Prowess AM-280 - History


(AM-280: dp. 945 (f.); 1. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 15 k.; cpl.
104; a. 1 3", 2 40mm., 2 dct.; cl. Admirable)

Prowess (AM-280) was laid down 15 September 1943 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp. Chiekasaw, Ala.; launched 17 February 1944; sponsorel by Mrs. Thomas W. Rubottom; and commissioned 27 September 1944, Lt. Comdr. J. W. Me~re in command.

Following shakedown out of Little Creek, Va., Prowees (AM-280) escorted Pontiac (AF-20) from Boston to Bermuda departing Boston 14 December 1944. Upon returning to Little Creek, she trained minesweeper personnel from 1 January 1945 to 31 August. Departing Little Creek 3 October she participated in festivities honoring Admiral Nimitz at Washington, D.C., in early October. After a visit to Wilmington, Del., she returned to Norfolk.

Prowe~a entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in December 1945. She was reelassiSed MSF-280 on 7 February 1955. Assigned a homeport of Buffalo, N.Y., from 1 September 1965 and reclassified IX-305 on 1 March 1966, she has served as a naval reserve training ship from February 1962 into 1970.

یواس‌اس پراوس (ای‌ام-۲۸۰)

یواس‌اس پراوس (ای‌ام-۲۸۰) (به انگلیسی: USS Prowess (AM-280) ) یک کشتی بود که طول آن ۱۸۴ فوت ۶ اینچ (۵۶٫۲۴ متر) بود. این کشتی در سال ۱۹۴۴ ساخته شد.

یواس‌اس پراوس (ای‌ام-۲۸۰)
آب‌اندازی: ۱۵ سپتامبر ۱۹۴۳
آغاز کار: ۱۷ فوریه ۱۹۴۴
به دست آورده شده: ۴ ژوئن ۱۹۷۰
مشخصات اصلی
وزن: 650 tons
درازا: ۱۸۴ فوت ۶ اینچ (۵۶٫۲۴ متر)
پهنا: ۳۳ فوت (۱۰ متر)
آبخور: ۹ فوت ۹ اینچ (۲٫۹۷ متر)
سرعت: ۱۴٫۸ گره (۲۷٫۴ کیلومتر بر ساعت)

این یک مقالهٔ خرد کشتی یا قایق است. می‌توانید با گسترش آن به ویکی‌پدیا کمک کنید.

Career [ edit | edit source ]

Prowess was laid down 15 September 1943 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Alabama launched 17 February 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Thomas W. Rubottom and commissioned 27 September 1944, Lt. Comdr. J. W. Meire in command. Following shakedown out of Little Creek, Virginia, Prowess escorted USS Pontiac (AF-20) from Boston, Massachusetts, to Bermuda, departing Boston 14 December 1944. Upon returning to Little Creek, she trained minesweeper personnel from 1 January 1945 to 31 August. Departing Little Creek 3 October, she participated in festivities honoring Admiral Nimitz at Washington, D.C., in early October. After a visit to Wilmington, Delaware, she returned to Norfolk, Virginia.

Prowess entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in December 1945. She was reclassified MSF-280 on 7 February 1955. Assigned a homeport of Buffalo, New York, from 1 September 1965 and reclassified as an Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary IX-305 on 1 March 1966, she has served as a naval reserve training ship from February 1962 into 1970. She was transferred to South Vietnam, 4 June 1970 as RVNS Ha Hoi (HQ-13) and struck from the Naval Register in 1970. She was captured by North Vietnamese forces in 1975. In 1998, after some 23 years of service in the Vietnamese People's Navy, she was hulked and converted to a training vessel. She has since been scrapped.

Ancient Japanese military prowess is overrated

You'll find that most people with a serious interest in Japanese history don't make those claims.

People who learn their history from films and TV might, but the same applies to any period of history, not just Japanese. There are people out there who think that ancient Chinese armies were full of kung-fu heroes.

Really? I know that there are probably some people who think that ancient Chinese armies were full of kung-fu heroes, but I rarely see this type of comments which exaggerate the ancient Chinese armies on the internet forums. Most of the time, I see that people would depict ancient Chinese armies as weak, undisciplined, stupid, etc. However, I always see the comments which exaggerate the ancient Japanese armies on other internet forums.

It's not because that I'm Chinese so that I despise the ancient Japanese armies. I admit that the ancient Japanese armies were still very brave, but I think that their military prowess was somewhat overrated. And believe me, if you try to exaggerate the ancient Chinese armies as kung-fu masters, then I would also post threads to correct you.


This is the way I heard it described.

The closest translation of samurai is "knight" rather than "soldier". Samurai was a social caste, and men from that class were expected to be soldiers.

In medieval times, samurai would hold land, and their rents and taxes would be their income, just like European lords and knights.

Any peasant could become a humble soldier, but it would be exceptional to be promoted to the samurai or officer class.

Even up to WW2, army officers (and naval) would come from samurai families.

