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October 25th

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  • Member since
    August, 2017
October 25th
Posted by Doc Ward on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 9:53 PM

The third Friday in December is recognized as “Underdog Day.” Respectfully, I believe it should be observed on October 25th every year. Currently, the day is known for various observances around the world, including such things as Constitution Day in Lithuania, Republic Day in Kazakhstan, and as the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian in Catholicism. This last was made famous as St. Crispin’s Day by Shakespeare. I would add Underdog Day to that list. I’m talking true underdogs, as in those who deserve acknowledgment, a tip of the hat, even admiration for their efforts in the face of overwhelming odds. Let me elaborate…

 

October 25, 1415. The Battle of Agincourt. Forces under Henry V of England met in battle a French army, nominally under the leadership of Charles d’Albret, Constable of France. The accepted given numbers of the relative forces vary. Generally though, we see from 5,000 to 8,000 or so for the English, and somewhere around 30,000 for the French, with some estimates as high as 60,000. These numbers make for staggering odds in and of themselves. Additionally though, the English, comprising mostly of lightly armored archers, had been marching a circuitous route through France, through heavy rain, while trying to forage for food and stave off illness. The French, on the other hand, were mostly knights and men-at-arms. Sources say that the night before the battle, Henry offered to return the spoils he had garnered “in all but the humblest of terms,”  essentially offering to surrender to the superior French force. The Constable would not hear of it. He intended to attack and defeat the English completely. The result? A crushing defeat for the French instead.

Henry placed his army in such a way as to force the heavily armored French to charge across a long muddy field flanked on both sides by woods into a bottleneck, while archers poured arrows into them from their front and both flanks. While at first the fire was indirect, it was effective. Once the French men-at-arms came closer, the archers, with their heavy draw-weight longbows and bodkin points, were able to fire at individual targets, piercing their armor. The vast majority of the French chivalry was on foot, slogging through mud in their armor. By the time the surviving French arrived at English lines, they were exhausted, weighed down by their armor, and in chaos from the fire of the English archers. As these at the front fell back, they created more chaos and confusion for those following behind. Eventually, the archers engaged the French hand to hand along with the English knights, using short swords, axes and other implements. Being lighter and more agile than their exhausted enemy, they easily overwhelmed them. At the end, somewhere around 100 English were killed, while upwards of 10-15,000 French, including Charles d’Albret, lay dead, and Henry was victorious.

 

October 25, 1854. The Battle of Balaclava. British light cavalry charge into the mouths of Russian artillery. Unfortunately, the underdog doesn’t always win, despite their best efforts. This is one of those cases. Made famous by “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” by Tennyson, this battle saw the destruction of perhaps the best light cavalry in Europe due to incompetence, arrogance and miscommunication. Probably the biggest problem confronting the British was that the officers gained their rank due to their status in the aristocracy, not because they were competent, proven field commanders.

On this day, upon seeing British artillery pieces being captured by Russian troops, the overall commander, Lord Raglan, gave very vague orders to “prevent enemy carrying away guns.” This order, if more precise, might have rendered a victory. As it was, the officer relaying the message, one Captain Nolan, was possibly the worst possible choice. Nolan was an extreme advocate of cavalry, in a day and age when they were rapidly being rendered obsolete. The Cavalry commander, Lord Lucan, was unable to see the situation as Lord Raglan did from his position. When he asked for clarification, Nolan reportedly gestured toward the Russian artillery, saying “There is your enemy, there is your artillery, My Lord.” It is impossible to know why he did so, as Nolan was killed shortly after by artillery while riding across the line, waving his sword. Some say he may have done so because he realized the misunderstanding and the debacle that was about to occur.

