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Author Topic: PzLdr History Facts  (Read 15460 times)
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jafo2010
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« Reply #225 on: July 14, 2017, 07:15:03 pm »

France gets turned upside down and inside out about ten years from now when it will have a majority islamic population.  How long before they demand the country be renamed the Islamic State of France?  In my lifetime, I see France being destroyed along the same vein as Syria.  Historic sites will become ruble. 
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« Reply #226 on: July 16, 2017, 01:54:55 pm »

The family had ruled Russia for over 300 years. Yet by 1918, the Czar, Nicholas II, had been forced to abdicate, a provisional government had been overthrown by a Bolshevik coup, Russia had made peace with Imperial Germany, the Czar, his Czarina, Alexandra, and their five children, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and the Czarevitch, were prisoners, and a Civilo War between the Reds and the Whitesw was ragfing the length and breadth of Russia.

Russia had entered World War I with high hopes, but a badly divided society. The Revolution of 1905 had forced reforms on the autocratic Czar, including a parliament he dissolved with monotonous regularity rather than engage in representative government. And aside from the Brusilev Offensive of 1916, the Germans had beaten the imperial Army like a drum. War weariness, food shortages, and left wing propaganda had resulted in the Czar's forced abdication, and the formation of the Karensky government. But Karensky supported continuing the war, which most Russians opposed. So he was toppled in the October Revolution engineered by Lenin's Bolsheviks.

And the Czar and his family? They became prisoners, after the King of England, his cousin, refused to accept  the Romanovs as refugees.

At first the family was exiled to Siberia. But then, as the Civil War raged and the Whites advanced, they were moved to Yekatrienburg, in the foothills of the Urals, where they were placed in a stockade house, under Bolshevik guard. And there they stayed, until the local Soviet received a telegram from Moscow signed "V. Lenin". The Whites were driving on Moscow, and advancing westward through the Urals. Rather than have them liberated, Lenin suggested they be dealt with.

The result was that in the early morning hours of July 17th, the family, their retainers, servants and bodyguards were ordered to assemble in the basement of the house, ostensibly to take a photo to show they were alive. Some seats were provided for them.

But instead of a photographer, a squad of Bolshevik him men, led by one Ulasky, came through the door, and opened fire. The Czar, his son and several others went down in the fusillade. But the Czarina and the girls were a tougher proposition. They had, at some point,  sewed jewelry into  their dre4ssesd, which acted as a sort of flak vest. So they were bayoneted, stabbed and clubbed to death.

They bodies were then removed to a mineshaft, set afire and dumped. They were subsequently removed from the mineshaft and reburied [except for the Czarevitch and his sister Maria who were, for some reason buried separately in another location. When the Whites arrived in Yekratrienburg, they found nothing.

The grave of Nicholas II, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and their retainers was discovered in 1976, but wasn't publicly revealed by the discoverers until 1991. DNA testing, using Prince Philip of England's DNA  [he was related to the Czarina], proved the bodies were those of the Romanovs. After a funeral Mass, the Romanovs were buried in the St. Petersburg Cathedral. The bodies of Anastasia and her brother were discovered in 2007. Again DNA conclusively identified them, but the Russian Orthodox Church has questioned the finding, and as yet, they have not been interred with the family.

And the murder site? Once the death of the Romanovs was disclosed, it became a macabre tourist site, and an embarrassment to the Soviet Government. It was torn down, on their orders by a local engineer. the alacrity with which he accomplished the task put him on the fast rack for promotion in the communist Party. His name was Boris Yeltsin. 
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« Reply #227 on: July 19, 2017, 12:33:00 pm »

They originated in the rocky Mountains - as Shoshone. But they were among the poorer members of that tribe, and when they got horses, probably from the Pueblo, after the revolt against the Spanish, they morphed into one of, if not the, most dominant, and important Indian 'tribes'  west of the Mississippi, the Comanche [from the Ute word 'Kimanzi', or Komanza' - 'enemy' or 'They ride against us'. their name for themselves 'Numurrunu' (accent marks unavailable].

No ground of Indians adapted as well to the horse as the Comanche. U.S Army officers referred to them as "the finest light cavalry in the world". They practiced battle drill with lances over 12' long, and would ride 10' rather than walk. They were among the first Indian horse breeders, and when they made peace on the northern reaches of Comancheria with the Wichita and Cheyenne, they purportedly gifted  the latter with thousands of horses.

When they debouched from the Rockies, and headed south, they initially encountered three things: the Southern Buffalo herds, other Indians they didn't know of, and the Apache. And they knew the Apache. And while they went to war with other Indians on the southern Plains, including the tonkowas, the Kiowa [later allies], the Cheyenne and Wichita [later allies or friends], they fought the Apache relentlessly, and continually, eventually driving them west into western New Mexico and Arizona [except for the Lipans, Jicarillas and Mescaleros-who survived on the fringe of what became known as Comancheria, comprising southern Kansas, eastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, western Oklahoma, much of Texas, and northern Chihuaha in Mexico.