Ninja were nothing to do with soldiers or samurai. They were assassins and, even if expert, had no high social caste.

First of all, please, please, please read my thread "Let's talk ninjas". Ninjas mostly were samurai.

Yes, the samurai were a social class. They went through a number of changes. The proto-samurai, as a class in society, can be said to have had its beginnings in the 10th century or so, when warrior clans started to become dominant over the old aristocratic class.

Although they initially started as warriors, throughout the Heian period, they evolved into landholding families, although this was, to start off with, a nominal holding in the name of an aristocrat.

By the time of the Sengoku Jidai, warlords arose and ruled their lands by right of conquest (although there was a facade of legitimacy from the court). Up to the end of this time, peasants and farmers could go to war, either to seek their fame and fortune or because they were required to. Farmer-soldiers were known as jizamurai, literally "land-samurai". It was still possible at this point for a footsoldier to rise in rank and be granted, for example, the use of a family name (which peasants lacked). Most samurai families claimed (often tenuous) descent from one of the three aristocratic families, the Minamoto, Taira or Fujiwara and their branch families.

Just perior to the Edo period, all this came to an end. Social mobility was strictly limited. The samurai became a social class, not a warrior class, and were forbidden to carry out trade and farming, just as peasants could no longer become ashigaru and go off to fight (although there were no wars for them to fight). The ashigaru became the lowest rung of the samurai class.

People of the samurai class could be clerks, painters, accountants, stewards and (very often) priests and clergy - the latter was a particular favourite amongst samurai hoping to keep their heads after being on the wrong side of a battle. There were plenty of samurai who didn't know one end of a sword from the other, although they were permitted to carry the daisho (long and short sword) as a symbol of their status, and had certain rights.

Samurai received their income and stipend in koku, or bushels of rice. If they were a land-holder, their domains were rated at a certain level of production, but their actual income would be dependent on the harvest. Lower ranking samurai might recieve their pay directly in rice.

The End Of Pontiac's Independence

Although the Trans Am Turbo would continue to sell, by the end of the year only 20 percent of production carried the Garret turbocharger under the hood, with total Trans Am sales having been cut by 50 percent compared to the last year of the big block. In 1980 Pontiac would try a computerized carburetor that turned out to be no better than the original setup at enhancing the 301's performance, and sales would be sliced in half yet again.

It was a humbling experience that set Pontiac's drivetrain department back on its heels and forced it to accept a 5.7L V8 from Chevrolet when the Firebird was redesigned for 1982. In a way, the Trans Am Turbo represented the beginning of the end of Pontiac's independence from the GM mothership, as the car would, with a few minor deviations (such as the return of the Turbo in the form of 1989's Buick-based, 3.8L V6 20th Anniversary Edition car) copy the Chevrolet Camaro's mechanicals for the rest of its existence.

The Family Threw Huge Parties At Wilson's Place

As Manson and his cronies continued to destroy Wilson’s life, they turned his home into a party palace and walked around liked they owned the place. Wilson may have been partying hard in his home before he was entangled with the Family, but Manson’s parties were a different kind of fun.

One member of the Beach Boys who spoke to spoke to Rolling Stone under the auspices of anonymity said, “We’ve got several eight-track tapes of Charlie and the girls that Dennis cut, maybe even some 16-track. Just chanting, f*cking, sucking, barfing. Maybe we’ll put it out in the fall. Call it ‘Death Row.’” Manson took Wilson’s idyllic never-ending summer and turned it dark. He corrupted it and made it nasty, a microcosm of what he would finally do to the ‘60s just a few months after Wilson finally parted ways with him.

How Guinness Became an African Favorite

As revelers from Chicago to Dublin celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, they’re sure to be filling up on Guinness, Ireland's hallmark brew. In the United States and elsewhere, Guinness is synonymous with Irish tradition and St. Patrick's Day celebrations. But, there’s one continent where Guinness has absolutely nothing to do with wearing green or hunting down leprechauns at the end of rainbows: Africa.

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Most Africans don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but they still love their Guinness. The dark brew makes up about 45 percent of beer sold by Diageo, the company that owns Guinness, on the continent, and Diageo is one of four companies that split about 90 percent of the African beer market. Popularity varies from country to country, and Guinness is a particular favorite in Nigeria.

As opposed to the standard Guinness draught that you might order at the local pub or the Guinness Extra Stout you might pick up at the grocery store, the vast majority of Guinness consumed in Africa is called Foreign Extra Stout. It's essentially the same beer that Guinness began exporting to the far reaches of the British Empire in the 18th century. 

In his book Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint, historian Bill Yenne discussed the popularity of Guinness abroad with brewmaster Fergal Murray, who worked at the Guinness brewery in Nigeria in the 1980s. “I’ve talked to Nigerians who think of Guinness as their national beer,” Murray recalled. “They wonder why Guinness is sold in Ireland. You can talk to Nigerians in Lagos who will tell you as many stories about their perfect pint as an Irishman will. They’ll tell about how they’ve had the perfect bottle of foreign extra stout at a particular bar on their way home from work.” 

