The Lament of Robert Francis O’Rourke
He’s Texas’ favorite democrat son, a fixture at skateboard events, and a politician who married into money. I suspect that Mrs. Beto is none too bright primarily because she married the Beta. Can he convince her that he contracted monkeypox from sitting on a toilet seat?
Is it the Dallas Light Cavalry, LSP’s Immortals?
Unfortunately not. It’s a painting by Heinrich Ambros Eckert (German, 1807-1840)-Austro-Hungarian hussars in the middle of the 19th century. Date 1835.
Moving on, I watched part of Braveheart on tv and wanted to comment on tactics. Essentially the whole of the battle sequence, though stirring, was complete hogwash. I don’t know if Kevin Costner’s films are worse. It’s a toss-up.
There were essentially two formations – articulated (like a formed shield wall) and inarticulated (a mob). The formation that thought they had the advantage in manpower, or in morale and position would advance. The defender likely had a slope or some terrain feature that favored them. Perhaps their flanks were anchored by wet ground or a river.
Advancing to contact was never a long charge over hundreds of yards. It might be a sudden rush of 20 paces to gain impetus to push the enemy back.
If both sides had shields then they might lock shields like a Rugby scrum and try to push the enemy back. Supporting ranks would push from the rear. Weapons would be thrown or slashed OVER the shields or someone might be jabbing a knife under the shields. The aim was to breach the shield wall and surge into the center of the enemy formation, widening the breach if possible.
If both sides had pole weapons then they would be fencing along the line, stabbing or slashing at each other, and looking for enemy weakness or exhaustion. We know that in one Swiss battle the Austrians had the advantage and used their knights’ dismounted lances as long spears. Seeing the Swiss halberdiers thus disadvantaged, one of the Swiss ran forward and took four spears in his chest and stomach and dragged them down creating a gap. The Swiss then saw what he had done and surged over his body and downed lances and opened a breach into the Austrian line, hacking and slashing against foot soldiers who now only had shorter swords against the Swiss long halberds.
Anyone who fell to the ground wounded while the line moved back and forth was doomed – they would either be trampled under foot or else finished off on the ground. In the classic period, Greeks and Macedonians had a second spike on the butt ends of their spears (Greek) or pikes (Macedonian). While noted as a counter-balance it was also called the ‘lizard spear’ by the Greeks and would doubtless be driven downwards by the rear ranks of spear (advancing with their weapons pointing upwards) into any unfortunate enemy wounded men trampled under foot, they were the ‘lizards’ being spiked.
We know from the huge grave pit at Wisby (1361) and the smaller grave pit at Towton (1461) that most men died of head and leg injuries with some defensive wounds to their hands and arms. This earlier battle was fought with swords and shields, the second was mostly fought with polearms. Analysis suggests that the victims’ legs were attacked first to get the target down; once down, the victim’s head or face was brutally smashed in.
The skulls at Towton show distinctive injuries from the point of a poleaxe, some blades, or the crow’s beak of a war hammer. They also show a slight preponderance of first injuries to the right and rear side of the skull which suggests that the men were running and were attacked by right-handed men from behind. They were hacked down from behind, rolled over, and had their heads and faces stoved in. There was no finesse, no fencing with swords. The absence of helmets suggests the Towton men were actually routing from the field and had thrown off their helmets to save weight, allow themselves to look over their shoulders, and draw breath easier.
Charles the Bold of Burgundy had both jaws broken when the attacker came up under his helmet but careful treatment and a milk diet resulted in his recovery – only to be killed at Towton several years later.
The exhumed Towton bodies show an almost complete absence of torso injuries which implies that the ‘stabbing’ bodily death blows – seen in the movies – were not considered effective due to body armor, probably the fabric ‘jacks’ used in England at that time and much favored.
Cavalry charges were effective until the other side figured out how to “receive cavalry” using pikes. The point of cavalry beyond reconnaissance was to turn a flank through quick maneuvering, attacking where the armor and spears were not directed or to attack from the rear. Once a formation was broken, they could spit individual soldiers as they ran.
Movie scenes where men are spread across a field and they are all dueling ‘one on one’ are unrealistic. Look at modern riots and note how rioters will often cluster together in groups for mutual support and to prevent rear/flank attacks. Once the line has broken I would then envisage groups facing and fighting each other, perhaps with periodic local rushes or charges, until eventually, one side decided it had had enough. At that point, it will either withdraw (if any order is still possible) or just dissolve in a panic-stricken route.
And I haven’t even begun to discuss the goofy-looking armor that you see in many if not most Hollywood productions.
* Electronic warfare – The Russians filmed a video about using a drone to spot Ukrainians, but partway through the drone was hijacked by Ukrainian electronic warfare and taken away from them. The drone in question is a DJI Mini 2, worth. about US$900 retail, made in China and susceptible to the most powerful signal. Sending it over enemy lines where the Ukrainians are using the same tech is – funny.
* Continuing on with the Canadian practice of euthanasia as a matter of government policy instead of providing better (and more expensive) care, some elderly individuals say they were pushed toward euthanasia by government medical workers, and one 40-something guy got pressured into it because of hearing loss. Some Canadian news outlets are telling the stories while others are spiking them.
* Once you hit a certain age, a lot of shit fails to impress you.
* Why was there a beavertail sap and a 245 Gonzales sap on the header of this blog? Why not? I was playing with the Gonzales, which I carried at work a million years ago and I thought that it should be featured in some small way. I love this sap. Do NOT buy a 415 Gonzales. It’s simply too light to cause the sort of damage that you want to cause when you’ve escalated force to the point where you need to use a sap. The 187 Gonzales is so big that it’s unwieldy.
Using a sap on another human being is no small thing. It will crack a clavicle, it will smash a jaw or a skull plate. It will break a bone. It will knock a lot of teeth out with one strike. Yes, nunchucks will do that too, but the sap is used in close and it’s always personal.