Logos


logos

 

The Greek word λόγος, or logos, is a word with various meanings. It is often translated into English as “Word,” but can also mean thought, speech, meaning, reason, proportions, principle, standard, or logic, among other things. In religious contexts, it can indicate the divine Word, wisdom, or truth. It is also used widely with varied meanings in the fields of philosophy, analytical psychology, and rhetoric.

Similar concepts are found in non-western traditions, such as Dao (Tao), the Vedic notion of rta, and the Hindu and Buddhist conception of dharma and Aum. These concepts in diverse traditions are based upon the common insight that certain principles regulate the orders of existence in both the universe and human reason.
Overview

The Greek word “logos” means “order,” “word,” and “reason.” It indicates a rational explanation in contrast to a mythological explanation. Among Greek philosophers, the first philosopher who used the term is Heraclitus. By using the term logos, he meant the principle of the cosmos that organizes and orders the world that had the power to regulate the birth and decay of things in the world. The cosmos was, as he saw it, constantly changing, and he conceived logos as the organizing principle of change. In the context of Ancient Greek philosophy, logos was a divine principle which transcended the world of mortals.

The Stoics developed the notion of logos and conceived it as the principle that gave life and order to all beings in the universe. In their view, logos existed both in the human soul and the universe, and identified justice within the life of a man who lived according to this order of the universe.

The Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (Philo Judaeus) tried to explain the relationship between God and the world by applying the Stoic concept of logos. Logos was the most universal among all things in the world, an intermediary between the transcendent God and the created world. He developed the idea that God created the world with logos as the intermediate being. In Christianity, various doctrines about logos were also developed.
Ancient Greek philosophy

In ancient philosophy, Logos was used by Heraclitus, a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He used the term logos to describe the universal Law, or the principle that inherently ordered the cosmos and regulated its phenomena. Some fragments ascribed to Heraclitus read:

The Law (of the universe) is as here explained; but men are always incapable of understanding it, both before they hear it, and when they have heard it for the first time. For though all things come into being in accordance with this Law, men seem as if they had never met with it, when they meet with words (theories) and actions (processes) such as I expound, separating each thing according to its nature and explaining how it is made.

Therefore one must follow (the universal Law, namely) that which is common (to all). But although the Law is universal, the majority live as if they had understanding peculiar to themselves.

Heraclitus also used the term Logos to mean the undifferentiated material substrate from which all things came: “Listening not to me but to the Logos it is wise to agree that all [things] are one.” In this sense, Logos is Heraclitus’ answer to the Pre-Socratic question of what the arche is of all things. Logos, therefore, designates both the material substrate itself and the universal, mechanical, “just” way in which this substrate manifests itself in, and as, individual things. What this means is, it encompasses within itself the later Platonic distinction (in Timaeus) between “form” and “matter.”

By the time of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, logos was the term established to describe the faculty of human reason and the knowledge men had of the known world and of other humans. Plato allowed his characters to engage in the conceit of describing logos as a living being in some of his dialogues. The development of the Academy with hypomnemata brought logos closer to the literal text. Aristotle, who studied under Plato and who was much more of a practical thinker, first developed the concept of logic as a depiction of the rules of human rationality.

The Stoics understood Logos as the animating power of the universe, (as it is also presently understood today in Theosophical terms) and by the Rosicrucians in their “conception of the cosmos,” which further influenced how this word was understood later on (in twentieth century psychology, for instance).
Rhetoric

In rhetoric, logos is one of the three modes of persuasion (the other two are pathos, emotional appeal; and ethos, the qualification of the speaker). Logos refers to logical appeal, and in fact the term logic evolves from it. Logos normally implies numbers, polls, and other mathematical or scientific data.
Christianity

In Christianity, the prologue of the Gospel of John calls Jesus “the Logos” (usually translated as “the Word” in English bibles, such as the King James Version) and plays a central role in establishing the doctrine of Jesus’ divinity and the Trinity. The opening verse in the KJV reads: “In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word [Logos] was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God.”

Some scholars of the Bible have suggested that John made creative use of double meaning in the word “Logos” to communicate to both Jews, who were familiar with the Wisdom tradition in Judaism, and Hellenists, especially followers of Philo. Each of these two groups had its own history associated with the concept of the Logos, and each could understand John’s use of the term from one or both of those contexts. Especially for the Hellenists, however, John turns the concept of the Logos on its head when he claimed “the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us” (v. 14).

Gordon Clark famously translated Logos as “Logic” in the opening verses of the Gospel: “In the beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God and the Logic was God.” He meant to imply by this translation that the laws of logic were contained in the Bible itself and were therefore not a secular principle imposed on the Christian worldview.

On April 1, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would later become Pope Benedict XVI) referred to the Christian religion as the religion of the Logos:

From the beginning, Christianity has understood itself as the religion of the Logos, as the religion according to reason. … It has always defined men, all men without distinction, as creatures and images of God, proclaiming for them … the same dignity. In this connection, the Enlightenment is of Christian origin and it is no accident that it was born precisely and exclusively in the realm of the Christian faith. … It was and is the merit of the Enlightenment to have again proposed these original values of Christianity and of having given back to reason its own voice … Today, this should be precisely [Christianity’s] philosophical strength, in so far as the problem is whether the world comes from the irrational, and reason is not other than a “sub-product,” on occasion even harmful of its development—or whether the world comes from reason, and is, as a consequence, its criterion and goal. … In the so necessary dialogue between secularists and Catholics, we Christians must be very careful to remain faithful to this fundamental line: To live a faith that comes from the Logos, from creative reason, and that, because of this, is also open to all that is truly rational.

He referred to this concept again in a controversial speech, in September 2006.
Similar concepts

Within Eastern religions, there are ideas with varying degrees of similarity to the philosophical and Christian uses of the term logos. Five concepts with some parallels to Logos are the Tao, the Vedic notion of rta, the Hindu and Buddhist conception of dharma, Aum (from Hindu cosmology), and the Egyptian Maat. These are all iconic terms of various cultures that have the meaning that Logos has: The order and orderliness of the world. At the same time, the material source of the world is the word as well.

In New Age mysticism, the Odic force is sometime described as “the physical manifestation of the creative Logos.”

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Hu was the deification of the word spoken to create existence. Maàt was the concept, and goddess, of divine order.

In Surat Shabd Yoga, Shabda is considered to be analogous to the Logos as representative of the supreme being in Christianity.

The Siege of Antioch


Siege-Antioch

The Siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade in 1097 and 1098. The first siege, by the crusaders against the Muslim-held city, lasted from 21 October 1097 to 2 June 1098. Antioch lay in a strategic location on the crusaders’ route to Palestine. Supplies, reinforcements and retreat could all be controlled by the city. Anticipating that it would be attacked, the Muslim governor of the city, Yaghi-Siyan, began stockpilling food and sending requests for help. The Byzantine walls surrounding the city presented a formidable obstacle to its capture, but the leaders of the crusade felt compelled to besiege Antioch anyway.

The crusaders arrived outside the city on 21 October and began the siege. The garrison sortied unsuccessfully on 29 December. After stripping the surrounding area of food, the crusaders were forced to look farther afield for supplies, opening themselves to ambush and while searching for food on 31 December, a force of 20,000 crusaders encountered a relief force led by Duqaq of Damascus heading to Antioch and defeated the army. However, supplies dwindled and in early 1098 one in seven of the crusaders was dying from starvation and people began deserting in January.

A second relief force, this time under the command of Ridwan of Aleppo, advanced towards Antioch, arriving on 9 February. Like the army of Duqaq before, it was defeated. Antioch was captured on 3 June, although the citadel remained in the hands of the Muslim defenders. Kerbogha began the second siege, against the crusaders who had occupied Antioch, which lasted from 7 June to 28 June 1098. The second siege ended when the crusaders exited the city to engage Kerbogha’s army in battle and succeeded in defeating them. On seeing the Muslim army routed, the defenders remaining in the citadel surrendered.

Background

There are a number of contemporaneous sources relating to the Siege of Antioch and the First Crusade. There are four narrative accounts: those of Fulcher of Chartres, Peter Tudebode, and Raymond of Aguilers, and the anonymous Gesta Francorum. Nine letters survive relating to or from the crusading army; five of them were written while the siege was underway and another in September, not long after the city had been taken.

While there are many sources the number of people on crusade is unclear because they fluctuated regularly and many non-combatants on pilgrimage accompanied the soldiers. Historian Jonathan Riley-Smith offers a rough guide, suggesting that perhaps 43,000 people (including soldiers, armed poor, and non-combatants) were involved in the Siege of Nicaea in June 1097, while as few as 15,000 may have taken part in the Siege of Jerusalem in July 1099.

Lying on the slopes of the Orontes Valley, in 1097 Antioch covered more than 3.5 square miles (9 km2) and was encircled by walls studded by 400 towers. The river ran along the city’s northern wall before entering Antioch from the northwest and exiting east through the northern half of the city. Mount Silpius, crested by a citadel, was the Antioch’s highest point and rose some 1,000 feet (300 m) above the valley floor. There were six gates through which the city could be entered: three along the northern wall, and one on each of the south, east, and west sides.