Africa now rivals the UK in their stout consumption. In 2004, Guinness sales in Africa beat those in the United Kingdom and Ireland, making up about 35% of the global take. In 2007, Africa surpassed Ireland as the second largest market for Guinness worldwide, behind the United Kingdom, and sales have only climbed since then (by about 13 percent each year).

The story of Guinness in Africa begins in Dublin. When Arthur Guinness II took the reins of his father’s brewery in 1803, he gradually expanded their exports – first to England, and then abroad to Barbados, Trinidad, and the British Colony of Sierra Leone. Originally dubbed the West Indies Porter, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout was first brewed in Dublin in 1801 and arrived in West Africa in 1827. Where the British Empire established colonies or stationed soldiers, Guinness shipped their beer. By the 1860s, distribution reached South Africa as well. Like Coke in its globalization of soda, Guinness developed partnerships with local breweries, who bottled the beer. 

As many indigenous populations began to overthrow their colonial rulers and the British Empire began to crumble, Guinness remained. In 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the UK, and two years later, the Nigerian capital of Lagos became home to the first Guinness brewery outside of the United Kingdom. (Technically, a brewery opened by Guinness in New York in 1936 was their first foreign effort, but it closed in 1954.) Success in Nigeria spurred the building of another brewery in nearby Cameroon in 1970. Today, 13 breweries produce Guinness in Africa.

Part of a 1968 advertising sheet for Guinness in West Africa depicts the popular ad slogan, "Guinness gives you power." (Courtesy of Flickr user John Atherton)

The Guinness Extra Foreign Stout consumed in an African bar is a bit different. Instead of barley, it’s typically brewed with maize or sorghum, which produces a more bitter taste compared to barley. African farmers have a long tradition of brewing the grain, so the product is well suited to the African palate. At 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, it also boasts higher alcohol content compared to the roughly 4-5 percent found in Guinness draught and Guinness Extra Stout. That's a relic of efforts to preserve the beer while it traveled to foreign ports. But, the flavor is essentially the same: since the 1960s, overseas brewers have added a flavor extract, a “concentrated essence” brewed in Ireland, so that no matter where you ordered a Guinness it would stay true to the original Dublin flavor. 

Advertising campaigns in the 1960s introduced one of the beer’s ad slogans: "Guinness gives you power"— a variation on a contemporary European ad slogan, "Guinness for Strength," evoking the idea that tough, masculine men drink the stout after a hard day's work. In the last decade Guinness revisited the old slogan with a hugely successful marketing campaign across Africa that cast a young, strong journalist character named Michael Power as a sort of African "James Bond." At the end of a television or radio adventure, Power saved the day and uttered the same catchphrase: “Guinness brings out the power in you!” In 2003, Guinness took things a step further, launching a feature film called Critical Assignment with Power as the hero and plotline of political corruptiona and clean water issues (here's the film's trailer). It was filmed in six different African countries and released in theaters across Africa and in the U.K. 

Two things made the Michael Power campaign hugely successful. First, it played into cultural ideals of a strong African male—not unlike hypermasculine ads employed in Ireland, the U.K., and elsewhere by Guinness and other beer brewers. Promoting the idea that tough guys drink whatever beer you're selling is hardly revolutionary. However, Power lacked ethnic affiliation, so he could appeal to everybody regardless of ethnic or tribal group. This African “James Bond” was both universally appealing and the guy one could aspire to be. Michael Power was phased out in 2006. Guinness has continued to play on similar themes, associating their stout with the concepts of "greatness" in all men and being "more than" on billboards across the continent, with steady success.

This year the beer made headlines with a new ad that taps into its African roots and highlights sapeurs, a group of well-dressed men in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Formally known as the Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, sapeurs come from all walks of life and evoke the elegant fashions of Paris. 

The ad has drawn praise for its positive portrayal of Africans and criticism for its failure to clearly connect the brand with the culture, but interestingly it’s not aimed at an African audience. At least for now, it’s used in European marketing. But, as MIT media scholar Ethan Zuckerman notes on his blog, the ad “could easily run on the continent, and features a form of actual African superheroes, not an imaginary one.”

Whether audiences across Africa would embrace them, remains to be seen. But, either way, Guinness seems to be embracing its African connections.

About Helen Thompson

Helen Thompson writes about science and culture for Smithsonian. She's previously written for NPR, National Geographic News, Nature and others.

Prowess AM-280 - History

History of Military Prowess

The Warriors of Greece is a Living History Reenactment Group honoring all of Greece’s courageous warriors throughout time but concentrating mainly on the era of the Greco-Persian War around the 5th century B.C.

