
- Dear Roger, and other 1812's,
The Sharpe series has not been broadcast down here. It contains
guns and violence and would be unsuitable for the children and people with
extensive dental work.
What a shame that a number of gun-crazy enthusiasts pestered their
Pommie friends to tape the series as they were put over in England and then
imported the tapes. Complete with the advertisements. And then went to the
UK and bought the videos in their original form and set up Sharpe nights
and made popcorn and drank alcoholic beverages while watching. A disservice
to public morality and good nutrition.
It HAS had an effect. Whereas before a green uniform was generally
thought to be characteristic of the Nicaraguan Sanitation Corps, now we
have 95th types popping up all over the place. Reenactors are not only
reenacting riflemen but one at least is reenacting a reenactor. It is
rather like the optical trick of putting two mirrors face to face and
staring into a virtual infinity of images.
Still, there is this to be said for it. They are fairly well equipped
( aside from dodgy cartridge boxes...) and they are generally fitter than
the rest of the line troops. At least they are skinnier than the rest of
the line. Perhaps it is the slimming effect of the dark green or perhaps
they are wearing corsets.
They are using Pakistani Bakers for the most part - a smoothbored
replica that looks surprisingly good against a more expensive Jesse Merlot
rifled Baker. I cannot comment on their ability to shoot, but then again
most do not shoot competitively. In any case the look is good and no matter
what the frizzen and cocks are loike in the first place these can be tuned.
Thank Heavens they have not chosen to be Chosen at this stage of
the game - they still wear the regulation uniforms and they still behave
decently - and they do not do that ridiculous walk with the hand ready to
full cock the lock.
And no-one has been observed to spit down the barrel. I think they
retire surreptitiously and load the ball and patch with a ball peen hammer.
I know I used to do that when I owned a Jesse Merlot Baker. There is
another thing I am grateful to the Sharpe series for. When the 95th formed
I was able to sell my Baker off for 1.5 times what it had cost new - such
is the legend that is told about the Baker. For my part I find my .50 cal
Leman rifle far more accurate for hunting or target shooting.
As far as having to correct overzealous Tourons about correct drill
- well we just grin and nod and eventually they go off happy. Then we go
back to doing what we did before. It is the same when they start with the
kilt jokes. We give them a bit of cheek...heheheh...and they go off happy.
The real Scots are much funnier and kinder to us so we play our game for
PS: Do not seek to emulate the Dutch or Belgians or French in all they do
on the field. Ask me and Benton what the Dutch gunners were doing on our
left flank at Waterloo - and what the French were doing after the battle on
the lawn outside the Mairie.
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