Battlefield Chronicles

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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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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Civil War – Sherman’s March to The Sea (1861-1865)

Civil War – Sherman’s March to The Sea (1861-1865)

The March to the Sea, the most destructive campaign against a civilian population during the Civil War (1861-65), began in Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and ended in Savannah on December 21, 1864. Union General William T. Sherman abandoned his supply line and marched across Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean to prove to the Confederate population that its government could not protect the people from invaders. He practiced psychological warfare; he believed that by marching an Army across the state...

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Civil War – Battle of Drewry’s Bluff (1862)

Civil War – Battle of Drewry’s Bluff (1862)

On May 15, 1862, the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, also known as the Battle of Fort Darling, was fought between Union and Confederate forces at a sharp bend on the James River near Richmond, Virginia. Union forces were stationed aboard warships in the river, and Confederate forces were high on a fortified bluff. Richmond was the Confederate capital and vulnerable to attack by the Union Army on land, and by the Union Navy through the navigable James River. In March 1862, Confederate Captain...

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Gulf War – The Lightning in Desert Storm (1991)

Gulf War – The Lightning in Desert Storm (1991)

The Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne were among the first soldiers deployed to Saudi Arabia following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August of 1990. Before Operation Desert Storm Roughly six months later, the storied division would launch an unprecedented airborne assault taking them over 150 miles (241 kilometers) behind enemy lines and within 100 miles (161 kilometers) of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. In 1990, a coalition of forces from around the world, headed by the United States,...

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Vietnam War – The Battle of Hue

Vietnam War – The Battle of Hue

Another Leatherneck, a black-bearded machine gunner, led a charge up a mountain of rubble that had once been a stately tower, shouting: "We're Marines, let's go!". These episodes illustrate the battle of the Hue Citadel - a grim, struggle through the courtyards and battlements of the old imperial fort. The fight pits U.S. and Vietnamese Marines, determined to take the Citadel, against North Vietnamese soldiers equally determined to hold it. John Olson, a photographer with the Pacific edition...

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United States Expedition to Korea (1871)

United States Expedition to Korea (1871)

Sometimes good relationships get off to a bad start. The United States and South Korea are a case in point. Today, Seoul is a valued American ally. But U.S.-Korean relations started with conflict rather than cooperation when on June 10, 1871, the U.S. Navy Expedition to Korea sent to open relations with Korea instead waged the Battle of Ganghwa. The Main Purpose of Expedition to Korea The backdrop for the hostilities was the American desire to establish trade relations with Korea. Like its...

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Civil War – The Battle of Atlanta

Civil War – The Battle of Atlanta

In the summer of 1864, the Confederate States of America was reeling from a series of defeats that would ultimately lead to its demise. Despite the Union victory at Gettysburg in 1863 that turned the Army of Northern Virginia back and the capture of Vicksburg that gave the Union control of the Mississippi River, the outcome of the Civil War was anything but assured.  After leading the Union Army at the Siege of Vicksburg and his subsequent win at Chattanooga, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted...

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Korean War – the Battle Of Heartbreak Ridge

Korean War – the Battle Of Heartbreak Ridge

By the summer of 1951, the Korean War had reached a stalemate as peace negotiations began at Kaesong. The opposing armies faced each other across a line which ran with many twists and turns along the way from east to west, through the middle of the Korean peninsula, a few miles north of the 38th parallel. UN and communist forces jockeyed for position along this line, clashing in several relatively small but intense and bloody battles.  The First Bloody Ground Battle One bloody ground battle...

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Cold War – 1983 Beirut Bombing

Cold War – 1983 Beirut Bombing

In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community, and other groups. During the next few years, Syrian, Israeli, and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting, and in August 1982 a multinational force arrived to oversee the safe and peaceful withdrawal of Yasir Arafat and the PLO from positions within Beirut and ensure the safety of the...

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