Problem with Napoleon

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Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
I came across the below passage in a thread titled Napoleon's campaign on a Polish forum of English language, the author doesn’t understand the meaning of it and there’re no replies.

In these positions the main armies may be left whilst we describe, as fully as space will allow, the great siege which it was Napoleon's object to cover, Bennigsen's to raise. The operations in Silesia and Pomerania will also be very indicated to their conclusion.

What does the second sentence mean (I’m particularly interested in the underlined part), please?
My understanding of it is as follows: the military acts in Silesia and Pomerania will also be strongly referred to the resolution of Napoleon and Benningsen (in the further part of this essay?). :confused:
What would be this ‘conclusion’?
How would you rephrase it in English?


What does “Bennigsen's to raise” refer to?
Am I right interpreting the first sentence the below way?
The main armies may get surrounded which was Napoleon’s aim to achieve and Benningsen’s to face.:confused:





Thank you in advance for any help,
Thomas
 
  • Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    First of all, as far as I understand it, 'the great siege which it was Napoleon's object to cover, Bennigsen's to raise' means that it was Napoleon's goal to cover (protect) the siege and it was Benningsen's goal to raise (break) the siege.

    But your main question (the underlined part) is much trickier since it uses the word 'indicated' in unusual ways. It sounds to me like the historian is marking a transition in the narrative of whichever battle is being described: 'the armies may be left whilst we describe [...] the great siege...' = we can stop talking about the armies for a moment so that we can describe the siege...'. It's like a narratorial intervention, I think. I understand the underlined section to be a continuation of this: a narratorial comment promising to describe the operations in Silesia and Pomerania all the way to their end. In other words 'I will indicate thoroughly how these operations came to their conclusion'.

    What I don't like, and where my theory may fall apart, is the use of 'indicated' with 'very'. 'Very' can be used with 'indicated' when 'indicated' means 'called for', 'a good idea' ('Strong measures are very indicated') although even then I think it's bad style. But in this case???
    Something might be 'very indicated' if it is
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Indicate is often vague. Perhaps the meaning is state, comment, show, suggest, say. Or maybe The operations will be described in detail to their conclusion.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It reads like a translation. In particular, the part underlined and the parts in blue. These are somewhat unusual constructions.

    In these positions the main armies may be left whilst we describe, as fully as space will allow, the great siege which it was Napoleon's object to cover, Bennigsen's to raise. The operations in Silesia and Pomerania will also be very indicated to their conclusion.

    I'm sure Aupick's right about this describing the way in which the story is to be told, not telling the story. But I'm totally stuck on very indicated.

    As river suggests, indicate seems to be very flexible:
    To point out, point to, make known, show (more or less distinctly). ... and other less-likely to be relevant definitions. None of these really make sense with very.

    If it is a translation, it may help to know which language it was translated from? Well, it wouldn't help me but it might help someone else:eek:
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    First of all, thank you very much for answers.:) However I have more questions that appeared after your comments.

    But your main question (the underlined part) is much trickier since it uses the word 'indicated' in unusual ways. It sounds to me like the historian is marking a transition in the narrative of whichever battle is being described: 'the armies may be left whilst we describe [...] the great siege...' = we can stop talking about the armies for a moment so that we can describe the siege...'.
    Therefore, does In these positions reffer to the positions of the armies or it means more or less: in these circumstances we can leave the main armies and describe [...] the great siege?

    What I don't like, and where my theory may fall apart, is the use of 'indicated' with 'very'. 'Very' can be used with 'indicated' when 'indicated' means 'called for', 'a good idea' ('Strong measures are very indicated') although even then I think it's bad style. But in this case???
    Something might be 'very indicated' if it is
    These are exactly my sentiments when I read that but how can operations be very indicated to their conclusion this sounds really awkward? :confused: It would have the meaning which was suggested by River and Panjandrum, though the very word is really messing here.

