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The Allies and NOT Faking the Holocaust August 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Allies and NOT Faking the Holocaust

Several emails about the horrific photograph of the murdered woman and child at Ivangorod. Many of these emails went around the idea that this photograph was a misunderstanding (an idea that we have now argued against under the post itself) or that it was a fake. Certainly, if you stroll around the internet there are […]

Blunt Swords and the American Civil War July 31, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Blunt Swords and the American Civil War

An old and dear friend of this blog Stephen D., to whom many thanks, sends in this bizarre extract from Battles lost and won: essays from [American] Civil War history .ed. John T Hubbell and an essay there by Stephen Z. Starr, ‘Cold Steel’. What were the Union cavalry thinking? A most curious situation involving the […]

In Search of Allied Atrocity Photographs July 30, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
In Search of Allied Atrocity Photographs

A provocative and very difficult question from CS in a post two days ago about an infamous Holocaust photograph: are there WW2 Allied attrocity pictures? Beach spent an hour thinking about the question this evening and as the quality of his thought is not always top notch he’s going to try and lay his logic […]

Crowds #7: Fleeing July 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Crowds #7: Fleeing

Beach greatly enjoyed, last year, writing a series of posts on crowds: i.e ransacking the web for likely images with the philosophy that groups, particularly ecstatic, tense or ‘altered’ groups make for interesting studies. There was crowds as art, those silly men with straw hats from August 1914, listening crowds, religion and crowds, prisoner crowds […]

The Greatest Marine of WWII? June 28, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Greatest Marine of WWII?

Guy Gabaldon was perhaps the most remarkable American Marine of the ‘greatest generation’, a man who went to the grave, in 2006, with the knowledge that he had saved hundreds of lives, most of them Japanese soldiers and civilians, toying with or in some cases literally running towards suicide (cliffs). If this introduction suggests a […]

Faking in Ninetenth-Century Seances June 26, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Faking in Ninetenth-Century Seances

Beach has stumbled again into the world of nineteenth-century séances in search of fun. And he’s awfully glad he ended up there. What mummery! What hoaxing! What extraordinary imbecility on the part of intelligent men and women! He brings together here a selection of his favourites. First let’s get into the mood. We could detect […]

Fewest Casualties… June 25, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Fewest Casualties...

In what modern war did the fewest people die? Beach has been wasting a couple of joyful hours this morning looking through the annals of battles past and some dodgy Wikipedia pages. He has built in several limits to the survey. First, he has restricted himself to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, where it is […]

Transvestite Protestors: Why, When and Where? June 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Transvestite Protestors: Why, When and Where?

***Dedicated to Chris*** Modern and early modern social movements are not normally Beach’s thing. He’ll let the likes of Eric Hobsbawm salivate over those. But just yesterday an email brought a peculiar Irish American phenomenon to his attention: the Molly Maguires, previously known to this author only from Conan Doyle’s Valley of Fear.  The Mollys […]

Sex Madness! June 5, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Sex Madness!

A very early morning and, after Beach finished his drudge work surprisingly quickly, he found himself dragged by a link (from a book of sermons by Bernard of Siena…) to a 1938 film entitled ‘Sex Madness!’ The adolescent in Beach got antsy and he wasted the next 51.58 seconds watching this tawdry but fascinating and […]

Review: The Terror That Comes in the Night June 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Review: The Terror That Comes in the Night

Beach has been lucky with his reading recently. It began with Dennis Gaffen’s Running with the Fairies, passed on to Chris Woodyard’s Face in the Window and Emma Wilby’s Cunning Folk and then there was a jump back in time with Mike Dash’s Borderlands. Another excellent addition to his library has been David J.Hufford’s The […]

Hebrew Invasion of Bedroom April 15, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Hebrew Invasion of Bedroom

There follows a curious little piece that came out of the early spiritualist movement in the US, but that bears some resemblance to modern freakery about UFOs landing on the front lawn and greys appearing at the bottom of people’s beds with equipment far beyond the sleeper’s ken. On the night of the 21st of […]

Four Strange Suicides April 9, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Four Strange Suicides

Beach has covered the difficult theme of suicide before on several occasions. There was suicides and loopholes, suicides on Saipan and, staying with the Second World War, madness in the last hours in the bunker in Berlin. But suicide is still rattling around his head and this particular post has been bothering him for a […]

Lords of Karma and Military Reincarnation March 30, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Lords of Karma and Military Reincarnation

In 1964, Hugh Dowding, hero of the Battle of Britain, wrote a nostalgic letter to Canadian millionaire Lord Beaverbrook. Dowding recalled how he and Beaverbrook had been in the right place and the right time in the summer of 1940, for the good of the Empire and of the world. Any normal military hero in […]

Who Needs Anti-Aircraft Guns When You Have Saints? March 7, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Who Needs Anti-Aircraft Guns When You Have Saints?

In Norman Lewis’ brilliant, astounding Naples ’44, the British writer has many curious and memorable passages from his diary of that year. However, this is one of Beach’s favourites. At Pomigliano [north-east of Naples] we have a flying monk who also demonstrates the stigmata. The monk claims that on an occasion last year when an […]

England’s First Anomalist and A Missing Manuscript? March 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
England's First Anomalist and A Missing Manuscript?

Matthew Poole (obit 1679) was an English Biblical scholar from an age and a place when that meant simultaneously the most mind numbing parsing and sensationalizing of God’s word. He wrote tracts, he preached sermons and he would generally have made rather dull if hell-fire warm dinner company: perhaps the only really interesting thing that […]

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