The phenomenal record of Greek military prowess from ancient times until now is unquestioned. But how does one account for the uniquely lethal warmaking skills of the Greeks? How did a relatively isolated people of less than two million in the southern Balkans change the character of civilization in the ancient Mediterranean, in the process founding the principles of later Western warfare itself?

The Spartans often proudly boasted that no Spartan woman had ever had to endure the humiliation and horror of a plundering, pillaging foe or witness the destructive, rampaging smoke and fires of a conquering army. After defeating the Persians in 479 B.C. Greece would remain free from foreign invasion for over three centuries. When the Romans finally arrived on the scene their triumphant legions owed much of their battle success to the hallowed Greek approach to warfare which they tried to emulate. Greek armor designs were copied by other nations, weapons systems like Greek fire & ballistics were technologically light years ahead of their time. Greek tactics and techniques were vastly superior to anything the ancient world had to offer as evidenced by the fact that hundreds of thousands of Persians were slaughtered during the Battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea compared to only a few hundred Greeks killed.

The brilliant Greek commander Alexander the Great, the world’s youngest and only undefeated warrior conquered wealthy Persia, the largest and most powerful empire on earth destroying its enormous armies and killing millions of its soldiers while losing less than a thousand Greeks doing so.
When any of the world’s warring nations whether they were Persians, Carthaginians, Egyptians, Romans or any others looked for military guidance there was usually a Greek willing to offer his society’s martial expertise for a price. Most of the greatest gladiators fighting in Rome’s famed coliseum and elsewhere were Greek including the most famous gladiator of all, Spartacus who would eventually lead an army of gladiators against Rome bring her armies to their knees for years and terrifying her citizens. Greek mercenaries hired by nations in need of superior warriors almost always made up the best troops of that country’s army.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Vandals, Goths and other barbarians, the Eastern Roman Empire (known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire) lasted over a thousand years longer. Eventually mighty Constantinople, capital of the Empire, alone, outnumbered, completely surrounded, running out of food, water, ammunition, medical supplies and reinforcements and cut off from help from the rest of Christendom finally succumbed to the overwhelming, numerically superior onslaught of the massive invading hordes of brutish muslim ottoman turkish interlopers. After a heroically ferocious last stand which cost the marauding intruders dearly in men and material for every inch of ground, even the courageous Emperor Constantine himself though swarmed under a hail of boorish, murderous louts never surrendered. Fighting bravely to the end Emperor Constantine being the noble warrior he was and in defense of his beloved people continued swinging his great battle sword with devastating effect bathed in the blood of dead muslim turkish trespassers as the greatest city in the world fell on one of history's darkest days – May 29, 1453. As the Gateway to Europe from the East, the Greeks continued fighting the occupying Turkish forces for 400 years, all the while enduring horrific atrocities to the Greek civilian population but never surrendering. The Greeks mastered the art of guerilla warfare and instilled terror in the hearts of the frustrated Turks who could not control the Greek people and because of this the Turks were not able to continue on with their plans to conquer the rest of Europe. Finally in the Revolutionary War of Greek Independence, Greece was the first of the many suffering Christian nations to shatter the chains of muslim Turkish oppression and free themselves from the bonds of Ottoman slavery. Once again Greece was the defender of Europe and Western Civilization.

During World War II Greece was the last remaining European country on the continent left standing in the fight against the Axis Powers of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The proud, fiercely independent Greeks put up such strong resistance that the entire world took notice and watched in awe as tiny Greece held out against all odds. The Greek resistance to the Nazis is now universally recognized as the turning point of World War II and the reason for the eventual Nazi defeat.

After World War II the first battles of the Cold War took place in Greece. When the Soviet Union was plunging much of Europe behind an Iron Curtain of Communism the Greeks once again led the way in the fight for freedom. During the terribly costly Greek Civil War from 1946-1949 which pitted brother against brother Greek Freedom Fighters defeated Communism and once again kept Greece free.

During the Korean War Greece provided much needed troops to the UN's war effort. A highly decorated Greek brigade was well known for its prowess in battle and it was common knowledge that if the Greeks were on your flank you knew that side was safe. The men of that unit were only allowed to grow a moustache if they had killed an enemy in hand-to-hand combat and yet almost every member of that brigade wore moustaches attesting to their bravery and skill at arms.

These few examples on this page and far too many more to mention attest to the extraordinary combat effectiveness of the Greeks at war over the centuries. To learn more about individual battles click on the links in the menu above. Zito Hellas!

Copyright © 2018 The Warriors of Greece. All Rights Reserved. Web design and artwork copyright © Totality Productions

Prowess AM-280 - History

The first woman to rule England in her own right didn’t simply inherit the throne. She seized it with unprecedented ambition from those who sought to thwart her.

Historian Sarah Gristwood describes the ascension of Mary I as a “staggeringly bold” course of action undertaken with little chance of success. Still, she rode into London on August 3, 1553, to widespread acclaim. In the words of one contemporary chronicler, “It was said that no one could remember there ever having been public rejoicing such as this.”