As for the cavalry, the Light Brigade, under Lord Cardigan, did indeed charge, over a mile, into artillery and rifle fire. They actually reached the artillery, but were so decimated they were unable to press the attack, and were not supported by other troops (notably the Heavy Brigade), causing them to return under attack as well. In the end, numbers vary, but of over 600 who rode into the “Valley of Death,” nearly half were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

 

Battle off Samar. The smallest ships in the U.S. Navy attack the largest ships the Japanese have to offer. The stakes are simple: The survival or destruction of the men, troop carriers and supply transports landing on the beaches of Leyte. Task Unit 77.4.3, with the radio call sign “Taffy 3,” consisted of 6 escort carriers, 3 destroyers, and 4 destroyer escorts, along with the carrier aircraft intended to help support landings at Leyte and perform anti-submarine patrols. On the morning of this day, the ships of Taffy 3 were off the island of Samar, in the Philippine Sea. In previous encounters, the Japanese force, referred to as the “Center Force,” consisting of 4 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, 11 destroyers and a number of aircraft, was thought to have been turned into retreat by the powerful U.S. Third Fleet. The Third Fleet was then lured after a decoy fleet, leaving Taffy 3 as the northernmost of three such task units guarding the landings on the beaches of Leyte.

U.S. forces couldn’t have been more wrong about the Center Force being in retreat. The ships of the Center Force opened fire on Taffy 3 at around 7:00 a.m. from in excess of fifteen miles. Among those firing on Taffy 3 was the battleship Yamato, with 18” guns. The Yamato, along with her sister ship, were the two largest battleships ever built. To give an idea of her size, the Yamato alone displaced as much as all the ships of Taffy 3, combined.

On the day one of Taffy 3’s destroyers, the USS Johnston, was commissioned, the skipper, Lt. Cmdr. Evans quoted John Paul Jones, saying “This is going to be a fighting ship. I intend to go in harm’s way, and anyone who doesn’t want to go along had better get off right now.” Seeming bravado from a man put in command of a “tin can?” It wasn’t. The ships and planes of Taffy 3, with the destroyer USS Johnston in the lead, attacked the Japanese with everything they had, and sometimes with nothing at all. That is not an exaggeration. 5” guns, the biggest any of Taffy 3’s ships had, torpedoes, anti-aircraft guns, bombs, machine guns, depth charges meant for submarine attacks, and at least one .38 caliber revolver fired by the pilot of an aircraft were used to attack the Japanese fleet. When American pilots had nothing else, they made mock bombing and torpedo runs on the Japanese ships, just to confuse them and draw their anti-aircraft fire from other aircraft that might be armed. The ferocity of the American attack convinced the Japanese commander that he was facing the screening force for major fleet elements. Having lost tactical control due to the attacks, he had no choice but to withdraw.

The Americans suffered heavily, with two carriers sunk (one by kamikaze), two destroyers and one destroyer escort sunk, 23 aircraft lost, and all of the ships damaged. The Japanese lost 3 heavy cruisers with 3 more damaged and one destroyer damaged. But it was the Japanese that turned tail. Oh, and Lt. Cmdr Evans? The USS Johnston was sunk, surrounded by enemy ships, but only after putting up a fight worthy of any combat vessel. The Johnston received numerous decorations for her actions, including a Presidential Citation. According to several survivors, she was even saluted by a Japanese ship’s captain as she went down, a sign of tremendous respect by Japanese standards. Lt. Cmdr Evans received the Medal of Honor, posthumously.

 

 

So, on this day, take a moment and lift a glass or give a salute to the underdog. They deserve nothing less.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:10 PM

Comment deleted, with apologies.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
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  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:42 PM

It was a good read, and in the end, made me think.  Due to that, its hard to say much.

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • From: Mid Michigan
Posted by shamoo on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:44 PM

I have never heard of Underdog Day before. That was a very interesting read. I’m going to have to read up on all these battles some more. Any suggestions?  It might raise awareness if they did move it away from the major holidays. 

  • Member since
    September, 2016
  • From: Albany, New York
Posted by ManCityFan on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:47 PM

Hey Doc, I enjoyed the read. 

I read a historical fiction book called Agincourt, I think by Bernard Cornwell.  Great book, and brought the battle to life.

I did not know about the US Navy at Samar.  That is a truly inspiring story of American courage.

Thanks,

D

 

Dwayne or Dman or just D.  All comments are welcome on my builds. 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:58 PM

Doc Ward
I know it is lengthy, but I had hoped to spur some conversation. With nearly 100 views and no comments I guess that won't happen. If possible, I can try to delete?
 

I think that would be pretty premature. 18 hours including overnight?

Interesting read esp. Agincourt which I only have a passing knowledge of.

