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Old 01-01-2009, 09:36 PM  
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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This Day in History

Today...
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:36 AM   #796
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Dang, I had no idea they were that big. I figured 200 to 300 crew tops.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #797
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The Admiral's ship, a 90 gun ship of the line, was 800 crewmembers by itself, and went down with all hands. Estimates of deaths were 1,400 to 2,000.

EDIT: Further to this, the HMS Victory, obviously launched much later than the timeframe of the incident at Scilly Isles, was a 104 gun ship of the line with a normal complement of 850 sailors.

The admiral's ship, presumably being in the van, was the first to go down, as it hit the rocks before any other, and reportedly sank in 3-4 minutes, leaving very little time for the men to react, and thus most/all hands were lost. Three other ships were unable to react swiftly enough to avoid the same fate.
Yep, SotL were big suckers. Can you even begin to imagine what they smelled like?
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:45 AM   #798
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Quote:
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Yep, SotL were big suckers. Can you even begin to imagine what they smelled like?
No. Or bucketing out the bilge?

Can you imagine being belowdecks during a gun battle? Between the sweat, smoke, heat, not being able to stand up straight, flying wood if your ship is hit, screams of shipmates who are hit, blood, etc. etc. Brutal.

And, of course, that's just the respite from the months at sea, with little to no pay, no women, little/no ability to leave ship because you'd be pressed into service, and losing your teeth to the scurvy.

Though compared to trenchfoot and "going over the top" at the Somme.....
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #799
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Quote:
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Yep, SotL were big suckers. Can you even begin to imagine what they smelled like?
BTW, how am I doing with the British historical events? Half the time I do more thorough than average review to make sure I didn't screw something up because I'm convinced you know all this stuff thoroughly and will instantly catch any mistakes.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:51 AM   #800
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
No. Or bucketing out the bilge?

Can you imagine being belowdecks during a gun battle? Between the sweat, smoke, heat, not being able to stand up straight, flying wood if your ship is hit, screams of shipmates who are hit, blood, etc. etc. Brutal.

And, of course, that's just the respite from the months at sea, with little to no pay, no women, little/no ability to leave ship because you'd be pressed into service, and losing your teeth to the scurvy.

Though compared to trenchfoot and "going over the top" at the Somme.....
I won't even go on a cruise ship.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #801
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BTW, how am I doing with the British historical events? Half the time I do more thorough than average review to make sure I didn't screw something up because I'm convinced you know all this stuff thoroughly and will instantly catch any mistakes.
Perfunctory.

















j/k You probably know more than I.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #802
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I won't even go on a cruise ship.

If it helps, they serve fruit so scurvy's not a problem.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:54 AM   #803
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:12 AM   #804
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Dang, I had no idea they were that big. I figured 200 to 300 crew tops.
Heck, even the Constitution, which was just an oversized Frigate, had a complement of nearly 500, IIRC.

Think about it. You've got 90 cannon. I don't know what the standard number was on naval vessels, but I'm figuring at least 2, probably more like 3 men per cannon. Then you have marines in the rigging, men dealing with the sails and steering, lookouts, etc. Then the complement of officers. It adds up pretty fast.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:13 AM   #805
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If it helps, they serve fruit so scurvy's not a problem.


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Old 10-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #806
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If it helps, they serve fruit so scurvy's not a problem.
That's racist.
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:45 AM   #807
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When I first read this, I thought it said, "Isles of Sicily". I was thinking they must've either been the worst navigators ever or the 'badly off course' was a big understatement.

And thousands of sailors died? How many crew were on these ships? If only four ships went down I wouldn't have guessed the casualty count to be in the thousands.
I still thought it had said Sicily until I read your post and looked again. Epic navigation error!
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:15 PM   #808
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On Oct. 23, 1869, John William Heisman, the coach who revolutionized the game of college football, was born. Following his death on Oct. 3, 1936, his obituary appeared in The Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/gene...day/index.html
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:43 AM   #809
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On Oct. 23, 1869, John William Heisman, the coach who revolutionized the game of college football, was born. Following his death on Oct. 3, 1936, his obituary appeared in The Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/gene...day/index.html
You should have quoted it. That link isn't permanent.
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:17 AM   #810
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October 23

1861. Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas of corpus for all military-related cases.

1911. Airplanes are first used in war, when an Italian flies over Turkish lines on a reconnaissance mission during the Turco-Italian War.

