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Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5271
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/19/2021 6:54:15 AM
The day must not pass unmentioned : nothing new to add, but 158 years ago Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/19/2021 8:49:37 AM
Quote:
Quote:
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These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

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Good for days I have limited access!
MD



TDIH the Canterbury Tales from a literary perspective how significant were they? Check this out.

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We earlier mentioned the RN's use of Keel Hauling, they might as well of used a firing squad, the poor sailor died anyway & it was less terrifying!?

As Phil mentions, on this day 11/19/1863, Pres Abraham Lincoln, delivered what is considered one of the best written speeches in history! Why is it rated so highly? Any Language Arts people have an opinion? What other speeches would you Kudo??

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BTW from yesterday’s history the mass killings by the Rev. Jones were indeed horrific! Sick man? From a Psychological perspective, what kind of Psychotic Mental problems did he have? Do you also blame the church members? Comments, anyone??

Also thanks Colin, for bringing up the Visigoths sack of Rome, at this time frame a lot of so called Barbarians were having at Rome’s Empire! Which group had the most to contribute to the civilized world? What say you? Carthage, Huns, Goths, Visigoths, or others??

Also where is everyone? Active posters??

Regards,
MD


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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3968
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/19/2021 10:22:21 PM
Quote:
TDIH the Canterbury Tales from a literary perspective how significant were they? Check this out.

Well, they were largely responsible for determining that the English we speak today looks, writes and sounds as it does. That’s a pretty good start in terms of significance. Literarily, he established the power of iambic pentameter as a verse standard in English, a not-insignificant statement in itself. He introduced the concept of direct dialogue to English literature, which must have been stunning when read aloud.

Geoffrey Chaucer is an interesting man with an interesting life. He was connected to the family of John of Gaunt, and may indeed have been related to him by marriage. He flourished under John of Gaunt’s patronage. He was, at least once, an envoy to the Papal court; his time there introduced him to both Dante’s Divine Comedy and Boccaccio’s Decameron, two of the more significant writings of the early Italian renaissance.

The Canterbury Tales[/ii] is by far his best-known work, though not his only great work. His Boke of Blanche the Duchess known under a number of titles, is one of the great early elegies in English literature. Blanche was, it is assumed, John of Gaunt’s first wife, Duchess of Lancaster in her own right; John became Duke of Lancaster only by marriage.

The Tales themselves are, so far as we know, in incomplete work, but take at least a framework from Boccaccio’s Decameron, which used the plague of the mid 1300s as a background. IIRC, a group of ten people, isolating themselves from the Black Death, decided to entertain themselves while in isolation by offering ten tales each during their isolation.

Chaucer used this concept in the framework of a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury’s martyred Thomas a Beckett to create a sequence of stories. The tales themselves are wonderful. Some are reverent, some lewd; some repulsive, some honourable. Part of Chaucer’s genius is that by choosing a pilgrimage he creates one of the few frameworks when different classes might meet as equals. Part is that Chaucer links the tales to his pilgrims; the tales are extensions of the pilgrims’ characters. What we have of the tales gives us a complex relationship between pilgrim and tale, with the additional filter of Chaucer himself (one of the pilgrims).

Of course, such poetry was meant to be heard rather than read: Chaucer is pre-printing press. Imagine a grand banquet, when suddenly all falls silent and a bard, offers tales to the gathering. Imagine such tales being offered at every banquet. God only knows what those at the banquet might have heard. But at least large fragmentary parts of Chaucer’s tales survive.

I studied Chaucer close to sixty years ago, in 1963 at UBC with a brilliant professor by the name of Meredith Thompson. I clearly haven’t forgotten him, and I hope my comments do him credit. He was a wonderful professor! I still feel honoured to have studied under him.

Sorry. The reference to Chaucer triggered longstanding memories. But before I sign off, I’ve gotta say that the Middle English of Chaucer is a rich oral treasure. Most readings of Chaucer’s introduction to the Canterbury Tales are, IMHO, rather tight and formal. If I could figure out how to do it, I would offer my own reading. Current, modern English is flat and dull in comparison.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5271
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/20/2021 3:26:04 AM
Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth, has just pitched a drama on stage in a little theatre in NW London, to rave reviews. She’s been inspired by Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath to produce the Wife of Willesden ( Willesden is a borough in London). She applies a Chaucerian theme to modern life, using a blend of West Indian patois and London rhyming slang to make the right impact with the audience. I want to go and see it.

It’s that day again : the most famous of British tank actions : Cambrai 1917.

Nothing to add to what we’ve discussed here before , but still keen to remind folks of the anniversary.

I’m actually writing this from our bivouac on the Dorset coast : we come down here as often as we can to complement our London existence.

Nearby is the Tank Museum at Bovingdon : it’ll be a busy day there in view of the Cambrai commemoration .

Also the grave of TE Lawrence , “ Lawrence of Arabia”, who served in the tank corps in a rather narcissistic attempt to hide from the public eye in the inter war years. He’s buried in the graveyard of St Nicholas’s Church In a lovely village called Moreton, which I like to visit.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/20/2021 9:11:56 AM
Quote:
Quote:
1764 Chief Pontiac, & his tribes, surrender to the British! I thought his warriors were undefeated? How did the Brits accomplish this ? Anyone?


Pontiac gathered a group of allied First Nations from the Ohio Valley and attacked Fort Detroit in 1763.

The French had been defeated in the French and Indian War but clearly the FN's were not finished. Most of the tribes that were in what became Ontario, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio were French allies.

British commander Jeffrey Amherst had a rather condescending attitude toward the First Nations and he didn't believe that they would mount much of a threat. He began to ignore them by withdrawing gifts made in tribute. He refused to sell guns and gunpowder to them. The FN's were also angry that the British had failed to stop settlers from the 13 colonies from moving into their territory.

The British knew that the FN's were becoming poor because they needed weapons and gun powder to hunt. An uneasy peace was brokered in 1761 but it did not last and in 1763, Chief Pontiac and his allied group of warriors laid siege to Fort Detroit. Pontiac had hoped to take the fort by surprise but the British had been warned, hence the siege which began in May. They also killed settlers who lived near the fort.

Pontiac sent a group to intercept a British supply column and they did so near Point Pelee which is in southern Ontario so the British were desperate for supplies. Pontiac was hoping that the French would be coming to help but the last French position to fall was Montréal which surrendered in 1760. No French relief ships had come to help the French after the Plains of Abraham and so Pontiac's hope for a French resurgence wasn't reasonable. Pontiac abandoned the siege.

But other tribes in the Ohio Valley went to war and began to attack British forts.



The list of forts or outposts taken by the FN's is impressive. Forts Sandusky, St. Joseph, Le Boeuf and others. They took Fort Michilimackinac by playing a friendly game of lacrosse outside the walls. When the garrison opened the doors to have a look, the FN's took up weapons hidden in the clothing of the women watching.

This was a major uprising with FN tribes attacking into Pennsylvania. They went after Fort Pitt but fortunately for them, a relief column defeated the FN's who tried to stop them and then relieved the fort.

