fiendishrabbit t1_j134ygh wrote

Because the US have been fighting all their battles in the middle east where a bigger bullet has certain advantages, mainly that it has a better effect against heavy bodyarmor and that it can penetrate double-brick walls (which is a really common feature in the middle-east and afghanistan.

Neither of those two were a factor back in the days when the US decided to go for 7.62 instead of a more suitable mid-weight cartridge. The only good argument for the 7.62 back then was that it was also a suitable cartridge for general purpose machineguns, so using the same caliber in all small arms simplified logistics.


fiendishrabbit t1_iysethq wrote

In Rome few would have studied history directly.

History would mainly have been learned as a means to study other things, like politics, military arts, as a way of learning pietas (the roman concept of duty and loyalty towards the family and Rome). For example the life and campaigns of Alexander would have been a core part of pietas and military training (and Ceasar was noted as being a huge Alexander fanboy).

But if you wanted to study history then there would have been numerous chronicles written and available at libraries and private collections, most of which are lost today and only known second hand through historians like Polybius, Diodorus and Arrian (who had an almost unrestricted access to the writings of the hellenic and pre-hellenic world).


fiendishrabbit t1_ixq0364 wrote

X-rays work because to x-rays your bones have a very different reflective quality compared to muscles, skin and tendons.

While you can see any damage to bones, or any sort of misalignment of bones (which is something that can happen if the tendons that fix the bone into place are damaged) you can't see the tendons themselves.

In cases where doctors do need to see tendons&ligaments they use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), but they tend to avoid that as MRI machines are super expensive to buy and use (although it's becoming more common, especially with hand, feet and knee injuries).


fiendishrabbit t1_ixfahxm wrote

As someone who has read quite a few coffin texts... wut? This is 100% an unnecessarily provocative article that tries to turn a minor misunderstanding (the concept of exactly what the mummification process was meant to preserve) into a big thing, and probably mainly to get publicity for their exhibition.

Egyptian embalming wasn't embalming in the modern sense (it wasn't intended to be a lifelike embalming*), but the part of the soul that went to the afterlife required the body (khet) to be preserved to do so. Through preservation of the body (not just by natron, but sanctified bandages and all sorts of treatments, although in any but the "perfect rite" the organs weren't preserved), the rememberance of their name and the appropriate rites the deads vital essence and personality were reunited in death to form their "living intellect".

*The process was probably inspired by, and had much more incommon with, the natural desert mummification process.


fiendishrabbit t1_iv9i9f4 wrote

I don't think you understand how coins worked back then.

They weren't using currency like we do nowdays, because to the extent that currency was used it was as a convenient way of exchanging precious metals. A mint would put their reputation into guaranteeing that coin had a certain metal purity. Silver would then have been exchanged by the weight of the coins, not by number (some places like attican greece had, for convenience, standardized coin weight).

While a coin with an unknown stamp (and as such an unknown silver purity) would have been slightly harder to spend major markets (and many merchants) would have been qualified to assay coins. Either using a touchstone or through fire assay.


fiendishrabbit t1_iual45j wrote

To understand egypts relationship to outsiders you have to understand that Egyptians viewed Egypt as the kingdom of ma'aat (order, justice, how things were supposed to be) and non-Egypt as the kingdom of isfet (chaos, injustice, misrule, to do evil). With some exceptions everything outside the nile valley was chaos and unfamiliar, with the rivers being unreliable, the rulers strange and capricious and the people violent and given to chaos&misrule.

So much of egypts relations with abroad was the ritual conquest of chaos, with each pharaoh warring (or raiding under less militarily&economicly prosperous pharaohs) to establish dominance and take tribute. This changed somewhat over the millenia (with for example medjay mercenaries becoming the norm in the new kingdom era as internal security troops, to the point that medjay became the egyptian word for police), but in general egypt was suspicious of non-egyptians who hadn't established their role in the egyptian order.


fiendishrabbit t1_itpurev wrote

The swedish navy has always played second fiddle to the swedish army.

Also, while the "örlogsflottan" (open water navy) frequently performed poorly the archipelago fleet (consisting of galleys, gunsloops and the smaller archipelago frigates) mostly performed quite well (like Frisches Haff, Nöteborg and the second battle of Svensksund).


fiendishrabbit t1_itpnjg3 wrote

Depends on the era, building material and size.

A well-built 74-gun ship-of-the-line built out of well-dried oak were on average in service for maybe 30-50 years. British second rates (90-gun ships) tended to be in service for 60-80 years unless they were wrecked.

On the opposite end we have ships like the Endymion class frigates, which served for about a decade. But these ships were built out of fir instead of oak (because of a shortage of oak and the need to complete them quickly)

Swedish ships tended to live a hard life though, and a very large amount of them were sunk or captured. The longest serving ship was Äran (Glory), with it's 90 years in Swedish service before sinking (due to fire).


fiendishrabbit t1_isf7jl7 wrote

It should also be pointed out that Theresa Kachindamoto has worked for almost 20 years to achieve this (since shortly after she first became Inkosi, paramount chief, in 2003). Which includes a lot of working with sub-chiefs (there are like...50 of them?) and numerous headmen (of villages and groups of villages), and on occasion putting her foot down (including temporarily dismissing some sub-chiefs when they defied her).


fiendishrabbit t1_is9pga4 wrote

In number of recovered artifacts (30,000+) and the size of the ship the Vasa is definitely the bigger find.

