Povijesti Podcasti

Povijest osvete V - Povijest

Povijest osvete V - Povijest

Osveta V

(Sch .: t. 90; 1. 60 '; b. 16'6 "; dph. 6'6"; kpl. 30; a. 1 dugačak 18
pdr. i nekoliko karonada)

Peta osveta, sagrađena je 1808. u Charlestonu, SC, kao topnička brodica 158 od strane James Ingraham & Sons. Nakon službe patroliranja južnom obalom, škuna je bila postavljena u Charlestonu od 1817. do 1822. Zatim je stavljena u službu i do 1824. djelovala je u floti komaraca Davida Portera u Zapadnoj Indiji suzbijajući piratstvo.


Euritmika

Euritmika bili su britanski pop duo koji su činili članovi Annie Lennox i Dave Stewart. Stewart i Lennox prethodno su bili u The Tourists, bendu koji se raspao 1980. Eurythmics je osnovan kasnije te godine u australskom Wagga Waggi. [2] Duo je objavio svoj prvi studijski album, U vrtu, 1981. s malim uspjehom, ali je postigao globalni uspjeh kada je njihov drugi album Slatki snovi (napravljeni od ovoga), objavljena je 1983. Naslovna pjesma postala je svjetski hit koji je zauzeo prvo mjesto na ljestvicama u raznim zemljama, uključujući i SAD. Dvojac je izdao niz hit singlova i albuma prije nego što su se razdvojili 1990. Do tada je Stewart bila traženi producent, dok je Lennox 1992. započela solo karijeru sa svojim debi albumom Diva. Nakon gotovo desetljeća razmaka, Eurythmics su se ponovno okupili kako bi snimili svoj deveti album, Mir, objavljen krajem 1999. Ponovno su se okupili 2005. kako bi objavili singl "I'm Got a Life", kao dio novog kompilacijskog albuma Eurythmics, Ultimate Collection.

Dvojac je 1984. osvojio MTV Video Music Award za najboljeg novog izvođača, nagradu Grammy za najbolju rock izvedbu dua ili grupe s vokalom 1987., Brit nagradu za izvanredan doprinos glazbi 1999., a 2005. su uvršteni u glazbenoj Kući slavnih UK -a. Eurythmics je prodao oko 75 milijuna ploča diljem svijeta. [3] 2017. grupa je nominirana za uvođenje u Rock & amp Roll Hall of Fame, [4] a ponovno su nominirane 2018. [5]


Sadržaj

1835. došlo je do drastičnog pomaka u meksičkoj naciji. Trijumf konzervativnih snaga na izborima pokrenuo je niz događaja koji su kulminirali 23. listopada 1835., prema novom ustavu, nakon ukidanja federalističkog Ustava 1824. godine. Las Siete Leyes (Španjolski: [las ˈsjete ˈleʝes]), ili Sedam zakona bili su niz ustavnih promjena koje su iz temelja promijenile organizacijsku strukturu Meksika, okončavši prvo federalno razdoblje i stvorivši unitarnu republiku, službeno Meksičku republiku (španjolski: República Mexicana). [6] Formirani pod predsjednikom Antoniom Lópezom de Santa Anna 15. prosinca 1835., doneseni su 1836. Namjeravali su centralizirati i ojačati nacionalnu vladu. Cilj prethodnog ustava bio je stvoriti politički sustav koji bi oponašao uspjeh Sjedinjenih Država, no nakon desetljeća političkih previranja, gospodarske stagnacije i prijetnji te stvarne strane invazije, konzervativci su zaključili da je bolji put za Meksiko centraliziran vlast.

Nove politike i povećana provedba useljeničkih zakona i uvoznih tarifa potaknuli su mnoge imigrante na pobunu. [7] Pogranično područje meksičkog Teksasa većinom su naselili imigranti iz Sjedinjenih Država, neki legalni, ali većina ilegalni. Ti su ljudi bili naviknuti na federalističku vladu i na široka individualna prava, uključujući pravo na posjedovanje robova, i bili su prilično glasni u svom negodovanju zbog meksičkog provođenja zakona i prelasku na centralizam. [8] Već sumnjičavi nakon prethodnih američkih pokušaja kupnje meksičkog Teksasa, [9] meksičke vlasti su za veći dio teksijanskih nemira okrivile američke imigrante, od kojih je većina ušla ilegalno i nisu se trudili prilagoditi se meksičkoj kulturi i koji su se nastavili držati ljudi u ropstvu kada je ropstvo ukinuto u Meksiku. [10]

U listopadu su Teksijaci angažirali meksičke trupe u prvoj službenoj bitci za revoluciju u Teksasu. [11] Odlučna u namjeri da uguši pobunu useljenika, Santa Anna počela je okupljati velike snage, Vojsku operacija u Teksasu, kako bi uspostavila red. [12] Većina njegovih vojnika bili su sirovi novaci, [13] a mnogi su bili prisilno regrutirani. [14]

Teksijani su sustavno pobijedili meksičke trupe koje su već bile stacionirane u Teksasu. Posljednja skupina meksičkih vojnika u regiji-kojom je zapovijedao šurjak Santa Anna, general Martín Perfecto de Cos-predala se 9. prosinca nakon opsade Béxara. [11] Do tog trenutka, teksaškom vojskom dominirali su vrlo novi dolasci u regiju, prvenstveno ilegalni imigranti iz Sjedinjenih Država. Mnogi doseljenici iz Teksasa, nespremni za dugu kampanju, vratili su se kući. [15] Ljut zbog onoga što je smatrao američkim miješanjem u meksička pitanja, Santa Anna predvodila je rezoluciju u kojoj su strani imigranti zatečeni u borbi u Teksasu klasificirani kao gusari. Rezolucija je učinkovito zabranjivala odvođenje ratnih zarobljenika: u tom su razdoblju zarobljeni gusari odmah pogubljeni. [15] [16] Santa Anna ponovila je ovu poruku u strogo sročenom pismu predsjedniku Sjedinjenih Država Andrewu Jacksonu. Ovo pismo nije bilo široko rasprostranjeno i malo je vjerojatno da je većina američkih novaka koji su služili u Teksaškoj vojsci bila svjesna da neće biti ratnih zarobljenika. [17]

Kad su meksičke trupe napustile San Antonio de Béxar (sada San Antonio, Teksas, SAD), teksaški vojnici zauzeli su meksički garnizon u misiji Alamo, bivšoj španjolskoj vjerskoj ispostavi koju je nedavno protjerana meksička vojska pretvorila u improviziranu utvrdu. [18] Santa Anna ga je opisala kao "nepravilno utvrđenje teško dostojno imena" [18], Alamo je bio dizajniran da izdrži napad domaćih plemena, a ne vojske opremljene topništvom. [19] Kompleks se prostirao na 3 hektara (1,2 ha), pružajući gotovo 1,320 stopa (400 m) oboda za obranu. [20] Unutarnji trg omeđen je s istoka kapelicom, a s juga jednokatnom zgradom poznatom kao Niska vojarna. [21] Između ove dvije zgrade protezala se drvena palisada. [22] Dvokatna duga vojarna prostirala se sjeverno od kapele. [21] Na sjevernom uglu istočnog zida stajali su tora za stoku i tor za konje. [23] Zidovi koji okružuju kompleks bili su debeli najmanje 2,75 stopa (0,84 m) i bili su u rasponu od 2,7–3,7 m visine. [24] [Napomena 1]

Kako bi nadomjestio nedostatak luka za gađanje, teksaški inženjer Green B. Jameson konstruirao je piste kako bi braniteljima omogućio vatru po zidovima, međutim ova metoda je ostavila izloženo gornje tijelo strijelca. [20] Meksičke snage ostavile su iza sebe 19 topova, koje je Jameson postavio uz zidove. Veliki 18 kilograma stigao je u Texas s New Orleans Greysima. Jameson je postavio ovaj top u jugozapadnom kutu imanja. Pohvalio se zapovjedniku teksaške vojske Sam Houstonu da bi Teksijani mogli "bičevati 10 prema 1 s našim topništvom". [25]

Teksaški garnizon bio je u jadnom ljudstvu i nedovoljno osoblja, a do 6. siječnja 1836. ostalo je manje od 100 vojnika. [26] Pukovnik James C. Neill, vršilac dužnosti zapovjednika Alama, napisao je privremenoj vladi: "Ako je ovdje ikada postojao dolar Nemam saznanja o tome ". [26] Neill je zatražio dodatne postrojbe i zalihe, naglašavajući da garnizon vjerojatno neće moći izdržati opsadu koja traje duže od četiri dana. [26] [27] Teksaška vlada bila je u nemiru i nije mogla pružiti veliku pomoć. [28] [Napomena 2] Četiri različita čovjeka za koja se tvrdi da su dobili zapovjedništvo nad cijelom vojskom: [Napomena 3] 14. siječnja, Neill se obratio jednom od njih, Samu Houstonu, za pomoć u prikupljanju zaliha, odjeće i streljiva. [28]

Houston nije mogao poštedjeti broj ljudi potrebnih za uspješnu obranu. [29] Umjesto toga, poslao je pukovnika Jamesa Bowieja s 30 ljudi da ukloni topništvo iz Alama i uništi kompleks. [28] [Napomena 4] Bowie nije mogao transportirati topništvo jer garnizonu Alamo nije bilo potrebne potrebne vučne životinje. Neill je uskoro uvjerio Bowieja da lokacija ima stratešku važnost. [30] U pismu guverneru Henryju Smithu, Bowie je ustvrdio da "spasenje Teksasa u velikoj mjeri ovisi o čuvanju Béxara iz ruku neprijatelja. On služi kao granični stražar, i ako je u posjedu Santa Anna, nema uporišta s kojeg bi ga mogli odbiti u maršu prema Sabinama. " [31] [Bilješka 5] Pismo Smithu završilo je: "Pukovnik Neill i ja došli smo do svečane odluke da ćemo radije umrijeti u ovim jarcima nego ga predati neprijatelju." [31] Bowie je također pisao privremenoj vladi tražeći "ljude, novac, puške i topovski prah". [31] Nekoliko pojačanja bilo je ovlašteni konjanički časnik William B. Travis koji je 3. veljače stigao u Béxar s 30 ljudi. Pet dana kasnije stigla je mala skupina dobrovoljaca, uključujući slavnog graničara i bivšeg američkog kongresmena Davida Crocketta iz Tennesseeja. [32]

Neill je 11. veljače napustio Alamo, odlučan u namjeri da angažira dodatno pojačanje i prikupi zalihe. [33] [34] Prenio je zapovjedništvo na Travisa, najvišeg časnika regularne vojske u garnizonu. [31] Dobrovoljci su činili veći dio garnizona i nisu bili voljni prihvatiti Travisa kao svog vođu. [Napomena 6] Umjesto toga, ljudi su za svog zapovjednika izabrali Bowieja, koji je imao reputaciju žestokog borca. Bowie je proslavio time što se jako opio i napravio pustoš u Béxaru. Kako bi ublažio nastale loše osjećaje, Bowie je pristao podijeliti zapovijed s Travisom. [34] [35] [36]

Dok su se Teksijaci borili da pronađu ljude i zalihe, Santa Anna je nastavila okupljati ljude u San Luis Potosi do kraja 1835., njegova vojska je brojala 6.019 vojnika. [37] Umjesto napredovanja duž obale, gdje su se zalihe i pojačanje mogli lako isporučiti morem, Santa Anna je naredila svojoj vojsci u unutrašnjosti do Béxara, političkog središta Teksasa i mjesta poraza Cosa. [37] Vojska je započela marš na sjever krajem prosinca. [37] Policajci su dugo putovanje iskoristili za obuku muškaraca. Mnogi novopridošli regruti nisu znali koristiti nišane svojih topova, a mnogi su odbili pucati s ramena zbog velikog trzaja. [38]

Napredak je bio spor. Nije bilo dovoljno mazgi za prijevoz svih zaliha, a mnogi timeri, svi civili, dali su otkaz kad je kasnila njihova plaća. Mnogi soldaderas - žene i djeca koji su slijedili vojsku - konzumirali su većinu ionako oskudnih zaliha. Vojnici su ubrzo svedeni na djelomične obroke. [39] 12. veljače prešli su Rio Grande. [40] [Napomena 7] Temperature u Teksasu dosegle su rekordno niske vrijednosti, a do 13. veljače palo je približno 15–16 inča (38–41 cm) snijega. Hipotermija, dizenterija i napadi Komanča uzeli su veliki danak na meksičke vojnike. [41]

Dana 21. veljače Santa Anna i njegova prethodnica stigli su do obale rijeke Medine, 40 kilometara od Béxara. [42] [43] Nesvjesni blizine meksičke vojske, većina garnizona Alamo pridružila se stanovnicima Béxara na svečanosti. [44] [Napomena 8] Nakon što je saznao za planiranu proslavu, Santa Anna naredila je generalu Joaquínu Ramírezu y Sesmi da odmah zauzme nezaštićeni Alamo, ali iznenadne kiše zaustavile su taj napad. [43]

Ulaganje

U ranim satima 23. veljače stanovnici su počeli bježati iz Béxara, plašeći se skorašnjeg dolaska meksičke vojske. Iako izvještaji nisu uvjerili, Travis je smjestio vojnika u zvonik crkve San Fernando, najviše mjesto u gradu, kako bi tražio znakove približavanja snaga. Nekoliko sati kasnije, teksaški izviđači izvijestili su da su vidjeli meksičke trupe 1,5 km (2,4 km) izvan grada. [44] Nekoliko je aranžmana napravljeno za potencijalnu opsadu. Jedna grupa Teksijanaca otimala se da pasi stoku u Alamo, dok su drugi tražili hranu u nedavno napuštenim kućama. [45] Nekoliko pripadnika garnizona koji su živjeli u gradu doveli su svoje obitelji sa sobom kad su se javili u Alamo. Među njima su bili Almaron Dickinson, koji je doveo svoju suprugu Susannu i njihovu kćerkicu Angelinu Bowie, koju su pratili rođaci njegove pokojne žene, Gertrudis Navarro i Juana Navarro Alsbury, te Alsburyjev mladi sin [46] i Gregorio Esparza, čija se obitelj popela kroz prozor kapele Alamo nakon dolaska meksičke vojske. [47] Drugi članovi garnizona nisu se javili na dužnost. Većina muškaraca koji rade izvan Béxara nisu se pokušali provući pored meksičkih redova. [48]

odgovor Joséa Bartresa na teksaške zahtjeve za časnom predajom, citirano u časopisu Juana Almontea [49]

Do kasnog popodneva Béxar je okupiralo oko 1500 meksičkih vojnika. [50] Kad su meksičke trupe podigle krvavocrvenu zastavu koja nije označavala četvrtinu, Travis je odgovorio eksplozijom iz najvećeg topa u Alamu. [51] Vjerujući da je Travis postupio žurno, Bowie je poslao Jamesona da se sastane s Santa Anom. [49] Travis je bio ljut što je Bowie djelovao jednostrano i poslao svog predstavnika, kapetana Alberta Martina. [52] Oba su se emisara sastala s pukovnikom Juanom Almonteom i Joséom Bartresom. Prema Almonteu, Teksijani su tražili časnu predaju, ali su ih obavijestili da svaka predaja mora biti bezuvjetna. [49] Nakon što su to saznali, Bowie i Travis međusobno su se dogovorili da će ponovno ispaliti top. [52] [Napomena 9]

Sukobi

Prva noć opsade bila je relativno mirna. [53] Tijekom sljedećih nekoliko dana, meksički vojnici uspostavili su topničke baterije, u početku oko 300 metara od južnih i istočnih zidova Alama. [54] Treća baterija bila je postavljena jugoistočno od utvrde. Svake noći baterije su se približavale Alamovim zidovima. [55] Tijekom prvog tjedna opsade, više od 200 topovskih zrna iskrcalo se na trgu Alamo. Isprva su Teksijani odgovarali meksičkoj topničkoj vatri, često ponovno upotrebljavajući meksičke topovske kugle. [56] [57] 26. veljače Travis je naredio topništvu da sačuva prah i pucao je. [56]

Dva značajna događaja dogodila su se u srijedu, 24. veljače. U jednom trenutku tog dana, Bowie se srušio od bolesti, [58] ostavljajući Travisa isključivim zapovjedništvom garnizona. [58] Kasno tog popodneva, dva meksička izviđača postala su prva žrtva opsade. [59] [Napomena 9] Sljedećeg je jutra 200-300 meksičkih vojnika prešlo rijeku San Antonio i sklonilo se u napuštenim kolibama u blizini zidina Alamo. [55] [59] [60] Nekoliko Teksijanaca odvažilo se zapaliti kolibe [60], dok su Teksijani unutar Alama osigurali vatru za pokrivanje. [61] [62] Nakon dvosatnog okršaja, meksičke su se trupe povukle u Béxar. [55] [62] Šest meksičkih vojnika je poginulo, a četiri su ranjena. [55] Nijedan Teksijac nije ozlijeđen. [63]

Plavi sjevernjak uletio je 25. veljače, spustivši temperaturu na 4 ° C. [56] Nijedna vojska nije bila spremna za niske temperature. [64] Meksičke trupe osujetile su teksaške pokušaje prikupljanja drva za ogrjev. [56] Uvečer 26. veljače pukovnik Juan Bringas angažirao je nekoliko Teksijanaca koji su palili još koliba. [65] Prema povjesničaru J.R. Edmondsonu, jedan Teksijac je ubijen. [66] Četiri dana kasnije, Teksijaci su pucali i ubili vojnika prve klase Secundina Alvareza, vojnika iz jedne od dvije bojne koje je Santa Anna smjestila s dvije strane Alama. Do 1. ožujka broj meksičkih žrtava iznosio je devet mrtvih i četiri ranjena, dok je teksaški garnizon izgubio samo jednog čovjeka.

