Concrete Proof the Gauls Fought Naked

by Scott Manning January 15, 2014
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Several Roman historians tell stories of Gauls fighting in the nude.1 The Dying Gaul on display at the National Gallery of Art corroborates their tales. It is a remarkable display of Roman appreciation for Hellenistic art. Here is my appreciation. At first glance, the Dying Gaul is immediately impressive, depressing, and overwhelming. It frankly puts most […]

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If you visited the Chalmette battlefield today…

by Scott Manning January 8, 2014
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Winston Churchill described the Battle of New Orleans (1815) as the “most irresponsible British onslaught” and “one of the most unintelligent maneuvers in the history of British warfare.”1 The battle was a classic, horrific march of infantry across an open field into well-entrenched guns. The Americans inflicted over 2,000 casualties on the British while suffering […]

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Book Review: Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg

by Scott Manning January 6, 2014
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Clausewitz tells us “war is nothing but a duel on a larger scale. Countless duels go to make up war.” We can go one-step further in that countless duels make up a battle, especially larger battles. Historians such as Eric J. Wittenberg understand this and with a seemingly over-analyzed battle such as Gettysburg, he continues […]

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Should the Hundred Years War have an apostrophe?

by Scott Manning December 2, 2013
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Melissa from Tennessee asks, “What is the standard among (medieval) military historians for naming the Hundred Years War? Should it have an apostrophe or not?” Great question, Melissa! I always leave it off. I saw one historian exclude the apostrophe and I had followed suit ever since. However, I understand why you would question the […]

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Naming the American Civil War

by Scott Manning November 4, 2013
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The following was inspired by Jamel Ostwald’s question on who gets to name wars. Here are some battles with competing names from the Civil War. Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, we can get an idea of how often these phrases appear in books over the past 150 years. Antietam is a clear favorite over Sharpsburg. However, Bull […]

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If you Visited Agincourt Today…

by Scott Manning October 25, 2013
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Clifford J. Rogers believes the Battle of Agincourt (1415) is “probably the most richly documented of all medieval battles,” but nothing beats visiting the actual battlefield. Here is what you can expect if you visited Agincourt today. The people of Agincourt do not hide the fact that tourists streaming through their town are there for […]

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12 War Lessons from the Movie Patton (1970)

by Scott Manning September 10, 2013
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There is no question that  (1970) is my favorite movie. Since I was a kid, I have seen it more times than I can count and this project took much longer than necessary, as I kept watching large chunks of the movie. Of course, the real person is much more complex than the Hollywood version […]

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Martin Dempsey knows how to define war

by Scott Manning September 6, 2013
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Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey has read , even quoted him in speeches. He knows that when a state uses force to impose its will on an enemy, then that state is at war. Throughout the Senate Hearing on Syria earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry continually emphasized that he was not asking […]

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Russian Interest in the Mediterranean before World War I

by Scott Manning September 2, 2013
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As many have learned recently, Russia has a naval base in Tartus, Syria. More importantly, we should understand that Russia’s interest in the Mediterranean is a tradition dating back before World War I, an interest that shaped Russia’s position in that war. When Russia was still an empire, Tsar Nicholas II (r. 1894-1917) saw the […]

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“War is not some sort of hokey-cokey concept”

by Scott Manning August 30, 2013
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During the 10-hour debate in the UK Parliament over whether to use military intervention in Syria, MP Jim Sheridan from Scotland stood up and offered some wisdom. For those of you who without video or who may not understand Scottish accents: Does he agree with me that any reckless or irresponsible action could lead to […]

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