The British recalled Amherst, fed up with the way he was managing these affairs and replaced him with Major-General Thomas Gage. Gage still engaged the FN's but he was smart enough to negotiate with some of them and they withdrew from the conflict. British efforts gradually calmed things down though some FN were disinclined to make peace.

Chief Pontiac came east and met with the British who agreed to abandon Amherst's policies which were beggaring them. They began to sell weapons, gunpowder and other necessaries to them.

They also determined that the FN's deserved to have a territory reserved for them and so they issued a Royal Proclamation in 1763 which prohibited settlers from the 13 colonies from entering the Ohio Valley to claim land. The proclamation stated that no-one could move into the land reserved for the FN's unless it had been acquired through purchase and treaty and only the crown was permitted to buy land or make treaties with the FN's.

This was upsetting to some including the elites like George Washington who had made land claims to the west of the Appalachians. He felt that he and his men who had fought against the Indians in the Ohio territory had been promised 200 acres each. Washington would go on to become one of the US's richest men as a land owner and speculator.

The First Nations felt that this proclamation finally recognized their land rights. It has been called, "the Indian Magna Carta" by some. The Proclamation has no weight in the US today but FN's in Canada still refer to it and section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that nothing can terminate the original rights set out in the proclamation. And so we are still arguing over land rights and compensation to this day.

Note that the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was also directed at the Quebeckers whom the British wished to assimilate. There were restrictions placed upon them and a demand for them to swear loyalty. So the proclamation established a vast Indian reserve but the upshot was that it angered both the French-Canadians and the subjects in the 13 colonies.



A decade later the British declared the Quebec Act of 1774 which expanded the territory of the Quebec colony greatly and into territory that some of the 13 colonists coveted, the seeds of revolution were sown.



Cheers,

George




Hi George,

You sure know a lot about Canadian History, did you teach it??

Head of the class?
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
11/20/2021 11:54:28 AM
Quote:
Hi George,

You sure know a lot about Canadian History, did you teach it??

Head of the class?
MD
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No, it's just something that interests me. I want to know as much as I can about our country. Part of that is a defensive measure lest our story be lost in the telling of North American history and specifically, US history.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/20/2021 9:55:08 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

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Looking at 11-20 in history, any new topics?
MD



Hey Guys,

Here is the great Greek Philosopher, Pericles, & the speech, compared to other great historical ones?

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Keep up the great posts!
Will Covid fever be controlled??
Stay safe!
MD

Cambria was a great WWI Tank battle, it had to freak out soldiers in the trenches! What WWI country had the best Tanks at this time? Opinions?

We mentioned the GB Adress, & Lincoln's great writing, here is his sensitive side writing to a mother who lost her son in the Civil War!

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BTW Check out the read mores {above} for more great discussion topics from 11/21, in history, or continue with past topics!?


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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 802
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Volume II
11/21/2021 8:35:29 AM
Quote:


Also thanks Colin, for bringing up the Visigoths sack of Rome, at this time frame a lot of so called Barbarians were having at Rome’s Empire! Which group had the most to contribute to the civilized world? What say you? Carthage, Huns, Goths, Visigoths, or others??

MD


Hi Dave,

They say history is written by the victors and that's never been more apparent with regards to the Punic Wars, those titanic death struggles between the superpowers of the age, Carthage and Rome. Rome didn't just defeat Carthage; it scourged it from the earth. The city was flattened, her territories dismembered and leading citizens put to death. It was a total war, with no mercy shown by either side on the field of battle. Hannibal pushed the Roman Republic to the edge of extinction; the Romans rallied and exterminated Hannibal's civilisation. We don't know what the Carthaginians thought of all of this, because their civilisation is largely only known and recorded through the words of Roman historians, as the Carthaginian libraries were burned to the ground with their contents left inside. We don't have Hannibal's directs memoirs of his campaigns, but we do have those of other leading Roman generals. Caesar's account of his exploits in Gaul is a masterful account of military history - I wonder what we might have made of Hannibal's account of Cannae.

The later wars, against the 'barbarians' of Huns, Goths, Vandals and so on were slightly different. Carthage had set out to subjugate the Roman Republic; the 'barbarian's had no real intentions of destroying Rome, but they did want a piece of the action and imperial wealth. The Visigoths in particular fought for and against Rome as it suited their needs; Hunnic mercenaries swung the tide in several Roman civil wars; the Vandals wanted their own lands, having been chased across Europe and into Africa by just about everyone. That their sack of Rome in 455 A.D was seen as particularly nasty should come as no surprise, as their captured brethern were summarily put to death when defeated in battle and their families enslaved. It was a horrible world, with no real regard for the value of human life.

It was the Ostrogoths, who supplanted the usurper Odoacer in Italy (who had in turn usurped the last Western emperor), who might have offered more to history, had they been given the chance. They kept the old ways of life going; the cities were well-run, the Roman senate empowered and civic law backed up by the military, which ran on the structures of the old Western Roman army. Despite their basicallty benevolent rule, the Ostrogothic leadership fell foul of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian and their kingdom was swept away after a devastating 20 year war. The imperial recapture didn't last long; the Lombards swept over the Alps and destroyed much of what was left. Italy wouldn't return to its former status and wealth until the Renaissance.

Cheers,

Colin
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"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5271
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/21/2021 2:46:01 PM
Colin,

Your words really hit home : It was a horrible world, with no real regard for the value of human life.

I’ve just finished reading Barry Strauss's book Ten Caesars, and it’s left me reeling with the effort of just trying to imagine how nasty and cheap life was in those days of Antiquity.

The sheer cruelty and ruthlessness of it all : the rivalries between the ruling families - and even within those families themselves - entailed executions, assassinations and enforced suicide as a matter of course. What this implied for those at the bottom of the heap doesn’t bear thinking about.

The decline of the Western Roman Empire was balanced by a huge expansion in the East, as Constantine and then Justinian constructed the bastion of the future Byzantium.

When we refer to the “ total warfare” of recent times, I feel that we don’t fully appreciate how frightful the cruelties - both contrived and random - were in the era of the Punic Wars and other conflicts of Antiquity.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2924
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Volume II
11/22/2021 2:39:14 AM
Phil and Colin,

This is something that I´ve been considering of late. We tend to see (or have been taught) Greek and Roman culture as the cradle of western civilisation but consider just how violent they were. Small greek city-states in centuries long constant warfare with each other until one small somewhat less civilised city state conquered and enslaved everyone. I am constantly drawn to one "what-if". What if the God-Emperor Alexander had not decided to go swimming and caught pneumonia ?

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 802
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Volume II
11/22/2021 9:49:41 AM
Hi Trevor,

I believe Alexander had planned to return west and conquer Carthage - he had never forgiven them for interfering with the Siege of Tyre (Carthage being related to the city by way of Phoenician blood), as they had delivered supplies to keep the siege going and evacuated many of its citizens. Alexander's army paid a heavy price taking the city by storm and his Macedonian veterans had not forgotten it.

I can't imagine Carthage could have held off Alexander's army any more successfully than anybody else had, so perhaps the Punic Wars would have been replaced by a series of pan-Greek world vs Roman Republic conflicts. I'm not sure Rome would have won those, especially if Alexander had managed to settle his succession so that it happened more peacefully. Conflict within his realm after his death was probably inevitable, but that doesn't mean even his relatively weaker successors couldn't have seen off Rome in its infancy.

