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Those Nice Austro-Hungarian Machine Gunners October 2, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Those Nice Austro-Hungarian Machine Gunners

Beachcombing recently found himself marveling over a passage in Mark Thompson’s The White War on Italy’s dreadful First World War campaigns. Italy it must be remembered was fighting, for the most part, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Peacock Imperial Throne of central Europe. Another kind of collusion was so rare that very few instances were recorded […]

The Last ‘Battle’ of the Revenge August 28, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Last ‘Battle’ of the Revenge

                          Beachcombing is not a great one for anniversaries but for Flores, 31 August 1591, a naval ‘battle’ – if a fire-fight between a solitary ship, the Revenge, and three dozen enemy can be so called – he will make an exception. (Actually […]

The Soccer War of 1969 August 15, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Soccer War of 1969

Beachcombing, po-faced, has to note that most modern historians do not like to refer to the Soccer War of 1969 (La guerra del fútbol) as, well, ‘the Soccer War’. ‘The Hundred Hours War’ or better still ‘the Salvador–Honduras War’ is preferred with a lot of attendant Marxist bilge about poor Salvadoran peasants engaged in class conflict in Honduras. […]

Dowsing for Machine Guns August 6, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Dowsing for Machine Guns

          The desperate straits to which Britain was reduced in the first year of the Second World War and Churchill’s maverick character thereafter, meant that many ideas were considered in the British military establishment, c. 1940-43, that would not normally have been whispered at an old women’s séance. Beachcombing recalls the […]

The Battle of the Somme in London August 4, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Battle of the Somme in London

                  Britain historically – before that dread day in 1973 when the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Rome – prided itself on its splendid isolation. But simple geography meant that Britain was far closer to Continental Europe than Japan, say, was to Asia. And no amount of […]

Elephants and Burning Pigs July 26, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Elephants and Burning Pigs

                A challenge. Your army is spread across the plain when rumbling into sight come not only two hundred enemy cavalry and a thousand hoplites but, unexpectedly, thirty mounted elephants that seem very, very angry – they have been made drunk before battle according to custom. As your horse […]

The Last Elephant Charge in History? July 25, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
The Last Elephant Charge in History?

                                                  Beachcombing has had several very useful emails from readers on the last cavalry charge in history. So many useful emails, indeed, that he has decided to risk repetition and ask […]

The Last Cavalry Charge in History? June 16, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Last Cavalry Charge in History?

                    It is a long ago Sunday and Beachcombing, aged ten, is playing with his plastic Napoleonic soldiers. In walks Beachcombing’s father with his dangerous pacifist tendencies and pointing to a group of charging cavalry observes: ‘They must have suffered terribly when their horses were shot […]

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