But first, a brief intermission. This Saturday just gone, I caught the early coach from Leeds down to the Sheffield, the city of steel, for the Triples war-games show, hosted by the Sheffield Wargames Club. This is the first games show i've managed to get to, and I must say it was a great day out. After a quick and easy trip on the Sheffield Supertram, I wandered down to the English Institute of Sport. The entry to the exhibition hall was flanked by two groups of reenactors, some Napoleonic fusiliers of the 21e Regiment de Ligne, and a couple of Great War Tommies from the 18th battalion, Durham Light Infantry. I had a chat to both groups, and they were all really friendly and knowledgeable guys. I grabbed my ticket and squeezed past the daleks which were making the rounds, and ventured into the hall. The exhibition space was great, well lit and, to me at least, huge (Rich from Toofatlardies later told me that Salute is around 8 times as large. My antipodean mind boggles.)
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Well, it's been quite a while since I've posted anything on this blog, what little time I've had between travelling, uni and day to day life has been spent updating my trade bog, benlauraeurope.blogspot.com. Well, as of last friday, the university semester has wrapped up here at Leeds, and I've just got a couple exams and then its time to wave bye bye to blighty.
The whole exchange has been a mix of amazing and challenging. The subjects I'd chosen turned out to be for the most part fascinating. The course studying European Great Power politics and diplomacy from 1871 to August 1914 with Prof. Holger Afflerbach was really interesting, and it was great to delve into the Bismarckian era and the years leading up to the Great War. I think the title of the module, 'Doomed to Failure?' sums up the approach of the course. Additionally to filling in some gaps in my understanding of European History, I was able to focus upon my proposed area of specialisation - namely the French Third Republic. I completed a paper on the Boulanger Crisis, which is a fascinating period of French history - Prof. Afflerbach went so far as to refer to General Boulanger as the Hitler who never was. It is interesting to imagine how European history would look if there had been a Weimar republic official as willing and able to suppress the Nazi party in the 1930s as French Minister of the Interior Emile Combes was the Boulangists.