The valley slopes made approaching from the south, east, or west difficult, so the most practical access route for a large number of people was from the north across flatter ground. The city’s defences dated from the reign of the Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. Though Antioch changed hands twice between then and the arrival of the crusaders in 1097, each time it was the result of betrayal rather than inadequacy of the defences.

After the Byzantine Empire reconquered Antioch in 969 a programme of fortification building was undertaken in the surrounding area to secure the gains. As part of this, a citadel was built on Mount Silpius in Antioch. High enough to be separate from the city below, historian Hugh Kennedy opined that it “[relied] on inaccessibility as its main defence”. At its fall to Seljuk Turks in 1085, Antioch was the last Byzantine fortification in Syria. Yaghi-Siyan was made Governor of Antioch in 1087 and held the position when the crusaders arrived in 1097.

Yaghi-Siyan was aware of the approaching crusader army as it marched through Anatolia in 1097; the city stood between the crusaders and Palestine. Though under Muslim control, the majority of Antioch’s inhabitants were Christians. Yaghi-Siyan had previously been tolerant of the Christian populace, however that changed as the crusaders approached. To prepare for their arrival he imprisoned the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, John the Oxite, turned St Paul’s Cathedral into a stable and expelled many leading Christians from the city. Yaghi-Siyan then sent out appeals for help: his request was turned down by Ridwan of Aleppo because of personal animosity, however Yaghi-Siyan was more successful in his approaches to other nobles in the region and Duqaq of Damascus, Toghtekin, Kerbogha, the sultans of Baghdad and Persia, and the emir of Homs all agreed to send reinforcements. Meanwhile, back in Antioch Yaghi-Siyan began stockpiling supplies in anticipation of a siege.

Knowing they had to capture Antioch, the crusaders considered how best to go about the task. Attrition suffered during the army’s long journey across Anatolia meant the leaders considered leaving an assault until reinforcements arrived in spring. Tatikios, the Byzantine advisor to the crusade, suggested adopting tactics similar to those used by the Byzantines themselves when they moved to capture Antioch in 968. They had installed themselves at Baghras some 12 miles (19 km) away and from there conducted a blockade of the city by cutting of its lines of communication. Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, was alone in advocating assaulting the city. In the end, the crusaders chose to advance on Antioch and establish a siege close to Antioch.
First siege
Starting the siege

On 20 October 1097 they reached a fortified crossing, known as Iron Bridge, on the Orontes River 12 miles (19 km) outside Antioch. Robert II, Count of Flanders and Adhemar of Le Puy led the charge across the bridge, opening the way for the advancing army. Bohemond of Taranto took a vanguard along the river’s south bank and headed towards Antioch on 21 October and the crusaders established themselves outside the city’s north wall. The crusaders divided into several groups. Bohemond camped outside Saint Paul’s Gate near the northernmost corner of the city walls and immediately to the west were Hugh I, Count of Vermandois; Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy; Robert II, Count of Flanders; and Stephen II, Count of Blois. Adhemar of Le Puy and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, took up positions outside the Dog Gate either side of where the Orontes penetrated Antioch’s defences. Godfrey of Bouillon was stationed west of the Duke’s Gate in the northwest of the city walls. The bridge across the Orontes outside Antioch’s west walls remained under Yaghi-Siyan’s control at this point. The ensuing nine-month siege has been described as “one of the great sieges of the age”.

The sources emphasise that a direct assault would have failed. For instance Raymond of Aguilers noted that the chaplain of Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, said “[Antioch] is so well fortified that it need not fear attack by machinery nor the assault of man, even if all mankind came together against it”. According to Fulcher of Chartres the leaders resolved to maintain the siege until the city was forced into submission. Though his figures may not be accurate, Raymond of Aguilers gave an account of the army defending the city: “There were, furthermore, in the city two thousand of the best knights, and four or five thousand common knights and ten thousand more footmen”.

One of the problems of camping so close to the city was that it left the besiegers vulnerable to sorties from the garrison and even missiles. For the first fortnight of the siege the crusaders were able to forage in the surrounding area as the defenders chose not to leave the safety of the city walls, however in November Yaghi-Siyan learned that the crusaders felt the city would not fall to an assault so was able to turn his attentions from the defensive to harrying the besiegers. He mobilised his cavalry and began harassing the besiegers. With the immediate area stripped clean, the crusaders’ foraging parties had to search further afield for supplies leaving them more vulnerable and on several occasions were attacked by the garrisons of nearby fortifications. Yaghi-Siyan’s men also used the Dog Bridge, outside the Dog Gate to harass the crusaders. Adhemar of Le Puy and Raymond IV’s men, who were camped closest to the bridge attempted to destroy it using picks and hammers but made little impact on the strong structure while under missile fire from Antioch’s defenders. Another attempt was made to render the bridge unusable, this time with a mobile shelter to protect the crusaders, but the garrison sortied and successfully drove them away. Soon after three siege engines were built opposite the Dog Gate. In the end, the crusaders erected a blockade on the bridge to obstruct potential sorties.

The port of St Symeon on the Mediterranean coast, 9 miles (14 km) west of Antioch would allow the crusaders to bring reinforcements. Raymond of Aguilers mentions that the English landed at the port before the crusade reached Antioch, but did not record whether a battle for control of St Symeon took place. Reinforcements in the form of thirteen Genoese ships reached St Symeon on 17 November, and though the route from Antioch to St Symeon ran close to the city walls, meaning the garrison could impede travel, joined up with the rest of the crusaders. According to the Genoese chronicler Caffaro di Rustico da Caschifellone, the Genoese suffered heavy casualties en route from St Symeon to Antioch. Bohemond’s troops built a counterfort outside Saint Paul’s Gate in Antioch’s northeast wall to protect themselves against missiles from Antioch’s defenders. Known as Malregard, the fort was built on a hill and probably consisted of earthen ramparts. The construction has been dated to around the time the Genoese arrived. The crusaders were further bolstered by the arrival of Tancred, who set up camp to the west of his uncle, Bohemond.
Winter

As the crusaders’ food supply reached critical levels in December, Godfrey fell ill. On 28 December Bohemond and Robert of Flanders took about 20,000 men and went foraging for food and plunder upstream of the Orontes. Knowing the crusaders’ force had been divided, Yaghi-Siyan waited until the night of 29 December before making a sortie. He attacked Count Raymond’s encampment across the river, and though caught by surprise Count Raymond was able to recover and turn Yaghi-Siyan’s men back. He almost succeeded in reversing the attack entirely, forcing a way across the bridge and establishing a foothold on the other side and holding open the city gates. As the crusaders threatened to take the city, a horse lost its rider and, in the ensuing confusion in the dark, the crusaders panicked and withdrew across the bridge with the Turks in pursuit. The stalemate was restored, and both sides had suffered losses.

While Count Raymond was repulsing a sally from Antioch’s garrison, an army under the leadership of Duqaq of Damascas was en route to relieve Antioch. Bohemond and Raymond of Flanders were unaware that their foraging party was heading towards Duqaq’s men. On 30 December news reached Duqaq while his army was at Shaizar that the crusaders were nearby. On the morning of 31 December Duqaq marched towards Bohemond and Raymond’s army and the two met at the village of Albara. Robert was the first to encounter Duqaq’s men as he was marching ahead of Bohemond. Bohemond joined the battle and with Robert fought back Duqaq’s army and inflicted heavy casualties. Though they fought off Duqaq’s army, which retreated to Hama, the crusaders suffered too many casualties to keep foraging and returned to Antioch. As a result of the fight the crusaders lost the flock they had gathered for food and returned with less food than they needed. The month ended inauspiciously for both sides: there was an earthquake on 30 December, and the following weeks saw such unseasonably bad rain and cold weather that Duqaq had to return home without further engaging the crusaders. The crusaders feared the rain and earthquake were signs they had lost God’s favour, and to atone for their sins such as pillaging Adhemar of Le Puy ordered that a three-day fast should be observed. In any case at this time supplies were running dangerously low, and soon after one in seven men was dying of starvation.

Though local Christians brought food to the crusaders they charged extortionate prices. The famine also affected the horses, and soon only 700 remained. The extent to which the crusader army was affected is difficult to gauge, but according to Matthew of Edessa one in five crusaders died from starvation during the siege and the poorer members were probably worse off. The famine damaged morale and some knights and soldiers began to desert in January 1098, including Peter the Hermit and William the Carpenter. On hearing of the desertion of such prominent figures, Bohemond despatched a force to bring them back. Peter was pardoned while William was berated and made to swear he would remain with the crusade.
Spring

The arrival of spring in February saw the food situation improve for the crusaders. That month Tatikios repeated his earlier advice to resort to a long-distance blockade but his suggestion was ignored; he then left the army and returned home. Tatikios explained to the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos that Bohemond had informed him that there was a plan to kill him, as they believed Alexios was secretly encouraging the Turks. Those close to Bohemond claimed that this was treachery or cowardice, reason enough to break any obligations to return Antioch to the Byzantines. News arrived that a Turkish army was approaching and Bohemond used the situation to his advantage. He declared that he would leave unless he was allowed to keep Antioch for himself when it was captured. Knowing fully that Bohemond had designs on taking the city for himself, and that he had probably engineered Tatikios’ departure in order to facilitate this, Godfrey and Raymond did not give in to his demands, but Bohemond gained the sympathies and cooperation of the minor knights and soldiers.

