major operation

November 20, 1917 - Battle of Cambrai Begins as 400 British Tanks Charge the German Lines

Pictured - Over 370 British tanks smashed through the German lines at Cambrai on November 20, 1917. It was history’s first “tank battle,” and for the new weapon of war, a qualified success, but British failed to exploit their sudden break-through.

War, nothing but war.” So said France’s new Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau after hearing of the Bolsheviks request for an immediate armistice between the Allies and the Central Powers. But Britain, not France, had come to be the major player in that struggle. Recuperating from the Passchendaele offensive, and now at the helm of major efforts in Palestine, Greece, and Italy, British forces on the Western Front began another major operation on November 20, 1917.

A quarter of a million British soldiers were gathered along a six-mile front facing the city of Cambrai, held by a quarter of a million Germans. General Julian Byng held command, and with his men he had been given a thousand artillery pieces and three hundred planes grouped into fourteen squadrons.

But the real role was to be played by the tanks. Over 400 of them had been assembled at Cambrai, ready to be used en masse for the first time in history. The idea had been proposed by a junior military officer named J.C. Fuller, who argued that a large tank attack like this would stun the Germans. The tank had been used before, at the Somme and then at Ypres, but only in small numbers, and technical problems had so far given many British officers reasons to doubt their use. Cambrai was to change that.

A British Mark IV tank makes its way to the starting point. This is a “male” tank, because it has a cannon. “Female” tanks had only machine-guns.

At 6:10 AM, the British guns opened up in a short but intense preliminary bombardment. The tanks massed, keeping their engines in low gear to mask the noise. As the barrage crept forward, so did the tanks, an enormous, continuous metal line on the battlefield. The infantry followed behind them.

German soldiers had faced tanks before and given a good account. The British weapon was scary, but it was slow and bulky, and could be knocked out by a well-placed artillery shell, mine, or even in a bullet shot from a powerful enough gun. But they had never faced this. Hundreds of British tanks emerged and rolled through the barbed wire, as German bullets bounced harmlessly off.

“Tank panic” spread throughout the German lines. Tank commander Captain D.G. Browne gleefully watched as “the triple belts of wire were crossed as if they had been beds of nettles, and 350 pathways were sheared through them for our infantry. The defenders of the front trench, scrambling out of dug-outs and shelters to meet the crash and flame of the barrage, saw the leading tanks almost upon them.” The tanks were an invaluable shock weapon, “grotesque and terrifying.” The British and Irish troops advancing in their wake mopped up German hold-outs. By the end of the day, they had advanced five miles.

But it was not all good luck for the British. Most distressingly, a tank crushed a bridge over a canal, which held up the cavalry division meant to exploit a break-through. Haig, as always, had readied the horsemen to sweep through a hole in the German lines, riding on and finally creating a decisive victory. Now, because of bad luck, they could not. Browne cursed them in his memoir. One squadron of Canadian cavalry, the Fort Garry Horse, did make it to the battlefield and charged a German machine-gun battery with sabres drawn. In a short fight they cut up fifty Germans until they were blocked by a sunken road. The Canadians dismounted and fought with both rifles and swords back to Masnières, where the infantry had advanced. They made it the closest to Cambrai of any British soldier that day.

And not all the Germans ran. Royal Flying Corps recce flights failed to spot German artillery batteries in the hamlet of Flesquières, half-way between the starting-point and Cambrai. The German gunners boldly stayed at their post and wreaked havoc on the British landships. One junior officer destroyed seven tanks before falling to a British bullet; he was the only German to be personally mentioned in British military despatches during the war.

2

Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter

He took an umbrella with his kit as a means of identification because he had trouble remembering passwords and felt that anyone who saw him with it would think that “only a bloody fool of an Englishman” would carry an umbrella into battle.

A Company were dropped away from the target of Arnhem Bridge and had to go through Arnhem where the streets were blocked by German forces. Digby led his men through the back gardens of nearby houses instead of attempting to advance through the streets and thus avoided the Germans. Digby and A Company managed to travel 8 miles in 7 hours while also taking prisoner 150 German soldiers including members of the SS. During the battle, Digby wore his red beret instead of a helmet and waved his umbrella while walking about the defences despite heavy mortar fire. When the Germans started using tanks to cross the bridge, Digby led a bayonet charge against them wearing a bowler hat. He later disabled a German armoured car with his umbrella, incapacitating the driver by shoving the umbrella through the car’s observational slit and poking the driver in the eye.

Digby then noticed the Padre pinned down by enemy fire while trying to cross the street to get to injured soldiers. Digby got to him and said “Don’t worry about the bullets, I’ve got an umbrella”. He then escorted the padre across the street under his umbrella. When he returned to the front line, one of his fellow officers said about his umbrella that “that thing won’t do you any good”, to which Digby replied “Oh my goodness Pat, but what if it rains?”

(People always talk about Jack Churchill for his Longsword and Longbow, so I thought as if I should make a post about Digby and his Umbrella.)

IRAQ. Saladin governorate. Tikrit. April 14, 2003. A U.S. Marine slides down a marble bannister in Saddam’s palace. Tikrit was the last major city in Iraq to fall (13th of April), and many people felt it symbolized the end of the fighting in Iraq. For instance, U.S. Army Major General Stanley McChrystal said, “I would anticipate that the major combat operations are over.”

Photograph: Ashley Gilbertson

yes it's another humans are space orcs post

So even when you’ve figured out how to deal with humans, it still really helps to be able to anticipate that you’re going to have to deal with humans, and there’s still a major pitfall when you’re operating in mixed-species environments where most people are operating as private individuals rather than as representatives of their respective species or planets:

Humans are so good at social modeling, and human naming conventions are such a mess, that it can be really hard to recognize that a person is human until you actually see a visual of them. Some of them include species on their profiles or biographies, but some skip right past species and list location of childhood home or racial/ethnic background or something instead, like everyone else is just supposed to know that the colony on Zendar Three is a human colony or what “latina” means. Some even make a point of not listing their species.

