Saturday 9 November 2019

The Eleventh Hour - Remembrance Day 2019 - the Feast of St Martin of Tours

Lest we forget...

Remembrance Day 2019

Monday is Remembrance Day and tomorrow the whole country remembers our war dead.

I would like again especially to remember the officers and men from those most forgotten Divisions of all the regiments of the British Army at any time, anywhere, ever.

I mean the 10th and 16th Irish Divisions and their respective regiments.

The established Irish regiments of the line were:

The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
The Royal Irish Fusiliers

The Royal Irish Rifles

The Royal Irish Regiment

The Connaught Rangers

The Leinster Regiment

The Royal Munster Fusiliers

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers

These brave and dutiful soldiers are little remembered today because the Ireland from which they enlisted to fight for the freedom of small nations had, by 1918, undergone a radical sea-change in national aspirations because of the Rebellion of 1916, the reaction to it and the War of Independence of 1919-20 and the Civil War of 1920-21.

These most noble and brave Irish Divisions vanished into limbo, without honour, lying in an unquiet grave, forgotten by their own country and their own countrymen, save the brave and loyal families of the dead themselves, who were left to grieve alone, forgotten, even reviled, though their sons had faithfully answered the call of the Irish parliamentary leaders, John Redmond MP and John Dillon MP.

They had volunteered to fight in anticipation of the fulfilment of the Home Rule Act 1914, won by the efforts of men like Redmond and Dillon – not by the IRA and Fenian terrorists, and the like traitors and bomb-throwers – and they had been assured that the Act would be honoured once the war was over. So it doubtless would have been but for the Rebellion of 1916.

In that spirit these loyal men volunteered – and to save Belgium, too, as they saw it.

The last Absolution of the Royal Munster Fusiliers

Once the Irish Free State government had taken over in 1922, however, all thought of the Irishmen who had fought in the War had gone. Plots marked out for war memorials for the graves of these most honourable men were never used for their intended purpose (though they still lie fallow awaiting the day when the conscience of the nation will allow these brave men to be justly honoured).

One of the few memorials to these brave and noble Irishmen can be seen in the Chapel of St Patrick and the Saints of Ireland in Westminster Cathedral, London, England. Along the wall you can see the plaques of all the Irish regiments as a memorial to them.

But there are none – or virtually none – in Ireland itself where almost all the memorials are to Fenians, IRB and IRA men, many of the memorials bearing revolutionary slogans imitative of those used by the very French Revolutionaries who had murdered so many innocents - in their hundreds of thousands in the 1790s.

What an irony!

No proud and joyous home-coming for the men of the Irish Divisions.

The South would not have them for they fought in British uniform. The North would not have them because they were mostly Catholic.

And yet it is a little known fact that more Irishmen from the South fought – in BOTH World Wars – than did those from the so-called “Loyalist” North.

True fact!

Our brave Irish boys go over the top - but when they got home there was no-one to cheer them, welcome them or even greet them. These are the forgotten heroes of the Great War - loyal but forgotten.

Their story is yet to be fully told.

Who can now read the story of these brave men – not least the story below of Fr Willie Doyle SJ MC – with a dry eye? I don't mind admitting that I cannot.

Valiant hearts indeed!

God grant them all eternal rest...

O Valiant Hearts

By John Stanhope Arkwright 
(slightly amended for the forgotten Irish heroes)

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
But not yet hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.

Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
While in the frailty of our human clay,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way.

Still stands His Cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss;
Still, through the veil, the Victor’s pitying eyes
Look down to bless our lesser Calvaries.

These were His servants, in His steps they trod,
Following through death the martyred Son of God:
Victor, He rose; victorious too shall rise
They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice.

O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead,
Whose cross has bought them and Whose staff has led,
In glorious hope their long-forgetful land
Must now commit her children to Thy hand.

In Flanders Fields

by Lt Col John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place;
and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the Foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Father William Doyle was born at Dalkey, Co Dublin on 3rd March, 1873, the youngest of seven children. He was ordained as a Jesuit in 1907 and volunteered to serve as a Military Chaplain at the front in 1914. He was appointed to the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, 16th (Irish) Division, in November 1915.

His first experience of battle was at Loos where he was caught in the German poison gas attack on 26 April. He ministered to the soldiers in the midst of the battle, displaying a total disregard for his own safety. He was mentioned in dispatches but his Colonel’s recommendation for the Military Cross was not accepted because he had not been long enough at the front. He was presented with the parchment of merit of the 49th Brigade.

In May 1916, he had a lucky escape. He relates the story in his diary:

"I was standing in a trench, quite a long distance from the firing line, a spot almost as safe as Dalkey (his home village) itself, talking to some of my men when we heard in the distance the scream of a shell......none of us had calculated that this gentleman had made up his mind to drop into the trench itself, a couple of paces from where I stood. What really took place in the next ten seconds I cannot say. I was conscious of a terrific explosion and the thud of falling stones and debris. I thought the drums of my ears were split by the crash, and I believe I was knocked down by the concussion, but when I jumped to my feet I found that the two men who had been standing at my left hand, the side the shell fell, were stretched on the ground dead, though I think I had time to give them absolution and anoint them. The poor fellow on my right was lying badly wounded in the head; but I myself , though a bit stunned and dazed by the suddenness of the whole thing, was absolutely untouched, though covered with dirt and blood".

