Battlefield Chronicles

The American Indian Wars – The Battle of Bear Valley

The American Indian Wars – The Battle of Bear Valley

When we think of the Indian Wars that pitted the American Indian tribes against the United States Army, we tend to think of U.S. Army Cavalry, wearing their trademark stetson hats, sabers gleaming, riding into battle. They're usually fighting Native tribesmen who are shooting rifles while riding bareback across the Great Plains. That may have been how some of those battles looked, but after the closing of the frontier in 1890, it looked a lot different. The last great battle (The Battle of...

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WW2 – The Battle of Saipan

WW2 – The Battle of Saipan

War inevitably equals mass casualties, whether numbering in the dozens or the hundreds, or the hundreds of thousands - this truth that has accompanied war for thousands of years. A generally accepted fact is that these casualties, whether civilian or military, are usually the direct result of enemy soldiers attacking, disease, and famine in the wake of an invasion. Sometimes, however, other means account for mass deaths in war. Such was the case of the Battle of Saipan in the Second World War...

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The Philippine-American War

The Philippine-American War

After its defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Treaty of Paris (1898) transferred Philippine sovereignty from Spain to the United States, ending centuries of Spanish control over the politics and economy of its longstanding former colony. Filipino leaders, however, did not recognize America's authority and had no intention of ceding their homeland to a new colonial power. The decision by U.S. policymakers to annex the Philippines was not without domestic controversy, either....

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The First Indochina War – The Battle of Dien Bien Phu

The First Indochina War – The Battle of Dien Bien Phu

"The Battle of Dien Bien Phu, fought from March 13 to May 7, 1954, was a decisive Vietnamese military victory that brought an end to French colonial rule in Vietnam." The causes of the Vietnam War trace their roots back to the end of World War II. A French colony, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia) had been occupied by the Japanese during the war. In 1941, a Vietnamese nationalist movement, the Viet Minh, was formed by Ho Chi Minh to resist the occupiers. A communist, Ho Chi Minh, waged...

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The Revolutionary War – Washington Crossing the Delaware

The Revolutionary War – Washington Crossing the Delaware

The American Revolution did not start off the way the Americans had hoped. By Christmas night, 1776, morale was lower than it had ever been. The British Army had captured New York the previous summer, and men were beginning to desert as Washington's Army camped across the Delaware River from occupied Trenton (Washington Crossing the Delaware), New Jersey.  What men Washington had left were largely inexperienced, as most of the veterans from the Battle of Long Island went home when their...

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WW2 – The Malmedy Massacre

WW2 – The Malmedy Massacre

In the last German offensive of World War II, three German Armies conducted a surprise attack along a 50 mile front in the mountainous and remote Ardennes Forest beginning on December 16, 1944, and quickly overtook thin U.S. lines during what became known as the Battle of the Bulge, the deadliest battle in the European campaign. On December 17, men from Battery B of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion were ordered to move from Schevenhutte, near Aachen, to St Vith in the Ardennes....

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Cold War – The Berlin Airlift (1948)

Cold War – The Berlin Airlift (1948)

After World War II, the Allies partitioned Germany into a Soviet-occupied zone, an American-occupied zone, a British-occupied zone, and a French-occupied zone. Berlin, the German capital city, was located deep in the Soviet zone, but it was also divided into four sections. In June 1948, the Russians–who wanted Berlin all for themselves–closed all highways, railroads, and canals from western-occupied Germany into western-occupied Berlin. This, they believed, would make it impossible for the...

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The Fall of Tenochtitlan

The Fall of Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan was an amazing city and larger than any in Europe at the time and held approximately 200,000 people with some estimates as high as 350,000. Built over 100 years or so on Lake Texcoco, the city was impressively organized. Being built on the lake meant that land platforms were created as needed in an orderly fashion leaving clean canal streets for canoe traffic and multiple bridges and paths for pedestrians. Each neighborhood was distinct and had its required services from schools...

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WW2 – Battle Of the Aleutian Islands

WW2 – Battle Of the Aleutian Islands

In June 1942, six months after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor that drew the U.S. into World War II, the Japanese targeted the Aleutians, an American-owned chain of remote, sparsely inhabited, volcanic islands extending some 1,200 miles west of the Alaskan Peninsula. After reaching the Aleutians, the Japanese conducted airstrikes on Dutch Harbor, the site of two American military bases, on June 3 and June 4. The Japanese then made landfall at Kiska Island on June 6 and Attu Island,...

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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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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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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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