A Greek/Macedonian-dominated western world, without the dominating influence of Rome, throws up endless possibilities!

Cheers,

Colin
----------------------------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/22/2021 1:32:38 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Good for days I have limited access!
MD


Today, 11/22/1963, President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas! Certainly a tragic and sad day in American History! Brian, I'm with you on the promising significance and hope that was lost with JFK's death ! Here is the 1st reports from the great CBS news reporter, Walter Cronkite with regards to the shocking news & death of JFK, I still can feel his pain at having to make such an announcement!? I was at school, only in the 6th grade when it was announced, everyone was crying or extremely saddened!? Even today some history is so sad & negative I have trouble trying to discuss it, this is one of those events!

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Other events,

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Also with regards to the Mayflower Compact, here is the History Channels study on how it shaped democracy in the N American Continent!? To me the Pilgrims their Compact, the 1st Thanksgiving, & later Pres. Lincoln officially putting it on this late Thursday in November as a national holiday, all are significantly tied together in American History!

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PBS's take on the significance of the Pilgrims on the new democracy!

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Sincere Regards, stay safe,
MD

BTW Recently we talked about fall storms & ship wrecks check out this Fall Gale Storm on Lake Superior just 3 years ago! Comments?

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Also what are some of the top 10 fighter planes of WWII, in you estimation? I go Spitfire, Messerscmidt, IJN Zero, P51 Mustang, any others? what say you? comments?

& you gentlemen may have something to say on these, the top 10 Bombers of WWII?? Wonder what Brian G thinks??

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A add on for tomorrow 11/23, Speaking of shipwrecks look what happened 107 years ago, 11/23, the famous Christmas Tree Ship sank, great story, any comments??

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On this day in 1979, Lord Mountbatten's killer is sentenced, why would any one kill a WWII hero?.anyone?

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Any more great history to discuss?

For example in 1975, the Grey Cup had no touchdowns in a Eskimo 9-8 win over Montreal, comments on this historical game? Alas the CFL this year! Back to normal? & Hey this year the Argos are leaders in the East, can they win the Cup? George or other fans??

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Go Grey Cup!! BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
MD


BTW, You gentlemen are right Ancient Civilizations were terrible in warfare! Rome & Greece were so bad, how can they even be called civilized?? What say you? Anyone?
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
11/22/2021 4:41:11 PM
Quote:
PBS's take on the significance of the Pilgrims on the new democracy!


There are several colonies in North America that pre-date the landing at Plymouth Rock so it was not the first attempt at British colonization.

The Jamestown colony in Virginia is but one.

Cupers Cove in Newfoundland was established in 1610, just three years after Jamestown.

Harbour Grace, also in Newfoundland saw European (French) settlers in 1583.

So why does the landing by the Pilgrims have such traction in US history?

Cheers,

George



Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5271
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/23/2021 2:54:48 AM
Quote:
Hi Trevor,

I believe Alexander had planned to return west and conquer Carthage - he had never forgiven them for interfering with the Siege of Tyre (Carthage being related to the city by way of Phoenician blood), as they had delivered supplies to keep the siege going and evacuated many of its citizens. Alexander's army paid a heavy price taking the city by storm and his Macedonian veterans had not forgotten it.

I can't imagine Carthage could have held off Alexander's army any more successfully than anybody else had, so perhaps the Punic Wars would have been replaced by a series of pan-Greek world vs Roman Republic conflicts. I'm not sure Rome would have won those, especially if Alexander had managed to settle his succession so that it happened more peacefully. Conflict within his realm after his death was probably inevitable, but that doesn't mean even his relatively weaker successors couldn't have seen off Rome in its infancy.

A Greek/Macedonian-dominated western world, without the dominating influence of Rome, throws up endless possibilities!

Cheers,

Colin


Colin,

Your knowledge might help me here : when we refer to a Pyrrhic Victory, does the provenance of the phrase allude to actual warfare between Romans and Greeks in Italy itself ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 802
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Volume II
11/23/2021 9:58:51 AM
Hi Phil,

It does indeed! King Pyrrhus of the Greek state of Epirus managed to defeat the forces of the Roman Republic at Battles of Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC, but the casualties his armies suffered were so grievous that he reckoned another 'victory' of that ilk would destroy his capacity to ever wage war again.

Here we see the true resolve of the Romans; their casualties were extreme also, but blessed with the agrarian manpower of central Italy they were able to fill the ranks of their citizen legions time and time again. Hannibal inflicted the best part of 100,000 casaualties on the Romans in the course of three major battles on Italian soil and expected the Romans to sue for peace. The Romans ignored these overtures, dusted themselves off, rebuilt their forces and even took the fight elsewhere to Spain against Carthage's allies and territories there. There the Romans achieved great success, all whilst Hannibal lurked around Italy achieving little except to sway a few cities to his side.

Cheers,

Colin
----------------------------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5271
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/23/2021 10:38:35 AM
Quote:
Hi Phil,

It does indeed! King Pyrrhus of the Greek state of Epirus managed to defeat the forces of the Roman Republic at Battles of Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC, but the casualties his armies suffered were so grievous that he reckoned another 'victory' of that ilk would destroy his capacity to ever wage war again.

Here we see the true resolve of the Romans; their casualties were extreme also, but blessed with the agrarian manpower of central Italy they were able to fill the ranks of their citizen legions time and time again. Hannibal inflicted the best of 100,000 casaualties on the Romans in the course of three major battles on Italian soil and expected the Romans to sue for peace. The Romans ignored these overtures, dusted themselves off, rebuilt their forces and even took the fight elsewhere to Spain against Carthage's allies and territories there. There the Romans achieved great success, all whilst Hannibal lurked around Italy achieving little except to sway a few cities to his side.

Cheers,

Colin



Thanks, Colin.

There it is then : that ancient warfare enters our lexicon . The Pyrrhic Victory ; and the “ Fabian” tactics we see deployed in political life, named after Fabius Maximus “ Cunctator”........stand back, avoid risking battle, and see your enemy wither on the vine as logistical difficulties impose their form of attrition. Hannibal’s Nemesis. No wonder the socialist opposition called themselves the Fabians. I believe that Keir Starmer is adopting that method now against our current PM, who sees himself as steeped in the Classics !

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/23/2021 6:28:16 PM
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Good for days I have limited access!
MD


The Romans may have built great archeological memorials, but their treatment of most other peoples was horrific! You guys are right about the Romans, they were as barbaric as any ancient foe!? Civilized indeed!!??

Earlier we discussed Darwin & his theory, most of us believe it? As far as evolution goes, my ancestor had to be Java Man! It explains my love of Java (coffee), of which I am enjoying a cup now!

BTW Here is the Confederate Armies take on it Evolution, during the Civil War! Hard to argue with it!???

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Regards,
MD



Gentleman,

Around this time in 1783, the last of the British army left New York! Don't let the screen door hit you Red Coats, on the way out!?

