Wednesday, 30 May 2012

stormtrooper by jon smith

Jon Smith Stormtrooper German Army Western Front WW1 120mm 1/16th Model kit
Stormtroopers (in German Stoßtruppen, "shock troops") were specialist soldiers of the German Army in World War I. In the last years of the war, Stoßtruppen were trained to fight with "infiltration tactics", part of the Germans' new method of attack on enemy trenches. Men trained in these methods were known in Germany as Sturmmann (literally "storm man" but usually translated as "stormtrooper"), formed into companies of Sturmtruppen ("assault troops", more often and less exactly "storm troops"). The infiltration tactics of the stormtroopers are still in use today, in one form or another. Other armies have also used the term "assault troops", "shock troops" or fireteams for specialist soldiers who perform the infiltration tasks of stormtroopers.
The innovative new German stormtrooper tactics of 1918 were very successful and foreshadowed the blitzkrieg tactics of the Second World War, but their very success contributed to German defeat.
     The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, with Russia defeated, allowed Germany to concentrate on the Western Front.  Ludendorff, the co-dictator of Germany and supreme military commander, insisted on occupying Russia.  Over one million troops were tied up in Russia and Romania.  Another million troops and 3,000 artillery pieces were shipped to the western front.  From November 1917 to March 1918, German strength on the Western Front increased from 150 to 208 divisions and included 13, 832 artillery pieces. (Terraine 45)
     At this time in the war, military formations of the belligerents were similar.  German divisions consisted of about 10,600 men, British 12,000, and French 13,000.  The newly arriving American divisions were over twice as large at 28,105 men.  

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The equestrian memorial to Terry's Texas Rangers

The equestrian memorial to Terry's Texas Rangers on the south lawn of the Capitol. They weren't actually Texas Rangers, but a Confederate unit with the Army of the Tennessee whose troopers wore the lone star on their slouch hats--also known as the  The 8th Texas Cavalry, (1861–1865), popularly known as Terry's Texas Rangers, was a group of Texas volunteers for theConfederate States Army assembled by Colonel Benjamin Franklin File:Benjamin Franklin Terry.jpgTerry in August 1861. Though lesser known than The Texas Brigade, famous for their actions during the Battle of Gettysburg, the "Terry Rangers" distinguished themselves at several battles during the Civil War. In four years Terry's Texas Rangers fought in some 275 engagements in seven states. The unit earned a reputation that ranked it among the most effective mounted regiments in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.  One of the troopers was George W. Littlefield, who became prominent after the war as a rancher, banker and benefactor of the University of Texas.

death valley chapter one.THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PIONEER


