Editor says, for subscription users please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Disqus or Google Plus. History runs along a different line in Today In Alternate History, a site which chronicles "important events in history that never occurred today". Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.
At around the time of the Trojan War, a large group of people suddenly left Egypt. There are many theories as to the reason why. The emigrants might have been followers of Pharaoh Ikhnaton (pictured), who had worshipped the one sun god .. or there might have been some basis for the cryptic surviving inscription: "Thank the gods that those wretched immigrants are gone". The most widespread theory is found in the Book of Exodus, in which Moses leads the Hebrew slaves to freedom.
The festival that never wasOf course, that Biblical theory would not have come down to us, if Exodus had never been written. The religious American abolitionists would not have been inspired to work for emancipation, leading to the Civil War. Needless to say, the Union soldiers would not have been singing, "Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the Jubilee". They would have had no reason to be Marching Through Georgia in the first place..and the Jubilee would not have been mentioned in the Bible at all, as the year when slaves were freed. And in Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell could not have carried the stirring inscription, "Thou shalt proclaim liberty throughout the land, and to ALL the inhabitants thereof".
As for the slaves themselves, they could not cling to the hope of freedom that the traditional story brought them. They certainly could not sing about how, "When Moses was in Egypt's land..let my people go". Needless to say, that song was never sung at the start of many Passover Seders, since the Seders never existed..so there was certainly no reason to wish anyone a Happy Passover.
It is April 16, 1917, and the revolutionaries are ruling Russia. Kaiser Wilhelm II has sent Vladimir Lenin back home from exile in a sealed train, knowing that the Russian people are desperate to make peace and that Lenin is likely to do it, if he can gain control of Alexander Kerensky's government. Sure enough, once Lenin overthrows Kerensky he signs the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk, giving the Kaiser everything he had asked for in return. An article from our Happy Endings thread.
Happy Endings 46:
The Imperial Happy EndingSince the Czarina and the Kaiser were cousins, as descendants of Queen Victoria, the Kaiser also added a provision that the imperial family must be sent to him in Germany, before Lenin and his followers were allowed to board the sealed train. Lenin was reluctant to agree, since he still sought revenge for a brother who had been hanged as a terrorist by the Czar's police. Still, he made the agreement, and the imperial family was accordingly sent to Germany, via the Finland Station, before Lenin was permitted to depart.
Lenin had cause to regret his decision, when the "White" anti-communists rallied around the exiled Czar, making it harder for Lenin's government to fight them. The resulting civil war lasted for a decade, before the Russians signed a truce...which did not, however, call for the imperial family's return.
Instead, the Romanovs had joined the Kaiser in his exile at an estate in Holland, once the allies had won. Their exile was made more pleasant through the sale of the crown jewels that the four princesses had smuggled out of their country. While Prince Alexis died of hemophilia before his 20th birthday, the girls found aristocratic husbands.
Considering that the revolutionaries would otherwise have killed the entire family, including the Czar, the Czarina and their five children, it was a happy ending indeed.
In 1886, on this day future Communist Chancellor of the German Republic Ernst Thälmann was born in the city of Hamburg.
Part 9 of the The Plot Against Germany thread.
The Plot Against Germany 9 Birth of Chancellor ThälmannA Social Democratic Party member from 1903, between 1904 and 1913 he worked as a stoker on a freighter. On the day of the German Revolution, 9 November 1918, he wrote in his diary on the Western Front, "..did a bunk from the Front with 4 comrades at 2 o'clock".
In October 1925 Thälmann became Chairman of the German Communist Part (KPD) and later that year was a candidate for the German Presidency. But he did not manage to reach high elected office until anti-Communist forces fell into acrimonious division. Because Gustav Steseman's intervention in the Lippe-Detmold vote scuppered the Nazi's bid for power and their extremist party broke up soon afterwards. After that popular opinion swung to the left and Von Papen was forced to rule by decree until Hindenburg's death, when Thälmann swept the right power from power - at the ballot box. Of course, at this desperate stage matters were already at a knife edge, with Soviet Forces threatening to invade Eastern Germany. But this time, doing a bunk was not really an option.
In 1920, on this day future American President Julius Young (born Július Dubček) was born in Cook County, Illinois.
Birth of Július Dubček: a Young Oak Rises
by Ed & Jackie SpeelWhen he was four, the family was separated when his mother decided to take his younger brother Alexander to the Soviet Union and then finally on to their native Czechoslovakia. In August 1944 he fought in the Slovak National Uprising and was wounded. Then the Iron Curtain descended, and they, like many Eastern Europe emigre families lost touch for over a decade.
Meanwhile back in Chicago with his father, Július had anglicized his name (Dubček meaning "Young Oak")and begun a promising career in politics, eventually entering the Senate to represent the State of Illinois. Set to launch a national bid for the Presidency, he was thoroughly investigated by the Security Services because no immigrant's son had ever occupied the White House. These routine checks unearthed the connection to Alexander who was by now also involved in national politics. Initially dismissed because the family name was not uncommon, matters gained a new urgency during early 1968. Because as the Prague Spring began to develop, members of the security service conceived the idea of creating a back channel between the Illinois Senator and his younger brother, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Ironically, the protests had been triggered by a musical festival of the same name. And of course the Prague Autumn festival was scheduled for the middle of the Presidential election..
Rather than ruling a coherent kingdom, the House of Habsburg had assembled a complex federation all over Europe through marriages, conquests, and inheritance, ultimately culminating in Charles to become heir of the Holy Roman Empire as a Habsburg, the Empire of Spain through his mother Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, as well as ruler of the Burgundian Netherlands. Charles grew up in his holdings in the Netherlands until he became King of Spain to rule alongside his mother in 1516. He brought with him his Flemish entourage as advisors, sowing distrust between himself and local nobles and the bourgeoisie that had grown up following the Reconquista.
April 16, 1520 - Rebellion in Toledo Begins the End of Charles I in CastileIn 1519, Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his grandfather Maximilian. With great aplomb, he set off for a papal coronation, leaving behind a lengthy list of taxes to cover his debts for extravagant living and bribery for his new office. The Castillian parliament, the Cortes, stood up to refuse the new taxes, so Charles suspended the council and reconvened it later to achieve his goals.
