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 on: October 03, 2018, 11:49:33 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
You can hear a sound recording of it. In German. In Heinrich Himmler's own measured, non-emotional voice. You can learn that he gave three variants of the same speech to three different audiences: His SS leadership, the senior leadership of the German Army, and the Gauleiters and Reichsleiters of the NSDAP. And you hear the Reichsfuehrer SS openly and candidly speaking about one of the Reich's most horrible undertakings, the Holocaust.

The speeches were made at Posen on 4 OCT 1944, and on at least one other date. The one recorded was the one Himmler gave to his Higher SS and Police Leaders, Hauptamt officers and to his Obergruppen and Gruppenfuehrers. In it Himmler speaks plainly of the work of his Einsatzgruppen in Russia, talks of men seeing tens, hundreds and thousands of bodies stacked like cord wood, bragging that committing these crimes "while remaining decent" had made the SS 'hard'. If anyone doubted the "Final Solution" and the mass murder of Slavs had taken place, Himmler disabused them of their error. The question was 'Why'.

The timing of the speeches was key, as was the fact that Himmler made the same general speech to three disparate groups.

By October 1943, two facts regarding the Second World War in Europe had taken place. the first was that Nazi Germany was losing the war. the trainwreck at Stalingrad had not been redeemed at the Battle of Kursk. The Germans were now on the defensive, and they knew it. The second was FDR's demand for unconditional surrender by the Axis powers. Himmler's speeches were quite clearly designed to tell the listeners that: [a] the regime they served had committed, and was committing monstrous crimes, and , as servants of that regime, they were accomplices in those crimes and could expect no mercy from the Allies. In short, it was both a notice, and a call to fight on, even if victory was gone.

One can argue whether the 'unconditional surrender' plea, and the Posen speech caused the Germans to fight on until the bitter end. What one cannot argue with is that a historical record of Nazi war crimes, and the holocaust, straight from the mouth of its chief architect, went into the historical record on 4 OCT 1943.

 on: October 03, 2018, 11:31:02 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.20

 on: October 03, 2018, 10:07:12 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
It's known as the 'shot heard round the world'. It is probably baseball's greatest walk off home run. And it capped a 'wild and crazy' season for the New York Giants.

The season, up to mid-August didn't go well for the Giants. they were over 13 games behind their New York National League rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers. And there was no 162 game schedule or 'wild card' slots. things looked bleak. But then the giants won 16 straight, and went on to tie the dodgers for the League lead [there were no divisions, either]. A three game playoff followed.

The Giants and Dodgers split the first two games.In the third game, the Giants were down by three in the bottom of the ninth. They scratched out a run, and then with two on, one out, reliever Ralph Branca threw one to Bobby Thomson [the count was one strike] that Thomson drove out of the park. The Giants won the pennant 5-4 [which was especially sweet for their manager, Leo Durocher, who had been the Dodgers' manager earlier].

Long after that epic game, it came to light that the Giants had been stealing signs. Ralph Branca, who had become the goat of the game [and a trivia question] was not pleased. It temporarily damaged his friendship with Thomson.

And the 1951 National League Champion Giants? They faced THAT other New York baseball team in the Series. The Giants took the first game.

The Yankees swept the next four, winning their third World Series in a row, on their way to winning five straight.

 on: October 03, 2018, 09:50:25 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
If you were asked how many Army generals died in all the Indian Wars, and said 'one', you'd be correct. If you said that general was Custer, you'd be wrong [Custer died as a Lieutenant colonel]. The correct answer would be Edward S. Canby. And Canby died in a place that doesn't fit the image, northeast California/ southwest Oregon, and in a manner that also didn't fit the image. He was murdered at a peace parlay.

The Modocs were hunter-gatherers in northern California. In 1864, they signed a treaty with the United  States and were relocated to the Klamath Reservation in southwest Oregon. But the Klamaths didn't want them, and relations soured. the Modocs left the reservation, and returned to their homeland. The problem was white settlers had moved into the area, and under pressure, theArmy moved in tio take the Modocs back to the reservation.

