Month: February 2017

Weekly Warrior #3 Grenadiers

The name Grenadier was a general term given to a specific type of soldier that then morphed into something different. They are a very important part of European colonial history as you’ll see.

The Grenadier first originated in armies with the advent of the grenade in the 17th century. These men had to be tall and strong to be able to throw the grenade a safe distance. By the 18th century armies realized that throwing grenades was not worth the danger and the Grenadier simply became crack troops, feared and respected for their size and power. Interestingly enough Frederick the Great of Germany made a division entirely composed of men over 6 feet tall. In fact he collected nearly every tall man in Europe. Monarchs like the Czar would send him 7 foot tall men as presents.

tha3rxv19b    Uniforms varied widely from army to army but a distinguishing feature was their tall hat. Cone shaped to prevent the throwing arm from snagging, this hat was the signature of the grenadier.

Weapons were pretty standard. A musket with bayonet was typical especially after the grenade took the backseat. The grenade however was a cast iron ball filled with gunpowder that had a fuse attached. The cast iron ball would explode into deadly fragments but the unreliability of the grenade caused it’s retirement until WWI.

regfggf

The Grenadier is a important figure in British history and world history as a whole. They took part in many battles during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 especially. These  fearsome soldiers have definitely made a place for themselves in history.

Advertisements

Five Louis L’Amour books you have to read

Louis L’Amours books are some of the best westerns written. However, he did not exclusively write westerns and this list is not all westerns.

To Tame a Land

wfwefwef

I’d have to say that this is his best western. It follows a boy whose father is killed by Indians and his subsequent journey towards manhood. The characterization is extremely good and there is a twist ending that’s just icing on the cake.

Last  Stand at Papago Wells

aaefg

This book was a treat to read. It’s the typical plot where several people with differing personalities are thrown together and have to survive against seemingly insurmountable odds. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.

Tucker

argen

This one is similar to To Tame a Land. A young man’s father is killed and he has to learn his way to manhood. This and To Tame a Land are very good in the way they portray teenagers. I have always respected Louis L’Amour for his view on teenagers.

Now we move on to two books that are not in the western genre.

The Last of the Breed

sfsaeggg

This is one is set in the Cold War. It follows a downed American pilot as he tries to escape the Russians over the Siberian tundra. The writing in this is magnificent. I could feel the cold. The survival part is really good and gives some excellent advice.

The Walking Drum

egeab

This one is set in 1200’s Europe. If I have a complaint with this it has to be the main character. Read the book, I can’t really explain here, but suffice to say he is an arrogant creep. But, beyond that, the book is a solid look at the Middle Ages and I really wish he had the chance to write more.

 

Weekly Warrior #2 Spartan Hoplites

th

Few people don’t know of the Spartans, those rugged warriors who embraced hard living conditions and thrived under it. They were the epitome of manliness, being trained for the military from the age of 6 or 7 in brutal and sometimes life threatening ways. They were world renowned and respected as the best equipped and trained army in the world. They conquered much of their native Greece but the lifestyle they subjected their fellow Greeks to caused them to rise up in a revolution.

The man who formed the Spartan state said he wanted to build a country “from men and not bricks.” This in turn led to the boys being trained in the military from a young age, sometimes 6 or 7. Obviously they were trained with weights, and weapons, but they were also taught how to read and write, although this was viewed as secondary to military training. The warrior had to serve in the military until the age of 30, then they could become a citizen and own land and work in government.

The equipment of a Hoplite was simple, a shield, javelin, and a short sword. The javelins had a sharp, thin head and were thrown en masse by the approaching forces to weed out a few men. The sword was then drawn and hand to hand combat ensued when in range. The shield was by far the most important part of a young warriors kit. It would have been given him by his mother with the instruction to come back with it or on it. The shield was round and would have the Greek letter lamba, a upside down V, standing for Lacedaemon, the mythical first king of Sparta.

fasc

Very rarely has a society so wholly embraced a militaristic way of life. In the case of the Spartans, it worked. But only for several hundred years. Eventually their brutal treatment resulted in a revolution that effectively ended Sparta’s claim as a complete state.

