Archive for 4 mars, 2008

Eftersom tisdagar är ganska tråkiga, varken starten på en ny fräsch vecka eller nära helgen kan det vara kul med lite förströelse. Denna gång blir det en engelsk text, varsågoda!

Författare och titel efterfrågas.

There were in the British Army at that time a number of ”exploring officers” whose business it was to talk to the local people, to steal the French Army’s letters and always to know the whereabouts of the French troops. Let your notions of war be as romantic as they may, Wellington’s exploring officers would always exceed them. They forded rivers by moonlight and crossed mountain ranges under the searing sun. They lived more behind French lines than English ones and knew everyone favourable to the British cause.

The greatest of these exploring officers was, without a doubt, Major Colquhoun Grant of the 11th Foot. Often the French would look up from whatever they were doing and see Major Grant on horseback, observing them from atop a far-off hill. He would peer at them through his telescope and then make notes about them in his little notebook. It made them most uncomfortable.

One morning in April 1812, quite by chance, Major Grant found himself caught between two French cavalry patrols. When it became clear that he would not outride them he abandoned his horse and hid in a little wood. Major Grant always considered himself to be a soldier rather than a spy, and, as a soldier, he made it a point of honour to wear his uniform at all times. Unfortunately the uniform of the 11th Foot (as of almost all infantry regiments) was bright scarlet and as he hid amongst the budding spring leaves the French had no difficulty whatsoever in perceiving him.

For the British the capture of Grant was a calamity akin to losing a whole brigade of ordinary men. Lord Wellington immediately sent out urgent messages – some to the French generals proposing an exchange of prisoners and some to the guerrilla commanders, promising them silver dollars and weapons aplenty if they could effect Grant’s rescue. When neither of these proposals produced any results Lord Wellington was obliged to try a different plan.

Extra bonusära till den som vet vad Lord Wellington gjorde.


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