Posts tagged: history
I have been watching footage of Churchill’s funeral for the first time since I stopped studying history (very bad call on my part). And it got me thinking about how much he actually did for this country, and I know that dead people often get allot of praise anyway, so let me explain.
72 years ago (almost to the day as I write this) the British Expeditionary Force and our french allies was evacuating at Dunkirk. In the weeks before we had abandoned our positions in Norway, Hitlers armies were rolling through Europe unchecked, and no one could stop them. If you put what we know now aside, as a British citizen then - it was only a matter of time until invasion. German U-Boats were sinking supply ships and the country was on rations, bells, railings, pots and pans were all being collected to make weapons. In the darkest moment this island has ever faced, Churchill had to stand up in the house of commons and deliver yet another blow to the people, letting them know that we were retreating from Europe, we were beaten. At the same time he had to come up with a way to inspire us, and keep us going. So he stayed up late into the night, and through a combination of sadness, anger and pride he came up with a speech. now most of you are familiar with this speech anyway, or at least its climax, so here are some of the bits you might not remember…
…Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of invasion, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. In the days of Napoleon, of which I was speaking just now, the same wind which would have carried his transports across the Channel might have driven away the blockading fleet. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental tyrants…
…I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government — every man of them…
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
I’d love to share some of his other speeches, so maybe i will in the future. But keep in mind everything Winston Churchill did for this country while you watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87Xkr8z3lEo and hopefully you will feel some of the same emotions I did.
Its not often I get patriotic, but for this weekend I see no harm…
"this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition. You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilized value. You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilized men and women. You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people."
"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind." - Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris
On 30 May 1942, between 0047 and 0225 hours, in Operation Millennium 1,046 bombers dropped over 2,000 tons of high explosive and incendiaries on the medieval town of Cologne, and the resulting fires burned it from end to end. The devastation was nearly total. The fires could be seen 600 miles away at an altitude of 20,000 feet. Some 3,300 houses were destroyed, and 10,000 were damaged. 12,000 separate fires raged destroying 36 factories, damaging 270 more, and leaving 45,000 people with nowhere to live or to work. Only 384 civilians and 85 soldiers were killed, but thousands evacuated the city. Bomber Command lost 40 bombers.
To put a human face on our ancestors, scientists from the Senckenberg Research Institute used sophisticated methods to form 27 model heads based on tiny bone fragments, teeth and skulls collected from across the globe.
The heads were on display for the first time together at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany in 2010.
(ed note: Your Tumblr is fairly new at DiscoveryNews and this slideshow, which was linked in this story this week, is a new discovery. So, it’s a bit of an indulgence..But it’s fascinating and too good not to share.)
From its formation in 1935 Unit 731 tested biological, chemical, conventional weapons on live subjects en mass. Often referred to as the Japanese Auschwitz it was responsible for the death of 580,000 inmates and its weapons killed a further 400,00 Chinese civilians and 200,000 military personnel in cholera, anthrax and bubonic plague attacks. Victims included American, British and Russian prisoners of war
DON’T READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH
Unit 731 would often infect its ‘experiments’ with various biological and chemical agents, and would then subject them to vivisection often without aesthetic to study the effects various agents had on organs.these experiments were repeated again and again on men, women (many of whom were pregnant after being raped by the scientists), the elderly and infants. Prisoners had limbs amputated to study blood loss and infection, horrific surgeries to test the human body to destruction were performed, including hanging people upside down to see how long it would take for them to choke, delivering lethal doses of x-rays, spinning in centrifuges until death , being buried alive and being injected with sea water were some of experiments performed. Other experiments performed out of morbid curiosity included removing limbs and re attaching them to opposite sides and removing the stomach and attaching the oesophagus to the intestines.
The activities of Unit 731 should be, in my opinion considered far more gruesome than those at any of the German death camps. The mass executions of the holocaust are overshadowed in terms of barbarity and cruelty compared to the Japanese experiments at Unit 731.
In change of unit 731 for its 10 year lifetime was Shirō Ishii fully aware of his scientists actions he instructed them upon their return to Japan in 1945 to “take their secret to the grave” many of whom went on to live successful lives in buisness, politics and medicine.
What horrifies me most is not the barbaric activities of Unit 731 but what happened afterwards. Douglas MacArthur granted all of those involved immunity from their crimes in return for handing over the information gained through the experiments to the united states. Shirō Ishii and his scientists all avoided prosecution for any war crimes.
This is one of a multitude of stories that should not be forgotten but unfortunately do that I am going to try and share with you.
Almost 50 years on since Yuri Gagarin, spoke the first words of any human in space “I see no god up here” I feel our progress as a race has slowed to a fraction of what it once was. While the International Space Station is a fantastic achievement, we have been distracted by politics, financial crises and wars. when will we grow tired of such petty things and strive for the stars as one race of people ?