Δευτέρα, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2016

The macuahuitl was a sword with obsidian blades used mostly by the Aztecs. It was sharp enough to decapitate a man, and even a horse


 
Macuahuitl
 
 
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A macuahuitl, a type of macana, is a wooden sword with obsidian blades. The name is derived from the Nahuatl language. Its sides are embedded with prismatic blades traditionally made from obsidian, famous for producing an edge far sharper than even high-quality steel razor blades. It was a common weapon used by the Aztec military forces and other cultures of central Mexico. It was described during the 16th-century Spanish conquest of the region.

Κυριακή, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2016

‘Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane’ Was A B-17 Gunner In WWII



 
 


He joined the Army Air Force in 1945 and was qualified as a B-17 “Flying Fortress” Radio Operator/Aerial Gunner, serving in Europe at the end of WWII. He was awarded the American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal and German Occupation Medal.
James Best (born Jewel Franklin Guy; July 26, 1926 – April 6, 2015) was an American actor, who in six decades of television is best known for his starring role as bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the CBS television series The Dukes of Hazzard. He also worked as an acting coach, artist, college professor, and musician.

Σάββατο, 29 Οκτωβρίου 2016

10 things you should know about the Anglo-Saxon warriors


10-facts-anglo-saxon-warriors
While comprising a group of Germanic tribes from continental Europe, the Anglo-Saxons established themselves in Great Britain from the 5th century. This consequent Anglo-Saxon epoch (from roughly 449 – 1066 AD) led to the creation of the English nation and the resurgence of Christianity in Britain. And even beyond culture and religion, one of the lasting legacies of these Germanic people is their contribution to the ambit of language – what we know today as Old English. However in this article we have decided to explore one of the lesser known avenues relating to the Anglo-Saxons, and it pertains to their incredible military that bridged the gap between the ancient ‘barbarian’ Germans and the ordered medieval armies. So without further ado, let us take a gander at ten fascinating things you should know about the Anglo-Saxon warriors.

1) The Roman influence? 

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Illustration by Angus Mcbride
While the diminishing of Roman imperial rule set the tone for Anglo-Saxon arrivals at the shores of the British islands (circa 5th century AD), it should be noted that the late Roman Empire already followed an ‘inclusive’ military doctrine that allowed the employment of auxiliary units. By 4th century, in the northern frontier, these auxiliary units were often composed of entire Germanic sub-tribes, who were settled as foederati (allied troops) in marches, buffer zones and areas of conflict. During the same time-period, the Romans (or Romano-British) had already begun to set up coastal defenses to protect their shores from the forays of the independent Anglo-Saxon tribes.

Πέμπτη, 27 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Archaeologists may have located the ancient theater at the famed Greek city of Akragas


ancient-theater-greek-city-akragas_1Google Earth top-view of the possible theater at Akragas. Credit: AgrigentoSette
The ancient city of Akragas (or Ἀκράγας) in Sicily was one of the major Greek-populated settlements of Magna Graecia, during what is termed as the golden age of Greek city-states (circa 5th century BC). The city was originally founded in early 6th century by Greek colonists from Gela (in Sicily), and by the turn of the century it possibly had a population of more than 100,000 people. In fact, even after numerous political and military upheavals during the Punic Wars, the city managed to regain its prosperity, so much so that its inhabitants (the city being renamed Agrigentum) were granted Roman citizenship after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

Τρίτη, 25 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Does an ancient Hebrew treatise reveal the ‘doom’ of the Ark of the Covenant?


Ancient_Text_Hebrew_Ark_Of_The_Covenant_1Carrying the Ark of the Covenant: gilded bas-relief at the Auch Cathedral.
Last month we showcased the (what if) 3D reconstruction of the Solomon’s Temple in accordance to its Biblical measurements. Now beyond its religious status as the grand First Jewish Temple built on the Temple Mount, Solomon’s Temple is also known for its housing of the fabled Ark of the Covenant. This naturally brings us the million-dollar question – what exactly was the Ark of the Covenant? Well as literary sources mention, the legendary artifact was possibly a gold-plated chest that stored the sacred tablets containing the original Ten Commandments. But as every Indiana Jones fan worth his salt would know, the Ark is elusive (or perhaps even ‘illusory’) – and as such is still lost to the researchers of our modern age. But an ancient Hebrew text translated in 2013, might provide some (possibly fancy) insights into the whereabouts and status of this puzzling artifact, along with the other treasures of King Solomon – who was said to be the richest man of his time in Biblical sources.

Δευτέρα, 24 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Listen to the ‘accurate’ reconstruction of Ancient Greek music with the world’s oldest known complete song


accurate-reconstruction-ancient-greek-musicSymposium scene, circa 490 BC. Wikimedia Commons.
From the historical perspective many scholars believe that music played an integral role in the lives of ordinary ancient Greeks, given its role in most social occasions – ranging from religious rites, funerals to theater and public recitation of ballads and epic-poetry. Both archaeological and literary evidences rather bolster such a theory that points to the crucial nature of music in ancient Greece. In fact, the Greeks attributed the ‘creativity’ of musical compositions to divine entities, and as such etymologically the very word ‘music’ is derived from ‘Muses‘, the personifications of knowledge and art who were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Interestingly, Mnemosyne herself was the personification of memory, and was also one of the Titans, the children of Uranus the Sky and Gaia the Earth.

