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Showing posts from May, 2011

Various Interesting Things About The Napoleonic Era Part III

Killing On The High Seas The battleship was the most complex machine of that era, requiring hundreds of sailors in addition to the many specialists (armorer, cook, cooper, surgeon, carpenter, etc). This is a machine (which, I know, sounds a bit wonky, one doesn't think of something that doesn't have an engine or at least a very prominent smoke stack to be a machine; a bit of rope, some sail, and alot of wood hardly constitutes one) which controlled the only means of overseas trade, --from the West or East Indies, from the Americas-- and therefore of wealth, and therefore, ultimately, of power. They were the Star Destroyers of their time. Killing was done very simply, and much like on land, but with more cannons, heavier cannons. Iron balls of death that weighed as little as 6 to as much as 45lbs would be hurtled at the enemy. If you didn't get maimed or die outright from those, you'd die from splinters of all things, being broken off by impact and hurtling through

Various Interesting Things About The Napoleonic Era Part II

Ah, you thought I'd given up on this dusty topic that can only be of interest to people who collect ascots and have an enduring love of Coronation Street . How wrong you are. Killing - On Land Whereas now all you need is a few billion dollars worth of laser guided ordnance dropped from tens of thousands of feet lit up by an elite military team that has more hours training in Killing The Enemy With Dental Floss than I have spent being alive, in the Napoleonic Era, killing was all about cojones. Not that modern day or soldiers in Korean and Vietnam and WWII etc etc didn't have cojones. But in the Napoleonic Era that's ALL there was. No real tactics perse, or situational awareness, it was more or less a gigantic game of chicken. You had three main groups in a land battle: cannons, cavalry, and infantry. They work in a sloppy rock papers scissors fashion. Infantry can beat infantry, cannons soften or beat infantry. Calvary can, in certain circumstances, destroy infantry, b