In 1934, surrounded by the Kamarilla those shadowy courtiers who had forced the dismissal of Chancellor Hitler, eighty-six old and senile President von Hindenburgh expired at the worst possible time imaginable, just days after the outbreak of the German Civil War.
Von Hindenburg Dismisses Hitler Despite his huge popularity in the country few independent observers had expected the Weimar Republic to survive the conflict: due to the rules set down by the Treaty of Versailles, as Supreme Commander-In-Chief of the German armed forces Von Hindenburg could only call upon a force of one hundred thousand troops primarily split between seven infantry divisions and three cavalry divisions.
The likely victor was not Hitler but Ernst Röohm whose private army, the Sturmabteilung consisted of up to six million veterans of the Great War who ironically had served under Hindenburg.
The announcement of the passing of Hindenburg was accompanied by the deceased President's post-humous appeal to restore the German monarchy. Though he hoped one of the Prussian princes would be appointed to succeed him as Head of State, he did not attempt to use his powers in favour of such a restoration, as he considered himself bound by the oath he had sworn on the Weimar Constitution.
Story continues in Part Two.
In 338 B.C., King Phillip II of Macedon was defeated at Chaeronea.
Phillip II Defeated at Chaeronea It would be his final battle of the long Grecian Campaign. Phillip II of Macedon had led his "barbarian" troops to conquest of many of the Greek city-states and alliances with many more, building a league that, he hoped, would be enough to overthrow the powerful Persians to the east and solidify Greece as a world power with himself as the head. Not all Greeks agreed with his domination, and a band of Theban, Athenian, and numerous other allies stood as the final block to his plan (other than the Spartans, but they would never bow to a foreigner while still alive).
Phillip arranged his 30,000 man army with himself and his powerful cavalry on the right and his eighteen-year-old son Alexander with his Thessalian allies on the left. Alexander would face the Thebans, while Phillip himself would challenge the Athenians. A new story by Jeff ProvineHis plan was simple and elegant: attack the Athenians, withdraw to the high ground, and then hit them with Alexander and his cavalry as they were drawn out and their middle exposed.
Phillip began his attack and then withdrew, but the Athenians held. He launched a second attack, sortied away, and again the Athenians held. Their generals, reflecting only that morning on the high ground effectiveness of the Battle of Marathon, refused to fight uphill.
Meanwhile, the overwhelming numbers of the Thebans and allies pressed against the Thessalians. As Phillip began his third attack, the Athenians, still fresh, finally moved forward. However, instead of following Phillip up the hill, they wheeled and charged Alexander and his cavalry. Seeing the assault, Phillip charged downhill, but the Athenian formations parted to avoid his horsemen and regrouped to fight him at their rear.
Now divided, the Macedonian army began to break. Alexander held his men in constant attack, nearly breaking the Greeks. The young general may very well have won the battle and conquered the world, but it was not to be. A lucky Athenian spear found itself lodged into Alexander's side, the prince fell, and the Macedonians broke. Phillip would cover their retreat, but he knew his campaign had come to an end. He fell back to Macedon and worked to secure his throne for a new heir.
Again defending their freedom, the Greeks would rebuild their cities and return to their daily lives. The Persians, weary of their attempts at conquest, would remain quiet, and the next few decades would see the wars of the Mediterranean world shift toward the west with the Romans and the Carthaginians at each other's throats. In their second war, Greece would be drawn in by the Siege of Syracuse and split as some city-states favored Rome and others Carthage. Devastation would come across Greece as alliances built and fell until the end of the war when Rome would secure itself as dominant over nearly the whole of the Mediterranean.
Seeing a new superpower on the world, the Persian emperor Artaxerxes VI moved to a third attempt to conquer Greece while the Romans were still rebuilding. The Persian Wars (144 to 51 BC) would dwarf the Punic Wars, especially in the naval combat of the First. Great Romans such as Gaius Marius, Sulla, Pomey, and Caesar would arise. After only a generation of peace, civil war would split the Roman world, tearing it into pieces such as Hispania, Italia, Africa, Achea, Mesopotamia, and Persia. Each small state would vie for dominance with the others, swallowing the world in a dark age of sparring warlords.
It would not be until the Germanic Enlightenment (circa AD 450 - 750) that conquerors from the north would pick up the pieces of the scattered former empire and build a new order based on trade, peace, and, most importantly, the idea of banking to fund expeditions. Science (the fatalistic understanding that laws govern the universe) would follow in revolution with such technology such as the dampfmaschine (AD 769), telegraf (837), and glihbirne (879). Gradually, the world powers would move northward with the Nordic explorers and colonizers achieving dominance as leaders of the world through the second millennium.
In 1974, White House Chief of Staff General Alexander Haig (pictured) took the fortieth Vice President, Gerry Ford for a walk in the rose garden on this day. Nixon was going bonkers, said Haig, and we have got to get him out of here, and there are four possible ways to do that. The first three are unrealistic. But the fourth, he said, was if Ford would promise to pardon Nixon after he [Ford] became President, which in his [Haig's] view would gain Nixon's agreement to resign.
High Stakes Poker in the White House Rose GardenFord dismissed the suggestion out of hand. But the discussion was far from over, it was in fact just getting started. Because Nixon had an "ace in the hole". Previously, 82nd Airborne had been brought in to protect the Presidency against anti-war demonstrations. The division was commanded by General Cushman, unusually a political appointee who had served Nixon as National Security Advisor during his Vice Presidency, and later Deputy CIA Director. Cushman understood that those same protestors were now calling for "Jail to the Chief". And so from his inside pocket, Haig produced a top secret, "eyes only", limited distribution order to move the the 82nd Airborne Division from its base at Fort Bragg, North Caroline to surround the White House. Signed by General Robert Cushman, commandant of the US Marine Corps the order was marked topmost priority, Flash Override.
