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Author Topic: PzLdr History Facts  (Read 16474 times)
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PzLdr
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« Reply #285 on: September 21, 2017, 03:20:23 pm »

He had been one of the great heroes of the Revolution: Ticonderoga, Lake Champlain, Saratoga. He was arguably America's finest field commander. But he had an overweening sense of honor, enemies in the Army and the Congress, huge debts, and a loyalist wife. His name was Benedict Arnold.

Arnold was also one of Washington's favorite subordinates. And after having to reprimand Arnold, at the direction of Congress for his military governorship of Philadelphia [Arnold's wounds from Saratoga had left him with one leg shorter than the other, and a limp for life], Washington was willing to give him anything. And after Arnold declined a major field command in the Continental Army, he gave Arnold what he wanted. command of West Point.

Arnold's request might have seemed a bit odd. Arnold's career to that point had shown a proven combat commander with great organizational and tactical skills, but a weakness for administration. But West Point was extremely important, strategically, commanding the Hudson River at a critical point and denying the British travel up towards Albany. So from Washington's point of view it was not a bad choice. From Arnold's it was even better.

Because Arnold, through the good offices of his wife, and her ex-swain [and current Intelligence chief for General Sir Henry Clinton, commanding General of British forces in America], was negotiating with Clinton to betray his post, and defect, handing over West Point, and all its troops to Clinton, in return for a cash renumeration, and a commission in the British Army.

How Arnold had arrived at this point was an epic in itself. Denied compensation for monies spent, bypassed for promotion by officers with less stellar records and seniority than himself, investigation and reprimanded over his dealings as military governor of Philadelphia, Arnold was ripe for the blandishments of his young wife, Margaret 'Peggy' Shippen, the spoiled daughter of a well known Tory family.

Andre journeyed to the West Point area to work out the details, and 'seal the deal'. He left with the plans of West Point in his boot, and a pass signed by Arnold to allow him to pass through the lines. But he was captured by a patriot patrol/ band of robbers [no one is sure which], the plans were found, and word was sent to West Point, where Arnold was awaiting  a visit from Gen. Washington. Tipped off that Andre had been captured, Arnold fled to H.M.S. VULTURE, and then to New York City. Playing the part of the overwrought and surprised wife, Peggy was sent to her family in Philadelphia. But Philadelphia wanted nothing to do with her, and shipped to Arnold in New York.

Arnold was now a British Brigadier General, who Clinton thought would raise an American Legion to fight for Arnold and the British He was sadly mistaken]. Andre was now in captivity, and having been captured in civilian clothes was awaiting trial and execution as a spy. Washington offered to trade him for Arnold. Clinton declined. And despite blustering threats from Arnold, importunement from Clinton, and the pleas of some of his own officers, Washington hanged Andre.

Arnold went on to lead British troops in Virginia [He almost captured Gov. Thomas Jefferson], and Connecticut [he burned down New Haven]. After the war he lived in London and Canada, returning to his pre-Revolutionary life as a trader/ businessman. But supposedly, no British officer would speak to him except in line of duty while he served, and he was not popular in British society.

Arnold died in some poverty. When his wife died, the locket she wore contained some of John Andre's hair. Four of Arnold's sons served in the British Army. none showed the talent for war their father did. but then again, none showed his talent for treason.

The only known monument to Benedict Arnold in the United States stands on the Saratoga battlefield. It is a plinth topped by a marble boot, located where Arnold's horse fell on, and crushed, his leg. It bears no name.
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« Reply #286 on: September 22, 2017, 10:53:19 am »

He was born in Munich, a son of a school teacher. His godfather [Himmler was a Roman Catholic] was the Wittlesbach prince of Bavaria. He rose to power second only to Hitler's in the Third Reich, oversaw some of the most horrific crimes of the 20th century, and was dead, by suicide, at the age of 45.

Himmler's lifelong dream was to be a soldier, and he was an officer candidate at the end of WW I. But Himmler never saw any action, and was discharged with the coming of peace.

Himmler then attended university, pursuing a degree in agriculture. He met and married an older woman, a nurse, and married. With his wife's savings, he purchased a poultry farm at Waldtrudling. He also worked for a fertilizer company.

But Himmler was also active in right wing politics. Active to the degree that as part of the Reichskriegflagge, he participated in the Nazi Beer Hall Putsch, serving under Ernst Roehm [there's a picture of him, with a group of fellow armed men outside the military building they had seized. Himmler is the one holding the flag].

After the return of Adolf Hitler from prison, Himmler became active in the Bavarian pasrty, as an organizer, propagandist, and eventually Deputy Gauleiter. the party, and Hitler, appreciated his organizational skills, and his hard work. Harder to swallow were his romantic theories on Germany's ancient history, the racial theories of the Aryans, and the paranormal.

