Beads, Buttons and a Bible Found In Uncovered German Massacre Forest

Credit: LWL and Thomas Poggel

Recent excavations in the Westphalia-Lippe region of Central Germany have revealed shocking discoveries, attesting to an atrocious mass-killing of Polish and Russian forced-labourers, “one of the biggest crimes in the final stages of the war in Germany“.

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The M3 Lee – Ugliest Tank of WWII?

One might argue that the seemingly ugly, flawed and difficult-to-control M3 and its variants deserved a better treatment from its adversaries. After all, it was neither designed to be superior to the Sherman nor built to any degree of perfection, and was merely planned as an urgent combination of heavy armour and mobility with a minimal production time in mind. On the brink of war, most Allied nations were in dire need of new, reliable tanks in large numbers and the M3 brought just that. Despite its numerous issues, the M3 series was surprisingly sturdy in battle and could be depended on when necessary.

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The Twelve Olympians

It seems apparent that the Ancient Greeks were very fond of the number twelve. Upon multiple occassions, primarily during myths and religious tales, the number twelve has been used in relation to gods, animals, etc. The Twelve Olympians were the most important deities of Greek religion and owned their name because they lived – supposedly – at the summit of Mount Olympus. As the greatest gods and godesses of the Greek Pantheon – religious circle – they were the ancestors of all other immortals and the overseers of humans.

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Five Reasons Why The Spanish Armada Would Never Have Made It

In July, 1588, Philip II of Spain sent out an enormous fleet of 130 ships organised into a crescent formation. They were to head for England to launch an invasion against the Protestant Queen, but would Philip really have achieved his ambitions… or was it doomed to fail all along?

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Why Napoleon Was Not As Short As You Think

From 1803 to 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte, known also as “Little Boney” conducted his Imperial wars in Europe, hugely expanding French territory and humiliatingly defeating his enemies. Two hundred years later, we still remember him as a rampaging little kid, who couldn’t back down after being exiled to the island of Elba.

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Alexander and the Gordian Knot – A Violent Solution

One of the best known stories of the Macedonian King Alexander’s reign, is the tale of the striking of the Gordian knot, a tightly twisted and bound bundle of rope connected to a wagon. Not only is it a nice story, it is also a possibly example of Alexander’s mentality and attitude towards solving problems, which plays largely into his Persian invasion.

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An Outstanding Victory – Battle of Gaugamela, 331BC

With no defeats in his campaign, Alexander was prepared to turn his army and march to Babylon, where he hoped he could take over the city and be crowned King of the Persian Empire. But before he could do so, Darius III sent a letter asking for his wife and children to be given back. Additionally, he attempted to form a treaty with the Macedonian king, allowing him to control half of the Persian lands whilst Darius controlled the other half. Unfortunately for the Persians, Alexander did not want shared leadership. He wanted it all, and absolutely all of it.

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How did Alexander the Great overcome Tyre?

It was necessary that Alexander and his army eliminate all Persian naval threats in the Aegean and Levant before continuing inland on their campaign. If the Persian leaders realised that Greece was only defended by 13,000 men, there would be a large risk of invasion. Tyre, on the Levantine coast, was expertly defended, well garrisoned and almost impregnable. Additionally, it was a crucial trading port of the Mediterranean and controlled access to India, Carthage, Rome and other great nations across the sea. Alexander, of course, did not want to lead his army into this military headache, but the capture of Tyre was paramount and necessary to the continuation of the invasion.

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First Defeat of Darius – Battle of Issus, 333BC

With Memnon of Rhodes’ forces destroyed at the first major battle of the Persian invasion by the Macedonians, Alexander led his blood-thirsty army – which had little need for any recovery time – along Anatolia’s Aegean Coast, bribing, frightening and besieging the ports into submission. Consequently, he had diminished Persian naval dominance around the Greek homelands, but had not gained full control of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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First Clash – Battle at the Granicus, 334 BC

After crossing the Hellespont from homeland Greece to Asia Minor – the Western half of the mighty Persian Empire – with an army of approximately forty-thousand men, Alexander gathered his men and headed for the Aegean coast and Persian naval bases. It was extremely important that he captured or took out these coastal cities otherwise he ran the risk of the Persians attacking Greece by sea whilst he was on campaign.

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Why was Alexander “the Great”?

Upon inheriting his father, Philip II’s, armies, Alexander aided the unification of the petty Greek states that had for so long warred against each other to fight a common enemy – Persia – and led his men, as a general, into an invasion of Asia. Not only was Alexander titled “great” by modern historians, but by the writers of Ancient Times, such as Arrian, Curtis and Diodorius. Born in 356 BC, Pella, Greece, “Alexander, being then about twenty years of age, marched into Peloponnesus, as soon as he had secured the regal power”.

