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Posted on Nov 20, 2008 in Stuff We Like

Modern Redcoats, Black Books, and Lost Cuirassiers – Top Forums

By Jason St. Just

British Army: No longer what it was?
Most people have heard the catchy British patriotic song “Rule, Brittania!” commemorating the anniversary of the accession of the Hanoverians to the British throne in 1740. By the end of the 18th century, the tune had become representative of the nation’s military prowess as ruler of the seas, which ultimately lead to the British Empire holding sway over one quarter of the world’s total land area by the beginning of the 20th century.

But, our members ask, what is left of Britain’s great military today? Does Britannia still rule the waves? Is it still a powerful military force to be reckoned with, or has it lost its élan while campaigning with a great variety of foreign armies over the past 50 years?


Waterloo – Searching the lost cuirassier
During Field Marshal Michel Ney’s famous, dramatic cavalry charges up Mont Saint Jean in the afternoon of the Battle of Waterloo, a French cuirassier officer was saved from certain death by being brought to safety inside a British square. According to author John Keegan in his “The Face of Battle” it was a certain adjudant Hughes of the 39th regiment that committed himself to this heroic feat … or so the story goes. But did this truly happen, or is it just a myth? And if true, what were the motives for this act of compassion in the middle of a battle? What disturbs our members the most, however, is that they can’t seem to find the name of this French officer. They have turned their libraries upside down and surfed on the Net, but to no avail! Any info or advice will surely be welcome. Who was this fortunate Frenchman?

The Black Book – a Commentary
We’ve heard of the Red Book, published by the Chinese government during the rule of Mao Zedong. In the Cold War forum, its counterpart The Black Book of Communism is being heavily debated. First published in 1997, this controversial literature describes a history of repression by the communist states. The forum debates revolve around claims that the basic philosophy behind communism is misunderstood or largely misinterpreted by the West, that the numbers of deaths have been grossly exaggerated and that the book is terribly one-sided. Supporters of these theories are convinced that many deaths were not caused by communist ideals but by the struggles during the many conflicts of the Cold War. In short, we are seemingly headed towards our own little Cold War here on the ACG forums.

The Barracks
Feel the need to rest awhile and to concentrate yourself on much “lighter” subjects other than politics, battles and warfare? Then feel free to drop by in our Barracks where you’ll find our members relax after a hard day’s work. ALL imaginable topics – and a few unimaginable – are discussed here, from the meaning of life to the birthday wishes to one of our members; from what you had for dinner last night to your favorite music. Our loyal ACG veterans will be glad to welcome you there, but don’t be fooled by their hard talk, warlike appearance and moustaches; they are a fun and lively bunch. I must warn you however, don’t be surprised when you wake up in the morning to the sound of a trumpet and find yourself dressed in a brand new ACG uniform!

ACG Searchlight!
The Korean War took place between June 1950 and July 1953. Few people realize the importance of this conflict in world history. The attack of North Korea on South Korea was a great challenge, not only because it took place barely five years after the war against Germany and Japan, but because it could have led to the Soviet conquest of Japan and all of Southeast Asia, triggering a Third World War.

The Korean War much resembles the Vietnam War in that both North and South were attempting to unify Korea. However, different types of government, made unification impossible. Border conflicts at the famous 38th parallel were the final straw, and soon both sides engaged in armed conflict. When the United States and the Soviet Union involved themselves, the Cold War turned hot and bloody as the local conflict quickly expanded into an international struggle. Bloody Ridge, Chosin Reservoir, Hamhung, Heartbreak Ridge, Iron Triangle, Punch Bowl and Pusan Perimeter all come to mind when one thinks of the struggle for Korea. The dust of Hill 266 – better known as Ol’ Baldy – was crimsoned and the Han and Imjin rivers ran red with blood of valiant fighting men of the United Nations Command. Although the losses and the stakes were very high, in time, the war became known as the “Forgotten War.” As a partial remedy, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was built in Washington, D.C., to say the conflict was too significant to neglect, too momentous to ignore and far too costly to forget!

Recently discussed topics on this NOT-forgotten era of the Armchair General Forums is the origin of the derogatory term “Gook”, the performance of the Chinese troops in WWII, the North Korean Orders of Battle and the number of people executed during the so-called “Summer of Terror” in 1950.

Feel free to post your own thread if you have any questions or opinions on this pivotal conflict in military history. Help us to bring this “unknown” war into the Searchlight!

To contribute your thoughts on the forums, you will need to register (no charge and we don’t spam our members; signup is required to allow us to monitor and maintain proper content). The instructions will walk you through. It’s a pretty simple process.