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  1. #1
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    Teak Doors History Channel

    It is often said , ' Truth is stranger than fiction ' . Looking back through time ,there are so many interesting stories regarding human endeaver that if TD's lovers of history could post any interesting extracts they come across here , the rest of us should not be short of something to read. Try to keep them reasonably brief and provide a link so that anyone interested in reading further knows where to look.

    .......................................



    THE BATTLE OF THE NILE 1st August 1798
    (An abridged version of gunner John Nichols eyewitness account.)

    ........ One lad who was stationed by a salt box, on which he gave out cartridges, a trying berth, when asked for a cartridge he gave none, yet he sat upright ; his eyes were open. One of the men gave him a push ; he fell all his length on the deck. There was not a blemish on his body , yet he was quite dead, and was thrown overboard. Another lad, who had the match in his hand to fire his gun, in the act of applying it, a shot took off his arm ; it hung by a small piece of skin. The match fell to the deck. He looked to his arm, and seeing what had happened, seized the match in his left hand and fired off the gun before he went to the cockpit to have it dressed.

    THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR
    Lieutenant Marquis Gicquel des Touches aboard the Intrepide.

    .....Near by was a gallant colonel of infantry, who had distinguished himself at Marengo. He was terribly perturbed at the broadside from the English. In vain he tried to dodge and shelter behind the stalwart form of the captain, who at length saw what he was doing.
    " Ah, Colonel " called out the captain, " do you think I am sheathed in metal then ? "
    In spite of the gravity of the moment we could not keep from laughing.

    Both accounts from: How it Happened . Trafalgar.

    To get an idea of Nelson gained victory at Trafalgar , there is a very good animation at this site : Also an interactive game of the same battle.

    BBC - History - British History in depth: Animated Map: Battle of Trafalgar

    If you fancy fighting the battle of Waterloo, there is an interactive game you can play here:

    BBC - History - British History in depth: The Battle of Waterloo Game

    Luckily, I wasn't commanding on that day because I exhausted plenty of options playing this game as Wellington before I managed to win
    Last edited by Bangyai; 22-06-2010 at 02:10 PM.

  2. #2
    loob lor geezer
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    THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL



    Synopsis:

    On June 15, 1775 the American colonists heard news that the British planned to control the Charlestown peninsula between the Charles and Mystic Rivers. Bunker's and Breed's Hill on this peninsula overlooked both Boston and its harbor, thus making the hills critical vantage points. In order to beat the British to the high ground, General Prescott took 1,200 of his often times undisciplined, disobedient, and sometimes intoxicated soldiers to dig into and fortify Bunker Hill with the cover of night on June 16.
    When dawn broke, the British were stunned to see Breed's Hill fortified overnight with a 160-by-30-foot earthen structure. The British General, Gage, dispatched 2,300 troops under the command of Major General Howe to take control of the hill. So it came to be that General Prescott did not actually fortify Bunker's Hill, but Breed's Hill instead. How did this happen? One proposed idea is that Colonel William Prescott, since fortifying the hill in the middle of the night, chose the wrong hill. Another theory is that the map the Colonel used was incorrect, since many maps during this period had commonly misidentified the hills. Another suggestion, and probably the most practical, is that Breed's Hill is closer to where the British ships were positioned allowing the colonists a better attacking position than at Bunker Hill. Regardless of the reason, the Battle of Bunker Hill actually took place on Breed's Hill.
    The fighting began as soon as the day did. As soon as the men on British frigate awoke they opened fire on the colonial fortifications. Carol McCabe states that one soldier wrote there would be firing for about twenty minutes, then a lull, then the ships would start firing again. At about 3:00 PM Thomas Gage, the British commander, ordered men to try and take control of the hill. It took Gage this long to issue a command due to a shortage of boats and an unfavorable tide. Peter Brown, an American soldier, would later write about this, “There was a matter of 40 barges full of Regulars coming over to us; it is supposed there were about 3,000 of them and about 700 of us left not deserted, besides 500 reinforcements. . . the enemy landed and fronted before us and formed themselves in an oblong square. . . and after they were well formed they advanced towards us, but they found a choakly [sic] mouthful of us.”
    When the British forces were firmly established on the ground at the base of the hill they proceeded to charge. The British just expected to march up the hill and just scare the colonists away. The British Regulars advanced with bayonets fixed; many of their muskets were not even loaded. The British troops, wearing their bright red wool jackets and weighed down by heavy equipment, marched up hill over farm fields and low stone walls hidden in the tall grass.
    As the colonists saw this massive red line approach slowly and steadily, they remained calm and did not open fire. The fact they waited so long to commence an attack was that General Prescott has been assumed to have given the famous order, "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes." If this command was given it would have been to either help preserve their already low ammunition supplies, and to help keep the men from shooting out of their capable ranges. Once the British came within range, the colonists began firing, and the British soldiers stated to fall rapidly. The British forces were driven back twice, but on their third and final thrust forward the British were able to break through the colonists' line, overrunning the tentative American fortifications, thus taking the hill. The colonists had run out of ammunition and supplies. The colonists fled back up the peninsula since it was there only escape route. This battle, which lasted for approximately three hours, was one of the deadliest of the Revolutionary War.
    Although the British technically won the battle because they took control of the hill, they suffered too many losses to fully benefit from it. The British had suffered more than one thousand casualties out of the 2,300 or so who fought. While the colonists only suffered 400 to 600 casualties from an estimated 2,500 to 4,000 men. Besides having fewer deaths than the British, the colonists believe they had won in other ways as well.

