Wednesday, 20 May 2015

grand coulee washington

Spanish explorers Bruno Heceta (Hezeta y Dudagoita) and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, sailing north from Mexico, explored the coast of Washington in 1775.
On July 12, 1775, a small group lands at the future Grenville Bay and claims the Pacific Northwest for Spain. Later that day seven of Heceta's crewmen become the first Europeans to die in the future state of Washington when they are killed by Quinault warriors while attempting to land. Heceta names the place Punta de los Martires (Point of the Martyrs). The two vessels  continue north. On the return trip, on August 17, 1775, Heceta maps the Washington coast including the mouth of the Columbia River, but does not enter the Great River.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Above Airfix conversions 

The term "sepoy" or "sipāhi" is derived from the Persian word "sipāh" meaning "army". In its most common application Sepoy was the term used in the British Indian Army, and earlier in that of the British East India Company, for an infantry private (a cavalry trooper was a Sowar).

A painting showing a Sowar (Sepoy), 6th Madras Light Cavalry of British India. Circa 1845.The term sepoy came into use in the forces of the British East India Company in the eighteenth century, where it was one of many, such as peons, gentoos, mestees and topassess used for various categories of native soldiers. Initially it referred to Hindu or Muslim soldiers without regular uniform or discipline. It later generically referred to all native soldiers in the service of the European powers in India.
 Sepoys in British serviceInitially the British recruited sepoys from the local communities in the Madras and Bombay Presidencies, the emphasis being on recruits having adequate physique and being of sufficient caste. In the Bengal Army however, recuitment was only amongst high caste Brahman and Rajput communities of erstwhile Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Recruitment was done locally by battalions or regiments often from the same community, village and even family. The commanding officer of a battalion became a form of substitute for the village chief or "gaon bura". He was the "mai-baap" or the "father and mother" of the sepoys making up the "paltan" (unit). There were many family and community ties amongst the troops and numerous instances where family members enlisted in the same battalion or regiment. The "izzat" or honour of the unit was represented by the regimental colours; the new sepoy having to swear an oath in front of them on enlistment. These colours were stored in honour in the quarter guard and frequently paraded before the men. They formed a rallying point in battle. The oath of fealty by the sepoy was given to the East India Company and included a pledge of faithfulness to the salt that one has eaten
The salary of the sepoys employed by the East India Company, while not substantially greater than that paid by the rulers of Indian states, was usually paid regularly. Advances could be given and family allotments from pay due were permitted when the troops served abroad. There was a commisariat and regular rations were provided. Weapons, clothing and ammunition were provided centrally, in contrast to the soldiers of local kings whose pay was often in arrears. In addition local rulers usually expected their sepoys to arm themselves and to sustain themselves through plunder.
This combination of factors led to the development of a sense of shared honour and ethos amongst the well drilled and disciplined Indian soldiery who formed the key to the success of European feats of arms in India and abroad.
Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the surviving East India Company regiments were merged into a new Indian Army under the direct control of the British Crown. The designation of "sepoy" was retained for Indian soldiers below the rank of Lance-naik, except in cavalry and rifle regiments where the equivalent ranks were "sowar" or "rifleman".

Following the formation of the French East India Company (Compagnie des Indes) in 1719, companies of Indian sepoys (cipayes) were raised to augment the French and Swiss mercenary troops available. By 1720 the sepoys in French service numbered about 10,000.[3] Although much reduced in numbers after their decisive defeat in India at the Battle of Wandewash in 1760, the France continued to maintain a Military Corps of Indian Sepoys (corps militaire des cipayes de l'Inde) in Pondicherry (now Puducherry) until it was disbanded and replaced by a locally recruited gendarmerie in 1898.[4]
 Sepoys in Portugese service
Sepoys were also recruited in Portuguese India. Some Portuguese sepoys were later sent to serve in other territories of the Portuguese Empire, especially those in Africa. The term "sipaio" (sepoy) was also applied by the Portuguese to African soldiers and African rural police officers.
[edit] Other useagesThe same Persian word has reached English via another route in the form of Spahi. Zipaio, the Basque version of the word, is used by leftist Basque nationalists as an insult for members of the Basque Police,[5] implying that they are not a national police but servants of a foreign occupier.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Am Mex War

The United States had two armies during the 19th century. The first, a standing army commonly referred to as the U.S. Army, had been authorized by the Congress in 1789. Designated the regular army, this force was composed of officers commissioned by Congress and enlisted men who joined for a five year period. In 1792, Congress created a second army intended as an auxiliary to the regulars called the militia. One major difference between the regulars and militia was the first was a national force while the second was the armies of the various states. Congress stipulated three instances when the militia could be called into federal service: to execute the laws of the United States, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions. This two-tiered arrangement formed the basis of the American military establishment during the Mexican War. 