Yaghi-Siyan had reconciled with Ridwan of Allepo and the advancing army was under his command. In early February news reached the besiegers that Ridwan had taken nearby Harim where he was preparing to advance on Antioch. At Bohemond’s suggestion, the crusaders sent all their cavalry (numbering about 700 knights) to meet the advancing army while the infantry remained behind in case Antioch’s defenders decided to attack. On the morning of 9 February, Ridwan moved towards the Iron Bridge. The crusaders had moved into position the previous night and charged the advancing army before it reached the bridge. The first charge caused few casualties, but Ridwan’s army followed the crusaders to a narrow battlefield. With the river on one side and the Lake of Antioch on the other, Ridwan was unable to outflank the crusaders and exploit his superior numbers. A second charge had more impact and the Turkish army withdrew in disorder. At the same time, Yaghi-Siyan had led his garrison out of Antioch and attacked the crusader infantry. His offensive was forcing the besiegers back until the knights returned. Realising Ridwan had been defeated, Yaghi-Siyan retreated inside the city. As Ridwan’s army passed through Harim panic spread to the garrison he had installed there and they abandoned the town, which was retaken by the Christians.

According to Orderic Vitalis an English fleet led by Edgar Atheling, the exiled King of England, arrived at St Symeon on 4 March carrying supplies from the Byzantines. Historian Steven Runciman repeated the assertion, however it is unknown where the fleet originated and would not have been under Edgar’s command. Regardless, the fleet brought raw materials for constructing siege engines, but these were almost lost on the journey from the port to Antioch when part of the garrison sallied out. Bohemond and Raymond escorted the material, and after losing some of the materials and 100 people, they fell back to the crusader camp outside Antioch. Before Bohemond and Raymond, rumours that they had been killed reached Godfrey who readied his men to rescue the survivors of the escort. However, his attention was diverted when another force sallied from the city to provide cover for the men returning from the ambush. Godfrey was able to hold off the attack until Bohemond and Raymond came to his aid. The reorganised army then caught up with the garrison before it had reached the safety of Antioch’s walls. The counter-attack was a success for the crusaders and resulted in the deaths of between 1,200 and 1,500 of Antioch’s defenders. The crusaders set to work building siege engines, as well as a fort, called La Mahomerie, to block the Bridge Gate and prevent Yaghi-Siyan attacking the crusader supply line from the ports of Saint Simon and Alexandretta, whilst also repairing the abandoned monastery to the west of the Gate of Saint George, which was still being used to deliver food to the city. Tancred garrisoned the monastery, referred to in the chronicles as Tancred’s Fort, for 400 silver marks, whilst Count Raymond of Toulouse took control of La Mahomerie. Finally the crusader siege was able to have some effect on the well-defended city. Food conditions improved for the crusaders as spring approached and the city was sealed off from raiders.
Fatimid embassy

In April a Fatimid embassy from Egypt arrived at the crusader camp, hoping to establish a peace with the Christians, who were, after all, the enemy of their own enemies, the Seljuks. Peter the Hermit, was sent to negotiate. These negotiations came to nothing. The Fatimids, assuming the crusaders were simply mercenary representatives of the Byzantines, were prepared to let the crusaders keep Syria if they agreed not to attack Fatimid Palestine, a state of affairs perfectly acceptable between Egypt and Byzantium before the Turkish invasions. But the crusaders could not accept any settlement that did not give them Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Fatimids were treated hospitably and were given many gifts, plundered from the Turks who had been defeated in March, and no definitive agreement was reached.
Capture of Antioch

The siege continued, and at the end of May 1098 a Muslim army from Mosul under the command of Kerbogha approached Antioch. This army was much larger than the previous attempts to relieve the siege. Kerbogha had joined with Ridwan and Duqaq and his army also included troops from Persia and from the Ortuqids of Mesopotamia. The crusaders were luckily granted time to prepare for their arrival, as Kerbogha had first made a three-week-long excursion to Edessa, which he was unable to recapture from Baldwin of Boulogne, who had taken it earlier in 1098.

The crusaders knew they would have to take the city before Kerbogha arrived if they had any chance of survival. Weeks earlier, Bohemond had secretly established contact with someone inside the city named Firouz, an Armenian guard who controlled the Tower of the Two Sisters. Firouz’s motivation was unclear even to Bohemond, perhaps avarice or revenge, but he offered to let Bohemond into the city in exchange for money and a title. Bohemond then approached the other crusaders and offered access to the city, through Firouz, if they would agree to make Bohemond the Prince of Antioch. Raymond was furious and argued that the city should be handed over to Alexios, as they had agreed when they left Constantinople in 1097, but Godfrey, Tancred, Robert, and the other leaders, faced with a desperate situation, gave in to Bohemond’s demand.

Despite this, on 2 June, Stephen of Blois and some of the other crusaders deserted the army. Later on the same day, Firouz instructed Bohemond to feign a march south over the mountains to ostensibly confront Kerbogha, but then to double-back at night and scale the walls at the Tower of the Two Sisters where Firouz held watch. This was done. Firouz allowed a small contingent of crusaders to scale the tower (including Bohemond), who then opened a nearby postern gate allowing a larger contingent of soldiers hiding in the nearby rocks to enter the city and overwhelm the alerted garrison. The crusaders subsequently massacred thousands of Christian civilians along with Muslims, unable to tell them apart, including Firouz’s own brother. Yaghi-Siyan fled but was captured by Armenian and Syrian Christians some distance outside the city. His severed head was brought to Bohemond.
Second siege

By the end of the day on 3 June, the crusaders controlled most of the city, except for the citadel, which remained in hands of Yaghi-Siyan’s son Shams ad-Daulah. John the Oxite was reinstated as patriarch by Adhemar of Le Puy, the papal legate, who wished to keep good relations with the Byzantines, especially as Bohemond was clearly planning to claim the city for himself. However, the city was now short on food, and Kerbogha’s army was still on its way. Kerbogha arrived only two days later, on 5 June. He tried, and failed, to storm the city on 7 June, and by 9 June he had established his own siege around the city.

More crusaders had deserted before Kerbogha arrived, and they joined Stephen of Blois in Tarsus. Stephen had seen Kerbogha’s army encamped near Antioch and assumed all hope was lost; the deserters confirmed his fears. On the way back to Constantinople, Stephen and the other deserters met Alexios, who was on his way to assist the crusaders, and did not know they had taken the city and were now under siege themselves. Stephen convinced him that the rest of the crusaders were as good as dead, and Alexios heard from his reconnaissance that there was another Seljuk army nearby in Anatolia. He therefore decided to return to Constantinople rather than risking battle.
Discovery of the Holy Lance

Meanwhile, in Antioch, on 10 June an otherwise insignificant priest from southern France by the name of Peter Bartholomew came forward claiming to have had visions of St. Andrew, who told him that the Holy Lance was inside the city. The starving crusaders were prone to visions and hallucinations, and another monk named Stephen of Valence reported visions of Christ and the Virgin Mary. On 14 June a meteor was seen landing in the enemy camp, interpreted as a good omen. Although Adhemar was suspicious, as he had seen a relic of the Holy Lance in Constantinople, Raymond believed Peter. Raymond, Raymond of Aguilers, William, Bishop of Orange, and others began to dig in the cathedral of Saint Peter on 15 June, and when they came up empty, Peter went into the pit, reached down, and produced a spear point. Raymond took this as a divine sign that they would survive and thus prepared for a final fight rather than surrender. Peter then reported another vision, in which St. Andrew instructed the crusader army to fast for five days (although they were already starving), after which they would be victorious.

