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The History Kid

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  1. Hmmmm…the traits they pulled were interesting at least. Just not entirely sure I agree with them using a trait rather than a sample of questions. I feel like you'd get better results with that.
  2. The Quick Fact ones are difficult to do the categorization simply because it's almost word vomit. lol I've had to do this lately simply because there has been a steady stream of "SHTF" at work lately. This particular one ended up being a bit longer than I was kind of hoping for. I'll take a look at some of the others though. Some of these are old enough that there's no real good photo use. I've considered using the mapping software I use at work for these writeups, but I'd have to reduce their frequency - and right now, I really just wanted to get the group back to life again. Noted though, and when I revisit these Quick Facts later for full posts, I'll look into all of these suggestions. Will make sure on the future main-line topics to include a few of these though.
  3. That's just life sometimes, my friend. It's a good weekend for whatever this mess is that's on my home office desk anyway. Walls of water outside, humid as all hell, and I'm in the middle of them tearing up my kitchen. Not like there's much I can do around here cept work anyway at this point.
  4. Buddy, that ain't even the half of it. haha
  5. One of the last Indian Wars to be fought east of the Mississippi River was located in the northern reaches of the river valley. It traces its roots to 1804, when American settlers began to cultivate lands that belonged to the Sauk tribe near the Cuivre River. Sauk warriors sacked the settlement and killed the settlers. However, the Sauk Chiefs denounced the murders, and two of them travelled to the settlement of St. Louis to denounce the murders to the American government and, as a sign of good will, bring gifts to make amends. Unfortunately for them, the American government had a different idea in store. Upon bringing one of the braves responsible, the Americans proceeded to imprison the brave and "misleadingly" draw the two chiefs into a signatory agreement ceding a large track of land that included western Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and east central Missouri. The treaty was for an immediate payment of roughly $2,000 with annual amounts of around $1,000 to the tribe. This might be in the form of currency, but more likely would have been in goods and supplies. However, this agreement was invalid by the law of both the Sauk and the neighboring and intermingled Fox tribes. By the codices of the tribe, all tribe chiefs must be present and agree to the terms of an agreement. At the time of the signing, only two of around thirty chiefs were present. This resulted in the agreement being null to the tribes. However, in the American law, the land was rightfully American territory at this juncture. Most of the tribes did not quarrel with this matter and relocated west of the Mississippi. A small faction of Sauk people led by Black Hawk, however, remained at their capitol at Saukenuk. By 1816, the government had decided to garrison a large island in the middle of the Mississippi River for the U.S. Army. They were aware of unrest in the region, and the tribes that were in the region had previously aligned themselves with the British in the War of 1812. The island was several miles up river from where the Rock River met the Mississippi. Just a few miles up the Rock River from this location was the village of Saukenuk. The native tribes changed residence in the winter months. Black Hawk and his group left Saukenuk in the Fall of 1831 to return in the Spring of 1832 to find American settlers there. The tribe ran off the settlers, and the Americans evicted Black Hawk from the settlement. Black Hawk, however, did not recognize the agreement as valid, and proceeded to cross down stream of the river to reoccupy Saukenuk. In his group were braves, women, and children. The U.S. government recognized Black Hawk's movement as an act of war, and proceeded to dispatch the garrison at Rock Island to intercept him. Black Hawk's trail took him well within the state of Illinois, looking to out maneuver and outrun the U.S. Army that was in pursuit. His intention, upon discovering that he was alone in his quest to reclaim the land, was to retreat back across the Mississippi. However, the U.S. Army's movement prohibited this. He proceeded north, crossing into Wisconsin (fun fact: it was originally Ouisconsing). The U.S. Army by this time had determined that he was attempting to make his way back across the river. They planned to intercept him and his band, doing so at the Battle of Bad Axe in Wisconsin. Black Hawk himself was captured, while many of the braves in the group fought to their demise. After the conclusion of the war, Black Hawk was displaced and sent to Washington where he lived out the rest of his life. The Black Hawk War effectively ended all Indian resistance east of the Mississippi River, and settlements had begun to push across into Iowa, Northeast Missouri, and Minnesota. With this, Fort Armstrong at Rock Island was abandoned at the conclusion of the conflict in 1833.
  6. It depends. It used to be that single volumes provided more in the way of artistic collection. Anymore, it seems like the only thing you can get are series and seasons though. The advent of the BluRay changed all that. I've slowly been trimming down my DVD collection in favor of BluRay replacements. There are exceptions though, and some series will never get a BluRay update. I don't care either way, I just want the content to be quality.
