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Geskiedenis van wraak V - Geskiedenis

Geskiedenis van wraak V - Geskiedenis

Wraak V

(Sch .: t. 90; 1. 60 '; b. 16'6 "; dph. 6'6"; kpl. 30; a. 1 lang 18
pdr. en verskeie karronades)

Die vyfde wraak, is in 1808 in Charleston, SC, gebou as 'n geweerboot nr. 158 deur James Ingraham & Sons. Na diens aan die suidelike kus, is die skoener van 1817 tot 1822 in Charleston neergelê. Sy is daarna in diens geneem en het tot 1824 in Commodore David Porter se Mosquito Fleet in Wes -Indië seerowery onderdruk.


Euritmika

Euritmika was 'n Britse popduo wat bestaan ​​uit lede Annie Lennox en Dave Stewart. Stewart en Lennox was albei voorheen in The Tourists, 'n orkes wat in 1980 uitmekaar is. Eurythmics is later dieselfde jaar in Wagga Wagga, Australië, gestig. [2] Die duo het hul eerste studio -album vrygestel, In die tuin, in 1981 tot min sukses, maar het wêreldwye sukses behaal toe hul tweede album Lekker drome is hiervan gemaak), is in 1983 vrygestel. Die titelsnit het 'n wêreldwye treffer geword wat in verskeie lande, waaronder die VSA, op die ranglys was. Die duo het 'n reeks treffer-enkelsnitte en albums vrygestel voordat hulle in 1990 uitmekaar is. Teen hierdie tyd was Stewart 'n gesogte platemaatskappy, terwyl Lennox in 1992 met haar debuutalbum 'n solo-opnamesloopbaan begin het. Diva. Na byna 'n dekade uitmekaar, herenig Eurythmics hul negende album, Vrede, laat in 1999 vrygestel. Hulle het weer in 2005 herenig om die enkelsnit "I'm Got a Life" vry te stel, as deel van 'n nuwe Eurythmics -versamelalbum, Ultimate versameling.

Die duo het in 1984 'n MTV -videomusiekprys vir beste nuwe kunstenaar gewen, die Grammy -toekenning vir beste rockuitvoering deur 'n Duo of groep met sang in 1987, die Brit -toekenning vir uitmuntende bydrae tot musiek in 1999 en in 2005 ingeskryf die UK Music Hall of Fame. Die Eurythmics het 'n geskatte 75 miljoen plate wêreldwyd verkoop. [3] In 2017 is die groep genomineer vir opname in die Rock & amp Roll Hall of Fame, [4] en is weer genomineer in 2018. [5]


Inhoud

In 1835 was daar 'n drastiese verskuiwing in die Mexikaanse nasie. Die triomf van konserwatiewe magte tydens die verkiesings het 'n reeks gebeurtenisse ontketen wat op 23 Oktober 1835 onder 'n nuwe grondwet 'n hoogtepunt bereik het, na die herroeping van die federalistiese grondwet van 1824. Las Siete Leyes (Spaans: [las ˈsjete ˈleʝes]), of Seven Laws was 'n reeks grondwetlike veranderinge wat die organisatoriese struktuur van Mexiko fundamenteel verander het, die eerste federale periode beëindig het en 'n eenheidsrepubliek, amptelik die Mexikaanse Republiek (Spaans: República Mexicana). [6] Op 15 Desember 1835 geformaliseer onder president Antonio López de Santa Anna, is dit in 1836 uitgevaardig. Hulle was bedoel om die nasionale regering te sentraliseer en te versterk. Die doel van die vorige grondwet was om 'n politieke stelsel te skep wat die sukses van die Verenigde State sou navolg, maar na 'n dekade van politieke onrus, ekonomiese stagnasie en dreigemente en werklike buitelandse inval, het konserwatiewes tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat 'n beter pad vir Mexiko gesentraliseer is krag.

Die nuwe beleid, en die toenemende handhawing van immigrasiewette en invoertariewe, het baie immigrante aangemoedig om in opstand te kom. [7] Die grensgebied van Mexikaanse Texas is grootliks bevolk deur immigrante uit die Verenigde State, sommige wettig, maar die meeste onwettig. Hierdie mense was gewoond aan 'n federalistiese regering en aan uitgebreide individuele regte, waaronder die reg om slawe te besit, en hulle was baie ontevrede oor die wetstoepassing in Mexiko en het oorgegaan na sentralisme. [8] Reeds agterdogtig na vorige Amerikaanse pogings om Mexikaanse Texas aan te skaf, [9] het die Mexikaanse owerhede die meeste van die Texiese onrus die skuld gegee aan Amerikaanse immigrante, waarvan die meeste onwettig binnegekom het en min moeite gedoen het om aan te pas by die Mexikaanse kultuur en wat aanhou hou mense in slawerny toe slawerny in Mexiko afgeskaf is. [10]

In Oktober het Texians Mexikaanse troepe betrek in die eerste amptelike geveg van die Texas Revolusie. [11] Santa Anna was vasbeslote om die opstand van immigrante te onderdruk, en begin 'n groot mag bymekaarbring, die Army of Operations in Texas, om die orde te herstel. [12] Die meeste van sy soldate was rou rekrute, [13] en baie is met geweld ingeroep. [14]

Die Texiane het die Mexikaanse troepe wat reeds in Texas gestasioneer was, stelselmatig verslaan. Die laaste groep Mexikaanse soldate in die streek-onder bevel van Santa Anna se swaer, generaal Martín Perfecto de Cos-het op 9 Desember oorgegee na die beleg van Béxar. [11] Teen hierdie tydstip is die Texiaanse leër oorheers deur baie onlangse aankomste in die streek, hoofsaaklik onwettige immigrante uit die Verenigde State. Baie setlaars in Texas, onvoorbereid op 'n lang veldtog, het teruggekeer huis toe. [15] Boos oor wat volgens hom Amerikaanse inmenging in Mexikaanse aangeleenthede was, was Santa Anna aan die spits van 'n resolusie wat buitelandse immigrante klassifiseer wat as gevegte in Texas as seerowers gevind word. Die resolusie verbied effektief die neem van krygsgevangenes: in hierdie tydperk is gevange seerowers onmiddellik tereggestel. [15] [16] Santa Anna herhaal hierdie boodskap in 'n sterk bewoorde brief aan die Amerikaanse president, Andrew Jackson. Hierdie brief is nie wyd versprei nie, en dit is onwaarskynlik dat die meeste Amerikaanse rekrute wat in die Texas -leër dien, bewus was dat daar geen krygsgevangenes sou wees nie. [17]

Toe Mexikaanse troepe uit San Antonio de Béxar (nou San Antonio, Texas, VSA) vertrek, het Texaanse soldate die Mexikaanse garnisoen by die Alamo -sending gevang, 'n voormalige Spaanse godsdienstige voorpos wat deur die onlangs uitgestuurde Mexikaanse leër omskep is in 'n tydelike fort. [18] Deur Santa Anna beskryf as '' 'n onreëlmatige vesting wat die naam amper nie werd is nie ', [18] is die Alamo ontwerp om 'n aanval deur inheemse stamme te weerstaan, nie 'n artillerie-toegeruste leër nie. [19] Die kompleks strek oor 1,2 hektaar en bied byna 400 m omtrek om te verdedig. [20] 'n Binne-plein is in die ooste begrens deur die kapel en in die suide deur 'n gebou met een verdieping, bekend as die Lae Barakke. [21] 'n Houtpalade tussen hierdie twee geboue. [22] Die twee verdiepings lange kaserne het noordwaarts gestrek vanaf die kapel. [21] Op die noordelike hoek van die oostelike muur het 'n veestal en perdekoring gestaan. [23] Die mure rondom die kompleks was ten minste 2,75 voet (0,84 m) dik en het gewissel van 2,7 tot 3,7 m (9-12 voet) hoog. [24] [Nota 1]

Om te kompenseer vir die gebrek aan vuurhawe, het die Texiaanse ingenieur Green B. Jameson voetpaadjies gebou om die verdedigers toe te laat om oor die mure te skiet, maar die bolyf van die geweer is blootgestel. [20] Mexikaanse magte het 19 kanonne agtergelaat wat Jameson langs die mure geïnstalleer het. 'N Groot 18-ponder het met die New Orleans Grays in Texas aangekom. Jameson het hierdie kanon in die suidwestelike hoek van die verbinding geplaas. Hy spog met die bevelvoerder van die Texaanse weermag, Sam Houston, dat die Texiërs '10 tot 1 met ons artillerie kan slaan'. [25]

