Barbarian Europe 7: Vikings Introduction

Vikings. Or Northmen, Pagans, Foreigners, Rus. These and many names were given to the people who came to be one of the greatest nuisances to Europe after the Barbaric invasion and the great crisis that ended the Roman Empire. They were so feared that the Church even declared that the apocalypse was near and the Vikings were, in fact, the soldiers of the antichrist.

Norsemen came from the Danish and Scandinavian peninsula, as well as other Northern regions, and they were fierce and efficient warriors, well equipped and well trained. They specialized in the art of raiding. They were so incredibly adept to this tactic and their name, “Vikings”, was probably derived from this. 

History of Early Islam

Medieval! Armour & Weapons –

Of the many religions prominent in the Middle Ages, just one came to both threaten Christianity on a massive scale and bestow remarkable technological and cultural advances upon Europe. It was Islam, the faith of the Middle East, the driving religion behind one of the most mighty communities in all of history, and the one rival which Christianity just could not overcome. From the 7th century onwards, it would come to triumph over the deserts, cities and rivers of North Africa and Asia Minor.

Barbarian Europe 5: King Clovis

The Franks were fierce, intelligent and skilled in warfare. In this episode, find out how the Kingdom of the Franks expanded throughout France under their leader, King Clovis, and how he established the foundations for the greatest Christian kingdom in Western Europe.


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Research and Writing – Joshua Potts

Music – Alexander Nakarado

AH-64 Apache – Portfolio Piece


Despite existing for a seemingly-interminable four decades since its birth, the AH-64 Apache remains the flagship helicopter of the United States military and continues in active service in Egypt, Japan, the UK, Saudi Arabia and countless more countries around the globe. Designed both to support ground operations and launch intensive attacks in the air itself, the Apache series is crucial for Boeing’s supply and logistical contract with America and AH-64s are the favored combat chopper of choice.  Many countries around the world use Apache variants as their main form of aerial attack aircraft.

The British Army, to state one example, are provided with the AugustaWestland Apache – a unique, modified version of the AH-64D Longbow which features two T700-GE-701C engines, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 180mph. Additionally, British Apaches have been powered by Rolls-Royce Turbomeca engines – still recommendable alternatives.

In 1967, the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne, prototyped and designed in response to the threat of heavily-armed Soviet vehicles in Europe, was test-flown. The Cheyenne was a powerful and worthy helicopter, but it still couldn’t meet the needs of the army. Ultimately, it was abandoned in favor of something quicker and more agile and sleek. This would allow them considerably more conflict and logistical flexibility, which was extremely important for their missions in the late 20th century. The United States Army wanted an “Advanced Attack Helicopter” – a chopper to carry the same, primary role as a Tactical Attack Aircraft – which would prove to be rigorous in tough, intensive combat situations and support ground operations by simultaneously utilizing advanced tracking and pilot-sighting systems.

Hence, America initiated their AAH program in 1972 by calling for proposals to suggest a new helicopter model; this request received great interest from numerous notable manufacturers, including Bell, Lockheed and Hughes. One design, the Model 77 (YAH-64A), submitted by Hughes Helicopters, made its first flight on the 30th of September 1975. Overwhelmed by a considerably large number of responses to their initial demand, the USA was unable to provide a response until the next year; this coincided with the death of Howard Hughes – the founder of Hughes Helicopters – in 1976, who left no will. Understandably, the company was sent into a bitter dispute over who should take over leadership of planning and manufacturing. Despite this, Hughes was chosen as the winner for the AAH design contest as the army preferred the YAH-64A instead of its Bell counterpart, mainly because of the advantages of the YAH-64’s landing gear arrangement over the Bell organization.

A development contract was formed in 1976 and the AmericanArmy finally approved all plans in 1982. The plains of Mesa, Arizona have oftenbeen considered an excellent place to produce and test helicopters. Thus, thefirst Army AH-64 rolled out of Hughes’ facility and made a flight in 1983,being named “Apache”. Military helicopters in the USA were frequently given thenames of Native American tribes because Indians had served honorably in thearmy during American history. Securing a $470 million deal with McDonnellDouglas in 1984, the AH-64 Apache was brought into full-scale development andbecame a primary feature of the production line. McDonnell Douglas were in turnbought out by Boeing, who laid claim to the Apache series and remain the mainmanufacture of AH-64s today.

Powered by theT700 twin turbo-shaft engine – supplied by the General Electric and Pratt &Whitney partnership – Apache variations were able to output up to (and over)2,000 shaft horsepower, with the T6A Model accelerating to a staggering 2,768SHP. T700 turbo-shafts were able to continue operating in extremely intense andstressful situations, making it a revered and ideal solution for a combatengine. After being delivered to at least fifty nations, the T700 has poweredaeroplanes and helicopters for 40 years. Most notably, it supplies a modifiedBlack Hawk UH-60 known as the “Firehawk” with its admired and awe-strikingspeed. Despite the immense speed of the AH-64, it is still highly agile and canmake beautiful, quick and sloping turns to conduct a follow up strike of itstarget. Not only this, but its navigational systems allow it to find theoperation location with complete ease and return to base, hassle-free.

