What have you always wanted to know from History but were afraid to ask.....

(67 Posts)
Northernlurkerisbackatwork Wed 19-Sep-12 08:16:55

Thread for odd (in every sense) questions and answers...........grin

sherbetpips Wed 19-Sep-12 21:25:44

Why in world war one was the main plan to line up opposite each other and then sound a loud horn when you were about to go over the top so they knew when to shoot at you? Always found it crazy.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Wed 19-Sep-12 23:36:53

I think the whistle was because the officer cmmanding wouldn't have a clear line of sight to all the troop as the trenches weren't straight. The whistle was a clear 'go' signal. And yes helpful to the enemy.

The line up thing was not the plan, it's just what happened because the forces were more evenly matched than expected I think. The advent of the machine gun and other more powerful artillery meant you couldn't use calvary charges to sweep over the battlefield. Once they were pinned down they became quite literally bogged down and it was hard to get moving. Tanks were only developed for the latter part of the war - as craft that could make way through damaged terrain. Air power was a developing issue but not enough to turn the tide in one way or the other. One thing that was tried was digging tunnels under each others lines and exploding mines. Lethal in every sense.

Nothing about WW1 makes sense tbh. The war before that on European soil was the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. The Prussians smashed FRance in weeks (with fairly nasty loss of life) and that was it - tensions sorted for a bit. When people said in 1914 that it would be over by Christmas they really thought that was the case. The Powers had all been working up to war for a decade though and had a massive amount at stake and plenty of resources to mobilise. Making a lethal stalemate.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Sep-12 23:39:41

Was Lady Jane grey really queen for nine days?

NewStartSameStory Wed 19-Sep-12 23:42:46

When did it become socially acceptable to break the law as it was seen as getting one up on the establishment?

Oh and recent history: if the russians had been in 40 years trying to sort afghanistan and had to withdrawl as it was costly in terms of men and resources. Which muppet thought it was a good idea for us to go in? Could we not learn from other's mistakes? or does the UK still have some delusional sense of the all conquering empire?

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Wed 19-Sep-12 23:43:12

TheDoctrine - yes.

The throne was really supposed to go to Princess Mary (who became Mary I after Jane) and then Princess Elizabeth (who became Elizabeth I). Jane was their cousin and was due to inherit the throne if Edward, Mary and Elizabeth all died without heirs - there was an Act of Parliament saying that. But Mary was a Catholic and her brother Edward VI's Protestant ministers didn't want her to be queen, so they persuaded Edward (who died when he was only 16) to skip Mary and Elizabeth leave the throne to Jane, who was a Protestant and married to the chief minister's son. But Jane and her ministers had no support, so Mary declared herself queen and took the throne after only 9 days.

NewStartSameStory Wed 19-Sep-12 23:44:55

And yes I am mindful that a lot of the boarders in that area of the world were more of less arbitrarily drawn to suit various other nations at various times over the course of history - how is that actually enforced? DO they just draw a map and say make it so?

WilfSell Wed 19-Sep-12 23:53:50

Did she really, you know, with the horse?

Themumsnot Thu 20-Sep-12 00:05:17

Unfortunately, it appears that was just malicious rumour. She did shag about a lot though.

SloeFarSloeGood Thu 20-Sep-12 00:19:01

Why did all of Queen Annes children die?

SPsFanjoShiversTheTimbers Thu 20-Sep-12 00:28:58

If Shakespeare was alive today what would he have thought of Leonardo playing Romeo in the film?

Queenofsiburbia Thu 20-Sep-12 00:38:47

Just been reading about the Duchess of Marlborough (queen Anne's on & off BFF) and its hard to work out exactly why all Anne's children died but it was well known that she was very large and indolent and this possibly meant she had an exceptionally poor diet, possibly diabetes?

I guess the fact that she had so many pregnancies in such close succession probably didn't help her to recover between each. And of course inevitable infections, illnesses etc.
I'll report back if it gets clearer. Btw - good book it's by Ophelia Field. Duchess of Marlborough quite an impressive character

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Thu 20-Sep-12 08:24:30

A lot of Anne's pregnancies ended in stillbirth didn't they? Clotting disorder? She died of a stroke as well.

sp he'd have been more concerned about Claire Danes playing Juliet. At the time it was illegal for women to take to the stage and all female roles were played by young men/boys in drag!

NewStart when the European powers decided to carve up Africa, they got together and discussed it over dinner. They drank rather too much and used a pencil and ruler to mark out the borders (hence the number of straight lines), but whoever held the pencil had the hiccups and this is evidenced for example on the Algeria-Mali border.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 20-Sep-12 09:02:06

Thank you BBfB

LineRunner Thu 20-Sep-12 09:07:36

Was Jesus married?

SloeFarSloeGood Thu 20-Sep-12 09:13:47

But did Queen Anne have a condition which caused the loss of her children? Her mother lost lots of children too.

NewStartSameStory Thu 20-Sep-12 13:00:25

They didn't know about rhesus factors in those days so that might be a possible reason for problems. but it is hard to go back and study, no tissue to examine. Might be possible to extrapilate from descendants and there was a very interesting program about medical conditions that followed the royal family a while back. Can't remember who made it/channel though.

Thanks Beardy.

24Hours Thu 20-Sep-12 13:07:49

Did we get our modern notion of Christmas from the restoration? They were allmad for the craic after Cromwell and the Puritans, plus there was the little ice age
The Victorians then took all this and ran with it, but it wasn't their invention just their augmentation. ?

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Thu 20-Sep-12 20:39:17

Queen Anne's family history is not good. Her sister had one known miscarriage and then no other pregnancies. Certainly argues for some pretty serious problems.
Rhesus problems would also explain why Anne Boleyn had one healthy dd and then only miscarriages and stillbirths.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Thu 20-Sep-12 20:43:06

Christmas - I think the Tudors were pretty keen on a Christmas feast tbh. It's the Christmas tree that the Victorians bought in - courtesy of Prince Albert's German notions. Victoria's mother was German too so I expect it was well known to her as an idea even before her marriage.

I have no idea about the 'when did it become ok to break the law' question. Maybe the 19th Century - with increased campaigns for political ends? Or further back to the French and American revolutions?

TunipTheVegemal Fri 21-Sep-12 11:02:28

I think there are a lot of specific things about Christmas that are Victorian, as well as the tree. I can think of Christmas cards and the way Father Christmas is conceptualised specifically but I bet there are more. Present giving used to belong on Three Kings Day at one point rather than Xmas day - I wonder exactly when it stopped being Twelve Days of Christmas and became more about the one day.

TunipTheVegemal Fri 21-Sep-12 11:03:46

I'm agreeing with NorthernLurker there, btw - Christmas was big long before the Victorians but it was a lovely pagan-influenced festival with 12 days and a Yule log.

MrsjREwing Fri 21-Sep-12 23:07:24

A document recently unearthed is currently splitting acadmenics regarding Jesus and Mary M being married. The gap in a dead sea scroll detailing where Jesus kissed Mary M doesn't make things clearer.

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