St. Albans, Vermont is near the eastern shore of   , and only a short distance south of "Five-and-forty north degrees" which separates the United States from Canada, and some sixty or seventy miles from the great St. Lawrence River and the city of Montreal. Near here it was, on April 6th, 1820, I was born, so the record says, and from this point with wondering eyes of childhood I looked across the waters of the narrow lake to the slopes of the Adirondack mountains in New York, green as the hills of my own Green Mountain State.
The parents of my father were English people and lived near Hartford, Connecticut, where he was born. While still a little boy he came with his parents to Vermont. My mother's maiden name was Phoebe Calkins, born near St. Albans of Welch parents, and, being left an orphan while yet in very tender years, she was given away to be reared by people who provided food and clothes, but permitted her to grow up to womanhood without knowing how to read or write. After her marriage she learned to do both, and acquired the rudiments of an education.
Grandfather and his boys, four in all, fairly carved a farm out of the big forest that covered the cold rocky hills. Giant work it was for them in such heavy timber—pine, hemlock, maple, beech and birch—the clearing of a single acre being a man's work for a year. The place where the maples were thickest was reserved for a sugar grove, and from it was made all of the sweet material they needed, and some besides. Economy of the very strictest kind had to be used in every direction. Main strength and muscle were the only things dispensed in plenty. The crops raised consisted of a small flint corn, rye oats, potatoes and turnips. Three cows, ten or twelve sheep, a few pigs and a yoke of strong oxen comprised the live stock—horses, they had none for many years. A great ox-cart was the only wheeled vehicle on the place, and this, in winter, gave place to a heavy sled, the runners cut from a tree having a natural crook and roughly, but strongly, made.
In summer there were plenty of strawberries, raspberries, whortleberries and blackberries growing wild, but all the cultivated fruit was apples. As these ripened many were peeled by hand, cut in quarters, strung on long strings of twine and dried before the kitchen fire for winter use. They had a way of burying up some of the best keepers in the ground, and opening the apple hole was quite an event of early spring.
The children were taught to work as soon as large enough. I remember they furnished me with a little wooden fork to spread the heavy swath of grass my father cut with easy swings of the scythe, and when it was dry and being loaded on the great ox-cart I followed closely with a rake gathering every scattering spear. The barn was built so that every animal was housed comfortably in winter, and the house was such as all settlers built, not considered handsome, but capable of being made very warm in winter and the great piles of hard wood in the yard enough to last as fuel for a year, not only helped to clear the land, but kept us comfortable. Mother and the girls washed, carded, spun, and wove the wool from our own sheep into good strong cloth. Flax was also raised, and I remember how they pulled it, rotted it by spreading on the green meadow, then broke and dressed it, and then the women made linen cloth of various degrees of fineness, quality, and beauty. Thus, by the labor of both men and women, we were clothed. If an extra fine Sunday dress was desired, part of the yarn was colored and from this they managed to get up a very nice plaid goods for the purpose.
In clearing the land the
    was peeled and traded off at the tannery for leather, or used to pay for tanning and dressing the hide of an ox or cow which they managed to fat and kill about every year. Stores for the family were either made by a neighboring shoe-maker, or by a traveling one who went from house to house, making up a supply for the family—whipping the cat, they called it then. They paid him in something or other produced upon the farm, and no money was asked or expected.
Wood was one thing plenty, and the fireplace was made large enough to take in sticks four feet long or more, for the more they could burn the better, to get it out of the way. In an outhouse, also provided with a fireplace and chimney, they made shingles during the long winter evenings, the shavings making plenty of fire and light by which to work. The shingles sold for about a dollar a thousand. Just beside the fireplace in the house was a large brick oven where mother baked great loaves of bread, big pots of pork and beans, mince pies and loaf cake, a big turkey or a young pig on grand occasions. Many of the dishes used were of tin or pewter; the milk pans were of earthenware, but most things about the house in the line of furniture were of domestic manufacture.
The store bills were very light. A little tea for father and mother, a few spices and odd luxuries were about all, and they were paid for with surplus eggs. My father and my uncle had a sawmill, and in winter they hauled logs to it, and could sell timber for $8 per thousand feet.
The school was taught in winter by a man named Bowen, who managed forty scholars and considered sixteen dollars a month, boarding himself, was pretty fair pay. In summer some smart girl would teach the small scholars and board round among the families.
When the proper time came the property holder would send off to the collector an itemized list of all his property, and at another the taxes fell due. A farmer who would value his property at two thousand or three thousand dollars would find he had to pay about six or seven dollars. All the money in use then seemed to be silver, and not very much of that. The whole plan seemed to be to have every family and farm self-supporting as far as possible. I have heard of a note being given payable in a good cow to be delivered at a certain time, say October 1, and on that day it would pass from house to house in payment of a debt, and at night only the last man in the list would have a cow more than his neighbor. Yet those were the days of real independence, after all. Every man worked hard from early youth to a good old age. There were no millionaires, no tramps, and the poorhouse had only a few inmates.
I have very pleasant recollections of the neighborhood cider mill. There were two rollers formed of logs carefully rounded and four or five feet long, set closely together in an upright position in a rough frame, a long crooked sweep coming from one of them to which a horse was hitched and pulled it round and round. One roller had mortices in it, and projecting wooden teeth on the other fitted into these, so that, as they both slowly turned together, the apples were crushed. A huge box of coarse slats, notched and locked together at the corners, held a vast pile of the crushed apples while clean rye straw was added to strain the flowing juice and keep the cheese from spreading too much; then the ponderous screw and streams of delicious cider. Sucking cider through a long rye straw inserted in the bung-hole of a barrel was just the best of fun, and cider taken that way "awful" good while it was new and sweet.
The winter ashes, made from burning so much fuel and gathered from the brush-heaps and log-heaps, were carefully saved and traded with the potash men for potash or sold for a small price. Nearly every one went barefoot in summer, and in winter wore heavy leather moccasins made by the Canadian French who lived near by.

