Author Topic: This Day in History  (Read 33802 times)

bob48

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Reply #150 on: October 17, 2019, 06:50:47 AM
Mind you, three of them got out twice to go to the loo...................

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besilarius

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Reply #151 on: October 17, 2019, 08:49:46 AM
William the Conqueror and the Logistics of the Conquest

It’s well known that in the summer of 1066 Duke William of Normandy concentrated an army of some 14,000 men and 3000-4000 horses, crossed the English Channel, and wrested the crown of England from his cousin Harold Godwinson. Now crossing the channel is a considerable accomplishment in any age, given its treacherous waters, so William deserves credit for that, perhaps as much as for his hard-fought victory in the Battle of Hasting (October 14, 1066). But William’s greatest struggle was perhaps logistical.

William’s concentrated his army at Dives-sur-mer, where it spent most of August of 1066 training and preparing. It was a “pot luck” host. Although it contained many of William’s Norman subjects, it also included a lot of adventurers from all over Europe, including knights from Italy and Spain, as well as from other parts of France. A large contingent consisted of Norman veterans who had long-experience of war against the Lombards and Byzantines in Southern Italy and the Moslems in Sicily.

Taking care of this army – as small as it may seem in modern terms – was a major undertaking.

The average man eats about four pounds of food a day, and drink about a gallon of water. So for an army of 14,000, William had to supply about 28 tons of food, mostly grain, plus 14,000 gallons of water, without considering more than the barest diet, nor things like beer or wine, commonplaces of the medieval diet. Thus, in a month, William’s 14,000 men required 868 tons of food and over 400,000 gallons of water.

Of course, William’s army also included between 3,000 and 4,000 horses. War horses of between 1300-1500 pounds eat about 24 pounds of feed and fodder each day. In William’s time about half of this would have been grains, mostly barely or spelt, though occasionally oats, while the other half would have been cut hay; green grass could be substituted, but in a 3:1 ratio, which would have meant that the horses would have spent so much their time eating there would have been little time for exercise and training. Of course, each horse also required between 8 and 12 gallons of water, depending upon the weather. So each day, William’s horses required 12-18 tons of grain and as much again of hay, plus 24,000-48,000 gallons of water. In addition, since stabling the horses required a daily supply of 2-4 pounds of fresh straw per animal, to line their stalls, William had to come up with 4-5 tons of that stuff each day. So for his month’s encampment, William’s horses required between 745 and 1,115 tons of feed and fodder, plus 125-150 tons of straw, and between 620,000 and 930,000 gallons of water, figures that make the supply requirements of the men seem minuscule.

Of course not only did William have to supply food and water, he also had to cope with the consequences of large numbers of men and horses consuming food and water. Each day William’s men would each have left about three pounds of feces and perhaps a quart of urine, for a daily output of about 21 tons of more-or-less solids plus perhaps 3,500 gallons of liquids. For the entire month the army was at Dives-sur-mer, this would have amounted to some 650 tons and nearly 110,000 gallons. But, as with rations, those figures pale when compared to the equivalent numbers for horses. A horse produces some 20 pounds of feces and 7.5-8.5 gallons of urine a day. So for the month the army was in camp William had to deal with about 930 tons of horse manure and 480,000-720,00 gallons of urine.

How William managed to dispose of all this sewage is unclear.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


bob48

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Reply #152 on: October 17, 2019, 09:02:23 AM
Interesting, if a bit smelly.

they say that horse sh...manure is good on rhubarb. never tried myself, always preferred custard.

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BanzaiCat

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Reply #153 on: October 17, 2019, 09:11:29 AM
Horse custard?




bob48

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Reply #154 on: October 17, 2019, 09:18:32 AM
Ah, a nice picture of the London Asylum.

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

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mirth

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Reply #155 on: October 23, 2019, 08:05:58 AM

Being able to Google shit better than your clients is a legit career skill.


Sir Slash

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Reply #156 on: October 23, 2019, 11:07:16 AM
Georgy was a motivator no question.

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besilarius

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Reply #157 on: October 23, 2019, 02:15:07 PM
Not a particularly nice guy, or a good guy.
However, I can forgive him anything for taking out Beria.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


besilarius

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Reply #158 on: October 25, 2019, 04:44:56 PM
As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.


"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


Staggerwing

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Reply #159 on: October 25, 2019, 06:41:31 PM
 :bigthumb:


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besilarius

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Reply #160 on: October 28, 2019, 09:35:14 AM
Former Sergeant Angelo Roncarli dies in 1963. 
When asked how many people work in the Vatican, he deadpanned, "About half."

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


besilarius

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Reply #161 on: November 01, 2019, 06:46:43 AM
On November 1, 1950, would-be assassins Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo, Nationalists who supported the independence of Puerto Rico from the United States, attacked officers at the Blair House in order to assassinate President Truman. He was living there because of a major renovation at the White House for structural problems.