"All men are created equal and that includes presidents and plumbers" ~ Mike Mansfield, Democratic Majority LeaderOf course the provisions of the National Security Act required that the President transmit all military orders through the defense secretary, James Schlesinger. In fact the Secretary was deeply concerned about the President's mental condition - during the last six months alone Schlesinger had been forced to countermand orders to bomb Damascus and Jordan and nuke Vietnam and Korea (orders that were ignored until Nixon sobered up in the morning). Secretary of the Treasury George Schultz also believed that Nixon was stoned out of his mind on Seconal, single-malt Scotch, Dilantin, speed, and clinical paranoia, beating his wife, Pat on a regular basis. By this time the pressure to resign was incredible, and Nixon was clearly losing his mind. Both Schlesinger and Schultz feared a military coup, having agreed with the Joint Chiefs of Staff that all military orders must be signed by two Senior Cabinet Officers (them).
Ford bought the deal, he had not choice. Forced to accept the fourth option, he was not forced to honour the bargain. Because Ford's integrity was built open loyalty to the Constitution and the American people. And so less than four weeks in office, on September 8th now President Gerry Ford anounced that his predecessor would be subject to the full force of criminal law, whether he was insane or not. And shortly afterwards, Haig was replaced in his post by Donald Rumsfeld.
In 1971, the Cambodian government of Lon Nol falls in a coup orchestrated by former North Vietnamese troops and indigenous leftist guerrillas calling themselves the Khmer Rouge.Fall of Lol Non's Government by Eric Lipps
Lon Nol's regime had itself been established by a CIA-backed coup in March 1970 which deposed Prince Norodom Sihanouk while he was out of the country, and the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge exploit Nol's CIA connection -- documented in papers seized during the takeover--to whip up anti-American sentiment.
Over the next several months, Cambodia's new rulers will establish a totalitarian regime on Marxist principles. Under the influence of the Vietnamese among the leadership, who include NVA general Vo Nguyen Giap, they mobilize a guerrilla army aimed at launching a cross-border assault on U.S.-occupied Vietnam.
In the U.S., early CIA reports regarding this effort will not be taken seriously by the Nixon administration. President Nixon, determined to claim victory in Southeast Asia, will dismiss the possibility of an attack from Cambodia as 'alarmist.'
In 1935, Officer John Bruce of the Tank Corps Regiment delivered the most extraordinary announcement to the world's media. This revelation followed the recent death of a Private Shaw of the Tank Corps in a motorcyle accident at Clouds Hill.
Secrets from the Arab Revolt Part 1Shaw was a false name for Colonel TE Lawrence, hiding from both a murky past and also unwanted hero worship. The hero worship had been partly caused by the British Government.
Trying to move the focus off the meatgrinder of the Western Front, the Government had shifted the attention of the home front by glorifying Lawrence's role in the so-called 'Arab Revolt'.
In fact, the significance of the campaign has been questioned by military historans even since - seen by many as a reckless side show with dangerous long-term side affects for the people of the Middle-East. In 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' Lawrence had penned his war diary setting out a somewhat different account. Actually, in the first version, a very different account.
The diary had been immediately written following the fall of Damascus in October 1918, which Lawrence marked as the end of the 'Arab Revolt'. Written whilst the events were fresh in his mind, this seven volume account ran to over 250,000 words.
Actually Lawrence kept extensive notes throughout the course of his involvement in the Revolt. He began work on a clean narrative in the first half of 1919 while in Paris for the peace conference and, later that summer, while back in Egypt. By December 1919 he had a fair draft of most of the ten books that make up the Seven Pillars of Wisdom but, in an act of monumental absent-mindedness and misfortune, lost it (except for the introduction and final two books) when he misplaced his briefcase while changing trains at Reading railway station.
National newspapers alerted the public to the loss of the hero's manuscript, but to no avail: the draft remained lost. Lawrence refers to this version as 'Text I and says that had it been published, it would have been some 250,000 words in length.
In a statement that rung true, John Bruce said that anyone who believed that story, would believe anything.
In 1807, British foreign minister George Canning received mistaken reports of Danish naval mobilization, coinciding with the news of the the Franco-Russian agreement at Tilsit.
Watch the Youtube Clip
Fateful Decision by Jussi JalloThe impression was that Denmark was already acting in accordance with the Continental System and preparing to close the Baltic from the British shipping. Luckily the veracity of the reports was challenged in time, enabling Canning to make a fateful decision.
Ignoring advice to go pre-emptive, Canning was quickly proven correct. Crown prince Frederik had taken command of the Danish army in Holstein, ready to defy all French encroachments threatening the vital Danish-Norwegian maritime trade. With the previous policy of neutrality now rendered impossible, Denmark was ready to roll the dice and take its chances on the same side with Britain in the battle against the Napoleonic France.
|Head of State|
On this day in 1968, a new provisional Russian government headed by former Brezhnev supporter-turned-critic Alexei Kosygin formally disbanded the CPSU, effectively ending more than half a century of Communist rule in Russia
On this day in 1944, Soviet troops liberated the Latvian capital, Riga.
On this day in 2007, Magical Trevor made another food commercial, this time promoting cucumbers.
