I do love the writing and tone of the Bozo Sapiens pieces!
The lesson of World War I was that huge artillery barrages on entrenched positions achieve little. Armor was the answer – but the British were short of armor. They decided instead on a huge bombardment from the air. The hope was that a precise but devastating raid on key points would clear the way for a swift and direct infantry attack
via Bozo Sapiens: Operation Charnwood: Saturation.
Really interesting post about Colbert and Academic Spies by the Wonders & Marvels folks:
Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) knew that well-paid scholars potentially make effective and sometimes brutal intelligence agents.
He also knew they had the requisite skills to make state surveillance systems. With their knowledge of law, feudal history and archival practices, Colbert trained a number of top ecclesiastical scholars such as Étienne Baluze and Joseph-Nicolas Foucault, and the d’Hozier family to help him make and manage police and tax files on French parliamentarians and nobles.
Just because the tool is there and I think we should always use useful tools, I bashed out a tagmash on LibraryThing for France, 17th Century, some interesting results. I’d like to see this being deeper and maybe a little more non-fiction focused but ut sure makes for an great jump off point.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson have acquired a one-volume history of World War II by Anthony Beavor. This is almost assured of being a massive seller from The Bookseller:
The new book, which is likely to be at least 700 pages long and titled simply The Second World War, is provisionally set for publication in 2012. Little, Brown and Company will publish the book in the United States.
Beevor’s Stalingrad has sold well over 400,000 copies in all editions through Nielsen BookScan, and Berlin close to 200,000, while D-Day has sold over 100,000 copies since publication in hardback in May. The Battle for Spain has sold close to 70,000
copies through Nielsen BookScan.
If the book is anyway as good as Norman Stone’s book, World War One: A Short History, (which by the by didn’t require 700 pages to deliver a great text) it will be a very welcome volume.
A rather excellent infographic on the history of US Government bailouts since the 1970s.
And, for the date that is in it, read a little something on The Battle of Pharsalus, Ceaser’s victory over the forces of Pompey.
Looking over the events for the day I was struck by the prevalence of violent events that happened today> I thought a flavour of them might serve to show what I mean:
The Battle of Taierzhuang was in full flow in 1938. This battle although far from a critical turning point in the war, provided a much needed victory for the Chinese and helped galvanize Chinese morale. I find these battles so interesting, they turn the course of events, or they don’t but might have, or even more critically, they set the stage for future events.
The Crimean War
: Either today or tomorrow, depending on where you look, Britain and France declared war on Russia. You’ll find and interesting time line for that war here
on the Victorian Web. Link many wars, it is remembered principally for incidentals, like the Charge of The Light Brigade
and Florence Nightingale
rather than the real reason, the outcomes or the conflict itself. (PS: Mostly I just find the above video funny)
Then there is the president-to-be, Andrew Jackson led Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Frankly I’ve thought for a while that Jackson was a man who deserved attention and have been interested in the biography that has been selling in large numbers in the US. Of course he was not without his failings including a somewhat uncompromising attitude towards the Native American peoples. The Video below shows how he continued that policy when he became president.
The last event that struck me was the Battle of Komandorski Islands in the North Pacific in 1943. I had never even heard of ths engagement but the Wikipedia Article is fascinating:
Because of the remote location of the battle and chance encounter on open ocean, neither fleet had air or submarine assistance, making this the only engagement exclusively between surface ships in the Pacific Theatre, and the last pure gunnery duel between major combatants in American naval history.
All told, quite a day for the violence!
So I have started using a little bit of WordPress’ new feature Tag Surfer and found these two interesting posts:
On Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub
On the Battle of Medina in Texas. Very cool.
And on Morning Coffee
The USS Wahoo is discovered by Russian divers. I like Tag Surfer.