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Also on 11/25/1876, the US Army retaliates for Little Big Horn, Comments on Europeans revenge on the indigenous peoples!?

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Check the "read mores",
what history can we discuss today??
MD

With this Thursday being Thanksgiving, here is a clip on the 1st Thanksgiving! Comments??

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/24/2021 10:13:56 AM
Quote:
Dave, interesting choice of both fighters and bombers. Not even close either to my choices or particularly my ordering, but I don't know what his criteria were. I would argue that his list of bombers is more challengeable than his fighters' list.

Without wishing to cause a furor, for both bombers and fighters, it appears at least some of his choice is made according to what either defined or assisted the US air war effort. That's a fair unit of assessment, but not when defining "best", or ranking on a 1-10 scale.

If I were to offer a list of "Ten Great Bombers of WW2" I don't know that any Soviet bomber would appear let alone three of them, any more than I'd include Italian or French bombers. The Russians made great advanced in a/c design during the war, but much of their a/c design was IMHO derivative, and at any rate was scaled to the role of a/c on the East Front, which at best was an air support war. Tupolev and Ilyushin would play a major part in the Cold War Soviet air power, but I wouldn't see their bombers as "top-10" material during WW2.

He-111, e.g., was an early design, but proved not just up-gradable, but also increasingly adaptable to so many roles as the war continued that to place it at ninth just seem uninformed. E.g., He 111's were carrier a/c for German guided missiles which terrified Allied navies in the early months of the Italian campaign. This was an a/c that was not only beautiful but adaptable throughout the long years of the war. IMHO, it should rank higher than ninth.

The Stuka (Ju-87) gets no mention at all, though it ultimately defined bomb-diving (note: not fighter-bombing). Is its absence from the list a marker that whoever composed this list was thinking only about destructive power against cities? And the Ju-88 was as much a night-fighter and ground support a/c as a bomber, which makes me wonder if the compiler of the “top 10” considered flexibility or multi-use at all.

I can see an interesting debate for superior position between the Handley Page "Halifax" (not in this person’s Top Ten at all) and the B-24 Liberator. And, of course, to place the Lancaster in fourth place, and to not list the Halifax at all, is absurd by most objective assessments I come up with. When I saw this I wondered if the list creator had any knowledge of the air war in the ETO, but again recognized that I didn't know the criteria by which he made his choices.

In rough terms, the Lanc had twice the range and bomb load than the B-17 with a crew of 7. Though under-gunned defensively, it’s loss rate was not wildly worse than the B-17.

Add to that the fact that the Mosquito, another multi-purpose a/c with up to a 4000 lb. bomb load and with primitive stealth capabilities is also omitted, and I think the “Top 10” list you linked to is far from definitive.

The B-29 was a wonderful a/c, I admit. But it was a PTO a/c. While it was the weapon of choice (along with the Battle Fleet) against Japan, and while it not only set most of urban Japan afire but also carried the two A-bombs, it may deserve to be seen as “Top Dog”.

Depends on the criteria.

The same questions apply to the “Ten Best Fighters” link, IMHO. That the F4U Corsair saved he collective asses of US forces in the Pacific is without doubt. And the successes it had against Japanese a/c are part of its storied history. But it is pushing credulity to place it before the Bf-109, Spitfire, Fw 190, P-51 or Hurricane (which isn’t named at all) is an indication that the compiler has his own criteria which don’t seem to equal mine.

I don’t think a “top spot” really works as a concept. Given the Spitfire, Bf-109, P-51 and Fw-190, I’d be tempted to choose the Fw-190.

These kinds of lists are nonsensical, of course, without the grounds of assessment.

Cheers
Brian G





Brian G.

Great observations on the top ten bombers, hard to argue with your logic!?

Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving!
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/24/2021 10:24:23 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Check out 11-23 in history, any new posts??
MD


Guys,

BTW ; Here is the video on, the top 10 Bombers of WWII?? That Brian refers to, any other comments on it?? Anyone?

[Read More]

Stay safe,
MD

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3968
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/26/2021 9:50:02 PM
On this day in 1941 – 11 days before Pearl Harbour – Cordell Hull (US Secretary of State under FDR) added pressure against Japan by demanding Japan withdraw from both China and Japan.

It has always seemed apparent to me that the US wanted war with Japan, or at least wanted to remove Japan’s power in an area which was increasingly an “American” sphere of influence. This is interesting to consider, given the current state of affairs of France (French Indochina), GB (Hong Kong, Singapore, India and hosts of other colonies and protectorates). I don’t think the US was overly concerned about the “possessions” of France, the Netherlands or GB, to be honest. It was interested primarily in its own status in the region.

At the time of Hull’s announcement, the Japanese attack on PH was already committed to. I doubt we’ll ever know details about what US intelligence knew of PH plans at the time.

I’m way out of my depth here, so while I feel I can comment I’m far from wanting to assess what Hull’s message was meant to do. Thoughts, anyone?

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/27/2021 4:40:30 PM
Quote:
Quote:
On 27 Nov 1941 three events of note took place in WW2. Here are the words of Robert Goralski, in World War II Almanac 1931-1945:
Quote:
All U.S. military forces were placed on a "final alert" status with Pacific units receiving a "war warning." Washington said "an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days."
• Third Panzer Group tanks advanced to within 19 miles of Moscow, where they were stopped.
• Gondar, the last outpost still occupied by the Italians in east Africa, capitulated. With the fall of the Ethiopian city, the war for control over the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea was over. In less than a year, the Italian force of 350,000 men was totally defeated by a combined Allied force of 21,500.

To my shame, I have spent far too little time reading about the lead-up to PH than I have concerning the rape of Nanking. I believe that USN intelligence officers had at least partly broken Japanese diplomatic and military cyphers, but don't know how fully this had gone. And I don't know whether these alerts came from that code work or from other sources. I also believe that there have been discussions suggesting FDR knew of the raid against PH, but did not make the alert specific because it would tip off the Japanese that their code was broken. The same thing was said about WSC in late 1940, when it was argued that he let Coventry be destroyed rather than betray work on German codes and Enigma. Anybody got the latest gen. on either of those stories? I'm pretty comfortable with saying the WSC story is BS, and my gut tells me the same about the FDR story. He may have been looking for an incident to incite his nation, but not by placing his Pacific Fleet in peril.

The advance of Third Panzer Group is, perhaps, not truly noteworthy, though I will admit that if an armed and dangerous enemy were within 19 miles of my country's capital I would think it newsworthy! In that light, to all you Russians out there, here's a spoiler alert. No German got to wherever it is that they were 19 miles from. Which is my way of asking another question, that being: Are we looking at specifically military usage when we describe any military unit being 19 miles from a target?
It's easy to write flippantly about this question, because it seems to be such a dumb, obvious one. But for an attacker, it might be that taking the airport or the main communications centre or the Armoury is more important than taking the centre of government. I don't know how big or sprawling Moscow was in 1941, but getting to within 19 miles of Moscow city limits might mean you are 40 miles from the Kremlin. Still a lot too close for comfort, of course, but twice as far away.

