Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Startling Saints—Saint Clare of Montefalco

The miracle-working saint with a very special heart

(St Clare of Montefalco, circa 1670, from the Iglesia del Convento de Nuestra Señora del Pópulo de Agustinos Descalzos. Sevilla, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

Clare Damiani was born in the Umbrian town of Montefalco in 1268. She was introduced to a cloistered life at an early age. When Clare was six, she was sent to live with her sister, Jane, who was the mother superior at the Saint Illuminata convent. Before she reached adulthood, Clare decided to remain in the convent lifestyle. When she had grown into a young woman, Clare and all of the nuns under superior Jane’s care, were transferred to a newly built convent—Santa Croce, also known as the Holy Cross Convent.

Saint Clare was the type of person that develops a natural aura of importance around them. She quickly garnered a reputation as an honorable, pious and virtuous woman. As such, when Jane died in 1298, the nuns of Santa Croce quickly elected the thirty-year-old Clare as their new mother superior. 

Continue reading our article, HERE.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

New Article: Startling Saints—Jolly Saint Nicholas

The Saintly Bishop of Myra Who Evolved Into A Magical Christmas Entity

(Left: Santa Poster by the U.S. Food Administration. Educational Division. Advertising Section. (01_15_1918 - 01_1919), [Public Domain-US] via Creative Commons. Right: Image of St. Nicholas from the Lipnya Church of St. Nicholas in Novgorod, c. 1294, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

Most cultures that have been influenced by Christianity have some sort of magical or supernatural persona who gives out gifts to children on Christmas Day. Most of these figures trace back to Saint Nicholas, a 4th century CE bishop of Myra. His legend fused with other traditions, cultures and myths and eventually came to the United States by way of Dutch immigrants as Sinterklass. From there, he was commercialized into Santa Claus, and spread back across the Atlantic to his original homeland in Europe.

Now, the new Santa Claus figure has assimilated into many countries. He is known as Weihnachtsmann (Christmas Man) in Germany, Pére Noël in France, Father Christmas in Britain and Father Frost in Russia. The mythological (and often demonic) pagan beings of Krampus, and the Yule goat Joulupukki, have also been influenced and transformed by Santa Claus. Let’s not worry the kids, however, with all this talk about Santa Claus being fabricated—Jolly Saint Nicholas was, for the most part, a very real, historical figure. This is his story:

Continue to our article, HERE

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Article: Strange, But Successful—The Inchon Landing

This extremely effective amphibious landing turned the tide of the Korean War.

War After War
At the end of World War II, Japan lost control of the empire it had acquired throughout the Pacific Ocean. One of the regions that gained freedom after WWII was Korea. Like much of the rest of the post-war world, Korea was divided between communism (in the north) and capitalist democracy (in the south). Though Japan had been expelled from Korea, and World War II was over, peace did not last long—in June, 1950, North Korea invaded the south, catching the South Korean military inexcusably by surprise.

(With her brother on the back a war weary Korean girl trudges by a stalled M-26 tank, at Haengju, Korea. c. June 9,1951. Maj R. V. Spencer, USAF, [Public Domain-US] via Creative Commons)

Continue to our article about the Inchon Landing, HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Article: The Last Witch Trial Of Nördlingen, Germany

Maria Holl Survived 62 Sessions Of Torture During the Late 16th-Century Witch Trials

In the last decade of the 16th century, a respectable woman who owned a restaurant along with her husband in Nördlingen, Germany, was put under arrest by the authority of the town council on suspicion of witchcraft. At first, Holl was patient with the council and their questioners; she was confident that she would be released without much of a hassel. Unfortunately for Maria Holl, the council, inquisitors and the citizens of Nördlingen all believed that she was truly a witch.

(“Examination of a witch”, c. 1853, from the Collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, originally by Author Thompkins H. Matteson, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)
Click HERE to read our article.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New Article: The Successful Failure of Pearl Harbor

Though Pearl Harbor was a victorious surprise attack for Japan, they missed their most vital targets.

Ascent Of An Empire
The Pearl Harbor attack, a day in which thousands of lives were tragically lost, will continue to ‘live in infamy’ within the hearts and minds of many citizens of the United States. The attack’s position of high notoriety has only recently been usurped by the horrendous terrorist attacks of 9/11. Like the al-Qaeda atrocity, the attack on Pearl Harbor first shocked the American population, and when their minds were cleared of the immediate grief, quickly unified the United States for war.
  (Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, just as the USS Shaw exploded, owned by the US government, [Public Domain-US] via Creative Commons)

Read our article on Pearl Harbor, HERE

Friday, December 2, 2016

20,000 Likes On Facebook

Thanks for all the wonderful support! Stay tuned for even greater things in the near future.