Die Texiaanse garnisoen was verskriklik onderbeman en ondervoorsienbaar, met minder as 100 soldate wat op 6 Januarie 1836 oor was. [26] Kolonel James C. Neill, waarnemende Alamo -bevelvoerder, skryf aan die voorlopige regering: "As daar ooit 'n dollar hier was Ek het geen kennis daarvan nie ". [26] Neill het bykomende troepe en voorrade aangevra en beklemtoon dat die garnisoen waarskynlik nie 'n beleg van langer as vier dae kan weerstaan ​​nie. [26] [27] Die Texaanse regering was in beroering en kon nie veel hulp verleen nie. [28] [Nota 2] Vier verskillende mans beweer dat hulle bevel oor die hele leër gekry het: [Nota 3], op 14 Januarie, het Neill een van hulle, Sam Houston, genader vir hulp by die insameling van voorrade, klere en ammunisie. [28]

Houston kon nie die aantal mans spaar wat nodig was om 'n suksesvolle verdediging aan te pak nie. [29] In plaas daarvan stuur hy kolonel James Bowie met 30 man om die artillerie uit die Alamo te verwyder en die kompleks te vernietig. [28] [Nota 4] Bowie kon nie die artillerie vervoer nie, aangesien die Alamo -garnisoen nie die nodige trekdiere gehad het nie. Neill het Bowie gou oortuig dat die ligging van strategiese belang is. [30] In 'n brief aan goewerneur Henry Smith het Bowie aangevoer dat "die redding van Texas grootliks afhang van die behoud van Béxar uit die hande van die vyand. Dit dien as die grenspiekwagter, en as dit in besit van Santa Anna, daar is geen vesting om hom af te weer in sy opmars na die Sabine nie. " [31] [Nota 5] Die brief aan Smith eindig: "Kolonel Neill en ek het tot die plegtige besluit gekom dat ons eerder in hierdie slote sal sterf as om dit aan die vyand af te staan." [31] Bowie skryf ook aan die voorlopige regering en vra "mans, geld, gewere en kanonpoeier". [31] 'n Paar versterkings is gemagtig deur die kavalerie -offisier William B. Travis, wat op 30 Februarie met 30 man in Béxar aangekom het. Vyf dae later het 'n klein groepie vrywilligers opgedaag, waaronder die beroemde grensman en voormalige Amerikaanse kongreslid David Crockett van Tennessee. [32]

Op 11 Februarie het Neill die Alamo verlaat, vasbeslote om ekstra versterkings te werf en voorraad te versamel. [33] [34] Hy het die bevel oorgedra aan Travis, die hoogste rang van die gereelde weermagoffisier in die garnisoen. [31] Vrywilligers het 'n groot deel van die garnisoen uitgemaak, en hulle was nie bereid om Travis as hul leier te aanvaar nie. [Nota 6] Die mans verkies Bowie, wat 'n reputasie as 'n vurige vegter gehad het, as hul bevelvoerder. Bowie het dit gevier deur baie bedwelm te raak en verwoesting in Béxar te veroorsaak. Om die gevolglike slegte gevoelens te versag, het Bowie ingestem om die bevel met Travis te deel. [34] [35] [36]

Terwyl die Texiane gesukkel het om mans en voorrade te vind, het Santa Anna teen die einde van 1835 mans bymekaargemaak by San Luis Potosi, en sy leër het 6 019 soldate getel. [37] Eerder as om langs die kus te vorder, waar voorrade en versterkings maklik per see afgelewer kon word, beveel Santa Anna sy leër die binneland in na Béxar, die politieke sentrum van Texas en die plek van Cos se nederlaag. [37] Die weermag begin einde Desember noordwaarts. [37] Beamptes het die lang reis gebruik om die mans op te lei. Baie van die nuwe rekrute het nie geweet hoe om die gewere te gebruik nie, en baie het geweier om van die skouer af te vuur weens die groot terugslag. [38]

Die vordering was stadig. Daar was nie genoeg muile om al die voorrade te vervoer nie, en baie van die spanlede, almal burgerlikes, het opgehou toe hul betaling vertraag is. Die baie soldaderas - vroue en kinders wat die weermag gevolg het - het baie van die reeds skaars voorrade verbruik. Die soldate is gou tot gedeeltelike rantsoene verminder. [39] Op 12 Februarie het hulle die Rio Grande oorgesteek. [40] [Nota 7] Temperature in Texas bereik rekordlaagtepunte, en teen 13 Februarie het na raming 38–41 cm (38–41 cm) sneeu geval. Hipotermie, disenterie en aanvalpartytjies van Comanche het die Mexikaanse soldate baie geëis. [41]

Op 21 Februarie het Santa Anna en sy voorhoede die oewer van die Medina -rivier bereik, 40 myl van Béxar af. [42] [43] Onbewus van die nabyheid van die Mexikaanse leër, het die meerderheid van die garnisoen van Alamo by 'n fees by Béxar -inwoners aangesluit. [44] [Nota 8] Nadat sy van die beplande viering verneem het, beveel Santa Anna generaal Joaquín Ramírez y Sesma om onmiddellik die onbeskermde Alamo te gryp, maar skielike reën het die aanval gestuit. [43]

Belegging

In die vroeë oggendure van 23 Februarie het inwoners begin wegvlug uit Béxar, uit vrees dat die Mexikaanse weermag op hande is. Alhoewel Travis dit nie oortuig het nie, het Travis 'n soldaat in die klokkentoring van San Fernando, die hoogste plek in die stad, gestasioneer om tekens te sien van 'n naderende mag. 'N Paar uur later het Texiaanse verkenners gesê dat hulle Mexikaanse troepe 2,4 km buite die stad sien. [44] Daar is min reëlings getref vir 'n moontlike beleg. Een groep Texiane het in die Alamo gestap om vee in te vee, terwyl ander in die onlangs verlate huise gesoek het na kos. [45] Verskeie lede van die garnisoen wat in die stad gewoon het, het hul gesinne saamgebring toe hulle by die Alamo aangemeld het. Onder hulle was Almaron Dickinson, wat sy vrou Susanna en hul babadogter Angelina Bowie saambring, wat vergesel was deur die neefs van sy oorlede vrou, Gertrudis Navarro en Juana Navarro Alsbury, en Alsbury se jong seun [46] en Gregorio Esparza, wie se gesin deur die venster van die Alamo -kapel nadat die Mexikaanse weermag aangekom het. [47] Ander lede van die garnisoen het nie vir diens aangemeld nie; [48]

reaksie van José Bartres op Texiaanse versoeke om 'n eerbare oorgawe, soos aangehaal in die joernaal van Juan Almonte [49]

Teen laatmiddag was Béxar beset deur ongeveer 1500 Mexikaanse soldate. [50] Toe die Mexikaanse troepe 'n bloedrooi vlag opswaai wat geen kwartier aandui nie, reageer Travis met 'n blaas van die Alamo se grootste kanon. [51] Bowie glo dat Travis haastig opgetree het, en het Jameson gestuur om Santa Anna te ontmoet. [49] Travis was kwaad dat Bowie eensydig opgetree het en sy eie verteenwoordiger, kaptein Albert Martin, gestuur het. [52] Beide afgevaardigdes het kolonel Juan Almonte en José Bartres ontmoet. Volgens Almonte het die Texiërs 'n eerbare oorgawe gevra, maar is ingelig dat enige oorgawe onvoorwaardelik moet wees. [49] Nadat hulle dit geleer het, het Bowie en Travis onderling ooreengekom om die kanon weer af te vuur. [52] [Nota 9]

Skermutselinge

Die eerste nag van die beleg was relatief stil. [53] In die volgende paar dae het Mexikaanse soldate artilleriebatterye gevestig, aanvanklik ongeveer 300 m van die suid- en oostelike mure van die Alamo. [54] 'n Derde battery is suidoos van die fort geplaas. Elke aand het die batterye nader aan die Alamo -mure gekom. [55] Gedurende die eerste week van die beleg het meer as 200 kanonkoeëls op die Alamo -plein geland. Aanvanklik pas die Texiane by die Mexikaanse artillerievuur, wat die Mexikaanse kanonkoele dikwels hergebruik. [56] [57] Op 26 Februarie het Travis die artillerie beveel om poeier en skoot te bespaar. [56]

Twee noemenswaardige gebeurtenisse het op Woensdag 24 Februarie plaasgevind. Op 'n stadium daardie dag het Bowie ineengestort van siekte, [58] wat Travis in beheer van die garnisoen gelaat het. [58] Laat die middag het twee Mexikaanse verkenners die eerste sterftes in die beleg geword. [59] [Nota 9] Die volgende oggend het 200–300 Mexikaanse soldate die San Antonio -rivier oorgesteek en in verlate hutte naby die Alamo -mure dekking geneem. [55] [59] [60] Verskeie Texiane het gewaag om die hutte [60] te verbrand, terwyl Texiane in die Alamo dekbrand verskaf het. [61] [62] Na 'n skermutseling van twee uur het die Mexikaanse troepe teruggetrek na Béxar. [55] [62] Ses Mexikaanse soldate is dood en vier ander is gewond. [55] Geen Texiërs is beseer nie. [63]

'N Blou noordelike blaas op 25 Februarie in en laat die temperatuur daal tot 39 ° F (4 ° C). [56] Geen weermag was voorbereid op die koue temperature nie. [64] Mexikaanse troepe se pogings om vuurmaakhout bymekaar te maak, is in die wiele gery. [56] Op die aand van 26 Februarie het kolonel Juan Bringas verskeie Texiane verloof wat meer hutte gebrand het. [65] Volgens historikus J.R. Edmondson is een Texiaan dood. [66] Vier dae later het Texians Private First Class Secundino Alvarez, 'n soldaat uit een van twee bataljons wat Santa Anna aan twee kante van die Alamo gestasioneer het, doodgeskiet. Teen 1 Maart was die getal meisies in Mexiko nege dood en vier gewond, terwyl die Texiaanse garnisoen slegs een man verloor het.

