Friday, 18 January 2013

No butcher’s bill

      For once — and for the only time in my experience of sixty years’ soldiering in heaven knows how many campaigns — there was no butcher’s bill. We hadn’t lost a man storming Magdala, just seventeen wounded, and with only two dead at Arogee and one careless chap who shot himself on the march up, I doubt if we had more than half a dozen fatalities in the whole campaign, mortally sick included. If there were nothing else to testify to Napier’s genius, that casualty return alone would do, for I never heard the like of it in war.

Flashman on the March, p.280, Harper Collins, paperback edition 2005.

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