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…]

The new war in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates are bombing Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen.  Different Islamic nations are also battling each other in Libya, Syria, and Iraq.  Experts say this may herald an all-out Middle Eastern war.

This would be an all-Islamic conflict, with Sunnis fighting Shi’ites and different factions of Sunnis fighting each other.  There is no way Saudi Arabia, which claims authority over Sunni Islam, could countenance the ISIS Sunnis’ claim to have re-established the ancient caliphate.  Also, traditional rulers are fighting rebel movements, who want both politcial freedom and radical jihad.

This is not, strictly speaking, an American fight, though the United States is  supporting everyone fighting jihadist terrorists on both sides of the factions, which is resulting in all kinds of contradictions.  Thus, the U.S. is supporting Iranian-connected militants when they are fighting ISIS in Iraq, but opposing them when they are fighting moderate Arabs in Yemen. [Read more…]


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