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Friday, 15 November 2013

Royal Navy: Not the Decimation but the Destruction!

One of my regular correspondents wrote to me today about in part the misuse of the word Decimation.

Decimation (Latin: decimatio; decem = "ten") was a form of military discipline used by senior commanders in the Roman Army to punish units or large groups guilty of capital offences such as mutiny or desertion. The word decimation is derived from Latin meaning "removal of a tenth". The procedure was a pragmatic attempt to balance the need to punish serious offences with the practicalities of dealing with a large group of offenders.

A cohort selected for punishment by decimation was divided into groups of ten; each group drew lots (Sortition), and the soldier on whom the lot fell was executed by his nine comrades, often by stoning or clubbing. The remaining soldiers were often given rations of barley instead of wheat for a few days, and required to camp outside the marching camp.

Because the punishment fell by lot, all soldiers in the group were eligible for execution, regardless of the individual degree of fault, or rank and distinction, unless rigged to eliminate the mutiny ringleaders. The leadership was usually executed independently of the one in ten deaths of the rank and file.

The earliest documented decimation occurred in 471 BC during the Roman Republic's early wars against the Volsci and is recorded by Livy. In an incident where his army had been scattered, consul Appius Claudius Sabinus Inregillensis had the culprits punished for desertion: Centurions, standard-bearers and soldiers who had cast away their weapons were individually scourged and beheaded, while of the remainder, one in ten were chosen by lot and executed.

The practice was revived by Crassus in 71 BC during the Third Servile War against Spartacus, and some historical sources attribute part of Crassus' success to it. The amount of men killed through decimation is not known, but it varies between 1,000 (used on 10,000 men), or a cohort of around 480-500 men, meaning only 48-50 were killed.

Julius Caesar threatened to decimate the 9th Legion during the war against Pompey, but never did.

Polybius gives one of the first descriptions of the practice in the early 3rd century BC:If ever these same things happen to occur among a large group of men... the officers reject the idea of bludgeoning or slaughtering all the men involved [as is the case with a small group or an individual]. Instead they find a solution for the situation which chooses by a lottery system sometimes five, sometimes eight, sometimes twenty of these men, always calculating the number in this group with reference to the whole unit of offenders so that this group forms one-tenth of all those guilty of cowardice. And these men who are chosen by lot are bludgeoned mercilessly in the manner described above.
Here is what he wrote. What do you think?

Dear Robin, On David Dimbleby´s boring ´Question Time´ from Portsmouth last night (and what an exceptional bore Ed Davey is) we heard more than once of the decimation of the Royal Navy. Were it decimation (one in ten ships lost) there would be cause for rejoicing.

The Brits are the most ideologically-ridden and incompetent of people. They are imperialists without loyalty to nation states, including their own..We only have to think of the Irish Famine, Mons, the Somme and Dunkirk. 

Now Blair and Brown have destroyed the British Army through fruitless, ill-judged and even illegal campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brown has destroyed the Royal Navy in his efforts to secure jobs for Scottish shipyards, and now Hammond (railway carriages to be built in Germany rather than Derby) and Cameron are completing the job for him. Hence British ships are to be built in Korea not Britain and ship building in England to be abandoned altogether. Are these people mad or bad? It doesn´t matter which. The results are the same.

Independence for England is now a necessity if we are to survive as a nation under this ruthless and incompetent British tyranny. But the English continue to be stupid and naive beyond belief as their nation crumbles around them. Just as in the days of Aethelred the Unready. 

There will be no English anthems or songs at Twickenham tomorrow. And England will be represented by privileged English public schoolboys and privileged foreigners. There will be no respect for English colours on the jerseys. The exclusion of English working-class boys is a national disgrace and a scandal.
Very best wishes,
Dr Gerald Morgan,
The Chaucer Hub,
Trinity College,
Dublin 2


  1. Next Wednesdey, ðe twentieðh ov November, is ðe seint’s dey ov St Edmund, ðe first pátron seint ov ðé English folk, and ðe wedding anniversary ov ðe Kween and Prince Philip.
    All true English nacionalists shoud celebrate it.

    1. Yes St Edmund should be remembered as also King Canute who unified the English and the Danes and showed contrition for what his forebears had done to King Edmund.

