Tuesday, March 02, 2010


The fellow above is one Louis Gabriel Suchet born this day 1770 in Marseilles, France. His photo has appeared on this blog before, and his name has been used in vain in at least one other post. That is part of the reason that he gets to step onto the hero podium. He was (as we all know) one of Napoleon's more brilliant general, and was one of the few that managed to enhance his reputation in the Peninsula War in Spain. That war was to Napoleon what Vietnam was to the United States, a place where military superiority, and military reputations when to die. That war did make him famous, and got him promoted to a Marshal of France in 1811, and near the end of Napoleon's reign he conducted a brilliant campaign to at least stop the rot. He was unable to prevent the defeat of Napoleon's France, but at least he was able to show what a brilliant general he was, and isn't that enough? Shouldn't we, when faced by life's challenges that we know are going to defeat us, be proud that we at least made it close. We kept it from being a blow out, and it a couple of things had broken our way maybe we would have pulled it out after all. Maybe so, maybe being brilliant in defeat is better than being average in victory. Here's hoping that is so, for all the beautiful losers amongst us. So, for being a damn fine general, and keeping his head when others around were losing theirs, Louis Gabriel Suchet (March 2nd, 1770-January 3rd, 1826, at the age of 55), you are my (188th) hero of the day.

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