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Author Topic: This Day in History  (Read 205151 times)

bayonetbrant

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Reply #1125 on: March 12, 2024, 11:23:23 PM
Re: that last one about artillery

We definitely take our fire support and very seriously.

We have direct support artillery battalions assigned to each maneuver brigade and then we have general support battalions assigned at the division level and then on top of that we have multiple brigades of artillery at the core level that can be assigned to reinforce any of the divisions or the cav regiment

Oh, and down in the cav regiments we have an artillery battery in every one of the maneuver squadrons

And that's before we start talking about close air support or naval gunfire or battalion level mortars

US Army does not screw around with launching big rounds downrange

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besilarius

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Reply #1126 on: March 13, 2024, 11:04:55 PM

1489         Ottoman Sultan Bajazet II agreed to pay Pope Innocent VIII 40,000 ducats a year to keep his brother Djem as a "guest"

1758 the French Army had 181 generals, among whom were three royal princes, plus five ordinary princes, 11 dukes, 44 counts, 38 marquises, 14 chevaliers, and six barons.

1811  Battle of Lissa. Cptn. William Hoste with 3 frigates and one 22 gun ship defeated a Franco-Venetian squadron of 6 frigates and 6 smaller vessels under Bernard Dubourdieau.

1821. Although the "Metric System" had been introduced by the Revolutionary government during the early 1790s, Napoleon apparently never learned it, and during his campaigns habitually used the old traditional French system of toises (c. 6.4 English feet) and ligues (c. 3 English miles).

1855  Ladies at the court of Tsar Nicholas I (1825-1855) were normally addressed by the military titles of their husbands.

1920. Berlin: The "Kapp Putsch" fails

1945, as his glorious Third Army was driving across the Rhineland under rainy skies, Gen. George S. Patton spotted a number of troops gathered around a tank parked a rod or so off the road. Driving up in his jeep, Patton jumped out, and asked what was up. He was told that the men were trying to repair the tank, which was suffering from some malfunction. At that, the general in his natty uniform and all promptly crawled beneath the vehicle to join the two surprised mechanics who were actually working on the problem. After nearly a half hour under the tank, Patton crawled out, his normally splendid uniform torn and covered with mud and grease. Climbing back into his jeep, Patton ordered his driver to press on.
As they drove off, the generals driver asked What was wrong, General?
To this, Patton replied, I donït know, but I'm sure that the word will spread throughout the division that I was on my belly in the mud repairing a tank.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2024, 11:09:10 PM by besilarius »

"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 #1127 on: March 14, 2024, 02:49:14 PM
1489         Queen Catherine Conaro of Cyprus (1474 to 1489) sells her realm to Venice

1503         Cesare Borgia investes Ceri, aided by Leonardo's siege engines & Machiavelli's advice

1757         Vice-Adm. John Byng, 52, executed "to encourage the others"

1795  Battle of Genoa. British-Neapolitan fleet of 14 ships, under Vice Admiral Hotham, defeated French fleet of 13 ships, under Rear Admiral Pierre Martin. French ships Ça Ira (84) and Censeur were captured. HMS Illustrious (74), Cptn. Thomas Lennox Frederick was too badly damaged and was set on fire.
1844  Born   Umberto I, King of Italy (1878-1900), on his father's brithday. Assassinated, 1900, after four or five earlier unsuccessful attempts

1864. Born Alfred Redl (1864-1913): An Austro-Hungarian officer, by 1901 he headed the army’s espionage and counter-espionage office, and uncovered several foreign agents. In 1907, needing money, Redl began selling mobilization plans, details about new weapons, plans of frontier defenses, and so forth to Russian intelligence. He continued to do so after his promotion to colonel and transfer to duty as chief-of-staff of the VIII Army Corps in Prague. The corps was part of the Austro-Hungarian strategic reserve, and thus Redl had access to plans for war with Serbia or Russia or both. In 1913 German intelligence uncovered his activities and passed the information on to their allies. Amazingly, rather than interrogate Redl, the arresting officers permitted him to commit suicide. Although Chief-of-the-General Staff Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf expressed outrage over this, he apparently was not displeased, perhaps because his own son had been among the many officers who – unwittingly or not – had supplied Redl with useful information. One of the most financially successful spies in history, Redl, a colonel with an annual salary of 14,000 kronen, left an estate worth about 75,000 kronen, more than Conrad’s assets, and today equal to perhaps as $7,500,000. This included a house in Vienna, a luxury three bedroom apartment in Prague, three horses, and a Daimler limo (itself costing kr 19,000), as well as “. . . wardrobes . . . stuffed with uniforms and the softest batiste shirts, ninety-five of them . . . sixty-two pairs of gloves”, not to mention jewelry, objects d’arte, and more. He also had about kr 30,000 in debts. Redl seems to have inspired the roguish “Colonel Count Alfred Renard”, played by Maurice Chevalier in the 1929 Paramount romantic comedy The Love Parade.

