Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Custer's Last Stand - In Our Time
There is something deeply tragic about someone defending their age old way of life against forces too strong for them to have any chance of overcoming them. We all know it only ends one way in defeat, bitterness and tragedy. So we can all sympathise with Melvyn Bragg when he lost his battle to keep the South Bank Show running on the telly.
Another example is the Plains Indians who were ruthlessly driven off their lands by the US army at the end of the Nineteenth Century. They put up a good fight and at one point managed to wipe out a small force of US cavalrymen led by a well known general. This uncharacteristic success was basically down to Custer's obsession with political motives rather than military ones combined with a one in a million level of stupidity. Despite this it was Custer who went on to become the iconic hero while the tribesmen ended up on the reservations.