In the meantime, Castile erupted. It began in Toledo when royal bureaucrats arrived to remove the anti-Imperial city council with the aim of replacing them with new councilors on the king's bankroll. Riots broke out, driving away the royalists and installing a new council elected by its own citizens. The success in Toledo spread quickly through central Spain, with city after city falling to revolution. Southern Castile, which was stocked with large garrisons on royal salaries as guards against the Moriscos (converts from Islam to Christianity), maintained its loyalty to Charles.
The revolution continued with wild ideas of establishing themselves as free city-states modelled on those in Italy and ending the monarchy. Peasants began to overthrow their local lords, declaring their freedom and looting estates. Eventually more moderate opinions won out, seeking a Castile liberated from Charles and ruled by Joanna, loyal nobles, and the popular voice. The Comuneros formed up an army and marched on Tordesillas, creating a new Cortes to be presided over by Joanna.
Joanna was called "the Mad" and had always ruled with a co-regent, first her husband, Philip the Handsome, and then her father, Ferdinand II of Aragon. During the time of her father's tenure, he confined Joanna, the proper heir to Castile, to a convent and surrounded her with servants and advisors loyal only to him. During this time, stories of her madness began to spread, which modern historians speculate as depression, perhaps due to her confinement. She was believed to have exhumed her husband's body and kept it with her as company in Tordesillas.
The new Cortes asked Joanna to sign an edict legitimizing their political actions, but she paused. Charles had scoffed at the revolt and sent new orders to retrieve the taxes. His regent in Spain and former tutor, Adrian of Utrecht served as General of the Reunited Inquisitions of Castile and Aragon struggled to maintain peace with new policies to win over the favor of nobles, but assassins had struck before Adrian could convince Charles of the seriousness of the Comuneros. With Charles hundreds of miles away and seemingly ignorant, Joanna's confessors advised that she take over the country before the noble-killers gained their way.
With Joanna as queen, the Comuneros continued to grow. In the north, the royalists assembled an army at Medina de Rioseco, and a Comuneros army under Pedro Tellez-Giron marched to face them. Giron feinted a raid on nearby Villalpando, prompting the royalists to de-entrench and charge for Tordesillas. The Comuneros cut them off in a sweeping victory. Armies in the south began to question the sources of their pay, debts from the royalists stacked up, and soon defection became rampant.
Charles turned his attention to Spain too late. A similar revolt by the Germanies in Aragon occurred at the same time, but their lack of legitimacy and death of leading moderate Llorenc brought about a new alliance between the royalists and nobles there to protect their holdings from peasant uprising. Charles secured his claim in Aragon and soon after repelled an invasion by the French-backed King of Navarre to reclaim his lands seized by Charles' grandfather Ferdinand II. While he still held eastern Spain, nothing short of war with his own mother could retake the west. Charles at last reasoned that his mother was decades older than he and simply waiting for her death would bring the lands back under his control, even if through his younger brother Ferdinand as a puppet.
Unfortunately for Charles's plan, Joanna's simple life loosely presiding over the Comuneros-led Cortes enabled her to live until 1555. Charles, meanwhile, became fervent about maintaining his holdings, never to let another slip away. Conquests in New Spain stayed loyal to his side, and he encouraged settlement of rich new lands in America loyal to his centralized government. He established an ongoing inquisition in the Netherlands in 1522 and personally led the violent suppression of anyone opposing him. He later installed a similar inquisition in Germany to halt the teachings of Luther and crush the Peasant's Revolt of 1524, simultaneously weakening the power of the princes. When Henry VIII of England requested to divorce his aunt Catherine of Aragon, Charles marched on London. Throughout Charles's rule, he would fight a two-front conflict with France and the Ottomans, establishing a centralized military bureaucracy loyal only to him.
Upon the death of Joanna, Charles was near death himself, suffering from epilepsy and gout. Rule of Castile passed to Ferdinand, who soon granted it to Charles's son Philip, now the Holy Roman Emperor. Threats of revolt prevented Philip from uniting Castile with royalist Aragon, making it one of the most liberal pieces of the grand militaristic empire under the Hapsburgs, which ultimately unified the Catholic World in the Treaty of Joinville with France against the threat of Protestants in Northern Europe.
In 1745, on this day with the City of London occupied by the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie (pictured) the Houses of Parliament conceded and voted to reinstate the House of Stuart and oust George II; later that year the "Old Pretender" would be crowned King James III, ruling ineffectually until his death in 1766.
This article is part of the Glorious 45 thread.
Glorious Forty-Five #1
By Ed, Scott Palter, Jared Myers & Jeff ProvineThe end of the Whig Hegemony would finally bring political rights to the Scottish and Irish, celtic nations who had been facing an uncertain long-term future of direct rule from Westminister. Even if the Hanoverians were foreigners themselves, their continued presence nurtured a three-Kingdoms-in-one-Kingdom scenario that would have been distinctly English in flavour, and nakedly colonial in nature. Had the "Forty-Five" failed, then surely the English vengeance would have been dreadful for the supporters of the Jacobite rebels.
If the intended purpose of French support was merely to weaken their greatest rival, then the consequences of the overthrow of the House of Hanover would be truly in global in scope. A new triple alliance would emerge in which France, Britain and Spain would dominate the world's oceans. And the Dutch, who had rejoiced when William of Orange was placed on the English throne, would feel the backlash the most as their Empire would be divided amongst the unmatchable strength of the allied powers. The Glorious 45 thread continues in Part 2.
In 1912, on-board the British Steamship SS Californian at a quarter after midnight, twenty-year old Cyril Furmstone Evans became the first wireless telegraphy operator in history to receive an SOS signal transmitted in Morse Code.
Rescued by Modern TechnologyThe distress call originated from the White Star Line passenger ship the RMS Titantic, which had struck an iceberg, tearing a gaping hole long enough to flood five of the water-tight compartments below the waterline. Despite the seeming wonders of modern technology, the stricken vessel was in fact so close that officers of the Californian could see the lights on-board the ship.
Evans had also reported three large icebergs fifteen miles (24 km) north of the course the Titanic was heading. But he was rudely rebuffed by the wireless operator of the Titanic, Jack Phillips, who was sending private messages to the wireless relay station at Cape Race. And Captain Edward J. Smith was so eager to make the maiden crossing in record time that he was sailing at 22 knots in the iceberg-strewn seas off the Newfoundland coast.
