Moose Milk: the Winter Cocktail of the Canadian military

On chilly nights during World War II, there was a potent elixir known as Moose Milk that filled the stomachs (and soothed the souls) of Canadian soldiers. This rich cocktail usually leaved drinkers full, warm, and quite tipsy. Despite there are many variants, historic recipes typically involved ingredients as liquor, cream, and egg yolks beaten with sugar. In any case, which division made it first is uncertain as the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Army all claim as the originator of the drink, and each made…

Read More

Abandoned Bunkers of Salpalinja, Finland

In the early 1940s, tensions were high in Finland, as locals suspected that the Soviet Union, not satisfied with the territorial gains they had made during the Winter War (1939–1940), would plan another invasion.. As a result, in 1940, Finland began the construction of so-called Salpalinja (the “Salpa Line”), a system of more than 700 field fortifications made from concrete or excavated from rock along country’s eastern border. Stretching 1,200 kilometers from the Gulf of Finland in the south to modern-day Pechengsky, Russia, in the north, Salpalinja consisted of bunkers,…

Read More

Tham Piew Cave: a tangible reminder of an atrocity that took place during a secret war.

On this day, November 24, 1968, daily life began much as it had for some time. Villagers, accustomed to bombs and rocket attacks in the region, had long sought refuge deep in the extensive limestone cave systems of eastern Laos. Along with hundreds of men, women, and children from neighboring villages, rebel Pathet Lao fighters occasionally sought refuge in the dozens of large caves throughout the region as the insurgents made their way through eastern Laos. However, if most of the caves proved to provide safe haven, Tham Piew Cave…

Read More

#September 10, 1547: Battle of Pinkie Cleugh between English and Scottish forces

On this day, September 10, 1547, along the banks of the River Esk, a massive battle occurred that pitted Scottish and English forces in what has been called the first modern conflict recorded on the British Isles. The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, also known as the Rough Wooing, is considered one of the largest battles ever fought on Scottish soil, but It’s also viewed as one of the defining battles of the medieval English-Scottish conflict. The Scottish suffered a heavy defeat, in a day now forever known as “Black Friday”.…

Read More

Sinhagad: the lion’s fort in Pune – India

We are in Thoptewadi, India. Here stands a fort that for centuries was called Kondhana, named after the monk Kaundinya. The nearby temple and cave carvings indicate that the building is around 2,000 years old, despite it changed hands several times over the years as different factions controlled the region during the middle ages. The fort was important because of its strategic location, perched on an isolated cliff in the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, 1,312 meters above sea level, and it is ‘naturally’ protected due to its very…

Read More

African Cemetery at Higgs Beach – Florida

Among modern Key West’s greatest characteristics is its inclusiveness. During the Civil War, Key West remained in the United States despite Florida having joined the secession, and African Americans on the island lived as free men long before it became the law of the land. In 1860, off the coast of Key West, where the U.S. Navy intercepted three ships holding 1,432 African men, women, and children bound for Cuba. So, the American ships, which were engaged in the illegal transatlantic slave trade, were forced to relinquish their human cargo.…

Read More

England’s (almost) forgotten pet massacre of 1939

In the first week of September, 1939, London’s animal shelters were overflowing with guests. The queues of people and their pets meandered down the streets in a typically British manner, calm, dignified and orderly. However, the owners of dogs, cats, rabbits and even parrots and other birds who were waiting to visit vets and animal charities were harbouring a terrible secret. All pet-owners were waiting to euthanize their pets, even if none of the animals were dying, and none of them were even sick. The distraught Londoners had brought them…

Read More

Cripta de los Héroes: the final resting place for many of Peru’s greatest military heroes.

We are in Lima: the historic (and supposedly haunted) Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro is the most famous cemetery in Peru. Inaugurated in 1808, it now contains 766 mausoleums and 92 historic monuments. Among them is the Cripta de los Héroes (Crypt of the Heroes), the final resting place for many of Peru’s greatest military heroes. The Crypt was inaugurated on September 8, 1908, to house the remains of Peruvian military heroes who fought in the 19th-century War of the Pacific. During this war against Chile, the allied nations of Peru…

Read More

Brno Astronomical Clock: a peculiar clock that commemorates a historic victory

In 1645, near the last stage of the Thirty Years’ War, the city of Brno became popular across Europe because it managed to thwart a siege by the previously undefeated Swedish army, numbering 30.000 soldiers and led by General Lennart Torstenson, thanks to a a very brilliant tactic. Even if the Swedes laid siege to the city for nearly three months, the citizens of Brno didn’t give up: facing a stalemate, the Swedish commanders decided to give up the siege if they wouldn’t manage to conquer the city before noon.…

Read More

The bombed water tower of Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka.

We are in Sri Lanka: the city of Kilinochchi used to be the capital Vanni (or Wanni), an area of territory in the North of the country that was controlled by the militant LTTE organization (Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam), better known as the Tamil Tigers. The city’s size increased and decreased through 30 years of civil war fought by the insurgent group and the Sri Lankan Army. Toward the end of the war in 2008, shortly before the Army regained control and liberated Kilinochchi, an LTTE contingent bombed the water…

Read More