Pojačanja

Santa Anna postavila je jednu tvrtku istočno od Alama, na putu za Gonzales. [55] [68] Almonte i 800 draguna bili su smješteni uz cestu prema Golijadu. [69] Tijekom opsade ti su gradovi primili više kurira, koje je Travis poslao da se mole za pojačanje i zalihe. [51] [70] Najpoznatiji od njegovih poruka, napisan 24. veljače, bio je upućen narodu Teksasa i svim Amerikancima u svijetu. Prema povjesničarki Mary Deborah Petite, pismo "mnogi smatraju jednim od remek -djela američkog patriotizma". [71] Kopije pisma distribuirane su po Teksasu [72], te su na kraju ponovno tiskane po Sjedinjenim Državama i većem dijelu Europe. [59] Na kraju prvog dana opsade, postrojbe Santa Ane pojačalo je 600 ljudi pod vodstvom generala Joaquina Ramireza y Sesmi, što je dovelo meksičku vojsku do više od 2000 ljudi.

Dok su se vijesti o opsadi proširile Teksasom, potencijalno pojačanje okupilo se u Gonzalesu. Nadali su se da će se sastati s pukovnikom Jamesom Fanninom, za kojeg se očekivalo da će stići iz Golijada sa svojim garnizonom. [73] 26. veljače, nakon dana neodlučnosti, Fannin je naredio 320 ljudi, četiri topa i nekoliko vagona za opskrbu da marširaju prema Alamu, udaljenom 90 kilometara (140 km). Ova je skupina putovala manje od 1,6 km (1,6 km) prije nego što se vratila. [74] [75] Fannin je za povlačenje okrivio svoje časnike, časnike i prijavljene ljude koji su optužili Fannina za prekid misije. [76]

Teksijani okupljeni u Gonzalesu nisu bili svjesni Fanninovog povratka u Goliad, pa je većina nastavila čekati. Nestrpljiv zbog odgode, 27. veljače Travis je naredio Samuelu G. Bastianu da ode u Gonzales "da požuri pojačanje". [77] Prema povjesničaru Thomasu Ricksu Lindleyju, Bastian je naišao na Gonzales Ranging Company koju je predvodio poručnik George C. Kimble i Travisov kurir do Gonzalesa, Alberta Martina, koji je bio umoran od čekanja na Fannina. Meksička patrola napala je, odvezavši četvoricu muškaraca, uključujući Bastiana. [Napomena 10] [78] U mraku su Teksijaci pucali na preostala 32 čovjeka za koje su pretpostavili da su meksički vojnici. Jedan je čovjek ranjen, a njegove engleske psovke uvjerile su okupatore da otvore vrata. [Napomena 11] [79]

3. ožujka Teksijani su sa zidova gledali kako otprilike 1.000 Meksikanaca maršira u Béxar. Meksička vojska glasno je slavila cijelo popodne, kako u čast svog pojačanja, tako i na vijest da su postrojbe pod vodstvom generala Joséa de Urrea snažno pobijedile teksaškog pukovnika Franka W. Johnsona u bitci za San Patricio 27. veljače. [80] Većina Teksijani u Alamu vjerovali su da je Sesma vodio meksičke snage tijekom opsade, a pogrešno su pripisali slavlje dolasku Santa Ane. Pojačanja su dovela broj meksičkih vojnika u Béxaru na gotovo 3.100. [81]

Dolazak meksičkog pojačanja potaknuo je Travisa da pošalje tri čovjeka, uključujući Davyja Crocketta, kako bi pronašli Fanninovu vojsku za koju je još vjerovao da je na putu. [82] Izviđači su otkrili veliku grupu Teksijanaca u kampu 20 kilometara (32 km) od Alama. [83] Lindleyevo istraživanje pokazuje da je do 50 ovih ljudi došlo iz Golijada nakon Fanninove prekinute spasilačke misije. Ostali su napustili Gonzales nekoliko dana ranije. [84] Neposredno pred dan 4. marta, dio teksaških snaga probio je meksičke linije i ušao u Alamo. Meksički vojnici odvezli su drugu grupu po preriji. [83] [Napomena 12]

Pripreme za napad

Dana 4. ožujka, dan nakon što je stiglo njegovo pojačanje, Santa Anna predložila je napad na Alamo. Mnogi njegovi stariji časnici preporučili su im da pričekaju da dva topa od 12 metaka stignu 7. ožujka. [85] Te je večeri jedna mještanka, vjerojatno Bowiejeva rođakinja Juana Navarro Alsbury, prišla Santa Ani kako bi pregovarala o predaji. za okupatore iz Alama. [86] Prema mnogim povjesničarima, ovaj je posjet vjerojatno povećao nestrpljenje Santa Ane, kao što je povjesničar Timothy Todish primijetio, "bilo bi malo slave u pobjedi bez krvi". [87] Sljedećeg je jutra Santa Anna najavila svom osoblju da će se napad dogoditi rano 6. ožujka. Santa Anna je organizirala izbacivanje vojnika iz Béxara s prvih crta bojišnice kako ne bi bili prisiljeni boriti se protiv vlastitih obitelji . [87]

Legenda kaže da je u jednom trenutku 5. ožujka Travis okupio svoje ljude i objasnio im da je napad neizbježan te da ih je meksička vojska uvelike nadjačala. Navodno je povukao crtu u tlu i zamolio one koji su voljni umrijeti zbog teksaške stvari da prijeđu i stanu uz njega, samo je jedan čovjek (Moses Rose) odbio. [88] Većina znanstvenika zanemaruje ovu priču jer nema primarnih izvora dokaza koji bi je potkrijepili (priča se pojavila tek desetljećima nakon bitke u izvještaju iz treće ruke). [89] Očigledno je da je Travis, u nekom trenutku prije konačnog napada, okupio muškarce na konferenciju kako bi ih obavijestio o strašnoj situaciji i dao im priliku da pobjegnu ili ostanu i umru za to. Susannah Dickinson prisjetila se kako je Travis najavio da bi svi muškarci koji žele pobjeći trebali to dati do znanja i izaći iz redova. [90]

Posljednji Teksijac za kojeg je potvrđeno da je napustio Alamo bio je James Allen, kurir koji je 5. ožujka nosio osobne poruke iz Travisa i nekoliko drugih muškaraca. [91]

Vanjske borbe

Početno raspoređivanje meksičkih trupa [92] [93]
Zapovjednik Trupe Oprema
Cos 350 10 ljestava
2 poluge
2 osi
Duque/Castrillón 400 10 ljestava
Romero 400 6 ljestava
Morales 125 2 ljestve
Sesma 500 konjanika
Santa Anna 400 rezervi

U 22 sata 5. ožujka meksičko topništvo prestalo je s bombardiranjem. Kao što je Santa Anna očekivala, iscrpljeni Teksijaci ubrzo su pali u prvi neprekidni san od kojih su mnogi spavali od početka opsade. [94] Nešto iza ponoći, više od 2.000 meksičkih vojnika počelo se pripremati za posljednji napad. [95] Manje od 1800 podijeljeno je u četiri kolone kojima su zapovijedali Cos, pukovnik Francisco Duque, pukovnik José María Romero i pukovnik Juan Morales. [92] [93] Veterani su postavljeni s vanjske strane kolona radi bolje kontrole novih novaka i ročnika u sredini. [96] Kao mjera opreza, 500 meksičkih konjanika bilo je postavljeno oko Alama kako bi spriječilo bijeg bilo teksaških bilo meksičkih vojnika. Santa Anna ostala je u kampu sa 400 rezervi. [93] [97] Unatoč velikoj hladnoći, vojnicima je naređeno da ne nose ogrtače koji bi im mogli ometati kretanje. [93] Oblaci su skrivali mjesec, a time i kretanje vojnika. [98]

U 5:30 ujutro trupe su tiho napredovale. Cos i njegovi ljudi približili su se sjeverozapadnom uglu Alama, [96] dok je Duque svoje ljude poveo sa sjeverozapada prema popravljenom proboju u sjevernom zidu Alama. [99] Kolona kojom je zapovijedao Romero marširala je prema istočnom zidu, a Moralesova kolona ciljala je na niski parapet uz kapelicu. [99]

