III Communication

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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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Great Game Previews In History: 11 October 2014

by J.R.

boerToday In History

After years of escalation — which included a war and a British-led raid to take Johannesburg — the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State invade the British-held Cape Colony and Natal, beginning the Second Boer War. Talk about being united and divided simultaneously, eh?

The war began with rapid invasions by the Boers, who had the great advantage of having a fighting force that was nimble, familiar with the area, good on horses and fairly easy to mobilize. Within a few weeks, the Boers had made great inroads into British-held territory, driving back the British in some cases and laying siege to garrisons in others.

Spoiler alert: though the war pioneered the use of modern guerrilla warfare, the Brits ultimately win this one, the Boer territories are incorporated into the British colonies and the Union of South Africa comes to be in 1910…and then develops into a truly reprehensible country but then gets sort of OK again and then hosts the World Cup.

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Conference III Championship Belt Tale of The Tape: Minnesota at Colorado, 11 October 2014

by J.R.

The Avalanche’s 188-day run with the Conference III Belt came to an end Opening Night with a 5-0 shellacking in St. Paul. Can Minnesota extend their title run, their first in nearly a year?

We’ll find out tonight, but first the tale of the tape:

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[Redacted]: Hockey Is Finally Here

by obscenealex

Welcome back, [poultry fetishists].  Teams from other divisions played yesterday, but [ignore] them.  Today marks the first day of the real NHL regular season.  To mark this momentous occasion, join me for a review of the teams that make our beloved Conference III a special division—a Great Divide—separating it from the Flortheast, the Californian, and the Metropolitan, where division name jokes write themselves.  As J.R. so eloquently pointed out yesterday, it is our division that both unites us and divides us, and since he chose to focus on the former, I will examine the latter in the form of crass, brash, and morally distasteful power rankings.

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Great Game Previews In History: 9 October 2014

by J.R.

800px-Panorama_dentroToday In History

In 1854, the Siege of Sevastopol begins during the Crimean War, as the French sapeurs begin digging trenches around the capital of the Crimea.

After the Allied fleet — which included the British and Ottomans along with the aforementioned French — landed in September with 50,000 men at Eupatoria, the intention was to march to Sevastopol with ease.

It didn’t quite go as planned. The Russians scuttled the fleet and began firing on the assembling Allies. The battle was won by the Allies nearly a year later, but at great cost: 128,000 casualties for the Allies, 102,000 for the Russians, which included civilians, many of whom died of disease in the encircled city.

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