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I'd Always Wondered That Myself

Lileks has been musing on why the Three Musketeers never had muskets:

Where are their guns? They never have guns. They must have been a grave disappointment when they showed up. We are here, my liege! The Musketeers! Fine, fine, take up position on the parapet, and aim down at - say, where are your muskets? We have them not, my liege! We live life at swordpoint! All for one, and one for - Fine, you have a motto, I know, but I wanted guns. Why do you call yourselves musketeers if you don't have any bloody muskets? Tres simplisme, monsieur! We must see the whites of our foes' eyes, wide with fright! We must - Oh shut up and take these muskets and start shooting at something, for God's sake.

Other amusing pop-cultural observations as well (and as usual).


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Anonymous wrote:

Three Musketeers never carried their muskets -- they had servants to do it for them. And in the book they did use them once (as I recall) -- during the siege of La Rochelle.

But most of the time, musket was not their weapon of choice.

K wrote:

The Muskets made a cameo in George McDonald Fraziers's 3M screenplay.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Three Musketeers never carried their muskets -- they had servants to do it for them.

Ummmm...yes. It was a joke.

Jim Bennett wrote:

This is something that happens repeatedly in military technology evolution. A new weapon appears; it becomes decisive at key moments. Armies everywhere start to form specialized units to deploy the new weapon. You can't afford it for everybody, so you pick and choose the very best of your men to receive the weapons and training. Then everybody realizes that the weapon has been oversold -- the matchlocks the Musketeers were trained on were slow, inaccurate, and unreliable. But since these were elite forces, they were still very good with the old weapons. So they spend most of their time fighting with the old weapons. The same thing happened with paratroopers in WWII -- most airborne drops were failures, but the airborne regiments were really good as elite infantry.

Carl Pham wrote:

Yah, I've always wondered why I never see the Grenadiers carrying grenades. Then there's the whole business of the modern cavalry regiments without any horses.

Then again, I was a professor but didn't profess anything (being agnostic on most issues), and I got a doctor of philosophy degree without knowing squat about medicine or philosophy.

The rot runs deep!

sjv wrote:

Then there's the whole business of the modern cavalry regiments without any horses.

I beg your pardon. When I was the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the 80's, we did indeed have horses.

Well, OK. A horse. One. But this isn't "without any".

And we still went most days to work in the "motor stables".

Carl Pham wrote:

But this isn't "without any".

Pshaw! Those of us trained in physics work only in orders of magnitude (actual math is for graduate students and other commonfolk), and 1 = 0 to within an order of magnitude.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on November 12, 2008 3:22 AM.

Hoover, Or Reagan? was the previous entry in this blog.

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