Tri teksaška stražara smještena izvan zidina ubijena su u snu, [100] [101] dopuštajući meksičkim vojnicima da se neopaženo približe unutar mušketira zidova. [100] U ovom trenutku tišinu su prekinuli povici "Va Živjela Santa Anna!" i glazbu iz buglera. [95] Buka je probudila Teksijane. [101] Većina se neboraca okupila u crkvenoj sakristiji radi sigurnosti. [102] Travis je požurio na svoje mjesto vičući: "Hajde momci, Meksikanci su pred nama i dat ćemo im pakao!" [100] i dok je prolazio pored grupe Tejanosa, "¡Bez povrata, muchachos!" ("Ne predajte se, dječaci"). [94]

U prvim trenucima napada meksičke trupe bile su u nepovoljnom položaju. Njihova formacija kolona dopuštala je sigurnu vatru samo prvim redovima vojnika. [103] Nesvjesni opasnosti, neobučeni novaci u redovima "slijepo su pucali iz oružja", ozlijeđujući ili ubijajući trupe ispred sebe. [104] Uska koncentracija trupa također je ponudila izvrsnu metu za teksaško topništvo. [103] Zbog nedostatka metka iz kanistera, Teksijani su napunili svoj top bilo kojim metalom koji su mogli pronaći, uključujući šarke na vratima, čavle i usitnjene potkove, pretvarajući topovi u bitne sačmarice. [100] Prema dnevniku Joséa Enriquea de la Peñe, "jednim topovskim udarcem uklonjeno je pola čete lovaca iz Toluce". [105] Duque je pao s konja nakon što je zadobio ranu na bedru, a njegovi ljudi su ga gotovo zgazili. General Manuel Castrillón brzo je preuzeo zapovjedništvo nad Duqueovom kolonom. [23]

Iako su se neki ispred meksičkih redova kolebali, vojnici straga su ih gurnuli dalje. [103] Dok su se trupe okupljale uz zidine, Teksijani su bili prisiljeni nagnuti se preko zidova kako bi pucali, ostavljajući ih izložene meksičkoj vatri. Travis je postao jedan od prvih okupatora koji je umro, pucao je iz vatrenog oružja u vojnike ispod sebe, iako jedan izvor kaže da je izvukao mač i ubo meksičkog časnika koji je uletio u zid prije nego što je podlegao ozljedi. [103] Nekoliko meksičkih ljestava dopiralo je do zidina. [106] Nekoliko vojnika koji su se uspjeli popeti na ljestve brzo su ubijeni ili pretučeni. Dok su Teksijanci praznili svoje prethodno napunjene puške, bilo im je sve teže ponovno napuniti pokušavajući spriječiti meksičke vojnike da ne pređu zidove. [23]

Meksički vojnici povukli su se i pregrupisali, ali njihov drugi napad je odbijen. Petnaest minuta nakon bitke napali su treći put. [23] [103] Tijekom trećeg udara, Romerova kolona, ​​usmjerena prema istočnom zidu, bila je izložena topovskoj vatri i pomaknula se prema sjeveru, pomiješavši se s drugom kolonom. [23] Cosov stup, pod vatrom Teksijanaca na zapadnom zidu, također je skrenuo na sjever. [107] Kad je Santa Anna vidio da se glavnina njegove vojske nalazi na sjevernom zidu, uplašio se da je "paničario" pohod, poslao je rezerve u isto područje. [108] Meksički vojnici najbliži sjevernom zidu shvatili su da improvizirani zid sadrži mnogo praznina i uporišta. Jedan od prvih koji je uspio na zidu od 12 stopa (3,7 m) bio je general Juan Amador na svom izazovu, a njegovi su ljudi počeli hrliti uz zid. Amador je otvorio stražnju stranu sjevernog zida, dopuštajući meksičkim vojnicima da uđu u kompleks. [106] Drugi su se popeli kroz luke za oružje na zapadnom zidu, koji su imali malo okupatora. [109] Dok su teksaški okupatori napuštali sjeverni zid i sjeverni kraj zapadnog zida, [106] [109] teksaški topnici na južnom kraju misije okrenuli su svoj top prema sjeveru i pucali u nadiruće meksičke vojnike. To je ostavilo južni kraj misije nezaštićenim za nekoliko minuta. Meksički vojnici popeli su se na zidove i ubili topnike, stekavši kontrolu nad Alamovim topom od 18 metaka. [98] Do tada su Romerovi ljudi zauzeli istočni zid kompleksa i izlijevali se kroz tora za stoku. [109]

Unutrašnje borbe

Posljednje riječi teksaškog branitelja Almarona Dickinsona njegovoj supruzi Susanni dok se pripremao za obranu kapele. [107]

Kao što je ranije planirano, većina Teksijanaca pala je nazad u vojarne i kapelu. U zidovima su bile uklesane rupe kako bi Teksijanci mogli pucati. [107] Kako nisu mogli doći do vojarne, Teksijani smješteni uz zapadni zid krenuli su prema zapadu prema rijeci San Antonio. Kad je konjica navalila, Teksijani su se sklonili i počeli pucati iz jarka. Sesma je bio prisiljen poslati pojačanje, a Teksijani su na kraju ubijeni. Sesma je izvijestio da je u ovom okršaju sudjelovalo 50 Teksijanaca, ali Edmondson vjeruje da je taj broj prenapuhan. [110]

Okupatori u stočnom stoku povukli su se u tor za konje. Nakon što su ispalili oružje, mala grupa Teksijanaca prevrnula se preko niskog zida, zaokružila iza crkve i pješice potrčala prema istočnoj preriji, koja je izgledala prazna. [107] [109] [111] Kako je meksička konjica napredovala u skupini, Almaron Dickinson i njegova topnička posada okrenuli su top i pucali u konjicu, vjerojatno nanoseći žrtve. Ipak, svi odbjegli Teksijaci su ubijeni. [111]

Posljednja teksaška skupina koja je ostala na otvorenom bili su Crockett i njegovi ljudi koji su branili niski zid ispred crkve. Nisu se mogli ponovno napuniti, koristili su svoje puške kao toljage i borili se noževima. Nakon vatre i vala meksičkih bajuneta, nekoliko preostalih Teksijanaca u ovoj skupini palo je natrag prema crkvi. [110] Meksička vojska sada je kontrolirala sve vanjske zidove i unutrašnjost kompleksa Alamo, osim crkve i prostorija uz istočni i zapadni zid. [112] Meksički vojnici skrenuli su pozornost na teksašku zastavu koja se vijorila s krova jedne zgrade. Četiri Meksikanca ubijena su prije nego što je na tom mjestu podignuta zastava Meksika. [Napomena 13] [113]

Sljedećih sat vremena meksička je vojska radila na osiguravanju potpune kontrole nad Alamom. [114] Mnogi od preostalih okupatora bili su smješteni u utvrđene prostorije vojarne. [115] U zabuni, Teksijani su zanemarili ispipanje topova prije povlačenja. Meksički vojnici okrenuli su top prema vojarni. [106] Kad bi svaka vrata bila raznesena, meksički vojnici ispalili bi salvu mušketa u mračnu sobu, a zatim bi se naplatili za borbu prsa u prsa. [115]

Previše bolestan da bi sudjelovao u bitci, Bowie je vjerojatno umro u krevetu. Očevici bitke dali su oprečne izvještaje o njegovoj smrti. Neki su svjedoci tvrdili da su vidjeli nekoliko meksičkih vojnika kako ulaze u Bowiejevu sobu, bajunetiraju ga i nose živog iz sobe. [116] Drugi su tvrdili da se Bowie upucao ili su ga vojnici ubili dok je bio preslab da bi podigao glavu. [117] Prema povjesničaru Wallaceu Charitonu, "najpopularnija i vjerojatno najpreciznija" [118] verzija je da je Bowie umro na svom krevetu, "naslonjen leđima na zid, koristeći svoje pištolje i svoj poznati nož". [117]

Posljednji od Teksijanaca koji su poginuli bilo je 11 ljudi koji su upravljali dvama topovima od 12 metaka u kapeli. [113] [119] Pucanj iz topa od 18 metaka uništio je barikade ispred crkve, a meksički vojnici ušli su u zgradu nakon što su ispalili početni zalet muškete. Dickinsonova posada ispalila je top iz apside u meksičke vojnike na vratima. Bez vremena za ponovno punjenje, Teksijani, uključujući Dickinsona, Gregorija Esparzu i Jamesa Bonhama, zgrabili su puške i pucali prije nego što su do smrti bili bajuneti. [120] Teksašanin Robert Evans, majstor oružja, imao je zadatak spriječiti da barut padne u meksičke ruke. Ranjen, dopuzao je prema spremniku za prah, ali ga je lopta od muškete ubila svojom bakljom samo nekoliko centimetara od praha. [120] Da je uspio, eksplozija bi uništila crkvu i ubila žene i djecu skrivenu u sakristiji. [121]