And on the southern Plains, the Comanche prospered, to the point that by the 18th century, it was estimated that there were over 40,000 of them, augmented by other Shoshone bands who came to join them, because the Comanche, like their enemies, the apache were tribal in the linguistic sense only. They operated as bands and extended families. And some bands disappeared, others merged, some evolved into other bands. But they all had certain things in common. They spoke the same or similar language. They didn't war on each other. They tended to honor arrangements other bands made with third parties. And they warred and raided along their western and southern borders.

In the 18th century, the Comanche did the United States a major service. they blocked the Spanish from moving against the French to the east of Comancheria. By doing so, they prevented a superior military power to the French from arriving on the borders of the colonies before the Revolution, and kept two future American Allies in the same camp.

The Comanche also did a booming business with Spanish traders from New Mexico, the 'Comancheros', so booming, in fact, that at least one band made a treaty with the New Mexicans which allowed not only the Comancheros free passage on the Plains to trade, but allowed the Comanche to bring their loot, captured livestock and prisoners to New Mexican towns to trade. At one point, the Comanche allied with the New Mexicans and Navajo in a joint attack on the Apache.

With the independence of Texas, however, the Comanche faced an implacable enemy. The Texans had murdered a group of Comanches who had come in for a parley called by the Texans. The Comanche considered parleys sacrosanct [much like the Mongols with ambassadors] and the perfidy of the Texans opened a war that lasted, off and on until the 1870s. But small pox and cholera swept through the tribe, to the degree that they became a shadow of themselves, although still ready to fight any and all comers.

By the time of the Civil War, or shortly before, the Comanche were divided into six major bands. On their north were the Yampirikas, latest to the prairie, and most like their Shoshone cousins in language and custom. South of them were the Kotsetekas, then the Nokoni and then the all but vanished Penatakas. And to the west, on the Staked Plains were the Quahadi, the Antelope People, the 'wildest' of the bands.

Prior to the Civil War, the Comanche faced not only the U.S Army, but the Texas Rangers as well. In fact the Comanche had led to the first improvement to the Colt revolver, when a Ranger, one Captain Walker wrote to colt, suggesting improvements to his handgun. Colt met with Walker, the improvements were made, and the .44 caliber Walker Colt was born. It was a game changer. the colt had already given the Rangers a weapon that allowed re-firing without reloading after every shot, nullifying the Comanche tactic of charging after the first round, but the heavier bullet was much more likely to put an attacker down, and keep him down.

Still, in the 1850s, the Comanche under Buffalo Hump, burned a town on the Gulf of Mexico to the ground, and stole 1,000 horses [which were later lost to the Texans during the retreat], and raids to the southeast frontier kept the Texans on edge. But it was a losing proposition. Pressure from the Army increased, and by the early 1870s, most of the Comanche were confined on reservations. Except the Quahadis.

The Quahadis were led by a young, able war chief named Quanah [Odor]. Quanah was the son of a Penetaka war chief and a white captive named Cynthia Ann Parker [when 'freed' by the Cavalry, and returned to her family, she repeatedly tried to escape and return to the Comanche, and died either of a broken heart or self starvation]. And at first they ran rings around the cavalry. But the U.S. troops were led by one of, if not the best Indian fighters in the cavalry, Ranald S. MacKenzie, known as "Bad Hand" because of a hand maimed during the Civil War.

While Quanah ran rings around him, MacKenzie learned the lay of the land, what was working, what was not, and what was lacking.And in the late autumn of 1875, he put into practice what he had learned.

As with most Indians, the Quahadi went into winter camp. theirs was in the Palo Duro, a canyon carved in the Staked Plains that was deep, long, and almost invisible until you were on top of it. It offered shelter from the wind, water, wood, grass for the ponies, and[ostensibly] safety.

But not this time. MacKenzie appeared on the Canyon bluffs, and quickly found a way down. But rather than attack the Comanche, he shot their pony herd [some 800 horses]. and burned what food shelter, etc. they had abandoned when they fled.

He let winter do the rest. By Spring the Quahadis had surrendered. The war was over. Comancheria, except for a reservation at Fort Sill, was no more.

The Comanches approved extremely adaptable. they became cattle ranchers. Quanah, now Quanah Parker, became paramount chief, and proved as able an adversary in peace as he was at war.

