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Warfare Through the Ages Roman, Greek, Japanese, etc. Topics cover all manner of pre-modern warfare and empire-building and crushing.

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  #61  
Old 22 Jun 07, 08:00
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like i said a real head scratcher, the celts had hundreds of deities and maintained shrines at sacred trees, but could it possibly be to keep the spirits of their enemies away?.
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  #62  
Old 22 Jun 07, 08:02
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Originally Posted by mike brown View Post
like i said a real head scratcher, the celts had hundreds of deities and maintained shrines at sacred trees, but could it possibly be to keep the spirits of their enemies away?.
That's right Mike ! To keep evil spirits away...We are almost there, but how?



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  #63  
Old 22 Jun 07, 08:22
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The Celts believed that if they attached the head of their enemy to a pole or a fence near their house, the head would start crying when the enemy was near. If the head was taken from an enemy who was important enough, they would put it in a church and pray to it believing it had magic powers.
But you said it was shiny, so perhaps the reflection scared them away.
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  #64  
Old 22 Jun 07, 11:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike brown View Post
The Celts believed that if they attached the head of their enemy to a pole or a fence near their house, the head would start crying when the enemy was near. If the head was taken from an enemy who was important enough, they would put it in a church and pray to it believing it had magic powers.
But you said it was shiny, so perhaps the reflection scared them away.
So maybe the Celts decapitated their enemies and hung the heads from tree limbs to scare away the rest of the opposition? Then, over time the heads were replaced with shiny balls symbolic of the severed heads? Is that why Red/Green are the colors of Xmas? Red for the blood, and green for the evergreen?
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  #65  
Old 22 Jun 07, 13:24
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Originally Posted by mike brown View Post
The Celts believed that if they attached the head of their enemy to a pole or a fence near their house, the head would start crying when the enemy was near. If the head was taken from an enemy who was important enough, they would put it in a church and pray to it believing it had magic powers.
But you said it was shiny, so perhaps the reflection scared them away.
That's right !!! The origin of hanging balls in the Christmas trees originates from the Ol' Celts...
The Celtic New Year started on the 31 of november (start of the "Samhain"), it was on this date that the dead and living were the closest together ! Spirits, ghosts and goblins were supposedly free to roam the land of the living. Therefore the Celts had the practice of hanging shiny and mirror-like pieces of glass from their cheminees and entrances. If then, these sprits were to try and come in, they would see their own reflection and be frightened off, thus the Celtic families could be left at peace !!!!
Later on, the Germanic tribes took over this custom...but they used this custom during their Yule celebrations, late december. In this period the Germans had a tree in their midst as a sign of "hope" (hope = the tree that still grows in times that everything else dies) in these dark winter times ! But since they were also afraid of spirits and ghosts, they decided to hang shiny stuff in their trees and thus mix their customs, with that of the old Celts !!!



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  #66  
Old 22 Jun 07, 14:12
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Originally Posted by Stratego View Post
The Welsh archers were very popular ever since the Anglo-Scottish wars and most certainly after the Battle of Crécy in 1346 ! The archers were so in demand, that King Edward forbade all the sports in his kingdom instead of archery ! All young kids were supposed to play with bow and arrow...
In the early years of thE Hundred Years War, because there was a dire need for archers (because until then only the Welsh were professional archers) the Welsh archers were ransomed ! Only thing is no great amounts of prisoners, because the French lost almost every battle and therefore there were practically no prisoners to be ransomed...
I also have my doubts regarding the article on Francois Rabelais...where did he get the information from if he is the first to write about it? He must have got it somewhere...
As for the historian Francois Froissart: Since he mentions the V sign, before the battle of Agincourt (since he had passed away by then), this is an indication that the use of the V sign was used by the archers BEFORE the battle of Agincourt ! Thus already in the first years of the war...as I mentioned above....



