This and That

Blog Post


November 4

November 4th 1990 saw the death of Sir David Stirling, the Scottish landowner, keen mountaineer, World War II army officer, and founder of the Special Air Service.

Born  Archibald David Stirling at his family’s ancestral home, Keir House in the parish of Lecropt, Perthshire. He was the son of Brigadier General Archibald Stirling, of Keir, and Margaret Fraser, daughter of Simon Fraser, the Lord Lovat, so soldiering was in his blood.  He was educated at the Catholic boarding school Ampleforth College and Trinity College, Cambridge before departing to Paris to become an artist. A tall 6 feet 6 inches tall, with an athletic figure, Stirling was training to climb Mount Everest when World War II broke out.

In 1939 Stirling joined the Scots Guard Supplementary Reserve of Officers and the next year the commando Brigade of Guards in the Middle East. In Egypt he persuaded his superiors to let him form a unit to make quick raids against the enemy, using the vast desert as cover. He was promoted to the rank of major, and with 6 officers and 60 enlisted men, he formed the SAS, which proved exceptionally successful: German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel lost hundreds of aircraft and scores of supply posts to SAS raids and Stirling became known by his enemies as “The Phantom Major” due to his exploits far behind enemy lines. He was captured in Tunisia in 1943 and escaped four times before he was transferred to Colditz Castle prison camp for the remainder of the war.

After the war, Stirling formed organizations to encourage racial integration in colonial Africa, provide security services for foreign heads of state, and to finance television stations in developing nations. He established the Stirling Foundation to preserve endangered species of animals.

In 2002 the SAS memorial, a statue of Stirling standing on a rock, was unveiled on the Hill of Row near his family’s estate at Park of Keir


Second Amendment Rights

Why on Earth should you need a permit from the government allowing you to exercise Constitutional rights? The Supreme Court may agree.

During arguments, Wednesday on New York state’s strict gun laws, the high court’s conservative majority signaled that it is likely to rule that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms precludes states from insisting that individuals show “proper cause” before being licensed to carry a firearm for self-defense.

“You don’t have to say when you’re looking for a permit to speak on a street corner that your speech is particularly important,” Justice Roberts said. “The idea you need a license to exercise the right, I think, is unusual in the context of the Bill of Rights.”

District of Columbia v. Heller (5-4 decision) found that citizens had a right to keep a firearm at home. The issue in New York is whether there is a right to “constitutional carry” – which means anywhere, without a permit or government oversight.


A Long Way from Rome

These beautiful Roman glass circus cups of the 2nd century AD were discovered in burials at Himlingøje, Varpelev, and Nordrup in Denmark.

It all supports the notion that ancient peoples traveled and traded far more widely than is usually taught.


Roman officer with very popular ridge helmet in 4th-5th century AD (based on Robert Vermaat’s reconstruction).


And a Map


Also on November 4, this date in history:

Nov 4, 1956 –

Soviets put a brutal end to the Hungarian revolution.

A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on this day in 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.

The problems in Hungary began in October 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies, as the new premier. Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc’s equivalent of NATO).

On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush, once and for all, the national uprising. Vicious street fighting broke out, but the Soviets’ great power ensured victory. At 5:20 a.m., Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced the invasion to the nation in a grim, 35-second broadcast, declaring: “Our troops are fighting. The Government is in place.” Within hours, though, Nagy sought asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest. He was captured shortly thereafter and executed two years later. Nagy’s former colleague and imminent replacement, János Kádár, who had been flown secretly from Moscow to the city of Szolnok, 60 miles southeast of the capital, prepared to take power with Moscow’s backing.

The Soviet action stunned many people in the West. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had pledged a retreat from the Stalinist policies and repression of the past, but the violent actions in Budapest suggested otherwise. An estimated 2,500 Hungarians died and 200,000 more fled as refugees. Sporadic armed resistance, strikes, and mass arrests continued for months thereafter, causing substantial economic disruption.