Versterkings

Santa Anna het een onderneming oos van die Alamo op die pad na Gonzales geplaas. [55] [68] Almonte en 800 drake was langs die pad na Goliad gestasioneer. [69] Gedurende die beleg het hierdie dorpe verskeie koeriers ontvang wat deur Travis gestuur is om versterkings en voorrade te pleit. [51] [70] Die bekendste van sy missies, geskryf op 24 Februarie, is gerig aan die mense van Texas en alle Amerikaners ter wêreld. Volgens historikus Mary Deborah Petite word die brief 'deur baie beskou as een van die meesterwerke van die Amerikaanse patriotisme'. [71] Afskrifte van die brief is versprei oor Texas, [72] en uiteindelik herdruk in die Verenigde State en 'n groot deel van Europa. [59] Aan die einde van die eerste dag van die beleg, is Santa Anna se troepe versterk deur 600 man onder generaal Joaquin Ramirez y Sesma, wat die Mexikaanse weermag op meer as 2 000 man te staan ​​gebring het.

Namate die nuus van die beleg in Texas versprei het, het moontlike versterkings in Gonzales versamel. Hulle het gehoop om 'n afspraak te maak met kolonel James Fannin, wat na verwagting met sy garnisoen uit Goliad sou kom. [73] Op 26 Februarie, na dae van besluiteloosheid, beveel Fannin 320 man, vier kanonne en verskeie voorraadwaens om na die Alamo, 140 myl daarvandaan, te marsjeer. Hierdie groep het minder as 1,6 km afgelê voordat hulle teruggedraai het. [74] [75] Fannin blameer die terugtog op sy offisiere, die beamptes en manne wat Fannin beskuldig het dat hy die missie gestaak het. [76]

Texiane wat in Gonzales vergader het, was nie bewus van Fannin se terugkeer na Goliad nie, en die meeste het gewag. Ongeduldig met die vertraging, het Travis op 27 Februarie beveel dat Samuel G. Bastian na Gonzales moet gaan "om versterkings op te spoedig". [77] Volgens historikus Thomas Ricks Lindley het Bastian die Gonzales Ranging Company teëgekom onder leiding van luitenant George C. Kimble en Travis se koerier na Gonzales, Albert Martin, wat moeg was om op Fannin te wag. 'N Mexikaanse patrollie het aangeval en vier van die mans, waaronder Bastian, verdryf. [Nota 10] [78] In die duisternis het die Texiane op die oorblywende 32 mans geskiet, wat volgens hulle Mexikaanse soldate was. Een man is gewond, en sy Engelse vloeke het die besetters oortuig om die hekke oop te maak. [Nota 11] [79]

Op 3 Maart het die Texiane van die mure af gekyk hoe ongeveer 1 000 Mexikane in Béxar instap. Die Mexikaanse weermag het dwarsdeur die middag hard gevier, ter ere van hul versterkings en by die nuus dat troepe onder generaal José de Urrea die Texiese kolonel Frank W. Johnson op 27 Februarie klaarblyklik verslaan het in die Slag van San Patricio. [80] Die meeste van die Texiane in die Alamo het geglo dat Sesma die Mexikaanse magte gelei het tydens die beleg, en hulle het die viering per ongeluk toegeskryf aan die aankoms van Santa Anna. Die versterkings het die aantal Mexikaanse soldate in Béxar op byna 3100 te staan ​​gebring. [81]

Die aankoms van die Mexikaanse versterkings het Travis genoop om drie mans, waaronder Davy Crockett, te stuur om Fannin se mag te vind, wat volgens hom nog onderweg was. [82] Die verkenners het ontdek dat 'n groot groep Teksiërs 32 myl van die Alamo af kampeer het. [83] Lindley se navorsing dui aan dat tot 50 van hierdie mans uit Goliad gekom het ná Fannin se afgebakende reddingsmissie. Die ander het Gonzales 'n paar dae tevore verlaat. [84] Net voor daglig op 4 Maart het 'n deel van die Texiaanse mag deur Mexikaanse linies gebreek en die Alamo binnegegaan. Mexikaanse soldate het 'n tweede groep oor die weiveld gery. [83] [Nota 12]

Aanrandingsvoorbereidings

Op 4 Maart, die dag nadat sy versterkings aangebreek het, het Santa Anna 'n aanval op die Alamo voorgestel. Baie van sy senior offisiere het aanbeveel dat hulle wag vir twee kanonne van 12 pond wat na verwagting op 7 Maart sou aankom. [85] Daardie aand het 'n plaaslike vrou, waarskynlik Bowie se neef, Juana Navarro Alsbury, Santa Anna genader om 'n oorgawe te onderhandel vir die Alamo -besetters. [86] Volgens baie historici het hierdie besoek waarskynlik Santa Anna se ongeduld vergroot, soos historikus Timothy Todish opgemerk het: "daar sou weinig eer in 'n bloedlose oorwinning gewees het". [87] Die volgende oggend kondig Santa Anna aan sy personeel aan dat die aanval vroeg op 6 Maart sou plaasvind. Santa Anna het gereël dat troepe uit Béxar van die voorste linies onthef word sodat hulle nie gedwing word om teen hul eie gesinne te veg nie. . [87]

Volgens die legende het Travis op 5 Maart sy manne bymekaargemaak en verduidelik dat 'n aanval op hande was en dat die Mexikaanse weermag groot getalle daaroor was. Hy het vermoedelik 'n streep in die grond getrek en diegene wat gewillig is om te sterf vir die Teksaanse saak gevra om oor te gaan en langs hom te staan ​​dat slegs een man (Moses Rose) geweier het. [88] Die meeste geleerdes ignoreer hierdie verhaal, aangesien daar geen primêre bronbewyse is om dit te ondersteun nie (die verhaal verskyn eers dekades na die geveg in 'n derdehandse verslag). [89] Travis het blykbaar op 'n stadium voor die laaste aanslag die mans bymekaargekom vir 'n konferensie om hulle in te lig oor die haglike situasie en hulle die kans gegee het om te ontsnap of te bly en om die rede te sterf. Susannah Dickinson onthou dat Travis aangekondig het dat mans wat wil ontsnap, dit moet laat weet en uit die geledere moet tree. [90]

Die laaste Texiaan wat geverifieer is dat hy die Alamo verlaat het, was James Allen, 'n koerier wat op 5 Maart persoonlike boodskappe van Travis en verskeie van die ander mans oorgedra het. [91]

Buite geveg

Aanvanklike ontplooiing van Mexikaanse troepe [92] [93]
Bevelvoerder Troepe Toerusting
Cos 350 10 lere
2 koevoete
2 asse
Duque/Castrillón 400 10 lere
Romero 400 6 lere
Morales 125 2 lere
Sesma 500 ruiters
Kersvader Anna 400 reserwes

Om 22:00. op 5 Maart het die Mexikaanse artillerie hul bombardement gestaak. Soos Santa Anna verwag het, het die uitgeputte Texiërs gou in die eerste ononderbroke slaap verval wat baie van hulle gehad het sedert die beleg begin het. [94] Net na middernag het meer as 2 000 Mexikaanse soldate begin voorberei op die laaste aanval. [95] Minder as 1 800 is in vier kolomme verdeel, onder bevel van Cos, kolonel Francisco Duque, kolonel José María Romero en kolonel Juan Morales. [92] [93] Veterane was aan die buitekant van die kolomme geplaas om die nuwe rekrute en dienspligtiges in die middel beter te beheer. [96] As voorsorgmaatreël is 500 Mexikaanse kavaleries rondom die Alamo geplaas om te voorkom dat Texaanse of Mexikaanse soldate ontsnap. Santa Anna het in die kamp gebly met die 400 reservate. [93] [97] Ten spyte van die erge koue, is die soldate beveel om nie jasse te dra nie, wat hul bewegings kan belemmer. [93] Wolke verberg die maan en dus die bewegings van die soldate. [98]

