Military History Archive

Always Get Their Man: The History of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

July 6, 2020 @ 10:00 am

Along with beavers, maple syrup, and asshole geese, the uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a renowned national symbol. The Red Surge, beige stetson, blue pants, and riding boots are what make up the image of the Mountie. Their legendary status is now global, as they are the only police force to be municipal, provincial, and federal. The force was romanticized in early black and white films as those bringing law and order to the wild frontier of Canada's west. And as the famous saying goes, "They always get their man."

Unlike the films, their history wasn't black and white. When it began as the North-West Mounted Police, it was used as a cheap militia to colonize the newly annexed western territories. This resulted in conflict with the First Nations and Métis populations as they were rounded onto reserves towards the dawn of the new century. When the First World War concluded, they acted as strikebreakers during the growing labour movement, and later as intelligence services at the beginning of the Cold War. They were even the ones at the front of one of the largest manhunts in world history.

Their history is long and varied, but not many know the full story. Thus, Pan Historia is proud to sit down and tell the full history

 

Music:

Dudley Do-Right Theme

Indian Love Call from Rose Marie

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Canada, Military History, Cold War, Criminal Justice ·

The Hammer Falls: The End of the Soviet Union

May 4, 2020 @ 10:00 am

Throughout history, humanity has witnessed the rise and fall of countless empires. Typically, internal unrest either weakened these states into collapse, or vulnerability to invading forces. The Soviet Union was like an empire, one meant to be the beacon of workers around the world. Instead, it ended up ruled by the same elites it aimed to destroy. By the time Gorbachev came along, the cracks had already expanded clear across the country, and it was too late to repair. Gorbachev still tried, with Glasnost and Perestroika aiming to improve both domestic issues and diplomacy with the west.

The various Soviet Republics saw this as an opportunity to to seek self determination instead, bringing the union to its denouement. The 80s ended with civil unrest, ethnic tensions, and even civil war across the land, and only the die hards felt anything could be savaged. On a hot August day in 1991, those die hards attempted to seize control, and save the union. To their shock, the people were beyond done with the old Soviet ways, rallying instead to the reformers Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, unafraid of the soldiers and tanks surrounding them. Before the year's end, the world's first communist state came to an end.

 

Music

Frank Sinatra, My Way

CornFlakes Strategy, Soviet Anthem - Slow Piano - instrumental 2000 subs special

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Military History, European, Cold War, Asia ·

1:23:45: The Chernobyl Disaster

April 14, 2020 @ 10:00 am

Most of the city of Pripyat was fast asleep in the early morning of April 26, 1986. It was a relatively quiet night, save for the sounds from the nearby Chernobyl Power Station. All was calm until just before 1:30AM, when a small explosion echoed through the air, followed almost instantly by a second, larger fireball. Emergency operators received alarms of a fire at Chernobyl, believed to be a destroyed control system tank setting fire to the roof. Inside, workers frantically worked to ensure Unit 4s reactor continued to receive cooling water and prevent the fire from causing meltdown.

Firefighters rushed to the scene, most having just gotten out of bed, and wearing nothing but short sleeve shirts, some still in pyjamas. As they assembled their hose equipment, all they could think about was the taste of metal in their mouth. Little did they know, only meters away from them, was a hole where the reactor once lay. It was now nothing more than an inferno, burning as hot as the surface of the Sun, and spewing toxic radiation into the sky. A large plume of black smoke floated over the forest towards Pripyat. When it arrived, the city was darkened by the shadow of death.

 

Music:

Tower (Metro 2033 Soundtrack) –  Alexey Omelchuk

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Military History, European, Cold War, Disasters, Science ·

The Bear Trap: The Soviet-Afghan War

February 18, 2020 @ 10:00 am

Afghanistan is a country no empire could successfully invade. Even the British Empire, the largest Earth has ever seen, couldn't bring it fully into its fold despite three attempts. Despite its position sandwiched between British India and the Russian Empire (later Soviet Union), Afghanistan remained isolated, even well into the 20th century. Albeit an ethnically diverse, the Afghan people were united under their shared Islamic faith, and desire to form their own national identity, free from interference, and free from colonial chains.