Furthermore when it came to the ancient Greek musical instruments, the musicians had a penchant for lyres (and kithara), aulos pipes and syrinx, and even the hydraulis – a setup that was the precursor to the modern organ. And with the aid of the flurry of archaeological and literary evidences of vocal notations and musical ratios, combined with the identification of these instruments, researchers have been able to recreate precise renditions of ancient Greek music. For example, Dr David Creese, Head of Classics & Ancient History at the University of Newcastle, has devised the following reconstruction of a musical piece that was etched on the ‘Seikilos epitaph’ dating from 1st century AD –
Now in case you are interested, the ‘song’ that was recreated by Dr David Creese is actually the world’s oldest known complete song. Inscribed on the Seikilos epitaph, the ancient Greek characters on the slab allude to the piece’s Hellenistic Ionic origin. Interestingly, the completeness of its composition is partly due its short nature. To that end, the lyrics has been roughly translated to English, excluding the musical notation –
While you live, shine
have no grief at all
life exists only for a short while
and time demands its toll.
This lyrical part is also accompanied by a poignant etching that takes narrative of the epitaph itself – “I am a tombstone, an image. Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.” In any case, as opposed to the Hurrian Hymns (the oldest known song in the world), the Greek composition on the Seikilos epitaph is complete – and thus is less open to interpretation. Simply put, there is more chance of hearing the originally ‘intended’ rendition of this Ionic song, even when recreated in our modern times. So if interested, you can check out this vocal rendition of the enchanting ‘Song of Seikilos’ – the oldest known complete song in the world –

And in case you are in mood for something more jovial, take a gander at the modern guitar-fueled cover of the ‘Song of Seikilos’, sung and played by famous internet teacher Hank Green

Κυριακή, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Elegantly contrived vase animation presents the Greek Hoplites at war


vase-animation-greek-hoplites-war
The Greek word for military equipment roughly translates to hopla, and thus a hoplite simply pertained to the ancient Greek version of the ‘man at arms’ or ‘armored man’. But as opposed to their late medieval counterparts, the ancient hoplites were first and foremost citizen-soldiers. Simply put, these conscripted men were expected to take part in battles to safeguard their own interests, freedoms and farms, in contrast to viewing military as a contractual well-paying career. And while the ‘classic’ well-armored and trained Greek soldier was ultimately eclipsed by the tactical Macedonian phalanx in late 4th century BC, hoplites (and their predecessors) had dominated the Mediterranean battlefields for almost three centuries before that.

On the other cultural spectrum, the development of ancient Greek art was rather mirrored by the pottery designs that were made between the time-fame of 1000 – 400 BC. Continuing the artistic legacy of the earlier Minoan pottery and Mycenaean pottery, the vase painting in the late Archaic Age (620 to 480 BC) mainly comprised the so-termed ‘black figure’. As Mark Cartwright wrote (for Ancient Encyclopedia) in regard to the predominance of black figures during the aforementioned period –

Σάββατο, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Crusader-era hand grenade found among archaeological artifacts collected by electric company worker


crusader-era-grenade-artifacts-israel_1Credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.
The unique legacy left behind by late Marcel Mazliah is something to boast about when it comes to a historical scope. Over the years, the electric company worker had made a personal collection of priceless artifacts (with one of the items being around 3,500-years old) that were salvaged from the Mediterranean Sea bordering Israel. And fortuitously, his family has now decided to hand over the incredible treasure trove to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which would earn them a good citizen award from the state. But beyond ownership and recognition, one particular artifact from the collection stands out – and it entails an actual Crusader-era hand grenade that rather showcases its medieval brand of fine craftsmanship.

From the perspective of etymology, the term ‘grenade’ was most probably derived from Old French ‘pomegranate’ (possibly influenced by Spanish granada) circa 1590 AD, since the fruit resembles the fragmented-form of the weapon. As for the historical side of affairs, grenades in their rudimentary designs were probably used in the 8th century AD Eastern Roman armies, with Greek Fire concoctions sometimes being stashed inside pots and jars, to be thrown at enemies.
crusader-era-grenade-artifacts-israel_2
Credit: Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority
Greek Fire in itself is said to be originally created by a Syrian Engineer named Callinicus (who was a refugee from Maalbek). The technology was sort of a precursor to napalm, and it entailed vicious ‘liquid fire’ that continued to burn even while floating in water. In fact, some writers have gone on to explain how the viciously efficient Greek Fire could only be mitigated by extinguishing it with sand, strong vinegar or old urine.
As for the hand grenade in question here, the embellished metal-made bomb-like item probably harks back to the period circa 13th century AD, thus coinciding with the time-frame of the Crusaders, Ayyubids and early Mamluks. The military forces of this time possibly used some variation of an inflammable substance, including a combination of materials like naphtha, pitch (obtained from coal tar), sulfur and resin – for their grenades. On the other hand, a few scholars believe that as opposed to chemical warfare, these ‘grenades’ only had ornamental purposes for storing perfume.
crusader-era-grenade-artifacts-israel_3
Credit: Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority.
In any case, archaeologists from the IAA were pleasantly surprised by a slew of other metal objects that were stashed by Mazliah. According to his family, the electric company worker got hold of the artifacts from under the sea, as a result of numerous ancient and medieval shipwrecks that dot the Israeli coast. Ayala Lester, a curator with the IAA, stated –
The finds include a toggle pin and the head of a knife from the Middle Bronze Age from more than 3,500 years ago [see above]. The other items, among them, two mortars and two pestles, fragments of candlesticks, and so on, date to the Fatimid period. The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel.
Lastly beyond the scope of the treasure trove accumulated by Mazliah, the occurrence of shipwrecks around the coastal regions of Levant could be attested by a fascinating find in May of this year. Touted to be the largest hoard of marine-based objects in the last 30 years in Israel, IAA announced that the treasure stash contained both bronze statues and coins, along with other assorted stuff. And interestingly enough, the discovery was made quite by chance when two divers identified the remains of the ancient ship and reported back to the authorities.
crusader-era-grenade-artifacts-israel_4
Credit: Amir Gorzalczany, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Παρασκευή, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Scholar translates 1700-year old Greek epitaph of a Jewish Egyptian woman