Hasegawa makes a really swell model of the Gambier Bay.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:10 PM

I'll second GM on the Gambier Bay kit, working on her now, but slowly.  Got the 3 PE kits for her, which will drive me to drink more than I do now.

Model Crazy was doing a build on the Johnston.

Taffy 3 is an interesting story when you dig into it.  Would have been a total diaster for US forces at Leyte had the Japanese pressed the advantage. The gods of war were with us that day.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:14 PM

shamoo

I have never heard of Underdog Day before. That was a very interesting read. I’m going to have to read up on all these battles some more. Any suggestions?  It might raise awareness if they did move it away from the major holidays. 

 

One of the best historical reads I have ever laid my hands on, bar none, is The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James Hornfischer. It is about the Battle off Samar, and worth being in any WWII library, in my opinion.

The Battle of Balaclava is one of those that I am unaware of an actual work on, other than Tennyson's poem. There are a number of works on the Crimean War, though. Interesting aside: The metal used in Victoria Cross medals come from cannons captured during the Crimean War, at the Battle of Sevastapol, if I recall correctly.

As for Agincourt, Shakespeare's play, Henry V which contains the St. Crispin's Day speech is, as you might expect, NOT a good source for historical accuracy. As for the play though, I prefer Brannagh's rendition over Olivier's. I actually did my project to earn my History Minor on the Battle of Agincourt, and way back when, there were a number of sources available. I would have to see if I could track down the final draft of my paper to suggest some good ones. I would advise against the primary sources, though! They make for dry reading, to say the least.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:15 PM

GMorrison

 

 
Doc Ward
I know it is lengthy, but I had hoped to spur some conversation. With nearly 100 views and no comments I guess that won't happen. If possible, I can try to delete?
 

 

 

I think that would be pretty premature. 18 hours including overnight?

 

Interesting read esp. Agincourt which I only have a passing knowledge of.

Hasegawa makes a really swell model of the Gambier Bay.

 

It was the number of views that had me discouraged. I can be a bit self-conscious about my writing at times, sorry!

 

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:24 PM

goldhammer

I'll second GM on the Gambier Bay kit, working on her now, but slowly.  Got the 3 PE kits for her, which will drive me to drink more than I do now.

Model Crazy was doing a build on the Johnston.

Taffy 3 is an interesting story when you dig into it.  Would have been a total diaster for US forces at Leyte had the Japanese pressed the advantage. The gods of war were with us that day. 

I'm not really a ship modeler. I haven't built one since I was a kid, but the two that I would want on my shelf if I were would be the USS Johnston followed by the USS Enterprise (CV-6). OK, and the Constitution.

You are right, if Admiral Kurita hadn't called for a "general attack" and maintained control of his fleet, it likely would have turned out much differently, despite the bravery of Taffy 3. It would've likely meant the end of the Japanese Center Force once the power of the main portion of the 7th Fleet steamed north, and the 3rd Fleet turned back. However, the devastation they would've done to the landing forces at Leyte in the meanwhile is difficult to imagine.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 2:42 PM

Have the Enterprise (Merit) in the stash.  Hull plating is a little heavy, and the aircraft fit is Wildcats, SBD's and TBD's, but can get later TBF's and Hellcats from other sources.

Looks to be a decent kit.

Also doing Revell's 1/72 Gato as Wahoo, as she appeared leaving Pearl on her way to being on Eternal Patrol.

It has been said that Kurita thought he was up against the big boys.  But in any case what was left of Center Force pretty much ceased to exist in the next 6-8 months, along with the rest of the Japanese Navy.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:00 PM

goldhammer

Have the Enterprise (Merit) in the stash.  Hull plating is a little heavy, and the aircraft fit is Wildcats, SBD's and TBD's, but can get later TBF's and Hellcats from other sources.

Looks to be a decent kit.

Also doing Revell's 1/72 Gato as Wahoo, as she appeared leaving Pearl on her way to being on Eternal Patrol.

It has been said that Kurita thought he was up against the big boys.  But in any case what was left of Center Force pretty much ceased to exist in the next 6-8 months, along with the rest of the Japanese Navy.

