Turn

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Turn

Post  Banjo on 2014-04-02, 11:59

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With TWD over for the season we must cast about for psychic support. I will check this out....



Origins of TURN: The Birth of a Spy Network

On July 4th, 1776 the United Colonies of America declared their independence from England and King George’s tyrannical rule. Within three months, the fledgling Continental Army had been chased into the wilderness and was on the verge of annihilation. By the end of the year, its Commander-in-Chief, George Washington, had lost Boston, New York City and the morale of his soldiers, along with most of the populace. He needed a miracle.

A daring, top-secret mission across the Delaware River on Christmas night resulted in a much-needed victory and gave the Continentals a small shred of hope. It also showed Washington the value of new thinking, of bold approaches… and of secrets. In the ensuing months, he began to improve upon a certain branch of the military, one that had desperately fallen short up until now: Intelligence. Little did he know that at its center would be a group of childhood friends. Helping to turn the tide of the American Revolution, they would go down in history under a special name: The Culper Ring.

Abraham Woodhull, Benjamin Tallmadge, Caleb Brewster, Anna Strong: Four citizens who all hailed from a small Long Island town called Setauket. By the outbreak of the war, they’d found themselves scattered across the eastern seaboard. Caleb Brewster had become a whaleboatman in Nova Scotia, before the nation’s call to arms beckoned him back home and into the fight. Ben Tallmadge, a student of Yale, had been inspired to join the Continental Army by another friend named Nathan Hale. Anna Strong had become wife to a local Patriot leader. And Abe Woodhull had stayed home on his farm like most civilians, trying to steer clear of the violence, until fate came calling.

It was under General Washington himself that Ben Tallmadge formed his small band into a cohesive spy network. Through their bravery, the Setauket friends risked their lives and honor to obtain valuable intelligence and transmit it back to the General. Through trial and error, they constantly invented new ways to survive and win, and their methods wound up serving as a foundation to all modern espionage tradecraft.

Ultimately, it was not Washington’s military tactics that inspired citizens so much as it was the citizens who inspired him. Their war was won by individual sacrifice contributing to a patchwork of collective action, all under a blanket of anonymity and in the face of danger. They each undertook a vow of secrecy, to conceal their efforts. It is only now, over 200 years later, that their story can finally be told. TURN is that story.

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Re: Turn

Post  Banjo on 2014-04-16, 17:35

After two episodes this is pretty good. There are a lot of historical characters in it of course, including one guy, a member of the Queens Rangers, who doesn't wear a red coat uniform like the British Regulars. I'll have to research him....interesting character, if his portrayal is accurate.....jeez....quite a life, but IMDB says he's only in two episodes so I guess we won't see much more of him.

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In one scene he shows a medallion that he received for his service in the Seven Years War.

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In the second ep. they showed how bodies are "stored" if they don't want to bury them right away. They put them in big wine casks and fill them with rum.

It's interesting to see the 'Brown Bess' muskets used by both the British and colonists. Reproductions are easily available.

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Re: Turn

Post  Berry on 2014-04-17, 13:23

Glad you reminded me about this one. It was completely off my radar and I had wanted to check it out!  two thumbs up 

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Re: Turn

Post  Banjo on 2014-05-19, 14:37

I'm two episode behind....in the DVR.....so need to catch up but it's still good and the historical events are followed accurately. I would like to know if that British officer really did keep his horses in his office..... roflmao 

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Re: Turn

Post  Berry on 2014-05-20, 15:06

I'm liking this one. Aldis Hodges from Angel has shown up recently and I'm glad to be seeing him on my screen again. Also he's on Marvel's The Avengers.  clap 

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Re: Turn

Post  Banjo on 2014-05-20, 15:45

Doesn't say who his character is.... scratch 

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here:

Aldis Hodge   ...
Jordan (5 episodes, 2014)

Oh okay, now I know.....he was the guy in the fight...

