A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cry Havoc!

And Let Slip the Digs of War!

One night during the Crimean War a particularly exposed British redoubt in the trench-works around Sevastopol suddenly found itself the object of a strong Russian attack. Although the British managed to hold the Russians, they were consuming ammunition at a prodigious rate.

Fearing that his position would soon be overrun, the officer commanding the post tore a leaf from a pocket note book. On it he scrawled "In great danger. Enemy pressing hotly. For Heaven's sake send us some ammunition," the officer signed his name, handed it to an orderly and sent the man to the rear.

The fighting grew more intense, and as ammunition began running low the officer awaited the return of his messenger. Time passed, as the situation seemed to grow ever more desperate. Then, almost as suddenly as it began, the Russian assault ebbed, even as the British troops were virtually down to their last rounds.

Just about then the orderly returned, bearing a message from the Ordnance officer. One wonders what went through the officer's mind when he read, "All communications to this Department must be written on foolscap paper with a two-inch margin."

-- from Al Nofi's Strategy Page

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