Monday, March 10, 2014

New military history and archaeology research: WWI and Flanders Fields, shell fragments, Seven Years War, Florentine native militia, Battle of Lewes, British Imperial troops

A multitude of interesting articles today.

The Journal of Conflict Archaeology has three items of interest. 

Sigrid Van der Auwera and Annick Schramme write on national celebrations of the First World War in general and on Flanders Fields in particular.  Their research indicates that the level of celebrations is based on extent of involvement in the war, the effects the war had on participants, the level of civil society involvement and so on.  Some nations stress a peace message whereas some celebrate the event.  Ultimately the celebrations are determined by the social and historic constructs that are in place in the particular nations.      
 Soldiers of Belgium - probably early 1918

Jean-Loup Gassend points out that shells were the most destructive weapon used in the twentieth century with vast amounts produced and used on battlefields.  Gassend states that shell fragments are the most common artifacts found on modern battlefields and uses WWII shells as an example to illustrate how a battlefield archaeologist can use these fragments to find a wealth of information on the shell itself and about the battlefield being studied.  

 19th century - Russian grenadiers and musketeers in 1762

Italian Studies presents an article by Robert Black discussing Machiavelli and his government’s appointment of don Miguel de Corella as head of the Florentine native militia.  There were apparent political ramifications to this appointment and the author provides information that there were political goals associated with this action. 

The English Historical Review provides two interesting articles on military history.

Ian Stone writes on the Rebel Barons of 1264 and their oath of mutual support.  In March 1264, the commune of London and twenty other rebels vowed to stand together,six weeks before the battle of Lewes .  The oath has not previously been translated and transcribed.  Stone compares the oath to others from this period and provides information on the sympathies and motivations of the oath takers.

Stephen Conway provides a detailed examination of British use of European troops to sustain the British Empire from 1756 to 1792.  Conway focuses on their use in North America, India, Gibraltar and Minorca.  Conway discusses why the British used Europeans rather than locals or even British and Irish troops.  Then he assesses the actual numbers and extent of use of these troops and finishes with an assessment on the quality of these troops.   
 1791 - Fanciful watercolor of Indian demons attacking British East India Company during the Third Mysore War (1790-1792)

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