7 STORMS THAT SHAPED HISTORY
“Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind
fulfilling His word!” (Psa. 148:8)
“He (God) causeth it (weather) to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy” (Job. 37:13)
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to
whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it
the basest of men” (Dan. 4:17)
- In 480 BC, the emperor of the mighty Persian Empire Xerxes, led a massive combined force to conquer the troublesome Greeks. More than a third of his fleet was smashed on the Grecian rocky eastern shores by a vicious summer gale. His weakened fleet was then routed by the Greeks in one of history’s most important sea battles, Salamis. Democracy was saved, and a golden age dawned for Greece.
- The Mongol Empire stretched from the Pacific to the Black Sea. In 1274 and 1281 its ruler, Kublai Khan, launched invasions of Japan, countless ships carrying vast numbers of men, bristling with the latest gunpowder weapons. Both times typhoons swept in and sank the Mongol fleets. Priests named the typhoons Kamikaze, meaning “divine wind”. Japan’s independence was assured, as was its powerful sense of indestructibility.
- In 1588 the Spanish Armada was prepared to invade England, defeat its armies and depose Queen Elizabeth. Consisting of around 130 ships, 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers, 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns, it was termed the “Great and Most Fortunate Navy”. In reponse the English used fireships in the Channel to scatter the Spanish fleet . Philip I was forced to abandon his invasion attempt and set course for home, to circumnavigate around the British Isles! Whilst trying to sail around the north of Scotland the fleet was destroyed by fierce storms.
- Britain has been saved from invasion by the weather so often, that people used to insist that “God is an Englishman”. In 1744 the brilliant French General de Saxe, was poised to cross the Channel, Bonnie Prince Charlie on standby to be installed as a French puppet. In February the fleet of naval and transport vessels was sunk and scattered by a fierce storm. France abandoned her plans, Britain’s rise to global domination continued uninterrupted.
- In July 1788 the French harvest was obliterated by a three-day hailstorm. The hailstones were apparently the size of “quart bottles” and took days to melt. This followed a run of bad harvests and already high bread prices shot up even further. The people’s rage was directed at King Louis XVI’s government and a year later the French Revolution started. The Ancient Regime was swept away, unleashing powerful forces that continue to shape the modern world.
- Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812 was one of the greatest disasters in military history! Bonaparte’s army suffered heavily from supply problems and the cold. He thought if he captured Moscow then the Russians would negotiate. Instead, the Russians burned Moscow so Napoleon didn’t have any anywhere to station his troops through the winter. And129 years later remarkably, history was to repeat itself…. (see 7)
- In October 1941 Hitler unleashed a giant attack on Moscow. Capture of Stalin’s capital might have won the war for Germany. Atrocious weather mired the Germans first in impassable mud and then in horrific, record-breaking low temperatures and snow storms. Millions were killed and wounded, the Germans were fought to a standstill within sight of the Kremlin. The Soviet Union was saved. Hitler’s best chance of winning WWII was shattered.
Special thanks to Dan Snow (Popular historian and TV presenter) for the idea i.e. ‘5 storms that shaped History*’ which I slightly revised…!
For further information read ‘Stormy wind fulfilling His Word’ by Tony Benson, which includes other examples and scriptural content.