Forced march

I’ve been reading an old book about sieges and fortifications in the 15th and 16th centuries. It has lots of cool contemporary drawings of old fortifications, but it’s fairly dry reading, with an occasional bright spot. One passage about the 80-year war between Spain and the Netherlands makes the point that the Spaniards had difficulty maneuvering in the low-lying Dutch coastal areas. In one case, the author says, Spanish troops actually waded to an offshore island to launch an attack.

Then he adds, in a tone as dry as the setting allows: “But there were natural limits to the amphibious capacity of even the tallest Spaniard.”

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