World War II ended 70 years ago yesterday

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.  Not many of those who fought in that bloody epic conflict are still around.  We should salute those who are.

Do you think a world war on that scale could happen again?  Would we be capable of the same sacrifices, both on the battlefields and on the homefront?

A tribute to the anniversary after the jump. [Read more…]

Fighting in Armor

The estimable David Mills takes a break from writing about Planned Parenthood, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and other major issues to discuss something just because it’s cool:  What it was like for knights to fight in armor.

I’d always thought that the soldiers in armor were like human tanks, clumping slowly around and taking wide swings with a broadsword, and that when two of them met they used their swords more like clubs till one finally knocked down the other. They fought with force rather than technique. But no. The knight in his armor could run (or at least trot), climb ladders, and even do a forward roll if he had to. He had to learn the techniques of fighting in armor.

He goes on to show a video (reproduced after the jump) and links to recent research, showing that iron-clad warriors were quite nimble, but that their sword fighting looked quite different from what we have currently imagined. [Read more…]

The Gulf War 25 years later

August 1 was the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, a.k.a. the Gulf War, fought to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait after Saddam Hussein invaded and took over that country.  That war had clear justification, a limited goal, and was over in six weeks.

Richard N. Haas, a national security advisor under George Bush I, tells about how the war unfolded in the White House and draws lessons from that conflict that we need to learn.  Here is his conclusion:

The Gulf War looks today like something of an anomaly: short and sharp, with a clear start and finish; focused on resisting external aggression, not nation-building; and fought on battlefields with combined arms, not in cities by special forces and irregulars. Most unusual of all in light of what would follow, the war was multilateral, inexpensive and successful.

After the jump, the seven lessons that he says we should learn from the Gulf War. [Read more…]

The original Memorial Day order

MEMORIAL DAY ORDER*

Headquarters Grand Army of the Republic,

Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868.

GENERAL ORDERS

No. 11

I. The 30th day of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? [Read more…]

How many Americans have died in combat?

At least 1, 340,000 Americans have died in our nation’s wars, from the Revolution through Afghanistan.  Michael Avramovich breaks down that number in a touching Memorial Day tribute. [Read more…]

War on terrorism updates

There have been several developments in the on going and possibly never ending war on terrorism:

After the jump, details of the raid into Syria.

[Read more…]


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