On this day in 1944, the Polish anti-Nazi uprising in Warsaw was dealt a severe setback as German troops recaptured the Stare Miasto section of the city.
I have a normal practice. I treat people who have problems with their drinking, with depression, with the way that they're seeing the world. I help them get through that, and try to steer them to a better view of life. I've been doing it for about 15 years now, and I like my work. I think that I'm making a difference, and I think that I'm helping people.
I live in a medium-sized town in Texas, a couple hundred thousand people. Not East Podunk, but not New York City. People are fairly polite, pretty nice, but they can get into bad situations, and they need someone who can talk to them, and give them advice. I'm not the only psychiatrist, but I care about my patients, and I see to it that they get only the best from me.
I want to make it perfectly clear from the outset that I am not a crusader for pseudoscience. I am grounded in science, in the real world, in my relationships within my community. I do not look for outlandish explanations to people's problems, I don't believe in regressive hypnotherapy, I don't believe in past lives. Or, at least I didn't.
There was a very hot summer, a couple of years ago, that I noticed a large upsurge in patients. I don't know, maybe there was something about the heat that was just setting everyone on edge. Many of my long-time clients were feeling anxious, most of my new clients seemed to be of the violent sort, and I was beginning to think that maybe I should find another line of work or else retire. You get those thoughts, sometimes. You can't help them. Psychiatrists are weighed down with a lot of cares, and if they don't have a good therapist of their own to talk to, it can be very hard to carry on.
So, it was a terrible summer, and my professional life wasn't giving me any satisfaction. I was thinking of taking a vacation, but with the upsurge in business, I didn't think that I could abandon anyone for my own selfish desire to sit on a beach with my wife and sip Margaritas. I was feeling stressful, and needed a rest, so I took a day off. It's nice to be able to play hooky for a little while. I cancelled all my appointments, painfully in some cases, and I took a drive to Austin for a long weekend with Francine, my lovely bride.
It was sheer heaven. Austin, if you've never been, is an oasis of goofiness in the vast desert of Texas' sanity. There are people there who could make you believe the Sixties never ended, and that they never began. It appeals to the conservative and the liberal. A fascinating city for people-watchers like myself, and a wonderful opportunity to catch up on culture for Francine.
'Tom,' she said to me as we drove down Highway 79 towards that lovely Mecca, 'when we get there, can we stop at the Whole Foods on Lamar? We can get some of their fresh fruit, a little bread, some wine and cheese, and have a nice little picnic down in Zilker Park.' She laid her hand across my shoulder and gently massaged. 'Wouldn't that be romantic? You and me, a blanket, all-natural? and au natural later on, if you want.' Her hand slid down my arm and gave my thigh a squeeze, very close to my favorite spot for her to squeeze.
'That sounds wonderful.' I glanced at her smiling face, then turned back to the road. 'Maybe we can find one of those nice secluded spots on the rock island.'
Her head leaned over and rested on my shoulder. Her short black hair had a lovely scent of jasmine and rosemary, and I breathed it in. My wife can be positively intoxicating at times. I had been missing moments like this for almost a year. That can place a strain on any marriage, but Francine had been very understanding, thank god.
We had reached the stretch of road outside of Hutto that is almost nothing but farmland when I saw a man on the side of the road. There was nothing to block my view of him, so I was able to observe him from a couple of miles away. He was only wearing shorts, nothing unusual in the Texas summer, but he didn't seem to be either jogging or hitching. He seemed to be stumbling.
'Francine, does that man look all right?' We were about to pass him, so she shaded her eyes and squinted to get a better look. I slowed down some, but we still shot past at a good clip.
Francine's gasp made me slow down almost to a stop. 'Jesus, Tom, that man has some kind of head wound.' My foot hit the brake and I swerved onto the shoulder, then started backing up, watching the man grow increasingly larger in my rearview mirror.
He was a man of average size, blond hair, skin reddened by exposure to the sun, and he was a mass of bruises. His nose and lower face were covered in blood, and his eyes were glazed over. As soon as we were within ten feet of him, I stopped the car and ran out to him.
He didn't react to me at all. I grabbed him by the arm and looked into his eyes, and they were almost fully dilated. That meant that he was probably blinded by the bright sunlight all around us. 'Sir, can you understand me?' His face turned to me, but it remained expressionless. 'I'm a doctor. I'm going to help you, get you to a hospital. Can you understand?' He made no sound, and I was beginning to think that he must have been severely concussed by whatever had happened to him. I started walking him to my car, and Francine got out and opened the back door to help him in. 'It's going to be all right. I think you have a concussion, but we're going to get you to some help.' I didn't think he was hearing a word I was saying, but you never know, and it's best to be smooth and reassuring in moments like that.
As we came to the car door and I started to help him in, he turned to me and pulled me very close to his face. 'They're coming now. They've got me, and they're coming now for the rest of you.'
'Who's coming now?' My opinion at this point was that he was probably suffering delusions after the head trauma, which was quite understandable. I did my best to remain calm and soothing.
'The others. They'll be here, and there isn't anything we can do to stop them. They took the only one who could.' He allowed me to bend his head so that he could fit into the back seat, and I closed the door on him. Francine got in and started reassuring him, too.
When I got in, she was caught up in the conversation with him. 'They're not here now, so you can relax, sir. Don't worry. What's your name?'
'Tim Johnson.' He came to life a little bit. 'I'm from Branford.'
'I never heard of that. Is it a small town?'
'Everything's small here in Connecticut.'
I glanced over at Francine and shook my head. There was no need to tell this man where he was and give him any further shock.
