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Most incredible stories from history

tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/24/2014 12:14:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I always try this as a conversation piece, to no avail. I am interested hearing the most unlikely and prolific events in all of history. Post your personal fave or faves.

One of my personal favorites is the story of Joan of Arc. Joan said she had visions telling her to rise up and expel the British from France. France is ravaged by the hundred years war. Many historians believe that Charles VII had all but given up his fight. Charles allows Joan, a TEENAGE GIRL, to lead his armies in battle. She met with much skepticism from the French military leaders. She was initially excluded from war councils. This did not stop her from eventually giving crucial advice to French leaders. Historians debate her role in turning the tide of the Hundred Years War, but all agree that she played a serious role. Some contend that her presence turned the tide of the war by itself. She was captured and burned for heresy, specifically for dressing as a man. Incredible story.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
Atheist-Independent
Posts: 776
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12/26/2014 2:18:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/24/2014 12:14:58 PM, tabularasa wrote:
I always try this as a conversation piece, to no avail. I am interested hearing the most unlikely and prolific events in all of history. Post your personal fave or faves.

One of my personal favorites is the story of Joan of Arc. Joan said she had visions telling her to rise up and expel the British from France. France is ravaged by the hundred years war. Many historians believe that Charles VII had all but given up his fight. Charles allows Joan, a TEENAGE GIRL, to lead his armies in battle. She met with much skepticism from the French military leaders. She was initially excluded from war councils. This did not stop her from eventually giving crucial advice to French leaders. Historians debate her role in turning the tide of the Hundred Years War, but all agree that she played a serious role. Some contend that her presence turned the tide of the war by itself. She was captured and burned for heresy, specifically for dressing as a man. Incredible story.

Speaking of Joan of Arc, I presume that you knew that when she first went to the court of Charles VII the French nobles swapped out the King for some random guy so as to see if Joan actually knew what she was doing. However, instead of bowing to the man who sat on the throne, she turned towards the audience, found the hidden Charles VII, and bowed to him. Not sure if it is a true story, yet interesting none the less.
tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/26/2014 2:42:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/26/2014 2:18:35 PM, Atheist-Independent wrote:
At 12/24/2014 12:14:58 PM, tabularasa wrote:
I always try this as a conversation piece, to no avail. I am interested hearing the most unlikely and prolific events in all of history. Post your personal fave or faves.

One of my personal favorites is the story of Joan of Arc. Joan said she had visions telling her to rise up and expel the British from France. France is ravaged by the hundred years war. Many historians believe that Charles VII had all but given up his fight. Charles allows Joan, a TEENAGE GIRL, to lead his armies in battle. She met with much skepticism from the French military leaders. She was initially excluded from war councils. This did not stop her from eventually giving crucial advice to French leaders. Historians debate her role in turning the tide of the Hundred Years War, but all agree that she played a serious role. Some contend that her presence turned the tide of the war by itself. She was captured and burned for heresy, specifically for dressing as a man. Incredible story.

Speaking of Joan of Arc, I presume that you knew that when she first went to the court of Charles VII the French nobles swapped out the King for some random guy so as to see if Joan actually knew what she was doing. However, instead of bowing to the man who sat on the throne, she turned towards the audience, found the hidden Charles VII, and bowed to him. Not sure if it is a true story, yet interesting none the less.

I have heard it, but forgot it. Very interesting.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
Atheist-Independent
Posts: 776
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12/26/2014 2:44:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/26/2014 2:42:56 PM, tabularasa wrote:
At 12/26/2014 2:18:35 PM, Atheist-Independent wrote:
At 12/24/2014 12:14:58 PM, tabularasa wrote:
I always try this as a conversation piece, to no avail. I am interested hearing the most unlikely and prolific events in all of history. Post your personal fave or faves.

One of my personal favorites is the story of Joan of Arc. Joan said she had visions telling her to rise up and expel the British from France. France is ravaged by the hundred years war. Many historians believe that Charles VII had all but given up his fight. Charles allows Joan, a TEENAGE GIRL, to lead his armies in battle. She met with much skepticism from the French military leaders. She was initially excluded from war councils. This did not stop her from eventually giving crucial advice to French leaders. Historians debate her role in turning the tide of the Hundred Years War, but all agree that she played a serious role. Some contend that her presence turned the tide of the war by itself. She was captured and burned for heresy, specifically for dressing as a man. Incredible story.

