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#21 Andres Vera

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 1653 PM

Great topic Andrés. I really liked the animation of Jutland, this has to be one of the most dramatic naval battles of recent times.

That animation got me back to the old days of the "British would have won had they not turned away from the German torpedoes thread". At peak King Sargent Military History traffic we had like two of these a week.



#22 BillB

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 1902 PM

Well I suppose I'd better bite. At risk of sounding like Rich I gave it the first thirty minutes and found it a sprinkling of accurate facts over lots of simple misrepresentation at best and a mixture of just plain wrong and fantasy at worst...

 

BillB



#23 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 0431 AM

Always a problem with breathless efforts to bring the 'real truth ©' to a single video screen, instead of investing many years of research and contemplation to determine 'Wie es eigentlicht gewesen [how it really was - L. Ranke].'



#24 Rich

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 1017 AM

 

Well I suppose I'd better bite. At risk of sounding like Rich I gave it the first thirty minutes and found it a sprinkling of accurate facts over lots of simple misrepresentation at best and a mixture of just plain wrong and fantasy at worst...

 

BillB

 

 

Funny, I doubt I have a British accent.



#25 BillB

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 1128 AM

 

 

Well I suppose I'd better bite. At risk of sounding like Rich I gave it the first thirty minutes and found it a sprinkling of accurate facts over lots of simple misrepresentation at best and a mixture of just plain wrong and fantasy at worst...

 

BillB

 

 

Funny, I doubt I have a British accent.

 

Neither do I, according to some.  :)

 

[edited to add] No insult intended, I was simply referring to your refreshing tendency to deliberately push verifiable facts into the path of a good story. 

 

BillB



#26 Andres Vera

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 1133 AM



#27 nitflegal

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 1928 PM

 


As someone with more than a passing interest in the katana for the last 30 years and the good fortune to handle a bunch of period versions over the years I found his videos on them pretty poor.  One of the poor things about youtube history videos are there are far too many where someone speaks for 5-20 minutes about a subject he knows little about.  A friend brought a few over and I swung a couple isn't much in the way of research.

My knowledge on swords is very limited. I simply found it refreshing for someone to say that the Katana itself was not a heavenly sword created with ancient Japanese Magics. In truth this alligned with what I learned about the Gladius, it was simply a stabbing tool used by men who knew how to use it to maximum effect, the Roman Legionary. I admit that this is the limit of my knowledge. I am really interested in knowing what you found misleading about the video.

 

Well, everyone knows that the Katana is so totally awesome is can cut a femur in half floating in a stream or some such!  I do appreciate the fact that we are starting to get penetration of the idea that a tachi or katana is simply a curved piece of steel with an edge; a few extremely well made, most Ok to really good, and a decent minority that were crap.  I had a chance to handle some period European swords in the back at the Higgins armory and the steel was just as nice as many high end katana.  This cult of the fancy giant dinner knife is best served dead!  The fact that much of the reason Japanese steel has the mutli-layers and extensive forging is because their ore sucked so badly gets dismissed.  On the scholarly side, I tend to believe the more recent research that says the steel in a good katana was not as good as that in a contemporary European one of similar quality.  If I had to rely on one, modern off the shelf stock is better, stronger, and more pure. . . .

 

As to the video, stating tachi/katana are all roughly the same in design is as silly as discarding Oakshott's typology and saying all European Type Xii's through XVII's are all the same.  There is a tremendous amount of variation in Japanese sword design, even during the Sengoku period.  Not just length, but curvature, weight, width, handle design, handling, etc.  One thing that often gets missed is that most of the swords which survived into the Edo period had to meet gov't regulations, so if you wanted to wear an old sword you had to chop it down to meet official rules.  This leads to many early swords looking like Edo period ones because they'd been heavily mutilated.  Again, it's like handling good European longswords.  The construction is similar in them but the design noticeably varies according to the purpose.  I suspect part of the problem as well as that Katana has come to mean sword (instead of a the more basic "ken") to we Westerners and so we arbitrarily dismiss all the weird and wonderful variations as some other hard to pronounce Japanese name.



#28 Rich

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 1122 AM

 

 

 

Well I suppose I'd better bite. At risk of sounding like Rich I gave it the first thirty minutes and found it a sprinkling of accurate facts over lots of simple misrepresentation at best and a mixture of just plain wrong and fantasy at worst...

 

BillB

 

 

Funny, I doubt I have a British accent.

 

Neither do I, according to some.  :)

 

[edited to add] No insult intended, I was simply referring to your refreshing tendency to deliberately push verifiable facts into the path of a good story. 

 

BillB

 

 

No insult was perceived either Bill, I just like to tweak you...



#29 Mikel2

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 0416 AM

I love this series on the Great War the BBC made for its 50th anniversary.  Lots of veterans were interviewed and the "lions led by donkeys" narrative hadn't come out in force yet.

 



#30 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 0437 AM

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain.  The best overview ive seen of Britains transformation from victorian society into the beginnings of its decline as a world power.

 

There is a follow up of Britain from 1945 till the Present day, but they dont seem to have that up at the moment.



#31 JWB

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1248 PM

US War Department "propamentary" about the final year of the war. The movie cuts back and forth between Brit and Yank. There is little in the way of info that we don't already know. The interesting parts have to do with the mentality, psychology, and attitudes of the participants at that stage of the war. Early in there is a hilariously cynical bit about how  recruiters enticed young men with various promises and benefits.

 



#32 Daan

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1311 PM

 

 

 


As someone with more than a passing interest in the katana for the last 30 years and the good fortune to handle a bunch of period versions over the years I found his videos on them pretty poor.  One of the poor things about youtube history videos are there are far too many where someone speaks for 5-20 minutes about a subject he knows little about.  A friend brought a few over and I swung a couple isn't much in the way of research.

