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Category: Game Previews

Great Game Previews In History: 27 October 2014

by J.R.

Today in History

Michael Servetus — variously described as a theologian, cartographer, doctor, and general Renaissance man — is burned at the stake October 27, 1553, for teaching an unorthodox view of the Trinity (some folks, particularly non-trinitarians, regard him as a martyr, though it’s not that he rejected the Trinity per se that got him executed) and for regarding infant baptism as a tool of the devil, running him afoul of pro-infant-baptism Calvinists in Switzerland.

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Great Game Previews In History: 24 October 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

Perhaps the most important treaty in human history is signed as the concept of the modern nation-state is born with the signing of the final bits of the Peace of Westphalia October 24, 1648.

Coming at the end of a massive diplomatic congress — delegations were sent from 16 European states, 66 states of the Holy Roman Empire (which represented 140 total Imperial states), and 27 interest groups representing 38 interest groups — the three treaties of Westphalia ostensibly ended the Thirty Years War between the Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty Years War between Spain and the Dutch.

What it, in fact, did was create the modern notion of sovereignty, a primary export of Western Europe for the ensuing 300 years.

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Great Game Previews In History: 23 October 2014

by J.R.

Today in History

The Danish Civil War, which you didn’t know existed, came to its bloody conclusion at the Battle of Grathe Heath in 1157.

The slide to war begin with the abdication of Eric III, the reasons for which are unknown.

And as they do in a power vacuum, things got really bad.

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Great Game Previews In History: 21 October 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

Near Leesburg, Virginia on October 21, 1861, Union and Confederate forces clash in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, one of the early engagements of the Civil War.

Maj. Gen. George “Wha?” McClellan sent Brig. Gen. George McCall to see what had been going on down near Leesburg. Several reconnoitering expeditions resulted in very little, as did McClellan’s order that the 1st Minnesota make a “slight demonstration” to draw out the Confederates.

McClellan ordered McCall to return to Langley and, in the meantime, a scouting party from the 15th Massachusetts discovered a stand of trees which they mistook for a Confederate camp, thus they were ordered to take 300 men and attack this stand of trees.

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Great Game Previews In History: 17 October 2014

by J.R.

800px-Surrender_of_General_BurgoyneToday In History

Earlier, we explored some of the lesser-known martial exploits of the Burgoyne family — specifically that of John Fox Burgoyne at Sevastopol.

Today, though, is the 237th anniversary of the Burgoyne’s most infamous failure: Big John capitulating to the American upstarts in Saratoga, turning the tide of the Revolution to the Patriots.

One of the great misconceptions about Saratoga is that it was one single battle that ended with Burgoyne turning his sword over to Horatio Gates. In fact, it was a series of lengthy battles, almost six weeks long. Americans needed a win, particularly in the North. Gates had taken over the Northern Department after the surrender of the (thought-to-be-impenetrable) Fort Ticonderoga. He was able to raise armies, restructure the militias and start to very slowly encircle Burgoyne, who was losing supply lines because General William Howe had decided to send the occupying army from New York City south to attack Philadelphia rather than north to reinforce Burgoyne in Albany.

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Great Game Previews In History: 16 October 2015

by J.R.

Today In History

What is known in English as the Battle of Leipzig — much more poetically, the Germans call it Völkerschlacht and the French Bataille des Nations — begins October 16, 1813 as the forces of the Sixth Coalition meet those of Napoleon near the city in Saxony.

It was to be the largest battle in Europe until World War I with some 600,000 belligerents in the field. On the Coalition side: Russians, Prussians, Austrians and Sweden. For Napoleon, not just French but Saxon, Polish and Italian troops.

Furthermore, each of the Coalition countries had, present in the field, their monarchs: Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Prussia’s Frederick William III and Emperor Francis I of Austria. This led to massive staffs and, one might call them “predictable” petty rivalries within the Coalition itself, already strained upon having lost the contributions of British and Portuguese forces (among others).

Nevertheless, all agreed that Napoleon’s German campaign had to be stopped and Leipzig was where they could make that happen.

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Great Game Previews In History: 15 October 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

In 1211, during the Byzantine-Latin Wars, the forces of the former, led by Theodore I Laskaris, are defeated by those of the latter, led by Henry of Flanders at the Battle of the Rhyndacus in what is now Turkey.

Henry wanted to expand his empire deeper into Asia Minor, but an earlier war with the Bulgarians left him with just a tiny holding. Meanwhile, the Byzantine Nicaeans were devastated after a protracted war with the Seljuks, so Henry landed some knights and attacked.

Laskaris set up an ambush at the Rhyndacus River, but Henry’s forces, bolstered by those knights, overran the Nicaeans and proceeded to march deep into their territory.

Incredibly, this battle was won with no casualties and the war-weary successor states quickly wrapped up their differences with the Treaty of Nymphaeum.

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Great Game Previews In History: 14 October 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

Minutes before giving a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Teddy Roosevelt is shot on October 14, 1912.

The would-be assassin is New York saloon owner John Flammang Schrank. Schrank said he made the attempt because he opposed presidents seeking a third term (can you imagine being so goosed about term limits that you’d try to shoot somebody?) and that he was advised by the ghost of William McKinley to take action (it will not surprise you to learn Schrank was committed and died in a mental hospital in 1943).

In any event, Roosevelt was not killed. Schrank’s bullet hit his eyeglasses case, the 50-page speech he was set to give and lodged in his chest, but Roosevelt, being something of an amateur anatomist (as one is), knew the bullet hadn’t entered his lung because he wasn’t coughing blood, so he gave the speech anyway.

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Great Game Previews In History: 13 October 2014

by J.R.

Today in History

In 1710, during Queen Anne’s War, the Siege of Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia comes to an end as British forces advance on the walls of the city, forcing the French into offering surrender.

Just a week long siege, it nevertheless had wide-ranging implications in Nova Scotia and in France and Great Britain’s broader North American dealings. The residents of Port Royal by and large refused to take oaths to the British crown and many fled. The surrender did little to settle various disputes on Nova Scotia, none of which would be sorted until the end of the Seven Years War some 50 years later.

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Great Game Previews In History: 12 October 2014

by J.R.

Today in History

The forces of Edwin of Northumbria — at the time the most powerful of the petty kings in England — are defeated on this day in 633 by an alliance of Mercia and Gwynedd at the Battle of Hatfield Chase in what is now south Yorkshire.

A few years earlier, Edwin had defeated Gwynedd’s leader, Cadwallon, and driven him to a small island off Anglesey. Cadwallon, after biding his time, drove the Northumbrians from his territory and then united with Penda of Mercia and gave chase, eventually joining the battle with the Northumbrians at Hatfield Chase.

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