    The American Revolution - (The Battle of Bunker (Breeds) Hill )

  3. #3
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    Something a bit more local . The account of a well known Thai Hero :

    Phraya Pichai(Dab Hak)

    Phraya = (Title) Pichai = (Name and Cities name) Dab = (Sword) Hak = (Broken / breaking)
    Phraya Pichai Daab Hak (Phraya Pichai of the broken sword) who was also known as Thongdee Fan Kao was from Thongyung Province which is known today as Uttarradit. When Phraya Pichai was a young boy he loved to practice Muay Thai and would always be running away without his parents knowing, to train in the art. He trained with many teachers of that time.
    One day Phraya Tak (General Taksin) was holding a Muay Thai contest in the town of Tak during a town festival. Now a young man of twenty years, Nai Thongdee Fan Kao asked the ring master to find him a match. The towns people having never seen the boxer before suggested that he take an opponent who had little experience so that it would make an exciting fight, but Nai Thongdee insisted that he would fight the most skillful boxer in the town.
    A famous boxing master of Tak, Arjarn Nai Hao, who nobody dared to challenge, gladly agreed to take the fight, knowing that those who had challenged the master before had been soundly and thoroughly beaten, why should this young upstart be any different? A huge crowd gathered to see the young boxer Nai Thongdee fight the invincible Nai Hao.Throughout the bout Nai Thongdee showed brilliant Muay Thai style.
    Seeing a resounding victory over Nai Hao after witnessing such a formidable display, Phraya Taksin showed no hesitation in asking Nai Thongdee to join his army. On many occasions, Nai Thongdee would display his talents in the Muay Thai ring before Phraya Tak (later to become King Taksin the great of Thonburi). His skill and bravery in the ring and the fact that no other boxer could defeat Nai Thongdee, were very pleasing to Phraya Tak who appointed him to be his personal bodyguard.
    The Emperor of China Kao Tsung, was alarmed by the military might of the Burmese. From 1766- 1769, the Emperor sent his armies four times to subdue the Burmese, but all four invasions failed. Siam was under the control of the Burmese since the sacking of Ayutthaya, but had to withdraw the bulk of its army from Siam to ward of the Chinese invasions, leaving behind only a small contingent. General Taksin taking advantage of the situation, organized his force and revolted.
    General Taksin; At first was a guerrilla leader with only five hundred followers but within fifteen years his dominion was to embrace all of Siam. During the revolt Taksin managed to escape to Rayong on the East coast of Siam. Here with the help of Phraya Pichai, now his Commander-in-Chief, raised an army and declared all out war on Burma. The action was to eventually regain freedom for the Siamese people.
    Phraya Pichai or (Nai Thongdee), under the guidance of General Taksin and using guerrilla tactics, won back many small towns and villages from the Burmese. It was during one of the many battles, that Nai Thongdee was to become famous. In 1773 an army under celebrated Burmese General Bo Supia was sent to capture the City of Pichai. Nai Thongdee led the Thai army and fought him at Wat Aka and Phraya Sura Sri helped him battle the Burmese. The Burmese general was driven into retreat while sustaining great losses to his troops.
    In the heat of the battle which Nai Thongdee fought with Sang maa daab (two handed swords) and after many fierce engagements he slipped and used one of his swords to control himself by pointing it into the ground, as he leaned on the sword it broke in half. Nai Thongdee used his Muay Thai techniques. One daab and one broken one, he led his army to victory forcing the Burmese back across the border.
    As a result of this battle he was known as ‘Phraya Pichai Daab Hak’ (Daab Hak) meaning broken sword. Eventually after fifteen years of war the Siamese under ‘King Tasking the Great ‘ had forced the Burmese army back and Siam regained all of its original frontiers.
    When King Taksin died, the new King Rama I of the Chao Phraya Chakri Dynasty (the present day rulers), he declared his new capitol Bangkok. As a reward for his loyalty and service to his country King Rama asked Phraya Pichai if he would continue his good work as the kings bodyguard. (In these times the law of the land stated that once a King died, his bodyguards and loyal servants should die with him), but King Rama offered to take an acceptation for Phraya Pichai.
    However, Phraya Pichai was so saddened by the death of his beloved King Taksin that he ordered the executioner to do away with him, despite King Rama's kindness, Such was the loyalty that Phraya Pichai had for King Taksin. Instead he asked King Rama to raise his son and in time that son could become King’s personal bodyguard in his fathers place.
    Phraya Pichai was executed on his own order when he was 41 years old. A monument built to the memory of Phraya Pichai in 1969. The bronze image of the great warrior stand proudly in front of the Parliament Building in Uttarradit and serves to remind each generation of the amazing man’s courage and loyalty to his King and the Thai nation. The epitaph reads "In memory and loving honor for the pride of our nation".

    http://www.usmta.com/Thai-History-Frame.htm

  4. #4
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    MERCIA
    Mercia was and still is, the only area in England that can speak English. The reasons are very simple to see. To the west of us were the Welsh, the Northern Welch and the Southern Welch. To the north west were thieves and bandits, wandering around stealing the 7th century equivalent of hub caps. To the north of us, we had the mountainous tribes who spent their time shafting sheep and writing poetry. Even further north of the poetic sheep shaffters were the "robbing murdering auntie and uncle shagging buggering catholics to be. To the east were flatlands, that the locals had offered up to the Scandies for three shillings. To the south were the "untrustworthy crown givers", a very mottley fucking crew indeed, who seemed more intent on burning cakes and lurking in the undergrowth than doing a decent days fighting.
    So we decided logically, to set the kingdom of England equidistant from the foriegners. Tamworth would be our smelting pot, far enough away from the Angles who could so wickedly sell thear arses to the filthy unwashed ship travelling gypsy bastards from Ure Ope.
    We alt ite, an ow the rest of eet is istory.
    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

  5. #5
    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke View Post

    We alt ite, an ow the rest of eet is istory.
    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
    Interesting link. Will gee eet butchers ton ' morrow.