My knowledge on swords is very limited. I simply found it refreshing for someone to say that the Katana itself was not a heavenly sword created with ancient Japanese Magics. In truth this alligned with what I learned about the Gladius, it was simply a stabbing tool used by men who knew how to use it to maximum effect, the Roman Legionary. I admit that this is the limit of my knowledge. I am really interested in knowing what you found misleading about the video.

 

Well, everyone knows that the Katana is so totally awesome is can cut a femur in half floating in a stream or some such!  I do appreciate the fact that we are starting to get penetration of the idea that a tachi or katana is simply a curved piece of steel with an edge; a few extremely well made, most Ok to really good, and a decent minority that were crap.  I had a chance to handle some period European swords in the back at the Higgins armory and the steel was just as nice as many high end katana.  This cult of the fancy giant dinner knife is best served dead!  The fact that much of the reason Japanese steel has the mutli-layers and extensive forging is because their ore sucked so badly gets dismissed.  On the scholarly side, I tend to believe the more recent research that says the steel in a good katana was not as good as that in a contemporary European one of similar quality.  If I had to rely on one, modern off the shelf stock is better, stronger, and more pure. . . .

 

As to the video, stating tachi/katana are all roughly the same in design is as silly as discarding Oakshott's typology and saying all European Type Xii's through XVII's are all the same.  There is a tremendous amount of variation in Japanese sword design, even during the Sengoku period.  Not just length, but curvature, weight, width, handle design, handling, etc.  One thing that often gets missed is that most of the swords which survived into the Edo period had to meet gov't regulations, so if you wanted to wear an old sword you had to chop it down to meet official rules.  This leads to many early swords looking like Edo period ones because they'd been heavily mutilated.  Again, it's like handling good European longswords.  The construction is similar in them but the design noticeably varies according to the purpose.  I suspect part of the problem as well as that Katana has come to mean sword (instead of a the more basic "ken") to we Westerners and so we arbitrarily dismiss all the weird and wonderful variations as some other hard to pronounce Japanese name.

 

A good site on the metallurgy and manufacturing of swords is: https://www.tf.uni-k.../iss/index.html. It is written by a former German professor of materials science of the Uni Kiel.

 

In his section on Japanese swords he writes that the problems with their steel stem not only from the lack of decent ore but are also related to the relative primitive metallurgy employed. The Japanese sword industry never progressed beyond the usage of bloomery iron and steel with its associated handicaps.


Edited by Daan, 16 September 2017 - 1311 PM.


#33 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 0933 AM

US National Archives have some interesting programmes, usually from book signing events. This one is particularly interesting, on US continuity of Government plans in the event of a catastrophe.



#34 toysoldier

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Posted Yesterday, 01:29 AM

As someone with more than a passing interest in the katana for the last 30 years and the good fortune to handle a bunch of period versions over the years I found his videos on them pretty poor.  One of the poor things about youtube history videos are there are far too many where someone speaks for 5-20 minutes about a subject he knows little about.  A friend brought a few over and I swung a couple isn't much in the way of research.

My knowledge on swords is very limited. I simply found it refreshing for someone to say that the Katana itself was not a heavenly sword created with ancient Japanese Magics. In truth this alligned with what I learned about the Gladius, it was simply a stabbing tool used by men who knew how to use it to maximum effect, the Roman Legionary. I admit that this is the limit of my knowledge. I am really interested in knowing what you found misleading about the video.
Well, everyone knows that the Katana is so totally awesome is can cut a femur in half floating in a stream or some such!  I do appreciate the fact that we are starting to get penetration of the idea that a tachi or katana is simply a curved piece of steel with an edge; a few extremely well made, most Ok to really good, and a decent minority that were crap.  I had a chance to handle some period European swords in the back at the Higgins armory and the steel was just as nice as many high end katana.  This cult of the fancy giant dinner knife is best served dead!  The fact that much of the reason Japanese steel has the mutli-layers and extensive forging is because their ore sucked so badly gets dismissed.  On the scholarly side, I tend to believe the more recent research that says the steel in a good katana was not as good as that in a contemporary European one of similar quality.  If I had to rely on one, modern off the shelf stock is better, stronger, and more pure. . . .
 
As to the video, stating tachi/katana are all roughly the same in design is as silly as discarding Oakshott's typology and saying all European Type Xii's through XVII's are all the same.  There is a tremendous amount of variation in Japanese sword design, even during the Sengoku period.  Not just length, but curvature, weight, width, handle design, handling, etc.  One thing that often gets missed is that most of the swords which survived into the Edo period had to meet gov't regulations, so if you wanted to wear an old sword you had to chop it down to meet official rules.  This leads to many early swords looking like Edo period ones because they'd been heavily mutilated.  Again, it's like handling good European longswords.  The construction is similar in them but the design noticeably varies according to the purpose.  I suspect part of the problem as well as that Katana has come to mean sword (instead of a the more basic "ken") to we Westerners and so we arbitrarily dismiss all the weird and wonderful variations as some other hard to pronounce Japanese name.
A good site on the metallurgy and manufacturing of swords is: https://www.tf.uni-k.../iss/index.html. It is written by a former German professor of materials science of the Uni Kiel.
 
In his section on Japanese swords he writes that the problems with their steel stem not only from the lack of decent ore but are also related to the relative primitive metallurgy employed. The Japanese sword industry never progressed beyond the usage of bloomery iron and steel with its associated handicaps.

Personally i find myself more and more interested in two overlooked japanese items, the assymetrical yumi bow and the light, modular suits of armor. To me those are greater achievements.





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