Inaction on the part of the United States angered and frustrated many Hungarians. Voice of America radio broadcasts and speeches by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had recently suggested that the United States supported the “liberation” of “captive peoples” in communist nations. Yet, as Soviet tanks bore down on the protesters, the United States did nothing beyond issuing public statements of sympathy for their plight.

Hungarians remember…and they don’t buy off on the woke BS being peddled by the US and Western Europe. Never forget, Hungary, never forget.

15 thoughts on “This and That

  1. We could use a couple of leaders like Sir David in today’s military, too bad the breed is becoming extinct.

      1. LL I hope you are right and that the leaders, when/if they arise, will be in time. In other news I was finally able to download Loki’s Fire. Looking forward to reading it.

      2. I have a sneaking suspicion most of the leaders that will rise won’t be wearing a uniform. There look to be an active push to get rid of anyone who could lead their way out of a paper bag right across the western world.

  2. I vaguely remember the Invasion of Hungary. I was 5 years old at the time, and I remember my Dad being very interested in it.

  3. Ah, the SAS. Using Rommel’s own tactics against him. Smart people. The desert is an ocean unto itself, with the same type of warfare, basically, being used. Large fleets of slow but well armed vessels escorted by fleet vessels meant to harass and interdict. Take ‘islands’ that stick above the surrounding ‘ocean’ and establish supply depots and strongholds.

    It all works. Something that we all know is useful in guerilla or resistance style fighting.

    And nice helm. You can definitely see the ‘barbarian’ influence in the helm design and construction. Though those protruding nubs? Those will catch a blade and cause the helmet to jerk. Wonder if those are attachment points for crests or other identification objects.

  4. I know, some disagree but ALL HAIL STIRLING. Who wore a “British Warm.”

    Amazing Roman glass. We underestimate their trade, imo, and that of the people before them.

  5. During the Hungarian “troubles” a US Army airborne brigade sat, locked and loaded, at Germany airfields. Had a friend who was among them. At least some USA leaders were prepared to act.

    1. I think that National Command Authority cut a deal with the Communists – and sold out the Hungarians. Likely the same people who quietly arranged for General Patton’s demise.

      1. Interesting POV.
        Assumed that President Eisenhower’s policy towards Hungary was a logical follow-on to deescalation in Korea and the very limited support he was willing to give the French in Vietnam.
        Have been stood up several times in response to events in foreign places and generally assumed our mission would have been to evacuate US Nationals at risk.
        Had the the Sovs not reoccupied Budapest, we might have exploited the vacuum.
        The Soviet leadership in ’56 was essentially the same bunch that ruled a generation later. The earlier iteration were considerably more bellicose than their aged selves.
        Think President Eisenhower was a close reflection of
        older version of the Council of Ministers: he had seen war and was not enthusiastic about the prospect of another conflict on the European continent.
        Awed by the breadth of your knowledge and interests. Always a good read.
        V/R JW

  6. funny, i’ve seen more about the desert rats/sas in the last month than during the rest of my life. why now, i wonder….somebody brought up the idea that antifa could be a mossad op, seeing as the three “victims” in kenosha were all of jewish decent. i know some clandestine service is involved. their tradecraft is too good, and some such is tracking them with even better tradecraft. not the actors, but the leadership. like uss liberty type op, but at what purpose? love the hungarians, and the poles. wish i’d bought that flat in budapest when i had the chance. the chinese are being told to stock up food. fla nasty guard is going to ukraine of all places. biden doesn’t know what his own cabinet is up to. strange things afoot. none of it makes any sense. why would the guard be used while regular army is sitting in home station? answer: to get them out of play for what’s coming. ….sometimes i wish i could stick my head in the sand. long dark winter indeed.

  7. Read The Phantom Major: The Story of David Stirling and the SAS Regiment
    By Virginia Cowles, great read about the SAS in Africa and of course Sir David Stirling.

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