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lightgiver 07-08-2011 04:49 PM

A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict, who is not a national or a party to the conflict, and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain.

Leonardo da Vinci's Il Condottiero, 1480.

There is a blur in the distinction between a "mercenary" and a "foreign volunteer", when the primary motive of a soldier in a foreign army is uncertain. For instance, the French Foreign Legion and the Gurkhas of the British and Indian armies are not mercenaries under the laws of war, since although they may meet many of the requirements of Article 47 of the 1949 Additional Protocol I, they are exempt under clauses 47(a)(c)(d)(e)&(f); some journalists describe them as mercenaries regardless.

Wayne Edwards from Cefn Mawr near Wrexham joined the Royal Welsh when he was 18. The lance corporal was shot in the head and killed eight years later aged 26.


"He was killed by a sniper, he was escorting an ambulance with three ladies in, two were pregnant and the sniper had him through the slit of the tank and hit him in the head," she recalled.


Art 47. Mercenaries

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.
2. A mercenary is any person who:

(a) is especially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;
(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;
(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.


In another version, the helmet belonged to a dead German mercenary whose helmet with the ostrich feathers and the motto "Ich dien" was claimed by Edward as a trophy

Another Version

Royal Welch Fusiliers.

lightgiver 07-08-2011 05:12 PM

British mercenary
Simon Francis Mann (born 26 June 1952) is a British mercenary and former British Army officer. He had been serving a 34-year prison sentence in Equatorial Guinea for his role in a failed coup d'état in 2004, before receiving a presidential pardon on humanitarian grounds on 2 November 2009.

Mann was extradited from Zimbabwe to Equatorial Guinea on 1 February 2008, having been accused of planning a coup d'état to overthrow the government by leading a mercenary force into the capital Malabo in an effort to kidnap or kill President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Charges in South Africa of aiding a coup in a foreign country were dropped on 23 February 2007, but the charges remained in Equatorial Guinea, where he had been convicted in absentia in November 2004. He lost an extradition hearing to Equatorial Guinea after serving three years of a four-year prison sentence in Zimbabwe for the same crimes and being released early on good behavior. On the arrival of Mann in Equatorial Guinea for his trial in Malabo, public Prosecutor Jose Olo Obono said that Mann would face three charges - crimes against the head of state, crimes against the government, and crimes against the peace and independence of the state. On 7 July 2008, Mann was sentenced to 34 years and four months in prison by a court in Equatorial Guinea. He was released on 2 November 2009, on humanitarian grounds.

Service/branch Scots Guards

Battles/wars 1991 Gulf War

Working for Private Military Companies

On 7 March 2004 Simon Mann and 69 others were arrested in Zimbabwe when their Boeing 727 was seized by security forces during a stop-off at Harare airport where the aircraft was due to be loaded with £100,000 worth of weapons and equipment. The men were charged with violating the country's immigration, firearms and security laws and later accused of engaging in an attempt to stage a coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile eight suspected mercenaries, one of whom later died in prison, were detained in Equatorial Guinea in connection with the alleged plot.

On 25 August 2004, Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was arrested at his home in Cape Town, South Africa. He eventually pleaded guilty (under a plea bargain) to negligently supplying financial assistance for the plot.[13] The 14 men in the mercenary advance guard that were caught in Equatorial Guinea were sentenced to jail for 34 years. Among the advance guard was Nick du Toit who claimed that he had been introduced to Thatcher by Mann.

Investigations would later reveal in the financial records of Mann's holdings that large transfers of money were made to Nick du Toit, as well as approximately US$2 million coming in from an untraceable and unknown source. On 10 September Mann was sentenced to seven years in jail. His compatriots received one-year sentences for violating immigration laws and their two pilots got 16 months. The group's Boeing 727 was seized, as well as the US$180,000 that was found on board the plane.


On 2 November 2009 he was given "a complete pardon on humanitarian grounds" by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. He was back in England by 6 November.

In 2002 Mann played Colonel Derek Wilford of the Parachute Regiment for Granada Television's Bloody Sunday, a dramatization by Paul Greengrass of the events of Bloody Sunday.

Money Money Money

lightgiver 07-08-2011 05:24 PM

Mercenaries in Iraq. The money is good.
An army of thousands of mercenaries is guarding Western interests and government buildings in Iraq. They come from all over the world to perform the most dangerous security duties in this war-torn country. Four years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, an investigation by the United Nations has shed new light on the role of these mercenaries and the way that they are recruited. Its first report looks at the role of Latin Americans in Iraq.

Lured by the promise of large sums of money, mercenaries are signing contracts with sometimes dubious companies to replace US soldiers on the firing line. Their task: guarding embassies; airfields; oil installations and the Green Zone, the administrative and military heart of Baghdad.

Blackwater, America's Private Army
Inside America's private army with extended bonus scenes from Robert Greenwald's documentary "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers"

But is the widespread use of mercenaries specific to the war in Iraq? "No", says Mr Gómez del Prado, "we come across it throughout history but it has exploded in Iraq."
"The traditional mercenaries, adventurers who fought abroad, most of all in Africa, have disappeared. The military and security companies cooperate with the US armed forces. Since the first Gulf war in 1990, we saw many private contractors, collaborating with the armies of the allied forces. The same happened in the Balkan war. But the phenomenon exploded with the war in Iraq."

The UN Study Group has been mandated to investigate mercenary recruiting practices in other parts of the world. However, there is not much enthusiasm for the investigation. Meanwhile, the UN is continuing to urge member countries to co-operate with the investigation in the hope that it will lead to new international laws that will curtail the practice of hiring mercenaries.

lightgiver 08-08-2011 02:27 PM

Role of foreign fighters in the Bosnian War
The Bosnian War, which was fought between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia, attracted large numbers of foreign fighters and mercenaries from various countries. Volunteers came to fight for a variety of reasons including religious or ethnic loyalties and in some cases for money. As a general rule, Bosniaks received support from Islamic countries, Serbs from Eastern Orthodox countries, and Croats from Catholic countries. The presence of foreign fighters is well documented, however none of these groups comprised more than 5 percent of any of the respective armies' total manpower strength.

Croation Mercenaries >>> video posted
From the movie "Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War"

For the Bosniaks

Arab volunteers came across Croatia into Bosnia to help the Bosnian Army fight in the war. The number of the El-Mudžahid volunteers is still disputed, from around 300 to 1,500

For the Croats

The Croats received support from Croatia and the Croatian Army fought with the local HVO forces. Some radical external fighters including BRITISH volunteers as well as other numerous individuals from the cultural area of Western Christianity, both Catholics and Protestants fought as volunteers. Dutch, American, Irish, Polish, Australian, New Zealand, French, Swedish, German, Norwegian and Canadian volunteers were organized into the Croatian 103rd (International) Infantry Brigade. There was also a special Italian unit, the Garibaldi battalion.

Volunteers from Germany and Austria were also present, fighting for the Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) paramilitary group. This armed group was organized by the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP), a right-wing party, and was disbanded by the legal Croatian authorities in late 1992. HSP's leader, Dobroslav Paraga was later charged with treason by the Croatian authorities.

Swedish Jackie Arklöv fought in Bosnia and was later charged with war crimes upon his return to Sweden. Later he confessed he committed war crimes on Bosniak civilians in the Croatian camps Heliodrom and Dretelj as a member of Croat forces.

The memorial with names of Russian volunteers who were fighting for Bosnian Serbs during the Bosnian War and were killed in action. The text in the bottom states: "Fell for the Serbs"

For the Serbs

The Serbs received support from radical Orthodox Christian fighters from countries including the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and Russia.

