Boiled rat for dinner, or worse ...
Siege is hell.
1. It's total war. 2. AD 70 Siege of Jerusalem. 3. 1453 Constantinople. 4. 1565 Great Siege of Malta. 5. 1870 The Siege of Paris and the Commune. 6. Colonial Sieges. 7. Leningrad. 8. Battle of the Atlantic. 9. Balkans and the Middle East
Siege involves not just the military, but entire civilian populations trapped within walls invested by the enemy and clinging on for survival. Often it involves bombardment, starvation, disease and the desperate will of a populace to cling on through unexpected horror. During the siege of Jerusalem, in AD70, the Romans crucified up to 10,000 would-be escapers outside the walls. In the siege of Paris, the embattled locals turned to eating everything from dogs to zoo animals. Because of the involvement of everyday citizenry, the pathos and misery can be dramatic and overwhelming. Women and children are often the victims and their tales of suffering are rarely fully told.
Siege can be the catalyst for major political change, and the Siege of Paris alone demonstrates a turning point in both the fate of Europe, the birth of the German state and the arrival of Communism in world politics. Siege is all-encompassing, brutal and wholly unforgiving.
So It Goes
Tom Assheton & James Jackson
Readings and Menu Reference:
Suppression or the Paris Commune 23-24 May 1871 by Archibald Forbes
The Art of French Cooking, Hamlyn
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