Truth.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Ariel Durant

Thursday, August 27, 2015

As I told my son, be careful in your choices because women can get you into difficulties.



Last of the Mohicans was filmed in the Blue Ridge Mountains, some of the scenes were shot at a state park near where I live.

I always admired Magua .  That was a man who knew how to pay off old scores, with interest. Not that Chingachgook was ever a day late or a dollar short in settling accounts with someone who wronged him.

The final fight scene was the best part of the picture.  I'm not a "mano a mano" aficionado myself, but you have to admit in those days, they got right down to it. I have some tomahawks but I think I'd wing them at a maleficent whilst I went for a rifle, rather than slugging  it out at a foot apart.

18 comments:

  1. I would not fare well in hand to hand.

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  2. Not my thing either. If I had to, I would want a samurai sword! ;-)

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  3. As a native New Yorker, we were taught the history of this time period and had to read James Fennimore Coopers books, too. This was a great movie and enjoyed your posting the end of it. I was glad to see Magua get his in the end. That's what you get for going for the blonds.

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    1. My wife had fawn colored hair when we were young. Now we've both gone grey, so she colors her hair and it's more copper colored. She looks a lot younger than I do. Alas, my generation was probably the last one where men didn't try to hide their age with cosmetics, so I am completely grey now.

      Blonds being highly sought after, maybe that's why they are associated with trouble. ;-)

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  4. Loved the movie and theme-song. Amazing how fast he can prime that muzzleloader. --T

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    1. I enjoyed the movie, the more so because they really made an effort to depict the time accurately. There are things in it that only a black powder guy would catch (Sgt. mentions that down the comment column) but I'm not a black powder man. I have a Hawkin plains rifle and a model 1860 Colt, both replicas of course. Tried them out and never really clicked with black powder so now the pistol is on the wall over the hearth, and the rifle is in it's carrying bag.

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  5. G'day Harry,

    I really liked the siege of the Fort, about the only movie I have ever watched that attempts to portray just how much smoke is generated by black powder and you just have to love those heavy siege mortars when they start firing!!

    Mind you all the blokes at my muzzle loading club had a good laugh at that silly scene where Hawkeye is cutting a silk patch for his next shot and comments on how it will give him greater range; silk is the worst thing you could use to patch a round ball rifle.

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    1. I did notice that the smoke was more prevalent than you usually see, but I didn't catch the fact that the silk patch didn't help. Sounded plausible to me, but that's because I don't know doodly squat about black powder arms.

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    2. Harry,

      You need something with a tight weave, cotton cloth of various thicknesses is what everyone uses as a patch for round ball in muzzle loaders. Silk is too thin and would not make a good gas seal.

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  6. I grew up in rough bare knuckle town and had my fair share of scruffs. Now I warn people, I'm old and fat so I can't wrestle areound all day so I'm just going to kill you quick.

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    1. I did some of it in college, but was never much good at it. I learned the hard way that chivalry doesn't exist in a street fight, when I declined to "put the boots" to a Mexican on the ground and he stabbed me in the leg. The Texan I was with at the time, who later became a Lt. Colonel of Marines with quite a reputation, told me I deserved it for being stupid.

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  7. I think I'd want some kind of weapon to fight my battle. I couldn't stand fighting that far up! One wrong move, and you'd roll down all those rocks. YIKES!

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    1. I thought about you, Alissa, when I posted that. I was thinking that even as an actor, I wouldn't want to walk on that path and I remembered that you and I share a horror of heights. I had the same thought about falling down the rocks and sailing down to be squished at the bottom!

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  8. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I would chose a 'Pike" at distance and a Katana for up close and personal fights.

    My favorite scene in that movie was when the British Officer was being burned at the stake and main character 'took a great sniper shot' right to the brit's head releaving him of his suffering.

    I don't know how accurate those musket/muzzle loaders were at range, but it made for a good movie scene.

    I have to make a comment here on English tactics. Near the end when the retreating English army that vacated the fort in a surrender to the French. The English army was ambushed by the Indians on a trail in the woods.

    Im know very little about tactics throughout history, but I would never march my forces through a choke point without sending recon forces on both flanks to make sure the way forward was clear,

    Were the English so ignorant to unconventional warfare that they would get slaughtered that easily???

    I know that wearing a bright red coat with a white undershirt also makes for great target accusation in all conditions including low light.

    On a sidenote. I really like sea battles between ships of that era. Watching a English 'Man o War' come up along side a Spanish Galleon and open up with all guns on a full broadside. That's just absolutely bad ass.

    The move 'Master and Commander' had some wonderful cannon action and a much newer program, "Pirates" on Showtime. The best scene so far has been Pirate Captain Flint's ship open up on the Colony of Charleston (South Carolina) and almost level the colony (Captain Flint had to deliver some serious payback)

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    1. There's an old saying that the military always work hard to be prepared to fight the last war. Changing tactics and uniforms, equipment, etc is pretty hard. For one thing, in this case, you had to surrender a measure of control over your men to fight unconventional warefare. Regular soldiers of the period were trained to obey voice commands without thought, and there was no room for initiative or nonconformists. There were a few British officers who tried to adapt to the American frontier but it was a hard row to hoe.

      I like the Katana. It's well balanced, strong, and a good one is plenty sharp. I brought some back from Japan in 1980 and still have them. I also have two Roman "Gladius" type swords, both reproductions of course, and an odd assortment of hatchets, tomahawks, and sheath knives I've picked up along the way. I'd say the chance of my ever using any of that for real are about nil, but it was and remains interesting.

      Sgt. knows about black powder, but I don't. I do know that 'Kentucky Rifles" were prized for their accuracy but were also a bitch to load because the bullet had to fit the rifling so it was a very tight match up. I think most riflemen would fire a shot and then run off to reload,as they had no bayonet.

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    2. Harry & Captain Crunch,

      Flint Lock muzzle loading rifles were very accurate, more so than most people think. However, 150 -200 yards would be a very long shot for a Kentucky rifle. The longest ever shot with a flintlock rifle was by a British rifleman who killed a French General at 600 yards, he must have been aiming 10 feet above his head!

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    3. 600 yards was the furthest we fired on the rifle range in the Marines. One hundred yard line, three hundred yard line, 600 yard line. At that range, the big black bull's eyes looked like gnats to me. Can't imagine trying to make a shot like that with a flintlock. The guys who were good with those, were very good.

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