Centuries later, however, the Tudor queen is remembered as one of the most reviled figures in English history: “Bloody Mary.” This is a story of how a heroic underdog became a monarch who was then mythologized as a violent despot—despite being no bloodier than her father, Henry VIII, or other English monarchs. It’s a tale of sexism, shifting national identity and good old-fashioned propaganda, all of which coalesced to create the image of an unchecked tyrant that endures today.

Born on February 18, 1516, Mary was not the long-awaited son her parents, Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, had hoped for. But she survived infancy and grew up in the public eye as a beloved princess—at least until her teenage years, when her father’s infatuation with Anne Boleyn led him to divorce her mother and break with the Catholic Church. Declared illegitimate, downgraded from the title of “princess” to “lady,” and separated from her mother, Mary refused to acknowledge the validity of her parents’ divorce or her father’s status as head of the Church of England. It was only in 1536, after Anne’s execution and Henry’s marriage to Jane Seymour, that Mary finally agreed to her mercurial father’s terms.

Mary I's parents, Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Welcomed back to court, she survived Henry—and three more stepmothers—only to see her younger half-brother, Edward VI, take the throne as a Protestant reformer, adopting a stance anathema to her fervent Catholicism. When Edward died six years later, he attempted to subvert his father’s wishes by leaving the crown to Protestant cousin Lady Jane Grey, excluding those next in line—Mary and her younger half-sister, Elizabeth—from the succession. Though Mary could have sought refuge with family members in Europe, she chose to remain in England and fight for what was rightfully hers. Eluding the armies of her antagonists, she rallied support from nobles across the country and marched on London. Mary and Elizabeth rode into England’s capital side-by-side, one as a queen and the other as a queen-in-waiting.

During her five-year reign, Mary navigated the manifold challenges associated with her status as the first English queen to wear the crown in her own right, rather than as the wife of a king. She prioritized religion above all else, implementing reforms and restrictions aimed at restoring the Catholic Church’s ascendancy in England. Most controversially, she ordered 280 Protestants burned at the stake as heretics—a fact that would later cement her reputation as “Bloody Mary.”

The queen also set precedents and laid the groundwork for initiatives—among others, financial reform, exploration and naval expansion—that would be built upon by her much-lauded successor, Elizabeth I. Mary failed, however, to fulfill arguably the most important duty of any monarch: producing an heir. When she died at age 42 in 1558 of an ailment identified alternatively as uterine cancer, ovarian cysts or influenza, Elizabeth claimed the throne.

Prior to England’s break from Rome in 1534, Catholicism had dominated the realm for centuries. Henry VIII’s decision to form the Church of England proved predictably contentious, as evidenced by the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace uprising, which found some 30,000 northerners taking up arms in protest of the dissolution of the monasteries, banning of feasts and holy days, and bloody treatment of clergy who refused to accept the new order. Under Henry’s son, the English Reformation reached new extremes, with legislation ending the practice of Latin Mass, allowing priests to marry, and discouraging the veneration of relics and religious artifacts.

Mary's younger siblings, Elizabeth (left) and Edward (right) (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

According to Linda Porter, author of The Myth of “Bloody Mary," Edward VI “moved much faster and much further than the majority of the population wanted, … remov[ing] a great deal that was familiar and depriv[ing] the congregation of what many of them saw as the mystery and beauty of the experience of worship.” Protestantism, she says, was the “religion of an educated minority,” not a universally adopted doctrine. At its core, Porter and other historians have suggested, England was still a fundamentally Catholic country when Mary took the throne.

Herself still a Catholic, Mary’s initial attempts to restore the old Church were measured, but as historian Alison Weir writes in The Children of Henry VIII, grew more controversial following her marriage to Philip of Spain, at which point they were “associated in the public mind with Spanish influence.” During the first year of her reign, many prominent Protestants fled abroad, but those who stayed behind—and persisted in publicly proclaiming their beliefs—became targets of heresy laws that carried a brutal punishment: burning at the stake.

Such a death was an undoubtedly horrific sentence. But in Tudor England, bloody punishments were the norm, with execution methods ranging from beheading to boiling burning at the stake and being hanged, drawn and quartered. Says Porter, “They lived in a brutal age, … and it took a lot to revolt your average 16th-century citizen.”

During the early modern period, Catholics and Protestants alike believed heresy warranted the heavy sentence it carried. Mary’s most famous victim, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, was preparing to enact similar policies targeting Catholics before being sidelined by Edward VI’s death. According to Gristwood’s Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe, “That obdurate heretics, who refused to recant, should die was an all but universal tenet.”

This woodcut from John Foxe's Book of Martyrs depicts the burnings of Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

To the 16th-century mind, heresy was a contagion that threatened not just the church, but the stability of society as a whole. Heretics were also deemed guilty of treason, as questioning a monarch’s established religious policies was tantamount to rejecting their divinely ordained authority. The justification for one heretic’s death, writes Virginia Rounding in The Burning Time: Henry VIII, Bloody Mary and the Protestant Martyrs of London, was the “salvation of many innocent Christians, who might otherwise have been led astray.” Even the gruesome method of execution had an underlying purpose: Death at the stake gave recalcitrant heretics a taste of hellfire, offering them one final chance to recant and save their souls.