 

Fate hasn't been kind to Afghanistan, and following a violent coup, found itself a communist state under the watchful eye of the Soviet Union. The people, once again bonded by their national identity, banded together to oppose the ruthless regime and reclaim their sovereignty. On the request of the Afghan government, Soviet troops poured into the country to quell the unrest. Little did they know they stepped right into the bear trap, creating a quagmire Afghanistan continues to suffer the aftershocks of today. Furthermore, from the conflict would arise people who would go on to commit great atrocities. This includes a man who would order an attack which engulfed Manhattan in ash.

 

Music

Ay Jan / Alap Robab / Srang Srang Srang (Traditional Afghan Music), Anello Capuano and Bruno Assenmacher

Hill 3234, Sabaton

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Military History, Cold War, Asia ·

Red Steppes: The Mongolian People’s Republic

January 27, 2020 @ 10:00 am

Mongolia once held the largest contiguous empire in world history, and was the second largest empire overall (behind the British Empire). It was the home of the great warrior Genghis Khan, who was instrumental in creating the Mongol Empire, and constructing the Silk Road. However, the empire fell into disarray, splintering into smaller states. From there, Mongolia became a part of the Chinese Qing Dynasty. Throughout the beginning of the 20th Century, Mongolia worked to reform its independence.

First, it became a Theocratic state under a Buddhist spiritual leader. However, the international community failed to recognize its independence, with the exception of Tibet. After several instances of turmoil, war, and suppression, a group of men inspired by the successful Bolshevik Revolution put in motion their plans to create the Mongolian People's Republic, the second communist state ever to exist.

We at Pan Historia would like to apologize in advance to the people of Mongolia for butchering the pronunciation of your names. In particular, Jonah wishes to offer sincere apologies to Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj for multiple mispronunciations. We love you, Mongolia.

Music:

Môngôl Ûlsiin toriin dûûlal, Mongolian National Anthem

Outro: Chingges Khaanii Magtaal (In Praise of Genghis Khan)

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Military History, Cold War, Asia ·

“You Can’t Stop the Spring”: The Velvet Revolution

November 25, 2019 @ 10:00 am

"They may crush the flowers, but they can't stop the spring."
-Alexander Dubcek, 1968

Hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in the streets of Prague, Czechoslovakia, as the country's politburo finally decided there was nothing more they could do. Having witnessed change in Poland, East Germany, and Hungary already come to pass, they knew it was only a matter of time before they were next. In one swift action, the entire politburo resigned, deciding to rip the band aid off quickly, and without further harm. Across town, members of the opposition Civic Forum were in the midst of a press conference when news of the resignations reached them. The room erupted into cheers and applause, and one man even opened champaign in celebration

Alexander Dubcek, former General Secretary of Czechoslovakia, had tried 20 years prior to bring reform to the country. His efforts were crushed beneath the tracks of Soviet tanks, and he was allowed to retire back into obscurity. Now, on that late November evening, the people were once again chanting his name. As he stepped onto a balcony, he was overcome with emotion and unable to speak. Improvising and a massive smile on his face, Dubcek walked to the balcony rails and curled his arms slowly towards the crowd, effectively embracing the them. The Czech and Slovak people were all entwined in an embrace that night. Without a shot being fired, or a molotov flying, Czechoslovakia had become free.

Music:

Nad Tatrou sa blyska (Lightning Over the Tatras), Slovanian National Anthem 

Kde domov muj(Where My Home Is), Czech National Anthem

Filed under Political History, Military History, European, Cold War ·

Edifice of Fear: The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 9, 2019 @ 10:00 am

The Iron Curtain across Europe Winston Churchill described was metaphorical rather than physical, at least at the time he made his famous speech. The divide between East and West had become an ideological conflict, Capitalism versus Communism. The defeated Germany was occupied by the Allies of the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Germany was organized into two states, the Federal Republic of Germany in the west, and the German Democratic Republic in the east. Along with this, Berlin found itself two separate entities.