In August 1916, he took part in the fighting at Ginchy and Guillemont. His description of Leuze Wood is striking:

"The first part of our journey lay through a narrow trench, the floor of which consisted of deep thick mud, and the bodies of dead men trodden under foot. It was horrible beyond description, but there was no help for it, and on the half-rotten corpses of our own brave men we marched in silence, everyone busy with his own thoughts...... Half an hour of this brought us out on the open into the middle of the battlefield of some days previous. The wounded, at least I hope so, had all been removed, but the dead lay there stiff and stark with open staring eyes, just as they had fallen. Good God, such a sight! I had tried to prepare myself for this, but all I had read or pictured gave me little idea of the reality. Some lay as if they were sleeping quietly, others had died in agony or had had the life crushed out of them by mortal fear, while the whole ground, every foot, was littered with heads or limbs, or pieces of torn human bodies. In the bottom of one hole lay a British and a German soldier, locked in a deadly embrace, neither had any weapon but they had fought on to the bitter end. Another couple seemed to have realised that the horrible struggle was none of their making, and that they were both children of the same God; they had died hand-in-hand. A third face caught my eye, a tall, strikingly handsome young German, not more, I should say, than eighteen. He lay there calm and peaceful, with a smile of happiness on his face, as if he had had a glimpse of Heaven before he died. Ah, if only his poor mother could have seen her boy it would have soothed the pain of her broken heart".

Father Willie Doyle SJ MC

In December, 1916, he was transferred to 8th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He met his fellow Jesuit Father Frank Browne who was attached to the 2nd and 9th Dublins. His concern for the his men shines through his letters and diaries. He writes:

"I found the dying lad - he was not much more- so tightly jammed into a corner of the trench that it was almost impossible to get him out. Both legs were smashed, one in two or three places, so his chances of life were small, and there were other injuries as well. What a harrowing picture that scene would have made. A splendid young soldier, married only a month they told me, lying there, pale and motionless in the mud and water with the life crushed out of him by a cruel shell. The stretcher bearers hard at work binding up as well as they may, his broken limbs; round about a group of silent Tommies looking on and wondering when will their turn come. Peace for a moment seems to have taken possession of the battlefield, not a sound save the deep boom of some far-off gun and the stifled moans of the dying boy, while as if anxious to hide the scene, nature drops her soft mantle of snow on the living and dead alike".

He was awarded the Military Cross in January, 1917 though many believed that he deserved the Victoria Cross for his bravery under fire. He took part in the attack on Wytschaete Ridge in June,1917. Fr.Browne was transferred to the Irish Guards at the start of August which left Fr. Doyle to service four battalions by himself.

He had a number of close calls before he was killed by a shell along with three officers on 17 August, on Frezenberg Ridge.

He was recommended for the DSO at Wytschaete and the VC at Frezenberg.

His biographer comments: "However the triple disqualification of being an Irishmen, a Catholic and a Jesuit, proved insuperable".

He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 144 to 145) near Passchendaele.

Fr Willie Doyle SJ MC

By Francis Ledwidge, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 

(himself killed by a shell near Ypres, 31st July 1917)

He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds
Above the wailing of the rain.

Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Through slanting snows her fanfare shrill,
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.

But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor
And pastures poor with greedy weeds,
Perhaps he'll hear her low at morn
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.


Requiem aeternam, dona ei Domine!


The grave, at Etreux, the Aisne, France,
of Cecil Mansfield
who served under the name of Private William Holland of the Royal Munster Fusiliers 


"Greater love than this no man hath, 
that he lay down his life for his friends..."

[John 15:13]


Monday 7 October 2019

7 October - the Feast of our Lady of Victory and of the Holy Rosary

The battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571

On 7 October 1571, Don John of Austria, son of the Emperor Charles V, commanding the navies of the Pope and the Emperor, together with the navies of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and of Spain and Venice, defeated a much larger Muslim Turkish navy off the coast of Greece at a place now called Naupactos.

To the men of his day this place was called by its Roman name:


How did this extraordinary victory come about?

The answer is simple enough. it was obtained - yet again - by the most powerful weapon known to men: the holy Dominican Rosary chaplet of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prior to this, one of the greatest naval battles of Roman Christendom, the Pope, St Pius V, himself a Dominican friar, ordered the praying of the Holy Rosary throughout the length and breadth of Christendom, just as was later to be done before the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

Pope St Pius V,
the pope of the Holy Rosary, of Lepanto and of our Lady of Victory

As a result the feast of our Lady of Victory (later our Lady of the Rosary) was instituted by the popes for an everlasting memory.

Let us hear what Abbot Prosper Gueranger OSB of Solesmes says of that great battle and feast in his great work, The Liturgical Year (the book read to St Therese of Lisieux when she was a child):

"Soliman II, the greatest of the Sultans, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the West by Luther, had filled the 16th century with terror by his exploits. He left to his son, Selim II, the prospect of being able at length to carry out the ambition of his race: to subjugate Rome and Vienna, the Pope and the Emperor, to the power of the crescent.

The Turkish fleet had already mastered the greater part of the Mediterannean, and was threatening Italy, when, on 7 October 1571, it came into action, in the Gulf of Lepanto, against the pontifical galleys supported by the fleets of Spain and Venice.

It was Sunday; throughout the world the confraternities of the Rosary were engaged in their work of intercession. Supernaturally enlightened, Pope St Pius V watched from the Vatican the battle undertaken by the leader he had chosen, Don John of Austria, against the 300 vessels of Islam.

Don John of Austria

The illustrious Pontiff, whose life's work was now completed, did not survive to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph; but he perpetuated the memory of it by an annual commemoration of our Lady of Victory.

His successor, Pope Gregory XIII, altered the title to our Lady of the Rosary, and appointed the first Sunday of October for the new feast [now celebrated on 7 October, the actual day of the battle - ed], authorising its celebration in those churches which possessed an altar under that invocation
A century and a half later, this limited concession was made general.