Mary and her advisors hoped the initial spate of burnings would act as a “short, sharp shock” warning errant Protestants to return to the fold of the “true” faith. In a January 1555 memorandum, the queen explained that executions should be “so used that the people might well perceive them not to be condemned without just occasion, whereby they shall both understand the truth and beware to do the like.” But Mary had grossly underestimated Protestants’ tenacity—and their willingness to die for the cause.

“In mid-16th-century Europe,” writes Porter, “the idea of respecting another person’s beliefs would have provoked incredulity. Such certainties bred oppressors and those who were willing to be sacrificed.”

All that said, inextricable from Mary’s legacy are the 280 Protestants she consigned to the flames. These executions—the main reason for her unfortunate nickname—are cited as justification for labeling her one of the most evil humans of all time and even depicting her as a “flesh-eating zombie.” They are where we get the image of a monarch whose “raging madness” and “open tyranny,” as described by 16th-century writer Bartholomew Traheron, led her to “swimmeth in the holy blood of most innocent, virtuous, and excellent personages.”

Mary stands second from left in this circa 1545 painting titled The Family of Henry VIII. (Royal Collection Trust)

Consider, however, the following: Even though Henry VIII, Mary’s father, only had 81 people burned at the stake over the course of his 38-year reign, heresy was far from the sole charge that warranted execution in Tudor England. Estimates suggest Henry ordered the deaths of as many as 57,000 to 72,000 of his subjects—including two of his wives—though it’s worth noting these figures are probably exaggerated. Edward VI had two radical Protestant Anabaptists burned at the stake during his six-year reign in 1549, he sanctioned the suppression of the Prayer Book Rebellion, resulting in the deaths of up to 5,500 Catholics. Mary’s successor, Elizabeth I, burned five Anabaptists at the stake during her 45-year reign ordered the executions of around 800 Catholic rebels implicated in the Northern earls’ revolt of 1569 and had at least 183 Catholics, the majority of whom were Jesuit missionaries, hanged, drawn and quartered as traitors.

If numbers are the main reasoning behind such sobriquets as “Bloody Mary,” then why aren’t Mary’s family members dubbed “Bloody Henry,” “Bloody Edward” and “Bloody Bess”? Why has the myth of “Bloody Mary” persisted in Great Britain’s collective imagination for so long? And what did Mary do that was so different from not only other Tudor monarchs, but kings and queens across early modern Europe?

These questions are complex and predictably fraught. But several recurring themes persist. As England’s first queen regnant, Mary faced the same challenge experienced by female rulers across the continent—namely, her councillors’ and subjects’ lack of faith in women’s ability to govern, a dilemma best summarized by contemporary Mary of Hungary: “A woman is never feared or respected as a man is, whatever is his rank. … All she can do is shoulder the responsibility for the mistakes committed by others.”

Mary and her husband, Philip II of Spain, seen in a painting by Hans Eworth (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Historian Lucy Wooding says descriptions of Mary tend to have misogynistic undertones. “She’s simultaneously being lambasted for being vindictive and fierce” and “spineless and weak,” criticized for such actions as showing clemency to political prisoners and yielding authority to her husband, Philip II of Spain. Most experts agree that the Spanish marriage had an adverse effect on Mary’s reputation, painting her, however unfairly, as an infatuated, weak-willed woman who placed earthly love ahead of the welfare of her country.

While Mary’s gender played a pivotal role in the formation of her image—especially during her own lifetime, according to Porter—arguably the most important factor in the “Bloody Mary” moniker’s staying power was the rise of a national identity built on the rejection of Catholicism. A 1563 book by John Foxe known popularly as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs played a pivotal role in the creation of this Protestant identity, detailing the torments suffered by men and women burned at the stake under Mary through word-of-mouth accounts and visceral woodcut illustrations. (The accuracy of Foxe’s manuscript remains a point of contention among historians.) The book was enormously popular during the Elizabethan era, with copies even placed in local churches alongside the Bible.

“Foxe’s account would shape the popular narrative of Mary’s reign for the next 450 years,” writes Anna Whitelock in her biography of the Tudor queen. “Generations of schoolchildren would grow up knowing the first queen of England only as ‘Bloody Mary,’ a Catholic tyrant.”

Porter argues that Mary’s burnings might have become a “mere footnote to history” if not for the intervention of John Foxe historian O.T. Hargrave, meanwhile, describes the persecution as “unprecedented” and suggests it “succeeded only in alienating much of the country.” Either way, after taking the throne, Elizabeth took care not to replicate her sister’s religious policies. Writing in Mary Tudor, Judith Richards observes, “It may have helped protect Elizabeth’s reputation that many [executed] … were hanged as seditious traitors for seeking to restore Catholicism rather than burned as heretics.”