C. Keith Hansley

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Startling Saints: The Saxon Saint Caedwalla
(16th century mural of Caedwalla and Wilfrid painted by Lambert Barnard, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)
Several kings were put to death by his executioners, and various communities were ravaged or massacred on the whim of this conquering king. This was King Caedwalla of Wessex—but there is a catch. He would later be recognized by the Christian church as a saint, and was even laid to rest in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Read about the warrior St. Caedwalla, here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Historian Hut Update: New Sections!

Hello everybody,

A few new subsections have opened up here at The Historian's Hut. We have a new Short Biographies section, where you can find a quick read about some of the more commonly quoted people from the Quote Pictures section. There is also an Articles sections, where The Historian's Hut articles have been reformatted. Lastly, a new 'Did You Know?' page has been launched, where you can read fun facts from history in a short-and-sweet style. On a side note, our mobile version has been updated and most pages have been outfitted with tags and popular/feature posts.

Quick Recap:
Thanks for all of the support,

C. Keith Hansley

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Adventures of Emperor Theophilus:
The Joust, A Prized Warhorse And The Horse Thief:

Theophilus (also spelled Theophilos) was an emperor of Roman Constantinople who was at his best during peace-time rule. He was excellent at administration and seeing to the various needs of his empire. He was known as a just emperor (except by those who disagreed with his iconoclast policies), and found decent governors to see to the different provinces of his empire. 

Unfortunately for Theophilus, his time on the throne was in no way a peaceful reign. He constantly fought against the Abbasid Dynasty. He had some early successes, but the situation eventually got out of hand, and both lives and land were lost as a result. Even though Theophilus did not gain glory on the battlefield, he did leave behind an interesting legacy--his people recorded some really dramatic stories about their emperor.

Read our article about the intriguing adventures of Theophilus, here (or click the above picture). 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Misadventures of Publius Clodius Pulcher
The Odd, but Awesome, Story of Julius Caesar’s Popular Hooligan of the People:
In 62 BCE, a hilarious event brought Publius Clodius Pulcher into the service of one of the greatest leaders of Rome. Clodius was a patrician of populist political standing, and his notorious antics gained him great popularity among the masses. This is the story of Clodius’ unpredictable participation in the transformation of Rome from a republic to an authoritarian state.

Read more about the strange life of Publius Clodius Pulcher, here (or click the above picture).

Monday, November 7, 2016

New Article: Military Coups and Massacres in Indonesia
The Rise of the Suharto Regime and the Unimaginable Mass Murder in Indonesia:

On September 30th, 1965, in the midst of the Cold War, events in Indonesia were set in motion that led to the rise of a military regime led by General Suharto. The regime, and its supporters, would execute approximately one million Indonesians for supposed communist affiliation.

Read more about the massacres during the Suharto Regime in our article, here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Magdalena Bollmann: Tortured to Death in a Trial of Witchcraft
10 Weeks of Torture and Fatal Abuse:
The interrogators did not believe in Magdalena’s innocence, and despite her courage and steely resolve, she was tortured to death after months of being crushed, stretched, partially impaled, burned, whipped and jabbed with needles.

Read more about the gruesome death of Magdalena Bollmann, here (or click the above picture).

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Article: The Trung Sisters - Rebel Queens of Vietnam

In the 1st century CE, a rebellion in Northern Vietnam expelled Chinese forces from the region, beginning a long line of independence movements. This is the story of how two sisters became dangerous thorns in the side of Han Dynasty China from 40-43 CE.

Read more about the Trung Sisters and their story of tragedy, war and spirit in our article on our official website, here (or click the above picture).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New Article: Mythology Madness - Magna Mater Cybele
Most of the cults of Roman antiquity were much more tame than we may originally assume. The cult of the Cybele, the Magna Mater (Great Mother), however, was not an ordinary Mystery Religion. Prepare for blood and body mutilation in the worship of Cybele.

