Sunday, April 21, 2019

American Revolutionary War (Summary)

The American Revolutionary War was an armed conflict between the British Empire and her thirteen colonies of North America, which fought for emancipation. It broke out on April 19, 1775, with the Battle of Lexington, in Massachusetts, where 800 Red Coats were defeated by militiamen, under John Parker, and ended up 1783 with the signature of the Treaty of Paris, by which the British government, under George III, recognized the independence of the thirteen colonies. The war lasted eight years, and included naval battles. In 1787, the Constitutional Convention approved the American Constitution and George Washington became the first President of the United States of America.

Causes

There were four events that caused and triggered the American War of Independence: 1) the duties charged on American products imported by England, such as tea, lead, paints, glass, and paper through the Townshend Acts of 1767; although these custom duties were later repealed, the duty on tea remained. 2) The Boston Tea Party that threw overboard three shiploads of tea down into Boston harbor as a protest. 3) the Intolerable Acts, which was passed by the British Parliament to punish the people of Massachusetts for the destruction of East India Company tea; one of these Acts was the closure of the Boston harbor as the colony's charter was abolished, depriving the people of Massachusetts of their rights of electing their own representatives. 4) The colonists' rejection of any acts or laws passed by the British Parliament affecting their products and political rights, since they were not represented at the Parliament on the other side of the Atlantic; they felt that whatever laws were passed by a legislative body at which they were not represented and that affected the American economic interests were arbitrary and unjust.

Battles of the American Revolutionary War

Battle of Lexington (April 19, 1775): American victory

Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775): British victory

Battle of Long Island: British victory

Battle of Harlem Heights (September 16, 1776): American victory

Battle of Saratoga (October 7, 1777): American victory

Battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778): draw

Battle of the Chesapeake (September 5, 1781): decisive French naval victory over the British

Battle of Yorktown (October 19, 1781): Franco-American victory

Commanders

American: George Washington, Natanael Greene, Horatio Gates, Benedict Arnold.

French: Marquis de La Fayette, Comte de Rochambeau.

Spanish: Bernardo de Galvez, Luis de Cordova

British: North Lord, Sir William Howe, Thomas Gages, Sir Henry Clinton.

American allies

France and Spain

Settlement of the Northeast (Summary)

The first European to explore the Northeast region of North America was the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano, who worked for the French Crown. In 1524, he sailed into New York Harbor, along the coast of Long Island. In 1525, a Portuguese, Estevan Gomez, exploring for Spain, entered the same harbor. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an Englishman hired by the Dutch, sailed up the Hudson River. Then, in 1623, the Dutch made a settlement on Manhattan Island, naming their town New Amsterdam. In 1624, another group of Dutch families settled at Fort Orange, the present city of Albany. Soon afterward Dutch patroons (landholders) began taking up large tracts along the Hudson River and in New Jersey. On this land they settled tenant families.

The first settlers of Maryland came in 1634; they were English Catholics seeking refuge in the New World as they escaped religious persecution in England. The earliest settlement of Delaware was made by the Swedes in 1638, but it was captured by the Dutch in 1655. During these years, the English were colonizing New England and Virginia. Between these two regions, along the middle of the Atlantic Coast, the Dutch had taken hold. However, the English undertook to drive out the Dutch and, in 1664, they captured New Amsterdam, renaming it New York, after the Duke of York.

Pennsylvania began in 1681, with the English King's grant of a huge tract of land to William Penn, who promised colonists that they could share in their government and follow the religion of their choice. Soon, Pennsylvania attracted Swedes, Danes, Dutch, Germans, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish. Only about half of its people were English. It was the first colony to contain many nationalities, like the future population of America.

During the French and Indian Wars, the western frontiers were raided by Indians. At the end of this war, in 1763, England controlled all the land east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans.

Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King Helicopter

The CH-124 Sea King is a ship-based, twin-engined helicopter, developed by Sikorsky Aircraft from the SH-3 in the early 1960s. In service with the Canadian Navy since 1963, the CH-124 has been used in rescue, reconnaissance, and anti-submarine missions, operating from frigates, destroyers, and replenishment ships. The high tech avionics it is equipped with allow the Sea King to perform day and night and all weather operations.

