Day: December 2, 2020

Nelson expert exposes pro-slavery letter as fake
Front Lines

Nelson expert exposes pro-slavery letter as fake

An 1805 letter purportedly exposing Britain’s most celebrated naval hero as a racist slavery advocate appears to have been proven a fake by a celebrated expert. Martyn Downer says he has incontrovertible evidence the original letter written by Admiral Horatio Nelson aboard HMS Victory four months before he died at the pivotal Battle of Trafalgar was doctored by supporters of the slave trade to counter moves in the British Parliament to outlaw the practice. “The letter is a forgery,” wrote Downer, a former director at Sotheby’s and leading specialist in the identification of Nelson- and Royal Navy-related artifacts. “It lays bare the lengths that opponents to the abolition of the slave trade were prepared to go to further their cause by hijacking the reputation of the man who defea...
The taking of Monte la Difensa
Military Milestones

The taking of Monte la Difensa

Lumberjacks, mountaineers, construction skywalkers, hard-rock miners, wilderness prospectors—only the hardiest men were sought for the First Special Service Force, a Canada-U.S. joint venture to deploy troops against the highest odds in the toughest terrain of the Second World War. Recruits’ mettle was severely tested even before tasting combat. They earned their parachute badges in the first week of training. They learned how to survive knife fights and, blades unsheathed, bayonet attacks. They mastered unarmed combat and the art of silent killing. They became adept at skiing, rock climbing, arctic survival skills, handling weapons and blowing things up. They had to complete 97-kilometre marches in 20 hours, ski cross-country in formation through the night. They were trained to be h...

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