Historical figures some may not have heard of.

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Kangaroos4eva

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General der Infanterie Dietrich Hugo Hermann von Choltitz (German pronunciation: [ˈdiːtʁɪç fɔn ˈçɔltɪts]; 9 November 1894 – 4 November 1966) was a German career military officer who served in the Imperial German Army during World War I and the Wehrmacht during World War II. He is chiefly remembered for his role as the last commander of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, wherein he disobeyed Hitler's orders to level the city, but instead surrendered it to Free French forces.[1][2] He was hailed in many contemporary accounts as the "Saviour of Paris" for not allowing it to be destroyed.

Von Choltitz later asserted that his defiance of Hitler's direct order stemmed from its obvious military futility, his affection for the French capital's history and culture, and the realization that Hitler had by then become completely insane.
 

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Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling (2 November 1891 – 17 November 1955) was a general in the German Army (Heer) before and during the Second World War. Weidling was the last commander of the Berlin Defence Area during the Battle of Berlin, and led the defence of the city against Soviet forces, finally surrendering just before the end of the Second World War in Europe.

On 22 April, Hitler ordered that Weidling be executed by firing squad on receiving a report that he had fled in the face of advancing Soviet forces, which was in defiance of standing orders to the contrary. As such, Weidling's actions required a death sentence. Weidling had not fled, and the sentence was called off when he dramatically appeared at the Führerbunker to clear up the misunderstanding. Wedling, despite leading an entire Army Group was less than 500 metres away from the enemy.


On 23 April, Hitler later appointed Weidling as the commander of the Berlin Defence Area.
 

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Juan Sebastian Elcano - commander in the Spanish Navy of Charles the First.

Everyone knows Magellan was the first man to sail around the world.

Except he wasn't - he died a little over halfway in the Philippines (the expedition got involved in a tribal war). The king of Cebu had been converted to Christianity, and wanted Magellan to help him kill his enemy - but Magellan only wanted to convert him to Christianity as well. Anyway, there was a bit of a fight and Magellan got killed. Then the crew couldn't decide who should take over leadership of the expedition - so they chose two joint leaders. Meanwhile (keep up, people!), the King of Cebu (former Magellan buddy) now decided to kill the rest of the Spaniards - so he had a great feast, and poisoned them. Several men died - including the two new Expedition leaders.

So then João Lopes de Carvalho took over - and was pretty useless. First things, though - they didn't have enough sailors to sail all 3 remaining ships (they started with 5, but one was lost around Argentina, and one had a crew that took one look at the Strait of Magellan and deserted - buggered off back to Spain). So they burnt one. Exepdition now has 2 ships, but de Carvalho was still in charge and still useless. Eventually the crew decided that Elcano seemed the most capable. Fortunately, the ship de Carvalho was sailing on sprung a leak, and so he 'diplomatically' stayed with it to repair it. His ship was eventually captured and destroyed by the Portuguese.

Did I also mention that early in the expedition, Elcano had participated in a mutiny AGAINST Magellan - 2 of the 5 ships captains and several others were eventually executed by Magellan after the Mutiny was put down. Another ship's captain was marooned. Elcano was one who was thought too valuable to lose.

Of the approx 250 men who started the Expedition, less than 20 made it back - 3 years and 1 month after they left Spain.
 

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I mentioned in another thread Admiral Jacky Fisher...considering he rose to be first lord of the admiralty, he was a pretty wacky guy.

Actually, one you may know about, but probably don't know half of it is James Cook. We tend to just know him as the first European guy to find the east coast, but he was a seriously brilliant navigator/mapmaker.

Probably not worth looking up, but for navigational feats...Captain Bligh...After the mutiny on the bounty, he was given a 7m open launch, and in 47 days sailed from Tahiti to Timor (3,618Miles) using a pocket watch and a quadrant, without any maps.

Another you'll know by name at least, but worth reading more about...Julius Caesar...Probably one of the most arrogant pricks ever put on the planet, and (frighteningly) genius enough to live up to his ego. (BTW, the German title Kaiser & Russian Tsar are derivative of 'Caesar')

Actually, there were several Romans around that era...The Roman empire was built on having a bunch of absolute geniuses in a row (they overlapped, so were often working with/against each other, but ultimately they built on each others achievements). Marius, Sulla, Lucullus, Pompey, Caesar, Augustus & Agrippa.
Bligh was quite a character. He was involved in three mutinies , The "Bounty", the Rum Rebellion when he was governor of New South Wales, and the Mutiny of the Nore, and received a promotion after every one of them !
 