For its anti-submarine role, the CH-124 is armed with two Mk 46 torpedoes. It is powered by two General Electric T58-GE-8F/100 turboshaft engines, that produce 1,500 hp each. It has a service ceiling of 4,900 m of altitude, a maximum speed of 166 miles per hour and a range of 622 miles. Despite its reliability and excellent performance, it is being replaced by the Sikorsky S-92 Super Hawk helicopter.

Specifications

Type: Anti-submarine warfare helicopter
Length: 54 ft 9 in
Height: 16 ft 10 in
Main rotor blades: 64 ft in diameter
Loaded weight: 18,600 lb
Power plant: two General Electric T58-GE-8F/100 turboshafts, developing 1500 hp
Crew: 4
Weapons: two Mk 46 torpedoes

CH 124 Sea King (video)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Obstáculo para el crecimiento y desarrollo argentino

El gran obstáculo para crecer y desarrollarnos sin inflación y estabilidad a largo plazo es psicológico y yace en la mente de la mayoría de los argentinos. Esta traba mental no es otra cosa que un prejuicio ideológico, rígidamente estructurado y que los políticos argentinos crearon a través de los medios contra la economía de libre mercado y de una moneda estable y saneada. Le han hecho creer a la gente que una moneda fuerte, transparente y creíble es "malo para el pueblo y es recesiva", cuando es todo lo contrario. Los años 2018 y 2019 nos están demostrando la gran falsedad de los populistas y los pies de barro de este retorcido prejuicio, ya que en estos dos años se emitió gran cantidad de dinero y sin embargo la economía no creció, sino que fue todo lo contrario: se estancó profundamente en el pegagoso fango de una gran depresión, creando una mega-estanflación (inflación elevada con recesión profunda).

Pero la verdadera razón por la cual el político argentino no quiere una moneda sana (no inflacionada), es que ésta, para que sea estable y fuerte, tiene que ser emitida solamente por autoridad independiente del poder ejecutivo, y por ende, no puede el corrupto de turno legalmente imprimir papel moneda a su antojo para construir poder, pagar deuda, hacer populismo y ganar una reelección y mantenerse así en la presidencia. En una elección, el papel moneda en mano atrae votos a su favor, pues el mismo es encantador y fascinante; pero es solo eso, una fascinación, que, como un espejismo en el desierto, se corroe y desaparece en una escalada inflacionaria. La gente no se da cuenta que lo que realmente vale no es el dinero en sí mismo sino los productos que uno consume para vivir (alimentos, vestimenta, etc), la infraestructura para producirlos y la estabilidad económica que le otorga confianza. El dinero es solo un símbolo y la llave que hace mover la economía hacia adelante. Pero para ello tiene que ser creíble y estable, con instituciones sólidas.

Este obstáculo psicológico/ideológico contra de la estabilidad monetaria es como un cepo enraizado en nuestras mentes y, lamentablemente, forma parte del entretejido cultural de los argentinos. Este cepo mental se ahondó y hechó raíces con la endemonización de los 1990, convirtiéndose en un oscuro tabú que da a la gente una visión miope y sesgada, y de que la estabilidad de precio y una moneda fuerte es cosa de "liberales malos". Los ideólogos de esta mentalidad errada sostienen que solamente se puede crecer con "algo de inflación" y que el control total de la máquina de imprimir dinero tiene que estar en manos del político de turno.

Los dinosaurios de la política argentina constantemente repiten en los medios que "la convertibilidad creada por Cavallo no era sustentable y era una quimera". Esta afirmación repetitiva refleja un pensamimiento excesivamente keynesiano típico de los peronistas de la vieja guardia, de los radicales y, sobre todo, de los macristas. Pero sin embargo, a pesar de este tabú, a los argentinos les gusta hablar de "qué bien le va a los peruanos" (que tienen una inflación anual del solo 2%), pero no dicen o no se dan cuenta que ellos tienen un sistema de convertibilidad que aquí lo rechazaron. De la misma manera, admiran la sólida economía de los alemanes, de los canadienses, de los australianos, y de los suizos, pero si hiciéramos lo que esas naciones hacen en política monetaria y fiscal, los dinosaurios (que incluye la prensa argentina) dirían: "eso es neoliberalismo!", como si la economía de mercado fuese un monstruo, pero estos países que les acabo de nombrar siempre han tenido economía de mercado con una moneda fuerte y saneada.

Poniendo los pies en la sólida tierra y usando la razón, nos damos cuenta que el único monstruo real y concreto que empobrece al pueblo y causa hambre es la bicicleta y la timba financiera creada por quienes inflacionan a la moneda con populismos falsos, haciendo girar la manivela de la maquina de hacer dinero. Ellos denostan y detractan una economía saneada y el uso de una moneda fuerte, con un BCRA independiente, porque de esta forma no podrían construir poder ni mucho menos lavar dinero sucio.

Para terminar, muchos argentinos no saben que Ecuador, usando el dólar como moneda de curso legal, crece entre el 2 y el 4% anual, y que Grecia, sin salir de la zona Euro, va por el tercer año de crecimiento. El mal de Grecia no fue la moneda fuerte sino el endeudamiento por politicas socialistas/populistas y corrupción que tuvo en el pasado.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Artigas y el gobierno de Buenos Aires

La relación entre el caudillo uruguayo José Gervasio Artigas y el gobierno de Buenos Aires se habían agravado cuando la Asamblea del Año XIII decidió rechazar los diputados orientales (debido a que este cuerpo constituyente era de tendencia unitaria, mientras que el caudillo uruguayo queria organizar al país en un sistema federal). Ante esta situación, en enero de 1814, Artigas se retiró con sus tropas del sitio de Montevideo, donde los patriotas intentaban forzar la rendición del virrey español Francisco Javier de Elío. Como repuesta a esta retirada, el Director Supremo Posadas lo declaró "enemigo de la patria", ofreciendo recompensa por su captura.

La actitud del Director Supremo no hizo otra cosa que ahondar el antagonismo entre el gobierno de Buenos Aires y el caudillo uruguayo, quien encabezaría un gran movimiento de resistencia que incluyó la Banda Oriental y las provincias argentinas del litoral. Para ejercer la hegemonía sobre éstas, contaba con el apoyo de caudillos locales, como Eusebio Hereñú de Entre Ríos, y de Genaro Perugorría de Corrientes. A éstas, se les uniría Santa Fe, que adhirió formalmente a las políticas de Artigas. En marzo de 1815 formaron la denominada Liga de los Pueblos Libres, siendo elegido como Protector José Gervasio de Artigas.

Ante la convocatoria del Congreso de Tucumán, el caudillo oriental intentó hacer fracasar la asamblea, organizando un congreso federal en la ciudad de Paysandú. También luchó a favor de los santafesinos y entrerrianos cuando las tropas del Director Supremo invadieron esas provincias para sujetarlas a la obediencia del gobierno unitario.

En julio de 1816, se produjo la invasión portuguesa a la Banda Oriental. Aunque Artigas lo sabía de antemano y había preparado un plan defensivo, fue derrotado tras feroz resistencia en la batalla de Tacuarembó en enero de 1820 y debió trasladarse a la provincia de Entre Ríos. El punto culminante de la política federalista de Artigas fue cuando los caudillos Estanislao López, de Santa Fe, y Francisco Ramirez, de Entre Ríos, vencieron a las tropas del Directorio en la batalla de Cepeda el 1 de febrero de 1820. Esta victoria de los caudillos del litoral provocaría la caída del Directorio y, por ende, la disolución del gobierno de las Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata. A este acontecimiento le siguiria un período caos conocido como la Anarquía del Año 20.