Primary Russian forces consisted of two organized units known as "РДО-1" and "РДО-2" (РДО stands for "Русский Добровольческий Отряд", which means "Russian Volunteer Unit"), commanded by Yuriy Belyayev and Alexander Zagrebov, respectively. РДО-2 was also known as "Tsarist Wolves", because of the monarchic views of its fighters. There also was unit of Russian cossacks, known as "Первая Казачья Сотня" (First Cossack Sotnia). All these units were operating mainly in Eastern Bosnia along with Rebuplika Srpska forces from 1992 up to 1995.

447 Foreign Volunteers from 35 different countries.

Killed in action ( K.I.A. ) = 63
Wounded in action ( W.I.A.) = 74

England (139) = 15 killed , 20 wounded
Germany (53) = 14 killed , 8 wounded
France (67) = 8 killed , 20 wounded
USA (18) = 3 Killed , 1 wounded
Hungaria (33) = 2 killed , 5 wounded
Austria (10) = 2 killed , 1 wounded
Nederland (27) = 2 killed , 2 wounded
Italy (7) = 2 killed , 1 wounded
Canada (7) = 2 killed
Switzerland (4) = 2 killed
Belgium (4) = 1 killed , 1 wounded
Australia (15) = 1 killed , 2 wounded
Portugal (2) = 1 Killed
Ukraine (1) = 1 killed
Slovakia (4) = 1 killed , 1 wounded
Irish (10) = 1 killed , 2 wounded
Scotland (5) = 1 killed , 2 wounded
Bulgaria (2) = 1 killed
Rhodesia (1) = 1 Killed
Dannmark (4) = 1 Killed
Gambia (1) = 1 Killed
Finland (3) = 2 wounded
Chile (1) = 1 wounded
Spane (4) = 2 wounded
Poland (8) = 1 wounded
Sweden (3) = 1 wounded
Wales (4) = 1 wounded

Mercenaries Made At Least $85 BILLION From Iraq War

lightgiver 08-08-2011 05:11 PM

Northbridge Services Group
Northbridge Services Group Ltd is a private military company (PMC) which is registered in the Dominican Republic and has offices in the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Its president and CEO is US Army (retired) Lieutenant-Colonel Robert W. Kovacic.


Northbridge Services Group inaccurately claimed to be the successor of the now defunct South African PMC Executive Outcomes (EO). Northbridge was said to have close links with Aegis Defence Services, the successor of the now defunct PMC Sandline International.

In April of 2003, the company was criticized by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean for operations in Côte d'Ivoire that "seriously undermine the peace process". In May of 2003, Northbridge commandos rescued dozens of oil workers being held hostage on an oil rig. In June of 2003, the company offered to kidnap embattled Liberian president Charles Taylor for $4 million. The offer was rejected and Northbridge was subsequently investigated by the FBI.

Northbridge operated from a post box and gradually disappeared from existence.

Sandline International

Sandline International was a private military company based in London, established in the early 1990s. It was involved in conflicts in Papua New Guinea in 1997 (having a contract with the government under the then Prime Minister Julius Chan) causing the Sandline affair, in 1998 in Sierra Leone (having a contract with ousted President Kabbah) and in Liberia in 2003 (in a rebel attempt to evict the then-president Charles Taylor near the end of the civil war). Sandline ceased all operations on 16 April 2004. On the company's website, a reason for closure is given:

The general lack of governmental support for Private Military Companies willing to help end armed conflicts in places like Africa, in the absence of effective international intervention, is the reason for this decision. Without such support the ability of Sandline to make a positive difference in countries where there is widespread brutality and genocidal behaviour is materially diminished.

Sandline was managed by former British Army Lt Col Tim Spicer. Sandline billed itself as a "Private Military Company" (PMC) and offered military training, "operational support" (equipment and arms procurement and limited direct military activity), intelligence gathering, and public relations services to governments and corporations. While the mass media often referred to Sandline as a mercenary company, the company's founders disputed that characterisation. It has been rumored that some, if not most of Sandline's personnel, are now part of Aegis Defence Services company.

Spicer recounted his experiences with Sandline in the book An Unorthodox Soldier.


Aegis Defence Services

Aegis Defence Services is a British private military company with overseas offices in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal and the United States. It was founded in 2004 by Tim Spicer, who was previously director of the controversial company Sandline International.

Aegis provides security and risk management solutions to counter threats. Its services are tailored for clients including governments, international agencies and the corporate sector. It is a registered and active UN contractor, a major security provider to the U.S. government and security adviser to the Lloyds Joint War Risk Committee.

In 2004 the International Peace Operations Association, an industry body, asked Aegis to apply for membership, but the application was rejected by a British competitor. It is a founding member of the British Association of Private Security Companies (BAPSC), a body lobbying for the regulation of the British PSC sector.It is also a member of the Private Security Company Association of Iraq.

In his High Level Policy , Aegis present itself as a dedicated supporter of regulation, transparency and accountability of the Private Security Industry and welcomes the international agreement on the “Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies During Armed Conflict” (“Montreux Document”) created in association with the ICRC and the Swiss Initiative in September 2008.

Since July 27, 2010 AEGIS Group Holdings AG in Basel, Switzerland is holding 1,125,000 ordinary shares of Aegis Defence Services Limited, London.


Ancient Egypt

An early recorded use of foreign auxiliaries dates back to Ancient Egypt, the thirteenth century BC, when Pharaoh Ramesses II used 11,000 mercenaries during his battles. A long established foreign corps in the Egyptian forces were the Medjay – a generic term given to tribal scouts and light infantry recruited from Nubia serving from the late period of the Old Kingdom through that of the New Kingdom. Other warriors recruited from outside the borders of Egypt included Libyan, Syrian and Canaanite contingents under the New Kingdom and Sherdens from Sardinia who appear in their distinctive horned helmets on wall paintings as body guards for Ramesses II.

lightgiver 09-08-2011 09:55 PM

Ex-CIA chief calls for a 'digital Blackwater'

The man who headed the NSA and the CIA under President George W. Bush has suggested that mercenaries are needed to deal with growing cyber threats.

General Michael Hayden told the Aspen Security Forum that in the near future, the Department of Defense may have to allow the creation of a "digital Blackwater."

Hayden was speaking for the bankers and the globalists when he said there needs to be a mercenary army to attack enemies of the private sector, i.e., enemies of the banks and their transnational corporations.

Michael Hayden-NSA, CIA Boss Calls For "Digital Blackwater," To Secure Internet...video.



lightgiver 01-09-2011 01:27 PM

Gaddafi, Libya and African mercenaries
The West did not anticipate Gaddafi’s war against the Libyan people. Neither, it seems, did the Arab states. Gaddafi hid below the radar of Western and Arab leaders for nearly a quarter of a century, engaging in a pseudo-isolationism that allowed his political activities to go mostly unchecked. After he lost his battle for dominance in the Arab world, you see, Gaddafi reinvented himself.

No longer the Arab incarnation of Che, Gaddafi retired his military garb and replaced it with royal dress inspired by Libya’s former King Idriss. Abandoning his doomed political maneuvers in the Middle East, Gaddafi now saw himself as a pan-African prophet, destined to take up the project of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and imbue the African citizens to the south with a new sense of anti-colonial zeal. An African liberator who would raise the collective consciousness of the sub-Saharan population, taking Fanon’s postcolonial message to the masses.

As a result, millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa were not at all surprised by Gaddafi’s fierce repression. After all, Gaddafi had been pillaging their resources, cozying up to their dictators and exploiting their conflicts for decades before his crimes against the Libyan people caught the world’s attention.