1917. After months of tremendous internal unrest throughout Russia, the Bolshevik Central Committee, led by Lenin, passes a resolution by a vote of 10-2 saying that "an armed uprising is inevitable, and that the time for it is fully ripe." This triggers the Russian Revolution which will thrown down Tsarism and give rise to Communisms. I'm thinking the two dissenting votes didn't enhance their long-term prospects in teh Party by their vote...

1929. Less than a week before the great stock market crash that will serve as the official start of the Great Depression, the first transcontinental air service begins between New York and Los Angeles.

1935. Arthur Flegenheimer, better known to the world as the brutal and ruthless Jewish-American gangster Dutch Schultz, is shot down with several other mafia members at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey. Reportedly, the Commission ordered Schultz permanently removed as they feared that he would follow through on his threats to kill US Attorney Thomas Dewey (later to lose a famous Presidential race), after the Commission had denied his request for permission to make such a high profile hit.

1941. Georgi Zhukov takes command of Red Army forces tasked with preventing the capture of Moscow.

1942. The Battle for Henderson Field begins on Guadalcanal.

1944. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history, begins. The US, never one to bring a knife to a gunfight, brings 8 Fleet Carriers, 8 Light Carriers, 18 Escort Carriers, 12 Battleships, 24 Cruisers and 124 Destroyers and other light vessels (PT boats, etc.) to the fray.

Despite this absurdly overwhelming display of firepower (which, of course, is exactly what you want in war), the Americans screw up battle, and are lucky to avoid disaster. The naval forces are split, with Admiral Kinkaid in command of vessels responsible for the landing on Leyte (in the Phillippines) and Admiral "Bull" Halsey in command of the Third Fleet, where most the carrier striking power is centered. The Japanese plan a brilliant strategy -- a "Northern Fleet" will have most of its carriers, but these are nearly completely depleted of air power, and are little more than bait. This fleet is designed to lure most of the American strike power away, while two other fleets will steam in from the west and south to destroy the American landing craft.



Halsey, living up to his name, took the bait and left the invasion fleet with too little protection. Worse, he sends a message that is confusing, and leaves the Seventh Fleet (under Kinkaid) and CINCPAC (Nimitz) with the impression that a powerful blocking force had been left behind by Halsey to defend the San Bernadino Strait, while he took only a part of his forces to chase the Japanese Carriers.

Instead, not a single picket was left at the San Bernadino Strait. Halsey had taken everything with him.

After several skirmishes and hard fought battles, and various retreats and doubling-backs (remember, this all took several days) the Center Fleet of Japanese Admiral Kurita steams untouched through the San Bernadino Straits, left uncovered by Halsey. Only a light (light only by American standards, however) screening force of the 7th fleet is there to deal with them. Admiral Kurita thinks that he has actually found the main American fleet, and after some initial attacks, withdraws, a grave (no pun intended) error).

Before the withdrawal, however, the fleet under Admiral Kinkaid, shocked by such a powerful Japanese surface force appearing, and having no idea how they got through, and seriously concerned that they will not be able to contend with them, send a message in the clear (no coding) in complete panic to Halsey.

Quote:
MY SITUATION IS CRITICAL. FAST BATTLESHIPS AND SUPPORT BY AIR STRIKES MAY BE ABLE TO KEEP ENEMY FROM DESTROYING CVES AND ENTERING LEYTE
Halsey is shocked by the message. Then, the hammer falls, from 5,000 miles away, Admiral Nimitz sends a follow up message.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CINCPAC Nimitz
TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS TASK FORCE THIRTY FOUR RR THE WORLD WONDERS

The first few and last words were just buffer, thrown in to throw off enemy cryptologists. Halsey's communications officers correctly deletes the first few words, but retains "the world wonders" in the message handed to Halsey. Bull Halsey, 40 years in the navy, breaks down and sobs in tears of rage and anguish, thinking that Nimitz has deliberately insulted him.

He turns his fleet, but too late to help. Luckily, the Japanese also had turned their fleet, and escape, but without having seriously interdicted the invasion, as they almost certianly could have done had Kurita pressed his attack.

Halsey will face severe criticism for his decisions. Kurita's decisions were by far the worse, however, as the Imperial Japanese Navy will never be involved in a serious fleet action again. Kurita had one chance to do something useful, and instead he went home to park his ships in their harbors.

The Ticonderoga Class Cruiser "Leyte Gulf" is named after the battle.

1958. The Smurfs make their first appearance.
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