Cuando las provincias de Santa Fe y Entre Ríos firmaron un pacto (Tratado del Pilar) con el nuevo gobernador de  Buenos Aires Manuel de Sarratea, José Gervasio Artigas se sintió traicionado por los caudillos del litoral y viajó al Paraguay, donde viviría el resto de sus días en un largo exilio.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Operation Cerberus (WW2)

Operation Cerberus (Unternehmen Cerberus) was a World War II German military operation by which a German Navy (Kriegsmarine) task force sucessfully ran a British blockade, sailing from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany via the English Channel. Operation Cerberus was launched on February 11, 1942, triggering a fierce, two-day naval engagement in which the German Kriegsmarine obtained a tactical victory over the British Navy. The Germans sank one destroyer and shot down 42 aircraft.

The German fleet that took part in Operation Cerberus consisted of two battleships (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau), one heavy cruiser (Prinz Eugen), six destroyers and fourteen torpedo boats; around 200 German fighters participated in the operation, escorting and protecting the German ships against British air attacks. Unternehmen Cerberus is also known by the English as Operation Channel Dash.

Reason for Operation Cerberus

After the invasion of France, the German ships could be repaired, refitted, and refueled at Brest Harbor on the French coast of the English Channel. Nevertheless, they were subject to frequent British air raids. Due to these attacks that endangered important German ships, Adolf Hitler ordered the Kriegsmarine to move the ships to their home bases. Although the Berlin Admiralty preferred the Denmark Strait passage, they finally decided to take the shorter but more dangerous route through the English Channel.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

1st Panzer Army (WW2)

The 1st Panzer Army was a World War II German tank army, which was an important armored component of the Wehrmacht field forces that fought on the Eastern Front. Known as the 1.Panzerarmee in German, it was created on November 16, 1940. However, until late 1941, this military unit was smaller in size and power as it had first been designated 1st Panzer Group, or Panzer Group Kleist, since it was under the command of Field Marshal Ewald von Kleist.

From December 1940 to March 1941, 1st Panzer Group was deployed in occupied France. In April 1941, it participated in the invasion of Yugoslavia as part of Field Marshal Maximilian von Weichs's 2nd Army. Panzer Group Kleist spearheaded the advance of the 2nd Army into Yugoslavia, and quickly smashed the Yugoslavian Fifth and Sixth Armies before entering Belgrade. It was composed of the III, XIV and XLVIII Army Corps (mot.) with five panzer divisions and four motorized SS divisions equipped with 799 tanks. During Operation Barbarossa, 1st Panzer Group was part of Army Group South, commanded by Gerd von Rundstedt, which fought on the Eastern Front against the Red Army. Panzer Group Kleist took part in the Battle of Brody which involved as many as 1,000 Red Army tanks.

During Operation Barbarossa, on Octber 6, 1941, after the Battle of Kiev, the 1st Panzer Group was reinforced, refitted, and redesignated 1st Panzer Army. After that, this powerful German Army unit began its thrust on Rostov. Together with the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler led by Oberstgruppenfuhrer Sepp Dietrich, the First Panzer Army successfully captured the city of Rostov in November 1941, but due to lack of logistic, von Kleist ordered his Panzer Army to pull out of the city and retreat a 70 miles to prevent his men from being trapped in a Red Army encirclement.

In January 1942, Army Group von Kleist, which consisted of the 1st Panzer Army along with the Seventeenth Army, was formed with its namesake, von Kleist, in command. Army Group von Kleist played a major role in repulsing the Red Army attack in the Second Battle of Kharkov in May 1942. After the Battle of Stalingrad, by February 1943, it had been withdrawn west of the Don River, and von Kleist withdrew the remains of his forces from the Caucasus into the Kuban area, east of the Strait of Kerch.

The 1st Panzer Army remained attached to Army Group South until July 1944. By that time German troops had been pulled out from the Ukraine, and the Soviets were threatening Warsaw. In March 1944, this armored unit was encircled by two Soviet fronts in the Battle of Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket. Nevertheless, a successful breakthrough was made, saving most of the manpower but losing the heavy equipment. Until May 1945, the 1st Panzer Army fought its entire time on the Eastern Front. The 1st Panzer Army was disbanded on May 8, 1945. Its last commander was General Wilhelm Hasse.

1st Panzer Army in Battle of Rostov in 1942 (footage)