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 Sieges - General and Particular

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 30 Mar 2020, 11:08

Possibly for many, feeling besieged is how they will sense the current situation. Not that anyone will be forced to barbecue the budgie or gulp down the goldfish. the drawbridge is up with a vigilant eye on who approaches - and why. Temps even has a sort of moat but we only have a very pedestrian c[osed front gate.

So a good a time as any to reflect on the sieges in history for Res Historians to  explore. They seemed a rather dreadful circumstance yet places were perhaps built to sustain them...…. were there stores ever ready in place too?
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 30 Mar 2020, 11:32

The Black Death was reputedly introduced to Europeans during the siege of the Genoese port of Kaffa in the Crimea in 1347, when the besieging Mongol army lunched plague infected corpses over the city walls by catapult.

Kaffa:

Sieges - General and Particular 640px-THEODOSIA_01
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 30 Mar 2020, 12:43

Just hope this doesn't last as long as the siege of Candia.

21 years.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyTue 31 Mar 2020, 13:55

Arguably the most written about and filmed siege in history, the Alamo Mission in San Antonia de Behar was besieged by Centralist Mexican forces under the command of Generalissimo Santa Anna from 23 February to 6 March 1836, after the fortification had been captured the previous December by Texan Federalist ( subsequently Independence ) forces.
The Alamo was stormed on the morning of 6 March and the garrison massacred. The defence of the Alamo is now regarded as the iconic moment of Texan, and fairly iconic moment in US, history.

The storming of the Alamo as depicted by Theodore Gentilz in 1844:
Sieges - General and Particular Fall-of-the-alamo-gentilz_1844
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyFri 03 Apr 2020, 19:49

There is an excellent novel by Helen Dunmore about the Siege of Leningrad which lasted (I think) about three years. I read the book ages ago - superb writing, but horribly distressing. Makes what we are "going through"  - being stuck in for days on end - seem nothing. We are not freezing or starving or utterly terrified - most of us are just bored and anxious. Being anxious is not the same as being terrified.

 Here is the Guardian review:


The Siege




Novels do not always attend to the evidence of the senses (how many smells or tastes do you find in Jane Austen or George Eliot?). It took James Joyce's Ulysses to bring fiction alive to ordinary odours and to make readers feel life at the fingers' ends. The realism of the senses is at the heart of Helen Dunmore's The Siege, which imagines the experience of enduring the siege of Leningrad during the second world war.
The Siege is an agonising read, but also a numbing one. The novel, which narrates the first and worst winter of a siege that lasted from 1941 until 1944, animates the senses in order to feel them shutting down. Its early pages are full of intensely observed sensory details, filtered through the consciousness of its central character, 23-year-old Anna Levin.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyFri 03 Apr 2020, 22:05

Temperance,

yes that siege of Leningrad recall a lot of memories for me.

First I saw many documentaries about "The 900 days" and although they were Russian and perhaps a bit of propaganda, it gave in black and white I think a view of what happened. Of course I have seen also the docs about the Jewish death camps, but in the Leningrad documentaries I recall especially the footage of the corpses frozen in the streets and taken as some pieces of wood and throwed on a camion passing by...The "Hungerwinter" in the North of Holland in 1944, how horrible it may have been, was nothing in comparison with the "900 days"

I saw also  a documentary in black and white about the 7th symphony from Shostakovich. They had to send the symphony to Stalin with a special plane escaping the Leningrad siege to have approval from Stalin.
Shostakovich told in his memoires that he was afraid when the telephone rang, while everybody was on a "list" and that could mean the Gulach or direct death via for instance a so called accident...and then a state funeral, as it was with Rommel...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leningrad_premi%C3%A8re_of_Shostakovich%27s_Symphony_No._7



And he had even from his Waltz 2 a piece that if I recall it well became famous in the West via a "commercial"




While you said: "superb writing, but horribly distressing", I read during the vacation on Tenerife the novel:
https://www.amazon.com/Undertaking-audrey-magee/dp/1782391029
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-review-the-undertaking-by-audrey-magee-9099310.html

I have to say, the same for that novel too. Audrey Magee really has the flair to describe the sheer horror of the battle of Stalingrad from the point of view of a normal German soldier...

Kind regards from Paul.
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyFri 03 Apr 2020, 23:11

Not much of a siege in duration, but one superb performance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7PmzdINGZk
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 07:46

Another "Not much of a siege in duration, but one superb performance."

Shaun Davey's "Relief of Derry" symphony really needs to be experienced live - especially the bit where the pipe bands join the orchestra in a slow march from the back of the hall and through the audience up to the stage (hairs on neck stuff) - but this clip gives one a small flavour of it.

I remember bringing a visiting Belgian friend to a performance by the RTE Symphony Orchestra in Dublin many moons ago. The book accompanying the performance brings one through the whole gruesome and heart-rending story of the siege, right up to when the boom across the lough is broken and relief finally makes it in to the starving city. Visibly moved as much by the subject matter as its excellent musical treatment, when we came out she expressed tearful amazement as to why, walking around Dublin, she hadn't seen a single statue commemorating the Apprentice Boys. Ah, the innocence ....

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 10:11

nordmann, as a Belgian boy, one learns here on this board every single day...

