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Choosing Cartagena

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

From BL Liddel Hart's Scipio Africanus, you get a picture of why Scipio chose New Carthage as the place to start operations against the Carthaginians in Spain.

Scipio was greatly out-manned in Spain, so he choose a symbolic and logically important place with the campaign - Cartagena, or "New Carthage."

The Carthaginians were confident it was well-defended, since there were four armies within a week's march from there, but Scipio managed to take the city in a few days, which shocked Carthage and put their people off balance - and most importantly, made Carthage's Spanish allies question their support.

From the book -

In summing up this first brilliant exploit in command, the first tribute is due to the strategic vision and judgment shown in the choice of Cartagena as his objective. Those who exalt the main armed forces of the enemy as the primary objective are apt to lose sight of the fact that the destruction of these is only a means to the end, which is the subjugation of the hostile will. In many cases this means is essential -- the only safe one, in fact; but in other cases the opportunity for a direct and secure blow at the enemy's base may offer itself, and of its possibility and value this master-stroke of Scipio's is an example, which deserves the reflection of modern students of war.

The First Time

On Imported Blog

There is something particularly special about first times. First love. First car. First day of school.

First times have the potential to change your life and just like your first day of school, you're given that one sacred opportunity to set the tone for the upcoming year. My trip to Spain epitomizes that first time feeling. Traveling to Spain was the first time in my adult life, that I had been able to travel out of the country. It was a complete culture shock. I felt like I was dumped into a foreign land and told "...see you in 30 days," which in essence, was exactly what happened!

Three years ago I went on a study abroad trip to Spain to learn spanish at the University of Salamanca, the oldest university in Spain. No amount of pre-departure notes could have prepared me for this experience (and let's just say I regret blowing off spanish). When I arrived, I had no other choice but to rely on my own hand gestures and other people's apt communication skills while ordering food or interpreting directions. It didn't take long for me to recognize differences in the way the people of Spain lived.

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