Strangely Consistent

Theory, practice, and languages, braided together

November 20 2009 — big battles, small commits

309 years ago today, the Swedes engaged the Russians in battle, insanely outnumbered (8,140 to 37,000), and won:

For much of the day, a blizzard engulfed both armies, making attacks impossible. However, at midday, the winds changed and the snowstorm blew directly into the eyes of the Russians. Charles XII saw his opportunity and advanced on the Russian army under cover of the weather. The Swedes quickly broke through the Russian lines in several places, scattering their opponents, who could offer little resistance. In the chaos, some of the Russian soldiers killed their foreign officers, whom they hated. At one crucial point, a bridge over river Narva collapsed under retreating Russian troops. The bulk of the Russian army was trapped on the Estonian side of the river.

At dawn, it was clear that the Swedish army had won a stunning victory, but the force was relatively small and they had advanced on Narva in marches with scarcely supplies for two days. One Swedish cavalry officer suddenly found himself in front of a fully armed Russian infantry company. He signed to them to lay down their arms, and they obliged. The Swedish troops discovered not only food in the Russian camp, but also liquor. Drunkenness broke out in the Swedish ranks. Nevertheless, the Swedish command managed to retain basic control of the army, however the overall number of Russian prisoners of the war were far too great to handle for the Swedish force. Consequently, common soldiers and NCOs were disarmed and sent back to Russia. Only Russian officers were made prisoners of war. In the end the Russian army was utterly defeated and the Swedes retained Narva.

Nowadays, us Swedes are a peaceful people, no longer trying to conquer the world, instead focusing on our two specialties: meatballs and furniture.

Today, I did a few small things. I removed a too-strict type constraint in the Rakudo codebase, fixed up a paragraph in the spec, and unbroke a test file in the spectests.

Nothing fancy, just three small snowflakes in a larger blizzard known as 'progress'.