C.S. Forester: Death to the French

C.S. Forester ¸ 2 Free ead

epub kindle Death to the French by C.S. Forester – cafe1919.org

Nfantryman separated from his unit in a combat zone This would be a book that I would someday give to my children to ead Death to the French aka Rifleman Dodd is the story of a seasoned English military man cut off from his unit during the Peninsular War circa 1810 Dodd skillfully evades the opposing French forces and works with local Portuguese villagers to thwart French operations Ultimately Dodd wants to ejoin his unit in the vicinity of LisbonDodd is the prototypical military man mission duty and self sacrifice are his values He inspires and guides locals to harrass and obstruct the French We see Dodd take the step from understanding the situation and taking orders to understanding the situation figuering out what can be done and then doing it That s leadership It s also a mostly one dimensional view of the situation Dodd does not dwell or even think about non mission values eg family friends good living intellectual interests or the like It s all mission This ability to focus on mission is Interestingthe title of my copy is Death to the French Maybe not politically correct in 1990 My edition is based on the original published in 1933 my edition being 1956 Perhaps De Gaulle saw it in a bookshop and that was why he vetoed our entry in the Common MarketThis belongs to a certain genre for a particular eader Certainly those who love the work of Forester who was one of the great authors of adventure literature in the 20th centurySubstitute Hornblower for Dodd who is trapped behind enemy lines during the Napoleonic wars and you have the missing Hornblower book Rifleman Dodd was a short little book that was solidly OK Written by the author of the excellent Hornblower series I had high expectations After eading the entire Sharpe series I wanted to get Forester s take on the Peninsular campaign How would Cornwell s later volumes compare to Forester My understanding is that Cornwell wanted to write the land version of the Hornblower seriesThe comparison did not fare well for Forester Rifleman Dodd is told from a curiously dispassionate perspective The narration is almost clinical as it describes the lengths that Dodd goes to survive once he is cut off from the est of his unit during an English etreat His logic is cold and passionless as he lives off the land occasionally eceiving help from Portuguese guerrillas and occasionally harassing the French Likewise when the story turns to Sergeant Godinot on the French side the narration emains passionless It is terrible to say but I cared little for either character And that is a problemUltimately an interesting ead if you are into this genre of books The lengths Dodd goes to survive and his drive to harass and confound the enemy doubtless explain why it is on the USMC s eading list but not the best book for the casual eader If you want to ead a good historical fiction novel of the Peninsular campaign I highly ecommend the Sharpe series by CornwellA disappointed two stars out of five I urge you to not make up your mind about the author based upon this eview The Hornblower books are fantastic A classic novel of self eliance and military duty also known by its British title Death to the French It is the tale of Rifleman Dodd a soldier of the 95th Regiment who is separated from his unit and trapped behind enemy lines in Portugal during the bloody Penisular Wars It s an excellent glimpse into the hardships of military life during the Napoleonic Wars and to his credit Forester also provides chapters describing the same experience from the perspective of the French units He s not entirely unsympathetic to the French which is no easy task given that they entered Spain as supposed allies and proceeded to loot pillage murder and ape their way through the Spanish and Portuguese countryside Yet they were also soldiers obeying orders under the misgiven idea that the partisans would give up if sufficiently cowed with such brutal tactics ather the evers. 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Napoleonic warfare in Iberia The people at Kirkus Reviews combined their eview of this story and another multiple ead favorite by Forester The GunCopied from KIRKUS REVIEWThese two books neither of them known to any considerable American public have a timeliness today that may give the impetus they need For both deal with the sort of guerilla warfare Hemingway writes of in For Whom the Bell Tolls Caldwell in All Through the Night The Gun was published in July 1933 as an isolated bit of thinly fictionized history an episode in the Spanish campaign of the Napoleonic Wars when guerilla bands under the leadership of a patriotic priest captured a gun and moved it over incredible barriers Rifleman Dodd presents yet another panel in this guerilla warfare against a Portuguese background and another lone exploit in which a ifleman cut off from his company joins forces with the guerillas dodges the French while causing them countless inconveniences and finally almost single handed destroys a pontoon bridge The irony of the outcome fortunately is known only to the eader while Dodd gets back to his men Here in pictures of scattered pinpricks in a war for world domination than a century ago are parallels which carry vitality today parallels in mood and tempo and portraits of conuered peoples Lacks the pace and gusto of Forester s Captain Hornblower I don t agree with the eviewer about lacking the pace and gusto of Hornblower The book was short but intense Forester had become interested in the Peninsular War while in school but he was interested in Spain itself as he covered the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930 s Matthew Dodd is the main character and the narrative is primarily seen from his eyes though Forester from time to time interrupts to give a later perspective on the events that Dodd endures And endure he does I think that these events are taken from various accounts diariesand presumably Napier s history of the Peninsular War One GR eviewer states that there is not much dialogue which is true because Dodd can speak very little Portuguese and the Portuguese