The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns; these were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in a sermon at the Council of Clermont, he encouraged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, who needed reinforcements for his conflict with westward migrating Turks colonizing Anatolia. One of Urban's aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the Eastern Mediterranean holy sites that were under Muslim control but scholars disagree as to whether this was the primary motive for Urban or those who heeded his call.
Urban's strategy may have been to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom, divided since the East–West Schism of 1054 and to establish himself as head of the unified Church. The initial success of the Crusade established the first four Crusader states in the Eastern Mediterranean: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli; the enthusiastic response to Urban's preaching from all classes in Western Europe established a precedent for other Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the Church; some were hoping for a mass ascension into heaven at Jerusalem or God's forgiveness for all their sins. Others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, obtain glory and honour or to seek economic and political gain; the two-century attempt to recover the Holy Land ended in failure. Following the First Crusade there were numerous less significant ones. After the last Catholic outposts fell in 1291, there were no more Crusades.
The Wendish Crusade and those of the Archbishop of Bremen brought all the North-East Baltic and the tribes of Mecklenburg and Lusatia under Catholic control in the late 12th century. In the early 13th century the Teutonic Order created a Crusader state in Prussia and the French monarchy used the Albigensian Crusade to extend the kingdom to the Mediterranean Sea; the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the late 14th century prompted a Catholic response which led to further defeats at Nicopolis in 1396 and Varna in 1444. Catholic Europe was in chaos and the final pivot of Christian–Islamic relations was marked by two seismic events: the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 and a final conclusive victory for the Spanish over the Moors with the conquest of Granada in 1492; the idea of Crusading continued, not least in the form of the Knights Hospitaller, until the end of the 18th-century but the focus of Western European interest moved to the New World. Modern historians hold varying opinions of the Crusaders.
To some, their conduct was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the papacy, as evidenced by the fact that on occasion the Pope excommunicated Crusaders. Crusaders pillaged as they travelled, their leaders retained control of captured territory instead of returning it to the Byzantines. During the People's Crusade, thousands of Jews were murdered in what is now called the Rhineland massacres. Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade. However, the Crusades had a profound impact on Western civilisation: Italian city-states gained considerable concessions in return for assisting the Crusaders and established colonies which allowed trade with the eastern markets in the Ottoman period, allowing Genoa and Venice to flourish; the Crusades reinforced a connection between Western Christendom and militarism. The term crusade used in modern historiography at first referred to the wars in the Holy Land beginning in 1095, but the range of events to which the term has been applied has been extended, so that its use can create a misleading impression of coherence regarding the early Crusades.
The term used for the campaign of the First Crusade was iter "journey" or peregrinatio "pilgrimage". The terminology of crusading remained indistinguishable from that of pilgrimage during the 12th century, reflecting the reality of the first century of crusading where not all armed pilgrims fought, not all who fought had taken the cross, it was not until the late 12th to early 13th centuries that a more specific "language of crusading" emerged. Pope Innocent III used the term negotium crucis "affair of the cross" for the Eastern Mediterranean crusade, but was reluctant to apply crusading terminology to the Albigensian crusade; the Song of the Albigensian Crusade from about 1213 contains the first recorded vernacular use of the Occitan crozada. This term was adopted into French as croisade and in English as crusade; the modern spelling crusade dates to c. 1760. Sinibaldo Fieschi used the terms crux transmarina for crusades in Outremer against Muslims and crux cismarina for crusades in Europe against other enemies of the church.
The Crusades in the Holy Land are traditionally counted as nine distinct campaigns, numbered from the First Crusade of 1095–99 to the Ninth Crusade of 1271–72. This conv
A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit.'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, defensive position. An opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy; the art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siegecraft, or poliorcetics. A siege occurs when an attacker encounters a city or fortress that cannot be taken by a quick assault, which refuses to surrender. Sieges involve surrounding the target to block the provision of supplies and the reinforcement or escape of troops; this is coupled with attempts to reduce the fortifications by means of siege engines, artillery bombardment, mining, or the use of deception or treachery to bypass defenses. Failing a military outcome, sieges can be decided by starvation, thirst, or disease, which can afflict either the attacker or defender.