Read more about the cult of Cybele in our article on our official website, here (or click the above picture).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Assyrian Queen Sammu-Ramat and the Goddess, Semiramis
The 9th century BCE Assyrian Queen, Sammu-Ramat left such a baffling impression on her people that they immortalized her forever as a conquering warrior queen named Semiramis. Sammu-Ramat was a trusted adviser to her husband, the Assyrian King Shamshi-Adad V. When her husband died, Sammu-Ramat stepped in as regent to stabilize and grow Assyria until her son, Adad-Nirari III, was mature enough to rule his Kingdom. Sammu-Ramat's astute and shrewd governance of Assyria earned her the admiration and awe of her people, causing her history to evolve into elaborate mythology and legend.

Read our article about the Assyrian Warrior Queen on our official website, here (or click the above picture).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Article: Ancient War, Modern Consequences
The Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage left Rome as the supreme Mediterranean power and decided the foundation of western civilization. These wars  pitted Carthage’s Phoenician economic-based ideology against Rome’s expansionary ideology. At the start of the Punic Wars, both Rome and Carthage were balanced in military might, but by the end of the wars, one nation rose to greatness, leaving the other as a footnote in history.

Read our article on the Punic Wars on our official website, here (or click the above picture). 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Article: Strange, But Successful, War Tactics - Patience at the 813 CE Battle of Versinikia
In the strange battle of Versinikia (813CE), Michael I Rangabe of the Byzantine Empire and Khan Krum of Bulgaria played the waiting game. For around two weeks the two armies competed in a tense staring match. One emerged with a glorious victory; the other with a humiliating defeat.

Read more about the Battle of Versinikia in our article at our official website, here (or click the above picture).

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Article: Strange War Tactics—The Sieges of Nisibis (337-350 CE)

During the 3rd Century CE, the Romans and the Sasanian Persians lost the city of Nisibis to each other multiple times, but the Romans controlled the region well into the beginning of the 4th century. This brings us to the clash between two emperors, Constantius II and Shapur II, over none other than the city of Nisibis. The 4th century sieges of Nisibis were quite dramatic.

Read more about the dramatic sieges of Nisibis on our website, here (or click on the picture above).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Article: The Artist That Painted Britain Orange and Red - Jack the Painter
A criminal known as Jack terrorized the streets of Britain. This was not Jack the Ripper. No, this was Jack the Painter: an arsonist inspired by the American Revolution, who set fire to docks, ports and warehouses throughout lower England.

Read more about Jack the Painter on our official website, here (or click on the picture above).

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Article: The Strange Era of the Protestant Reformation—The Reformer
The founder of the Protestant Reformation:
From law school to devout Catholic theology and an epiphany of Reformation, this is the story of Martin Luther's early life.

 Born into a moderately-wealthy family, the Luther family barely had enough money send Martin to a university for law. He abandoned the lawyer profession to pursue theology and became a monk. In his studies, Luther had an epiphany that caused a schism in the Christian Church. That divide still exists, today. 

Read more about Martin Luther's early life on our official website, here (Or click the picture above).

Friday, September 9, 2016

New Article: The Strange Era of the Protestant Reformation—The Defenders of Catholicism
In response to Protestant skepticism and questioning, the supporters of the Catholic Church launched what is known today as the Counter Revolution. Thomas More and Desiderius Erasmus were among the ranks of papal supporters that denounced Luther, and criticized his interpretation of scriptures.

Read this article on our official website, here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Article: The Strange Era of the Protestant Reformation—The Catholic Low-Point
Babylonian Captivity, Corrupt Popes and Papal Controversies: The Papal States and their masters were slowly recovering from decades of questionable activity when Luther posted his theses in 16th century Wittenberg.  The Papacy had struggled in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries with various embarrassing and reputation-tarnishing events.

Read the article on our official website, here.

Friday, September 2, 2016

New Article: Reformation-Era Augsburg: The Tense Stage of Christian Conflict!augsburg/gtfv7
Augsburg was an imperial city within the Holy Roman Empire. The city was not ruled by a prince, such as a count or duke, but was ruled by an honorable council that was under direct jurisdiction of the emperor. The city government encouraged whichever religious faith was prevalent among the members of the Honorable Council. This resulted in political competition between Protestant and Catholic politicians on the council.

Read the article on our official website, here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Article: Spirituality and Heaven in Ancient China (Part 3)!chinesespiritualitypt3/tfz8n
The Legalist, Han Fei Tzu, approached spiritualism from the religious skepticism approach, too, but his version was drastically amplified. Han Fei Tzu was willing to forego Heaven and spirituality if it interfered with the authority of the ruler.

