Great Military Stories

WW2 – The Wereth 11 – Murder in the Ardennes

WW2 – The Wereth 11 – Murder in the Ardennes

In the early hours of December 16, 1944, Adolf Hitler's army launched a massive surprise attack on Allied lines across the frozen, forested landscape of Belgium. Caught off-guard, the Americans fell back into defensive positions. For a few desperate days before Christmas, the outcome of the war in Europe hung in the balance.   Desperate battles to stem the German advance were fought at St.-Vith, Elsenborn Ridge, Houffalize, and Bastogne. As the Germans drove deeper into the Ardennes in an...

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Four-Legged Military Hero – MWD Lucca

Four-Legged Military Hero – MWD Lucca

During the long war in Iraq and Afghanistan, coalition forces relied on thousands of military working dogs to help keep them safe by detecting explosives, finding illegal drugs, searching for missing comrades, or targeting enemy combatants. Dozen died in the line of duty. Others struggle with wounds and post-traumatic stress. Many have earned recognition for heroism. Among the heroes is Lucca, a highly skilled German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix trained to sniff out explosives and protect the...

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Vietnam War – The Battle of Ia Drang, LZ X-Ray

Vietnam War – The Battle of Ia Drang, LZ X-Ray

American involvement in Vietnam can stretch back as far as the end of World War II, depending on how you define "involvement," but one thing is for sure; when the U.S. committed its combat troops to defend South Vietnam, things got hot almost immediately. The most stunning example of the ferocity of Vietnam battlegrounds is the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, the first time the U.S. Army fought a major battle against the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), North Vietnam's regular forces. ...

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Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor

Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor

Two hundred thirty-five years ago an event took place which, had it succeeded, would have ended the American fight for independence. Before exploring that near disaster, see if you can answer these questions about the American Revolutionary War, all of which have some bearing on the event. Who was called "The Hannibal of North America?" Who built a fleet on Lake Champlain and fought British ships invading New York from Canada? Who led a small American army more than 300 miles through the Maine...

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WW2 – D-Day – The Longest Day

WW2 – D-Day – The Longest Day

It was a cloudy, breezy morning on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 as the largest seaborne invasion in history began when British, Canadian and American troops set off across the unpredictable, dangerous English Channel from Portsmouth, England. Their destination: the beaches at Normandy, France. As the 5000-ship convoy carrying over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles made its way across the choppy channel, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines,...

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Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)

Maj Richard Bong, U.S. Army Air Forces (1941–1945)

Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, was born September 24, 1920, in St. Mary's hospital in Superior, Wisconsin. He was the first of nine children born to Carl T. Bong and Dora Bryce Bong, living on a farm near the small town of Poplar, Wisconsin, about 20 miles southeast of Superior. Dick's father came to the United States from Sweden at the age of seven, and his mother was of Scots-English descent. Dick grew up on the family farm and attended the Poplar Grade School. Richard Bong then attended the...

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Civil War – Andersonville Prison

Civil War – Andersonville Prison

There were 150 prison camps on both sides in the Civil War, and they all suffered from disease, overcrowding, exposure, and food shortages. But Andersonville was notorious for being the worst. Some men agreed to freedom and fought for the South as galvanized soldiers, fearing the dangers of imprisonment to be greater than those of the battlefield. Officially named Camp Sumter, the most notorious Civil War stockade was hastily constructed in early 1864 near the town of Andersonville in...

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Revolutionary War – The Battle of Saratoga

Revolutionary War – The Battle of Saratoga

The road to the American Revolutionary War - or War of Independence - began in the wake of the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763) when the government of King George III of Great Britain decided that the American colonies should share in the costs associated with the War by adding taxes to common goods, such as sugar, molasses and tea. These attempts were met with increasingly stiff resistance. American colonists claimed they were unconstitutional, suggesting that they deserved to have...

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Famous Military Units – HA(L)-3 Seawolves

Famous Military Units – HA(L)-3 Seawolves

Steeped in the political turmoil of an unpopular war and faced with unfamiliar terrain, embedded enemy supply practices, and tactics keying on stealth, by 1965, the US faced new and novel threats from Viet Cong forces with no ready recourse. Striving for any means to achieve supremacy, the Army turned to tried-and-true tactics while seeking a breakthrough military strategy. The answer, formation of the all-volunteer Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron 3 (HA(L)-3), quickly renowned by their...

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The Hauntings of Okinawa

The Hauntings of Okinawa

There are many historical military places where you can experience ghostly specters, cold spells, and reports of things moving around all by themselves. Ghostly cavalry forces still protect F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Houses on Fort Leavenworth feature terrifying child ghosts. Baltimore's Fort McHenry is a veritable who's who of the afterlife, with reports of people seeing Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, and even Chief Black Hawk.  Nowhere in the U.S. military, however, is more...

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Legion of the United States

Legion of the United States

When the 13 American Colonies initially began resisting Britain, they had no organized military. Individual states fielded militias and troops, but a unified military was lacking. In part, this was a result of wary attitudes among many members of the public who did not support the idea of an organized military force acting on behalf of all of the colonies. The Continental Congress also shared this view.   After a few defeats, however, the Continental Congress reluctantly established the...

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SSgt William Hart Pitsenbarger, U.S. Air Force (1962-1966)

SSgt William Hart Pitsenbarger, U.S. Air Force (1962-1966)

Born in 1944 in Piqua, Ohio, William Hart Pitsenbarger was an ambitious only child. He wanted to quit high school to join the U.S. Army Special Forces' "Green Berets," but his parents convinced him to stay in school. After graduating in 1962, Pitsenbarger decided to join the Air Force and on New Year's Eve 1962, he was on a train bound for basic training in San Antonio, Texas. Pitsenbarger's Early Life and Education During his basic training in early 1963, "Pits" - as he was known to his...

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