The Northern Wars. Myths, Lies, and Half-truths

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The Northern Wars. Myths, Lies, and Half-truths

The Northern Wars. Myths, Lies, and Half-truths is a critical treatment of the history of the Northern Wars written by Restif de Montholon. It is especially critical of the tactics of Joachim de Wett and Menno Coehoorn.

Excerpt[edit | edit source]

The trial, sentence and execution of Joachim de Wett is usually ascribed by most historians to the violent, cruel and tyrannical nature of Emperor Emhyr, and neither is there any shortage either — particularly amongst authors of a literary bent — of allusive hypotheses about revenge and the settling of wholely private scores. It is high time the truth were told: the truth, which for every attentive scholar is more than obvious. Duke de Wett commanded the Verden Group in such a way that the term 'inept' is much too mild. Having against him forces twice as weak as his own, he delayed the offensive to the north, and directed all his efforts towards a fight against the Verdanian guerillas. The Verden Group committed unspeakable atrocities against the civilian population. The result was easy to predict and was inevitable. If, in the winter, the forces of the insurgents had numbered less than half a thousand, by spring almost the entire country has risen up. King Ervyll, who had been devoted to the Empire, was eliminated, and the insurrection was led by his son, Prince Kistrin, who sympathised with the Nordlings. Having on his flank a landing force of pirates from Skellige, to the fore an offensive of Nordlings from Cidaris, and at the rear a rebellion, de Wett became entangled in piecemeal engagements, suffering defeat after defeat. In the process he delayed the offensive of the Centre Army Group — instead of, as had been planned, engaging the Nordlings' wing, the Verden Group tied down Menno Coehoorn. The Nordlings immediately exploited the situation and went on the counter-attack, breaking through the encirclement near Mayena and Maribor, and thwarting the chances of those vital forts being swiftly captured a second time.

    The ineptitude and stupidity of de Wett also had a psychological significance. The myth of Nilfgaard's invincibility was broken. Scores of volunteers began to flock to the army of the Nordlings...

— pg(s). 205, The Lady of the Lake (UK edition)