They pick up languages like nobody’s business. It might take an adult years to reach full fluency in a language - or they might pick it up in a matter of months, if they put their mind to it, and the subadults often don’t even require instruction or study. Even the ones who depend on automatic translation technology tend to be fussy about calibration and sounding as much like natural speakers as possible. In general, they put a lot of emphasis on being able to imitate the social manner of the group; many make a study of the social mores of species they intend to interact with, but even if they’re caught unprepared, most will to some extent mimic the attitude and approach of the people they interact with.

And the names. Most people will say that the typical human has a personal name and a family or clan name, and that’s… more or less accurate. Except that sometimes they list them the other way around. And sometimes they only have a personal name. Or they have multiple family names. And a lot of the time they have a kind of secondary personal name that they don’t even use, but not always, and some have as many as three or four of these “middle names.” There are lists of traditional human names that you can learn, but none of them are exhaustive, because almost every human population center and cultural group has its own traditional names and also humans are constantly adapting old names and inventing new ones.

Even if someone has a name that you recognize as being a traditional name of some other species, that isn’t a 100% guarantee that that person isn’t human. Because there’s such a wide variety of human names, there’s some overlap with other species names, to the point that it’s a kind of played out joke that the token human character in popular media has to be specified to be Human Steve. Plus in a lot of human cultures, one of the highest expressions of respect toward a person is to give that person’s name to one’s offspring, so there’s a small but significant number of humans with names that are definitely not human names because their parents chose to honor an alien friend or benefactor with a namesake.

Some humans are amused to be assumed to be another species. Some don’t seem to care, or are apologetic, apparently assuming that the confusion must be embarrassing or upsetting to the other party. A few get offended, but the other humans tend to agree that those ones are jerks and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

4

Islam isn’t a violent religion any more than Christianity is.
(Twitter: MuslimIQ)

This was directed at a white supremacist, but it’s a good response for the Bill Maher Liberals in your life too, especially the atheists.  The Angry White Man brand of Liberal Atheist Absolutism is probably one of my least favorite factions among people I generally agree with, because it always comes with a condescending air of I’m Right And You’re Wrong.  Things are this or they are that, and because I am an educated white man, I am smart, and I don’t have to listen to your rebuttals to whatever I just said.  One of their hot button issues is religion, wherein all religions are stupid and terrible, but Islam is the worst because it makes people violent.

Keep reading

Three Reasons Why: When Serial Killers Suddenly Stop

It’s a widely held belief among criminology circles that serial killers do not stop killing until they are caught, as the psychological impulse to kill can never be satisfied. It is therefore extremely unusual when a connected string of murders suddenly stops without an arrest being made. Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac Killer, and the Oakland County Child Killer are all examples of offenders who, for whatever reasons,  halted their active careers as serial killers. 

There are a number of recognized reasons why offenders stop killing. Here are the most common: 

1. The offender is in jail 

The most common reason why a string of murders suddenly stops is because the offender has been arrested and imprisoned on an unrelated offense. This can also explain wide gaps between related murders. It has been theorized that the offender may abandon his killing career out of fear of being caught and imprisoned again. 

2. The offender has moved to another area and resumed killing there

The vast majority of serial killers operate within a ‘kill zone’, where they target victims within the same general geographical area. Murders are often connected to each other because of this reason, but if an offender moves from the area the killings often appear to drop off. However, there is a good possibility the offender has resumed actively killing, and the police departments involved in the relevant investigations have not connected the two sets of murders. This is why it’s incredibly important information on unsolved cases is freely available to all police departments between jurisdictions.

3. The offender is dead

The third and most simplistic reason why murders suddenly stop is because the offender has died. Occasionally the offender commits suicide after the psychological pressure becomes too much to bear, or fate intervenes and they perish in some other manner. Unless physical evidence is discovered or the offender left a confession, it’s sadly unlikely at this point that their crimes will be solved by police. 

On the surface, the idea of partnership with another powerful and capable military to share the burden of fighting the Islamic State may sound tempting. Russia has devoted considerable resources to broadcasting its “victorious war” in Syria, airing endless footage of spectacular airstrikes and trumpeting supposed territorial gains. The slick Kremlin media narrative and coordinated messaging campaigns have helped create powerful myths about its effectiveness in Syria and in the war against ISIS.
 
 

But that’s exactly what they are: myths. The truth is that it is both pointless and dangerous for America to fight ISIS alongside Russia. Pointless because the Russians are not there to fight ISIS — their real goals in the region have nothing to do with eliminating the terror group, but with empowering Assad and other anti-American allies. Dangerous because the United States and Russia share neither common goals nor common tactics. Our forces are not interoperable, and neither is the way we fight wars. Russians operate differently from Americans at every level of conflict — tactically, operationally, and strategically. There is no established trust between our nations or our forces, and the place to build that trust is not during a major operation where our goals are fundamentally misaligned.

New York attack: Eight killed by man driving truck

At least eight people have been killed in New York after the driver of a truck mowed down people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan.

A man who emerged from the vehicle brandishing imitation guns was shot by a police officer and arrested. Police urged people to avoid the area as a major emergency services operation got under way.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was “a cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians”.

Mangled bicycles littered the scene of the attack. Retailer Home Depot confirmed that the truck had been rented from it.

One witness, identified as “Eugene,” told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck driving fast down the cycle path alongside the West Side Highway, near Stuyvesant High School, at full speed and hitting a number of people. He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots.

Another witness, who gave his name as “Frank”, told local TV network NY1 that he had seen a man running around an intersection and heard five to six gunshots.

“I saw he had something in his hand, but I couldn’t tell what it was. But they said that it was a gun…

"When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down.”

The Traitor Meta no one asked for

Will include:

- Major Persona 5 Spoilers

-A look into The Traitor as a Foil to the main cast

-symbolism and motifs galore

- some theories based on subtext

-and the coding of Murderers as having Cluster B Personality Disorders (from someone with a Cluster B Personality Disorder)

word count:2271

Keep reading

On a Day in May

A Love Story is Better With You: On a Day in May - One Shot Series #7

-

The sound of the doorbell chiming through the house, cut your attention as you tried to get yourself off the couch, with what felt like a watermelon in between your thighs. 

“Can you get that love? Theo’s being a little difficult to dress” he called from upstairs. You sighed, finally making your way off the couch and to the front door. 

