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Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Eskimo Invasion of Scotland and the Scottish Invasion of Eskimoland

Ocean-going invasion vessel

On the rare occasions when Scotland has been invaded, the invasion has usually come from the populous South or the Viking East. The country has almost never been invaded from the North. This is because there is not much in the way of human life beyond Scotland. Nevertheless such rare incursions have happened, featuring Eskimos, who are not only ethnically different, but from an entirely different racial group. By the way, in this essay I will be using the term" Eskimo" as it more pleasingly euphonious than the tediously politically correct term "Inuit" that is now routinely enforced throughout academia and the media.

Given the size of these incursions—usually one man in a canoe—"invasion" is probably the wrong word to use. But it is still remarkable that Scotland has been "visited" by such alien people, coming there through their own agency in pre-modern times and effectively covering a distance of over 2,500 miles to do so.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Pearl Harbor: How Japan Saved the World for "Democracy"


The "dastardly attack."

December 7th is the anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Once again we have the opportunity to either look back in anger or, now that the embers of history have grown cold, to rake through them and ask what was the real significance of that fateful day.

It is often said that history is written by the winners. Although every nation committed horrendous atrocities in World War II, Japan is still cast as a pure villain. But, considering that many historians now believe the Japanese were unwitting dupes in one of the most complicated games of propaganda, espionage, and diplomacy ever played out across the world stage, isn't it time to revise the Hollywood version of history and admit the existence of gray areas, especially as the Americans would have been unable to play their full part in the defeat of Fascism without the cooperation of Japan?

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The German Revolution and the Defeat of Franchise Sovietism

Reds on the march.
There is a karma in history that means that bad deeds are often returned, sometimes quite quickly. When America betrayed its British and French allies after WWII by pushing for the decolonization of their empires, it was soon forced to face its own internal "decolonization" of its Afro-American population through the Civil Rights movements.

Another major example of "instant karma" in history was the German Revolution of November 1918, which started today 98 years ago. It followed the defeat of the German army on the Western front and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and was an important factor in the hastily arranged armistice made on the 11th of November, an armistice that placed Germany at a distinct disadvantage in subsequent peace negotiations.

But the German Revolution was also a kind of poetic justice, as the Germans, had more than a year previously paved the way for the brutal Communist Revolution in Russia by allowing Lenin and other top Communist revolutionaries to return to Russia from Switzerland in the famous "Sealed Train." The contagion in that train, as it turned out, also infected Germany, leading to a serious outbreak of Leftism and Communism that finally played itself out in the counter-rise of Nazism and the destruction of Germany in 1945.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Battle of Marathon and the Confidence of Winning

Phidippides delivering news of the Athenian victory after running the first marathon.
Today (September 12th) is by custom the anniversary of the famous Battle of Marathon (490 BC), the first great struggle between the Greeks and the Persians. It was a great defensive victory, in which the Athenians repelled a dangerous invasion of their homeland. Along with the great offensive victory of Arbela (331 BC), when Alexander the Great and his Macedonians crushed the Persians in the heart of their empire, it is one of the "Fifteen Decisive Battles" according to Sir Edward Creasy in the book of that name, written in 1851.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Death of the Great American Assassin

American Mojo
The release of Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper got me thinking about the long-range marksmen and cold-blooded killers who pick off their targets at distance. The film’s release, close to Martin Luther King Day, also got me thinking of those other unique individuals who go for that special kill; the high profile political assassination.

A more interesting film than American Sniper would undoubtedly have been American Assassin, because there is something essentially soulless and boring about gunmen like Kyle, who kill people they don’t know in countries they couldn’t even find on a map, simply because they are “obeying orders.”

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Ogaden War: The Greatest War Between African States


War, contrary to expectations, is a semi-civilized business, requiring, as it does, qualities of organization, discipline, and application that only civilized states are capable of. While most Sub-Saharan countries are capable of low-grade guerrilla anarchy, they are usually not able to carry out proper prolonged conflicts. For this reason, most African conflicts have little interest for the student of war or the military historian.

But African states do occasionally fight wars beyond the level of simple savagery. The most substantial war between two Sub-Saharan African states was probably that which started 39 years ago today between Somalia and Ethiopia, usually referred to as the Ogaden War.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Characteristics of Post-War British Prime Minsiters


With Britain about to change Prime Ministers, now is a good time to look at what kind of people become Prime Minister. Since WWII, 13 individuals have served in that role, one woman (Margaret Thatcher) and 12 men, one of whom (Edward Heath) we can reasonably be sure was gay. Five of the 13 would qualify as upper class, with the rest being middle class.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Flooding China to Stem the Japanese Tide


When did WWII begin? Most would say it was when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, but a good case can be made for July 7th, 1937, when the Japanese kicked off their invasion of China, a campaign that lasted eight years and became a major part of WWII. One of the biggest and most dramatic events in that war was the deliberate flooding of a large area of China in 1938 by the Nationalist Chinese government in an attempt to halt the rapid Japanese advance. This occurred 78 years ago today.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Battle of the Kalka: The Genius of the Mongol War Machine Crushes the Russians

Prince Mstislav of Kiev meets his fate
The Western view of the Mongols is of a faceless, highly efficient war machine. We do not think of them as individuals, except in the person of this of that "Great Khan"—a mere token of their faceless power. Their success we attribute to their system or way of fighting. They are to all intents and purposes The Horde, their lack of individualism and thus humanity serving as the secret of their terrible strength.