Read more on our official website, here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Article: Spiritualism and Heaven in Ancient China (Part Two)!part-two-ancient-chinese-spirituali/d3lko
The Confucians

Though Confucius prescribed that spirits be shown respect, his moral, social and governmental teaching did not have much reliance on Heaven. Confucius and the most important students of the Confucian school, Mencius and Xunzi, based their teachings on love, human nature, and virtue, which could operate without Heaven.

Read the article on our official Historian's Hut website, here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

New Article: Spiritualism and Heaven in Ancient China (Part One)!ancient-chinese-spiritualism-part-1/d5kgh
Deity and the Dao:
The Chinese ancients either attempted to understand Heaven, or they were respectfully skeptical of what they could not comprehend. Part One of this two-piece article looks into the active deity of Mo Tzu and the passive Dao of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu.

Read the article on our official website, HERE.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Article - Startling Saints: Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia!startling-saints-elesbaan/nh2cr
Elesbaan became king of Axum in the early 6th century, likely somewhere between 514 and 518 CE. Suffice it to say; Elesbaan had significant power and influence. When he heard Christians were being persecuted in Yemen, he mobilized the powerful Kingdom of Axum for war.

Read more about this saint who invaded and conquered the Himyar Kingdom in Yemen. Find the article HERE on our official Historian's Hut website.

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Article: The Fascinating Life of Empress Dowager Cixi!empress-dowager-cixi/lyapb 
Few queens have life stories as interesting, dramatic and odd as that of the last empress of China—Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908). She was the concubine and empress of Emperor Xianfeng, as well as the mother of Emperor Tongzhi and adoptive mother of Emperor Guanxu. 

Read about her incredible rise to power in our article, here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New Article: The Brutal 1014 Battle of Kleidion!battle-of-kleidion/cbl20 
An event occurred in the middle of Basil II’s reign that would lead to Emperor Basil gaining the title of ‘Bulgar-Slayer.’  He received the name after the 1014 CE Battle of Kleidion, where Basil faced off against Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria. The battle, and events afterward, ascended to legend.

Read the full article HERE.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Historian's Hut Update Log (2)

This is a big week for The Historian's Hut. Here are some things that have happened and are on the way.
  • Relevant articles have been added to the quote pictures page.
  • Pages for Historian Hut authors have been set up where all of the articles they have written can be found along with general information about the author.
  • 3 exclusive articles will be released this week (one on St. Bernard of Corleone was released yesterday). Here are hints about the other two upcoming articles.
    • A Byzantine vs. Bulgarian battle
    • A Chinese Empress
Best regards to all the Hut readers out there,
C. Keith Hansley

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Article: Startling Saints - Bernard of Corleone!startling-saints-bernard-of-corleon/fjzq9
Bernard of Corleone seemed to be a perfect saint—he was penitent, extremely generous and could perform miracles. Saint Bernard was undoubtedly a distinguished Capuchin friar. Before this however, Bernard was the greatest duelist in Sicily.

Read our article, here, or click the above picture.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Strange, But Successful, War Tactics—The Wandering Soul of Vietnam (Exclusive)!wandering-soul-of-vietnam/sz438
The Psyops successful failure in the Vietnam War

In an attempt to break the North Vietnamese and guerilla spirit, the US began using unorthodox methods, including audio warfare. Spooky sounds were played at night to encourage North Vietnamese soldiers and communist guerillas to defect, retreat or surrender.

The audiotapes turned out to provide a different advantage to US troops in Vietnam.

Read our article on the U.S. military's strange psychological strategy, here, or click the above picture.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Historian's Hut Update Log - (1)

Things have come a long way from the old blog days (this current page). The new official site build has gone well, allowing more space, creativity and a wide variety of article options.  Exclusive articles are being released every week and quote pictures should continue to be released daily. The Historian's Hut Facebook,  Twitter and Pinterest pages are all functioning, and more social media sites (Flipboard and Google +) are also on the way.