    Which reminds me that I found a very nice hardback copy of
    ' History of the Kings of Britain ' by Geoffrey of Monmouth , in a secondhand bookshop above TOPS supermarket in Pattaya ....... which was nice.
    Fancy that bloke Brutus , a decendant of Troy, rowing all the way to England to set himself up as king ! What a nerve !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    Interesting link. Will gee eet butchers ton ' morrow.
    It starts to get interesting with the first mention of the viking raids in 793.
    A.D. 793. This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of
    the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these
    were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and
    whirlwinds, and fiery, dragons flying across the firmament.
    These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and
    not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of January in
    the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made
    lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine
    and slaughter.

  7. #7
    loob lor geezer
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    ^ Bloody vikings




    Looks somehow familiar ?

    Still a lot of placenames that can be traced back to them.

    1. Place names ending in -by, such as Selby or Whitby. These -by endings are generally places where the Vikings settled first. In Yorkshire there are 210 -by place names. The -by has passed into English as 'by-law' meaning the local law of the town or village.
    2. Place names ending in -thorpe, such as Scunthorpe. The -thorpe names are connected with secondary settlement, where the settlements were on the margins or on poor lands. There are 155 place names ending in -thorpe in Yorkshire.
    3. Place names as a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Viking words. These are known as 'Grimston hybrids', because -ton is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning town or village, and Grim is a Viking name. The idea is that a Viking took over an Anglo-Saxon place and called it after himself. (Women's names are very rare in place names). There are 50 'Grimston hybrid' names in Yorkshire.
    4. Changes in pronunciation. The Anglo-Saxon place name Shipton was difficult for the Vikings to say, so it became Skipton.

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    PARAGUAY:

    The War of the Triple Alliance:


    The War of the Triple Alliance, also known as the Paraguayan War, and in Paraguay as the Great War, was fought from 1864 to 1870 between Paraguay and the allied countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. It caused more deaths than any other South American war and particularly devastated Paraguay, killing most of its male population.



    Francisco Lopez , Paraguayan President .


    The outcome of the war was the utter defeat of Paraguay. After the Triple Alliance defeated Paraguay in conventional warfare, the conflict turned into a drawn-out guerrilla-style resistance that devastated the Paraguayan military and civilian population. The guerilla war lasted until López was killed on March 1, 1870. One estimate places total Paraguayan losses — through both war and disease as high as 1.2 million people, or 90% of its pre-war population. A different estimate places Paraguayan deaths at approximately 300,000 people out of its 500,000 to 525,000 prewar inhabitants.

    War of the Triple Alliance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A terrible loss of life which sadly has often been repeated through history whenever a nutcase gets behind the steering wheel.

    Nonetheless, well worth following the link and reading the details.

  9. #9
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    A brief history of condoms , before they teamed up with cabbages .



    Around the world, between six and nine billion condoms are used each year. Unfortunately, their use is not universally accepted. Experts agree that condom use can dramatically reduce the number of new HIV and STD infections each year. Even the Catholic religion, who has always strictly forbidden their use, has recently announced they are considering allowing them in very special circumstances. Yet, some leaders within the church make accusations that condoms don't work and should not be used. Just a few months ago, Pope Benedict said that HIV and AIDS should be controlled with abstinence only. Have you ever wondered where condoms came from? Are you curious to know when they were first used and who invented them? This brief history lesson will answer those questions and provide you with some interesting trivia for your next dinner party.

    1000 BC
    As far as anyone can tell, this is roughly when the use of condoms was first recorded in history. Unlike today's latex or polyurethane, the first condoms were made of oiled silk paper, linen sheaths, leather, or very thin hollow horn.
    AD 200
    Cave paintings dating back to the year 200 depict condom use, the earliest known visual evidence of their use.
    1500s
    An Italian doctor by the name of Gabrielle Fallopius (for whom, coincidentally, the female fallopian tube was named) suggested that linen sheath condoms be used to protect against syphilis, a deadly epidemic at that time in history.
    1640s
    Reports say farmers in Condom, France began using sheep guts as condoms, possibly the origin of the lambskin condom.
    1660s
    Allegedly, the name "condom" was coined when Charles II was given oiled sheep intestines to use as condoms by a Dr. Condom. However, some believe the name "condom" came from the Latin word "condus" which means "vessel".
    1855
    Rubber is introduced as a component of condoms. Men are advised that these rubber condoms can be washed and reused until they crumble.
    1912
    The introduction of latex makes condoms cheap and disposable. Thus, the single-use condom is born. By World War II, latex condoms are mass produced and given to troops all over the world.
    1950s
    The latex condom is improved by making them thinner, tighter and lubricated. Also, the reservoir tip is introduced that collects semen in the end, decreasing the risk of leakage and unintentional pregnancy.
    1980s
    Once a source of embarrassment and absolutely forbidden from being advertised in print or on television, the emergence of HIV as a sexually transmitted disease takes condoms into the mainstream. Experts agree that condoms are the best way outside of abstinence to avoid HIV. 2006
    Condom sales reach nine billion worldwide. Experts have found the spermicides that kill sperm to prevent pregnancy also increase the risk of HIV; they agree that condoms with spermicides should never be used. Also, with the emergence of latex allergies, condoms are now available made of polyurethane for those people with latex allergies.

    History of the Condom - Condoms - Condom History

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    Britain's worst ever maritime disaster, the 1940 sinking of the troopship Lancastria, which claimed the lives of between four and six thousand men, has all but been erased from history. But survivors and campaigners are keeping the memory alive.


