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Thread: Based individuals

  1. #21
    Liare's Avatar
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    April 9, 2011
    Peter Tordenskjold

    Born in Trondheim in Norway, he was the tenth child of alderman Jan Wessel, and the brother of later Rear-Admiral Caspar von Wessel. Peter Wessel was a wild, unruly lad who gave his pious parents much trouble,[1] eventually stowing away on a ship heading for Copenhagen in 1704. In Copenhagen, he unsuccessfully sought to become a navy cadet.[2] He befriended the king's chaplain Dr Peder Jespersen who sent Wessel on a voyage to the West Indies, and finally procured for him a vacant cadetship. After further voyages, this time to the East Indies, Wessel was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Royal Danish-Norwegian Navy on 7 July 1711, and went on to serve on the frigate Postillion. While on Postillion, he befriended Norwegian admiral baron Waldemar Løvendal,[1] who was the first to recognize the young man's potential as a naval officer.[3] Løvendal soon made Peter Wessel the captain of the 4-gun sloop Ormen (HMS Serpent).[1]

    Wessel started his navy service during the Great Northern War against Sweden, cruising about the Swedish coast in Ormen picking up useful information about the enemy.[3] In June 1712, Løvendal promoted him to the 18-gun frigate Løvendals Galej, against the advice of the Danish admiralty, who considered Wessel unreliable. After officially complaining about his dreary commanding officer Daniel Jacob Wilster in Norway, Wessel was transferred to the Baltic Sea command of Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve, who appreciated and utilized Wessel's courage.[1] Wessel was already renowned for two things: the audacity with which he attacked any Swedish vessels he came across regardless of the odds, and his unique seamanship, which always enabled him to evade capture.[3]

    The Great Northern War had now entered upon its later stage, when Sweden, beset on every side by foes, employed her fleet principally to transport troops and stores to the distressed Swedish Pomerania provinces. The audacity of Wessel impeded her at every point. He was continually snapping up transports, dashing into the fjords where her vessels lay concealed, and holding up her detached frigates.[3] He was a part of Gyldenløve's fleet which succeeded in destroying a large number of Swedish transport ships at Rügen on 29 September 1712, and was promoted from Second Lieutenant to Captain Lieutenant.[1] His successes compelled the Swedes to post a reward for his capture, while his free and easy ways also won him enemies in the Danish navy, who deplored his almost Privateer-like conduct.[2]

    n 1714, Wessel was court-martialled after an indecisive sea battle with a Swedish frigate. The account of the incident is verified by the legal proceedings from November 1714. On 26 July 1714, he encountered a frigate under English flag near Lindesnes, while flying a Dutch flag on the Løvendals Gallej himself. The other frigate was De Olbing Galley carrying 28 guns, which had been equipped in England for the Swedes and was on its way to Gothenburg under the command of an English captain named Bactmann. De Olbing Galley signalled for Løvendals Gallej to come closer, and as Wessel raised the Danish flag, Bactmann fired a broadside at him.[4] In the English captain, Wessel met a tough match.[3] The combat lasted all day, and when De Olbing Galley tried to escape in the evening, Wessel set more sails and continued the duel.[4] The fight was interrupted by nightfall, and renewed again indecisively the following morning.[3] Both ships were badly damaged after around 14 hours of fighting, when Wessel was running out of ammunition. He then sent an envoy to the English ship, cordially thanking the English for a good duel, and asked if he could borrow some of their ammunitions in order to continue the fight. His request was denied, and the captains drank to each other's health, before the ships dispersed.[4][5]

    When he heard about the incident, king Frederick IV of Denmark asked for the admiralty to court-martial Wessel.[2] He stood trial in November 1714, accused of disclosing vital military information about his lack of ammunition to the enemy, as well as endangering the ship of king Frederick IV by fighting a superior enemy force.[4] The spirit with which he defended himself and the contempt he poured on his less courageous comrades took the fancy of Frederick IV.[3] He successfully argued a section of the Danish naval code which mandated attacking fleeing enemy ships no matter the size, and was acquitted on 15 December 1714. He then went to the king asking for a promotion, and was raised to the rank of Captain on 28 December 1714.[4]

