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Famous Last Stands

68 minutes

Lars Porsens of Clusium, By the Nine Gods he swore ...

A byword for tenacity and courage, the famous last stand has studded history with legendary exploits that define conflict and empire. From Thermopylae to the Alamo, from Custer’s last stand to Okinawa, they represent individual heroism and sometimes crass military miscalculation. The result is always the same, the wiping out of a small group of die-hard defenders.

The odds might be crazy, and catastrophe might ensue, yet as the explosion at the British Army magazine near Delhi in 1857 proved, the consequences can reverberate down the years. So, whether its FUBAR or SNAFU, or just desperate men fighting like ‘rats in a sack’ to quote a senior British Officer after Rorke’s Drift, we remember many of them. And whether for PR purposes or to deflect attention from wider disasters, they do not diminish the bravery of those involved.

So it Goes

Tom Assheton & James Jackson


Thomas Babington Macaulay, Horatius, Lays of Ancient Rome

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