Torresola approached from the west side while Collazo engaged Secret Service agents and White House policemen from the east. Torresola approached the guard booth at the west corner of the Blair House and fired at officer leslie Coffelt from close range. His three shots struck Coffelt in the chest and abdomen, mortally wounding him. A fourth shot passed through the policeman's tunic.

Torresola shot two other policemen before running out of ammunition, then moved to the left of the Blair House steps to reload. Coffelt went out of his booth and fired at Torresola from 31 feet away, hitting him behind the ear and killing him instantly. Coffelt limped back to the booth and blacked out. He died of his wounds four hours later in a hospital.

"The S.S. chief said to me, "Mr. President, don't you know that when there's an Air Raid Alarm you don't run out and look up, you go for cover." I saw the point but it was over then.
Hope it won't happen again. They won't let me go walking or even cross the street on foot. I say 'they' won't, but it causes them so much anguish that I conform ... But I want no more guards killed." - Letter from Truman to his cousin, Ethel Noland, dated November 17, 1950

The would be assasins were totally out of touch.  Truman was known  for his morning walks, and detested having the S.S. (Secret Service) agents along.  He ordered them to always stay at least twenty feet behind.  If the bozos had attempted a drive by shooting, their chances of success would have been astronomical.
Even if they had gotten to Blair House's front door, there was an FBI agent with a tommy gun twenty feet down the aisle waiting for them to open the door.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


bob48

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Reply #162 on: November 01, 2019, 06:55:18 AM
Interesting! I'd not heard about that before.

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

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besilarius

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Reply #163 on: November 01, 2019, 11:02:39 PM
In 1700, King Charles of Spain dies, beginning the War of the Spanish Succession.

Idiots-in-Chief: King Louis XIV of France

On his deathbed, Louis XIV, traditionally regarded as one of the greatest kings of France (r., 1643-1715), told his 5-year old great-grandson, who was about to become Louis XV, "I have been too fond of war; do not imitate me in that . . . ."  It was plain statement of the truth; from the time Louis XIV assumed full power, at the age of 18 in 1661, France was at war for about 30 of the 54 years until his death

Oddly, the longest, most terrible, and most costly of these conflicts, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), might easily have been avoided.

The causus belli of the war was the death of the last Spanish Hapsburg, King Charles II (r. 1661-1700).  Despite having been married twice, Charles died without leaving any children, probably due to impotence, and without any clear close relative eligible to succeed him.  Now since Charles' health had always been precarious, the Spanish succession naturally interested the principal monarchs of Europe, Louis XIV, head of the House of Bourbon, and the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, head of the House of Hapsburg.  Leopold had married Charles' sister, Margarita Teresa, while Louis had wed the Spanish king's half-sister, Maria Teresa, and thus both had heirs would could claim a tie to the Spanish throne.

Attempting to settle the matter peacefully, in 1668 Louis and Leopold agreed that upon the death of King Charles, the Spanish Empire would be divided.  Louis would gain The Spanish Netherlands [Belgium], Lombardy, Sardinia, and Navarre, as well as Naples and Sicily (which France had been trying to conquer since the 13th century), plus the Philippines, while the Habsburg claimant to the throne would get Spain proper and the Americas.  This seemed an equitable solution to the problem, since each dynasty gained something from the deal, while Spain was united with neither, which would have created an unprecedented superpower.

Alas for peaceful settle of international problems, when Charles finally died in 1700, Louis promptly decided to scrap the agreement, hoping to secure the entire Spanish Empire for his middle grandson, Philip of Anjou, then about 17.  Naturally, Leopold, and most of the rest of Europe's monarchs objected.

The result was war, as the champions of the various claimants --at one point there were actually three!-- fought it out across much of Europe and goodly portions of the rest of the world as well.  In the end, exhaustion, the deaths of some of the claimants, and Bourbon victories in Spain, led to the accession of Philip of Anjou as King Philip V of Spain, who would reign, with a slight interruption, until 1746, over a rather diminished Spanish Empire.

So Louis had gained the throne of France for his family -- though with tough treaty arrangements barring the merger of the two kingdoms under a single ruler.  Of course Spain was devastated by the decade of war, while France’s economy was in a shambles.  Worse, France had lost its colonies in Hudson’s Bay, Newfoundland, and Acadia to Britain, while Spain had lost the Spanish Netherlands, Naples, Lombardy, and Sardinia to Austria, Sicily to Piedmont, Minorca, in the Mediterranean and Gibraltar to Britain, and territories in South America to Portugal

So Louis XIV can truly be considered an idiot-in-chief.

"These things must be done delicately-- or you hurt the spell."  - The Wicked Witch of the West.
"We've got the torpedo damage temporarily shored up, the fires out and soon will have the ship back on an even keel. But I would suggest, sir, that if you have to take any more torpedoes, you take 'em on the starboard side."   Pops Healy, DCA USS Lexington.


bob48

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Reply #164 on: November 02, 2019, 07:17:07 AM
I've done quite a lot of reading about this period, since I'm gaming it at present. Its a very interesting period, from the 9 years war up to the 7 years war and the war of independence.

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers'