Browsing: Military

A Brief History On May 7, 1763, the Indian versus Colonist conflict known as Pontiac’s War began, so called in a nod to the Native American chief that had put together a confederation of Native people in an attempt to oust British colonists from the Great Lakes region, including Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.  Pontiac must rank among the greatest of American statesmen for his accomplishment of uniting 15 tribes in his war against the British/American colonists.  After 3 years of bloody warfare, the war ended in a sort of stalemate, although the Native Americans did win certain concessions from the…

A Brief History On May 6, 1941, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt made its first flight, a maiden flight that would eventually see over 16,000 of the mighty fighter aircraft built, more than any other fighter aircraft produced by the United States in all of aviation history.  (In fact, among American warplanes, only the Consolidated B-24 Liberator (a bomber) was built in greater numbers, over 18,000 produced.)  We have previously discussed great airplanes, including great fighter planes, and the P-47 has a rather large contingent of supporters as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) when it comes to fighter aircraft, especially…

A Brief History On April 29, 1945, deep below the streets of Berlin in his “Führerbunker,” German Führer Adolf Hitler, beleaguered and possibly the most despised man in the world, married his long time mistress Eva Braun and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor to lead the Third Reich, what Germany had labeled its current government.  With the Soviet “Red” Army knocking on his door, Hitler knew the time had come that he and his dream of a greater Germany was coming to an end, and he was to kill himself the next day.  Still, his vanity did not…

A Brief History On April 24, 1918, at the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in Northern France, 3 British tanks met 3 German tanks in the first known instance of tank vs. tank combat in military history.  The battle raged from April 24 to April 27, 1918, as part of the German Spring Offensive (alternately known as the Ludendorff Offensive), a desperate attempt to snatch victory before the Americans could bring overwhelming reinforcements to the fight.  Of course, tanks had already seen battle in World War I, just not against each other. Digging Deeper One of the enduring innovations of World…

A Brief History On April 22, 1915, the Imperial German Army used chlorine gas in large quantities for the first time at Ypres, in Belgium, targeting French colonial troops.  Previous use of irritant (tear gasses) substances had previously been attempted by both side with little practical effect.  The shift to gas that could disable and kill people was a tremendous escalation in the chemical war aspect of World War I (1914-1918), then known as “The Great War.”  (Not so “great” if the enemy uses lethal gas against you!) Digging Deeper While people have engaged in warfare for thousands of years,…

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