“Hello, hello!” Anne chirped, stepping inside and hugging you tightly. 

“Are you excited for today?” she hummed in delight, taking off her shoes and putting her bag down. 

“Excited, and anxious, really. But really excited to finally get her out and be able to comfortably sleep” you chuckled, ushering her in and heading towards the kitchen. 

“How are the contractions coming along?”

“They’re manageable for now, about five to six minutes apart, but H called the hospital and they said we can make our way to the hospital soon, since it is the second little bub, things may move a little faster, so they want to be cautious” you smiled, placing a palm over your belly and giving it a soft rub. 

Anne was about to continue conversation when she heard a loud squeal, and soft little claps. 

She gasped playfully, before turning around. 

“Is that my little boy, Theo?” she cooed, sticking her hands out and wiggling her fingers to try and intrigue Theo to come into her arms. 

“Nana!” Theo squealed, trying to wiggle out Harry’s arms and into Anne’s. 

“Hello, sweet boy” she cooed in excitement. “Are you excited to be a big brother?” she grinned, pressing multiple kisses to his face causing him to squeal, and hide into her neck. 

“Baby!” he mumbled, fingers in his mouth, pointing to your protruding belly. 

“Yeah, baby” she smiled. 

“How you feeling, love? Okay?” Harry checked, walking over to you, pecking your lips quickly, before checking if he had everything you both needed laid out on the kitchen counter. 

“I’m okay. They’re getting a little stronger, but I can handle it” you whispered, slowly feeling a contraction make it’s way up your back and through your belly, but trying not to show to much emotion and pain, so you wouldn’t frighten Theo. 

You released a slow breath, slowly opening your eyes, and giving Theo a soft smile as Anne put him down, and he toddled his way down to his play room. 

“Alright, he eat’s dinner at 6:00. We usually give him a bath right after, lotion him up and then read him a bed time story-”

“And then he’s in bed by about 7:30, I know sweetie, I’ve watched him before” she smiled. 

You nodded, feeling a bit silly, because yes she had, but for some reason, leaving him today felt a bit harder then it had been previous times. Maybe because you finally realized, this would be the last time you’d be seeing him as an only child, or maybe it was just the idea, that he’d no longer be your only baby, now he’d be a big brother to his little sister. 

“Alright” Harry breathed, patting his pockets, and grabbing the diaper bag. 

“Theo!” he called out. “Come say bye byes to mummy and daddy!” he called. 

Seconds later, he heard little giggles and tiny feet pattering their way down the hall. 

“Oomfh!” Harry chuckled, lifting Theo into his arms before he could crash into his legs. 

“Alright, mummy and daddy are going to go, and we’re going to go have your baby sister” he gasped with a smile, and Theo grinned with a clap. 

“Say bye bye to mummy okay?” he smiled, leaning him towards you as you snuggled him close and kissed his forehead, nose and cheeks, and finally his soft lips. 

“Mumma loves you” you cooed. 

“Love you mama” he grinned, showing his few little teeth that were beginning to come in, since he was almost at the age of two. 

“Alright, little guy. Be good for Nana, eat what she gives you for dinner and be the good little boy I know you are, okay?” Harry guided, giving him a joking glare but a stern one to allow Theo to understand that grandma was the boss tonight. 

“Okay, daddy! Luh’ you!” he called, already shimming out his arms and darting back into his play room to go play with his toys. 

“Alright, you two!” Anne squealed excitingly, bringing you into her arms. 

“Keep me updated, and I guess I’ll be seeing you two in the morning” she smiled, pecking your cheek and bringing Harry into a tight embrace. 

“Love you both!” she called, as you both exited the kitchen and made your way out the house. 

-

“Feeling okay?” Harry checked, as he sat the hospital bed, your forearms on his thighs as you rolled your hips against the birthing ball. 

“Mhm” you moaned lowly, biting down on your lip as he hands skated down your back and rubbed soft circles. 

“You’re doing great” he reassured, pressing a kiss to the top of your head before you let out a breath and nodded.

“Thanks for being here, I don’t think I could do it without you”

He smiled, as his heart fluttered, lips growing into a smile. 

“I’m always going to be here for you” he smiled. “No matter what, I’ve promised that since day one”

-

You were eight hours in, and barely any change was made. There were nurses and doctors scattered all over the room, each talking to each other and the room was just commotion, causing you great discomfort and a bit of uneasiness. 

“Is everything okay?” you nervously whispered, looking up at Harry with wide eyes and he nodded. 

“Everything is alright, nothing to be worried over baby” he reassured, smoothing your hair out and pressing a kiss to your damp forehead. 

Minutes later, your midwife walked over to you and kneel beside your bed. 

“We’re going to have to do an emergency cesarean…” she started, and your eyes went wide. 

“N-No, we can’t – that wasn’t according to plan” you whimpered, looking up at Harry with tears in your eyes. 

“I know, darling. But right now, you’re only at a four and that isn’t much progress in the amount of time that you’ve been here, and we want to make sure that you and the baby are healthy and okay. Her heart rate is okay right now but we don’t want it to decelerate” she explained. 

“It’s okay, love. You’ll be safe” Harry whispered, tears brimming his eyes as he watched fear, consume you. 

A nurse walked over to Harry, handing him a pair of scrubs along with a cap to put over his head. 

“C-Can Harry stay with me? I can’t do it without him” you whispered, tears leaking down your cheeks, and you didn’t know what to do or where to look. 

This wasn’t what you planned. You planned for a regular birth, with Harry by your side, and to just have your little girl placed in your arms and for everything to be alright. But right now, your biggest fear, was that everything was going to go wrong. 

-

“I’ll be in there soon baby!” Harry called reassuringly as the doctors and nurses wheeled your bed towards the big glassed doors labeled Operating Room

You sniffled with a nod, heart pounding, hoping that soon enough, he really would be joining you.

-

The ten minutes that Harry was told to wait in the hallway felt like the longest ten minutes of his life.

He was worried, of course. His wife was going through a major operation, which had risks, and he knew it was common, and he knew that the doctors and nurses would take good care of her, but there was a sense of worry and protection crawling under his skin, because the woman that was laying vulnerably under all the harsh lights and doctors wasn’t just any woman, it was you. 