As Pope [now Venerable] Innocent XI, in memory of the deliverance of Vienna by King Jan Sobieski, had extended the feast of the most Holy Name of Mary to the whole Church, so, in 1716, Pope Clement XI inscribed the feast of the Rosary on the universal calendar, in gratitude for the victory gained by Prince Eugene of Savoy [commander-in-chief of the Imperial forces] at Peterwardein, on 5 August, under the auspices of our Lady of the Snow. This victory was followed by the raising of the siege of Corfu, and completed a year later by the taking of Belgrade."

After Vienna, Peterwardein and Belgrade, the Muslim Turks were finally routed and never again troubled Roman Christendom.

Such was - and is - the extraordinary power of the Holy Rosary of St Dominic.

Beads of Paternosters and Aves have been said from very early times and were commonly said by the knights and sergeants of the Military religious Orders when in battle and on campaign, when they could not say their Office.

St Dominic formalised the current Dominican Rosary prior to the Battle of Muret in 1213 (that battle was again won on 12 September - the day after the mysterious 9/11) when he prayed for Count Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester and his 700 knights as they sallied forth against a huge army of 50,000 Albigensians - rather like Theoden of Rohan against the massive army of Saruman and Isengard in The Lord of the Rings.

Count Simon de Montfort, th Earl of Leicester,
the victor at the Battle of Muret in 1213 when his small Catholic army of 700 Knights and some infantry
 defeated the huge, 50,000 strong Albigensian army

Like Theoden, de Montfort and his knights routed the Albigensians by charging straight into their midst. They gained the Albigensian headquarters and when their leader, the heretic King Peter of Aragon, was slain, the Albigensians fled.

Nevertheless, Count Simon wept over the corpse of King Peter whom he had known and admired as a soldier and whom he had hoped could be spared, powerful heretic and enemy though he was.

Thus the day was won and the tiny Catholic army triumphed over the huge heretic army. This, again, was another great victory obtained by the all-powerful Rosary of our Lady.

Small wonder, then, that our Lady has so often appeared and asked her children to pray the Holy Rosary for victory and peace, as she did to St Bernarde of Lourdes (St Bernadette) and later to the little shepherds at Fatima in 1917 during the Great War.

When we face fearful odds in the cause of right we must turn to our Lady and to her powerful weapon - the sword of the spirit - the chaplet of the Holy Rosary.

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
St Dominic, pray for us!
St Pius V, pray for us!
Ven Innocent XI, pray for us!


Thursday 12 September 2019

REMEMBER 9/11 and THE HOLY NAME OF MARY! Remember the charge of the Polish cavalry at the Battle of Vienna 1683 and Count Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Muret 1213, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary....

Let us remember 9/11 and, in particular, 12 September, which is the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.

It is the day that the cavalry of Poland and the Holy Roman Empire saved Christian Europe, aided by the Holy Mass and the Holy Rosary.

It is, perhaps, no accident that the 9/11 terrorists chose the first day of the Battle of Vienna, 11 September, to launch their now world-famous attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York City.

After the loss of the Holy Land, the Eastern Roman Empire and control of the Mediterranean, Christendom was in constant danger of being overwhelmed by the Muslim Ottoman Turks and the Protestant Reformation further weakened the defences.

Moreover, Catholic Christendom was fighting, now, on two fronts against both Muslim and Protestant and might, at any time, be swept away altogether.

Particular determination, tenacity and courage were now needed more than ever from the defenders of Christendom.

Fortunately, courage was not lacking.

In September 1529, after defeating the Hungarians at the Battle of Mohacs, the Ottoman Turks and their allies laid siege to Vienna – the famous Siege of Vienna of 1529.

After a tremendous struggle the Austrians, under the 70-year-old Count Nicholas von Salm, were finally victorious, although Salm himself was killed during the siege.

Statute in Vienna of Nicholas, Count of Salm,
the posthumous victor against the Turkish Siege of Vienna of 1529

On 7 October 1571, the Ottoman Turks had seized the opportunity to launch a vast fleet to conquer as much of Christendom as they could conquer.

Almost miraculously, they were defeated at the Battle of Lepanto by the combined Christian fleets under the command of Grand Admiral Don John of Austria, the illegitimate son of the Roman Emperor, Charles V.

To these were added the prayers of Christendom since the pope, Pope St Pius V, had ordered a Christendom-wide Rosary prayer campaign for victory.

Moreover, a copy of the miraculous image of our Lady of Guadalupe sat in the cabin of Don John throughout the battle. The victory of Lepanto was commemorated by a new Feast, that of our Lady of Victory (or Victories) which was later made universal and, later still, re-named the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary.

The Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1570
was won by the Christian fleet, commanded by Grand Admiral Don John of Austria, heavily outnumbered 3 to 1 by the Turkish Muslim fleet. The Feast of our Lady of Victories, later our Lady of the Holy Rosary, was instituted as a result by the Pope to commemorate this victory which, once again, narrowly saved Christendom from Turkish conquest.

In 1716, Pope Clement XI inscribed the Feast of our Lady of the Holy Rosary on the universal calendar in gratitude for the victory gained by Prince Eugene of Savoy, commander of the Imperial forces of the Habsburg Roman Emperor, on 5 August at Peterwardein in Vojvodina, in Serbia.

Earlier, however, on 11 September 1683 – 9/11 no less – came the Battle of Vienna of 1683, when King Jan (John) III Sobieski of Poland-Lithuania, also accompanied by Christendom-wide praying of the Rosary, delivered Vienna and Christendom once again from the Muslim Ottoman Turks and protected the Holy Roman Empire of Emperor Leopold I from imminent destruction.

His Imperial Majesty, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I
The Holy Roman Empire, under this Habsburg emperor, was the main bastion of defence against the Turkish invasion which aimed to subdue the whole of Christendom. The Emperor had to face, also, revolts and rebellions from anti-Catholic, anti-Imperial, treacherous, Protestants and nationalists within his empire, whilst also trying to defend Europe from the Turkish invasion. 

