We have here a recently discovered fragment of a letter written by one of Alexander trusted lieutenants Parmenion.
This appears to have been written on the eve of the battle of Gaugamela:
I know its been a while since I wrote, but to be honest I've been so bloody knackered marching double-quick all over this fricking sand-blasted fleapit of a country after Alex "Golden-Bollocks" that I have hardly had time nor the energy to bugger my servants, never mind write letters to the likes of you.
However, today is your lucky day my old mucker - I've just come out of the most ridiculous meeting In fact, come to mention it that's exactly how bonkers this whole campaign has become - we had a "meeting", with an "agenda", "scribes", the whole poncing lot of flunkies, advisors, masseuses - even his bloody hairdresser was in there - and I no longer think that its unusual!! I must be losing it big-time - I even thought GB was going to send out for a round of coffees at one point!
So, were all in this big "meeting" discussing what we are going to do tomorrow in the big fight. (oh - sorry - forgot to tell you - its a rematch against the Persians tomorrow - this is what the whole meeting was about. You probably read in the papers that we've already dicked them over twice, but that effeminate tosser Daruis has splashed out on a whole load of new troops, whipped out some of his reserves and by all accounts actually fancies his chances this time around. Even the local bookies have us at 11/2 on - the bloke is a real muppet, you'd really think he'd learn!) So, where was I - oh yes, this "meeting". Well, what happens is we all have a big discussion about tactics, yours truly chips in with a suggestion of a night attack, catch the bastards in their beds, quick sword between the ribs and, hey presto, Crassus is your Uncle and the tie is over, 3-0 aggregate score to the Boys From Greece.
Koinos likes it - Krateros likes it (although to be fair any suggestion that involves sneaking into tents in the middle of the night gets his vote) and I'm thinking "couple of early afternoon beers to help me nod off about 4ish, up again at midnight and it'll be a done deal before daylight and I can give the lads the whole weekend off for a bit of low key looting round the local souks and oases".
However, we're all about to agree when up chirps Moridius - old GB's personal Scribe & Historian. "Surely you don't want to take control of the whole Persian Empire by night attack" he smarms? "Imagine the press coverage - "Duvet know its Crassus?" "The Bridges of Baby-yawn", "Alexanders wild stab in the dark" Hardly the way to herald your greatest ever achievement, is it?".
"Imagine the Press Coverage?" What's that all about? I'm thinking of tactics to give us an easy route to the big win and he's taking decisions based on the advice of his ex-hairdresser on how it'll look in the papers ???? What is it with kids today eh? When you and I were back in Greece, it was all about doing things the proper way - none of this fancy modern rubbish. OK - we all trained, we all went to military college, but what was important was leading from the front, getting a big sword and sticking it into someone, really hard, again and again until they lay on the floor bleeding to death, then you'd stamp on their gonads so you could get back home for bonking & buggery with whoever we could lay our hands on. Slaves, servants, friends and family, prisoners and pets - ahhh, those were the days... but I digress.
OK - we did have to attend some lectures on tactics and strategy - do you remember when you threw up in that old fart Arse-holus or whatever he was called afternoon lecture after we'd snuck out for one of our infamous 5-amphora lunchtimes down at the Firkin and Triarius? Happy days.... But - to me tactics was just variations on a theme. In fact, I pretty much remember it all to this day - how did it go, Lesson 1 - sneak round the back and hack them to death from behind. Lesson 2, hide in some trees until they have walked past, jump out, hack them to death from the side. Lesson 3, stay up late, attack them when they fall asleep, hack them to death in their beds - piece of piss really. Can you honestly tell me there was ever much more to it than that? Exactly my point.
So, gettig back to it, tomorrow we have to fight a proper battle - face to face, mano-a-mano, the lot, just for the benefit of a few historians and the official mosaicist . Can you believe it ? Well, its almost treasonable to say so, but to be honest I can't wait until the young lad trips up and makes an ass of himself - then maybe us real professionals can get back to stabbing the enemy when they are down, poking around a big sword in their soft and squishy bits and back home for a bit of bonking & buggery with whoever we can lay our hands on. Slaves, servants, friends and family, prisoners and pets - ahhh, those were the days...
So, fingers crossed for tomorrow you old sod, and hopefully I'll see you before the rainy season sets in and we all go down with swamp fever !!!