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Dirk Puehl
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#onthisday in 1807 (June 19 in Russian fashion), Vice-Admiral Dmitry Nikolayevich Senyavin decisively defeated a Turkish squadron in the Battle of Athos off Northern Greece during the first part of the Russo-Turkish War (1806 - 1812).

By the end of the 18th century, the Russian Empire had the world’s third largest navy at its command, even though Russian naval actions during the Age of Sail beyond the exploits of Peter the Great, who fathered the fleet upon his empire, are by and large forgotten or ignored. There were, however, some brilliantly fought and often consequential engagements and when Dmitry Senyavin set sail with a squadron of ten ships-of-the-line in St Petersburg in 1806 to help the British engage their former Turkish allies, the Russian Vice-Admiral proved to be a very capable commander as well as a skilled diplomatist. But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/07/the-greatest-admiral-that-russia-had.html

Depicted below is Alexej Bogolubov (1824-1896) imagination of the climax of the Battle of Athos, the crucial naval battle of the Russo-Turkish War. 

#history   #europeanhistory   #militaryhistory   #napoleonicwars   #ageofsail  
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♫ Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well 
He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shell 
And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell... 
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#onthisday  in 1839, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Lion of the Punjab and founder of the Sikh Empire in the Northwest of the Indian subcontinent, died in Lahore at the age of 58.

Twilight fell on the Punjab when the Maharaja died, allegedly of exhaustion and the man who has, with reason, likened to Mehmet Ali and to Napoleon, formed an empire from twelve independent states in his early twenties and defended it against every threat by forming arguably the best army in Asia out of the already formidable Sikh Khalsa, left his succession in a rather disordered. George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman sums it up in his inimitably disrespectful but quite correct manner: “… the Sikh maharaja, old Runjeet Singh, died of drink and debauchery (they say he couldn't tell male from female at the end, but they're like that, you know). He'd been a great man, and a holy terror, who'd held the Punjab solid as a rock, but when he went, the struggle for power over the next six years made the Borgia intrigues look like a vicarage soiree.“ But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/ranjit-singh-has-been-likened-to-mehmet.html

Depicted below is The Darbar (council) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore (contemporary Punjabi painting)

#history   #culturalhistory   #militaryhistory   #greatgame  
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^-^
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#onthisday  in 1764, Rear Admiral Sir Sidney Smith was born in Westminster, one of the most raffish naval officers, celebrated most for his support during the Siege of Acre against Napoleon.

Sir Sidney was a man with independent ideas, a high grade of professionalism in his chosen field and unorthodox enough to be become a second Nelson but without having the opportunity beyond the Siege of Acre in 1799. But there, he became the man who made Napoleon to miss his destiny, in the Corsican’s own words. Read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/the-man-who-made-napoleon-miss-his.html

Depicted below is a somewhat romantic view of Acre by Francis Spilsbury with Smith's "Tigre" and a picturesque dhow in the foreground.

#ageofsail  #europeanhistory  #history  #militaryhistory  #napoelonicwars
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... moments when I'm glad I'm off the drink :-)
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#onthisday  in 1815, 200 years ago, the Battle of Waterloo was fought 9 miles south of Brussels in present-day Belgium, ending the Age of Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars.

The Tiger was out of his den, gathered his veterans and marched into Belgium and of the armies of the Seventh Coalition to oppose him, only two were available on the spot. Blücher, already defeated at Ligny two days before and Wellington’s ragtag assembly of Dutch, Belgians, a variety of Germans, Scottish and probably more Irish than English Redcoats. And then all hell broke lose in a spot on the ridge south of Mont-Saint-Jean and the morne plaine below that now holds more myths and “what ifs” for a single day event than any other place on Earth. But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/a-damn-close-run-thing-on-200th.html

Depicted below is arguably the most quoted painting of the Battle of Waterloo, Lady Butler’s vivid imagination of the charge of the Royal Scots Greys, “Scotland Forever!” from 1881.

#battleofwaterloo   #culturalhistory   #europeanhistory   #history   #militaryhistory   #napoleonichistory   #napoleonicwars #waterloo   #waterloo200   #waterloo2015  
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... and whatnot besides the scones - that's the spirit :-)
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#onthisday in 1215, 800 years ago, King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.
 
CHAPTER 18

John: An Awful King

WHEN John came to the throne he lost his temper and flung himself on the floor, foaming at the mouth and biting the rushes. He was thus a Bad King. Indeed, he had begun badly as a Bad Prince, having attempted to answer the Irish Question (*) by pulling the beards of the aged Irish chiefs, which was a Bad Thing and the wrong answer.

Prince Arthur A Tragedy in Little

John had a little nephew called Little Arthur, who was writing a little History of England in quite a small dungeon, and whose little blue eyes John had ordered to be put out with some weeny red-hot irons. The gaoler Hubert, however, who was a Good Man, wept so much that he put out the red-hot irons instead. John was therefore compelled to do the little deed himself with a large, smallish knife, thus becoming the first memorable wicked uncle.