1700-year-greek-epitaph-jewish-egyptian_2Credit: Jaren Wilkey/BYU
A 1700-year old limestone epitaph slightly bigger than an iPad sheds light into the fusion of different religious entities prevalent in early 3rd century AD ancient Egypt. Salvaged from a collection of Greek and Coptic artifacts from University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library, this engraved object commemorates a woman named Helene. And while she is identified (in the epitaph itself) as a Jewish woman, Helene is also referred by a title that was usually associated with Christian women in this late-antiquity time period of Egypt, thus alluding to an inclusive societal scope.

The translation was made by BYU associate professor of ancient scripture Lincoln H. Blumell. The inscription reads like this –

Τετάρτη, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2016

10 of the greatest ancient warrior cultures you should know about




10-greatest-ancient-warrior-culturesIllustration by Angus McBride.
The episodes of war and human conflicts are persistent when it comes to the rich tapestry of history. And in such a vast ambit of wanton destruction and death, there have been a few civilizations, tribes and factions that had accepted warfare as an intrinsic part of their culture. So without further ado, let us take a gander at ten of the incredible warrior cultures from the ancient times that pushed forth the ‘art of war’ (or rather the art of dealing with war) as an extension of their social system.

Τρίτη, 18 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Jewish Second Temple courtyard’s ‘regal’ floor tiles restored by archaeologists


second-temple-floor-tiles-restored_2The Jewish Second Temple replica.
Researchers from the Jerusalem-based Temple Mount Sifting Project has accomplished quite a feat by restoring a unique architectural scope of the once-monumental Second Jewish Temple. This fascinating ambit mainly entails the richly decorated floor tiles that adorned the porticoes on the Temple Mount. Simply put, these ancient specimens probably played their decorative role along the courtyards of the huge temple complex, corresponding to the period when King Herod ruled over the Roman client realm of Judea (circa 37 – 4 BC). Now interestingly if the project is assessed to be accurate, this would be the first time that archaeologists had been able to successfully restore any element from the Second Temple.

Δευτέρα, 17 Οκτωβρίου 2016

New pterosaur species discovered in the Patagonia region of Argentina


new-pterosaur-species-patagonia-argentina_1Reconstruction of a ptesosaur. Credit: Gabriel Lío
Researchers announced the discovery of a new (extinct) species of pterosaur from the Patagonia region of South America. The discovery was made from the cranial remains of a specimen that were found to be a pretty well preserved condition, probably dated from the Early Jurassic period (around 200 – 175 million years ago). Interestingly enough, the new species was named as the Allkauren koi, from the native Tehuelche language – with ‘all’ roughly translating to ‘brain’ and ‘kauren’ meaning ‘ancient’.

The very name ‘Pterosaur’ comes from the Greek for ‘winged lizards’. These astounding flying reptiles ruled the skies between the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period; and quite unsurprisingly, one of the largest known flying animals of all time – Quetzalcoatlus, comes from this extinct clade. In terms of size, the larger variant of Quetzalcoatlus’ is estimated to have had an incredible wingspan of over 36 ft. But interestingly this was just one end of the size spectrum, with some Pterosaur specimens also showcasing the diminutive dimensions of small sparrows.

Κυριακή, 16 Οκτωβρίου 2016

31 Rolls Of Film From A WWII Soldier Were Found & Processed; The Results Are Extraordinary

Joris Nieuwint

 
Just one of the amazing pictures uncovered from the mysterious rolls of film by the Rescued Film Project. (Image captured from the vIdeo below)
 


The Second World War is considered to be one of the most filmed and photographed conflict in recorded history. There were photographers attached to the armies, recording every battle. They filmed and photographed destroyed cities, piles of bodies, scared and shaken citizens and starving Holocaust survivors.
Recent studies show that there were many individuals filming the conflict, but that most of those films were either lost during the war or were not developed in the years following.
Photographer Levi Bettwieser discovered an amazing set of rolls in 2014. He runs the ‘Rescued Film Project’, paying tribute to the unknown photographer who had created the film during the war.
The Rescued Film Project is a short documentary about the processing of these mysterious film rolls. The process itself was quite an exhilarating experience for him, but when he developed and saw the pictures, he was astonished by his discovery.

