Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Blood Atonement I.

This is coolbert:

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
- - Leviticus 17:11 "King James Version"

It has been suggested that the very heavy price the American South [the Confederacy] [and the northern states for that matter] paid during the American Civil War constituted blood atonement. Literal blood atonement with the enormous loss of life both sides suffered on the battlefield. NOT to mention the destitution of the American South following the end of the Civil War. A destitution that only recently has gone by the wayside.

A washing away of sins with blood. The sin of slavery and the exploitation of black slaves for centuries. A sin that was present from the very onset of European settlement of the New World and the establishment of the United States.

It therefore can be argued that the mass deportation in World War Two [WW2] of the Crimean Tartars also constituted an atonement with blood for past sins.

The "sin" of the Crimean Tartars too was engaging in the slave trade. NOT of black Africans but of "white" Slavic peoples. Russians, Ukrainians, Poles.

Slave raids, organized along military lines, would penetrate Slavic lands north of the Crimea in search of suitable victims. Persons worth something at auction. "White" slaves coveted by Islamic societies.

[the English word slave is derived from the word "slav".]

The Tartars had a profitable business of selling "whites" to the Ottoman Empire. Muslims as were the Ottomans, and nominal vassals, the Tartars continued the practice of slave raiding for centuries. THE LAST RECORDED SLAVE RAID ON MOSCOW WAS IN 1769!!!

[slave raids probably continued for some time after that in other parts of southern Russia, the Ukraine, and Poland.]

"Slave raids by the Crim Tartars and Abaza became of increasing importance for the supply of white slaves to the Ottoman Sultanate as the territorial expansion of the sultanate slowed and, in the 17th century, began to contract. From 1514-1654 major slave raids were carried out by the Tartars bringing in large numbers of Poles, Russians and Circassians. Slaves were exported from the port of Caffa in the Crimea in 1470 and in 1578 the number of slaves exported across the Black Sea from this port reached 17,502. Tartar slave raiders in Circassia in 1539 captured 50,000, while between 1607 and 1617 100,000 Russians were enslaved and between 1632 and 1645, 26,840 Russians were enslaved by the Tartars. Some traveled on to Antalya and were shipped to Egypt to form the Mamluk class."

"Crimean Tatars were known for frequent devastating raids into Ukraine and Russia, 1571 they seized and burned Moscow. For a long time, until the early 18th century Crimean Tatars maintained massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. One of the most known and important trading ports and slave markets was Kefe. Some researchers estimate that altogether more than 3 million people, predominantly Ukrainians but also Russians, Belarusians and Poles, were captured and enslaved during the time of the Crimean Khanate in what was called "the harvesting of the steppe". A constant threat from Crimean Tatars supported the appearance of cossackdom."

Indeed, the creation and expansion of "cossackdom" [yes, that is what it is called!] is directly attributable to the slave raiders of the Tartars. Slavic peoples seeking protection organized themselves into "warrior" communities.

The Polish "winged Hussars" too were famous for their enormous cavalry sweeps. Thousand kilometer [600 mile] cavalry patrols looking for "sign" [indications of Tartar raiders]. Raiders that would then be pursued and engaged in battle if found.

Is this too extreme? Attributing the deportations of the Crimean Tartars as some sort of "payback" for what occurred centuries ago!

That is up for the reader to decide!



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