The Sinking of the USS Thresher

uss-thresher

The USS Thresher was the first ever U.S. submarine to sink to the seafloor. It’s hypothesized by some military experts that the infamous John Walker who was acting as a mole within the U.S. Navy, tipped off the Russians as to the location of the USS Thresher and that the submarine was attacked in revenge for a Soviet submarine entitled “K-129” which was lost 10 weeks prior to the USS Thresher event. The Russians believed that a U.S. Navy Destroyer ship ran over and through the Russian submarine K-129 despite the U.S. Navy claiming no involvement whatsoever. The forensic evidence points towards implosion due to a leak of some kind, most likely near the seals of the propeller or the trash shoot, making it impossible for the USS Thresher to rise to the surface or be saved by a nearby vessel

Pablo Picasso’s Politically Charged Guernica Painting

Pablo-Picasso-Guernica

On April 26, 1937, Guernica, Spain was severely bombed due to civil conflict brought on by World War II. The Basque town of Guernica was openly hostile towards General Francisco Franco’s ideologies, and because of this, Franco unleashed a 3.5 hour bombing raid upon this defenseless city, with help from German allies. In total, 1650 people were killed, 900 injured, and most of the township was destroyed, an event which sparked international outrage. Pablo Picasso created a piece of artwork as sentiment towards anti-war and anti-violence entitled “Guernica”. Picasso understood that artwork and politics rarely go together hand in hand and so he created not a piece of aircraft and bombs but rather of horses and swords, as he was determined not to create artwork which could be used as propaganda in the future. The bull depicted within the painting is designed to represent Franco and his military powers and the suffering horses and weeping woman symbolize the people of Spain. Picasso’s Guernica work became a timeless masterpiece and a copy of it is on display at the United Nations world headquarters in New York City, United States of America. The Guernica painting was covered briefly with a veil during 2003 when U.S. General Colin Powell announced the United States’ decision to invade Iraq. The Guernica image was seen as incendiary commentary and therefore intolerable during this chaotic period. The Guernica painting has become a symbol of protest to violence, war, and military regimes, not just for every country in the world, but of the 20th century and beyond

Christmas On The Western Front During World War II

World-War-II-Christmas-Truce

During World War I, a ceasefire occurred for a single day on December 25, 1914. This temporary peace was referred to as the “Christmas Truce” in English but in German it is referred to as “Weihnachtsfrieden” and in French it is referred to as “Treve de Noël”. The Christmas truce was a widespread but unofficial ceasefire along the European Western Front. In the week leading up to the Christmas, French, German, and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange small gifts and spend time talking and drinking alcohol. While initiating the truce, Axis soldiers called out to the Allied infantry by loudly stating “you no shoot, we no shoot”. In some areas, soldiers from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle, exchange food, and give and receive small souvenirs. Joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps occurred, and many meetings ended in the singing of Christmas carols. Soldiers played games of football with one another, providing one of the most memorable images of the truce which was taken during a break out game. Peaceful behavior however was not ubiquitous as fighting continued in some areas, while in others the sides settled on no more than arrangements to recover the bodies of soldiers who had recently died in combat

The Most Basic Meaning of Hanukkah

Hanukkah

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is essentially at its most basic principle, the celebration of a military victory during the 2nd century B.C., which was fought and won by the Maccabees, a religious and nationalist rebellion militant faction. When the Maccabees triumphed against the foreign Seleucid military which was comprised of Greek and Syrian soldiers, they repatriated and rededicated the Second Temple which stood in Jerusalem, Israel. The Second Temple was the Jewish holy temple which stood upon the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period, between 516 B.C.E. – 70 C.E. The term “hanukkah” is a Hebrew and Aramaic term which means “consecration” but can also be understood as “dedication”

The Ancient Battle of Troy 

Trojan-War

The battle of Troy is suspected to have occurred in modern day Turkey as Troy is considered is by archeologists and scholars to have been a real citadel, and not just an epic iliad of the ancient Greek poet Homer. The Trojan economy was based upon trade, specifically horses and horse breeding which allowed for wealth and military prowess within the walls of Troy, as horses were rarely seen elsewhere in the ancient world. Troy had a large ditch cut around the entire city, similar to a moat but without water. Large fences were placed behind this trench and enormous city walls were erected with only 3 entry points for the entire stronghold. Food stockpiles allowed the Trojans to hold out for longer periods than what would typically have been possible and amphorae were buried all over the Troy, up to the neck of the container, with a rock placed on top to seal it off. The Trojans, as was custom with most ancient people, would not bury their dead within the perimeter of the city unless under significant stress. Militarily speaking, in order to seize a target by assault, a soldier ratio of 3:1 is required but the Greeks did not have this advantage because the Trojan’s and Greek’s were matched evenly in terms of troops. This lack of superiority on either side permitted the Trojan war to last 9 years. The Trojans built their outer walls on a 20 degree slant to protect themselves from siege towers which were essentially mobile ladders with platforms to shoot down from. Troy’s exterior stone walls were 6 meters high with an additional height of 4 meters being added by mud-brick structures which crowned the walls. The Trojan Horse which invaded Troy was most likely was 13′ tall and less than 7′ wide, holding 30 – 40 men. Once Troy was successfully invaded, it was sacked, it’s citizens were pillaged and slaughtered, and its royal family raped and murdered. Even children were not immune to the scourge of this bloody battle as Homer’s iliad speaks of children being thrown to their death from great heights

Firearm and Biological Warfare During the Medieval Period 

Medieval-warfare

Crossbows during the Medieval Age were primarily made out of yew wood as it contains both sapwood which is ideal for tension and heartwood which is ideal for compression. Crossbows were reviled by knights as it made them vulnerable to common fighters who up until that point would never have a chance to face off because of the code of chivalry and military warfare. Crossbow bolts were often dipped in animal dung to create a biological weapon which would infect the target enemy as a backup plan in case the blow did not kill or disable them immediately