The Olympic games how they were meant to be.

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After the uncertainty of not knowing if the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics would go ahead in 2021, we finally got the news that they would be going ahead but without spectators. Covid 19 didn’t only cause havoc in normal life it disrupted some of the biggest sporting events also.

The ancient Olympic games did start off as  a religious festival and a good excuse for Greeks from all over the Mediterranean basin to gather for a riotous barbeque. On the middle day of the festival a vast number of cows were slaughtered in honour of Zeus, King of the Greek Gods – once he had been given a small taste, the rest was for the people.

Aristotle reckoned the date of the first Olympics to be 776 BC, a date largely accepted by most, though not all, subsequent ancient historians.It is still the traditionally given date and archaeological finds confirm, approximately, the Olympics starting at or soon after this time.

For the first 250-plus years all the action took place in the sanctuary of Olympia, situated in the north-western Peloponnese. Pock-marked by olive trees, from which the victory wreaths were cut, and featuring an altar to Zeus, it was a hugely scared spot.

The Ancient Olympic Games would last a full five days by the fifth century BC and saw jumping, running and throwing events. Additionally there were boxing, wrestling, pankration and chariot racing. At least 40,000 spectators would have filled ked the stadium each day at the height of the Games’ popularity, in the second century AD, with many more setting up stalls selling their wares outside.

If the modern games would have followed the same rules as the ancient games, it would have been a completely different event, I would dare to argue, perhaps an even more entertaining event.

  • All athletes competed naked
  • Wrestlers and pankration (a sort of mixed martial art which combined boxing and wrestling) competitors fought covered in oil
  • Corporal punishment awaited those guilty of a false start on the track
  • There were only two rules in the pankration – no biting and no gouging
  • Boxers were urged to avoid attacking the on-display male genitals
  • There were no points, no time limits and no weight classifications in the boxing
  • Athletes in the combat sports had to indicate their surrender by raising their index fingers – at times they died before they could do this
  • Boxers who could not be separated could opt for klimax, a system whereby one fighter was granted a free hit and then vice-versa – a toss of a coin decided who went first

For most of its history, Olympic events were performed in the nude. Greek Historian Pausanias says that the first naked runner was Orsippus, winner of the stadion race in 720 BC, who simply lost his garment on purpose because running without it was easier.

There are no records of women competitors during the ancient games. Ig there were they probably would have looked something like these athletes.

I am looking forward to the 2020/2021 Tokyo Games and I hope they will be a great success, because despite all the recent scandals it remains a feat of human achievment

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Source

https://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games

Operation Meetinghouse- The Bombing of Tokyo

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“If war with the Japanese does come, we’ll fight mercilessly,” General George C. Marshall told news reporters in an off-the-record briefing on November 15, 1941, three weeks before Pearl Harbor. “Flying Fortresses will be dispatched immediately to set the paper cities of Japan on fire. There won’t be any hesitation about bombing civilians—it will be all-out.”  More than three years of brutal global warfare would pass before Marshall’s prediction came true, but come true it did on the night of March 9-10, 1945.

 An aerial armada of 334 B-29 bombers took off from newly established bases in the Mariana Islands, bound for Tokyo. In the space of a few hours, they dropped 1,667 tons of napalm-filled incendiary bombs on the Japanese capital, killing more than 100,000 people in a single strike, and injuring several times that number. It was the highest death toll of any air raid during the war, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By comparison, the bombing of Dresden a month earlier had resulted in around 25,000 deaths.
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The charred body of a woman who was carrying a child on her back

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The March 9 raid, code-named “Operation Meetinghouse,” marked a shift in American bombing strategy. It wasn’t B-17 Flying Fortresses that did the job, as Marshall had predicted, but the new long-distance B-29s based in Saipan and Tinian.

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General Curtis LeMay, newly appointed as the head of B-29 operations, called for a change in tactics.

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The high-flying bombers had shown themselves on their first missions to be horribly inaccurate in hitting their targets. At a time when the jet stream was still poorly understood, B-29 crews watched as the high winds at 30,000 feet scattered their bombs as soon as they dropped. That, and the frequent cloud cover over Japan, had led to B-29s hitting their targets, on average, less than 10 percent of the time.wczt1gd

 

For the March 9 raid on Tokyo, LeMay made some key changes. The B-29s would overfly the city’s most densely populated areas at 7,000 feet instead of 30,000 feet, in single file rather than in formation. To reduce the risk from Japanese fighters, they would raid at night (in fact the American bombers met with little resistance). And the B-29s would be stripped of nonessentials, including guns and gunners, to make room for more bombs. “By changing tactics and doubling the bombload per plane,” wrote historian Thomas Searle, LeMay created “a force capable of starting enormous firestorms.
U.S. planners knew the wooden Japanese buildings would burn hot. Army engineers had prepared maps of Tokyo’s most flammable sectors, and had observed Japanese-style houses put to the torch in a mock “Japanese village” constructed at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utahtokyo_inflammable_areas

On the night of the Tokyo raid, 15 square miles of one of the world’s most densely populated urban centers—equivalent to half the area of Manhattan—burned to the ground. More than a million people were left homeless. As historian John Dower described in his 1986 book War Without Mercy, “The heat from the conflagration was so intense that in some places canals boiled, metal melted, and buildings and human beings burst spontaneously into flames.”

Watching Tokyo on March 10 from our Evacuation Home in Ibaraki PrefectureArtist: Hashimoto KimisukeLocation: Yoshinuma (Tsukubane City), Ibaraki PrefectureAge at time of raid: 7

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The Umaya Bridge on the Night of March 10Artist: Fukushima YasusukeLocation: Umaya BridgeAge at time of raid: 6

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For Japan, it was a grisly beginning to the war’s end. According to a postwar U.S. estimate, total civilian casualties in Japan as a result of nine months of air attack were about 806,000, including 330,000 deaths—more than the 780,000 combat casualties suffered by Japanese soldiers

 

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