Texas cattlemen wanted to drive their cattle to market over reservation land. Quanah agreed at so much a head. the Texans were delighted to meet an Indian they could do business with. Quanah built a large house for his family [he refused to abandon polygamy] and helped organize a tribal government and court acceptable to both Indians and whites. He required his own children to speak English, and made sure schooling was available. But he also looked out to preserve Indian culture, going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that let Indians use peyote in their religious ceremonies. Quanah asl joined several other Indians in Teddy Roosevelt's inaugural parade.

The Comanche came full circle, in a sense, in the early 20th century, when they allowed their erstwhile enemies immemorial, the Apache, freed from their prisoner of war status in Florida and Alabama, to settle on their reservation in Oklahoma [the people of Arizona and New Mexico did not want the Chiricahua back]. Although some of the Apache later elected to return to their homeland when allowed, many didn't. They still live with the Comanche today.

And the Comanche? They served with distinction in the U.S. military ever since the Red River War. Like the Navajo, they served as code talkers in WW II. They ride with us, not against us.
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« Reply #228 on: July 21, 2017, 11:59:08 am »

With secession an unpleasant fact [several late seceding states like Virginia only leaving when Lincoln called for volunteers to crush the South], both sides scrambled to solve the problem of 'what to do? And the solution, for both sides, was to prepare militarily.

Lincoln got his volunteers. But they were novices to military culture. Additionally, the U.S Army didn't spread the regulars throughout the volunteer formations to leaven them, and lead them. Almost all active duty officers, NCOs and enlisted men, stayed in regular army units. The volunteers were sometimes led by former soldiers [Grant, Sherman], but were more likely led by politicians, or local worthies and men of property. In any case they had to be armed, uniformed, organized and trained. and the training was of short duration [most enlisted for 90 days], and woefully inadequate.

Things weren't much better in the south. They DID have a higher proportion of professional officers that volunteered for service with the confederacy [Lee, Johnson, Johnston, Beauregard, Stuart], and former officers [Jackson]. More of their troops were used to 'roughing it' more than their Union counterparts. But the South had no real military production capacity, a more limited infrastructure [think railroads], and a much shallower manpower pool [one reason the South resorted to conscription earlier than the Union].

Thus, for both disparate  and similar reasons, both sides sought an early confrontation, believing that the rebellion would be decided in one fell swoop [something like the Japanese dogmatic belief in the 'decisive naval battle' in WW II]. Interestingly, the early confrontation was not favored by the military professionals. But with Lincoln prodding, pushing and demanding, in July, 1861, what would eventually be the Army of the Potomac advanced south into Virginia under the command of BG Irwin McDowell.

The plan was overly complex, the troops woefully inadequate. But with 30,000 men, and a bit of luck, McDowell thought he could bring it off. He had the men, but not the luck.

20,000 rebel troops under GEN P.G.T. Beauregard awaited McDowell near Manassas, behind a creek called Bull Run. Beauregard knew McDowell was coming. He had been tipped by a Confederate spy ring in Washington led by Rose Greenhow. Up in the Shenandoah Valley, GEN Joseph Johnson also knew of McDowell's movement, and began transferring some 9,000 additional troops, by rail, to Manassas. So McDowell would find a Confederate force almost equal to his own on the battlefield.

To compound that problem McDowell's plan called for a pincer movement by 'green' troops  to complete a double envelopment of the Rebels.

Almost the entire battle was fought on McDowell's right [Beauregard's left] wing. At firs the Union troops drove the Confederates back after crossing Bull Run. But then they ran into a fortified position on high ground, held by the soon to be nicknamed "Stonewall" Jackson's brigade. The Union advance was stopped cold. At the same area, Jackson's cavalry, commanded by COL JEB Stuart, launched a vicious charge. Stuart captured the Union artillery, while Johnson's troops flanked the Union right. When the Union troops broke [the Union left did almost nothing during the battle], Stuart turned what might have been a retreat into a rout, driving the Union forces back over the Potomac. Fleeing with them were various civilians and politicians who had come to see the battle.

It was a Union catastrophe. McDowell lost around 2,000 men. Such losses had never been seen in America before. Aside from defending Washington, D.C from the rebels, the Union Army was incapable of any meaningful action.

Were there bright spots? Yes. William T. Sherman had covered a portion of the retreat/rout with his brigade, and done a masterful job. a young Lieutenant of Cavalry, one George Armstrong Custer had performed credibly. But McDowell had to go [he never commanded troops in the field again, exiled to San Francisco], establishing the tradition of revolving commanders that would bedevil the Army of the Potomac until just before Gettysburg and the ascension of MG George Gordon Meade.

And the Confederates? Bull Run was the first appearance on the stage of the Civil War of Joseph E. Johnson, Stonewall Jackson and JEB Stuart [Beauregard had debuted at Ft. Sumter, Lee was waiting in the wings]. Yet Beauregard was in disgrace with Jefferson Davis by 1863, and Johnson off and on by 1864. And Jackson was dead in 1863, and Stuart in 1864. And despite its initial poor showing at Bull Run, the Army of the Potomac, and the Union Army in general, would defeat the Confederacy in 1865.
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« Reply #229 on: July 22, 2017, 07:39:18 am »

In July, 1942, Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler orders the evacuation of the Warsaw Ghetto to begin, with inmates to be sent to a new camp to the northeast of Warsaw, Treblinka.