The woman he’d loved for the last five years. You were the woman that he shared all his laughs with, all his tears with, all his memories with. You were the woman he loved, and the solemn thought or idea that something could possibly go wrong, was eating away at his guy and he was praying that everything would just be okay.

-

He was gestured by a nurse covered in blue scrubs very similar to his, towards the operating room. She pushed the door open, and there you were. Laying under all the harsh lights, your midwife along with many nurses crowding around you, preparing for the cesarean. 

“Hey baby” he whispered, thanking the nurse who pushed the stool towards him so he could be close by to you. 

“You came” you whispered, somewhat drowsily, as they had given you some medication, to decrease the pain. 

“Always” Harry smiled, stroking your hair as you closed your eyes in comfort that he was beside you. 

“Alright, darling. We’re going to begin. You’re going to feel a tense amount of pressure but don’t let it alarm you, it’s normal. If you begin to feel dizzy or feeling a bit sick, just let us know, alright?” she explained, and you nodded giving them a small okay before they began the procedure behind the sheet. 

“I bet she’s going to be beautiful” Harry smiled, running his fingers through your hair, keeping his eyes on you as you did to him, to keep you distracted. 

“I hope she looks like you. I hope she has your eyes, just like Theo. Gosh, I love your eyes” you softly smiled, feeling that sudden pressure the midwife was talking about and you scrunched your nose. 

“Well, however she comes looking out, she’ll be beautiful, and we’ll love her” he smiled, a tear rolling down his cheek but he quickly wiped it away before you could notice, because truth be told, he didn’t want you knowing that he was nervous, because that would only make you more nervous. 

“Alright, head is out!” the midwife called, as you felt your body being jostled a bit, as she tried to maneuver around to pull her out. 

“Alright, here we are! Little girl, 9:34 PM!” the midwife called and Harry gasped, as he looked up over the sheet to see the midwife lift your little girl up, and she let out a pierced out cry. 

“Oh baby, she’s beautiful” Harry cried, wiping at his cheeks and the tip of his nose, where tears were leaking out. 

You softly smiled, eyes closing as the room was buzzing. Nurses attending to the baby, and you. 

“Harry?” you whispered, but he was too in trance of looking at your new little girl being cleaned up. 

“Harry?” you whispered out again. “I feel cold” you shivered, face slowly paling. 

Harry’s eyes snapped over to you, and his eyes went wide. 

“Doc, is that normal?” Harry questioned, worry lacing his voice. 

“She’s loosing a lot of blood” one nurse, called out and Harry gulped. 

“Suction, please!” another nurse called out, as another ran to the other end of the operation room grabbing lap pads. 

“Get him out of here, please!” the midwife shouted. “Now!” she shouted, a bit louder. 

“No, I have to stay in here!” Harry fought, keeping his ground next to you, as you laid there, with no movement. 

“Baby” Harry whimpered, tears rolling down his cheeks. “Come on, open your eyes” you pleaded, wiping at his eyes to get a better look at you, but still, you remained the same way you were seconds ago. 

“Sir, please” one nurse directed, grabbing his arm and hauling him out the room. 

“No, please!” Harry cried, seeing the doors close behind him and the nurse, as she ushered him out the hall, and you were left alone, vulnerable, with all those doctors and nurses and he was praying you were okay. 

-

He slipped off the gloves he was given, sliding down the wall, sob crawling up his throat as he grabbed his phone, and dialed the first person he could think of. 

“Hello sweet boy!” Anne happily spoke over the other end. “Is the little miss finally born? How’s the missus? Everything go well?” she questioned, excitingly. 

He sniffled, closing his eyes, trying to compose himself and that’s when Anne knew something had went wrong. 

“Harry…” she started, tone completely shifting. “What’s happen? Is everything alright?” 

“I–I have no idea mum” he sniffled, trying his best not to completely break in the middle of the labor and delivery floor. 

“They took her in for an emergency cesarean, because they said she wasn’t progressing like she was suppose too. Everything was going okay, until it wasn’t” he cried vulnerably. 

“One minute, she was okay, and then the next she went pale, and she wouldn’t wake up, and the nurses said she was bleeding a lot and I don’t know what to do!” he cried helplessly. 

Anne closed her eyes on the other end, wishing that she could be beside him, with her arms around her little boy and comfort him and tell him that everything was going to be okay. 

“Oh baby” she sniffled, leaning against the counter and wiping at her eyes. 

“It’s going to be okay, it has to be. She’s such a strong woman” she reassured, but she felt like her words probably meant nothing to him, and she knew she shouldn’t be promising him anything, but they were the only words that she felt would calm him down a bit. 

“I promise, she’ll be okay. She’s a fighter, she won’t let go that easily.”

-

Harry was sat on one of the waiting chairs, scrubs taken off long ago, because he just couldn’t sit in them as they made him feel claustrophobic. 

“Mr.Styles?” a soft voice spoke, causing him to lift his head with eyes rimmed of red. 

“Yes? I-Is my wife, alright? The baby?” you stuttered nervously, trying to clear his head, somehow preparing for the worst. 

“They are both doing beautifully” she smiled, placing a hand on his shoulder, causing him to release a breath he didn’t think he was holding back and his shoulders slumped. 

“Oh thank god” he whispered, hugging the nurse and she jumped a bit surprised, and hummed softly. 

“No worries, she lost quite a bit of blood, that’s why she suddenly felt the shivers, but she’s back in her room, all cleaned up and happy, asking for you” she smiled, guiding him down one of the many halls, and to your assigned room. Giving her a soft thank you, he quickly opened the door, and there he saw you, laying in bed, seeming about to doze off, until she saw you. 

“Oh baby” he whispered, rushing over to her side and pressing kisses to where ever he could reach. Her cheeks, her forehead, her nose, her lips. “Don’t ever ever scare me like that ever again. I thought I lost you” he sniffled, nose burrowing into your shoulder and you smiled softly, running your fingers through the back of his hair. 

“Don’t plan on it” you whispered hoarsely, and he pulled back, giving you a long, soft awaited kiss. 

“I love you so much, did you see her yet? Baby, she’s absolutely beautiful” he smiled, wiping at his eyes. 

