The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The end of Pompey and the rise of Caesar.

This is another one of my scheduled Historical post, I try to schedule them every couple of days apart.   I read a book a long time ago and it detailed the adventures of Caesar in Gaul(Modern Day France). 
And this is one of several bookshelfs that I have in my "Frog" or "Front Room over Garage" or basically my mancave where all my souvenirs of my travels would up.

The Battle of Pharsalus was one of the most important in Julius Caesar’s career. Fought on the 9th of August 48 BC, it was the turning point that gave him victory in Rome’s civil war, taking control of the empire and effectively ending the Republican government under which it had been run for hundreds of years.

Caesar’s Civil War
The Great Roman Civil War, also known as Caesar’s War, was the culmination of a long-running political conflict within the Roman elite. The Populares, a group of leaders from the senatorial class, had taken to using people’s assemblies and popular support to achieve greater power and forward their policies. This alarmed the Optimates, the conservative group within the Senate, who saw the power of the Senate and the aristocracy being eroded by this combination of demagoguery and popular will.
This came to a climax with the falling out of Gaius Julius Caesar and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, remembered by history as Pompey the Great. The two had previously been political allies within a three-man group that unofficially ruled Rome. With the end of that triumvirate, Pompey sided with the optimates to curb Caesar’s power.
Caesar responded by marching his army on Rome. The optimates fled to Roman possessions in Greece, to give them time to assemble an army. After asserting control over other Roman territories, Caesar followed them.
The Leaders
Julius Caesar came from a senatorial family, part of the aristocracy that ruled Rome. His family had been of relatively minor importance in recent decades, but Caesar ended that. Forming an alliance with Pompey and Crassus, he was given a consulship and command of the Roman armies in Gaul for ten years. Through his superior performance as a general, he defeated the Gauls, gaining huge wealth, prestige and popularity among both the army and the masses.

Bust of Julius Caesar in the British Museum - photo by William Warby via Flickr Creative Commons
Bust of Julius Caesar in the British Museum. By William Warby – CC BY 2.0
Pompey began his career in the military before entering the Senate. He served in the Social War and the Civil War that came a decade before the triumvirate. Building on his early successes, he was given massive resources to battle pirates in the eastern Mediterranean, a war he quickly won. Campaigning further east, he was the first Roman to conquer Jerusalem.

Pompey the Great.
Pompey the Great.
These two men formed a secret alliance with a third man, Crassus. Crassus brought his wealth to the group, Pompey military might, and Caesar fame, and for a while, they were the threat the optimates feared. But after Crassus’s death in 53 BC the other two fell out. War soon followed.
The Armies

Roman auxiliary infantry crossing a river. Photo Credit.
Roman auxiliary infantry crossing a river. CristianChirita – CC BY-SA 3.0
The army Caesar brought to Greece had only half the men he had hoped to field. He had tried to bring them across the Adriatic in two groups, but the second was blocked by his opponents’ fleet. As a result, though he fielded eight legions, they were under strength, leaving him with 22,000 infantry, supported by around a thousand cavalry.
Pompey fielded double Caesar’s numbers. His eleven legions were at full strength, amounting to 45,000 men. They were supported by 7,000 cavalry.
Caesar’s army was a mixed lot. Some were veterans of his Gallic Wars. These experienced troops, which included the Legion X Equestris, Caesar’s favorite, were loyal to the man who had brought them fame, fortune, and success. The rest of his legions had been levied especially for the Civil War.
Deploying for Battle

Initial deployment of forces at the Battle of Pharsalus, August 48 BC. Image Credit.
Initial deployment of forces at the Battle of Pharsalus, August 48 BC. TheRazaman – CC BY-SA 4.0
Pompey had every advantage going into the battle. He held the higher ground, had twice as many men, and unlike Caesar, he was not running out of supplies. He could choose to fight on favorable terms, whereas his opponent had little option but to accept battle.
Fittingly for the commander of the optimates army, Pompey approached the battle conservatively. His legions were arranged in the traditional three lines, each ten men deep, with the toughest troops on the flanks. On his right was the River Enipeus, on his left his massed cavalry.
Caesar also deployed in three lines but had to thin them down to six men deep to cover the length of Pompey’s army. He pulled some men out of these ranks to form a hidden fourth line on his right, backing up his vastly outnumbered cavalry against the charge he expected from Pompey’s horsemen. The battle-hardened tenth legion held the right-hand end of the main line.
The Fighting
Knowing that time was on his side, Pompey waited for Caesar to attack. But his caution cost him, as he held back so successfully that Caesar’s troops were able to rest halfway through their advance, reforming and catching their breath. At last, Caesar reached Pompey’s lines, and the two forces of infantry clashed.
Meanwhile, Pompey launched his cavalry on the left, driving back those of Caesar and becoming disordered in the process. It was now that the hidden fourth line of Caesarean infantry came into play. Unexpectedly counter-attacking the disorganised cavalry with their spears, they routed them, sending them fleeing past Pompey’s lines.

Battle of Pharsalus
Now Caesar threw the full weight of his forces into the battle. Across the field, his third rank moved up, the last of his reserves joining the melee while the fourth line marched around and attacked Pompey’s exposed flank.
Pompey’s army collapsed. The general himself fled back to their fortified camp, gathered his family and fled the country. Shortly after that, Caesar’s troops overran the camp.
The Outcome
Reports of numbers from ancient battles always have to be taken with a pinch of salt, due to a tendency towards literary exaggeration. Still, it is clear that Pompey and the optimates lost far more men. Caesar’s own count claimed that he lost 30 centurions and 200 Legionaries while Pompey lost 15,000 dead and 24,000 captured, with nine of their precious eagle standards seized.
The war was not over. Pompey went to Egypt, where he was killed by a king hoping to gain Caesar’s favor. Caesar became embroiled in Egyptian politics, even as he mopped up the remainder of his Roman opponents. But following his victory against overwhelming numbers at Pharsalus, he would never again face a serious military challenge from within Rome

 I used the clip from the movie "Cleopatra", I loved that movie and the casting and props were first rate,   In this clip the end of Pompey was explained.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Music "We didn't start the fire" by Billy Joel

I decided to roll with this song by Billy Joel for my Monday Music and since I have been putting up a lot of history stuff on my post it was somehow appropriate.

"We Didn't Start the Fire" is a song by Billy Joel. Its lyrics include brief, rapid-fire allusions to more than 100 headline events between 1949, the year of Joel's birth, and 1989, when the song was released on his album Storm Front. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. The song was also a No. 1 hit in the United States.

