Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gunship Diplomacy

Friend Tamara brings up a good point: If we're gonna be called an imperialistic hegemony, and people are going to treat us like one, then why can't we act like one, once in a while?

Tamara also brings to mind a scene that was best portrayed in one of my all-time favorite movies, The Wind And The Lion.

There are two superb scenes in that altogether great movie.

The first is in the opening scene, where Sir Joshua Smith is taking high tea with the American Mrs. Eden Perdicaris in her Morocco courtyard. Disturbing their tea, a group of armed Berbers sweeps in on horseback to kidnap Mrs. Perdicaris and her brood. The British man, like all good gentlemen abroad, is heeled. He draws his Webley, stands, and begins firing with some effect, unhorsing at least two Berber attackers before his revolver goes click on an empty chamber as another attacker bears down on him. Sir Joshua Smith looks at his revolver with great disdain and says "Dahmn!" before he is cut down.

I was about 14 when I first saw that movie and that scene, and ever since then, I've wanted a Mark I or early Mark II Webley .455 revolver.*

The second great scene of the movie is when, irritated that a foreign "dignitary" (for such Raisuli, the leader of the pirates, claimed to be) should take an American captive, and not unaware of the international (as well as political) repercussions of his actions, Theordore Roosevelt decides to send in the South Atlantic Squadron (later known as the South Atlantic Fleet). When negations for the Perdicarises fails to bring their release, a company of Marines, supplemented by sailors, come ashore in Tangier and march at double time to the palace**, where they take the Pasha captive, right smartly. The guard force that too late attempts to defend the palace is dispatched with alacrity.

It's beautiful.

The movie is loosely based on a historical incident. Some have made hay over the fact that diplomacy won the day, and that no shots were fired in the taking of the port of Tangier in the actual 1904 incident. So? When a fleet of SEVEN battleships and several companies of Marines comes knocking at your door, and you submit, you have effectively been subdued by military force (the threat thereof.).

__________________________
* Roberta knows what I'm talking about.
** You really ought to watch that clip, if you've got a minute. Part 1 to that is HERE.

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10 Comments:

At Friday, February 22, 2008 3:14:00 PM, Blogger Tam said...

I cannot believe I haven't seen that movie.

Note to self...

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 3:37:00 PM, Anonymous "gunner" said...

your desire for a webley revolver is understandable. i've owned several over the years, including the mkI and mkII, my favourite was the mkVI, it's a brute, and when you've got one in hand no one doubts you are ARMED! the .450 "metropolitan police" and mkIV .38 are nice guns too, the .450 is surprisingly accurate for a short barrel.
"gunner"

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 7:01:00 PM, Blogger The Earth Bound Misfit said...

My dad had a Webley Mk. VI that was imported after WW2. The cylinder was cut down to accept .45 ACPs on moon clips. For a military weapon that was made in the middle of WWI, it has the most astonishing bluing I've ever seen.

And I can simply not believe that Tam has never seen "The Wind and the Lion." Inconceivable!

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 7:34:00 PM, Blogger alex. said...

Of course The Wind and the Lion is a great movie, John Milius directed it! WOLVERINES!!!

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 8:26:00 PM, Blogger BobG said...

Sean Connery sort of stole the show in that one; it's a pity the modern Muslimin aren't as honorable as the character he portrays.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 9:42:00 AM, Blogger CrankyProf said...

"Perdicaris alive and unharmed or Raisuli dead and unburied!"

A President who had mighty stones, that.

 
At Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:34:00 PM, Anonymous Seth from Massachusetts said...

I loved the scene where a group of government officials go to visit Theodore Roosevelt and find him trying out the world's army rifles using pictures of kings and princes as targets.

 
At Sunday, February 24, 2008 5:09:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

Yep, Matt I've always wanted one of those Webley .455 revolvers in original condition myself. They are very hard to come by.

I have found 2 at gunshows in the past decade and both had been bubbafied to shoot the .45ACP rather than the original .455 ammo the British made it for. Also both the ones I found had the sights modified and did not have the original grips on them.

These two pieces of junk (my opinion) were both priced at over $1500. I told the guys selling them that by bubbafying them they had made a magnificent collectors item a piece of junk worth about 25 percent of its original value.

When you modify a nice old gun like this (they had been cold blued as well) then you imediately destroy all the collectors value it may have had. I walked away from both guns because of the modifications that in my opinion ruined the guns and also because the people selling them were arrogant and refused to negotiate on price.

I have a nice little collection of Webleys in original condition along with the Enfield revolvers that eventually replaced them. I have yet to find a .455 Webley in original condition.

I see pieces of junk that have been modified on Gunbroker or Auction Arms all the time but besides having always been bubbafied, the prices are always outrageous.

I am still looking for one in original condition.Its been over ten years and I haven't seen one yet. I've seen some fakes and re-arsenaled ones that were close enough to fool many folks but I want the real thing in the original shape it came out of the factory in. It may not be posible to find one in the USA.

I'll bet there are some Brits that still have one even though they are outlawed now.

Good luck finding one.

Joe

 
At Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:33:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

In Morocco, the man with the better regulated ladder sight who knows how to use it wins.

I watched that scene more than half the way through before I realized that it was dubbed in Spanish.

 
At Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:35:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

And, Joe, I'll even accept one that's in good working order that's been faced to take Auto Rims or moon clips.

 

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