Johannesburg journalist Mondli Makanya minces few words in his account of Gaddafi’s wide influence:

Short answer: he paid a lot of people good money. He had many presidents, prime ministers and kings on his payroll. He also filled the coffers of some nations and financed the election campaigns of many parties.

Given this history, can anyone be surprised at Gaddafi’s connections to criminal syndicates from sub-Saharan Africa? Mercenary armies flourished in the region during the twentieth century—particularly in the aftermath of the South African apartheid regime, when ex-Nationalist Party members disbursed to maximize profits and destabilize the region as mercenary fighters. It would not be too much of a stretch to point out that mercenaries have been involved in approximately every violent conflict south of the Sahara throughout at least the past twenty years.

It’s hard to say exactly who the mercenaries are, as most of the major news outlets, including Al Jazeera, are affording little attention to the question. Some of the fighters may not be mercenaries at all, but members of the Libyan army, some of whom happen to have sub-Saharan African heritage. We also know that some are not fighters, but day laborers who were caught up in the conflict and captured. But we also know that the Libyan government has trained many mercenaries throughout sub-Saharan Africa for a very long time.

Libyan human rights advocate, Ali Zeidan, claims that Chadian fighters lead the group of fighters from Chad, Niger, Mali, Liberia and Zimbabwe—and that they are being paid between US$300 and US$2,000 per day. Fighters from Ethiopia are also reported. Analyst Na’eem Jeenah says that “it is safe to say that they number at least in the hundreds.” Gaddafi maintained an active military presence in all but Zimbabwe for the past few decades. In the case of Zimbabwe, he is a long-time supporter of embattled autocrat, Robert Mugabe. Some of the fighters may not be sub-Saharan at all, as anti-government Libyan diplomats claim that fighters from Algeria and Tunisia are also working for Gaddafi. The Serbian news site, Alo! suggests that Serbian fighters are also involved.



lightgiver 02-02-2012 02:22 AM

Mercenary War/Truceless War
The Mercenary War (c.240 BC) — also called the Libyan War and the Truceless War by Polybius — was an uprising of mercenary armies formerly employed by Carthage, backed by Libyan settlements revolting against Carthaginian control.

According to Polybius, Carthage relied heavily, though not exclusively, on foreign mercenaries, especially in overseas warfare. The core of its army was from its own territory in north Africa (ethnic Libyans and Numidians, as well as "Liby-Phoenicians" — i.e. Phoenicians proper). These troops were supported by mercenaries from different ethnic groups and geographic locations across the Mediterranean who fought in their own national units; Celtic, Balearic, and Iberian troops were especially common.


The war began as a dispute over the payment of money owed the mercenaries between the mercenary armies who fought the First Punic War on Carthage's behalf, and a destitute Carthage, which had lost most of its wealth due to the indemnities imposed by Rome as part of the peace treaty. The dispute grew until the mercenaries seized Tunis by force of arms, and directly threatened Carthage, which then capitulated to the mercenaries' demands. The conflict would have ended there, had not two of the mercenary commanders, Spendius and Mathos, persuaded the Libyan conscripts in the army to accept their leadership, and then convinced them that Carthage would exact vengeance for their part in the revolt once the foreign mercenaries were paid and sent home. They also persuaded the combined mercenary armies to revolt against Carthage, and various Libyan towns and cities to back the revolt. What had been a hotly contested "labour dispute" exploded into a full-scale revolt...

Heavily outmatched in terms of troops, money, and supplies, an unprepared Carthage fared poorly in the initial engagements of the war, especially under the generalship of Hanno the Great. Hamilcar Barca, general from the campaigns in Sicily, was given supreme command, and eventually defeated the rebels in 237 BC...

A note on the sources...

Finding historical sources for The Mercenary War suffers from the same problem as any history of Carthage: Few primary sources of Carthaginian history exist, except as fragments in translation quoted by Roman and Greek historians. The main extant account of the Mercenary War is that of Polybius, a Greek historian writing many years after the events portrayed here. While it is likely that he based much of his account on now-lost works of prior Greek and Roman historians, it is unlikely that they had an unbiased view of Carthage and its history. When reading such history it is wise to take this into account. We have the best historical reconstruction that we can derive, but we must also remember that its balance and objectivity is in question....

The First Punic War began in 264 BC when settlements on Sicily began to appeal to the two powers between which they lay -- Rome and Carthage -- to solve internal conflicts. The war saw land battles in Sicily early on, but the theatre shifted to naval battles around Sicily and Africa. Before the First Punic War there was no Roman navy to speak of. The new war in Sicily against Carthage, a great naval power, forced Rome to quickly build a fleet and train sailors.

The first few naval battles were catastrophic disasters for Rome. However, after training more sailors and inventing a grappling engine, a Roman naval force was able to defeat a Carthaginian fleet, and further naval victories followed. The Carthaginians then hired Xanthippus of Carthage, a Spartan mercenary general, to reorganise and lead their army. He managed to cut off the Roman army from its base by re-establishing Carthaginian naval supremacy. With their newfound naval abilities, the Romans then beat the Carthaginians in naval battle again at the Battle of the Aegates Islands and leaving Carthage without a fleet or sufficient coin to raise one. For a maritime power the loss of their access to the Mediterranean stung financially and psychologically, and the Carthaginians sued for peace.

Continuing distrust led to the renewal of hostilities in the Second Punic War when Hannibal Barca attacked a Spanish town, which had diplomatic ties to Rome. Hannibal then crossed the Italian Alps to invade Italy. Hannibal's successes in Italy began immediately, and reached an early climax at the Battle of Cannae, where 70,000 Romans were killed.

Hannibal's elephants ...

In three battles, the Romans managed to hold off Hannibal but then Hannibal smashed a succession of Roman consular armies. By this time Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal Barca sought to cross the Alps into Italy and join his brother with a second army. Hasdrubal managed to break through into Italy only to be defeated decisively on the Metaurus River. Unable to defeat Hannibal himself on Italian soil, the Romans boldly sent an army to Africa under Scipio Africanus with the intention of threatening the Carthaginian capital. Hannibal was recalled to Africa, and defeated at the Battle of Zama.

Carthage never managed to recover after the Second Punic War and the Third Punic War that followed was in reality a simple punitive mission to raze the city of Carthage to the ground. Carthage was almost defenceless and when besieged offered immediate surrender, conceding to a string of outrageous Roman demands. The Romans refused the surrender, and the city was stormed after a short siege and completely destroyed. Ultimately, all of Carthage's North African and Spanish territories were acquired by Rome...


"As long as there is man, there will be violence."
"As long as there is violence, there will be war."
"And as long as there is war... we will always have a job."
— Anonymous

lightgiver 04-02-2012 04:22 AM

Sarmatian Mercenaries to Rome
THE SARMATIANS were not a unified people, but rather a number of groups of nomad peoples of similar stock, who wandered generally westwards over the Eurasian steppe - the vast corridor of grasslands, hundreds of miles wide and some 5,000 miles long, extending from China to the Hungarian Plain. They spoke an Iranian language similar to that of the Scythians, and closely related to Persian.

The Sarmatians emerged in the 7th century BC in a region of the steppe to the east of the Don River and south of the Ural Mountains. For centuries they lived in relatively peaceful co-existence with their western neighbours, the Scythians. Then, in the 3rd century BC or slightly earlier, they spilled over the Don to attack the Scythians on the Pontic steppes to the north of the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus), and 'turned the greater part of the country into a desert' (Diodorus 2.43). The surviving Scythians fled westwards and sought refuge in the Crimea and Bessarabia, leaving their pasturelands to the incomers. The Sarmatians were to dominate these territories over the next five centuries.