Bohemond was skeptical of the Holy Lance as well, but there is no question that its discovery increased the morale of the crusaders. It is also possible that Peter was reporting what Bohemond wanted (rather than what St. Andrew wanted) as Bohemond knew, from spies in Kerbogha’s camp, that the various factions frequently argued with each other. Kerbogha of Mosul was indeed suspected by most emirs to yearn for sovereignty in Syria and often considered as a bigger threat to their interests than the Christian invaders. On 27 June, Peter the Hermit was sent by Bohemond to negotiate with Kerbogha, but this proved futile and battle with the Turks was thus unavoidable. Bohemond drew up six divisions: he commanded one himself, and the other five were led by Hugh of Vermandois and Robert of Flanders, Godfrey, Robert of Normandy, Adhemar, and Tancred and Gaston IV of Béarn. Raymond, who had fallen ill, remained inside to guard the citadel with 200 men, now held by Ahmed Ibn Merwan an agent of Kerbogha.
Battle of Antioch

On Monday, 28 June, the crusaders emerged from the city gate, with Raymond of Aguilers carrying the Holy Lance before them. Kerbogha hesitated against his generals’ pleadings, hoping to attack them all at once rather than one division at a time, but he underestimated their size. He pretended to retreat to draw the crusaders to rougher terrain, while his archers continuously pelted the advancing crusaders with arrows. A detachment was dispatched to the crusader left wing, which was not protected by the river, but Bohemond quickly formed a seventh division and beat them back. The Turks were inflicting many casualties, including Adhemar’s standard-bearer, and Kerbogha set fire to the grass between his position and the crusaders, but this did not deter them: they had visions of three saints riding along with them: St. George, St. Demetrius, and St. Maurice. The battle was brief and disastrous for the Turks. Duqaq deserted Kerbogha and this desertion reduced the great numerical advantage the Muslim army had over its Christian opponents. Soon the defeated Muslim troops were in panicked retreat.
Aftermath

As Kerbogha fled, the citadel under command of Ahmed ibn Merwan finally surrendered, but only to Bohemond personally, rather than to Raymond; this seems to have been arranged beforehand without Raymond’s knowledge. As expected, Bohemond claimed the city as his own. although Adhemar and Raymond disagreed. Hugh of Vermandois and Baldwin of Hainaut were sent to Constantinople, although Baldwin disappeared after an ambush on the way. Alexios, however, was uninterested in sending an expedition to claim the city this late in the summer. Back in Antioch, Bohemond argued that Alexios had deserted the crusade and thus invalidated all of their oaths to him. Bohemond and Raymond occupied Yaghi-Siyan’s palace, but Bohemond controlled most of the rest of the city and flew his standard from the citadel. It is a common assumption that the Franks of northern France, the Provencals of southern France, and the Normans of southern Italy considered themselves separate “nations” and that each wanted to increase its status. This may have had something to do with the disputes, but personal ambition is more likely the cause of the infighting.

Soon an epidemic broke out, possibly of typhus, and on 1 August Adhemar of le Puy died. In September the leaders of the crusade wrote to Pope Urban II, asking him to take personal control of Antioch, but he declined. For the rest of 1098, they took control of the countryside surrounding Antioch, although there were now even fewer horses than before, and Muslim peasants refused to give them food. The minor knights and soldiers became restless and starvation began to set in and they threatened to continue to Jerusalem without their squabbling leaders. In November, Raymond finally gave in to Bohemond for the sake of continuing the crusade in peace and to calm his mutinous starving troops. At the beginning of 1099 the march was renewed, leaving Bohemond behind as the first Prince of Antioch, and in the spring the Siege of Jerusalem began under the leadership of Raymond.

The success at Antioch was too much for Peter Bartholomew’s skeptics. Peter’s visions were far too convenient and too martial, and he was openly accused of lying. Challenged, Peter offered to undergo ordeal by fire to prove that he was divinely guided. Being in Biblical lands, they chose a Biblical ordeal: Peter would pass through a fiery furnace and would be protected by an angel of God. The crusaders constructed a path between walls of flame; Peter would walk down the path between the flames. He did so, and was horribly burned. He died after suffering in agony for twelve days on 20 April 1099. There was no more said about the Holy Lance, although one faction continued to hold that Peter was genuine and that this was indeed the true Lance.

The Siege of Antioch quickly became legendary, and in the 12th century it was the subject of the chanson d’Antioche, a chanson de geste in the Crusade cycle.

Tumen River


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The Tumen River, also called the Tuman River (Korean pronunciation: [tumanɡaŋ]; called the Duman in South Korea), is a 521-kilometre (324 mi) long river that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea and Russia, rising on the slopes of Mount Paektu and flowing into the Sea of Japan.

The river flows in northeast Asia, on the border between China and North Korea in its upper reaches, and between North Korea and Russia in its last 17 kilometers (11 mi) before entering the Sea of Japan. The river forms much of the southern border of Jilin Province in Northeast China and the northern borders of North Korea’s North Hamgyong and Ryanggang provinces. Baekdu Mountain on the Chinese-North Korean border is the source of the river, as well as of the Yalu River (which forms the western portion of the border of North Korea and China).

The name of the river comes from the Mongolian word tümen, meaning “ten thousand” or a myriad. This river is badly polluted by the nearby factories of North Korea and China; however, it still remains a major tourist attraction in the area. In Tumen, Jilin, China, a riverfront promenade has restaurants where patrons can gaze across the river into North Korea. The Russian name of the river is Tumannaya, literally meaning foggy.

In 1938 the Japanese built the Tumen River Bridge, where the Quan River meets the Tumen River, between the villages of Wonjong (Hunchun) and Quanhe. Important cities and towns on the river are Hoeryong and Onsong in North Korea, Tumen and Nanping  in China.

In 1995, the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, Russia and South Korea signed three agreements to create the Tumen River Economic Development Area.
Noktundo

A former island at the mouth of the Tumen, known as Noktundo, has been a boundary contention between Russia and North Korea. The Qing Dynasty ceded the island to Russia as part of the Primorsky Maritimes (East Tartary) in the 1860 Treaty of Peking. In 1990, the former Soviet Union and North Korea signed a border treaty which made the border run through the center of the river, leaving territory of the former island on Russian side. South Korea refuses to acknowledge the treaty and demanded that Russia returns the territory to Korea.

Illegal crossings

The Tumen has been used for years by North Korean refugees defecting across the Chinese border. Most refugees from North Korea during the 1990s famine crossed over the Tumen River, and most recent refugees have also used it, as it is far easier than crossing the Yalu.

The river is considered the preferred way to cross into China because, unlike the swift, deep and broad Yalu River which runs along most of the border between the two countries, the Tumen is shallow and narrow. In some areas it can be crossed on foot, or by short swims. It also freezes in winter allowing dry crossings.

Defectors who wish to cross the Tumen often ignore its pollutants and dangerous border patrol, and spend weeks if not months or years waiting for the perfect opportunity to cross. “Long, desolate stretches of the Chinese-North Korean border are not patrolled at all”, according to a New York Times article.

Refugees rarely cross the Tumen into Russia. This is because Russia’s short stretch of the river is far better patrolled than China’s stretch. In addition, there is no sizable ethnic Korean community in Russia to receive support from, as opposed to China, which has a larger Korean population.

The Tumen is also crossed illegally by soldiers and others seeking food and money. Some Chinese villagers have left the border area because of North Korean depredations.

The humanitarian crisis along the Tumen River was dramatized in the 2010 dramatic feature-length film, Dooman River.

Fallujah


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The city of Fallujah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

Fallujah is a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, located roughly 69 kilometers (43 mi) west of Baghdad on the Euphrates. Fallujah dates from Babylonian times and was host to important Jewish academies for many centuries.

The city grew from a small town in 1947 to a population of 326,471 inhabitants in 2010. Within Iraq, it is known as the “city of mosques” for the more than 200 mosques found in the city and the surrounding villages.

In January 2014, a variety of sources reported that the city was controlled by al-Qaeda and/or its affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS; sometimes called ISIL). On a broadcast of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Middle East analyst Kirk Sowell stated that while ISIS was occupying parts of the city, most of the ground lost was to the tribal militias who are opposed to both the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda. Speaking on condition of anonymity at the end of May 2014, an Anbar-based Iraqi government security officer told Human Rights Watch that ISIS was in control of several neighborhoods of southeast Fallujah as well as several northern and southern satellite communities, while local militias loyal to the Anbar Military Council controlled the central and northern neighborhoods of the city; however, Human Rights Watch stated that they could not confirm these claims.

History

The region has been inhabited for many millennia. There is evidence that the area surrounding Fallujah was inhabited in Babylonian times. The current name of the city is thought to come from its Syriac name, Pallgutha, which is derived from the word division or “canal regulator” since it was the location where the water of the Euphrates River divided into a canal. Classical authors cited the name as “Pallacottas”. The name in Aramaic is Pumbedita.
Al Anbar and Nehardea

The region of Fallujah lies near the ancient Sassanid Persian town of Anbar, in the Sassanid province of Asōristān . The word anbar is Persian and means “warehouse”. It was known as Firuz Shapur or Perisapora during the Sassanian Era. There are extensive ruins 2 km (1 mi) north of Fallujah which are identified with the town of Anbar. Anbar was located at the confluence of the Euphrates River with the King’s Canal, today the Saqlawiyah Canal, known in Early Islamic times as the Nahr ‘Isa and in ancient times as Nahr Malka. Subsequent shifts in the Euphrates River channel have caused it to follow the course of the ancient Pallacottas canal. The town at this site in Jewish sources was known as Nehardea and was the primary center of Babylonian Jewry until its destruction by the Palmyran ruler Odenathus in 259. The Medieval Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela in 1164 visited “el-Anbar which is Pumbeditha in Nehardea” and said it had 3000 Jews living there.
Pumbeditha

The region played host for several centuries to one of the most important Jewish academies, the Pumbedita Academy, which from 258 to 1038 along with Sura (ar-Hira) was one of the two most important centers of Jewish learning worldwide.
Modern era

Under the Ottoman Empire, Fallujah was a minor stop on one of the country’s main roads across the desert west from Baghdad.

