Sunday, October 30, 2011

Light Housekeeping

I keep meaning to post something up here but one thing or another keeps getting in the way; working Saturday and late on the weekdays is part of it, family and kiddos is another, pure laziness a third. I should have something for Halloween, since that's always good for kiddo pictures, if nothing else.

The other issue is that I just don't have much worthwhile to say at the moment. I don't want to repeat and you don't want to hear anymore moaning about the irritating combination of incompetence and moral corruption (that is, not the taking of actual payoffs but, rather, the complete voluntary subordination of the "public good" to the greedy desires of the oligarchy) that seems to comprise the U.S. government circa 2011. I've hammered away on wars and foreign policy, had the usual utter lack of effect, and am frankly bored and tired of both the moron-grade imbecility of the former and the nuclear-red-ass-grade irritation of the latter.

I have some idle thoughts, but so do you and there is no reason to assume that mine are any more worthy of consideration than yours; it's that sort of thing that gives blogging the bad name for self-indulgence it has.

Here's one thing I would like some suggestions on.

I'm also coming to the end of the "Decisive Battles" arc. No so much because there are no more battles to write about - as long as there are humans there will be battles to write about - but because the remaining engagements are either already thoroughly discussed by better writers than I or because I'm just not interested in the affairs. I haven't touched on, say, Stalingrad, or Agincourt, or Gaugamela and that's because I really have nothing to add to the mountainous scholarship already expended on them, and as a result I have no interest in even trying.

But there are a few remaining days of battle I AM interested in. I thought I'd throw them up here and let you give me some ideas, either for engagements I haven't listed or some insights on the ones I have. So, in order by month:

October - two; Milvian Bridge, more for the religious politics involved than from the fairly straightforward combat involved (how the FUCK do you take position with your back to a major river AND compromise the crossing point to ensure maximum carnage if you lose? If I were one of your troops I'd have killed you twice, Maxentius...) and Tours.

November - two U.S.-native tribe engagements; "St. Clair's Defeat" in 1791 and Tippicanoe in 1811.

December - to be honest, I got nothing for December. Any suggestions?

January - the Fall of Granada, as a discussion of the Reconquista in general and its effect on the military politics of Spain and the Spanish colonies

February - Verdun; again, not so much for the battle itself, a boring and horrific meatgrinder, but for the combination of the transition of German strategy from maneuver to bloodletting by 1916 and the terrible long-term effects the slaughter had on French politics and military preparedness (and to some extent has to this day).

March - Adowa, and the foreshadowing of the post-colonial wars of "liberation", and the "non-battle" of the Rhineland, 1936 because it SHOULD have been a battle...and that is wasn't set Europe on course for WW2 - an object lesson that peace isn't always "better" than war.

April - I've done pretty much all the battles for April I'm interested in: Panipat, Shanhaiguan, Lexington/Concord, and Culloden.

May - Canton 1841 (as the end of the Qing and a harbinger of the internal disasters that kept China in a mess throughout the next 100 years). And possibly the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, agian not for the battle itself but as the culmination of two centuries of declining Byzantine and growing Ottoman power, setting the stage for the wars of religion in southeastern Europe that culminate in the Siege of Vienna in 1529.

June - Chalons 451 (again, more as the exclamation point at the turning of the tide of Hunnic invasion of the West AND the decline of the Western Roman Empire) and the Philippine Sea (the "Marianas Turkey Shoot" - again, not so much as a battle but as the symbol of the barrenness of the Japanese war plan and the beginning of the end for the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere).

July - the Armada, 1588, and Königgrätz 1866

August - the only thing I can think of for this month is Stalingrad, and I just don't really have anything to say that hasn't been said. Any ideas?

September - Sedan, 1870.

And that's it.

So...any ideas, or suggestions?

Gotta go - have a good book that's calling to me.

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