    Most people have heard of the Titanic, the Transatlantic liner which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912 and was immortalised in James Cameron's blockbuster 1997 movie.
    And the Lusitania, torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915, is still remembered as the ship which brought the United States into the World War I.


    But have you heard of the Lancastria? Perhaps not. Because the sinking of this liner in 1940, an event which claimed the lives of more victims than the Titanic and the Lusitania combined, almost disappeared from history, a victim of the propaganda war which underlay Britain's fight against Nazi Germany.


    Churchill quite simply thought the newspapers had had enough bad news." Jonathan Fenby

    BBC News - Today - Lancastria: Britain's forgotten disaster

    The Lancastria Association : Homepage

  11. #11
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    The Founders Of A Nation

    Early Colonial History
    Historian Cathy Dunn

    THE FOUNDERS OF A NATION AUSTRALIA'S FIRST FLEET - 1788
    by Cathy Dunn and Marion McCreadie
    Between 1788 and 1850 the English sent over 162,000 convicts to Australia in 806 ships. The first eleven of these ships are today known as the First Fleet and contained the convicts and marines that are now acknowledged as the Founders of Australia. This is their story.
    Before 1788, Australia was populated by about 300,000 aborigines. These nomadic people had inhabited the world's oldest continent for more than 10,000 years. They had seen very few Europeans, but two events were to play an important part in changing their way of life forever.

    Captain James Cook discovered the east coast of New Holland in 1770 and named it New South Wales. He sailed the whole of the coast and reported to the British government that he thought it would make a good place for a settlement. Britain did not recognise the country as being inhabited as the natives did not cultivate the land, and were, therefore, "uncivilized".

    The agrarian revolution in Britain, and the population explosion in the cities, resulted in an increase in crime. As the American Revolution meant that no more convicts could be sent there, the only way to overcome the overcrowding in the jails was to establish a penal colony in the land discovered by Captain James Cook. The convicts would be transported, never to return to Britain.

    With this in mind, the British Government hired 9 ships and set about provisioning them, together with 2 Naval vessels, with enough supplies to keep the 759 convicts, their Marine guards, some with families, and a few civil officers, until they became self-sufficient.


    First Fleet 1788 resourcesNSW


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    Mid
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    Willem Janszoon (c. 1570–1630), Dutch navigator and colonial governor, is the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia. His name is sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz. (with or without the full stop).[1] He was probably born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


    On 18 November 1605, the Duyfken sailed from Bantam to the coast of western New Guinea. Janszoon then crossed the eastern end of the Arafura Sea, without seeing the Torres Strait, into the Gulf of Carpentaria. On 26 February 1606, he made landfall at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York in Queensland, near the modern town of Weipa. This is the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent. Janszoon proceeded to chart some 320 km of the coastline, which he thought was a southerly extension of New Guinea.

    Willem Janszoon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    ^ Thanks for the input Mid although I seem to remember something about the Portugese getting the first shout in :

    Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Although most historians hold that the European discovery of Australia began in 1606 with the voyage of the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon on board the Duyfken, a number of alternative theories have been put forward. Precedence of discovery has been claimed for China, Portugal, France, Spain and even Phoenicia. One of the better supported of these theories is the theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia.



    The theory

    The theory of Portuguese discovery of Australiabetween 1521 and 1524 is regarded by some writers as resting on several tenets.These are:
    • The existence of a large landmass called Jave la Grande, shown between Indonesia and Antarctica on a group of French world maps, the maDieppe ps, which carry French, Portuguese, and Gallicized Portuguese placenames and which by various means can be interpreted to look similar to Australia's northwestern and eastern coasts.
    • The presence of the Portuguese in the Southeast Asia region from the early 16th century, especially their exploration and later colonization of Timor - less than 500 kilometres from the Australian coast - circa 1513-1516.
    • Various antiquities and unsolved mysteries found on Australian and New Zealand's coastlines, that may relate to early Portuguese voyages to Australia.
    Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    It's a mystery to me

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    Operation Rimau was an attack on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour, carried out by an Allied commando unit Z Force, during World War II. It was a follow-up to the successful Operation Jaywick, which had taken place in 1943, and Rimau, a shortened version of the word Harimau which is (Malay for tiger). It was again led by Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Lyon of the Gordon Highlanders. Originally named Operation Hornbill the aim of Rimau was to sink Japanese shipping by placing limpet mines on ships. Motorised semi-submersible canoes, known as Sleeping Beauties, would be used to gain access to the harbour.

    Operation Rimau - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Operation Rimau was an attack on
    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour, carried out by an Alliedcommando unit Z Force, during World War II. It was a follow-up to the successful Operation Jaywick, which had taken place in 1943, and Rimau, a shortened version of the word Harimau which is (Malay for tiger). It was again led by Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Lyon of the Gordon Highlanders. Originally named Operation Hornbill the aim of Rimau was to sink Japanese shipping by placing limpet mines on ships. Motorised semi-submersible canoes, known as Sleeping Beauties, would be used to gain access to the harbour.