    When, in 1715, the return of King Charles XII of Sweden from Turkey to Stralsund put new life into the dispirited Swedish forces, Wessel distinguished himself in numerous engagements off the coast of Swedish Pomerania,[3] under the command of Admiral Christian Carl Gabel.[2] He did the enemy considerable damage by cutting out his frigates and destroying his transports.[3] During a battle at Kolberg on 24 April 1715, Wessel captured the Swedish Rear-Admiral Hans Wachtmeister,[6] as well as the frigate Vita Örn (White Eagle), which he was granted as his new flagship under the name Hvide Ørn. He then transferred to the main fleet under the command of Peter Raben.[1]

    On returning to Denmark in the beginning of 1716 he was ennobled by Frederick IV under the name of Tordenskiold. When in the course of 1716, Charles XII invaded Norway and laid siege to the fortress of Fredrikshald, Tordenskiold compelled him to raise the siege and retire to Sweden. He did so by pouncing upon the Swedish transport fleet, laden with ammunition and other military stores, which rode at anchor in the narrow and dangerous Dynekil Fjord.[3] With two frigates and five smaller ships, he conquered or destroyed around 30 Swedish ships,[2] with little damage to himself during the Battle of Dynekilen on 8 July 1716.[3]

    For this his greatest exploit, he was promoted to the rank of Post-Captain, commanding the Kattegat squadron - but at the same time incurred the enmity of Christian Carl Gabel, whom he had failed to take into his confidence. Tordenskiold's first important command was the squadron with which he was entrusted in the beginning of 1717 for the purpose of destroying the Swedish Gothenburg Squadron, which interrupted the communications between Denmark and Norway. Owing to the disloyalty of certain of his officers who resented serving under the young adventurer, Tordenskjold failed to do all that was expected of him. His enemies were not slow to take advantage of his partial failure. The old charge of criminal recklessness was revived against him at a second court-martial before which he was summoned in 1718, but his old patron Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve intervened energetically on his behalf, and the charge was quashed.[3]

    In December 1718, Tordenskiold brought to Frederick IV the welcome news of the death of Charles XII and was in turn made Rear-Admiral. Tordenskiold captured the Swedish fortress of Carlsten at Marstrand in 1719.[3] The last feat of arms during the Great Northern War was Tordenskiold's partial destruction and partial capture of the Gothenburg Squadron which had so long eluded him, on 26 September 1719. He was rewarded with the rank of Vice-Admiral.[1]

    Tordenskiold did not long survive the termination of the war. On 12 November 1720, at the age of 30, he was killed in a duel by Livonian colonel Jakob Axel Staël von Holstein.[3] During a trip to Hannover, Tordenskiold got in a fight with von Holstein, who had been in Swedish military service. The confrontation ended in a duel on the Sehlwiese in Gleidingen near Hildesheim, in which Tordenskiold was run through by the sword of von Holstein.[1] The circumstances around the death of Tordenskiold was set in a conspirational light, as summed up in the contemporary three volume Tordenskiold biography (1747–1750) by C. P. Rothe.[7]