The best known of the Sarmatian peoples were the Sauromatae, Aorsi, Siraces, lazyges and Roxolani. The Alans were essentially of the same Iranian stock as the Sarmatians, but are often considered a distinct people. These groupings were tribal confederations rather than individual ethnic tribes; indeed, Ammianus Marcellinus (31.2.13-17) and medieval Arab sources state specifically that the Alans were a coalition of different peoples.

Most Sarmatians were nomads whose grazing herds provided much of the food and clothing they required. They wintered on the southern fringes of the Russian steppe, close to the Black and Caspian Seas and Russia's great rivers, heading north for pasture in the spring. Accompanying them were their covered wagons which doubled as homes - Ammianus Marcellinus notes (31.2.18): “In them husbands sleep with their wives - in them their children are born and brought up”.

The early Sarmatians are now generally regarded as the reality behind the myth of the Amazons. According to Herodotus (4.116), women of the Sauromatae hunted, shot bows and threw javelins from horseback, and went to war dressed in the same clothing as men. This has been confirmed by archaeology: early Sarmatian female graves often contain bronze arrowheads, and occasionally swords, daggers and spearheads; while skeletons of girls aged 13 and 14 have bowed legs - evidence that, like boys, they were often in the saddle before they could walk. The status of women was so unusual that some writers (Pseudo-Scylax, 70) believed that women ruled Sarmatian society.

During the 1st century AD the Sarmatians and Alans truly began to enter recorded history when they conducted a series of spectacular raids on their civilised neighbours. Pouring into Asia Minor, they spread devastation among the Parthians, Medians and Armenians. At the same time other Sarmatian groups ravaged Rome's Danubian provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, before pushing their way along the lower Danube and into the Hungarian Plain to establish a more permanent presence. Some took up military service with the Romans, but for centuries Sarmatians remained unpredictable neighbours, starting wars at the slightest provocation. The pressure was so great that the Romans eventually allowed many to settle within the empire. It was largely as a result of the Sarmatian wars that the Roman army began to abandon its reliance on the legionary infantry and develop an effective cavalry arm - for which the lance-armed Sarmatian cavalry were to provide one important model.

During this time the Sarmatians maintained close contacts with the Greek centres on the northern Black Sea coast, in particular the kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus2. At its peak the Bosporan Kingdom covered the eastern part of the Crimean Peninsula, the western part of the Taman Peninsula (then an archipelago), and the mouth of the Don. In the mid-1 st century AD a dynasty of Sarmatian origin came to power in the Bosporan Kingdom and both state and army were 'Sarmatised' - to such a degree that Bosporan heavy cavalry cannot be distinguished from their Sarmatian counterparts. Indeed, Bosporan art is one of the historian's best sources for Sarmatian weaponry.

The emergence of the Goths was to destroy the Sarmatians' relationship with the Bosporans. The southward migration of the Goths from Scandinavia via modern Poland to the River Dnieper was under way by about AD 200; by about AD 250 the Goths had taken Olbia and moved east to the Crimea, replacing the Sarmatians and Alans as the dominant power of the region.

A century or so later, the arrival of the Huns from Central Asia was no I less traumatic. As waves of Huns and Goths set about tearing the Roman Empire apart, the Alans could do little but follow obediently in their wake. The currents drew them as far afield as Gaul, Spain and North Africa. Sarmatian and Alan contingents, ever smaller and less significant, also fought with the Romans. By the mid-5th century the Sarmatians were no longer in control of their own destiny, and by the 6th century little trace of them remained in western Europe. They had not disappeared, but I rather had been woven seamlessly into the colourful tapestry that was to emerge as Medieval Europe.

The warrior women known to ancient Greek authors as Amazons were long thought to be creatures of myth. Now 50 ancient burial mounds near the town of Pokrovka, Russia, near the Kazakhstan border, have yielded skeletons of women buried with weapons, suggesting the Greek tales may have had some basis in fact...



lightgiver 05-02-2012 05:47 AM

The Greek name Sarmatai derives from the shortening of Sauromatai apparently by association with lizards (sauros). Suggestions for the reason the Sarmatians were associated with lizards include their reptile-like scale armour and their dragon standards.


Archaeological evidence suggests that Scythian-Sarmatian cultures may have given rise to the myth of Amazons. Graves of armed females have been found in southern Ukraine and Russia. David Anthony notes, "About 20% of Scythian-Sarmatian "warrior graves" on the lower Don and lower Volga contained females dressed for battle as if they were men, a phenomenon that probably inspired the Greek tales about the Amazons...

Like the Scythians, Sarmatians were of a Caucasoid appearance, and before the arrival of the Huns (4th century AD) it is thought that few had Asiatic or turco-Mongol features. Sarmatian noblemen often reached 1.70-1.80m (5ft 7ins-5ft 10ins) as measured from skeletons, and they had sturdy bones, long hair and beards.

The Alans who were a group of Sarmatian tribes according to the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus "Nearly all the Alani are men of great stature and beauty , their hair is somewhat yellow, their eyes are frighteningly fierce"

Ancient DNA of 13 Sarmatian remains from Pokrovka kurgan burials in the southern Ural steppes along the Kazakhstan and Russian border was extracted for comparative analysis. Most of the mitochondrial haplogroups determined were of western Eurasian origin, while only a few were of "central/east Asian Haplotype which is found among the Turkic speaking nomadic people. This Haplotype is almost (one base pair missing) identical with the Haplotype of the (Kazakh) women from western Mongolia."

Historical basis for King Arthur...

In 1924 Kemp Malone suggested that the character of King Arthur was ultimately based on one Lucius Artorius Castus,a career Roman soldier of the late 2nd century or early 3rd century. This suggestion was revived in 1994 by C. Scott Littleton and Linda A. Malcor and linked to a hypothesis (below) that the Arthurian legends were influenced by the nomadic Alans and Sarmatians settled in Western Europe in Late Antiquity. Littleton had earlier written about this hypothesis in 1978 together with Ann C. Thomas

In 1978, C. Scott Littleton and Ann C. Thomas expanded on the ideas of Vasily Abaev and Georges Dumezil and published their theory of a connection between the related Alan and Sarmatian peoples and the history and later legend of King Arthur. According to this theory, cavalry units left behind in the Roman departure from Britain during the early 5th century became the nucleus of an elite in Dark Age Britain which still preserved elements of Alano-Sarmatian mythology and culture. In 1994 Littleton and Linda A. Malcor further developed this theory, identifying the Roman officer Lucius Artorius Castus, who may have commanded Sarmatian auxiliaries in the 2nd century, as the original basis for Arthur.

All that is known about Artorius’ life comes from two Latin inscriptions discovered in the 19th century in Podstrana on the Dalmatian coast. After a long and distinguished career in the Roman army as a centurion and then primus pilus, Artorius was promoted to praefectus legionis of the VI Victrix, a unit that had been stationed in Britain since c. 122 AD and headquartered at Eboracum (York). The praefectus legionis (otherwise known as the praefectus castrorum) served as third-in-command of the legion and was responsible for the general upkeep of the legionary headquarters; the position was normally held by older career soldiers who were close to retirement and they did not normally command any soldiers during battle (they remained at the headquarters during times of conflict)

According to both Malone and Littleton/Malcor,Artorius' alleged military exploits in Britain and Armorica could have been remembered for centuries afterward, thus generating the figure of Arthur among the Welsh, Cornish and Bretons. This is linked to the original theory of Littleton, Thomas and Malcor which suggests that the folk narratives and history associated with the Alano-Sarmatians settled in Western Europe formed the core of the Arthurian tradition

lightgiver 23-03-2012 12:09 AM

Scipio Africanus

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (236–183 BC), also known as Scipio Africanus, Scipio the Elder, and Scipio the Great was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic. He was best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle of the Second Punic War at Zama, a feat that earned him the agnomen Africanus, the nickname "the Roman Hannibal", as well as recognition as one of the finest commanders in military history. An earlier great display of his tactical abilities had come already at the Battle of Ilipa...

