Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Answer to August 28thst TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who is this great lady and which two agencies did she create?

A: This is a picture of Clara Barton, born Clarissa Harlowe Barton in 1821. She Created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States and the American Red Cross.

During the Civil War Clara Barton was a welcome volunteer to the Union forces. She would help in organizing men to bring first aid to the wounded and giving out food and water to both Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners. She used her own money to supplement for needed supplies and was reimbursed by the Government after the war. They called her the "Angel of the Battlefield"

Clara Barton was a member of the International Red Cross and was instrumental in Creating the American Red Cross in 1880 and served as the first president until 1904. President Abraham Lincoln appointed her General correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners where she connected families searching for loved ones with casualties of war or on the prison roles. From this she created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States determined that there should be no unmarked graves. A tracing service was eventually taken up by the Red Cross and is widely used by soldiers families today. Follow the links below to read more about this hardworking Patriot.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Answer to August 21st TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who was Stonewall Jackson, why was he called 'Stonewall' and what was his real name?

A: Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was born January 21, 1864 in Clarksburg, VA. He graduated from West Point Academy in New York and also worked as a Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. He was a Lieutenant General in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He earned the name "Stonewall" during the battle of First Manassas or Bull Run. Tradition states General Bernard Elliot Bee of South Carolina either tried to rally his troops by shouting" Form, form there stands Jackson like a Stonewall rally behind the Virginians" and that is what is carved on his grave stone. The other story is that General Bee, upon meeting the Alabama troops, pointed to Jackson in the midst of battle and said "Yonder stands Jackson standing like a 'Stonewall' let us go to his assistance". His image can be seen as the third carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia behind General Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Make sure and check out our facebook page where some of our followers have pointed out little known facts or tradition about Stonewall Jackson. Also the video in the references below and the entire civilwar.org website has a lot of fascinating information about Jackson and the entire Civil War in general.

Check out some of our Civil War era replicas here:

Civilwar.org Video: "Stonewall Jackson at First Manassas"
Jackson Biography
 TJ "Stonewall" Jackson

Monday, August 18, 2014

Answer to August 14th TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: The first book ever printed, was printed by whom and in what year? What happened?

A: Most people answered the Gutenberg Bible printed by Gutenberg. This is technically incorrect. The Anonymously published 42-line Bible was printed by Johann Fust (Faust) and his head foreman Peter Schoeffer in 1456. Johann Gutenberg (born Johann Geinsfleisch) was the inventor of the movable type printing press and most likely printed the first pages of the Gutenberg bible but his lender turned partner, Johann Fust, took him to court due to an outstanding loan. The courts favored Fust and he was able to seize the entire business. Fust and Schoeffer went on to publish more books. Fust, whose family name was later changed to Faust was also rumored to have worked for Laurens Jaansen known as Costa in Haarlem who was possibly the first real inventor of moveable type. Interestingly, he has also been named as a possible inspiration for Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. After Fust died, Schoeffer inherited the business and married Fust's daughter, Christina. He was very successful in the printing business. Gutenberg on the other hand died in poverty three years after having taken a position in the court of the Archbishop of Mainz.  History has credited Johann Gutenberg with his invention by naming that first book 'The Gutenberg Bible' even though he never finished printing it.