Nonetheless, in 1929, Heinrich Himmler was made first, Deputy Reichsfuehrer of the SS, and then its Reichsfuehrer. It was a job he held in practice, until his death [Hitler ordered his replacement from the Bunker, but it was never implemented.

The SS had started as a select group of Nazis in each district, tasked with protecting Adolf Hitler, and eventually others. But Himmler decided it was not only to be an elite formation, akin to the Hohenzollerns 'Life Guards', but a racial elite as well. He tightened enlistment criteria, required candidates to furnish family histories into the 19th century for enlisted men, and the 18th century for officer candidates. And he began expanding the role of the SS in the Third Reich.

One of Himmler's first moves was to set up an SS Intelligence Service, which became, by Fuehrer Decree, the ONLY intelligence service in the Nazi Party. He then placed a new recruit, Reinhard Heydrich, specifically recruited for the job, in charge of that department [the SS SD].

The with the ascension to power of Hitler, Himmler began accruing the command of the various German state police departments [with Heydrich along as either Deputy commander, or chief of the Political Police section. By 1936, Himmler was Germany's first [and only] Chief of the National Police.

But Himmler didn't restrict himself to police work. He established the SS Race and Resettlement Office. He also took control of a growing number of Concentration camps, and established the SS Totenkopf ['Death's Head'] regiments to staff the camps, appointing Theodor Eicke as the Inspector General of the Camps.

The 30s were a busy time for Himmler. He helped orchestrate the Night of the long Knives, and hi SS men furnished the executioners and assassins that carried out the murders ordered by Himmler, Goering, Heydrich and Hitler. He may or may not have been involved in Heydrich's plan to bring about a purge of the Soviet military leadership through forged documents. He WAS involved in the increasingly stricter enforcement of anti- Jewish policy, and was an active participant in the Anschluss of Austria [He and Heydrich were in Vienna before Hitler was]. It was in Vienna that the SS set up [and ran] a Central Office for the Emigration of the Jewish population, under Adolf Eichmann]. It was also in Vienna that anti-Semitic actions took place.

The SS was also in the front for the annexation of the Sudetenland, and the absorption of the rest of the Czech lands. And it was there that the SS perfected the use of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos [mixed, ad hoc formations of police, SD, Gestapo and other units] in occupation, arrests and executions.

By 1939, Himmler's empire and responsibilities had grown. He ran the police and security of the Reich, via the RSHA, captained by Heydrich, and consisting of the Sicherheitspolizei [the Gestapo, Kriminalpolizei and SD], the Ordnungspolizei [uniformed police , which included uniformed police regiments], and the Death's Head regiments [the camps]. He commanded a military force of his own, the Waffen SS, consisting of the 1st SS regiment ["LEIBSTANDARTE SS ADOLF HITLER"], and the SS VERGUNGESTRUPPE Division [eventually the 2d SS Panzer division "DAS REICH"], as well as a cavalry regiment.

Additionally, he had been made Reichskomissar for Germaness, and was going to be responsible for the forcible evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Poles from areas taken from them in the Polish campaign, and the resettlement of Volksdeutsch from the USSR and other countries in their place.

And then their were Heydrich's pets, five Einsatzgruppen sent in behind the German Armies when they attacked Poland to kill any potential leadership for a Polish resistance, including priests, teachers, intellectuals, etc. And, the Jews.

The SS's record in Poland was so bad, he Army demanded court martials, and the military governor, blaskowitz, wrote directly to hitler to complain.

The result was Hitler pardoned all the accused, and turned Poland's governance over to Hans Frank, and civil authority, relieving Blaskowitz of his command [and never promoting him again].

As the war progressed, Himmler's power grew, and so did his areas of responsibility , and the size of the SS. The Waffen SS eventually numbered just shy of a million men in some 37 divisional size, or smaller, formations. the number of camps and their guards grew at a staggering rate. The Sicherheitspolizei expanded far beyond the Reich's borders, and their powers grew via such devices as the "NACHT UND NEBEL" ['Night and fog'] decree. Four Einsatzgruppen followed the German Army into the USSR, and within a year had murdered a million Jews.

For Himmler's Deputy, Heydrich, had been tasked by Goering with the final solution of the Jewish Problem, and the SS solution was extermination. And Himmler was in it up to his elbows [He personally ordered Rudolf Hoess to set up the camp at Auschwitz, and viewed at least one gassing there]. With the final solution, the SS turned to industrial scale murder, and Himmler oversaw it all. Nor did the crimes stop there. There was the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto [ordered by Himmler], the destruction of Warsaw in 1944 after the Home Army's revolt.

And still Himmler climbed. In 1943, he became Interior Minister. After 20 July, he became commander of the Replacement Army. Eventually, he finally achieved his childhood dream, and became commander of Army Group Vistula. He was a disaster.