Joel got the idea for the song when he had just turned 40. He was in a recording studio and met a friend of Sean Lennon who had just turned 21 who said "It's a terrible time to be 21!" Joel replied to him, "Yeah, I remember when I was 21 – I thought it was an awful time and we had Vietnam, and y'know, drug problems, and civil rights problems and everything seemed to be awful." The friend replied, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it's different for you. You were a kid in the fifties and everybody knows that nothing happened in the fifties". Joel retorted, "Wait a minute, didn't you hear of the Korean War or the Suez Canal Crisis?" Joel later said those headlines formed the basic framework for the song.
Joel has said, "I'm a history nut. I devour books. At one time I wanted to be a history teacher". According to his mother, he was a bookworm by the age of seven. Unlike most of Joel's songs, the lyrics were written before the melody, owing to the somewhat unusual style of the song. The song was a huge commercial success and was Joel's third Billboard No. 1 hit. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
I had turned forty. It was 1989 and I said "Okay, what's happened in my life?" I wrote down the year 1949. Okay, Harry Truman was president. Popular singer of the day, Doris Day. China went Communist. Another popular singer, Johnnie Ray. Big Broadway show, South Pacific. Journalist, Walter Winchell. Athlete, Joe DiMaggio. Then I went on to 1950 [...]. It's one of the worst melodies I've ever written. I kind of like the lyric though.
Joel has said, "There's an element of malevolence in the song; it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop." He has mentioned having mixed feelings about the song. "It's a nightmare to perform live, because if I miss one word, it's a train wreck." He has called it a "novelty song" that does not "really define me as well as album songs that probably don't get played", and has also criticized the song on strictly musical grounds. In 1993, when discussing it with documentary filmmaker David Horn, Joel compared its melodic content unfavorably to his song "The Longest Time": "Take a song like 'We Didn't Start the Fire.' It's really not much of a song....If you take the melody by itself, terrible. Like a dentist drill."
When asked if he could do a follow-up about the next couple of years after the events that transpired in the original song, he commented "No, I wrote one song already and I don't think it was really that good to begin with, melodically."

A music video for the single was directed by Chris Blum, which chronicles a white middle-class married couple and their goal of the American Dream: a home, careers, and children. This is symbolised by the constant revamping of a domestic kitchen – 1940s utilitarian turning into 1950s Populuxe, 1960s op art, 1970s earth-colored tiles and macramé, and finally 1980s black lacquer & granite bench tops. This is juxtaposed with symbols of the tumultuous social times of the second half of the 20th century (e.g., bra burning, lynching, and draft-card burning). The singer acts as an unseen but omnipresent observer. During each chorus, Joel wearing sunglasses (similar to Roy Orbison's) rhythmically beats on a black table; in the background, famous photographs (of Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination and Nguyễn Văn Lém's execution, among others) are consumed by fire, a metaphor of the song's theme and title.
The music video on YouTube has over 60 million views as of August 2017

Sunday, February 25, 2018

My Apologies to all...

I have been super busy at work and if it wasn't for the preloaded history stuff that I had prepped way in advance, my blog would have been real quiet.  It will remain busy for the next couple of months, until next shift bid.

  Yes I have been working a lot of it.  I have a couple of trips in the works, One is to NOAC the "National Order of the Arrow Conference" and that is a week long and will run me a "C" note at least and that is at the end of summer, and in May is NRAAM in Dallas, That one will be a "Day" trip, the hotel cost are prohibitive.  My son and I will fly the first plane in and catch the last plane out on Saturday.  He did ask me if "Murphy" will troll the protestors like he did last year here in Atlanta., I replied "Probably". 
     And speaking of protestors, the left has lost their ever loving mind.  All I have seen is the vitriol and hate directed against us honest gun owners and the NRA, apparently that is the standard playbook of the left.  I have gotten into several pissing contest with idiots on Facebook, they parrot the latest talking points from bloomburg, the DNC and other leftist groups.  I do enjoy shredding their emotional twaddle when I post and I keep hearing the word "Compromise" and I will not hear of it.  I am tired of compromising.  I have used "Lawdogs" cake analogy to state my point of view.  It basically goes like this...
I will not compromise anymore.  I saw on someone twitter feed about using the force of government, especially the NSA to go through everyones social media profile, letters, emails, store purchases, who goes to the gun range, who belongs to the NRA or other 2nd amendment groups and launch police raids to seize the guns....My reply was "Well that will start a civil war, many gun owners will fight and how many police, military and citizens do you want to see die to enforce this liberal utopia that you see at the top of the hill?.  I get the response, "What can you do against the U.S. Army with a deer rifle?" I snort  and use this analogy...
I commented"Most of the Police and military will not go along with this, they are from our communities and they live among us and we live among them, They know that if they start caving in doors to enforce the liberal edict that you want done, a lot of people will would up shot, and I recall a liberal think tank did an analysis to push through the agenda that the left wants, it will take 10% of the American population to pay the price to get the others to toe the line, and keep in mind, we tend to live in the rural areas and will survive better than you will.
Speaking of the NRA, several companies have cut ties with the organization, I am disturbed, these companies have caved to the craven Social Justice fanatics, this shows a distinct lack of spine, companies forget that SJW's are never happy and they will push and push until their agenda is met, then they will find another agenda leaving shattered lives and pissed off people wherever they go.

Here is a list of some of the companies that have cut ties with or distanced themselves from the NRA since the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.
  • United Airlines -- United tweeted Saturday, "United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website." 
  • Delta Air Lines -- Delta issued the following statement Saturday: "Delta is reaching out to the National Rifle Association to let it know we will be ending its contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from its website." 
  • First National Bank of Omaha -- The bank announced that it would not renew a co-branded Visa credit-card with the NRA.
  • The Hertz Corp. -- The rental car company ended its discount program for NRA members.
  • MetLife Inc. -- The insurer terminated discounts that had been offered to NRA members on the NRA website
  • Enterprise Holdings Inc. -- The car rental company that also owns Alamo and National cut off discounts for NRA members.
  • Symantec Corp. -- The software company that makes Norton Antivirus technology ended its discount program with the NRA.
  • Chubb Ltd. -- The insurer announced it was ending participation in the NRA's gun-owner insurance program, though it provided notice three months ago.
  • Best Western -- The hotel chain told multiple social media users that it was no longer affiliated with the NRA, though it did not say when that decision was made.
  • Wyndham Hotels -- The hotel chain told social media users it is no longer affiliated with the NRA without specifying when that decision was made.
The NRA released the following statement Saturday:
"The more than five million law-abiding members of the National Rifle Association have enjoyed discounts and cost-saving programs from many American corporations that have partnered with the NRA to expand member benefits.
"Since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, a number of companies have decided to sever their relationship with the NRA, in an effort to punish our members who are doctors, farmers, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, nurses, shop owners and school teachers that live in every American community.  We are men and women who represent every American ethnic group, every one of the world’s religions and every form of political commitment.
"The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement.
"Despite that, some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.  In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve.
"Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.

