As a little Christmas season bonus, Beatrice de Graaf, Josh Provan, Andy Dorman and I had what was meant to be a Christmas party, but turned into a serious chat about some of the exciting developments, challenges, and our hopes for the future of the study of the Napoleonic era. Lots of laughter and thought-provoking conversations are in store.
Despite just having submitted his PhD thesis and most likely other more important subjects on his mind, Zack White produced a bonus podcast for the pleasure of committed adicts to this ongoing series.
I have a bit mixed feelings about it - outing myself - I am one of those sniffed off button and rivet counters and yes I would kick up a fuss of wrong facings on a re enactment uniform. For me such mundane questions why the Prussians used a self priming pan on their muskets, how flint lock muskets worked, how they were used in the military, at what ranges their were effective or if it was true when the Austrians delivered 20,000 muskets in 1813 for the Prussians the touch holes were not bored - are always a challenge to find out - which I have to do usually on my own because it is the dross of military history and beyond the wide visions of historians - not published or totaly misunderstood.
I am just voicing my opinion and view - what is military history I like, ok the Series of the French General Staff before WW1 or their German counterpart - but in recent years books like those of Robert Goetz - Austerlitz or Alexander Mikaberidze's series of 1812, like Borodino, Berezina and Burning of Moscow, Paul Demet's - We are Accustomed to Do Our Duty or Stephane Bérauds ground breaking volumes about La Révolution Militaire Napoléonniene, Bernard Coppens Les Mensonges, to name a few.
I would agree that it makes hardly no sense than to publish as many works as possible in English, due to the fact that it is most widely read and if not published in English such gems as the works of Coppens or Béraud are almost completely ignored.
The big problem for the aspiring military historian - or historians in general of today is - the lack to consult non English sources due to the lack of language skills, which will strongly influence the resulting point of view. So my pledge would be - learn languages.
I for such won't be interested in great women in history but find other topics, as what happened to all those women who had relationships with foreign officers and soldiers who stayed for days or months and what kind of interaction did they have - memoires are full of such encounters - and provide fascinating insight.
The more in depth knowledge of a historian about the period he writes - the better he could present it, and the more lifelike it would come over, in case one writes about 18th century history one has to immerse oneself into their life and thoughts, and show it.
My new year wish - a decent book(s) of the 1796 campaign in Germany and why it was so important - as well as the interrelation with the overawing campaign in Italy.
So Happy New Year and looking forward to listen to the future podcasts.