However, the Vasa was in much better condition and the recovery process went much smoother, so the recovery of the Vasa required "only" some 1500 dives (although some of them, like laying the supporting cables through the mud under the ship, were very dangerous and required skilled divers) as opposed to the 25,000+ dives required to recover the Mary Rose artifacts.


fiendishrabbit t1_irvjkpg wrote

If you're thinking "that's a weird looking aircraft" it's because the X-57 Maxwell uses a series of electric engines (with collapsing propellers) to boost airflow over the wings during takeoff (and landing?). This means that they can use smaller and more narrow wings which reduces wind resistance once the aircraft is up to cruising speed. Electric engines are sufficiently compact and efficient (and easily supplied with energy) that this is a viable solution for aircrafts using electric engines.


fiendishrabbit t1_irvj68h wrote

It's going to be pretty important for short range aviation (electric engines are more reliable, deliver a lot of power compared to their size and weight and jet fuel is a major cost) and it could still be a major boon for long range aircraft. For example using lightweight electric engines to boost aircraft power during takeoff and climb and then cruising on jet engines specialized for efficiency at high altitude and cruising speed.


fiendishrabbit t1_irs3bz0 wrote

There are two uses of metal in fortifications prior to the invention of large scale steel smelting in the 19th century.

  1. Iron cramps were sometimes used to hold stones together more solidly (or as reinforcement while the mortar dried. Medieval mortar was wetter and dried more slowly than modern mortar, so this could take a lot of time). Especially in arches like at the top of gates, in bridges etc.
  2. Gates and portcullises were frequently ether reinforced by metal or plated with metal. Sometimes this was purely defensively, but often it was decorative as well (displaying the wealth of the city or lord that owned the gate). The gates of Indian fortresses were also frequently studded with metal spikes to prevent an attacker from using elephants to bash down the gate.

fiendishrabbit t1_irho5jq wrote

a. Normans 100% did use combined arms as their tactics of choice. Look at Hastings. They have a whole army built up on combined arms tactics with archers, infantry and cavalry operating in support. The one exception is Civitate, because the Normans were hungry, starved and desperate and really didn't have a lot of troops left for a combined arms battle.

b. North european normans did not use couched lances as a standard tactic by the battle of Hastings. Take a look at the Bayeaux tapestry and look at how they're holding their lances (or read any account of the battle). This means that the practice was not widely used by the normans under William I, but was known and popular among the normans following the battle of Manzikert (because we have accounts of Michael VII training byzantine cavalry in the "european style". "Latinkon" however, units equipped and trained specificly to emulate european cavalry, did not appear until Manuel I).

c. The massed charge using couched lances was probably invented by the persians, and it was known by the East romans and probably used by Nikephoros Phokas (the elder) as the technique appears among East roman ally states like the Georgians (who most likely learned the technique during the Cilician campaign of 964. There are a number of military accounts, for example accounts of the Georgian-Seljuk wars, as well as georgian art that depicts riders using couched lances). Note that it's likely that the georgians did not use heavy shock cavalry, as georgian shock cavalry developed out of a tradition of horse archers (so, smaller horses bred for endurance rather than size, weight and shock).

The main reason for East romans not using shock cavalry techniques as standard lies in attitude, equipment and the enemies they faced. 1. The enemies East Rome faced were disciplined and more well trained than most italian infantry, blunting the efficiency of a massed charge. 2. East roman cavalry (kataphraktoi) used much heavier armor and we see no sign of destriers. 3. East Roman battle tactics in the 11th century favored a much more defensive style than the italo-normans.

In short. The normans took a technique that was known, but not favored, by the east romans. Decided they liked it and gradually became more and more specialized in gear and attitude towards favoring that tactic. It's the same kind of "combined arms devolution" that we see after Alexander (where we see a combined arms army devolving into the successor state army that heavily favors big blocks of pikes).

P.S: Note that all of the east roman ally states that took up shock cavalry tactics in the 10th and 11th century were what the East romans would have considered cavalry of lesser status. Light&medium supporting cavalry. Which means no barding or costly (and heavy) laminar armor.


fiendishrabbit t1_irgb1d8 wrote

For one thing it solved the Normandy issue.

Normandy had, after a short while of splitting domains into smaller and smaller fiefdoms, turned into a primogeniture (eldest son inherits everything). With very small and very poor fiefdoms there was also no room for most of those second, third and fourth sons in the retinues of relatives and liege lords. So Normandy turned to adventurism, where landless sons had arms and military training and went all over Europe to cause a ruckus.

This led to both:

  1. The formation of what we think of as medieval heavy cavalry, as normandians served with the East Roman army (and learned east roman tactics). Which means we see a more combined arms army (with an increased use of professional archers and cavalry).

  2. Norman armed men all over christian Europe (except scandinavia). Establishing a kingdom in Sicily and England and going on more ill-adviced adventures elsewhere (and eventually forming a core component of the crusades).

Now while a lot of English historians would like to put the Battle of Hastings as the opening for this new European era it's more accurate to push that back a decade, to the Battle of Civitate 1053, or even earlier.