Early military service...

Scipio's childhood might be considered to have come to an end with his entry into the army. At an early age, Scipio joined the Roman struggle against Carthage in the Second Punic War. At some point, he is said to have promised his father to continue the struggle against Carthage all his life, showing similar dedication to that of his enemy, Hannibal. The young Scipio survived the disastrous battles at Ticinus, Trebia, and Cannae. According to Polybius, he saved his father's life when he was 18, by "charging the encircling force alone with reckless daring" at the Battle of Ticinus. Scipio's would-be father-in-law Lucius Aemilius Paullus was killed in 216 BC at the third of these battles, the Battle of Cannae. Despite these defeats at the hands of the Carthaginians, Scipio remained focused on securing Roman victory. Scipio was never again to see a Roman force defeated, for once given command at the age of 25 he never lost a battle...

With his wife Aemilia Paulla (also called Aemilia Tertia), daughter of the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus who fell at Cannae and sister of another consul Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus, he had a happy and fruitful marriage. Aemilia Paulla had unusual freedom and wealth for a patrician married woman, and she was an important role model for many younger Roman woman, just as her youngest daughter Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, would be an important role model for many Late Republican Roman noblewomen, including allegedly, the mother of Julius Caesar.

At his death, Scipio Africanus had two living sons. Both rose to become praetors in 174 BC, but took no further part in public life; both died unmarried, relatively young. Publius, the elder son and heir, adopted his first cousin — Aemilius Paullus (b. 185 BC) as Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (also known as Scipio Aemilianus Africanus) well before the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC.

Scipio and Aemilia Paulla also had two surviving daughters. The elder, Cornelia, married her second cousin Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum (son of the consul of 191 BC who was himself son of Scipio's elder paternal uncle Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus). This son-in-law was a distinguished Roman in his own right. He became consul (abdicating or resigning in 162 BC for religious reasons, then being re-elected in 155 BC), censor in 159 BC, Princeps Senatus, and died as Pontifex Maximus in 141 BC. Scipio Nasica rose to many of the dignities enjoyed by his late father-in-law, and was noted for his staunch (if ultimately futile) opposition to Cato the Censor over the fate of Carthage from about 157 to 149 BC. They had at least one surviving son...

Scipio's only descendants living through the late Republican period were the descendants of his two daughters, his sons having died without legitimate surviving issue. His younger daughter's last surviving child Sempronia, wife and then widow of Scipio Aemilianus, was alive as late as 102 BC. Another descendant was his great-great-granddaughter, Fulvia Flacca Bambula, the only grandchild of Gaius Gracchus, best known as the wealthy third wife of Roman Triumvir Mark Antony who abandoned her for Cleopatra. Fulvia left several children, of whom at least one, Iullus Antonius, is known to have left issue surviving into the first century AD.

None of Scipio's descendants, apart from Scipio Aemilianus—his wife's nephew who became his adoptive grandson—came close to matching his political career or his military successes.

The Roman historian Valerius Maximus, writing in the first century AD, alleged that Scipio Africanus had a weakness for beautiful women, and knowing this, some of his soldiers presented him with a beautiful young woman captured in New Carthage. The woman turned out to be the fiancée of an important Iberian chieftain, and Scipio chose to act as a general and not an ordinary soldier in restoring her, virtue and ransom intact, to her fiancé.

According to Valerius Maximus, Scipio had a dalliance circa 191 BC with one of his own serving girls, which his wife magnanimously overlooked. The affair, if it lasted from circa 191 BC to Scipio's death 183 BC, might have resulted in issue (not mentioned); what is mentioned is that the girl was freed by Aemilia Paulla after Scipio's death and married to one of his freedmen. This account is only found in Valerius Maximus (Memorable Deeds and Sayings 6.7.1-3. L) writing in the 1st century AD, some decades after Livy. If this is correct, clearly Scipio did not hesitate to sleep with his female slaves, like so many other Roman masters.

The Praetorian Guard (Latin: Praetoriani) was a force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors. The title was already used during the Roman Republic for the guards of Roman generals, at least since the rise to prominence of the Scipio family around 275 BC. The Guard was dissolved by Emperor Constantine I in the 4th century.

Shortly before Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, Benito Mussolini commissioned an epic film depicting the exploits of Scipio. Scipione l'africano, written by Carmine Gallone, won the Mussolini Cup for the greatest Italian film at the 1937 Venice Film Festival.

A division of the Italian army was used as extras in the film, shortly before being transferred to duty in the Spanish Civil War...


lightgiver 23-03-2012 08:44 PM

Hannibal one eye
Hannibal lost one eye to some sort of infection as he crossed an Etruscan (= Tuscan) swamp in 217 BCE. For four days and nights his army waded through the fetid sewage, men and beasts excreting into it as they progressed, unable to sleep for lack of a dry spot to lie on except when the mules died and they could pile the carcasses into a mound and climb on top for a brief nap.

The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis is a 1661–62 oil painting by the Dutch painter Rembrandt, which was originally the largest he ever painted, at around five-by-five metres in the shape of a lunette. The painting was commissioned by the Amsterdam city council for the Town Hall.


The painting follows Tacitus's Histories in depicting an episode from the Batavian rebellion (69-70 AD), led by the one-eyed chieftain Claudius Civilis (actually called Gaius Julius Civilis by Tacitus, except once, and so known to history; but Claudius Civilis has become entrenched in art history), in which he "collected at one of the sacred groves, ostensibly for a banquet, the chiefs of the nation and the boldest spirits of the lower class", convinced them to join his rebellion, and then "bound the whole assembly with barbarous rites and strange forms of oath."

Civilis, Tacitus writes, "was unusually intelligent for a native, and passed himself off as a second Sertorius or Hannibal, whose facial disfigurement he shared"—that is to say, the loss of one eye. He feigned friendship with Emperor Vespasian in order to regain his freedom. When he returned to his tribal grounds in the marshes of the Betuwe, he organized the revolt he had long been planning...

Harold Rex Interfectus Est: "King Harold is killed". Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings. Harold grasps the arrow lodged in his eye.

The Battle of Hastings had a tremendous influence on the English language. The Normans were French-speaking, and as a result of their rule, they introduced many French words that started in the nobility and eventually became part of the English language itself.

The so called universal classic world history is a pack of intricate lies for all events prior to the 16th century...


lightgiver 24-03-2012 01:09 AM

Man of Letters
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci. Their Roman name is the origin of the terms Tuscany, which refers to their heartland, and Etruria, which can refer to their wider region.

Etruscan pendant with swastika symbols...The swastika (Sanskrit: स्वस्तिक) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing (卐) form or its mirrored left-facing (卍) form. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient India as well as Classical Antiquity.

The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory. Historians have no literature, no texts of religion or philosophy; therefore much of what is known about this civilization is derived from grave goods and tomb findings...

