Military History: Most Popular Articles
The Intolerable Acts were a series of punitive laws passed by Parliament in the spring 1774, in response to the 1773 Boston Tea Party. Consisting of five parts, the Intolerable Acts included the Boston Port, Massachusetts Government, Administration of Justice, Quartering, and Quebec Acts. Causing outrage, the Intolerable Acts worked to push the colonies towards rebellion.
The Battle of Yorktown was fought between September 28 and October 19, 1781, after Gen. George Washington slipped away from New York and besieged Gen. Charles Cornwallis' army at Yorktown, VA. Supported by the French, Washington was able to compel the British to surrender after a brief siege. The Battle of Yorktown was the last major engagement of the American Revolution.
The Vietnam War had its roots in French colonialism and World War II. Rebeling against French authority, Vietnamese forces were able to drive them from the country in 1954. Divided by the Geneva Accords, Vietnam was split north and south, with the United States supporting the democratic South Vietnam.
The causes of World War II in Europe can be traced to the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I. As a result of economic hardship imposed by the treaty, as well as the Great Depression, Germany embraced the fascist Nazi Party. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis took control of the country and began a program of expansion that culminated with the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 and caused World War II to begin.
An overview of the 1982 Falklands War between Great Britain and Argentina. The Falklands War occurred after Argentine forces occupied the Falklands Islands in April 1982. Shortly thereafter a British naval task force succeeded in recapturing the Falklands and forcing the Argentine troops there to surrender.
The bloodiest conflict in history, World War II consumed the globe from 1939-1945. World War II was fought largely in Europe, the Pacific, and eastern Asia, and pitted the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan against the Allied nations of Great Britain, France, China, the United States, and Soviet Union. While the Axis enjoyed early success, they were gradually beaten back, with both Italy and Germany falling to Allied troops and Japan surrendering after the use of the atomic bomb.
Start here for information about the Vietnam War - a short, one page overview of the conflict.
The Battle of Fort McHenry was fought September 13/14, 1814, during the British attack on Baltimore. While British troops were checked at North Point on September 12, VAdm. Alexander Cochrane's fleet attacked Fort McHenry with the goal of taking the city. Enduring a 25-hour bombardment, Fort McHenry held and the British were forced to withdraw.
The Stamp Act of 1765 was passed by Parliament to raise money to pay for British troops in North America. Taxing paper products, the Stamp Act was violently opposed by the colonists leading to calls of
The American Civil War was the result of a variety of causes ranging from slavery and states rights to industrialization and societal change. These causes touched off secession and hostilities.
The Lee-Enfield rifle was the standard service rifle of British and Commonwealth forces for much of the first half of the 20th century. A bolt-action, magazine-fed weapon, the Lee-Enfield saw extensive service during World War I and II. It is the second-most produced military rifle of all-time.
The Battle of the Bulge was the result of a massive offensive launched by the Germans on December 16, 1944. A desperate attempt to defeat the Allies in the West, the Battle of the Bulge saw the Germans mass their remaining strength in an attempt to capture Antwerp. After initial success, the German offensive was stopped and defeated by Allied troops.
The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain. Beginning in June 1812, the War of 1812 was the result of American anger over trade issues, impressment of sailors, and British support of Indian attacks on the frontier. Lasting two and half years, the War of 1812 saw American forces attempt to invade Canada while the British attacked American territory. Ended in early 1815, the war resulted in a return to status quo ante bellum.
Charles Martel was the leader of the Frankish army at the Battle of Tours in 732, and played a key role in turning back the Muslim invasions of Europe. Charles Martel also founded the Carolingian Empire which was later ruled by his grandson, Charlemagne.
Andersonville Prison was the most notorious prisoner of war camp of the Civil War. Constructed in southern Georgia, the 26.5 acre, open stockade received over 45,000 prisoners during its year of operation. Plagued by disease and starvation, 12,913 Union prisoners died at Andersonville.
The American Revolution was caused as a result of increasing colonial unhappiness with the policies of the British government. Following the French and Indian War, the British attempted to levy a series of taxes on the American colonies. The American Revolution was caused when colonial protests led to armed conflict.
The Battle of Isandlwana was fought on January 22, 1879, during the opening stages of the Anglo-Zulu War. After advancing into Zululand, the British troops guarding the camp at Isandlwana were attacked by the main Zulu army and massacred. The defeat at Isandlwana remains the greatest British defeat at the hands of native forces.
