Castres. Hugues Vial talks in the book about “fake wars”

Castres. Hugues Vial talks in the book about “fake wars”

the important thing
The former director of the museum and national center Jean-Jaurès de Castres has just published a new book that lists 1001 amazing and true military anecdotes.

Retired for 6 years, the former director of the museum and national center Jean-Jaurès de Castres remains no less active. At the age of 74, Hugues Vial has just published a book called “Funny Wars” which lists 1001 military anecdotes, amazing and true. “I have always been interested in military matters,” confides Hugues Vial, who was already the author of a series of three primers on the etymology of military terms “which, to my surprise, has never been done”, and in 2018 he published a book entitled “Rifle for shooting in corners” which was a concentrate of almost 200 pages describing all kinds of military interesting things. My publisher asked me to make a book for a larger audience without chronological logic or subject matter”.

On the same principle he wrote the “Drôle de guerres” published by Pierre de Taillac, which can be found in all the good bookstores in Castres and on the usual bookselling sites.

It’s the historian’s job to verify these crazy stories

“It is a series of anecdotes that have nothing to do with each other about people, historical facts or objects, in this case weapons. You can open the book on any page,” explains the author, who tells “little-known and astonishing stories” like the one about this soldier from of the 17th century who died 4 times or from a steam machine that fired in all directions except at its target! Stories discovered in my readings, on the Internet or that people bring to me”.

Known and identified as a history buff from these previous books, he is indeed contacted by people who tell him anecdotes about their family members. “Crazy stuff,” he smiles. Like this Castrese who told him the story of his uncle who went through the Indochina war without any accidents and who returned to France on a motorcycle from Saigon, died in an accident 50 km from the destination…

“Afterwards, I have a lot of work as a historian to research, check and control everything because sometimes there are a lot of approximations. Stories often increase with time,” explains Hugues Vial who, in addition to being a writer, is also a photographer. He also has a dedicated website and exhibits regularly. In short, he has not been bored since he left the Jaurès museum at the age of 67.

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