1863. A squadron of ships led by Rear Adm. David G. Farragut passes the heavy batteries at Port Hudson, La., to establish blockade of Red River supply lines during the Civil War. USS Mississippi becomes grounded, catches fire and blows up, killing 64.

"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 #1128 on: March 15, 2024, 07:44:58 PM
509   BC   Installation of the first consuls: L. Iunius Brutus & L. Tarquinius Collatinus

44 BC   G. Julius Caesar, 55 -- "Et tu, Brute?"

1330         Azzone Visconti stages a coup in Milan, which his descendants will rule until 1535

1781         Battle of Guilford Court House: The Brits barely defeat the Yankees, and decide to retire from the Carolinas into Virginia, where they will have an unfortunate encounter with George Washington at Yorktown

1924   Born Richard Topus, in Brooklyn, senior US Army pigeonmaster, 1942-1945, d. 2008

1937   Death of Rear Adm. Richmond P. Hobson, Medal of Honor, at 66 --
After the U.S. Navy blockaded the Spanish fleet in Santiago Harbor in May of 1898, some thought was given to permanently sealing the channel by sinking a block ship.

Richmond Pearson Hobson, a 27-year old Assistant Naval Constructor, ranking as a lieutenant, j.g., was entrusted with the task, using the collier Merrimac. Hobson rigged the ship for demolition. Anchors were set at her bow and stern so that they could be dropped in an instant with one or two blows from an axe, while explosive charges were affixed at intervals along her port side, below the waterline. Hobson planned to take the ship into the channel by moonlight with a running tide. At the narrowest point, about 350 feet, he would cut loose the bow anchor and stop the engines. This would cause the ship's stern to swing around until her 322¾ foot hull was athwart the channel, whereupon the stern anchor would be dropped and the charges exploded electrically, ripping opening the ship's side. Then, as the ship settled to the bottom the crew would make its getaway in small boats or by swimming to shore.
Some 200 sailors worked for nearly two days to prepare the ship. But Hobson now had to address the delicate question of who could go along. Everyone in the U.S. Navy wanted to go. All 690 officers and men aboard the battleship Iowa volunteered; one was chosen, ultimately by a coin toss, and he refused an offer of $50.00 – an enormous sum at the time – to let someone take his place. Six men were chosen to go with Hobson: Daniel Montague and George Charette, petty officers off the armored cruiser New York; Osborn Deignan, coxswain, John F. Philips, machinist, and Francis Kelly, water tender, all off the Merrimac, and J.C. Murphy, coxswain, from the Iowa, to whom was added a seventh, Coxswain Rudolph Clausen of the New York, who stowed away in order to join the party.
On June 3rd, at just about 3:00 am, Merrimac began her run into the channel, from about 2000 yards off the entrance, at her maximum speed, nine knots. At about 500 yards from the entrance a Spanish picket boat opened fire, trying to hit the ship's rudder. Closing on the channel entrance, Hobson ordered the engines stopped. Gliding on, Merrimac was subject to increasing light artillery and machine gun fire. With shells and bullets hitting the ship, she glided past the cliffs, passng beneath the Morro Castle by just 30 feet. Hobson ordered the bow anchor dropped. As Coxswain Murphy chopped through the line to drop the bow anchor, Hobson ordered the first charge detonated, then the second, and ordered the wheel put hard over to port. But the wheel failed to respond, the rudder having been shot away. Then the stern anchor was shot away, and the bow anchor line parted. Hobson ordered the other charges detonated, but they failed to go off, Spanish fire apparently having cut the wires. The ship was sinking, but too slowly and at too poor an angle to block the channel.
Merrimac drifted on, the target of numerous bullets and shells. Then, quite suddenly, she fell off to port, and her bow angled downwards as she took her final plunge. Hobson and his men abandoned ship, jumping overboard and swimming to floating debris. Within minutes Merrimac had settled on the bottom, her upper works just above water. Although in the center of the channel, she offered only a minor hazard to navigation. From the start to finish, Hobson's mission had taken little more than half an hour.
The Spanish began searching for the crew. Hobson gathered his men around a raft. They drifted quietly for more than an hour, until dawn. Then he hailed a passing Spanish launch. In a coincidence so remarkable a novelist would be embarrassed to use it, the launch was that of Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete, the Spanish commander, and the old man himself helped Hobson and his men out of the water, all the while complimenting them on their courage. Cervera promptly informed the American ships offshore that Hobson and his men were all safe and uninjured, and announced that he would return them after they had rested.
True to his word, the following day Cervera dispatched Hobson and his men in a small boat. But as they were being transferred, some of the American sailors present noticed that Daniel Montague wore a bandage on his head and was bruised about the face. Knowing that Cervera had said all the men were uninjured, the Americans immediately assumed that the Spanish had beaten the prisoners. But all was soon cleared up; Montague had imbibed so much at a party the Spanish had thrown for the men that he had gotten drunk, lost his footing, and given himself a nasty cut to the head.
Each of the enlisted men who took part in the operation was awarded the Medal of Honor. Since at the time naval regulations barred officers from receiving that decoration, Hobson was advanced ten numbers in grade, and promoted to Naval Constructor, ranking as a full lieutenant. In 1933, by which time award regulations had been changed, Hobson – long retired – was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the following year advanced to the rank of rear admiral on the retired list by special Act of Congress.
Hobson was the only naval officer to receive the Medal of Honor for the Spanish-American War.