   CNN the paragon of American news has been pushing the gun control agenda and they have had several town-halls where they packed it full of kids with scripted questions..Marco Rubio and Dana Lorsch were ambushed by this, they had commented like it was an arena and that the CNN moderator had lost control of the events or didn't have it to begin with. 
     I shake my head with amazement when I hear about arming teachers...the ones that want to be armed.  We keep hearing that "the Police will protect them"....Really? like that assclown that disgraced his uniform and hid while the young man was shooting up his former classmates.   It is funny that the cloud people have private schools, armed security to protect their kids, but us "dirt people" all we have are "Gun free zones".

 The FBI, the local law enforcement and the social services all dropped the ball, people said something, and they got blown off by the FBI, the Broward County Sheriff office and the local social services, but we have to rely on these people to protect our kids?
  It is like our lives and our kids lives are not as valuable as theirs are.   We have to be disarmed but our "betters" have protection.   There is a real disconnect with our society, we are more polarized than I have ever see us, the 2016 election really drove that point home.  I am not sure if we as a nation will survive.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Winning is sometimes losing.....

The term Pyrrhic victory can be used where someone technically “wins”, or achieves their objective, but the cost makes the victory almost not worth the trouble. The term is most often applied to warfare where a victory is won, but at such a high cost to the victor that they may rethink their goals, or they may lose strategic advantages that lead to them ultimately losing the war they are in.
The ramifications of Pyrrhic victories could take several years to actually appear, or the victory could be costly but ultimately still lead to an overall victory. Here are a few key Pyrrhic victories of history.

280-275 BCE: Heraclea, Asculum, Beneventum

These three battles are lumped together because they represent the collective origin of the phrase “Pyrrhic victory”. The battles were part of the Pyrrhic War between the well-known general Pyrrhus of Epirus and the fledgling Roman state. Pyrrhus had invaded southeastern Italy and moved against the Romans, expecting his well-organized, professional army to make quick work of the almost barbarian and tribal Romans.

On the eve of the first battle, Pyrrhus was surprised when he saw the strict organization of the Romans marching camp and remarked that he was facing no mere barbarians. The ensuing battle of Heraclea was a decisive victory for Pyrrhus, who employed a tight phalanx formation with elephant charges. Though this win was complete, the Romans fought for a long time before they finally broke, causing disproportionally high casualties for Pyrrhus’ best troops.
The next battle of Asculum was a similar result; the Romans attempted to repulse the elephants with impressive war wagons but failed. The Romans withdrew to higher ground and fought on until both sides had to withdraw. The Romans definitely were worse off in the loss, but Pyrrhus lost thousands of men and many good officers.
When he was congratulated on his victory by one of his officers, he reportedly responded by saying: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined” (there are multiple varying translations).

Pyrrhus of Epirus.
Pyrrhus of Epirus.

Pyrrhus’ words would prove prophetic for, after a detouring campaign in Sicily, he fought the Romans again at Beneventum. The battle of Beneventum has been claimed as either inconclusive, a Roman victory and as a victory for Pyrrhus. The Romans were finally able to repulse the elephants and send them rampaging through Pyrrhus’ lines.

Pyrrhus could not take the Roman positions but seems to have maintained his army’s cohesion. In is likely that the battle resulted in over ten thousand casualties for Pyrrhus and nearly as many for the Romans. Pyrrhus simply could not expect to continue if this was the amount of loss he could expect for a battle that gave no real strategic gain and so he left Italy for good, leaving the Romans free to claim it as their own.

Pyrrhus' route and a depiction of the ROmans attempting to repulse one of the elephants.
Pyrrhus’ route and a depiction of the Romans attempting to repulse one of the elephants. Piom – CC BY-SA 3.0

480 BCE Thermopylae

Jumping back two centuries, the battle of Thermopylae was a Pyrrhic victory before the term even existed. Almost everyone has heard the basic story of the vast army of Persians being fended off by the 300 Spartans and their allies. Over the course of several days, a total of around 7,000 Greeks held out against the Persian Emperor Xerxes and caused heavy losses to his troops, including his many of his most elite fighters.
Xerxes seems to have had around 200,000 men and lost as many as 20,000 of them. He eventually trapped the Spartans and killed almost all of them (one Spartan and many of the other Greek allies escaped). The battle gave the Greeks hope, a feeling that though they were outnumbered, one Greek warrior was worth several of the best Persians.

Greek phalanx formation.
Greek phalanx formation.
The will of the Greek nations to continue the fight under all sorts of unfavorable circumstances was sparked by the engagement at the hot gates of Thermopylae. The battle cemented the reputation of the Spartans as the stoutest fighters in all the land and all of the Greek soldiers wanted to live up to their example.
The lone Spartan survivor was so ashamed of his survival that he went on an ultimately fatal rampage during the later Persian ousting at the battle of Plataea to reclaim his honor. The Persians could not hope to defeat such a unified and determined foe after Thermopylae.

1775 Bunker/Breed’s Hill

Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull.
Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull.
“A few more such victories would have shortly put an end to British dominion in America.”
These were the words of British General Henry Clinton after the battle of Bunker Hill.
Bunker Hill was a battle fought during the United Colonies’ siege of British-controlled Boston. In an effort to secure Boston harbor the British set out to take Bunker and Breed’s Hills which prompted their fortification by the besieging colonials. Breed’s Hill was heavily fortified and that is where many of the British regulars were sent.
The British landed largely unopposed on the peninsula and marched straight up as well as around Breed’s Hill. The fortified militia gunned down the tight British formations coming up the hill while the British attempting to circumvent the position were repulsed by hastily built, but effective fortifications.

the Battle of Bunker Hill was devestating to thearly British momentum during the war. the loss of so many officers was difficult to recover from especially as their home base was across the Atlantic.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was devastating to the early British momentum during the war. The loss of so many officers was difficult to recover from especially as their home base was across the Atlantic.
Three attacks were launched against the colonials with the British incurring heavy losses, particularly among the officers as they were specifically targeted. Eventually, the Colonials ran low on ammunition resulting in the iconic command “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” – though that may not have actually been said during the battle. Once the colonials ran completely out of ammunition they were repulsed by the British but led an orderly retreat out of the peninsula.
The British had won, but at the cost of over 1,000 killed or wounded, compared to less than 500 for the colonials. The British lost dozens of officers, including two majors and a lieutenant colonel. The battle was a loss for the colonials but gave them hope that they could stand up to the powerful and professional British army. The British were eventually forced out of Boston as well.