      Just a shame that Harold Hardrada had to have a last go to get hold of England for Norway or we would never have had William the Conqueror probably and this hateful French establishment with whom all true Anglo-Danes have nothing in common. It was the Normans who introduced cosmopolitanism and continental non-democracy to England. The fact that their white tower is now in a sea of the money-grubbing City of London's concrete sort of sums it up.

  2. Question Time; a contrived platform for " free speech and Democracy " free speech does not exist on the BBC or in England.

    When Ed Davey said "we have unlocked a large section of MOD land to build thousands of houses
    " a logical sensible answer, to this destruction of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth People ? NO ...who can afford to buy ? if you have NO JOBS to go to !

    No one on the panal or in the audience,picked up on this. Disgrace.

  3. Tö bé trúthful, í dón't kare whot ’decimate’ ment in óld Latin, or whot it meens tödey in ’World English’.(Ðe latest OED - Oksford Inglish Wördböok - gives a new meening tö ’literal’. Is Dr Morgan góing tö bémoan ðát töö?) Wé ar not Rómans, but Inglish. Wé shöudn’t bé bothering us selves about Latin wörds; wé shöuld bé remaking our Inglish tung as our Inglish birðhríght. Ðé Inglish tung hólds our fólkish soul.

  4. Ethelred the Unready sought refuge in Normandy and also married Emma. This nipping across the Channel to Normandy proved our undoing as it left the door open for William the Bastard. As somebody had said, how different our history would have been if we had had Sweden as our nearest neighbour, with whom we have so much in common i.e. the true thing, rather than the frenchified Vikings of Normandy who then shackled us to the history of France for three hundred years. It is from the womb of nations as Scandinavia has been called that we got our lust for freedom, independence and democracy; now all being destroyed. Time to get the Vikings back I think although they are now as spineless as we are.

    Pleased to hear that Prince Charles has been doing his best to stop the plutocrats re-building London in concrete but nobody listens to him any more. We are ruled by the pig ignorant and the greedy now; and most of the latter are foreign anyhow and don't give a damn about England and the English and our history.

    I managed to catch the true voice of the British Establishment on Russia Today being interviewed by the doe-eyed Sophie Shevadnadze. Does anybody remember a minister in Mrs T's government called Charles Powell? Well, he is now Lord Powell of course and the most unctuous, self-satisfied smug so and so you could not hope to meet. I think the lovely Sophie was just amazed that this man seemed to have so little feeling for his own people - although I am not sure if despite his public school accent - he thinks of himself as Welsh. On the NSA GCHQ spying business he said that only a few lefties were worried about it; i.e. that the British people really don't mind having all their communications open to American scrutiny. They probably don't they are so dumbed down, apathetic and docile now they are just putty in these people's hands.

    Then she touched on immigration. Not a problem for this self-confessed plutocratic businessman. The Poles are excellent people who never have recourse to benefits - not sure if he has got that right but he is probably lining his pockets as a result of the cheap labour that they and other immigrants provide. He thought that the Romanians and Bulgarians (we have 200,000 Roma here) might prove a problem. There are countries he said like China and Japan who will not allow immigration ( he could have mentioned India, Pakistan and most of the rest of the non-white world) and that is an option. Not now Charlie, we are 60 years two late for that.

    Methinks that Lord Powell resides in some leafy corner of what is left of the English countryside and never rubs shoulders with the great unwashed English working masses whom he obviously derides and despises. He would be quite happy to build over most of the rest of our countryside as long as there is money in it for him. He doesn't care if English workers have been ethnically cleansed or lost their jobs to foreign competition. If this was the nature of Mrs T's government then all the talk of Mrs T wanting to stop mass immigration is probably a load of hogwash. I think Sophie viewed him with the contempt he deserved.

    Still we are not alone. The Danish political drama, Borgen, has come back to BBC4 and it all seems to be hanging around who is politically correct and who wants to get a grip on immigration. The dreaded Freedom Party have been up to their nasty tricks leaving the other parties not knowing where to turn. There was a comment that this mess was caused by the Danish Labour Party's open door policies in the 1990s. Does that seem familiar? Looking back to 1948 it has been the international socialists in the Labour party here, as elsewhere, who have left all hitherto white countries in such a mess. And still the working classes continue to pin a red rosette on a donkey, although there are signs that that is at last beginning to change. Still, they are only the useful idiots for the likes of Lord Powell.