 1957. A ZPG-2 airship driven by Cmdr. Jack R. Hunt lands at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., after a flight that began March 4 at South Weymouth, Mass., then circled over the Atlantic Ocean toward Portugal, the African coast and back for a new world record in distance and endurance, covering 9,448 statute miles and remaining airborne 264 hours 12 minutes without refueling.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2024, 07:47:40 PM by besilarius »

"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 #1129 on: March 16, 2024, 08:42:40 PM
597   BC   Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonians capture Jerusalem, destroying the First Temple

33 BC at the onset of the Roman Civil War, Julius Caesar had promised a lavish donative to his troops, amounting to about 102.9 million sestertii per legion, for a total obligation of over 3.7 billion sestertii, a sum equal to about 1060% of the total annual revenues of the Roman republic

37. Tiberius, 77, Roman general and Emperor (AD 14-37), possibly murdered

1582. Sultan Murad III of Turkey (R. 1574-1595), was so impressed by the performance of a troupe of entertainers at the circumcision of his son that he enrolled the entire company in the Janissary Corps, at that time perhaps the finest body of infantry in the world.

1913 German Kaiser Wilhelm II refused to sanction the activation of three new army corps on the grounds that there were insufficient officers of noble blood available for them, and that he would not permit the admission of non-aristocrats into the officer corps in such numbers

1914         Gaston Calmette, 55, editor of 'Le Figaro,' shot by Mdm. Henriette Caillaux, wife of France's finance minister, over some indiscrete letters he had published, initiating a scandalous trial that would preoccupy public attention until the outbreak of war in late July
  During the Campaign of 1914 a quarter of all the horses in the French Army died, 90-percent of them from disease or fatigue rather than combat.

1941         The Pennsylvania Railroad's Cleveland-Pittsburgh express was derailed near Baden, Pa., with 5 deaths, over 100 injured; German inspired sabotage was suspected, but no arrests were ever made.
  several Indian nations, including the Iroquois, Ponca, and Chippewa, joined the U.S. in declaring war against the Third Reich, a measure the Sioux did not have to take, since they had never ended the state of war they had declared against the Second Reich in 1917.

"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 #1130 on: March 17, 2024, 09:41:31 PM
180. Commodus becomes sole Roman Emperor (180-193), without having murdered Marcus Aurelius

1658 the Spanish Army established a new garrison at Badajoz, northwest of Madrid, one result of which was that over the next year the illegitimacy rate in the city tripled.

1762  First St Partick's Day parade in New York City

1776. British forces evacuate Boston; George Washington orders an extra gill of whiskey to every Irish soldier in the army

