Thursday, 18 April 2013

General Flashman and the Great War, Part 2

*‘Anyway, imagine yourself a Belgian — in Liege, say. Along come the Prussians, and invade you. What about it? — a few cars commandeered, a shop or two looted, half a dozen girls knocked up, a provost marshal installed, and the storm’s passed. Fierce fighting with the Frogs, who squeal like hell because Britain refuses to help, the Germans reach Paris, peace concluded, and that’s that. And there you are, getting on with your garden in Liege. But — ‘ the General waved his bony finger. ‘Suppose Britain helps — sends forces to aid little Belgium — and the Frogs — against the Teuton horde? what then? Belgian resistance is stiffened, the Frogs manage to stop the invaders, a hell of a war is waged all over Belgium and north-east France, and after God knows how much slaughter and destruction the the Germans are beat — or not, as the case may be. How’s Liege doing? I’ll tell you — it’s a bloody shambles. You’re lying mangled in your cabbage patch, your wife’s had her legs blown off, your daughters have been raped, and your house is a mass of rubble. You’re a lot better off for British intervention, ain’t you?’ He sat back grinning sardonically.

* Should be read in conjunction with General Flashman and the Great War, Part 1 [Speedicut]

Mr American, pp.518-19, Pan Books, paperback edition 1982.

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