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The History Kid

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  1. The Second World War was fought with large leaps and bounds in technology. Truly, in the wars fought between the Age of Revolution in Europe and the Korean War, technology had made vast strides in each iteration of warfare. World War II saw the inclusion of enhanced armaments and armor, propulsion, and stand-off weapon systems. The British were largely successful with their Earthquake bombs, which are the ancestor of modern day Bunker Buster weapons. The American's made their mark with the atomic bomb. The German's had a suite of successful weapons systems that were deployed. The notorious V weapons systems. The V-1 The V-1 flying bomb was the first attempt to move away from long range artillery and rocket systems to a more substantial payload delivery system. The V-1 was launched initially from a large rail system where the booster on the bomb would gain acceleration. The pulsejet that was employed in the weapon is still a matter of research today, as the engineering and design behind this method of propulsion is not yet perfected. Guided by radio control, the bomb was designed to crash into its target, detonating two separate explosive shells in its main body. V-1's were launched in large quantity against London, with subsequent attacks continuing against France after the Normandy invasion. Attacks spanned between late 1942 and concluded by March of 1945. A small quantity of these bombs were launched from aircraft, but in generally the most common platform for launch was from the ground. Defense against V-1's proved to be precarious. The most frequently displayed method of downing a V-1 was through the use of "wing-tipping", where British Spitfire aircraft would fly alongside the bomb and tip the wing of the plane into the wing of the bomb, causing it to fly off course or crash. Anti-air defense systems were in place by 1944 over much of Britain, and allowed for additional defense against the V-1's, but the idea of filling the sky with led was not one that was pleasing to the British. By mid 1944, the Germans had begun to export the V-1 to Japan. However, none of these V-1's are ever known to have been fully assembled. About 23,000 casualties resulted from V-1 attacks from their first reported use against British cities in 1943 through the last attacks in Belgium in 1945. The V-2 The V-2 weapon system was the gateway system that eventually lead to the development of modern Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) systems. A standard design, the V-2 has the honor of being the first weapon to ever punch through the atmosphere and as such is the first manmade object ever to reach space. The V-2's existence at the end of World War II was one of the key justifications behind Operation Paperclip and the recovery of German scientists immediately following the war. In addition, it would be an American launched V-2 that would take the first picture of Earth from outside of the stratosphere in 1948. Unlike it's cousin, the V-1, the V-2 utilized its rocket purely for the purpose of achieving escape velocity. Gravity is what would bring the V-2 crashing into it's target after radio control adjusted the rockets trajectory towards its target. A larger design, the V-2 also allowed a much larger payload. The V-2 did not appear on the scene until after the Normandy invasions, and subsequently saw targets in the interior of France (namely, Paris), London, and Antwerp. V-2 launches continued well into 1945 until the Allies finally silenced Peenemunde. Air raids were typical at Peenemunde, however, their effectiveness was always at question due to the nature of the terrain. The initial raid - Hydra - included raids on the V-1 launching facilities and the V-2 research facilities. Of the many scientists and prisoners there, prisoners made up the bulk of the casualties in the bombing raids. The V-2 also was difficult to defend against. The incoming velocity of the rocket was such that there was no time to intercept it. Likewise, radar proved to be ineffective against an orbital threat. The British attempted to deploy various methods of jamming, but due to the rockets in-orbit trajectory adjustment, this proved to be largely minute in effectiveness. Raids on the V-2 launch sites proved to be the most effective means to stop the attacks. The Forgotten Weapon, The Original: V-3 In World War I, the Germans reportedly bombarded Paris from as far as 118 km with artillery fire. The Germans were not in regular artillery range at the time that the bombardment occurred. Subsequently, the Allies were concerned that the Germans were using new high altitude bombers. After the push back across the Rhine, the Allies discovered remnants of what appeared to be a large and powerful long range cannon. Studies suggested that the cannon may have been a weapon that had the range to strike Paris from its current location over 120 km away. In World War II, this gun resurfaced, but with a number of different modifications on it. The idea of long-range artillery was not new by this time. The V-3 cannon of World War II only has three known potential examples, and only two of these were deployed at any stage. They were generally 150 mm guns, and the deployed methods differ greatly from what recovered blueprints suggested for their actual application. Supposedly, the V-3 had a range of anywhere between 165 and 300 km, depending on the source cited. It was capable of up to 300 