  7. I just started going through a stack of papers, documents, and books...so that's progress.
  8. Prior to me signing on at work, there was a woman at our museum - a temp - whose name was Ellesta. Was certainly unique. But come on now, everyone knows the coolest names are Leonitus and Titus...
  9. The term "mound builder" collectively refers to an indigenous people who used earthen mounds for a various assortment of purposes. In some instances, mounds were used as mass graves, or single graves for important or divine individuals. In other instances, they were used for ceremonial purposes. The mounds, in many ways, are akin to the pyramid designs in Egypt and the stepped pyramids of Mesoamerica. The largest concertation of mound builders was centered on the Mississippi River Valley and the tributary rivers. The most famous example of these mounds is in Cahokia, where the mound structures there indicate an immense civilization once dwelled there. Mississippian culture is defined as a nation, or nations, that were centered exclusively on the Mississippi ranging from just north of Prairie Du Chien south to approximately Cape Girardeau. It may have extended as far west as the Red Hills, and as far east as the eastern end of Lake Erie. There are some discrepancies depending on the sources you reference. This nation would have existed from approximately 900 CE to around 1400 CE. For a comparison, the reign of the pharaoh in ancient Egypt ran from about 3100 BCE to around 100 BCE, and the Olmec's lived in Mesoamerica between 1200 and 400 BCE. There is an exception to this however, and it is this exception that is the most curious and has fascinated scholars for quite some time: Cahokia. The settlement of Cahokia peaked sometime between 1200 and 1300 CE. Some estimations put this relic city's population upwards of 50,000, making it the largest northern settlement up to that point in the Americas. The ancient city of Teotihuacan predated Cahokia as the largest settlement in 450 CE with a population of almost a quarter million. Cahokia had no fewer than ten mounds clustered around what was believed to be a city center. Outward from this center extended numbers of smaller huts and mud structures. Archeological surveys conducted at this site continue to expand the city outward, and population estimates continue to increase. The upper limit of the population suggested approaches 100,000 - which would make it the largest mound city to be built. There is still some mystery surrounding the abandonment of Cahokia. However, the most likely reason can be found further south in the westernized settlement of Kaskaskia. Here, Americans had settled what was once the state capitol of Illinois territory. When the capitol was moved in the 1820s, much of the population moved to the state center. However, Kaskaskia remained an incorporated town for a while after that. It was not until floods struck Kaskaskia that the population dwindled. It is theorized that the volatile nature of floods on the Mississippi is especially voracious in this part of the river. The river may have flooded the town or caused long-term damage to hunting or vegetation in the area. Repetitive floods may have also caused the issue, such as what happened in Kaskaskia. Elsewhere on the Mississippi, some mounds have been carbon dated to as early as 4500 BCE. These mounds, predating the Mississippian, were found in Louisiana - officially putting humans as far south and east into the Americas as Baton Rouge. Falling squarely in the Archaic period, these mounds represent the earliest known settlements in the United States, and some of the oldest settlements in North America - predated only by the Lithic era. Many different types of mounds served many different purposes, as previously stated. One of the most fascinating types of mound are the ones that take the form of spiraling serpents. The most famous of these is the Serpent Mound in Ohio, but many others - such as the one in Dubuque - exist in far smaller scale. The exact purpose of these mounds is unknown. Thousands of these structures can be found along and east of the Mississippi River and throughout the eastern seaboard. West of the river - especially beyond Missouri - soil composition was not conducive for such features. However, there are many examples of unique design, architecture, and art in ancient findings in the Rocky Mountains and points west as well. Cahokia remains the best kept and intact example of the mound builders. Today, a state sanctioned museum operates depicting the history of the mound builders and the old city of Cahokia proper. Monks Mound also remains relatively intact and is a UNESCO National Historic Site. Make plans if you ever plan to visit Illinois!
  10. Back to school is always a noble ambition. Are you looking at a particular field within Media? (Have I asked this already? - Apologies if I have.)
