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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

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Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby Josh&Historyland » June 30th, 2017, 9:59 pm

A new post of mine, hope you can visit to read. Will post full text when I have a spare moment.

https://adventuresinhistoryland.com/2017/06/30/waterloo-the-making-of-a-battle/

Josh.
Adventures In Historyland, Keeping History Real. http://adventuresinhistoryland.wordpress.com/
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby unclearthur » July 1st, 2017, 6:14 pm

Good post! I never knew about the high number of horse fatalities but I suppose they were less careful in those days.
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby jf42 » July 2nd, 2017, 2:34 pm

Yes, this all rings so true. Oh the glamour of filming on location.

Good for Plummer and 'Willow.' I think they succeeded remarkably well in conveying the complicated character of the Duke. I do regret, though, that between all involved they failed to capture a convincing portrayal of Uxbridge's wounding, perhaps not helped by Terence Alexander being somewhat miscast. The infantry squares speak for themselves.

I did wonder as I read whether that poor horse had broken its neck. If you or or I had broken our necks, I don't think we'd be struggling to get up or pleading for succour. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps horse anatomy is different! Might it have been farther down the spinal column, as it were, or a badly broken leg, perhaps?

Anyway, an enjoyable read, Josh. Thanks.
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby Digby » July 2nd, 2017, 6:46 pm

Thanks Josh
I will read your article.
I have read quite a bit about the movie before.
We are so lucky that Sergie et al had the drive and courage to make the movie, which although it has a few flaws, is very beautifully filmed and does convey the feel of a large Napoleonic battle.
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby janner » July 3rd, 2017, 3:49 am

A cracking read - many thanks :D
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 3rd, 2017, 3:29 pm

Thank you gentlemen for your most generous responses.

jf42 wrote:
Good for Plummer and 'Willow.' I think they succeeded remarkably well in conveying the complicated character of the Duke. I do regret, though, that between all involved they failed to capture a convincing portrayal of Uxbridge's wounding, perhaps not helped by Terence Alexander being somewhat miscast. The infantry squares speak for themselves.

I did wonder as I read whether that poor horse had broken its neck. If you or or I had broken our necks, I don't think we'd be struggling to get up or pleading for succour. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps horse anatomy is different! Might it have been farther down the spinal column, as it were, or a badly broken leg, perhaps?


Having discovered the "other" version of Uxbridge's wounding I agree, it is a shame the incident is just sort of offhandedly dropped into the end without much ado.
As to the horse, unclearthur is probably better suited to explaining wether Plummer's assumption of the horse's injury was correct. I mean Polo players have told me horses can take a great deal of trauma without dying instantly. And remembering the horrifying post battle stories of equine injury I must admit to giving the story credence as he noted the head was twisted at a ghastly angle. Trip wires do after all cause a horse to hit the ground headfirst and throw their hind quarters violently by into the air. But I'd be interested to hear a horse expert's thoughts.
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby unclearthur » July 3rd, 2017, 9:07 pm

Josh&Historyland wrote:Thank you gentlemen for your most generous responses.
Having discovered the "other" version of Uxbridge's wounding I agree, it is a shame the incident is just sort of offhandedly dropped into the end without much ado.
As to the horse, unclearthur is probably better suited to explaining wether Plummer's assumption of the horse's injury was correct. I mean Polo players have told me horses can take a great deal of trauma without dying instantly. And remembering the horrifying post battle stories of equine injury I must admit to giving the story credence as he noted the head was twisted at a ghastly angle. Trip wires do after all cause a horse to hit the ground headfirst and throw their hind quarters violently by into the air. But I'd be interested to hear a horse expert's thoughts.


Not sure I'd class myself an expert, but this is my take on it.

Because of the structure of horse vertebrae, with wide overlapping lateral processes held together with a heavy ligament binding, in theory it's possible for a neck to dislocate without immediately catastrophic consequences, which sounds like what may have happened here. Such an injury would be inoperable even today, I'd have thought. You still hear some equine chiropractors say, 'Its pelvis/vertebra/disc (delete as applicable) is out' when treating a sore back, which is complete cobblers, of course - such an animal would be visibly incapacitated, as Christopher Plummer's sighting must have been.

A friend of mine had a mare which suffered a slight neck vertebra displacement, enough to cause pain when her head and neck were held at a certain angle, putting pressure on the spinal cord, but apparently fine at all other times. The problem was only diagnosed after deep x-rays and the horse was subsequently kept successfully as a brood mare. She lived well into her late twenties.

Physically broken necks usually result in instant death because the spinal cord is fatally compromised. With a decent sized thoroughbred weighing at least 500kg, even at racing weight, that puts a large mass travelling at 30mph in a more or less straight line directly behind a flexible and relatively fragile head and neck, so it's easy to see how that can happen. Horses' bodies, from the shoulders back, don't bend very well: the rigid thoracic and lumbar structure evolved to facilitate fast travel in a straight line over open grassland to escape from predators. That's why you get so many slip-ups on racecourse bends - horses don't corner very well! The accelerator and brakes can be dodgy, too, but that's a different story, as some of you will know.

Apologies to those dying of boredom by now ;)
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Re: Waterloo 1970: The Making of a Battle.

Postby jf42 » July 4th, 2017, 7:50 am

What he said
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