Fortunately for the White Star Line, the close proximity of the two ships enabled a successful rescue mission to be mounted. Later it emerged that the Titanic was only carrying enough lifeboards for less than half the passengers. And so most contemporary observers simply noted further evidence of mankind's growing supremacy in the eternal struggle with the forces of nature.
In 2015, on this day Conservative Party leader David Cameron, elected as prime minister of Great Britain five years earlier in response to popular disenchantment with the policies of Labour PM Gordon Brown, was forced to resign after a host of political and economic miscalculations that had pushed Britain to the verge of collapse.
The Straw that broke the Camel's back by Chris OakleyOn his watch Britain had seen its road and rail transport systems grind to a halt; its international standing plummet after a number of Tehran schoolchildren were killed when a missile went astray during a joint US-UK-Israeli air strike against Iranian nuclear weapons production complexes; five major British retail store chains go bankrupt; public services to Britain's less fortunate citizens slashed to the bone; the BBC, formerly the world's most respected broadcast network, reduced to a shadow of its former glorious self; unemployment pass the 4.5 million mark; the fascist British National Party make unprecedented inroads into Parliament; the House of Commons twice come within a cat's whisker of passing referendums that would have terminated Britain's membership in the European Union by 2016; and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond push for a vote on whether to declare Scotland's independence from the rest of the United Kingdom.
As if all that wasn't enough to undermine British voters' confidence in their prime minister, the British Army was stretched to the breaking point in Afghanistan and Yemen; the neo-Peronista regime in Argentina was actively working to acquire a nuclear bomb and was also rumored to be drafting plans for a new invasion of the Falkland Islands; the National Health Service was being steadily dismantled; and the royal family were virtual prisoners at Buckingham Palace thanks to the almost-daily rioting going on in London and other major cities in the UK as economic and racial tensions worsened.
But the straw that truly broke the camel's back for the Cameron administration came in March of 2015 when two of the UK's largest banks crashed within days of each other, plunging Britain into its worst internal financial crisis since the Great Depression. By early April former PM John Major, in one of his last major public statements before his death, was blasting Cameron for--in Major's words--"pouring petrol on the fires that threaten to burn Great Britain from the pages of history". Even Margaret Thatcher, who had campaigned extensively Cameron's behalf during the 2010 general elections, was going out of her way to distance herself from the incumbent PM.
In 1973, on this day Time Magazine published the feature article Defying Nixon's Reach for Power.Defying Nixon's Reach for Power
"The jowls jiggled. The eyebrows rolled up and down in waves. The forehead seemed seized by spasms. Yet the lips continuously courted a smile, suggesting an inner bemusement. The words tumbled out disarmingly, softened by the gentle Southern tones and the folksy idiom. But they conveyed a sense of moral outrage.
"Divine right went out with the American Revolution and doesn't belong to White House aides," the speaker said. "What meat do they eat that makes them grow so great? I am not willing to elevate them to a position above the great mass of the American people. I don't think we have any such thing as royalty or nobility that exempts them. I'm not going to let anybody come down at night like Nicodemus and whisper something in my ear that no one else can hear.
That is not Executive privilege. It is Executive poppycock".
With those words, typically skittering from Shakespeare to the Bible, North Carolina's Democratic Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr. was stepping up the rapidly accelerating tempo in a showdown over secrecy between the U.S. Senate and President Nixon. If the President will not allow his aides to testify publicly and under oath before the Select Senate Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, Ervin vows, he will seek to have them arrested".
Buoyed by his immense popularity since Victory in Vietnam (VVN) Day in 1971, Nixon had sought a repeal of term limits in order to seek re-election in 1976. Yet Ervin's timely intervention ensured that Vice President Gerald Ford would gain the Republication Nomination. On his inauguration day, Ford would declare that America's "long national nightmare was over". It would later emerge that Nixon had orchestrated the Kennedy assassination, ordering the Comedian to pull the trigger and ensure his own rise to the Presidency.
In 1912, America mourns the death of the 'Galveston Giant' onboard the RMS Titantic. John Arthur Johnson (March 31, 1878 - April 15, 1912), better known as Jack Johnson was an American boxer and arguably the best heavyweight of his generation. He was the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World (1908-1912), a feat which, for its time, was tremendously controversial. In a documentary about his life, Ken Burns said: 'For more than three years, Jack Johnson was the most famous, and the most notorious African-American on Earth.'Ain't hauling no coal by Michael Edward Johnson The famed blues guitarist Leadbelly also recorded a Titanic song. His lyrics included the common folklore that Jack Johnson, the black man who was world heavyweight boxing champion at the time, was initially denied passage on the boat. Jack Johnson wanted to get on board Captain, he said, 'I ain't hauling no coal'
In 1941, on this day Wehrmacht general Erwin Rommel, nicknamed "the Desert Fox" by virtue of having won a number of battles against numerically superior British forces in North Africa, was recalled to Berlin and placed in overall command of German armoured forces on the Soviet front.
On this day in 1948, botanists from the University of New Mexico announced the discovery of a new species of pear tree, Pyrus roswellae, in the vicinity of the impact site for the July 6th Roswell asteroid strike.
In 2008, President George W. Bush made his first public statement on the Zimbabwean forged letter scandal.
In a press conference at the White House Bush blasted the Mugabe regime as 'brutally corrupt' and said the United States would oppose the ZANU-PF dictatorship by any means available.
In 1985, KGB agent Dmitri Kaprinsky, alias D.B. Cooper, was posthumously awarded the Order of Lenin for his years of loyal service to the USSR.
That same day Kaprinsky was laid to rest in his hometown in the Ukraine.
On this day in 2008 the British embassy in Washington sent President George W. Bush a transcript of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's debriefing with the Zimbabwean defector, code-named 'Charybdis'.
In 1997, the Battle of Cheyenne, the last front of the war in America, begins as allied troops batter at President Shephard's last loyal troops surrounding Norad in Cheyenne, Colorado. Shephard vows to fight until the last man; allies are attempting to find and disable all the nuclear weapons still at his command in order to forestall a nuclear disaster.
In 4668, a mated pair of sloths arrive in Beijing as a gift from the Incan people to the Chinese Emperor. The exotic creatures spark an interest in eastern animals across the empire, building a healthy trade between the eastern and western worlds.
In 1952, Velma Porter tells Mikhail von Heflin that she?s had enough of Africa, and the two of them head to Cairo to secure passage back to America. Miss Porter has made a peg leg for herself, but von Heflin thinks he can help her regain her foot, lost in the battle with his ancestor. He begins meditating on the subject.
