British Commission for Military History, Spring (2011) Conference
We are very prone to considering that earlier generations were less sophisticated, technologically adept or somehow dimmer than we are. Of course that is not true of such a distinguished assembly of historians as are gathered here today. But from my own experience I have witnessed modern military engineers, who undoubtedly considered themselves far more advanced than say those of Hannibal, Caesar, Marlborough or Napoleon, struggle to cross a river a tenth as wide as those crossed by the afore-mentioned without the aid of computers and instant communications. I was involved in the recovery of the Falkland Islands and saw the pickle Naval experts got themselves into trying to move and resupply the invasion force. Yet their predecessors in the 18th and 19th centuries were able to dispatch supply convoys to marry up with West and East Indies squadrons without the aid of satnav and satellite communications [See Hugh Boscawen's paper – including the planning map for one such example later on. Ed]. In short we should give our forebears rather more credit than we do.