The earliest known history of Rome is attributed to Diocles of Peparethus, whose work was acknowledged as a reliable source by the patrician senator Quintus Fabius Pictor. Fabius wrote his own history of Rome around the time of Rome's war with Hannibal; a particularly fraught backdrop for a contemporary Roman historian and a milestone in its ascendancy as a major power...

All of the manuscripts (except one) of the first ten books (first decade) of Ab Urbe Condita Libri, which were copied through the Middle Ages and were used in the first printed editions, are derived from a single recension commissioned by Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, consul, 391 AD...

Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (c. 345 – 402) was a Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters. He held the offices of governor of Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and consul in 391...Symmachus was the son of a prominent aristocrat, Lucius Aurelius Avianius Symmachus, who was a member of the patrician gens Aurelia. He was educated in Gaul, apparently at Bordeaux or Toulouse.

Of his many writings, the following have survived...Fragments of various orations, discovered by Angelo Mai in palimpsests in the Ambrosian library and the Vatican...Angelo Mai (March 7, 1782 – September 8, 1854) was an Italian Cardinal and philologist.He won a European reputation for publishing for the first time a series of previously unknown ancient texts...

There is uncertainty as to when elephant warfare first began...

lightgiver 24-03-2012 01:55 AM

Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon ( Philippos 382–336 BC), was a king (basileus) of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III...Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas, became eromenos of Pelopidas, and lived with Pammenes, who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes

Also in 356 Alexander was born, and Philip's race horse won in the Olympic Games. In 355–354 he besieged Methone, the last city on the Thermaic Gulf controlled by Athens. During the siege, Philip lost an eye (historically recorded to be an arrow).

Val Kilmer does well as one-eyed Macedonian King Philip- Alexander's father.

The heroon at Vergina in Greek Macedonia (the ancient city of Aegae – Αἰγαί) is thought to have been dedicated to the worship of the family of Alexander the Great and may have housed the cult statue of Philip. It is probable that he was regarded as a hero or deified on his death. Though the Macedonians did not consider Philip a god, he did receive other forms of recognition by the Greeks, such as at Eresos (altar to Zeus Philippeios), Ephesos (his statue was placed in the temple of Artemis), and Olympia, where the Philippeion was built.

Isocrates once wrote to Philip that if he defeated Persia, there was nothing left for him to do but to become a god; and Demades proposed that Philip be regarded as the thirteenth god; however, there is no clear evidence that Philip was raised to the divine status accorded his son Alexander.

Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (sometimes Paccioli or Paciolo; 1445 – 1517) was an Italian mathematician, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and seminal contributor to the field now known as accounting. He was also called Luca di Borgo after his birthplace, Borgo Sansepolcro, Tuscany.

lightgiver 26-03-2012 02:07 AM

Legio IX Hispana
Legio Nona Hispana (Ninth Spanish Legion) was a Roman legion which operated from the first century BCE until mid 2nd century CE. The Spanish Legion's disappearance has raised speculations over its fate, largely of its alleged destruction in Scotland in about 117 CE, though some scholars believe it was destroyed in the Roman-Parthian Wars or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132–136 CE. There is no evidence of what happened to the famous Legion, as it simply drops out of records around early second century CE. The last concrete information of its whereabouts is in 107–108 CE, where they are mentioned being stationed to help rebuild the legionary fortress at York (Eboracum).

The origin of the legion is uncertain, but Caesar is known to have found a Ninth Legion already based in Gaul in 58 BCE,where it remained during the whole campaign of the Gallic wars...According to Stephen Dando-Collins the legion was raised, along with the 6th, 7th and 8th, by Pompey in Hispania in 65 BCE.

The legion was probably a member of the imperial army in the Rhine border that was campaigning against the Germanic tribes. Following the abandonment of the Eastern Rhine area (after the disaster of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest — 9 CE).

In 43 CE they probably participated in the Roman invasion of Britain led by emperor Claudius and general Aulus Plautius, because they soon appear amongst the provincial garrison. In 50 CE, the Ninth was one of two legions that defeated the forces of Caratacus at Caer Caradoc. Under the command of Caesius Nasica they put down the first revolt of Venutius between 52 and 57. The Ninth suffered a serious defeat under Quintus Petillius Cerialis in the rebellion of Boudica and was later reinforced with legionaries from the Germania provinces. Around 71 CE they constructed a new fortress at York (Eboracum), as shown by finds of tile-stamps from the site.

It is often said that the legion disappeared in Britain about 117 CE. However, the names of several high ranking officers of the Ninth are known who probably served with the legion after ca. 120 (e.g., Lucius Aemilius Karus, governor of Arabia in 142/143), which suggests that the legion continued in existence after this date. It has been suggested that the legion may have been destroyed during the Bar Kochba Revolt in Iudaea Province, or possibly in the ongoing conflict with the Parthian Empire but there is no firm evidence for this.



lightgiver 26-03-2012 11:44 PM

Crosby Garrett

The Crosby Garrett Helmet is a brass Roman cavalry helmet dating to the late 1st to mid 3rd century AD.

The Crosby Garrett helmet is an almost complete example of a two-piece Roman cavalry helmet. The headpiece is in the shape of a Phrygian cap, on the crest of which is a winged griffin that stands with one raised foot resting on an amphora...Only two other Roman helmets complete with visors have been found in Britain.

There has been much debate about the symbolic meaning of the helmet's design. The griffin was the companion of Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and fate; both were often associated with gladiatorial combat and were symbolic agents of death.

Similar examples have been found across the Roman Empire from Britain to Syria. It is of the same type as the Newstead Helmet, found in Scotland in 1905, and its facial features most closely parallel a helmet that was found at Nola in Italy and is now in the British Museum. The rendering of the hair is similar to that of a type C helmet found at Belgrade in Serbia and dated to the 2nd century AD. The griffin ornament is unique, though it may parallel a lost "sphinx of bronze" that may originally have been attached to the crest of the Ribchester Helmet, discovered in Lancashire in 1796. The headpiece is nearly unique; only one other example in the form of a Phrygian cap has been found, in a fragmentary state, at Ostrov in Romania, dated to the second half of the 2nd century AD.



IN the following part of our book we supply, in a series of figures, the succession of changes to which the most ancient head-covering--in itself a significant hieroglyph--the Phrygian cap, the classic Mithraic cap, the sacrificial cap, or bonnet conique, all deducing from a common symbolical ancestor, became subject, The Mithraic or Phrygian cap is the origin of the priestly mitre in all faiths. It was worn by the priest in sacrifice. When worn by a male, it had its crest, comb, or point, set jutting forward; when worn by a female, it bore the same prominent part of the cap in reverse, or on the nape of the neck, as in the instance of the Amazon's helmet, displayed in all old sculptures, or that of Pallas-Athene, as exhibited in the figures of Minerva. The peak, pic, or point, of caps or hats (the term 'cocked hat' is a case .in point) all refer to the same idea. This point had a sanctifying meaning afterwards attributed to it, when it was called the christa, crista, or crest, which signifies a triumphal top, or tuft. The 'Grenadier Cap', and the loose black Hussar Cap, derive remotely from the same sacred, Mithraic, or emblematical bonnet, or high pyramidal-cap.



lightgiver 05-04-2012 08:49 PM

Mohammed Omar

Mullah Mohammed Omar (Pashto: ملا محمد عمر; born c. 1959), often simply called Mullah Omar, is the spiritual leader of the Taliban. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council". He held the title Commander of the Faithful of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which was recognized by only three nations: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates...Omar is thought to have been born around 1959 in Nodeh, near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar in Afghanistan to a landless peasant family. He grew up in a village in the Maiwand area of Kandahar Province, next to Helmand Province.He is an ethnic Pashtun from the Hotak tribe, which is part of the larger Ghilzai branch.