Dok su se vojnici približavali sakristiji, jedan od mladih sinova okupatora Anthonyja Wolfa stao je navući deku na ramena. [120] U mraku su ga meksički vojnici zamijenili za odraslu osobu i ubili. [Napomena 14] [122] Vjerojatno je posljednji Teksas koji je poginuo u borbi bio Jacob Walker, [123] koji se pokušao sakriti iza Susannah Dickinson i bio je bajunetiran ispred žena. [124] Drugi Teksijac, Brigido Guerrero, također je potražio utočište u sakristiji. [120] Guerrero, koji je u prosincu 1835. godine dezertirao iz meksičke vojske, pošteđen je nakon što je uvjerio vojnike da je teksaški zatvorenik. [122] [125]

Do 6:30 sati bitka za Alamo je završena. [124] Meksički vojnici pregledali su svaki leš, bajonetirajući svako tijelo koje se kretalo. [122] Čak i kad su svi Teksijani mrtvi, meksički vojnici nastavili su pucati, neki su se međusobno ubili u zabuni. Meksički generali nisu uspjeli zaustaviti krvoločnost i zatražili su pomoć od Santa Ane. Premda se general pokazao, nasilje se nastavilo, a lopovima je konačno naređeno da se povuku. 15 minuta nakon toga vojnici su nastavili pucati u mrtva tijela. [126]

Žrtve

Prema mnogim izvještajima o bitci, predalo se između pet i sedam Teksijanaca. [Napomena 15] [127] [128] S obzirom na to da su njegove zapovijedi zanemarene, Santa Anna je zahtijevala hitno pogubljenje preživjelih. [129] Tjednima nakon bitke kružile su priče da je Crockett među onima koji su se predali. [128] Ben, bivši američki rob koji je kuhao za jednog od časnika Santa Anne, tvrdio je da je Crockettovo tijelo pronađeno okruženo "s najmanje šesnaest meksičkih leševa". [130] Povjesničari se ne slažu oko toga koja je verzija Crockettove smrti točna. [Napomena 16] [131]

Santa Anna je navodno rekla kapetanu Fernandu Urizzi da je bitka "bila samo mala stvar". [132] Drugi je časnik tada primijetio da ćemo "s još jednom takvom pobjedom poput ove otići k vragu". [Napomena 17] [2] U svom početnom izvješću Santa Anna je tvrdila da je ubijeno 600 Teksijanaca, pri čemu je ubijeno samo 70 meksičkih vojnika, a 300 ranjeno. [133] Njegov tajnik, Ramón Martínez Caro, kasnije je odbacio izvješće. [134] Druge procjene o broju ubijenih meksičkih vojnika kretale su se od 60 do 200, s dodatnih 250-300 ranjenih. [2] Most Alamo historians place the number of Mexican casualties at 400–600. [2] [3] [4] This would represent about one-third of the Mexican soldiers involved in the final assault, which Todish remarks is "a tremendous casualty rate by any standards". [2] Most eyewitnesses counted between 182 and 257 Texians killed. [135] Some historians believe that at least one Texian, Henry Warnell, successfully escaped from the battle. Warnell died several months later of wounds incurred either during the final battle or during his escape as a courier. [136] [137]

Mexican soldiers were buried in the local cemetery, Campo Santo. [Note 18] [133] Shortly after the battle, Colonel José Juan Sanchez Navarro proposed that a monument should be erected to the fallen Mexican soldiers. Cos rejected the idea. [138]

The Texian bodies were stacked and burned. [Note 19] [133] The only exception was the body of Gregorio Esparza. His brother Francisco, an officer in Santa Anna's army, received permission to give Gregorio a proper burial. [133] The ashes were left where they fell until February 1837, when Juan Seguín returned to Béxar to examine the remains. A simple coffin inscribed with the names Travis, Crockett, and Bowie was filled with ashes from the funeral pyres. [139] According to a March 28, 1837, article in the Telegraph and Texas Register, [140] Seguín buried the coffin under a peach tree grove. The spot was not marked and cannot now be identified. [141] Seguín later claimed that he had placed the coffin in front of the altar at the San Fernando Cathedral. In July 1936 a coffin was discovered buried in that location, but according to historian Wallace Chariton, it is unlikely to actually contain the remains of the Alamo defenders. Fragments of uniforms were found in the coffin and the Texian soldiers who fought at the Alamo were known not to wear uniforms. [140]

Texian survivors

In an attempt to convince other slaves in Texas to support the Mexican government over the Texian rebellion, Santa Anna spared Travis' slave, Joe. [142] The day after the battle, he interviewed each noncombatant individually. Impressed with Susanna Dickinson, Santa Anna offered to adopt her infant daughter Angelina and have the child educated in Mexico City. Dickinson refused the offer, which was not extended to Juana Navarro Alsbury although her son was of similar age. [2] Each woman was given a blanket and two silver pesos. [143] Alsbury and the other Tejano women were allowed to return to their homes in Béxar Dickinson, her daughter and Joe were sent to Gonzales, escorted by Ben. They were encouraged to relate the events of the battle, and to inform the remainder of the Texian forces that Santa Anna's army was unbeatable. [2]

Impact on revolution

During the siege, newly elected delegates from across Texas met at the Convention of 1836. On March 2, the delegates declared independence, forming the Republic of Texas. Four days later, the delegates at the convention received a dispatch Travis had written March 3 warning of his dire situation. Unaware that the Alamo had fallen, Robert Potter called for the convention to adjourn and march immediately to relieve the Alamo. Sam Houston convinced the delegates to remain in Washington-on-the-Brazos to develop a constitution. After being appointed sole commander of all Texian troops, Houston journeyed to Gonzales to take command of the 400 volunteers who were still waiting for Fannin to lead them to the Alamo. [144]

Within hours of Houston's arrival on March 11, Andres Barcenas and Anselmo Bergaras arrived with news that the Alamo had fallen and all Texians were slain. [145] Hoping to halt a panic, Houston arrested the men as enemy spies. They were released hours later when Susannah Dickinson and Joe reached Gonzales and confirmed the report. [146] Realizing that the Mexican army would soon advance towards the Texian settlements, Houston advised all civilians in the area to evacuate and ordered his new army to retreat. [147] This sparked a mass exodus, known as the Runaway Scrape, and most Texians, including members of the new government, fled east. [148]

Despite their losses at the Alamo, the Mexican army in Texas still outnumbered the Texian army by almost six to one. [149] Santa Anna assumed that knowledge of the disparity in troop numbers and the fate of the Texian soldiers at the Alamo would quell the resistance, [150] and that Texian soldiers would quickly leave the territory. [151] News of the Alamo's fall had the opposite effect, and men flocked to join Houston's army. [150] The New York Post editorialized that "had [Santa Anna] treated the vanquished with moderation and generosity, it would have been difficult if not impossible to awaken that general sympathy for the people of Texas which now impels so many adventurous and ardent spirits to throng to the aid of their brethren". [152]

On the afternoon of April 21 the Texian army attacked Santa Anna's camp near Lynchburg Ferry. The Mexican army was taken by surprise, and the Battle of San Jacinto was essentially over after 18 minutes. During the fighting, many of the Texian soldiers repeatedly cried "Remember the Alamo!" as they slaughtered fleeing Mexican troops. [153] Santa Anna was captured the following day, and reportedly told Houston: "That man may consider himself born to no common destiny who has conquered the Napoleon of the West. And now it remains for him to be generous to the vanquished." Houston replied, "You should have remembered that at the Alamo". Santa Anna's life was spared, and he was forced to order his troops out of Texas, ending Mexican control of the province and bestowing some legitimacy on the new republic. [154]

Following the battle, Santa Anna was alternately viewed as a national hero or a pariah. Mexican perceptions of the battle often mirrored the prevailing viewpoint. [155] Santa Anna had been disgraced following his capture at the Battle of San Jacinto, and many Mexican accounts of the battle were written by men who had been, or had become, his outspoken critics. Petite and many other historians believe that some of the stories, such as the execution of Crockett, may have been invented to further discredit Santa Anna. [131] In Mexican history, the Texas campaign, including the Battle of the Alamo, was soon overshadowed by the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. [155]

In San Antonio de Béxar, the largely Tejano population viewed the Alamo complex as more than just a battle site it represented decades of assistance—as a mission, a hospital, or a military post. [156] As the English-speaking population increased, the complex became best known for the battle. Focus has centered primarily on the Texian occupiers, with little emphasis given to the role of the Tejano soldiers who served in the Texian army or the actions of the Mexican army. [157] In the early 20th century the Texas Legislature purchased the property and appointed the Daughters of the Republic of Texas as permanent caretakers [158] of what is now an official state shrine. [159] In front of the church, in the center of Alamo Plaza, stands a cenotaph, designed by Pompeo Coppini, which commemorates the Texians and Tejanos who died during the battle. [160] According to Bill Groneman's Battlefields of Texas, the Alamo has become "the most popular tourist site in Texas". [159]

The first English-language histories of the battle were written and published by Texas Ranger and amateur historian John Henry Brown. [161] The next major treatment of the battle was Reuben Potter's Pad Alama, Objavljeno u The Magazine of American History in 1878. Potter based his work on interviews with many of the Mexican survivors of the battle. [161] [162] The first full-length, non-fiction book covering the battle, John Myers Myers' The Alamo, was published in 1948. [163] In the decades since, the battle has featured prominently in many non-fiction works.

