Blood on the Sand: Teddy Roosevelt vs. Lawrence of Arabia

by GeoffDesmoulin   August 23, 2011 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 8,724


Yet again, we have an American warrior in this week's match-up so it reminds me that I must first thank the United States once again for allowing me to be on the best show on TV and renewing my Engineers TN VISA for 2010-11.

Being Canadian there is no question that I was schooled in American history this season and one item that truly stuck out for me about your great country is its ability to adapt and overcome adversity. While George Washington epitomized that quality in my opinion, Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders seem more like tough, smart, bull-in-a-china-shop type of individuals but with the firepower and leadership to back it up. Roosevelt will have to keep his wits about him as he's going up against "the devil of the desert" T. E. Lawrence and his Bedouin tribesman. Get ready for yet another legendary match-up as brute force and cunning meets brute force and cunning in a time period where both men were alive and fighting at the same time, albeit on opposite sides of the planet. Watch it on Spike TV at this week's new time 9pm ET.

We're going to spend more time on the warriors this week as both of these men had so many accomplishments and were so brilliant in their own right. I'll finish this week's segment on the design and history of the only weapon of this episode still in use today… the Gatling Gun.

Watch the first 15 minutes of Teddy Roosevelt vs. Lawrence of Arabia

Warriors

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was born in 1858 to a wealthy family. Having asthma, he was home schooled. However, once attending Harvard he started boxing and showed an interest in naval affairs as he went on to publish The Naval War of 1812 in 1882. After University he ran a cattle ranch but soon returned east to perform the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. During his stint, The Spanish-American War broke out and wanting to ensure that American power was felt overseas he promptly resigned his naval position and summoned a group of statesmen, cowboys, and Harvard Alumni alike to accompany him to Cuba to take the fight to the enemy. This conglomerate group of men, officially known as the "First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment", but became affectionately known by the press and general public as the "Rough Riders". Roosevelt quickly rose through the ranks as leaders and men alike fell gravely ill (the good Doctor will explain on the show). Being now a full Colonel, Roosevelt led the entire regiment of Rough Riders. Under Roosevelt's leadership, the Rough Riders successfully charged up two enemy fortified hills in one day. On July 1, 1898 Roosevelt led the Rough Riders under cover of the great Gatling Gun up both Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill. Mack will take you through the strategy used by Roosevelt and the Rough Riders that fateful day in detail during this week's "Chalk Talk".

After returning from Cuba, Roosevelt was elected Governor and within two years, he was elected Vice President of the United States. Then in 1901 when the current president was assassinated Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States. At the age of 42 he was the youngest of any other President in history. He coined the term "speak softly and carry a big stick" and was the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This man's accomplishments continue but these are the major ones that are most relevant to this week's show. Wow!

Thomas Edward Lawrence was born illegitimately to a governess on August 16, 1888. Lawrence goes on to study history and archeology graduating with First Class Honors. During the last summer prior to graduation Lawrence completed a three-month walking tour of crusader castles in the Ottoman which he travelled over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) on foot. So, when we say he is an extremely fit individual we mean it. Continuing his education after college he picks up seven languages showing his incredible capacity for communication. Lawrence finds employment as an archeologist in the Middle East. However, at the outbreak of WWI Lawrence is contracted by the British Military to perform a covert military survey of the Negev Desert under cover of performing archeological research in the same area. Since Lawrence had gained such an extensive knowledge of the Ottoman Empire geographically during his travels and archeological research he was eventually posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff for the Middle East. Lawrence is most famous for the successful battle of Aqaba and again Mack will take you through the tactics that were used during this fight that almost ended Lawrence's life not by a bullet BUT by a fall from a camel. Ironically, Lawrence died at the young age of 42 after just leaving the service as he fell from his motorcycle after swerving to avoid two children on their bicycles.

Gatling Gun Design and History

Emphasis has to be placed on the most famous rapid-fire weapons and the predecessor of the modern machine gun. However, after modification of how the weapon is loaded and rotated it is still in use today.The Gatling Gun was designed and patented by a physician (R.J. Gatling) trying to employ a force multiplier that would reduce the amount of men on the battle field and therefore reduce the number of men he would have to take care of. The best way to visualize how this multi-barreled beast operates is to watch this animation.

While that reverse-logic didn't work out the way he had planned his invention has changed the face of the battlefield. With this kind of engineering, firepower, and history it's no wonder I asked the Spike Photographer to snap a pic of me standing by our "fully"-functional replica… as you will no doubt see in action this Wednesday at this week's new time of 9pm ET.


Fig 1. Your Engineering Scientist standing by our 'fully' functional Gatling Gun on Set in Los Angeles.

While it's difficult to say what electronic equipment we'll have available to us during the course of any showing of Deadliest Warrior, the show's hosts are typically available for live tweeting during every week's show so please send in your questions during the show via twitter to our own former U.S. Navy SEAL, the good Doctor, and your Engineering Scientist to have them answered LIVE, in real time on August 24 at 9/8c.

That's it for this week's "Blood on the Sand" Blog I hope your enjoying the more of everything that we are brining you this Season 3 of Deadliest Warrior!

New Episodes of Deadliest Warrior air on Spike Wednesdays at 10/9c and are posted on Spike.com three days later. 

THE DAILY FOUR

SPIKE on facebook