Speaking of Joan of Arc, I presume that you knew that when she first went to the court of Charles VII the French nobles swapped out the King for some random guy so as to see if Joan actually knew what she was doing. However, instead of bowing to the man who sat on the throne, she turned towards the audience, found the hidden Charles VII, and bowed to him. Not sure if it is a true story, yet interesting none the less.

I have heard it, but forgot it. Very interesting.

History's most intriguing schizophrenic :P
tabularasa
Posts: 200
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12/26/2014 4:22:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/26/2014 2:44:32 PM, Atheist-Independent wrote:
At 12/26/2014 2:42:56 PM, tabularasa wrote:
At 12/26/2014 2:18:35 PM, Atheist-Independent wrote:
At 12/24/2014 12:14:58 PM, tabularasa wrote:
I always try this as a conversation piece, to no avail. I am interested hearing the most unlikely and prolific events in all of history. Post your personal fave or faves.

One of my personal favorites is the story of Joan of Arc. Joan said she had visions telling her to rise up and expel the British from France. France is ravaged by the hundred years war. Many historians believe that Charles VII had all but given up his fight. Charles allows Joan, a TEENAGE GIRL, to lead his armies in battle. She met with much skepticism from the French military leaders. She was initially excluded from war councils. This did not stop her from eventually giving crucial advice to French leaders. Historians debate her role in turning the tide of the Hundred Years War, but all agree that she played a serious role. Some contend that her presence turned the tide of the war by itself. She was captured and burned for heresy, specifically for dressing as a man. Incredible story.

Speaking of Joan of Arc, I presume that you knew that when she first went to the court of Charles VII the French nobles swapped out the King for some random guy so as to see if Joan actually knew what she was doing. However, instead of bowing to the man who sat on the throne, she turned towards the audience, found the hidden Charles VII, and bowed to him. Not sure if it is a true story, yet interesting none the less.

I have heard it, but forgot it. Very interesting.

History's most intriguing schizophrenic :P

Without question. (haha). An interesting topic thread would be "mental illness in the history's major players". Ghengis Khan could have easily been mentally ill. Hitler almost certainly was. Stalin is considered by many to be a homicidal sociopath. It would be interesting to study the positive and negative ways that mental illness has affected the history of the world and development of society specifically in political and military leaders. Joan of Arc would perhaps be considered a positive influence, if indeed she was mentally ill.
1. I already googled it.

2. Give me an argument. Spell it out. "You're wrong," is not an argument.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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12/26/2014 6:04:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/24/2014 12:14:58 PM, tabularasa wrote:
I always try this as a conversation piece, to no avail. I am interested hearing the most unlikely and prolific events in all of history. Post your personal fave or faves.

One of my personal favorites is the story of Joan of Arc. Joan said she had visions telling her to rise up and expel the British from France. France is ravaged by the hundred years war. Many historians believe that Charles VII had all but given up his fight. Charles allows Joan, a TEENAGE GIRL, to lead his armies in battle. She met with much skepticism from the French military leaders. She was initially excluded from war councils. This did not stop her from eventually giving crucial advice to French leaders. Historians debate her role in turning the tide of the Hundred Years War, but all agree that she played a serious role. Some contend that her presence turned the tide of the war by itself. She was captured and burned for heresy, specifically for dressing as a man. Incredible story.

I love the story of Subutai's defeat of the armies of Poland and Hungary within two days of each other, and over 300 miles apart. Subutai was a brilliant Mongol general, easily in the running for greatest general of all time, having conquered 32 sovereign nations during his lifetime. His style was a decidedly cerebral one, as he spied upon and scouted nations which he planned to attack extensively, sometimes years in advance. He was almost never present in the thick battlefield, often setting up a command post on the highest ground and then sending and receiving messages via flag signals to his commanders in the field as he watched the battle unfold. The Battle of Legnica, at which the Polish army was defeated, utilized standard Mongolian tactics. But I find the battle of Mohi, where the Hungarian army was defeated, to be much more interesting.