What is actively being updated now:
  • A merchandise store is being planned and developed.
  • The Historian's Hut will accept guest authors: email us if you are interested. (
  • More text and information will be added to the Quotation Pictures page. More information will also be added to the royalty-free image gallery.
  • Updates will be made to the oldest of The Historian's Hut posts. The earliest posts (that linked to Historian Hut articles on other sites) were made for a blog format. Now they will be lengthened, improved and made more suitable to the official webpage.
  • Obviously, this blog, here, will serve a role as an update log, while also continuing its current functions.
Heartfelt thanks to all of the thousands of viewers out there who have been taking time to read about the many strange and intriguing events and people found in history and philosophy!

C. Keith Hansley

Startling Saints: Saint Sigismund of Burgundy!startling-saints-sigismund-of-burgundy/xmfy1 
 Strangulation, War and Deadly Curses--this startling saint had it all. Sigismund was a king of Burgundy (modern south-eastern France) during the 6th century CE. He ruled beside one of the most competent early countries of medieval history: the Franks. With all the external pressures the king faced, there is no doubt that his reign was stressful, but just wait until you read about some of the un-saintly things this saint did in life.

Read our article, here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mythology Madness: Dionysus (Exclusive)!mythologymadness-dionysus/j68d2 
Dionysus was much, much more than a partying god of wine. In his mythology, he could create in his followers great ecstasy, or great rage. He had dominion over the earth, and over the creatures that lived off of the earth. He could summon water, milk and honey from soil and rock, and could even transform man into aquatic animals. For the most part, however, Dionysus was an easy-going, benevolent, god of wine and ecstasy with good intentions for the human race. 

Read more about Dionysus in our article, here, or click the above picture..

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Ancient Mystery Religion Cults of Rome - Part Two (Exclusive)!christianity-and-the-cult-of-mithras/my25u 

The similarities between early Christianity and the cult of Mithras are astounding. December birthdays, religious meals of bread and drink, a deity of light and even the Emperor Constantine. 

Find out which religion Sunday is actually dedicated to, here, in our article.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Strange, But Successful, War Strategies—Japan’s WWII Bicycle Infantry!strange-but-successful-japanese-bikes/m8n3l
The Japanese literally pedaled their way to victory in the Battle of Singapore. Learn how the Japanese used the simple bicycle to create a sprawling empire at the outset of WWII.

Read our article about Japan's bicycle strategy, here, in our article (or click the above picture).

The Ancient Mystery Religion Cults of Rome!ancient-roman-mystery-religions/te117
The cults of Mithra, Isis and Cybele are more familiar and complex than we may think. Read about what the ancient cults believed in and how the adherents of the cults acted. Also, learn about how the early Christian Church used some of the organization and tactics of the Roman cults to survive two harrowing centuries before being accepted by Emperor Constantine.

Read our article about these Mystery Religions here (or click the above picture).

Fire, Fairies and Folklore—The Murder of Bridget Cleary!the-murder-of-bridget-cleary/artnv
A witch? A fairy? Who was the murdered wife of Michael Cleary?

Read more about the strange and bizarre murder of the Bridget Cleary, a woman killed after being accused of being a fairy changeling, in our article here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Commoner Who Killed An Emperor, Became An Emperor and Was Killed By An Emperor!incredible-byzantine-emperor-phocas/x0m55
The Incredible Story of the Byzantine Emperor Phocas (Ruled 602-610CE): a 7th century 'rags to riches' story. Likely growing up somewhere around modern Bulgaria, Phocas grew of age and joined the section of the Byzantine army stationed in the Balkans. He eventually found himself under the command of General Philippikos. Phocas, though a commoner, arose to the lower-ranking officer position of centurion, which made him responsible for anywhere from 80 to 100 other soldiers. From a simple beginning, he went on to take command of an army and win an empire.

Read more here at

Strange, But Successful War Strategies—Divide Yourself And Conquer The Byzantine Battle of Arcadiopolis!battle-of-arcadiopolis-strange-strategy/eb78z
In the Byzantine Battle of Arcadiopolis the Byzantine commander, Bardas Skleros, repelled 30,000 invaders with only 12,000 men of his own. More baffling, is the fact that the Byzantines were the first to charge into battle.

Read more here at

WWI’s Incredible Battle of Messines!wwis-incredible-battle-of-messines/nx7i2
This shocking Allied plan made the German defenses just disappear. A combined assault of explosives, artillery and  infantry made the Battle of Messines a truly eruptive event.
Warning: The WWI pictures in the article may be disturbing to some viewers.