In 1975, mob executioner Frank Sheeran dumped the cremated remains of Jimmy Hoffa into Lake Michigan. The cremation had been performed at Grand Lawn Cemetery, a short drive from the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Nobody had expected Hoffa to settle into a quiet retirement. For relaxation, Jimmy enjoyed boating trips wherein he and friends would chum the waters, shoot sharks with Thompson submachine guns and/or beat sharks to death with nail studded baseball bats.
Yet he had entered a whole new league of trouble when he threatened to reveal the mob's entanglement with Teamsters pension funds -- even though he himself turned the Central States Pension Fund into the Mafia's private piggy bank.
The mob weren't the only people wanting to eliminate Hoffa. The White House feared Hoffa's plans for the labour movement. In 1964 Hoffa had succeeded in bringing virtually all North American over-the-road truck drivers under a single national master freight agreement. His ambition now was to an agreement for all transport workers, giving him the power to paralyze America. The interests of the White House and the mob converged. Naturally, 'they' had organized the hit.
In 1996, on this day Adrienne Gormley published 'Children of Tears'. In the alternate world of this counter-factual novel, rather than stay the course, the British have prematurely withdrawn from the Raj in India during the early post-war years.
A woman recounts how her family are directly affected by the fictional sectarian partition that follows. The essence of of Gormley's genius is to present an anti-imperialist Winston Churchill and ask the question What If Churchill had meant it when he said he would preside over the end of the British Empire?
In 1990, troops of the Iraqi army invade the neighboring nation of Kuwait, threatening to bring Kuwait's vast oil reserves under the control of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Gold speculators who since the election of President Jack Kemp have been quietly buying up supplies of the precious metal and interest in mines respond by redoubling their efforts, gambling on war to drive up prices.
On Aug. 6, the United Nations Security Council demands and immediate Iraqi withdrawal and imposes a trade boycott. Two days later, the United States launches Operation Desert Wind in response to Saddam Hussein's proclamation that Kuwait is now part of Iraq, as its '19th province.' Over the next two weeks, Baghdad will close its borders, the Arab League will agree to send Egyptian, Syrian and Moroccan troops to support the Western forces engaged in Desert Wind, Iraq will reopen diplomatic negotiations with Iran, and the Iraqi government announces that Western nationals still in Kuwait will be held as 'guests' at strategic Kuwaiti locations.
On this day in 1947, the last of the survivors of the July 6th Roswell asteroid strike was released from the hospital.
On this day in 1939, Britain declared war on Spain in reaction to the Spanish invasion of Gibraltar. The following day, Germany would declare war on the British.
|Franco & Hitler|
On this day in 1941, German and Finnish troops encircled Leningrad.
In 1939, Semitic-African Resistance agitator Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Alfred Landon, urging him to obtain nuclear weapons technology from the Greater Zionist Resistance. Einstein warns Landon that the German Underground will not be content to stay within the borders of Germany, and that America should consider them nothing less than a mortal enemy.
In 1801, representatives of the British, French and Spanish colonies, the Iroquois, and the Mlosh meet to adopt the Articles of Confederation. While the European powers have little choice but to watch, their North American colonies are joined with the native and alien peoples in a strong, new nation.
In 1074, Mahmud I, emperor of the Ottoman Empire, conqueror of Austria and Russia, light of Allah, was born in Istanbul.
In 1961, the Silver Beatles, headed by drummer Pete Best, begin regular engagements in Liverpool's Cavern Club. After Best leaves the band the next year, they keep playing with replacement drummer Ringo Starr, but without Best, the band has no real charisma.
In 1923, President Warren G. Harding dies in a hotel room, in the arms of a young woman who was not his wife. Before the scene can be cleaned up, the press arrive, and the story is spread across the country. Harding's Vice-President, Calvin Coolidge, resigns in disgrace, unwilling to take office in such a manner. This makes the Republican Speaker of the House, Frederick Gillett of Massachusetts, the President of the United States.
In 1922, actor Carroll O'Connor was born. One of those good actors who seemed to turn up in bad productions, O'Connor was cast in a British import show, Till Death Do Us Part in the 1970's, with hopes that he could carry it. Unfortunately, not even O'Connor's prodigious talent could save the show, and it was cancelled mid-season.
representatives of the Japanese government witnessed a demonstration shot of the atomic bomb. Shocked by an immediate understanding of what such a weapon could do to a major Japanese City, they report back to Tokyo. Japan's leaders at the Imperial conference (gozenkaigi) decided, in principle, to accept the uncompromising terms the Allies had set down for ending the war in the Potsdam Declaration. President Dewey
had conceived the idea of a demonstration in preference to a civilian target, a major Japanese city. Listening now to the radio address given by Emperor Hirohito to the nation, Dewey analysed the text of the Imperial Rescript on Surrender as it was known, announcing the acceptance. Most telling was the phrase 'No Other Choice'.
In 1988, General Sir John Winthrop Hackett; et al. Completed The Third World War, August 1985. Written from a bunker in England's West Country, the narration ends with a chilling line. 'As long as capitalism and socialism exist,' Lenin wrote, 'we cannot live in peace: in the end, one or the other will triumph-a funeral dirge will be sung either over the Soviet Republic or over world capitalism. It has been sung'
In 1798, 'suddenly a cannonball ripped through the railing and Nelson sensed rather than felt the splinter of wood that pierced his side. He fell to the deck, clutching the would with both hands and knowing immediately that no surgeon's skills could help him this time'. ~ death of Nelson.