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I looked up Setauket, Long Island since a lot of the action takes place there. It's a small town on the north shore of L.I. about 1/3 of the way to the tip. It was close enough to NYC to travel there in a day, I guess.

When I saw how far apart they were standing in that duel, I thought, "Are they serious"?  Hitting each other at that range with those pistols would be.....well, 'hit or miss'.  roflmao and this article explains the reason for the distance:

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All of their guns at that period were "flintlocks"

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When the "second" was loading their pistols you could see him pour a small amount of powder into the "firing pan" where it would be ignited by the sparks from the flint as it was stuck by the hammer. The guns they use are authentic replicas so whenever they fire, watch for the flame in the pan, a "flash in the pan"...followed by the main charge going off in the barrel.  

Later the percussion cap replaced the flintlock.

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" In the mid-1600s, gunsmiths began to experiment with lighter and more accurate firearms for foot soldiers. The guns which dominated the English Civil War were still bulky and heavy, but were easier to load, and provisions were being made to compensate for their weight. Monopods with forks attached to one end were employed to support the guns' weight. The "matchlock" came into active service, allowing the match aforementioned to be held in a hammer which, when the trigger was pulled, would allow the glowing rope to fall into a pan of gunpowder, igniting the powder charge in the barrel. The matchlock was the first lock type to be heavily manufactured. However, the gun itself was still relatively bulky, inaccurate, and could only be fired once to twice a minute by a capable marksman.

For a short time in the waning days of the matchlock, a new, more radical lock was introduced, the wheelock. In this new lock type, a piece of iron pyrite was held by a hammer against a wheel with extremely rough edges. The wheel would then be turned by the operator using a special key. The trigger being pulled caused the wheel to rotate quickly, grating off pieces of flaming metal and throwing them into a small powder charge that would in turn ignite the main charge in the barrel. However, the wheelock was very expensive to manufacture, and the key used to crank the wheel prior to firing was easy to lose and break. The wheelock was quickly abandoned in favor of a new and more reliable lock type, the flintlock.

Invented in the late 1600s, the flintlock stands today as the lock type with the longest tenure in history. The premise was simple. When the trigger was pulled, a hammer holding a piece of flint would fall forward, striking a piece of steel, shaving off sparking shards of metal, allowing them to fall into a small powder charge which, when ignited, lit off the main powder charge in the barrel.

In the 1690s, European armies developed and fielded the socket bayonet, a long spike-shaped blade that could be fixed on the end of a musket without obstructing the bore of the weapon during loading and firing. This simple device allowed well-disciplined infantry to withstand horse cavalry charges without the aid of specialized weapons such as the pike. For the next 150 years, infantry units armed solely with smooth bore firearms and bayonets were the backbone of all Western armies.

The first truly famous, or perhaps infamous, gun in history was a flintlock, the "Brown Bess." The British actively employed the Brown Bess during the American War for Independence, the French and Indian War, and the War of 1812. However, Brown Besses still ended up in the hands of American militiamen in the Mexican War and even in the American Civil War! The Brown Bess still had no provision for aiming, but its weight had been reduced to around 8lbs. This allowed quick firing by most soldiers in the range of three shots per minute.

The flintlock era also gave birth to a new development in firearms, rifling. While military guns like the Brown Bess still employed the smooth barrels of their ancestors, many of the homemade American flintlocks of the same era employed rifling, or a cutting of grooves into the metal of a barrel for the sake of stabilizing a bullet in flight. The disadvantage to this new form of accurizing was that fouling, the byproducts of firing gunpowder, tended to accumulate in the grooves in the barrel, hence making it difficult to load the tight-fitting bullets of the period after five or six shots. As a result, frequent cleaning was the scourge of early rifles. However, while smoothbore rifles like the Brown Bess were only capable of accurate shots out to fifty yards, American riflemen of the era could boast to being able to drop a man at three hundred yards with relatively little difficulty. The range at which a rifleman could kill a man was the measure of skill in the Revolutionary era. American flintlocks were also some of the first to employ systems of aiming, hence the resulting high-accuracy.