“No not yet” you replied, shifting trying to get comparable with a bit of a grimace since your wound had just been stitched up and you were still sore. “’Said they would bring her in, after they finish giving her hearing tests and all that” you smiled, just simply enjoying the moment between the two of you. 

-

“Here she is” the kind nurse cooed, grabbing her out the little bassinet, and handing her over to you. 

“I think there are some well deserved cuddles in order, for what you three went through today” she smiled, making sure your little girl was comfortable, and warm. 

“Alright, I’ll give you three some time alone, I’ll be in to check on you two soon, to be sure she’s latching properly and all that. Other than that, congratulations you two” she smiled, exiting the room. 

“Oh Harry…” you sniffled, looking down at her chubby cheeks and wiping at your eyes. “She looks just like Theo did when he was born” you smiled. 

“Doesn’t she? She has your cute little nose” he pointed out with a smile. “Gosh I can’t believe we have a little girl” he breathed. 

“Me either…” you smiled. “Our little Penelope” you breathed. 

“Gosh, I can’t wait for Theo to meet her. He’s been so excited.” you breathed. “He’s going to be such a good big brother” you fawned, looking up at Harry as he gave you a watery smile and nodded, clearly infatuated with the both of you. 

“God baby, I love you so much” he whispered, pressing his lips to your forehead. 

“I’m so glad you’re okay…both of you” he smiled, wiping at his wet nose and just taking in the moment, that he finally had a little girl.

-

“Knock knock” called a soft voice, followed by a pitter pattering of small feet into the room. 

“Theo” you called out softly with a smile, gently adjusting Penelope who was feeding. 

“Mama!” he grinned, waving at you as he saw Harry and crashed into his arms. 

“Hey, big brother” Harry gasped with a smile. “Do you see the baby?”he smiled, pressing kisses all over his face and tickling his sides, before pecking his mothers cheek and sitting down next to you carefully. 

“Baby” Theo whispered quietly. 

“Yeah, baby” you smiled, running your fingers through his soft curls. 

“This is Penelope, Baby P” you smiled, kissing his small hands.

“P!” he smiled, leaning forward and taking in what she looked like.

You weren’t sure how he was going to react. If he was going to squirm away, or if he was going to take a liking to you. But in the next moment, you literally felt your heart melt. 

Theo leaned forward carefully, puckering his lips and pressing a soft kiss to her forehead, and running a finger down her cheek. 

“Baby” he whispered, with a large grin, causing you to giggle and Harry to squeeze him tight. 

“That’s right, our new little baby. Say hello to the family Penelope, we’re going to love you a whole lot” you smiled, looking down at her and pressing a kiss to her forehead. 

And oh, did you all love her a whole lot. 

-

Ah! Baby Penelope is born, I absolutely loved writing this, a bit different from the traditional L&D stories, I hope you all enjoyed and let me know what you thought! Have a wonderful night, lots of love x 

A chronological look at chapters 95 and 97

…and also the most unexciting theory ever as to why Zeke was on the phone

Time and chronology are strange things in a monthly manga, especially one prone to time skips and flashbacks. As such, our 60 day wait between chapters 95 and 97 amounted to only a few hours of Shingeki time. Both take place on the same day.

Chapter 95

The warriors meet supposedly  “for tea” in Zeke’s office, but the reality is that Zeke has been tasked with introducing them to the Paradis mission. That’s not all.

Zeke is also working with his Marleyan superiors to create a situation where they can gauge each warrior’s loyalty to Marley. We see a panel of them listening in. Notice the phone on the table in front of Magath.

Reiner knows this was all a charade.  Based on his past experience, he knew immediately the room was bugged. He was careful with his phrasing and even tried to protect his buddy Porco from saying something unfortunate.

Leaving the meeting, he reflects “Before a major operation begins, they always run a check on our thoughts and ideologies.” He leaves the meeting knowing he’s being sent back to Paradis. 

Chapter 97

It was the reality of going back to Paradis that precipitated Reiner’s suicide attempt. He leaves the meeting with Zeke and goes straight to the room where he plans on ending his life.

Meanwhile,  Zeke is pictured post-meeting on the phone. Yes, the placement of this panel in 97 was super weird and could very well indicate any number things including that he’s the recipient of Eren’s letter or somehow tied to Magath’s meeting with Mr. Tybur, but I think we’re supposed to assume that once the meeting ended he checked in with Magath and the other officials to make sure they got the information they needed.

It’s boring, it’s not sexy, but there it is.

Chapter 95

Falco is also fun to take a look at from a chronological view. He started the day hype and confident in his abilities. He’s going to earn the Armor! Gabi promptly beats the crap out of him. 

Chapter 97

After dismissed from training with Gabi, he’s found banging a wall in frustration, inadvertently stopping Reiner’s suicide. His mood only improves when he gets a pep talk from that poor injured soldier known as “Eren Kruger”. Our good little bean Falco is nothing but smiles as he helps get a message to the man’s family.

“Many ask us a question about Stefán’s health, so I asked him to tell me about the state of affairs without sacrificing anything.

Now 14 days of hospitalization of Stefán is completed. On June 7, three liver metastases were removed and afterwards, he received an infection that lasted for a week in hospital. Stephen has cholesterol (Cholangiocarcinoma), a rare and low-research disease. It was a disgrace that in Stefáni, metastases should be found as soon as he went to a major operation (Whipple) in early October 2016, as the primary tumor that broke from bile duct to the breeze was removed.

The disease is now advanced, at Grade 4, and therefore, its life expectancy is unfortunately significantly impaired.

Medication is not in sight when the disease is so far, experiments are being made with drugs and life-longing conventional and non-traditional therapies around the world, but the answers can not be received as yet. Conventional chemotherapy also does not deliver results that can be promised when this is the case.

Metastases of this disease can sometimes be removed by surgical procedures, such as the operation that Stephen went through for half a month, but it is unlikely that he will suffer more when the disease recovers or that it becomes quite feasible due to the placement of a trauma. About this little can be predicted at this moment. We hope the best.

It was unbearable to tell our children that their dad would not be an old man and that the time we were together was scarce. Taking the hope that their dad will ever recover. The trust of your children does not make you save, even when it seems unreal. It has been a relief to know that they have not been concealed. If someone thinks that children are not able to have meaningful conversations about death, life and existence, then the same goes wrong with many things.

