Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Shadow of the Past

Thought WWI was history? In the Middle East, think again

What brought Turkey into World War I was the Escape of the German warships Goeben and Breslau , especially the Goeben, which was the most powerful ship in the Mediterranean at the start of the War. She was The Ship That Changed the World.

According to Winston Churchill the Goeben brought “more slaughter, more misery, and more ruin than has ever before been borne within the compass of a ship.”. He wrote that in 1931.

A techie note from church

This morning in Church it was my turn to read the lesson from the Hebrew scriptures, about Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of Silver (Genesis 37). I also read the assigned part of Psalm 105, where this story also comes up.

17 He sent a man before them, *
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet in fetters; *
his neck they put in an iron collar.

I saw the phrase “iron collar” and my mind immediately went “Anachronism!”. Continue reading

The Field of Blackbirds

A battle in 1389 was part of the background of World War I, and the Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s.

The ghost and legend that ignited the First World War

On Saturday, June 28, 2014, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia von Hochenberg were assassinated by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. This event ignited the First World War.

… that was the day [June 28] commemorating the June 1389 battle in the Balkans between Serb and Ottoman forces at Kosovo Polje (“Field of Blackbirds”). Both leaders, Serbian prince Lazar and the Ottoman sultan Murat I, were killed. With the death of the sultan, the Serbs, if they had so desired, could have claimed victory. But that was not the case. The event instead became a legendary tale of resistance to a foreign power, first to the Ottoman empire, secondly to the empire of Austria-Hungary, thirdly to Yugoslavia itself.