"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Monday, December 14, 2015

"He WON the ones he HAD to."

... Bottom line reply of a couple of British historians on George Washington's military prowess, in response to an argument that, "He LOST more battles than he WON."

I suspect that North Vietnam's General Võ Nguyên Giáp would have understood PERFECTLY. 


During our Bicentennial in 1976, CBS ran a number "Bicentennial Minutes" (short educational American television segments commemorating the bicentennial of the American Revolution). 


In one of them, U.S. Army Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr. talked of his participation in the Paris Peace Talks, in 1973, as part of the delegation negotiating our withdrawal from Vietnam. At that time, he felt deeply humiliated at being party to what amounted to a surrender on our part. 


He recalled that one time, when leaving the conference room, he tore into one of the Vietnamese delegates, "You know, you never beat us on the battlefield". 


Instead of the argument he was spoiling for, what he got in return was, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant."


He acknowledged THAT to be "the shortest, most succinct lesson in strategy I have EVER been privileged to hear".


Recently, on The History Channel, I came across Washington the Warrior (2006), (which I now have on order from Amazon). This is an uttelry fascinating look at our first Commander in Chief, which I cannot recommend too highly. There is NOTHING stuffy or boring about him.



To go along with that I would also recommend The Crossing (2000), about Washington's crossing the Delaware to attack a Hessian brigade at Trenton, New Jersey, at a time when his army was almost disintegrated from lack of supplies and support, figuring that the Hessians had everything he was in need of.




Hunt these up and enjoy History at its' best.

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