In 1798 Eli Whitney contracted with the Army to make muskets using an assembly line and featuring interchangeable parts. The 1795 model Springfield Arsenal musket, the first official U.S. shoulder production, was a caliber .69, flint lock, smooth bore, muzzle loader, and the first standardized, quantity production infantry weapon. Prior to this innovation, weapons were logistically unsupportable as any repair parts had to be custom manufactured. Manufacturing tolerances had progressed to the point where parts interchangeability became a feasible option. The benefits of interchangeable parts is that a modest but generalized stock of spare parts can be accumulated to logistically support equipment. For example, if spare bolts and nuts are required, the bolts and nuts should all be of identical thread specifications and of a few sizes and lengths. Imagine the level of complexity of the spare parts bins if standardized threads were not used.

In the early 1800s, gunsmiths began to develop a new type of ignition for gunpowder firearms. In 1805, Reverend John Forsyth of Aberdeenshire, Scotland invented the percussion system of ignition, receiving a patent in April 1807. As opposed to sparks being flaked into a small powder charge, the percussion cap contains fulminate of mercury, a chemical compound which explodes when it is struck, hence the term "percussion cap." The percussion cap looked like a tiny "top hat" or cap, thus the name. The cap was made of copper, slightly conical, with a rim or flange at the open end. The interior of the percussion cap had a small quantity of fulminate of mercury and then waterproofed by coating it with shellac varnish. The cap was placed on a nipple with a hole bored through. When a hammer fell onto the cap, the cap would explode when struck with a sharp blow and sent flames into the barrel, igniting the powder charge and expelling the bullet from the gun. The percussion cap would be placed on the cone at the breech (back) end of the gun.

In 1855 the U.S. Army adopted a .58-caliber rifled musket to replace the .69-caliber smoothbore. The new infantry weapon was muzzle loaded, its rifled barrel taking a hollow-based cylindroconical bullet slightly smaller than the diameter of the bore. The loading procedure required the soldier to withdraw a paper cartridge containing powder and bullet from his cartridge box, tear open one end of the cartridge with his teeth, pour the powder into the muzzle, place the bullet in the muzzle, and ram it to the breech using a metal ramrod. The soldier then placed a copper percussion cap on a hollow cone at the breech. To fire the weapon, he cocked the hammer; when he pulled the trigger, the hammer struck the cap and ignited the powder charge in the breech. Each soldier was expected to be capable of loading and firing three aimed shots per minute. Although the maximum range of a rifled musket was sometimes over 1,000 yards, actual fields of fire were often very short, with musketry relying on volume at close range rather than accuracy at long range.

The first American military arm to be mass-produced was the 1861 Springfield Rifled Percussion Musket. The average soldier could load and accurately fire the long-arm three times per minute. The development of a conical projectile that was smaller than the gun barrel, but expanded when fired to meet the gun's rifling made the weapons easier to load, despite repeated firing without cleaning. Over one million Springfields were produced from 1861-1873.

Up to the invention of the percussion cap system, where the ignition charge was self-contained and only required a sharp strike, gunpowder pistols were direct relatives of their rifle parents. With the advent of the percussion system, Samuel Colt used the new ignition to invent the revolver in 1836. The revolver still had to be loaded from cylinder to cylinder, loading powder and ball one at a time.

In the late 1850s, gunsmiths also began to experiment with an entirely self-contained shot. Their goal was to combine powder, bullet, and ignition system into one compact package, called a cartridge. The development of this technology yielded the invention of lever-action rifles in 1860. The Henry Rifle used the lever action and the cartridge technology to allow highly accurate, powerful, rapid-firing guns. The Henry gave birth to the 1873 Winchester, "the gun that won the West." Cartridges were also adopted by many revolver makers, making them easier to reload, fire, and clean.