Subutai began by masterfully manipulated the Hungarian king into pursuing his vanguard. The king wasn't stupid, and knew that attacking could lead him into a trap, and therefore ordered his troops to hold back as the vanguard pillaged the nearby villages surrounding the city of Pest. They refused to follow orders, however, and some of them attacked, leading to mixed results. The few victories which they won, and the subsequent Mongol retreat, caused there to be a public outcry smearing the king as a coward, and he reluctantly pursued the Mongol vanguard to a flooded river, where they set up a fortified camp. Unbeknownst to him, the main Mongol force was hidden in the thick forest on the other side of the river.

An escaped slave brought word to the Hungarian forces that the Mongols planned a night attack on the camp over the bridge, and a detachment of crossbowmen were sent to ambush the raiding party. This initially surprised the Mongols, who suffered a decisive loss and were forced to withdraw. The Hungarians celebrated, leaving the crossbowmen to defend the bridge. In a novel move, Subutai had one detachment head to a bridge to the north, in order to circle around and attack the bridge guard. He left his men on the other side of the river to use stone throwers to clear the crossbowmen from the other side, the first use of siege weaponry in non-siege warfare in the West. He then headed south, to construct an emergency bridge and cross there.

The bridge guard was surprised at dawn, and forced to retreat. When they returned to camp they left with another small detachment with warnings to prepare for battle, not yet realizing the magnitude of the attack. When they realized that the full Mongol force was crossing the bridge they returned to fetch more troops, only to see that their warnings were ignored, as it was assumed that this was another small raid which would be dealt with. The deployment of the main force was badly delayed, and the entire Mongol force managed to cross.

After finally mobilizing their main force and attacking the swelling Mongol army the Hungarians fought a hard battle, even though they outnumbered the Mongol forces. Subutai, however, had finished building his emergency bridge to the south, and crossed the river in order to outflank the Hungarians. His forces slammed into the Hungarian rear flank, and the army broke. They attempted to flee back to their camp, but suffered as they panicked due to the Mongol use of flaming arrows and incendiaries. Spotting an opening in the Mongol line, they fled through it, but the gap had been left on purpose so that the Mongol cavalry could hunt down and destroy an army fleeing over open terrain instead of being forced to fight against a cornered and desperate foe. Following this battle the Hungarians were unable to mount a defence of their countryside and the Mongolians had free reign.

I like this story because the common Western perception of the Mongols is one of a bloodthirsty, almost mindless horde. It's interesting to see that their success in warfare was due in a large part to innovation, organization, and communication skills which far outstripped those of the Europeans and allowed the Mongols to outmaneuver and manipulate their opponents at every opportunity. In other words, the Mongols were light years ahead of West in just about every facet of warfare.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Shadowguynick
Posts: 516
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1/14/2015 3:09:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
May we take joy in the fact that in the only war between Canada, and the United States (technically) Canada won? I guess we are Canada's bitches, not the other way around.
j50wells
Posts: 345
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7/24/2015 4:11:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I always have liked the history stories in which the under-dog ends up being the hero. One of my favorite underdog heroes was U.S. Grant. He was the most unlikely man to become one of the greatest generals in world history. Even more heroic is the fact that the cause of the Civil War was one of the most heroic in world history.
U.S. Grant was somewhat a failure, militarily speaking. He was a clutz at West Point. His teachers complained that he showed no interest in the military. He was often found day-dreaming and talking in class. For the most part, it was looking as if he would be a flunky. But West Point was short of officers and needed to graduate as many as they could. Not only that but Grant showed great aptitude with mathematics and engineering. A good engineer is always needed during war time, so they kept him around and let him graduate.
Grant was a nobody. His only saving grace was his ability to ride horses. Some say that he was the best rider in Illinois. His real heroism came about during the Mexican war. Grant had some kind of inborn ability to excel in the midst of fear and danger. He was a leader in the war and was granted several medals. After the Mexican war, he was out of a job, so he took a post in California.
California was a miserable time for him. He missed his wife greatly. To console his boredom and loneliness he drank much. As goes along with drinking, he was involved in several bar fights and scuffels.
Then the Civil War broke out. The Union was desperate for veterans and also for West Point graduates. Grant was both of these. He was immediately given a generals position with a small army of men under his command. Grant was so out of the loop with prestige and the glories of being a commander that he was given a post in the far northwest part of the war, out of the way of all of the action.
The big, prestige generals got the big armies right near Washington DC. They were in the newspaper everyday. They all turned out to be piss poor generals. In the next two years, they lost all of their major battles but one. Lincoln was so disgusted that he replaced generals every three or four months. While all of the losses near Washington were taking place, and battles were being lost, Grant was cleaning clock in the west. He took Ft. Donnelson, then Cairo, then won one of the biggest battles of the war at Shiloh. If that wasn't enough he captured the fortress of Vicksburg which gave the whole Mississippi River to the Union. Lincoln was impressed.
In January of 1864, Lincoln handed the whole Union army over to Grant. Grant wasted no time in attacking General Lee and pushing him back into Richmond, where Grant instituted a long siege which led to the end of the war.
Grant was a hero because he did what 7 other big-time generals could not, defeat Robert E Lee. Grant had uncanny nerves. He knew when to attack and when to wait. He could look at a battlefield and know instantly where the weaknesses were and where the strong points were. He also knew how to rally troops and dispatch orders in ways that all men understood them. When he commanded a battlefield, he did it like a true general, without fear or hesitation. U.S. Grant was a small man, but he commanded one of the greatest armies in world history.
UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,683
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7/24/2015 4:28:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/24/2015 4:28:18 PM, UtherPenguin wrote:
The Battle of Cannae. Just proves how much of a genius Hannibal.