1913   Franklin D. Roosevelt was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1921). 
    Thomas Marshall was Woodrow Wilson's running mate for the presidency in 1912, and was duly inaugurated as Vice-President on March 4, 1913. As befitting the character of the office in those days, Marshalls tenure was hardly memorable. In fact, he is chiefly remembered today, if remembered at all, for saying What this country needs is a good five cent cigar.
Anyway, in 1915 Marshall was visiting the San Francisco Exhibition, when the Pacific Fleet paid a call. Naturally, the fleet commander invited Marshall to a reception aboard his flagship, which the vice-president graciously accepted.
What followed was observed by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, who happened to be in Marshalls party, a young fellow named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Marshall and his party were taken to the flagship in the admirals barge. This deposited them at the foot of a gangway. With Marshall in the lead, the party walked up the gangway. As Marshall, formally decked out in frock coat and top hat, reached the top of the gangway, to step on the grating, the bo's'un began to pipe him aboard, while the side boys saluted, ruffles and flourishes were rendered, and The Star Spangled Banner began to play. Unfortunately, no one seems to have taken the opportunity to inform Marshall as to the protocol involved in boarding a commissioned warship. So there was the vice-president, with his gloves in his left hand, a cane in his right, and a cigar one hopes not a five center ïn his mouth. Hesitating but a moment, Marshall quickly shifted the cane from his right hand to his left, removed the cigar from his mouth with his left, and transferred it to his right, and then doffed his hat with his left, to stand, a mite belatedly, at attention. As the last strain of the national anthem faded away, Marshall, with gloves, cane, and cigar still in his right hand, began to don his hat. Suddenly the first round of a 17 gun salute went off. Thoroughly startled, Marshall jumped, tossing hat, gloves, cane, and cigar two feet in the air, and then groped wildly in an attempt to snatch everything before it fell to the deck or into the sea.
But there was worse in store for the vice-president. A newsreel cameraman had been present and captured the entire proceedings on film.
Afterwards, seeing his performance preserved in celluloid, Marshall said to F.D.R., . . . I will never go on board another ship as long as I live.

1966         US mini-sub locates a missing H-bomb in the Mediterranean off Palomares, Spain
« Last Edit: March 17, 2024, 09:49:24 PM by besilarius »

"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 #1131 on: March 18, 2024, 08:22:00 PM
Gallipoli Memorial Day
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…
You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours….
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

--   Mustafa Kemal Attaturk,
Dedication of the ANZAC Memorial,
     On the eve of Turkey's entry into World War I, British Rear-Ad. Arthur Limpus was the head of a naval mission in Constantinople. Of course, when it became clear that Turkey was about to enter the war on Germany's side, the British naval mission was recalled home. Surprisingly, Limpus saw no further significant service in the war; promoted to vice admiral, he was sent with his staff to run Royal Navy Dockyard in Malta, a post which he held from September 1914 until October 1916.

Now this is odd, because early in 1915 Britain and France decides to undertake a naval expedition against Constantinople, with the intention of forcing the Dardanelles and Bosphorus to capture the city and open an all weather sea route to Russia. The man chosen to lead that effort was Vice-Adm Sackville Carden, who was given a formidable Anglo-French fleet, including 16 mostly older battleships. But Sackville Carden proved to lack the physical and moral strength to gain success.. After frittering away several weeks in fruitless organizing, he essayed two attempts to bombard the defenses (February 19th and 25th), and then suffered a physical collapse. Rear Adm. John de Robeck inherited his command, a man whose most recent experience had been as commander of the Cape Verde Station, a small squadron of cruisers charged with helping to clear the seas of German ships.

On March 18th de Robeck boldly steamed into the Straits, and promptly had three old battleships sunk and two damaged by Turkish mines, not to mention one disabled by enemy coast artillery. This set the stage for the even more disastrous Gallipoli Campaign (April 26, 1915 January 9, 1916), which would cost the Allies a quarter of a million men killed and wounded.

Now itïs just possible that had Limpus been in command, the Anglo-French expedition might actually have been able to force the straits. After all, he probably knew more about the capabilities of the Turkish Navy and the defenses of the straits than any other Allied officer. So why hadnït he been given the job?

The answer is an odd one, though very, very British. At the highest levels it had been decided that to give Limpus the job of fighting the folks he had so recently been advising might not be considered quite gentlemanly, not cricket as it were. And so Limpus was sent to Malta, "having been instructed not to supply any information which could be used against the Turks."

1939  During their protracted duel with the “pocket battleship” Graf Spee off the Rio de la Plata on December 13, 1939, the light cruisers HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles, fired some 2,500 6-inch rounds, to which the heavy cruiser HMS Exeter contributed an uncertain number of 8-inchers, together scoring only 57 hits, and not killing a single man aboard the German vessel, though inflicting sufficient damage to seal her fate.

1945  Napoleon's decorations were captured by the Prussians in 1815, who put them on display in Berlin, from which they were taken by the Russians in 1945, so that they currently reside in Moscow.

"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 #1132 on: March 19, 2024, 06:52:59 PM
19   BC   Triumph of Lucius Cornelius Balbus the Younger for the defeat of the Garamantes of North Africa, the last private citizen to be awarded a triumph until Belisarius in AD 534

1279  Chinese Emperor Bing, 8, the last of the Song (May 10, 1278-March 1279), suicide by jumping into the sea to avoid capture by the Mongols after the decisive Battle of Yamen.

1776  The 12,000 British troops who occupied Boston in the winter of 1775-1776, during the American Revolution, consumed an officially attested 468,750 gallons of porter and another 95,000 of rum.