In 1789, George Washington leaves his home of Mt. Vernon, Virginia, to be inaugurated into his new office of President of the United States in New York City. Washington had expressed a desire to remain in retirement due to his advanced age of 57, which proved somewhat prophetic; he caught pneumonia on the journey, and died mere days after his inauguration. This led to the tradition of electing much younger men to the presidency in the future.
In 1998, a bar fight turns into the first battle of the war to unseat the Windsors, when a small group of the Royal Marines enter a bar in Swansea, Wales, that is very loyal to Arthur Pendrake. Several harsh words are exchanged, fists fly, and then the owner of the pub reaches for his hunting rifle.A marine sees him, reaches the rifle first, and shoots the older man dead. There is a moment of silence as the implications of this sink into everyone present; then, all the local pub crawlers are running home for their weapons. One of the marines pulls out a cell phone and calls back to base for help. Within the hour, the marines are wiped out by the locals, and military units are heading into Swansea. Arthur, as soon as the news hits the airwaves, puts out a call for all his followers to defend Swansea and repulse the royalists. His cold war against the Windsors has just turned hot.
In 1982, Nathaniel Strawn is born in College Station, Texas. Strawn, a mathematician by training, joined NASAs Mars Project in 2029, just in time to work on the final lander that would put his cousin, astronaut Catherine Taylor, on the Red Planet in 2034.
In 1891, the eastern Kansas border is fortified by volunteers from around the state. Major Mark Wainwright and his band of men encounter part of this fortification as they head to Topeka to free President Grover Cleveland, and the ensuing fight leaves 12 of his men dead; but he wins the engagement. By the evening, they are in Topeka and in pitched battle at the governors mansion, where they steal the former president from the room where is being held. They fight their way out of the city, with only half of their original force left, when a stray shot hits President Cleveland in the stomach. Major Wainwright struggles with his remaining men to Kansas City and desperately searches for a doctor in the chaotic city.
In 1918, as a war-time measure, US Congress approves US President Woodrow Wilson's plans for a Federal Communications Corporation. The idea is persistent and outlives the British Broadcasting Corporation as a domestic monopoly well into the 1960s when pre-Government reporting on Vietnam turned audiences against the FCC.
In 1947, the heroic crew of the French ship Grandchamps, battling a fire on board their ship, sailed it out of the Texas City harbor they had been docked in before their cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded. The ship was utterly destroyed, but they saved the harbor.
In 1917, the American-supported revolutionary known as Lenin sneaks back into Russia to foment communist reform in the monarchy. He fails to achieve his goal, in spite of years of support by the communist American government.
In 1889, one of the silent era's greatest directors, Charles Chaplin, was born in London, England. After a brief career in comedic shorts, Chaplin moved behind the camera in 1916 with his film The Floorwalker. He went on to direct such classics as the Oscar-winning Wings and Rope. Over his 50-year career, he garnered 3 Academy awards for directing and 1 for producing.
In 1866, the Russian government fell when Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by Dmitrii Karakozov in St. Petersburg. The nobles wanted to crown the Tsar's son Alexander, but the peasantry rose up and began demanding American-style democracy. After a prolonged struggle, the Tsar was reduced to a ceremonial position, and Russia became a constitutional monarchy modeled along English lines in 1874.
In 1521, German heretic Martin Luther is invited to repudiate his anti-Church teachings at the Diet of Worms, Germany. After the persuasive arguments by the Church fathers in this setting, Luther recants his teachings, saying, 'Here I stand, repentant. I cannot do otherwise.'
In 1715, on this day the Pocotaligo Massacre triggered the start of the Yamasee War in the Royal Colony of South Carolina. Ironically, it was the ill-fated response to a possible Ochese Creek uprising that led to the fall of the South Carolina government. Governor Craven hoped to obtain Yamasee assistance in arranging an emergency summit with the Ochese Creek leaders but instead the delegation's visit to Pocotaligo actually provoked the start of the disastrous war.
Outbreak of the Yamasee WarThe delegation that visited Pocotaligo had consisted of Samuel Warner and William Bray, sent by the Board of Commissioners. They were joined by Thomas Nairne and John Wright, two of the most important people of South Carolina's Indian trading system. Two others, Seymour Burroughs and an unknown South Carolinian, also joined. On the evening of April 14, 1715, the day before Good Friday, the men spoke to an assembly of Yamasee. They promised to make special efforts to redress Yamasee grievances. They also said that Governor Craven was on the way to the village.
But during the night, as the South Carolinians slept, the Yamasee debated over what to do. There were some who were not fully pledged to a war, but in the end the choice was made. After applying war paint, the Yamasee woke the Carolinians and attacked them. Two of the six men escaped. Seymour Burroughs fled and, although shot twice, raised an alarm in the Port Royal settlements. The Yamasee killed Nairne, Wright, Warner, and Bray. The unknown South Carolinian hid in a nearby swamp, from which he witnessed the ritual death-by-torture of Nairne. The events of the early hours of Good Friday, April 15, 1715, marked the beginning of the Yamasee War.
The British quickly began to lose control of the colony when Cherokees united with the Creeks and other Native American Indian groups who played a minor role. But then the Spanish and French intervened militarily, Charles Town was starved out and then occupied and finally a Yamasee Confederation was formally declared.
In 1395, in a desperate battle fought on the banks of the Terek River in the North Caucasus, the forces of Tokhtamysh khan of the Blue Horde prevailed, saving the capital city, Sarai from falling to Timur's invading army.
Golden Horde triumph at the Terek RiverHaving briefly united the White Horde and Blue Horde subdivisions of the Golden Horde into a single state, it had taken all of his guile and diplomacy to prevent some of the the emirs going over to Timur on the eve of battle. Of course Tokhtamysh himself was no stranger to making war on a former ally, that was in fact the cause of the entire conflict.
Mistakenly believing he could defeat the Ilkhanate Chobanids and capture the disputed territories of the Caucasus since the days of Berke Khan, he had, in 1385 Tokhtamysh, with an army of 50,000 (or five tumens), invaded Persia and taken Tabriz. Returning north they took 200,000 slaves from Caucasus, including tens of thousands of Azeri Turks from the districts of Shirvan, Mugan, and Daghestan. This proved to be a fatal error for, who Tokhtamysh moved north from the Caucasus, thus allowing his Ilkhanate rivals to side with Timur, who annexed Persia to his own expanding kingdom. Furious, Tokhtamysh turned back and made war on his former ally. Eventually, Tokhtamysh conceded defeat and withdrew to the steppe. However, in 1387 he suddenly invaded Transoxiana, the heart of Timur's realm. Unfortunately for Tokhtamysh, heavy snow forced him back to the steppe.There he made his stand, and was fortunate to recover sufficiently in order to overcome Timur the Conqueror.