  11. World War I saw many new technological advances on the battlefield. Widespread use of the submarine made open waters unsafe for civilians and navies, steel coffin tanks littered fields where crops used to grow, and eyes in the sky could see your every move. War was fought in the trenches, and once the lines were dug in, there was little movement and few gains. To break this stalemate, Russia’s high command (Stavka) was tasked with relieving stress on the Entente powers in France by increasing stress on Germany’s eastern front. The hope was to draw Central forces away from Verdun to allow for reinforcements and fortification. Two generals established plans for the Russian army: the first was GEN Alexei Evert, who proposed a defensive plan; the second was GEN Aleksei Brusilov, who proposed a full out offensive strike against the Austrian-Hungarian army. The Stavka opted to go with Brusilov’s plan, which included four separate armies comprised of smaller and more specialized units that would focus on weak points within the enemy lines. He faced a narrowly smaller Austrian force that was reinforced later by German forces. Brusilov, however, would not have any reinforcements, putting all of his reserves on the front lines with the main attacking force. With the massive entrenchments dug out and making their way towards the Austrian front, Brusilov and his armies were prepared to launch the largest Russian show of force in the entirety of World War I. His goal was effectively to launch a surprise attack across the entirety of his southwestern front towards the town of Lutsk, and to knock the Austrian-Hungarian Army out of the war entirely while siphoning off German forces from the French front. The offensive launched on 4 June 1916 with an artillery barrage against the Austrians, breaking through the lines swiftly, the Russians continued onward. This was attributed to Brusilov’s accurate assessment of weak points in the Austrian line. Keeping momentum, the Russians continued onward to recapture Lutsk by 8 June. The tremendous speed at which the Russians were making headway had staggered the Austrians, but Evert — still unsure of the success of the operation — did not advance. This caused flaws to open in the Russian advance, and allowed the Germans a chance to fill in the Austrian lines. By 20 September 1916, Brusilov’s forces had pushed to the doorstep of the Carpathians. Noting the success of Brusilov’s front, the Stavka continued to feed more men into Brusilov’s ranks and siphoning them off from Evert. This came long after Evert’s attacks had stalled earlier in the year and progress had slowed on his front. The sector of combat that was commanded by Brusilov was largely successful, but on all other fronts it faltered significantly. The offensive took its toll of roughly two million casualties over the course of four months. The losses on the side of the Russians amounted upwards of half a million. It is contended today that this offensive contributed to the collapse of the Russian Army due to the short amount of time that the losses were built. The majority of Central casualties were suffered by the Austro-Hungarian forces, which was the goal of the Russian Army. They also succeeded in forcing the Germans to cease the attack on Verdun on the western front. By these points, the Brusilov Offensive was successful. Germany, however, remained a viable enemy, and the fighting that was still to come between the last half of 1916 thru 1918 would still prove to be fierce. Historian John Keegan described the offensive in his 2000 book The First World War as: “the greatest victory seen on any front since the trench lines had been dug.” Indeed, Keegan’s description seems to accurately peg the brilliance of Brusilov’s plan, as the methods of combat used would set the stage for German tactics in their blitzkrieg battles during World War II. The same tactics that were devised by Brusilov would be used to stop the Axis Powers less than thirty years later as World War II came to a close. * This article is a reprint of a publication date 15 May 2018. It was published by the U.S. Army. I composed and edited this article prior to its forward to the printing presses on 10 May. I opted to do this reprint because I just don't have the time this evening to write up a scratch article like usual. Normal posts will return tomorrow!
  12. Yes, it sucks a bit money wise. There are some programs that offer the process cheaper, and others that will omit x amount of fees. But here, the average cost is between $10-16k all said and done.
  13. It depends on you, really. Some people blow through it in 6 months, some take 2 years. I will probably call into the 2 year camp. Money is also an issue, as you have to pay out of topic for the plane and fuel, and that's not cheap at all. I am at about $5500 right now.
  14. There have already been arrests made related to this.
  15. Eventually I will get back to my pilots license. I had to stall out on my classes because the instructor I had fell ill suddenly, and no one else would take me on. It probably works out for the best though, since that was somewhat interfering with my other education. Still, the idea of getting off work on a Friday, renting a plane and heading anywhere for a weekend is a very attractive thought.