My understanding is that Kurita thought, from the ferocity of the American attacks, and the fact they were attacking period, that they were facing the screening force for a larger fleet.

To be honest, at my skill level, I would need to have two examples of anything in front of me to see and understand differences and problems with a particular kit as compared to another.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 4:46 PM

Enterprise kit is supposed to be her Santa Cruz fit, but she had replaced what was left of the TBD's with TBF's when she was at Pearl after Midway.  Don't know enough about her AA fit to say if accurate or not.

 

But, in any case, the men of Taffy 3, fighting for their very lives, but up one hell of a fight until help started to arive just as Kurita was starting his withdrawal. It will go down as one of the most lopsided victories of the war, along with the Marianias Turkey Shoot.

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • From: Somewhere in Ohio...
Posted by DasBeav on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:08 PM

I read a book about Lord Lucan and Lord Cardigan. Fierce rivals with little military skill as strategists. The battle helped bring down the aristocrasy way of getting commissions in the British military. (Not soon enough, tho)

 

Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 9:02 PM

Interesting that all 3 took place on the same day.  Thanks for sharing.

John

  • Member since
    July, 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 9:17 PM

Doc Ward
I know it is lengthy, but I had hoped to spur some conversation. With nearly 100 views and no comments I guess that won't happen. If possible, I can try to delete?

 NO   NO   NO    NO    

Please by all means keep posting !  I love History ( now that I'm not in school and dont have to write an essay about Pilgrem's and such.)

                               As Underdog himself would say

                              "NEVER FEAR!   UNDERDOG IS HERE!

                      Dont worry about the thumbprint... paint it rust and call it "Battle damage" !

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 9:24 PM

Hi, Doc -

Sorry to be slow to reply, something that detailed takes me a while to absorb and collect my thoughts. Thanks for the post, so very interesting and fact filled, thought provoking to say the least. I appreciate your efforts.

Patrick

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:44 AM
Thanks for the positive comments. Like I said, I can be a bit self-conscious, and being a new guy didn't help. History fascinates me and I wish it had been my Major instead of Minor, so I may write up a couple of more things as time and appropriateness allows. The coincidence of all three occurring on October 25th strikes me as fascinating, and all three are amazing stories in their own right.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 10:08 AM

Hey Doc I always say that modeling is an excuse to buy books.

  • Member since
    September, 2016
  • From: Albany, New York
Posted by ManCityFan on Thursday, October 26, 2017 10:13 AM

GMorrison

Hey Doc I always say that modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

Ditto  Modeling for me is an extension of my fascination with history, and by the same token, modeling has expanded my interest in reading more.

Dwayne or Dman or just D.  All comments are welcome on my builds. 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 10:30 AM

I usually buy one book per model. In a way an AM thing.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:02 AM

Doc Ward
I know it is lengthy, but I had hoped to spur some conversation. With nearly 100 views and no comments I guess that won't happen. If possible, I can try to delete?
 

First of all, it is kind of lengthy and secondly, you chose a rather small font to post it in. Hard on the eyes, many of the older readers might give up after a sentence or two.

For me, I work evenings. I leave home at 2 PM and get home just before 2 AM (eastern). Depending on when this was posted, I don't recall seeing it when I checked the forums mid morning Wednesday, but I had to run errands so I only hit the armor forum. When I get home, showering and bed are my priority, not surfing the web.

Your second post reflects your signature tag line. Getting upset/miffed/overly sensitive because no one responded to your post in what you think is a timely manner and then considering deleting it is poor form.

As to the original subject, it appears to have valid reasons to change from the original date to the suggested date, but the underlying notion of why change the date of an obscure "day" to another seemingly better date is puzzling.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:37 AM

Rob Gronovius

First of all, it is kind of lengthy and secondly, you chose a rather small font to post it in. Hard on the eyes, many of the older readers might give up after a sentence or two.

For me, I work evenings. I leave home at 2 PM and get home just before 2 AM (eastern). Depending on when this was posted, I don't recall seeing it when I checked the forums mid morning Wednesday, but I had to run errands so I only hit the armor forum. When I get home, showering and bed are my priority, not surfing the web.

Your second post reflects your signature tag line. Getting upset/miffed/overly sensitive because no one responded to your post in what you think is a timely manner and then considering deleting it is poor form.