After the victory of Sobieski over the Turks, Blessed Pope Innocent XI, extended the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary to the whole Church to be celebrated on 12 September in memory of the deliverance of Christendom. The feast was extended to the universal Church and assigned to the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary by a decree of 25 November 1683, or, if that was not possible, then it had to be kept on 12 September.

12 September had also been the day of the Battle of Muret 1213, when Count Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester (father of the founder of the English parliament) and 700 knights had defeated the Albigensian army of some 50,000, whilst St Dominic and several of his Friars Preachers (later Dominicans) were praying the Rosary in the church of Muret.

Count Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester
led an army of 700 knights, on 12 September 1213, from the town of Muret, to sally forth and defeat an army of 50,000 Albigensian heretics led by King Pedro de Aragon.
St Dominic
and several of his Friars Preachers were praying the Rosary in the main church of Muret as the Crusaders defeated the Albigensians. King Pedro was slain and the Albigensian army fled in disarray.

But 9/11 was the day that the battles began in each case.

The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 September and 12 September 1683, after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle broke the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe, and marked the political leadership of the Habsburg dynasty and the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Muslim Empire.The battle was won by Polish-Austrian-German forces led by Emperor Leopold I and King Jan III Sobieski against the Ottoman Empire army commanded by Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha.

King Jan III Sobieski of Poland-Lithuania
His arrival at the Battle of Vienna with a huge Polish army turned the tide and, leading his Polish lancer-hussars, the Husaria, in a massive charge down the Kahlenberg mountain, together with Imperial cavalry, he utterly routed the Turkish army who fled believing they had been attacked by an "army of Djinns"!

The siege itself began on 14 July 1683 with an the Ottoman Empire army of approximately 138,000 men. The decisive battle took place on 12 September, after the united relief army of 70,000 men had arrived, pitted against the Ottoman army.

The battle marked the turning point in the 300-year struggle between Roman Christendom and the Ottoman Empire.

The siege before the Battle of Vienna (1683)

The capture of the city of Vienna had long been a strategic aspiration of the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire had even been providing military assistance to dissident Hungarians and to anti-Catholic minorities in Habsburg-occupied portions of Hungary. There, in the years preceding the siege, Ottoman-fomented unrest had become open rebellion upon Leopold I's pursuit of Catholic Counter-Reformation principles.

King Jan Sobieski salutes the Roman Emperor Leopold I

In 1681, Protestants and other anti-Habsburg forces, led by Imre Thököly, were reinforced with a significant force from the Ottoman Muslims, who recognized Imre as King of "Upper Hungary". This support went so far as explicitly promising the "Kingdom of Vienna" to the disloyal and treacherous Hungarians, if it fell into Ottoman hands.

In 1681 and 1682, clashes between the forces of Imre Thököly and the Habsburgs' military frontier forces intensified, which was used as a casus belli by Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha in convincing the Sultan Mehmet IV and his Divan, to allow the movement of the Ottoman Army.

Mehmet IV authorized Kara Mustafa Pasha to operate as far as Győr and Komarom castles, both in northwestern Hungary, and to besiege them. The Ottoman Army was mobilized on 21 January 1682, and war was declared on 6 August 1682.

Sultan Mehmet IV
whose Turkish army invaded Europe, murdering, raping, maiming and enslaving wherever it went, he ordered the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I, to stand outside his palace, to surrender and be decapitated.

Sultan Mehmet IV sent the following declaration to Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I which left no doubt as to his intentions. It stated thus, verbatim:

"We order You to await Us in Your residence city of Vienna so that We can decapitate you... (...) We will exterminate You and all Your followers... (...) Children and adults will be equally exposed to the most atrocious tortures before being finished off in the most ignominious way imaginable..."

There was thus no doubt as to what would be the consequences of a defeat for the Empire.

During the winter, the Habsburgs and Poland concluded a treaty in which Leopold would support Sobieski if the Turks attacked Kraków; in return, the Polish Army would come to the relief of Vienna, if attacked.

The King of Poland prepared a relief expedition to Vienna during the summer of 1683, honouring his obligations to the treaty. He went so far as to leave his own nation virtually undefended when departing from Kraków on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption of our Lady.

Sobieski covered this with a stern warning to Imre Thököly, the rebellious Hungarian Protestant leader, whom he threatened with severity if he tried to take advantage of the situation — which, nevertheless, the treacherous Thököly did.

Imre Thököly
the treacherous Hungarian Protestant leader and rebel against his lawful Emperor,
who sided with the invading Turks against Christendom, just for the sake of his petty ambitions and those of short-sighted Hungarian Protestant nationalists.

The main Turkish army finally invested Vienna on 14 July.

Field Marshal Count Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg, leader of the remaining 11,000 troops and 5,000 citizens and volunteers, refused to capitulate.

Field Marshal Count Ernst Rudiger von Starhemberg,
commander of the Vienna garrison, loyal soldier of the Holy Empire and faithful son of the Church.

The Turks dug tunnels under the massive city walls to blow them up with explosives, using sapping mines.

The Ottoman siege cut virtually every means of food supply into Vienna, and the garrison and civilian volunteers suffered extreme casualties. Fatigue became such a problem that Count von Starhemberg ordered any soldier found asleep on watch to be shot.

Increasingly desperate, the forces holding Vienna were on their last legs when in August, Imperial forces under Charles, Duke of Lorraine, defeated, at Bisamberg, 5 km northeast of Vienna, Imre Thököly, the treacherous and disloyal Protestant leader who sided with the Turks.