The decisive close of the east Africa campaign has, IMHO, some significance. I've not confirmed the numbers Goralski gives, but the defeat was quite spectacular and should not be downplayed because this wasn't considered a major war theatre. Other than eliminating the Italian presence in east Africa, it eased potential pressure on British (and/or Allied) access to the Suez Canal, reaffirming the significance of Aden and keeping access to the Persian Gulf open, or at least not under Axis threat.

There is a touch of irony in two of the three events, if you look for irony in war. Within a few months of GB and Allies ending the east Africa war, thus apparently safe-guarding Suez, Japan attacks a host of targets (including PH), and within months has driven the RN from Hong Kong, Singapore, and effectively from Trincomalee in then-Ceylon. Aden became safe haven for fleets that were never meant to do much but provision, repair and refuel at that location.

Cheers
Brian G


Hi Brian,

Here is your post from 1 year ago today, you bring up 3 interesting points, at the beginning. One, how the German Panzers came within 19 miles of Moscow, falling short with the Russian Winter coming on, will turn out to be a catastrophe for the 3rd Reich!? Do you think Hitler was to blame for this fiasco?? Anyone?

The second, is about Japan's Pearl Harbor Plans, and how much US intelligence knew about it. It's hard to believe that FDR knew the attack was coming, yet let it happen, anyway!? What say you MHO, certainly a controversial point!? Do you or anyone have some concrete evidence that this actually occurred??

Then could some one tell me in your 3rd point how the Italians could lose in East Africa, having a 350,000 to 21,000 advantage in troops? Were they that bad of an army? What say you, what the hell happened??

Thanks Bri., great post! &
Continue to stay safe!
MD


BTW, George do you have any articles or websites to prove these little known early Newfoundland Colonies, Cupers Cove, -& Harbour Grace, never heard of them??

PS Any medical experts out there? Just what are all these Covid variants? How are they created? How different are they than the original? & are people who are fully vaccinated in danger from them? Just why in the hell do some people refuse to follow Covid protocols or even get vacinated?? I don't get it?? Anyone?
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3968
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/27/2021 7:39:09 PM
MD, just for the record, Harbour Grace dates from 1517 under the French, with permanent settlement year-round from 1583. It’s all in wiki.
[Read More]

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
11/28/2021 2:41:46 PM
Quote:
BTW, George do you have any articles or websites to prove these little known early Newfoundland Colonies, Cupers Cove, -& Harbour Grace, never heard of them??


I'm not surprised that you haven't heard those names. Many Canadians haven't as well. but it has been my observation that the instruction of US history tends to be an insular approach. Settlement in NFLD doesn't fit the curriculum in the US or in my province for that matter.

I have some interest because I can trace ancestry back to NFLD. My maternal grandmother was born in Bay Roberts, NFLD.

Newfoundland was one of the first places that the Europeans explored as they voyaged to our side of the pond. They were drawn to the fishing off the Grand Banks and used land bases to dry their fish. English, French, Spanish (Basques), Portuguese and others all came over and so you will find a town named Port-aux-Basques which was a stopover for Basques whalers in the 1500's. Later Channel Islanders arrived and set up a fishing station.

After the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the French gave back to the British the Hudson Bay drainage basin (Rupert's Land). They also relinquished any claims to NFLD but the treaty did give them the right to land on the shore to process fish. So parts of NFLD did have many little towns with French names. And the British were wary of the French presence as they had established a harbour at Plaisance (now Placentia).

Some were anglicized or hybridized. Rose Blanche was called Roche Blanche (white rock) when under French rule.



In 1818, post War of 1812, the British ceded some fishing rights to the Americans. That continued into the 20th century and the southern coast was sometimes called the American Coast.

The English coast on the SE was established primarily to support the fishing industry. Only a couple of English settlements as mentioned earlier were sponsored attempts at colonization. It appears that visiting fishermen would set up settlements spontaneously and without the backing of any governments or business.

So everybody wanted a piece of NFLD, not so much to colonize it but to use it as an industrial base.

And we must not forget that Norse were likely the first from Europe to inhabit NFLD if only for a short time. They landed on the north shore about 1000 AD and there is a National Historic Site at L'Anse aux Meadows where they established a settlement. The Norse may have left because they were in conflict with the indigenous people that they called skraelings. They may have been fighting with the Beothuk First Nation which was later wiped out by British colonists.





The following is a summary of NFLD history published by Marionopolis College in Montréal. This section addresses first colonization to 1949 when NFLD became Canada's 10th province.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George


Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/29/2021 8:22:39 AM
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Good for days I have limited access!
MD



Hi George, & Brian,

Thanks for straightening me out on the multiple early settlements in Newfoundland, a lot more in early colonial settlement than I ever knew about? I guess I better go back to school? great website on the subject, George!

What say you about 11- 29 in history,
1949 the UN Partitions Palestine, & gives territory to Israel, no wonder they are at conflict even today? Comments on this? Anyone??

2001 George Harrison of the Beatles dies, what a great band they were! Comments??

1929 Explorer Richard Byrd flys over the South Pole! The only way I would consider going their is in a heated plane! What say you about polar exploration? & what the Antarctica looks like politically today? Comments anyone??

anything else new to discuss!?
MD

BTW everybody check the read mores for more stuff!? For example on this day in 1942 Coffee was rationed in the US, That would be tough for a Java Junky like me! Comments? what say you about wwii Rationing!??

[Read More]

& stay safe!

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
11/30/2021 9:17:40 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Good for days I have limited access!
MD



On November 30th 1487 the 1st German Beer Purity Act went into effect! How about that German Beer! Is it the best! What say you??

[Read More]

[Read More]

I'll drink to that!?
Cheers!
MD
,
Also here is a 25 minute video on U-Boat killers saving WWII England with vital merchant supply ships getting through! What say you??

[Read More]

Castles on Vancouver Island, what gives? Who would of thunk it??? Comments?

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Phil, Yes the Battle of Franklin, TN., not a good day for the Rebs?

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Also on this day 1939 Russia invades Finland, how did that turn out, & why? Anyone??

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And on this day in 1776 James Cook starts his 3rd & last voyage in the Pacific, just 1 too many, comments??

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1907 Pike's Market in Seattle opens, anyone been there?? Better watch out for flying fish!

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November 1942 German U-Boats set another record of sinking Allied Ships! Comments??

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Also anything new on recent attacks by Pirates? This could happen, so you want to be a pirate, like Capt. Jack Sparrow! Do ya?? comments anyone??

[Read More]

Covid-19 sucks!
Stay safe,

MD

With December coming tomorrow, here's hoping for a nice holiday season, & a better new year!

[Read More]

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5271
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
11/30/2021 10:09:15 AM
Thanks for reminding me about Franklin, Dave ; I'd forgotten : how could I ?

One of the Civil War's nastiest encounters, made especially notorious by its futility and by the exceptional slaughter of high ranking rebel officers, along with a huge number of their men, in a small area in a short time. The yankees didn't escape unscathed, either.

Go forward fifty three years and we have another remarkable episode in French Flanders, when a surprise German counter attack at Cambrai pushed back the British, recovering a lot of the ground that had been lost when the Germans themselves had been surprised ten days earlier.