Read more here at

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Golden Rule Is Older than You Think!!the-golden-rule-is-older-than-you-think/x20rn 
Most people know that one of the central tenets of Jesus Christ’s way of life was the Golden Rule. As Christianity is a religion all about forgiveness, love and living a virtuous life, the Golden Rule is a perfect mantra for the faithful to remember in order to assure that they are acting like true Christians. Jesus prescribed that his disciples use the Golden Rule as a call for action; actively do for other what they would gladly receive for themselves.

Around 600 years before Christ, however, the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, developed his own Golden Rule. The Confucian Golden Rule was more about restraint. He argued that people should not do to others what they would not want done to themselves. Both rules suggest that we should think of others before we act, but Christ and Confucius approached it from opposite angles. Read more here at The Historian's Hut website.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Nearly Forgotten Kingdoms: Ancient Pontus and the ‘Poison King’!forgotten-kingdom-pontus/yw8lv 
A country formed from the remnants of Alexander the Great’s Empire and a King who could resist poison and match up against the best Roman generals—this is the story of Pontus. 

Read our article here at (or click on the picture above).

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

10 Underhanded Ways The Spanish Franco Regime Aided Hitler And The Axis Powers in WWII 

Many people forget a major country involved in World War Two—Spain. Though Spain was not a member of the Axis military alliance, it was politically and ideologically aligned with the Axis Powers.

Francisco Franco was the fascist dictator of Spain just before, during and after WWII. Germany and Italy helped Franco overthrow the government of Spain’s Second Republic during the Spanish Civil War. France, the USSR and many United States and British citizens supported the Republic. The Spanish Civil War ended mere months before the beginning of WWII.

During WWII, Franco kept close ties to his fellow fascist dictators, Hitler and Mussolini. He traded war supplies, weapons and ammunition to the Axis. He also allowed monitoring stations and saboteurs from the Axis to enter Spain to thwart the Allied Powers. Publicly, Franco applauded the Axis and denounced the Allies in speeches and letters. His boldest aid to the Axis, however, was the Blue Division—an army of Spanish volunteer (and later conscripted) soldiers that were sent to the Eastern Front to fight the Soviet Union.

All of this was done under Spain’s formal claim of neutrality. Franco’s aid to the Axis only diminished once the Allied Powers were clearly gaining the upper hand.  WWII ended with the Axis Powers defeated, Hitler and Mussolini dead, and Francisco Franco left as the last remaining major fascist dictator in Europe.

Read more here at War History Online.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Killer Priests of the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was one of the most brutal wars of the 20th century. The horrors of WWII have relegated the Spanish Civil War toward the back of the history books, but the war between the Republican government of Spain and the Nationalist rebels brought about its own unbelievable atrocities. While both the Republic and the Nationalists were often merciless, this article discusses an unusual oxymoron of an anomaly in Nationalist Spain--the emergence of bloodthirsty priests. This article first explains the reasons as to why these warrior priests existed in the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Republic had persecuted Catholic Spaniards before, and during, the war. The bulk of this article, however, displays three bloodthirsty priests--Father Martínez Laorden, Father Vicente and Benito Santesteban. Read about the events that caused these "holy men" to fall into bloodlust. Primary sources from either the priests, themselves, or the soldiers they accompanied during the war, will also be displayed in the piece.

 Read more about these bloodthirsty priests here at

Sunday, June 26, 2016
I am proud to announce a new Historian's Hut website! Click here or on the picture above to check it out.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Warrior Monks of Feudal Japan--They Did Not Always Practice Peace.
Before the Tokugawa clan finally unified Japan around 1600 C.E., warfare was a constant reality of Japanese life. Even the Shinto Buddhist monks of Japan were not exempt from the endless battles. From the end of the 10th century to the beginning of the 17th century, the temples of Japan outfitted armies of warrior monks, ready to bring their religion out of the cloister and into the field of battle.

The armed monks of Japan fought other religious rivals and joined the armies of various Daimyo warlords. Populist warrior monks also set up camp in feudal Japan: the Lotus Sect and the Ikko-ikki became the bane of many a warlord. The age of the warrior monks seemed to only end when the powerful Daimyo, Oda Nobunaga, sieged and burned multiple warrior monk temples and strongholds.

