Two words on Military History

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Sun Mar 23 12:35:25 PST 2003

"The Paths of the Dead", Chapter 18, (hardback) pages 192-193:

    It is true, the ability to make an informed guess is often
    over-used and mis-used by historians and pretended
    historians: It is well known, for example, that the military
    historian is at his best when giving the names of field
    officers who fell in battle, and at his worst when attempting
    to explain the reason for the general officer to have made a
    certain decision at a certain time.

Webpage - http://www.dreamcafe.com/weblog.cgi
    Wed May 8th, 2002 7:30 PM: 

    Brust's first law of history: Military historians are at
    their best when giving the names of field officers killed in
    battle, and at their worst when trying to assign motives for the
    decisions of general officers.

Hrmmm.  Indeed.  And just recently noticed:


     History tells us that in the life-and-death of war, officials
     and commanders usually conceal more than they reveal. Sometimes
     officials mislead the public to protect their forces; other
     times, to protect their own reputations.

     War strategies remain obscured until afterward, sometimes until
     historians dig through archives.