On 6 September 1683, the Poles crossed the Danube 30 km north west of Vienna at Tulln, to unite with the Imperial forces and additional troops from Saxony, Bavaria, Baden, Franconia and Swabia who had answered the call for a Holy League that was supported by Pope Innocent XI.

Blessed Pope Innocent XI
who extended the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary to the universal Church
after the successful defence of Vienna and Europe from the Turkish invasion.

The devious King Louis XIV of France declined to help and instead used the opportunity to attack cities in Alsace and other parts of southern Germany for his own personal advantage.

Anyone who thinks King Louis XIV of France a good Catholic king really needs to think again. He might just as well have been an arch-enemy considering how he always betrayed his fellow Catholics, the Pope and the Holy Emperor.

During early September, the experienced 5,000 Turkish sappers repeatedly blew up large portions of the walls, the Burg bastion, the Löbel bastion and the Burg ravelin, in between creating gaps of about 12 m in width. The Austrians tried to counter by digging their own tunnels, to intercept the depositing of large amounts of gunpowder in subterranean caverns.

The Turks finally managed to occupy the Burg ravelin and the Nieder wall in that area on 8 September. Anticipating a breach in the city walls, the remaining Austrians prepared to fight in Vienna itself.

The relief army had to act quickly to save the city from the Turks and to prevent another long siege in case they would take it.

Despite the international composition of the Army and the short time of only six days in which to organise, an effective leadership structure was established.

This was largely the work of the extraordinary and holy Austrian Imperial Chaplain-General, Blessed Marco d'Aviano, Emperor Leopold's privy counsellor.

Blessed Marco d'Aviano, OFMCap, Imperial Chaplain-General,
the saintly spiritual leader of this defensive Crusade against the invading Turkish marauders.

The Holy League forces arrived on the Kahlenberg (bare hill) above Vienna, signalling their arrival with bonfires. In the early morning hours of 12 September 1683, before the battle, King Jan personally served a Solemn High Mass, celebrated, of course, in the traditional Roman rite or Usus Antiquior of the Holy Roman Church.

Whilst the Turks hastily finished their mining work and sealed the tunnel to make the explosion more effective, the Austrian "moles" detected the cavern in the afternoon and one brave man entered and defused the mines just in time.

At the same time, the Polish infantry had launched a massive assault upon the Turkish right flank.

After 12 hours of fighting, Sobieski's Polish force held the high ground on the right. At about 5pm, after watching the ongoing infantry battle from the hills for the whole day, four cavalry groups, one of them Imperial Austrian cavalry, and the other three Polish cavalry regiments, totalling 20,000 men, including the famous Husaria, the winged Polish Lancer-Hussars, charged down the hills - the largest cavalry charge in history thus far.

Blessed Marco d'Aviano OFMCap, Imperial Chaplain-General,
preaches to, and inspires, the imperial troops before the battle. In this extract from the film, The Day of the Siege (2012), actor, F Murray Abraham, raised as an Assyrian (Antiochene) Orthodox Christian in the USA, plays the part of Blessed Marco very convincingly and passionately, capturing the spirit of those desperate times when Christendom was so much under siege from the invading Muslim Turkish armies of Sultan Mehmed VI. The clip ends with King Jan III Sobieski leading his Polish cavalry into the charge down the Kahlenberg to conquer the invaders.

The attack was led by the Polish King Jan III Sobieski himself in front of a spearhead of 3000 heavily wing-armoured Polish lancer-hussars.

This charge thoroughly broke the lines of the Ottoman troops. Seizing the initiative, Starhemberg led the Vienna garrison in sallying out of its defences to join the assault.

The massive charge of the Polish winged lancer-hussars which terrified the Ottoman troops and decided the Battle of Vienna. The wings made a terrifying sound as the Polish hussars came charging down the mountainside.

In less than 3 hours after this massive cavalry attack, the Christian Imperial forces had won the battle, saved Vienna from capture and Europe from conquest, and had rescued Christendom from the invading and marauding Turks.

The terrified Turks considered that they had been attacked by "an army of Djinns" or spirits!

One may recall the decisive charge of the Rohirrim from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, to get a flavour of what it must have been like, King Jan III Sobieski leading his Polish hussars just as King Theoden led his Riders of Rohan.

After the battle, Sobieski paraphrased Julius Caesar's famous quote by saying "venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit" - "We came, we saw, God conquered".

The Battle of Vienna, September 1683

The Turks lost about 15,000 men in the fighting, compared to approximately 4,000 for the Habsburg-Polish forces.

Though routed and in full retreat, the Turkish troops had found time to slaughter all their Austrian prisoners, with the exception of those few of the nobility whom they took with them for ransoming.

King Jan vividly described events in a letter to his wife a few days after the battle:

“Ours are treasures unheard of ... tents, sheep, cattle and no small number of camels ... it is victory as nobody ever knew of, the enemy now completely ruined, everything lost for them. They must run for their sheer lives ... Commander Starhemberg hugged and kissed me and called me his saviour.”

The victory at Vienna set the stage for Prince Eugene of Savoy's reconquest of Hungary and the Balkans within the following years.

Long before that, the Turkish Sultan had disposed of his defeated commander. On 25 December 1683, Kara Mustafa Pasha was executed in Belgrade by being throttled with a silken rope by the Sultan's Janissaries, his elite military force consisting of captured Christian children, enslaved and brought up Muslim.

However, it was the end for the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans fought on for another 16 years but lost control of Hungary and Transylvania and capitulated finally by the Treaty of Karlowitz.

Christendom was once again safe.

Because Sobieski had entrusted his kingdom to the protection of our Lady of Czestochowa before the battle, Blessed Pope Innocent XI commemorated his victory by extending the feast of the Holy Name of Mary to the universal Church.