Read more about the fascinating warrior monks  of Japan here at

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Could The Dark Souls Games Be Based On Ancient Religions? 
The Dark Souls franchise has a unique concept that stands apart from the generic shooters, racers and open-world video games that over-saturate the market. Dark Souls puts the player in a crumbling world--a world with a whole lot of lore and backstory. The game, however, does not spoon-feed the lore to the player of the game; they take quite the opposite approach. The result of scavenging and combining all the tid-bits of story is a satisfying and well thought out body of lore.

The game tells of a universe born out of grayness. An Age of Fire was begun and an Age of Darkness was destined to come next. The leaders of the Age of Fire, however, were too attached to their era to let it pass, so they linked the souls of the Age of Dark to the kindling flame of the Age of Fire, creating an eternal Age of Fire. Unfortunately, this linking of opposites had unwanted consequences--unending cycles of curses, decay and rebirth.

While the game may sound very unique, these concepts have been contemplated before. Buddhism parallels much of the game's themes of suffering and rebirth. The game's complex lore is also reminiscent of ancient Christian Gnosticism--creation from grayness and humans being creatures of light and dark can be found in ancient Gnostic texts. 

Read more about how the Dark Souls games parallel Buddhism and Gnosticism here at

Monday, June 6, 2016

Recollections and Experiences of a United States Troop Carrier Squadron Officer in Normandy

Most people know that the June 6th, 1944, D-Day invasion was one of the great turning-points of WWII. The successful Allied assault against the German defenses in Normandy would set the stage for the retaking of France and an offensive against Germany. While many know of D-Day, it is difficult to understand the thoughts, feelings and experiences of those who actually lived the events. Statistics of manpower and casualties can convey scale, but lacks in emotion. Fortunately, many brave warriors of WWII had the foresight to put their thoughts on paper, allowing future generations to gain insight into the greatest moments of the Second World War.

Col. Frank W. Hansley was one of these thoughtful soldiers. He was the CO of the 72d squadron of the 434th Troop Carrier Group. During the Normandy invasion, Hansley's squadron flew in missions Chicago, Keokuk and Galveston. Col. Hansley wrote of his experiences in the assault, resupply and medical evacuation missions of the Normandy invasion in the George Field News and the Silent Wings newsletter.

Read a brief biography of Col. Hansley and his accounts of the D-Day invasion of Normandy HERE, written by The Historian's Hut's C. Keith Hansley and published by

Below is a copy of Col. Hansley's article, courtesy of Silent Wings (Volume 26), published March of 1999.

CO of the 72nd TCS/434th TC Group Recalls Details of Normandy Missions

“When we contacted Colonel Frank W. Hansley for permission to publish his Normandy article in SILENT WINGS, he advised us he had written it just to refresh the minds of the 72nd TC Squadron members of the outstanding performance of duty each and every person played – perfect team work. And he added ‘if you considered it worth publishing, go to it!’”

“He also said, ‘I feel all of those glidermen need special recognition for carrying out so well an almost impossible assignment. The results were much more positive than was either expected or for which they were given credit for by news sources.’”

“’I also need to commend the exceptionally well-qualified Pathfinder crew members who performed their duties with perfection during the Chicago mission. We were where we were supposed to be at all times.’”

“’My feeling about the liberation missions became serious shortly before those events took place when Colonel William B. Whitacre, CO of the 434th TC Group, called me into his office and unexpectedly asked if I thought I could command the 72nd TC Squadron. I assured him that it would not be a problem with the quality of people we had at all functional levels.’”

“Mission Chicago”

“Cockpit activity started by wearing special goggles to build up visual purple in the eyes for better blackout flight capability. Colonel Whitacre, as the mission commander, flew the lead aircraft and started rolling at 1:19 a.m., 6 June 1944. As the Deputy Mission Commander, I was at the controls of the third aircraft echelon to the right front. The mission called for us to lead the right two columns to a different landing zone than the left two columns.”

“We descended the entire formation down to 500 feet while flying over the English Channel. This was to better evade enemy electronic detection. We were relieved when we flew by the British Channel Islands of Gurnsey, Sark and Jersey (then occupied by Germany) without any enemy response.”

“As we approached the French coast, I hoped the many fires I saw ahead were a good sign that the fighters/bombers had knocked out most, if not all, enemy gun emplacements. That hope did not last long! Our lead aircraft flew a very short distance over land before streamers of tracer bullets started whizzing around the aircraft and gliders. I started telling myself, ‘keep the faith, keep the faith!’ I then added and repeated my version of the 23rd Psalm which was 'Yea though I fly through the valley of death I fear no evil for Thou art with me.’ With this true belief, it proved most calming! I am positive many others in our formation were doing much the same – all stayed the course!”