But this characterization is ahistorical in the sense that it lessens the amount of history that must be processed in order to explain and understand the Mongols as they were. They are reduced to a cipher, an inhuman force of nature that simply blew in from the steppe, and then blew out again. A recent article even went so far as to explain the ebbing of the Mongol tide by referring to tree rings and the rain patterns they revealed in Central Europe in the 13th century. You can't get more impersonal than tree rings!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Battle of Granicus: The Bacchic Fury of Alexander

The opening attack at the battle.

On May 22nd, 334 (2,350 years ago), Alexander the Great fought the first of his three great battles against the Persians, the battle at the Granicus River in Asia Minor. The battle reveals Alexander to have been a better leader than a general, with a simple tactical approach that relied heavily on esprit de corps and demoralizing the enemy by pushing him onto the defensive.

With a force of 30,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry, Alexander was faced by a Persian army of roughly equal size. The Persian army also included a large number of Greek mercenaries, especially in the infantry, so the latter part of this battle was an unfortunate case of Greek fighting Greek.

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Dambusters Raid – an example of British technological 'try-hardism'


War, among other things, is a great stimulus to technology. WWI saw the invention of the tank, aerial bombardment, and the use of gas as a weapon; while WWII brought a host of innovations that were equally applicable in both wartime and peacetime, like radar, jet-powered flight, and nuclear power.

While any military power is interested in new technologies that can give it the edge, the British in the WWII period felt a particular impetus to try new things. Partly this was because Britain was the old, established power in decline, with a society that retained antiquated elements. Faced by more modern and up-to-date states, like Republican France, the USA, Communist Russia, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany, the British felt somewhat out-of-date, and as consequence felt a need to overcompensate by throwing their weight behind daring innovations.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

An Alternative History of Scottish Nationalism


The remarkable rise of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which is now a liberal-left party led largely by 1968 leftists, masks the ethno-nationalist roots of the party and the broader ethno-nationalist undercurrent of the Scottish Nationalist movement as a whole. In this article, we intend to explore some of the personalties that made up this early movement, their activities and detail some of their ideas that influenced the early SNP and which would make the likes of Alex Salmond, the current leader of the SNP, cringe in embarrassment, even though they make up a substantial section of the SNP's early history and political direction.

Monday, 2 May 2016

When Madrid Fought Back Against "French Muslims"

Dos de Mayo (Second of May)
One of the most important dates in Spanish history is the 2nd of May. This is because of events that took place in Madrid 208 years ago this very day, driven by Napoleon's ambition and disregard for the wishes of the Spanish people. The event has been immortalized in this great painting by Francisco Goya.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Battle of Chancellorsville: Genius and Tragedy in the Woods of Virginia

Stonewall Jackson in command of Lee's left hook.
Because war is by its very nature an extremely messy business, there are not that many truly classic battles in history. The number of true masterpieces, like Hannibal’s triumph at Cannae or Napoleon’s at Austerlitz, is far surpassed by the number of flawed masterpieces, while that number is itself outstripped by the number of confused, chaotic, and wasteful battles.

One of the most frustrating battles of the American Civil War is the Battle of Chancellorsville, a six-day battle that started today 153 years ago – frustrating because it had all the hallmarks of true genius resulting in a complete victory, but finally ended up being a minor and inconclusive victory for the South, but with heavy casualties.

The Lousiana Purchase: How Yellow Fever and Swiss Anarchy doubled America Overnight

On this day in 1803, the United States of America doubled in size when the United States government bought the vast territory of Louisiana from the French government of Napoleon Bonaparte for a derisory sum.

Napoleon, who expended hundreds of thousands of French and allied lives for relatively minor territorial gains in Europe, thus gave away a territory vaster than Western Europe with a mere flick of a pen. There is something about this which doesn’t quite add up, so what in fact happened? Why did Napoleon, usually regarded as a genius, do something that so obviously lessened French power and prestige?

Friday, 29 April 2016

Life of Antigonus Gonatas

Coin of the "Bazileos" Antigonus with head of Poseidon.

319 BC


(1) Antigonus was born around 319 B.C. He was related to the most powerful of the Diadochi, the Macedonian generals of Alexander, who divided the empire after Alexander's death in 323. Antigonus's father was Demetrius, the son of Antigonus Cyclops, who then controlled much of Asia. His mother was Phila, the daughter of Antipater. He controlled Macedonia and Greece and was recognized as regent of the empire, which in theory remained united. In this year, however, Antipater died, leading to further struggles for territory and dominance.

301 BC


(2) The careers of Antogonus's grandfather and father showed great swings in fortune. After coming closer than anyone to reuniting the empire of Alexander, Antigonus Cyclops was defeated and killed in the great Battle of Ipsus in 301 and the territory he formerly controlled was divided among his enemies, Cassander, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Seleucus.

(3) The fate of Antigonus Gonatas, now 18, was closely tied with that of his father Demetrius who escaped from the battle with 9,000 troops. Jealousy among the victors eventually allowed Demetrius to regain much of the power his father had lost. He conquered Athens and much of Greece and in 294 he seized the throne of Macedonia from Alexander, the son of Cassander.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Guardian: Britain entering first world war was 'biggest error in modern history'

Historian Niall Ferguson says Britain could have lived with German victory and should have stayed out of war


Britain could have lived with a German victory in the first world war, and should have stayed out of the conflict in 1914, according to the historian Niall Ferguson, who described the intervention as "the biggest error in modern history".

In an interview with BBC History Magazine, Ferguson said there had been no immediate threat to Britain, which could have faced a Germany-dominated Europe at a later date on its own terms, instead of rushing in unprepared, which led to catastrophic costs.