In 1943, on this fateful day Lieutenant John F. "Jack" Kennedy was killed when his Military Torpedo Boat PT-109 was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri near New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. He was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.
Profiles in CourageJust one year later his elder brother Joe also died when a drone aircraft experiment went tragically wrong.
Their father Joseph P. Kennedy was a prominent American businessman, investor, and government official who had served in a number of high profiles offices including the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and also United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James. He subsequently used the story of his personal sacrifices during the war to demonstrate his patriotism during an unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1956.
This article is based upon an article post by Robbie Taylor.
In 1945, on this day the Potsdam Agreement was signed by Stalin, Truman, and Attlee. This agreement covered how post-war Germany was to be treated, and the final settlement of the war in Europe.
Operation Solstice #2
By Steven FisherThe war in Europe had ended on May 9, 1945 with the fall of Berlin and the surrender of the Nazi government under Admiral Donitz, who had been appointed after Hitler's suicide during the Battle of Berlin. But the situation among the Allied had changed since the meeting in Yalta, and the Allies convened in Potsdam to discuss the treatment of postwar Germany, and to discuss surrender terms for Japan.
Stalin, who was the only wartime leader of the Allies to stay in power, was not pleased with how things had turned out. The Americans where occupying parts of the Soviet occupation zone which had been agreed to in the Yalta conference. He was determined that Britain and America would give him the territory that he felt he deserved. However, he met stiff resistance from Harry Truman and Clement Attlee, who were determined to limit the Soviets to controlling only the territory that they had conquered.
The Allies would leave the Potsdam Conference largely satisfied, but with some reservations. The Allies had agreed to Stalin's demand to move the border of Germany to the Oder River, and to allow the Soviets to annex East Prussia, along with an agreement for Germany to pay war reparations to the Soviet Union, and for the transfer of industry from Germany to Russia. They also recognize the Provisional Government of National Unity in Poland. But they would refuse to give the Soviets the land that had been given to them in the Yalta Conference but was currently under Allied occupation. It is a mistake they will live to regret. For Stalin leaves the conference seeing that the Allies will never willingly give him the land he wants. The only way will be to take it by force. Once the Soviets had developed their own atomic bomb in order to break the Americans soon-to-be monopoly, they would approach the Allies again with two options: The land.... or war.
The whole thread is available at the Operation Solstice.
In 1800, with the Leaders of the Federalist Party in violent disagreement over the direction of the quasi-war with France an accusatory letter brought Alexander Hamilton and John Adams to their own armed conflict, a duel in Weehawken:
British Faction"It has been repeatedly mentioned to me [Alexander Hamilton] that you [John Adams] have on different occasions asserted the existence of a British faction in this country, embracing a number of leading or influential characters of the federal party, as usually denominated ; and that you have sometimes named me, at others plainly alluded to me, as one of this description of persons.
And I have likewise been assured, that, of late, some of your warm adherents, for electioneering purposes, have employed a corresponding Ianguage. I must, sir, take it for granted that you cannot have made such assertions or insinuations without being willing to avow them, and to assign the reasons to a party who may conceive himself injured by them. I therefore trust that you will not deem it improper, that I apply directly to yourself, to ascertain from you, in reference to your own declarations, whether the information I have received is correct or not ; and if correct, what are the grounds upon which you have founded the suggestion".
In better times Adams might have adroitely sidestepped the issue with a diplomatic response, notwithstanding the poor judgement observed by Benjamin Franklin "He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise man, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses". Unfortunately, this was a dreadful moment, not only was the Presidency slipping away from Adams but had just received the crushing news that his son Charles had died, succumbing to alcoholism at the age of just thirty.
To settle the issue, the two men met for an "interview" at a secluded spot in Weehawken, New Jersey. Adams and his supporters expected that honour would be served by both men agreeing to discharge their weapons and walk away. But Hamilton, hell-bent on self-destruction, had a more sinister plan in mind: to kill the President in a "misfire", use his position as the Major General of the Standing Army to seize the Presidency and declare war on France.
In 1940, on this day the Nazi UFOs in "hot pursuit" of the fleeing British Government turned back after a cabal of American Nazi businessmen convinced the Fuhrer that North America would soon fall to a Quisling-style coup d'etat.
Hot PursuitWith the RAF swept from the skies by next generation flying saucers, Operation Sealion had proceeded with frightening pace forcing Churchill to plan a strategic withdrawal to establish a Government-in-Exile in Canada. Hitler ordered Goering to destroy the Royal Navy ships carrying both the Cabinet and also the Royal Household. However, for the second time in six months, he ordered a last minute halt operation that enraged (and confounded) the German armed services.
In the United States, Nazi sympathisers such as Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Prescott Bush and Alfred P. Sloan were confident that they could overthrow the government. However the sudden opening of an Atlantic theatre might prove counter-productive to their plans, and therefore they convinced the Fuhrer that such a move was unnecessary. Instead, Edward VIII and Oswald Mosley formed a new government in London, one that could demonstrate the semblance of sovereignty that would force Churchill to capitulate, and perhaps convince the silent majority of Americans to come around to the idea of joining the Axis.
But then the situation changed dramatically; the benign alien race known as the Mlosh landed in Canada. In his diary that night, Churchill wrote the famous words: "To have the Mlosh at our side was to me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the Mlosh was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all!...Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder". It was an amazing reversal of fortune for the blue-bloods; the tide of war had finally turned (green)..