1939-40 The Winter War

Group of the Red Army with the captured flag of Finland.
Group of the Red Army with the captured flag of Finland.
They say you should never invade Russia in winter. Well, it could also be said, “never invade Finland in the winter.” Russia decided to do just that in late November 1939. The invasion started based on Russian claims to nearby territory and a desire to have protection for their city, Leningrad, so close to the border, though Russia may have had their sights set on conquering or controlling all of Finland.
Finland was given little hope at the outset; Russia had vastly greater numbers of men, aircraft, and tanks. The tide quickly turned as the Russians entered Finland. Though the war front was vast, there were few points where an army could realistically push through.
The Finns were at home in their harsh winter environment and used white camouflage as well as skis to ambush Russian columns either in sporadic incidents or as part of larger battles. The temperature dropped as low as -45 Fahrenheit and many Russians were seriously wounded or killed simply from frostbite.

A Finnish ski patrol, lying in the snow on the outskirts of a wood in Northern Finland, on the alert for Russian troops, 12 January 1940.
A Finnish ski patrol, lying in the snow on the outskirts of a wood in Northern Finland, on the alert for Russian troops, 12 January 1940.
Russian morale was terribly low while Finnish spirits were high. The Soviets were thwarted several times but eventually pushed through and forced peace talks. Russia ultimately gained a sizable chunk of Finnish land but paid a huge price in manpower as well as international reputation.
The Finns had a high amount of national pride, being able to at least preserve much of their small nation against the giant Soviet Union. Finland lost around 70,000 killed or wounded, but Russia lost over 300,000 men.  The Poor performance of the Soviets was noticed by Hitler and he started planning the attack on the Soviet Union in earnest.   Stalin also noticed the poor performance of his armies and the results of the purges of 1937 and 1938 where the cream of the officer corp was decimated where political connections mattered more than actual tactical abilities and leadership, this was driven home when the Germans invaded in 1941 in operation Barbarossa and decimated the Red armies. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The incompetant commanders of the Boer War

I read a book recommended by Peter and name of the book was ""Three Sips of Gin" and it talked about some of the exploits of the Rhodesian Bush war and the aftermath.  The book was very good and I got a chuckle out of the term "FlatDog" a term used by the Rhodesians for "Crocodiles".  I had known a bit before and it did expand my knowledge.  I knew some of the stories because I read a lot of "Soldier of Fortune",  and the Rhodesian bush war was a big part of the magazine in the late 70's and early 80's.  

  Now I wish I still had all those magazines, but when you are a teenager, you don't think of stuff like that.   I did some more reading and rolled with it.

This exerpt is from "Wiki"
The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, South African War or Anglo-Boer South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms.
The war started with the British overconfident and under-prepared.[11] The Boers were very well armed and struck first, besieging Ladysmith, Kimberley, and Mafeking in early 1900, and winning important battles at Colenso, Magersfontein and Stormberg. Staggered, the British brought in large numbers of soldiers and fought back. General Redvers Buller was replaced by Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener. They relieved the three besieged cities, and invaded the two Boer republics in late 1900. The onward marches of the British Army were so overwhelming that the Boers did not fight staged battles in defence of their homeland. The British quickly seized control of all of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, as the civilian leadership went into hiding or exile. In conventional terms, the war was over. The British officially annexed the two countries in 1900, and called a "khaki election" to give the government another six years of power in London. British military efforts were aided by Cape Colony, the Colony of Natal and some native African allies, and further supported by volunteers from the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, Canada, India and New Zealand. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion in them was largely hostile to the British.Inside the UK and its Empire there also was significant opposition to the Second Boer War.
The Boers refused to surrender. They reverted to guerrilla warfare under new generals Louis Botha, Jan Smuts, Christiaan de Wet and Koos de la Rey. Two more years of surprise attacks and quick escapes followed. As guerrillas without uniforms, the Boer fighters easily blended into the farmlands, which provided hiding places, supplies, and horses. The UK's solution was to set up complex nets of block houses, strong points, and barbed wire fences, partitioning off the entire conquered territory. The civilian farmers were relocated into concentration camps, where very large proportions died of disease,[citation needed] especially the children, who mostly lacked immunities. Then British mounted infantry units systematically tracked down the highly mobile Boer guerrilla units. The battles at this stage were small operations with few combat casualties (most of the dead were victims of disease). The war ended in surrender and British terms with the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. The British successfully won over the Boer leaders, who now gave full support to the new political system. Both former republics were incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910, which Boers controlled.
Boer Militia at Spion Kop
“The Boers are not like the Sudanese, who stood up to a fair fight. They are always running away on their little ponies.”
– General Kitchener, 1900
The Second Boer War (1899-1902) was a grueling campaign which the British won despite their commanders rather than because of them. British commanders were in general of a poor quality in the war. Faced with Boer guerrillas fighting a careful, tenacious campaign for freedom from Britain, the forces of the empire would have struggled at first even under forward-looking and capable officers. Instead, they were repeatedly led by men of stunning ineptitude, who cost many brave men their lives and probably prolonged the war.

1. General Sir Redvers “Reverse” Buller

Once an excellent major, General Buller had been promoted far beyond his abilities. He had also been away from the action, having not commanded any troops between 1887 and 1899. He was put in charge of the British expeditionary force to put down the Boers.
With little grasp of his mission, Buller failed to direct the officers beneath him, even promoting the terrible General Warren. Buller’s undoing came in December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso. There he failed to identify where the Boer troops were, despite hurling artillery shells against the hillsides to try to drive them out. His advancing columns were devastated by the dispersed Boer riflemen. In this action, some field guns were abandoned.
Becoming obsessed with retrieving a set of field guns, Buller lost track of the big picture. By the time he gave in and retreated at eleven in the morning he had lost 1,139 men, compared with around 40 casualties on the Boer side.

Photo of Victoria Cross recipient Redvers Henry Buller.

His setbacks earned the general the nickname “Reverse Buller” among his men

2. General William “Backacher” Gatacre

Major-general William Forbes Gatacre
The bearer of another unfortunate nickname was General Gatacre. He was called “Backacher” by his unhappy troops.
Gatacre’s most notable disaster was when he tried to launch a surprise raid to seize the Stormberg railway junction. Taking 2,700 men on a hard night march, he failed to bring the one man who knew the terrain, leading his troops to become hopelessly lost.
At dawn, Boer soldiers found themselves looking down a sheer cliff face at the lost British below. They opened fire, and those British soldiers brave enough to try climbing the rock face soon found it impossible. As his men fled, Gatacre ordered a retreat that descended into chaos. 600 men were left behind, not having been given the fallback order. Surrounded by the Boers, these men surrendered, while Gatacre ran off to lick his wounds.

3. General Lord Methuen

Lord Methuen, circa 1902 (Public Domain / Wikipedia)
Lord Methuen, circa 1902
Approaching a hill near Magersfontein, Lord Methuen concluded that it was defended by Boers and took the sensible decision to bombard it before advancing. Unfortunately, he failed to find out where the Boers were before putting his artillery into action. A rain of shells fell on the top of the hill while the Boers sat safely dug in in trenches at the bottom.
Believing he had shaken the defenders, Methuen ordered an advance by the Black Watch through a moonless night of pouring rain. As dawn broke, the soaked Scots found themselves marching in close formation towards the bottom of the hill. From 400 yards away the Boers opened fire.
Most of the Highlanders leapt for the inadequate cover of bushes and anthills. The heat of the African sun and the bites of the insects added to their misery as they lay trapped. When the Light Infantry panicked and ran many of them were shot down from behind.
Of 3,500 men who advanced, 902 were killed or wounded.