In the spring of 1920, the British, who had gained control of Iraq after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, sent Lieut.-Colonel Gerard Leachman, a renowned explorer and a senior colonial officer, to meet with local leader Shaykh Dhari, perhaps to waiver a loan given to the sheikh. Exactly what happened depends on the source, but according to the Arab version, Gerard Leachman was betrayed by the sheikh who had his two sons shoot him in the legs, then behead him by the sword.

During the brief Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941, the Iraqi army was defeated by the British in a battle near Fallujah. In 1947 the town had only about 10,000 inhabitants. It grew rapidly into a city after Iraqi independence with the influx of oil wealth into the country. Its position on one of the main roads out of Baghdad made it of central importance.

Under Saddam Hussein, who ruled Iraq from 1979 to 2003, Fallujah came to be an important area of support for the regime, along with the rest of the region labeled by the US military as the “Sunni Triangle”. Many residents of the primarily Sunni city were employees and supporters of Saddam’s government, and many senior Ba’ath Party officials were natives of the city. Fallujah was heavily industrialised during the Saddam era, with the construction of several large factories, including one closed down by United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in the 1990s that may have been used to create chemical weapons. A new highway system (a part of Saddam’s infrastructure initiatives) circumvented Fallujah and gradually caused the city to decline in national importance by the time of the Iraq War.
Gulf War, 1991

During the Gulf War, Fallujah suffered one of the highest tolls of civilian casualties. Two separate failed bombing attempts on Fallujah’s bridge across the Euphrates River hit crowded markets, killing an estimated 200 civilians. The first bombing occurred early in the Gulf War. A British jet intending to bomb the bridge dropped two laser-guided bombs on the city’s main market. Between 50 and 150 civilians died and many more were injured. In the second incident, Coalition forces attacked Fallujah’s bridge over the Euphrates with four laser-guided bombs. At least one struck the bridge while one or two bombs fell short in the river. The fourth bomb hit another market elsewhere in the city, reportedly due to failure of its laser guidance system.
Iraq War
Fallujah was one of the least affected areas of Iraq immediately after the 2003 invasion by the US-led Coalition. Iraqi Army units stationed in the area abandoned their positions and disappeared into the local population, leaving unsecured military equipment behind. Fallujah was also the site of a Ba’athist resort facility called “Dreamland”, located a few kilometers outside the city proper.

The damage the city had avoided during the initial invasion was negated by damage from looters, who took advantage of the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s government. The looters targeted former government sites, the Dreamland compound, and the nearby military bases. Aggravating this situation was the proximity of Fallujah to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, from which Saddam, in one of his last acts, had released all prisoners.

The new mayor of the city—Taha Bidaywi Hamed, selected by local tribal leaders—was strongly pro-American[citation needed]. When the US Army entered the town in April 2003, they positioned themselves at the vacated Ba’ath Party headquarters. A Fallujah Protection Force composed of local Iraqis was set up by the US-led occupants to help fight the rising resistance.

On the evening of 28 April 2003, a crowd of 200 people defied a curfew imposed by the Americans and gathered outside a secondary school used as a military HQ to demand its reopening. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne stationed on the roof of the building fired upon the crowd, resulting in the deaths of 17 civilians and the wounding of over 70. American forces claim they were responding to gunfire from the crowd, while the Iraqis involved deny this version. Human Rights Watch also dispute the American claims, and says that the evidence suggests the US troops fired indiscriminately and used disproportionate force. A protest against the killings two days later was also fired upon by US troops resulting in two more deaths.

On 31 March 2004, Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah ambushed a convoy containing four American private military contractors from Blackwater USA, who were conducting delivery for food caterers ESS.

The four armed contractors, Scott Helvenston, Jerry (Jerko) Zovko, Wesley Batalona, and Michael Teague, were dragged from their cars, beaten, and set on fire. Their charred corpses were then dragged through the streets before being hung from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River. This bridge is unofficially referred to as “Blackwater Bridge” by Coalition Forces operating there. Photographs of the event were released to news agencies worldwide, causing outrage in the United States, and prompting the announcement of a campaign to reestablish American control over the city.

This led to an abortive US operation to recapture control of the city in Operation Vigilant Resolve, and a successful recapture operation in the city in November 2004, called Operation Phantom Fury in English and Operation Al Fajr in Arabic. Operation Phantom Fury resulted in the reputed death of over 1,350 insurgent fighters. Approximately 95 American troops were killed, and 560 wounded. After the successful recapture of the city, U.S. forces discovered a room in which they claimed to find evidence of a beheading, and bomb-making factories, which were shown to the media as evidence of Fallujah’s important role in the insurgency against U.S. forces. They also found two hostages—an Iraqi and a Syrian. The Syrian was the driver for two French journalists, Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, who had been missing since August 2004. The Iraqi’s captors were Syrian; he thought he was in Syria until found by the Marines. Chesnot and Malbrunot were released by their captors, the Islamic Army in Iraq, on 21 December 2004.

The U.S. military first denied that it has used white phosphorus as an anti-personnel weapon in Fallujah, but later retracted that denial, and admitted to using the incendiary in the city as an offensive weapon. According to George Monbiot, reports following the events of November 2004 have alleged war crimes, human rights abuses, and a massacre by U.S. personnel. This point of view is presented in the 2005 documentary film, Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre.

On 17 May 2011, AFP reported that 21 bodies, in black body-bags marked with letters and numbers in Latin script had been recovered from a mass grave in al-Maadhidi cemetery in the center of the city. Fallujah police chief Brigadier General Mahmud al-Essawi said that they had been blindfolded, their legs had been tied and they had suffered gunshot wounds. The Mayor, Adnan Husseini said that the manner of their killing, as well as the body bags, indicated that US forces had been responsible. Both al-Essawi and Husseini agreed that the dead had been killed in 2004. The US Military declined to comment.

Residents were allowed to return to the city in mid-December 2004 after undergoing biometric identification, provided they wear their ID cards all the time. US officials report that “more than half of Fallujah’s 39,000 homes were damaged during Operation Phantom Fury, and about 10,000 of those were destroyed” while compensation amounts to 20 percent of the value of damaged houses, with an estimated 32,000 homeowners eligible, according to Marine Lt Col William Brown. According to NBC, 9,000 homes were destroyed, thousands more were damaged and of the 32,000 compensation claims only 2,500 have been paid as of 14 April 2005.

According to Mike Marqusee of Iraq Occupation Focus writing in the Guardian, “Fallujah’s compensation commissioner has reported that 36,000 of the city’s 50,000 homes were destroyed, along with 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines”. Reconstruction mainly consists of clearing rubble from heavily damaged areas and reestablishing basic utility services. 10% of the pre-offensive inhabitants had returned as of mid-January 2005, and 30% as of the end of March 2005. In 2006, some reports say two-thirds have now returned and only 15 percent remain displaced on the outskirts of the city.

Pre-offensive inhabitant figures are unreliable; the nominal population was assumed to have been 250,000–350,000. Thus, over 150,000 individuals are still living as IDPs in tent cities or with relatives outside Fallujah or elsewhere in Iraq. Current estimates by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and Coalition Forces put the city’s population at over 350,000, possibly closing in on half a million.

In the aftermath of the offensive, relative calm was restored to Fallujah although almost-daily attacks against coalition forces resumed in 2005 as the population slowly trickled back into the city. From 2005–06, elements of the New Iraqi Army’s 2nd and 4th brigades, 1st Division, occupied the city while the Marines maintained a small complex consisting of a security element from RCT8 and a CMOC at the city hall. The Iraqi units were aided by Military Transition Teams. Most Marine elements stayed outside of the city limits.

In December 2006, enough control had been exerted over the city to transfer operational control of the city from American forces to the 1st Iraqi Army Division. During the same month, the Fallujah police force began major offensive operations under their new chief. Coalition Forces, as of May 2007, are operating in direct support of the Iraqi Security Forces in the city. The city is one of Anbar province’s centers of gravity in a newfound optimism among American and Iraqi leadership about the state of the counterinsurgency in the region.

In June 2007, Regimental Combat Team 6 began Operation Alljah, a security plan modeled on a successful operation in Ramadi. After segmenting districts of the city, Iraqi Police and Coalition Forces established police district headquarters in order to further localize the law enforcement capabilities of the Iraqi Police. A similar program had met with success in the city of Ramadi in late 2006 and early 2007.
Current situation

On 4 January 2014, the Iraqi government lost control of the city to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS). More than 100 people were killed as Iraqi police and tribesmen battled militants who took over parts of two cities on Anbar province. On the same day, the Iraqi Army shelled the city of Fallujah with mortars to try to wrest back control from Sunni Muslim militants and tribesmen, killing at least eight people, tribal leaders and officials said. Medical sources in Fallujah said another 30 people were wounded in shelling by the army.

