Battlefield Chronicles

America’s War in Afghanistan

America’s War in Afghanistan

On Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11th terror attacks, U.S. warplanes bombed targets in Afghanistan in what would be the opening offensive of Operation Enduring Freedom, the effort to drive the Taliban and al-Qaida from the country and install a democratic government. United States Toppled the Taliban-Ruled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan CIA operatives and U.S. Special Forces teamed with the mostly-Tajik Northern Alliance to take Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, and other cities under...

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WW1 – Battle of Saint-Mihiel

WW1 – Battle of Saint-Mihiel

The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, when it declared war on Germany. The declaration came after a series of provocative acts from the German military and diplomatic corps. U.S. troops arrived in Europe by June 1917 but were largely ill-prepared for the kind of fighting taking place on the western front.  Preparation for the Saint-Mihiel Battle For months, American soldiers were used to augment French and British forces in Europe. As training improved and the number of...

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Civil War – The Battle of Nashville

Civil War – The Battle of Nashville

On Dec. 15, 1864, Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood had the unfortunate job of going up against the Union's only undefeated general officer, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. Thomas, nicknamed "The Rock of Chickamauga" for preventing a disaster for the Union in 1863, would keep that record throughout the Civil War. After the two-day Battle of Nashville, his nickname would become "The Sledge of Nashville," after he effectively destroyed the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Sherman's Famous March to the...

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WW2 – Battle Of Wake Island (1941)

WW2 – Battle Of Wake Island (1941)

The Battle of Wake Island was fought December 8-23, 1941, during the opening days of World War II. A tiny atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, Wake Island was annexed by the United States in 1899. Located between Midway and Guam, the island was not permanently settled until 1935 when Pan American Airways built a town and hotel to service their trans-Pacific China Clipper flights. Consisting of three small islets, Wake, Peale, and Wilkes, Wake Island was to the north of the Japanese-held...

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WW2 – D-Day Landings: The 82nd and 101st Airborne

WW2 – D-Day Landings: The 82nd and 101st Airborne

The amphibious landings of D-Day were hours away when the first combat missions by the US Army started in France. The Normandy invasion, also called Operation Overlord or D-Day, began with a large-scale parachute drop that included 13,100 Soldiers of the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions. During the night in the early hours of June 6th, 1944, the attack occurred and was the vanguard of the Allied operations in Normandy. What Was the Mission of the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions on...

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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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