A real ding dong affair, in the most literal sense, since the triumphant British had rung out the bells at home, only to see things turn sour when the devilishly skilful enemy showed how good they were at recovering and hitting back.

Editing : forgive me for blowing my own trumpet, but if you take a look at the Civil War section of the forum, and survey the threads in the sector on the Western Theatre, there is one that I opened exactly one year ago titled, simply, " Franklin". I feel proud of that thread, and am particularly grateful to you, Dave, for being such an enthusiastic and constructive contributor to it.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
11/30/2021 11:48:09 AM
Quote:
Also here is a 25 minute video on U-Boat killers saving WWII England with vital merchant supply ships getting through! What say you??


There were many important developments and events during this war but none more important than gaining control of the sea routes from North America to Britain.

The closing of the air gap was critical and it is interesting to view data that indicates that many u-boat losses were effected by aircraft alone or in combination with ships.

According to u-boat.net, 1,154 u-boats were lost.

Of those 264 were destroyed by ship and 250 by aircraft including ship based aircraft.

37 losses were attributed to a combined effort of ships and aircraft.

43 were lost to aircraft on a bombing raid of ports.

The full chart is here.

[Read More]

The video portrays a hellish existence on the Corvette and it is true that the frigate was a much more effective u-boat fighter. However, the corvette navy deserves a lot of praise for the work that it had to do to get merchant ships to Britain. It was a difficult task for them.

The video showed a quick shot of a corvette in port. It is the last surviving corvette of the war. HMCS Sackville is a Flower class corvette that is moored in Halifax harbour and serves as a floating museum.



Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
12/1/2021 9:29:46 AM
Quote:
Hey Phil,

Your very welcome on the Battle of Franklin, TN. discussion, certainly the battles has lots of twists & turns, & is worthy of an in-depth study. I guess the Civil War Battle Trust was able to secure more of the battlefield! I certainly would love to tour it! Has any MHO'ers been there??

George,

Thanks for the reply on the Allies slowing down WWII U boats! The Corvettes from the RCN certainly helped, nice chart on U boat losses, didn't realize the role Aircraft played!?

Here is an informative 12 minute video on Operation Bodenplatte, in which the Luftwaffe took it on the chin from the RAF, & RCAF!?

[Read More]

Why at this point of the Air War did the good guys have the upper hand1 Anyone??

Regards,
MD

& George,

As you point out. Good show by the RCN, in the Atlantic! BTW how did the Corvette compare to a Destroyer??

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Also what about the incredible German Prisoner escape near Brest, Fr. in 1944! Comments on this clever escape,

& how did it succeed! What say you??

[Read More]

Also I would be remiss if I didn't mention the brave Canadian Korean Brigade! Comments??

[Read More]


As always stay safe,
Regards,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
12/1/2021 11:25:14 AM
Quote:
As you point out. Good show by the RCN, in the Atlantic! BTW how did the Corvette compare to a Destroyer??


Slower. Not as well equipped to destroy submarines although the corvette did carry depth charges and later hedgehogs. And initially and especially with the RCN, the submarine detection equipment was inadequate. Often the destroyers, especially RN destroyers received the best detection equipment like centimetric radar and HF/DF before the corvettes were refitted.


Corvettes in WW2 were sea worthy but they rolled like crazy and the sea washed the decks and often came inside. Sailors were wet nearly all of the time. Initially even the bridge was open. Anecdotal reports from sailors who served on corvettes have a common theme and that was discomfort.

Corvettes could be produced cheaply and quickly even in Canada whose shipbuilding facilities less robust.

But they were absolutely necessary to the convoy escort system. There were insufficient numbers of destroyers to arrange convoy escort with destroyers only. Often a destroyer was the lead of the group charged with taking a convoy to the midpoint or all the way across. Corvettes would attack when possible and would even ram a u-boat if the opportunity presented. Often by charging at the surfaced u-boat the corvette could force the u-boat to submerge.

But I don't believe that the corvettes first job was to kill submarines. Rather they assumed a defensive posture, trying to keep the u-boats at bay. There were officers in the RCN however who believed that the corvette could be an effective sub killer and they encourage and aggressive posture.

More effective sub killing came later in the war with the establishment of RN and RCN Escort Groups or Support groups consisting of escort carriers and often sloops. The US called them hunter-killer groups. These groups had the time to go a hunting which the escort groups attached to the convoy could not. They could not afford to break their perimeter defence to hunt a u-boat to its demise. Support groups could respond to a convoy in trouble and could take the time to destroy the u-boat. One RN group called E-2 recorded over 20 u-boat's destroyed.

Corvette: HMCS Chambly



Frigate: HMCS Chebogue



Destroyer: HMCA Haida



Cheers,

George








Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3968
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
12/1/2021 8:52:26 PM
George, thanks for an interesting commentary on corvettes. Personally, I’ve always bounced between ballsy and pathetic when searching for a single adjective to describe them.

I might argue that the proliferation of corvettes pre-WW2 may have been similar to the proliferation of Fairey Battles. Corvettes were cheap, and on paper met 10-Year Plan specs for naval construction. They were designed to be effective potential convoy vessels between the UK and France. Based on thinking which remained fixed on WW1 challenges, the RN saw the need for vessels that could escort cross-channel convoys. When reality in the guise of the German army changed the rules – BEF as tossed out of Europe and cross-channel convoys ceased to exist – corvettes were pressed into deep water deployment.

They didn’t belong there. They couldn’t compete there. They didn’t have the range, speed, power or equipment for the job. They were “wet” ships because they were sailing outside their design parameters. But IMHO they were never really meant to represent more than a presence. Surfaced U-Boats were faster. U-Boat surface weaponry was probably as effective as a corvette’s, and they were a smaller target.

IMHO, a frigate is a well-designed corvette. And if you wanted an upgraded frigate, a destroyer would meet your needs. I would argue that corvettes were overachievers. They were very seldom used to their design, and they never truly dealt with the demands that were made of them.

I love the look a corvette. At least until recently, we have had a Flower Class 1 conversion in Victoria harbour; haven’t seen her recently. The rounded stern and the mast before the bridge mark it, and the lines are rather classic, at least IMHO.

Cheers. And stay safe!
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
12/1/2021 9:00:00 PM
Brian & George,

Looking at a Corvettes profile shorten the stem & the stern, & it looks like a tug-boat?? Scary to be in big water, like a ruff Atlantic in it!?

Couldn't of scared the U-boaters to much either??
What say you, is Brian right??
Cheers,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3968
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Volume II
12/1/2021 10:10:20 PM
Geez, MD. I hope we’re not playing for points!

George approaches war issues from a completely different point than I do. In this case, he argues that this is the vessel we have, and this is what it could do even under severe conditions. I’m arguing that the vessel we have is inadequate and is being expected to perform way outside its capabilities. They’re not right or wrong issues.

Corvettes were small ships required to play in a big ocean. IMHO, the issue isn’t whether they were capable of doing the job they shouldn’t have been assigned, nor is it a question of how successfully they did a job they weren’t equipped to do. At least IMHO, the central issue is how the RN could be so misdirected as to create such a craft, unless the Lords of Admiralty were incapable of seeing beyond the needs of WW1 or this was just one more compromise by the RN in order to maintain image while facing huge budget cuts during the ‘30s.