rounds per minute per barrel. This is where sources diverge on the application of the V-3. The weapon was either a standalone cannon that was deployed in a single battery, much like the Paris Gun of World War I, or it was a series of cannons that were deployed in a battery. Multiple-barrel concepts depict four to six barrels to a battery, and these depictions usually include an entire launching site consisting of four to eight different batteries. The V-3 system utilized a series of explosive charges within the barrel to accelerate a projectile to extremely high speeds. The velocity that the projectile would break through the end of the barrel would be such to allow it to travel over immense distances in a short amount of time. This hypothesis was not unique to the Germans having it's roots traced back to at least the 1880s when American designers came up with a similar concept for coastal artillery defense systems. Terrifying in theory, the V-3 suffered from a distinctive issue. None of the concepts had a method of setting azimuth or vector. Presumably, this could be corrected on an X axis, but a site crossing at a Y access would be required to provide full coverage - and even then, this would only address as many as thirty-two different vectors and as few as four, depending on the cluster being deployed. Nevertheless, the V-3 survived the Second World War, appearing in other weapon systems and research in subsequent years. Defensive Mechanisms As previously mentioned, defense of these weapons was difficult. The most effectively intercepted weapon was the V-1, due to its subsonic nature. No defenses were definitively effective against the V-2's or what limited deployment the V-3 may have had. It was found that the best defense against the V weapons was false reporting of casualties and damage. Reporting that London was "decimated" when a V-2 rocket landed in an open field causing little damage was the main means to deceive the enemy into firing away from populated areas. The V weapons were only one sequence of innovations the Germans had deployed during the Second World War, but they were the most notorious. Many other unique weapons were deployed, and dozens more were theorized or in prototype phase when the Third Reich collapsed. Most, if not all, of the V weapons however were not retired from service until well into the 1950s.
  2. I'm going to try to include AF in my daily essay writings to stay fresh for my academic essays and articles. I share some of this stuff on my site first, the really dense stuff, but others will get posted here first. I won't bore you all with the lines that get drawn between the two. In some rare cases, I might have a research piece that gets posted over there, so nothing would get posted here that day unless there's high demand for it. Generally, I will try to post an item Monday thru Saturday when time allows. No postings on holidays. Sourcing I generally don't do sourcing when I post general writeups online - however, I am more than amicable to those who would like more info. (An exclusion to this are what are referred to as "gray papers" - interchangeable with research pieces.) Posting As a historian, I am used to talking to myself, but I'd rather not - so please feel emboldened to respond, debate, argue, and throw things at any of the topics I have out there that you want. A Ph.D doesn't make you the definitive authority, and even if it did - I don't have one...yet. Also, please feel free to post interesting things on your own. Again, I'm used to talking to myself, but dialogues are so much more interesting. Currently On My List: (Updated each Sunday), Last on: 22 September 2019 Treaties & World War I The Atomic Bombings of Japan The Combined Bomber Offensive The Battles of Credit Island and Campbell's Island The Battles of Okinawa and Iwo Jima Music's Relationship with Vietnam The Legends of Mesoamerica The Mystery of Roanoke The Legend of Honshu: Oda Nobunaga Tales of a Feathered Serpent: The Significance of Quetzalcoatl Classifications Used: Quick Facts - These are quickly typed up facts that really are just being pulled out of my mind. I usually try not to spend more than a few minutes typing them up and will do so when I just don't have the time to dedicate what I need to the topic. Almost all Quick Facts will be revisited at some point. Repub - These are documents that I've previously published for work. As such, they didn't take any time to provide. These are my "last minute - oh crap" kind of posts, and I'll try to keep them to a minimum. Cross Section - Cross Sections are something I'm entertaining of bringing to AF. These are on historical items that require some very in depth analysis. Since some of those analyses require some technical information, I'm still debating whether or not they will appear here. Arc - Arc's are series of topics within a certain overarching subject. This is another one that I'm not sure if I'll use. Capstone - These are subjects that will include a large swatch of resources, images, and citation. This was spurred by suggestion, and I'm currently evaluating the resources that would be necessary to commit to such an endeavor in connection with the amount of time I have available. Standard - Run of the mill research articles that are designed to make you go "hmmm." You can feel free to make suggestions here as well. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this stuff that I write up. These aren't Wiki pulls, they actually do take some time to write up and validate before posting. Enjoy!
