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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815


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Postby jf42 » February 3rd, 2016, 12:37 am

This is little out of period, but I think quoting Maurice de Saxe might be allowed, and I think the theme is universal.

In his Reveries, written in the 1730s but not published till after his death in 1750, De Saxe was discussing his model 'Legion' and explaining why rather than have a grenadier company, he would have a veterans company occupying the post of honor in the line. He believes designating companies of specialist shock troops is wasteful of the best men.

"I have seen sieges where it was necessary to renew grenadier companies many times over. In the first place it is said, grenadiers are wanted everywhere; and if there are four cats to spank, it is the grenadiers that are asked for, and most of the time they are killed needlessly."

"If there are four cats to spank"- De Saxe can be forgiven his desire to resurrect the pilum and sandals for that phrase alone- 'S'il y a quatres chats fesser' in case you are wondering (Have I got that right?)
Last edited by jf42 on November 10th, 2016, 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grenadiers

Postby Andrew » February 3rd, 2016, 8:20 pm

My super-large French dictionary has only 'spank' for 'fesser', so I am with you.
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Re: Grenadiers

Postby DaveH » February 4th, 2016, 12:39 am

If you put fesser into Google, it brings up some porn actress, so "spank" must be right! :o

I wonder if it is some idiom?
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