Croissants signify the Turkish crescent being defeated (by being eaten!)

The Battle of Vienna was marked by culinary inventions:

1. The croissant was invented in Vienna to celebrate the defeat as a reference to the crescents on the Turkish flags.

2. The bagel was made as a gift to King Jan Sobieski to commemorate the victory, being fashioned in the form of a stirrup, to commemorate the victorious charge by the Polish cavalry.

The Bagel, symbolising the Polish stirrup of the Husaria

3. After the battle, the Austrians discovered many bags of coffee in the abandoned Turkish encampment. Using this captured stock, and enterprising Pole, Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki, opened the third coffee house in Europe and the first in Vienna, where, Kulczycki adding milk and honey to sweeten the bitter coffee, thereby invented the cappuccino, so named after Blessed Marco d'Aviano because of the Capuchin Chaplain-General's brown hood.

The Capuccino or "Capuchin",
named after Bl Marco d'Aviano, Imperial Chaplain-General, because of the brown hood he wore as a Capuchin friar (the Italian for Capuchin is "cappuccino")

Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us!
Holy Name of Mary, protect us!
Blessed Pope Innocent XI, pray for us!
Blessed Marco d'Aviano, pray for us!

~~ " ~~

Monday 1 July 2019

"Bloody foreigners": the Polish pilots who won the Battle of Britain.....and were then forbidden to take part in the victory parade...just so the British government could please the odious murderer Stalin!

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Yes, it's true!

303 (Polish) Squadron RAF were so far and away the best RAF fighter squadron in the Battle of Britain that it is no exaggeration to say that the British would have lost the Battle of Britain without these Polish pilots. Britain owes its freedom to these Polish pilots.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, AOC and chief of RAF Fighter Command, later 1st Baron Dowding of Bentley Priory GCB GCVO CMG, wrote of the Polish pilots:

 "Had it not been for the magnificent material contributed by the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of the Battle (of Britain) would have been the same." 

 Lord Dowding could not, as their commander, outright say that the Polish pilots were so much better than the other allied pilots but he clearly knew that, without the Poles, Britain would have lost the Battle of Britain.

 How did Britain repay these incredibly brave and noble Polish pilots?

The British government, in order to appease Josef Stalin, forbade them participation in the victory parades, betrayed their country (for whom Britain had allegedly gone to war in the first place) to the murderous Stalin, and even planned to send the pilots back to Poland where they would doubtless have been murdered by Stalin.

That's British government gratitude for you!

Lord Dowding was outraged but there was nothing he could do about it. It was government policy from the very top.

Pictured above left is Squadron Leader Franciszek Kornicki, one of the Polish heroes of the Battle of Britain, having narrowly survived the Battle of Britain and many other engagements.

One of my great regrets in life is that I did not have a chance to meet, and shake the hand of, this very gallant Polish gentleman.

After years of suffering in silence being forgotten by an ungrateful British government, he and his fellow Polish pilots were eventually finally recognised for their heroic service in saving Britain in 1940, at a time when 22,000 of their fellow Polish officers and intellectuals were being murdered at Katyn by the monstrous murderers of the Soviet NKVD.

Franciszek Kornicki survived the war and, finally, on 16 June 2011 he was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the award was conferred upon him in person on 24 September 2012 by the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski.

Franciszek Kornicki, aged 93,
was re-united in September 2010 with the very same Sptifire that he flew in the Battle of Britain, Spitfire MkVB BM 597,
at RAF Northolt on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
This Spitfire is still flying in the colours of 317 Squadron.

On 11 November 2012 he was promoted to the rank of full colonel (Pułkownik) in the Polish Air Force. He turned 100 in December 2016 and lived until almost his 101st birthday.

For half the 3 months of the Battle of Britain, RAF Fighter Command forbade 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF to take part in the battle.

But then the British began to run out of pilots and they had no choice but to send in the Poles. Lord Dowding quickly realised their potential.

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Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding of Bentley Priory GCB GCVO CMG
(24 April 1882 to 15 February 1970)
Air Officer Commanding RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain
who believed the battle might well have been lost without the Polish pilots.

The Poles of 303 (Polish) Squadron, whilst only participating in half the Battle of Britain, nevertheless then proceeded to shoot down more enemy aircraft than any other fighter squadrons together had shot down in the entire Battle of Britain and yet the Poles had only started half-way through!

Even in training, the Polish airmen were miles ahead of all the other squadrons. Whereas the next best squadron scored in the region of 350 points in training battles, 303 Squadron scored over 800 points!

Yet still RAF Fighter Command would not let them fly in battle.

It was only after Fighter Command was forced to employ the Poles that they realised what a formidable fighting force they had under command!

Indeed, 303 Squadron was far and away the best squadron in the whole Battle of Britain.

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Josef František DFM and Bar
(7 October 1914 to 8 October 1940)
was a Czechoslovak fighter pilot and Second World War fighter ace who flew for the air forces of Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, and the United Kingdom, serving with 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF. He was the highest-scoring non-British Allied ace in the Battle of Britain, with 17 confirmed victories and one probable, all gained in a period of four weeks in September 1940, during the Battle of Britain. He was killed in action at only 26, one month later.

Britain repaid them with....


It is one of the most shameful chapters in the history of British betrayals.

Utterly shameful.

And Britain has still not apologised.

Worse still, Britain still pretends that the mass murder of 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia at Katyn Forest in Russia was carried out by the Nazis in 1941, when, as is now proven beyond a shadow of doubt, this atrocious crime was carried out by Stalin's Soviet NKVD in 1940 - at a time when the Soviet Union was supposed to be an ally of Poland!

And Britain has still not apologised!

Let us thank the memory of these heroic Poles who saved Britain from invasion and were betrayed by our ungrateful, shameful government.