Despite various reports stating that the ISIS was behind the unrest, Christian Science Monitor journalist Dan Murphy disputed this allegation and claimed that while ISIS fighters have maintained a presence in the city, various tribal militias who sympathized with the ideas of nationalism and were opposed to both the Iraqi government and the ISIS controlled the largest share of area in Fallujah. A report from Al Arabiya also backed this claim and alleged that the relationship between the tribesmen and the ISIS militants was only logistical. On 14 January, various tribal chieftains in the province acknowledged “revolutionary tribesmen” were behind the uprising in Fallujah and other parts of Anbar and announced they would support them unless Maliki agreed to cease the ongoing military crackdowns on tribesmen.
Geography

Fallujah’s western boundary is the Euphrates River. The Euphrates flows from the west (Ramadi), past Fallujah, and into the Baghdad area. When the river reaches the western edge of Fallujah, it turns north, then quickly south, forming what is commonly referred to as the ‘peninsula’ area. There are two bridges that cross the Euphrates at Fallujah.

The city’s eastern boundary is Highway 1, a four-lane, divided superhighway that travels from Baghdad past Fallujah towards the west. After the sanctions imposed by the UN after the 1991 Gulf War, this highway became the main supply route for the country. Truckers and travelers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and southern Syria all merge onto this highway prior to entering the Eastern Al Anbar province. The highway has a prominent ‘cloverleaf’ off-ramp on the eastern edge of Fallujah.

The northern boundary is a railroad line that runs east-west just along the northern edge of the city. The line sits atop a 10–15 foot high berm all along the northern edge of the city, except where it crosses Highway 1.

Highway 10 also runs through Fallujah. It is a two-lane highway that tuns into a four land highway once inside of Fallujah. The highway runs east-west from Baghdad through Fallujah then west towards Ramadi. A ‘cloverleaf’ on-ramp allows for traffic on/off Highway 1. The highway basically splits the city into two halves, north and south.

There are three major hospital locations in Fallujah. The main hospital (formerly Saddam General) is located downtown, near the west end. The second is located across the Euphrates River in an area of west Fallujah commonly referred to as the ‘peninsula’, (due to its shape). The third hospital is the Jordanian Field Hospital located east of the Highway 10/Highway 1 interchange.
Health

In 2010 it was reported that an academic study had shown “a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer.” since 2004. In addition, the report said the types of cancer were “similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout”, and an 18% fall in the male birth ratio (to 850 per 1000 female births, compared to the usual 1050) was similar to that seen after the Hiroshima bombing.

SEAL Team Six


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The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), or DEVGRU, is a U.S. Navy component of Joint Special Operations Command. It is often referred to as SEAL Team Six, the name of its predecessor which was officially disbanded in 1987. DEVGRU is administratively supported by Naval Special Warfare Command and operationally commanded by the Joint Special Operations Command. Most information concerning DEVGRU is classified and details of its activities are not usually commented on by either the White House or the Department of Defense. Despite the official name changes, “SEAL Team Six” remains the unit’s widely recognized moniker. It is sometimes referred to in the U.S. media as a Special Mission Unit.

DEVGRU and its Army counterpart, Delta Force, are the United States military’s primary counter-terrorism units. Although DEVGRU was created as a maritime counter-terrorism unit, it has become a multi-functional special operations unit with several roles that include high-risk personnel/hostage extractions and other specialized missions.

The Central Intelligence Agency’s highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) often works with—and recruits—operators from DEVGRU. The combination of these units led ultimately to the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Operation Neptune Spear.

History
Administrative

The origins of DEVGRU are in SEAL Team Six, a unit created in the aftermath of Operation Eagle Claw. During the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, Richard Marcinko was one of two U.S. Navy representatives for a Joint Chiefs of Staff task force known as the TAT (Terrorist Action Team). The purpose of the TAT was to develop a plan to free the American hostages held in Iran. In the wake of the disaster at the Desert One base in Iran, the Navy saw the need for a full-time counter-terrorist unit, and tasked Marcinko with its design and development.

Marcinko was the first commanding officer of this new unit. At the time there were two SEAL teams. Marcinko named the unit SEAL Team Six in order to confuse Soviet intelligence as to the number of actual SEAL teams in existence. The unit’s plankowners were hand-picked by Marcinko from throughout the UDT/SEAL community. SEAL Team Six became the U.S. Navy’s premier counter-terrorist unit. It has been compared to the U.S. Army’s Delta Force. Marcinko held the command of SEAL Team Six for three years, from 1980 to 1983, instead of the typical two-year command in the Navy at the time. SEAL Team Six was formally created in October 1980, and an intense, progressive work-up training program made the unit mission-ready just six months later. SEAL Team Six started with 75 shooters. According to Dick Marcinko, the annual ammunition training allowance for the command was larger than that of the entire U.S. Marine Corps. The unit has virtually unlimited resources at its disposal.

In 1987 SEAL Team Six was dissolved. A new unit named the “Naval Special Warfare Development Group” was formed, essentially as SEAL Team Six’s successor. Reasons for the disbanding are varied, but the name SEAL Team Six is often used in reference to DEVGRU.
Operational deployments
Recruitment, selection and training

In the early stages of creating SEAL Team Six, Marcinko was given six months to get ST6 up and running, or the whole project would come to an end. This meant that there was a timing issue and Marcinko had little time to create a proper selection course, similar to that of Delta Force, and as a result hand-picked the first plankowners of the unit after assessing their Navy records and interviewing each man. It has been said that Marcinko regretted not having enough time to set up a proper selection process and course. All applicants came from the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) and East and West Coast SEAL teams. Marcinko’s criteria for recruiting applicants was combat experience so he would know they could perform under fire; language skills were vital, as the unit would have a worldwide mandate to communicate with the local population if needed; union skills, to be able to blend in as civilians during an operation; and finally SEAL skills. Members of SEAL Team Six were selected in part because of the different specialist skills of each man.

Candidates must pass three-days of physical and psychological testing that includes a Physical Screening Test (PST) where candidates must exceed the minimum requirements and perform at their highest level possible. Candidates are then interviewed by an oral review board to deem whether the candidate is suitable to undertake the selection phase. Those who pass the stringent recruitment and selection process will be selected to attend a six- to eight-month Operators Training Course. Candidates will screen with the unit’s training wing known as “Green Team”. The training course attrition rate is high, usually around 50 percent; during one selection course, out of the original 20 candidates, 12 completed the course. All candidates are watched closely by DEVGRU instructors and evaluated on whether they are suitable to join the individual squadrons. Howard E. Wasdin, a former member of SEAL Team Six said in a recent interview that 16 applied for SEAL Team Six selection course and two were accepted. Those who do not pass the selection phase are returned to their previous assignments and are able to try again in the future.

Like all Special Operations Forces units that have an extremely intensive and high-risk training schedule, there can be serious injuries and deaths. SEAL Team Six/DEVGRU has lost several operators during training, including parachute accidents and close-quarters battle training accidents. It is presumed that the unit’s assessment process for potential new recruits is different from what a SEAL operator experienced in his previous career, and much of the training tests the candidate’s mental capacity rather than his physical condition, as he will have already completed Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL or the Navy EOD training pipeline.

Candidates are put through a variety of advanced training courses led by civilian or military instructors. These can include free-climbing, land warfare, communications, advanced unarmed combat techniques, defensive and offensive driving, advanced diving, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training. All candidates must perform at the top level during selection, and the unit instructors evaluate the candidate during the training process. Selected candidates are assigned to one of the Tactical Development and Evaluation Squadrons; the others are returned to their previous units. Unlike the other regular SEAL Teams, SEAL Team Six operators were able to go to almost any of the best schools anywhere and train in whatever they wanted depending on the unit’s requirements.
Structure

DEVGRU is divided into color-coded line squadrons.

Gold Squadron (Assault Team)
Blue Squadron (Assault Team)
Silver Squadron (Assault Team)
Red Squadron (Assault Team)
Black Squadron (Reconnaissance & Surveillance Team)
Gray Squadron (Transportation/Divers)
Green Squadron (Selection/Training)

Each assault squadron is divided into three troops (commanded by lieutenant commanders) and these troops are divided into smaller teams. Each line squadron has a specific nickname. Examples being Gold-Knights, Red-Indians, Blue-Pirates.

Roles and responsibilities

When SEAL Team Six was first created it was devoted exclusively to counter-terrorism with a worldwide maritime responsibility; its objectives typically included targets such as ships, oil rigs, naval bases, coastal embassies, and other civilian or military bases that were accessible from the sea or inland waterways.

