Battlefield Chronicles

Vietnam War – Operation Crazy Horse (1966)

Vietnam War – Operation Crazy Horse (1966)

On May 20, 1966, close to dusk and in a light rain, B Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry (ABN/AMB), 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by Capt. Roy D. Martin was airlifted by Chinook helicopters (CH-47s) into a small clearing located in the mountains east of the Vinh Thanh Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The clearing had been designated LZ Horse and could accommodate only one CH-47 at a time.  The company had been ordered to the LZ to begin operations in search of a large NVA/VC...

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Boer War: Wolseley And Rorke’s Drift (1879)

Boer War: Wolseley And Rorke’s Drift (1879)

I recently reviewed a biographical history of the men who flew on the famous Doolittle Raid of 1942 where I professed strong approval of that kind of book. We now must jump back further to the year 1879 for a similar and equally effective work by the respected Zulu War historian James W Bancroft. Heroic Actions of "Rorke Drift" This book, "Rorke's Drift: The Zulu War, 1879", is the sum of decades of work, provides biographies of the men awarded the Victoria Cross for their actions during the...

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Summary of The Vietnam War (1959-1975)

Summary of The Vietnam War (1959-1975)

Vietnam was a country torn by war long before Americans became involved in the fighting. French domination was interrupted by the Japanese occupation in World War II, during which Communist leader Ho Chi Minh formed his Viet Minh organization and began guerrilla operations against both occupying powers. The Viet Minh came to power when Japan fell, and the French Indochina War began in 1946 as France attempted to regain control over its colony. The war ended in May 1954 when the Viet Minh...

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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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Gulf War – The Lightning in Desert Storm (1991)

Gulf War – The Lightning in Desert Storm (1991)

Before Desert Storm 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. 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, gathered in...

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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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Vietnam War – LZ Hereford (1966)

Vietnam War – LZ Hereford (1966)

Twenty-three Montagnard mercenaries led by Special Forces Sergeants Burton Adams and David Freeman moved quietly through the front gate of the Vinh Thanh Special Forces camp on May 15, 1966, and slipped into the early morning darkness and light fog. Like other patrols sent out over the past week, they were hoping to find anything that would confirm a captured Viet Cong's claim that a combined North Vietnamese Army/Viet Cong force would soon attack their camp. The patrol members moved to the...

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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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Korean War – Sacrifice And Survival at Chosin Reservoir (1950)

Korean War – Sacrifice And Survival at Chosin Reservoir (1950)

For 19-year-old Pat Finn, a Minnesota Marine with Item Co, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, the night seemed colder and darker than any of the others he'd experienced since landing in Korea. His Battalion had just arrived at a desolate, frozen lake he would remember for the rest of his life: the Chosin Reservoir. As the sun went down on November 27, 1950, and temperatures sank to 20 degrees below zero, Marines at Yudam-ni, a small village on the west side of the Chosin Reservoir, hunkered down for...

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WW2 – Behind Enemy Lines – The 82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day (1944)

WW2 – Behind Enemy Lines – The 82nd and 101st Airborne on D-Day (1944)

The amphibious landings of D-Day were hours away when the first combat missions by the US Army started in France. The invasion of Normandy began with a large-scale parachute drop that included 13,100 Soldiers of the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions. The attack occurred during the night in the early hours of June 6th, 1944, and was the vanguard of the Allied operations in Normandy. The troops were all part of the US VII Corps assigned to capture Cherbourg, the coastal city in Normandy,...

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World War II – Battle of Iwo Jima (1945)

World War II – Battle of Iwo Jima (1945)

The Battle of Iwo Jima was an epic military campaign between U.S. Marines and the Imperial Army of Japan in early 1945. Located 750 miles off the coast of Japan, the island of Iwo Jima had three airfields that could serve as a staging facility for a potential invasion of mainland Japan. American forces invaded the island on February 19, 1945, and the ensuing Battle of Iwo Jima lasted for five weeks.  In some of the bloodiest fighting of World War II, it's believed that all but 200 or so...

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Korean War – Night Fighter Team

Korean War – Night Fighter Team

On January 21, 1953, during Korea’s Winter War. Night fighter team "George" of composite squadron three (VC-3) was operating from USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in the Sea of Japan. Excerpt from combat report: Saw 75-100 trucks on G-3, seven trucks seen damaged. Meager to intense AA, much rifle fire was seen. The plane hit by 30 cal. Item - Lt. James L. Brown, USNR assigned F4U-5N #124713. One-night landing aboard without incident. 2.6 combat hours. Combat strike report comments, like that above, were...

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