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Balck

In May 1942, Balck went to the Eastern Front in command of the 11th Panzer Division inUkraine and southern Russia.[3]Following the encirclement of the 6th Army at Stalingrad the German southern front faced a generalized collapse. Balck's division was located some 400 miles to the north when he was instructed to move south to stabilize the crumbling front. As the Soviet's threatened a breakthrough across the Dnieper the Russian 5th Tank Army was confronted with the lead units of Balck's 11th Panzer Division. The Soviets commanded a local superiority of 7:1 in tanks, 11:1 in infantry, and 20:1 in artillery. Leading from the front, Balck was able to quickly react to each enemy thrust. He repeatedly parried, surprised, and wiped out superior Soviet detachments. His by word was "Night marches save blood." Through a series of encounters his ability to make use of maneuver allowed his single panzer division to destroy piecemeal the much larger Soviet forces. Over the next few months his division would garner an astonishing one thousand enemy tank kills. For this and other achievements Balck was made one of only twenty-seven officers in the entire war who received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds
 

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suspect footskills

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Mannerheim. The winter war. The Finns were massivelly outnumbered and outgunned yet managed to wipe out division after division until they reached a peace agreement with the Soviets. Simo Hayha, the sniper with the most kills was a Finn of note to fight in the war as was Laury Thorny aka Larry Thorn. Thorn served in the Finnish armed forces, Hitler's Wehrmacht (to kill ruskies) and finally the U.S army where he was part of MACV sog, a "colourful" group they were.
 

Kangaroos4eva

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Mannerheim. The winter war. The Finns were massivelly outnumbered and outgunned yet managed to wipe out division after division until they reached a peace agreement with the Soviets. Simo Hayha, the sniper with the most kills was a Finn of note to fight in the war as was Laury Thorny aka Larry Thorn. Thorn served in the Finnish armed forces, Hitler's Wehrmacht (to kill ruskies) and finally the U.S army where he was part of MACV sog, a "colourful" group they were.
He is also in the only current video to have hitler's normal speaking voice. He led his nation resiliently, a little stubborn German and Finnish resistance from late 1943-1944 helped get a soft peace for Finland.
 

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William Penn.

An American Quaker, of whom, Pennsylvania was named after.
I was aware of his existence but wasn't aware he was a Quaker. My mother is of Quaker descent on her English (maternal) branch.

Early American history is fascinating. Actually right up to the civil war I find there's some really interesting characters.

If anyone liked "The Revenant" just search mountain men and there's some really interesting characters to read about. An African American mountain man opened up East-West travel via the Oregan trail which is overlooked a lot.

For anyone who's into game of thrones, search William Marshall. A real life Gregor Clegane.
 

Kangaroos4eva

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I was aware of his existence but wasn't aware he was a Quaker. My mother is of Quaker descent on her English (maternal) branch.

Early American history is fascinating. Actually right up to the civil war I find there's some really interesting characters.

If anyone liked "The Revenant" just search mountain men and there's some really interesting characters to read about. An African American mountain man opened up East-West travel via the Oregan trail which is overlooked a lot.

For anyone who's into game of thrones, search William Marshall. A real life Gregor Clegane.
Anytime from the first Spanish contacts (even Viking contact in North America, albeit, briefly) is fascinating.
 

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Balck

In May 1942, Balck went to the Eastern Front in command of the 11th Panzer Division inUkraine and southern Russia.[3]Following the encirclement of the 6th Army at Stalingrad the German southern front faced a generalized collapse. Balck's division was located some 400 miles to the north when he was instructed to move south to stabilize the crumbling front. As the Soviet's threatened a breakthrough across the Dnieper the Russian 5th Tank Army was confronted with the lead units of Balck's 11th Panzer Division. The Soviets commanded a local superiority of 7:1 in tanks, 11:1 in infantry, and 20:1 in artillery. Leading from the front, Balck was able to quickly react to each enemy thrust. He repeatedly parried, surprised, and wiped out superior Soviet detachments. His by word was "Night marches save blood." Through a series of encounters his ability to make use of maneuver allowed his single panzer division to destroy piecemeal the much larger Soviet forces. Over the next few months his division would garner an astonishing one thousand enemy tank kills. For this and other achievements Balck was made one of only twenty-seven officers in the entire war who received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds
That's no mean feat. Michael Wittman like but at a far larger scale.
 

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Sir William Edmund Goodenough As appropriately named naval commander as I have ever encountered. Commander of the light cruisers attached to Admiral Beatty's battlecruiser squadron at Jutland. The first person to sight the High Seas Fleet and sent detailed and accurate reports to Beatty and Jellicoe; reports that enabled Jellicoe to "cross the T" of the High Seas Fleet on at least two occasions.
 

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