Napoleon at Waterloo IV

Lead: From 1793 Napoleon increasingly dominated the affairs of France and Europe and, though defeated and banished in 1815, Napoleon’s legend grew during his life and showed no signs of going away after his death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 at his place of exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Almost immediately authors and historians began to examine his life for clues as to Napoleon’s legacy. He had detractors and defenders as befit any colossal personality. His enemies sought to diminish his accomplishments, his allies, and particularly ambitious family members such as future Emperor Louis Napoleon, wished to enhance the luster of his name for their own benefit.

Napoleon at Waterloo III

Lead: In March 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte, deposed Emperor of the French, banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba, escaped, landed in southern France and attempted to reclaim his greatness. His daring quest ended at Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 100 days of Napoleon’s last campaign sent shivers of panic throughout a Europe which had thought itself rid of Le Petit Caporal. He landed at Cannes with his guard, won over the regiment sent to capture him, and was in Paris by March 20th. While the French people were weary of Napoleon and had acquiesced in his exile after his abdication in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, they were committed to the essential elements of the Revolution and resented the attempt by restored King Louis XVIII to set back the clock. Napoleon’s welcome was at best tentative as he also wished to turn back the clock to the Empire, something many of his former Republican allies were loathe to do. Also, he faced a daunting array of allied armies converging on France to stamp out permanently the menace he represented. Once again, he would have to fight for his place in the sun.

Napoleon at Waterloo II

Lead: Napoleon Bonaparte, humiliated and banished, attempted to win back his losses in a dynamic campaign that began with his dramatic escape from the island of Elba.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It must have been very discouraging, living there on that tiny island just off the coast of west Italy. The Emperor of the French, whose power at its height, like a colossus stretched from Portugal to the Urals, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, this larger-than-life personality, reduced to 86 square miles of rock. He said, upon his arrival, that he wished to live as a justice of the peace, but such resignation was hardly possible for a man of such restless vigor who had led millions in battle since he burst on the scene in 1793.

Napoleon at Waterloo I

Lead: Having built his political and military career on acts of daring and boldness, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, in 1814, attempted to resurrect and salvage his greatness at the Battle of Waterloo.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the second surviving child of a politically well-connected lawyer whose family emigrated to Corsica from Tuscany in North Central Italy during the 1500s. His father’s connections made it possible to send his sons to France for their education. Napoleon was not an exceptional student, graduating in 1785 42nd in a class of 58 from the Military Academy in Paris. Despite this lackluster record, however, he continued to develop his understanding of tactics and strategy by readings in the military masters and to hone his understanding of public policy while consuming the political works of Voltaire and Rousseau.

Castro’s Early Years

Lead: Often political leadership is forged out of initial failure.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was after midnight in the seaside community of Santiago de Cuba. It was late July, 1953. A Buick, blue with a white roof, stopped in front of a small farmhouse. Palm trees flashed in the headlights. A man emerged, tall, powerful, with a thin mustache. Inside the house 100 men and 2 women waited. They had come in small groups by bus, car and train from all parts of Cuba. None of them knew the exact purpose of the trip.

 

Read more →

Court Martial of Billy Mitchell II

Lead: In the 1920s, the U.S. military was hampered by severe budget cutbacks and a debate on the future of the airplane. One persistent, prophetic, but on more than one occasion obnoxious voice in the debate was General William “Billy” Mitchell.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Billy Mitchell’s father and grandfather were congressmen. He thus grew up in the circles of power and expected people to listen when he spoke, but his habit of going public with his ideas and tendency to browbeat his opponents diminished his influence with the Army. Mitchell’s experience as head of Army air combat forces in Europe during World War I led him to conclude that the warplane was the key to victory in future conflicts and he went on a crusade to prove it. He was particularly adept at using the press to further his ideas. He arranged a series of highly-publicized tests in which his bombers spectacularly sank several surplus battleships thus proving their vulnerability and increasing obsolescence.

Read more →

Court Martial of Billy Mitchell I

Lead: Billy Mitchell’s experience as Army air combat commander during World War I showed him that future success in warfare depended on air power. His problem was that he just couldn’t keep quiet about it.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Before the war Mitchell had a limited view of the airplane’s potential. He was in the Signal Corps and believed flying machines were primarily useful only for reconnaissance, flying behind and over the battlefield, spotting artillery, tracking enemy maneuvers, and aiding in fast communication and travel. As the months in Europe passed, his perspective began to change. He started to fly battle missions beside his pilots and eventually rose to be leader of the Army’s air arm. Under actual combat conditions, additional powerful possibilities for the airplane began to emerge. Tactically, warplanes could support troops fighting on the ground and strategically, planes could help destroy enemy installations behind the lines.

Read more →

White Officers and Colored Troops – Part III

Lead: On July 18, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry led a daring assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina. It was the largest civil war engagement involving black troops

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.               

Content: The 54th Massachusetts Infantry was made up of black troops and white officers. It was one of the first regiments formed after the U.S. government authorized the enlistment of African Americans. It was Federal policy, however, that they had to be led by white officers. Early in 1863 Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts, an abolitionist and advocate of African American enlistment, began organizing the unit. He was committed to forming a model regiment and offered command to Robert G. Shaw, a battle-tested, well-educated, young officer from a prominent Boston abolitionist family. Shaw accepted, earned the respect of his regiment, which included former slaves, free blacks and the most well known of their recruits – Lewis and Charles Douglass – the sons of abolitionist militant Frederick Douglass. Under Shaw’s command, the regiment was organized, disciplined, and operated on the assumption that the notion blacks could not fight on a par with white troops was inaccurate and emerged from social bigotry.