To put it bluntly, says Porter, “Mary burned Protestants, [and] Elizabeth disemboweled Catholics. It’s not pretty either way.”

The myth of “Bloody Mary” is one mired in misconception. England’s first queen regnant was not a vindictive, violent woman, nor a pathetic, lovestruck wife who would have been better off as a nun. She was stubborn, inflexible and undoubtedly flawed, but she was also the product of her time, as incomprehensible to modern minds as our world would be to hers. She paved the way for her sister’s reign, setting precedents Elizabeth never acknowledged stemmed from her predecessor, and accomplished much in such arenas as fiscal policy, religious education and the arts.

Mary in 1544 (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons) A 1554 portrait of Mary by Antonis Mor (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

If she had lived longer, says Gristwood, Mary might have been able to institute the religious reforms she so strongly believed in, from a renewed emphasis on preaching, education and charity to a full reunion with Rome. But because Mary died just five years after her accession, Elizabeth inherited the throne and set England on a Protestant path. Over the centuries, most significantly in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Protestantism became a core component of British identity.

Mary’s reputation, says Wooding, was “very painstakingly constructed after her death [and] had extraordinary longevity because of the fundamental place that Protestant identity came to take in British identity.” Her enduring unpopularity, then, reflects a failure to properly contextualize her reign: Writes historian Thomas S. Freeman, “Mary has continually been judged by the standards of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and not surprisingly, has been found wanting.”

For all her faults, and regardless of whether one falls into the competing camps of rehabilitation or vilification, Mary—the first to prove women could rule England with the same authority as men—holds a singular place in British history.

“She was an intelligent, politically adept, and resolute monarch who proved to be very much her own woman,” argues Whitelock. “Mary was the Tudor trailblazer, a political pioneer whose reign redefined the English monarchy.”

As the Bishop of Winchester observed during Mary’s December 1558 funeral sermon, “She was a King’s daughter, she was a King’s sister, she was a King’s wife. She was a Queen, and by the same title a King also.”

Chapter 1476: Shocking Everyone with Martial Prowess

As Bai Tao was taken aback, Yan Zhaoge’s advancement continued. While grabbing the black dragon, he rushed towards the Immortal Court Sovereign and Emperors.

The reinforcements initially came here to assist the black dragon and the Mountain Shu sword cultivator in apprehending Kun Ningzi and Bai Tao.

However, when they saw Yan Zhaoge’s demeanor when attacking, they halted their movements in unison.

Despite being a Profound Immortal, the black dragon was still captured by Yan Zhaoge, just like the baldachin Tranquil Immortal Artifact. In fact, the two didn’t even have time to struggle free.

Such bizarre occurrences made them uneasy.

No matter how courageous they were, they would not just send themselves to death’s door.

Their only option was to retreat. Since other experts also came along, they could regroup with the others to deal with Yan Zhaoge.

However, coming and going as they pleased was deemed as a luxury. Yan Zhaoge calmly stared at their silhouettes and yelled softly.

A soundless thunder exploded, causing the two heretic True Immortals to freeze on the spot.

Before they could even utilize any of their martial arts, their life already ceased to exist any longer.

The Heart’s Will Thunder first exploded within their heart, shattering their spirits apart. Then, looming darkness disrupted their state of mind, filling their heads with negative thoughts. With their constant infestation, the True Immortals’ bodies went out of control.

Immediately afterward, using the Cyclic Heavenly Scripture materialized the illusory thunder, their mental explosions turning into reality, causing material damage towards them.

Under the Immortal Slaughtering Sword’s utilization, the two heretic True Immortals’ vitality instantly dried up, turning into desiccated souls.

Despite being of the Immortal Court, the two were Leakless True Immortals that had already pushed open the Immortal Door. Yet, right now, they turned into lifeless effigies and quietly remained on the spot.

Their dull eyes had already lost any hints of life.

The Immortal Court Sovereign’s figure went numb, and his flying speed decreased. He then started stumbling as if he was in a drunken state.

Yan Zhaoge strode forward by the void. Even when his speed did not seem all that quick, he still surpassed his opponent and blocked his path of retreat.

“Malign heretic, your insolence shall meet its end soon!” The Immortal Court Sovereign’s face was pale white, yet his gaze was filled with stubborn ferociousness, “You’re tainted with our orthodox blood. Do you think the Nine Heavens will forgive your act of heresy?”

Yan Zhaoge smiled, “You’re better off worrying if you can protect your homeland. Last I remember, you’re all still at a disadvantage, and your lands are being ravaged by the Blessed Lands of the White Lotus, right?”

“Evil shall not win over our path of righteousness. Ultimately, evil threats like the Blessed Lands of the White Lotus shall perish.” The Immortal Court Sovereign snorted, “Just like you stubborn heretics. If you don’t repent for your sins early, such shall also be your fate.”

