Author Topic: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread  (Read 57663 times)

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Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #150 on: January 17, 2015, 10:29:51 PM »
There are supposedly twice the sunken wrecks in Lake Michigan that there are in the Bermuda Triangle. I don't know if that's true, but there are a lot of them.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #151 on: January 30, 2015, 08:36:29 PM »
After 150 years, Confederate submarine's hull again revealed
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=15668.msg68593#msg68593

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Napoleon skewered by cartoonists in British exhibition
« Reply #152 on: February 05, 2015, 09:01:11 PM »
Quote
Napoleon skewered by cartoonists in British exhibition
AFP
By Edouard Guihaire  10 hours ago



An 1803 hand-coloured etching shows Napoleon "Little Boney" in the hand of King George III, on display at a new exhibition: "Bonaparte and the British - prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon" at the British Museum in London (AFP Photo/Adrian Dennis)



London (AFP) - Depicted roasting in hell or as a spider spinning a web around Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte is the subject of a colourful exhibition of historical satire opening at London's British Museum on Thursday.

Published in 1808, "The Corsican spider in his web" by Thomas Rowlandson is one of dozens of drawings, posters and other prints on display until August 16.

The exhibition, "Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon" charts the rise of the young general, ending with the downfall of the Emperor who once had Europe at his feet.

Bonaparte, who lived from 1769 to 1821, was a "charismatic enemy" with a reputation as a short, angry man: an irresistible subject for caricatures, according to historian Tim Clayton, a Napoleon expert.

"He had the misfortune to come along at exactly the wrong moment," Clayton said.

"I don't suppose anybody in history had been vilified and ridiculed in the way that Napoleon was vilified and ridiculed ever before."

Flattering portraits and memorabilia collected by British admirers in the 1790s gives way to mockery, as Napoleon becomes more of a threat to Britain.

By the time the two countries are at war in 1803, noted British cartoonist James Gillray portrays Napoleon being roasted over a fire by the devil in "The Corsican pest or Belzebub going to supper".



A hand-coloured etching published by Lacroix in 1815 shows Napoleon being held in a dustbin with Wellington pressing down on the lid, on display at a new exhibition on Napoleon at The British Museum in London (AFP Photo/Adrian Dennis)


Mocking Napoleon as "Little Boney" and perpetuating the idea he was small in stature helped diminish the feeling of threat.

"Because you were frightened of him, you had to belittle him, make him seem not so frightening," said curator Sheila O'Connell.

"So you made him a little tiny person. And that is how he's remained in the British consciousness ever since."


- Propaganda tool -

"Little Boney" appears again in 1812 as Napoleon's Russian campaign turns into a disaster.

A cartoon by William Elmes called "General Frost shaving Little Boney" shows the cold as a monster crushing the French armies and trapping Napoleon's feet in ice.

Sold for an average of between 1 and 4 shillings each, the drawings were particularly popular in shops frequented by the London elite.

Used as a propaganda tool and sometimes controlled by the government, the satires helped forge a sense of British unity and shaped the way Napoleon was perceived through generations.

"They do have an influence on shaping people image of Napoleon. The idea that Napoleon is a little, angry chap sticks," Clayton said.

"The fact that he was actually of average height seems to have escaped everybody's attention."

Cartoonists are kinder when Napoleon is less of a threat, and at times some Britons displayed admiration for the emperor.

One example is a bronze bust of Napoleon, carved in the style of a Roman emperor with idealised features, and installed in 1818 in a British aristocrat's garden.

Featured at the entrance to the exhibition, the bust has a call for the emperor to return from exile in Saint Helena engraved at its base.
http://news.yahoo.com/napoleon-skewered-cartoonists-british-exhibition-100401908.html

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #153 on: February 06, 2015, 02:24:20 AM »
They over-reacted.
What's so scarey about an ambitious, charismatic, courageous, workaholic genius unburdened by scrupples?  ;)

Okay, to be fair, I think he truly believed in merit, which enabled him to collect a lot of capable people to do his bidding. I think he also believed in his reforms, such as the metric system and his legal code, paving the way for a European Union.

Of course if you're an English aristocrat  benefitting from the class system and the patronage system,  then  a meritocracy or an election for Emperor would sound pretty scarey .

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #154 on: February 06, 2015, 02:32:02 AM »
Well, it's hardly a mystery why he's better thought-of in France...

