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 Them, us and the weather

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Them, us and the weather   Mon 22 Jul 2013, 15:10

Before the expected storms put an end to summer, perhaps its a good time to reflect on the occasions that we have been saved by the weather. Hitler's invasion was called off because of it. D day invasion was unexpected because foul weather made it seem unlikely - the sinking of Roman ships was more to do with misunderstanding of tides, I think. but perhaps the Armada debacle was more to do with bad weather than Drake. There must be other instances of another nature when bad weather influenced an event ... other than a bad storm that meant I could not take an exam on a scheduled day.
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 22 Jul 2013, 18:41

It depends who the 'we' are. Don't forget this is a Norwegian-based forum with a global membership.

Bad weather and poor visibility is said to have hampered the British navy during the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 resulting in an unexpected victory for the American navy. This was a turning point in that sector of the war and saw British confidence begin to wane while American confidence grew. The following month the Americans were able to deliver a decisive blow at the Battle of the Thames routing the British and killing their charismatic ally the Shawnee chief Tecumseh.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 22 Jul 2013, 19:24

If memory serves, the battle of Azincourt was a victory for the English because of wet weather.
The heavily armored French became hoplessly bogged down in the mud, enabling the shoeless and lightly clothed Welsh and English archers to win the day.

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 22 Jul 2013, 21:38

And there's the timely typhoon - the Kamikaze or Divine Wind - whose unexpected arrival in 1274 scuppered the Mongol fleet and spared Japan from invasion.


Last edited by Meles meles on Mon 22 Jul 2013, 22:00; edited 1 time in total
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 22 Jul 2013, 21:54

There's also the attrociously wet weather in the summer of 1815 (itself probably a result of increased worldwide volcanic activity).... At Waterloo on the 18 June 1815 the unseasonably wet conditions delayed the deployment of Napoleon's forces by a crucial few hours until the ground had dried out sufficiently for him to move his artillery. Those few lost hours were Napoleon's undoing as they gave the Prussian army just enough time to get to the battlefield and bolster Wellington's forces before night fell that same evening.

And the rest, as they say, is history.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 22 Jul 2013, 23:45

I think the weather might have had a bearing on the Battle of Hastings.  Though whether the Normans are an us or a them is a bit uncertain, even if you are considering the English point of view.  If William had not been held up, Harold would not have need to dash up north before he got there; he might have had to dash up north afterwards, of course, and had to figth Harald immediately afterwards.  Or things might still have worked out the same with William.  Though he might have had to go dashing up north.

I remember reading and writing about an odd Russian or Swedish or both battle affected by ice, but I can't remember any details at all.  Well in the past.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 09:16

Henry Tudor might have become king in 1483 had Buckingham's rebellion against Richard III succeeded: Richard was saved by the terrible weather:

"Buckingham's rebellion was planned to begin on the 18th October, and Henry of Richmond was to land in Wales on the same day. The duke unfurled his standard at Brecknock; he intended to cross the Severn at Gloucester and so join his allies, the Courtenays and others from the West of England, but he was stopped by a fearful storm and floods which made the fords impassable. The river rose so high that it overflowed all the country adjoining; men and beasts were drowned and babies floated over the fields in their cradles. It was ten days before the floods went down, and they were remembered long after as 'the Duke of Buckingham's great water'. The storm brought disaster to the cause, for the bridges had been destroyed by some of the King's adherents, and Buckingham, held up in Wales with insufficient supplies, was deserted by his Welsh followers..."
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 16:06

Weather had an impact on a number of the battles of the wars of the Roses most notably the snow storm at the battle of Towton and the fog at the battle of Barnet.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 16:14

@Tim of Aclea wrote:
Weather had an impact on a number of the battles of the wars of the Roses most notably the snow storm at the battle of Towton and the fog at the battle of Barnet.

The Barnet fog was just "a ton of mystical dry ice", Tim, conjured up by those Woodville witches - see episode 5 of "The White Queen"!
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 20:53

Just realised that the wording of my post above suggests that P. Gregory had thought up the whole business of the fog at Barnet. Fog, of course, did play a huge part in the outcome of the battle:

http://www.historyextra.com/blog/fog-war

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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 20:58

I am afraid that I have not seen the White Queen Temperance and so in my innocencse I will continue to think that it was fog.

