Browsing: Military

A Brief History On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy conducted a devastating surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the Hickam Field Airbase on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.  Digging Deeper American Naval and Army forces were caught by surprise that fateful sunny Sunday morning and paid a terrible price for their lack of vigilance.  All the American battleships were either sunk or disabled.  Of the 390 American warplanes, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged.  Over 2,400 Americans died.  The Japanese were met with some token anti-aircraft fire and air-to-air interception, but the results were scant.  One…

A Brief History On November 30, 1864, Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood set what has to be a record for an American general for getting his subordinate generals killed and wounded after ordering an epic fail charge against Union forces led by Major General John M. Schofield at the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee during the American Civil War. Digging Deeper The opposing forces started out virtually dead even, with 27,000 troops on each side.  Hood planned to attack the Union forces with a frontal assault even though his cavalry commander, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, counseled instead for an envelopment of the…

A Brief History On November 24, 1863, Union forces under the command of future President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant captured Lookout Mountain as part of the campaign to relieve the siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee by Confederate General Braxton Bragg.  Grant is known as the most successful Union general of the Civil War, and as the man most responsible for winning that war.  This much is true, but many of the other things we think we “know” about Grant are not so true. Digging Deeper For starters, Grant was not a drunkard.  As a young officer, he had a…

A Brief History On November 17, 1871, The National Rifle Association (NRA) was first chartered in the state of New York by William Church, the editor of the Army and Navy Journal and General George Wood Wingate.  The first president of the NRA was Union General Ambrose Burnside who had also worked as a gunsmith in Rhode Island. (Hey! this author has been to Rhode Island, have you?) Digging Deeper It is believed that during the Civil War, the Union Army fired about 1,000 rifle shots for every Confederate soldier hit.  Burnside was well aware of the sorry state of marksmanship among his…

A Brief History On November 15, 1942, the Heinkel He 219, often called the “Uhu,” which is German for eagle-owl, made its first flight.  A year later, the first editions became operational.  Designed from the ground up as a night fighter to combat the British night-bombing raids, the He 219 had an innovative design which incorporated air-to-air radar and the first ejection seats installed in an operational aircraft.  It was also the only German plane of World War II with tricycle-type landing gear. Digging Deeper The He 219 suffered what most German aircraft developed during World War II suffered from, that being bureaucratic infighting between various…

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