This form of siege, can take many months or years, depending upon the size of the stores of food the fortified position holds. The attacking force can circumvallate the besieged place, to build a line of earth-works, consisting of a rampart and trench, surrounding it. During the process of circumvallation, the attacking force can be set upon by another force, an ally of the besieged place, due to the lengthy amount of time required to force it to capitulate. A defensive ring of forts outside the ring of circumvallated forts, called contravallation, is sometimes used to defend the attackers from outside. Ancient cities in the Middle East show archaeological evidence of having had fortified city walls. During the Warring States era of ancient China, there is both textual and archaeological evidence of prolonged sieges and siege machinery used against the defenders of city walls. Siege machinery was a tradition of the ancient Greco-Roman world. During the Renaissance and the early modern period, siege warfare dominated the conduct of war in Europe.
Leonardo da Vinci gained as much of his renown from the design of fortifications as from his artwork. Medieval campaigns were designed around a succession of sieges. In the Napoleonic era, increasing use of more powerful cannon reduced the value of fortifications. In the 20th century, the significance of the classical siege declined. With the advent of mobile warfare, a single fortified stronghold is no longer as decisive as it once was. While traditional sieges do still occur, they are not as common as they once were due to changes in modes of battle, principally the ease by which huge volumes of destructive power can be directed onto a static target. Modern sieges are more the result of smaller hostage, militant, or extreme resisting arrest situations; the Assyrians deployed large labour forces to build new palaces and defensive walls. Some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were fortified. By about 3500 BC, hundreds of small farming villages dotted the Indus River floodplain. Many of these settlements had planned streets.
The stone and mud brick houses of Kot Diji were clustered behind massive stone flood dikes and defensive walls, for neighbouring communities quarrelled about the control of prime agricultural land. Mundigak in present-day south-east Afghanistan has defensive walls and square bastions of sun-dried bricks. City walls and fortifications were essential for the defence of the first cities in the ancient Near East; the walls were built of mudbricks, wood, or a combination of these materials, depending on local availability. They may have served the dual purpose of showing presumptive enemies the might of the kingdom; the great walls surrounding the Sumerian city of Uruk gained a widespread reputation. The walls were 9.5 km in length, up to 12 m in height. The walls of Babylon, reinforced by towers and ditches, gained a similar reputation. In Anatolia, the Hittites built massive stone walls around their cities atop hillsides, taking advantage of the terrain. In Shang Dynasty China, at the site of Ao, large walls were erected in the 15th century BC that had dimensions of 20 m in width at the base and enclosed an area of some 2,100 yards squared.
The ancient Chinese capital for the State of Zhao, founded in 386 BC had walls that were 20 m wide at the base. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization showed less effort in constructing defences, as did the Minoan civilization on Crete; these civilizations relied more on the defence of their outer borders or sea shores. Unlike the ancient Minoan civilization, the Mycenaean Greeks emphasized the need for fortifications alongside natural defences of mountainous terrain, such as the massive Cyclopean walls built at Mycenae and other adjacent Late Bronze Age centers of central and southern Greece. Although there are depictions of sieges from the ancient Near East in historical sources and in art, there are few examples of siege systems that have been found archaeologically. Of the few examples, several are noteworthy: The late 9th-century BC siege system surrounding Tell es-Safi/Gath, consists of a 2.5 km long siege trench and other elements, is the earliest evidence of a circumvallation system known in the world.
It was built by Hazael of Aram Damascus, as part of his siege and conquest of Philistine Gath in the late 9th century BC (mentio
Selinunte was an ancient Greek city on the south-western coast of Sicily in Italy. It was situated between the valleys of the Modione rivers, it now lies in the comune Castelvetrano, between the frazioni of Triscina di Selinunte in the west and Marinella di Selinunte in the east. The archaeological site contains five temples centered on an acropolis. Of the five temples, only the Temple of Hera known as "Temple E", has been re-erected. At its peak before 409 BC the city may have contained up excluding slaves. Selinunte was one of the most important of the Greek colonies in Sicily, situated on the southwest coast of that island, at the mouth of the small river of the same name, 6.5 km west of the Hypsas river. It was founded, according to the historian Thucydides, by a colony from the Sicilian city of Megara Hyblaea, under the leadership of a man called Pammilus, about 100 years after the foundation of Megara Hyblaea, with the help of colonists from Megara in Greece, Megara Hyblaea's mother city.