The end of the 1800s continued the success of the lever action rifle and the revolver, and saw the advent of "smokeless" powder. Even though it is not totally smokeless, it significantly reduced the amount of smoke and fouling produced by firing a cartridge. The new powder was also highly powerful, allowing cartridges to become more powerful than ever.

The Army, aware of the serious deficiencies revealed in the War with Spain and of the rapid technological changes taking place in the methods of warfare, also undertook to modernize its weapons and equipment. Development of high-velocity, low-trajectory, clip-loading rifles capable of delivering a high rate of sustained fire had already made obsolete the Krag-Jörgensen rifle, which the Army had adopted in 1892. In 1903 the Regular Army began equipping its units with the improved bolt-action, magazine-type Springfield rifle, which incorporated the latest changes in weapons technology.

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Re: Turn

Post  Rus on 2014-05-21, 15:37

I've only watched two or three episodes. I need to catch up.
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Re: Turn

Post  Banjo on 2014-06-03, 14:16

Got some experts watching....

Episode 9, When the citizens were turning in their weapons the major makes the comment about the reverend's weapon "Fine fowling piece". When during the court questioning, Abraham and then the captain attempted to load the weapon and the reverend makes the comment "I'm guessing you have never seen a Pennsylvania rifle Captain, They have groves in the barrel and take a smaller ball than your Brown Bess musket with a ball like the one your trying to ram down that barrel". A fowling piece is a smooth bore weapon more likely to fire shot though also capable of firing a round ball, much different than a Pennsylvania Rifle! which is rifled . So which one does he have? A bit of research goes a long way toward accuracy. Just my two cents.
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Posted by Karl F
June 1, 2014 9:50pm



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Karl;
did you view the "Story Synch" information? Since the TURN Story Synch clearly identify the weapon as a Pennsylvania long rifle, it suggests the writers meant some other purpose in the comment; maybe one of these:

Perhaps when Reverend Tallmadge turns in his rifle the comment "nice fowling piece" is sarcasm, as in; "What does a pacifistic preacher need with a long-range killing rifle?" The garrison isn't aware of Tallmadge's French and Indian War experience and they are hunting a sniper.

The comment could have been equally intended to employ the term "fowler" as a general term for any non-military game gun.

Or perhaps the Major just didn't recognize it as a rifle, sewing the seeds of the ignorance later revealed at the trial. The townspeople would have had a wide variety of differen makes and models of guns. There were a lot of different local gunmakers in America who built guns for personal use that had a lot of different looks and ornamentation. "Fowlers" were used for shooting game and, as you accurately described, could shoot a ball or groups of small shot. Rifles of the period did fire a variety of different caliber balls than the standard British Brown Bess smooth-bore musket. But, the British military of the time didn't use rifles - they took too long to load and could not receive a bayonet. The bayonet converted the Brown Bess into a pike. Military tactics of the time called for reducing your enemy's number through a few exchanged volleys until you got close enough to charge with bayonet. A bayonet charge often caused opponents to flee, and holding the field was what determined victory, not the number of casualties. British military strategists therefore viewed the rifle as unsuitable or inneffective for battle use (at least until the Green Mountain Boys at Bennington and Daniel Morgan's Virginia Riflemen at Saratoga convinced them otherwise). So its not necessarily a stretch to think that there might be confusion created by the wide variety of pieces that the townspeople were turning in.

Of course this whole discussion brings into question what sort of firearm was used to shoot Judge Woodhull, and was he the intended target? The Brown Bess musket is accurate to shoot a specific person at about 50 yards, to hit a group of people at maybe 80 yards. The parties just assumed the target was Judge Woodhull. Couldn't it have just as easily been Abe? Or Simcoe? Of course the Judge had just climbed into the wagon... Whomever fired from a concealed spot outside of a big yard that we already know from previous episodes has little cover was very good, and also very lucky, to have hit anything with a Brown Bess, don't you think?

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Re: Turn

Post  Banjo on 2014-06-03, 14:20

This will be episode 10, the season finale.

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