Om 05:30 het troepe stilweg gevorder. Cos en sy mans het die noordwestelike hoek van die Alamo genader, [96] terwyl Duque sy manne uit die noordweste gelei het na 'n herstelbreuk in die Alamo se noordwand. [99] Die kolom onder bevel van Romero marsjeer in die rigting van die oostelike muur, en Morales se kolom het gemik op die lae parapet by die kapel. [99]

Die drie Texiaanse bewaarders wat buite die mure gestasioneer is, is in hul slaap dood, [100] [101] sodat Mexikaanse soldate onopgemerk binne die spierafstand van die mure kon nader. [100] Op hierdie stadium is die stilte verbreek deur geskreeu van "Viva Santa Anna!" en musiek van die goggas. [95] Die geraas het die Texiane wakker gemaak. [101] Die meeste van die nie -stridendes het in die kerksakristy bymekaargekom vir veiligheid. [102] Travis jaag na sy pos en skree: "Kom, seuns, die Mexikane is op ons en ons sal hulle die hel gee!" [100] en toe hy 'n groep Tejanos verbygaan, "Geen terugvoer nie, baie!" ("Moenie oorgee nie, seuns"). [94]

In die aanvanklike oomblikke van die aanval was Mexikaanse troepe benadeel. Hulle kolomvorming het slegs die voorste rye soldate toegelaat om veilig te skiet. [103] Omdat hulle nie bewus was van die gevare nie, het die onopgeleide rekrute in die geledere 'blindelings hul gewere gered' en die troepe voor hulle beseer of vermoor. [104] Die streng konsentrasie troepe bied ook 'n uitstekende doelwit vir die Texiese artillerie. [103] By gebrek aan houerskote het Texians hul kanon gevul met enige metaal wat hulle kon vind, insluitend deurskarniere, spykers en gekapte hoefysters, wat die kanon in wese in reuse haelgewere verander het. [100] Volgens die dagboek van José Enrique de la Peña, "het 'n enkele kanonvlug weggeskiet met die helfte van die geselskap van chasseurs uit Toluca". [105] Duque val van sy perd af nadat hy 'n wond in sy bobeen opgedoen het en is byna deur sy eie mans vertrap. Generaal Manuel Castrillón neem vinnig bevel oor Duque se kolom. [23]

Alhoewel sommige voor in die Mexikaanse geledere gewankel het, het soldate agterin hulle voortgestoot. [103] Terwyl die troepe teen die mure saamtrek, moes die Texiërs oor die mure leun om te skiet en hulle bloot te stel aan Mexikaanse vuur. Travis het een van die eerste besetters geword wat dood is, terwyl hy met sy haelgeweer in die soldate onder hom afgevuur het, maar een bron sê dat hy sy swaard getrek het en 'n Mexikaanse offisier gesteek het wat teen die muur gestorm het voordat hy aan sy besering beswyk het. [103] 'n Paar van die Mexikaanse lere bereik die mure. [106] Die paar soldate wat die lere kon klim, is vinnig doodgemaak of teruggeslaan. Namate die Texiërs hul gewere wat voorheen gelaai is, aflaai, het hulle dit steeds moeiliker gevind om weer te laai terwyl hulle probeer het om Mexikaanse soldate te weerhou om die mure af te skaal. [23]

Mexikaanse soldate het onttrek en hergroepeer, maar hul tweede aanval is afgeweer. Vyftien minute in die geveg val hulle 'n derde keer aan. [23] [103] Tydens die derde staking is Romero se kolom, wat na die oostelike muur gerig was, blootgestel aan kanonvuur en na die noorde geskuif, vermeng met die tweede kolom. [23] Cos se kolom, onder skoot van Texiane aan die westelike muur, het ook noordwaarts gedraai. [107] Toe Santa Anna sien dat die grootste deel van sy leër teen die noordelike muur was, was hy bang dat die paniek 'paniekerig' sou wees, en hy stuur die reservate na dieselfde gebied. [108] Die Mexikaanse soldate wat die naaste aan die noordelike muur was, het besef dat die geïmproviseerde muur baie gapings en teenpunte bevat. Een van die eerstes wat die muur van 3,7 m groot was, was generaal Juan Amador tydens sy uitdaging, en sy manne het teen die muur begin swerm. Amador het die agterkant in die noordwand oopgemaak, sodat Mexikaanse soldate in die kompleks kon instroom. [106] Ander het deur geweerhawe in die westelike muur geklim, met min besetters. [109] Terwyl die Texiese besetters die noordelike muur en die noordelike einde van die westelike muur verlaat het, [106] [109] Texiaanse kanonniers aan die suidpunt van die missie het hul kanon na die noorde gedraai en op die oprukkende Mexikaanse soldate afgevuur. Dit het die suidelike deel van die missie binne enkele minute onbeskermd gelaat. Meksikaanse soldate het teen die mure geklim en die kanonne doodgemaak en beheer oor die Alamo-kanon van 18 pond verkry. [98] Teen hierdie tyd het die manne van Romero die oostelike muur van die verbinding geneem en deur die veestap gestroom. [109]

Binne -gevegte

Laaste woorde van die Texiaanse verdediger Almaron Dickinson aan sy vrou Susanna terwyl hy voorberei het om die kapel te verdedig. [107]

Soos voorheen beplan, het die meeste Texiane teruggeval na die kaserne en die kapel. Daar is gate in die mure gekap om die Texiane te laat vuur. [107] Omdat hulle nie die kaserne kon bereik nie, het die Texiane langs die westelike muur na die weste na die San Antonio -rivier gestap. Toe die kavallerie toeslaan, het die Texiane dekking geneem en begin skiet uit 'n sloot. Sesma is gedwing om versterkings te stuur, en die Texiane is uiteindelik vermoor. Sesma het berig dat hierdie skermutseling 50 Texiane betrek het, maar Edmondson meen dat die getal verhoog is. [110]

Die besetters in die veestal het teruggetrek na die perdehok. Nadat hulle hul wapens ontslaan het, het die klein groepie Texiërs oor die lae muur gestorm, agter die kerk ingeloop en te voet gejaag na die oostelike prairie, wat leeg gelyk het. [107] [109] [111] Terwyl die Mexikaanse kavallerie op die groep gevorder het, draai Almaron Dickinson en sy artilleriebeampte 'n kanon om en skiet in die kavallerie, wat waarskynlik ongevalle veroorsaak. Nietemin is al die ontsnapende Texiërs dood. [111]

Die laaste Texiaanse groep wat oop was, was Crockett en sy manne wat die lae muur voor die kerk verdedig het. Hulle kon nie herlaai nie, maar hulle het hul gewere as stokke gebruik en met messe geveg. Na 'n vuurvuur ​​en 'n golf Mexikaanse bajonette, val die paar oorblywende Texiane in hierdie groep terug na die kerk. [110] Die Mexikaanse weermag beheer nou al die buitemure en die binnekant van die Alamo -verbinding, behalwe die kerk en kamers langs die oostelike en westelike mure. [112] Mexikaanse soldate vestig hul aandag op 'n Texiaanse vlag wat van die dak van een gebou waai. Vier Mexikane is dood voordat die vlag van Mexiko op daardie plek gehys is. [Nota 13] [113]

Die Mexikaanse weermag het die volgende uur gewerk om die volledige beheer van die Alamo te verseker. [114] Baie van die oorblywende besetters is opgesluit in die versterkte kaserne. [115] In die verwarring het die Texians nagelaat om hul kanon te steek voordat hulle terugtrek. Mexikaanse soldate het die kanon na die kaserne gedraai. [106] Terwyl elke deur afgewaai word, sou Mexikaanse soldate 'n sarsie muskiete in die donker kamer afvuur en dan inkom vir hand-tot-hand-gevegte. [115]

Bowie is te siek om aan die geveg deel te neem, en is waarskynlik in die bed dood. Ooggetuies van die geveg het teenstrydige weergawes van sy dood gegee. Sommige getuies het volgehou dat hulle gesien het hoe verskeie Mexikaanse soldate Bowie se kamer binnekom, hom bajonet en lewend uit die kamer gedra het. [116] Ander beweer dat Bowie homself geskiet het of deur soldate doodgemaak is terwyl hy te swak was om sy kop op te lig. [117] Volgens historikus Wallace Chariton is die "gewildste en waarskynlik die akkuraatste" [118] weergawe dat Bowie op sy bedjie gesterf het, "rugstut teen die muur, en met sy pistole en sy beroemde mes." [117]