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #155 on: February 06, 2015, 03:55:10 AM »
The color is surprisingly vivid on those prints.

By my standards, Napoleon was a war criminal, but he lived in an era when slavery and genocide were commonplace, so I'm hardly his peer to judge him. Actually the guy was kinda peerless.

 I don't know how a few assassination attempts on me and my wife would affect my judgment, either. At some point he got in a dance with destiny and couldn't quit. He saved the revolution from a British sponsored counter-revolution, then he saved the revolution from itself. From then on, his very existence was an outrage to the Euroroyals. When he became Emperor, they could have accepted him, and praised him for seeing the light, but they were still out to get him.  Napoleon kinda had to win and keep winning just to survive. I don't envy him.


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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #156 on: February 06, 2015, 03:57:46 AM »
I don't know how he saved the revolution - more like turned it upside down.  All that killing for nothing, in the end.

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #157 on: February 06, 2015, 04:24:38 AM »
He's hardly the only ruler ever who had to press harder and harder to avoid being crushed.


Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #158 on: February 06, 2015, 07:28:53 AM »
I don't know how he saved the revolution - more like turned it upside down.  All that killing for nothing, in the end.

Well, I was thinking of this episode ( from Wikipedia) -
On 3 October, royalists in Paris declared a rebellion against the National Convention.[37] Paul Barras, a leader of the Thermidorian Reaction, knew of Bonaparte's military exploits at Toulon and gave him command of the improvised forces in defence of the Convention in the Tuileries Palace. Having seen the massacre of the King's Swiss Guard there three years earlier, he realised artillery would be the key to its defence.[13]

He ordered a young cavalry officer, Joachim Murat, to seize large cannons and used them to repel the attackers on 5 October 1795—13 Vendémiaire An IV in the French Republican Calendar. After 1,400 royalists died, the rest fled.[37] He had cleared the streets with "a whiff of grapeshot", according to the 19th-century historian Thomas Carlyle in The French Revolution: A History.[38][39]


As I recall the Royalists were funded and equipped by Britain, with muskets. The defenders were outnumbered and mostly politicians. Napoleon assessed the situation,  told Murat where to get some horse artillery ( not large cannons ) and hurry "or else all is lost" . Then he supervised the construction of the barricades, and directed the canons when they arrived. It was one of many situations where he made an instant, accurate assessment of what must be done. This saved the Revolutionary government, and earned Napoleon the respect of everyone in it.

Most wars are like that, lots of killing to little purpose. At least he was elected by popular vote.

But his various reforms, mostly moves towards equality and merit - abolishing feudalism, the tyranny of the Catholic church and it's taxes, making laws universal and understandable and fair, making government secular and allowing religious freedom, contract law reform and the metric system, it gave all of Europe a taste of doing things differently, and I think better. 

 I'm just trying to give the devil his due. He was the loser, so he gets the short end of the history book. I know you can appreciate that.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #159 on: February 07, 2015, 05:10:02 PM »
Welll - like the outcome of the English civil war, the French revolution was a big opportunity for modern democracy and subsequently, a brobdignagian disappointment.  To be fair, Napoleon wasn't the big problem of the latter; rather, it was the tendency of revolutionaries to stop killing and killing and killing once they've won.  More recent communist governments have usually had the same problem for the same reason.  Napoleon was more a symptom, and at least he directed the killing externally, which had to be a big improvement for all those French people who didn't want to be killed - foreign wars tended to select for those French willing to take the risk.

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #160 on: February 07, 2015, 08:15:29 PM »
..., which had to be a big improvement for all those French people who didn't want to be killed - foreign wars tended to select for those French willing to take the risk.

Tell that to the citizens of those lands were Napoleon's armies marched!

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #161 on: February 07, 2015, 08:23:54 PM »
We weren't discussing international relations - though that's everything to do with the British's problem with the man...

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #162 on: February 07, 2015, 08:29:40 PM »
It kinda makes le petit gėnėral a bit small-minded in my opinion. Exporting his domestic problems like that.

Offline Geo

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #163 on: February 07, 2015, 08:31:04 PM »
 ;lol

French words are censored here? ;b;

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #164 on: February 07, 2015, 08:32:16 PM »
His bad reputation certainly extends further than England, for good reason...

[ninja'd] Yes - and it's Napoleon's fault.

 

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