    Thomas
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    These are exactly my sentiments when I read that but how can operations be very indicated to their conclusion this sounds really awkward? :confused: It would have the meaning which was suggested by River and Panjandrum, though the very word is really messing here.
    The word "very" is wrong there anyway you look at it. I would guess that it was written by a non-native speaker or is possibly a translation from another language. Do you know where the text comes from?
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I think Aupick, Panjandrum and ElaineG have it covered-- the inconclusiveness that remains is inherent in the weird material we have to work with.

    The observation that this is a translation is especially apt, in my opinion-- just my hunch, but what do you want to bet me that the original is in German?
    .
     

    bpipoly

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Thomas1 said:
    In these positions the main armies may be left whilst we describe, as fully as space will allow, the great siege which it was Napoleon's object to cover, Bennigsen's to raise. The operations in Silesia and Pomerania will also be very indicated to their conclusion.



    Thomas
    To take a stab in the dark, I think very indicated may mean very decisive or very influential. Although I am a French major, I know very little about Napoleon and, therefore, please forgive it this is completely impossible.
     

    el alabamiano

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Excuse me whilst I ponder.

    :confused:

    Okay, I'm done.

    First of all, the translation sucks, but it's all I can do to get by in English. I ain't all that great in the foreign language department either. Being said, here's my take:

    It was Napoleon's job to lay the siege, Bennigsen's to break it.

    raise - 14. To bring to an end or remove. Example: raise the siege. source

    In these positions the main armies may be left whilst we describe, as fully as space will allow, the great siege which it was Napoleon's object to cover, Bennigsen's to raise. The operations in Silesia and Pomerania will also be very indicated to their conclusion.

    The bolded-red part makes me think that the last sentence should read something like:

    The operations in Silesia and Pomerania will also be thoroughly outlined up until their conclusion.
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    I think the amount of interventions expended and wrong paths taken on this example go to show that it's not a good idea to submit faulty, anonymous translations to forums like Thomas1's Polish forum. (I even suggest that people should give the bibliographic citation for work being quoted from so that forum members who happen to live near a large library have the option of looking it up. Unless, that is, the questioner would embarrassed to reveal what they are reading:D )

    I agree with el alabamiano that the wording "whilst we describe . . . will also" makes it almost 100 percent certain that "very indicated to their conclusion" means "thoroughly described from beginning to end". I disagree with the proposal "outlined" because everything else about the sentence implies the writer wants to be more thorough than to just outline.

    Let's note also that the word "cover" is wrong. While raise a siege is standard military terminology (this use of raise has always seemed comical to me), cover a siege is not. "Cover a siege" means that a journalist reports on a siege!

    I share foxfirebrand's intuition that the writer was thinking in German and agree with Aupick's reference to "narrative intervention".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I had understood (no expert on history) that "siege which it was Napoleon's object to cover, Bennigsen's to raise" was meant to suggest that Bennigsen's job was to liberate those under siege; Napoleon's to prevent him from doing so - to "cover" those already laying the siege. No matter.

    Maybe Thomas1 could find out the source from the other forum. We are guessing - with best intentions - but only guessing.
     

    el alabamiano

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    DaleC said:
    I think the amount of interventions expended and wrong paths taken on this example go to show that it's not a good idea to submit faulty, anonymous translations to forums like Thomas1's Polish forum.
    I looked there (Polish forum) last night and it seems we've made a little more progress than they have. Of course they are all English-language learners, it seems. Maybe Thomas1 will provide them with a link to this forum which they can use as a learning aid.
    I agree with el alabamiano that the wording "whilst we describe . . . will also" makes it almost 100 percent certain that "very indicated to their conclusion" means "thoroughly described from beginning to end". I disagree with the proposal "outlined" because everything else about the sentence implies the writer wants to be more thorough than to just outline.
    Well, I thought it through the best I could and "as fully as space will allow" is what made me settle on thoroughly outlined. However, as panjandrum very indicated to our conclusion, "We are guessing - with best intentions - but only guessing."
     
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