The Hotaki are a subtribe of the Ghilzai Pashtun tribe. The Ghilzai are known for their 1709 rebellion against the Persian Safavid shah, led by Mir Wais Hotak...The Safavid dynasty (Persian: سلسلهٔ صفويان‎; Azerbaijani: صفویلر) was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history.

His father is said to have died before he was born and the responsibility of fending for his family fell to him as he grew older. He is believed to have attended the Darul Uloom Haqqania madrassa...It was reported that he was thin, but tall and strongly built, and "a crack marksman who had destroyed many Soviet tanks during the Afghan War."...Omar was wounded four times. Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef claims to have been present when shrapnel destroyed one of his eyes during a battle in Sangsar, Panjwaye District shortly before the 1987 Battle of Arghandab. Other sources place this event in 1986 or in the 1989 Battle of Jalalabad...Omar may have studied and taught in a madrasah, or Islamic seminary, in the Pakistani border city of Quetta. He was reportedly a mullah at a village madrasah near the Afghan city of Kandahar...Unlike many Afghan mujahideen, Omar speaks Arabic. He was devoted to the lectures of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, and took a job teaching in a madrassa in Quetta. He later moved to Binoori Mosque in Karachi, where he led prayers, and later met with Osama bin Laden for the first time...

In 2012, it was revealed that an individual claiming to be Omar sent a letter to President Barack Obama in 2011, expressing slight interest in peace talks...


lightgiver 08-04-2012 10:44 PM

Mercenaries are much misunderstood men
NO doubt the Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay was speaking his mind, rather than fashionably posing, when he condemned the proposal by the Foreign Secretary that mercenaries might be employed on peacekeeping and other operations abroad. It was, he fumed, "breathtaking in the extreme" that Jack Straw should even contemplate giving mercenaries "a veneer of respectability".

It is tempting to dismiss such modishness with a yawn or two; but that would be a mistake. Mr Mackinlay probably speaks for a large number of people, for whom the word "mercenary" is a trigger-term, like child abuse with no further thought necessary.

Yet far more important than whether or not a soldier is a "mercenary" are the values he is being paid to uphold. Does Mr Mackinlay know that the first RAF pilot killed in the Second World War was a mercenary? Or that the youngest RAF Wing Commander was one, as was the first RAF VC? Did he know that one of the first SAS men killed in the Falklands was a mercenary also?

What unites Pilot Officer William Joseph Murphy, 107 Squadron, RAF, shot down over Germany on the morning of September 4 1939, and Trooper O'Connell, 22 SAS, killed in the Falklands in 1982, and those other men in between, is that they were Irish. Their country was neutral in the conflicts in which they gave their lives. In any meaningful sense of the word, they were all mercenary; and all honourable men.

Nor were they alone. Much of the campaigns in the Western Desert, Burma and Italy were fought with mercenaries, either from India, or most spectacularly of all, from Nepal. Ghurkas, amongst the most dependable and loyal soldiers who have ever served Britain, are mercenaries. Theirs is a paid service, and for all their traditions of sacrifice and honour, their loyalty is bought also. Yet that purchased-devotion has unfailingly remained inviolable and inviolate - which is more than one can say of native-born Britons.

In their fidelity, Ghurkas might be exceptional; in their choice of profession, they are not. Mercenaries have filled armies and made empires throughout history. The legionnaires of Rome were seldom Roman. Most crewmen in the Spanish Armada were not Spanish. The East India Company's mercenaries conquered the Indian sub-continent, just as the mercenaries of the French Foreign Legion took and held much of North Africa. The male-bondings of armies often transcend or even eliminate other loyalties - in the last resort, the Indian mutiny was put down by Indians, and the most decorated member of the French Foreign Legion during the Great War was a German.

Historically, this sort of group-loyalty was accentuated by the disparagement of soldiers by society. In Britain, to have "gone for a soldier" was traditionally the mark of a failure or a misfit, and most professional soldiers, even in the service of their own country, would have regarded themselves primarily as mercenaries. Indeed, it was largely in the 20th century, and two world wars, that soldiering became respectable.

Of course, being respectable means soldiers are by definition not expendable. Mercenaries are - that's why they're useful. The Foreign Secretary is simply recognising a truth. The mercenary is already making a return, and appropriately enough, in Africa, where once he was such a caricature villain in the Congolese civil wars.

William Shawcross, in his superb study of UN peacekeeping, Deliver us from Evil, points out that in it was a South African mercenary army, Executive Outcome, which protected much of Sierre Leone from the machete-wielding lunatics of the RUF. "By defending the Kono area, Executive Outcome had enabled 300,000 people to get on with their lives," he wrote. "Had Executive Outcome been more widely deployed . . . they could have saved dozens around Bo from having their hands, noses and lips chopped off . . . At a time when Western governments were more and more reluctant to commit their own troops . . . it seemed to me that, under proper control, private armies such as Executive Outcomes could play an increasingly useful role."

The withdrawal of the EO in 1996 allowed the vile RUF back at their games, which included sewing up their victims' vaginas and rectums with fishing line, padlocking mouths, and kidnapping thousands of children as conscript infant-infantry.

Now this is an abomination which must be halted, by main force if need be; but no government has the political will to see its volunteer-armies vanish into the murderous morass of Africa. The mercenary soldier, trained for the task, in a mercenary's uniform, is the perfect solution to this African problem. For if he or his colleagues are killed in action, the tabloid sob-industry cannot then move into tearful action, wondering about our brave boys perishing on a foreign field, and for what Prime Minister?

Mercenaries are excluded from such hand-wringing. They choose to enter a contract which makes their lives utterly expendable in someone else's cause: and this is what makes their profession what it has always been - an honourable instrument that will, without complaint or further claim, do civil society's dirty work.



The book, Excursion to Hell, by former Lance Corporal Vincent Bramley, alludes to two incidents in which prisoners were shot. In one case, in which he quotes an eyewitness account by another soldier, the victims were allegedly three American mercenaries.

He describes how two other Paras, whom we shall refer to as X and Y, took three prisoners during a firefight. Y later told Mr Bramley what happened: '(An NCO) came . . . up to us. We explained the situation. He looked at the prisoners. One spoke perfect English, with an American accent. We were really surprised . . . . We questioned them for some minutes. All spoke perfect English, praising our soldiering. The (NCO) fucked off and came back after ten minutes or so. He took X aside, while I guarded the prisoners. X came back to me and said 'Get them over this ridge quickly'. We pushed them the 15 metres, out of view, then suddenly X let rip, shooting them all dead. I helped make sure they were completely dead.' Mr Bramley writes that X told him the orders to shoot the prisoners had come from above, because they were suspected to be American mercenaries - a fact that could have embarrassed President Reagan's staunchly pro-British line during the war.

The Sir Galahad was a 3,322-tonne LSL built by Stephens and launched in 1966.

Sir Galahad was active during the Falklands War, sailing from HMNB Devonport on 6 April with 350 Royal Marines and entering San Carlos Water on 21 May. On 24 May 1982 in San Carlos Water she was attacked by A-4C Skyhawks of the Argentine Air Force's IV Brigada Aérea (FAA) and was hit by a 1000 pound bomb (which didn't detonate) then strafed in a following wave by Dagger fighter bombers...BBC television cameras recorded images of Royal Navy helicopters hovering in thick smoke to winch survivors from the burning landing ships. These images were seen around the world.

Falklands War-Bomb Alley ...

