Browsing: Military

A Brief History On October 23, 1739, the War of Jenkins’ Ear began when British Prime Minister Robert Walpole declared war on Spain following the exhibition in Parliament of the severed ear of a British captain allegedly maimed by Spaniards. Digging Deeper In 1731, a British captain named Robert Jenkins captained a British brig sailing off of Florida’s coast.  When a Spanish patrol boat boarded Jenkins’s brig, the Spanish commander cut off Jenkins’s left ear, accusing the British captain of smuggling.  The ear-severing Spaniard then taunted Jenkins, daring him to “tell your King that I will do the same, if…

A Brief History On October 21, 1944, Japan began their notorious kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, first striking HMAS Australia. Digging Deeper By 1944, World War II in the Pacific Theater had been raging for several years.  While the European War is traditionally dated to have begun in 1939, the Pacific Theater arguably began two years earlier with Japan’s invasion of China.  Thus, Japan had been fighting against myriad enemies for nearly seven years by the autumn of 1944. During those seven years, Japan had rapidly established an impressive colonial empire that at its height seemed to…

A Brief History On October 20, 2011, the former King of Kings of Africa’s gruesome murder was recorded and posted all over the internet. Digging Deeper Muammar Gaddafi was once one of the longest “reigning” leaders in the world.  After a revolution overthrew Libya’s monarchy in 1969, Gaddafi seized power, holding a number of ever more lofty sounding titles.  From 1969 through 2011, he at various times referred to himself as the Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution in Libya, Prime Minister of Libya, Chairperson of the African Union, and yes, toward the end of his life, he even…

A Brief History On October 15, 1863, The H. L. Hunley, a Confederate (the South!) submarine, sank during a test, killing its inventor and namesake, Horace L. Hunley. Digging Deeper The Hunley was NOT the first submarine ever invented and certainly not the first one ever used for military purposes.  The first military submersible was most likely the Turtle invented by David Bushnell in 1775 for use in the American Revolutionary War.  Robert Fulton, another American inventor, invented the leaky Nautilus in 1800 and thus tried unsuccessfully to entice First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte of France to make use of the…

A Brief History On October 12, 1216, King John of England lost his crown jewels! Digging Deeper England has had only one king named John for a good reason: their only king who had that name was quite possibly the country’s worst monarch in its entire over 1000-year-long history! John “Lackland” or “Softsword” (December 24, 1166 –  October 19, 1216) reigned as England’s king from April 6, 1199 until his death on October 19, 1216.  He succeeded the famed crusader-king Richard the Lionhearted on England’s throne and experienced one debacle after another.  Even before John’s reign officially began, he tried…