Sunday, October 30, 2011

Danse Macabre
The Russian – German War 1941 – 1945, Part 1
A Few Notes

German Soldier on the Eastern Front

The Russian – German War 1941 – 1945 was without doubt the greatest single war in history. It does, sadly, remain very poorly known to Americans and Western Europeans in general. What follows are just a few basic statistics and facts about the war so has to give a general idea of the nature of the war.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust
Thoughts on the fall of Gaddafi

Gaddafi in better days

One of the common historical tropes of the last two centuries or so has been the rise and fall of the dictator. We recently have been given a veritable feast of falling and fallen dictators with the ongoing Arab Spring. Bloody and chaotic though it has been it has removed many of the world’s longest lasting dictators.1

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anonymous Idiocy

Anonymous Movie Poster

I do not review movies I’ve never seen. However in the case of Anonymous1 I have a few things to say about the plot and premise.

The following is a slightly reworked version of several postings I made in comments at the site Skeptical Humanities.2 What follows is a bit of a rant also.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Endings in Nazi Germany

Reichstag, Berlin 1945

After the Second World War, there emerged in Germany, especially among former officers in the German Armed Forces, a lying memoir literature that sought to excuse, justify and basically explain why they were loyal to the regime to the end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Playing with Numbers

Battle Scene During War of Triple Alliance

In a previous posting I talked about the War of the Triple Alliance / The Paraguayan War 1864-1870. Here I will discuss a revisionist attempt to downplay the demographic disaster for Paraguay that resulted from the war.1

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Elizabeth I and the Armada

Elizabeth I
The Armada Portrait

In a previous posting I discussed the myths regarding the alleged incompetence and lack of experience of the commander of the Armada, The Duke of Medina Sidonia, and showed what a simple perusal of Spanish records and archives would have shown, that the Duke was a supremely competent administrator and his handling of the Armada was if not brilliant was over all competent.1

Here I will tackle another historical myth, that of the parsimony and “incompetence” of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) in her handling of the war with Spain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Number Games

One of the most fascinating aspects of mathematics is that of unexpected results. For example there is the way things multiply with astounding speed once you start.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sometimes Lessing is less:
Doris Lessing and the Afghans

Doris Lessing

One of more annoying features of modern life is the writer who becomes involved in a worthwhile cause and then uses it has a platform to pontificate about stuff they know little about. A classic example is Doris Lessing. Now Doris Lessing is a very well known writer who in 2007 won the Nobel Prize for literature. Unfortunately Doris Lessing aside from writing well written books has also shown a less than sterling intellectual sense about certain matters.1