Monday, March 23, 2015

A Pause For A Moment Of Reflection...

No, it didn't end well.

If you'll all permit me, I'd like to pause for a moment and note that this week, our British friends are observing the final journey of King Richard III. BBC has the best coverage, as usual, including some footage of the medieval procession at Bosworth Field and the cortege back into Leicester. The actual reburial is on Thursday, later this week.

When they first showed pictures of the King's skull, back when they found him, my first reaction was that he'd been hit in the head with a pole-ax; then I saw the base of his skull, and the massive and fatal wound from a halberd. It does make one think, doesn't it? I've fought in melees, in my younger days, and to me it was pretty obvious what had happened - he gets unhorsed, loses his helmet in the fall, and gets swarmed by a bunch of footmen; while he's dealing with the enemies to the front, a couple / three more footmen come up on his blind back and let him have it with blows to his unprotected head. A fully-armored man-at-arms, even a dismounted one, is a serious threat on the battlefield; the tactics used, while brutal, are what's effective.

In the end, we should also take a moment to consider that this battered skull is also the face of power politics in the royal succession; in order to stay in power, one has to eventually face the "wager of battle". Think of that, and the possible consequences of that wager, next time you play that wonderful game "Kingmaker"...

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