According to Todish et al., "there can be little doubt that most Americans have probably formed many of their opinions on what occurred at the Alamo not from books, but from the various movies made about the battle." [164] The first film version of the battle appeared in 1911, when Gaston Méliès directed The Immortal Alamo. [5] The battle became more widely known after it was featured in the 1950s Disney miniseries Davy Crockett, which was largely based on myth. [5] Within several years, John Wayne directed and starred in one of the best-known, but questionably accurate, film versions, 1960's The Alamo. [165] [Note 20] Another film also called The Alamo was released in 2004. CNN described it as possibly "the most character-driven of all the movies made on the subject". It is also considered more faithful to the actual events than other movies. [166]

Several songwriters have been inspired by the Battle of the Alamo. Tennessee Ernie Ford's "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" spent 16 weeks on the country music charts, peaking at No. 4 in 1955. [167] Marty Robbins recorded a version of the song "The Ballad of the Alamo" in 1960 which spent 13 weeks on the pop charts, peaking at No. 34. [168] Jane Bowers' song "Remember the Alamo" has been recorded by artists including Johnny Cash [169] and Donovan. [170] British hard rock band Babe Ruth's 1972 song The Mexican pictures the conflict through the eyes of a Mexican soldier. Singer-songwriter Phil Collins collected hundreds of items related to the battle, narrated a light and sound show about the Alamo, and has spoken at related events. [171] In 2014 Collins donated his entire collection to the Alamo via the State of Texas. [172] [173]

The battle also featured in episode 13 of The Time Tunnel, "The Alamo", first aired in 1966, and episode 5 of season one of the TV series Timeless, aired 2016.


The V Weapons

The V weapons – the V1 and V2 – were used towards the end of World War Two with such an effect that the attacks on London became known as the second Blitz. The success of D-Day had speeded up the production of the V weapons and the first V1 was launched on June 13th, just one week after the Allied landings at Normandy.

A V1 at the Imperial War Museum, London

The V weapons were built at Pennemunde, a remote island off the Baltic. Here, the Nazis had assembled a group of scientists and a workforce who worked under the greatest of secrecy. In 1943, the Polish underground movement had sent back information about the base and the RAF had aerial photographs of the site. In August 1943, a heavy bombing raid by the RAF caused serious damage to Pennemunde and pushed development back some months but the project was not halted altogether.

The V1 and V2 were to be weapons of revenge – the Vergeltungswaffens. These were the fabled secret weapons that Hitler boasted about the weapons that would win the war for Nazi Germany.

A damaged V1 found by the Allies

By February 1944, 96 launch sites had been built for the V1. The R.A.F and the U.S.A.F. destroyed 73 but the remaining 23 were to cause many problems for Southern England.

The V1 carried one ton of high explosives and travelled at a maximum of 400 mph. It had a maximum flying distance of 200 miles but the weather could decrease this. A pre-set magnetic compass and gyroscopic auto-pilot determined and maintained its course. A small propeller at the front of the weapon registered the distance covered. At a pre-set distance, the guidance system cut the power to the engine and the V1 went into a steep dive.

Between 8,000 and 9,000 V1’s were launched against Southern England, primarily London. After the initial shock of the first ones, their impact was limited as V1’s could be shot out of the sky by anti-aircraft fire as these guns could lock onto the trajectory of the incoming V1. The Royal Observer Corps gave an early warning of incoming V1’s. Fighter planes were also used to tip over the ‘wings’ of the V1 so that it continued to fly but off course. Over 50% of the V1’s fired at Britain were destroyed before they crashed to the ground and exploded.

Far more dangerous was the world’s first rocket – the V2. This was developed by Wernher von Braun and his team at Peneemunde. This rocket carried one ton of high explosive but travelled at such a speed that it could not be seen. Its terminal speed was 2,386 mph.

Whereas the V1 was a visible weapon, the V2 was invisible. These weapons spread considerable fear in London. In response to them the government used its intelligence units to convince the Nazis that the government had moved its base from central London to the Dulwich area of London. This worked and the V2’s were targeted towards Dulwich. About 1000 V2’s were fired at Britain before their launch sites were overrun by the advancing Allies. In total they killed or wounded about 115,000 people.

It is difficult to assess the true military value of the V weapons. Their psychological impact was probably greater than the actual damage they did. With the V2’s no one knew in London whether they would be the next victim. But they were not used against the advancing Allied armies or against the Russians. Antwerp, a vital port for the Allies, was devastated by attacks from V weapons but, in general, they were used on civilian targets only.

Albert Speer in his book “Inside the Third Reich” claims that the V weapons (especially the V2) could have been working many months before June 1944 if the men at Peneemunde had been given more support from Berlin. Speer cited Goering as the man who had little faith in the project. Their impact, if used from an earlier date, might have been greater.


Britain's obrane

The crew of a 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun keep watch for flying bombs, June 1944. Defensive measures against the V1 included massed batteries of anti-aircraft guns along the North Downs and the coast of south-east England, and the use of fast RAF fighter aircraft to shoot or 'tip' down the incoming flying bombs before they reached their targets. Anti-aircraft guns were responsible for the shooting down over 1,800 V1s. Similar numbers were downed by fighter aircraft and 200 were destroyed by barrage balloons.


The V1

The V1 was one of Hitler’s secret weapons that he had told his generals that Nazi Germany possessed which would turn the way World War Two was going in 1944. The V1 was first launched against Britain in June 1944, just one week after D-Day. The V1 is difficult to classify as a weapon as it was not a true rocket in that it did not leave the atmosphere, but it was also clearly not a plane. Perhaps it could best be described as a winged but pilot-less fuel propelled flying bomb.

The V1 was so-called because Hitler saw it as a reprisal weapon – a Vergeltungswaffen. Intelligence had already concluded that the Germans had developed something radical as early as late 1943 when spy reports and reconnaissance photos showed the existence of launch ramps that were clearly directed at London. Winston Churchill was sent the following memo regarding the issue:

“The Chief-of-Staff feel that you should be made aware of reports of German experiments with long-range rockets. The fact that five reports have been received since the end of 1942 indicates a foundation of fact even if details are inaccurate…no time should be lost in establishing the facts and in devising counter-measures….suggest you should appoint one man..…Mr. Duncan Sandys to direct investigations. It is not considered desirable to inform the public at this stage, when the evidence is so intangible.” General Ismay.

Churchill took on board the memo and appointed Sandys to lead investigations. Sandys soon provided Churchill with reports that Germany had been carrying experiments with heavy rockets, jet-propelled planes and airborne rocket torpedoes at Peenemünde on the German Baltic coast. More establishments had been identified in northern France. In June 1943, Sandys informed Churchill that intelligence was finding out more about large rockets that flying bombs. He advised Churchill to order Bomber Command to attack the base at Peenemünde as soon as possible. Such was the fear at government level regarding these findings, that the Home Office once again went through the motions of organising the evacuation of children and pregnant women. More Morrison shelters, last seen in the Blitz, were also moved to London.

Information about Hitler’s secret weapons came from a number of sources. An eagle-eyed WAAF Flight -Officer, Constance Babington-Smith, spotted on a reconnaissance photo a tiny aircraft on a ramp and a set of rails at Peenemünde. It seemed to be pointlessly aimed out to sea. In France an agent called Michel Hollard investigated a large concrete construction being built by the Germans near Rouen. He actually got a job there himself and saw a ramp being built that was in the general direction of London. Hollard cycled around other parts of northern France and found similar structures being built. He even got plans for one of the sites at Bois Carré.