Himmler had enough self-realization to understand by mid to late 1944 that the war was lost. And he began to trim his sails accordingly. He sent emissaries to offer Jewish lives for war equipment [trucks]. He ordered the suspension of gassings [He had already ordered the disinterment and burning of the millions of corpses in the path of the Red Army. He ordered the Death Camps evacuated, and the prisoners marched west.

But in 1945, Himmler took the final, irrevocable steps. After leaving the bunker on Hitler's birthday, he attempted to open negotiations with Eisenhower to bring about a peace - with Himmler in charge of Germany. when hitler found out, he ordered Himmler removed from all his offices, and arrested and shot. But Hitler's writ was limited to the Bunker and Berlin, and Himmler avoided punishment - from Hitler, at least.

Himmler went on the run, disguised as a member of the Feldgarmerie, the German Field Police. Unfortunately for Himmler, he didn't realize that the SS had taken control of thse units in 1944, and all members were subject to Allied arrests and interrogations.

Captured by the British, Himmler, when it was realized who he was, took cyanide, and died. He was buried in an unmarked grave on the Luneburg Heath.

So who was he? The racial romantic who sent expeditions to Tibet to prove the Tibetans were Aryans? Tthe mystic crackpot of Wewelsburg castle who sent men all over Europe looking for the holy Grail? Or the Race warrior determined to purify the German bloodlines with fire and death?

He was all of these, and more. He was, unfortunately a first rate administrator and organizer with an unbelievable capacity for work, a rare ability to spot talent, and a will to see all his [and his Fuehrer's] crackpot ideas through, from conception to execution. And he was also a traitor, not only to humanity and the civilization from which he sprung, but also to the man and movement he led.Himmler had promised his men that he alone would take responsibility for the acts they had carried out in his name. The motto of the SS was 'MEINE EHRE HEISST TREUE', "My Honor Is Loyalty'. Himmler betrayed that oath, his men, and the man he has sworn loyalty to.

He is one of the great mass murderers in history, and a truly despicable human being.
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« Reply #287 on: September 27, 2017, 09:42:43 am »

It was founded by a Polish nobleman who was fervent Bolshevik [Feliks Dzherzinsky]. It was commanded, in its heyday by a dildo collector [Yagoda], a 'dwarf' [Yehzov], and a Georgian child rapist [Lavrenti Beria]. It was founded to carry out the 'Red Terror' after Fanny Kaplan's attempt on the life of Lenin. And it grew to be 'state within a state' that made the German SS pale in comparison. And as the Soviet Union slid into its twilight, its then Chairman, Yuri Andropov became the leader of the soviet Union. It went through various names and acronyms, including GPU, OGPO, NKVD, and KGB. But throughout its existence, its members were most often referred to as "Chekisty" - Chekists. And it still exists in present day Russia, under another title. And Russia is again ruled by one of its own.

The Cheka was founded by 'Iron' Feliks Dzherzinsky. He led it through its formative years, and the Red Terror. But the Cheka was not merely a Gestapo. It also combined the function of counter-intelligence in its work. And at that it was brilliantly successful [see Reilly, King of Spies]. But the Cheka and its successors was much, much more. The CHEKA/GPU/OGPU/NKVD/KGB achieved centralization Reinhard Heydrich only dreamed about.  It controlled the vast number of prison camps called the Gulag [the German camps were not under police control]. It controlled the border guards [the SA did in Germany], It controlled all of the intelligence gathering function, except that wielded to a far less degree by the GRU [Red Army intelligence]. And it became both the tool of, and symbol for, the waves of terror that swept over Russian from the civil War onward.

It was the Cheka that played a leading role in the Holdomar, by surrounding and searching the southern USSR for grain to be sold for machinery. It was the Cheka that supervised construction [with hand tools] of such Stalinist absurdities as the White Sea Canal. It was the Ckeka with their blue hats, that arrested the millions devoured by Stalin's purges, and murdered hundreds and thousands of the victims of those purges. It was "the organs" as they were called that murdered over 20,000 Poles captured in the opening days of WW II - when the USSR was Nazi Germany's ally. It was the Organs that supervised the hell that was the Kolyma gold mines and the rest of the gulag. It was mostly the organs that penetrated numerous spies into the countries of the USSR's allies [see the "Cambridge Five" and Great Britain], and it was the now NKVD that oversaw the stealing of America's atomic bomb secrets from los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Great Britain.

The Cheka, now KGB, continued to be "The Sword and Shield" of the Party. The conducted, or supported, assassinations of their, and other Warsaw Pact countries [read Bulgaria] enemies, real or perceived. And they ate their own. Yagoda was tried, executed, and replaced by Yezhov. Yezhov, who presided over the great purges of the '30s [the period was known as the 'Yezhovchina'] was tried, executed and replaced by Beria [who was killed in the turnover after Stalin's death]. And countless lesser security officers wound up in the gulag, or the grave, many as suicides.