(*) N.B. The Irish Question at this time consisted of: (1) Some Norman Barons, who lived in a Pail (near Dublin), (2) The natives and Irish Chieftains, who were beyond the Pail, living in bogs, beards, etc.

The Bull

John was so bad that the Pope decided to put the whole country under an Interdict, i.e. he gave orders that no one was to be born or die or marry (except in Church porches). But John was still not cured of his Badness; so the Pope sent a Bull to England to excommunicate John himself. In spite of the King's efforts to prevent it the Bull succeeded in landing and gave orders that John himself was not to be born or marry or die (except in Church porches); that no one was to obey him or stand him a drink or tell him the right time or the answer to the Irish Question or anything nice. So at last John gave way and he and his subjects began once more to be born and to marry and to die, etc. etc.

CHAPTER 19

Magna Charter

THERE also happened in this reign the memorable Charta, known as Magna Charter on account of the Latin Magna (great) and Charter (a Charter); this was the first of the famous Chartas and Gartas of the Realm and was invented by the Barons on a desert island in the Thames called Ganymede. By congregating there, armed to the teeth, the Barons compelled John to sign the Magna Charter, which said:

1.     That no one was to be put to death, save for some reason (except the Common People).

2.     That everyone should be free (except the Common People).

3.     That everything should be of the same weight and measure throughout the Realm (except the Common People).

4.     That the Courts should be stationary, instead of following a very tiresome medieval official known as the King's Person all over the country.

5.     That `no person should be fined to his utter ruin' (except the King's Person).

6.     That the Barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other Barons who would understand.

Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People).

After this King John hadn't a leg to stand on and was therefore known as `John Lackshanks'.

Final Acts of Misgovernment

John finally demonstrated his utter incompetence by losing the Crown and all his clothes in the wash and then dying of a surfeit of peaches and no cider; thus his awful reign came to an end.
 
From W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman: “1066 and All That”, a “Memorable History of England, comprising all the parts you can remember, including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings, and 2 Genuine Dates”

… who summarised the whole affair far better than I ever could.

More about the Magna Charta, seriously, on:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta  
and, even more seriously, about “1066 and All That” on:
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1066_and_All_That  
Depicted below is a romanticised 19th-century recreation of King John signing the Magna Carta by James William Edmund Doyle (1822 – 1892) from “A Chronicle of England: B.C. 55 – A.D. 1485”

#history #europeanhistory #medievalhistory #magnacarta #MagnaCarta800th
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"Imperial racing snails"...where winning the race is really losing the race, in the end. 
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#onthisday  in 1865, 150 years ago, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymound.

His versatility and steady increase of climaxing poetical output certainly makes Yeats not only one of Ireland’s most important poets and one of foremost English speaking on top of it, but maybe the lyricist who reflects the period between 1890 to 1940 at its best. Read more About W.B. Yeats on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/i-made-my-song-coat-covered-with.html   

Depicted below is a “Portrait of William Butler Yeats” by John Singer Sargent from 1908

 #culturalhistory #europeanhistory  #history  #literaryhistory  #literature
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Just so, +Armida Evony! and life and death and what not, eh, +Timothy Street?
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#onthisday  in 548, the Byzantine Empress Theodora, born as the daughter of one of the bear keepers of the Hippodrome and later wife of Justinian I, died of cancer in Constantinople at the age of 48.

The remarkable “rags-to-riches” story of a beautiful and ambitious young girl with an adverse background who became one of the most famous empresses of the Roman Empire alone is a remarkable. And then there is the “Secret History” of Procopius, describing her as a sexually depraved fiend and the malignant power behind Justinian’s throne, giving her a controversial memory to this day. Read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/the-purple-makes-fine-winding-sheet.html

Depicted below is the famous contemporary mosaic from San Vitale, Ravenna, showing Empress Theodora and her attendants.

#ancientrome  #culturalhistory  #history  #romanhistory
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It seems their heyday was over with the time of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in the 8th century... but the Venetians could still plunder the quadriga from the Hippodrome in 1204 ... 
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#onthisday  in 1340, 675 years ago, an English fleet under the command of King Edward III decisively defeated the French “Army of the Sea” at the Battle of Sluys off Zeeland during the early stages of the Hundred Years’ War.

Somehow, England was caught on the wrong foot out at sea, when young King Edward III made his claim for the crown of France and the Hundred Years’ War broke out in 1337. But after some crippling defeats and humiliations suffered from the superior French “Army of the Sea”, a fleet consisting largely of mercenaries from the Mediterranean and northern European privateers, Edward set forth to retaliate and the court jester had to break the news to Philip VI of France: “Our knights are much braver than the English.” “How so?” said Philip, “The English do not dare to jump into the sea in full armour.“ But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/i-have-for-long-time-wished-to-meet.html

Depicted below is "The Battle of Sluys" an Illustration from Book I of Froissart's Chroniclesof the Hundred Years' War, around 1470.