Oxford’s troops, while pursuing Hastings' broken Yorkist left wing, reached Barnet and started pillaging the town.  This gave Oxford the opportunity to try and regain some sort of order over his men.  Eventually he was able to gather together about 800 men which he led back towards the battle.  Realising how easy it would be to get lost in the fog he followed the line of the road which should in theory have taken his force into the rear of Edward’s division and certain victory.  However, the result of the two outflanking attacks in the fog  was that the battle-line had skewed around through ninety degrees such that instead of the battle lines being east-west they were north-south.  As a result rather than approaching the rear of Edward’s army, Oxford and his men were in fact moving towards the flank of Montagu’s division.  Montagu’s men seeing troops approaching from the south naturally assumed they were part of the Yorkist army.  This error was reinforced by Oxford’s heraldic symbol, the rayed star, looking in the fog not unlike Edward’s sign of the sun in splendour.  Montagu’s men opened fire and Oxford’s replied when suddenly both sides realised that Neville followers (Montagu) and Lancastrians (Oxford) were firing on each other.  With shouts all round of ‘treachery’ all of Oxford’s men (Oxford may have been wounded in the exchange) and many of Montagu’s men fled the battlefield and the whole of Warwick’s army was shaken.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 21:05

Crossed posts I think, Tim!
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Wed 24 Jul 2013, 21:11

Weather, whether bad or good, doesn't just affect battles. We have touched on this before in the "Volcanic Eruptions" thread but it is perhaps worth repeating here that the atrociously wet summers (in Europe) between 1812 and 1817, and in particular the year 1816, the so-called “year without a summer”, did have long-term effects other than just Napoleon getting bogged down at Waterloo:

In 1816 the incessant rain during that, "wet, ungenial summer", forced Mary Shelley and her friends to stay indoors for much of their Swiss holiday. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the scariest story, leading Shelley to write 'Frankenstein'.

And the lack of oats to feed horses, because of widespread crop failure, may have spurred the German inventor Karl Drais to research new ways of horseless transportation, which led to his 1817 invention of the velocipede, the first bicycle and a major step toward mechanised personal transport.

PS:

And Temp why did you change your "Princes in the Tower" comment about doing a Pas de deux with reverence à la Giselle at Covent Garden to the Countess of Wessex, ....  or however it was that you put it. The wording, the image just made me laugh out loud. A pity you edited it. You should put it back prontissimo. Cool
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Thu 25 Jul 2013, 07:14

Yes Temperance our posts did cross but I realised that you knew that the 'fog' had not been dreamed up by Gregory. rgds Tim
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Thu 25 Jul 2013, 07:18

On the impact of the snow storm at Towton in 1461.  About 11 a.m. it began to snow heavily with a strong southerly wind blowing the snow into the faces of the Lancastrians and blinding them.  Fauconberg, a Yorkist commander, took the opportunity to order his archers to advance and fire a volley of arrows at long range, but he ordered them to use heavy shaft arrows normally reserved for close range fire.  When these arrows fell amongst the ranks of the Lancastrians they concluded that the Yorkists must have advanced quite close to them under cover of the snow and immediately the Lancastrian fired off all their arrows.  But they were firing into the wind and also Fauconberg had immediately ordered his archers to fall back with the result that all the arrows of the Lancastrian fell short.  Fauconburg then ordered his archers to run forward to collect up most of those arrows such that they could fire them back.  He also ordered them to leave a few of the fallen arrows in the ground to impede any Lancastrian advance.  I am not convinced that those arrows would have formed much of an impediment but they would have had a psychological effect on the Lancastrians showing that all their arrows had fallen short to no effect.  Faced now with fire from the Yorkist archers to which they could make no reply, the Lancastrians had no option but to abandon their defensive position and attack.  The Yorkists both now held the terrain advantage and also were able to inflict heavy casualties on the Lancastrians as they advanced.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Thu 25 Jul 2013, 08:52

@Meles meles wrote:
Weather, whether bad or good, doesn't just affect battles. We have touched on this before in the "Volcanic Eruptions" thread but it is perhaps worth repeating here that the atrociously wet summers (in Europe) between 1812 and 1817, and in particular the year 1816, the so-called “year without a summer”, did have long-term effects other than just Napoleon getting bogged down at Waterloo:

In 1816 the incessant rain during that, "wet, ungenial summer", forced Mary Shelley and her friends to stay indoors for much of their Swiss holiday. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the scariest story, leading Shelley to write 'Frankenstein'.

And the lack of oats to feed horses, because of widespread crop failure, may have spurred the German inventor Karl Drais to research new ways of horseless transportation, which led to his 1817 invention of the velocipede, the first bicycle and a major step toward mechanised personal transport.


Your remarks about wet summers are surely very important, MM. I haven't studied English social and economic history at all, but I should imagine that poor weather and consequent bad harvests were of huge significance. People may not have cared very much about kings and popes, but they did care about the price of bread. I've only read a little bit about this - harvest fluctuations during the Tudor period, in particular the terrible harvests of 1556 and 1557, also during the 1590s - but it has been argued that it was lack of cheap food in those years, not religious controversy, that was the root cause of rebellion and social unrest.