Treblinka is something new in the Nazi camp system. It is one of several camps whose sole purpose is extermination. Along with Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, and Birkenau [the death camp that was part of the Auschwitz complex, Treblinka's sole purpose was to kill [except for a prisoner Sonderkommando kept on hand to dispose of the bodies, which was also periodically exterminated and replaced], as part of "Aktion Reinhardt", named for the recentrly assassinated SS LTG, and RSHA commander Reinhardt Heydrich.

But Treblinka had roots deep in Nazi killing, specifically to the "T 4" euthanasia program carried out against the German civil populace in 1939-1940.

Forced to close down because of public pressure whipped up by the Catholic church, the T 4 program [named for the address of its main office on Tiergarten #4 in Berlin] developed and coordinated the "mercy killing" of the infirm, congenitally ill or "feebleminded" and others considered "life unworthy of life", with the aim of freeing up hospital beds for the anticipated wounded of Hitler's war.

The killings were done via starvation, gassing [carbon monoxide], lethal injection and a host of other methods. And they were largely done by medical personnel. And once the program closed down, its personnel found employment further east.

One of the first was SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Christian Wirth, who became a kind of roving ambassador/advisor of death to the various camps springing up in Poland. But at Treblinka, the link was much closer. The first commandant was a Dr. Imfried Eberl, a medical doctor. Eberl had run one of the T 4 facilities, and had committed some of the murders. But at Treblinka, he would preside over killings on a scale he probably never imagined.

Within the first two months of Himmler's orders, some quarter million Jews were sent to Treblinka and killed. As wityh other death camps, efforts were made to lull the victims until the last moment. they were segregated by gender, told to strip and prepare for a shower. They were then herded up a roadway flanked by fencing, trees and guards with dogs, and driven into the gas chamber, where they were killed. their bodies were then removed, and despoiled of gold teeth. At Treblinka, it was not unusual for a trainload of victims to be dead within a half hour of arrival.

But Eberl was not successful in getting rid of the bodies. They began to stack up, to the point where incoming victims could see them, and react in a not so docile manner. As a result, Eberl was relieved and replaced by another old T 4 hand, Franz Stangl, whhjo had been security chief at one of the T 4 facilities, and more recently, deputy commandant at Sobibor.

Stangl quickly disposed of the bodies. He improved the deception tactics to lull incoming victims, to include a dummy train station with a false clock, and he developed a quick way to dispose of the bodies with pit burials.

Stangl remained commandant of Treblinka until it was closed, and dismantled. During its existence, some 960,000 Jews were killed there. and it had operated for a year or less.

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« Reply #230 on: July 22, 2017, 08:33:35 am »

John Herbert Dillinger, Public enemy #1, escape artist and bank robber extraordinaire, is killed in a hail of bullets fleeing a police/ FBI ambush outside Chicago's BIOGRAPH theater, where he had been seeing the movie MANHATTAN MELODRAMA with his girl friend, and one Anna Sage, the "Woman in Red" [her dress was actually orange].

Dillinger, whose life of crime went back to the 1920s, had 'hit the big time' when he received a 10 to 20 year sentence for a mugging. In prison, he met and was befriended by several hardened prisoners, who specialized in 'scientific' bank robberies. They included Harry Pierpont and homer Van Meter. Paroled himself, Dillinger began robbing banks and stores, raising money used to break his friends out of prison [successfully]. they then returned the favor, breaking Dillinger out of jail after he was re-arrested. A robbery of a police armory that yielded tommy guns, bullet proof vests and other delights, then saw the gang undertake a string of bank robberies that surpassed in scope and shortness of time anything that preceded them. In a little over a year, the gang robbed some 11 banks.

They were captured in Arizona on vacation. Dillinger was returned to Ohio where he escaped from jail using the so-called wooden gun. He put together a new gang, with Lester Gilles, a/k/a "Baby Face Nelson" and others, but they lacked the machine like efficiency of the earlier gang, and with Nelson, the results were a lot bloodier.

Dillinger was made for J. Edgar Hoover's never ending PR campaign to build up the FBI. But he disproved the adage no publicity is bad publicity with the botched FBI raid on the Little Bohemia lodge. Three civilians were shot by the FBI [one was killed]. Nelson killed an FBI agent and a police officer [Nelson would go on to kill a total of three FBI agents, a 'record' that still stands]. All the criminals escaped.