“As one string of tracers moved within inches of my aircraft, a strange question flashed through my mind – how will it feel when the bullets rip through my body? The firing stopped just before striking the aircraft!”

“I glanced around at the aircraft crew and found each of them calm and doing his job. My version of the 23rd Psalm became plural: ‘Yea though we fly through the valley of death…etc.’”

“I was concerned about others in our formation. If we in the lead aircraft were attracting so much enemy fire power, what is happening to those following us? There was no way of checking! We had to maintain radio silence; however, those aircraft flying off of our wings seemed to be faring well.”

“We came to the predesignated point at which we would lead approximately 50% of the mission aircraft and gliders to a secondary landing zone. With the blackout, it was impossible to see good navigational landmarks as it was 4:00 a.m. No problem! Our aircraft had one of the latest electronic navigational units – known today as LORAN. By automatically calculating the triangulation of three English-based radio station signals, it could indicate our location within an acceptable few yards.”

“As we approached the landing zone (LZ), we anxiously looked for the ground signals from the Path Finder Troops that had been dropped earlier by another unit. As we prepared to release our gliders without that verification, their signals were activated. They were a radio beacon and the lighting of a landing tee.”

“Those signals were wonderful assurances, but it did not relieve my great concern for the glider crews and troopers. Darkness would not give the glider pilots the visibility to select the safest landing routes. I truly regretted they had to release. The odds were very high against them.”

“We intercepted and then accompanied Colonel Whitacre’s two columns for the flight over UTAH Beach and the mammoth Allied landing fleet – IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) assuredly turned on! The return flight to Aldermaston was uneventful.”

“Mission Keokuk”

“After a short relaxing nap at the flight line, it was time to man the 32 tow planes and the English-made Horsa gliders for the Keokuk mission. Take off started at 6:30 p.m., 6 June 1944. As deputy mission commander, I took off in the second aircraft and flew off the lead aircraft’s right wing. Lt. Col. Steve Parkinson was flying the lead aircraft as mission commander.”

“Nothing unusual happened en route. My memory flashes back to a rather open route leading over Utah Beach and a trail way pretty well controlled by advancing American troops. Appreciatively, we received much less ground fire on this mission, even after we arrived over the glider landing zone area. We were later informed that the Germans saved their ammunition to use on the attacking glider men during their approach and landings. I sure saluted the glider men; they again took the brunt of the mission.”

“Once again, the return flight to Aldermaston was uneventful.”

“Mission Galveston”

“The first tow planes with gliders took off at 4:32 a.m., 7 June 1944. We had rain, gusty winds and poor visibility. I was leading the 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron element, which was the third unit in our train of 50 towed CG4A gliders. The weather cleared for much better visibility over the channel. Unlike Keokuk, we received much enemy ground fire as we entered French territory. I do not remember many other details of this mission, except that some earlier gliders had landed in deep marshlands. I tried to give the glider pilots the best possible landing approach over land, yet keep them together as one fighting unit.”


“We started within days, landing on rapidly built strips near the battle front lines. We flew in food, ammunition, blood plasma, gasoline, and other required materials. Flight nurses became very important members of the aircrews.”

“Two incidents still stay strong in my mind. I led a flight onto a strip with enemy guns flashing just off the east end of the strip. As we started unloading the aircraft, the Germans started dropping .66 mm mortar rounds onto the strip. Crew members hit the troop trenches! No persons or aircraft were lost, so we finished unloading supplies, then loaded battle-wounded personnel for the flight back to England and hospitals.”

“Another well-remembered resupply mission was one to the Canadians near Caen, France. I could not believe the number of burning tanks, most of them from the 21st Panzer Division. It was a frightening sight of destruction.”

“The 72nd Troop Carrier Squadron men, of all specialties, performed superbly! A true top-performing unit!”
“We appreciate receiving permission from Colonel Hansley to publish this excellent summary of the early Normandy missions. The Chicago mission was flown by 52 CG4A gliders from the 434th TC Group. 72nd TCS personnel flew 11 of the 12 gliders flown by the squadron. The lead glider was flown by Colonel Mike Murphy, with 2nd Lt John M. Butler as co-pilot.”