Archive for April, 2008

Difference between Britian and England

April 24, 2008

Around 325 B.C. Greek explorer Pytheas wrote about islands in the North Atlantic that he named Britannia. This name was derived from Pretania, an indeginous name for the Islands.

In 55 B.C. Julius Caesar Explored the main island of Britannia (Modern England, Wales and Scotland). He called the inhabitants Britons. In 54 B.C. Caesar scored a political victory by successfully placed a Roman freindly Brition on the throne which brought Britannia into the Roman Empire.

Several tribes of Britions refused to become Romans and pay taxes and tribute to Rome. In 43 B.C. a full scale invasion by Rome conquered most of the Island. Only the Northern Tribes (Scots and Picts) held out. Instead of continuing the war, the Romans built a wall across the Island separating Britain and Scotland.

The slow decline of the Roman empire led to the withdrawal of the Roman legions from Britain to defend Rome itself in 410 A.D. The local leaders now had to hire Germanic tribes to help fight off the raids from Scotland. The Anglo-Saxons came across the channel to fight the Scots and Picts, and they never left. The Anglo-Saxons forced the Britains to the western part of the island which became known as Wales. The name is derived from the Germanic term for foreigner (Walha). The Anglo-Saxons called their new homeland England.

The Latin and Greek speaking world continued to call the island Britannia for the next 1200 years. When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, her cousin James VI of Scotland became King of England. Instead of calling him the King of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, people began referred to his realm as Great Britain.

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Difference between Persia and Iran?

April 6, 2008

What is the difference between Persia and Iran? The answer is that Persia is Iran. Iranians have called their country Iran since the 3rd century. The origin of the name Persia comes from Ancient Greek mythology. Zeus’s son Perseus and Queen Andromeda had a son names Persus. He moved east and became the ancestor to the people of Persus, or Persians. In 1935, the Iranian government asked the international community to refer to the country as Iran, which has always been its official name.

Other countries that are called a different name by the people of the country:

Germany, Deutschland

Greece, Ellas

Armenia, Hayastan

Finland, Suomi

Albania, Shqipëria

Egypt, Mesr

Algeria, al-Jaza’ir

Japan, Nippon

China, Zhōnggúo or Chung-kuo

Highest Ranked U.S. officers killed in action.

April 6, 2008

Most combat deaths are front line enlisted men. Occasionally a highly ranked officer is killed. Col. William Wood, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment is the highest ranked officer killed in action during the Iraq War.

There have been a few notable deaths throughout history. Roman emperor Valens was killed at the battle of Adrianople (August 8, 378) in modern day Turkey by the Goths. British Admiral Horatio Nelson was the head of the British Navy and probably the most influential Naval leader of all time. He was killed in the battle of Trafalger in 1805. Admiral Yamamoto, the head of the Japanese Navy, was killed when his plane was shot down in the south pacific during WWII.

Notable U.S. Combat Fatalities:

Col. Davy Crockett was killed at the Alamo. He was a former congressman and famous frontier hunter and Indian fighter.

General George Custer was killed along with all of his men at the battle of the Little Big Horn in Dakota Territory in 1876.

Three Union Generals, Major-General John F. Reynolds, Brig.-General Stephen W. Weed, and Brevet Major-General S. K. Zook were all killed at the battle of Gettysburg.

General Lesley James McNair was killed July 25, 1944 near St Lo, France by friendly fire during a pre-attack bombardment.

Admiral Isaac Kidd was killed aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr was killed during the closing days of the Battle of Okinowa by enemy artillery fire.

Major General Maurice Rose was killed in Germany during WWII. He was the highest ranked Jewish officer in U.S. history, and his 3rd armored Division was the first U.S. division to cross the Siegfried line into Germany.

General Keith Lincoln Ware was the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division. He was killed in a helicopter crash near the Cambodian border during the Vietnam War.

10 Best Military Machines of all time.

April 1, 2008

10. Roman Polybolos: The best Roman military advancement has to be the roads they built, but a road is not a machine. I can’t have a list of greatest anything without something Roman. Although the many Roman catapults, rams, and various weapons were unique and innovative, the Polybolos was the most effective. It was a copy of the earlier Greek Ballista, but with an attached cam that automatically reloaded a bolt into the chamber. It is estimated that the Polybolos could fire 11 times per minute. The Roman legions pounded and army that formed in front of them with the polybolos, then the Infantry would march through the scattered enemy and cut them to pieces.

9. Egyptian Chariot: Egyptians captured a Syrian chariot, and reverse engineered their own improved design (Leather lashed spoked wheels). Before the Egyptians, chariots were very expensive and rare. They were usually just transports for the generals. The Egyptians were able to mass produce chariots by using interchangeable parts. They rolled into battle with several thousand chariots armed with elite archers.