Although I know a lot about James II and the Jacobites, as about William III (and the Orangists) I learn about the Derry of that time...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apprentice_Boys_of_Derry
and yes I just understood what you meant with the innocence of your Belgian female friend...
I said it already to GG (Gilgamesh) and MM: for me it is as if many of yours are speaking in "code" (geheimtaal (secret language))  Wink

Kind regards from Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 11:24

Further on my reply to Temperance about the siege of Leningrad and the Iskra operation...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknown_War_(TV_series)



and the breaking of the siege of Leningrad

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

Kind regards, Paul.
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 16:24

Nothing to do with sieges, but an interesting bagpipe procession :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6jXMBNh_7g

Note Carlos' own Galician pipes with a single drone.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptySat 04 Apr 2020, 16:47

@Green George wrote:
Nothing to do with sieges, but an interesting bagpipe procession :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6jXMBNh_7g

Note Carlos' own Galician pipes with a single drone.
 
GG, I liked the bagpipes, from the time I saw them come marching in through the mist in many WW films...

Always, since my last visit to Edingburgh in 1977, wanted to see the Taptoe, but each year no tickets anymore or the time frame of our holidays on work didn't fit...



PS: as a nearly ignorant about music and tunes, I don't distinguish all the "subtilities" of...

Kind regards, from Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 06 Apr 2020, 10:16

The relief of the Siege of Mafeking was greeted with such wild enthusiasm in Britain that it introduced a new word MAFFICK, into the language to describe this type of celebration.

Reuters were the first, and for a couple of days, the only, agency with the news:

Mefeking Relieved

Liverpool on receipt of the news:

Sieges - General and Particular Rlief-of-Mafeking1
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 06 Apr 2020, 10:32

The Siege of Paris 1870-71 was a far bigger and bloodier business than Mafeking.

It did, however, produce this Christmas Day Menu, full of interesting items:

Sieges - General and Particular 401px-Menu-siegedeparis

A Latin Quarter menu contemporary with the siege reads in part:
* Consommé de cheval au millet.
Brochettes de foie de chien à la maître d'hôtel.
Emincé de rable de chat. Sauce mayonnaise.
Epaules et filets de chien braisés. Sauce aux tomates.
Civet de chat aux champignons.  
Côtelettes de chien aux petits pois.
Salamis de rats. Sauce Robert.
Gigots de chien flanqués de ratons. Sauce poivrade.
Begonias au jus.
Plum-pudding au rhum et à la Moelle de Cheval.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 06 Apr 2020, 10:50

The Rat Vendor by Narcisse Chaillou:

Sieges - General and Particular 449px-Saint-Denis_%2893%29%2C_mus%C3%A9e_d%27art_et_d%27histoire%2C_Narcisse_Chaillou_%281837-ap._1896%29%2C_Le_d%C3%A9peceur_de_Rats%2C_fin_XIXe_s.%2C_inv._92.01.01
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 06 Apr 2020, 10:59

@Triceratops wrote:


The Siege of Paris 1870-71 was a far bigger and bloodier business than Mafeking.


Nearly every siege in history was bigger and bloodier than Mafeking.

On one side was the besieged garrison and townspeople who, in an effort to fool the besieging Boers into thinking they were better capable of mounting a defence, were periodically sent outside the barricades by Baden-Powell to lay "landmines" (metal discs fashioned from empty beer barrels) in no-man's land while dodging invisible "barbed wire" (with instructions to curse the "barbed wire" loudly on occasion as if one had been snagged). The town's three searchlights were mounted on a platform improvised from bicycles and surreptitiously wheeled around the perimeter several times every evening between "light ups" by willing children to give the impression that the entire surrounding landscape was covered (probably the first bob-a-job Baden-Powell organised). A supply of fireworks fortuitously located in a hardware shop in the town was rationed out to citizens to detonate infrequently and sporadically whenever the small garrison did engage the enemy to give the impression of a rather more replete supply of soldiery and ammunition than actually prevailed.

On the other side were the Boers, who although rarely exceeding 1500 soldiers actually engaged in besieging, managed to convey the impression that they were up to 8,000 strong by their commander Cronje, basically by instructing that all troop movements in the region must go through Mafeking en route to wherever else they were heading, where they were obliged to stop for a few hours and "make themselves as conspicuous as possible" by spacing themselves out and cheering loudly.

As the siege wore on both sides decided to take every Sunday off, during which time cricket matches were organised between the opposing factions (presumably in a neutral location cleared of beer barrel bits). This was also the time for postal collections and deliveries, the Boers agreeing to act as postmen for the town and even honouring the improvised stamps that Baden-Powell had organised when the real ones ran out, on which Victoria's ample profile was dropped and which featured a nice woodcut of one of his garrison perched on a bicycle.

Sieges - General and Particular Captur11

The "relief" of Mafeking, in military terms, meant little. A few British soldiers arrived one day (during a Sunday as it happened, so right in the middle of a cricket match in full swing which they duly sat down and watched to its end before demanding the enemy withdrew). The Boers, who incidentally lost that match, then upped and left without a shot being fired, retreating a few miles down the valley to where they set up a more practical base from which they engaged in more sensible (and destructive) activities elsewhere.

The Reuters correspondent, whose copy had first to be vetted by the British military, decided a little bit of "fake news" in the circumstances might be the prudent option, and the rest - as they say - is history (which is always written by the winners, if only of the local test series).
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 06 Apr 2020, 11:44

British Pathe film about the defenders during Siege of Tobruk in 1941, specifically the 9th Australian Division:

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Sieges - General and Particular   Sieges - General and Particular EmptyMon 06 Apr 2020, 13:50

Technically, was Tobruk really a "siege"? It was certainly under sustained attack for months, but the option to evacuate the port by sea was always open, with hundreds of successful trips in and out by a variety of ships. In fact ample supplies of rations, ammunition, armaments, and even laundry were delivered throughout, wounded were regularly removed for treatment elsewhere, and even the entire defending battalion was replaced before the thing was over.
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