Dillinger then underwent plastic surgery [ not a very good job], and burned his fingerprints with acid. He was hiding out in Chicago, when Sage, a Romanian fighting extradition over brothel keeping flipped him into law enforcement in the hopes of avoiding deportation, and claiming the $10,000 dollar reward on Dillinger  [she failed on both counts]. She told the FBI Dillinger would be with her at the movies, and that she would be wearing an orange dress as a signal.

Dillinger was caught coming out of the theater. He fled into an alley where he was killed, ostensibly after drawing an automatic pistol. America's crime prince of the '30s was dead.
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« Reply #231 on: July 22, 2017, 11:49:19 am »

George Soros may very well be orchestrating the next civil war, by exasperating race relations, condemning the police, and general anarchy, etc.  The enemies of the state keep growing and committing criminal acts that do not lead to indictments.  How many innocent people must die because of truly despicable people like Soros?
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« Reply #232 on: July 26, 2017, 10:17:19 am »

How the Catholic church has changed. This Pope was for Charlie Gard to die.
I really like reading Hitler history.
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« Reply #233 on: July 27, 2017, 05:37:11 am »

The last few popes reflect the internal decay of the Roman Catholic Church.  Let's see, we had one that was a Nazi fighting for Adolph Hitler, another that has become a saint that condemned America's capitalism, and now this fool, who is what, a quasi socialist/communist. 

I was raised in this church, and I now despise these men and their sick life they lead, many of them predator pedophiles, and on a global basis.  I believe this church system of organized crime for pedophilia is dying, and rightfully so.  I think the movie Spotlight shone a very bright light on just how rotten these sick men are!

It is no small number of children these men have preyed upon.  Hundreds of thousands in the USA alone, and I presume millions throughout the world.  The movie Spotlight mentions one family where all seven children in the family have been sexually assaulted by the parish priest, and the church pleads with the mother of these children not to go public, and she complies.  How sick is that?  I would want that priest publicly drawn and quartered, literally!
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« Reply #234 on: July 27, 2017, 11:10:13 am »

The last few popes reflect the internal decay of the Roman Catholic Church.  Let's see, we had one that was a Nazi fighting for Adolph Hitler, another that has become a saint that condemned America's capitalism, and now this fool, who is what, a quasi socialist/communist. 

I was raised in this church, and I now despise these men and their sick life they lead, many of them predator pedophiles, and on a global basis.  I believe this church system of organized crime for pedophilia is dying, and rightfully so.  I think the movie Spotlight shone a very bright light on just how rotten these sick men are!

It is no small number of children these men have preyed upon.  Hundreds of thousands in the USA alone, and I presume millions throughout the world.  The movie Spotlight mentions one family where all seven children in the family have been sexually assaulted by the parish priest, and the church pleads with the mother of these children not to go public, and she complies.  How sick is that?  I would want that priest publicly drawn and quartered, literally!

I was raised in this church too. This pope walked down the streets of (forget what city) with a Cardinal who helped many pedophile priests. This new pope is pure evil. I even think that Cardinal had been accused of pedophilia himself. It is hard to watch the crowds of people who adore him.
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« Reply #235 on: July 27, 2017, 05:51:05 pm »

Their origin is shrouded in mystery. According to some, they were the dreaded Hsung Nu of ancient China infamy, the nomad horsemen from the Ordos Loop, who terrorized the Chinese with their raids, helped cause the expansion of the Great Wall, and led to the Chinese military organizing and driving them from eastern Asia. Yet others disagree that the Hsung Nu and the Huns are the same people.

What all do agree on is that the people we know as the Huns erupted onto the Pontic and Ukrainian steppe in the 4th century A.D., and drove west, conquering the peoples they met and subjugating them under such mythic chiefs as Balombar. And they put in motion forces that led, eventually, to the destruction of the western Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire was already, administratively and politically, divided into two halves. Each half had an emperor and a deputy [a Caesar]. And each faced increasing pressure from their borders from barbarian tribes seeking admission to the Roman Empire as refugees. And the reason was the Huns.

When the Huns arrived in the western steppe, they were confronted by what appeared to be a formidable enemy, the Ostrogoths. The Ostrogoths had arrived on the steppe earlier, having migrated east form northern Germany in a clockwise movement. They built towns, and developed an agricultural economy, and by the time of the Huns' arrival, they had established a state and an army. It did them little good.

The Huns were no the first horse army the people of the west faced. But they came with two key advantages, large numbers of compound bows, and the stirrup, which allowed them to raise up and fire arrows both more quickly, and more accurately. the Huns also made use of lariats, to rope, and drag individual enemy soldiers off their feet [useful to break a shield wall. What the Huns lacked, was military organization. While they fought as a mass, they did not, like the Mongols, have military units or hierarchy, and each tribe in the Hunnic confederation, fought under their own chiefs, under Hunnic overlordship.

