Fireside this week! I had hoped to have the next part of the fortification series done by now (its coming along), but between the ends of semester crunch, a few unexpected time-sensitive projects and it being the week of Thanksgiving, that will have to wait. Home Librarian Oliver helping me organize my books. For this … Continue reading Fireside Friday: November 26, 2021
Welcome! As we've done once before, this week I am going to take a chance to answer a number of shorter questions by my patrons over at Patreon who are at the Patres et Matres Conscripti tier, which entitles them to a seat in the ACOUP Senate (and for those of you who are in … Continue reading Referenda ad Senatum: November 19, 2021: Hidden String-Pullers, Falling Empires and Tactics Against Horse Archers!
This is the second part of a five part (I) series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world through the modern period. Last time, we looked as the ancient besieger's playbook (both the motives and options for taking walled cities) through a case study of … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part II: Romans Playing Cards
Since I finally got out to see Dune (2021), I wanted to take a chance to share some of my reflections on it and this week was a good time because I had nowhere near enough time otherwise to get the next Fortifications post ready. So first I want to give my own reaction to … Continue reading Miscellanea: Reflections on the Sands of Dune (2021)
This is the first part of a planned five-part series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to castles and field fortifications! We are going to discuss what fortifications were for and how their design changed in response both to different strategic and operational conditions and also to changing technology. Throughout this, … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part I: The Besieger’s Playbook
Hey all! This week is going to be a gap week; I have quite a bit of teaching related work along with several projects all coming together at once and something had to give. With luck, next week we'll start a series on the principles of fortifications. In the meantime, of course, I wouldn't leave … Continue reading Gap Week: October 22
Fireside this week! We're in that mid-semester crunch time with students turning in papers and exams which need grading, but fortunately Ollie is getting into the fall season: The pumpkin spice cat-toy was a gift from a friend. For this week's musing, I want to discuss in a fairly brief way, my views of 'megahistory' … Continue reading Fireside Friday: October 15, 2021
This week we're going to break from our normal fare and take a bit of a lark. I thought I ought to substantiate the nearly endless shade towards Luigi Cadorna, Italian Army Chief of Staff from 1914-1917 (though I realize after writing this that what I actually ought to have done is just told the … Continue reading Collections: Luigi Cadorna Was The Worst
Graduate school application season is upon us and so I wanted to take this as an opportunity to talk about it. Every year, I talk with undergraduate students who are considering pursuing a graduate degree in the humanities, who mostly come to me because they know that my graduate school experience was relatively more recent … Continue reading Collections: So You Want To Go To Grad School (in the Academic Humanities)?
Last time, we introduced the factors that created the trench stalemate in the First World War and we also laid out why the popular 'easy answer' of simply going on the defensive and letting the enemy attack themselves to death was not only not a viable strategy in theory but in fact a strategy which … Continue reading Collections: No Man’s Land, Part II: Breaking the Stalemate