On August 17th 1943, Bomber Command launched a raid on Peenemünde which destroyed many of the assembly shops and laboratories there and killed a number of high ranking scientists – including Chamier-Glisezenski, the chief scientist. Nearly 600 bombers took part in this raid – with 41 shot down. Ironically, the success of the raid forced the Germans to move their work to the Harz Mountains where work was carried on inside the mountain itself which made an attack by bombers impossible. Test flights took place in Poland.

At the end of December 1943, Air Marshall Bottomley, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, reported that 69 ‘ski’ ramps had been identified in northern Europe. Those in the Pays-de-Calais and Somme-Seine were targeted at London while those in the Cherbourg area were seemingly targeted at Bristol.

Between January 1944 and June 12th 1944, over 2000 tons of bombs had been dropped on the identified sites – either by high flying bombers or by modified Spitfires and Hurricanes carrying 500lb bombs. In fact, these raids proved of little value as the Germans were quick to rebuild the sites but also to carefully camouflage them. Any damage done was quickly repaired.

The Germans created a special unit to handle the flying bombs – the 155th Flakregiment commanded by Colonel Wachtel. The V1 – officially for the Germans the FZG-76 – was also known as the ‘doodle bug’, ‘buzz-bomb’ and ‘cherry stone’. It was 25 feet long and had a wing span of 16 feet. Loaded with fuel, it weighed 2 tons and it had a warhead of 2,000 lbs of explosives. The most common way of launching the V1 was by ramp. It could also be launched by a modified Heinkel III. Originally, the V1 had a maximum range of 150 miles but this was improved to 250 miles to allow for it to be launched from Holland. About 10,500 were launched at Britain from June 1944 on, 8,800 by ramp and the rest by plane. The first one was first on June 13th 1944.

At about 04.15 on the morning of June 13th, a member of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) in Kent saw what he described as a bright yellow glow in the dark, coming from the engine at the back of the V1. The ROC had already been told to look out for such things and the ROC lookout immediately informed his superiors with the code-word “diver”. The engine of this V1 cut out over Kent and it fell 20 miles to the east of the Tower of London on the village of Swanscombe. Very shortly, others fell on Cuckfield, West Sussex, Bethnal Green, London and Sevenoaks in Kent. The only deaths were six people killed in Bethnal Green. On June 13th, ten V1’s were fired at London but only four got through. Four crashed on take-off (confirming what Wachtel had feared, that they were not fully ready for use) and two crashed into the English Channel. If all of the sites in northern France had been fully operational, then nearly 300 V1’s may well have fallen on south-east England. Wachtel was given strict instructions by his commanding officer, Lieutenant-General Erich Heinemann, to get all the sites working as soon as was possible.

Though the V1’s had no impact on the success or otherwise of D-Day, they did present a serious threat to London and south-east England. The defence of London rested with fighter planes, anti-aircraft fire around the coast and the use of barrage balloons. Any destruction or interception of the V1’s had to be done outside of London as any that were destroyed over London itself, may well have exploded on contact with the ground – thus doing what the V1 was intended to do regardless.

One major success that the British had was finding out the height at which the V1 flew – between 2000 and 3000 feet. The top speed of the V1 was also worked out – between 340 mph to 400 mph when it approached its target. The man put in charge of defending London – Air Marshall Roderic Hill – had a number of fighter planes at his disposal which were faster than the V1’s and could fly above the weapon before descending to attack it. The Spitfire XIV, the Mustang III, the Tempest V and the Mosquito could all do this – but they had a relatively small amount of time to do their work in.

On June 15th, 244 V1’s were launched from 55 sites. 73 hit Greater London and 71 hit areas outside of London. 100 V1’s failed to get across the Channel. It was the start of a major offensive. On June 17th, Hitler flew to northern France to congratulate Wachtel and he ordered that all the ‘cherry stones’ (Hitler’s nickname for the V1) should be targeted at London and nowhere else. On June 18th, one V1 hit the Guard’s Chapel at Wellington barracks and killed 121 people and wounded 68 others. London was about to experience another terror. By the end of June 18th, 500 V1’s had been fired in total.

Churchill asked Eisenhower to do what he could to attack the V1 bases in northern France as part of the Allied advance across the region after D-Day. 617 ‘Dambuster’ Squadron attacked sites with ‘tallboy’ bombs (12,000 lbs bombs) but by June 29th, 2,000 V1’s had been launched at London.

In London, a decision was taken about the city’s defence. Anti-aircraft guns were moved to the coast. Here they would have an unrestricted field of fire. Radar experts also believed that their equipment would work better nearer the sea away from buildings. Nearly 800 anti-aircraft guns were moved to the coast and 1,000 barrage balloons were erected. Fighter pilots also learned new tricks to destroy V1’s such as flying alongside the weapon and tipping over one of its wings, thus knocking it off course. Pilots also flew in front of a V1 so that it flew in the fighter plane’s slipstream. This was enough to unbalance the V1 so that it flew off course.

However, many V1’s got through. By July 5th, 2,500 people had been killed and even the Air Ministry in the Strand had been hit with 198 people being killed in that attack. By July 19th, 1,600 guns were in place around the coast. Hundreds more barrage balloons had been put up but many V1’s still got through – though more and more were being destroyed before they reached London. However, it did seem that the tide had turned in favour of the defenders of London.

But London was to face an even more terrifying weapon – one that could not be seen or defended against – the V2.


Olga of Kiev: One saint you do not want to mess with

Olga of Kiev was one of the most vicious and vengeful rulers in the history of the Kievan Rus’ – the principality that would eventually give birth to modern Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, stretching at its height from the Baltic Sea in the North to the Black Sea in the South.

Born sometime around 903 CE in Pskov, Russia, history gives Olga scarcely a glance for much of her life – including her marriage to Igor, Prince of Kiev and the birth of her son.

With her husband’s death though, Olga becomes more than a wife and mother, and without sacrificing either of those duties, takes centre stage.

Olga of Kiev, born circa 903 and died 963 CE.

Like all rising empires, Kievan Rus’ had grown at the expense of its neighbours and one tribe had grown wary of their smothering embrace.

The relationship between the Drevlians and Kievan Rus’ was complex – they had joined the Rus’ in military campaigns against the Byzantine Empire and paid tribute to Igor’s predecessors, but stopped in 912 when the previous prince died and instead paid this glorified protection money to a local warlord.

Igor’s attempted to restore his privileges in 945 with a trip to their capital of Iskorosten (now Korosten in Northern Ukraine). This visit – as if the previous 33 years simply hadn’t happened! – was a slap in the face and the Drevlians fought back, seizing the prince and murdering him in a gristly display.

Igor of Kiev collects his tribute from the Drevlians

“They had bent down two birch trees to the prince’s feet and tied them to his legs,” wrote Byzantine chronicler Leo the Deacon, “then they let the trees straighten again, thus tearing the prince’s body apart.”

With their son, the three-year old Svyatoslav, too young to take the throne of Kiev, Olga stepped up to rule as regent in his stead.

The Drevians would soon know her well, but for now they thought they were dealing with just another demure noblewoman who could be easily cowed and arrange to marry her to their own Prince Mal. Not only would they be free from paying tribute to the Kievan Rus’ – they would Pravilo the Kievan Rus’.

Olga views her late husband’s body

The Drevians sent 20 of their best men to try and persuade Olga to marry the living symbol of her husband’s murder. Telling them to wait in their boat, she had a ditch dug and next morning had had the emissaries buried alive.

Rather than just leave it at this, a pretty definitive refusal if ever there was one, she sent word back to Prince Mal that should would accept his proposal, but only if the Drevians sent a part of their great and good to accompany her back to their territory, after all it was important that the proud Keivan Rus’ see just how important this matchmaking was.

Her would-be suitor obliged, sending a party of their chieftains to collect her. Extending a suitably grand welcome, she invited the visitors to wash up in her bath house and then locking the doors, burned the entire company alive.

Olga burns the Drevian nobles alive in her bath house

Amazingly this wasn’t the end of the matter.

With the whole of the Drevian ruling class cruelly exterminated, Olga hatched a plan to do away with the rest of them all together and announcing that she would be soon arriving at the Drevian capital of Iskorosten and asked for them to arrange a funeral feast where they could mourn over her husband’s death in that the very city.

Despite the not having heard from either of the missions they’d dispatched to Olga’s court, the Drevians set about preparing the feast and after drinking themselves insensible on mead, Olga’s soldiers put 5,000 of them to the sword.

Even this orgy of bloodletting wasn’t enough to satiate her need for vengeance and Olga gathered an army to wipe out her foes for good. The surviving Drevians begged for mercy and offered to pay in honey and furs to escape her anger.