The RMS Titanic was built to be the largest passenger ship in the world, an Olympic-class vessel 1,000 tons bigger than her sister ship, which was half-again as big as the previous largest ship. The White Star Line had been outpaced in 1907 by Cunard, whose Lusitania and Mauretania had become the fastest transoceanic passenger ships. With German lines already beginning to challenge their market share, Chairman Bruce J. Ismay met with financier JP Morgan, and a trio of new ships would make White Star the largest and most luxurious way to travel in the world. The Olympic launched in 1911, but it was the Titanic whose maiden voyage would be the most anticipated with guests such as the Astors, the Strauses of Macy's, Margaret Brown, and even her own architect Thomas Andrews. JP Morgan himself was supposed to board, but he cancelled shortly before, possibly in relation to the coal strike that postponed many transatlantic crossings.
April 15, 1912 - Titanic Strikes Iceberg with No Loss of LifeThe strike ended just days before the Titanic left Southampton. Captain Edward John Smith, White Star's most senior captain, commanded. As stops were made in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, passengers as well as additional crew were taken on before making the long journey across the Atlantic. Guests enjoyed conveniences modeled on the Ritz Hotel with artistic flare in every fashionable style. The ship offered a library, a telephone system, a pool, gymnasium, and several kinds of baths with nearly as many First Class passengers as Third.
Due to a warm winter breaking up the ice shelves of Greenland, ships had already begun spreading word of ice in the north Atlantic. Despite the warnings, Captain Smith ran the Titanic at near her top speed, not necessarily attempting to break the records set by Cunard for crossing but to assure his passengers arrived in a fit and timely manner. He followed the advisories and relied on his lookouts to keep an eye out for any potential hazards.
The men in the crow's nest were without binoculars due to an equipment error, but those would have been useless on the night the iceberg appeared. It was a moonless, extremely calm night, causing the glassy water to reflect starlight and create mirages in the cold air that obscured the horizon. Just before midnight on April 14, lookout Frederick Fleet rested his weary eyes before taking another look into the sea and spotting an iceberg floating immediately before the ship. He called to the bridge, "Iceberg right ahead!"
First Officer William Murdoch ordered the engines reversed full astern and the ship to turn, but it was too late to maneuver around the floating block of ice. The Titanic slammed head-on into the berg, causing all of the passengers and cargo to lurch forward. Damage to the bow was substantial enough that the first watertight compartment ruptured, causing icy seawater to flow inside. Fortunately, Titanic had been designed to have as many as four of its special compartments flood without hazard. Multitudinous injuries were reported throughout the ship, but, almost miraculously, no one was killed.
Captain Smith was roused from his quarters and directed the ship's doctors in caring for the most injured. Emergency flares lit up the sky while wireless calls beckoned for help from nearby ships. Lifeboats were prepared to launch in the case of an evacuation, and it was noted that there was only enough room for half of the people aboard the ship. As the Titanic refused to sink, however, worries were abated. About 4 o'clock that morning, the RMS Carpathian arrived to give aid, and the Mount Temple and SS Californian arrived after dawn, when it was deemed safe to traverse the ice fields. Titanic was eventually deemed seaworthy and continued its journey to New York at much slower speeds. Thomas Andrews was given a special toast from the captain's table and later commendations from a number of boards and charities.
Inquiry into the accident prompted a great deal of approval for Andrews' designs. Naysayers who again warned of too few lifeboats were mocked in several editorials saying, "What's the point of a lifeboat if the ship never sinks?" Others brought up the issue of the Californian switching off its wireless receiver, but investigators finally sided with Captain Stanley Lord's decision not to risk another ship at night in the ice.
Weather would continue to be blamed for many of the worst maritime tragedies as that fall hundreds of ships would sink in a vicious typhoon in the Pacific, including the Kiche Maru from Japan, which lost over one thousand lives. Most agencies put their efforts into attempting to communicate weather-patterns. Communication failed in the case of the RMS Empress of Ireland, which collided with a cargo vessel on the Saint Lawrence River that led to another loss of over one thousand lives as the ship sank so fast. In most cases, lifeboats were the least of anyone's concerns.
The peacetime losses were soon eclipsed by the World War. In 1914, Britain established a blockade of Germany, and Germany attempted the same, creating warzones in the North Sea and Atlantic. Thousands perished aboard ships like the Principe Umberto, the Gallia, and the Queen Mary as modern warfare such as the U-boat and mines struck. Ships found themselves woefully unprepared to face sinking, and even emergency refits and additional lifeboats jammed onto the sides of ships were deemed untrustworthy. When U-Boat U-20 sank the RMS Lusitania, once the pride of the Cunard fleet that had been requisitioned into the Navy, thousands perished with only a handful of survivors. International outrage overlooked the Lusitania's munitions supply, and the German press called the sinking dishonorable even in a war where British ships painted over their names and flew false flags. At last the German command ordered an end to unrestricted submarine warfare, instead following stricter Prize Law rules.
Even with calmer seas, the War dragged on. The infamous Zimmermann Telegram soured American opinions of Germany, but the public did not see fit to join a war unless it directly affected their own rights. After another bitter winter in 1919, Germany finally capitulated and signed a crippling Treaty of Versailles, while Americans watched from the sidelines, maintaining its neutrality in the Eastern Hemisphere, as it would for decades to come.
In 1861, on this day Lincoln called on the militias of all the states to muster 75,000 troops to recapture forts, and "preserve the union". This forced other southern and border states to make choices. Many chose to secede. The next four years would prove to the world that Lincoln's war, with his dream of a perpetual union would prove to be both a desperate hope and a nightmare.
A Rival Nation arisesThe election of 1860 split the nation into "two Americas", as seven of the fourteen slave states declared themselves a separate nation, the Confederate States of America, in 1861. By the time Lincoln took office, the CSA was a fact. President Buchanan was of a mind to let the states secede, but his cabinet did not go along. And so it was, five weeks after being sworn in (under heavy security), and federal troops of the USA that refused to leave a fort they maintained in South Carolina were fired upon by Confederate gunboats. Lincoln held this to be an act of war.