Die laaste van die Texiane wat gesterf het, was die 11 mans wat die twee kanonne van 12 ponde in die kapel beman het. [113] [119] 'n Skoot uit die 18-ponder kanon het die versperrings aan die voorkant van die kerk vernietig, en Mexikaanse soldate het die gebou binnegekom nadat hulle 'n aanvanklike musket-vlug afgevuur het. Die bemanning van Dickinson het hul kanon uit die apsis in die Mexikaanse soldate by die deur afgevuur. Sonder tyd om te herlaai, gryp die Texiërs, waaronder Dickinson, Gregorio Esparza en James Bonham, gewere en skiet voordat hulle met bajonet doodgemaak word. [120] Die Texiaan Robert Evans, die meester in die munisipaliteit, moes die buskruit nie in Mexikaanse hande laat val nie. Gewonde kruip hy in die rigting van die poeiermagasyn, maar word doodgemaak deur 'n muskietbal met sy fakkel net 'n paar sentimeter van die poeier af. [120] As hy daarin geslaag het, sou die ontploffing die kerk vernietig en die vroue en kinders wat in die sakristie skuil, doodgemaak het. [121]

Toe soldate die sakristie nader, staan ​​een van die jong seuns van die besetter Anthony Wolf om 'n kombers oor sy skouers te trek. [120] In die donker het Mexikaanse soldate hom as 'n volwassene verwar en hom vermoor. [Nota 14] [122] Miskien is die laaste Texiaan wat in die geveg gesterf het, Jacob Walker, [123] wat probeer het om agter Susannah Dickinson te skuil en voor die vroue gebaai was. [124] 'n Ander Texiaan, Brigido Guerrero, soek ook skuiling in die sakristie. [120] Guerrero, wat in Desember 1835 uit die Mexikaanse leër vertrek het, is gespaar nadat hy die soldate oortuig het dat hy 'n Texiaanse gevangene was. [122] [125]

Teen 06:30 was die stryd om die Alamo verby. [124] Mexikaanse soldate het elke lyk geïnspekteer en 'n bajonet gemaak van enige liggaam wat beweeg het. [122] Selfs met al die Texiane dood, het Mexikaanse soldate voortgegaan om te skiet, terwyl sommige mekaar in die verwarring doodgemaak het. Mexikaanse generaals kon die bloedlus nie stop nie en het 'n beroep op Santa Anna gedoen om hulp. Alhoewel die generaal homself gewys het, het die geweld voortgeduur en die boewe is uiteindelik beveel om 'n terugtog te maak. 15 minute daarna het soldate aangehou om in lyke te skiet. [126]

Slagoffers

Volgens baie berigte oor die geveg het tussen vyf en sewe Texiane oorgegee. [Nota 15] [127] [128] Santa Anna was ontsteld dat sy bevele geïgnoreer is en eis dat die oorlewendes onmiddellik tereggestel moet word. [129] Weke na die geveg het verhale versprei dat Crockett een van diegene was wat oorgegee het. [128] Ben, 'n voormalige Amerikaanse slaaf wat vir een van Santa Anna se offisiere gekook het, het volgehou dat Crockett se lyk omring is deur "nie minder nie as sestien Mexikaanse lyke". [130] Geskiedkundiges verskil oor watter weergawe van Crockett se dood akkuraat is. [Nota 16] [131]

Santa Anna het na bewering aan kaptein Fernando Urizza gesê dat die geveg 'maar 'n klein saak was'. [132] 'n Ander offisier merk toe op dat "met nog 'n oorwinning soos hierdie, gaan ons na die duiwel". [Nota 17] [2] In sy aanvanklike verslag beweer Santa Anna dat 600 Teksiërs dood is, met slegs 70 Mexikaanse soldate en 300 gewond. [133] Sy sekretaris, Ramón Martínez Caro, het die verslag later verwerp. [134] Ander ramings van die aantal doodgemaakte Mexikaanse soldate het gewissel van 60 tot 200, met nog 250–300 gewondes. [2] Most Alamo historians place the number of Mexican casualties at 400–600. [2] [3] [4] This would represent about one-third of the Mexican soldiers involved in the final assault, which Todish remarks is "a tremendous casualty rate by any standards". [2] Most eyewitnesses counted between 182 and 257 Texians killed. [135] Some historians believe that at least one Texian, Henry Warnell, successfully escaped from the battle. Warnell died several months later of wounds incurred either during the final battle or during his escape as a courier. [136] [137]

Mexican soldiers were buried in the local cemetery, Campo Santo. [Note 18] [133] Shortly after the battle, Colonel José Juan Sanchez Navarro proposed that a monument should be erected to the fallen Mexican soldiers. Cos rejected the idea. [138]

The Texian bodies were stacked and burned. [Note 19] [133] The only exception was the body of Gregorio Esparza. His brother Francisco, an officer in Santa Anna's army, received permission to give Gregorio a proper burial. [133] The ashes were left where they fell until February 1837, when Juan Seguín returned to Béxar to examine the remains. A simple coffin inscribed with the names Travis, Crockett, and Bowie was filled with ashes from the funeral pyres. [139] According to a March 28, 1837, article in the Telegraph and Texas Register, [140] Seguín buried the coffin under a peach tree grove. The spot was not marked and cannot now be identified. [141] Seguín later claimed that he had placed the coffin in front of the altar at the San Fernando Cathedral. In July 1936 a coffin was discovered buried in that location, but according to historian Wallace Chariton, it is unlikely to actually contain the remains of the Alamo defenders. Fragments of uniforms were found in the coffin and the Texian soldiers who fought at the Alamo were known not to wear uniforms. [140]

Texian survivors

In an attempt to convince other slaves in Texas to support the Mexican government over the Texian rebellion, Santa Anna spared Travis' slave, Joe. [142] The day after the battle, he interviewed each noncombatant individually. Impressed with Susanna Dickinson, Santa Anna offered to adopt her infant daughter Angelina and have the child educated in Mexico City. Dickinson refused the offer, which was not extended to Juana Navarro Alsbury although her son was of similar age. [2] Each woman was given a blanket and two silver pesos. [143] Alsbury and the other Tejano women were allowed to return to their homes in Béxar Dickinson, her daughter and Joe were sent to Gonzales, escorted by Ben. They were encouraged to relate the events of the battle, and to inform the remainder of the Texian forces that Santa Anna's army was unbeatable. [2]

Impact on revolution

During the siege, newly elected delegates from across Texas met at the Convention of 1836. On March 2, the delegates declared independence, forming the Republic of Texas. Four days later, the delegates at the convention received a dispatch Travis had written March 3 warning of his dire situation. Unaware that the Alamo had fallen, Robert Potter called for the convention to adjourn and march immediately to relieve the Alamo. Sam Houston convinced the delegates to remain in Washington-on-the-Brazos to develop a constitution. After being appointed sole commander of all Texian troops, Houston journeyed to Gonzales to take command of the 400 volunteers who were still waiting for Fannin to lead them to the Alamo. [144]

Within hours of Houston's arrival on March 11, Andres Barcenas and Anselmo Bergaras arrived with news that the Alamo had fallen and all Texians were slain. [145] Hoping to halt a panic, Houston arrested the men as enemy spies. They were released hours later when Susannah Dickinson and Joe reached Gonzales and confirmed the report. [146] Realizing that the Mexican army would soon advance towards the Texian settlements, Houston advised all civilians in the area to evacuate and ordered his new army to retreat. [147] This sparked a mass exodus, known as the Runaway Scrape, and most Texians, including members of the new government, fled east. [148]

Despite their losses at the Alamo, the Mexican army in Texas still outnumbered the Texian army by almost six to one. [149] Santa Anna assumed that knowledge of the disparity in troop numbers and the fate of the Texian soldiers at the Alamo would quell the resistance, [150] and that Texian soldiers would quickly leave the territory. [151] News of the Alamo's fall had the opposite effect, and men flocked to join Houston's army. [150] The New York Post editorialized that "had [Santa Anna] treated the vanquished with moderation and generosity, it would have been difficult if not impossible to awaken that general sympathy for the people of Texas which now impels so many adventurous and ardent spirits to throng to the aid of their brethren". [152]

On the afternoon of April 21 the Texian army attacked Santa Anna's camp near Lynchburg Ferry. The Mexican army was taken by surprise, and the Battle of San Jacinto was essentially over after 18 minutes. During the fighting, many of the Texian soldiers repeatedly cried "Remember the Alamo!" as they slaughtered fleeing Mexican troops. [153] Santa Anna was captured the following day, and reportedly told Houston: "That man may consider himself born to no common destiny who has conquered the Napoleon of the West. And now it remains for him to be generous to the vanquished." Houston replied, "You should have remembered that at the Alamo". Santa Anna's life was spared, and he was forced to order his troops out of Texas, ending Mexican control of the province and bestowing some legitimacy on the new republic. [154]

Following the battle, Santa Anna was alternately viewed as a national hero or a pariah. Mexican perceptions of the battle often mirrored the prevailing viewpoint. [155] Santa Anna had been disgraced following his capture at the Battle of San Jacinto, and many Mexican accounts of the battle were written by men who had been, or had become, his outspoken critics. Petite and many other historians believe that some of the stories, such as the execution of Crockett, may have been invented to further discredit Santa Anna. [131] In Mexican history, the Texas campaign, including the Battle of the Alamo, was soon overshadowed by the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. [155]