In 1789, with France under constant bombardment in the Revolutionary Wars as seemingly all of the European Crowns turned against the upstart Republic, General Napoleon Bonaparte launched his Egyptian campaign in an effort to put pressure on India and, hopefully, draw Britain out of the war.
French Rout English Fleet at Alexandria His fleet sailed south disguising its agenda, conquering Malta and moving rapidly toward its final destination of Alexandria. While the fleet under Admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers anchored in Aboukir Bay, Napoleon began his conquest with his land armies. Brueys supported Napoleon with naval bombardments, but by July 27 Napoleon was eager for the admiral to move on to better harbors. He dispatched a courier to Brueys ordering him to move to Corfu in Greece to prepare for campaigns against the Ottomans.
A new story by Jeff ProvineAs the fleet left sight of the shore of Egypt, it came upon the British fleet under Admiral Nelson that had been pursuing them throughout the Mediterranean. With little time to maneuver, both admirals threw their fleets against one another. The more daring Nelson split his fleet, hoping to achieve a crossfire, but the moving French managed to stay beside the British ships, trading blows. The battle lasted until after dark, when the English began to move away.
While tactically indecisive itself, the battle would be proclaimed a French victory. Without many harbors to support them, the British fleet would retreat out of the Mediterranean. Worse, the brave Admiral Nelson would be mortally wounded, struck down by French snipers from the rigging. The battered French fleet would regroup with other ships, building up the force that would later destroy the Ottoman navy and establish French dominance over the Mediterranean.
Napoleon, using easy supply trains across Mediterranean waters, conquered Egypt and moved northward through Judea and Syria. In 1800, he marched on Asia Minor, beginning a string of battles that would finally dethrone the Ottoman Sultan and break the empire into small protectorates of France. In 1802, Britain had hopes of establishing a Second Coalition with Austria, but the Austrian emperors, now free to dominate the Balkans, joined with their former enemies, the French.
Meanwhile, Napoleon continued east through Persia. Many began to fear his egotism as he spoke of himself as the new Alexander, but his victories could not be dismissed. Some called for his return to France, but Napoleon felt confident to press to India, just as his militaristic predecessor had done some two thousand years before.
Britain continued the war alone for three years, but as Napoleon conquered the Indus and headed toward lower India, they sued for peace. At the Treaty of Trafalgar in 1805, establishing in writing the French dominance of the Mediterranean that had been maintained by battle for years, the war came to an end. Napoleon seemed ravenous for more conquest, and the government feared he would turn on France itself. Instead, they sent him on a sort of exile to be the military governor of the huge tract Louisiana in North America, newly won back from the Spanish in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso.
Napoleon would solidify his command in New Orleans and launch expeditions of exploration and settlement into the countryside. Friction would build between the French and the Americans, who, under President Thomas Jefferson, had purchased shipping rights in the Mississippi as a shared border. Finally, in 1812, war would be declared as Indians in Tecumseh's War were believed by Americans to be supplied by Napoleon.
The frontier war was brutal, and the naval battles in the Gulf and Caribbean devastated both countries' western Atlantic fleets. Napoleon knew he did not have enough troops for a wide front, so he decided to build up a Grande Arm?e and march up the Ohio River Valley with the final goal of Washington, D.C. The gamble would prove a blunder as American civilians and soldiers alike would plague the French with snipers and guerrilla combat. Before his planned crossing of the Appalachians (perhaps to match another hero, Hannibal), Napoleon decided to turn back.
The final battle of the War of 1812 was near New Orleans, where Col. Andrew Jackson marched to take the nearly unguarded capital. Napoleon raced back, rallied his men, and counterattacked in another gamble that would fail as Jackson's troops hid behind wagons and trees (fighting "without honor" as Americans were known to do). Artillery seemingly disintegrated the American force, but the stalwart frontiersmen slipped behind the French and captured Napoleon in his command tent.
The war ended with the Treaty of New Orleans, where France would surrender its Louisiana colony and Americans pay reparations for property and life lost to a total of 78 million francs (15 million dollars). The embarrassed Napoleon would be sent to Haiti as governor without arms, and he would die in 1821, some say of a broken heart.
In 1946, American President Harry S. Truman spoke to the citizens of the United States by radio address to announce his support for a free and independent Vietnam. The news came as a shock to many in his administration, who view the restoration of French rule in Indochina as key to gaining French President Georges Bidault's support against an increasingly belligerent Soviet Union.
President Truman Guarantees Vietnamese Statehood by Andrew BeaneTruman's address began with the words: "My fellow Americans, it is my decision, against the advice of many within my administration, that the United States of America will recognize the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a free and independent nation among nations". He went on to say that before such recognition can take place, Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh must give the US assurance that his government will not become a client state of the Soviet Union, and that the Soviet Military will not set foot in Vietnamese territory. President Ho has already denied that he has sought Soviet assistance, insisting that after the devastating war against Adolf Hitler, Moscow was in no position to extend support to a place as remote as Vietnam.
"United States of America recognize[s] the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a free and independent nation among nations" ~ TrumanFrance is not likely to take this decision by Truman in a friendly manner. President Bidault has contended that the restoration of France's colonies that fell under foreign rule or were otherwise lost during the war was essential to rebuilding France. Upon hearing the address, the French Ambassador to the US, Henri Bonnet, accused the United State of coveting rubber reserves in "French territory". Vietnam has already appeared in Washington-Paris relations, with former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt insisting that the Vietnamese people, like all peoples of the world, deserved to live under the government of their choosing, though he died before being able to make a definitive decision to support Vietnamese independence.