The U.S. Army was unprepared for war. While Congress had authorized a strength of 8,613 men and officers, the actual number of soldiers in uniform was fewer than 5,500. Many of the regimental commanders had entered the service before the War of 1812 and were too elderly and infirm for active duty. Companies were far below their authorized strength of forty-two privates with many carrying only half that number on their rolls. Reacting to the poor state of the army once war broke out, Congress increased the number of privates within individual companies to one hundred. It also created a company of the U.S. Engineers as well a new regiment of U.S. Mounted Rifles. These measures turned out be stopgaps at best.

The presence of a large number of graduates from the United States Military Academy worked in favor of the U.S. Army. These officers, mostly lieutenants and captains, formed a tight knit corps whose leadership ability and training helped offset the initial shortage of manpower. Historians point out that their ranks included men such as George G. Meade, Ulysses S. Grant, George B. McClellan, P.G.T. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, Joseph E. Johnston, and Robert E. Lee, officers who later went on to command the great armies of the Civil War.

The militia system had already proven unreliable by the time of the Mexican War and had undergone substantial revision. Two issues emerged during the War of 1812 that demonstrated its flaws. First, many states prohibited their troops from participating in military operations on foreign soil. Second, by law a militiaman could only serve for a period of ninety days, meaning that recruiting, training, and marshaling occupied most of a unit's time with little left over for campaigning. As a solution to this problem, Congress created a subclass of militia called volunteers who were not confined by these two restrictions. On May 13, 1846, Congress authorized President Polk to raise 50,000 12-month volunteers.

Although both composed a part of the American Army, regulars and volunteers were notably different. Observers noted little interaction between officers and men, with each occupying a clearly defined station within the military establishment. Most Americans avoided enlisting in the regulars, guaranteeing that a high percentage of privates, corporals, and sergeants were foreign born. The combination of aristocratic officers and foreign "hirelings" made many Americans suspicious of the regulars. After all, what American citizen would settle for $7 a month as an army private unless forced to by dire circumstance? The volunteer, on the other hand, seemed to fit the spirit of the young republic because he was a citizen-soldier. Politics entered into the system as most volunteers elected their own officers. Volunteer units were raised locally, allowing friends, neighbors, and relatives to serve together. Although nominally under federal authority, volunteers maintained strong ties to their home states. The democratic nature of the volunteers meant that discipline in this corps was more lax than in the regulars.

More troops were needed as the war progressed. In November 1846, Congress issued an additional call for volunteers after realizing that most of the one year men would leave at the expiration of their terms. This second wave of volunteers was enlisted for the duration of the war. On February 11, 1847, Congress created ten additional regiments of regulars to serve for the period of the war. In all, 26,922 regulars and 73,260 volunteers served at some point during the Mexican War.

The combat elements were the same for both the regulars and the volunteers. The majority of troops were raised and trained as infantry and armed with flintlock muskets. The regulars maintained two regiments of light cavalry called dragoons with a third created for the war. Several regiments of mounted volunteers were raised that served mainly with Taylor's Army of Occupation and Kearny's Army of the West. Artillery formed the third branch of service. Just prior to the outbreak of the war, the army equipped several companies as "flying artillery" in which each cannoneer had his own mount. The innovation meant that the unit could gallop around the battlefield, bringing its guns to bear wherever they were most needed. This style of artillery was instrumental in several U.S. victories.

Readers who like military history will find the battles and leaders of the Mexican War extremely interesting. The American military is fascinating, too, because it reveals much about society in the Age of Jackson. Several works are recommended to those who want to learn more about the American Army in the Mexican War. John Porter Bloom's 1953 Emory University Ph.D. dissertation, "With the American Army in Mexico, 1846-1848," remains an outstanding study of the American soldier in Mexico. More accessible to most readers will be James M. McCaffrey's Army of Manifest Destiny: The American Soldier in the Mexican War, 1846-1848. A more recent work which examines the army is Richard Bruce Winders' "Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War." Also recommended are the many volumes of published letters and diaries that place the war on a personal level, giving the reader a "soldier's eye view" of the war.