    The duel was encouraged by a dispute with von Holstein, whom Tordenskiold offended by labeling him as a cheat at gambling. At a dinner party, Tordenskiold told of a friend who had been cheated while gambling with a man who claimed to own a Hydra, to which von Holstein announced he was the owner of the said creature and took offence at being called a cheat. This dispute turned into a fight, in which von Holstein unsuccessfully tried to pull a sword, after which Tordenskiold used the pommel of his own sword to beat him up. von Holstein demanded satisfaction through a duel, and it was agreed that it was to be fought with pistols, a weapon that Tordenskiold was very skilled with. On the day of the duel, Tordenskiold's assigned second tricked him into thinking von Holstein had forfeited and left town, and convinced him to leave his firearms at home. When he arrived at the duelling field to win by default, von Holstein was waiting for him, and the duel would have to be fought with swords. Tordenskiold refused to back out, even though his sword was inferior. Tordenskiold only had his ceremonial dress sword, whereas von Holstein was armed with a Swedish cut-and-thrust military rapier (called a "karolinerverge", a "Carolean sword"). Tordenskiold was run through by his adversary, the blow slicing two arteries wide open. He stumbled a couple of steps backwards, and died in the arms of his servant Kold.[citation needed]

    His corpse was brought to Copenhagen to the Church of Holmen without much ceremony, as duelling was not allowed according to Danish law of the time. In 1819, he was a buried in a sarcophagus.[2]
    guy's a bit of a legend 'round here.
    Viking, n.:
    1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers, entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
    2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning in the 9th century.

    Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront property.

  2. #22
    Movember '11 Ginger Excellence Movember 2011Movember 2012 sarabando's Avatar
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    April 9, 2011
    Basingstoke England
    time to mess up this boys club with some scorned woman.

    Jeanne De Clisson The Lioness of Brittany

    A simple 14th century woman married to her third husband Oliver De Clisson, Jeanne was a well to do French noble woman. Her husband joined the war for Brittany against England at the behest of Philip VI, sadly he was captured during a battle and later exchanged for English prisoners. This was not a happy ending as Philip VI blamed Oliver and believed he had lost the battle on purpose to aid the English. Demanding Oliver come to him in Paris to help with the celebration of a truce with England and a cessation of hostilities, loyal to his King Du Clisson arrived under the banner of peace only to be publicly executed on the kings order in a manner reserved for the lowest criminals an act that was widely critisied by other nobles.
    Jeanne now widowed was allowed to leave Paris and to grieve, she traveled to the castle at Touffou occupied by Galois de la Heuse, an officer of Charles de Blois one of the men she blamed for her husband's death. The guards recognising their late mistress opened the gates to allow her entry. Her troops slaughtered the entire garrison bar one survivor and by the time word reached Philip VI and his troops retaliated Jeanne was long gone and the fortress was a burning wreck. Jeanne sold everything she had to buy a warship taking her war against France to the water. She would use guerilla warfare tactics and attack out of the foggy channel with out warning. Each ship she took she would kill all but a single member of the crew leaving the survivor to spread word of her vengeance. French shipping was paralyzed until Philip's forces finally managed to catch and board the rebel vessel, however Jeanne had already fled with her children in a rowboat to England. She rowed for five days and five nights, her youngest child grew ill and then died. Then on the sixth day she arrived in England. Upon hearing her tale the King Edward III gifted her 3 ships their hulls black their sails blood red, her flagship baring the name My Vengeance/Revenge. She hunted the french for years at the head of the Black fleet always leaving a single survivor to spread the word of her brutality. The Lioness of Brittany was one of the most well known pirates of the 14th century, she raided coastal settlements along Normandy burning and killing any loyal to Philip or Charles de Blois and during the battle of Crecy she used her ships to resupply the English fleet in a supporting role. unlike many stories of this ilk this one has a happy ending
    in 1356 she remarried a fourth time to Walter Bentley a English Noble. After retiring to an estate in Brittany (now an English territory) She died peacefully in1359.

    What is it with Based French chicks named Jeanne?

  3. #23

  4. #24
    Shaftoes's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    This lady popped up on 'Today I learned' on Reddit and I found her quite interesting


    Williamina Paton Stevens Fleming (May 15, 1857 – May 21, 1911) was a Scottish astronomer. During her career, she helped develop a common designation system for stars and cataloged thousands of stars and other astronomical phenomena. Among several career achievements that advanced astronomy, Fleming is noted for her discovery of the Horsehead Nebula in 1888.[1]



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