A vigilous priest at the Children’s Hospital brought this hard encounter with me and the four children and did it beautifully and with enormous professionalism. I could not have done it without him.

Our family and friends are all over the state of affairs and each one takes on these heavy facts that are faced with us. It’s surprising that if you’re stuck in a scene in the midst of a catastrophe - the sun is shining right now, just as nothing has gotten to it - how can it be? Life is no problem.

I would like to thank Stefán, the nurses and all the staff 13-G for the publicity in recent days. Great people all together. I would also like to thank the unexpected friend that I acquired on a bench outside of the hospital for the confidential conversation, the guns of a coach who went to the rallies with Júli and Steina in the hall of the National Hospital and the nightly smile that smiled at me when I went home at night.

Although the chances and statistics are not in our favor, and Stefán’s candle burns quickly, we will not stay with it and be scared of fear. We know that time is precious as never before and we have eaten to enjoy him as well as we can. Death is strange - life is nothing but magnificent!

I would like to express my warmest regards to us - they are priceless.

If the media appreciate these writings, I kindly ask that headlines be steered promptly and carefully.”

The Rise and Fall of the Wassoulou (Mandinka) Empire, West Africa

The Wassoulou Empire was an African Empire that existed between 1294 and 1315 AH (1878-1898 CE) in modern Mali, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.

The story of the rise and fall of the Wassoulou state is also the story of the rise and fall of its first and only ruler, a remarkable man named Samori Touré. Born to a Dyula Mandé family in the town of Mayambaladugu, in the year 1245 AH (1830 CE), he was the son of a fairly well-to-do merchant. Touré grew up in an African world that had long been aware of the European presence. Slave trading on the coasts had been going on for generations, though Europeans were yet to penetrate too far inland, and many still relied on their protectorates for extracting the wealth of Africa. Touré’s father probably had significant relationships with a variety of Europeans, both officials and civilians, as a merchant, and as a result, Touré had a familiarity with their ways of life, and particularly, their ways of bureaucracy, organization, and martial tradition, since many of the outposts and expeditions in the area would have been armed and defended by troops brought in from overseas.

In 1264 AH (1848 CE), an event happened that would change his life forever. At the time, Mayambaladugu and most of the surrounding Mandé and Fulani groups had just been subjugated by the authority of the Tocouleur Empire, often as client chiefdoms or states, and these vassal entities continued to fight intermittent wars with one another, often for loot, including slaves, and access to natural resources that could buy guns and equipment from Europeans, or influence at the new Tocouleur court. When he was eighteen, a man and probably taking some responsibility in his family’s mercantile business, his mother was seized in one of these raids by the powerful Cissé, another Mandé group. Determined to get her back, Samori Touré traveled deep into Cissé territory, to confront a man tradition names Séré-Burlay. In return for his mother’s safety, he struck an agreement with his mother’s captor: he would serve the Cissé as a warrior, so long as she remained safe. It is unkown how long Touré served in this capacity, though some traditions say for more than seven years, but however long he did, he was most likely an experienced veteran by the time he ended his service to the Cissé by escaping with his mother.

Seeking safety from the roused and potentially vengeful Cissé, Touré traveled to the towns of the Bérété Mandé, a group who had been longtime rivals of his former masters. There, again, he became a warrior, though now he began to rise through the ranks, charismatic and brave as he was, and with an extensive knowledge of his enemies and years of combat experience under his belt. By 1280 AH (1864 CE), he had a significant amount of men under his command, and was fighting for the Bérété somewhere along one of the Niger’s tributaries, probably the Milo River.

A final note on Touré’s early life, before the founding of the Wassoulou Empire is discussed: Touré was not born a Muslim, but converted sometime as a young man, possibly during his time with the Cissé, but it is impossible to be sure. Even African sources disagree on the exact dates, or how/why he converted. Regardless, by 1280 AH (1864 CE), he was a devout Sunni Muslim, and possibly a member of a Sufi brotherhood.

In 1280 AH (1864 CE), the Tocouleur Empire, which had conquered and subsumed the Mandé and Fulani states of Touré’s youth the year his mother had been kidnapped, collapsed. El Hadj Omar Tal, the Fulani founder and only ruler of the Tocouleur state, died, and though his heirs managed to hold onto some of the territory, their subjects proved entirely too powerful and eager for the potential spoils left by the great man’s death for their control. Dozens of factions broke off, and the region dissolved into chaos. As mentioned above, Touré was on what was probably the Milo River, and, as the Empire disintegrated around him, Touré took advantage of the situation to accomplish two things. The first was the testing of his warriors in serious battle. Trained with his own version of European military standards, adapted from the experiences and memories of his youth, and armed with firearms and the skill to use them, Touré was eager to see if his own theories about war would hold up in a conflict so much larger and more intense than the small-scale strife of his youth. The second goal was the creation of a new Sunni Muslim state, with Touré as the ruler.

Touré quickly won victories. His men were well-disciplined, and, as the war progressed, more and more heavily armed. In addition to captured weapons and a variety of improvised and locally-manufactured equipment, Touré also began to deal with the British in Sierra Leone, where they refused to offer him status as a full protectorate kingdom, but agreed to supply him with weapons in exchange for a promise not to deal with other colonial powers, particularly the French. Though the British did not supply him with heavy weapons or artillery, they did provide breach-loading weapons, and the know-how to repair them, as well as an enormous supply of ammunition. So armed and now with a veteran army at his back, Touré seized the Buré gold mines, on the Malian border, and with the hard currency and extensive territory his victories had won him, proclaimed himself Faama (Emir, roughly), of a new Wassoulou Empire, named after region on the modern Guinea-Mali border. The capitol was moved to the large town of Bissandugu in 1294 AH (1878 CE).