The Modoc chief, Captain Jack, wanted peace. He had promised there would be no conflict with the settlers. But Modoc hardliners forced his hand. Captain Jack led the Modocs to war.

Although the number of Modoc warriors was small [50+ or-], they had a natural advantage working for them - the lava beds on the fringes of Tule Lake. The Modocs, who used that area extensively for natural resources, knew every nook, cranny and fissure of those basalt bastions. And they used them to good advantage.

The Modocs held the Army off for six months. And then a peace parley was agreed upon. And while the Americans acted in good faith, the Modocs did not. Hotheads forced Captain Jack to agree to kill the head of the American delegation, Major General Edwin Canby during the conference. Jack did just that [a second peace commissioner was also killed, a third wounded, although he escaped with his life].

Canby's murder was a major miscalculation by the Modocs. The Army's campaign went from somewhat muted to full out attack. Americans were outraged at Canby's murder. It only took two months, from April, when Canby died until June [when Jack and his men were finally all captured] to end the war.

The Modoc tribe was sent to Oklahoma as prisoners of war [until 1909]. Some were then allowed to return to their ancestral homeland, while others chose to remain on the Shawnee reservationwhere they had lived since their exile.

And Captain Jack? He was hanged, with three accomplices on October 3, 1873.

There was a movie made about the Modoc War back in the 50s-early 60s. I don't remember the title. I believe it starred Alan Ladd [I'm not sure], but I know Captain Jack was played by Charles Bronson.

 on: October 01, 2018, 04:58:29 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive,p. 6

 on: October 01, 2018, 04:47:53 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.20

 on: October 01, 2018, 12:11:46 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
It was the outcome of one of the most shameful "conferences" of all time. It was hosted by one Fascist dictator to help another. It involved the cession of territory from a country that wasn't even part of the conference. And when it was over, it bought time for the western allies to prepare for a war they just about guaranteed would happen. It's remembered as the Munich Pact.

Adolf Hitler was a hypocondriac [among other things].  And Hitler was convinced he wouldn't make it past 50 [1939]. So by the mid-thirties, he was restless - for war, so he could begin the territorial expansion at the heart of his ideology. But Hitler started smart, targeting areas where Germans lived: the Rhineland, the Saar, Alsace-Lorraine, territories where he could sell his aggression as just gathering Germans severed by Versailles home.

But Hitler's focus, and heart were in the East, specifically the U.S.S.R. And to get there, he needed a common border with the Soviets. That gave him three targets with Germans in them: Czechoslovakia, Poland and Memel. The first target selected was Czechoslovakia. The entire western rim of the country was populated by the Sudeten Germans. And their territory included most of the Czech fortifications facing the Reich, and the Skoda arms works.

So the Reich trotted out the playbook that they had used before, with some new wrinkles. There was the usual demand for Germans to be returned to the Reich. There was carefully orchestrated and choreographed reportage of outrages against the Sudetens, and their desire to join the Reich. Their  leaders, under instructions from Berlin, were never to agree with any compromise with the central government. Because this time, Hitler had added something to the playbook. He wanted War.

The plan was 'Case Green'. And it called on the German Army to crush the border defenses, and occupy all of Czecholovakia, while at the same time fending off Czechoslovakia's ally in the West, France [and presumably Britain]. The thought of zweifruntenkrieg paralyzed the German General Staff, which was also nonplussed by the modern, and extensive defensive lines facing them, the Chief of the General Staff, Beck, began plotting a military overthrow of the Nazi government, and had quite a few generals who were amenable to the idea.

But then Neville Chamberlain went to see Hitler, because the British DIDN'T want war. Neither did the French, although they were more willing to fight for Czechoslovakia than the British were. After a couple of flights to Germany, Chamberlain got his conference, ostensibly under the leadership of Benito Mussolini, but with Hitler pulling the strings.

And Hitler was in a strong position. The Czechs, like the Poles to follow, refused to let Soviet troops on their territory to confront the Germans. That meant their only potential aid was from the West [Their local neighbors, Poland and Hungary would participate in the subsequent dismemberment of the rest of Czecholovakia in 1939]. and the West didn't care. didn't care to the point of excluding the Czechs from the conference itself.