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Five (More) Commonly Asked History Questions

1. Did the Romans really control a quarter of the world?

No, they didn’t. They conquered the majority of Europe, a slice along the North of Africa and mostly dominated the east. This map shows the extent of the Roman Empire in the year 117AD, at around the height of its landmass and power. It is true that at one point a quarter of living humanity were Romans, but they had not conquered a quarter of the world.

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Top 10 Rules Of The Knights Templar

1. Always Obey Orders

The sheer fighting skill and discipline of the Templars depended on complete obedience to instructions, and it was the duty of any of these Knights to carry out the commander’s orders to the best of his ability. No matter the circumstance, the Templars would always have to act like fighting machines that would follow blunt commands.

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The Invention Of The Automobile – Who Made The First Car?

For centuries, humans had believed that there would be a way to move quicker and more easily without the use of animals such as horses or donkeys. They knew that mechanics and scientific innovation would lead to the invention of a carriage which was powered by nature and working parts rather than biological life. But it was not until the Late Medieval era that educated individuals began to look more closely at how this dream could be achieved. Leonardo da Vinci was one of these creators, and was possibly the first to design and draw up plans for vehicles such as flying machines and tanks. Despite the sophisticated and potentially viable ideas da Vinci came up with, according to modern research, most of them would not work if they were actually attempted. It was a nice try, however.

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A brief history of Christmas through the ages…

In the oldest, darkest of Ancient Times, there existed a period of great celebration stretching from around late December to the first days of January, known to the pagans and druids of the cold and icy North.

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Drawing a sword from your back? Nonsense.

We’ve seen it all, in movies, books, exaggerated but unhistoric illustrations and oftentimes our imaginations. But the question is, did swordsmen ever really pull a sword from a back scabbard, and how practical would it have been to carry your weapon out of your view – and potentially out of your reach?

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In what ways could you be executed in Medieval Times?

The 13 unlucky ways you could be put to death for your crimes in the Dark Ages. These include medieval ways of public and private execution, and certainly some of the most painful and brutal methods in history.

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Use these tips to boost your history research efficiency

Studying? Working on a project? Or are you a blogger like me researching for your next post? Using the correct research techniques is the best way to save yourself time and effort when studying. Here are my favourite ten tips for tripling the efficiency of your learning and finding what you need to know quicker. Hope you enjoy the post…

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Meet the Romans – What did they eat? [Ep2]

So how was the cuisine down in Ancient Rome?

The food of Ancient Rome is often called the “most rounded and balanced diet of the ancient world”. And if you know the variety of different meats, vegetables and cheeses they ate, it’s not hard to see why. Although it is debatable whether they were better fed than their surrounding Mediterranean neighbours, we can be certain that if you had money, you had food – and talented chefs that could cook it.

Take today’s lesson

The Longbow – Medieval Weapons #1

The longbow, a devastatingly powerful long range weapon, was highly popular with English armies in the Middle Ages, although it was the Welsh who designed such a practical and deadly device. English Kings brought it into common use following defeated attacks on Wales.

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The Battle Of Agincourt, 1415

Following his ascending to the throne in 1413, Henry V planned to assert his dominance over the French and possibly take the throne. As they had been engaging in smaller scales skirmishes on the English coast as well as supporting their enemies – including Scotland – Henry decided to transport his army of around 12,000 men from Southampton to Normandy (Northern France).

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Stop using a diary, start using this war journal

Hello, second episode of “Reviewing History Products”! It is thanks to my kind donor, James at History Gear, that I am able to continue doing these; he has sent me a package of different things to inspect and write upon. I’ve had a look at what has arrived, and it’s fair to say that I’m pleased!

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How were medieval swords made?

Welcome, Knight Errant! I see you want to be talked through the steps in the process of forging your own medieval sword! We won’t be making no flimsy wooden swords here – grab your swordsmith and we can get to work blacksmithing a new weapon!

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Untold Terror – Attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941

At nearly eight on the calm Sunday morning of 7th December 1941, the first of over three hundred Japanese bombers approached the US Pacific Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Within long, the surrounding area was dive-bombed, strafed and ships destroyed as part of a surprise aircraft and submarine attack. The cause of this ambush culminated from rising tensions between the USA and Japan, and the event shocked American citizens. It would lead to them joining World War II the next day.

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Ancient Greek Trading Vessel Is “Oldest Shipwreck In The World”

More than a mile deep under the Black Sea off the Coast of Bulgaria lies a huge fleet of 67 ships from Ancient, Medieval and Tudor times – one of which dates to 400 BC.

It has been named the oldest shipwreck in the world.

Credit: Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project

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Rise To Power, Wars and Napoleon’s Death In Misery

The man who created the foundation for France’s law and civil code, controlled huge swathes of Europe, rose through the ranks and crowned himself Emperor of France and eventually became the name for his period … Napoleon Bonaparte, the greatest and most ambitious nation leader of the 19th century.

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