Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The Gallic Wars (51 BC),  By Julius Caesar

So, what is there to learn from Julius Caesar?  Take Hostages!  Lot's of hostages.

"Caesar, though he discerned from what motive these things were said, and what circumstances deterred him from his meditated plan, still, in order that he might not be compelled to waste the summer among the Treviri, while all things were prepared for the war with Britain, ordered Indutiomarus to come to him with 200 hostages. When they were brought, [and] among them his son and near relations, whom he had demanded by name..."

The True History of the Conquest of New Spain (1568) ,  by Bernal Díaz del Castillo

So, what is there to learn from Díaz?  The secret coup d'etat.  

-And sometimes true lies make amazing adventure stories.

We staid four days in this place, and I shall never forget it on account of the immense sized locusts which we saw here. It was a stony spot on which the battle took place, and these creatures, while it lasted, kept continually flying in our faces; and as at the same moment we were greeted by a shower of arrows from the enemy, we also mistook these locusts for arrows. But, as soon as we had discovered our mistake, we deceived ourselves in another more direful way, for we now mistook arrows for locusts, and discontinued to shield ourselves against them. In this way we mistook locusts and arrows to our great sorrow, were severely wounded in consequence, and otherwise found ourselves in a very awkward predicament.” 

Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant (1884), Complete by Ulysses S. Grant

So, what is there to learn from Grant?  Hire Mark Twain as a ghost writer.  

"My exploit was equal to that of the soldier who boasted that he had cut off the leg of one of the enemy. When asked why he did not cut off his head, he replied: "Some one had done that before.""

"ATTACKS!" (1937) Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel

So, what is there to learn from Rommel?  "Any offensive should combine much speed and violence."

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