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Heroes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by huajiro, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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  2. constantine

    constantine the Great

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    my first hero was Bobby Clarke when he was the captain of the Flyers.

    my second hero was Bob Dylan the first time I heard the song subteranean homesick blues.

    my third hero in life was my father when I relized what it meant to be a man.

    lastly my grandfather who was shot down in WWII and spent the war in a Nazi camp made me relize what it meant to have the freedom most take for granted...
     
  3. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your contribution.
     
  4. Darkdale

    Darkdale World Leader Pretend

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    My Heros are Eiríkr the Red, Leifr Eríksson the founder of Vínland, Snorri Sturluson and great leaders such as Alexander the Great, Hadrian, Vespasian, Marcus Aurelius and Julius Ceaser. My mythological heroes would be Merlin and John Galt.
     
  5. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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    Lieutenant Friedrich Lengfeld:

    He was a German soldier who bravely died while trying to save a wounded American soldier
     
  6. publius

    publius New Member

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    I agree.. las Casas was one of the great persons.

    An excerpt from his abridged version of 'the destruction of the Indies':

    "HISPANIOLA

    As we have said, the Island of Hispaniola was the first to witness the arrival of Europeans and the first to suffer the wholesale slaughter of its people and the devastation and depopulation of the land. It all began with the Europens taking native land and children both as servants and to satisfy their own base appetites; then, not content with what the local people offered them of their own free will (and all offered as much as they could spare), they started taking for themselves the food the natives contrived to produce by the sweat of their brows, which was in all honesty little enough. Since what a European will consume in a single day normally supports three native households of ten persons each for a whole month, and since the newcomers began to subject the locals to other vexations, assaults, and inequities, the people began to realize that these men could not, in truth, have descended from the heavens. Some of them started to conceal what food they had, others decided to send their women and children into hiding, and yet others took to the hills to get away from the brutal and ruthless cruelty that was being inflicted on them. The Christians punched them, boxed their ears and flogged them in order to track down the local leaders, and the whole shameful process came to a head when one of the European commanders raped the wife of the paramount chief of the entire island. It was then that the locals began to think up ways of driving the Europeans out of their lands and to take up arms against them. Their weapons, however, were flimsy and ineffective both in attack and in defense (and, indeed, war in the Americas is no more deadly than our jousting, or than many European children's games) and, with their horses and swords and lances, the Spaniards easily fended them off, killing them and committing all kinds of atrocities against them.

    They forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were so many sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could manage to slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual's head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mother's breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks. Others, laughing and joking all the while, threw them over their shoulders into a river, shouting: 'Wriggle, you little perisher.' They slaughtered anyone and everyone in their path, on occasion running through a mother and a baby with a single thrust of their swords. They spared no one, erecting especially wide gibbets on which they could string their victims up with their feet just off the ground and burn them alive thirteen at a time, in honour of our Saviour and the twelve Apostles, or tie dry straw to their bodies and set fire to it. Some they chose to keep alive and simply cut their wrists, leaving their hands dangling, saying to them: 'Take this letter' -- meaning that their sorry condition would act as a warning to those hiding in the hills. The way they normally dealt with the native leaders and nobles was to tie them to a kind of griddle consisting of sticks resting on pitchforks driven into the ground and then grill them over a slow fire, with the result that they howled in agony and dispair as they died a lingering death.

    It once happened that I myself witnessed their grilling of four or five local leaders in this fashion (and I believe they had set up two or three other pairs of grills alongside so that they might process other victims at the same time) when the poor creatures' howls came between the Spanish commander and his sleep. He gave orders that the prisoners were to be throttled, but the man in charge of the execution detail, who was more bloodthirsty than the average common hangman (I know his identity and even met some relatives of his in Seville), was loath to cut short his private entertainment by throttling them and so he personally went around ramming wooden bungs into their mouths to stop them making such a racket and deliberately stoked the fire so that they would take just as long to die as he himself chose. I saw all these things for myself and many others besides. And, since all those who could do so took to the hills and mountains in order to escape the clutches of thes merciless and inhuman butchers, these mortal enemies of human kind trained hunting dogs to track them down--wild dogs who would savage a native to death as soon as look at him, tearing him to shreds and devouring his flesh as though he were a pig. These dogs wrought havoc among the natives and were responsible for much carnage and when, as happened on the odd occasion, the locals did kill a European, as, given the enormity of the crimes committed against them, they were in all justice fully entitled to, the Spanish came to an unofficial agreement among themselves that for every European killed one hundred natives would be executed.

    -- A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies-- Bartolome de las Casas (1542) Ch 1, p. 14-17 [English translation by Penguin Books, 1992]
     
  7. publius

    publius New Member

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    One I learned about rather recently. His heroism was covered up by the USA military, and only brought to a belated honor because the Viet Namese were giving him honor for saving a few lives at My Lai.

    Not unlike the cold-blooded slaughters of innocent men, women children now being carried on with tacit approval of the USA military brass in Iraq, Hugh Thompson stumbled onto the late mop-up stage of such a slaughter at a villiage called My Lai. After realizing what was happening, he ordered the gunners on his helicopters to aim at the US soldiers massacreing all 'gook' people in sight, and prepare to fire upon them to stop the carnage. None of the genocidal murders [including Lt Calley] was ever brought to justice. And Hugh the hero was ostracized.

    How was this hero treated?

    "Thompson was shunned for years by fellow soldiers, received death threats, and was once told by a congressman that he was the only American who should be punished over My Lai." --

    browse: tinyurl.com/6nrp7

    Hero Hugh Thompson died, with honor intact, a few months ago. Those who read international news may remember this.

    browse: tinyurl.com/brela

    Regarding the only mass-murderer of My Lai to be subjected to token prosecution:

    "A platoon commander, Lt William Calley, was later court-martialed and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killings. President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence to three years' house arrest."

    Not unlike the soldier in Iraq who, in front of a news camera, cold-bloodedly fired point blank into the head of a severely wounded, unarmed person. The USA military brass dismissed his act as 'justified'.
     
  8. publius

    publius New Member

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    Another hero: Acuera

    As reported by Bartolome de las Casas earlier, the Spanish conquistadors had virtually wiped out the entire native populations of several of the islands they landed on at first. Seeking riches for the king and church, they killed or worked to death everyone in sight, to such an extent they had to start capturing natives from central and south 'america' and ship them back to the 'cleansed' islands to provide replacement slave labor.

    Then the Spanish began to invade the continental mainland of North America. They called it 'land of flowers' or Florida. While there were many who recorded the events of the day, some of the most precious records were made by an Indian--'El Inca', a/k/a Garcilaso de la Vega [offspring of a woman of Inca royalty and a spaniard]. He was the first American Indian author to be published by Europeans and gives us insights and details not to be found elsewhere...a near-contemporary history about Indians, by an Indian.

    As if he could conceal the reality of such genocidal slaughter, de Soto sent messages to the lands he was invading, promising a wonderful, civilized life for all that would willingly submit to his king and church. If they would not willingly submit, de Soto advised them that he and his armies could do great damage to them, but assured them that this was not his intent and that all lands they had previously entered were left in untouched, unharmed.

    The elder spokesman of the land of Acuera was not so easily convinced of the good intentions of the Christians. His eloquence of thought and words amazed Spaniards, who could not conceive of such intellect issuing from a 'savage'.

    ===

    excerpt:


    "*** This very Fertile province where the Governor [Hernando de Soto] was found encamped was called Acuera. It lies some twenty leagues from the province of Urribarracuxi on a line running more or less north and south. The lord of the place, who also was called Acuera, on learning of the arrival of the Spaniards in his land, fled with all of his people to the forest."

    ***

    The insolent reply of the lord of the province of Acuera.