The date of its foundation cannot be fixed, as Thucydides indicates it only by reference to the foundation of Megara Hyblaea, itself not known, but it may be placed about 628 BCE. Diodorus places it 22 years earlier, or 650 BCE, Hieronymus still further back in 654 BCE; the date from Thucydides, the most is incompatible with this earlier date. The name is supposed to have been derived from quantities of wild celery. For the same reason, they adopted the celery leaf as the symbol on their coins. Selinunte was the most westerly of the Greek colonies in Sicily, for this reason they soon came into contact with the Phoenicians of western Sicily and the native Sicilians in the west and northwest of the island; the Phoenicians do not at first seem to have conflicted with them. A body of emigrants from Rhodes and Cnidus who subsequently founded Lipara, supported the Segestans on this occasion, leading to their victory; the river Mazarus, which at that time appears to have formed the boundary with Segesta, was only about 25 km west of Selinunte.
On the other side Selinunte's territory extended as far as the Halycus, at the mouth of which it founded the colony of Minoa, or Heracleia, as it was afterward called. It is clear, that Selinunte had achieved great power and prosperity. Like most of the Sicilian cities, it passed from an oligarchy to a tyranny, about 510 BCE was subject to a despot named Peithagoras, overthrown with the assistance of the Spartan Euryleon, one of the companions of Dorieus. Euryleon himself ruled the city, for a little while, but was speedily overthrown and put to death by the Selinuntines; the Selinuntines supported the Carthaginians during the great expedition of Hamilcar. The Selinuntines are next mentioned in 466 BCE, co-operating with the other cities of Sicily to help the Syracusans to expel Thrasybulus. Thucydides speaks of Selinunte just before the Athenian expedition in 416 BCE as a powerful and wealthy city, possessing great resources for war both by land and sea, having large stores of wealth accumulated in its temples.
Diodorus represents it at the time of the Carthaginian invasion, as having enjoyed a long period of tranquility, possessing a numerous population. The walls of Selinunte enclosed an area of 100 hectares; the population of the city has been estimated at 14,000 to 19,000 people during the fifth century BC. In 416 BCE, a renewal of the earlier disputes between Selinunte and Segesta led to the great Athenian expedition to Sicily; the Selinuntines called on Syracuse for assistance, were able to blockade the Segestans. The Athenians do not appear to have taken any immediate action to save Segesta, but no further conflict around Segesta is recorded; when the Athenian expedition first arrived in Sicily, Thucydides presents the general Nicias as proposing that the Athenians should proceed to Selinunte at once and compel the Selinuntines to surrender on moderate terms. As a result, the Selinuntines played only a minor part in the subsequent operations, they are, mentioned on several occasions providing troops to the Syracusans.
The defeat of the Athenian armament left the Segestans at the mercy of their rivals. They surrendered the frontier district, the original subject of dispute to Selinunte; the Selinuntines, were not satisfied with this concession, continued their hostility against them, leading the Segestans to seek assistance from Carthage. After some hesitation, Carthage sent a
Vidin is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in north-western Bulgaria. It is close to the borders with Romania and Serbia, is the administrative centre of Vidin Province, as well as of the Metropolitan of Vidin. An agricultural and trade centre, Vidin has a fertile hinterland renowned for its wines; the name is archaically spelled as Widdin in English. Old name Dunonia itself meant "fortified hill" in Celtic with the dun found in Celtic place names. A historical Romanian name of the city is Diiu. Vidin is the westernmost important Bulgarian Danube port and is situated on one of the southernmost sections of the river; the New Europe Bridge, completed in 2013, connects Vidin to the Romanian town of Calafat on the opposite bank of the Danube. A ferry located 2 km from the town was in use for that purpose. Vidin emerged at the place of an old Celtic settlement known as Dunonia; the settlement evolved into a Roman fortified town called Bononia. The town grew into one of the important centres of the province of Upper Moesia, encompassing the territory of modern north-western Bulgaria and eastern Serbia.
