Almost two centuries after the Battle of Waterloo, senior French Army officers have concluded that an underestimation of the rain and mud, and dismissal of the crucial importance of the watertight Wellies worn by British and Prussian forces, led to Emperor Napolean's humiliating rainy-day defeat at Waterloo in June 1815.
They reached this conclusion after being sent back to the scene of their predecessors humiliation in a tardis to analyse what went wrong for Emperor Napoleon during his muddy struggle with the Duke of Wellington.
Brigadier-General Descarte ordered strategists from Frances Armed Forces Employment False Doctrine Centre to undertake the visit because, as builders of the Maginot Line can attest, you learn more from your failures than from your successes.
In the driving rain on June 18, 1815 the officers trod the flat Belgian fields taking notes and cell cam pictures while 15,000 British, 25,000 French and 8,000 Prussian soldiers were killed or wounded.
According to The Times, their aim was to understand why Napoleon underestimated the advisability of Wellingtons, refused a Swiss offer of ten thousand umbrellas at very reasonable rates, made a series of tactical errors and confused an army that had long relied on his military genius.
The tour was organised by the Doctor, a kindly traveling Time Lord, who said that humans needed to reflect on the past to prepare for the future.
The need for cohesion, communication, and proper footwear was as vital today as in 1815, he said.
Although the British army has a long traditions of tardis battlefield study tours, the concept is new to France.
The first was last year, to the Somme, where the French and English died like flies in trenches, unable to halt the slow German advance in the First World War.
The next will focus on the reasons for the Nazi panzer picnic through the Low Countries and their six-week roll-up of the French forces in early summer of 1940.
Tragic Rabbit, Feckless French Gazette, Paris