Σάββατο, 15 Οκτωβρίου 2016

A 1,200-year-old Viking sword found in Norway could still be used today




viking-sword

While hiking an old mountain trail in Haukeli (on the border of Telemark County, Norway),  Goran Olsen was surprised to discover a 1250 year old Viking sword among some rocks near the road when he sat down to rest. The sword was in excellent condition, especially considering its immense age.
The sword was taken to Hordaland County Council, where local archaeologists working for the council were elated to have the opportunity to study such a beautiful artifact. County conservator Per Morten Ekerhovd said, “It’s quite unusual to find remnants from the Viking age that are so well-preserved. It might be used today if you sharpened the edge

Παρασκευή, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2016

VB-107 Attacks U-848 Off Ascension Island, South Atlantic

wwii0202.jpg
Caption: 
U-848 is bracketed by five depth charges dropped by United States Navy PB4Y-1 Privateer "107-B-4" flown by Lieutenant Samuel K. Taylor of Patrol Bombing Squadron VB-107. Lieutenant Taylor attacked from seventy feet (21 meters) at 225 knots (415 kilometers per hour). This ninth attack in one day on U-848 was followed by another run by Lieutenant Taylor, who destroyed the U-Boat with two depth charges. U-848, a Type IXd2 U-Boat, was commissioned on February 20, 1943 under the command of Korvettenkapitan Wilhelm Rollman (August 5, 1907 - November 5, 1943).

Πέμπτη, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2016

2800-year old ancient seeds discovered in eastern Anatolia, to be resurrected


2800-year-old-ancient-seeds-resurrected_1
Haykaberd (or Çavuştepe in Turkish) is an archaeological site in Van Province in Turkey’s Eastern Anatolia region, known for its ancient 8th century BC fortifications and royal palace of the Urartian kings. But this time around, beyond ramparts and walls, archaeologists are interested in seeds. Originally discovered in 2014, from the Çavuştepe Castle that was constructed by Urartian King Sarduri II (circa 8th century BC), these batches of wheat and sesame seeds are almost 2800-years old. And now the researchers are looking forth to resurrect these ancient specimens inside a laboratory environment.

Professor Rafet Çavuşoğlu (Archaeology Department) from the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University, said –

Τετάρτη, 12 Οκτωβρίου 2016

How Erwin Rommel Earned Germany’s Highest Honor, as a Mere Lieutenant!


     Gabe Christy

    By Bundesarchiv / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,


    Erwin Rommel was undoubtedly one of the finest generals of the Second World War, his strategic mind and patient approach led his men to victory after victory early in the war. But, while his fame and glory came as a General and Field Marshal, it was as a Lieutenant in the First World War that he earned his greatest honor.

    Τρίτη, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    These Jews Took Up Arms Against Nazi Germany & Fought Back Without Hope


    Heather Fishel

    Stroop Report original caption: "Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs". Captured Jews are led by German troops to the assembly point for deportation.
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    Life in a Ghetto was the unfortunate fate of many Jewish citizens during the Nazi Party’s reign over Germany and its many occupied territories. Crammed into hastily built quarters, packed amongst other people and families all forced to leave their homes, little about life in these ghettos was desirable.
    Yet in one ghetto, the Jewish residents held within its walls refused to accept the terrible fate the Germans planned for them. In 1942, Warsaw Ghetto decided to fight back against the execution of its people, and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising became the largest revolt of Jewish people to occur during World War II.
    Unfortunately, the uprising led to the total destruction of the ghetto and the deaths of so many of its residents – but before its buildings burned and smoke filled the streets, its people made history.

    Δευτέρα, 10 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    The Revolutionary War Veterans Who Lived Long Enough To Have Their Pictures Taken


    PetaPixel has a wonderful post by Michael Zhang with rare photographs of Revolutionary War veterans who actually lived long enough to have their photographs taken. It’s an amazing post, so don’t miss it.  
    Photography was invented in the 1820s and 1830s, and the Revolutionary War ended decades before, in 1783. This meant that most Revolutionary War veterans didn’t live long enough to have their photographs taken. That being said, there were a few war veterans who did live long enough to be immortalized in portraits.
    In 1864, a full 81 years after the war ended, Reverend E. B. Hillard and two photographers went to New England to interview and photograph the six men known to have survived. All of the veterans were over 100 years old. These amazing photographs were made into a book called The Last Men of the Revolution. This is a fascinating look into history that we’re lucky to have.
    VeteranBook-Hutchings-642x1024

    WILLIAM HUTCHINGS

    Κυριακή, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    VB-107 Attacks U-848 Off Ascension Island, South Atlantic

    wwii0202.jpg
    Caption: 
    U-848 is bracketed by five depth charges dropped by United States Navy PB4Y-1 Privateer "107-B-4" flown by Lieutenant Samuel K. Taylor of Patrol Bombing Squadron VB-107. Lieutenant Taylor attacked from seventy feet (21 meters) at 225 knots (415 kilometers per hour). This ninth attack in one day on U-848 was followed by another run by Lieutenant Taylor, who destroyed the U-Boat with two depth charges. U-848, a Type IXd2 U-Boat, was commissioned on February 20, 1943 under the command of Korvettenkapitan Wilhelm Rollman (August 5, 1907 - November 5, 1943). Rollman was a U-Boat ace who sank over 100,000 tons while the commander of U-34.

