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Old 04-20-2009, 08:42 AM
 
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There is much history that is either forgotten or overlooked. One is the tragic story of the 1782 Gnaddenhutten Massacre in Ohio. The backdrop to the story is that there had been several recent kidnappings and killings of white settlers in Pennsylvania. In retaliation, Captain David Williamson led a militia against a group of Christian Indians at the Moravian Church mission founded by David Zeisberger. Although the Moravian Indians declared their innocence in the attacks, Williamson had the Indians rounded up and separated by gender. The militia voted to execute the Indians the following morning. The Indians were informed of their impending fate and spent the evening singing hymns and praying. The next day twenty-eight men, twenty-nine women and thirty-nine children were executed. Two survived the slaughter and told their story to the Moravian missionaries and fellow Christian Indians. Gnaddenhutten is located in Tuscarawas County in eastern Ohio and is the oldest existing settlement in Ohio. A memorial was established to mark the event.

There must be many more bits of obscure history. I hope others will add more.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: BOY-see
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One of the most interesting characters of World War II is also one of the least known, and most sinister and mysterious: SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Alfred Helmut Naujocks. If you've read Shirer's Rise and Fall you've heard about him as an 'intellectual SS ruffian', which is a fair description. Naujocks was an early member of the SS-SD dirty tricks squad. You have probably read that the Germans faked up a Polish border raid as a pretext for war; Naujocks was in charge of it. To summarize Naujocks' career in brief, he managed to personally annoy Heydrich in 1941 and got sent to the Leibstandarte in Russia, where he was wounded. When he convalesced, Heydrich was out of the picture, and Naujocks went back to special ops (in this case, reprisals against the Belgian and Danish resistances; he was a ruthless man).

Naujocks deserted to the Americans in 1944. He gave a long Nuremberg affidavit, but then escaped. He later told a version of his story in a book by Gunter Peis, The Man Who Started the War. (Kind of hard to find.) In it, he repudiates most of his Nuremberg affidavit as a bunch of baloney. The book's first chapter is well done to create drama: it tells the account of his surrender and interrogation, then has him presented with a typewriter and a stack of paper. And:

"He pulled his chair up to the table, sat down and began to think. Soon he was typing slowly, carefully. The story he wrote at length was fascinating, incredible and very detailed. It was also quite untrue.

"What follows is the story that in 1945 would have hanged Alfred Naujocks."

That'll whet the appetite, eh? I am convinced that the confession of lying in his Nuremberg affidavit is true. I'm also convinced that if he had written this book in its place, Peis is right: Naujocks would have hanged (had he not escaped). However, that's part of the Naujocks mystique: we don't know for absolute certain what became of him. Most assumed he had skedaddled to someplace like Colonia Dignidad, or perhaps a comfortable job under Stroessner in Paraguay, that kind of thing. It seems, in fact, that he lived on fairly modest terms under assumed names in northern Germany until a rather premature health decline led to death in anywhere from 1960 to 1968. He was born in 1911, so it is highly unlikely he's still alive even if this too is a smokescreen.

What I want to know is two things which I may never learn:

1) The actual truth about Naujocks' WWII exploits.

2) What actually became of him after the war.

Someone knows.

His name, evidently, has its origin in Naujokitis, which is Lithuanian. I have that from another Naujocks, who was no relation, but who was very helpful. It fits: Naujocks was from East Prussia and was part Balt.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:04 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
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Col. Crawford helped pay for Gnaddenhutten when he was burned by the Delawares. The Delawares were very angry and adamant that Crawford must die; when Simon Girty tried to buy Crawford's life it was damned near worth his own.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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One war that most people don't think about, remember or even know about...the Thirty Years War..
From 1618-1648 Europe fought over religion, empires and dynasties. It was a totally preventable war, and terribly cruel. It was especially hard on the peseants. It changed the map of Europe but in the end, did not really solve the problems that were fought so bitterly over.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:11 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trudy Rose View Post
One war that most people don't think about, remember or even know about...the Thirty Years War..
From 1618-1648 Europe fought over religion, empires and dynasties. It was a totally preventable war, and terribly cruel. It was especially hard on the peseants. It changed the map of Europe but in the end, did not really solve the problems that were fought so bitterly over.
Ahh, the Defenestration of Prague.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I have recently alluded to it a few times in other threads---the way the wealthy American interests in Hawaii grabbed the peaceful and democratic country, turned it into an autocratic oligarchy, and handed it over to the United States, which still clings to it. Probably the most shameful of all US territorial acquisitions, and even the president objected, and a century later, another prewsident apologized. It is still thought illegal under international law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii#...blic_of_Hawaii
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Ahh, the Defenestration of Prague.
Exactly
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I have recently alluded to it a few times in other threads---the way the wealthy American interests in Hawaii grabbed the peaceful and democratic country, turned it into an autocratic oligarchy, and handed it over to the United States, which still clings to it. Probably the most shameful of all US territorial acquisitions, and even the president objected, and a century later, another prewsident apologized. It is still thought illegal under international law.