On certain operations small teams from SEAL Team Six were tasked with covertly infiltrating international high risk areas in order to carry out reconnaissance or security assessments of U.S. military facilities and embassies; and to give advice on improvements in order to prevent casualties in an event of a terrorist attack.

Although the unit was created as a maritime counter-terrorism unit, it has become a multi-functional special operations unit with multiple roles that include high-risk personnel/hostage extractions. Such operations include the successful rescue of Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted, the attempted rescue of Linda Norgrove, the successful rescue of American doctor Dilip Joseph and in 1991 the successful recovery of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family during a coup that deposed him.

After SEAL Team Six was disbanded and renamed, the official mission of the currently operating Naval Special Warfare Development Group is to test, evaluate, and develop technology and maritime, ground, and airborne tactics applicable to Naval Special Warfare forces such as Navy SEALs; however, it is presumed this is a small part of the group’s work assignment and more of a cover.

DEVGRU’s full mission is classified but is thought to include pre-emptive, pro-active counter-terrorist operations, counter-proliferation (efforts to prevent the spread of both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction), as well as the elimination or recovery of high-value targets (HVTs) from unfriendly nations. DEVGRU is one of a handful of U.S. Special Mission Units authorized to use pre-emptive actions against terrorists and their facilities.

DEVGRU and the Army’s Delta Force train and deploy together on counter-terrorist missions usually as part of a joint special operations task force (JSOTF).

Albert Anastasia


Albert Anastasia

Albert Anastasia (born Umberto Anastasio, September 26, 1902 – October 25, 1957) was one of the most ruthless and feared Cosa Nostra mobsters in United States history. A founder of the Italian American Mafia, Anastasia ran Murder, Inc. during the prewar era and during most of the 1950s was boss of what would become the modern Gambino crime family. He is perhaps the most feared hit-man of the Italian American Mafia’s golden era, earning the infamous nicknames “the Mad Hatter” and “Lord High Executioner.”

Biography
Early years

Albert Anastasia was born on September 26, 1902, in Tropea, Calabria, Italy. His parents were Raffaelo Anastasio and Louisa Nomina de Filippi. The family name was “Anastasio”, but Albert started using “Anastasia” in 1921.

Raffaelo Anastasio was a railway worker who died after World War I, leaving behind nine sons and three daughters. Albert’s brothers included Salvatore, Frank, Joseph, Gerardo, and Anthony Anastasio. Anastasia was married to Elsa Barnesi; they had one son, Anthony Anastasia, Jr. They would have another son and two daughters.

In 1919, Anastasia and three of his brothers arrived in New York City, working on a freighter. Deserting the ship, the brothers illegally entered the United States. The boys soon started working as longshoremen on the Brooklyn waterfront.

On March 17, 1921, Anastasia was convicted of murdering longshoreman George Turino as the result of a quarrel. Anastasia was sentenced to death and sent to Sing Sing State Prison in Ossining, New York to await execution. Due to a legal technicality, however, Anastasia won a retrial in 1922. Because four of the original prosecution witnesses had disappeared in the meantime, Anastasia was released from custody in 1922.

On June 6, 1923, Anastasia was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm and sentenced to two years in city prison.
Rise to power

By the late 1920s, Anastasia had become a top leader of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), controlling six union local chapters in Brooklyn. Anastasia allied himself with Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria, a powerful gang leader in Brooklyn. Anastasia soon became close associates with future Cosa Nostra bosses Joe Adonis, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Vito Genovese, and Frank Costello.

In 1928, Anastasia was charged with a murder in Brooklyn, but the witnesses either disappeared or refused to testify in court.
Castellammarese War

In 1930, Luciano finalized his plans to take over the organized crime rackets in New York by destroying the two old-line Mafia factions headed by Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. Luciano outlined his plot to Anastasia, who joined him and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in the plot. Anastasia assured Luciano that he would kill everyone for Luciano to reach the top. Anastasia knew that if Luciano ran the National Crime Syndicate, he would eventually get a “piece of the action.” By this point, Luciano had secretly given his support to Maranzano.

On April 15, 1931, Anastasia allegedly participated in Masseria’s murder. Luciano had lured Masseria to a meeting at a Coney Island, Brooklyn restaurant. During their meal, Luciano excused himself to go to the restroom. As soon as Luciano was gone, Anastasia, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis, and Bugsy Siegel rushed into the dining room and shot Masseria to death. The war ended and Maranzano was the winner. No one was ever indicted in the Masseria murder. In Luciano’s subsequent reorganization of New York’s mafia into its current Five Families, Anastasia was appointed underboss of the crime family of Vincent Mangano, the modern Gambino crime family.

In September 1931, Maranzano was himself murdered and Luciano became the preeminent mobster in America. To avoid the power struggles and turf disputes that led to the Castellammarese War, Luciano established the National Crime Syndicate, consisting of the major family bosses from around the country and the so-called “five families” of New York. The Syndicate was meant to serve as a deliberative body to solve disputes, carve up and distribute territories, and regulate lucrative illegal activities such as racketeering, gambling, and bootlegging (which came to a close with the repeal of Prohibition in 1933). The Italian-American Mafia had their own body, known as the Commission.

In 1932, Anastasia was indicted on charges of murdering another man with an ice pick, but the case was dropped due to lack of witnesses.

In 1933, Anastasia was charged with killing a man who worked in a laundry; again, there were no witnesses willing to testify.
Murder, Incorporated

To reward Anastasia’s loyalty, Luciano placed him and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, the nation’s leading labor racketeer, in control of the Syndicate’s enforcement arm, Murder, Inc. The troop, also known as “The Brownsville Boys”, was a group of Jewish and Italian killers that operated out of the back room of Midnight Rose’s, a candy store owned by mobster Louis Capone in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. During its ten years of operation, it is estimated that Murder Inc. committed between 400 and 1000 murders, many of which were never solved. For his leadership in Murder, Inc., Anastasia was nicknamed the “Mad Hatter” and the “Lord High Executioner”. Unlike Lepke and many other members of Murder, Inc., Anastasia was never prosecuted for any of these murders. It is doubted by some that he even was involved, since as the underboss of a family, he had his own killers to use if needed. During this period, Anastasia’s business card claimed that he was a “sales representative” for the Convertible Mattress Corporation in Brooklyn.

On June 7, 1936, Luciano was convicted on 62 counts of compulsory prostitution.[8] On July 18, 1936, Luciano received a 30 to 50-year sentence in state prison.  Genovese became acting boss, but he was forced to flee to Italy in 1937 after being indicted on a 1934 murder. Frank Costello now became acting boss of the Luciano crime family.

In May 1939, Anastasia allegedly ordered the murder of Morris Diamond, an official of a trucking union in Brooklyn. Diamond was a Teamsters Union official who had opposed mobster Louis Buchalter’s attempts to maintain control of the Garment District in Manhattan. In the summer of 1939, Anastasia allegedly organized the murder of Peter Panto, an ILA activist. Panto had been leading a movement for democratic reforms in the ILA locals, and refused to be intimidated by ILA officials. On July 14, 1939, Panto disappeared; his body was later recovered on a farm in New Jersey.

With the 1941 arrest of Abe Reles on murder charges, law enforcement finally dismantled Murder, Inc. Reles was a gang leader from Brownsville, Brooklyn who had been supplying Anastasia and Murder, Inc. with hitmen for the past 10 years. Reles decided to testify for the government to save himself from the death penalty. His testimony convicted seven members of Murder Inc. Reles also had information that could implicate Anastasia in the 1939 Diamond and Panto murders. Fearful of prosecution, Anastasia offered a $100,000 reward for Reles’ murder.

On November 12, 1941, Reles was found dead on a restaurant roof outside the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island. Reles was being guarded at a sixth floor room during an ongoing trial. In 1951, a grand jury ruled that Reles accidentally died while climbing down to the fifth floor using sheets tied to a heating radiator. However, many officials still suspected that Reles had been murdered.

In the spring of 1942, Anastasia allegedly ordered the murder of an associate, Anthony Romeo. Romeo had been arrested and questioned in the Panto killing. However at the end of June, Romeo’s body was discovered near Guyencourt, Delaware. Romeo had been beaten and shot multiple times.
World War II

During World War II, Anastasia reportedly originated the plan to win a pardon for Luciano by helping the war effort. With America needing allies in Sicily to advance the invasion of Italy, and the desire of the Navy to dedicate its resources to the war, Anastasia orchestrated a deal to obtain lighter treatment for Luciano while he was in prison, and after the war, a parole in exchange for the Mafia protecting the waterfront and Luciano’s assistance with his associates in Sicily.

In 1942, Anastasia joined the U.S. Army. He may have been motivated by a desire to escape the criminal investigations that were dismantling Murder Inc. Attaining the rank of technical sergeant, Anastasia trained soldiers to be longshoremen at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. In 1943, as a reward for his military service, Anastasia received U.S. citizenship. In 1944, Anastasia was honorably discharged from the Army and he moved his family to a mansion in Fort Lee, New Jersey. In 1958, less than a year after Anastasia’s death, comedian Buddy Hackett and his wife purchased the mansion, and after renovations they moved in and lived there through most of the 1960s.