In San Antonio de Béxar, the largely Tejano population viewed the Alamo complex as more than just a battle site it represented decades of assistance—as a mission, a hospital, or a military post. [156] As the English-speaking population increased, the complex became best known for the battle. Focus has centered primarily on the Texian occupiers, with little emphasis given to the role of the Tejano soldiers who served in the Texian army or the actions of the Mexican army. [157] In the early 20th century the Texas Legislature purchased the property and appointed the Daughters of the Republic of Texas as permanent caretakers [158] of what is now an official state shrine. [159] In front of the church, in the center of Alamo Plaza, stands a cenotaph, designed by Pompeo Coppini, which commemorates the Texians and Tejanos who died during the battle. [160] According to Bill Groneman's Battlefields of Texas, the Alamo has become "the most popular tourist site in Texas". [159]

The first English-language histories of the battle were written and published by Texas Ranger and amateur historian John Henry Brown. [161] The next major treatment of the battle was Reuben Potter's Die val van die Alamo, gepubliseer in The Magazine of American History in 1878. Potter based his work on interviews with many of the Mexican survivors of the battle. [161] [162] The first full-length, non-fiction book covering the battle, John Myers Myers' The Alamo, was published in 1948. [163] In the decades since, the battle has featured prominently in many non-fiction works.

According to Todish et al., "there can be little doubt that most Americans have probably formed many of their opinions on what occurred at the Alamo not from books, but from the various movies made about the battle." [164] The first film version of the battle appeared in 1911, when Gaston Méliès directed The Immortal Alamo. [5] The battle became more widely known after it was featured in the 1950s Disney miniseries Davy Crockett, which was largely based on myth. [5] Within several years, John Wayne directed and starred in one of the best-known, but questionably accurate, film versions, 1960's The Alamo. [165] [Note 20] Another film also called The Alamo was released in 2004. CNN described it as possibly "the most character-driven of all the movies made on the subject". It is also considered more faithful to the actual events than other movies. [166]

Several songwriters have been inspired by the Battle of the Alamo. Tennessee Ernie Ford's "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" spent 16 weeks on the country music charts, peaking at No. 4 in 1955. [167] Marty Robbins recorded a version of the song "The Ballad of the Alamo" in 1960 which spent 13 weeks on the pop charts, peaking at No. 34. [168] Jane Bowers' song "Remember the Alamo" has been recorded by artists including Johnny Cash [169] and Donovan. [170] British hard rock band Babe Ruth's 1972 song The Mexican pictures the conflict through the eyes of a Mexican soldier. Singer-songwriter Phil Collins collected hundreds of items related to the battle, narrated a light and sound show about the Alamo, and has spoken at related events. [171] In 2014 Collins donated his entire collection to the Alamo via the State of Texas. [172] [173]

The battle also featured in episode 13 of The Time Tunnel, "The Alamo", first aired in 1966, and episode 5 of season one of the TV series Timeless, aired 2016.


The V Weapons

The V weapons – the V1 and V2 – were used towards the end of World War Two with such an effect that the attacks on London became known as the second Blitz. The success of D-Day had speeded up the production of the V weapons and the first V1 was launched on June 13th, just one week after the Allied landings at Normandy.

A V1 at the Imperial War Museum, London

The V weapons were built at Pennemunde, a remote island off the Baltic. Here, the Nazis had assembled a group of scientists and a workforce who worked under the greatest of secrecy. In 1943, the Polish underground movement had sent back information about the base and the RAF had aerial photographs of the site. In August 1943, a heavy bombing raid by the RAF caused serious damage to Pennemunde and pushed development back some months but the project was not halted altogether.

The V1 and V2 were to be weapons of revenge – the Vergeltungswaffens. These were the fabled secret weapons that Hitler boasted about the weapons that would win the war for Nazi Germany.

A damaged V1 found by the Allies

By February 1944, 96 launch sites had been built for the V1. The R.A.F and the U.S.A.F. destroyed 73 but the remaining 23 were to cause many problems for Southern England.

The V1 carried one ton of high explosives and travelled at a maximum of 400 mph. It had a maximum flying distance of 200 miles but the weather could decrease this. A pre-set magnetic compass and gyroscopic auto-pilot determined and maintained its course. A small propeller at the front of the weapon registered the distance covered. At a pre-set distance, the guidance system cut the power to the engine and the V1 went into a steep dive.

Between 8,000 and 9,000 V1’s were launched against Southern England, primarily London. After the initial shock of the first ones, their impact was limited as V1’s could be shot out of the sky by anti-aircraft fire as these guns could lock onto the trajectory of the incoming V1. The Royal Observer Corps gave an early warning of incoming V1’s. Fighter planes were also used to tip over the ‘wings’ of the V1 so that it continued to fly but off course. Over 50% of the V1’s fired at Britain were destroyed before they crashed to the ground and exploded.

Far more dangerous was the world’s first rocket – the V2. This was developed by Wernher von Braun and his team at Peneemunde. This rocket carried one ton of high explosive but travelled at such a speed that it could not be seen. Its terminal speed was 2,386 mph.

Whereas the V1 was a visible weapon, the V2 was invisible. These weapons spread considerable fear in London. In response to them the government used its intelligence units to convince the Nazis that the government had moved its base from central London to the Dulwich area of London. This worked and the V2’s were targeted towards Dulwich. About 1000 V2’s were fired at Britain before their launch sites were overrun by the advancing Allies. In total they killed or wounded about 115,000 people.

It is difficult to assess the true military value of the V weapons. Their psychological impact was probably greater than the actual damage they did. With the V2’s no one knew in London whether they would be the next victim. But they were not used against the advancing Allied armies or against the Russians. Antwerp, a vital port for the Allies, was devastated by attacks from V weapons but, in general, they were used on civilian targets only.

Albert Speer in his book “Inside the Third Reich” claims that the V weapons (especially the V2) could have been working many months before June 1944 if the men at Peneemunde had been given more support from Berlin. Speer cited Goering as the man who had little faith in the project. Their impact, if used from an earlier date, might have been greater.


Brittanje s'n verdediging

The crew of a 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun keep watch for flying bombs, June 1944. Defensive measures against the V1 included massed batteries of anti-aircraft guns along the North Downs and the coast of south-east England, and the use of fast RAF fighter aircraft to shoot or 'tip' down the incoming flying bombs before they reached their targets. Anti-aircraft guns were responsible for the shooting down over 1,800 V1s. Similar numbers were downed by fighter aircraft and 200 were destroyed by barrage balloons.


The V1

The V1 was one of Hitler’s secret weapons that he had told his generals that Nazi Germany possessed which would turn the way World War Two was going in 1944. The V1 was first launched against Britain in June 1944, just one week after D-Day. The V1 is difficult to classify as a weapon as it was not a true rocket in that it did not leave the atmosphere, but it was also clearly not a plane. Perhaps it could best be described as a winged but pilot-less fuel propelled flying bomb.

The V1 was so-called because Hitler saw it as a reprisal weapon – a Vergeltungswaffen. Intelligence had already concluded that the Germans had developed something radical as early as late 1943 when spy reports and reconnaissance photos showed the existence of launch ramps that were clearly directed at London. Winston Churchill was sent the following memo regarding the issue:

“The Chief-of-Staff feel that you should be made aware of reports of German experiments with long-range rockets. The fact that five reports have been received since the end of 1942 indicates a foundation of fact even if details are inaccurate…no time should be lost in establishing the facts and in devising counter-measures….suggest you should appoint one man..…Mr. Duncan Sandys to direct investigations. It is not considered desirable to inform the public at this stage, when the evidence is so intangible.” General Ismay.

Churchill took on board the memo and appointed Sandys to lead investigations. Sandys soon provided Churchill with reports that Germany had been carrying experiments with heavy rockets, jet-propelled planes and airborne rocket torpedoes at Peenemünde on the German Baltic coast. More establishments had been identified in northern France. In June 1943, Sandys informed Churchill that intelligence was finding out more about large rockets that flying bombs. He advised Churchill to order Bomber Command to attack the base at Peenemünde as soon as possible. Such was the fear at government level regarding these findings, that the Home Office once again went through the motions of organising the evacuation of children and pregnant women. More Morrison shelters, last seen in the Blitz, were also moved to London.

Information about Hitler’s secret weapons came from a number of sources. An eagle-eyed WAAF Flight -Officer, Constance Babington-Smith, spotted on a reconnaissance photo a tiny aircraft on a ramp and a set of rails at Peenemünde. It seemed to be pointlessly aimed out to sea. In France an agent called Michel Hollard investigated a large concrete construction being built by the Germans near Rouen. He actually got a job there himself and saw a ramp being built that was in the general direction of London. Hollard cycled around other parts of northern France and found similar structures being built. He even got plans for one of the sites at Bois Carré.