    Operation Rimau - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Brave blokes. I remember seeing a documentry about it. This is not it but worth watching :



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    Something on the early Tai Kingdom of Nanzhao :


    Early History, the Nanzhao Kingdom

    Nanzhao Kingdom was formed by the unification of six Tai kingdoms in 729. Piluoge, the leader of one small tribal state, extended his control over the five neighboring kingdoms while acting in alliance with China, which needed an ally against the aggressive Tibetans. Once unification was complete, Piluoge established Nanzhao’s center of power near Lake Er. Geographic factors rendered the capital impregnable, and two Chinese attacks were repulsed in 751 and 754. Nanzhao was also able to dominate the East-West trade routes from China and Tongking through Burma to India. By the 9th century Nanzhao had become an imperialistic state waging war deep into Burma in 832 and into Tongking in 862. This relationship of warfare with Burma set the stage for the rivalry these two dominant powers faced for the next few centuries.
    Nanzhao attained a high level of culture. Skilled artisans taught the weaving of cotton and silk gauze. Salt and gold were mined in many parts of the kingdom, and a complex system of government and administration was developed.
    Nanzhao declined during the late 9th century and fell in 902, when a rebel official killed its last emperor and set up a new state. The Mongols under the leadership of Kublai Khan conquered the area in 1253. During the preceding two centuries, however, the Tai had been moving southward in large numbers, eventually forming the bulk of the population in what is present-day Thailand. The Thai people founded their kingdom in the southern part of China, which is Yunnan, Kwangsi and Canton today. A great number of people migrated south as far as the Chao Phraya Basin and settled down over the Central Plain under the sovereignty of the Khmer Empire, whose culture they probably accepted. The Thai people founded their independent state of Sukhothai around 1238 A.D., which marks the beginning of the Sukhothai Period.
    Ancient Thailand: The Ancient Cultures of Siam

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    When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead (1915)
    When you see millions of the mouthless dead
    Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
    Say not soft things as other men have said,
    That you'll remember. For you need not so.
    Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
    It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
    Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
    Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
    Say only this, "They are dead." Then add thereto,
    "yet many a better one has died before."
    Then, scanning all the overcrowded mass, should you
    Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
    It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
    Great death has made all this for evermore.

    Bit of an odd time in history.
    This link will give far more than poetry.
    First World War.com - Memoirs & Diaries

    WARNING. DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A GREAT AMOUNT OF TIME TO FOLLOW IT THROUGH.
    Last edited by withnallstoke; 09-07-2010 at 10:16 PM.

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    "Bullets started dropping all around us like heavy thunder rain. The men on both sides of me lay snoring in exhausted slumber. I felt lonely and wretched. At last I fell asleep. "The next b--- I catch asleep I'll put a bullet through him." By the flame light I could see the large face of an officer with the badge of the D.L.I.'s in his cap. No one spoke, so he snarled again: "The next. Do you hear?" he grated. "Yes, sir," someone muttered. No sooner had he walked off than we all dropped off to sleep again till the grey morning dawned.
    First World War.com - Memoirs & Diaries - The Battle of Loos

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    Interesting site. Cheers.

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    Topical at the moment :


    Battle of the Boyne :



    The battle of the Boyne is seen as the decisive encounter in a war that was primarily about James's attempt to regain the thrones of England and Scotland, resulting from Parliament's invitation to William and James's daughter, Mary, to take the throne. It is especially remembered as a crucial moment in the struggle between Irish Protestant and Catholic interests.

    Armies

    The Williamite army at the Boyne was about 36,000 strong, composed of troops from many countries. Around 20,000 troops had been in Ireland since 1689, commanded by Schomberg. William himself arrived with another 16,000 in June 1690. William's troops were generally far better trained and equipped than James's. The best Williamite infantry were from Denmark and the Netherlands, professional soldiers equipped with the latest flintlock muskets. There was also a large contingent of French Huguenot troops fighting with the Williamites. William did not have a high opinion of his English and Scottish troops, with the exception of the Ulster Protestant irregulars who had held Ulster in the previous year. The English and Scottish troops were felt to be politically unreliable, since James had been their legitimate monarch up to a year before. Moreover, they had only been raised recently and had seen little battle action.
    The Jacobites were 23,500 strong. James had several regiments of French troops, but most of his manpower was provided by Irish Catholics. The Jacobites' Irish cavalry, who were recruited from among the dispossessed Irish gentry, proved themselves to be high calibre troops during the course of the battle. However, the Irish infantry, predominantly peasants who had been pressed into service, were not trained soldiers. They had been hastily trained, poorly equipped, and only a minority of them had functional muskets. In fact, some of them carried only farm implements such as scythes at the Boyne. On top of that, the Jacobite infantry who actually had firearms were all equipped with the obsolete matchlock musket.




    The battle

    William had landed in Carrickfergus in Ulster on 14 June 1690 and marched south to take Dublin. It has been argued that the Jacobites should have tried to block this advance in rugged country around Newry, on the present day Irish Republic/Northern Ireland border. However, James only fought a delaying action there and chose instead to place his line of defence on the River Boyne, around 30 miles from Dublin. The Williamites reached the Boyne on 29 June. The day before the battle, William himself had a narrow escape when he was wounded in the shoulder by Jacobite artillery while surveying the fords over which his troops would cross the Boyne.
    The battle itself was fought on 1 July for control of a ford on the Boyne at Oldbridge, near Drogheda. William sent about a quarter of his men to cross at a place called Roughgrange, near Slane, about 6 miles from Oldbridge. The Duke of Schomberg's son, Meinhardt, led this crossing, which Irish dragoons in picquet under Neil O'Neill unsuccessfully opposed. James, an inexperienced general thought that he might be outflanked and sent half his troops, along with most of his artillery, to counter this move. What neither side had realized was that there was a deep ravine at Roughgrange. Because of this ravine, the opposing forces there could not engage each other, but literally sat out the battle. The Williamite forces went on a long detour march which, later in the day, almost saw them cut off the Jacobite retreat at the village of Naul.
    At the main ford at Oldbridge, William's infantry led by the elite Dutch Blue Guards forced their way across the river, using their superior firepower to slowly drive back the enemy foot-soldiers, but were pinned down when the Jacobite cavalry counter-attacked. Having secured the village of Oldbridge, some Williamite infantry tried to hold off successive cavalry attacks with disciplined volley fire, but were scattered and driven into the river, with the exception of the Blue Guards. William's second-in-command, the Duke of Schomberg, and George Walker were killed in this phase of the battle. The Williamites were not able to resume their advance until their own horsemen managed to cross the river and, after being badly mauled, managed to hold off the Jacobite cavalry until they retired and regrouped at Donore, where they once again put up stiff resistance before retiring.
    The Jacobites retired in good order. William had a chance to trap them as they retreated across the River Nanny at Duleek, but his troops were held up by a successful rear-guard action.
    The casualty figures of the battle were quite low for a battle of such a scale — of the 50,000 or so participants, about 2,000 died. Although three-quarters of them were Jacobites, William's army had far more wounded. The reason for the low death toll was that in contemporary warfare, most of the casualties tended to be inflicted in the pursuit of an already-beaten enemy. This did not happen at the Boyne, as the counter-attacks of the skilled Jacobite cavalry screened the retreat of the rest of their army. The Jacobites were badly demoralized by their order to retreat which resulted in losing the battle. Many of the Irish infantrymen deserted. The Williamites triumphantly marched into Dublin two days after the battle. The Jacobite army abandoned the city and marched to Limerick, behind the River Shannon, where they were besieged.
    After his defeat, James did not stay in Dublin, but rode with a small escort to Duncannon and returned to exile in France, even though his army left the field relatively unscathed. James's loss of nerve and speedy exit from the battlefield enraged his Irish supporters, who fought on until the Treaty of Limerick in 1691. In Irish folk memory, James was derisively nick-named Seamus a' chaca — a title that translates literally to "Shitty James" or "James the shit."