“Without the Immeasurable Heavenly Lord’s benevolence, do you think you could survive till this day?”

Yan Zhaoge could not refrain from laughing. Without wasting any more words, he grabbed towards the Immortal Court Sovereign.

The Immortal Court Sovereign was unwilling to accept defeat just like that. He clasped his hands together, arousing vigorously indestructible winds which slashed through the cosmos, and went up against Yan Zhaoge’s palm.

Yan Zhaoge did not even bother looking at it, and his palm continued forward.

The gusts of winds came in contact with his palm and turned into nothingness, ceasing from possessing any form of threat.

The gusts of winds disappeared into nothingness. Then, Yan Zhaoge’s palm continued extending forward, instantly grabbing his opponent by the neck. Like how a butcher lifts a small chick, he lifted the Profound Immortal Immortal Court Sovereign.

The Immortal Court Sovereign was a tough one. Without begging for mercy, he merely stared intently at Yan Zhaoge with his face filled with mess.

Being held by the neck, he couldn’t speak his sentences in one go, “Curb… your… delightment, our orthodox Heavenly Lords, Heavenly Monarchs… will soon hear about you… If you kill me… I’ll await you… in death!”

“Really?” Yan Zhaoge smiled indifferently, “How about taking a closer look?”

Turning his head aside, he saw the three True Immortal corpses.

Only then did he notice the treasured light imbued with faith power remaining by their corpses. However, they seemed sealed, unable to depart from their corpses.

Green radiances faintly appeared within their corpses, covering their skin surface in a layer of green.

The Immortal Court Sovereign first had a look of revelation, which then turned into despair.

“Immortal… Exterminating… Sword!”

Just like the heretic Buddhists from the Blessed Lands of the white Lotus, when an Immortal Court martial art cultivator perishes, the treasured lights in their body would take flight.

With this, the higher-ups of the Immortal Court would grasp more information.

These treasured lights were ethereal. Obstructing them would not be an easy feat.

However, as the head of the Prime Clear lineage’s Numinous Treasure Four Swords, the Immortal Exterminating Sword was capable of breaking through the myriad of laws, effectively slashing away the treasured lights imbued with either faith power of Buddha light to take flight.

The Immortal Court Sovereign had heard of such tales being told. Only Yan Zhaoge had cultivated the Three Clears and had a decent mastery in the Immortal Extermination Sword Manual. With his purposeful concealment, one wouldn’t even think him capable of such a feat.

After realizing it, the Immortal Court Sovereign’s last strand of hope was snapped apart.

He tightened his expression as if he was about to say something.

However, with a *crack*, Yan Zhaoge’s fingers had already snapped his neck apart!

An overwhelming strength surged through him, thoroughly obliterating his life force into nothingness.

Daoist Cloud Conquest stared from aside and let out a sigh.

Despite being of the Jade Clear lineage, Yan Zhaoge’s proficiency in the Prime Clear supreme martial arts like the Immortal Extermination Sword Manual and the Immortal Slaughtering Sword had far surpassed many other orthodox Prime Clear successors.

Through his previous examination of the Immortal Extermination Formation, Yan Zhaoge’s comprehension towards the Prime Clear supreme martial arts had received an ample increment.

Daoist Cloud Conquest’s comprehension of the Immortal Extermination Formation was no less than Gao Qingxuan. In fact, he might even have surpassed her.

However, Yan Zhaoge gave off the feeling that his mastery of the Immortal Extermination Formation was much more profound.

He thought of Long Xueji, Yu Ye, and his disciple He Mian. Suddenly, the feeling of youth surpassing their predecessors overwhelmed him.

Even with all of them combined, the youth standing right in front of him still shined much more brightly.

Not only Bai Tao, even Daoist Cloud Conquest felt the surge of emotions.

The first time he encountered Yan Zhaoge was when Yan Zhaoge first arrived at the Roving Jade Heavens. At that time, he was merely watching Yan Zhaoge’s interaction with Wang Shun from afar.

Although he was astonished by Yan Zhaoge’s talent, the praise he gave was one an elder would have towards the younger generation.

When fighting for the Pill Hall, and they went to battle for the first time, Yan Zhaoge easily defeated He Mian and even won against him, albeit barely.

At that time, he did not hold the stance of an elder anymore.

After all, he had ascended to the Immortal Realm for many years and was considered an experienced True Immortal expert. He could challenge the Pure Profound Tribulation anytime he wanted to. At that time, Yan Zhaoge was still a Martial Saint.

However, even so, Daoist Cloud Conquest did not feel many ripples of emotions.

After all, since he used the Sheath Edge and Nurture Sword technique, he had the confidence to challenge the Pure Profound Tribulation and ascend to the Profound Immortal Realm.

The potential outburst of strength granted him such confidence.

However, right now, Yan Zhaoge had already ascended to the Tranquil Profound Immortal Realm!

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