On August 17th 1943, Bomber Command launched a raid on Peenemünde which destroyed many of the assembly shops and laboratories there and killed a number of high ranking scientists – including Chamier-Glisezenski, the chief scientist. Nearly 600 bombers took part in this raid – with 41 shot down. Ironically, the success of the raid forced the Germans to move their work to the Harz Mountains where work was carried on inside the mountain itself which made an attack by bombers impossible. Test flights took place in Poland.

At the end of December 1943, Air Marshall Bottomley, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, reported that 69 ‘ski’ ramps had been identified in northern Europe. Those in the Pays-de-Calais and Somme-Seine were targeted at London while those in the Cherbourg area were seemingly targeted at Bristol.

Between January 1944 and June 12th 1944, over 2000 tons of bombs had been dropped on the identified sites – either by high flying bombers or by modified Spitfires and Hurricanes carrying 500lb bombs. In fact, these raids proved of little value as the Germans were quick to rebuild the sites but also to carefully camouflage them. Any damage done was quickly repaired.

The Germans created a special unit to handle the flying bombs – the 155th Flakregiment commanded by Colonel Wachtel. The V1 – officially for the Germans the FZG-76 – was also known as the ‘doodle bug’, ‘buzz-bomb’ and ‘cherry stone’. It was 25 feet long and had a wing span of 16 feet. Loaded with fuel, it weighed 2 tons and it had a warhead of 2,000 lbs of explosives. The most common way of launching the V1 was by ramp. It could also be launched by a modified Heinkel III. Originally, the V1 had a maximum range of 150 miles but this was improved to 250 miles to allow for it to be launched from Holland. About 10,500 were launched at Britain from June 1944 on, 8,800 by ramp and the rest by plane. The first one was first on June 13th 1944.

At about 04.15 on the morning of June 13th, a member of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) in Kent saw what he described as a bright yellow glow in the dark, coming from the engine at the back of the V1. The ROC had already been told to look out for such things and the ROC lookout immediately informed his superiors with the code-word “diver”. The engine of this V1 cut out over Kent and it fell 20 miles to the east of the Tower of London on the village of Swanscombe. Very shortly, others fell on Cuckfield, West Sussex, Bethnal Green, London and Sevenoaks in Kent. The only deaths were six people killed in Bethnal Green. On June 13th, ten V1’s were fired at London but only four got through. Four crashed on take-off (confirming what Wachtel had feared, that they were not fully ready for use) and two crashed into the English Channel. If all of the sites in northern France had been fully operational, then nearly 300 V1’s may well have fallen on south-east England. Wachtel was given strict instructions by his commanding officer, Lieutenant-General Erich Heinemann, to get all the sites working as soon as was possible.

Though the V1’s had no impact on the success or otherwise of D-Day, they did present a serious threat to London and south-east England. The defence of London rested with fighter planes, anti-aircraft fire around the coast and the use of barrage balloons. Any destruction or interception of the V1’s had to be done outside of London as any that were destroyed over London itself, may well have exploded on contact with the ground – thus doing what the V1 was intended to do regardless.

One major success that the British had was finding out the height at which the V1 flew – between 2000 and 3000 feet. The top speed of the V1 was also worked out – between 340 mph to 400 mph when it approached its target. The man put in charge of defending London – Air Marshall Roderic Hill – had a number of fighter planes at his disposal which were faster than the V1’s and could fly above the weapon before descending to attack it. The Spitfire XIV, the Mustang III, the Tempest V and the Mosquito could all do this – but they had a relatively small amount of time to do their work in.

On June 15th, 244 V1’s were launched from 55 sites. 73 hit Greater London and 71 hit areas outside of London. 100 V1’s failed to get across the Channel. It was the start of a major offensive. On June 17th, Hitler flew to northern France to congratulate Wachtel and he ordered that all the ‘cherry stones’ (Hitler’s nickname for the V1) should be targeted at London and nowhere else. On June 18th, one V1 hit the Guard’s Chapel at Wellington barracks and killed 121 people and wounded 68 others. London was about to experience another terror. By the end of June 18th, 500 V1’s had been fired in total.

Churchill asked Eisenhower to do what he could to attack the V1 bases in northern France as part of the Allied advance across the region after D-Day. 617 ‘Dambuster’ Squadron attacked sites with ‘tallboy’ bombs (12,000 lbs bombs) but by June 29th, 2,000 V1’s had been launched at London.

In London, a decision was taken about the city’s defence. Anti-aircraft guns were moved to the coast. Here they would have an unrestricted field of fire. Radar experts also believed that their equipment would work better nearer the sea away from buildings. Nearly 800 anti-aircraft guns were moved to the coast and 1,000 barrage balloons were erected. Fighter pilots also learned new tricks to destroy V1’s such as flying alongside the weapon and tipping over one of its wings, thus knocking it off course. Pilots also flew in front of a V1 so that it flew in the fighter plane’s slipstream. This was enough to unbalance the V1 so that it flew off course.

However, many V1’s got through. By July 5th, 2,500 people had been killed and even the Air Ministry in the Strand had been hit with 198 people being killed in that attack. By July 19th, 1,600 guns were in place around the coast. Hundreds more barrage balloons had been put up but many V1’s still got through – though more and more were being destroyed before they reached London. However, it did seem that the tide had turned in favour of the defenders of London.

But London was to face an even more terrifying weapon – one that could not be seen or defended against – the V2.


Olga of Kiev: One saint you do not want to mess with

Olga of Kiev was one of the most vicious and vengeful rulers in the history of the Kievan Rus’ – the principality that would eventually give birth to modern Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, stretching at its height from the Baltic Sea in the North to the Black Sea in the South.

Born sometime around 903 CE in Pskov, Russia, history gives Olga scarcely a glance for much of her life – including her marriage to Igor, Prince of Kiev and the birth of her son.

With her husband’s death though, Olga becomes more than a wife and mother, and without sacrificing either of those duties, takes centre stage.

Olga of Kiev, born circa 903 and died 963 CE.

Like all rising empires, Kievan Rus’ had grown at the expense of its neighbours and one tribe had grown wary of their smothering embrace.

The relationship between the Drevlians and Kievan Rus’ was complex – they had joined the Rus’ in military campaigns against the Byzantine Empire and paid tribute to Igor’s predecessors, but stopped in 912 when the previous prince died and instead paid this glorified protection money to a local warlord.

Igor’s attempted to restore his privileges in 945 with a trip to their capital of Iskorosten (now Korosten in Northern Ukraine). This visit – as if the previous 33 years simply hadn’t happened! – was a slap in the face and the Drevlians fought back, seizing the prince and murdering him in a gristly display.

Igor of Kiev collects his tribute from the Drevlians

“They had bent down two birch trees to the prince’s feet and tied them to his legs,” wrote Byzantine chronicler Leo the Deacon, “then they let the trees straighten again, thus tearing the prince’s body apart.”

With their son, the three-year old Svyatoslav, too young to take the throne of Kiev, Olga stepped up to rule as regent in his stead.

The Drevians would soon know her well, but for now they thought they were dealing with just another demure noblewoman who could be easily cowed and arrange to marry her to their own Prince Mal. Not only would they be free from paying tribute to the Kievan Rus’ – they would rule the Kievan Rus’.

Olga views her late husband’s body

The Drevians sent 20 of their best men to try and persuade Olga to marry the living symbol of her husband’s murder. Telling them to wait in their boat, she had a ditch dug and next morning had had the emissaries buried alive.

Rather than just leave it at this, a pretty definitive refusal if ever there was one, she sent word back to Prince Mal that should would accept his proposal, but only if the Drevians sent a part of their great and good to accompany her back to their territory, after all it was important that the proud Keivan Rus’ see just how important this matchmaking was.

Her would-be suitor obliged, sending a party of their chieftains to collect her. Extending a suitably grand welcome, she invited the visitors to wash up in her bath house and then locking the doors, burned the entire company alive.

Olga burns the Drevian nobles alive in her bath house

Amazingly this wasn’t the end of the matter.

With the whole of the Drevian ruling class cruelly exterminated, Olga hatched a plan to do away with the rest of them all together and announcing that she would be soon arriving at the Drevian capital of Iskorosten and asked for them to arrange a funeral feast where they could mourn over her husband’s death in that the very city.

Despite the not having heard from either of the missions they’d dispatched to Olga’s court, the Drevians set about preparing the feast and after drinking themselves insensible on mead, Olga’s soldiers put 5,000 of them to the sword.

Even this orgy of bloodletting wasn’t enough to satiate her need for vengeance and Olga gathered an army to wipe out her foes for good. The surviving Drevians begged for mercy and offered to pay in honey and furs to escape her anger.