When it was over, Chamberlain got his little piece of paper that said "Peace in our time", i.e no further territorial demands from Germany. Hitler got the Sudetenland, the fortifications and the Skoda works. He also got Beck's resignation, and the shattering of any Army thought of overthrowing him. He got a Soviet Union that gave up on collective security, and would prove much more receptive to doing a deal with hitler within the year.

Within a year, Hitler turned on Poland, demanding Danzig and the return of the Polish Corridor. He would seize Memel, and the rest of the Czech area of Czechoslovakia granting 'independence' to Father Tiso's fascist run Slovakia. And with the seizure of "Bohemia-Moravia", Hitler finally tipped his hand. there were no Germans in that 'Protectorate'.

That seizure steeled British resolve to defend Poland [with the French Army]. Britain gave the Poles unqualified support in the case of Nazi aggression. That led the Poles to refuse troops from the U.S.S.R. on Polish soil [The Germans would have no problem with that], and to refuse German offers, bribes, and threats.

The end result? On 1 SEP 1939, Germany invaded Poland. At 11:00 A.M. on September 3rd, Hitler got his wish. Britain and France declared war on him. By 30 SEP, it was over. Germany turned west, away from its now common border with the Soviet Union.

 on: September 30, 2018, 11:36:59 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
George Herman "Babe" Ruth, in the last game of the 1927 season hits one off the Senators that makes the seat, giving Ruth his 60th Home Run for the season, and breaking his previous record of 59 dingers for one season.

Ruth had come to the Yankees in 1920, courtesy of Red Sox owner Harry Frazee. Ruth had been the star left handed PITCHER on the Sox, setting a record of 29+ shutout innings in World Series baseball [The Red Sox won four or five Series before Ruth was traded], which stood until Whitey ford broke it.

With the Yankees, Ruth's bat was more important to the team than his pitching [although he started or relieved at least five games during his Yankees' tenure], and he began hitting more home runs than the entire Red Sox roster, and, on occasion, the rest of the American League. In 1921, Ruth's second season in pinstripes [which the Yankees adapted to make Ruth look slimmer. They also were the first team to introduce numbers on the jerseys, based on batting order], he hit 59 homers. While his home run production remained outstanding, he never approached that number again until 1927, when after hitting 17 homers in September, he tied his old mark on Sept. 29th. and broke it on the 30th.

Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player in history. No other pitcher did as well as he, AND hit home runs like he did, or set the records he did. and no 'slugger' pitched over 29 shutout world Series innings in their careers. No one has ever matched the "Sultan of Swat", "the Bambino", or simply "The Babe".

 on: September 28, 2018, 12:19:42 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
Uncle Joe Stalin and Adolf Hitler make the final territorial adjustments in the division of Poland, and the Baltic states, first agreed upon in the Secret Protocols to the Nazi-Soviet Non Aggression Pact hammered out the previous month.

The dividing line in Poland will be the Bug river, which moves the German held part of Poland further east than originally agreed upon. In return Hitler gives Stalin not merely influence over, but occupation of,Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Strains will appear in the alliance almost immediately. the Germans observe the letter of the agreement when Stalin attacks Finland in November, although they are not happy about it. They even deny sending weapons, or allowing weapons to be sent from other countries to Finland.But they are not pleased. and Stalin's troops miserable performance is noted by both Hitler and the German General Staff.

In the Spring of 1940, when the Soviets demand two provinces from Romania, Hitler again acquiesces, with his invasions of Norway and the West on the table, but Stalin's violation of the Pact [Romania is a German satrapy], and the proximity of the areas Stalin now occupies to the Ploesti Oil fields [Hitler's principal source for the petroleum for his planes and Panzers], turns Hitler's thoughts to the eventual war in the East he intends to launch, and moves up both his intention to unleash that war, and the planning for it.

 on: September 28, 2018, 12:06:14 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p. 20

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