She seemed to soften, although at this point you’d think they’d know better…

“Give me three pigeons,” she said, according to the Primarna kronika, “and three sparrows from each house. I do not desire to impose a heavy tribute, like my husband, but I require only this small gift from you, for you are impoverished by the siege.”

The Chronicle records in great detail the feat of precision-guided pyromania that followed:

“Now Olga gave to each soldier in her army a pigeon or a sparrow, and ordered them to attach by thread to each pigeon and sparrow a piece of sulfur bound with small pieces of cloth. When night fell, Olga bade her soldiers release the pigeons and the sparrows. So the birds flew to their nests, the pigeons to the cotes, and the sparrows under the eaves. The dove-cotes, the coops, the porches, and the haymows were set on fire.

“There was not a house that was not consumed, and it was impossible to extinguish the flames, because all the houses caught on fire at once. The people fled from the city, and Olga ordered her soldiers to catch them. Thus she took the city and burned it, and captured the elders of the city. Some of the other captives she killed, while some she gave to others as slaves to her followers. The remnant she left to pay tribute.”

Olga burns the Drevian capital

The Drevians paid after all, in lives and homes, as well as in tribute to Keivan Rus’.

By why, despite this horrific carnage, is Olga of Kiev still venerated as a saint over a thousand years after her death (in 963 CE, in case you wondered)?

She was the first ruler of the Kievan Rus’ to adopt Christianity and Olga’s efforts to covert the rest of her people (although not her son, who remained a pagan) earned her the title Isapóstolos: “Equal to the Apostles.”

“She shone like the moon by night,” frothed the Primarna kronika, “and she was radiant among the infidels like a pearl in the mire, since the people were soiled, and not yet purified of their sin by holy baptism.”

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7. He was tolerant of different religions.

Unlike many empire builders, Genghis Khan embraced the diversity of his newly conquered territories. He passed laws declaring religious freedom for all and even granted tax exemptions to places of worship. This tolerance had a political side—the Khan knew that happy subjects were less likely to rebel𠅋ut the Mongols also had an exceptionally liberal attitude towards religion. While Genghis and many others subscribed to a shamanistic belief system that revered the spirits of the sky, winds and mountains, the Steppe peoples were a diverse bunch that included Nestorian Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and other animistic traditions. The Great Khan also had a personal interest in spirituality. He was known to pray in his tent for multiple days before important campaigns, and he often met with different religious leaders to discuss the details of their faiths. In his old age, he even summoned the Taoist leader Qiu Chuji to his camp, and the pair supposedly had long conversations on immortality and philosophy.


Shakespeare’s Tragedies

In Shakespeare's tragedies, the main protagonist has a flaw that leads to his (and/or her) downfall. There are both internal and external struggles and often a bit of the supernatural thrown in for good measure (and tension). Often there are passages or characters that have the job of lightening the mood (comic relief), but the overall tone of the piece is quite serious. The 10 Shakespeare plays generally classified as tragedy are as follows:

  1. Antonije i Kleopatra
  2. Koriolan
  3. Julije Cezar
  4. kralj Lear
  5. Otelo
  6. Timon of Athens
  7. Tit Andronik

History of Revenge V - History

The V3 was the natural development from the V1 and V2 weapons that had terrorised London in 1944 – a weapon for revenge (‘Vergeltungswaffen’). The V3 was never fired at London though it was used in a very minor way in the Battle of the Bulge.

On July 6th, 1944, nineteen RAF Lancaster bombers from 617 Squadron (the ‘Dambusters’ Squadron) carpet-bombed a hillside on the French northern coastline between Calais and Boulogne. To all intents their target appeared to be a railway tunnel. In fact, inside the hill itself was an emplacement that would have fired the V3 if the chance had been there for it to do so – part of the firing mechanism is in the photo above.#

However, the Lancasters attacked the hill with 35 tons of high explosive bombs. Their target were the concrete and steel-lined covers of the massive gun barrels that were meant to attack London with the intention of reducing the inner city to rubble. The V3 was not a rocket like to V2 nor a pilot-less plane like the V1. It was a dart-shaped shell nine feet long and the 416 feet gun barrels targeted by the Lancasters were, on paper, capable of firing 600 of these shells every hour. However, one of the ‘Tallboy’ bombs (12,000 lbs of explosives) developed by Dr Barnes Wallis penetrated one of the five gun barrel shafts and did so much damage to the ‘guts’ of the project that it was eventually abandoned.

The idea of a weapon that could destroy London was sold to Hitler by the firm Roechling – a leading German armaments and steel firm. Because it had the backing of Hitler, great sums of money and manpower was thrown into the project. Men such as Werner von Braun claimed that the money was better spent on upgrading Peenemunde but Hitler had got his mind set on the destruction of London – something the Luftwaffe had failed to do during the Blitz.

Project ‘High Pressure Pump’ was started in August 1942. The man at the head of the project was August Coenders, a machine gun engineer. He had studied captured French documents from 1918 for a multi-stage long barreled gun that was meant to be the French answer the the Germans ‘Big Bertha’ long range gun that had fired 320 eight-inch shells into Paris from the distance of 78 miles. Coenders boss, Hermann Roechling, was a personel friend of Hitler and he saw this as a chance to greatly elevate himself in the eyes of the Führer. By 1943, Albert Speer was also willing to add his name to the project.

Speer’s plan was to build 50 of these huge guns set in giant underground emplacements near the hamlet of Mimoyecques in the Pays de Calais. The guns were designed to fire one round from each barrel every five minutes which, Speer hoped, would produce a “saturation coverage” of London with a maximum of 600 shells hitting London every hour.

Ballistic experts in Nazi Germany doubted whether the plan had any reality. Lieutenant-General Erich Schneider believed in the development of the V1 and V2 but he always believed that the V3 was in the realms of fantasy. In this he was probably correct. The initial tests on the shells showed that when they were fired they had a tendency to flip over in flight as they lack stability. Therefore, from the earliest tests, London appeared to be safe. However, this did not stop Speer pushing for Hitler to continue his support the project.

The huge emplacement was built at Mimoyecques using slave labourers, POW’s and German workers. Such activity obviously attracted the attention of the French Resistance who fed intelligence back to London. 1000 artillery troops were quartered underground the complex had its own power station that powered an air conditioning unit. Speer got it into his head that the V3 was to be the weapon that would bring Britain to its knees and vast sums of money was thrown at the project, so much so that it is said that the campaign in Russia was affected by this. It became the weapon that had overriding priority within Germany.

RAF photo reconnaissance planes also spotted a tell-tale sign – haystacks out in the autumn when all others had been brought in within the region of the Pay de Calais. These haystacks disguised the gun barrel covers of the V3 project. In November 1943, the RAF made its first attack on the complex but it made little impact.

In January 1944, the guns that were to be used on the V3 project were fired for the first time in Germany at a test range. The velocity of firing was only 1000 metres a second – 50% too weak for a shell to hit London from Mimoyecques. As important, the shells that were fired were well below the size expected for an all-out attack on London:

“The explosive charge they could carry was so small that they were quite useless against a huge target like London what we needed was an atom warhead but Hitler would not see that.”Lieutenant-General Erich Schneider

However, the expert opinions of the likes of Schneider were ignored and he had to tread carefully in an era when “defeatism” was punishable by a term in a concentration camp and possible death.

Those who were concerned that the V3 was absorbing far too much money, time and manpower. They called in Professor Werner Osenberg, head of the German Wartime Scientific Research Council. He quickly realised the the ‘High Pressure Pump’ project was fraught with scientific problems that probably could not be solved. Osenberg complained that the V3 project was not based on any form of scientific thinking and he referred to it as “messing about”. Roechling complained to Hitler about such comments but this became irrelevant when in June 1944, the Allies landed in Normandy. Movement up the coast to the Pays de Calais would not take long and the project was doomed to failure.

Perhaps the most pertinent comment about the whole project came from an engineer who worked on ‘High Pressure Pump’, Anton Huber:

“The actual project itself seems not to be scientifically perfect, and its development has not been sufficiently long. The workers are wasting a lot of time on the site because there are not enough trained concrete makers.”

On July 4th 1944, Huber wrote to Osenberg that the complex had been without electricity for seven days and that nothing had been achieved. On July 8th, Huber wrote that the project had effectively been wiped out as a result of the Lancaster bombers raid. However, Hitler, still convinced that the V3 would win the war for him, ordered that the project should be moved to Germany itself and placed under the control of the SS. Hitler saw it as the secret weapon that would push back the Allies as they tried to advance to Germany.

One barrel was used with just 44 rounds in the Battle of the Bulge. The very last V3 shells fell on Luxemburg. After this, the barrel was destroyed. The final order to end the V3 project came in February 1945.


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