Monday, 22 April 2013

General Flashman and the Great War, Part 3

     ‘By that reckoning,’ said Mr Franklin, ‘no one would ever stand up to a brute or a bully.’
     ‘Course they would — when it was worth while. You don’t remember the war of 1870 — when those same Germans marched on Paris. Smallish war — but suppose we’d been helping the frogs then? It wouldn’t have been over half as quick, and God knows how many folk would have died who are still happily going about their business in Alsace and Lorraine. Same thing today — we should simply tell the Kaiser that if his fleet puts its nose out of the Baltic we’ll send it to the bottom — that satisfies the Frogs, up to a point, since it guarantees their northern coast, it satisfies the Kaiser who’ll swallow his pride for the sake of us keeping out of the war, and it saves his pretty little ships as well. And five years from now, Liege will be doing rather well — whether it’s got a German provost-marshall still or not. And that won’t matter a damn, to people whose main concern is eating, drinking, fornicating, making money, and seeing their children grow up safe and healthy.’

* Should be read in conjunction with General Flashman and the Great War, Part 1 & General Flashman and the Great War, Part 2 [Speedicut]

Mr American, p.519, Pan Books, paperback edition 1982.

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