The Organs played a major role in the suppression of the risings in East Germany and Hungary. One of their own was General Secretary shortly before Gorbachev [Andropov].

And while Iron Feliks' statue outside the Lubyanka was torn down, the building and its occupants, the latest in a bloodsoaked line that goes back to Dzherzinsky's blood stained hands, are still there. Under another acronym, but still there.
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« Reply #288 on: September 28, 2017, 10:34:05 am »

1941: Ted Williams finishes the season as what turns out to be the last player to hit .400. The Philadelphia Athletics let Williams know they will pitch to him, and not walk him purposely [He starts the first game of a doubleheader hitting less than .400]. Williams goes 6 for 8 in the two games and finishes the season at.406. He does not, however, win the MVP. that honor goes to New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio for his 56 game hitting streak.

1960: In his last at bat in the Major Leagues, Ted Williams caps his awesome career with a home run. Williams ends his career with 521 home runs, a career.344 BA, 2,654 hits, two Triple Crowns [1942, 1947], two MVPs [1946, 1949], and 17 All-Star appearances.
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« Reply #289 on: September 28, 2017, 11:16:37 am »

48 B.C:

Pompey Gnaeus [Pompey the Great], Roman general and leader of the senatorial forces opposed to Julius Caesar, is murdered when he steps ashore, in Egypt, by Pharaonic troops.

Pompey had fled to Egypt in the hopes of securing Ptolemaic support against Caesar after his crushing defeat by the latter at Pharsalus, in Greece.

Pompey had been one of the giants of the late Republic. A general of great stature, he was most renowned for sweeping the Mediterranean of pirates in an operation taking less than a year, in playing a prominent role in putting down the Spartacist Slave Revolt, and for conducting victorious military campaigns in the East.

A one-time son-in-law of Caesar [his wife died before the two men fell out], Pompey was a member of the First Triumvirate [with Caesar and Marcus Lucinius Crassus] that effectively ruled Rome in the late Republic. But by51 B.C. Caesar and Pompey had fallen out [Crassus had been killed by the Parthians at Carrhae], and when the Senate ordered Caesar to appear in the cityto answer charges, and Caesar crossed the Rubicon with the XIIIth Legion, an act of rebellion, Pompey assumed command of the Roman forces opposed to Caesar.

Unfortunately for the   Republican forces [and Pompey], they had never met a blitzkrieg like Caesar. Moving at speed, he first hustled the opposition out of Rome, and then out of Italy. and while Pompey trained new legions in Greece, Caesar marched west and destroyed Pompey's troops and support in Spain. then turning east, Caesar invaded Greece, and after maneuvering and inconclusive battle, Caesar met Pompey at Pharsalus, and inflicted a crushing loss on him. Pompey then fled to Egypt - and his doom.

Caesar arrived in Egypt hot on Pompey's heels. The Egyptians presented him with Pompey's head. If they were looking for thanks and rejoicing, they were wrong. Caesar was outraged. He then recovered what of Pompey he could, and gave it an honorable funeral. while the civil War was not over, the Republicans had lost their finest field commander. and what remained stood no chance against the military genius of Caius Julius Caesar.


1066:

William, duke of Normandy and claimant to the throne of Edward the confessor of England, lands unopposed at Pevensy, on the south coast of England.

William had been waiting on the coast of Normandy, his dukedom, for weeks, but winds from the north, and northeast had kept his ships in port. In England, meanwhile, the English Army, under Harold Godwinson, the king elected by the English, waited for the attack. But events, his brother Tostig, and the most legendary Viking of the Age, Harold Haadrada, king of Norway, drew him northeast when William failed to appear.

Tostig, challenging his brother's right to rule, had allied with Haadrada, and joined in an invasion of eastern England, centered on the old Viking power center of York. York fell, but the Viking army stayed in the region too long. Unaware until it was too late, they were caught camped on both sides of a river by Harold [with most of their arms and armor in York]. Haadrada managed to get his men on the same side of the river, and a lone Berserker held Stanford Bridge [and held up Harold's army] for almost an hour, during which he singlehandedly killed 40 Britons. Eventually, the Berserker was killed by a spearman under the bridge, and although weapons and armor had arrived,  the Vikings were in disarray, and like most of the day were caught wrong footed. Harold slaughtered almost all of them including Haadrada and Tostig], leaving only a few survivors to return to Norway as a warning. He then marched back south, having learned of William's landing, and consolidation of his beachhead. The two would meet at Hastings.

1918: The What Ifs of History.

After the British drive German troops from the village of Marcoing, Private Henry Tandey sees a wounded German crossing in front of him. Since the German is wounded, Tandey declines to shoot him, and lets him pass unmolested. In recognition of the deed, the German waves. And so it rests until the Hitler-Chamberlain meetings of 1938 leading up to the Munich Pact.