As to the original subject, it appears to have valid reasons to change from the original date to the suggested date, but the underlying notion of why change the date of an obscure "day" to another seemingly better date is puzzling.

Rob, thanks for the insights. I didn't do anything special with the font, not sure why it is so small, but I would be happy to make it larger.

My signature is actually just a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, Firefly. I actually try very hard not to alienate people whenever possible. There were a total of 96 views with no responses, and on the few other forums I belong to that is something I don't believe I have ever seen, so, as I explained, I got self-conscious. Upset? No. Miffed? Definitely not. If self-conscious equates to "overly sensitive," then maybe. At this point, I'm going to stop defending the fact that I was self-conscious in posting it in the first place. It is what it is.

Also, please understand that the suggestion of changing the date of the observance is simply a tool for discussion. While it seems a more fitting day, I'm not planning on circulating petitions any time soon.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:41 AM

GMorrison

Hey Doc I always say that modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

If you ask my wife, I need zero excuses for that!!!

I do find myself buying books because of models sometimes, and models because of books. What a vicious circle!

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, October 26, 2017 1:32 PM

I was one of those who did read it, but like others, was difficult to know how to responed.

Never heard of Underdog day, but I would ceraintly support a British holiday on the 4th Mon of Oct, other than xmas, new year and easter, al our holidays are a Monday. The 4th Mon falls nicley around bother the 21st and 25th.

French but get upset, but can't please everyone Big Smile

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

  

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/32nd Fw 190D-9    

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 2:09 PM

Its also a fact that as a world wide forum, when I post stuff during the evening in PDT, no one even sees it for up to a day. I get responses from the Kiwis first, then the Ozzies.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, October 28, 2017 11:31 AM

Doc Ward

Rob, thanks for the insights. I didn't do anything special with the font, not sure why it is so small, but I would be happy to make it larger.

My signature is actually just a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, Firefly. I actually try very hard not to alienate people whenever possible. There were a total of 96 views with no responses, and on the few other forums I belong to that is something I don't believe I have ever seen, so, as I explained, I got self-conscious. Upset? No. Miffed? Definitely not. If self-conscious equates to "overly sensitive," then maybe. At this point, I'm going to stop defending the fact that I was self-conscious in posting it in the first place. It is what it is.

Also, please understand that the suggestion of changing the date of the observance is simply a tool for discussion. While it seems a more fitting day, I'm not planning on circulating petitions any time soon.

 

I used the terms "miffed/upset/overly sensitive" as a "choose your own adjective that best suits your mood" phrase and not specifically one of those synonyms.

 

I loved the Firefly series and was watching it while stationed in Virginia in 2002. When I returned home in December, I couldn't find it on TV.  While I did see the movie in 2005, I feel a lot of the storyline behind the empire like government was left untold.

To change the font size in your post, just copy it into an email and use the email's change font size option to make it larger. Then cut and paste it from your email draft into your edited post.

I've done this with this post to demonstrate.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Doc Ward on Saturday, October 28, 2017 6:46 PM

Rob Gronovius

 I loved the Firefly series and was watching it while stationed in Virginia in 2002. When I returned home in December, I couldn't find it on TV.  While I did see the movie in 2005, I feel a lot of the storyline behind the empire like government was left untold.

To change the font size in your post, just copy it into an email and use the email's change font size option to make it larger. Then cut and paste it from your email draft into your edited post.

I've done this with this post to demonstrate.

I didn't find out about the show until well after its original run. Needless to say, I have the DVD set. I saw Serenity, and I'm glad I did, but I also sort of act like it didn't exist... LOL... My TWO favorite characters?? Really?

I did make the font larger. I hope that helps, and thanks.

Gotta say, doctor, your talent for alienatin' folk is near miraculous.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, October 28, 2017 9:58 PM
The benefit to the DVD collection is that it gives the option to see the episodes in chronological order. If you look, they also have them in air date order. It was kind of confusing and may have lead to its downfall and early demise. Several of the episodes were never aired.
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, October 28, 2017 10:46 PM

My daughter has ther DVD series. I just couldn't get through it.

Colonel G, what do you think of the movie Tron ?

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