1814  New Year’s Day of 1796 Henry Sturgeon (1781-1814) left the Royal Military Academy as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery.  In August of 1800, by then a lieutenant,  he took part in a raid on El Ferrol, in Spain, and the following year was wounded in the Battle of Alexandria (March 13, 1801).  In 1807, by which time he had transferred to the Royal Staff Corps and secured promotion to captain, Sturgeon began serving under Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, in the Peninsula, proving an outstanding officer, conducting reconaissances, performing engineer duties, and helping to plan operations.  Described by Wellington as "a clearheaded officer . . . always showing himself a clever fellow,” he was promoted to major in 1809.  Sturgeon earned a mention in dispatches for the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo (Jan. 20, 1812), was given a brevet promotion to lieutenant-colonel, and then got another mention for the Battle of Salamanca (July 22, 1812).  In April of 1813 Sturgeon was placed in command of the Corps of Guides, an elite unit that conducted reconnaissance, provided escorts, carried dispatches, and performed other specialized duties for the army.  In February of 1814 Sturgeon facilitated Wellington’s desire to besiege Bayonne, in southwestern France, by developing the idea for a bridge of boats over the River Adour, called by the historian Sir William Francis Patrick, in his History of the War in the Peninsula War, a “stupendous undertaking, which must always rank among the prodigies of war.”
 Just a few days after this, on February 27, 1814, Wellington defeated a French relief force in the Battle of Orthez.  Wellington promptly wrote a letter to inform Lt. Gen. John Hope, commanding the force besieging Bayonne, about his victory.  But when the officer entrusted with the letter asked for some Guides to serve as an escort, there were none to be had, Sturgeon having, for the only time in his career, dropped the ball.
Now the Duke of Wellington had a ferocious temper (see “The Duke of Wellington Never Apologizes”), so when he heard that his letter would have to be delayed, he became furious.  Summoning Sturgeon, Wellington subjected him to a severe reprimanded in the presence of some officers with whom he was dining.  Described as “violent” and with “harsh expressions,” the rebuke wholly dispirited Sturgeon.
On March 19th, during an action near Vic-en-Bigorre, Sturgeon deliberately rode into a vineyard infested with French skirmishers and was promptly killed.

1815  Louis XVIII flees Paris, as Napoleon nears

1849  Alfred Peter Friedrich Tirpitz, later ennobled, German Grossadmiral and Navy Minister, father of the "High Sea Fleet", d. 1930

1942  William Slim takes command of the British Burma Corps.

1945  As Fast Carrier Task Force 58 planes bomb Kure and Kobe Harbors, Japanese aircraft single out the US Navy carriers for attack. USS Wasp (CV 18), USS Essex (CV 9), and USS Franklin (CV 13) are hit. After struck by a second bomb, Franklin suffers subsequent explosions on the flight and hangar decks. Heroic work by her crew, assisted by nearby ships, bring the fires and flooding under control. For their actions during this occasion, both Lt. Cmdr. Joseph T. OCallaghan and Lt.j.g. Donald A. Gary receive the Medal of Honor.

1945  her old age the widow of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, wartime chief of the German Abwher, and a co-conspirator in the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler in July of 1944, was supported by an American pension apparently arranged by Allen Dulles, head of the C.I.A.

1950  Edgar Rice Burroughs, war correspondent, novelist ("John Carter of Mars", "Tarzan"), 74
« Last Edit: March 19, 2024, 11:43:23 PM by besilarius »

"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 #1133 on: March 20, 2024, 07:01:09 PM
41  Marcus Didius Falco, soldier, detective, fictionally, d. c. 100

1631  German Imperial troops sack Magdeburg, 25,000 said to have died

1703. Forty-six of the "Forty-seven" ronin, ritual suicide

1793 the outbreak of the French Wars (1793-1815) the Royal Navy had 32 frigates ready for sea, a figure that shortly rose to over 100, and peaked at 156 in 1810.

1799. Admiral Sir Richard "Black Dickï" Howe (1726-1799) reportedly never smiled, save when he was going into battle.

1813. The silver punch bowl long used on formal occasions by the British 18th Hussars (now "consolidated" with the 13th, 15th, and 19th Royal Hussars) was captured from Joseph Bonaparte, the "King of Spain" by courtesy of his brother Napoleon, at the Battle of Vitoria (June 21, 1813), for whom it had served as a chamber pot.

1890  Kaiser Wilhelm II fires Chancellor Otto von Bismarck

1918  Donald F. Featherstone, British author, military historian, and pioneer wargamer, d. 2013
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 07:04:46 PM by besilarius »

"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 #1134 on: March 21, 2024, 03:11:24 PM
 :ROFL:1096 Pope Urban II condemned the use of the crossbow against Christians, though he did permit it to be used against non-believers.