    Σάββατο, 8 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    Oh Yes! Inside the Panzer VII Maus – It Has a Massive 44 Litre Engine!







    Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus (“Mouse”) was a German World War II super-heavy tank completed in late 1944. It is the heaviest fully enclosed armored fighting vehicle ever built. Only two hulls and one turret were completed before the testing grounds were captured by the advancing Soviet forces.
    These two prototypes – one with, one without turret – underwent trials in late 1944. The complete vehicle was 33 ft 6 inches long, 12 ft 2 inches wide, and 11.9 ft high. Weighing 188 metric tons, the Maus’s main armament was the Krupp-designed 128 mm gun. This 128 mm gun was powerful enough to destroy all Allied armored fighting vehicles then in service, some at ranges exceeding 3,800 yards.

    Παρασκευή, 7 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    While His Maniac Brother was Busy Killing Jews, Albert Goring Worked Tirelessly to Save Them


    Heather Fishel
     
     


    What would happen to your family should one of your siblings join a deadly political beast? If you were a member of the Göring family in the first half of the 1900s, you would find your entire family divided. This was the situation between Albert and Hermann Göring, two brothers torn apart by World War II. While one brother, Hermann, became a proud member of the Nazi Party, the other, Albert, chose an entirely different direction.

    Πέμπτη, 6 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    German Ace Stumbled Across a Crippled a B-17 and Escorted It Back to England. The Pilots Are Friends Now!


     William Mclaughlin



    Truly touching moments of humanity, ethics and morals are rather rare in warfare. The Christmas Truce of WWI was an excellent example of such humanity, as were the heroic actions of German Luftwaffe fighter pilot Franz Stigler on December 20th, 1943. His actions got nine men home for Christmas.
    Charlie Brown of the USAAF was a Lt. flying his first mission as an aircraft commander flying a B-17, “Ye Olde Pub” on a bombing run over Bremen. Brown’s bomber occupied the especially dangerous left of the formation, sometimes called the Purple Heart Corner. Bremen was defended by a large contingent of fighters and well-manned flak guns. Two B-17s were quickly struck by heavy flak, and many went down. Brown’s bomber was hit at least once in the left wing. The crew had to shut down an engine which took them out of the formation. Soon they were met by about eight enemy fighters.
    The B-17 was sometimes referred to as the flying porcupine and Ye Olde Pub sure lived up to The name. the gunners took out at least one of the fighters and as many as three, all on their own. The remaining fighters were still able to take the fight to the bomber, however, and bullets tore through Ye Olde Pub.

    Τετάρτη, 5 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    This Rogue Nazi General Committed High Treason To Stop The Reign of Terror in Croatia



     Heather Fishel



    Many heroes’ names line the pages of WWII history. Many of these men and women were not recognized and known to the public during their lifetimes – some were secret agents, some worked within underground resistance groups, and some conducted their plans hidden in plain sight.
    One man in particular fought back from within the Nazi Party, reporting its atrocities and plotting to bring them down from the inside. That man was Edmund Glaise-Horstenau, a general within the Austrian military and respected Nazi leader.
    Though so many of his fellow Nazis facilitated the concentration camps and various other horrors conducted during the war, Glaise-Horstenau did not – he wanted the reign of terror to end, even if he had to die to make this dream a reality.

    Τρίτη, 4 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    The Black Dispatches From the Civil War Spies


     Jinny McCormick
     
    The south steps of the Confederate White House teeming with Southern officers and soldiers. Freedwoman Mary Bowser, posing as a slave, often spied here for the Union.
     


    The typical Southern officer’s opinion of African Americans was that they were an inferior subhuman race, lacking in intelligence or cunning. Their ignorance and subsequent disregard of the slaves in their midst led to the most successful intelligence gathering of the Civil War.
    The black men and women that provided information to the Union did so at extreme peril and risk that they would never outlive, even long after the war was over. They did this gambling that the pay-off would be winning the war and trusting that they would hopefully gain their freedom. There would be no accolades or acknowledgment. Such attention, even long after the South fell, would put them in danger of retaliation from disgruntled former Confederates.

    Δευτέρα, 3 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    Made from parts from B-25s, B-29s & a Waco glider, we give you the ‘Flying Crane’



    Great image here for the scale of the 'flying crane'. source
    Great image here for the scale of the ‘flying crane’. source
    OK, it looked ugly and strange but it worked – kind of. Made from parts from various WWII warbirds the Hughes XH-17 “Flying Crane”  was by far ,the most impressive of all rotor-craft in the early 1950s was a strange monster designated XH-17. This was planned and taken through the design process by Kellett, but hardware trials were transferred to Hughes Aircraft at Culver City. Already the aircraft firm of billionaire Howard Hughes had a reputation for being quite undeterred by the most formidable development problems, and certainly the XH-17 made sense on paper. In any case, it was part-funded by the USAF. It was a flying crane, the specialized category pioneered by the German Fa 284 and intended to lift cargo weighing up to 27,000 lb more than ten times as much as any other rotorcraft of its day. To do so it had a radically new form of lift power.