And the Huns had many such vassals, including, by the time they rode into Hungary, the Ostrogoths.

But the Hunnic invasion was like a cue ball hitting a rack of pool balls. Pressure from the Huns drove the remnants of the Ostrogoths west, who drove the Visigoths to seek entry into the eastern Roman Empire. And Roman malfeasance drove the Visigoths, Foederati in the roamn Army to rebel, and eventually sack Rome. And the Visigoths rode on into Iberia, followed by the Vandals, the Alans, the Franks, and others, basically carving up the Western Roman Empire into their own Kingdoms [there was a Visigothic Kingdom centered on tolouse, the Vandals took Carthage, the Franks settled around what became Paris, etc.

And the Eastern Empire was in no position to help, because they now faced the Huns across the Danube. And the Huns now had a single leader, since Attila had murdered his brother, and co-ruler, Bleda.

A pattern then developed. the Huns would raid the Eastern Empire until they were bought off with tribute [think Vikings on horses]. The Huns would then withdraw, until either of two things happened; the Eastern Empire coughed up tribute without a Hunnic invasion, or the Eastern Empire coughed up the tribute after a Hunnic invasion when the tribute was not forthcoming.

And so it might have gone, but for the Eastern Empire directing enough military force northward to make Attila think twice [and almost pushing him against the western Empire], and for the western imperial princess, Honoria's, letter to Attila, with her ring, asking him to marry her, and save her from an engagement to a Roman Senator. Attila accepted, and claimed half the Western roman Empire as his dowry. Rome refused his claim, and for that, and other reasons, Attila led an army west, initially to great success. But at the Catauplanian Plains, a combined Roman-Visigoth Army met, and defeated, the Huns and their vassals in battle. Attila was forced to retreat. But the next year he came back, driving initially, down the eastern side of Italy, taking, among other cities, Aquelia, whose citizens fled into the coastal swamps, and founded Venice. It was while on the road to Rome that we are told Attila met envoys from the Pope, and agreed to withdraw. The probability is that disease, a poor harvest in Italy, and supply problems had more to do with the withdrawal than the holy Father.

Attila never came west again. On his wedding night to a woman named Idilco, Attila died. And although it wasn't buried with him, with his death the Hunnic Empire died as well. His sons were at odds, the Eastern Romans smelled blood, the Germanic vassals were in rebellion, and Turks were beginning to appear in the East. Defeated in battle by Goths, and Eastern Romans, Attila's Hungarian Empire disintegrated, and the Huns vanished, as a people, back into the East.

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« Reply #236 on: July 30, 2017, 12:44:52 pm »

The ship had been, at one time ADM. Raymond Spruance's flagship. President Roosevelt had traveled on her. She became a part of the backstory on one of Peter Benchley's most famous characters in "JAWS", Quint. she had delivered the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima, to Tinian. And on this date in 1945, she would be sunk by a Japanese submarine.

After delivering the bomb, INDIANAPOLIS steamed to Guam, from where she was ordered to rendezvous with other naval units [a battleship], for further operations. It was on this leg of her journey that she ran into the Japanese submarine I-58 on the night of July 29-30.

I-58, at a range of some 1,000 yards, give or take, put two torpedoes into INDIANAPOLIS. The first hit toward the bow, the second further to the rear. INDIANAPOLIS sunk in some 12 minutes, with 900 crewmen surviving the attack.

It was then that the crew's ordeal truly began. INDIANAPOLIS, because of her A-bomb delivery had been running under operational silence. And since she was not expected for her rendezvous any time soon, she fell "off the map". Her survivors would not be sighted for another four days. And those four days were four days in hell, the result of the  single largest shark attack in history.

The sharks, with oceanic white tips being the greatest aggregate, and Tigers and other Pelagics involved, appeared almost immediately. The White Tips went for live crewmen first. And since many survivors were in the water, clinging to debris, they were easy prey. The attacks continued, almost non-stop for the full four days. By the time the men were rescued, approximately two-thirds, some 600 men had been killed by the sharks.

And rescue didn't put an end to the suffering. INDIANAPOLIS' captain, Charles McVay was courtmartialled for negligent operation of his ship. Tthe basis for the charge was failing to zig zag in a hostile combat zone. The government even brought the I-58's commander to Washington to testify that INDIANAPLOIS was not zig zagging when torpedoed [He also stated that the failure to zig zag would have made no difference to the success of his attack, based on the relative positions of the two ships]. McVay was convicted, unjustly as far as his crew was concerned, of the charge [McVay had been largely responsible for organizing the survivors after the sinking and leading them of the four days]. McVay was finally exonerated in 2000, in part because of a letter written by I-58's captain. Unfortunately, it was too late for McVay. He had committed suicide in November, 1968.
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« Reply #237 on: July 31, 2017, 01:53:41 pm »