1472 the Lord of Cordes brought two cannon to besiege Beauvais, in northern France, which might have done for the town but for the fact that he also brought only two cannon balls, which, although they did excellent work, proved insufficient to breach the walls.

1788. Second Great Fire of New Orleans: c. 800-850 buildings houses burn after a votive candle ignites some curtains

1823 war threatened between the Kingdom of Burma and Britain.  Fearing the worst, the government of Lord Liverpool consulted the Duke of Wellington as to who would be the best man to command in a campaign to capture Rangoon and impose a favorable settlement on Burma.
Wellington promptly replied, "Send Lord Combermere."
"But," protested the Cabinet, "We have always understood that your Grace considered Lord Combermere a fool?"
"So he is a fool, and a damned fool; but he can take Rangoon!" replied the Duke.

1870 French Army recruit Théophile-Euphrasie Battreau was issued a Chassepot rifle, serial number 187017, which he toted during the Franco-Prussian War, and which, 21 years later, he took off the body of a dead Dahomeyan warrior while serving as a captain in the Foreign Legion, picking it up when he noticed a notch in the stock that had been caused by a German round during the Battle of St. Privat.

1895. Visiting the Big Apple during his tour of the United States, the notorious German anti-Semite Hermann Ahlwardt found that New York City Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt., Jr., had thoughtfully provided him with a security detail, of 40 Jewish officers.

1918 In. a number of armies, the value of wargaming was viewed with a jaundiced eye. In the British Army Gen. Sir Henry Wilson (1864-1922), was a staunch supporter of wargaming, having served as head of the British staff college from 1907 until 1910, when he was appointed Director of Military Operations. An inveterate admirer of the French Army, and a close friend to Ferdinand Foch, Wilson worked hard to insure that Britain would be ready to stand by France when war came with Germany. He developed the mobilization and deployment plans that put the British Expeditionary Force on the French left in August of 1914. But Wilson’s ambitions for a field command went unfulfilled, save for a brief tour at the head of a corps, due to political machinations
Nevertheless, in late 1917 Wilson was appointed the British representative to the newly formed Allied Supreme War Council, headed by his old friend Foch. Pondering the possibilities for the coming year, in January of 1918 Wilson decided to conduct a wargame using the personnel from his staff.
During the game, the German player undertook an offensive with 100 divisions that broke the front along the Somme at the juncture of the Anglo-French armies and led to the loss of some of the Channel ports.
With this grim possibility in mind, this Wilson recommended a number of measures to Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commanding the British Expeditionary Force. Haig chose to dismiss the recommendations, despite the fact that in February Wilson was appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff.
On March 21st the Germans unleashed “Operation Michel,” the first attack of the “Kaiserschlacht – the Kaiser Battle,” their series of spring offensives intended to end the war. The blow came at precisely the point and in almost the strength predicted in Wilson’s wargame, and very nearly had the prediced outcome, as the British front was ripped open so badly only a desperate “backs to the wall” resistance saved the Channel ports.

Between August 9, 1914, and November 30, 1918, Britain shipped 25 million tons of all types of supplies to its armies in France, of which only 5 million tons (20.6%) were ammunition whilst over 6 million tons (23.5%) were fodder and feed for horses and mules.

 

"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 #1135 on: March 22, 2024, 07:32:13 PM
1622  First Indian War: Powahaten attacks Jamestown, Va, 347 die

1808. The Battle of Sjællands Odde. Danish Prinds Christian Frederik (74), Cmdr. Carl W. Jessen, engaged English squadron of HMS Stately (64), Commodore George Parker, HMS Nassau  and 3 frigates. She grounded outside Odden harbor, was set on fire and exploded.

1817  Birth of Braxton Bragg.  his Memoirs, U.S. Grant, mentioned a tale about Bragg that circulated in the “Old Army” before the war.
On one occasion, when stationed at a post of several companies commanded by a field officer, he was himself commanding one of the companies and at the same time acting as post quartermaster and commissary. He was first lieutenant at the time, but his captain was detached on other duty. As commander of the company he made a requisition upon the quartermaster—himself—for something he wanted. As quartermaster he declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed on the back of it his reasons for so doing. As company commander he responded to this, urging that his requisition called for nothing but what he was entitled to, and that it was the duty of the quartermaster to fill it. As quartermaster he still persisted that he was right. In this condition of affairs Bragg referred the whole matter to the commanding officer of the post. The latter, when he saw the nature of the matter referred, exclaimed "My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarreled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarrelling with yourself!”
Grant’s anecdote is probably not true, but that it circulated suggests the degree to which Bragg was, as Grant put it, “disputatious.”