  3. I clicked this thread, and I was deeply troubled when I discovered that it was not a misheard lyrics thread.
  4. Discovered sometime in the sixteenth or seventeenth century, the Dresden Codex is the oldest known book to have survived in the Americas. Dating to approximately the thirteen century, the Codex is the center of many various stories and folklore. Mayan in origin, this text was one of several texts that were referenced in connection with the 2012 Phenomena that was popular from the 1970s through the passing of 2012. Such doomsday stories were made in connection with page 71 of the codex which depicts a serpent - identified as the Moon Goddess (or Goddess O) - spewing forth a torrent from the heavens. However, there is not connection or reference to a date with anything on this page. In addition, of the entirety of the codex, most pages appear to be that of an almanac. The almanac refers to a series of climatological information (much in the same way that our own almanacs are used today), and various ritualistic practices. This leads one to suspect that the codex may have had the primary function of serving as a reference for shaman or leaders to practice rituals in the event of abnormal weather. Researcher Michael Coe made an initial claim in his interpretation of the codex, however, that page 71 depicted a cataclysmic event connected somehow with the thirteenth cycle known as the baktun. However, in subsequent revisions of Coe's research, he rescinded his commentary on the interpretation. Likewise, Eric Thompson, another known Mesoamerican researcher, noted that the inclusion of Goddess O in the codex indicates that page 71 is attached to the initiation of a growing season. Likewise, while the termination of the thirteenth baktun is described in the codex, it does not mention anything special about the transition from the thirteenth to fourteenth cycle. Nowhere in Mayan mythology or record keeping are there any mentions of destruction attached to the change of a baktun cycle. What the Codex does indicate, however, is that the current world was created with motion and will be destroyed in that same motion. What exactly that entails, we do not know - and whether the Mayan knew is also unknown. Nevertheless, the Dresden Codex remains of prominent interest to researchers of Mesoamerican culture due to its age and significance in Mayan culture in the pre-Colonial era.
  5. I just have used eBay for what I'm looking for. Generally, I know better to either order U.S. or Japan. Buyer protection works out nice if you pay attention to the product description. Then again, I have only previously ordered three figures and only one of those was for me to keep. The other two are temporary investments.
  6. On days where I'm just swamped with work, and don't have a lot of time to get away, I figure I'll write up a quick fact so there's at least something to provide. We'll call them Quick Facts, and this time I'd like to talk about Operation Tomodachi - the same operation where the group borrows its icon from. In 2011, an earthquake struck near the coast of the Tohoku region in Japan. The earthquake resulted in enough substantial damage in of its own right, especially in Fukushima. However, due to the location of the earthquake, a tsunami crashed into the coast as well - elaborating the damage already done by the earthquake. What's more, if that wasn't enough, the nuclear power plant operating in Fukushima was compromised due to the combination of meteorological phenomena and melted down. A triple hazard in Fukushima was underway, and Japan faced the largest crisis it had seen since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in August of 1945. When the disaster struck, U.S. military operations commenced unilaterally with the Japanese Self Defense Force, the Red Cross, and a number of other international organizations. Spearheading the operations was the U.S. Army Materiel Command and it's major subordinate commands, ensuring that supplies were readily available for civilians affected by the disaster. Supplies were also in demand for troops aiding the relief efforts in the region. The entire U.S. military footprint in Japan was activated and in use during the operation (also referred to as Operation Friendship). U.S. military assets were involved with extensive rebuilding of infrastructure, re-establishment of communications, increased law enforcement coverage, and clean up efforts. The 2011 events highlighted the U.S. military's humanitarian support operations and their operational reach. Previously, the same elements had been deployed to Haiti for Earthquake relief, Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina relief, and other third world countries in Mesoamerica and Europe. Military elements attached to the relief efforts remain in the Fukushima prefecture - but in very small quantities. All of these elements are attached to another post in Japan. The bulk of relief operations concluded in 2015.
  7. No, no...nothing like that. We prefer the term "high-functioning dead person."
  8. The bacon has been successfully vanquished! Also - rain. Also - I'm dead. I am writing this from a dirt room 6 feet in the ground.
  9. No real major lingo - at least not that I know of. Then again, I'm still trying to understand what some of the character archetypes are. I'm not in a position to make much in the way of modern recommendations, but if you have questions about older anime, then I can be of some assistance.
  10. We technically are philosophers - our Ph.D's are Doctorates of Philosophy.
  11. Need to know or basics, hmm? Lets see. There's a guy named Barney that visits on weekends. He gets angry if you wear red, snort, or eat mayonnaise. ...ummm...no not really actually. Anyway, welcome aboard. I don't think you'll have to worry about the newishness - haven't seen a newbie not make it yet. I say that being a relative newbie myself. But I digress, what kind of stuff are you wanting tips on forum/community wise?