The first meeting takes place at the Berghof, and one of the things Hitler does is show Chamberlain a copy of a then well known painting of Tandey at Marcoing [Tandey won the V there]. Hitler then tells Chamberlain that the man in the painting spared his life at that battle.

Learning who Tandey is, Hitler wrote him a letter, reminiscing about the battle and their encounter. With the advent of WW II, Tandey has reason to regret his chivalry. for if he pulled the trigger in 1918...
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« Reply #290 on: September 29, 2017, 08:03:34 am »

It took until September 1941 for Germany's Army Group South to capture Kiev, capital of the Ukrainian S.S.R. But the withdrawing soviet troops and NKVD troops still managed to booby trap major buildings with delayed fuse booby traps and time bombs. And when they exploded, the damage, and injuries were severe. But working on the premise of never letting a catastrophe go to waste, the Germans decided use the event as an excuse for their genocidal actions against the Jews of the area.

The timing for the Jewish people, couldn't have been much worse, because in August, Himmler had ordered a change in the missions of the Einsatzgruppen. Initially after the invasion, the SS killing formations were tasked with killing only adult Jewish males. the women and children were not murdered. But Himmler changed that. So by September, the SS were killing ALL the Jews who fell into their hands. And there were a great number of Jews in Kiev when Einsatzgruppe 'C' rolled into town.

To the northeast of Kiev was a gully/ gorge called Babi Yar, used by the locals as a garbage dump. Both the Higher SS leader for Southern Russia, SS Gruppenfuehrer Friedrich Jaeckeln, and one of the Einsatzgruppen's Sonderkommando C.Os, SS Standartenfuehrer Paul Blobel, thought it made an excellent location for one of their 'special actions'. And Kiev was soon awash with posters ordering its Jewish residents to form up on a street in the northern part of the city for 'resettlement'.

There was no resettlement in the normal sense of the word. Moved by, and surrounded by, an increasingly large contingent of guards, the Jews were marched to Babi Yar, where they were first stripped of their clothing, and then marched to an area largely encircled by higher ground. It was at that point that they were lined up and shot, with SS descending to the lower ground to administer the coup de grace for anyone not already dead. No one really knows if Jaeckeln and Blobel were fully aware of how many Jews were in Kiev, and would respond to the assembly order, but they became aware soon enough.

The shootings went on for three days. And by the end of those three days, some 33,000 + Jewish men, women and children were dead in Babi Yar. It was the largest single murder of Jews pre-Death Camp, and most likely exceeded, for a three day period, even those hell holes. And it began on 29 SEP 1941.
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« Reply #291 on: October 01, 2017, 10:18:07 am »

In the 4th inning of the last regular season game of 1961, Tracy Stollard of the Boston Red Sox served up a pitch to Yankees right fielder Roger Maris that sailed into the right field stands. And with that pitch, and that hit, Maris' 61st home run,Maris broke a record set in 1927 by another Yankees right fielder, George Herman 'Babe' Ruth - 60 home runs in a single season.

The entire '61 season had been legendary. the Yankees rampaged through the league on their way to their second straight League Championship , after failing to win in '59 [to the white Sox], although they had been League Champions from '49 to '53, and '55 to '58 and World champions from '49 through '53, '56, '58 and '60.

But '61 featured the pursuit of the crown jewel of Yankee lore, Ruth's 60 HR by not one, but two Yankees, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. And it didn't hurt attendance that the '61 Yankees would set a team HR record that would last for years [the Yankees carried three catchers, Howard, Berra and Blanchard that year that hit 60 HR between them]. That year it rained baseballs.

But the centerpiece of the season was Mantle and Maris, the Yankee favorite [in his 10th full season], and the two year acquisition from the K.C. Athletics. And then in September, Mantle, with 54 HRs had to drop out of the competition, because of an abcess on his hip and Maris soldiered on alone, under increasing pressure, and sadly, fan abuse from Yankees fans who had wanted Mantle to break the record.

Even after hitting his 61st, Maris was deprived of the recognition he deserved. For one thing, his record overshadowed his all around abilit8ies as a ball player. He was an outstanding defensive right fielder, and an intelligent base runner. His BA was solid. not .300, but solid. And the baseball commissioner, Ford Frick a reporter/ Babe Ruth groupie in his youth, decreed that Maris' record be noted with an asterisk next to it, because he had hit # 61 in 162, not 154 games [Frick overlooked the fact that Maris hit his 61st in less  at bats than Ruth hit his 60].

