"The most beautiful girl or woman in the world would be a matter of indifference to me, but tall soldiers
—they are my weakness." Thus confessed Frederick William
, second king of Prussia, whose passion compelled the creation of an elite regiment of six-foot-plus grenadiers
. Recruitment, diplomatic gifts, and the occasional abduction of a spindly peasant or acromegalic tradesman supplied thousands of "giants" for the ranks; experiments with breeding programs and stretching machines were somewhat less successful. Frederick II, Frederick William's son and successor, dispersed the regiment when he succeeded to power in 1740. The Potsdam Giants had never actually seen combat, the main part of their duty having been to drill and parade before their enraptured king. [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Jan 9, 2014 -
Carl von Clausewitz's On War is remembered today as a classic of Prussian thinking on war and politics in the post-Napoleonic era. Wouldn't it be better if it were a Socratic dialogue between Hare Clausewitz and his class of other woodland creatures, though? Thankfully, The Children's Illustrated Clausewitz
has arrived to fill just that need.
posted by Copronymus
on Feb 13, 2013 -
Eighty years ago Australia went to war against a fierce and terrible enemy threatening the very foundations of life in Western Australia. An enemy so tough the Australian commanding officer described them as "like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop". Though the army did have the upper hand in the first engagements, dreams of a quick victory were dashed when the enemy's central command let its "unwieldy army split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month
". Yes, it's eighty years since the Emu War
posted by MartinWisse
on Nov 3, 2012 -
The War Nerd (previously
) breaks tone somewhat to celebrate the life of Benjamin Grierson
, who would go from being kicked in the head by a horse as a youth to leading, "the greatest cavalry raid of the whole war, riding from Tennessee 600 miles almost due south through enemy territory to land safe in Baton Rouge, LA, inflicting ten times the casualties he had himself—and then going on to be the one white officer who stood up for the black freedmen 'Buffalo Soldiers' in the far West, at a time when America was using white-vs-black to heal up the raw North-vs-South scars."
posted by Copronymus
on Dec 19, 2011 -
is one of the most famous battles of World War I. Fought in on a Turkish peninsula in 1915 it was, like most Great War battles, a huge waste of life and largely fruitless. Jul Snelder's site has a wealth of information, the causes, history and aftermath of Gallipoli
, the slang of the ANZAC forces
, placenames in both English and Turkish
, interesting little factoids
, how Allied troops used subterfuge to hide their evacuation
, the Turkish perspective
, pictures of the battlesite today juxtaposed with old photographs
, a mini-travel guide to Gallipoli
and much more. One of the most famous units at Gallipoli was the Australian 12th Light Horse Regiment
. To learn more about this type of unit, responsible for the "last successful great cavalry charge
" two years after Gallipoli, I direct you to the excellent website of the Australian Light Horse Association
, where you can learn anything you might reasonably want to know about the subject.
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 15, 2008 -
Tohoku University's Kano Collection
is an unparalleled collection of japanese books from the Edo period. The beautiful and grizzly Kaibou zonshinzu anatomical chart
has been making the blogrounds lately
but that's only one of the countless treasures the Kano Collection has to offer. Stumbling around near-blindly, like a non-Japanese reader such as myself, with only minimal help from the site, I have come across an amazing variety of beautiful objects, such as this picture book
, a scroll with images of animals
, city map
, map of Japan
, battle map
, another picture book
, the Kaitai shouzu anatomical chart
and this picture scroll
which has my favorite little scene
I've come across in the collection. Whole days could be spent just surfing idly through the Kano Collection.
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 28, 2008 -
Sex and PsyOps.
An interesting look at sexual propaganda throughout modern military history. Unfortunately slightly censored, but a good look into what may or may not have been an effective demoralization tool.
posted by eas98
on May 19, 2004 -
The War Times Journal
is an on-line magazine which covers all periods of military history and military science. Within you'll find content ranging from illustrated articles to dispatch and memoir reprints to interactive maps and timelines, all well presented and totally free.
posted by ewagoner
on Mar 17, 2003 -