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The Vietnam Center and Archive

The Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive "collects and preserves the documentary record of the Vietnam War, and supports and encourages research and education regarding all aspects of the American Vietnam Experience." It includes vast sections of digitized material, including audio, video, maps, as well as all manner of documents. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jul 2, 2014 - 7 comments

The Giants of Potsdam

"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 - 18 comments

I promise there's a pith helmet involved.

For the better entertainment of Reddit's What's In This Thing, a Glasgow lass offered to open up one of the trunks in her attic. Of course, when you grow up in a 700-year-old Scottish castle, you have considerably more interesting trunks in your attic than most people.... Video of opening the trunk [1], [2]. Or if you just want to cut to the chase, here's an extensive imgur gallery of some of the astonishingly well-preserved finds.
posted by Diablevert on May 1, 2013 - 62 comments

The Continuation of Clausewitz by Other Means

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 - 11 comments

The coalition of tyrants will learn that they are loathed equally by men of all colors.

Remember that what has once been done may be done again. Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers were inspired by the life of his father, Alexandre. However, Alexandre Sr. was not just a handsome swashbuckler or a vengeful former prisoner. The boy who came from Haiti to France as “slave Alexandre” in 1776 had, by the age of 32, become commander-in-chief of the French revolutionary army in the Alps, eventually leading 53,000 troops to victory against formidably trained Austrian alpine forces. [more inside]
posted by Currer Belfry on Nov 28, 2012 - 24 comments

No parades for these veterans

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 - 27 comments

Fighting for freedom over land and . . . more land

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 - 6 comments

C. P. Stacey on relations between US and Canada

The Undefended Border: the myth and the reality (PDF). In 1812, the US invaded Canada. Today, the US and Canada share the world's longest undefended border. What happened in between? Canadian historian C. P. Stacey discusses the history of relations between the US and Canada from the War of 1812 to the Treaty of Washington in 1871. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong on Jun 7, 2011 - 39 comments

Phillipine-American War in Photographs

A photographic history of the Philippine-American War.
posted by Atreides on Feb 11, 2010 - 20 comments

"Well, we will write our memoirs."

The Napoleon Series has been collecting Napoleonic scholarship since 1995. Its monstrously replete archive includes articles on Napoleon's role in Jewish emancipation, the Institute of Egypt and its investigation of the Rosetta Stone, obscure British generals, the Malet Conspiracy, and the never realized North American Empire; memoirs from the Russian Archives; and a massive collection of maps and battlefield tours.
posted by Iridic on Dec 4, 2008 - 4 comments

Gallipoli

Gallipoli 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 - 82 comments

Kano Collection of old Japanese books and scrolls

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 - 9 comments

The Battle of Rorke's Drift

This epic battle scene from Zulu was great cinema, but wasn't quite accurate historically. [more inside]
posted by RussHy on Jan 23, 2008 - 38 comments

Modern Military Ruins of San Francisco

Modern Military Ruins in San Francisco. Really awesome Flickr set includes documentation of Hunters Point Shipyard, Treasure Island Naval Station, Alameda Naval Air Station, the SF-88 Nike Missile Site, Hamilton Field Air Force Base, and Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
posted by otherwordlyglow on Jun 12, 2007 - 30 comments

It's HistoricalAnalogyFilter!

Donald Rumsfeld's recent speech at the American Legion Convention has revived interest in the 1938 Munich pact between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler and its use as an analogy in foreign policy debates. Military historian Jeffrey Record weighs in with Appeasement Reconsidered: Investigating the Mythology of the 1930s. Michael Cairo examines how analogical reasoning based on "the lesson of Munich" influenced the first Gulf War and Clinton's intervention in Kosovo. Juan Cole argues against "the crock of appeasement" as applied to the Middle East, whereas MacGregor Duncan claims that the Munich analogy has caused us to underestimate the diplomatic value of appeasement. Finally, Pat Buchanan claims the Islamo-fascist label is historically inaccurate (or is he worried that non-Islamic fascists get a bad rap?).
posted by jonp72 on Sep 2, 2006 - 40 comments

Military History links

Whether you are looking for Soviet War Photos or some free monographs, this incredible collection of military history links should be your first stop.
posted by mattbucher on Aug 7, 2006 - 23 comments

War? Its History!

The U.S. Navy has one. So does the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force. They're history research centers and their corresponding websites. Some are great, some aren't as great. They offer photographs of planes, soldiers, Honored Marines, and ships. Also available are official histories. The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships is interesting to peruse, but there's also oral history transcripts from Vietnam. Coast Guard fan? Everything you need to know about lighthouses.
posted by Atreides on Jul 17, 2006 - 5 comments

Military History Online

Attention history geeks. The US Army Military History Institute has tons of documents online [almost all following links are .pdf]. There are lots of "staff rides" from the 1980's and 1990's, but some digging will unearth some primary documents, such as Pershing's Report on the Mexican Punitive Expedition (Oct. 1916), Sheridan's Engagements with Hostile Indians, 1868 - 1892. [mi]
posted by marxchivist on Nov 16, 2005 - 5 comments

The Crusades

"In histories of the crusading movement the Second Crusade generally figures briefly as a fiasco..." From the stupendous six volume A History of the Crusades online at the University of Wisconsin.
At Fordham's Internet Medieval Sourcebook, one can see maps of all the early Crusades (as well as taking a Medieval Geography Quiz). Here is a "clickable" map of The First Crusade. Also at Fordham is a fabulous account of the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187. At the Hanover Historical Texts Project read primary sources, mostly letters, about the Crusades, including this nice letter from Count Stephen to his wife Adele: "Next we conquered for the Lord all Romania." Manchester University has an extensive portal for information about the Crusades; and the Xenophon Group at the Military History Database has a great site giving overviews of all nine Crusades.
Finally, since everyone loves a picture, from the Bibliotheque nationale de France, here are some pictures from illuminated manuscripts. These ones of the sieges of Acre and Tunis are quite nice. Check out the archers!
posted by OmieWise on Sep 21, 2005 - 52 comments

Gwynne Dyer

Gwynne Dyer. Canadian journalist, military historian, and syndicated columnist to some 200+ newspapers worldwide, has recently released a new edition of his seminal work War with 70% new content. You may remember him as the host of the series War which ran in the early 1980s, one episode of which was nominated for an Academy Award. He has also written two other recent books, Ignorant Armies and Future : Tense, focusing on the conflict in Iraq and the recent changes in U.S. foreign policy . His website collects his syndicated articles, and recently posted his traditional year-end comments (more inside).
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 5, 2005 - 18 comments

Sex and violence

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 - 25 comments

Military History Online ("... the best and most interesting of the web ...")

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 - 1 comment

"Civil War, Revolutionary War and Pirate cannons

"Civil War, Revolutionary War and Pirate cannons could not harm tanks, half tracks, armored cars or self-propelled guns." Army Men, my friends, Army Men.
posted by rodii on Feb 6, 2002 - 21 comments

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