Friday, 25 May 2012

how gettysburg was lost maybe

General J. E. B. Stuart, charged with tracking the union armies with his cavalry, somehow got lost for some days and didn't accomplish his task.  The south had to fight, therefore, without their usual knowledge of the enemy's positions and strength.
Then another general failed to obey orders given him to take a small hill which would have given Lee the advantage of position.This failure meant that the war was over thanks to this general.
 Eventually the union army took over that hill and defeated the southern soldiers who tried to take it from them. After this, ammunition and supplies were very low. Lee's troops had to either fight or retreat. Lee saw a retreat as a betrayal of the brave men who had given their lives to get this far, and his past victories gave him the confidence that his men could win another battle, even against substantial odds. With the aforementioned mystical faith, Lee sent his troops on a suicidal march for a mile across an open field in the face of union guns. The defeat was
 devastating, and Lee was humiliated, but hoped to fight another day.
We get the impression that some of their problems are caused by an inordinate faith in God, or at least a proud confidence that God was on their side.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

edwardians by the sea

St Leonards was started in early 1826 on land owned by the Eversfields(an old local ironmaster family) originally used for farming. The land was bought by a London architect James Burton to build his idea of the ultimate up-market resort. He died in 1837 and his son Decimus continued to build St Leonards to the west 

The first railway to the area arrived in 1846 and was built from Lewes to St Leonards. A second line opened in 1851 from Ashford via Rye
 toHastings across the Romney Marshes . Finally in 1852 the London to Hastings line via Battle was opened, this line together with a tunnel to St Leonards Warrior Square and then Hastingsprovided the current railway infrastructure.Hastings and St Leonards

Once the railway was in place and the tourists started flocking in, then the land between Hastings and St Leonards(all owned by the Eversfields) was sold to provide more properties.

On the sea front is the art-deco building known as Marine Court which was finished in 1937 resembling an ocean liner. At its time of construction it was the tallest block of flats in the United Kingdom, comprising of 153 flats and 3 restaurants

Friday, 4 May 2012


File:Palo Duro 2002.jpgEver Ever since the summer of 1874 the Comanches, Cheyenne and Kiowas had sought refuge in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle. There they had been stockpiling food and supplies for the winter. Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie,File:RSMackenzie.jpg leading the 4th U.S. Cavalry, moved up from the south intending to trap the whole force in their Palo Duro Canyon holdout. Fighting several skirmishes with Comanche warriors along the way Mackenzie reached Palo Duro in late September.below comanchesFile:Comanche portraits.jpg


Early in the morning of September 28, one of Mackenzie's scouts found the Indian camp and notified the colonel. Mackenzie brought the whole regiment to the edge of the canyon and planned a surprise attack. Comanche Chief Red Warbonnet
According to tribal history, Red Warbonnet was a Kiowa. Red Warbonnet (I) (Tanguadal) died in 1849, according to the Kiowa calendar of a cholera epidemic. Red Warbonnet II pronounced in Kiowa as Tan-guadal was the hereditary owner of the arrow lance (zebat) and owner of the morning star tipi of the Kiowa Tribe (Elks band) in the Kiowa Sun Dance circle. Red Warbonnet's niece, Addlegamah, was the mother of Edgar Keahbone (K'yaitah-kebonemah) who inherited the arrow lance. Edgar kept the arrow lance in his warrior society, Ohumah Lodge until his death in 1951. His wife, Sendehmah, passed the arrow lance down to his eldest son, Mark. Male descendants of the family have replicated the arrow lance and carry it today at Ohumah Lodge, a Kiowa warrior society still in existence today and is held in July of each year.
Prior to the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon,File:Palo Duro 2002.jpg the canyon was a stronghold of the Kiowa Tribe and often a resting place on a journey or war path. The Kiowa people knew the canyon inside and out thus explaining their ability to resist capture by McKenzie for such a long period of time. Poor Buffalo, a Kiowa, led his people to the canyon to escape reservation life. Poor Buffalo's band was the last of the Kiowa's to be taken in.discovered the U.S. soldiers and fired off a warning shot, but was quickly killed. Mackenzie's troopers were unable to find a suitable path down, so instead plunged straight down the steep canyon cliffs. Mackenzie first hit Chief Lone Wolf's Kiowa File:De Lancey W. Gill - Portrait of Mamay-day-te, October 1902.jpgcamp and routed it. Chiefs Poor Buffalo and Iron Jacket managed to effect some resistance but since the camps were so spread out over the canyon floor, a unified resistance was impossible. Many of the Indians fled leaving behind their possessions and headed for the open plains. Few warriors remained sniping at the soldiers but by nightfall, the canyon belonged to Mackenzie and the villages were destroyed.
The loss of the Palo Duro camp meant the loss of the Indians' safe haven and all their winter supplies. Some horses fled with the Indians onto the plains but Mackenzie was able to capture 1,400 ponies. The horses Mackenzie did not need were slaughtered to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Indians. Casualties were light in the engagement since it had been a complete rout, but without sufficient mounts or winter supplies the tribes could not hold out over the winter and many returned to the Fort Sill File:Fort Sill;infantrybarracks.jpgreservation by November 1874. Lone Wolf's Kiowas did not return until February 1875.
File:Palo Duro 2002.jpg