From the two Americas thread on Alt WikiaThe Second American Revolution
Lincoln had set the stage for the death of the nation as he knew it. And ultimately to his own death as well. His whole term in office was defined by a war between equal forces, battles fought in the southern states tended to go to the self-proclaimed Confedarate States of America. The CSA had grown from the seven original states were joined by five others, leaving only Maryland and Delaware to remain neutral "border states". Battles fought in the northern states were overwhelmingly won by the home forces. In the north, also, the nation was rift with anti-war demonstrations.
Though he loved liberty, Lincoln found himselves running the nation in a perpetual state of martial law. The jails were full of what detractors called "political prisoners" as the Lincoln administration attempted to keep the unrest to a minimum. The Supreme Court was hampered by the "War Powers Act" which re-enforced the President's power in time of war. The legislature, with loyalists from all but the southern states but Mississippi and Texas, was largely on Lincoln's side. When a debate would begin to go against the president, the majority leaders were able to stop debate by various procedural moves.
Early in the war, the Union forces had occupied territory in central Tennessee. This occupation, though had been defeated in the very bloody battle for Murphreesboro. On December 31, 1862, Col. Phillip Sheridan and all three of his brigade commanders were killed as the Confederates began to retake Tennessee.
By mid 1864 the war looked like it was going in the union's favor. But then General U.S. Grant's campaign to conquer Virginia went from bad to worse in June of 1864. Having lost the battle of New Market on May 15th, Grant had replaced Gen. Fanz Sigel with Gen. David Hunter. On June 5th, Hunter would be killed in an attempt to take Staunton, Virginia. Their new leader dead, the slightly larger union forces were turned back by those under the command of Gen. William E. Jones of the Confederacy.
The campaign lead by Confederate Gen. Jubal Early had been largely a success, defending the Virginian border from the Union's advances. The union forces under Gen. George Cook had been soundly defeated as they attempted to take Kernstown, Virginia. Early had pursued the fleeing only as far as the Pennsylvania border, not wishing to be ambushed in enemy territory. Realizing the failure on this front, General Grant sent re-enforcements down the Mississippi River on the far western front. The re-election of Abraham Lincoln, which Grant had hoped would be secured through a "scorched earth" destruction of support structure in the south, seemed in jeopardy.
In 2010, the British newspaper Evening Standard, in honor of the approaching 35th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, reissued a 1975 compilation of front line stories by Standard war correspondent Max Hastings.
Searching For Albert, Part 2Hastings, who came to Vietnam with the first wave of British combat troops in 1967 and left the country only when the last Western diplomats were being evacuated from Saigon in 1975, was widely respected throughout Britain both for the clarity of his reports and his ability to empathize with the "squaddies"(foot soldiers) who made up the backbone of the British expeditionary force in Vietnam. 2nd installment of Tommies by Chris OakleyHastings also enjoyed a substantial following in Canada and the United States, where his stories appeared in over a hundred newspapers via the Associated Press, and in Australia, where millions of listeners faithfully tuned in to his monthly radio commentaries for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Also on this day in 2010, the New York Times printed a guest op-ed article by American film director Oliver Stone defending Ken Loach's adaptation of Searching For Albert. Stone was no stranger to controversy when it came to Vietnam movies-- he'd generated a fair amount of it himself with his 1986 drama Platoon. In his Times commentary Stone described Albert as "a needed window into a chapter of the war seldom told in most U.S. history books". When Albert made its American theatrical debut in Los Angeles ten months later, Stone was among the VIP guests who attended the premiere.
In 1976, U.S. President Gerald L. K. Smith died of pneumonia at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Smith was first elected in 1936 on the Union Party ticket, a fusion of disaffected members of the Democratic Party and the remnants of the moribund Populists, defeating President John Nance Garner, whose policies had failed to stem the Great Depression which followed the stock-market crash of October 1931. He campaigned on a platform of "traditional values," including a literal reading of the Bible, and antipathy to the "speculators and international bankers" who, he claimed, were profiting from the Depression.
President Smith dies by Eric LippsOnce in office, Smith embarked on a bigger version of the "New Beginning" program undertaken forty years earlier by President William Jennings Bryan1, taking the U.S. entirely off the gold standard, establishing a plethora of government relief and "recovery" agencies, and launching an array of ambitious public-works projects, including the Mississippi Valley Authority, which brought electricity to millions of poor Southern Americans for the first time. These moves were widely popular with ordinary Americans, though denounced as "socialist" or even "Communist" by business leaders.
Smith, however, was no left-wing zealot, as the other half of his program would prove. At his instigation, Congress drew up and passed in mid-1937 the Twentieth Amendment to the U.S. constitution2. Over the next three years, a furious campaign would press for the amendment's ratification, which would come March 15, 1940 following approval by the Illinois legislature.
At once, Smith moved to enforce the Amendment. Tens of thousands of known or suspected Communists were rounded up immediately by the FBI, and a campaign of terror against "infidels," largely carried out by private citizen militias but backed up by the National guard and U.S. military, began, ushering in what would later be dubbed the "Purification". Libraries, museums, even astronomical observatories were sacked and torched, as were the offices of "un-American" newspapers and magazines. Fresh waves of arrests followed, and special prisons were erected all over the United States, increasingly in remote regions such as Alaska and the Florida Everglades. Often, federal detainees were pressed into service to build the very prison camps intended for their long-term internment.
The election that year was a sham, the first of many, in which opponents of the President stayed away from the polls in droves for fear of arrest. It was widely expected that Smith would simply abolish future elections. In fact, he would allow them to continue, but they would increasingly be empty exercises as it became clear that Smith would not allow himself or Union Party candidates for lesser offices to be defeated except where their "opposition" held views so similar to the Party's that they might as well have worn the union eagle emblem themselves--men like Mississippi's Strom Thurmond, who would eventually abandon the Democratic Party to serve as Smith's fourth vice-president.
