Ill-fed, badly lodged, subject to ferocious discipline, once described by their leader as “fellows who have all enlisted for drink,” Wellington’s soldiers showed a solidity and courage in action that enabled him to “do the business”. By T.H. McGuffie.
During the American War of Independence, writes T.H. McGuffie, Gibraltar was saved by an intrepid Commander from Franco-Spanish conquest.
The use of the sword as an effective military weapon has been abandoned since the First World War, but its decline had begun at a very much earlier period. T.H. McGuffie describes how, during the Franco-German struggle of 1870-1871, among some forty thousand cavalry engaged, only six men are believed to have received a mortal sabre-wound.
When, on September 8th, 1565, the last Turkish troops had been driven from the island, only six hundred of its original defenders were still capable of bearing arms. But, as T.H. McGuffie writes, the attacking force had lost some twenty-five thousand men; and the Turkish drive westwards was for ever halted.