EDIT: Some interesting info here on the effects of the "little ice age", 1150 - 1850.

http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature...
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 29 Jul 2013, 16:25

Quote :
Before the expected storms put an end to summer, perhaps its a good time to reflect on the occasions that we have been saved by the weather. Hitler's invasion was called off because of it


Surely the invasion was called off because of the failure of the Lufwaffe to win air superiority over the Channel for without that air superiority the Royal Navy would have cut off any invading force.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 29 Jul 2013, 16:56

I'm sure you are right, Tim - maybe I've been watching the wrong Docu progs but bad weather would have been a handy excuse for Hitler and co. Bad weather - or likelihood of it is such a useful excuse for not doing something; used it myself.... my excuses have been an imminent cyclonic monsoon storm, possible  torrential flooding and earthquake after shock. The latter never happened, the others did as it happened - bringing me somewhat guilty feelings of relief.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 05 Aug 2013, 15:13

The weather is playing an interesting part in  the 3rd Ashes tests today. Too much rain and there will be a draw and England wins the ashes, not enough and they will get bowled out pdq, I suspect and Oz wins - making for the next two tests interesting , money making and loads of delightful bad feeling. Pity there are no/few cricket enthusiasts on RH.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Mon 05 Aug 2013, 17:24

Normally I love the Ashes P, but I'm ignoring it this year. Smile
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 02:38

Quote :
Pity there are no/few cricket enthusiasts on RH.

I am, P.  Not a great fan of the English slowing tactics on the fourth day.  I call it cheating, though I suppose gamesmanship might do.  Not always on Australia's side in sports, but I have been for this series, especially as it has gone on and you need a bit of evenness in a contest.  Still it's Australia's own fault they didn't win the first test.  (These English games take place in the middle of our night, so apart from an hour or two in our evening we just have to wait and hear what happens on the radio.)
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 10:24

Ah - I bet ID enjoyed the cricket in the 90's though - Oz on top - and as for gamesmanship, Caro, going slow and on field muttered slagging off are all part of it - and have been for years.

As for the spirit of the game - mm? Not as of yore by all accounts. WG Grace once cleanly bowled early in his innings turned and replaced the bails saying that the crowd had come to see him bat....

Then there are the tail end batting bowlers who chew up the turf to have something to bowl into when they take to the field  - and so on. And that bit was explained to me by a fast bowler.

Come on ladies - you just don't want to see England win - at anything. That's OK by me, we are very used to being the world's Aunt Sally. It only makes us smile - if I  wasn't English I would feel just the same... as it is though, for some perverse smug English sort of reason I quite enjoy the English being the fall guy for assorted ills. It invokes a sort of back to the wall chaps  strength.

At which point, I had better do a dash of shelter -
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 10:48

@Priscilla wrote:
Ah - I bet ID enjoyed the cricket in the 90's though - Oz on top -
Come on ladies - you just don't want to see England win - at anything.

 No P, I enjoy cricket for the game and when the game is played well by any team, I really don't care who. In fact, I didn't enjoy much of our cricket under the captaincy of Ponting, I loathed the arrogance and win at all cost competitivenss that he bought to the game.

And those two sentences of yours P are exactly why I don't talk cricket with anyone. No-one seems to be able to discuss the game without dragging  nationalism into it.

Besides which, I don't think His Eminence would be best pleased to come back from his hols only to see his lovely history site turned into a sporting brawl, one upmanship fest.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:04

Quote :
 Come on ladies - you just don't want to see England win - at anything

Fairly accurate statement as far as I'm concerned, P.  The English losing are a far more attractive sight that the English winning.  Or at least the English media ditto.

Cricket and weather go very well together, and anyway this is Priscilla's thread - she can do what she likes with it.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 15:14

Oh we are awful winners too! Delicious - doesn't happen that often but it must be as you say. Actually you can't win if you are English just by being English - the trouble is that doesn't really bother us much.  We tongue only   live  tongue  to annoy. How I would hate us if I wasn't one:Smile
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 19:06

Good grief - Priscilla has used three emoticons, including the rather rude, Catigernesque "tongue".

What on earth is going on? It is very unsettling.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Tue 06 Aug 2013, 23:03

Who me? Unsettling? Must be the weather. Just a pebble to make soft rings in the turgid pool. I'd prefer stone skimming on a wind rippled lake but there it is.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Thu 08 Aug 2013, 09:43

Turgid - 'ere - who you callin' turgid?

Turgid is a horrible word - "tediously pompous or bombastic".

But you can have a turgid bladder too, which sounds really dreadful.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Thu 08 Aug 2013, 10:18

Bombastic bladders are age related .... so I am told. I have a small  pool in the garden with a bloated dead frog in it - not at  all pompous but for want of another word turgid seems about right -it being still treacly thick opaque water. Even the nocturnal fox visitor has not fished out the frog though probably the cause of the death, I suspect. My garden is a killing field at the moment with the neighbours cat catching, playing with and then eating cabbage white butterflies - and in the myopic way of cats on a mission, not caring how many flowers are destoyed in its obsession.
I need to get out more.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Them, us and the weather   Thu 08 Aug 2013, 13:25

A horrible morning as my mind is in turmoil  with turbids, turgids, turbots, turbines and small black pellets found in the garden type turs. It must be the weather.
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