Weighing between 400 and 500 pounds, the AH-64 Apache has a tandem cockpit for two; the copilot gunner being situated at the front with the pilot controlling the aircraft from the rear. Due to the limited crew-size, the loss of one chopper does not matter as much in terms of casualty/death rate as a larger, highly-manned craft. It also sports a set of excellent laser-targeting and night-vision systems mounted on the nose of the helicopter. These sensors and equipment allow the AH-64 Apache to continue operating at both night and day and it can withstand countless weather situations. Highly armored and easily maneuverable, the USA’s “most loved chopper” can fight through heavy enemy fire striking critical points on its body and return shots using a 30mm M230 chain gun hung beneath the fuselage, between the landing gears. Additionally, the AH-64D can carry approximately 22,000 pounds at maximum-load. All these upgrades and functionality features make the AH-64 and its counterparts extremely dangerous and effective weapons – one of the reasons they are loved so much. Although other helicopter models may be chosen over the Hughes’ design for certain circumstances and operations, the Apache is the ultimate multi-purpose (helicopter) aircraft, which is able to efficiently track and take out targets. ultimate multi-purpose (helicopter) aircraft, which is able to efficiently track and take out targets.

During Desert Storm – the primary operation of the Gulf War – the Apache was used as the main constituent for the air attack force body, with the purpose of shattering enemy radar positions, tanks and armored posts. Boeing remains in a position of contract with the United States and continues to deliver Apaches to armies across the globe. Until a manufacturer designs a new helicopter or weapon to one-up the AH-64, the Apache series will remain the most formidable, tactical air helicopter in the world and will forever be loved by aircraft enthusiasts, mechanists and engineers.

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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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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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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Titus Livius’ History of Rome Summary [Bk1Ch5]

In the fifth chapter of Livy’s work, we see Romulus escape capture, Remus taken for punishment to the King, and the assassination of the treacherous usurper Amulius. Here is my brief summary of chapter 5 of the first books – enjoy 🙂

  • Romulus and Remus were celebrating the festival of Lupercalia – founded by Evander, an Arcadian who had previously occupied the area – on the Palatine hill
  • Remember the brothers were fighting and stealing? Well, the brigands came to take revenge and managed to capture Remus. Romulus is not caught.
  • Remus had been raiding his grandfather, Numitor’s lands, and had not realised who he was attacking as he had never grown to know his exiled grandfather.
  • Fastaulus, the farmer that had found the boys with the wolf and cared for them through their childhood, knew that the boys were of royal blood
  • So Fastaulus told Romulus that he was descended from royalty
  • At about the same time, Numitor realised that the one boy he had in custody and his brother (Romulus) were his long-lost grandsons
  • Rom and Reme didn’t stand a chance in a pitched battle against Amulius, so they grouped their soldiers…
  • …and built a trap…

I hope this helped you! Oh, and Merry Christmas. Not sure why I am doing this on Christmas Day, but oh well.

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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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How to build a medieval castle

Castles were impressive structures by nearly all definitions and a key aspect of medieval society. They served as miniature administrative offices, defensive positions and markers of realms.

How they were built is truly astonishing, and required huge amounts of manual, human labour without necessarily advanced measuring equipment or machinery.

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Photos From The RAMM Museum, Exeter

These are some pictures I took whilst looking around the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The exhibitions are actually surprisingly large; there are lots of historical artifacts to blow your mind, as well as an Ancient Egyptian mummy. Hopefully you like the photos I took 🙂

17th Century Civil War armour, used by the soldiers defending Exeter castle.

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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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Battle of Cannae – Second Punic War

Carthage – the crucial Mediterranean trading city in Tunisia – has, for a short period of time, had peace with its Roman enemies. However, this is only a playful grace period, as neither side intends to continue this truce. Hannibal, the greatest warrior in all of Europe, is no exception. Vowing to never forgive the Romans for their awful treatment of Carthage and astonishingly unfair terms of surrender, he fumes his way into the Second Punic War, conducting the greatest North African army in history so far and eventually causing the most terrible military failure Rome has ever suffered.

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Top Ten Most Tragic Battles That Changed History Forever

Any blunder in war, big or small, is bound to fine tune our perception of fighting forever, but it is the greatest upsets in military history that truly turn the world in an entirely new direction. Furious encounters like the Battle of Stalingrad and nation-changing conflicts such as the Battle of Hastings will be remembered in the books for years to come.


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Where Did The American Accent Come From?

We cannot be certain.

This is because the first English explorers started establishing colonies on the East coast in the early 17th century, and we don’t have many texts describing what they sounded like after a few decades of living on the new land. Nor do we have audio recordings, because we only started seeing them over two hundred years later. Therefore, there is quite a gap in our knowledge of how America gained its lingual diversity.

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Did The Battle Of Passchendaele Achieve Anything?

Image result for ypres

Allied forces suffered over 300,000 casualties in the Third Battle of Ypres, and the utterly ruined medieval village of Passchendaele overlooking this ridge and Ypres salient was acquired. However, was it really the start of the “big push” Haig was looking for or was it, in the words of General Currie, “not worth a drop of blood”?
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My Visit To The Normandy D-Day Beaches

This year, I went on holiday to France, and saw the sights. As well as visiting the Bayeux Tapesty and Notre Dame, we had the opportunity to explore the wildly historic beaches of Northern France, where Canada, America and England launched their successful comeback to the Nazi domination of France with Operation Neptune, the start of a campaign to reclaim land in that region called Operation Overlord.

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