8. Greek Torsion Ballista: A large, cross bow weapon that could fire heavy round projectiles, or long iron tipped arrows. It was light enough to place on ships or atop siege towers. Alexander the Great developed the torsion Ballista and it is the first widely used piece of field artillery in history. The Greeks could bombard city walls, or skewer armored soldiers from up to 500 yards.

7. Maxim Machine Gun: After the development of the Machine Gun in 1884, no Army would march in neat lines onto an open field ever again. Hiram Maxim invented the first gun to use the energy from the recoil to eject each spent cartridge and insert the next one. This made it vastly more efficient and less manpower-demanding than previous machine guns. This design was copied and remodeled many times and used to devastating effects, most notably in the trenches of WWI.

6. Russian T-34 Tank: Developed in 1941, the T-34 was the most effective tank of WWII, and the most produced tank of all time. A study in 1996 showed that the T-34 was still in service in 27 countries. 57,000 were produced during WWII. The Russians could move through deep mud and snow with the versatile T-34. The Germans could not match their maneuvers and were consistently outflanked and destroyed. The Nazi’s failed on the eastern front largely due to the superior firepower, maneuverability, and productivity of the best tank ever made.

5. British Ship of the Line: Prior to the British Navy Ships of the line, naval combat consisted of ramming an enemy and boarding their ships for hand to hand combat. The Huge British Vessels had superior firepower which made the devastating broadside attack common in naval warfare for the first time. The HMS Victory, with 78 guns, is the most famous ship of the line, and was commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The British victory gave them control of the seas during the Napoleonic wars, and helped secure Great Britain as the dominant world power of their time.

4. Soviet R-7 Semyorka ICBM: In 1958, the world entered the space age. The first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that launched soviet satellite sputnik into outer space was the grandchild of the Nazi V-2 rocket. In December 1959, the R-7 rocket was modified to carry a 3 megaton nuclear warhead. The Soviet Union had the capability of delivering a nuclear strike anywhere in the world within 30 minutes. There was no defense and no warning system in place. The ICBM is still the most feared weapon of all time, but it was thankfully never used in military action.

3. Ottoman Heavy Cannon: Gunpowder was developed in China. The Ottoman Empire saw the value of this new explosive and was one of the first states to put gunpowder weapons into widespread use. The Ottomans could not penetrate the thick walls of Constantinople until the siege of 1453. They brought 69 large cannons and continued a constant barrage which lasted forty days. When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman’s, the world changed forever. Walled cities and Castles which defended people for thousands of years were rendered nearly obsolete by the Cannon.

2. B-52 Stratofortress. A total of 744 B-52’s were built. The first 50 were entered into service in 1955. The B-52 is so well designed, that they are still in service after over 50 years. The B-52’s versatility and fuel economy make it the most successful aircraft in military history. The B-1B was introduced in 1986 to replace the B-52, but the B-1 averages a 53% ready rate while the B-52 still averages 80%. Still, clearly the best heavy bomber in the U.S. Air Force, the B-52 is not scheduled to retire until 2040.

1. Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier. The Nimitz Class is the largest and most powerful naval vessel in history. They are Nuclear powered which means no need for re-fueling. The U.S.S. Nimitz is still ruling the sea almost 40 years after it was commissioned. It carries 85 aircraft able to strike anywhere in the world. There are 10 Nimitz class carriers. Just one has enough firepower to defeat nearly all other navies in the world.

Highest Ranked U.S. Military Officers

April 1, 2008

1. George Washington, 1976, General of the Armies of the United States“rank and precedence over all other grades of the Army, past or present,”

2. John J. Pershing, 1919, General of the Armies of the United States

3. General George C. Marshall, 1944, Army five-star General

4. General Douglas MacArthur, 1944, Army five-star General

5. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1944, Army five-star General

6. General Henry Arnold, 1944, Air Force five-star general.

7. Admiral William D. Leahy, 1944, Navy five-star fleet Admiral

8. Admiral Ernest J. King, 1944, Navy five-star fleet Admiral

9. Admiral Chester Nimitz, 1944, Navy five-star fleet Admiral

10. Admiral William F. Halsey, 1944, Navy five-star fleet Admiral

11. General Omar N. Bradley, 1950, Army five-star General

Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant held the rank of General of the Army with four-stars, followed upon his retirement by William T. Sherman. Prior to World War II, only one person could hold the rank of four-star general. The rank of five-stars is a war time designation created in 1944 that gave U.S. commanders an equal rank with British Field Marshall’s.