Weekly Warrior #1 Landsknecht

The Landsknechts were a group of German mercenary pikemen during the 14th and 16th centuries who believed that if a war was worth fighting, it was worth fighting fabulously. Dressed in gaudy pants, a puffy colorful shirt, giant floppy hat and the most droopy mustache possible these guys were the undisputed fashion warriors of the battlefield.

untitled

Many Germans were mercenaries during the Middle Ages and this is where the Landsknecht came from. They started around the late 1400s and took many of their tactics and style from the famous and renowned Swiss pikemen. They used the pike mainly, a long spear like weapon up to 18 feet in length. They would also use an arquebus and sometimes a Zweihander, a massive sword with a 60 inch blade that weighed between 7 to 14 pounds.

zweihander    Unfortunately the Landscknechts mercenary lifestyle is what led to their demise about a century later. Ready to switch allegiance simply for a larger profit, they were not well trusted and eventually no one would hire them. They still went down in history as the most fabulous soldiers to ever live.

the

 

Chainmail Journal #1

Chainmail is one of those projects I was talking about. This will be my first few thoughts on the process. Never, ever try doing this if you don’t enjoy having you soul sucked out of your fingers. img_2952

This is the fruit of one nights labour. 52 4-in-1 rings.

img_2957

They look like this. I still need to put them together though and that is what is giving me issues.

img_2953

I quickly ragged up my wire cutters but my hands and fingers still got raw from all the work. Overall, never attempt this if you value your sanity or fingers.

 

My “Fantastic” Life

I am the laziest person I know.

This is something I have been aware of for most of my life. Very often my siblings would mock me about it and I would simply laugh because, even though I knew very well that I was lazy, I didn’t care.

That’s wrong.

The life I have been given is one in a million. Supportive Christian parents, plenty of siblings to play with, being born into one of the most prosperous places on earth. Just to give you an example of how I’m squandering this life, 5 to 6 hours a day is spent surfing the web or playing video games. 5 to 6 HOURS! I’m doing all the work my parents require of me, I am passing in all my school subjects (I’m homeschooled, but more on that later) but I am squandering all that in endless, mindless hours online.

I had myself convinced that the life I was leading was full, I read a lot, I chop wood every day, I work out regularly, but it’s that computer that is sucking all the productivity out of me. It is the cause of all my procrastination, laziness and general loser’s life. And there is so much I could be doing differently that I’m not. I have all sorts of projects I would like to work on and ideas I would like to try, but that computer just drains my time and patience.

Also, I would like to touch on my academics. I don’t want to sound too arrogant but I’ve always considered myself to be fairly bright. I can soak up knowledge fairly easily and retain it well. But lately I’ve simply been doing the barest minimum possible to get it done as quickly as possible so I can go on to the computer. My grades are passing, but sub-par and I am learning nil from my subjects. If a subject requires any sort of time commitment for a lesson (say I have to write an essay for English) I simply skip the assignment until my mom gets on my case enough and then I simply hammer out a slipshod paper to get by. This behaviour is unsustainable in the long run as I am learning nothing and simply getting by on information obtained during my younger years. I would like to point out that none of this behaviour is my parents fault. They are both working overtime with seven kids and frankly it’s easy to just make sure that I don’t get noticed. I am also an expert at making airtight excuses for all kinds of mistakes, so everything I am doing to myself is one hundred percent my fault.

Now, leaving no stone unturned, let me talk  about my chores. The situation with that is the exact same as my schoolwork. I simply scrape past with the barest possible time commitment and if I have to go back it’s with a very begrudging attitude. The only thing I do willingly is the wood chopping and that is because it has a benefit to myself. I do anything to get out of chores including passing it of on my younger brother, who is one of the best brothers anyone could hope to have.

So, my mission over the next few days for myself is going to be, cut back on the computer, step up the amount of time I spend on my schoolwork, do my chores more willingly and cheerfully and work on some of the projects I’ve been thinking about.

Sorry for all the text, but writing this post is my way of making sure that I give this the maximum effort possible. In the future I will be writing more and more on this blog about my life and the efforts I’m making to do all that God wants from me.