Quotulatiousness

August 13, 2017

War-Weariness I THE GREAT WAR Summary Part 10

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 12 Aug 2017

In this special Recap Episode we summarize the events from May to July 1917. Two major Allied spring offensives at Arras and on the Aisne come to an end with mixed results. The Macedonian Front flares up again as does the 10th Battle of the Isonzo. Mutiny in the French army. A stunning British victory at the Battle of Messines. A vicious battle on the heights of Mount Ontigara. The first American troops are landing in France. July sees the great strides of the Kerensky offensive featuring the Russian Women´s Battalion of Death. A showdown between the Bolsheviks and the Provisional Government. The first usage of the dreaded Mustard Gas.

July 14, 2017

Operation Beach Party – Mustard Gas Unleashed I THE GREAT WAR Week 155

Filed under: Europe, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

Published on 13 Jul 2017

British Commander Sir Douglas Haig is still convinced of his coming offensive in Flanders. But the Germans now that something is afoot and launch a spoiling attack at the Yser River – the name of the operation is Strandfest or Beach Party. They use blue cross gas for the first time there and two days later also use another new chemical agent which will be known as mustard gas.

April 8, 2017

Trump’s Syria Strike Won’t Solve Any Problems But Could Make Everything Worse

Filed under: Middle East, Military, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 7 Apr 2017

“It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the use of deadly chemical weapons,” said President Donald Trump in explaining a U.S.-missile strike on a Syrian airbase. That might sound good and even noble in theory, explains Emma Ashford of the Cato Institute, but the plain truth is that he’s wrong. What’s worse, it’s far from clear what either the United States or other countries in the region will do next.

The essential lesson that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump keep forgetting is that military interventions, especially in other countries’ civil wars, often makes things worse, Ashford tells Nick Gillespie.

Produced by Austin Bragg. Cameras by Todd Krainin and Mark McDaniel.

December 4, 2016

WW1 Archaeologists At The Site Of The First German Gas Attack I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military, Science — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 3 Dec 2016

A big thank you to the project team: Archaeological Revival of Memory of World War I: Material Remains of the Life and Death in Trenches of the Eastern Front and the Condition of the Ever-changing Battlescape in the Region of the Rawka and Bzura (1914–2014).

The project is funded by the Polish National Centre of Science and implemented by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences.

This is the first big video from our trip to Poland. In Bolimow, Polish archaeologists are digging in the former trenches of the Eastern Front. Here, the Germans used gas on a big scale for the first time. Polish soldiers were fighting each other on both sides of the front.

June 6, 2016

Verdun Fortress Design – Gas Development Sights I OUT OF THE ETHER

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Published on 5 Jun 2016

Since you all liked our first test of OUT OF THE ETHER so much, we decided to bring in some new episodes occasionally. In this episode we talk about the design behind the forts at Verdun and gas development sights in Washington.

February 7, 2016

Did Germany and Britain Trade Rubber And Optics in WW1? I OUT OF THE TRENCHES

Filed under: Britain, Europe, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 6 Feb 2016

Check out War History Online and their excellent coverage: http://warhistoryonline.com

Indy sits in the Chair of Wisdom again and this week we talk about a strange story in which Germany and Britain actually traded goods during wartime.

October 23, 2015

The Crime That Shook the World – The Execution of Edith Cavell I THE GREAT WAR Week 65

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 22 Oct 2015

Edith Cavell was a British nurse serving in a nursing school in occupied Belgium. She was executed by the Germans for treason and espionage in Brussels. Her death and the surrounding atrocity propaganda caused a public outcry all over the world. At the same time the First World War continued like never before. The Third Battle of the Isonzo didn’t bring a decision between Austria-Hungary and Italy, in Gallipoli the troops were slowly withdrawn and the the Champagne offensive of the French army was still in full swing.

October 2, 2015

The Battle of Loos – New Offensives On The Western Front I THE GREAT WAR – Week 62

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 1 Oct 2015

After weeks of preparation the French and British Armies unleash a new offensive on the Western Front. Not only is it supposed to relieve pressure on the Russians on the Eastern Front but the Entente wants to achieve the decisive breakthrough. The French actually break through German trenches only to realise that they have a second line of trenches completely intact right behind the first line. The British attack at Loos also turns into carnage even though the British use gas for the first time.

June 23, 2015

A Genius and A Madman – Fritz Haber I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?

Filed under: Europe, History, Military, Science — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 22 Jun 2015

Fritz Haber is one of the most famous German scientists. His inventions made it possible to feed an ever growing human population and influence us till this day. But Fritz Haber had a dark side too: His research made the weaponization of gas and the increased production of explosives possible. Find out more about the life of Fritz Haber in our biography.

April 24, 2015

Gas On The Western Front – Baptism of Fire for Canada I THE GREAT WAR Week 39

Filed under: Cancon, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 23 Apr 2015

After experiments on the Eastern Front, the German Army is using poison gas for the first time on the Western Front. At the beginning of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, the wind blows in a favourable direction; the wide spread use of chlorine gas has a devastating effect on the French troops. Even the Germans are surprised by it. The incredible sacrifice of the Canadian troops make it possible to defend Hill 60 in the end.