Part of me thinks I am right. I wouldn’t be posting otherwise. At the same time, I think George’s comments are hard to reject. He’s talking about what we did with what we had; I’m concerned about why we were faced with inadequate means of meeting our needs.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G

----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
12/2/2021 9:07:51 AM
The corvette may have been inadequate as a u-boat killer but the vessel is often described as a nimble ship and capable of responding to a u-boat threat.

Douglas "Chummy" Prentice was a Canadian officer who felt that the corvette could serve as a sub hunter and killer if employed correctly. It was Prentice who advocated the creation of quick response teams who would come to the aid of a convoy besieged by u-boats. He was ahead of his time as these Escort Support units did not come into play until after 1943.

Flower Class corvettes did participate in the sinking of 43 u-boats and 4 Italian submarines. Once equipped with the most effective detection equipment, a corvette could track and destroy a u-boat. However, under the convoy system, that was not their function. The one or two destroyers and 4 or 5 corvettes that made up a convoy escort were charged with keeping the u-boats at bay. They could not leave formation for long to head off to destroy a u-boat that was getting away after destroying a merchant ship. Yes, they would attack but also had to stay with the convoy.

When the German u-boats adopted the wolf pack system, it was very difficult to prevent the destruction of a convoy once that convoy was detected. It is true that RCN guarded convoys had a number of disastrous runs when multiple merchant ships were destroyed by wolf packs. It is also true that some RN escorted convoys suffered the same fate despite the fact that the escort vessels were fully decked out with the latest detection equipment, something that many RCN vessels did not have until later in the war.

Intelligence was a critical factor in saving the convoys and the knowledge of the position of the u-boats in the Atlantic allowed for re-routing. Intelligence and the development of long range aircraft to cover the Atlantic air gap plus the introduction of Escort support groups turned the tide against the u-boats.

Brian is correct in assessing that I believe that the RN, RCN and other navies did the best that they could with what they had. And for the Canadian ship building industry the corvette, while recommended by the RN, was well within its production capabilities and capacity. The expansion of Canadian ship building from 1939 was a great accomplishment. However, until near the end of the war, the largest ship that Canada could produce was the frigate and those had to be built on the east and west coast as the Great Lakes ports may have been able to produce a frigate but the vessels could not transit to the sea.

At the beginning of the war, the RCN and the RN recognized that the RCN had limited assets. The initial plan for the RCN was to build enough corvettes to provide port and coastal protection as u-boats could and did operate in those coastal areas. In fact, the RN's initial request was that the RCN should send its best and most modern ships to the UK to aid in the protection of the western approaches. And so, four of our six modern destroyers were sent to the other side. Canada began the war with only 6 modern vessels and these were Tribal Class destroyers built in the UK. Canadian ship builders did not have the capacity to build these vessels. If memory serves, destroyer production in Canada was underway by 1945 but the war ended before the first destroyer was completed.

By 1941 it was clear that the u-boats were gaining the upper hand in mid-ocean which is where they went when the western approaches were well protected. And at the behest of the RN and whether ready of not, Canada was asked to contribute more to ocean escorts and hence the expansion of our navy by building the ships that we could build, the corvettes. Rushing these ships into service before effective training was completed and the fact that the new corvettes did not have the best radar or HF/DF would lead to many problems for the RCN. Still the service did not balk and continued to provide a great number of the escorts simply because the RN could not possibly do it all. That's another story.


Still I must add that the RCN escorted 25,000 merchant ships safely to port throughout the war and the greater number of escort vessels were Flower Class Corvettes. By the first half of 1944, the RCN took full responsibility for escorting convoys on the North Atlantic run. By that time, Canada had built frigates and had obtained more destroyers but the venerable corvettes, also much better equipped and trained, were a critical part of the service provided.

Would the RCN have wanted a more robust ship than the corvette in 1939. I suppose but you do the best with what you have or what you can make. I do know that the RCN higher command had hoped to build a true "blue water" navy including capital ships. But was not a good fit the task assigned, was it? Enter the corvette.



Cheers,

George
MikeMeech
 UK
Posts: 515
Joined: 2012
This day in World History! Volume II
12/2/2021 5:11:09 PM
Hi

The Flower Class Corvette was based on the 'Southern Pride' whalecatcher design, although lengthened by 30 feet. This was a merchant design, which was the point of it, as it could be built in many merchant ship building yards and not have to rely on Naval shipyards which would be busy with more sophisticated vessels. They were originally to be used on East coast convoys but the war situation changed during 1940 (when the first was launched) with the German occupation of Norway and the fall of France and the low countries. They had ASDIC (Sonar) and depth charges originally and started to be fitted with 10 cm radar, Type 271, during 1941, 23 Flower Class were fitted by September 1941. Originally the radar and the radar office had to be close together due to the technology of the time which could give some top weight problems on all sorts of ships. Later in 1941 it was modified with a separate antennae so the office could be lower while the former was higher on the mast (Type 272). This radar type was pre-fabricated and delivered to the harbours and fitted to escort ships when they came in for boiler cleans, first one they prepped the ship the following clean they fitted the equipment. It should be mentioned that destroyers had been fitted with surface search radar from 1940, Type 286, the first 200 sets were based on the RAF's ASV I, then from December 1940 they were based on ASV II. Various modifications were made to these sets throughout their use.
The first ships fitted with HF/DF were the destroyers 'Gurkha' and 'Lance' in July 1941, the best position for DF performance was at the top of the foremast, however, this meant their radar had to be removed, the RN insisted that the radar was needed so HF/DF was shifted aft on a pole mast which meant accepting lower performance. 25 escorts were fitted with HF/DF by the end of January 1942 (HF/DF became useful because of the German Wolf Pack tactics that resulted in a lot of use of VHF transmission from them, the Germans thought that they would only be picked up by large shore based DF stations so to late to be useful for a convoy). I am not sure how quickly the RCN could expect to be equipped with the sets as ships were retrofitted when they were in harbour (or on new builds), it was obviously easier and faster to equip ships that were close to the manufacturers than to send the sets across the Atlantic (with specialist personnel if needed) until a large proportion of British based ships were fitted and production was at a good level (and most of the snags were overcome).
Better ships did come along later in the war but the Flower class was very useful for the RN, RCN and the USN during the mid-war period, the war was not going to wait for the 'best' ship it would be have to be undertaken with a 'good enough' design that was available.

Mike
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
12/2/2021 5:30:50 PM
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Good for days I have limited access!
MD


Guys,

Sorry if my comments about the RCN Corvettes were in anyway demeaning, the boats & crews had a very difficult & hazardous mission to protect the convoys from a terrible U-boat menace! The truth is these ships did a brave service in helping to stem the tide against the German underseas attack packs! They were brave, & under the overwhelming circumstances deserve our gratitude!!

BTW With the RCN being a valuable naval player in the Atlantic in WWII, you wonder why they didn't become a Naval Power, post WWII? Will they now because of the NW passage, & global warming??

