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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:47 pm 
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I wanted to make a few observations on the British submarine H.6, grounded 100 years ago today in Dutch territory. She ended up having a long if somewhat checkered career - built in Canada for the British submarine service, over a year after being interned she was sold to the Netherlands. As the Dutch O.8, she sank accidentally in 1921 but was raised; in 1940 the Dutch scuttled her but the Germans raised her and used her for training as UD-1 until the end of the war when she was scuttled again and eventually scrapped. Thirty years of service under three flags after being built in a fourth country and lost four times while inflicting no damage whatsoever on any of her enemies - quite a record!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:04 pm 
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Theodore wrote:
I wanted to make a few observations on the British submarine H.6, grounded 100 years ago today in Dutch territory. She ended up having a long if somewhat checkered career - built in Canada for the British submarine service, over a year after being interned she was sold to the Netherlands. As the Dutch O.8, she sank accidentally in 1921 but was raised; in 1940 the Dutch scuttled her but the Germans raised her and used her for training as UD-1 until the end of the war when she was scuttled again and eventually scrapped. Thirty years of service under three flags after being built in a fourth country and lost four times while inflicting no damage whatsoever on any of her enemies - quite a record!


Talk about a bad luck ship. How many times did her crews run screaming in the other direction?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Theodore wrote:
I wanted to make a few observations on the British submarine H.6, grounded 100 years ago today in Dutch territory. She ended up having a long if somewhat checkered career - built in Canada for the British submarine service, over a year after being interned she was sold to the Netherlands. As the Dutch O.8, she sank accidentally in 1921 but was raised; in 1940 the Dutch scuttled her but the Germans raised her and used her for training as UD-1 until the end of the war when she was scuttled again and eventually scrapped. Thirty years of service under three flags after being built in a fourth country and lost four times while inflicting no damage whatsoever on any of her enemies - quite a record!


Talk about a bad luck ship. How many times did her crews run screaming in the other direction?

Correction - how many of her crew died in the various sinkings and scuttlings?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:04 pm 
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We had some ace ship names back then.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:48 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
We had some ace ship names back then.


Flowers have something of a tradition in the RN. Pansy goes back to the mid 16th Century.

There's something to be said of such names. Like being killed with a spoon or butter knife. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:23 pm 
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Is it really named for a flower? "Gladiolus" in Latin means "Little Sword," which sounds like an affectionate name for a piece of weaponry: small but deadly.
(There is a widespread story in Australia-- may even be true, but I can't document it-- that some Australian police force has or had a police boat named "Platypus". Great name: thoroughly, patriotically, Australian and amphibious. Of course, it also means (in Greek) "flat foot." Many versions of the story say the police called a Classics professor at a nearby university for suggestions, and he pointed out the Australian and Amphibious aspects, but not the slang for copper.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Allen Hazen wrote:
Is it really named for a flower?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiolus

And what comes up when you google the name, nothing but flowers: https://www.google.ca/search?q=Gladiolu ... 66&bih=612

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabis-class_sloop

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower-class_sloop

The first WWII Flower was Gladiolus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Gladiolus_%28K34%29

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:34 am 
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Allen Hazen wrote:
Is it really named for a flower? "Gladiolus" in Latin means "Little Sword," which sounds like an affectionate name for a piece of weaponry: small but deadly.
(There is a widespread story in Australia-- may even be true, but I can't document it-- that some Australian police force has or had a police boat named "Platypus". Great name: thoroughly, patriotically, Australian and amphibious. Of course, it also means (in Greek) "flat foot." Many versions of the story say the police called a Classics professor at a nearby university for suggestions, and he pointed out the Australian and Amphibious aspects, but not the slang for copper.)


You may well be thinking of the gladius which was the sword Roman legionaries carried for much of the early empire period. Very short weapon, designed primarily for thrusting and for use with the large scutum shield.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:29 am 
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Beastro wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
We had some ace ship names back then.


Flowers have something of a tradition in the RN. Pansy goes back to the mid 16th Century.

There's something to be said of such names. Like being killed with a spoon or butter knife. :D



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Why a spoon?


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It'll HURT more.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:37 am 
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Beastro, David Newton--
I wasn't SERIOUSLY in doubt about the ship's being named for the flower: Flower-class corvettes are famous enough that even ***I*** know about them! But in this particular case the name seemed doubly appropriate, since etymologically the word 'gladiolus' is formed, in Latin, by the adding the dilutive suffix 'olus' to (the root of) the word for sword(*), 'gladius.'
---
Or for one kind of sword, that used by Roman infantrymen. I don't know whether the Romans would have used the word as generic for swords-in-general. Would a Roman, trying to describe some other kind of sword, have said "well, it's a kind of gladius, differing from the standard one in that…" or would he have said "well, it's LIKE a gladius, but whereas a gladius is such and such, it's …"? I don't know.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:32 am 
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Allen Hazen wrote:
Or for one kind of sword, that used by Roman infantrymen. I don't know whether the Romans would have used the word as generic for swords-in-general. Would a Roman, trying to describe some other kind of sword, have said "well, it's a kind of gladius, differing from the standard one in that…" or would he have said "well, it's LIKE a gladius, but whereas a gladius is such and such, it's …"? I don't know.


The Romans appear to have had very few names for swords. There was the Gladius (the standard legionary sword until it was replaced by the Spatha), the Spatha, a longer stabbing sword originally intended for cavalry but replaced the Gladius in the infantry as well, and the Sica, a curved slashing sword used by auxiliaries. There were several different types of dagger as well, of which the most common was the Puglio, essentially a mini-Gladius.

The Romans were great ones for stabbing with their swords. Slashing was the mark of barbarians.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:45 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
The Romans were great ones for stabbing with their swords. Slashing was the mark of barbarians.


Stabbing kills. Slashing just makes you look ugly.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:25 pm 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Stabbing kills. Slashing just makes you look ugly.


And a point I didn't think of. Stabbing is controlled and energy-efficient. Slicing or slashing is uncontrolled and wastes energy.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:29 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Stabbing kills. Slashing just makes you look ugly.


And a point I didn't think of. Stabbing is controlled and energy-efficient. Slicing or slashing is uncontrolled and wastes energy.


Slashing does not work in a tight formation either. It takes too much room to safely do without injuring the guys on your right or left, and that allows the bad guys to get inside it. Training to stab means each man needs less space, and thus you have better ability to safely cover each other with shields or teamwork.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:39 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Stabbing kills. Slashing just makes you look ugly.


And a point I didn't think of. Stabbing is controlled and energy-efficient. Slicing or slashing is uncontrolled and wastes energy.


That's not true. Draw cuts and push cuts are perfectly energy-efficient. What is bad is over-swinging. That's what a lot of amateurs do: they line up the most powerful blow they can and don't realise that dodging such a blow is comparatively easy (especially as amateurs would also telegraph that blow as well) and once dodged their weapon will be out of position, meaning that their opponent can use the next tempo to close the range and quite possibly skewer them.


Last edited by David Newton on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:11 am 
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Stabbing is also much faster, more easily controlled and, believe it or not (look at Victorian bayonet drill) far easier to train by the numbers. LUNGE two three TWIST two three RECOVER two three GUARD. Translate to Latin, rinse and repeat.

We know, from records and the Ermine Street Guard's exhaustive research into practical application, that Roman foot and sowrd drill is timed. The Romans marched in time and had it called out by the Centurion(sinister dexter sinister dexter sin dec sin). That their sword drill emphasized the stab is in no way surprising, advantages far outweigh any drawbacks.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:02 pm 
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David Newton wrote:
Francis Urquhart wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Stabbing kills. Slashing just makes you look ugly.


And a point I didn't think of. Stabbing is controlled and energy-efficient. Slicing or slashing is uncontrolled and wastes energy.


That's not true. Draw cuts and pull cuts are perfectly energy-efficient. What is bad is over-swinging. That's what a lot of amateurs do: they line up the most powerful blow they can and don't realise that dodging such a blow is comparatively easy (especially as amateurs would also telegraph that blow as well) and once dodged their weapon will be out of position, meaning that their opponent can use the next tempo to close the range and quite possibly skewer them.


Yup. Also keep in mind what most of us have as what qualifies are sword fighting is what see see in TV and film, which is just said amateur BS done to stylish choreography. First thing you pick up see real sword fighting being done is how quick and conservative it is, trying to get in hits to wound and wear down an enemy without exposing yourself to a deadly riposte.

Another thing that is alien to are sword fighting sensibilities is how much wrestling and other gritty, up close combat is involved. A medieval sword was very much the end evolution of a tool where every bit of it could be used in some way to hurt the enemy, or used in a way to make him vulnerable. It was that flexibility in use that made it so popular and iconic opposed to more specialized, less adaptable weapons like axes and maces long after it's apparent use in the face of plate was declining.

But back to Antiquity and the Romans, one also has to keep in mind the basis for any ancient army (and any melee based army really), and that was the spearman, which was refined by the Greeks into the phalanx, while the Romans refined that further but originally kept the spears for the the Triaii and Princepes. All a gladius is when you think about it is a very, very short spear specialized to the close and viciously decisive fighting Romans realized won them great victories.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Belgians in Galicia? Why did they fight there and not on the western front?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:16 pm 
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Partly because they had armored cars, which at the time were more useful in the East than the West, but mostly as a show of inter-Allied solidarity. A Russian brigade served in France for similar reasons.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:41 pm 
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10 hours... I can't even imagine a one minute artillery barrage.

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