Maris played a few more seasons with the Yankees and was then traded to the Cardinals, where he finished his career. His HR came to the fore again with Mark Maguire's breaking of the record. A film '*61' was made by Billy Crystal to commemorate that magic season.
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« Reply #292 on: October 02, 2017, 03:11:48 pm »

1941: Ted Williams finishes the season as what turns out to be the last player to hit .400. The Philadelphia Athletics let Williams know they will pitch to him, and not walk him purposely [He starts the first game of a doubleheader hitting less than .400]. Williams goes 6 for 8 in the two games and finishes the season at.406. He does not, however, win the MVP. that honor goes to New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio for his 56 game hitting streak.

1960: In his last at bat in the Major Leagues, Ted Williams caps his awesome career with a home run. Williams ends his career with 521 home runs, a career.344 BA, 2,654 hits, two Triple Crowns [1942, 1947], two MVPs [1946, 1949], and 17 All-Star appearances.

Wow I knew he was good, but not that good!
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« Reply #293 on: October 02, 2017, 06:49:16 pm »

Wow I knew he was good, but not that good!

 I met him in 1961. He gave me an autographed ball [I still have it[, even though I was a Yankee fan. Saw him play quite a bit when I was young.
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« Reply #294 on: October 04, 2017, 10:46:29 am »

Their name was shorthand for the Club's original name, "The Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers", and in the Golden Age of Baseball, they were one of THREE teams in greater New York, The New York Giants [the polo Grounds, in Manhattan], the Dodgers [Ebbetts Field, in Brooklyn], both National League Teams, and the Yankees [ Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx], the sole representative in the American League.

The Dodgers were a powerhouse in the National League. In fact, they played the Yankees in five World Series in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953. The dodgers lost all five.  So in 1955, the Dodgers squared off with the Yankees again, with their fans usual mixture of hope and resignation. They were a solid team, with Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Sandy Amorose, Junior Gilliam, Duke Snyder, and pitchers like clem Labine, Donj Newcombe, and Johnny Podres [they also had a somewhat wild youngster named Sandy Koufax]. But they faced Mickey Mantle, Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer, Yogi Berra, Gil McDougal, Billy Martin, and Elston Howard, plus pitchers like Whitey Ford, and Tommy Byrne.

The Dodgers dropped the first two games of the Series at the Stadium, but took the next three at home. They lost Game Six in the Bronx, forcing Game Seven. And in a combination of great play, Casey Stengel 'genius' [He pulled Byrne who had only given up three hits for a reliever who the Dodgers feasted on], and a touch of luck [plus Podres' great 7 innings plus pitching, and a great play by Amoros, doubling up the Yankees, and ending a threat on their part], the 'Bums' won their first series in New York [I still remember the front page of the "DAILY NEWS"].

The next year, it was back to business as usual. the Dodgers faced the Yankees. The Yankees beat them. It was the last time the teams would meet in an intra-city rivalry. The next year the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, and the Giants to San Francisco, leaving the Yankees as the only New York baseball team until the advent of the Mets in 1962.

The L.
A. Dodgers went on to face, and beat, the Yankees in 1963, and 1981. They lost to the Yankees in 1977, and 1978. But it wasn't the same as when 'Dem Bums' lived and played in Brooklyn.

Bonus Points:

Q: Which were the three Beer sponsors of the New York baseball teams in the 50s?

A: Ballantine [the Yankees], Rheingold [The Giants], Schaefer [The Dodgers]
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« Reply #295 on: October 05, 2017, 09:55:56 am »

They were distant cousins of Frank and Jesse James. They had originally been U.S Marshals, following in the steps of another brother, but the tedious and grueling work, and low pay found them sliding into a life of crime, first cattle rustling, then horse theft, and then train and bank robberies. they were the Dalton brothers, Bob, Grat, Emmett and Bill. And for almost two years they were the terror of the Oklahoma region. But it all came to a crashing end on October 5, 1892, when the Daltons decided to rob two banks at once, in Coffeyville, Kansas.

No one is sure why the Daltons decided to try for two banks at once. Some believed bob Dalton sought to surpass anything his relative Jesse James had ever accomplished or even attempted. Most questioned why the gang chose Coffeyville, since the Daltons had lived there in their youth and the risk of identification was a distinct possibility [The Daltons were concerned enough to wear false beards as a disguise]. And the gang split over whether or not to attempt the robbery. Among those who declined to participate were Bill Doolin, and Bill Dalton. So when the gang rode into Coffeyville, there were only five men: Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton, Emmet Dalton, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers.

they left their horses in an alley, and walked to the two banks, with Bob and  Emmett going to one, and Grat, Broadwell and Powers going to the other. BUT, the Daltons had been recognized. The alarm went out, and the townsmen gathered, bringing their own weapons, or being armed by the owner of the hardware store.

When the gang exited the banks, they ran into a wall of fire. Even those that got to their horses were shot to pieces. when the smoke cleared, four townsmen were dead. but so were Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers. The only gang member to survive was Emmett Dalton, and he was sentenced to life in prison [he served 14 years, and was then pardoned].