Also speaking of Canada, this weekend is the Grey Cup.Semis, the Argos go against the TiCats! Will Toronto prevail, & play for the Cup? The Bombers & Riders in the other match-up? Picks anyone?

Also here is a short historical video on how the Dutch lost out on their Colonies, mostly to the British! Why did the Brits prevail in the Anglo-Dutch Wars! Comments, anyone? I don't believe this has been discussed much!?

[Read More]

Also, another aspect of the African Slave Trade! Comments??

[Read More]

good discussions lately,
MD

Any other new topics? From11-2 in history?

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
12/3/2021 8:27:51 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
These 2 daily history websites are perpetual, they are always on the correct day!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

Good for days I have limited access!
MD


Guys,

Check out 12-3 in history, the IJN was dreaming towards Pearl! Comments on their plot, anyone??

Any other new topics??


For example in 1776 Washington arrives at the Delaware River, remember the famous painting? Was this event important with regards to the Revolutionary War, comments?

Also on this date, was the 1st human transplant, prior to that remember Dr. Barnhart even tried to use another primate heart, it had to be scary for the recipriant? Any comments??

Also in 1989, Bush, & Gorbachev stated the Cold War was essentially over, was it?

In 1854' the battle of Eureka Stockade 1st establishes Australian Democracy, how can this be?

In 1863 Gen James Longstreet, abandons his seige of Knoxville, why did Ole Pete fail?
Comments anyone? C'mon Civil War posters, can you help us out? Lots of the war will be fought in Tennessee??

1917 after 20 years of planning, & Two collapses, the Quebec Bridge opens! Let me ask you this, would you cross it??

Any other new topics, that we missed for 12-3??

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
12/3/2021 8:56:47 AM
Quote:
BTW With the RCN being a valuable naval player in the Atlantic in WWII, you wonder why they didn't become a Naval Power, post WWII? Will they now because of the NW passage, & global warming??


Canada needs to beef up its naval assets and is in the slow process of doing that. But this is a small country of about 37 million. California has more people.

Wartime calls for unusual, desperate and costly measures. That is why the RCN expanded so rapidly from 1939. But even with the large number of warships built or acquired, the RCN was never going to challenge the world's great blue water navies for supremacy. The fleet was purpose built and that purpose was to defend Canada's coast and to escort merchant ships to Britain. As events evolved, the RCN was asked to support landings during Operation Torch and at Normandy. It also escorted convoys in the Mediterranean and on the Murmansk run. These were notable achievements for a navy that had only 6 modern destroyers in 1939 and few ships capable of escorting convoys.

But it would be unreasonable to think that Canada could support a navy of that size and with that degree of commitment forever. And so at the end of the war, the RCN was downsized to a level that allowed it to protect its own shores and also meet international commitments. Further reductions in assets have limited the RCN's capabilities.

Climate changes in the Arctic will place greater demands on the RCN and hopefully we find a way to improve the capabilities of what is now a small navy that has specific roles to play at home and in conjunction with allies.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11980
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Volume II
12/3/2021 9:12:00 AM
Quote:
1917 after 20 years of planning, & Two collapses, the Quebec Bridge opens! Let me ask you this, would you cross it??


Yes, I would. And thousands use it every day. It is still the longest cantilevered bridge in the world. It is 987m (3238 ft) long and three driving lanes wide. I believe that it includes a rail line as well.

The collapses were the result of private businesses trying to cheap out on the construction. The initial design was by an American engineer who was in charge of the project and he ignored the warnings of a Canadian government engineer who reported that there were insufficient numbers of support piers. The American engineer got very angry at this interference in his project.
When cracks began to develop in the under-supported superstructure, the engineer was flummoxed but did order a stop. On site engineers (the American engineer designed the project but was not present for all of the build), continued with the work and it collapsed.

Eventually the Canadian government took over the build and completed it. However, they redesigned it so that it is not as beautiful as the original design. It is safe though.



The St. Lawrence is quite wide at the point where the bridge is constructed and there are a number of bridges now spanning the river between Québec City and the south shore of the St. Lawrence. The Trans-Canada Highway is on that south shore so while driving you can see these bridges en route.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
12/3/2021 9:12:29 PM
Quote:
Quote:
BTW With the RCN being a valuable naval player in the Atlantic in WWII, you wonder why they didn't become a Naval Power, post WWII? Will they now because of the NW passage, & global warming??


Canada needs to beef up its naval assets and is in the slow process of doing that. But this is a small country of about 37 million. California has more people.

Wartime calls for unusual, desperate and costly measures. That is why the RCN expanded so rapidly from 1939. But even with the large number of warships built or acquired, the RCN was never going to challenge the world's great blue water navies for supremacy. The fleet was purpose built and that purpose was to defend Canada's coast and to escort merchant ships to Britain. As events evolved, the RCN was asked to support landings during Operation Torch and at Normandy. It also escorted convoys in the Mediterranean and on the Murmansk run. These were notable achievements for a navy that had only 6 modern destroyers in 1939 and few ships capable of escorting convoys.

But it would be unreasonable to think that Canada could support a navy of that size and with that degree of commitment forever. And so at the end of the war, the RCN was downsized to a level that allowed it to protect its own shores and also meet international commitments. Further reductions in assets have limited the RCN's capabilities.

Climate changes in the Arctic will place greater demands on the RCN and hopefully we find a way to improve the capabilities of what is now a small navy that has specific roles to play at home and in conjunction with allies.

Cheers,

George




Hi George,

What type of warships will the RCN need to patrol the Northern Waters?? Will they enforce territorial waters against other nations encroaching on them? & Are the plans for expanding on their navy?

Thanks,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6748
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Volume II
12/3/2021 9:14:51 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
BTW With the RCN being a valuable naval player in the Atlantic in WWII, you wonder why they didn't become a Naval Power, post WWII? Will they now because of the NW passage, & global warming??


Canada needs to beef up its naval assets and is in the slow process of doing that. But this is a small country of about 37 million. California has more people.

Wartime calls for unusual, desperate and costly measures. That is why the RCN expanded so rapidly from 1939. But even with the large number of warships built or acquired, the RCN was never going to challenge the world's great blue water navies for supremacy. The fleet was purpose built and that purpose was to defend Canada's coast and to escort merchant ships to Britain. As events evolved, the RCN was asked to support landings during Operation Torch and at Normandy. It also escorted convoys in the Mediterranean and on the Murmansk run. These were notable achievements for a navy that had only 6 modern destroyers in 1939 and few ships capable of escorting convoys.

But it would be unreasonable to think that Canada could support a navy of that size and with that degree of commitment forever. And so at the end of the war, the RCN was downsized to a level that allowed it to protect its own shores and also meet international commitments. Further reductions in assets have limited the RCN's capabilities.

Climate changes in the Arctic will place greater demands on the RCN and hopefully we find a way to improve the capabilities of what is now a small navy that has specific roles to play at home and in conjunction with allies.

Cheers,

George




Hi George,

What type of warships will the RCN need to patrol the Northern Waters?? Will they enforce territorial waters against other nations encroaching on them? & Are there plans for expanding on their navy, & building more military bases in the north??

Peace, & Thanks,
MD

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
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