September 26, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/19)

It was actually Rokuta who made sure they got the passports. In the Kingdom of En, Rokuta at times rather resembles M from the Bond films. Youko first meets Rokuta upon his return from a reconnaissance mission to Kei. When Rakushun runs into Shoukei in Ryuu, he is gathering intelligence for Rokuta.

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September 19, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/18)

The argument between Risai and Taiki about returning to Tai takes place at the end of The Shore in Twilight.

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September 12, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/17)

In this chapter, we learn why GPS is such a big deal. As Dava Sobel explains in Longitude, locating a ship's position at sea was literally a matter of life and death. Finally in the early 18th century, the British Parliament offered the equivalent of four million dollars for a practical solution. Even in the first half of the 20th century, it was common practice for aviators flying over land to follow the train tracks.

The magnetic compass was adopted for navigation by the Song Dynasty during the 11th century.

Hien (飛燕) is Risai's kijuu.

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September 05, 2020

Hills of Silver Ruins (1/16)

"An army marches on its stomach" is generally credited to Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Siege of Ueda in 1600 is a good example of an effective castle defense. Sanada Masayuki held off Tokugawa Hidetada's army of 38,000 with only 2,000 soldiers. Hidetada abandoned the siege in order to join his father at the Battle of Sekigahara, though the fighting was over by the time he arrived. By convincing several of the opposing generals to sit out the fight or switch sides, Tokugawa Ieyasu prevailed without his son's army.

After Sekigahara, Masayuki did not attempt to engage the combined armies of the Tokugawa and was exiled to Kudoyama.

The Siege of Hara Castle during the Shimabara Rebellion pitted approximately 200,000 soldiers against 40,000 Roman Catholics, peasants, and ronin. It still took the Tokugawa shogunate four months to overrun the castle.

As Kouryou points out, bad intel can give an underdog an edge. In the Battle off Samar, the small Taffy 3 group of escort carriers and destroyers held off the entire Japanese Center Force (including the Yamato) with bluff and bravado. They were able to fight to a draw because Admiral Kurita misidentified the escorts as fleet carriers. Believing he was facing Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet, he withdrew on the verge of winning the engagement.

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