Under Smith's iron-handed rule the United States would become the first theocratic fascist country in the Western world, and would embark on a series of wars against its neighbors and such "inferior" nations as Japan, China, and, later, Iran and Rashidi Arabia.3 At home, his embrace of a rigid Christian fundamentalism would cripple America's technological infrastructure, as most of the scientists and engineers needed to keep that infrastructure running and permit progress were non-fundamentalists, many of them Jewish, who risked internment for their acceptance of such heretical ideas as Darwinian evolution and Einstein's theory of relativity. By the 1960s, Smith had been forced to institute reforms, including so-called "executive parole," in which internees with special skills would be let out of the camps to work, under constant surveillance, for the government's various industrial-technical enterprises. It was executive parolees who performed the work leading to America's first atomic bomb test in Nevada on July 20, 19694 and to its first non-imported electronic computers in the 1970s.
Yet by that time it was apparent that more would be needed. A generation of slave scientists who had been active since the 1930s and ?40s could not be depended on forever, but America's "purified" schools were producing a citizenry essentially devoid of modern scientific knowledge. The Smith's chagrin, he had found himself obliged to turn not only to imprisoned heretics but to experts from America's few allies (among them Britain, ruled by its own secular fascist government since 19415) for technological assistance. In 1970, he quietly ordered the establishment of a network of "leader schools" in which promising students would, for the first time in three decades, receive an uncensored scientific education. Graduates of these schools would be offered technical jobs at high pay; in exchange, they would remain under surveillance, though on less rigorous terms than their parolee counterparts.
The creation of the leader schools was overshadowed that year by another event: the Negro Uprising, in which America's millions of oppressed black citizens, who had been plunged back under Smith into a period of repression unequalled since the so-called "Redemption" following the end of Reconstruction in the mid-1870s.6 The Uprising was bloodily subdued, and in the aftermath, America's black population was forcibly relocated to so-called "protected Negro areas"--reservations designed in actual fact as extermination centers. A few tens of thousands would be spared, living in special villages modeled on a bigot's vision of their ancestors' way of life in Africa, but the remainder would be wiped out--worked to death, shot, gassed, or slain in gruesome "medical experiments".
Smith's death marked the beginning of the end for the regime he had created. Gerald Winrod, feared head of the Constitutional Police which had been founded explicitly to enforce the Twentieth Amendment and which had absorbed the functions of the old Federal Bureau of Investigation following the assassination of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in November 1963, was an old man now, as were many other architects of Smith's Christianized America. The President had carefully ensured that his vice-presidents could never challenge him, an by the 1960s had taken to replacing them every four years, choosing devout but politically impotent figures to serve in that position. Vice-President William Hargis7, who would become President upon Smith's death, was in that mold: a former radio and television preacher, his supporters were less a faction within the Union Party than a flock of fans. Hargis would prove inept in handling the imperial presidency bequeathed him by his predecessor, and the Christian republic would stumble through his time in office driven more by inertia than by any coherent leadership.
In 1997, the National Conspirer ran the following feature article ~ stunning proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence was released today by NASA. According to NASA chief Dan Goldin, the Viking II probe dispatched to Mars in May 1996 has sent back unmistakable evidence that the Red Planet was once inhabited.
"City Found on Mars"Exclusive photographs obtained by the Conspirer clearly show the ruins of a massive city. NASA sources insist there is no possibility that these formations are of natural origin. In addition, the Conspirer has learned that the Martian ruins show evidence of radioactivity well above the "background" level for the portion of the Martian surface where they were found. Experts speculate that this may mean the city was destroyed by nuclear weapons.
A story by Eric LippsDr. Goldin told this reporter that he has urged President Clinton to ask Congress for an immediate increase in NASA's budget to pay for a program of manned Mars exploration. He indicated that he had advised the President to press for long-term funding aimed at establishing a permanent human presence on Mars to study the ruins and look for other evidence of alien visitors.
"When we went to the moon", he said, "we made a mistake: once we got there, we just turned around and left. It's as if Columbus had landed in the New World, poked around a little, and gone home-and nobody had ever come back. We need to do better with Mars, especially since we've found proof of extraterrestrial intelligence there".
Dr. Goldin was asked whether he believed there were any living Martians. He responded that he believed there had probably never been any true "Martians" - the aliens who built the city, he said, were almost certainly space travelers from some other world. Asked where such travelers might have come from, the NASA administrator said he had 'no way of knowing at this time,' but believed they most probably came from some planet in another solar system. "Other than Earth", he noted, "there is no place in our solar system known to be capable of naturally sustaining life".
Questioned as to whether the creatures who built the Martian city might be responsible for such things as UFO sightings in modern times, a visibly-irritated Dr. Goldin flatly denied the possibility. "There has never been the slightest evidence that UFOs, or flying saucers, or whatever you want to call them, are extraterrestrial spacecraft", he stated. "And even if there had been, there would in all probability be no connection with the Martian relics". Dr. Goldin noted that preliminary indications are that the city had been constructed at least half a million years ago, and may have been abandoned for hundreds of thousands of years. When asked by this reporter what might be found in the city, Dr. Goldin said that the most likely discoveries had to do with the aliens themselves: what they looked like, what their biology was like, and-if enough artifacts remained intact-something of what their civilization was like. He cautioned, however, that any major findings would most likely take years, even after people arrived on Mars to search first hand, one reason he had asked the President to press for establishment of a permanent Mars base.
The "Mars Underground" Speaks
Dr. Robert Zubrin, noted physicist and vigorous advocate of Martian exploration, held a press conference following NASA's announcement to call for an immediate effort to send humans to Mars as soon as possible.
Dr. Zubrin is a long-time member of the so-called "Mars Underground" - an informal alliance of scientists who lobby for intensive Mars exploration. He is best noted for having proposed an innovative "live off the land" approach to a manned Mars mission which, he says, would make a manned mission possible within ten years at a cost of USD 10-USD 20 billion overall. (By contrast, NASA estimates run upwards from USD 180 billion.) Dr. Zubrin relies on use of advanced technologies to manufacture fuel and oxygen for the return voyage on Mars itself, rather than carrying them from Earth (which greatly increases the weight of the spacecraft and therefore the total fuel required).
In 1991, riding high in the wake of his Gulf War triumph, President Jack F. Kemp reintroduces his proposal to return the U.S. to the gold standard. He points out that with the recent gyrations of the oil market show the need for a stabilizing monetary standard.
This time, Congress is more receptive. Its Democratic majority fears to oppose a president whose approval rating has soared to 91 percent.
