Thursday, October 14, 2004

On this day in military 1066 and others

On this day in military 1066. William of Normandy (later the Conqueror) defeated the Anglo-Saxon forces of King Harald II at the Battle of Hastings in England. Almost three weeks earlier, King Harald had defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (close to the town of York). He then marched his army by foot from there to the southern English coast, not far from Dover, to face the Normands. Unfortunately, King Harald's forces were somewhat tired when they faced the Normands, and were defeated. It is said that King Harald was felled by an Normand arrow to the eye. Because of the defeat of King Harald, we have the French to thank for corrupting the pure Anglo-Saxon language with all kinds of "frenchisms". John Kerry is probably celebrating that fact as we speak.

On this day in military 1944. General Erwin "The Desert Fox" Rommel commits suicide by cyanide to avoid a public trial for treason as a co-conspirator in the failed plot to assasinate Hitler.

On this day in military 1947. US Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound when he piloted his Bell X-1 (nicknamed "Glamorous Glennis" for his wife) rocket plane over Rogers Dry Lake (later Edwards Air Force Base) in southern California.

On this day in military 1997. President Bill Clinton, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Chuck Yeager's breaking the sound barrier, line-item vetos all funding for the SR-71 spy plane, the fastest airplane in the world with a maximum speed of over Mach 3. The reason given was the cost, but the real reason was that no Air Force generals wanted an airplane that was forced on them by Congress. It was also thought that a steathly UAV (Dark Star) could do the same job. Unfortunately, Dark Star crashed during it's second flight (thereby changing it's name to "Dark Spot") and was eventually cancelled. So, thanks to President Clinton, the United States no longer has a reconnaisance platform that can penetrate enemy airspace at will. Since being able to violate an enemy's airspace with impunity is seen as "provocative" and not "sensitive", John Kerry and his allies, the French, would probably approve of President Clinton's actions.


Post a Comment

<< Home