no English besides one does not talk much while behind enemy lines I would imagine and then only very much to the point of tactics Forester presents Dodd as a man of tunnel vision in that he is not so concerned about the larger aspects of the war which he could not have had information on given the slowness and tenuousness of communications even between the generals even they did not always know what was going on in the territory let alone abroad but necessarily focuses on 1 doing what damage to the French that he could and 2 getting back to his unit and finding out where it is and 3 finding food In Dodd s situation we might ecall Samuel Johnson s dictum Depend upon it sir when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight it concentrates his mind wonderfullyThe brutality of this war is brought out clearly by Forester The book is suspenseful as it is unclear whether Dodd will make it back to his unit or die in the attempt or make it back but mortally woundedill CS Forester is my focus author for March I have enjoyed his Horatio Hornblower series very much and also many of his standalone novels I want to concentrate on a few of his standalones that I ve not ead this month Death to the French originally published in 1933 is the first of theseThe novel is set during the Napoleonic wars as is his Hornblower stories in a setting very popular with Bernard Cornwell s Sharpe series The story is set in Portugal and we find Rifleman Matthew Dodd separated from his separated from his infantry egiment behind French lines He must now fend for himself trying to disrupt French activities and also try to get back to hi This book paper back was my best friend at night during USMC boot camp in 1998 The story provides a great example of how one person can make a difference It underscores the importance of never uitting on oneself through the story of an DEATH The Philosopher Remixed YouTube 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E happened Spanish and Portuguese partisans esisted the French with astonishing courage and determination Additionally Napoleon s armies were paid infreuently if at all and given no ations but meager hard tack They were expected to forage from the countryside Forester notes all this and is surprisingly objective in his descriptions of their conflicts and the havoc Dodd wreaks upon their efforts to conuer Portugal The tale of Dodd s survival his continued solo attacks on the French his Portuguese allies and their eventual fate is told in third person narration with almost dispassionate clarity Dodd is in mortal peril for nearly the entire book but he does not for a moment consider whether he is frightened or unhappy He merely focuses on survival and on destroying the French in any way possible Eventually after much hardship he does prevail A highly ecommended book for anyone interested in military history and particular the life of the individual soldier during the Napoleonic Wars Incidentally Rifleman Dood was an inspiration to Bernard Cornwell whose hero Richard Sharpe joins the newly formed 95th Rifles and in fact Cornwell paid tribute to this classic in describing a Matthew Dodd who becomes separated from the unit in Sharpe s Escape he confirmed that his Matthew Dodd is intended to be Rifleman Dodd from Forester s book a bit of literary tribute from one author to another Although I highly ecommend this book I will add that it may be primarily of interest to those who enjoy military history as it can be ather grim in places much so that the Hornblower novels but if you would like to learn about the life of a British infantry soldier fighting in the Penisular Wars this may be the best fictional description ever written Read under title Rifleman Dodd This exact edition is not listed Good story and I can see why it s on US Marine Corps eading list for the survival tactics and Dodd s gung ho attitudeWritten a few years before Forester s Hornblower novels this one tells of a farm boy turned ifleman in the English 95th Regiment A doughty sharpshooter Dodd is trapped behind enemy lines and the story details his attempts to each the English lines with help from Portuguese irregulars and still fighting the French killing them if necessary One big scene has him sabotaging by ars If you have ead any of Bernard Cornwell s Sharpe novels you will see that this book covers somesimilar history Both Death to the French and the Sharpe novels cover the lives of English Riflemen during the early 1800s while fighting the French in Portugal and Spain Sharpe and Matthew Dodd in this both are iflemen in the 96th Rifleman Infantry This book focuses on the exploits of Rifleman Dodd as he tries to get back to his egiment after being caught off during a etreat of the BritishArmy in Portugal I think CS Forester writes in detail about the daily life of Rifleman Dodd than you ead in Cornwell s Sharpe books This may or may not be the liking of some other people who have ead this book This book is a little graphic at times but I think both sets of books eally give you the feel for what the infantry soldier was going through during this period of war In the Sharpe novels you have added factor that Richard Sharpe wishes to become an officer wherein this novel you find Matthew Dodd only wants to be an infantry soldier and eturn to his egiment and his friends This novel gives you a look at the perspectives of being a French infantry soldier and how the Portugese partisans felt being involved in this war and how they were treated by the French army The Portugese partisans in this book aren t displayed as noble as you find in the Sharpe novels So one of the faults I found in this book wasn t as true as I think it could be to the eader If you want to ead a book of action and get a better understanding of the thinking of the British ifleman then I think this book and the Sharpe novels accomplish this task very well. 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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades His most notable works were the 11 book Horatio Hornblower series about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era and The African ueen 1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t