Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Unit chauvinism

This. Even given that we've seen such things before from unit fanboys, that's pretty bold. Ha.


  1. Well, was the "69th Infantry" a regiment or a brigade? Does the author even know the difference? As much as we criticize older historical writing, no author 100 years ago would make that mistake. Today's scribblers, however, make them all the time, because they are ignorant of military culture and terminology.

    And what exactly is the benefit of labelling this or that unit "the best" 150 years after the war, unless you simply want to sell more copies of your lousy book? Did any soldier outside of the Irish Brigade consider them the best? I actually find it interesting to read of soldiers' perceptions of the relative worth of certain regiments or brigades (the unit I'm studying, the 14th New York Heavy Artillery, was widely considered the "worst"), but I have absolutely zero interest in some modern fanboy's unit ranking system. Stephen O'Shea, author of "Return to the Trenches," had a term for this sort of thing: "war porn."

    Reminds me of some of the tripe associated with George Thomas these days.

  2. "It’s a story every Civil War history buff should know and it is told with page-turning excitement that has made Craughwell a bestselling history author."
    Hmm... Doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

  3. O'Shea's book was actually titled "Back to the Front."

  4. Brigage? Regiment? It's all good.

    But I thought the 69th was shown to be the 3rd most important and the 5th most complex...

  5. Yep. I love the title in so many ways, from the nomenclature gaffes to its 'all over the place' nature and finally its utterly confident boast to have definitively measured the unmeasurable.


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