Hawaii - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As I'm sure you know, the so-called annexation of the Philippines was another national embarrassment. The Philippine-American war was sold to the American public as an insurrection that had to be put down. It was a brutal campaign that has largely escaped the American consciousness and may have claimed over a million Philippine lives. Mark Twain was the war's most vocal critic and he spoke bitterly about it, even composing a shocking poem known as "The War Prayer." President Theodore Roosevelt declared the war over, but it continued for many years. It has even been called America's 1st Vietnam.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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Here are some bits of history that have largely been forgotten:

1. The loss of the S.S. Sultana: The Sultana was a Mississippi paddle wheel steamboat. She was one of number of such boats to be "hired" by the U.S. government to transport Union POW's that had recently been released due to the conclusion of the Civil War. The men, most of whom had spent time in the notorious Andersonville prison camp, were gathered at Vicksburg and were to be shipped up the Mississippi to Cairo, Illinois. Designed to legally carry 376 people, the Sultana left Vicksburg carrying 2,300 POW's, plus crew and other civilian passengers. The boat was so overloaded that the upper decks sagged from the excess weight. At 2 AM on April 27, 1865, approximately 7 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee, one of Sultana's boilers that had been improperly repaired while in Vicksburg, exploded. The explosion and the resulting fire that raged through the wooden steamboat sent it to the bottom of the Mississippi. An exact casualty figure is not known, but it is believed that over 1,700 people lost their lives in the tragedy. It still ranks as the worst maritime disaster in United States history. However, due to it happening so soon after the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the story, then as now, receives little attention.

2. The sinking of the Empress of Ireland: The Empress of Ireland was a small ocean liner owned by the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. She regularly carried passengers between Quebec City and Liverpool, England. In the early morning of May 29, 1914, the Empress of Ireland was sailing on the Saint Lawrence River en route to England when it collided in dense fog with a Norwegian coal freighter, the S.S. Storstad. The Storstad's heavy ice breaker bow sliced open the Empress's hull and the wounded ship began to take on water rapidly and listing to starboard. Part of the quick intake of water was due to portholes being left open despite rules requiring them to be shut once a voyage commenced. The list became so pronounced that only 5 to 6 life boats were able to launch. A mere 14 minutes after the collision, the Empress of Ireland sank. Of the 1,477 on board, 1,012 passengers and crew lost their lives, 8 more then perished when the Titanic sunk two years earlier. Though the loss of life was greater, the sinking of the Empress of Ireland never garnered the attention or fame that the Titanic did. And with concern growing in Europe that war was imminent, the story quickly slipped out of the headlines.

3: Battle of Rosebud Creek: In late spring of 1876, the United States Army was in the field, attempting to round up the bands of Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux that were refusing to return to the reservations. Three columns of Army troops were sent out to accomplish this task. The commanders of the columns were Colonel John Gibbon, General George Crook, and General Alfred Terry. Part of General Terry's column was made up of the 7th Cavalry, led by General George Custer. The idea was to trap the Indians between the three columns and either force them back to the reservations or defeat them in battle. On June 17, 1876 while encamped along the Rosebud Creek (about 90 miles southeast of where Billings, Montana is today), General Crook's column of 1,050 soldiers was attacked by about the same number of warriors being led by Crazy Horse. The battle lasted nearly 6 hours and ceased when Crazy Horse and his men withdrew. Having expended most of his ammunition and stunned by the ferocity of the attack, General Crook withdrew to his base camp near present day Sheridan, Wyoming. General Crook rested his men for nearly six weeks. The result was what had been planned as a three pronged attack was now a two pronged attack, with the other two armies unaware of that fact. Eight days later and about thirty miles from Rosebud Creek at the Little Bighorn, George Custer and the Seventh Cavalry met their fate. While certainly not to blame for what happened to Custer, it is fair to say that had Crook been able to link up with Custer as was intended, the result at Little Bighorn may have been different. As it stands, the Battle of Rosebud Creek was one of the largest to take place between the U.S. Army and the Indians. Yet for many it has become the forgotten precursor to the much greater defeat suffered at Little Bighorn.

4. American Expeditionary Forces in Russia - 1918 to 1920: When the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia and signed a peace treaty with Germany, effectively ending Russian involvement in World War I, the Allies were left with a problem. With no threat in east, Germany was free to begin transferring troops to the Western Front, potentially tipping the scales back into Germany's favor. Also, the main northern Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel were loaded with supplies that had been shipped to Russia for use against the Germans. The Allies did not wish to see the ports or supplies fall into German hands. A possible solution was offered: The White Russians who were currently embroiled in a civil war with the Bolsheviks agreed to keep Russia in the war if the Allies assisted them in defeating the Bolsheviks. The Allies voted to take the White Russians up on their offer and the Allies were suddenly players in the Russian Civil War. President Wilson agreed to supply American troops for this effort and two expeditionary forces were organized; one for northern Russia, the other for Siberia. The Americans in concert with a British force seized the ports of Murmansk and Archangel in September 1918. The second force of Americans landed in Vladivostok in August 1918. It's purpose was to protect the Trans-Siberian Railway and also to evacuate the so-called Czech Legion, a force of 40,000 men that were attempting to transit to Europe to fight against the Germans. Though expressly forbidden by Presidential order to participate in combat against the Bolsheviks, the American troops deployed in northern Russia did the exact opposite. Even though the armistice ended World War I in November, thus making the whole expedition moot, neither the British or Americans withdrew, continuing to fight against the Bolsheviks in support of the White Russians. President Wilson finally ordered the withdrawal of the American troops in northern Russia in May of 1919. The expeditionary force in Siberia, largely because of the work of its commander, General William Graves, did not take up arms against the Bolsheviks. The last of the American troops sent to Siberia were withdrawn on April 1, 1920. Though few people are aware of these expeditionary forces, they are significant in that it marks the one time in history that American troops actively fought against the Red Army, on Russian soil no less.
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:41 AM
 
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Tony T,

Interesting stories! I wasn't aware of the S.S. Sultana and Empress of Ireland tragedies. Question on the Allied Expeditionary force involvement in the Russian Civil War: Do you think that had much to do with Soviet paranoia toward the allies in WWII? I recall reading that the Russians were even reluctant to have American bombers land on Russian soil after completing their bombing runs over the Romanian Ploiesti oil fields. I believe I read, in one case, that the Russians withheld information about an impending German raid on Russian airfields and several American Flying Fortresses were destroyed.
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