    ===

    The whole army had now reassembled in the province of Acuera, and eventually both men and horses were able to assuage the great hunger they had suffered during the past days. Then with his customary clemency, the Governor sent messages to the Cacique Acuera by some of his own vassals whom the Spaniards had captured. In these communications, he begged that chieftain to come out peacefully and accept the Castilians as his friends and brothers, since they too were warriors and people of valor. Then he warned: "Should you fail to do so, my men can cause much damage to your vassals and your lands. But I would have you know and rest assured that we come with no intention of harming anyone and have not harmed anyone in the provinces we have left behind. Instead we have extended cordial friendship to those desiring to receive it. Our principal purpose is to reduce by peaceful and friendly means all the provinces and nations of this great kingdom to the obedience and service of our lord, the mighty Emperor and King of Castile, whose servants all Spaniards are. It is for the purpose of discussing such things more at length and of informing you of the command that my sovereign and master has asked me to communicate to the rulers of this land that I now desire to see and talk with you."

    The Cacique Acuera's reply to the Governor's message was insolent. "I have long since learned who you Castilians are," he said, "through others of you who came years ago to my land; and I already know very well what your customs and behavior are like. To me you are professional vagabonds who wander from place to place, gaining your livelihood by robbing, sacking and murdering people who have given you no offense. I want no manner of friendship or peace with people such as you, but instead prefer mortal and perpetual enmity. Granted that you are as valiant as you boast of being. I have no fear of you, since neither I nor my vassals consider ourselves inferior to you in valor; and to prove our gallantry, I promise to maintain war upon you so long as you wish to remain in my province, not by fighting in the open, although I could do so, but by ambushing and waylaying you whenever you are off guard. I therefore notify and advise you to protect yourselves and act cautiously with me and my people, for I have commanded my vassals to bring me two Christian heads weekly, this number and no more. I shall be content to behead only two of you each week since I thus can slay all of you within a few years; for even though you may colonize and settle, you cannot perpetuate yourselves because you have not brought women to produce children and pass your generation forward."

    In reply to what was said about his rendering obedience to the King of Spain, the Cacique continued: "I am king in my land, and it is unnecessary for me to become the subject of a person who has no more vassals than I.
    I regard those men as vile and contemptible who subject themselves to the yoke of someone else when they can live as free men. Accordingly,
    I and all of my people have vowed to die a hundred deaths to maintain the freedom of our land. This is our answer, both for the present and forevermore."

    Then apropos of the subject of vassalage and the Governor's statement that the Spaniards were servants of the Emperor and King of Castile, for whose empire they now were conquering new lands, the Cacique retorted: "I should congratulate you warmly, but I hold you in even less esteem now that you have confessed that you are servants and that you are working and gaining kingdoms so that another may rule them and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Since in such an undertaking you are suffering hunger, fatigue and other hardships as well as risking your own lives, it would be more to your honor and advantage to acquire things for yourselves and your descendants rather than for someone else. But being so contemptible and as yet unable to rid yourselves of the stigma of servitude, you should never at any time expect friendship from me, for I could not use my friendship so basely. Furthermore, I do not wish to know what your sovereign demands, for I am well aware of what has to be done in this land, and of what manner I am to use in dealing with you. Therefore, all of you should go away as quickly as you can if you do not want to perish at my hands."

    On hearing the Indian's reply, the Governor [de Soto] was astonished that a barbarian should manage to say such things with so much arrogance and loftiness in spirit. In consequence he persisted even more in his efforts to win the friendship of this man, sending him from then on many affectionately and courteously worded communications. But the Curaca told all subsequent messengers who came to him he had given his answer and never intended to give any others. And he never did.

    The Army remained twenty days in this province while recovering from the hunger and fatigue of the previous journey and making necessary preparations for advancing. Meanwhile, the Governor tried to obtain information concerning the province, and for the purpose sent out runners to all parts of it, instructing them to observe and record carefully and diligently whatever good qualities it might possess.

    During these twenty days, the Indians never slept and were always on the alert. In order to fulfill the fierce threats of the Curaca and to prove that his promises to the Castilians had not been made vainly, they ambushed their enemies so cautiously and skillfully that not a single Spaniard who strayed so much as a hundred yards from the camp escaped being shot and beheaded at once. And in spite of the great haste our men made to assist their companions at such times, they always found them decapitated, for the Indians had carried the heads to their Cacique in obedience to his command. The Christians buried their dead where they found them, but during the night the Indians returned and after digging them up, cut them into pieces, which they hung on the trees where the Spaniards could see them. Thus they fulfilled well the Cacique's command that he be brought two Christian heads each week. Indeed they fulfilled it so well that in two days they carried him four heads (two each day); and during the time that the Spaniards were in their land, they took him in all fourteen heads. Moreover, they wounded many of our men.

