Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gods and Generals

Today I enjoyed this utterly long movie (3 hours 35 minutes). It is a lovely movie made in 2003, planned as a prequel to the 1993 movie Gettysburg. I've always been amazed by war movies and especially those that covers fighting tactics and techniques of another era.

Our common fighting techniques are very much different from those of the 19th century where soldiers formed up in columns and marched towards their objective. They get ready, take aim and fire, then start loading their weapons while the enemies do the same to you. It seems quite silly that they do not take cover or run around like we do now, but i think that was the best way then, and considering the reliability of the musket in killing your foe with a single shot.

The main focus of the movie was on General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, who can be considered the second most revered commander (after Robert E Lee) of the Confederate States Army (CSA) during the American Civil War. It covered from the start Jackson at the Virginia Military Institute, on to the establishment of the 1st Brigade, the First Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Fredericksburg and to his demise after the Battle of Chancellorsville. It was really a great introduction to the American Civil War for me.

You can read more about him here, here and here.

The other character covered is General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlian who was a Lieutenant Colonel then who just offered his services to the Union. I shall not cover much into this, but realised that the same actor Jeff Daniels was Colonel Chamberlian in this movie as well as in Gettysburg. How interesting that is! I shall write more after I catch Gettysburg.

You can also get the book with the same title as the movie here at

The History Channel

This is a TV channel not available in Singapore but I've had the chance to thoroughly enjoy it in the short time I spent here in Bahrain. I've had the honour of being sent here for a 3-month work attachment in case you are wondering why I'm here.

It's a great channel with emphasis on many historical stuff, even sports history. But the ones I truly enjoyed were "Conflict" and "Decisive Battles"

"Conflict" covers a particular battle or campaign and goes pretty in depth but yet suitable for layman and amateurs like me. It gives a very good broad overview of the selected topic. I've enjoyed their coverage of "Berlin War" and "Hunt for Bismarck".

"Decisive Battles" covers its namesake that happens in the Ancient World. If you enjoyed the fighting scenes in movies such as Gladiator or Alexander and enjoyed playing computer games that featured large scale troop movements, this is the show for you. The producers used computer animation to recreate the battle scenes and goes pretty in depth into the stages of the battle. I truly enjoyed it that I went to rent the discs that was available at the Video shop.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A New Beginning

I'm starting this blog to share with the world on one of my greatest passions - Military History. The internet is an excellent medium as I can get in touch with others who shared the same passion and be expose to different views and perspectives.I can still vividly remember the first military history book I've completed from cover to cover, it's "Battle of Midway" but I could not recall who the author was. I was fully engrossed in it and it started me searching the community library (in those days the National Library branch) high and low for similar books. From then on, I did not stop and I'm still enjoying a good military history book even if it's of a era which I'm familiar with.
The style of the blog will be interpersed with articles, books, dvd reviews of military history topics. This is not restrictive, and I will try to improve the content from time to time to better suit my visitors