C S Forester: The GunPosted: May 7, 2015
This story is set during the Peninsular War and was published in 1933. It tells the story of a Spanish 18-pounder cannon that is abandoned during the Spanish retreat after the Battle of Espinosa. A number of local people hide it beneath a pile of rocks to prevent its capture by the French, and it remains hidden until a group of guerrilleros find it. Such is its power that the gun becomes the rallying point for Spanish resistance to the French, and whosoever possesses the gun naturally becomes leader of a growing army.
Eventually – after passing through the control of several leaders and being used to destroy several French fortifications and wipe out a regiment of the Young Guard – the gun comes under the control of Jorge, an 18 year-old guerrillero. He is an untrained but naturally gifted leader and tactician, and under his command the Spanish army attempts to besiege Salas and gain total control of Leon. Unfortunately the gun is destroyed by counter-battery fire, and the Spanish army disperses. However the diversion of a large number of French troops away from their fight against Wellington forces helps the Allies to win the war in Spain.
In 1957 a film that was loosely based on the story was made with the title THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION. It starred Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, and Cary Grant.