    When the Indians came out of the forest to attack, they were very cautious about their own security, staying so near their lurking place that they could do all harm possible without letting a single opportunity slip and then return unhampered to safety. Thus our Spaniards began to realize that there was some truth in the threats made by the natives all along the road through this great marshy area when they shouted at them: "Advance, thieves and traitors, for here in Acuera and further on in Apalache you will be treated as you deserve, since all of you, after being quartered and cut into pieces, will be hung on the largest trees along the road."

    Because of the vigilance and caution of the Indians in their ambushes, the Spaniards, regardless of how persistently they tried, were unable to slay more than fifty of them during the whole time they were in the province of Acuera."

    At the end of twenty days, the Governor departed with his men from the province of Acuera, having avoided doing any damage to either towns or fields lest the Spaniards be looked upon as cruel and inhuman..."

    ===
    Excerpted from "The Florida of the Inca", written in 1591 by El Inca [Garcilaso de la Vega], as translated by Varner [1951]
     
  9. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    douglas Bader

    Douglas Bader, the son of a soldier who died as a result of the wounds suffered in the First World War, was born in London in 1910. A good student, Bader won a scholarship to St Edward's School in Oxford. An excellent sportsman, Bader won a place to the RAF College in Cranwell where he captained the Rugby team and was a champion boxer.
    Bader was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Air Force in 1930 but after only 18 months he crashed his aeroplane and as a result of the accident had to have both legs amputated.
    Discharged from the RAF he found work with the Asiatic Petroleum Company. On the outbreak of the Second World War was allowed to rejoin the RAF.
    A member of 222 Squadron, Bader took part in the operation over Dunkirk and showed his ability by bringing down a Messerschmitt Bf109 and a Heinkel He111.
    Bader was now promoted by Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and was given command of 242 Squadron, which had suffered 50 per cent casualties in just a couple of weeks. Determined to raise morale, Bader made dramatic changes to the organization. This upset those in authority and was ordered to appear before Hugh Dowding, the head of Fighter Command.
    The squadron's first sortie during the Battle of Britain on 30th August, 1940, resulted in the shooting down of 12 German aircraft over the Channel in just over an hour. Bader himself was responsible for downing two Messerschmitt 110.
    Bader had strong ideas on tactics and did not always follow orders. He took the view that RAF fighters should be sent out to meet the German planes before they reached Britain. Hugh Dowding rejected this strategy as he believed it would take too long to organise.
    Air Vice Marshal Keith Park, the commander of No. 11 Fighter Group, also complained complained that Bader's squadron should have done more to protect the air bases in his area instead of going off hunting for German aircraft to shoot down.
    When William Sholto Douglas became head of Fighter Command, he developed what became known as the Big Wing strategy. This involved large formations of fighter aircraft deployed in mass sweeps against the Luftwaffe over the English Channel and northern Europe. Although RAF pilots were able to bring down a large number of German aircraft, critics claimed that they were not always available during emergencies and prime targets became more vulnerable to bombing attacks.
    This strategy suited Bader and during the summer of 1941 he obtained 12 kills. His 23 victories made him the fifth highest ace in the RAF. However, on 9th August 1941, he suffered a mid-air collision down near Le Touquet, France. He parachuted to the ground but both his artificial legs were badly damaged.
    Bader was taken to a hospital and with the help of a French nurse managed to escape. He reached the home of a local farmer but was soon arrested and sent to a prison camp. After several attempts to escape he was sent to Colditz.
    Bader was freed at the end of the Second World War and when he returned to Britain he was promoted to group captain. He left the Royal Air Force in 1946 and became managing director of Shell Aircraft until 1969 when he left to become a member of the Civil Aviation Authority Board.
    Paul Brickhill's book, Reach for the Sky, was published in 1954 and was later made into a movie. Bader's autobiography appeared in 1973. Douglas Bader, who was knighted in 1976, died in 1982.

     
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