1820. Commo. Stephen Decatur, 41, in a duel with Commo. James Barron. over criticism Decatur had when Barron lost his ship, USS Chesapeake, to HMS Leopard in 1807.

1910  Birth of Nicholas Monserrat.  Although a pacifist, during World War II, Nicholas Monsarrat (1910-1979), a promising young novelist, decided to do his bit to defeat Hitler. Being an avid yachtsman, he promptly joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
Commissioned a sub-lieutenant, Monsarrat saw service in corvettes during the most desperate days of the Battle of the Atlantic. Proving a capable officer, he was promoted with unusual speed for a temporary reservist. By war’s end, having commanded successively a corvette, a frigate, and an escort group, and helped conduct numerous convoys across the ocean, he had risen to captain, and was serving on the staff of the Admiralty in London.
With the formal surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, a carnival atmosphere quickly developed in London. By chance, Monsarrat was the Duty Captain in the Admiralty that night, assigned to stand watch in the command center. He arrived at the Admiralty at 9:00 p.m., by which time perhaps a million happy people were crowded into central London. From his post, Monsarrat could hear the cheers and singing of the crowds outside the historic Admiralty building, which had seen many a similar crowd celebrating Britain’s victories since it had been completed in 1726. As he would later write, “On a guilty impulse I deserted my post” to take in the scene. He made his way to the top of the great stone arch which marks the formal entrance to the Admiralty.
From the top of Admiralty Arch, Monsarrat could see an enormous host of people cheering and singing, from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square and, most astonishing of all, a city in lights for the first time since blackouts had begun, nearly six years earlier.
But then he noticed something else, which he described in his memoirs.
Then, on a half-turn, I became aware that I was not alone, on top of the Admiralty Arch.
There was someone standing within five yards of me, also staring down at the crowds, and oblivious of close company for the same reason as I had been—because we were both entranced by the magnet of what was going on below.  With that perceptible twinge of nervousness which had been built into my life for so many years, I recognized, first the rank and then the man.
The massive display of gold braid told me that he was an admiral, like his brave and lonely brother on top of the column [Nelson].  Then I realized that this was a very superior admiral indeed.  I counted one thick band of gold, and four thinner ones.  He was an Admiral of the Fleet-the highest any sailor could go.
In fact, I suddenly recognized, he was the Admiral of the Fleet.  The man in my company was the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Cunningham.

2228  Capt. James Tiberius Kirk of the 'Enterprise', in Riverside , Iowa

"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 #1136 on: March 23, 2024, 02:01:08 PM
500 BC. Roman Festival of the Tubilustrium - Purification of the War Trumpets

1208. Pope Innocent III excommunicates King John and lays England under interdict until the Crown restores ecclesiastical rights

1514  Born. Lorenzino de' Medici, author, later murderer of his kinsman Duke Alessandro "il Moro" de' Medici of Florence in 1537, murdered in turn by his kinsman Duke Cosimo I de' Medici of Florence in 1548.

1603. Emperor Go-Yozei declares Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun of Japan (1603-1616), establishing the Tokugaw Shogunate that woud rule until 1868

1680. the Jesuit missionaries of what is now Paraguay, organized a militia from among their Guarani Indian converts, under the command of former soldiers who had taken Holy Orders, who proved quite effective in beating off slaving raids from Brazil.

1806  Lewis & Clark reach the Pacific Coast

1862. Battle of Kernstown, Va: Jackson begins his Valley Campaign

1918, as the Germans unleashed the first of their massive offensives that very nearly led to victory over the Allies on the Western Front, the U.S. War Department informed all general officers that one of the principal weaknesses of American soldiers was a slovenly and indifferent salute.

1944. RAF Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade survives a 5,500 m fall without a parachute after his Lancaster is hit near Berlin

"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.


bbmike

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Reply #1137 on: March 24, 2024, 08:44:37 AM
...

1806  Lewis & Clark reach the Pacific Coast
...


Did they rave about the seriously overrated In-N-Out Burger?  ::)

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
-Sherlock Holmes

My Own Worst Enemy


besilarius

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Reply #1138 on: March 24, 2024, 01:30:20 PM
Probably too busy dodging Conestoga wagons on Sunset boulevard.