The next chapter of the Wassoulou Empire was marked by wars of conquest against weaker neighbors, rather than the earlier wars for survival in the cutthroat political climate left behind by the Tocouleur collapse. A major success came in 1297 AH (1881 CE), when Kankan, a major Dyula trading post on the Milo River fell, and the Empire reached its geographical zenith. Smaller states, particularly animist/indigenous African states, fell as well in the same period, and though, like many African rulers, Touré allowed many indigenous civil customs to continue unmolested, he began to style himself with Islamic titles, and likely sought out more formal religious training from Sufi’s and Marabouts, local Sunni leaders, during this period. Finally, he managed to secure alliances, with himself as the power-brokering party, with the Fulani states to the North, where Islam was the state religion.

In 1299 AH (1882 CE), Samori Touré launched a new campaign, this time dispatching his troops South, toward Cote d’Ivoire. There, they besieged the city of Keriera, hoping to use it as the launching point for a campaign as far as the coast. However, another major imperial power was operating to the south, and moving northwards from the Ivory Coast: France. In fact, the first contact between the Wassoulou Empire and the French was a brief engagement outside of Keriera, where a French force drove off Touré’s surprised troops, and then effectively replaced them, occupying the city. Touré, concerned but not desperate, renewed relations with the British and sent new emissaries to Liberia, where he hoped to strike another arms deal. He got what he was looking for in 1300 AH (1882-3 CE), purchasing repeating rifles from the British and Liberians, and setting up a corridor on which to move supplies between the coast and his interior centers of power, should the emerging conflict with the French escalate.

They did escalate. Skirmishes and Wassoulou raiding colored the next few years, and French colonial authorities, disturbed by what they perceived as a grave threat to ventures in the area, dispatched a Colonel Combes with an expeditionary force to take Buré, one of the main sources of cash for Touré and his Empire. However, the force was too small, and Combés was unfamiliar with the terrain and his enemy, and they were soundly defeated by the crack African forces, many of the leaders veterans of decades of campaigning. In Shawwal, 1308 AH (1891 CE), another French force was dispatched, this time to Kankan and lead by Louis Archinárd, another French Colonel. Touré, realizing he could not hold the walls against heavy French artillery, abandoned the city, but took his men into the field, hoping to defeat the French in the open. Though Touré managed to drive a few French columns back in 1308 AH (1891 CE), he was unable to significantly halt their advances, especially as more and more French troops were assigned to the region, transferred for the campaigns organized to destroy Touré and his neighbors. Another blow had come with the signing of the Brussels Conference Act of 1890, in which Europeans agreed to stop selling weapons to African rulers or armies, cutting Touré off from a valuable source of weapons.

In 1309 AH (1892 CE), French Colonel Húmbért attacked, seized and occupied Bissandugu and Buré, though Touré and his troops were, again, in the field, and, though defeated, the Faama was able to keep his troops intact, retreating across the Niger. Along the path of his retreat, Touré burned crops and destroyed as much of the infrastructure as he could, hoping to stall the French and possibly allow African disease to have some weakining effect on the advancing columns, though this strategy only bought a few seasons. The clashes with the French, from the first engagement with Colonel Combés to the seizure of Buré and Touré’s capital at Bissandugu, constitute what is now known as the First and Second Mandingo Wars. The third, and the deciding moment for the Wassoulou Empire, loomed, though it was delayed by the French conflicts with rulers in Mali and back along their tenuous zones of control to the coast.

However, by 1315 AH (1898 CE), Babemba Traoré, the ruler of the collapsing Kénédougou Empire to the North in Mali proper, was defeated by the French, who proceeded to incorporate most of Mali into the expanding territory of French West Africa. Touré, cut off from supplies in Liberia and Sierra Leone, now found himself virtually alone against the French, who moved their victorious armies back toward Wassoulou and the border, preparing for a final offensive, across the Niger and into what had once been the far Eastern edge of Touré’s Empire, now its only remaining area. Within a few months of the outbreak of hostilities in the Third Mandingo War, Touré was captured when a French unit attacked his troops, and was imprisoned. The French quickly moved in to the remaining Wassoulou towns, and formally dissolved the Empire in the ensuing months. Touré remained imprisoned by local French troops until the 23rd of Jumada al-Ula, 1317 CE (29 September 1899), when he was moved to exile in Gabon. He died of pneumonia there, at 70, in Safar, 1318 AH (June 1900 CE), and was buried at the Grand Masjid in Conakry, Guinea. Touré’s great-grandson, Ahmed Sékou Touré, would later become Guinea’s first President, when the country became independent of France more than half a century later.

hot new canon spin off idea

on earth c after the jump forward in time the kids dont really have a lot of old gods type responsibility over general godly things like the life and death of everyone, the pattern of the weather, how well crops do in a season? that type of stuff, because the planet does a pretty damn good job of doing that all on its own. thats how science works, ya feel me?

so what do you do in this brand new world with all sorts of power at your fingertips and not a big need for godly intervention on a worldly scale? you get superheroes is whatcha get

a lot of god tier and backstory stuff already fits well into common superhero tropes:

-premade costumes that seem to just come along w the powers

-individual powers (to add interest) with some common overlap (flight, general durability, general capability in fights?)

-conditional immortality! characters die in comics all the time but they basically always come back to life either through actual revival or rebooting the universe

-weird circumstances of birth/predestination towards eventual greatness

-currently leading major operations in their everyday lives (rulers of the kingdoms???? that ones iffy, but jane and jake are ceos of crockercorp and skaianet)

-all sorts of alt universes to look into if the dreambubbles every become, relevant again

[this is also similar to how golden age comic characters (those with super powers like superman anyway) are usually coming from a religious basis, taking from recognizable backgrounds like Samson, Moses, Jesus. These are all very Abrahamic examples but my comics background is very western sorry]

This all leads back into canon with how we see a certain Ms. Crocker spending her days.

Every superhero story needs its super villians, and we’ve got the perfect set up for a monster of the week type superhero series:

now if only jane werent stuck in permahell in the oven and the snapdates werent abanoded forEV-

Calm?

Siblings, INTP(f) and ESFP(b) are baking a cake.

INTP: All right, that’s that settled. *shuts oven and dusts hands*. Set a timer for 45 minutes, we’ll check them every 10.

ESFP: Roger that.

—15 minutes later—

INTP: *rereads instructions* Oh fuck. Oh fuckity fuckledoody fuck. Fuck me till the next fucking century.

ESFP: What? What is it?

INTP: We forgot to put in the baking powder.