    Howard Hughes (second from left) standing under the blade of the XH-17, Flying Crane with L-R: Rea Hopper, Director of the Aeronautical Division, Hughes Aircraft Company; Hughes; Clyde Jones, Director of Engineering, Hughes Tool Company Aeronautical Division; Warren Reed, Assistant; Colonel Carl E. Jackson, Air Research and Development Headquarters; Gale. J. Moore, Pilot; Chal Bowen?, Flight Engineer/Co-Pilot; unidentified pilot. source
    Howard Hughes (second from left) standing under the blade of the XH-17, Flying Crane with L-R: Rea Hopper, Director of the Aeronautical Division, Hughes Aircraft Company; Hughes; Clyde Jones, Director of Engineering, Hughes Tool Company Aeronautical Division; Warren Reed, Assistant; Colonel Carl E. Jackson, Air Research and Development Headquarters; Gale. J. Moore, Pilot; Chal Bowen?, Flight Engineer/Co-Pilot; unidentified pilot. source

    Scroll down for video

    The prototype was finished in 1949, ahead of schedule and one of the reasons being that it was made from parts poached from WWII warbirds.  The XH-17 was a heavy-lift rotorcraft that was designed to lift loads in excess of 15 metric tons.
    To speed construction, parts of the XH-17 were scavenged from other aircraft. The front wheels came from a B-25 Mitchell and the rear wheels from a C-54 Skymaster. The fuel tank was a bomb bay-mounted unit from a B-29 Superfortress. The cockpit was from a Waco CG-15and the tail rotor from a Sikorsky H-19 was used for yaw control.
    In the late 1940s, Hughes developed an interest in helicopters. In August 1947, helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold his design for the giant XH-17 Sky Crane to Hughes, who commissioned the development of the XH-17 Flying Crane research vehicle. In 1948, the XH-17 began to take shape. The giant helicopter was tested in Culver City, California over a three-year period beginning in 1952. The XH-17 flew in 1953 at a gross weight in excess of 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg). It still holds the record for flying with the world’s largest rotor system. Only one unit was built, since the aircraft was too cumbersome and inefficient to warrant further development.


    Engines: two GE J35 turbojets Weight fully loaded: 52,000 lb Cruising speed: 60 mph Range: 40 miles Number of seats: 2. source
    Engines: two GE J35 turbojets
    Weight fully loaded: 52,000 lb
    Cruising speed: 60 mph
    Range: 40 miles
    Number of seats: 2. source
    The propulsion system was unusual. Two General Electric J35 turbojet engines were used, sending bleed air up through the rotor hub. The blades were hollow, and the hot compressed air traveled through the blades to tip jets where fuel was injected. In flight, the rotors spun at a sedate 88 rpm. Since the rotor was driven at the tips rather than the hub, little torque compensation was required.

    The XH-17 employed an unusual gas-turbine and rotor-tip combustion combination to provide power to spin the gigantic rotors. sourceThe XH-17 employed an unusual gas-turbine and rotor-tip combustion combination to provide power to spin the gigantic rotors.

    Thus, the XH-17 had a very small tail rotor compared to its main rotor. This drive system was inefficient, limiting the test aircraft to a range of only 40 miles. Finally, having received the Air Force serial 50-1842, the XH-17 was first flown by Gale Moore at Culver City on 23 October, 1952. That flight, however, had to be cut short after the XH-17 had been airborne for barely a minute as directional control forces were excessive. While correction of this deficiency could be made quickly, difficulties uncovered later in the trials required more time. In particular, high vibratory stresses in the main rotor blades were difficult to correct and the XH-17 was repeatedly grounded while modifications were incorporated. The off and on test programme ended when the rotor blades reached their design life in December 1955 writes aviastar.org


    Hughes experimental helicopters XH-17 at the front XH-28 mock up at the rear. source
    Hughes experimental helicopters XH-17 at the front XH-28 mock up at the rear. source
    By the end of the test program the XH-17 had proved its concept, that it could fly, and that it could carry a considerable payload – exceeding the original requirement. However it fell short, well short, of the Air Force’s range requirement. Mainly due to its appalling fuel consumption, and there was little which could be done to improve it.
    In the end it became a bit of an engineering cul-de-sac. One derivative, the XH-28, an even larger version, was proposed. But it never got further than a wooden mock-up. The sole XH-17 prototype was eventually scrapped, and sadly nothing remains of this unusual giant except for photos and some video footage.