4. General Sir Charles Warren

Charles Warren carbon print portrait by Herbert Rose Barraud of London
Following Colenso, Buller was reinforced by troops under General Warren, who had spent the previous year in retirement. While crossing the Tugela, Warren spent so much time supervising the crossing of his own baggage that the 600 Boer defenders grew to ten times that number.
Buller made Warren commander at the Battle of Spion Kop. Neither Buller nor Warren ordered proper reconnaissance of the hill they were planning to attack. With little purpose, plan or information, Warren ordered General Woodgate – a man even Buller considered stupid – to lead an advance. He gave Woodgate neither machine guns nor a telegraph team to keep in touch.
Ill-equipped and ill-informed, Woodgate and his men fought their way to what they thought was the top of the hill, but was actually a plateau mid-way up. The Boers took the ridges and rained down death from three sides upon the British, who could not even dig in on the rocky ground.
It was nine hours before Warren thought to send reinforcements, by which time Woodgate was dead and his men in retreat. When a war correspondent named Winston Churchill had urged Warren to act earlier in the day, Warren had ordered him arrested in a fit of rage.

5. Colonel Charles Long

Buller’s failings at Colenso were compounded by his subordinates below him, including Colonel Long.
Long was an old-school officer who believed that “the only way to smash those beggars is to rush in at ‘em”. Ordered to keep his horse artillery at least two and a half miles back, Long instead ordered them to gallop forwards, leaving behind the infantry meant to protect them.  A thousand yards from the Tugela River, Long set up his guns in what he considered a pleasingly straight line and began firing at the Boers across the river.
This close, Long’s men were defenceless in the face of a thousand Boer rifles. After an hour’s firing, with no ammunition left and no cover to hide behind, they were forced to retreat, leaving behind the guns, which were later used by the Boers against the British.

6. Major-General Hart

Herbert Hart, in the uniform of a brigadier general (Public Domain / Wikipedia)
Herbert Hart, in the uniform of a brigadier general
Not to be outdone, another of the officers at Colenso, Major-General Hart, ordered his men to advance towards the enemy in close order in broad daylight. Unable to cross the swollen Tugela, he kept moving along it despite warnings from other officers of Boers all along the far bank. Surrounded on three sides by Boers, the British came under deadly fire. As his officers tried to move their men into open formations, and so reduce their losses, Hart ordered them back into close order and as a result he Boers were able to pick off many British soldiers with their rifles.
Of 1,139 British casualties at Colenso, 532 – nearly half – were from Hart’s brigade.
The Boer War turned into a bloody conflict. If the British Army had been properly led, then it would have been shorter and far less bloody.
Geoffrey Regan (1991), The Guinness Book of Military Blunders.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Monday Music "Modern Day Delilah" Van Stephenson

I have been real busy...well today's "Monday Music will be on Tuesday, well it happens.  I had a rare day off off and rather spending it behind a computer, I was spending time with the family, priorities I suppose.   I had gone shopping and saw this for the first time...

Yes I parked there, it is the first time I had seen something like that.  I thought it was pretty neat.

  Well anyway I heard this song as one of the "Lost hits" that Sirius/XM plays on the "80's" channel and I remember the song back in 1984 and I thought it was pretty catchy and the video was pretty good, but the song faded away and I forgot about it until Sirius/XM played it and it was "Dang, I remember that song."   I had a bit of problem finding any real information on the song or the video.

 Van Stephenson was born in Hamilton, Ohio but moved to Nashville, Tennessee when he was ten years old, and played in garage bands as a teenager. He graduated from seminary school and wrote songs on the side in the 1970s; his first chart hit as a songwriter was for Crystal Gayle, who cracked the US country Top Ten with his "Your Kisses Will" in 1979. Stephenson went on to write hits for Kenny Rogers, Dan Seals, Janie Fricke, and John Anderson. Partnering with Dave Robbins, Stephenson wrote a string of hits for Restless Heart, and would continue to work with Robbins later in his career.
Stephenson landed a recording contract of his own with Handshake Records, through which he released his first solo album, China Girl in 1981.

 He later signed with MCA, and his second album, Righteous Anger was released in 1984. He scored big on the Billboard charts with "Modern Day Delilah" peaking at No. 22, and a second hit, "What the Big Girls Do" peaked at No. 45. Righteous Anger charted at No. 54 on the Billboard 200, but his follow-up 1986 disc, Suspicious Heart, did not chart, nor did its lead single, "We're Doing Alright." It also included two songs featured on movie soundtracks: "Make It Glamorous" from the 1984 film The Wild Life and "No Secrets" from the 1985 film Secret Admirer. Stephenson returned to songwriting duties until the early 1990s, when he became one-third of BlackHawk, a successful country group, through the end of the decade. In February 1999, Stephenson was diagnosed with melanoma and underwent surgery. He left the group in February 2000 to continue battling the cancer, but he died on the morning of April 8, 2001 as a result of the disease.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Opinion why there are school shootings.....