ESFP: Are you kidding.

INTP: I shit you not. Look. *shows instructions*

ESFP: Shiiiiiiiite.

—LITERALLY NOT EVEN 10 SECONDS LATER—

INTP: Lmfao it’s okay, it’ll just be flat. It’s kinda funny to anticipate.

ESFP: Yup. This is just a minor setback in a major operation. It’ll be fine!

INTP: Right? At least we didn’t burn it.

ESFJ(b) enters the kitchen and overhears.

ESFJ: You guys…are so calm…so quickly.

INTP: We generally give no shits.

ESFP: Plus — short attention span.

ESFJ: Wow. Not sure if you’re calm or just too distracted to be concerned.

INTP: Probably both?

A Medical Emergency Pt.2

Howdy friends! It’s wee bairn Marlo, coming to you live from a family holiday to Montreal. So many of you asked for a second part to my prompt surrounding doctor Claire and patient Jamie, which I have since dubbed A Medical Emergency (which you can read here). And, considering how angsty the last few TSS fics have been (blame Kaitlyn and Mikayla), I figured it was time to deliver some fluff for your amusement!

As always, a major thank you to my Kilt Kult buddies and fellow TSS mods for keeping me on track and reassuring me that my writing isn’t trash. Also, I owe all of you a major shout out as well, as I would never have written this fic without your overwhelming positive response. So, thank you thank you thank you from the very bottom of my heart!

Enjoy!


It was two weeks before Claire could stomach facing Jamie again. The surgery had been a success, and Claire had meticulously mended the shattered bones of Jamie’s hand. She hadn’t counted on the infection that set in, keeping him bedridden and feverish for nearly a week. Claire couldn’t help but feel responsible.

“It happens all the time LJ. I wouldn’t worry about it.” said Joe Abernathy, Claire’s fellow doctor and hospital confidante. She knew that there was nothing she could have done, that infections happen and it was out of her control, but the thought of seeing Jamie in more pain, with even the smallest chance of it being by her hand, was too much to bear. She didn’t know what is was about this Scot: his bull-headedness, the way his nose crinkled when he smiled at her as she was wheeling him into surgery, or how peaceful and innocent he looked under anesthesia, the softness of his face making him look like a child. Whatever it was, Claire found herself experiencing feelings she had never felt before, and it left her simultaneously terrified and exhilarated.

It was a Tuesday afternoon, and Claire had just finished a run of the mill appendectomy. Granted with a brief reprieve, she quickly cleaned herself off before heading to the on-call room, eager to take a quick rest before her pager summoned her again. Unfortunately, she found herself having to cross through the recovery wing, where Jamie lay behind the closed door of room 263. Claire had continued to follow his case, coercing nurses into providing valuable intel on his condition and moral.

“Yes, he is eating.”

“No. He doesn’t have a fever.”

“If you’re so interested Doctor, why don’t you go ask him yourself?”

Still, Claire refused to step foot in that room. The nagging guilt in her stomach surrounding his prolonged hospitalization, coupled with the more puzzling stirrings deep in the pit of her stomach, wouldn’t allow her to walk down the white tile hall leading up to his room. Unfortunately, she currently had no other option.

Keep reading

September 2, 1917 - Germans Breakthrough Russian Defense of Riga

Pictured - Dead Russian soldiers lie where they fell. The German use of stormtrooper tactics, a flexible artillery plan, and air reconnaissance routed Russian forces.

The Latvian capital of Riga had defied Germany for sometime. When the Russian front buckled in 1917, the defenders of Riga stood their ground and prepared the city for a lengthy siege. Two lines of bunkers, trenches, and dug-outs guarded the city, swathed with minefields, barbed wire entanglements, and artillery positions. The Russian Twelfth Army garrisoned the area.

Germany was fighting a three-front war, and the bulk of its troops went to the vital Western Front. The Eastern theater had always been treated as more of a backwater. Any major operation required the transfer of divisions from the West to help. Eight such divisions had come to the East that summer, when the Russian Kerensky Offensive had for a time threatened the fragile Austro-Hungarian army. The Kerensky attack had been smashed, however, and Hindenburg and Ludendorff in the High Commanded demanded their troops back to face the British at Ypres.

Germany’s leading man in the East had a different plan. Colonel Max von Hoffman worked behind the scenes as Germany’s Chief of Staff for the Eastern Front. In 1914 he had masterminded the crushing Battle of Tannenburg that saw Paul von Hindenburg leap back to prominence. Now, in 1917, he had devised a new operation that might even knock Russia out of the war once and for all.

Hoffman planned for the German Eighth Army, commanded by General Oskar von Hutier, to storm Riga and encircle the Russian Twelfth Army. Although the Russian army was at a low-point, the fearsome defenses of Riga ensured this would still be no easy task. Hoffman and Hutier, however, had a toolkit of clever tactics to assist them.

On September 1 German sappers erected pontoon bridges over the river Daugava. The Eight Army’s artillery commander, Georg Bruchmüller, eschewed a lengthy bombardment in favor of a short and intense barrage. Rather than rely on pre-planned coordinates, Bruchmüller waited for Russian batteries to open up and then destroyed them with counter-battery fire. His more than 1,000 guns made short work of the 66 Russian cannons around the city. Bruchmüller was soon known as “Durchbruchmüller” - “Breakthroughmüller.”

Meanwhile the German assault companies were made up of specially trained stormtroopers, motivated young men with flamethrowers, light machine-guns, and plenty of bombs. They also moved up with captured Russian light artillery pieces so that they could destroy Russian bunkers. They were trained to circumvent areas with strong resistance, encircling them and cutting them off from the rear. Although this stormtrooper doctrine is also called “Hutier tactics” and attributed to the Germans, in reality it was borrowing from British and Russian methods that had been used against the Germans.

Germany’s new attack methods - wherever they were learned - worked like a charm at Riga. By September 2 most Russian resistance had been annihilated. Only a stubborn rear-guard action by a brigade of Latvian riflemen prevented the city from falling that day. Later these Latvians would become the elite vanguard of the Red Army. The rest of the Russian Republic’s Twelfth Army evacuated before it was cut off - although not before the troops had looted the city shops of anything worth taking.