April 9, 2015

Silent and Deadly – GAS WARFARE IN WORLD WAR 1

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 7 Apr 2015

All soldiers feared poison gas but all sides developed deadlier and more perfidious kinds of chemical agents. Indy tells you everything about gas warfare in World War 1 in this special episode.

February 6, 2015

Gas! – A New Horror On The Battlefield I THE GREAT WAR Week 28

Filed under: Europe, History, Middle East, Military — Tags: , , , , , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

Published on 5 Feb 2015

After more than 6 months of stalemate, the German Empire is playing two new cards to gain a decisive advantage. On the Eastern Front, the Germans use gas on a huge scale for the first time. While the attack fails, the foundation for gas warfare is laid. At the same time Kaiser Wilhelm II agrees to unrestricted submarine warfare – any ship can be sank at any time.

December 10, 2014

How Did Gas Shells Work in WW1? – OUT OF THE TRENCHES #4

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 00:05

Published on 8 Dec 2014

Indy is answering your questions again and this week explains, among other things, how gas shells worked and what role Spain played during the war. You can always ask more questions in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter and Indy will gladly answer them in on of the next episodes.

December 8, 2014

The Luftwaffe attack at Bari in 1943

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 00:03

Patrick K. O’Donnell discusses one of the Luftwaffe‘s most deadly attacks and why most people have never heard of it:

Americans remember December 7 as Pearl Harbor Day, but most Americans have never even heard of the “Little Pearl Harbor,” which occurred in Bari Harbor, Italy, on December 2, 1943. More than 100 Luftwaffe bombers mounted a surprise attack on Allied ships moored in the harbor. Their bombs sank or rendered inoperable 28 of these ships. Nearly a thousand Allied troops were killed or wounded. along with hundreds of civilians.

Unbeknownst to those in the port, one of the ships carried liquid death in its belly. The American freighter John Harvey was secretly carrying mustard agent, in violation of international agreements that banned its use. President Franklin Roosevelt had covertly ordered the shipment of 100 tons of mustard agent to Italy for retaliation in the event that the Germans used chemical warfare against the Allied troops. The incident was covered up and remained a secret for decades.

When the German bombs hit the John Harvey, the ship’s hold immediately exploded with devastating violence, killing all those who knew about the mustard [gas]. Deadly liquid and gas flew high into the air and then slowly settled back down into the harbor, coating everything and everyone in the vicinity. Casualties would mount over the coming days and weeks as the agent slowly and painfully claimed the lives of many who had survived the initial attack.

Mustard gas was one of the nastiest relics of the attempts to break the trench lines during the First World War. Wikipedia says:

The sulfur mustards, or sulphur mustards, commonly known as mustard gas, are a class of related cytotoxic and vesicant chemical warfare agents with the ability to form large blisters on the exposed skin and in the lungs. Pure sulfur mustards are colorless, viscous liquids at room temperature. When used in impure form, such as warfare agents, they are usually yellow-brown in color and have an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic, or horseradish, hence the name. Mustard gas was originally assigned the name LOST, after the scientists Wilhelm Lommel and Wilhelm Steinkopf, who developed a method for the large-scale production of mustard gas for the Imperial German Army in 1916.

Mustard agents are regulated under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Three classes of chemicals are monitored under this Convention, with sulfur and nitrogen mustard grouped in Schedule 1, as substances with no use other than in chemical warfare. Mustard agents could be deployed on the battlefield by means of artillery shells, aerial bombs, rockets, or by spraying from warplanes.

September 12, 2013

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky

Filed under: Middle East, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 13:44

Steve Chapman thinks Barack Obama is a very lucky man indeed:

In assessing the feasibility and probability of Russia’s proposal to secure Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons, one overlooked factor should be paramount in our minds: Barack Obama is the luckiest politician on the face of the planet. If he were tied to a railroad track, the train would levitate and pass harmlessly over him. He’s always the windshield, never the bug.

In this instance, Obama got himself into a box that would flummox Harry Houdini. In a procession of careless comments, he said Assad had to go and that if he ever used chemical weapons against rebels, he would face “enormous consequences.”

When the Syrian dictator used them anyway, Obama was forced to prepare for a military strike that found scant public support. When he tried to gain the upper hand by asking for congressional authorization, he got an Arctically frigid reception.

So he faced two unpleasant possibilities: Congress would refuse, in which case he would look like a chump. Or it would agree, forcing him to carry out an attack that was likely to accomplish nothing except to wreck his approval rating.

But then along came the Russians to open an escape route. Acting in response to another unscripted remark, from Secretary of State John Kerry, they proposed to place Syria’s chemical gas arsenal under international control. The Syrians responded by not only admitting that they had such weapons, but offering to surrender them.

The proposal sounded implausible and impractical, but it had too many things going for it to be passed up. Most importantly, it serves the interests of every important party. It spares the Syrian regime a damaging attack by the United States. It spares the rebels being gassed again. It validates the great power status of Russia — and might even win Vladimir Putin a Nobel Peace Prize.

Not least, it saves Obama from looking like an appeaser, a warmonger or an incompetent. It even allows Kerry to portray the administration as unsurpassed in its diplomatic brilliance.

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