In the year 2559, of the Cyrus era Moshe Katsav (pictured) assumed the role of Grand Vizier of Persia on this day.
Born in the city of Yazd in the Shir Kuh valley fifty-five years before, he would become the first Kalami (ethnic Jew) to be given the absolute power of attorney by the Shahanshah (the "King of Kings"), Reza Pahlavi (the only precedent for such an appointment was Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, Vizier to the Egyptian Pharaoh).
Moshe Kasav appointed the first Jewish Grand Vizier of PersiaThe same Hebrew scripture also recorded the rise of Esther, a Jewish woman to Queen of Persia, and her role in stopping the plot of Haman, chief advisor to the Persian king, to wipe out all Jews living in Persia. Also the book of Ezra 6:14 recorded the ancient bond with the Persian monarchs who are credited with permitting and enabling the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple; its reconstruction was affected "according to the decree of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia" by which time there was a well-established and influential Jewish community in Persia.
"Our family has lived in Iran for 2,500 years, and Iranian Jewry has the long history in that land". ~ KatsavThe Middle Persian ancestor of the word "Vizier" in Pahlavi is vichir, which in turn originated from Avestan vichira, meaning decreer or arbitrator. Unfortunately the great minister and chief legislator of the Shahanshah would himself fall foul of the laws of Persia and also Hebrew scripture. Charged with criminal activities, his "burder of office" would end prematurely, just seven years later.
In 1979, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Foreign Secretary Lord Peter Carrington quit the fifth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) less than one hour after their ill-fated arrival in Lusaka, Zambia. The fifteen-year armed struggle known variously as the Rhodesia Bush War, Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle would soon reach an apocalyptic outcome.
British Delegation Quit Lusaka ConferenceThe new Conservative administration had only been elected weeks before on 31st May, and Thatcher adopted much the same approach to Rhodesia as to Northern Ireland - a steely determination that terrorists should play no role in a future Government. Carrington had given the matter much deeper thought from the Opposition benches in the House of Lords, but for all intents and purposes was very much of the same mind.
Ironically, 31st May had been the last day in office for Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith. Smith had made way for Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the so-called white man's black prime minister. Yet the civil war continued unabated, costing the Rhodesian economy £500,000 a day and having resulting in the exodus of 20% of the pre-1965 population of White Rhodesia. Worse, over 50% of the defence bill was being paid by the Republic of South Africa, and Robert Mugabe's Patriotic Front was in complete control of the eastern region of the country.
Not only was the white farmer cause lost, the Internal Settlement for Zimbabwe Rhodesia was a dead letter with Bishop Muzorewa powerless to stop the escalating violence.
Thatcher and Carrington arrived in Lusaka convinced that the settlement would be signed in an only slightly modified format; the majority of the CHOGM would insist upon a completely fresh start for Zimbabwe. Most objectionable was the right for the white minority to veto constitutional change in the new successor state. A core group led by the Commonwealth Secretary General Shridath Ramphal planned three days of escalating pressure followed by two days of intensity; it would not prove necessary.
The British Journalist Anthony Verrier described the climax of the conference ~
"Upon her arrival, Thatcher was hustled into a VIP lounge by the overenthusiatic Zambian media and emerged forty minutes later, shaken and close to tears. The British Prime Minister had been subject to a grilling a hostile witness might get at a murder trial. Uncharacteristically losing control, she had faltered, exclaiming she would return to London 'tonight!'.
Carrington was the pivot on which all manoeuvres turned. He was in a difficult, possible a dangerous mood. A few hours before .. Shell-BP in Nigeria had been expropriated. Carrington had ignored the warning as imminent, believing it to be merely a prospective, a means of applying pressure on Mrs Thatcher at an opportune moment, during a crisis. Carrington lost his temper .. when Nigeria's Commissioner for External Affairs, Major-General Adefope almost discourteously dismissed the expropriation, Carrington's temper was not improved when Mrs Thatcher rebuked him in front of journalists. Adefope merely shrugged and said he had to see the Queen when Carrington furiously declared that expropriating Shell-BP would not affect British policy on Rhodesia"..
Twenty four hours later, Bishop Murorewa fled the country and the Commander of the Combined Operations Headquarters of the Military of Rhodesia General Peter Walls issued a stark warning. The crusty Sandhurst graduate, who had spent much of the past seven years fighting the guerrillas said that he had determined his ~ "own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".
In 1995, the Prime Minister's autobiography 'The Ten Downing Street Years' was published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Falklands Emergency Part 10 - Strategic Significance by Ed.Chapter VII The Falklands: Defeat (the battle for the Falklands in May and June 1982) reads ~ "The islands had obvious strategic importance , possessing several good harbours with 500 miles of Cape Horn. When the Panama Canal was closed by World War Three in 1989, their significance became considerable.
But it must be admitted that the Falklands were always an improbable cause for a twentieth-century war". ~ Lady Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Leader and UK Prime Minister 1983-1992.
To be continued..
In 1940, on this day the last remnants of the German airborne landing force near Blackpool were captured by Canadian troops. The Blackpool raid's failure by itself would have been a bitter enough pill for Hitler to swallow, but to add insult to injury British prime minister Winston Churchill gleefully announced the next day that Kurt Student -- founder of the Luftwaffe paratroop corps and architect of the Blackpool assault plan ? was among the prisoners.
Hitler never forgave Student for the Blackpool defeat-- and neither did Luftwaffe commander-in-chief Hermann Goering, who promptly cashiered Student in absentia and ordered that he be arrested and court-martialed for incompetence the moment he returned to Germany. At one point Goering even considered abolishing the Luftwaffe's paratrooper branch altogether.