In 1998, the first of many assassination attempts against Arthur Pendrake fails when his French aide, Lance du Lac, notices a bomb planted on the underside of Arthur's car. Arthur's chief advisor, Merl Myrddin, tightens security around Arthur from that point on, but the would-be king resists. 'If I cannot be close to the people, then there is no point in our continuing this campaign, Merl,' he says. 'If that means risking death, so be it. A monarch of the realm cannot be intimidated by thugs who haven't the courage to face you when they try to kill you.' Myrddin reluctantly agrees that Arthur must be seen as accessible in order to maintain his relationship with the people, but makes sure that he has people around the pretender to ensure him some degree of protection.
In 1891, in a swift voting session, Congress authorizes President Harrisons use of force to subdue the Kansas rebellion of Sockless Jerry Simpson. Harrison immediately turns to his War Secretary and tells him to 'Do whatever it takes, but bring Kansas back among us.' Secretary Proctor assembles the nation's generals in Washington and tells them to plan out the conquest of Kansas - with as little bloodshed as possible. Simpson, on the other hand, is calling for 'The defense of our home, no matter the price we must pay in blood.'
In 2004, several ships arrive on Titan to collect the Projection Virii for the new Sheridan Corporation, which is planning to domesticate and use them as a holographic information transmitter. The new containment procedures work well, and they are able to return to earth without losing any ships.
hotel owner Leona Helmsley managed to settle her case with the government by paying all of her back taxes with interest. Although the DA had initially sought prison time, Helmsley so charmed the court that he readily agreed to her offer, dubbing her the nicest lady I've ever seen in court
In 2004, several ships arrive on Titan to collect the Projection Virii for the new Sheridan Corporation, which is planning to domesticate and use them as a holographic information transmitter. The new containment procedures work well, and they are able to return to earth without losing any ships.
In 1996, the Egyptians captured Puerto Vallarta on the Mexican coast. The American Constitutionalists propping up the puppet Mexican government start to abandon the nation and leave the fighting to their Mexican allies; the Mexicans, long chafing under American rule, tend to welcome the allied forces as much as fight them.
In 1959, Comrade Fulgencio Batista visits the Soviet States of America after his successful revolution against the old Communist leadership of Cuba. While America had initially supported him during his rebellion, he is suspiciously close to some of the European monarchies, and after he returns to Cuba, he openly pronounces himself a capitalist. America severs all ties with the island nation and places an embargo on them.
In 1952, much to their surprise, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin draw back his ancient ancestor to earth, and open a dimensional portal at the same time. In the struggle to hurl her in, Miss Porter is almost sucked in with her, but the Baron is able to pull her out of the portal, wrenching off her left foot. Miss Porter takes strength from von Heflin to survive, but is unable to regrow her foot.
In 1791, President Benjamin Franklin of the United States of America passes an income tax through the Congress. The wealthiest citizens of the nation are required to give 10 percent of their income to the government, 'that we may truly fulfill the promise of our constitution, to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.'
In 1985, the new Republican majority in Congress allows President Reagan to abolish the income tax and replace it with a flat 17 percent tax on all goods and services. The loss of income sends the national deficit soaring to heights undreamt of, plunging American into a depression that takes the rest of the world with it. In the elections of the next year, 9 out of 10 incumbents are defeated, and a new leftist majority reinstates the income tax and impeaches Reagan.
In 1955, the huge restaurant empire of Kroc's began with a single fast-food joint in Illinois as Ray Kroc tested out his theory that people would buy lesser quality food, as long as they could get it quickly. Kroc's restaurants are in every country in the world today, and have sold billions of hamburgers.
In 2015 AUC, the Roman Republic declares this day as the universal day of taxation; all taxes due for the year are to be collected. Although it has the virtue of efficiency, the citizens of Rome grow to hate the day with a passion.
In 1471, due to a timely command decision made by John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford the Lancastrians under the Earl of Warwick somehow managed to prevail at the Battle of Barnet. The historical significance of this event was that the Yorkist attempt to restore Edward IV had ended in failure, and the so-called "Cousins War" was finally brought to a bloody end.
Oxford saves the Lancastrians at the Battle of BarnetFought in a heavy mist, on Easter Sunday a misalignment of the opposing armies meant that all became confusion. This is because the fog on the day of the battle meant that the lines overlapped, enabling Gloucester to outflank the Lancaster Left, while the Lancastrians under Oxford did so on the Yorkist Left, routing Clarence and Hastings. Fortunately, Oxford realized that due to the collapse of both sides left wing the whole line had turned ninety degrees, and returned on Edwards flank.
The victory was a personal triumph for the great Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick The King Maker. Formerly a key figure in the Yorkist cause, Warwick had defected to the Lancastrians over disagreements about Edward's nepotism, secret marriage, and foreign policy. Leading a Lancastrian army, the Earl defeated his former allies, forcing Edward to flee to Burgundy. At Barnet, the deposed monarch perished, unable to effect his own restoration (like Henry Bolingbrook seventy years earlier, he had returned to "merely" reclaim his dukedom).
In 1942, a mass prisoner break out from Her Majesty's Prison Shepton Mallet included the embarrassing loss of many items of irreplaceable cultural history that had been temporarily stored for safety on behalf of the Public Record Office.
The Breakout from Shepton MalletPurely by coincidence, at almost the same time as it took its first British military prisoners, the Prison also took into protective storage many important historical documents including Magna Carta, the Domesday Book, the logbooks of HMS Victory the Olive Branch Petition (1775), dispatches from the Battle of Waterloo, and the "scrap of paper" signed by Hitler and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at the Munich Conference of September 1938. In all, about three hundred tons of records were transported to Shepton Mallet. Some documents, but not the Domesday Book, were due to be moved out of Shepton Mallet on 5 July 1942 due to concern at the concentration of important items being held in one place, especially with German bombs falling on Bath and Bristol.
The escapees were a combination of German Prisoners of War and Allied Servicemen facing court martial. Although these individuals were probably aware that the documents probably had some intrinsic value, the realization did not fully sink in until the German officers recognized the "scrap of paper". Needless to say, the theft of this document was even more embarrassing for the British Government than the gullibility in making an agreement with the Fuehrer. However what was more important was the Magna Carta, because it represents Britain's unwritten constitution, a principle of rule of law that had been uninterrupted in Britain and America for eight centuries. Consequently its loss would seem a symbolic defeat of plural democracy to the Fascist powers. It was for these reasons of sustaining national morale that the British Government absolutely had to recover the documents.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.