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Choosing Cartagena

From BL Liddel Hart's Scipio Africanus, you get a picture of why Scipio chose New Carthage as the place to start operations against the Carthaginians in Spain.

Scipio was greatly out-manned in Spain, so he choose a symbolic and logically important place with the campaign - Cartagena, or "New Carthage."

The Carthaginians were confident it was well-defended, since there were four armies within a week's march from there, but Scipio managed to take the city in a few days, which shocked Carthage and put their people off balance - and most importantly, made Carthage's Spanish allies question their support.

From the book -

In summing up this first brilliant exploit in command, the first tribute is due to the strategic vision and judgment shown in the choice of Cartagena as his objective. Those who exalt the main armed forces of the enemy as the primary objective are apt to lose sight of the fact that the destruction of these is only a means to the end, which is the subjugation of the hostile will. In many cases this means is essential -- the only safe one, in fact; but in other cases the opportunity for a direct and secure blow at the enemy's base may offer itself, and of its possibility and value this master-stroke of Scipio's is an example, which deserves the reflection of modern students of war.

Always And Sometimes

On Chasing Serendipity

Rebecca was the one who'd derided his dancing. She'd make fun of the way he'd miscount steps, or lose time, the way he'd been unable to converse while waltzing. She was a loose cannon. Usually a cannon loosed and aimed at his heart. She used to berate him for a slight lacking in his intellect. Use your common sense. The sarcasm dripping from the words still stung, years later.

She had nagged him endlessly, about picking up his clothes, picking her up from work, about the way he acted without thought sometimes, always piercing his heart with the icy spear of sarcasm.

It still burned to remember how she'd fly into moods, or come home from wherever she was, stewing with anger that would boil over onto his skin, skin that eventually grew thick and hard.

Of course, ice cut deeper and hurt more than flames ever did.

His throat still clenched over the vague, unclear mess that had been her connection to Jake. He'd never known for sure, and never would. There would be no closure, no resolution, no smiles of happiness, no gasps of relief. There would not be tears of despair, nor short gasping breaths of betrayal, would not have averting of the eyes, nor resolution and closure for him.

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