    Battle of the Boyne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    When the cannons roared
    Manote Tripathi
    July 25, 2010

    The Thai Navy sponsors a book about the day it took on French warships - and helped save the Kingdom

    The Royal Thai Navy may have lost its skirmish with French gunboats 117 years ago this month, and thus lost Laos for the crown, but there was enough gallantry in the "Franco-Siamese Crisis" that the Navy has no compunction in issuing a new book on the affair.

    Along with the Prachul Fort Society, the Navy has published historian Kririksh Nana's "Franco-Siamese Crisis 1893", unveiling the book on the very site of the brief battle, Prachul Fort at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River.

    The episode ended with the King's foreign cash depleted, all of his silver carted by caravan to a waiting French ship.

    France coveted Siam's northern territory on the far side of the Mekong River, what is now Laos. Unable to pry it loose, France dispatched gunboats to Bangkok, which the Siamese navy attempted to block on July 13, 1893, with some gritty action at Prachul Fort.

    The exchange of fire - sometimes referred to as the Paknam Incident - garnered international attention, European newspapers weighing in on the "shameful" battle between the "French wolf" and the "Siamese lamb".

    The lamb was generally hailed for its bravery, and cartoonists in Paris as well as London had a field day.

    Kririksh pinpoints the moment of invasion as 6.05pm, when the French gunboats Inconstante and Comete entered the Chao Phraya along with a guiding vessel.

    The Siamese side fired two warning shots from the fort, and then two more shots prompted the French to draw their swords.

    A Siamese torpedo sank the lead foreign ship. The French unleashed their cannons and also inflicted damage and loss of life.

    Then the gunboats moved on upstream. The Siamese navy proposed to ram them with the Maha Chakri Royal Barge, but King Chulalongkorn countermanded the idea.

    At 9pm the French reached the capital and anchored in front of their embassy near the Oriental Hotel.

    Ambassador Pavie gave Siam a six-point ultimatum, demanding that its troops be withdrawn from the north side of the Mekong within a month - effectively ceding Laos and part of Cambodia to France - and that France be paid three million francs in "war compensation".

    The King stalled for as long as possible, but the French were evidently confident enough of the outcome that the gunboats departed on July 26, and ultimately an armistice was signed on October 3, relinquishing the Mekong territories and approving the compensation.

    France continued to occupy the eastern provinces of Chanthaburi and Trat for another 14 years to keep Siamese troops out of Laos, but in the meantime the benefit of Siam's concessions became clear: By giving up some territory, it had salvaged its sovereignty.

    King Chulalongkorn, who died 100 years ago this October, embarked on a nine-month tour of Europe in 1897, forging friendships with aristocrats from Britain to Russia and further securing Siam against colonisation.

    This dramatic episode in our history is well captured in the 100 illustrations from various European periodicals that Kririksh has assembled for the book, some of them costing more than Bt80,000.

    Kririksh is hardly a dispassionate raconteur: In 1893 his grandmother was in the crowd that gathered in front of the French Embassy hurling abuse at the foreign invaders!

    He nevertheless believes that the French were loath to fight the Siamese, that the gunboats were here to force our hand. They expected little trouble at a time when the Siamese military mounted its British-made cannons on the backs of elephants.

    Battle did, however, ensue, and Amorn Wanitwiwat, a political-science lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, is proud of the navy's response.

    "Eight Siamese soldiers were killed and three French naval officers died, and one French boat was blown up," he said during a panel discussion at the book launch.

    "Job well done for the Thai Navy!"

    Amorn pointed out that the Siamese ranks included Italian, British and Danish mercenaries, "so other Western nations saw that what the French were doing was absolutely not right".

    Few Bangkok citizens knew about the crisis, even after the French warships arrived. Residents living around the embassy and monks in the nearby temples gathered in concern.

    The French naval officers had no idea that the monks travelled in small boats on their alms rounds, so they were alarmed to see them approach their ships. The strangely dressed, hairless men carrying lidded containers could well have been saboteurs, they surmised.

    French imperial brashness was no surprise to Siam's elite class - it had already consumed most of Cambodia and the future Vietnam, and Siam was coveted as a buffer state against British Burma.