When I was in high school in the early 80's, we would have kids go to school with rifles in the back of their pickup trucks, especially during hunting season,  The older generation remember rifle teams in the schools gun ranges under a structured environment and it was understood that you don't bring then to class.  What has changed when I was a kid to today..?
     The kids have changed, not the guns, you can or could get a lot of firepower when you wanted to, especially back then.  The AR platform has been around since the 60's  What has changed...?    It is not the guns, it is the kids or society in general that has changed, back then if you had issues with another kid, you handled it on the playground..and kids went to the playground to burn off excess energy.  Some of my fondest memories of elementary school was playing soccer with my classmates and we went back into class feeling good because we burned off some of that excess energy that all kids have and we also bonded with our classmates.  Now there is no playground and to control the natural energy, they push medication.    Also back in the day kids knew their roles in society, now you have several generations of boys that are told that "they are evil" and that all the ills of society are their fault, I hear the term "Toxic Masculinity" used so much.  Boys have no hope, when you are told since elementary school that you are "evil" and responsible for all the bad things of society and that you have to atone for all the imagined slights and sins of your gender and treated as a potential rapist and especially if you are a white boy, you have the added sin of your race to "atone" for..Boys can't be boys, girls want to be boys and you don't know which bathroom to use.  That is a hell of a burden to dump on a kid.
    You also have parents that no longer parent, but want to be "the kids best friend", that isn't our role as parents...our job is to prepare the next generation to succeed and to be honorable productive members of society.  When I was in school, if I screwed up, the teacher notified my parents and I caught hell,  I make jokes about being a wooden spoon survivor but today the parents will support the kid no matter what against the teacher and this erodes the authority of the teacher and the principal.
    Kids today have not been taught to respect authority and to avoid repercussions of their decisions.  This is a corrosive effect on the kids mental well being.  a kid has to have definite boundaries set, that is the job of the parents to instill the"Rules to live by" in a polite society.
     You have boys being raised by single moms because the destruction of the nuclear family which has been proven through generations of struggle is the most stable for raising kids.  Now you have single moms raising kids because the fathers left and a big reason is that there is no longer a stigma attached to fathering kids and booking. Also there is no stigma for moms having multiple kids through multiple fathers for "benefits".  This all is destructive and corrosive to the kids mental well being, you have a generation of feral boys running around with no positive male role model influence for the sons. 
    Now people will still "blame guns" because it is easier to blame an inanimate object that has no soul and no morality and the soul or morality of the use depends on the makeup of the user.  This goes where blaming an individual for doing a bad thing is not acceptable anymore, it is easier to blame "something" rather than "someone" for the evil in their heart.
    I call it "no longer believing in God", call it what you will, but when people no longer believe in a higher power than the here and now is all that matters and the future no longer is a concern.  We as a society have fallen from grace and no longer believe and the results are in front of us.  We as a society glorify poor behavior, disrespect for each other, violence to each other and poor manners.
    I don't know what it will take to change it, but screaming "Gun control" ain't going to fix it, the problems are much deeper and slapping a band-aid on the problem will not solve it.  The kid, I will not use his name broke a slew of laws and adding another one will not solve the problem and stop the evil in a persons heart. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The 2 American Fighter Pilots During Pearl Harbor...

I remembered this story when I first started reading on WWII especially the Pacific war and Pearl Harbor was where I started at and I remembered reading about Welch and Taylor and their attack on the Japanese Armada and it was one of the few bright spots on a day filled with errors and goofs by the Americans.  The thought of lining up all the P40's in straight rows and made them easy targets for the Japanese Zero fighters that were amazed by the vision they saw.  That the radar tower picked up the armada and was discounted and other errors that were committed by the Americans.  the Japanese committed mistakes also, the biggest was their timing of declaring war after the attack was a great dishonor and infuriated the already angry Americans and the ramifications were felt all the way to Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  And also that Admiral Nagumo not the best choice as an admiral of the Japanese strife force lost his nerve and didn't order the 3rd wave that would have targeted the repair facilities and the fuel farms that would have really crippled the U.S efforts afterwards. 

The nuances of military history are often lost to the passage of time and with the men who could give first-hand accounts.  As much as training and battle play a significant role in the story of war, so does the camaraderie built through nights of recreation and if rumor has it, a beverage or two, or three.
While there were no breathalyzers on the day to confirm the fact, by these two particular men’s admission, they had spent the night of December 6th, 1941 drinking heavily and had little to no sleep when the Japanese launched the most brutal surprise attack in American history. But that didn’t stop them from loading up into two P-40 fighters without orders and taking on the brunt of a massive Japanese assault.
This is a story the world knows whether it realizes it or not.  It was loosely depicted in the 2001 movie Pearl Harbor with the story of these two men played by Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett.  And while that particular movie was certainly full of its typically Hollywood artistic liberties, the 1970 movie Tora, Tora, Tora would be a much more accurate portrayal.

But make no mistake about it, two audacious men took to the skies against the mightiest air assault America has ever known.

The attack on December 7th, 1941 took place on a Sunday.  Which means for many on the island, particularly those stationed there, a typical Saturday night was all that separated them from that day and one which would live in infamy.
Returning to the barracks, 2nd Lieutenants George Welch and Ken Taylor of the 15th pursuit group had just returned from an epic night of partying and poker playing. To be musing about the nights activities one minute and watching the Japanese attack the next must have been a remarkably sobering sight.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor
The Japanese attacked in two waves with over 350 fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes from 6 different aircraft carriers.  The target was the American Pacific fleet most of which was anchored at Pearl Harbor when the attack began.
When it was over, 8 US battleships would be sunk or heavily damaged along with three light cruisers and three destroyers.  A total of 188 US aircraft were destroyed in the attack as well, mostly sitting wing to wing on the ground.  But that doesn’t mean a few brave fighters didn’t take to the sky to give the Japanese a little taste of what was to come in this long war they had just begun.

As Wheeler Air Field had become a primary target for the Japanese, Welch called out to Haleiwa Airfield to have to have two P-40 aircraft fueled and ready because two pilots were coming in hot.  Potentially a little drunk and hungover, but coming in hot all the same.
They sped to the airfield in their Buick and quickly mounted the planes without orders to do simply what they could.  The P-40s were initially only armed with .30 caliber ammo for the wing guns, but to these two men, that was enough to get started.

After they took off, they headed towards Barber’s Point at the southwest tip of Oahu, and initially saw an unarmed group of American B-17 Flying Fortress bombers arriving from the mainland United States. They soon arrived at Ewa Mooring Mast Field, which was being strafed by at least 12 Aichi D3A “Val” dive bombers of the second Japanese attack wave after expending their bomb ordinance at Pearl Harbor.
Although the two pilots were outnumbered six-to-one, they immediately began firing on the dive bombers. Taylor shot down two dive bombers and was able to damage another (the third damaged aircraft was considered Taylor’s first probable kill).
The two men continued to circle the skies fighting what targets presented themselves until they needed to return to base for more ammunition and fuel.  Returning to Wheeler under the threat of friendly anti-aircraft fire, they sought to refuel and load up with the more potent .50 caliber ammunition for the nose-mount synchronized machine guns too.
When they returned to Wheeler, the .50 caliber ammunition was, unfortunately, residing in a burning hanger.  Yet, two brave mechanics headed into the inferno in order to save the ammunition.
With extra firepower, Welch and Taylor took to the skies again to take on the second wave of fighters and bombers. Taylor headed for a group of Japanese aircraft, and due to a combination of clouds and smoke, he unintentionally entered the middle of the formation of seven or eight A6M Zeros.
A Japanese rear-gunner from a dive bomber fired at Taylor’s aircraft and one of the bullets came within an inch of Taylor’s head and exploded in the cockpit. One piece went through his left arm and shrapnel entered his leg. Welch shot down the dive bomber aircraft that had injured Taylor, and Taylor damaged another aircraft (his second probable kill) before pulling away to assist Welch with a pursuing A6M Zero fighter.
The Zero and the rest of its formation soon broke off the pursuit and left to return to their carriers as Taylor neared Welch. Taylor continued to fire on several Japanese aircraft until he ran out of ammunition. Both pilots headed back to Haleiwa.
The attack was over and when it was done four planes would be claimed shot down by these two young Lieutenants with others damaged.  With the overwhelming odds they faced, each man could have easily claimed after the first sortie that they had done all they could.
Yet, each man insisted on returning to the sky for additional runs. They did so without orders from their superiors and in fact, some accounts have them denying the request of a higher officer to remain on the ground.  For their actions that day, each man was nominated for the Medal of Honor but were only awarded the Distinguished Serve Cross instead.