"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 #1139 on: March 24, 2024, 04:45:20 PM
771   BC   Romulus, future King of Rome (753 -717 BC) and Remus (d. 753) [Trad]

809         Haroun-al-Raschid, twenty-fifth Caliph (786-809), at 44

1241         Mongols take Cracow, Poland

1401         Tamerlane sacks Damascus

1545. During the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547), England developed what may have been the most sophisticated ordnance in Europe; the very word "ordnance" was coined during this period, reportedly due to a typo in the spelling of in the "ordinance" that formalized the new system of artillery.  This was eventually inherited by his daughter, Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603).
 English artillery was under the control of the “Captain General of Artillery,” later renamed “Master of the Ordnance.”
The Master of the Ordnance was not only responsible for the manufacture and maintenance of cannon, powder, and shot, but also for the recruiting and training of artillerymen, for the supply of ammunition to arquebusiers and musketeers and archers (the longbow remained a weapon of issue for the English militia into the 1590s), and for many engineering duties as well
So there were a host of personnel under the command and supervision of the Master of the Ordnance.
 Master Gunners, senior artillery officers for a particular post or command
 A Gunner, and Gunner’s Mate for every cannon
 Wheelwrights
Carpenters
Shipwrights
 Coopers
 Smiths
 Fletchers
 Masons
 Wainwrights
 Cable makers
 Pioneers

The smiths, carpenters, wheelwrights, and wainwrights (wagon makers) were needed to make the guns and their carriages, cable makers made the ropes necessary to haul the pieces, especially those to be fitted aboard ships by the shipwrights.  Masons and pioneers were needed to build or modify fortresses, castles, storehouses, and so forth, and coopers made the barrels necessary to store powder. . 
In addition to these personnel, if the Master of the Ordnance happened to go on campaign, he would also command infantry companies, as required, to protect the guns, a task more normally assigned to the master gunner of the army in the field.
To carry out his duties, the Master of the Ordnance initially had a very small administrative staff, just a lieutenant and some clerks, the numbers of whom increased over the years.  That's because, by Victorian times the Master of the Ordnance was responsible not only for artillery, engineers, and fortifications, but also for supplies, transport, hospitals, and a lot more, and yet was not a subordinate of the commander-in-chief of the British Army.  This odd situation came about because additional tasks kept being dumped on the Master.  Since he received a cut of all money that passed through is office, the Master was not likely to protest when a new task was entrusted to his care.  Nevertheless, by Victorian times it became clear that some of the muddle that accompanied military administration was certainly attributable to the highly jury-rigged arrangement that put the Master of the Ordnance in charge of all sorts of unrelated matters.  Reform eventually took hold.
There still is Master of the Ordnance, but the post is today largely an administrative one, similar to the Chief of Artillery in the U.S. Army.

1830, over objections that long distance communications were not a military concern, the Prussian Army finally acceded to proposals by officers who had been impressed by how Napoleon had benefitted from his signal service and formed an optical telegraph section in the Guard Pioneer Battalion.

1896, the 11,520 ton battleship Kentucky (BB-6) and her sister Kearsarge (BB-5, the only American battlewagon not named for a state), were among the most powerful warships afloat when they were commissioned in 1900.  The pair toted four 13"/35 guns in two twin turrets, each of which also had a "superposed" double 8"/35 turret on its top, plus a plethora of lighter armament, and could make a respectable 16 knots.
The ships were launched in a unique double ceremony on March 24, 1898, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, which today builds Uncle Sam's aircraft carriers.  And on that occasion, Kentucky definitely stole the show.
On the appointed day, Kearsarge was launched first, christened by Mrs. Herbert Winslow, the daughter of Rear Admiral John Winslow, who had commanded the screw sloop Kearsarge in her famous 1863 duel with the Confederate cruiser Alabama.  Mrs. Winslow, who had married her cousin Herbert Winslow, also a naval officer, performed her duties properly, wielding the traditional bottle of champagne.
Kentucky's sponsor, however, had a different idea.  Miss Christine Bradley, daughter of Blue Grass State governor William O. Bradley, was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance League.  Spurning tradition, Miss Bradley chose to christen the ship with  bottle of spring water taken from Sinking Spring Farm, the old Lincoln homestead in Hardin County, Kentucky.
Word of Miss Bradley's intentions has been widely circulated.  As a result, many of the guests came prepared to "correct" her heretical proposal.  As Miss Bradley smashed the water bottle and the great ship began sliding down the ways, members of the crowd began hurling the contents of their hip flasks at the ship, and even whole bottles of bourbon, so that when she entered the water, her hull was well lubricated with a considerable amount of good Kentucky whiskey.

1917. When the United States declared war on Germany in April, the only war plans on hand were for the defense of the country against a British invasion from Canada, a conflict with Japan in the Pacific, involving a possible invasion of the West Coast, or a German invasion of the East Coast from the West Indies.

1945         Gen. George S. Patton pisses in the Rhine from a pontoon bridge near Oppehneim, Germany -- http://imgur.com/gallery/enIbnty

"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.