  16. It is customary for branches of the military to poke fun at each other. I will do this all day, and take a great amount of fake offense when it comes to my own branch. However, I'm going to muse a bit for this. Today marks the 72nd birthday of the United States Air Force. Keeping the skies over the United States and her allies safe has been no easy task, and the Air Force has had to stay several steps ahead of the competition in order to maintain that level of defense and readiness. However, that being said - military forces in the sky have been defending the nation since 1907, when the U.S. Army established the Aeronautical Division within the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The early Aeronautical Division was established mainly as a means to provide information to forces on the ground ahead of troop movement. It was also used to transport messages across previously known obstacles or distances. By and large, the Signal Corps was limited to operations on the ground still and maintained operations much in the same way that the modern Signal Corps does. World War I, however, emphasized the importance of the inclusion of aviation in the grand composure of a military force. When the United States entered the war in 1917, few aircraft were available, and most aircraft were not ready for the kind of warfare being fought in Europe. The result was that the U.S. forces largely used French and British aircraft for the duration of the war. The Army established the Air Service just before the war ended in 1918, but was largely still non-committal in the future of air power. From 1918 through the late 1920s, the Air Force received constant complain by various Army and Naval officers imploring them to increase the interest in air power. Major General William L. Mitchell was the loudest of these critics, citing that airpower was only going to increase due to the nature of the asset in an evolving battlefield. MG Mitchell's complaints ran all the way up to the Secretary of War, and resulted in a two rank demotion to Colonel before his discharge in 1925. The onset of the Great Depression also meant that the armed forces were scrambling for money, with most U.S. Army training occurring with wooden sticks as guns and idle cutouts of jeeps to represent tanks. The need for air power was at the rear of their mind. By 1926, the Army went through a process of reorganization and realignment, thus renaming the Air Service to the Army Air Corps (USAAC). By the mid-to-late 1930s, it had become apparent that MG Mitchell's prophecy was coming true. The Army began to specify the needs of larger aircraft for the dedicated mission of bombing and attacking targets. Meanwhile, fighters, patrols, and escorts needed to have an increased speed to maintain relevancy. By the time World War II reached the United States in 1941, the USAAC had two dedicated medium bombers and four dedicated patrol/fighter aircraft in its arsenal. However, the recession had still grasped firmly much of the American manufacturing power. It was not until after the bombings that the Americans were able to produce aircraft in an appreciable number. By the time numbers began to mount in 1942, the Army had decided that it was no longer "simply a corps", instead it was a force. Thus in 1942, the Army renamed the corps to the Army Air Force (USAAF). The USAAF was the primary counter to the German Luftwaffe in World War II. They were the sole operators of P-51 Mustangs, P-38 Lightnings, and P-47 Thunderbolts. They flew bombing missions in the Combined Bomber Offensive with the British, mainly in B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-25 Mitchell (named in honor of MG Mitchell) bombers in Europe. In the Pacific, the USAAF operated B-29 Superfortresses, included the Enola Gay and the Bockscar, the two B-29's responsible for dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The USAAF piloted the first jet powered aircraft, including the P-80 Shooting Star and the Bell X-1 (the first aircraft publicly documented to break the sound barrier). In 1947, the War Department opted to establish the Department of the Air Force as a subordinate department, and the United States Air Force (USAF) was born. Over the last seventy-two years, the Air Force has been tasked with the responsibility of transporting forces, materiel, both domestic and foreign. It has also been charged with national defense, controlling two of the three principle components of the nuclear triad. Close Air Support is provided by the USAF for troops fighting on the front lines, and top cover allows the U.S. military a better means to project force where it needs it most. Many aeronautical innovations lend can trace their existence to the establishment of the USAF and the requirements that have been set forth. The USAF is the primary defense provider for the skies over the U.S. and joint defense for many other nations around the world. Happy birthday, big blue! You couldn't have done it without us, but we couldn't do it without you!
