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Advance praise for Bullets, Boots and Bandages

There was advance praise for ‘Bullets, Boots and Bandages’, Saul’s new 3-part TV series on the history of military logistics, which starts on BBC4 at 9pm on Thursday 2 February.   It was pick of the day in Times (‘a riveting new series’), Sunday Times (‘fascinating series’), Radio Times (said the story was ‘delivered in crisp and manly style by a historian who should attract a following of his own’), and the Mail on Sunday (a ‘thrilling range of examples’ and ‘a fascinating new perspective on familiar history’).

2 Responses to “Advance praise for Bullets, Boots and Bandages”

  1. Adrian porter says:

    Sorry typed the wron email address yesterday. Adrian porter

  2. Jeff Matthews says:

    I can’t watch this broadcast here in the States but I read the short article online. I think it should be mentioned how Napoleon’s horses all wore handmade shoes, as machine-made were not available until the 1850’s. Henry Burden’s horseshoes equipped most of the Union Army during the American Civil War. It takes a very good blacksmith fifteen to twenty minutes to fashion one pair of simple shoes. Two man-hours to shoe a horse this way is expected for today’s journeyman farrier. Imagine what is required for shoeing an entire army! Shoes typically wear out in a month of moderate use.
    There would always be scavenging for shoes off of dead horses.
    By our Civil War, armies commonly had traveling blacksmith forges on two-wheel carts. Napoleon surely had something similar, but they may have been lost or left behind.
    Not only did Napoleon lack the essential shoes for his horses, he seems to have lost most of the needed tools. In “The Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier”, Jakob Walter describes how their horses struggled over frozen ground because nobody had the tools to remove the “irons” from their hooves. Only a simple tool-roll would be needed for a farrier to do improvised work in the field, but even these were lacking.
    Walter’s commandeered Russian horse went barefoot and had little trouble.

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