Satirical map of Prussia by William Harvey (alias Aleph). From Aleph’s 1869 “Geographical Fun, or Humorous Outlines of Various Countries” published in London by Hodder and Stoughton.
Costumes of Zanavykija Region, Lithuania
As early as 1915, Germany began requisitioning materials for the war effort. Church bells weren’t spared and were melted down and turned into cannon. The same fate befell the replacement bells in WW2. In total, approximately 85,000 bronze church bells were seized and melted down to make armaments during both wars. (via)
Details from a 1793-1795 engraving of the execution of Louis XVI
image:Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie
“Soldatengrab mit Pickelhaube”; a pickelhaube rests atop a crude crucifix, marking the grave of a fallen soldier. (via)
World War 2’s Soviet Night Witches
“Night Witches” is the English translation of Nachthexen, a World War IIGerman nickname (RussianНочные ведьмы), for the female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th “Taman” Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, of the Soviet Air Forces. The regiment was formed by Colonel Marina Raskova and led by Major Yevdokia Bershanskaya.
The regiment flew in wood and canvas Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, a 1928 design intended for use as training aircraft and for crop-dusting, and to this day the most-produced biplane in all of aviation history. The planes could carry only two bombs at a time, so multiple missions per night were necessary. Although the aircraft were obsolete and slow, the pilots made daring use of their exceptional maneuverability; they had the advantage of having a maximum speed that was lower than the stall speed of both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, as a result, the German pilots found them very difficult to shoot down. A stealth technique of the night bombers was to idle the engine near the target and glide to the bomb release point, with only wind noise to reveal their location.
Marina Raskova - Founder
Yevdokiya Bershanskaya - Commander
Irina Sebrova - Commander
Jacques de Molay, tu es vengé!
January 21, 1793: Louis XVI is executed.
Louis XVI’s trial, which began in December of 1792, came to an end when (despite the king’s best efforts) the National Convention unanimously affirmed his guilt and convicted him of treason. In some ways he was lucky to have been tried in the first place; most Jacobins in the Convention opposed granting the king a trial, including Maximilien Robespierre, who claimed that to put Louis on trial would mean undermining the entire Revolution itself:
Louis cannot be judged, he has already been judged. He has been condemned, or else the republic is not blameless. To suggest putting Louis XVI on trial, in whatever way, is a step back towards royal and constitutional despotism; it is a counter-revolutionary idea; because it puts the Revolution itself in the dock. After all, if Louis can still be put on trial, Louis can be acquitted; he might be innocent. Or rather, he is presumed to be until found guilty. But if Louis is acquitted, if Louis can be presumed innocent, what becomes of the Revolution?
But the trial took place anyway, even if it ended the same way. It seemed as though regicide, even during a revolution, was not an undertaking many were willing to plunge straight into - at least not without a trial first. Of the 721 voters who were to determine the king’s fate, 334 voted for imprisonment versus 387 for death, and this relatively narrow margin decided that the pitiable former king (stripped of his titles and now called “citizen Louis Capet”) would become the first and last King of France to be executed by his own people. His overthrow and death meant the end, at least temporarily, of the Capetian Dynasty, which had ruled France continuously since the 10th century.
On the morning of January 21, 1793, “Louis Capet” was taken to Revolution Square, which had once been named after his own grandfather, Louis XV. According to eyewitness accounts, the king declared his innocence up until his beheading by guillotine, whereupon one of his executioners lifted the king’s freshly severed head by the hair and displayed it to the crowd, who burst into cheers at the sight. The crowd’s cheers and the artillery salute that rang out in celebration were supposedly loud enough to reach the ears of the surviving members of Louis’ family, imprisoned in Paris’ Temple fortress. The same year, Louis’ widow, Marie Antoinette, was executed by guillotine as well.
Spanish Nationalist field gun crew, the Battle of Guadalajara, Spain; March of 1937. (via)
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (Russian: Валенти́на Влади́мировна Терешко́ва; born 6 March 1937) is a retired Soviet cosmonaut and the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963.Before being recruited as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile factory assembly worker and an amateur parachutist. After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still revered as a heroine in post-Soviet Russia.……Valentina Tereshkova later became a prominent member of the Soviet government and a well known representative abroad. She was made a member of the World Peace Council in 1966, a member of the Yaroslavl Soviet in 1967, a member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in 1966–1970 and 1970–1974, and was elected to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1974. She was also the Soviet representative to the UN Conference for the International Women’s Year in Mexico City in 1975. She also led the Soviet delegation to the World Conference on Women in Copenhagen and played a critical role in shaping the socialist women’s global agenda for peace. She attained the rank of deputy to the Supreme Soviet, membership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee, Vice President of the International Woman’s Democratic Federation and President of the Soviet-Algerian Friendship Society. She was decorated with the Hero of the Soviet Union medal, the USSR’s highest award. She was also awarded the Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, numerous other medals, and foreign orders including the Karl Marx Order, United Nations Gold Medal of Peace and the Simba International Women’s Movement Award. She was also bestowed a title of the Hero of Socialist Labor of Czechoslovakia, Hero of Labor of Vietnam, and Hero of Mongolia. In 1990 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. Tereshkova crater on the far side of the Moon was named after her.Valentina Tereshkova became the first and still remains to be the only female general officer in both Soviet and Russian armed forces.A full list of Tereshkova’s insane number of awards and medals can be found here.
Wilhelm II, King of Prussia and German Kaiser
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