Post-World War II historians would later cite the Allied victory at Blackpool as the moment when the Third Reich's military fortunes started to change for the worse; some of those historians even cited it as a factor in Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin's subsequent decision to invade German-occupied territories in western Poland in the spring of 1941.
On this day in 2018 former CSI regular Paul Guilfoyle returned to television as host of a documentary marking the centennial anniversary of the Boston Red Sox' 1918 World Series championship.
On this day in 2016, Paramount Pictures announced that producer Michael Bay, who'd worked with Jerry Bruckheimer on the movies Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, would finish the screenplay for the stalled third CSI movie.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy confers at the White House with NASA chief T. Keith Glennan and agency chief scientist Wernher von Braun, the latter still wearing a brace on his right arm. At that meeting, he raises serious questions as to whether the Dyna-Soar can be made to work as envisioned, and whether, if missions to the moon are to be pursued, it will be necessary to use a different propulsion system.
Von Braun insists the Dyna-Soar's boosters, code-named Zeus, can be perfected. Somewhat recklessly, he points out that the rockets he developed for Germany before and during World War II had their share of problems as well, but ultimately worked. This does not sit well with Kennedy, who had served in the Navy during that war.
At the close of the meeting, he asks Glennan to stay behind briefly and asks him bluntly: "How badly do we really need an ex-Nazi like von Braun?"
Glennan, who has had his share of run-ins with the scientist, reluctantly asserts that the German expatriate is vital to the U.S. space effort's success--to which Kennedy responds: "Then it had damn well better start succeeding again!"
In 1944 on this day American and Free French troops surrounded Waffen-SS units at the town of Dijon. The resulting five-day siege would be immortalized in the American press as "the Battle of the Bulge".
In 1975, the cremated remains of Jimmy Hoffa were secretly shipped out of the Grand Lawn Cemetery, a short drive from the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The ex-Teamsters President was no stranger to the underworld of American society. Yet he had recently entered a whole new league of danger. In 1971, to secure his prison release, Hoffa had made a payment of half a million dollars to President Richard Nixon and his attorney general, John Mitchell.
Trouble was he had been banned from union activities. As part of his comback plan, he had recently threatened to reveal the mob's entanglement with Teamsters pension funds -- even though he himself turned the Central States Pension Fund into the Mafia's private piggy bank. Organized crime wanted to shut him up. So did the White House.
On this day in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a nationwide state of emergency in the US as an airborne plague which had mutated from a biological weapon developed by China in the late 1960s continued to ravage most of America's major cities. The bioweapon from which the plague evolved had been used by the Chinese against Soviet troops three months earlier as a vicious border war between China and the Soviet Union escalated.
On this day in 2014, Jerry Bruckheimer's movie adaptation of CSI: Crime Scene Investigations officially became the highest-grossing theatrical film of all time.
In 1939, on this day Spain without warning or provocation attacked the British outpost at Gibraltar, triggering the Second World War. Spanish Falangist dictator Francisco Franco had been planning this attack for years in revenge for his country's defeat by the Allies in the First World War; he was strongly encouraged to do so by his Axis partners Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, both of whom stood to benefit from a successful Spanish conquest of Gibraltar.
|Franco & Hitler|
In 1965, after reading a CIA report which says that Castro's rebels are gaining support in the Cuban countryside, President Johnson orders another 75,000 troops sent to the island. Accompanying them will be CIA covert operations forces charged with identifying and 'neutralizing' Castro supporters among the populace, under the code name Operation New Broom. "We're going to sweep that country clean", CIA Director Vice-Admiral William Raborn promises.
On this day in 1947, the US Army Corps of Engineers dispatched a construction battalion to Roswell to aid rebuilding efforts as the city continued its recovery from the July 6th asteroid strike.
On this day in 1953, President Syngman Rhee formally proclaimed the re-establishment of a unified Korean nation.
In 1798, during the evening, the Battle of Aboukir Bay was joined between a British fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson and a French fleet under Vice-Admiral Francois-Paul Brueys D'Aigalliers. French losses have been estimated to have been as high as 1,700 dead (including Vice-Admiral Brueys) and 3,000 captured. British losses were 218 dead. Including Nelson, of course. The Battle of the Nile would have profound consequences for North America.
In 2003, on this day the compendium "A Collection of Political Counterfactuals' was published. Simon Burns' masterful entry "What if Lee Harvey Oswald had missed?" was a keynote contribution, considering the scenario where John Kennedy had served as U.S. president until 1968. The essence of Burns' masterpiece is the competition of mysterious forces at Dallas. Two green pinpricks are amongst the ocean of eyes who watch the Kennedy's plane land at Love Field. The presidential motorcade turns the corner at Dealey Plaza 12.29pm. Amongst the many placards of warm welcome, one says Snake Eyes watching you. Kennedy instinctively ducks, and the assassins bullets thud harmlessly into the upholstery of the 1961 Lincoln Continental.
In 1938, and through the smooth operation of Dane law, Winston Spencer Churchill accepted the office of Minister President of the Scandinavian Union. The appointment of Churchill was of historic significance for three reasons, one somewhat embarrassing. Churchill was the first Celt to be so named. And he was the first Celt since King Harold Godwinson II to rule the British Isles exactly one millennia before. Finally he could drink a whole longboat of Vikings under the table. "It is my policy never to leave the pub before closing time" was one of the bulldog's more famous expressions, presumably said around closing time.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.