When Slavs settled in the area, they called the town Badin or Bdin, where the modern name comes from. Anna Komnene refers to it as Vidynē in the Alexiad. Vidin's main landmark, the Baba Vida fortress, was built in the period from the 10th to the 14th century. In the Middle Ages Vidin used to be an important Bulgarian city, a bishop seat and capital of a large province. Between 971 and 976 the town was the center of Samuil's possessions while his brothers ruled to the south. In 1003 Vidin was seized by Basil II after an eight-month siege because of the betrayal of the local bishop, its importance once again rose during the Second Bulgarian Empire and its despots were influential figures in the Empire and were on several occasions chosen for Emperors. From the mid 13th century it was ruled by the Shishman family. By early 1290s Serbia expanded towards the vicinity of Vidin. Threatened by Serbian expansion, Shishman failed to repel the brothers forces, accepted Serbian suzerainty. In practice, Shishman continued to be independent and dealt with Bulgaria.
Serbian suzerainty lasted until Serbian king Stefan Milutin´s death, in 1321. As Milutin left no testament, after his death, in Serbia occurred a period of civil war with Stefan Dečanski, Stefan Konstantin and Stefan Vladislav II fighting for power. Shishman took advantage of this situation, set free from Serbian rule, returned to the Bulgarian sphere. In 1323 Shishman was chosen to be the Bulgarian tsar. Shishman made an anti-Serbian treaty with the Byzantines, after Serbian victory over Bulgarians in the Battle of Velbazhd in 1330, Bulgaria lay militarily crippled and politically subordinated to Serbia's interests. In 1356, Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander isolated Vidin from the Bulgarian monarchy and appointed his son Ivan Stratsimir as absolute ruler of Vidin's new city-state - the Tsardom of Vidin. In 1365, the Tsardom of Vidin was occupied by Magyar crusaders. Under Hungarian rule, the city became known as Bodony. In 1369, the Second Bulgarian empire drove out the Hungarian military, but in 1396 Vidin was occupied by a foreign force again.
The Ottomans went on to conquer the despotates of Dobrudzha and Velbazhd as well. Vidin's independence did not last long. In 1396 the Ottomans turned Vidin into a sanjdak. In the late years of Ottoman rule, Vidin was the centre of Turkish rebel Osman Pazvantoğlu's breakaway state. In 1853, The Times of London reported that Widdin, as it was called, was a considerable town, with a population of about 26,000, a garrison of 8,000 to 10,000 men. Widdin is one of the important fortified places of the military line of the Danube, it covers the approaches of Servia, commands Little Wallachia, the defiles of Transylvania, above all, the opening of the road which leads through Nissia and Sophia on to Adrianople. Its form is an irregular pentagon. During the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the town was besieged by a Serbian army. Vidin has a humid subtropical climate transforming to temperate continental climate. In the winter months, inversions are common; the average annual temperature is 12.2 °C. Vidin is the 20th town by population in Bulgaria, but serious demographic problems have been experienced in the area during the last two decades.
The number of the residents of the city reached its peak between 1988 and 1991 when the population exceeded 65,000. As of 2011, the town had a population of 48,071 inhabitants; the following table presents the change of the population after 1887. According to the latest 2011 census data, the individuals declared their ethnic identity were distributed as follows: Bulgarians: 40,550 Gypsies: 3,335 Turks: 60 Others: 199 Indefinable: 280 Undeclared: 3,647 Total: 48,071 There is minor number of Gypsies within the city limits. There are 3,335 in the city and 3,753 in the municipality, while the Bulgarians are 40,550 in the city and 54,546 in the municipality. Vidin maintains two well-preserved medieval fortresses, Baba Vida and Kaleto, as well as many old Orthodox churches such as St Pantaleimon, St Petka, St Dimitar, the Vidin Synagogue, the Osman Pazvantoğlu Mosque and library, the late 18th-century Turkish ruler of north-western Bulgaria, the Krastata Kazarma of 1798, a number of old Renaissance buildings.
