There was an extract in this morning’s Financial Times Magazine from Tony Barber’s blog about ‘my top 10 American moments’. Barber, the FT’s Brussels bureau chief, ranked as his N° 1 ‘Playing with a full set of American civil war bubblegum cards (1967)’. I remember those cards so well! On the way to my school, just beside the Windsor and Newton factory, there was a printing company that must have had the UK contract for those cards. We used to plunder their bins for rejects. Some of the offcuts were completely useless but occasionally you could find a fairly good card with only tiny flaws that could be swapped into the system. What was most impressive for me about those cards, bloodthirsty images aside, was the curious combination of ‘old-fashioned’ war – cavalry, horses, swords – and the mechanised variety, including machine guns and barbed wire. There’s that same combination in what I am now trying to write. Few remember that cavalry brigades played an important role in the opening stages of the 1914-18 war. Armoured tanks would not be used in any significant number until 1917. I wonder, coming back to Tony Barber, what, say, Barack Obama’s top 10 European moments would be.