Battlefield Chronicles

The Battle of New Orleans

The Battle of New Orleans

The War of 1812 held a lot of meaning for the young United States. It was an assertion of its independence from Great Britain, a demand to be recognized and respected as a nation of the world, and it was a chance to show that the U.S. would assert itself militarily if the need arose.  What most people, even Americans, remember about the War of 1812 (aside from the burning of the White House) is that the conflict was fought to a draw. Very little tangibly changed following nearly three...

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The Battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo

Few battles in American history resound so powerfully in our collective memory as that of the Alamo. The Battle of the Alamo had everything we could ever want in an epic story. It featured a handful of defenders fighting for freedom, facing down an overwhelming but cruel enemy, and among those defenders were some of America's most legendary names.  When the defenders of the Alamo were killed to the last man, it inspired a country to take up arms and win their freedom, lest they all meet...

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WW2 – Battle of Guadalcanal

WW2 – Battle of Guadalcanal

Though it probably didn't feel like it at the time, the Allies in the Pacific Theater of World War II were able to respond to the Japanese advances relatively quickly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor wasn't the only surprise target that day. The Imperial Japanese Navy also struck targets held by the Dutch and British and the American-held Philippines.  The Naval Campaign at Guadalcanal By August of 1942, just nine months after its coordinated surprise attacks across the...

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Civil War – The Battle of Glendale: The Day the South Nearly Won (1862)

Civil War – The Battle of Glendale: The Day the South Nearly Won (1862)

It has become an accepted historical fact that the South could not have won the American Civil War. The North's advantages in finance, population, railroads, manufacturing, technology, and naval assets, among others, are often cited as prohibitively decisive. Yes, the South had the advantage of fighting on the defensive, this with interior lines, but those two meager pluses appear dwarfed by the North's overwhelming strategic advantages, hence defeat virtually a foregone conclusion. But if...

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Cold War – Operation El Dorado Canyon

Cold War – Operation El Dorado Canyon

On April 5, 1986, the La Belle nightclub in Berlin, a popular off-duty spot for U.S. troops, exploded, injuring 229 people and killing three, including two American soldiers. Among the wounded were 79 more Americans.  The bomb was placed underneath the DJ booth and went off at 1:45 in the morning. It killed Sgt. Kenneth T. Ford immediately. Sgt. James Goins was wounded in the blast but died of his injuries two months later.  American intelligence agencies suspected Libyan involvement....

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Vietnam War – Siege of Plei Me

Vietnam War – Siege of Plei Me

J. Keith Saliba's book's real-life setting is an isolated, heavily fortified frontier outpost In Vietnam's West-Central Highlands near the Cambodian border and the Ho Chi Minh trail, the main conduit for troops and supplies from North Vietnam. "It was a 20th-century version of the Wild West frontier fortress," Saliba said, in territory Army Special Forces soldiers called "Indian Country"-remote, dangerous. The Siege of Plei Me Was the Beginning of the First Major Confrontation In October 1965,...

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Iraq War – The Siege of Sadr City

Iraq War – The Siege of Sadr City

On Mar. 28, 2004, Paul Bremer, administrator of the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, ordered the closure of al-Hawza, an Arabic-language newspaper that was a sounding board for the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.  Bremer shut down the weekly paper because he believed it encouraged violence against U.S. troops in Iraq. It was only supposed to last 60 days, but the action would spark a series of events that led to a four-year siege and a series of battles between Coalition...

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The Battle of Manila Bay

The Battle of Manila Bay

The first major battle "The Battle of Manila Bay" of the Spanish-American War was also one of the U.S. Navy's most resounding victories. Much has been written about how and why the Spanish-American War started, what the catalyst for the war was, and who's to blame for it all. Once Spain declared war on the United States and the U.S. Congress responded in kind, the U.S. Navy was ready for action. When the war broke out, the Spanish had a formidable squadron of ships stationed in the...

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WW2 – The Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp

WW2 – The Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp

On January 27 1945 the Soviet Army pried open the gates of Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland and liberated some 7,000 emaciated prisoners. About 58,000 others had been hurriedly marched westward before the Soviet Army approached. Auschwitz, the German word for the Polish town of Oswiecim, was the site of the largest Nazi concentration camp during WWII. It consisted of a concentration camp, a labor camp, and large gas chambers and crematoria. More than 1.3 million people...

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Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

In the early days of the Korean War, things looked pretty bleak for the American and South Korean forces in the Korean Peninsula. The sudden Communist advance across the 38th parallel took the allies by complete surprise, and despite stiff resistance, North Korean troops almost pushed the U.S. and South Korea into the Sea of Japan. Those defenders fell back into a 140-mile battle line around the port city of Pusan (now Busan) at the southeastern tip of the peninsula. They determined that...

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Civil War – The First Battle Of Bull Run

Civil War – The First Battle Of Bull Run

Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was sitting down to breakfast in the Virginia house of Wilmer McLean in 1861 when a cannonball burst into the room via the chimney. The destruction of the fireplace ruined the morning meal. Beauregard was using McLean's house as his headquarters for the First Battle of Bull Run. Three months had passed since the Confederate shelled Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and booted the Union garrison out of the state. The Federal army was making a play for the...

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WW2 – The Battle Of Dutch Harbor

WW2 – The Battle Of Dutch Harbor

The Aleutian Islands are known for their rugged, treeless tundra and almost perpetually foul weather, but during the early days of World War II, they were considered a valuable piece of real estate. Fresh off their success at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were looking to consolidate their gains in the Pacific while also stymying any potential U.S. attacks against their home islands. The Aleutians - situated at the center of the shortest route between the United States and Japan - were viewed as a...

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