Staying in the War

After Pearl Harbor, Welch was initially tasked with giving war bond speeches to support the war effort while Taylor was assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron where he would go on to get additional air to air kills.  Ken Taylor would later be wounded in an air raid at Guadalcanal and be sent home to train US pilots.
After the war, he remained in the service and became an officer in the newly formed United States Air Force.  He retired at the rank of Colonel.
Taylor and Welch shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack
Welch’s story would be a little more tragic. In 1944, he resigned his commission to become a test pilot for some of America’s newly evolving jet aircraft.  While instructing and training American pilots on these new aircraft in the Korean War, it was reported that Welch scored several MiG kills in direct disobedience to orders while “supervising” his students.
However, in 1954 while test piloting an F-100 Super Sabre, the plane broke up in mid-air ultimately resulting in his death.  Welch would go on to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
While the fate of these two men would take separate courses after the war, what they accomplished together in the skies over Pearl Harbor inspired a nation.  They proved from early on that America was ready for a fight and the iconic words of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto to be true.
For when he said, “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve,” it would be because men like Welch and Taylor were determined to make that so.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The WWI allied Soldier that saved Hitler?

I ran across this story a while back, I remembered hearing about it years ago then forgot about it  and it cropped up again.  I can understand showing mercy to an vanquished enemy, it is a human thing to do, it shows mercy, a unique trait to humans.  There is something that says that "we are human, we have honor" and to attack and kill a vanquished foe is dishonorable to many soldiers, especially to Western based soldiers.  You just get tired of killing and decide not to do it that day. 

The History of War will always be about that which we know for certain, that which we have reason to believe, and that which will always be lost to myth and the passage of time.
It is certain that men of war take the most inexplicable stories with them when they fall in combat.  But from time to time, a story survives and persists that while unproven, would have literally altered the course of mankind were it true.
Thankfully for us today, such a dubious story is intertwined with a historically proven recipient of the Victoria Cross.  So let us take a journey into World War I heroism and you can decide where history ends and a drastically different alternative future begins.

Henry Tandey
Pte Henry Tandey Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Victoria Cross recipient Henry Tandey is a legitimate hero of war and the most highly decorated British Private of the first World War. Born in 1891 and having spent some time growing up in an orphanage, Tandey would enlist in the Green Howards Regiment of the British Army in 1910.
Before the outbreak of World War I, Tandey would serve in Guernsey and South Africa with the Green Howard’s 2nd Battalion.  When war broke out in Europe, he would immediately find himself in the action.
He participated in the Battle of Ypres in 1914 and was subsequently wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.  After a recovery in the hospital, we was later assigned to 3rd Battalion in May of 1917.  He was later wounded yet again during the Battle of Passchendaele in November of that year before returning to duty in January of 1918.
And while he undoubtedly fought honorably during the prior four years, it would seem that 1918 was the year he was marked for exceptional bravery and conspicuous gallantry.

via wikipedia.org
Going Over the Top
As the war entered its final months in August of 1918, he would see action at the 2nd Battle of Cambrai where he dashed across the dreaded no man’s land of World War 1 with two others to bomb a German trench.  He came back with 20 German prisoners and was awarded the Distinguished Combat Medal as a result.

Later in September, he participated in an attack at Havrincourt where he would once again brave heavy fire to bomb German trenches and return with more prisoners.  For this action, he was awarded the Military Medal.
On September 28th, he was involved in another action at a canal near Marcoing, France when his platoon began to receive heavy machine gun fire.  Tandey took a Lewis gun team, crawled forward under the fire and took out the German position.
Once he reached the canal, he helped restore a plank bridge under intense enemy fire.  Later that night, when he and his men were surrounded by the enemy, he led a bayonet charge that freed his men and sent the enemy running into the direction of the rest of his company.
For his actions that day, he was awarded the Victoria Cross and became Britain’s most decorated Private of World War 1.  And were the story to stop there, it would be enough to own its place in the halls of history.
It is a documented fact that Adolf Hitler fought in World War 1 and was wounded on a couple of occasions.  With such a controversial and powerful figure who undoubtedly attempted to write his own narrative of his war experience, separating fact from fiction can be more difficult than it would seem.
But out of this historical chaos comes the inexplicable story that would have Adolf Hitler and Henry Tandey cross paths.  But more than cross paths, it would indicate that a wounded Hitler wandered in front of Tandey’s sights only for Tandey to spare the most evil man of the 20th century.

via wikipedia.org Hitler on the Far Right in WW1
Hitler on the Far Right in WW1
As the story goes, in late 1918, after being wounded in battle, a young Hitler stumbled across the battlefield only to see a British soldier with every opportunity to kill him.  With the British soldier recognizing that the wounded man didn’t even raise his rifle, he let him pass.  The wounded Hitler waved at the British soldier and what seemed like a random act of compassion in the midst of a brutal war would be lost to history as one of the common untold stories.
As newspapers reported the historic exploits of Henry Tandey, it is reported that Adolf Hitler recognized him as the man who spared him on the battlefield on that fateful day.  Many years later as Hitler would rise to power in Germany, he came in possession of a painting that was reportedly of a Tandey carrying a wounded comrade.
When Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler in 1937 for the negotiations that led to the Munich Pact, he noticed the painting where Hitler mused that it was the man who had spared him so long ago.  He asked that Chamberlain pay his regards to Tandey and in an instant, a British Victoria Cross recipient would be forever tied to Hitler.

Further analysis of the report would prove the account unlikely.  However, the story simply will not go away and as the passage of time moves on it carries with it a more cemented place in history.  We know that Hitler served in World War 1 and was wounded on multiple occasions, the last of which was a gas attack.

The young Hitler was reportedly in a hospital recovering from his wounds when he was informed of the armistice and Germany’s surrender.

via wikipedia.org
Hitler in WWI, before he adopted his signature mustache
What is beyond a shadow of a doubt is that some British men had the opportunity to kill Hitler in World War 1 and for whatever reason, he survived. It may very well be that Hitler in his arrogance attempted to tie himself to one of Britain’s war heroes from the war by referencing Tandey.
Hitler would survive the Great War and then in a few short decades go on to set the entire world in flames. But for a well-placed shot or the random luck of an indiscriminate artillery shell, the future could have been much different.
So why is it so hard to believe that the man who spared Hitler was a British War hero?  Fact, fiction, and myth.  Perhaps the world will never fully know one of the great stories lost to the passage of time.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Another School Shooting...updated..

