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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Pete M Gettysberg (46) RE: Gettysberg 15 Apr 99

Well I don't think I'd ever go to the cinema for a history lesson.

One aspect of battlefields especially the black powder era, was that you couldn't see bugger all, let alone stirring sights. Quote from Colonel Lyman who fought in two pitched battles for the Union in the US civil war: "I have scarcely seen a Rebel save killed, wounded or prisoner,... I remember even line officers, who were at the battle of Chancellorsville saying: 'Why we never saw any rebels where we were; only smoke and bushes and lots of our men tumbling about.'".

Capt Mercer, Artillary battery commander at Waterloo: "What passed to the right and left of us I know no more than the man in the Moon. the smoke confined our vision to a very small compass, so that my battle was restricted to two squares and my own battery."

Moving on to WWI Charles Carrington "battles...were rarely spectacular,...a smoke filled cloud filled the valley in which now and then one saw a distant figure moving aimlessly it seemed.."

Reality doesn't make good cinema.

All quotes appear in "Firing line." Holmes R 1985.

Pete M

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