Παρασκευή, 4 Αυγούστου 2017

‘Just’ 10 Japanese Atrocities From World War II

On the eve of VJ Day and with Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe expressing ‘profound grief’ for WWII. We are going to look at just 10 Japanese Atrocities From World War II by listverse.com

Laha Airfield Massacre
February 1942

This ghoulish event, which killed more than 300 Australian and Dutch POWs, followed the Japanese capture of the Indonesian island of Ambon. Allegedly as an act of reprisal after the Allies destroyed one of their minesweepers, the Japanese randomly selected prisoners and executed them via beheading and bayonet near the island’s airfield. They then repeated the process three more times during the month.
The magnitude of this atrocity was enough for an Australian military tribunal to prosecute more than 90 Japanese officers and soldiers after the war in one of the biggest war crime trials in history. The tribunal sentenced four of the accused to death and handed out a range of sentences for the others. Unfortunately, they never got to try the mastermind, Rear Admiral Hatakeyama. The Japanese officer died while awaiting his trial.

Τετάρτη, 26 Ιουλίου 2017

On this day in Byzantine history: The death of Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros.


July 26th 811 CE

The battle of Varbitza Pass and the death of Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros.

There have been many Byzantine Emperors who had died in battle – Emperors Julian, Valens and famously Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last emperor who couldn’t hold back the might of the Ottomans in 1453. But not many are familiar with the story relating to the death of Emperor Nikephoros and the desecration of his dead body by the Khan of Bulgaria, Krum.

Τετάρτη, 14 Ιουνίου 2017

Seven reasons why the Battle of Naseby changed British history forever

The Earl of Manchester's Regiment of Foote blog

The official blog of the English Civil War re-enactment group! Visit our website at www.earlofmanchesters.co.uk

On 14th June 1645, the fields between the Northamptonshire villages of Naseby and Sibbertoft saw one of the most significant battles in British history.
Royalist troops loyal to King Charles I and the Parliamentarian ‘New Model Army’ led by Sir Thomas Fairfax met in the culmination of a three-year bloody civil war that had pitted families and friends against each other and the fates of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland rested in the balance. 
So why is The Battle of Naseby so important in British history…?
There are acres and acres of writing about the most “pivotal” moments in history, those occasions when the future seems to turn on a single act and everything after it owes its existence that that moment.
In lists of British history, the Battle of Naseby is one such moment.

Κυριακή, 13 Νοεμβρίου 2016

The Russian land battleship - KV-VI Behemoth tank

Read this fascinating tale of state power over commonsense military design. Stalin wanted a land battleship, and he was going to get one no matter how impractical it was.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, new facts have surfaced about the secret weapons developed by the Red Army during WWII.

Σάββατο, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Wars of Religion

Detail of a Hadith referring to the succession of the Twelve Imams, at the shrine of Sayyida Ruqayya, Damascus; from People of the Prophet’s House edited by Fahmida Suleman (275pp. Azimuth. £35. 978 1 898592 32 7)

This piece forms part of a TLS Special Feature, our primer on the complex politics and religions of the Middle East
A hadith (or saying of the Prophet Muhammad) considered sound by all major authorities and widely circulated among Sunni Islamists states that the history of the umma will go through five phases: first, the Prophet himself will rule over it and teach it the right way to live; then will come the time of caliphate, when caliphs will rule according to the Prophet’s teachings; then the time of benign kingship obtained by force, followed by the time of oppressive kingship; finally, the time of caliphate will rise again, where a caliph will rule once more in accordance with the Prophet’s teachings, and usher in the end of the world.
From this eschatological perspective, Ataturk’s abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1923 marked the end of the third of those five phases, the phase of benign kingship. Since then, the Islamic world has been suffering the injustice of oppressive kingship, whether at the hands of brutal dictators or morally bankrupt monarchs. And though jihadist groups differ over the best way to achieve it, they are united by an ultimate aim, which they share, broadly speaking, with all forms of Islamism: the restoration of the Caliphate as a necessary step along the way to the Last Judgement.

Παρασκευή, 11 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Struggling with reality | On reading Mein Kampf


On October 29, 1945, the Allied Control Council in Germany issued a decree dissolving the organizations of the National Socialist Party including its leading press agency and publishing house, the Franz Eher Nachfolger GmbH. Since the headquarters of the firm was in Munich, the property of the Eher Verlag was transferred to the Free State of Bavaria, which also assumed legal succession and trusteeship of its assets. A provisional court in Munich (Spruchkammer) initiated criminal proceedings against Max Amann, who had amassed a considerable fortune as the head of Nazi Germany’s largest publishing enterprise, sentencing him to ten years imprisonment. In 1948, all copyrights were transferred to the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance, including the copyright to Mein Kampf, which belonged to the literary estate of Adolf Hitler. Since German copyright law stipulates that all rights revert to the public domain seventy years after the death of the author, the copyright to Mein Kampf expired on December 31, 2015. Mein Kampf was never actually banned in the Federal Republic of Germany; it was sold in second-hand bookshops, was obtain­able in libraries, and in recent years has been readily available on the internet. Only the publication of the book was proscribed.

Πέμπτη, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Graf Zeppelin: Diving at the unique WW2 German aircraft carrier (photos and videos)


Underwater photos by Tomasz “Tomek” Stachura
Graf Zeppelin (Flugzeugträger A, Aircraft Carrier A) was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany during World War II. It represented part of the Kriegsmarine’s attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas.
A diving team from Poland, including experienced scuba divers Dimitris “Dima” Stavrakakis and acclaimed underwater photographer Tomasz “Tomek” Stachura share with pierrekosmidis.blogspot.com their experience and stunning underwater photos of a unique WW2 Wreck, the only German aircraft carrier that was never meant to see active duty.
Stavrakakis says:
“The diving expedition was well prepared and planned, since we were the first scuba divers to visit the shipwreck, with special permission from the authorities.
“We had two doctors and a hyberbaric chamber on board, because of the demanding nature of those dives at depths ranging from 75 to 95 metres.
By Pierre Kosmidis / pierrekosmidis.blogspot.gr