  12. I ain't sorry right now... *ruler of America's and Japan*
  13. You want some Vitameatavegamin with that, @Lelouch? @Seshi . . . . . . .
  14. I always can remember that it was a Tuesday (and it was) simply because I know I was working on a take-home spelling test. 6th grade was the last year of those. So I woke up early to do that, mom was already at school teaching. I had the TV on in the background and had the stereo playing Spyro Gyra's In Modern Times album. Walked to school, it was right behind our house. First period was weird. Second period on - all we did was watch the news coverage. I didn't have a clique in school, so I can't really use the term "we" - but I do know I was relatively quiet for most of the day - most students were. A lot were confused at how the teachers and faculty were acting. What I remember is the USAR element down the road from school activating sometime later, and the entire school dismissed early to wave the soldiers goodbye. Thinking back that might have been 7th grade though - the year after.
  15. You ain't never had home dipped malt raisins. Besides...I hid them in the cupcakes you took from Lelouch. I am doing nothing...just annexing Mexico...I mean, visiting El Salvador I.......I took over South America.
  16. I just sent you a whole bag of malt covered raisins on my way to annex Cuba... I mean visit Cuba. I mean Puerto Rico...….
  17. Okay....well, I'm just going to go over here and annex a little bit of Canada... You just keep on munching that chocolate...
  18. So, you're saying I can conquer the world and enslave the masses, as long as I throw chocolate in your vicinity, you won't try and stop me?
  19. I'm just here to see who says "the Yugi Moto" hair style...
  20. Good news: I now have malt covered raisins. I am now pleased again.
  21. I can recall what I was doing pretty well, I was old enough at least when it happened. I know that the big thing for me is that I didn't even know what was going on until 2nd period of school - and that was after I even had it on the news and was told "something" was going on in 1st. I think the reason I didn't take it seriously in 1st period is that the instructor was also in the drama club, and I couldn't quite make out if she was being serious or not. Quickly got real after that though.
  22. In the profession of history, often times we encounter a few choice sayings that the general population has grown accustom to hurling our way. Each and every time I heard one of these sayings, in school, I would get agitated. Every time I hear the other, now, I get even more irritated. 'You're studying history? So, you're going to teach then!' I know this is hard for some people to grasp, but the history field has one of the most dynamic skillsets of any profession. You require knowledge of literature, ability to conduct academic research, ability to write in an academic format, have organizational skills, have problem solving skills, be able to form theories with miniscule quantities of information, and - anymore - we have to be computer savvy. We'll ignore for a minute that History B.A.'s are also a favorite path of law schools for perspective students. So, that means I could teach (if I liked being underappreciated and spit on by students and probably the administration). But more likely, I could be a librarian, be a researcher, work in government (local, state, or federal), aid in archeological research, aid in academic research, write, office automation, office administration, secretarial work, archive, work at a museum, work at a historic site, work as a park ranger, be a lawyer, go into politics, work for a publishing firm, work as an appraiser, work as a historian or historic advisor...do I need to go on? But this doesn't bother me near as much anymore (mostly because I'm employed and am now at a graduate level - that question is easily shot down), so much as this: "You guys only have to study history though..." In my undergrad, I worked in the archive where I currently work (though I wasn't getting paid then). Rather, I just worked in the archive and I don't just work there now. Anyway... Part of my job then was to do the basic historians duty of making heads and tails of what was in front of me. In my case, that consisted of reading through extremely elaborate and detailed technical reports on various weapons systems. I read about ballistic studies, engineering reports, studies on digital azimuth's, fire control platforms, and various forms of climatological impacts. That's just to name a few. I was tasked with sorting these into a database in a searchable format that people could read and understand. So, of the 2,500 entries, I had to read them all, make sense of them, and then parse them into something the general public would actually search for. Chances are you aren't going to be looking for a ballistics study on a gun, but you might look for the firing range or angle of that gun. I had to make sure that data was programmed and available. Likewise, when a historian takes on a subject, they have to assume specialty expertise on that subject. For example, I could not write a research paper (25-50 pages) on the P-51 Mustang unless I assumed some sort of expertise on the subject. I may need to know things about the Army Air Force, the Air Force, North American Aviation Company, aviation as a subject, and engineering - to know what the P-51 did that was better or worse than its contemporaries. If I'm writing on the history of heart surgery in the United States, I am going to have to have fundamental knowledge on the processes and history of surgery and heart surgery (and treatments) in the United States. That information isn't just present in the realm of history, but to the realm of medicine as well. A historian's duty, in a dull sense, is to know "stuff", and report on it in such a way that it remains replicable or applicable. It is our job to preserve a period or issue in time and ensure it isn't forgotten, whatever the reason may be. That means we learn history - not as a profession - but as a skill. To a historian, our degree certifies a skill, the knowledge and specialty comes after that skill is procured.
  23. Thanks for this, @Seshi. The day was instantaneously in the history books for sure. It's a bit disheartening seeing the decline of remembrance posts on social media each year.

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