  17. Commentary This is one of those ideas that you read about and it just makes you scratch your head. There are many different versions of ideas like this: the "is that really a good idea?"; the "no way"; and the "oh God, I gotta see this." Fortunately, the Davy Crockett fulfills all three of these particular categories. There are not a lot of surviving documents on the Davy Crockett today, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately). However, I have compiled a limited quantity of information for posting here. It's an entertaining read that required a foreword, and will require some commentary from me afterwards as well. Enjoy! The M-28/29 Davy Crockett Recoilless Tactical Atomic Gun During the peak of the Cold War, deployment of nuclear arsenals was the staple of the military strategy. By and large, nuclear weapons were deterred with other nuclear weapons. This manifested mainly in the form of the deployment of nuclear capable bombers, warships, ballistic missiles, and eventually submarines. Early on, this also included short range weaponry, however. Projectiles such as the Honest John were deployed as little as 17 miles from their intended point-of-impact zones. However, the U.S. was experimenting with a more portable means to deploy these weapons than a predictable missile site. The result was the introduction of cannons and guns capable of firing an atomic round. This included the aptly named "nuke bazooka." Developed in the late 1950s and then deployed in various regions as a means to contain communist regimes, the M-28 Davy Crockett weapon system was assigned in substantial quantities to various divisions in Europe and Asia. The primary deployment zones were in the still hot DMZ of Korea, and the uncertain and heightened risk area of the Fulda Gap. Equipped with a bulbous atomic round at the front, the projectile produced a yield roughly equivalent to 30 tons of TNT. For comparison, the atomic bombings in Japan were 16-21 kilotons of TNT. The deployment of the weapon was not necessarily to create devastating damage by explosion, but rather to increase the amount of radiation across a target area. It was during this time that the use of radiation walls to prevent invasions were considered feasible. However, the apparent results of radiation sickness and affect on U.S. soldiers in the proposed plan became more apparent by the 1960s. With this revelation, the deployment of atomic weaponry for radiation walls was slowly culled and replaced with more intermediate deterrents. Still, variations of the Davy Crocket continued with conventional weaponry, and the system continued operation in limited quantities through the 1970s. It is unclear exactly what changes were required to make the gun compatible with a conventional round, and most chassis modifications occurred on the gun itself, not the projectile. The last known firing of any Davy Crockett was in 1975, and the last known atomic round was in 1964. Two versions of the Davy Crockett exists within the atomic and conventional typing: mounted and mobile. Both were technically mobile since the mounted version was attached to a jeep. However, the mobile version was able to be broken down into three parts and easily stowed for quick movement. The Unplugged Commentary To put this into perspective for everyone: consider this literally to be it's unofficial name - a "nuke bazooka." As I have told people in lectures before, the Davy Crockett required two men to fire...somewhat successfully. Ideally, you'd select a day where the wind was blowing away from you. Your buddy would be in a jeep downrange and start driving towards you as fast as he could. Just before he reaches you, you fire the weapon. If you timed it right, you jump into the bed of the jeep as he drives by and you speed away. The weapon impacts. And you still get sick from radiation poisoning and probably die. Thus is the tale of one of the...ickiest ideas we've had in our military weapons history. If you find this system interesting, there are a few surviving examples. My favorite goes to the Atomic Testing Museum in Nevada, where the projectile is painted a hotrod red. Really gives it that "baboon's butt" look. Oy...
  18. Bryce and Wedgy pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. Caution, plans, get to know the person well. All that. Interested to hear how it went for you. Be safe.
  19. Spanning nearly the entirety of the war in Europe was the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO). Rather, it was "combined" when the Americans entered the war in 1941, with the first raids beginning in 1942. The CBO accounted for over three and a half million tons of bombs that were dropped on targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Poland. It is the largest aerial bombing campaign up to that point in time, and would not be surpassed until Operation Linebacker in Vietnam. The CBO targeted primarily Luftwaffe targets: air bases, manufacturing facilities, and V weapon launching sites. Unlike previous bombing campaigns, the CBOwas utilized as a method of destroying the German air superiority that had terrorized the Allies up through the middle of 1943. While other operations within the overall offensive included attacks on oil and especially rubber plants, most air strikes in some way had to do with the crippling of war industry. The mindset of the Allies was that if the Germans had no aircraft, it would significantly reduce their ability to project war onto the frontlines and enforce their hegemony behind their lines. This proved generally true, especially by the time of Operation Overlord, where only two German aircraft approached the operation airspace. They immediately retreated when discovering the numbers of Allied forces, unable to muster up and means to retaliate. Future bombing campaigns would be carried out against the Messerschmitt plant, where the primary target was the production of double-engine and jet fighters, particularly the model 262. Not all of the bombing campaigns were entirely within the realm of purpose, however. The CBO's biggest plight came with the air raid on Dresden, destroying thousands of pieces of artwork and damaging historic architecture in the city. It was an operation blunder for the Allies, and the damage to the art industry has never fully recovered, being one of the biggest losses in World War II after Monte Cassino and the theft of art by the Nazi's. The CBO operated with a standard method of procedure, with the British attacking at night, flying with no cover, and flying generally in single file. British attacks were more indiscriminate, with attacks being carried out on industry and neighborhoods near them. The Americans opted to fly during the day in a spread out formation with fighter cover. These attacks were more precise, but any bombing during the campaign was a far cry from what we consider to be accurate today. A hit was considered to be a strike within three to five miles of a target, and a bulls-eye was considered to be a one mile radius around the target.
  20. I'm just glad I don't have any money out there.
  21. Lions over the Chargers? Maaaan, I ain't even mad about my fantasy being screwed.
  22. Iowa beat State yesterday, so it's automatically a good weekend.
  23. This is late, but this is posted in one of our buildings near the commissary and event hall.

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