#europanhistory  #history  #hundredyearswar  #medievalhistory  #militaryhistory  #navalhistory
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The illustration really is a beauty, isn't it?
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#onthisday  in 451, a federation of Western Germanic and Iranian tribes and Romans under Flavius Aëtius fought Attila’s Huns and their allies in the epic Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.

Legend has it that combat on the Catalaunian Plains was so fierce that the spirits of the dead fought on for three more days. And that they appear on each anniversary of the battle and continue to fight in the air over the field. But that’s just one myth spawned by Attila his Huns, a battle that might have decided the fate of the Western World or not and the Völkerwanderungszeit. But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/truly-countless-bodies-myths-legends.html

Depicted below is the Spanish history painter Ulpiano Checa's (1860 – 1916) of a Hunnish cavalry charge amidst the ruins of the Roman Empire

#ancienthistory #ancientrome #europanhistory #history #militaryhistory  #mythology  #romanhistory
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We're in the same boat here :-)
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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” (W.B. Yeats)
 
One with sharp senses blended her impressions and wandering thoughts into a wonderful collection of poetry, sophisticated text, dainty photography and other works of art, an interlaced Gesamtkunstwerk , ranging from Walter Benjamin and Kierkegaard to Moreau and Tissot, charmingly combining the brittle beauty of the Frankfurt School’s critical theory with a subtle Catalan note. Highly recommended to follow for a bit of poesy, food for thought and sheer serenity in your stream, along with +Anna del Valle Martí's  other collections on:
 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnnadelValleMart%C3%AD/collections  
 
 
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True... but they are quite helpless without them nonetheless.
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#onthisday  in 1800 near Alessandria in Piedmont, Napoleon finally defeated the Austrians under Michael von Melas in a last-gasp victory at the Battle of Marengo.

The Battle seemed won for the Austrians and field marshal von Melas withdrew to take a few refreshments. But the French had rallied and when Desaix arrived on the field with a fresh corps, the events at Marengo took quite a different turn, paving the way for Napoleon to become emperor and leaving behind the memory of an opera, a chicken and a horse. But read for yourself on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/06/a-last-grasp-victory-horse-and-chicken.html

Depicted below is Jacques-Louis David’s imagination of Napoleon crossing the Alps from 1801.

#europeanhistory   #history   #militaryhistory   #napoleonicwars   #culturalhistory
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That was jolly decent of her :-)
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“It's time, Old Captain, lift anchor, sink!

The land rots; we shall sail into the night;

if now the sky and sea are black as ink

our hearts, as you must know, are filled with light.” (Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal)
 
It became known today that Sir Christopher Lee died on 7 June 2015 at the age of 93.
 
You were the bomb. There is a similar turn of phrase in German, “Du warst der Hammer” and, remembering his first major roles, starring as Count Dracula in a series of popular and wonderfully grotesque Hammer Horror films and Sir Christopher Lee's maternal ancestors, given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, it is maybe not quite inappropriate to cat-call at him: “You were the Hammer!”. Here’s to one of the  best-dressed villains and gentlemanly anti-heroes in cinematic history. You will be missed, Sir Christopher.

First obits can be found on

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11666316/christopher-lee-dies-live.html
 
and more about his career and his life on:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Lee


#christopherlee  
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Hi to u all
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"I deny nothing, but doubt everything.” Lord Byron
Introduction

About what I do and post here on Mother Google her networks:

Blood and thunder, artsy things, curiosities and lots of ships, everything featured in my little #onthisday-series. I post a daily feature about something that happened “on this day”, weather permitting.

Usually, the posts turn on Literature with a heavy focus on the 19th and early 20th century and silver screen adaptions. The dark and macabre, vampires, ghosts and ghoulies, the plain fantastic, the Byronic tradition in Europe, dandyism as well as Thomas Mann, Dostoevsky and Nietzsche. History, often military history, from antiquity to the dawn of the 20th century and everything an armchair sailor can come up with. Fine arts with pretty much the same foci during the said period as well as Mythology.

And besides that I currently collect curiosities online, often with a touch of #steampunk and exhibit them in my virtual #wunderkammer, an online cabinet of curiosities. 

Speaking of what. I don’t discuss politics on the Internet.

There is a legend from the beginning of the Great War: The German High Command cabled to their allies in Vienna: “The situation is serious but not hopeless!” and some wisecrack in Vienna cabled back: “No. The situation is hopeless but not serious.” That pretty much sums it up. ‘nuff said.

The same is true for religion. Although I am willing to discuss religion from a historical point of view, I am not interested to hear people’s personal persuasions on god(s) or atheism. If you are interested in my opinion – read The Brothers Karamazov.
It’s all in there.
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