correction: just proves how much of a genius Hannibal was
"Praise Allah."
~YYW
j50wells
Posts: 345
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10/18/2015 10:15:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A really interesting story of history that isn't talked about often is the story of Munster. Munster, a small town in Germany, is the location of one of the most bizar cases of cult-like brainwashing in history, even worse than Jim Jones cult. The fact that it happened in the 1500's attests to the fact that brainwashing was a danger even back then.

The Ana-Baptists were the central core of the cult. They were a fringe group of Christians who believed that only by Baptism could a person truly be a Christian. At that time there were wars and burnings if one found themselves on the wrong side of Christian debate. It was much like the Islamic wars of today in which Sunis fight Fundamentalists, and vice versa.
The Ana-Baptists, who were the founders of modern day Baptists, were so adamnant about their beliefs that they took over the town of Munster. They kicked anyone out who didn't agree with their doctrine, and anyone who didn't leave was eventually murdered or imprisoned.
Thousands of Baptists flocked to Munster, and the leader of the movement named it the New Jeruselum. Strangly, as is usually the case with cult leaders, powerful miracles were shown to the people of Munster, even angel like being showing up and healing people and imparting so called knowledge to them.
The leader of the movement exercized great power over his people, and eventually his corruption showed through. It started when he told one of his followers that God had told him that he was supposed to marry the wife of another man in the flock. So he did. Then he grabbed up other women, and so to did the other leaders of the movement. In short order, the leaders of the movement were sleeping with most of the women of the movement, some of the women being 13 years old. But this was only the beginning.
The leader became greedy for more power, so be began to kill the other leaders, with the help of his brainwashed flock. The king of the area had had enough, so he raised a small army and seiged the New Jeruselum. The king figured that taking Munster back from the crazed cult would be easy, but to his amazement, the cult fought hard, and almost defeated the king. The leader of the cult even came out of the walls of Munster and fought some of the kings soldiers single-handedly. No matter how many arrows were shot, the cult leader would not die. Finally, they killed him with the sword.
The king camped outside the city for a long seige. The people within the city began to starve. They wanted to escape, as some of them were taken as prisoners when the cult first took over, but no one was allowed to leave. They began to die one by one, and many of them committed suicide. Finally, after many months, the king was able to subdue the city. When he did he murdered most of the cultists.
The Munster story is a good tale because it helps us understand that even the smartest of us must be careful with our beliefs. In the Soviet Union, the largest brainwashing cult in history enslaved millions of people. I have learned from history that anyone who promises something for free, or something that can't be seen, touched, or tasted, is probably a liar and shouldn't be listened to. Maybe that's why I don't follow any religion.