And although not in the way he had intended, if he did so, Bob Dalton did surpass one of Jesse James' feats. He lost almost all of his gang, and his own and one brother's life, at Coffeyville, which was a lot worse than Jesse suffered at Northfield.
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« Reply #296 on: October 05, 2017, 10:18:05 am »

The New York Yankees cap a half decade of excellence, winning their fifth straight World Series and National championship, by beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in six games.

The hero of the Series was Yankees second baseman Billy Martin, who hit .500 in the Series, including a couple of homers, a couple of triples and a double.

In winning their 5th title in five years [which no team had done before, nor done since], the Yankees surpassed the four consecutive Series wins of the 1936-1939 Yankees.

The Yankess would go, over the next 11 years, to play in the 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963,  and 1964 World Series. They would win the Series again in 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962.
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« Reply #297 on: October 07, 2017, 10:32:18 am »

It had begun promisingly enough. after stalemate in New England, abandonment of Philadelphia and New Jersey, and defeat at Saratoga, the British government thrashed about for a new strategy to win the war. what they came up with was an old strategy in a new place - the Southern Colonies.

The British Army had invaded New Jersey, in large part, because of the belief that the legions of Loyalists in the State would flock to the colors, and enroll in Loyalist regiments to help the British and Hessians fight the American forces. They were mistaken. and whatever possibilities that strategy might have had, ended when the British Army and the Hessians withdrew from the state, leaving its Loyalists to the mercy of the Patriots.

Howe tried the same approach the next year when he invaded Pennsylvania and seized the capitol of the state and Congress, Philadelphia. and while loyalists were more than willing to party with the British, and trade with them, again few flocked to the colors.

And then came Saratoga. While Howe was swanning about in Pennsylvania, "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne was getting his headed handed to him in upstate New York, losing his army in the effort [While Howe's deputy, Henry Clinton saw the looming debacle clearly, Howe hamstrung him for giving Burgoyne meaningful aid. That action resulted in the failure of the 1777 campaign, France's making an alliance with the United states, the loss of Burgoyne's army, and the relief of Howe as Commander-in-Chief.

Clinton succeeded his boss. Rather like Cassandra, Clinton proffered excellent advice that was seldom heeded. and when it was [Long Island], the British won. When it wasn't [Pre-Breed's Hill, the battles for Manhattan, the deployment of troops in New Jersey, how to support Burgoyne], the British generally either lost, or failed to crush the Americans.

So as a commander with insufficient troops to conquer America, Clinton cast about for a way to force the Americans to sue for peace, to add to the numbers of troops available to campaign [looking for Loyalists again]. He settled on a southern strategy. Except for troops necessary to defend New York City from Washington, the troops in Rhode Island, and some raiding parties, Clinton took the bulk of his forces to the South.

At first the campaign went exceptionally well. Clinton took both Savannah and Columbia. He then returned to New York city [and his mistress], leaving the field command in the very capable hands of Gen. Charles Cornwallis.

But the southern war proved to be multi-layered. In addition to regular troops and militia, the Patriots produced guerilla bands that basically turned the British Army into a self-contained foreign object in a sea of Americans. concededly, the British aspiration to legions of Loyalists bore some fruit. Loyalists did flock to the standards, both as regular units, and Loyalist guerillas. Clinton also offered freedom to runaway slaves who would serve in the British Army. It provided recruits, but also alienated many Southerners, both rebel and loyalist.

The British used many of the Loyalist troops to garrison strongpoints they had taken or built, and to provide security for supply convoys, etc. but some were used as combat formations. one of the most notorious units operating under Cornwallis was Banastre Tarleton's Loyalist Legion which was comprised of both British and Loyalist troops. Tarleton's brutality would have an indirect impact on King's Mountain.

Cornwallis, having pacified [it seemed] his rear, moved north, seeking battle with the continental Army. As he did so, his left was covered by a force of largely Loyalist troops commanded by Major Patrick Ferguson [he had maybe 100 British regulars in his unit]. Ferguson was famous in the British Army as the designer of a rifle intended to replace the Brown Bess musket. He was also the man who refused to shoot George Washington in the back during an accidental meeting earlier in the war.

Ferguson issued a rather grandiose proclamation ordering submission or death. The settlers from the backcountry decided to do something about that. About 1,000 of the "Over the Mountain" men [mostly Scots-Irish]gathered and began hunting Ferguson.

Ferguson and his men took up position on King's Mountain. Unfortunately for them, they took up position on the TOP of the mountain, depriving themselves of both cover, and good firing lanes. The Rebels, who had the mountain surrounded, made good use of fire and maneuver, and cover, and advanced up the hill, delivering a murderous fire on the Royalists.