    "Both superpowers were trying to take over China, the centre of Asia," Amorn pointed out.

    "They thought if they could colonise China, taking over the rest of Asia would be easy."

    Siam didn't "lose" the 1893 skirmish, Kririksh and Amorn agree. The French got what they wanted - all of Indochina - but Siam maintained its independence.

    Still, that "compensation" payment to the French of three million francs sticks in the craw.

    King Rama V turned to the foreign reserves kept in the basement of the Grand Palace, Kririksh said, but there was only 2.4 million francs, so the royal relatives were tapped for the rest.

    "A parade of chariots transported the heavy silver from the Royal Palace to another French gunboat, the Lutin, moored in front of the French Embassy," Kririksh writes in his book. "Crowds stood by, crying in agony."

    The French newspaper Le Monde Illustre reported on November 18, 1893, that the payment comprised 801,282 silver coins, collectively weighing 23 tons.

    King Chulalongkorn was saddened by the events of 1893 and the loss of the mekong territories, Kririksh and Amorn affirm. But his clever parry - giving up a portion to save the whole - safeguarded the freedom that Thailand celebrates to this day.

    Buy the book

    Copies of "Franco-Siamese Crisis 1893" cost Bt999 at the Sunshine Shop on the fourth floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and from the Prachul Fort Society. Call (089) 200 8766 or (02) 475 6260.

    nationmultimedia.com


    see also : Franco-Siamese War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by Mid; 25-07-2010 at 12:04 PM. Reason: formatting

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    ^ Thanks for that Mid.
    From what I've previously read on the results of the Paknam incident, the Laotians were happy with the result as , recognising they were going to be a vassal state , they prefered the French to the Thais.



    After reading the above I remembered that one of the Thai forts ( Phi Sua ) was on an island at the mouth of the river.I've not been there but here is a link with some good pictures of the place.

    Phi Sua Samut Fort - Samut Prakan (Paknam)




    The French gunboat : Comete



    Le Lutin

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    Saburo Sakai


    Born25 Aug 1916Died22 Sep 2000NationalityJapanCategoryAir
    Contributor: C. Peter Chen
    Saburo Sakai was born in Saga, Japan into a family of samurai ancestry but made a living as farmers. Sakai's father passed away when he was 11. He joined the Japanese Navy on 31 May 1933 when he was 16. Upon graduation, he served as a turret gunner aboard battleship Kirishima. In 1936, he left Kirishima to join the pilot training program. He graduated first in has class in 1937 as a carrier pilot (although he never received carrier duty) and was presented a silver watch by Emperor Showa.
    During WW2, in 1938, Sakai was assigned to China flying an A5M Navy Type 96 fighter, and was slightly wounded in the following year. In Oct 1939, he shot down a Russian-built DB-3 bomber over China. In 1940, he was among those chosen to fly the new A6M Zero fighters in field tests in combat against Chinese forces. On 8 Dec 1941, as a member of Tainan Air Group based in Formosa, he flew one of the 45 A6M Zero fighters from his unit against Clark Airfield in the Philippine Islands, downing a P-40 Warhawk fighter during that mission. On 9 Dec, he was sent to attack American targets again during bad weather. On 10 Dec, he shot down the B-17 Flying Fortress piloted by Captain Colin P. Kelly, the first B-17 to be lost in the war. In early 1942, he was transferred to Tarakan Island in Borneo and fought in the Dutch East Indies. Initially ordered to down all Allied aircraft regardless of military or civilian, but at one incidence, he allowed a Dutch DC-3 passenger liner to go unharmed after he spotted a blond woman with a child through one of the passenger windows. Between late Jan and Apr 1942, he was grounded due to illness.
    At the rank of petty officer first class, Sakai re-joined the Tainan Air Group in Apr 1942, now based at Lae, New Guinea. On 17 May, together with fellow aces Hiroyoshi Nishizawa and Toshio Ohta, the three young pilots pulled a stunt of performing aerial acrobatics over an Allied airfield; the performance was done without any anti-aircraft fire, but they were later scolded by commanding officer Lieutenant (jg) Junichi Sasai. His tenure in New Guinea saw the most of his kills during the Pacific War. His unit was relocated to Rabaul in New Britain, Solomon Islands on 3 Aug, just days before the Americans launched the Guadalcanal campaign. The Tainan Air Group attacked Henderson Field almost daily, and Sakai saw many engagements there. On 8 Aug 1942, he scored a killed against a F4F Wildcat fighter flown by James "Pug" Southerland. After an extended dogfighter where no one seemingly had a clear upper hand over, Sakai was able to hit Southerland's fighter underneath the left wing root, downing the F4F Wildcat fighter.
    Later that month, Sakai engaged SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers from carrier Enterprise over Guadalcanal. He fired 232 rounds at one, scoring several hits but unable to disable the heavily-armored aircraft, he was hit by shots from the rear machine gun (manned by Harold L. Jones), blowing away his canopy and hitting him once in a head. Blinded in one eye by blood, he flew upside down to prevent blood from blinding his other eye. "If I must die, at least I could go out as a Samurai. My death would take several of the enemy with me", he initially thought, as he felt the left side of his body paralyzed after his head wound. After a brief moment, he abandoned that idea as he realized his aircraft was in flyable condition, and he was able to control it despite his partial paralysis. he returned to Rabaul after a nearly 5-hour flight without his cockpit canopy. He insisted on making his debriefing report after landing, and collapsed immediately afterwards. His squadron mate Hiroyoshi Nishizawa drove him to the unit surgeon, who was able to stabilize his condition. He was evacuated to Yokosuka, Japan on 12 Aug where he endured a long surgery without anesthesia, repairing most of the damage to his head, but his right eye would never recover fully. He was out of commission for five months.
    Upon recover, Sakai trained new fighter pilots. In Apr 1944, he was able to convince his superiors to let him fly again despite the poor vision in his right eye. He was deployed to Iwo Jima, Japan with the Yokosuka Air Wing. On 24 Jun, he mis-identified a group of 15 F6F Hellcat fighters as friendly and flew too close, and was attacked; he was able to shake off 20 minutes worth of attacks from these fighters and returned to base unscathed. On 5 Jul 1944, he was ordered to lead a kamikaze special attack mission, but returned to base after failing to locate the reported American task force. In Aug 1944, he was promoted to the rank of ensign, 11 years after his enlistment. In Aug 1945, just before the war ended, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant (jg).
    During the course of WW2, Sakai destroyed an estimated 64 enemy aircraft, most of which were American.
    After the war, Sakai retired from the Japanese Navy at the rank of lieutenant. He became a devout Buddhist who refused to kill another living thing. He eventually started a printing shop to make a living, and hired family, friends, and fellow veterans who otherwise could not find work. He lost his first wife in 1954, and he later remarried. He visited the United States and met some of his former adversaries, including Harold L. Jones, the rear gunner who nearly killed him over Guadalcanal. In 2000, he worked briefly for Microsoft as a consultant to the game Combat Flight Simulator 2. In his later years, he was a motivational speaker for Japanese schools and businesses; his theme was always "never give up". In his final years, he attracted much attention for his criticism for Japan's inability to accept responsibility for starting the wars in Asia and the Pacific. "Who gave the orders for that stupid war?", he said in an article reported 10 Aug 10 2000 by the Associated Press. "The closer you get to the emperor, the fuzzier everything gets." Sakai told reporters near the end of his life that he still prayed for the souls of the Chinese, American, Australian and Dutch airmen he had killed. "I pray every day for the souls of my enemies as well as my comrades," he said. "We all did our best for our respective countries." He passed away from a heart attack in 2000.