Millions of people fled west to avoid falling under the brutal suppression the Soviets had become known for. This resulted in nearly 20% of the GDR's population falling, which included a large number of the country's intellectual population. It was soon clear to the politburo this could not continued. Seemingly overnight in August 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected. With it, the Iron Curtain had a physical representation.

Intro:

Sinews of Peace, Winston Churchill

Outro:

Looking for Freedom, David Hasselhoff

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Military History, European, Cold War ·

The Silent Service: A History of Submarine Warfare

August 19, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Deep in the ocean stalks a hidden hunter, virtually undetected and silent. Within, its crew works away, cramped, having not seen the sun in weeks. The crew drives blind through the depths, with only a pinging sonar available to aid navigation. They lay down there, waiting for the possibility to strike.

Submarines have had a long history behind them, one which is seldom talked about except for blockbuster films from Das Boot to Hunt for Red October. Today, Pan Historia dives into a brief, but detailed history of Submarine Warfare.

Intro: Theme from Crimson Tide

Outro: In the Navy by The Village People

Filed under Pan Historia, Canada, Military History, European, Cold War, United States, Disasters ·

Someone Had Blundered: The Crimean War

March 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am

1850: the once great Ottoman Empire was now the sick man of Europe. Internal dissent from growing ethnic nationalism within the diverse country was beginning to crack the already fragile hold the Royal Family kept over their territory. Furthermore, a series of devastating wars against its neighbours have shrunk its size further and further out of Europe. Now, the Balkans were looking to host the next large uprising. To the north, the Russian Empire was striving to assert its power in Europe. While its size may have been intimidating, it also had growing instability. Russia had yet to modernize its industry and military. Their eyes gazed menacingly towards the Ottomans for a solution. Should the Russians take advantage of their dwindling rival, perhaps their prestige could be restored.

On the opposite end of the continent, France, still struggling in the aftermath of Napoleon, was looking to repair its image as a Great Power.  Seeing the Catholic Church as a potential ally, they, too, set their eyes on the Ottoman Empire in hopes of becoming protectors of Christians within its borders. Russia would not have this, as they were the chosen protectors of Christians in Ottoman territory. As France and Russia began to throw rhetoric back and forth, the British watched on in terror. The Congress of Europe was at risk of falling apart, and the balance of power in Europe was in jeopardy of going out of whack. All these events would lead to the landscape of the Crimean Peninsula turning to ash, and running red with blood.

 

Music:

The Charge of the Light Brigade by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra 

Warmth Feeling by Samashi

Filed under Pan Historia, Military History, European ·

Episode 6, Part 4: The Last Shard (Kosovo War and the Death of Yugoslavia)

December 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am

Viewer Discretion Advised: Strong Language, some disturbing content.

As Yugoslavia collapsed around itself, one final piece decided to fall. Kosovo witnessed the chaos around them, and knew there would be no other option to get out. Between 1995 and 1999, the infamous Kosovo Liberation Army conducted insurgency operations within the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohja. This time, Serbia wasn't the aggressor, but the world had heard to many lies to believe them. NATO once again became involved, dropping bombs indiscriminately across the tiny mountainous region.

Even after the war had ended, Milosevic refused to admit Yugoslavia was dead. He held onto power by his fingernails, holding up the decomposing corpse of the country as internal anger swelled up. Soon, Milosevic became an enemy to the people he swore to protect. It was only a matter of time before his day or judgement came.

 

Music:

Intro: USA: Bill Clinton Kosovo Speech from The Associated Press
Empty Reflections

Outro: Warmth Feeling by Samashi

Filed under Pan Historia, Political History, Military History ·

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