Remarkable is the theatre building whic
Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece. Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the leading force of the unified Greek military during the Greco-Persian Wars. Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious, though at a great cost of lives lost. Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC, it underwent a long period of decline in the Middle Ages, when many Spartans moved to live in Mystras. Modern Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional unit of Laconia and a center for the processing of goods such as citrus and olives.
Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, focused on military training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates, mothakes and helots. Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, Spartan phalanges were considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical antiquity. Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in Western culture following the revival of classical learning; this love or admiration of Sparta is known as Laconophilia. At its peak around 500 BC the size of the city would have been some 20,000–35,000 citizens, plus numerous helots and perioikoi; the total of 40,000–50,000 made Sparta one of the largest Greek cities. The French classicist François Ollier in his 1933 book Le mirage spartiate warned that a major scholarly problem regarding Sparta is that all the surviving accounts were written by non-Spartans who presented an excessively idealized image of Sparta.
The earliest attested term referring to Lacedaemon is the Mycenaean Greek, ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, "Lacedaimonian", written in Linear B syllabic script, being the equivalent of the written in the Greek alphabet, latter Greek, Λακεδαιμόνιος, Lakedaimonios. The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the home location of the Spartans; the first refers to the main cluster of settlements in the valley of the Eurotas River: Sparta. The second word was Lacedaemon. Herodotus seems to denote by it the Mycenaean Greek citadel at Therapne, in contrast to the lower town of Sparta, it could be used synonymously with Sparta, but it was not. It denoted the terrain. In Homer it is combined with epithets of the countryside: wide, lovely and most hollow and broken; the hollow suggests the Eurotas Valley. Sparta on the other hand is the country of a people epithet; the name of the population was used for the state of Lacedaemon: the Lacedaemonians. This epithet utilized the plural of the adjective Lacedaemonius.
If the ancients wished to refer to the country more directly, instead of Lacedaemon, they could use a back-formation from the adjective: Lacedaemonian country. As most words for "country" were feminine, the adjective was in the feminine: Lacedaemonia; the adjective came to be used alone. "Lacedaemonia" was not in general use during the classical period and before. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of Laconia and Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods in ethnographers and lexica glossing place names. For example, Hesychius of Alexandria's Lexicon defines Agiadae as a "place in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis; the actual transition may be captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, an etymological dictionary. He relied on Orosius' Historiarum Adversum Paganos and Eusebius of Caesarea's Chronicon as did Orosius; the latter defines Sparta to be Lacedaemonia Civitas but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by Lacedaemon, son of Semele, relying on Eusebius. There is a rare use the earliest of Lacedaemonia, in Diodorus Siculus, but with Χὠρα suppressed.
The immediate area around the town of Sparta, the plateau east of the Taygetos mountains, was referred as Laconice. This term was sometimes used to refer to all the regions under direct Spartan control, including Messenia. Lakedaimona was until 2006 the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia. Sparta is located in the south-eastern Peloponnese. Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water; the valley of the Eurotas is a natural fo
Château des Baux
The Château des Baux is a fortified castle built during the 10th century, located in Les Baux-de-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, southern France. Although inhabited in the Bronze Age, Les Baux-de-Provence did not start growing until the medieval period. Built in the 10th century, the fortress and the small town it protects were ruled by the lords of Baux for five hundred years, in the thick of the ceaseless conflicts that ravaged Provence, it was at Les Baux that the most famous minstrels and troubadours of the day sang songs of courtly love to the maidens of the House of Les Baux. In the 15th century, the lords of Baux were superseded by the barons of the Masons des Comtes de Provence; this was a golden age for the Château. From the 16th century on, family feuds and wars of religion brought on the decline of the town until the fortress was pulled down in 1633 on the orders of Louis XIII. Visitors to the Château des Baux can see full-scale replicas of huge siege engines, including a couillard, bricole and the biggest trebuchet in Europe, launched during demonstrations several times daily between April and September.