Polonia semper fidelis!

Poland ever faithful! 

...and here is a wonderful version of the Polish anthem Mazurek Dąbrowskiego - the March of Dambrowski - with its famous opening words:

Jeszcze Polska nie umarła, Kiedy my żyjemy,
Co nam obca moc wydarła, Szablą odbijemy.”

“Poland is not dead yet while we're still alive!
What the foreign power had seized from us,
we shall recapture with the sabre!”

And this heroic hymn surely captures the unique and invincible fighting spirit of the Poles....

If fidelity to nation, people and the Catholic religion in the face of a unique history of persecution and suffering is a mark of God's blessing - as it surely is - then Poland must be the most blessed nation upon the face of the earth.

Surely the red and white flag of the Polish people will be flying among the foremost in the celestial realms of eternity!

And let us not forget that it has been the Poles who have always come to the defence of Christendom in the hour of most desperate need.

Let us not forget that it was the Poles who defeated the Communist invasion of Europe in 1920 when the Soviet forces had embarked upon the military take over of all Europe. The Soviet machine was stopped in its tracks at the Battle of Warsaw by a smaller - but utterly determined! - Polish army!

Let us not forget that it was the Poles who, at the eleventh hour, defeated the massive Muslim Turkish army that invaded Europe through Hungary and very nearly took Vienna in 1683, while the French and English were busy fighting the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire like treacherous, back-stabbing assassins.

The Polish winged lancer-hussars, the very best cavalry in all Christendom, under King Jan Sobieski (the grandfather of Prince Charles Edward Stuart of Britain) charged down the Kahlenberg mountain and utterly routed the Turkish troops, sending them fleeing, utterly defeated, back to Turkey.

What a famous charge! What a nation! What a people! The saviours of Christendom...

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God bless Poland!

God bless the Polish people!

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Saturday 22 June 2019

Gukurahundi - the genocide of the Ndebele people committed by Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe...


...the genocide of the Ndebele people, as a report of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace called it,  was ordered by Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe, to be carried out by the 5th Brigade, trained in Communist China... was brutal, it was murderous, it was inhuman, it was a grossly RACIST war crime committed by Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe, and his largely Shona tribesmen of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), a murderous combination of primitive TRIBAL RACISM and ONE PARTY STATE Marxism...







Sunday 16 June 2019

ROBERT MUGABE - the evil tyrant who destroyed Zimbabwe...







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This brutal thug,Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi, the Chairman of the so-called "War Veterans Association", now dead of AIDS,  asks "Am I a killer...?" and laughs about never being caught....


The Leftist West UTTERLY BETRAYED Zimbabwe-Rhodesia - shamelessly, treacherously, appallingly....and no-one now cares, it seems...

Anyone remember Rhodesia?

Anyone remember Ian Smith?

Well, the younger generation will not remember but older folk may well remember. They may also remember the relentless, incessant, unceasing, night-after-night, Leftist propaganda emanating from the Western media, particularly the BBC, pounding, pounding, pounding the viewing public with its pro-revolution message.

Here is an example - from Thames TV with Jonathan Dimbleby, later a famous ratbag Leftist BBC TV journalist from the Leftist Dimbleby broadcasting dynasty:

Dimbleby, like his brother, has spent a lifetime as a fellow-traveller of Leftist revolution.

In this broadcast, he refers throughout to the Rhodesian Prime Minister, Mr Ian Smith, as merely "Smith" - no "Mister" - just "Smith".

This was absolutely standard throughout the Leftist UK media. Everyone was called by the title "Mr"....except Mr Smith.

This was despite the fact that Mr Smith had served in the RAF - and had been wounded several times - fighting for the freedom of the very Britain whose government later shamelessly betrayed him and the people of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Southern Rhodesia had had self-government for 16 years, having gained responsible government from the UK in 1923. It was unique in the British Empire and Commonwealth in that it held extensive autonomous powers (including defence, but not foreign affairs) while lacking dominion status.

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Mr Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia (1964-1979)

As a British colony, Southern Rhodesia entered the conflict automatically when Britain declared war on 3 September 1939, but its government issued a symbolic declaration of war anyway.

Ian Smith, who was about halfway through his university course, later described feeling patriotically compelled to put his studies aside to "fight for Britain and all that it represented". He wanted to join the Royal Air Force, but was prevented from immediately doing so by a policy adopted in Rhodesia not to recruit university students until after they graduated. He engineered his recruitment into the Royal Air Force (RAF), in spite of this rule during 1940, suppressing mention of his studies, and formally joined in September 1941.

After a year's training at Gwelo under the Empire Air Training Scheme, Ian Smith passed out with the rank of pilot officer in September 1942. He hoped to be stationed in Britain to fight against the Luftwaffe in defence of Britain, but was posted to the Middle East instead; there he joined No. 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron RAF, flying Hurricanes.

In October 1943, in Egypt, Ian Smith crashed suffering serious facial disfigurements, he also broke his jaw, leg and shoulder. Doctors and surgeons in Cairo rebuilt Ian Smith's face through skin grafts and plastic surgery, and he was passed fit to fly again in March 1944.

Turning down an offer to return to Rhodesia as an instructor, so that he could continue battle flying, he rejoined No. 237 Squadron, which had switched to flying Spitfire Mk IXs, in Corsica in May 1944.

A portrait photograph of a young man in an air force uniform
Flying Officer Ian Smith RAF
served as a fighter pilot  in the British air force
to defend the Britain that later so shamefully and ungratefully betrayed him
and the Rhodesian-Zimbabwean people, even those who had fought, suffered and died to save Britain

During a strafing raid over northern Italy on 22 June 1944, enemy flak hit Smith's craft and he had to bail out behind German lines. A peasant family named Zunino hid him for a brief time; he then joined a group of pro-Allied Italian partisans with whom he took part in sabotage operations against the German garrison for about three months.

