Another laugh at historical idiots

How to Lose a War: More Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders - Bill Fawcett

I used to like these kind of books, namely books about various blunders and mistakes in history, but I guess after this one they were all starting to become bland and boring. Okay, as an historian I am always interested in the cause and effect of certain events, but I guess I also look at a more grander scale than do many of these writers. I suspect that these books are generally not written for people like me but rather for the average person who has little knowledge of history (the sort of people who when they are in the London Portrait Gallery will have an argument over whether Edward I or Edward II is Edward the Confessor – it is Edward I by the way).


Look, in reality, it is quite easy to lose a war, and that simply comes down to poor planning. Okay, also making stupid decisions or letting emotion get hold of you, but in the end it all comes down to poor planning. This, ironically, is something that Jesus alludes to in one of his parables, namely suggesting that a king does not go to war unless he understands what he is up against. While Jesus suggests in the parable that more troops is a sure winner, I suspect that he was not necessarily meaning that because, being God in the flesh, I am sure he was well aware of what happened at Salamis.


Anyway, as I said, it has all to do with poor planning. When Napoleon invaded Russia there were a lot of things that he did not take into account (particularly the Russian winter, but also that the Russians were working on a scorched Earth policy). The same thing occurred when Hitler invaded Russia, but there was also emotion involved, which overruled his common sense. As I have suggested numerous times, Hitler would have done much better if he had invaded the Middle East via Turkey, but I guess it is a good thing that he turned against Russia because otherwise we would be living under a facist dictatorship (I won't comment on speaking German because, well, I do speak German, even if badly).


I could go and have a look at a lot of other examples, but I really can't be bothered. As for the book, well I guess if you like a bit of light humour based on real historical events then maybe this would be a book for you, as for me, I tend to crave much deeper and more complex books.