    Ground tests began towards the very end of 1949, and immediately the sheer size and complexity of the rotors, and their unusual powersource began to throw up some issues for the engineers. However the project continued to develop at a satisfactory pace. source
    Ground tests began towards the very end of 1949, and immediately the sheer size and complexity of the rotors, and their unusual powersource began to throw up some issues for the engineers. However the project continued to develop at a satisfactory pace. source



    The giant rotors promised a huge lifting capacity, so they were attached to stilt-like legs and a box-like fuselage. source
    The giant rotors promised a huge lifting capacity, so they were attached to stilt-like legs and a box-like fuselage. source



    Entry to the cockpit required a pair of tall ladders attached to the forward landing gear legs. source
    Entry to the cockpit required a pair of tall ladders attached to the forward landing gear legs. source

    Κυριακή, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    Η Ελλάδα στο χάρτη του Ισλαμικού Χαλιφάτου

    Δείτε τι τύπωσε και μοίρασε στους «μαχητές» του το «Ισλαμικό Κράτος» - Με μαύρο χρώμα αποτυπώνονται οι περιοχές που θεωρεί το ISIS ότι θα πρέπει να εμπεριέχονται στην ίδρυση ενός μελλοντικού ισλαμικού χαλιφάτου.



    Ντοκουμέντο: Ο χάρτης που τύπωσε και μοίρασε στους «μαχητές» του το «Ισλαμικό Κράτος» και κυκλοφόρησε στο Διαδίκτυο. Με μαύρο χρώμα αποτυπώνονται οι περιοχές που θεωρεί το ISIS ότι θα πρέπει να εμπεριέχονται στην ίδρυση ενός μελλοντικού ισλαμικού χαλιφάτου. Μεταξύ αυτών των περιοχών συμπεριλαμβάνονται τόσο η Ελλάδα όσο και η Κύπρος. Τα σύνορα του χαλιφάτου φτάνουν μέχρι τον Ατλαντικό στα δυτικά, έως την Αυστρία στα βόρεια, συμπεριλαμβάνουν ολόκληρη την Αφρική βόρεια της Σαχάρας, την Αραβική Χερσόνησο, την Ινδία, μέρος της Κίνας και το σύνολο των χωρών των λεγόμενων τουρκόφωνων περιοχών της Ασίας

    Made from parts from B-25s, B-29s & a Waco glider, we give you the ‘Flying Crane’


    Great image here for the scale of the 'flying crane'. source
    Great image here for the scale of the ‘flying crane’. source
    OK, it looked ugly and strange but it worked – kind of. Made from parts from various WWII warbirds the Hughes XH-17 “Flying Crane”  was by far ,the most impressive of all rotor-craft in the early 1950s was a strange monster designated XH-17. This was planned and taken through the design process by Kellett, but hardware trials were transferred to Hughes Aircraft at Culver City. Already the aircraft firm of billionaire Howard Hughes had a reputation for being quite undeterred by the most formidable development problems, and certainly the XH-17 made sense on paper. In any case, it was part-funded by the USAF. It was a flying crane, the specialized category pioneered by the German Fa 284 and intended to lift cargo weighing up to 27,000 lb more than ten times as much as any other rotorcraft of its day. To do so it had a radically new form of lift power.

    Howard Hughes (second from left) standing under the blade of the XH-17, Flying Crane with L-R: Rea Hopper, Director of the Aeronautical Division, Hughes Aircraft Company; Hughes; Clyde Jones, Director of Engineering, Hughes Tool Company Aeronautical Division; Warren Reed, Assistant; Colonel Carl E. Jackson, Air Research and Development Headquarters; Gale. J. Moore, Pilot; Chal Bowen?, Flight Engineer/Co-Pilot; unidentified pilot. source
    Howard Hughes (second from left) standing under the blade of the XH-17, Flying Crane with L-R: Rea Hopper, Director of the Aeronautical Division, Hughes Aircraft Company; Hughes; Clyde Jones, Director of Engineering, Hughes Tool Company Aeronautical Division; Warren Reed, Assistant; Colonel Carl E. Jackson, Air Research and Development Headquarters; Gale. J. Moore, Pilot; Chal Bowen?, Flight Engineer/Co-Pilot; unidentified pilot. source

    Scroll down for video

    The prototype was finished in 1949, ahead of schedule and one of the reasons being that it was made from parts poached from WWII warbirds.  The XH-17 was a heavy-lift rotorcraft that was designed to lift loads in excess of 15 metric tons.
    To speed construction, parts of the XH-17 were scavenged from other aircraft. The front wheels came from a B-25 Mitchell and the rear wheels from a C-54 Skymaster. The fuel tank was a bomb bay-mounted unit from a B-29 Superfortress. The cockpit was from a Waco CG-15and the tail rotor from a Sikorsky H-19 was used for yaw control.
    In the late 1940s, Hughes developed an interest in helicopters. In August 1947, helicopter manufacturer Kellett sold his design for the giant XH-17 Sky Crane to Hughes, who commissioned the development of the XH-17 Flying Crane research vehicle. In 1948, the XH-17 began to take shape. The giant helicopter was tested in Culver City, California over a three-year period beginning in 1952. The XH-17 flew in 1953 at a gross weight in excess of 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg). It still holds the record for flying with the world’s largest rotor system. Only one unit was built, since the aircraft was too cumbersome and inefficient to warrant further development.