In 1945, U.S. military authorities in Sicily returned Genovese to the United States to be tried for the 1934 Boccia murder. However, after the death of the main prosecution witness, all charges were dropped against Genovese. In 1946, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey commuted Luciano’s sentence and the federal government immediately deported him to Italy.

In 1948, Anastasia bought a dress making factory in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and left his waterfront activities in the control of his brother Anthony.
Boss

In 1951, the U.S. Senate summoned Anastasia to answer questions about organized crime at the Kefauver Hearings. Anastasia refused to answer any questions.

Despite being a mob power in his own right, Anastasia was nominally the underboss of the Mangano crime family under boss Vincent Mangano. During his 20-year rule, Mangano had resented Anastasia’s close ties to Luciano and Costello. Mangano was particularly irked that Luciano and Costello obtained Anastasia’s services without first seeking Mangano’s permission. This and other business disputes led to heated, almost physical fights between the two mobsters. In early 1951, Vincent Mangano went missing and his body was never found. On April 19, 1951, the body of Philip Mangano, shot three times, was discovered in a wetland in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn. No one was ever arrested in the Mangano murders, but it was widely assumed that Anastasia had them killed.

After the deaths of the Mangano brothers, Anastasia, who had been serving as acting boss of the Mangano family, met with the Commission. Anastasia claimed that the Manganos wanted to kill him, but did not admit to killing them. With Costello’s prodding, the Commission confirmed Anastasia’s ascension as boss of the renamed Anastasia family. Costello wanted Anastasia as an ally against the ambitious and resentful Genovese. Anastasia was also supported by Joseph Bonanno, who simply wanted to avoid a gang war.

In March 1952, Anastasia allegedly ordered the murder of Arnold Schuster. Schuster was a young New York man who successfully identified fugitive bank robber Willie Sutton, resulting in Sutton’s arrest. When Anastasia saw Schuster being interviewed on television, he allegedly said: “I can’t stand squealers! Hit that guy!” On March 8, 1952, a gunman shot Schuster to death on a street in Borough Park, Brooklyn. This public accusation against Anastasia was made in 1963 by government witness Joseph Valachi, but many people in law enforcement were skeptical of it. No one was ever arrested in the Schuster murder.

On December 9, 1952, the Federal Government filed suit to denaturalize Anastasia and deport him because he lied on his citizenship application.
Conspiracy

To take control of the Luciano family, Genovese needed to kill Frank Costello. However, Genovese could not kill Costello without also eliminating Anastasia. To do that, Genovese needed allies.

Vito Genovese used Anastasia’s brutal behavior against him in an effort to woo away his supporters, portraying Anastasia as an unstable killer who threatened to bring law enforcement pressure on the Cosa Nostra. In addition, Genovese pointed out that Anastasia had been selling memberships to his crime family for $50,000, a clear violation of Commission rules that infuriated many high level mobsters. According to Valachi, Anastasia had been losing large amounts of money betting on horse races, making him even more surly and unpredictable.

Over the next few years, Genovese secretly won the support of Anastasia capo Carlo Gambino, offering him the leadership of Anastasia’s family in return for his cooperation. Genovese also received tacit approval from Meyer Lansky. One of Luciano’s earliest associates, Lansky handled most of Luciano’s U.S. business interests. Lansky and Genovese were also business associates from the 1920s. Genovese could not kill Anastasia and Costello without Lansky’s support.

Anastasia’s greed soon drove Lansky to help Genovese. During the 1950s, Lansky controlled all the casino gambling in Cuba, offering the Cosa Nostra bosses lesser shares of his profits. When Anastasia demanded a larger share, Lansky refused. Anastasia then started his own casino racket in Cuba. While Lansky had preferred watching Anastasia and Genovese battle each other from the sidelines, Lansky now threw his active support to Genovese.

On May 23, 1955, Anastasia pleaded guilty to tax evasion for underreporting his income during the late 1940s. On June 3, 1955, Anastasia was sentenced to one year in federal prison and a $20,000 fine. After his conviction, the federal government successfully petitioned a federal court to revoke Anastasia’s citizenship so he could be deported. However, on September 19, 1955, a higher court overturned this ruling.

In early 1957, Genovese decided to move on Costello. On May 2, 1957, gunman Vincent Gigante shot and wounded Costello outside his apartment building. Although the wound was superficial, it persuaded Costello to relinquish power to Genovese and retire. Genovese now controlled what is now called the Genovese crime family. Joseph Bonanno would later credit himself with arranging a sitdown where he kept Anastasia from immediately taking Genovese to war in response.

On June 17 of that year Frank Scalice, Anastasia’s underboss and the man identified as directly responsible for selling Gambino memberships, was also assassinated. According to Joseph Valachi, Anastasia approved the hit, and the subsequent murder of Scalice’s brother Joseph after offering to forgive his threats to avenge Frank.
Assassination

On the morning of October 25, 1957, Anastasia entered the barber shop of the Park Sheraton Hotel, at 56th Street and 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Anastasia’s driver parked the car in an underground garage and then took a walk outside, leaving Anastasia unprotected. As Anastasia relaxed in the barber chair, two men—scarves covering their faces—rushed in, shoved the barber out of the way, and fired at Anastasia. After the first volley of bullets, Anastasia allegedly lunged at his killers. However, the stunned Anastasia had actually attacked the gunmen’s reflections in the wall mirror of the barber shop. The gunmen continued firing and Albert Anastasia finally fell to the floor, dead.

The Anastasia murder generated a tremendous amount of public interest and sparked a high profile police investigation. Per New York Times journalist and Five Families author Selwyn Raab, “The vivid image of a helpless victim swathed in white towels was stamped in the public memory.” However, no one was charged in this case. Over time, speculation on who killed Anastasia has centered on Profaci crime family mobster Joe Gallo, the Patriarca crime family of Providence, Rhode Island, and certain drug dealers with the Gambino family.

Initially, the NYPD concluded that the Anastasia hit had been arranged by Genovese and Gambino, and it was carried out by a crew led by “Crazy Joe” Gallo of the Profaci family. At one point, Gallo boasted to an associate of his part in the hit:

“You can just call the five of us the barbershop quintet.”

However, detractors say that it was illogical for Profaci to kill Anastasia.  Profaci was allied with Bonanno and Anastasia on the Commission against Genovese, Costello, and Thomas Lucchese. By killing Anastasia, Profaci was eliminating an ally and gaining a potential enemy in Gambino.

The Patriarca theory is that Anastasia’s killers came from the Patriarca Family in Providence/Boston. Genovese had traditionally strong ties to Patriarca boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca. In addition, it made sense to use out-of-town hitmen. The Patriarca hit team was allegedly led by mobster John (Jackie) “Mad Dog” Nazarian.

The drug dealers theory is that Gambino used some Gambino drug dealers from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to kill Anastasia, including Stephen Armone, Stephen Grammauta, and Arnold Wittenberg.
Aftermath

Carlo Gambino was expected to be proclaimed boss of Anastasia’s family at the November 14, 1957 Apalachin Meeting, called by Genovese to discuss the future of Cosa Nostra in light of his takeover. When the meeting was raided by police, to the detriment of Genovese’s reputation, Gambino’s appointment was postponed to a later meeting in New York City. Under Gambino, Anthony Anastasio saw his power curtailed, and in frustration he began passing information to the FBI shortly before his 1963 death.

Genovese enjoyed a short reign as family boss. In 1957, after Genovese’s disastrous Apalachian Meeting, Lansky, Luciano, Costello, and Gambino conspired to entrap Genovese with a narcotics conviction, bribing a drug dealer to testify he had personally worked with Genovese. On July 7, 1958, Genovese was indicted on narcotics trafficking charges. On April 17, 1959, Genovese was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

Anastasia’s funeral service was conducted at a Brooklyn funeral home; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn had refused to sanction a church burial. Anastasia was interred in Green-Wood Cemetery in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, attended by a handful of friends and relatives.

Bedford Magazine Explosion


Bedford_Magazine_Explosion,_Nova_Scotia,_Canada,_July_18,_1945

Halifax, having been previously devastated by the Halifax Explosion, had emergency plans in place for such an incident, leading to an orderly and widespread evacuation of Halifax’s northern half. The damage resulting from this incident was far less than that of the Halifax Explosion, however the blasts shattered windows, crumpled roofs, and cracked structures. Very few injuries were reported, with none severe. Patrolman Henry Raymond Craig, a naval seaman on watch that night, was the lone casualty, having rushed to the pier upon noticing a fire, just prior to the initial barge explosion.

The community was still resentful towards the navy for the VE-Day Riots, however the efforts of voluntary firefighting by naval personnel at the ammunition depot helped to alleviate these lingering feelings.

The barge responsible for starting the explosion presently lies on the seabed near the eastern shoreline adjacent to the CFAD Bedford magazine dock.