This is the 3rd instalment of #deanehistory.

John of Bohemia, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor, was also known as John the Blind. He was – and I may have given this away – visually impaired.
He didn’t let this get in the way of his empire building & army leading and, as was the way at the time, in the end all roads led to having a scrap with the English. At Crécy, in 1346.
It is an understatement to say that it was a bad day for the French & their allies. England’s forces, under Edward III and his son the Black Prince, demonstrated the superiority of the longbow in a comprehensive defeat of a much larger force.
By the way, after Crécy the English besieged Calais, resulting in the Pale of Calais, territory in northern France held by England for over two centuries, with MPs in our Parliament & so forth, as well as some seriously good art from Rodin.
John the Blind commanded the advance guard of King Philip VI of France at Crécy.

On hearing that the battle went against them, John ordered two noblemen to tie his mount between theirs and ride him into battle, so that he could fight.
This exceptional bravery struck the hearts of all Englishmen who saw it.

I mean, we killed him, obviously. But we were seriously impressed.
Such was the Black Prince’s admiration for John that, one version of the story goes, he took John’s symbol for his own.

Thus, nigh on 700 years later, we have the three ostrich feathers that are the symbol of the Prince of Wales to this day.
The next time you see a 2p piece, or a Welsh rugby top, you’ll think of John the Blind.

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More from @ajcdeane

13 Jan
This is the 4th instalment of #deanehistory. Back to the Second World War today, but whilst in the 2nd instalment we looked at the very end, this is the very beginning.
Captain Sigismund Payne Best was a monocle sporting British intelligence officer in both world wars.
Based in the Netherlands between the wars, he ran our spy network in Holland & was drawn into a trap by the Nazis who dangled officers supposedly representing those interested in removing / assassinating Hitler. But were really, er, Nazis.
A series of meetings took place between Best & his team & the fake plotters.

The aim was to humiliate the Brits, paint us as manipulating / abusing Dutch neutrality, & provide a pretext for saying Dutch were violating their own neutrality (claims not without some merit).
Read 22 tweets
11 Jan
Here is the second instalment of #deanehistory (the people have spoken on the hashtag). It is shorter & more graphic than yesterday’s.
Lord Haw Haw, real name William Joyce, was the voice of the Nazis on air during the Second World War & was of course the last person executed for treason in the U.K. - so far, so well known.
Less well known is that he was captured by a British intelligence unit after the war - specifically by a Jewish German who’d fled the nazis and signed up with us.

Perfect, yes? But it gets better.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
People have lockdown projects; here's mine. Characteristically low effort. I'll post a daily thread about an anecdote from #history that interests me. Except I don't commit to doing it daily. You may find none of them interesting.
With that ROUSING commencement, here's the 1st.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte joined the French army when his ambitions of following his father into the law were stymied by his father’s death. He was a brilliant soldier & gained rapid advancement.
He married a woman who’d previously been engaged to Napoleon & was the Emperor’s older brother’s wife’s sister; those Bonapartes liked to keep things tight (hey Joseph, be King of Naples! No, be King of Spain!).
Read 12 tweets
10 Jan
I don’t normally quote RT but her own words are clear. “No member state is ALLOWED” to get its own vaccines.
Throughout our interminable process of getting out of the EU, remainers would (whilst never listening) demand reasons for leaving - “but don’t say sovereignty, it’s meaningless, and we’re sovereign in the EU in any case,” etc etc.

Although to be fair to them I do recall them saying - if we Brexit there will be a punishment budget, half a million unemployed, an outrageous and repugnant ability to source our own vaccines, supergonorrhoea... so we should see things in the round really.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
As it seems that everyone right of centre will be purged from this platform in due course, whilst acknowledging that my lowly position means it’ll be a while before they get around to me I thought I’d go for broke whilst I’m still here.

Here goes.

Parody accounts aren’t funny.
Men & women are different.

Tax cuts are good. They stimulate economic growth & let people spend more of their own money.

Alcohol is enjoyable. So is sugar.

Judge people on merit, not gender or ethnicity.

There is such a thing as the canon in the arts. Good, better, best.
I don’t care what box sets you’ve watched.

Cycling enthusiasts are weirdly culty and self-righteous. Which is unfair on a perfectly good form of transport.

America is a force for good in the world.

Capitalism has lifted billions out of poverty.
Read 10 tweets
7 Jan
Let us strike a bargain, you possess a gift
But I can speak the jargon
That can give your gift the needed lift.
You possess the know-how
And I command the show-how
Oh, how successful you could be ... with me!
Eglantine, Eglantine!
Oh, how you'll shine!

Your lot and my lot have got to combine.
Eglantine, Eglantine!
Hark to the stars
Destiny calls us
The future is ours!
As the shine sells the boot,
And the blossoms the fruit
All you need to succeed in your plan
Is the proper ally upon whom to rely
And I'm your man.

For I have an acumen that's nigh superhuman.
I sell things that nobody can!
So I humbly suggest
You accept to my behest
I'm your man!
Eglantine, Eglantine
Oh, how you'll shine
Your lot and my lot have got to combine
Eglantine, Eglantine
Hark to the stars
Destiny calls us ...

Read 9 tweets

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