This evening i enjoyed watching the first part of a 4 part docudrama on Napoleon and Germany or what was understood in Napoleons time as Germany. Although Napoleon was a dictator in some sort of way and there was censorship... he was quite modern and thanks to him we have now our metric system, the Code Napoleon, civil service and civil registers, the fact people can divorce. I still find him a very intruiging figure and should start reading my grandfathers massive library on him. For more info on the docudrama go the ARTE website. You can watch the second half tomorrow evening.


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Jacob E. Smart

His name didn't ring a bell until i read his obituary in the NYT. He was the general who planned the famous Ploesti air raid in 1943.

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November, 11th

Yesterday we visited a local exposition in a tiny village called La Neuville En Hez on the World War 1 in L'Oise. Although it was a small expo it was rather well done. They had a lot of pictures, original weaponry, models in original uniforms and a lot of pc's with power point presentations.

The expo learned us that the region we're livin' in was devastated as well and rather late in the war. Indeed the german offensive in august-september 1918 reached almost Saint Just en Chaussée and especially Noyon from which they would have a boulevard to Compiègne and Paris afterwards.

We memorized some places we will visit in springtime (among such things a Blockhaus with an iron cross???) and we also discovered a group of researchers who organize regularly some walks through the WWI landscape.

We didn't watch teh french docu on the Battle of The Somme yesterday evening but have it for another opportunity which gives us also teh chance to see the docu on Verdun which will be broadcasted wednesday the 16 on ARTE as well.

11:38 Gepost door Lexman in Geschiedenis | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Belmont, Missouri

My good friend Jim from Chicago forwarded me this from the 'This Day in History' site. I know he likes General Grant a lot and we have some nice discussions on Mr. Grant and Mr. Lee as well on Mr. McClellan...

Here's the Battle of Belmont :

Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp at Belmont, Missouri, but are forced to flee when additional Confederate troops arrive. Although Grant claimed victory, the Union gained no ground and left the Confederates in firm control of that section of the Mississippi.

This engagement was part of Grant's plan to capture the Confederate stronghold at Columbus, Kentucky, just across the river from Belmont, by first driving away the Confederate garrison at Belmont. General Leonidas Polk, Confederate commander at Columbus, had posted about 1,000 men around Belmont to protect both sides of the river. On the evening of November 6, Grant sailed 3,000 troops down the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois. They landed early on November 7, just three miles above the Belmont, and proceeded to attack. Upon hearing noise from the battle, Polk sent another 2,500 troops across the river to provide relief for his beleaguered Rebels. The Yankees routed the arriving reinforcements and scattered them along the river. At that point, the Union troops began to celebrate their victory and loot the Confederate camp.

Grant had ordered a small Union force under General Charles Smith to advance from Paducah, which lay to the northeast, to provide a diversion and keep Polk from sending any more reinforcements to Belmont. Grant hoped that Polk would believe that Smith's advance was the primary attack and that Belmont was the diversion. Polk did not buy it, and he dispatched additional reinforcements to Belmont. Five Confederate regiments arrived as Grant ordered his men to return to the boats. Grant himself narrowly escaped capture, but he was able to get most of his force back on the river. The Yankees retreated to Cairo.

Grant lost 120 dead and 487 wounded or captured, while the Confederates lost 105 dead and 536 wounded or captured. Although he gained no ground, Grant demonstrated that, unlike many other Union generals, he was willing to mount a campaign using the resources at hand rather than calling for reinforcements. This trait served Grant well during the war, and it eventually carried him to the top of the Union army. "


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Serious Stuff

Hi all, i'm back from holidays and it's time to restart "Tuneup" again. Let's begin with some serious book review from the NYT on Jan Gross'  Antisemitism in Poland after Auschwitz.

10:44 Gepost door Lexman in Geschiedenis | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |