DEADLIEST BLOGGER’S GREATEST QUOTES ON WAR 3

quotes

(To Read Part Two, Go Here)

War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil. – George Orwell

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. – John Stuart Mill

Between a battle lost and a battle won, the distance is immense and there stand empires. – Napoleon

The Spartans ask not how many are the enemy; only where they are. – Plutarch

thermopylae1

(Deadliest Blogger has moved. To continue, go here.)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1066: A BLOODY AND MOMENTOUS YEAR (2)

1 battle of hastingsHarold Godwinson had won a great victory at Stamford Bridge, defeating a Norse army and killing its storied leader, Harald Hardrada; the mightiest warrior in the north. But there was no time for celebration: William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, had crossed the Channel, and landed in Kent!

In the absence of the English naval levies (the Sea Fyrd) that had been dismissed with the coming of autumn, William had but to await good sailing weather and his rival’s distraction in the North to pounce upon England like a leopard upon his prey. Taking advantage of the opportunity the late season and the Norwegian invasion had given him, William and his Normans crossed the channel on the 28th of September; just two days after Stamford Bridge.

The Norman invasion army of 1066 was a true combined arms force, comprised of heavy cavalry, close order infantry, and archers. The mounted knights and their retainers, the elite strike force of the army, came from all across northern France: from Normandy, Brittany, and Flanders. The Age of Chivalry, during which the armored knight on horseback was king of battle, was just dawning. The coming struggle would pit the new against the old, as mounted knights (supported by archers and heavy foot) would face an army trained in the Viking Age tactics of the “shield-wall”….

(Deadliest Blogger has moved. To continue reading go here!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1066: A BLOODY AND MOMENTOUS YEAR!

jpg_1345725012

On October 14, 1066, two determined enemies faced each other over shallow valley. Arrayed on one side was the invading army of William, Duke of Normandy. Looking down upon them from the heights of Senlac Hill were the defenders of England, led by their warrior king, Harold. With the fate of England in the balance, they would contend that day in one of the greatest and most decisive battles in the sanguine history of the British Isles: The Battle of Hastings.

This struggle was the culmination of years of dynastic intrigue concerning the succession to the English throne that followed the death of King Edward the Confessor. This issue was complicated by the events a generation earlier in England’s history, when the Danes under their kings Svein Forkbeard and his son, Canute, wrested England from the hands of the Anglo-Saxon king, Aethelred the “Unready” (though this appellate may be a misconstruction of the Anglo-Saxon word for “Unwise”).

The Danish conqueror, Canute, married Aethelred’s widow Emma; a daughter of the Norman duke, Richard I (“the Fearless”). Her two sons by Aethelred, Alfred and Edward fled the Danes and took refuge in the court of their Norman kinsmen at Rouen.

Emma also had a son by Canute, Harthacanute, who briefly ruled England and Denmark following the deaths of both his father and brother. Upon his deathbed, Harthacanute named his half-brother Edward, still in Normandy, as his heir. (Edward’s elder brother Alfred had been treacherously killed by the Danes some years earlier.)

Tapisserie de Bayeux - Scène 1 : le roi Édouard le Confesseur

Edward’s excessive piety earned him the sobriquet, “The Confessor”. Raised in the court of Normandy, Edward favored his Norman kinsmen and friends. He was also naturally suspicious of those English lords who had won favor under Danish rule, particularly the powerful Earl of Wessex, Godwin; who had linked himself to the house of Canute by marriage. Edward the Confessor’s 24 year reign was marked by tension between his English lords and Norman favorites at court. Eventually Godwin forced the Norman faction out of England, becoming the “strong-man” behind the throne in Edward’s later years as king.

When Godwin died, his place beside Edward was taken by his strong son, Harold Godwinson, now Earl of Wessex. Harold used his wealth and position at court to amass a private army of professional Anglo-Danish warriors, called Huscarls (or Housecarls, “Household Warriors”). Canute had first created such a force, and Harold’s force was modeled on this elite body of fighting men. With these he defeated a coalition of rival English lords and the Welsh Prince, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, from 1055-1057. He then warred successfully in Wales in 1063, killing Gruffydd and bringing peace to the Welsh Marches.

The following year, a momentous event occurred. Harold and his youngest brother, Gyrth, were shipwrecked off the Norman Coast….

(Deadliest Blogger has moved. To continue reading, go here!)

stamford-bridge-bjorn

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GREAT SHIPS OF WAR: THE YAMATO!

Yamato_during_Trial_Service

Deadliest Blogger begins a new series on famous warships or types of ships in history.

In 1940 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched the heaviest and (arguably) the most powerfully armed battleship in history *. Heavily armored and armed, the Yamato and its sister ship, Musashi, sported 16″ of steel armor at the “beltline” (sides above and at the waterline), and massive 18″ guns (the largest-caliber guns ever mounted on any warship).

(Deadliest Blogger has moved. To continue reading, go here!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

THE SPARTANS, ELITE WARRIORS OF ANCIENT GREECE: PART ONE

1 phalangites prepare

“For the Spartans, it wasn’t walls or magnificent public buildings that made a city; it was their own ideals. In essence, Sparta was a city of the head and the heart. And it existed in its purest form in the disciplined march of a hoplite phalanx on their way to war!” – Bettany Hughes, writer/historian.

Sometime around 1000 B.C., a handful of Dorian-Greek villages in the valley of the Eurotas in the southern region of the Peloponnese called Laconia (or Lacedaemon), joined to form a single city-state (“polis”), called Sparta. In time, Sparta became the leading Dorian city in Greece. For a variety of reasons, by the 7th century B.C., Sparta had developed into a unique political entity, one entirely devoted to the arts of war.

THE SPARTAN CONSTITUTION

Under the constitution established by the legendary Spartan lawgiver, Lycourgos, all Spartan males were trained to one purpose: to become the best soldiers in the world. While others worked their land, every Spartan male had but one profession, the practice of arms.

This constitution, the “Great Rhetra”, was more than a set of laws or penal codes. It encompassed all aspects of the Spartan life. The Great Rhetra not only established the various branches of the Spartan government, and the enumerated the powers of each; it told the Spartan how to conduct their lives…

(Deadliest Warrior has moved. To continue reading, go here.)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE AGE OF ARTHUR: PART SIX

stonehenge_sunset

This is the Sixth-part of our discussion of Britain in the so-called Age of Arthur: the 5th though the mid-6th Century A.D. It is a fascinating period, with the Classical civlization of Greece and Rome giving way to the Germanic “Dark Ages”. It was the sunset of Celtic-Roman culture in Britain; it was the Age of Arthur!

But who was Arthur?

Before we answer that question, it is necessary we understand the world in which he lived.

(Read Part Five here; or start from the beginning here!)

AMBROSIUS AURELIANUS

As the Saxon terror spread throughout the south of Britain, the first victims were the farmers and villa-owning Romanized gentry of the open country. Unlike town and city dwellers, these had no high, strong walls to shelter behind; nor civic militias to defend those walls. Farms and villas were pillaged, the inhabitants driven off or killed. Archeological finds show hoards of Roman coins from this period; hastily buried by the owners before fleeing, perhaps in anticipation of one day returning.

090405thevandals

As previously stated, many of these fled to Armorica (Brittany), founding a British colony that in time lent its name to the area. Many, but not all: some stayed and fought back. These were led by a Romano-British gentlemen said to have been descended from Roman aristocracy, and to have been a staunch opponent of Vortigern’s Saxon policy.

That man was Ambrosius Aurelianus.

(Deadliest Blogger has moved. To continue reading, go here!)

1 milvian officers

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE WAFFEN SS: HITLER’S WARTIME ELITE

dhm0972

Few military organizations or formations in history have evoked such fear, loathing, or grudging respect as the Waffen SS! Hitler’s elite private army, the Waffen SS, their role and history are highly controversial to this very day.

Formed originally in 1933 as a 120 man “commando” under Sepp Dietrich, the Waffen (meaning “Armed”, or “Fighting”) was created as the armed wing of the Nazi Party‘s Schutzstaffel (Protective Squad). It rapidly grew during the Second World War; and at its largest was 38 divisions, along with some ancillary formations. During its 12 year existence, the Waffen SS gained a reputation for ferocity, imagination, resilience, and tenacity second to none in the Second World War. Though under the operational control of the Wehrmacht (the German Armed Forces) command during the war, the SS were autonomous in every other way.

849342_orig

The Waffen SS began as the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) (SS Dispositional Troops); and this combat arm of the Nazi Party bore this name until August 1940, when Hitler in a speech gave the SS-VT its now name. Originally limited to Germans of impeccable “racial” background, by 1941 the Waffen SS had sold itself to young men across Western Europe as the tip-of-the-spear in the “crusade” against world-wide communism. Volunteers from all over Europe swelled its ranks; as idealistic (if misguided) young men enlisted to defend western civilizations from “the godless hordes of communism”.

4xSS-posters

(Deadliest Blogger has moved. To continue reading, go here!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment