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▶  More from Blog When White Meant Might
‘This Thorn from His Side’
5 Incredible But Lesser Known Last Stands

No chance for victory, then fighting on, does rank as a form of suicide. Loyalty, honor and duty all, at some point, require self killing or a commitment to certain death.

5. The Ottoman Sultans had the largest artillery of the early modern age, often firing rounded boulders heavier than the rounds used in the guns of modern battle ships.

4. The halberd—enough said. In the illustration at 6:54 note the heavy two-handed swords shouldered by the mercenaries or the imperial army, a fantastic weapon, so long as the opponent does not have a halberd!

3. This was news to me, and ironically happened within a lifetime of the killing of Harald Hadratta likewise slain on a bridge. The seven weapons carried by the hero Benkei at all times suggests that the legend of a great hero became submerged in an a mythic archetype.

2. This was one of the closest battles in Western History and cursed England, Britain and later much of the world, to a living death under the rule under debt-based slavery. I once designed and did a single play test of a game I named Shield Wall: 1066. The Normans who defeated the Saxons worked in horse mounted squadrons of three men in a wedge.

1. Sikhism is a religion based on Hindu opposition to Islam. Currently, modern Sikh continue to practice swordsmanship and other close combat methods.

This second video repeats some battles.

The 700 Thespians of the final stand, along with the 300 Spartans and 400 Theban hostages, were all of the men of the small State of Thespai. In the Following generation all of their sons would die in a fight between Thebes and Athens at Declea, which made Socrates famous, and their grandsons would all die in the Peloponessian War between Sparta and Athens.

The Hussite leader Jan Zitka, pioneered the use of wagon lagers and cannon against cavalry, predicting tactics used in South Africa and the American plains almost 500 years later.

Note how many of the famous last stands were against Turks and Mexicans, 4 of 10. The last stands that, to me, were most impressive were Shiroyama and Saragarhi, followed by Cameroon focus of my upcoming study of martial martyrdom.

By the Wine Dark Sea

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