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

Napoléon Bonaparte’s Erroneous Assumption of Civilization and His Campaign Into Egypt

Napoléon-Bonaparte

Prior to the development of the methods and tools used for scientific analysis, many Europeans regarded Egypt as the birthplace of civilization. This meant that Napoléon Bonaparte was free to invade Egypt because the French people viewed his campaign as a way of leading themselves back to the source of their roots. Bonaparte did not only bring soldiers, he also brought scholars who were tasked to observe and record the knowledge gained while in Egypt. This acquisition of knowledge made information about Egypt available to the public through books filled with illustrations and writing about Egyptian culture, its people, and its landmarks. Elements of Egyptian culture started to work their way into European culture and even reach out west as far as the new colonies of the United States of America, with examples like the pyramid on the back of U.S. currency and the obelisk shaped Washington Monument in Washington D.C., United States of America. Bonaparte’s campaign was the most significant European foray into the Islamic world since the Crusades

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”

Ancient Egyptian Influence Upon Europe

Washington-Monument

Prior to the development of the methods and tools used for scientific analysis, many Europeans regarded Egypt as the birthplace of civilization. This meant that Napoléon Bonaparte was free to invade Egypt because the French people viewed his campaigns as a way of leading themselves back to the source of their roots. Bonaparte did not only bring soldiers, he also brought scholars who would observe and record the knowledge gained while in Egypt. This acquisition of knowledge made information about Egypt available to the public through books filled with illustrations and writing about Egyptian culture, its people, and its landmarks. Elements of ancient Egypt started to work their way into European culture and even reach out west as far as the new colonies of the United States of America, with examples like the pyramid on the back of U.S. currency and the obelisk Washington Monument in Washington D.C.. Bonaparte’s campaign was the most significant European foray into the Islamic world since the Crusades

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

Medieval Age Armor Of Impoverished Soldiers 

Medival-armor

Poorer soldiers who could not afford armor or chainmail would use a garment referred to as a “gambeson” which consisted of layers of cloth with thick wool sandwiched in between more layers of cloth, similar to the modern advent of Kevlar which is tightly woven layers stacked on top of eachother. The gambeson was sewen extremely tight making it flexible but also somewhat resistant to blows. It wasn’t as effective as armor and chainmail but it did offer moderate protection. Those who could afford it would have covered their gambeson with chainmail as an added layer of protection

The Hypocrisy of the Ancient Romans Towards the Ancient Druids 

ancient-Druids

The Druids were a terrifying spectacle to the ancient Romans, even to those who were battle hardened soldiers. The Roman historian Tacticus in 60 A.D. described the Druid’s as, “the enemy in a close packed array of armed men interspersed with women dressed like furies in funeral black, with streaming hair and brandishing torches, round about were the druids, their hands raised to heaven, pouring out dire curses”. Celtic Iron Age priests ruled Druid territory with an iron grip based upon religious intimidation and human sacrifice. The Druids were believed by the Romans to be maligned priests who held supernatural powers. The Romans wanted to eliminate the Druids as they viewed them as savages and barbaric due to their tradition of human sacrifice. Ironically, this was during the same era of the Circus Maximus and Colosseum holding gladiator battles which often went to the death