Category: war

Amazing photos of African American women at work during World…

Amazing photos of African American women at work during World War II.

Meet the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team…

The United States’ government interned ethnic Japanese who lived in the western United States in camps, at the outbreak of World War II. In addition, all Japanese-American men of draft age, except those already in the armed forces, were classified as 4-C, enemy aliens, forbidden to serve their country. The Japanese government used the internment camps, and military prohibition, as propaganda in Asia. Look, they said – this is a racial conflict! All Asians might fight against the anti-Asian Americans!

In response, the United States government decided to allow some Japanese to join the military. In 1943, the Army started recruiting in the internment camps for a special, segregated unit. This would be the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team. Many military leaders were reluctant to have Japanese Americans fighting under them. General Eisenhower’s staff had initially rejected the idea of Japanese-American troops, but General Mark Clark, commander of the Fifth Army in Italy, had said that he would “take anybody that will fight”.

The 442nd became one of the most decorated units in World War II. And after 25 years, twenty surviving members of the 442nd would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor – the United States’ highest award for valor. Sadly, it took 25 years for the US government to look past the skin of men who died to protect it.

What Was The Maratha Empire?

Sandwiched between the decline of one great empire, and the rise of another, the Maratha Empire lasted just under 150 years. Here’s the story of those 150 years.

40 fascinating color photographs that capture everyday life on…

40 fascinating color photographs that capture everyday life on the banks of the Seine River, Paris in 1941.

CdV of a Knights Templar, 1865.

CdV of a Knights Templar, 1865.

The Syrian Civil War: Every Day

From March 2011, to March 2018.

The Last Samurai

The year was 1868 and the Boshin War – also known as the Japanese Revolution – had made its way north to the the city of Aizu. The Aizu Clan was locked in battle with the Imperial Army, who were trying to restore the power of the Japanese Emperor to rule the country. Aizu was on the side of those who wanted to keep the shogunate system, where power lay in the hands of feudal lords and the samurai they employed. This battle here would be one of the last. The castle at Aizu was besieged and, after a month, the rulers surrendered.

There was a particularly famous incident that occurred during the Battle of Aizu. A group of teenage warriors, 16 or 17 years old, had retreated to a hill from which to survey the battle and figure out what to do next. Called Byakkotai, their unit was intended to be reserve warriors, who fought if things got dire. And things were very dire: looking down on the city the Byakkotai saw flames consuming everything. The castle had fallen! The last stronghold of the Aizu was gone. Rather than surrender and lose their honor, the young soldiers drew their swords and committed suicide.

What makes the Byakkotai’s story so tragic – and famous – was that they were wrong. The castle had not fallen, yet, although parts of the city of Aizu were indeed on fire. They died for nothing.

It was the beginning of the end and it wouldn’t be long until the Emperor Meiji was able to take control of all of Japan. After their defeat the armies of Aizu and its allies were banished, and lost all status – and as samurai under a shogunate they had been near the top of the totem pole in Japan. It was a big loss. A loss that echoed across the entire country as samurai everywhere lost their privileges and had to adapt to a new way of living.

Apparently, Spain and France Are Great at Keep…

In 1659, when Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain met to sign the Treaty of the Pyrenees following the Thirty Years’ War, they did so on Pheasant Island, an uninhabited island in the Bidasoa river between their two nations.

Ever since, the island has remained under joint sovereignty. But only one country has sovereignty at any given time. The island is governed alternately by Spain and France, changing hands every six months.

The Father of the Angevin Empire

Geoffrey V of Anjou was born on August 24th, 1113. He was the eldest son of Foulques V d’Anjou and Eremburga de La Flèche, daughter of Elias I, Count of Maine. Geoffrey was the heir to several important titles and properties that took up a good chunk of southern France. And it did not hurt that he grew into a good-looking, strapping young lad as well. He was often called Geoffrey le Bel for his good looks, or Geoffrey Plantagenet, for the yellow sprig of broom blossom (genêt) that he habitually wore in his hats.

Thanks to some good publicity, King Henry I of England heard enough good things about Geoffrey to decide he was worthy of marrying the king’s only surviving legitimate child, dowager Empress Matilda, the widow of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. Matilda was less than thrilled to be marrying a teenager who eleven years younger than herself.They married in 1128. Matilda was 26, Geoffrey was 15. The marriage was unhappy – Matilda left him shortly after the marriage for England and had to be persuaded to return – but it produced three healthy boys which was frankly the whole point, to old King Henry I. Their eldest son, named Henry after his grandfather, would become Henry II of England through his mother as well as Count of Anjou through his father.

There was a nasty little civil war first, nicknamed “The Anarchy,” because English nobility really did not want a woman running England. Matilda had to fight her first cousin, Stephen, who was less directly in the line of succession but was born with that all-important Y chromosome. The Anarchy was ended when all parties agreed that Stephen could be king in his lifetime, but he would leave the kingdom to Matilda’s sons. So in the end Geoffrey V was the founder of the Plantagenet dynasty and the Angevin dynasty, which would rule over the united kingdom of England and more than half of France, through the 1200s. It was so large that it got upgraded to Empire status! The Angevin Empire, after their original title as overlords of Anjou.

There’s lots of things that resulted from this one marriage between Matilda and Geoffrey. The War of the Roses, the 100 Years’ War, the Magna Carta…. and all because a blue-blooded 26-year-old was forced to marry another blue-blood who just happened to be 15-years-old.

This Helmet Has A Tail

Technically, its a Thracian helmet from the Odrysian Kingdom, between 431 and 424 BCE. But really, does it not look like a tail?