The document was deceptive in its simplicity. Hermann Goering, as Hitler's number 2, head of the four Year Plan, and the man in charge of Jewish affairs [He once stated, "I decide who's a Jew"], issued a written order to SS  Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhardt Heydrich, Chief of the RSHA and SS SD, requiring an overall plan for the "Final Solution of the Jewish question". Within six months, Heydrich will use that written order at the Wannsee conference to establish SS primacy, both as executive and coordinating agency for what will become the industrialized murder of the European Jews under Nazi control, the Holocaust [Heydrich had already sent four Einsatzgruppen, organized under the basis used in Poland, to begin the extermination of the Jews in Russia, along with Communist Party functionaries. and others].

By the time Goering had issued the order, Heydrich had already begun taking steps that would facilitate its implementation. Jews in eastern Europe were concentrated in Ghettos. Anti-Jewish regulations, and in some places laws, were implemented in both eatern and western Europe. And when the final Solution was undertaken, the Germans would empty the eastern Ghettos first, while transporting the Jews from further west to replenish them, before their own murders.

Goering's order was, in a way, the end to a debate that had raged in the organs of the Reich almost since the seizure of power, i.e., what to do with the Jews. There had been powerful forces that merely wanted to isolate the Jews. Others, and a more prevalent group, wanted to expel them, either by coercive emigration, or forced expulsion [It was members of the SS SD who floated the idea of a Jewish preserve in Madagascar]. But with Goering's order, the addition of some several million Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian and eastern Polish Jews, and the SS's assumption of direction of the Jewish issue, all other possibilities gave way to one Extermination.
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« Reply #238 on: August 02, 2017, 03:07:30 pm »

The maneuvering had started while Reich President Paul Von Hindenburg was still alive. By mid-1934, Adolf Hitler had established his dictatorship at unbelievable speed, aided by the Reichstag Fire, and the resultant 'Enabling Act', the propaganda genius of Paul Joseph Goebbels, and the uptick in the economy. And by June, 1934, Hitler faced only two potential challengers to his authority; his own SA, or Storm Troopers [the Brown Shirts], and the German military, particularly the German Army. And then he was able to not only kill two birds with one stone, as it were, he laid the groundwork for slaying the third, most important bird.

When Hitler moved against the SA, the SS did most of the dirty work. But they had a silent partner, the German Army, which loaned them transport and weapons for what became the 'Night of the Long Knives'. and the army acted for reasons of its own. Ernst Roehm's open and loud calls for a " Second Revolution" coupled with his demand for the Army's absorption into a national defense force under his, and SA, control troubled the officer Corps. His 4.5 million Brownshirts terrified them. And then there was the Army leadership. The defense minister, Field Marshal von Blomberg, was sympathetic to the Nazi's program, to say the least. General von Reichenau was a Nazi himself, in all but name. And they were two of the top three Generals Hitler dealt with.

And those generals not as disposed to the Nazis were quiet. When Gen. Kurt von Schleicher, a former Chancellor was murdered in his house with his wife during the Night of the Long Knives, few generals expressed their outrage. And part of the reason was that Hitler was rearming the German Army, and had already told the generals there would be a threefold expansion of the Heere in 1935, breaking the Versailles Treaty into tiny pieces.

Hindenburg had put his imprimatur on the Night of the Long Knives, but his health failing the Field Marshal was not long for this world. And when he passed, the Nazis gave him a Wagnerian send off at the Potsdam Garrison Church. And then Hitler sprung the trap. First he combined the offices of Chancellor and President, with himself taking the combined office, as "Fuehrer". Then, the German Armed Forces from General and Admiral down to private and seaman took a PERSONAL oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler. Their uniforms soon sported various forms of the national eagle clutching a swastika over their right breast pocket [the Waffen SS wore theirs on their left sleeve], and various forms of the same eagle/ swastika on their hats and caps.

No one capable of meaningful resistance stood in Hitler's way now.
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« Reply #239 on: August 06, 2017, 10:40:54 am »

By the time U.S. troops landed on Saipan, the "key" to Japan's inner defensive ring, and then Tinian and Guam, even the Japanese realized they weren't going to defeat the United States in the conventional military sense of the word. and with good reason. By the end of 1944, ALL of Japan's aircraft carriers would be sunk, one of her two super battleships would be below the waves [MUSASHI], and the effectiveness of her airpower was reduced to suicide attacks on U.S. ships.

So a new approach was needed, and the Japanese opted for attrition. They based their defensive plans on inflicting massive losses on U.S. forces while fighting largely defensive battles from built up lines of fortifications. Gone would be the serial 'Banzai" charges of Guadalcanal, and the suicidal counterattacks at the earliest moment. the Japanese, rather, would wait for the Americans until after they landed and then fight an almost purely defensive battle, seeking to kill and wound maximum numbers of Americans while selling their own lives [and they knew they were where they were to die] dearly.

