On Scholars Again….
November 22, 2010
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“There is a very enchanting story that Singaporedaddy once recounted. You all know him as the Liaison officer. We were travelling in Europe. And we chanced upon this implausible story in a pub about how in 1939, when German tanks rolled across this area; the Polish high command responded by despatching their elite hussars – the Poles were very proud of their kawaleria; they were considered by many to be the flower of their encadrements – the elite, so to speak – but this doesn’t quite explain how anyone in their right frame of mind in 1939 would issue orders that advancing enemy armor should be dealt with by men riding horses and weilding lances and swords – to understand how the Polish devotion to cavalry was to spell the doom of their country in 1939 – you first need to understand how as a group, the kawaleria regarded themselves as an invincible force – the problem was not only did they buy into this fantasy; they even successfully manage to sell it to their countrymen - so through out this opium laced fantasia; they were hermetically shielded from modern military developments in the wider world – at a time, when most German Panzer divisions were perfecting how to fire their 35mm on move; the Polish kawaleria were still parading on their horses and attending garden parties – they made no effort to either learn or acquire modern methods of warfare. But worse of all what really did them in faster than you can say “one char kueh teow please,” was their much vaunted invincibility was never ever challenged over a 500 years! During this period of extended peace, they had not only grown flabby; but they had come to mythologize their own invincibility to such an extent that I don’t think it was possible to effect change any longer - some people say, had they been more open and forward to new developments happening all around them – that might have warned them that the days of the horsemen were numbered – but I don’t buy that version; my opinion is, by that period the belief in their own invincibility had become so encrusted with myth; that it must have fossilized all the levers of power – so now you all know the real story behind the myth of how cavalrymen once charged tanks – but my friends this is not a story as it is an allegorical tale about folly on a grande scale - it is a tale of what can and will come to past when idiots think they are above the fray – now you know why when I see a bunch of people; setting up their mutual appreciation club and back slapping each other – it is time to make for the exit – walk straight – don’t look back – don’t past go and collect $200 - trust me, you may not know where you are heading, but I can assure you any place is better than the company of bloody fools.”