    Engines: two GE J35 turbojets Weight fully loaded: 52,000 lb Cruising speed: 60 mph Range: 40 miles Number of seats: 2. source
    Engines: two GE J35 turbojets
    Weight fully loaded: 52,000 lb
    Cruising speed: 60 mph
    Range: 40 miles
    Number of seats: 2. source
    The propulsion system was unusual. Two General Electric J35 turbojet engines were used, sending bleed air up through the rotor hub. The blades were hollow, and the hot compressed air traveled through the blades to tip jets where fuel was injected. In flight, the rotors spun at a sedate 88 rpm. Since the rotor was driven at the tips rather than the hub, little torque compensation was required.

    The XH-17 employed an unusual gas-turbine and rotor-tip combustion combination to provide power to spin the gigantic rotors. sourceThe XH-17 employed an unusual gas-turbine and rotor-tip combustion combination to provide power to spin the gigantic rotors.

    Thus, the XH-17 had a very small tail rotor compared to its main rotor. This drive system was inefficient, limiting the test aircraft to a range of only 40 miles. Finally, having received the Air Force serial 50-1842, the XH-17 was first flown by Gale Moore at Culver City on 23 October, 1952. That flight, however, had to be cut short after the XH-17 had been airborne for barely a minute as directional control forces were excessive. While correction of this deficiency could be made quickly, difficulties uncovered later in the trials required more time. In particular, high vibratory stresses in the main rotor blades were difficult to correct and the XH-17 was repeatedly grounded while modifications were incorporated. The off and on test programme ended when the rotor blades reached their design life in December 1955 writes aviastar.org

    Hughes experimental helicopters XH-17 at the front XH-28 mock up at the rear. source
    Hughes experimental helicopters XH-17 at the front XH-28 mock up at the rear. source
    By the end of the test program the XH-17 had proved its concept, that it could fly, and that it could carry a considerable payload – exceeding the original requirement. However it fell short, well short, of the Air Force’s range requirement. Mainly due to its appalling fuel consumption, and there was little which could be done to improve it.
    In the end it became a bit of an engineering cul-de-sac. One derivative, the XH-28, an even larger version, was proposed. But it never got further than a wooden mock-up. The sole XH-17 prototype was eventually scrapped, and sadly nothing remains of this unusual giant except for photos and some video footage.

    Ground tests began towards the very end of 1949, and immediately the sheer size and complexity of the rotors, and their unusual powersource began to throw up some issues for the engineers. However the project continued to develop at a satisfactory pace. source
    Ground tests began towards the very end of 1949, and immediately the sheer size and complexity of the rotors, and their unusual powersource began to throw up some issues for the engineers. However the project continued to develop at a satisfactory pace. source


    The giant rotors promised a huge lifting capacity, so they were attached to stilt-like legs and a box-like fuselage. source
    The giant rotors promised a huge lifting capacity, so they were attached to stilt-like legs and a box-like fuselage. source


    Entry to the cockpit required a pair of tall ladders attached to the forward landing gear legs. source
    Entry to the cockpit required a pair of tall ladders attached to the forward landing gear legs. source

    Σάββατο, 1 Οκτωβρίου 2016

    ΑΠΑΝΤΗΣΗ ΣΕ ΟΣΟΥΣ ΛΕΝΕ ΤΗΝ ΦΡΑΣΗ «Ντρέπομαι που είμαι Έλληνας»



    Δεν χρειάζεται να ντρέπεστε που είστε Έλληνας, ντρέπονται άλλοι για σας. Οι Έλληνες οι πρόγονοι σας !
    Είπες πώς ντρέπεσαι που είσαι Έλληνας; Μήπως η λέξη Έλλην πρέπει να ντρέπεται που εκπροσωπεί εσένα,  που δεν θυμίζεις τίποτα από τον Ηρωισμό, την Τόλμη, την Αρετή,  των προγόνων σου!

    P.1000 Ratte – Was It a Paper Tiger or a Nazi Super tank?


     Nikola Budanovic
     
     


    As the beginning of the war swept over Europe, with lightening speed, Hitler felt invincible, at least for the first two years of the war. He was known for his megalomaniac ambitions, but the most telling example of his unrestrained hubris was endorsing the Landkreuzer P.1000, which he nicknamed The Rat (Ratte).
    It was supposed to be more than five times heavier than its predecessor, Panzer VIII Maus, a super tank, built in late 1944. About 1,000 metric tons was the predicted weight, 35 meters long, 11 meters high and 14 meters wide it was to be the biggest land war machine ever created.

     
    Sverd i fjell (English: Swords in Rock) is a commemorative monument located in the Hafrsfjord neighborhood of Madla, a borough of the city of Stavanger in Rogaland county, Norway. They commemorate the historic Battle of Hafrsfjord that took place there in the year 872, after which King Harald Fair Hair united the three districts of Norway into one kingdom. Harald Fairhair reigned from c. 872 to 930 and is today recognized as the first King of Norway.
    The Three Swords (Sverd i Fjell) stand on the edge of Hafrsfjord, 6km from the centre of Stavanger. Source
    The Three Swords (Sverd i Fjell) stand on the edge of Hafrsfjord, 6km from the center of Stavanger. 

    The Sverd i fjell monument was put in place to celebrate an ancient battle. Source1 Source2
    The Sverd i fjell monument was put in place to celebrate an ancient battle. Source1 Source2