Tuesday, June 21, 2016

History: The Year is 1812

I've uploaded year 1812 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The War Napoleon Cannot Afford to Win -- Russia has been cheating on its treaty regarding commerce so Napoleon takes over 600,000 troops into Russia and returns with less than 120,000. He was defeated by General Winter.

Mr. Madison's War -- The War of 1812 was a mistake of politics, and misinterpretation of evidence. There were real grievances, but slow communication allowed the two sides to go to war before they could resolve their differences.

In Other News -- Louisiana, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and mining lamps.

The War Napoleon Cannot Afford to Win

"It is possible, and even probable, that Napoleon will defeat us, but that will not bring him peace... We shall leave it to our climate, to our winter, to wage our war." -- Czar Alexander the First.
After the humiliating defeat of Russia by Napoleon's forces a few years ago, Russia has nearly gone bankrupt. Napoleon has imposed an embargo on all British products but this policy has hurt Russia more than it has hurt the UK. Thus, Czar Alexander the 1st has authorized his customs agents to identify British goods as Made in America. This has infuriated Napoleon so he amasses the largest army in history (to this point). Over 600,000 soldiers will march into Russia. Less than 120,000 will march out. If every soldier had tried to shoot the man standing next to him, more men would have survived. The Russians used the same tactics as George Washington did, avoiding a decisive battle, leading the opposing army on a merry chase, and draining their resources. The tactic works, but the Russian nobility is upset that their lands are being trashed, so the Czar replaces the younger general with an older, more experienced general... who continues the same tactic until General Winter arrives. ("General Winter" is an old Russian joke, but it applies to Napoleon and it will apply to Hitler during World War 2.) 70 miles outside of Moscow, Napoleon finally catches the Russian Army. It is a slaughter. 70,000 troops are killed, wounded or captured in a single day. It is like the dog chasing the bear. When the dog finally catches him, watch out. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
For a comparison, 70,000 in a day verses 83,000 in 4 months at the Battle of Anzio during World War 2. Napoleon knew about Russian winters, so he set out in the middle of summer. His troops carried only summer clothing. If he had stayed with his original plan he would have hunkered down for the winter in prepared quarters, but the Russian army always seemed within reach. His army was strung out and it was during Napoleon's retreat that the winter weather started killing his troops and maiming his horses. 200,000 horses were lost. FYI, when a horse slips and falls on ice, most times you end up shooting the horse. If the horse was pulling a wagon, you lose the wagon. If the horse was pulling a cannon, say bye-bye to the cannon. Napoleon's horses needed a special traction device on the shoes called calkin or calks, but the French didn't know how to make them. The Russians knew but they weren't telling. [4]

Mr. Madison's War

Great Britain is at war with Napoleon and they need experienced sailors to man their warships. Over 12,000 sailors from vessels flying the American flag are impressed into the British Navy. "Impressed" is a nice way of saying "Shanghaied". Most of these impressed sailors are American citizens. The American government has officially complained and so far, Britain has flipped America the bird. In May of last year, the American frigate USS President opened fire on HMS Little Belt which was followed in November by the Battle of Tippecanoe. The aftermath revealed that the British are equipping Indians for war. (Really?) And then President James Madison uncovers a secret plot by the British government to encourage New England (mostly Federalists) to secede from the Union! (FYI, this is a mistake. Britain couldn't care less.) Meanwhile Congress has authorized increases in militia enlistments up to 80,000. To ease the tension, the British Parliament concedes that it must make concessions to America if for no other reason than to free itself up to concentrate on its war with Napoleon (the real threat). Due to the slowness of communication, the American Congress starts debating a declaration of war at the same time. Madison submits his war message to Congress, and on June 17th, 1812, the Senate votes 19 to 13 for war, but their hearts are not in it. [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
If they had better communication this wouldn't have happened. The telegraph is going to stop a few wars once an overseas line is laid. The vote in the Senate was much closer than it appears. When a few Senators realized that the vote would pass no matter what they did, they switched their vote in support of the war. A similar thing happened before Gulf War 2 (as I recall). President Bush the Younger asked the Senate for a vote in support of the war and it passed. Then some Senators asked for a re-vote so that they could change their vote. That motion was granted, so that Senator Hillary Clinton could get on the record voting for the Iraq War.... and against it. She knew she could finesse it later on. When Senator John F. Kerry ran for President he was ridiculed for saying that he voted for $87 billion dollars of war funding before he voted against it. It was funny how he said it, but don't be too hard on Senator Kerry. All politicians do this. It is called LYING, and it is not exclusively a Democrat trait. [7] [8]

In Other News

  • Louisiana becomes the 18th state. Not all of it. They will add a few pieces here and there along the way. [9]
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales is published. [10] [11]
  • The Felling mine explosion prompts the invention of the mining lamp. Currently they are using candles and a device that throws off sparks. (Do I have to say it?) [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1812, Wikipedia.

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