The new 'strategy' appeared, on an ad hoc basis, in the Philippines, especially in Manila, when an Admiral subordinate to General Yamash*ta disobeyed a direct order to leave Manila an open city, fighting to the last man [with the de rigeur ritual suicide when all was lost], and resulting in Yamash*ta's execution of the act after the war.

The policy became formalized in the next two major U.S. operations, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. It was here, especially on Okinawa that the Japanese strategy was both apparent, and utilized to full effect. For aside from the Japanese troops dug in on the Shuri line, Okinawa utilized not only swarms of Japanese Kamikaze pilots to attack naval units, but also involved the novelty [as it were] of a Kamikaze battleship. YAMATO, the world's largest battleship was sent on a one way run to Okinawa with a light cruiser and seven destroyers, where she was to ground herself, and act as  fire support for the Japanese Army. She was spotted and sunk by U.S. naval airpower well away from the island.

But the defense of both Iwo Jima and Okinawa resulted in horrendous casualties, for both sides. the U.S. losses on Iwo were in excess of 7,000 dead. On Okinawa they were some three times higher. and the Japanese lost some 100,000 troops on Okinawa.

So did the new strategy work? Yes and No. Under the Japanese concept, the punishing U.S losses would force the U.S. to seek a negotiated peace. The other part of that strategy involved the U'S's ally, and signer of a Non-Aggression pact with Japan, the U.S.S.R.

Japan began to solicit the U.S.S.R to act as an intermediary in starting peace talks with the U.S. Not only did the Soviets refuse to do so, they announced their intention to cancel the non-aggression agreement [Japan was unaware Stalin had promised the Americans to attack Japan 90 days after the end of the war in Europe. And the Japanese had failed to realize that their strategy, while daunting the Americans about a seaborne invasion of Japan, did not result in a U.S refusal to do so, but, rather , caused the Americans to consider alternate means to force a Japanese surrender. Air bombardment was largely ruled out, because Curtis Lemay had reduced almost every major city in Japan to cinders. Protracted naval interdiction of Japanese supply lines was pushed by the Navy, but did not promise immediate results. And then there was the atomic bomb.

The Atom bomb [there were two types, a uranium bomb and a plutonium bomb], was the result of a scientific effort called the Manhattan Project. And by summer of 1945, the bomb had been tested, and two operational bombs, 'Little Boy' [uranium], and 'Fat Man' [plutonium] were ready to go. And when Japan refused yet another U.S. call to surrender, the new President, Harry Truman, who had been unaware of the Manhattan Project's existence until he had taken office, authorized the bomb's use on Japan.

'Little Boy' was then transported to Tinian by U.S.S INDIANAPOLIS, where in the earlymorning of August 6, 1945, it was loaded onto the B-29 'ENOLA GAY', commanded by Col. Paul Tibbetts. Tibbetts was one of the Army Air Corps most experienced bomber pilots, having flown in Europe before transferring to the Pacific, and he and his crew had been training for use of the A-bomb for months.

ENOLA GAY lifted off around 0230, and reached Japan some six hours later. The primary target being obscured by cloud cover, Tibbetts headed for his secondary target, Hiroshima.

Hiroshima was one of the chief anchorages for what was left of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It was also the command center for the defense of the southern Japanese defense zone [including the island of Kyushu, the proposedlanding site for Operation Olympic], and the chief debarkation/embarkation port for troops from the Asian mainland into Japan, and then on to Kyushu. In sum, even exempting its war industries, it was a legitimate military target [generations of lefties to the contrary]

Within ten minutes of ENOLA GAY's arrival,a good portion of Hiroshima was a smoldering wasteland. The immediate casualties were horrific enough [the long term casualties from radiation poisoning were worse], and yet, Japan refused to countenance surrender, despite the fact that their attrition strategy had not yet worked.

It took a second bomb, on Nagasaki, coupled with a Soviet declaration of war, and blitz of Manchuria, the Korean peninsula and the Sakhalin islands to bring Japan to its knees, and agree to surrender on 15 August.

So did the Japanese strategy work. In a sense, Yes. It forced the Americans to look for an alternate method [to amphibious landings] to bring the Japaneseto the point of surrender. But it failed in the sense that the alternative the U.S found was not the negotiations the Japanese expected, but, rather, another method to force a surrender.

But, in one sense, the Japanese 'won'. The U.S. had been demanding 'unconditional surrender' of the Axis powers since 1943. That position was adhered to in the surrenders of Italy and Germany. But in the case of Japan, the Japanese wrung one concession out of the Americans. Hirohito kept his throne.
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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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