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    Garland of Arabia: the forgotten story of TE Lawrence's brother-in-arms

    He was a mentor to Lawrence of Arabia, a maverick explosives expert who played a pivotal role in the Arab insurgency against the Ottoman Empire.

    By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
    Published: 6:00PM BST 30 Jul 2010


    Herbert Garland was a maverick explosives expert who played a pivotal role in the Arab insurgency against the Ottoman Empire

    Major Garland was admired by TE Lawrence for his daring and cleverness.


    But the part that Major Herbert Garland, a British scientist turned soldier, played in the First World War has largely been ignored, airbrushed from history in the wake of his more famous brother-in-arms.

    Now the Royal Society of Chemistry is to finally commemorate the army officer who wrecked his health leading the Arab rebellion before dying forgotten and almost penniless in Gravesend aged just 38.

    Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), said he was a very rare and "courageous soldier" who was admired by TE Lawrence for his daring and cleverness.
    “I am pleased that we are remembering him now, even if it is nine decades after his rather lonely death, far from the desert where his reputation should have been made, as it was with Lawrence, who had learned so much from him,” he said.
    Major Garland, born in Sheffield, had worked in Cairo as superintendent of a government explosives laboratory.
    He was also intrigued by metallurgy of ancient artefacts, and on 15 May 1913 he was elected a Fellow of the Chemical Society (the RSC forerunner) which later awarded a £10 grant to research ancient Egyptian metals.
    At the outbreak of war, he joined the Arab Bureau along with Lawrence, a group of intellectuals and businessmen whose "mission was to collect every possible bit of information about Turkish and German influence in the Middle East and act on it in the field".
    Despite once blowing himself up with explosives and suffering severe shock, he joined Lawrence and Arab rebels to attack the Hejaz railway, one of the main supply lines of the Ottoman Empire.
    He developed the mines and taught Lawrence and the rebels how to use them in their guerrilla campaign that acted as a great diversion allowing the British to take Damascus and bring down the Ottoman Empire.
    His final act in the war was being sent to Medina, the last place to be surrendered by the Turks, in late 1918. He was responsible for the overseeing of the surrender of the key town to the allies.
    But while Lawrence of Arabia, who died almost 75 years ago, refers to him briefly in his book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the full achievements of Garland have not been revealed until now.
    Lawrence alludes to Garland in his book about the desert revolt, upon which the multi Oscar-winning film Lawrence of Arabia was based and which made great play of the derailing of Turkish trains.
    He writes that Garland “had years of practical knowledge of explosives" and "his own devices for mining trains and felling telegraphs and cutting metals".
    He said that "his knowledge of Arabic" enabled him "to teach the art of demolition to unlettered Beduin in a quick and ready way. His pupils admired a man who was never at a loss”.
    “Incidentally, he taught me how to be familiar with high explosive," Lawrence adds.
    "Sappers handled it like a sacrament, but Garland would shove a handful of detonators into his pocket with a string of primers, fuse, and fusees and jump gaily in his camel for a week’s ride to the Hejaz railway.
    In a letter, Lawrence writes at one point that Garland contribution to the campaign was greater than his.
    “Garland is much more use than I could be," he tells a diplomat.
    "For one thing he is senior to me and he is an expert on explosives and machinery. He digs their trenches, teaches them musketry, machine gun work, signalling, gets on with them exceedingly well and always makes the best of things and they all like him too."
    A Major Davenport, who commanded British officers in Arabia, wrote after his death: ” No man worked harder for the success of the operations than Major Garland, and it was only due to dogged pluck that he worked on as long as he did in the Hedjaz.”

    Garland of Arabia: the forgotten story of TE Lawrence's brother-in-arms - Telegraph

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    Great thread, Thanks

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