When the German army pulled out of the area in October 1944, Ian Smith left to try to link up with the Allied forces who had just invaded southern France.

Accompanied by three other servicemen, each from a different European country, and a local guide, Smith hiked across the Maritime Alps, finishing the journey walking barefoot on the ice and snow. American troops recovered him in November 1944.

Ian Smith again turned down the offer of a billet in Rhodesia and returned to active service in April 1945 with No. 130 (Punjab) Squadron, by then based in western Germany. He flew combat missions until the war in Europe ended on 7 May 1945 with Germany's surrender.

Ian Smith remained with No. 130 Squadron for the rest of his service, flying with the unit to Denmark and Norway, and was discharged at the end of 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

In return for, and as a reward for, his courageous and faithful service in the RAF in defence of Britain and freedom, Ian Smith was vilified, abused and insulted by the British media and, far from giving him his due rank of Flight Lieutenant, they did not even extend him the elementary courtesy of calling him "Mr" Smith - but only the derisive and deliberately insulting "Smith", usually spat out as if he were another Hitler....despite the fact that he fought courageously in the war against Hitler.

After free and fair and multi-racial elections, in 1979, a mixed race government was elected with Bishop Abel Muzorewa as head. But the government also included Mr Ian Smith.

The Western racists and Leftists could not accept this.

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Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia (1979-1980)

The US and British governments rejected the result, despite it being a free and fair election, and demanded a fresh election.

The United Nations Security Council passed several resolutions against what they called, with zero justification, an "illegal" election, including Resolution 445 and Resolution 448, both of which argued that the election was not representative of the Zimbabwean people. In these resolutions, the UN declared the results of the election null and void, a declaration that had no legal power.

It was the interference of the UN and the US and British governments which was illegal.

But the Western media and governments nevertheless relentlessly continued their Leftist campaign of disinformation, propaganda and hatred in favour of revolution, civil war and terrorism.

And that is what came - revolution, civil war and terrorism - culminating in a completely corrupt election, gerrymandered by the naked use of force by the terrorists of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU/ZANLA Party consisting almost exclusively of his Shona tribesmen, of which he was one of the the tribal chiefs.

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Robert Mugabe
the UTTERLY EVIL Prime Minister and lifetime Marxist President of Zimbabwe
for 37 years from 1980-2017, as a One Party State for most of that time and
who oppressed the people into total devastation, utter poverty, starvation
and 80 billion percent inflation

Robert Mugabe set about creating a Marxist, One Party state with himself as permanent, lifetime, unelected and irremovable President.

Robert Mugabe then - like almost every Communist terrorist dictator - turned the economy into his personal asset, he expelled the white farmers in a nakedly racist, anti-white policy, murdered his fellow terrorists, like Joshua Nkomo, the equally Marxist head of ZAPU/ZIPRA and the Ndebele people, and utterly despoiled, raped and ruined the Zimbabwe economy, to the utter ruination of the people he claimed to be "liberating", hopelessly impoverishing the majority blacks of Zimbabwe.

His legacy is one of 80 BILLION PERCENT INFLATION and starvation, poverty, disease, death and destruction.


Mugabe remained lifetime President almost until he died. He ruined Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, once the bread basket of Africa, utterly and totally.

This was also the disgusting legacy of the arrogant, racist, interfering Western governments and UN.

Here is an example of the Leftist media propaganda that so relentlessly supported the murdering, brutal, Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe, pretending - to their eternal shame and disgrace - that this would be good for the people of Zimbabwe.

Here is an even more biased BBC Newsnight report with Peter Snow from another BBC leftist "dynasty", the Snow family:

And here is an even yet more biased report, so typical of the time:

"A bag of corn for an empty stomach" - really? Wait until you see what was to come under Mugabe!

"Shot accidentally or otherwise" - accidentally? Really? And drove accidentally onto landmines, too?

"Guerrillas" - really? Or were they really just murdering terrorists from ZANLA and ZIPRA?

The fact is that they were terrorists - murdering terrorists.

And what did the revolution of these terrorists bring about?

Here is the truth...

And - now that the utterly evil Mugabe has finally gone after nearly 40 years - the new regime has invited the expelled white farmers to return to Zimbabwe to get the farms and agriculture working again:

Yes, really. And the black farm workers are delighted - jobs, food, money, clothing and shelter - AT LAST!


Extraordinary but true.

And here is a ROGUES' GALLERY of just a few of the UTTER SWINE who delivered the unsuspecting back and white people of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia into the hands of a monster:

the disgraceful, arrogant men who condemned Zimbabwe to be crushed by Mugabe...

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Rt Hon Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister (1964-1970 and 1974-1976), later Lord Wilson of Rievaulx

Rt Hon James Callaghan, British Prime Minister (1976-79), later Lord Callaghan of Cardiff

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Rt Hon Dr David Owen, British Foreign Secretary (1977-79), later Lord Owen

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Rt Hon Peter, 6th Baron Carington, British Foreign Secretary (1979-82)

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Rt Hon Sir Francis Pym, British Foreign Secretary (!982-83), later Lord Pym of Sandy

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  Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Howe, British Foreign Secretary (1983-89), later Lord Howe of Aberavon, CH, PC, QC

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US President Jimmy Carter (1977-81)

Cyrus R. Vance
Mr Cyrus Vance, US Secretary of State (1977-1980)

Hang your heads in shame, you who so betrayed and sold out the people of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia to Marxist dictatorship...

....and handed them over to the brutal, merciless Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe, who oppressed his people into utter devastation and starvation!

Lest we forget the shameless betrayal of a people!

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