Official website of the castle City council website
In the United States, a SWAT team is a law enforcement unit which uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. First created in the 1960s to handle riot control or violent confrontations with criminals, the number and usage of SWAT teams increased in the 1980s and 1990s during the War on Drugs and in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In the United States as of 2005, SWAT teams were deployed 50,000 times every year 80% of the time to serve search warrants, most for narcotics. SWAT teams are equipped with military-type hardware and trained to deploy against threats of terrorism, for crowd control, hostage taking, in situations beyond the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement, sometimes deemed "high-risk". Other countries have developed their own paramilitary police units which are described as or comparable to SWAT forces. SWAT units are equipped with specialized firearms including submachine guns, assault rifles, breaching shotguns, sniper rifles, riot control agents, stun grenades.
In addition, they may use specialized equipment including heavy body armor, ballistic shields, entry tools, armored vehicles, night vision devices, motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers, inside enclosed structures. The United States National Tactical Officers Association definition of SWAT is: SWAT: A designated law enforcement team whose members are recruited, trained and assigned to resolve critical incidents involving a threat to public safety which would otherwise exceed the capabilities of traditional law enforcement first responders and/or investigative units. According to the Historical Dictionary of Law Enforcement, the term "SWAT" was used as an acronym for the "Special Weapons and Tactics" established as a 100-man specialized unit in 1964 by the Philadelphia Police Department in response to an alarming increase in bank robberies; the purpose of this unit was to react and decisively to bank robberies while they were in progress, by utilizing a large number of specially trained officers who had at their disposal a great amount of firepower.
The tactic worked and was soon to resolve other types of incidents involving armed criminals. Los Angeles Police Department Inspector Daryl Gates has said that he first envisioned "SWAT" as an acronym for "Special Weapons Attack Team" in 1967, but accepted "Special Weapons and Tactics" on the advice of his deputy chief, Edward M. Davis; the LAPD promoted. After the racially charged Watts riots in Los Angeles in August 1965, the LAPD began considering tactics it could use when faced with urban unrest, rioting, or widespread violence. Daryl Gates, who led the LAPD response to the riots, would write that police at the time didn't face a single mob, but rather "people attacking from all directions." New York University professor Christian Parenti has written that SWAT teams were conceived of as an "urban counterinsurgency bulwark."Another reason for the creation of SWAT teams was the fear of lone or barricaded gunmen who might outperform police in a shootout, as happened in Austin with Charles Whitman.
After the LAPD's establishment of its own SWAT team, many law enforcement agencies across the United States established their own specialized units under various names. Gates explained in his autobiography Chief: My Life in the LAPD that he neither developed SWAT tactics nor the associated and distinctive equipment. While the public image of SWAT first became known through the LAPD because of its proximity to the mass media and the size and professionalism of the Department itself, the first actual SWAT-type operations were conducted north of Los Angeles in the farming community of Delano, California on the border between Kern and Tulare Counties in the San Joaquin Valley. At the time, the United Farm Workers union led by César Chavez was staging numerous protests in Delano in a strike that would last over five years. Though the strike never turned violent, the Delano Police Department responded by forming ad-hoc SWAT-type units involving crowd and riot control, sniper skills and surveillance.
Television news stations and print media carried live and delayed reportage of these events across the United States. Personnel from the LAPD, having seen these broadcasts, contacted Delano and inquired about the program. One officer obtained permission to observe the Delano Police Department's special weapons and tactics units in action, afterwards, he took what he had learned back to Los Angeles, where his knowledge was used and expanded on to form the LAPD's own first SWAT unit. John Nelson was the officer who conceived the idea to form a specially trained and equipped unit in the LAPD, intended to respond to and manage critical situations involving shootings while minimizing police casualties. Inspector Gates approved this idea, he formed a small select group of volunteer officers; this first SWAT unit consisted of fifteen teams of four men each, making a total staff of sixty. These officers were given special status and benefits, were required to attend special monthly training sessions.
The unit served as a security unit for police facilities during civil unrest. The LAPD SWAT units were organized as "D Platoon" in the Metro division. Early police powers and tactics used by SWAT teams were aided by legislation passed in 1967-8 with the help of Republican House representative Donald Santarelli; the legislation was promoted within the context of fears over the Civil Rights Movement, race riots, the Black Panther Party, the