She seemed to soften, although at this point you’d think they’d know better…

“Give me three pigeons,” she said, according to the Primêre kroniek, “and three sparrows from each house. I do not desire to impose a heavy tribute, like my husband, but I require only this small gift from you, for you are impoverished by the siege.”

Die Kroniek records in great detail the feat of precision-guided pyromania that followed:

“Now Olga gave to each soldier in her army a pigeon or a sparrow, and ordered them to attach by thread to each pigeon and sparrow a piece of sulfur bound with small pieces of cloth. When night fell, Olga bade her soldiers release the pigeons and the sparrows. So the birds flew to their nests, the pigeons to the cotes, and the sparrows under the eaves. The dove-cotes, the coops, the porches, and the haymows were set on fire.

“There was not a house that was not consumed, and it was impossible to extinguish the flames, because all the houses caught on fire at once. The people fled from the city, and Olga ordered her soldiers to catch them. Thus she took the city and burned it, and captured the elders of the city. Some of the other captives she killed, while some she gave to others as slaves to her followers. The remnant she left to pay tribute.”

Olga burns the Drevian capital

The Drevians paid after all, in lives and homes, as well as in tribute to Keivan Rus’.

By why, despite this horrific carnage, is Olga of Kiev still venerated as a saint over a thousand years after her death (in 963 CE, in case you wondered)?

She was the first ruler of the Kievan Rus’ to adopt Christianity and Olga’s efforts to covert the rest of her people (although not her son, who remained a pagan) earned her the title Isapóstolos: “Equal to the Apostles.”

“She shone like the moon by night,” frothed the Primêre kroniek, “and she was radiant among the infidels like a pearl in the mire, since the people were soiled, and not yet purified of their sin by holy baptism.”

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7. He was tolerant of different religions.

Unlike many empire builders, Genghis Khan embraced the diversity of his newly conquered territories. He passed laws declaring religious freedom for all and even granted tax exemptions to places of worship. This tolerance had a political side—the Khan knew that happy subjects were less likely to rebel𠅋ut the Mongols also had an exceptionally liberal attitude towards religion. While Genghis and many others subscribed to a shamanistic belief system that revered the spirits of the sky, winds and mountains, the Steppe peoples were a diverse bunch that included Nestorian Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and other animistic traditions. The Great Khan also had a personal interest in spirituality. He was known to pray in his tent for multiple days before important campaigns, and he often met with different religious leaders to discuss the details of their faiths. In his old age, he even summoned the Taoist leader Qiu Chuji to his camp, and the pair supposedly had long conversations on immortality and philosophy.


Shakespeare’s Tragedies

In Shakespeare's tragedies, the main protagonist has a flaw that leads to his (and/or her) downfall. There are both internal and external struggles and often a bit of the supernatural thrown in for good measure (and tension). Often there are passages or characters that have the job of lightening the mood (comic relief), but the overall tone of the piece is quite serious. The 10 Shakespeare plays generally classified as tragedy are as follows:

  1. Antony en Cleopatra
  2. Coriolanus
  3. Julius Caesar
  4. Koning Lear
  5. Othello
  6. Timon of Athens
  7. Titus Andronicus

History of Revenge V - History

The V3 was the natural development from the V1 and V2 weapons that had terrorised London in 1944 – a weapon for revenge (‘Vergeltungswaffen’). The V3 was never fired at London though it was used in a very minor way in the Battle of the Bulge.

On July 6th, 1944, nineteen RAF Lancaster bombers from 617 Squadron (the ‘Dambusters’ Squadron) carpet-bombed a hillside on the French northern coastline between Calais and Boulogne. To all intents their target appeared to be a railway tunnel. In fact, inside the hill itself was an emplacement that would have fired the V3 if the chance had been there for it to do so – part of the firing mechanism is in the photo above.#

However, the Lancasters attacked the hill with 35 tons of high explosive bombs. Their target were the concrete and steel-lined covers of the massive gun barrels that were meant to attack London with the intention of reducing the inner city to rubble. The V3 was not a rocket like to V2 nor a pilot-less plane like the V1. It was a dart-shaped shell nine feet long and the 416 feet gun barrels targeted by the Lancasters were, on paper, capable of firing 600 of these shells every hour. However, one of the ‘Tallboy’ bombs (12,000 lbs of explosives) developed by Dr Barnes Wallis penetrated one of the five gun barrel shafts and did so much damage to the ‘guts’ of the project that it was eventually abandoned.

The idea of a weapon that could destroy London was sold to Hitler by the firm Roechling – a leading German armaments and steel firm. Because it had the backing of Hitler, great sums of money and manpower was thrown into the project. Men such as Werner von Braun claimed that the money was better spent on upgrading Peenemunde but Hitler had got his mind set on the destruction of London – something the Luftwaffe had failed to do during the Blitz.

Project ‘High Pressure Pump’ was started in August 1942. The man at the head of the project was August Coenders, a machine gun engineer. He had studied captured French documents from 1918 for a multi-stage long barreled gun that was meant to be the French answer the the Germans ‘Big Bertha’ long range gun that had fired 320 eight-inch shells into Paris from the distance of 78 miles. Coenders boss, Hermann Roechling, was a personel friend of Hitler and he saw this as a chance to greatly elevate himself in the eyes of the Führer. By 1943, Albert Speer was also willing to add his name to the project.

Speer’s plan was to build 50 of these huge guns set in giant underground emplacements near the hamlet of Mimoyecques in the Pays de Calais. The guns were designed to fire one round from each barrel every five minutes which, Speer hoped, would produce a “saturation coverage” of London with a maximum of 600 shells hitting London every hour.

Ballistic experts in Nazi Germany doubted whether the plan had any reality. Lieutenant-General Erich Schneider believed in the development of the V1 and V2 but he always believed that the V3 was in the realms of fantasy. In this he was probably correct. The initial tests on the shells showed that when they were fired they had a tendency to flip over in flight as they lack stability. Therefore, from the earliest tests, London appeared to be safe. However, this did not stop Speer pushing for Hitler to continue his support the project.

The huge emplacement was built at Mimoyecques using slave labourers, POW’s and German workers. Such activity obviously attracted the attention of the French Resistance who fed intelligence back to London. 1000 artillery troops were quartered underground the complex had its own power station that powered an air conditioning unit. Speer got it into his head that the V3 was to be the weapon that would bring Britain to its knees and vast sums of money was thrown at the project, so much so that it is said that the campaign in Russia was affected by this. It became the weapon that had overriding priority within Germany.

RAF photo reconnaissance planes also spotted a tell-tale sign – haystacks out in the autumn when all others had been brought in within the region of the Pay de Calais. These haystacks disguised the gun barrel covers of the V3 project. In November 1943, the RAF made its first attack on the complex but it made little impact.

In January 1944, the guns that were to be used on the V3 project were fired for the first time in Germany at a test range. The velocity of firing was only 1000 metres a second – 50% too weak for a shell to hit London from Mimoyecques. As important, the shells that were fired were well below the size expected for an all-out attack on London:

“The explosive charge they could carry was so small that they were quite useless against a huge target like London what we needed was an atom warhead but Hitler would not see that.”Lieutenant-General Erich Schneider

However, the expert opinions of the likes of Schneider were ignored and he had to tread carefully in an era when “defeatism” was punishable by a term in a concentration camp and possible death.

Those who were concerned that the V3 was absorbing far too much money, time and manpower. They called in Professor Werner Osenberg, head of the German Wartime Scientific Research Council. He quickly realised the the ‘High Pressure Pump’ project was fraught with scientific problems that probably could not be solved. Osenberg complained that the V3 project was not based on any form of scientific thinking and he referred to it as “messing about”. Roechling complained to Hitler about such comments but this became irrelevant when in June 1944, the Allies landed in Normandy. Movement up the coast to the Pays de Calais would not take long and the project was doomed to failure.

Perhaps the most pertinent comment about the whole project came from an engineer who worked on ‘High Pressure Pump’, Anton Huber:

“The actual project itself seems not to be scientifically perfect, and its development has not been sufficiently long. The workers are wasting a lot of time on the site because there are not enough trained concrete makers.”

On July 4th 1944, Huber wrote to Osenberg that the complex had been without electricity for seven days and that nothing had been achieved. On July 8th, Huber wrote that the project had effectively been wiped out as a result of the Lancaster bombers raid. However, Hitler, still convinced that the V3 would win the war for him, ordered that the project should be moved to Germany itself and placed under the control of the SS. Hitler saw it as the secret weapon that would push back the Allies as they tried to advance to Germany.

One barrel was used with just 44 rounds in the Battle of the Bulge. The very last V3 shells fell on Luxemburg. After this, the barrel was destroyed. The final order to end the V3 project came in February 1945.


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