 I bumped a history post until tomorrow for this post.  I have another week of Historical post loaded on the scheduler thingie because I knew that my schedule was going to be crazy and I didn't want my blog to be silent.

Yesterday we had this twatwaffle.....

I removed the pic of the guy I had on the blog, apparently the early reports were in error and I don't like to put out incorrect information...My bad

   As you can tell, he also is a supporter of Antifa and some of the other left wing fringe groups.    The reason I am putting this out there is to prevent his past from being sanitized so they can insert whatever they want and I have already seen the facebook blow up with the usual suspects immediately pushing for gun control.  Funny that he kills a bunch of kids and lets himself get arrested, I guess he wants to be a martyr for the cause...whatever that cause is.  

 And the strange thing is that the same crowd pushing for gun control are the same group that blew off discussions about the 2 times deported illegal that killed NFL player Edwin Jackson and his uber driver had no problems hoisting the still warm bodies of dead kids to support their agenda.

   I am totally disgusted and flat out will not get into a debate with anybody on gun control...To me gun control is evil and totally against natural law for allowing me to defend myself. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Some of the Causes of WWI

I know a lot about WWII and if you knew history, you knew that the seeds of WWII were set by WWI, and people realized that and ended WWII and acted differently like the Marshall plan to help Germany and Western Europe rebuild after WWII, an act that in my opinion prevented any chance of WWIII being "European Based". 

The First World War was a conflict of unprecedented scale and destructiveness. Though its impact was unexpected, the arrival of war itself was not. Though it was decades since Europe’s great powers had fought each other, and a century since they had come together in a single war, many factors contributed to a sense that war was coming and that no-one could stop it.
That sense of inevitability was one reason why war came. But it did not come out of nowhere.

The Alliance System

Webs of international alliances had been a feature of European diplomacy since the Middle Ages. In the 16th century, the web of marriages that solidified those alliances was so incestuous that it increased infertility among the aristocracy. By the 20th century, such marriages were less important, but the alliances were still vital.

These alliances were defensive measures, a way for each country to ensure it had friends on its side. They also ensured that, if war broke out between two of the continent’s major powers, everyone else would soon be drawn in.

The Arms Race

Much like alliances, countries invested in more and more effective weapons for the sake of their security and international influence. This led to conflicts, as nations sought to stay on top.
Germany and Britain, in particular, were in a naval arms race, as the young nation of Germany sought to match the largest navy in the world. For nations with land borders, growing armies caused immediate tensions. Any country would naturally become nervous about an army growing next door, and whether it might have been built to cross their borders.

1909 cartoon in Puck shows (clockwise) US, Germany, Britain, France and Japan engaged in naval race in a "no limit" game.
1909 cartoon in Puck shows (clockwise) US, Germany, Britain, France and Japan engaged in naval race in a “no limit” game.

It is possible that, as David Herrman has argued, the arms race created an impression that time was running out for anyone to win a war against their neighbours’ armies, encouraging nations to act while they had the chance.

Spheres of Influence

An extension of the alliance system, spheres of local influence created crisis points. Some regions were dominated by a single power, but others were disputed through diplomacy and support for local powers.

The flashpoint for the war came in the Balkans, where Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottomans were all vying to gain the upper hand through the proxy of governments and opposition groups. But the spark of violence could easily have come in other places.

Imperial Rivalry

499X2mme^PC8A shocked mandarin in Manchu robes in the back, with Queen Victoria (United Kingdom), Wilhelm II (Germany), Nicholas II (Russia), Marianne (France), and Emperor Meiji (Japan) discussing how to cut up a king cake with Chine ("China" in French) written on it.
A shocked mandarin in Manchu robes in the back, with Queen Victoria (United Kingdom), Wilhelm II (Germany), Nicholas II (Russia), Marianne (France), and Emperor Meiji (Japan) discussing how to cut up a king cake with Chine (“China” in French) written on it.
The most widespread spheres of influence were colonies outside of Europe though here a different sort of politics applied. The European powers were invested in grabbing territory with no regard for who already lived there.
Colonialism brought prestige as well as political and economic power. This led to some ugly rivalries, the Scramble for Africa, in particular, setting the British, French and Germans against each other. And so, as they looked nervously at each others’ armies, the great powers also greedily eyed their competitors’ colonies and considered which they could most easily seize.

Nationalism and Social Darwinism

Nationalism was a relatively young phenomenon, having come into its own in the 19th century. It contributed to the war in many ways. Two are particularly notable.
Firstly, the prominent nationalism of the great powers encouraged nationalism in other ethnic and cultural groups. Serbian nationalists carried out the attack that launched the war. The ideal of a free and powerful homeland set people with different views of where borders should be at each others’ throats.
Secondly, nationalism became influenced by Social Darwinism – the idea that violent competition between nations was inevitable, leading to advancement through survival of the fittest. Some saw this as the positive side of the war. For others, it made war itself a positive.

French Revanchism

French Emperor Napoleon III (left) as prisoner of Bismarck (right) in the Franco-Prussian War (Wikipedia)
French Emperor Napoleon III (left) as prisoner of Bismarck (right) in the Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 united Germany through the shared joy of victory. For the French it created a very different shared experience, one that would drive French international policy for the next forty years – bitterness and resentment.
Revanchism – a political outlook that revenge on Germany and the recovery of lands lost in the war – became hugely influential in France. By 1914, many saw revenge not just as good but as necessary. Hostility toward Germany was almost a necessity for success in French politics.

German Politics

Helmuth von Moltke the Younger
Helmuth von Moltke the Younger
In Germany too, domestic politics tended toward international war. A rising tide of liberals and left-wingers, especially in the 1912 elections, made the conservative aristocracy nervous. War was a way to remind people of the values of traditional values, whipping up a national spirit.

Primacy of Offensive Warfare

Military thinking in 1914 was radically different from where it would be four years later. Strategists believed that increasingly destructive weapons would give the advantage to offensive tactics. Those put on the defensive were likely to lose.
This meant that the militaries of the great powers all wanted to be the first into action. If war came, they needed to be the attackers, not the defenders. The best way to do that was to start the war themselves, rather than to wait for the enemy to invade.
The Schlieffen Plan

Schlieffen Plan
One strategy, in particular, would ensure that the war engulfed the whole continent, and that was the Schlieffen plan. The German General Staff under Count & General Alfred von Schlieffen had developed three plans for going to war – two against France and Russia, one just against France. There was no plan for just fighting the Russians.
When war came with Russia, the Germans, therefore, had two choices – attack France first, following the Schlieffen plan in an attempt to knock out the threat in the west, and guaranteeing French involvement; or abandon the plan, leaving them unprepared to attack France if that country became involved. Believing in the superiority of their planning, and the benefits of offensive strategy, the Germans went to war with France, and the stage was set for terrible destruction.