Covering his uniform blouse with a plaid jacket, Ferguson mounted a white horse and led a charge seeking to break through the rebels. But they had been alerted by a young boy who gave them Ferguson's description. He was shot out of the saddle and killed.

At that point, the Loyalists attempted to surrender. But the rebels' blood was up, since Tarleton's butchery of surrendering Colonials at Waxhaws. So the rebels began murdering surrendering Loyalists, until their officers re-established order and discipline. The British lost over 150 dead, over 160 wounded, and almost 700 captured. Coupled with the subsequent battle of Cowpens, that saw off Tarleton's Legion, and the battle of Guilford Court house, Cornwallis was forced to abandon the deep south, and head to Virginia, Yorktown, and the capture of his own army.

And the loyalists, like their compatriots in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, were left to the mercies of their rebel counterparts. But at least they fared better than many of the runaway slaves, who were taken to the Caribbean, and re-enslaved.
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« Reply #298 on: October 07, 2017, 11:49:00 am »

On their return to Japan after bombing Pearl Harbor, the KIDO BUTAI received an interesting order from the high command. Admiral Nagumo was ordered to send Carrier division 2 [SORYU and HIRYU] to Wake Island where, to put it charitably, the Japanese invasion of the island was a mammoth failure.

Wake Island was held by a force of U.S. marines, and navy personnel, including naval air elements. The island was also laced with various artillery pieces [including 5" guns], and fortifications that had been constructed, in large part, by civilian contractors [Pan Am also had a hotel and anchorage for its Clipper flights on the island, and more civilian workers of their own.

Initial Japanese efforts had mixed success. they destroyed some 8 of 12 planes on the ground. but they lost two destroyers, had a cruiser damaged and failed to land troops during the initial assaults. Hence, Carrier Division 2.

With the air  power of the Japanese carriers, over a thousand Imperial Japanese Marines, and two more cruisers, the outcome for Wake was inevitable. And after further resistance proved futile, the garrison, and the workers still on the island surrendered.

The military personnel were evacuated to POW camps throughout the Japanese Empire. but the civilian workers were kept on Wake, to build further fortifications, and improve the fortifications there. And there they stayed until 1943.

But in 1943, U.S. carrier aircraft raided Wake. Fearing an American invasion, the Island's commander had the some 98 American prisoners marched to the north end of the island, put in a trench and machine gunned to death [one escapee was recaptured and beheaded by the garrison commander]. And there the matter remained until Wake's surrender after the surrender in Tokyo Harbor. When Wake surrendered, several of the Japanese officers had committed suicide. but they left letters incriminating the garrison commander and his second in command. Both were tried for war crimes, with the commander being hanged, his deputy sent to prison. And the slain workers were disinterred, and buried, with honor, at the 'Punchbowl' in Hawaii.
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« Reply #299 on: October 10, 2017, 10:11:14 am »

It was Christianity's first win over the Muslim invaders of Christendom. It saved all of Europe [for the time being] from enslavement to Islam. It was the battle of tours, in France.

Islam had erupted out of the Arabian peninsula in the mid 7th century, and had quickly overrun the Christian governances of Egypt, the Middle East [Syria, Palestine],and the African littoral. Islam then turned its eyes on mainland Europe. The invasion came from western North Africa, via the island of Gibralter [a corruption of the Arabic 'Gibal al Tarik', the rock of Tarik (the invasion's leader)]. And from the Muslim point of view, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

Spain was ruled by the Visigoths, the same Visigoths who had pillaged Rome in the early 5th century. But the Visigoths weren't alone in Iberia. there were lesser kingdoms of Alans, and other former barbarians who had overridden the Western Roman Empire and had kept going, until they reached Iberia. And while the Visigoths were the preeminent rulers, they were engaged in internecine wars, both with other peoples,  and within their own ruling house. in short, they were easy pickings.

It didn't take long for the Muslims to occupy the entire peninsula, killing the Visigothic king in the process. And by the early 8th century, having organized Iberia into a series of their own kingdoms, they sent an army over the Pyrenees to their next target. what we today, call France.

By the time of the Muslim invasion, one tribe, the Franks, had become predominant in the area. And they were led by the Charles Martel ["The Hammer"]. The Franks were, at the time, expanding themselves, and when they collided with the Muslims at Tours, the fate of Europe may well have hung in the balance.

The Muslims were primarily a cavalry force. the Franks were mixed. But the Franks took up a defensive position on high ground, where the Muslim mobility was stalemated, and beat off the Muslim attackers, killing the governor of Cordoba in the process.

The result of the battle was twofold. First France, and with France Europe was saved. The Muslims in Spain never invaded again. Second, Martel's victory assured his house would rule the kingdom of the Franks. His son, Pepin, was the first of France's Carolingian kings. his grandson, Charlemagne, was the first Holy Roman Emperor.
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You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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