Johann Fust
Peter Schoeffer
Johann Gutenberg

1. Historyworld.net

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Battle of Kusk - 2nd Part

By early July the Germans had amassed hundreds of thousands of men along with 3000 tanks. Opposite them, the Russians had nearly 2 million men ready to commit to battle and over 5000 tanks! The Red Air Force controlled the skies and could provide overwhelming fire power in support of the Soviet ground forces. In addition to this, the Soviets had constructed 7 layers of defense to contain and repel the German advance. The stage was set for a dramatic German defeat rather than the war winning success Hitler had in mind.
                On July 5th, 1943 the battle began with a pre-dawn massive artillery barrage and an all out assault on the Soviet lines. Men and machines poured into the battle and losses were horrible on both sides. Estimates put several hundred tanks destroyed the very first day with thousands upon thousands of men killed or wounded. After almost a week of bitter fighting the Germans had pushed nearly 20 miles into the Soviet’s defensive lines but it wasn’t quite enough to make the desperately needed breakthrough. The town of Prokhorovka was next under German attack due to its strategic railway junction.
                On July 12th, the largest tank battle in history began. The Red Army command staff knew that if the Germans took the town of Prokhorovka they could unhinge the entire Soviet defense. As a result of this, Russian troops were rushed to the town to aid in the defense. The new German Tigers and Panthers mauled the Soviet Fifth Guards Tank Army, inflicting a 50% casualty rate on the Russians. Despite this, the German’s lack of numbers soon began to show as the enormous losses suffered in the battle for Prokhorovka caused the attack to stall and then halt completely. The German flanks had been weakened to funnel troops into the attack on the town and now the Soviet army conducted a series of fierce counter attacks aimed at the German flanks. They met with tremendous success and the Germans began a fighting retreat that lost them all the land they had taken in the Battle of Kursk plus much more.
                Both the Germans and the Russians had lost an enormous amount of soldiers and armor, however, the Germans could not afford the losses while the Russians had more than enough men in reserve to bring themselves back to full strength. Ultimately, the Battle of Kursk had gained the Germans nothing and had cost them priceless men and materials that could have been better used in a defensive position rather than wasted in a hopeless attack. The Russians began an advance that would not stop until it took the German capital of Berlin itself.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Battle of Kursk

After their crushing defeat at Stalingrad, the Germans were on the defensive for most of 1943. The Soviet Union’s Red Army had amassed an enormous amount of men and machines to throw against the ever dwindling German forces. Although on the defensive, the Germans were nowhere near defeat, however, and were able to put up ferocious resistance to all Soviet advances. Hitler was looking for a dramatic victory to swing the war in Russia back into Germany’s favor. He decided on a full counter attack aimed at the Soviet weak spot around the city of Kursk. What followed was the largest tank battle in history!

                Hitler was convinced that the Soviet’s success lay in their superb T-34 tank. He thought that by building bigger, stronger tanks he would deliver the key to victory to the German forces. By the spring and summer of 1943, brand new Panther and Tiger tanks were rolling off the production lines, however, they were not being produced anywhere near the number of Soviet tanks. Hitler decided to delay his attack on Kursk until larger numbers of tanks could be produced and sent to the front. His generals on the other hand, who didn’t agree with the assault in the first place, protested even more fiercely to Hitler’s delay. This would give the Red Army ample time to prepare incredibly strong defenses, making the additional tanks unable to break through.

                Hitler listened to his general’s pleas, alternative plans designed to maintain the German position in Russia, and outright objections before promptly ignoring all of them. In his mind, Hitler saw the coming battle of Kursk to be the definitive battle which would turn the tide of the war in the east. It is important to note that this is not the first nor the last time that Hitler gambled everything on a battle that he “knew” would win the war for Germany. Neither was this the first nor the last time he refused to listen to his officers. True to his generals’ fears, the Soviets, under the command of Georgy Zhukhov, recognized the weak point of Kursk and heavily fortified it.

                The stage was set for a massive battle comprised of millions of men and nearly 7,000 tanks. Tune in tomorrow for the dramatic battle itself!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Brave Gorkha Soldier

"Go into battle expecting to die and surely you will live." - Ancient Samurai saying
It was a calm night in September in Afghanistan for Nepalese soldier Corporal Dipprasad Pun; that is, until 30 Taliban fighters attacked his checkpoint. All alone, Pun was faced with the seemingly impossible task of trying to defend his checkpoint. Mentally accepting the fact that he was going to die, Pun's final objective in life was to take as many of the Taliban with him as he could.
Under attack from every direction and taking constant fire from AK-47s and RPGs for 15 minutes, Pun still found the time to unload over 400 rounds of ammunition, 17 grenades and a mine into the attackers. He beat a Taliban climbing the checkpoint wall with his weapon's tripod when he ran out of bullets. Two soldiers were still firing at him towards the end of the engagement until he used a Claymore mine to "encourage" them to finally withdraw. 1 lone Nepalese Gurkha had single-handedly defeating an attacking force of over 30 Taliban. And even more impressively, he lived!
For this extraordinary act of bravery and skill he has just been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) by Queen Elizabeth II. The CGC is second only to the Victoria Cross, which is the highest honor that can be bestowed by the UK and other commonwealth nations. Gurkha fighters are internationally hailed for their skill, heroism, and bravery and this is but one example of why.

If you're interested in 100% historical and authentic antique Gurkha weapons then please visit us at Antique Militaria
These weapons were acquired directly from the Nepalese government and many have seen combat.