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Does Froissart actually described the sign as being a V or does he simply say that the fingers were wiggled at the French? Urban legends usually have an odor which distinguishes them and this one is quite smelly in my opinion.
  #67  
Old 22 Jun 07, 17:08
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Originally Posted by guthrieba View Post
Does Froissart actually described the sign as being a V or does he simply say that the fingers were wiggled at the French? Urban legends usually have an odor which distinguishes them and this one is quite smelly in my opinion.
Well...I wasn't there, so I cannot tell if it is true or not...but If this is what has been told to me since high school, I'm certainly not going to have a change of mind now !!! It don't matter anyways...this whole site is based upon what's been told to us by books and teachers...Who says anything is 100 % true ????


Sorry for being so philosophical guthrieba...but what you say may be true also !!!!





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  #68  
Old 23 Jun 07, 05:07
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Originally Posted by Stratego View Post
Well...I wasn't there, so I cannot tell if it is true or not...but If this is what has been told to me since high school, I'm certainly not going to have a change of mind now !!! It don't matter anyways...this whole site is based upon what's been told to us by books and teachers...Who says anything is 100 % true ????


Sorry for being so philosophical guthrieba...but what you say may be true also !!!!





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quite right stratego, there is always someone coming up with a different version of history, but with medieval who can say what is right or wrong.
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Last edited by Post Captain; 23 Jun 07 at 08:25..
  #69  
Old 25 Jun 07, 16:16
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German spies/saboteurs at the Battle of the Bulge

Well, well....time for another strange history fact !!!!
I'm sure you all heard about the Battle of the Bulge that Hitler started at the end of the year 1944 ! It was his last attempt to stop the allied advance and therefore, for him, of utmost importance...
Little source were left unused in order to get the allied advance on it's knees, and every source of intelligence regarding the allied positions and their state were more than welcome to the Germans. Therefore, all along the front in the Ardennes, Germans that could speak English, or better "American", were sent behind the allied lines to gather information or to do sabotage. They had received extensive training in the "American" ways and language, the formations they would face once behind the lines and the papers the American soldiers would carry on them, just in case they were stopped and interrogated...everything was perfect on these Germans, except for one minor detail !!! Due to this detail, they were always caught by the American soldiers and the Germans never knew why...can you guess what was wrong with these German spies/saboteurs ????



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  #70  
Old 25 Jun 07, 16:29
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Originally Posted by Stratego View Post
everything was perfect on these Germans, except for one minor detail !!! Due to this detail, they were always caught by the American soldiers and the Germans never knew why...can you guess what was wrong with these German spies/saboteurs ????
Hm... asking them who won the World Series, or something along those lines? Speaking the language and knowing the culture are two vastly different things. :)
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Old 25 Jun 07, 17:17
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I remember having read that American MPs at checkpoints during that period used to ask question like what is the capitol of a US state. In that way a 'sterling' US colonel? was detained for hours by suspicious MPs because he failed to name the capitol of California.
As this is hardly a foolproof method, I'm inclined to think that we have to look for correct answers at the behaviour or appearance of these infiltrators rather than to testing of their knowledge of Americana.
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  #72  
Old 25 Jun 07, 18:48
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Originally Posted by captainsennef View Post
...I'm inclined to think that we have to look for correct answers at the behaviour or appearance of these infiltrators rather than to testing of their knowledge of Americana.
That's right Sennef...you started well...keep on guessing !



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  #73  
Old 26 Jun 07, 12:13
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Hm... okay, maybe they had the American flag on their uniforms backwards/upside down/on the wrong sleeve?
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Old 26 Jun 07, 12:27
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was there also a question about who was married to Betty Grable, the forces pinup.
also i heard that the jeeps lights the Germans used were diffused that is like blinkered whereas the Americans did not.
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  #75  
Old 26 Jun 07, 12:42
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Originally Posted by captainsennef View Post
I remember having read that American MPs at checkpoints during that period used to ask question like what is the capitol of a US state. In that way a 'sterling' US colonel? was detained for hours by suspicious MPs because he failed to name the capitol of California. :D
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Greif):

Quote:
Military policemen drilled servicemen on things which every American was expected to know, such as the identity of Mickey Mouse's girlfriend, baseball scores, or the capital of their state. This latter question resulted in the brief detention of General Omar Bradley himself; although he gave the correct answer -- Springfield (Illinois) -- the GI who questioned him apparently believed that the capital was Chicago.
I knew I had heard the thing about baseball scores somewhere before. :)
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