The attack on Sir Galahad culminated in high casualties, 48 dead, 32 OF THEM WELSH GUARDS, 11 other Army personnel and five crewmen from Sir Galahad herself.




lightgiver 08-04-2012 11:44 PM

What do you call a one-eyed Chinese man
See One Ting...;)


Kill with a borrowed knife

Attack using the strength of another (in a situation where using one's own strength is not favourable). Trick an ally into attacking him, bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy's own strength against him.

The idea here is to cause damage to the enemy by getting a 3rd party to do the deed.


Loot a burning house

When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack.

Keep gathering internal information about an enemy. If the enemy is currently in its weakest state ever, attack it without mercy and totally destroy it to prevent future troubles.


Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbour (遠交近攻/远交近攻, Yuǎn jiāo jìn gōng)

It is known that nations that border each other become enemies while nations separated by distance and obstacles make better allies. When you are the strongest in one field, your greatest threat is from the second strongest in your field, not the strongest from another field. This policy is associated with Fan Sui of Qin, circa 269 BC.

There are eight Chinese names among the ‘British’ dead. Who were they and why were they there? They appear to be mostly merchant seamen, possibly from Hong Kong, on ships hired/commandeered by the UK to transport the troops. They are listed as seamen, or laundrymen, a butcher and an electrical fitter. Did they have any choice about going to the Falklands? Their names were Yu Sik Chee, Yeung Swi Kami, Leung Chan, Sung Yuk Fai (or Pai), Ng Por, Chan Chi Sing, Lai Chi Keung, Kye Ben Kuro. They died on the Sir Tristam, the Sir Galahad, the Atlantic Conveyor, on HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry. There were six other British merchant navy seamen who died.




lightgiver 09-04-2012 11:20 PM

The Exocet ( Exocoetidae for Flying fish) is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.

The missile's name was given by M. Guillot, then the technical director at Nord Aviation. It is the French word for flying fish from the Latin name exocoetus, a transliteration of the Greek name for flying fish ἐξώκοιτος, which literally means "lying down outside (ἒξω, κεῖμαι), sleeping outside" because it sometimes stranded itself in boats...

HMS Sheffield Hit by Exocet Missile

In 1982, during the Falklands War, the Exocet became noted worldwide when Argentine Navy Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard warplanes carrying the AM39 Air Launched version of Exocet caused irreparable damage and disabled the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield on 4 May 1982; and when the 15,000 ton merchant ship Atlantic Conveyor was struck by two Exocet anti-ship missiles on 25 May. Two MM38 ship-to-ship Exocet missiles were removed from the old destroyer ARA Seguí, a retired US Sumner class, and transferred to an improvised launcher for land use. One of these was fired at, and caused damage to, the destroyer HMS Glamorgan on 12 June.


The Exocet that struck Sheffield impacted on the second deck, 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) above the waterline and penetrated deeply into Sheffield's control room, near the forward engine room, creating a hole in the hull roughly 1.2 by 3 metres (3.9 by 9.8 ft). It appears that the warhead did not explode. Accounts suggest that the initial impact of the missile destroyed the ship's electrical generation systems and fractured the water main, preventing the fire suppression mechanisms from operating and dooming the ship to be consumed by the fire. The loss of Sheffield was a shock to the British....Some of the crew of Sheffield were of the opinion that the missile exploded, others held the view that it had not. The official Royal Navy Board of Enquiry Report, however, stated that evidence indicates that the warhead did not detonate. During the four and a half days that the ship remained afloat, five salvage inspections were made and a number of photographs were taken. Members of the crew were interviewed, and testimony was given by Exocet specialists (note that the Royal Navy had 15 surface combat ships that were Exocet-armed in the Falklands War). There was no evidence of explosion although burning propellant from the rocket motor had caused a number of fires, which continued unchecked as a result of a punctured fire main.
Iraq fired an estimated 200 air-launched Exocet missiles against Iranian shipping during the Iran–Iraq War with varying levels of success. Tankers and other civilian shipping were often hit.

On 17 May 1987, the pilot of an Iraqi Mirage F-1 attacked the U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate USS Stark with two Exocets for unknown reasons. The first missile penetrated the port-side hull of the Stark. The second entered at almost the same point, and left a 3-by-4-metre (9.8 by 13 ft) gash, exploding in crew quarters. Thirty-seven sailors were killed and 21 were injured. Stark was heavily damaged, but saved by the crew and sent back for repairs. At first, it was reported that the errant pilot had been executed for his error, and his explanations for the attack are not available. Later, Iraqi officials denied that the pilot had been executed and stated that he was still alive.

Le Super Etendard...

Between 1977 and 1987, Paris contracted to sell a total of 133 Mirage F-1 fighters to Iraq. The first transfer occurred in 1978, when France supplied eighteen Mirage F-1 interceptors and thirty helicopters, and even agreed to an Iraqi share in the production of the Mirage 2000 in a US$2 billion arms deal. In 1983 another twenty-nine Mirage F-1s were exported to Baghdad. And in an unprecedented move, France "loaned" Iraq five SuperEtendard attack aircraft, equipped with Exocet AM39 air-to- surface missiles, from its own naval inventory. The SuperEtendards were used extensively in the 1984 tanker war before being replaced by several F-1s. The final batch of twenty-nine F1s was ordered in September 1985 at a cost of more than US$500 million, a part of which was paid in crude oil.

In another document entitled The Falklands: Lessons from a Fiasco, senior French official Bernard Dorin accused Britain of "superpower arrogance" and claimed the country had shown "profound contempt for Latinos".

Behind the scenes, actions were speaking louder than words. In what would appear to be a clear breach of President Mitterrand's embargo, a French technical team - mainly working for a company 51% owned by the French government - stayed in Argentina throughout the war.

In an interview carried out in 1982 by Sunday Times journalist Isabel Hilton, the team's leader, Herve Colin, admitted carrying out one particular test that proved invaluable to Argentinian forces...But it is now clear that, thanks to tests they carried out, the Argentinians were able to fire Exocets at British forces from three previously faulty missile launchers.


But not all in the French government were in the dark about the technical team's presence in Argentina during the conflict. Pierre Lethier, former chief of staff of the DGSE - the French equivalent of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 and signal intelligence headquarters GCHQ - admits that his department did know about them...."This is what intelligence is for. You need sources. We had difficulties to penetrate the Argentinian army at that time during the Falklands conflict. So, the more helpers you have the better you are," he says.

But, does he, nonetheless, now feel a little let down by a nation that he had previously described as Britain's greatest ally? This was his response:

"We asked Mitterrand not to give assistance to the Argentinians. If you're asking me: 'Are the French duplicitous people?' the answer is: 'Of course they are, and they always have been.'" ...Sir John Nott Former UK defence secretary.


Obtain safe passage to conquer the State of Guo (假道伐虢, Jiǎ dào fá Guó)

Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place. See Duke Xian of Jin.

Eustace the Monk (c. 1170 – 24 August 1217) was a mercenary and pirate, in the tradition of medieval outlaws...Eustace was born a younger son of Baudoin Busket, a lord of the county of Boulogne. According to his biography, he went to Toledo, Spain, studied black magic there, returned home to become a Benedictine monk at St Samer Abbey near Calais, and then left the monastery to avenge his murdered father...He then became a pirate in the English Channel and the Strait of Dover, both for his own purposes and as a mercenary of France and England. John of England employed him intermittently from 1205 to 1212, against Philip II of France...He took the Sark island in 1205. When he raided English coastal villages, King John briefly outlawed him, but soon afterwards issued a pardon because he needed his services...



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