King Richard I the Lionheart was crowned King of England September 3, 1189. A gifted military leader, Richard the Lionheart is best known for his role in the Third Crusade against Saladin. Richard was killed on April 6, 1199, while besieging Chalus-Chabrol castle in France.
The Battle of Ia Drang was fought November 14-18, 1965, during the Vietnam War. The first major battle to involve American troops, Ia Drang saw air mobile US forces land in the Central Highlands. During the course of the fight, they endured heavy fighting before winning a tactical victory.
The Battle of Bladensburg was fought August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812. Landing in Maryland, British troops advanced on Washington, DC via Bladensburg. Reaching the town, they routed American troops at the Battle of Bladensburg before capturing the capital.
The Fall of Constantinople took place in 1453 after the Ottomans successfully laid siege to the city. The loss of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. The siege of Constantinople was conducted by Mehmet II and lasted nearly two months.
Valley Forge was the encampment for Gen. George Washington's Continental Army during the winter of 1777/78. Arriving at Valley Forge battered after several defeats, the Continental Army endured a winter of starvation and privation. During the encampment, it was drilled and trained by the Prussian Baron von Steuben.
The Battle of Midway in early June 1942, marked the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. Fighting to the west of Midway, the US Navy attacked and sunk four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own.
The 1918 Battle of Amiens was an opening battle of the Allies' Hundred Days' Offensive. Attacking east of Amiens, Allied forces gained over seven miles on the first day. The Battle of Amiens was a decisive victory for the Allies and saw a return to mobile warfare.
Operation Market-Garden was conducted September 17-25, 1944, in an attempt to capture bridges over the Rhine. Market-Garden was devised by Bernard Montgomery and called for Allied airborne forces to be dropped near bridges in the Netherlands in conjunction with a ground offensive. While the first two sets of bridges were taken, the Germans held the third and Market-Garden failed.
The Battle of Gallipoli began when British Commonwealth and French troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula of Turkey adjacent to the Dardanelles. In a brutal campaign, Allied forces were unable to dislodge the Turks from Gallipoli's heights. After nearly a year of fighting they ended the fight and withdrew.
The English Longbow was devastating weapon on the medieval battlefield and was extensively used between the 13th and 17th centuries. Firing heavy arrows at long range, archers equipped with the English Longbow were capable of defeating charges by armored knights. The weapon is best remembered for its contributions to the English victories at Crecy (1346) and Agincourt (1415).
World War II saw some of the bloodiest battles ever fought. Beginning in 1939 with the German attack on Poland, the battles of the World War I ranged across the world from the France to Russia to the Pacific. These massive battles made famous places such as Stalingrad, Midway, the Bulge, and Iwo Jima.
The Battle of Trenton was fought December 26, 1776, during the American Revolution. The Battle of Trenton occurred when American troops under Gen. George Washington crossed the Delaware River and launched a surprise attack on the Hessian garrison. A much-needed American victory, Trenton saw Washington capture most of the enemy force.
The Battle of Stalingrad was a key battle on the Eastern Front during World War II. Advancing into the Soviet Union, the Germans opened the Battle of Stalingrad in July 1942. After over six months of fighting at Stalingrad, the German Sixth Army was encircled and captured. The Soviet victory at Stalingrad was a turning point on the Eastern Front.
The Boxer Rebellion was an anti-foreigner, anti-West uprising in China in 1899 and 1900. Largely caused by foreign influence in trade, religion, and politics, the Boxer Rebellion was suppressed by the Eight-Nation Alliance of Japan, Great Britain, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, the Austo-Hungarian Empire, and Russia.
USS Saratoga (CV-3) was one of the US Navy's first aircraft carriers and saw service during World War II. Serving in the Pacific, USS Saratoga took part in many of the Allied campaigns against Japan. USS Saratoga was sunk as part of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll in 1946.
The Marquis de Lafayette was a French noble who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Arriving in 1777, Lafayette became one of Gen. George Washington's most trusted subordinates. Returning home, he played a prominent role in the early phases of the French Revolution.
The Vietnam War traces its roots back to the country's division after the defeat of French colonial rule. American involvement in the Vietnam War began in 1965 following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. In 1973, US forces left Southeast Asia ending their participation and two years later Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces ending the Vietnam War.
General George Patton was a key American commander during World War II. A gifted athlete, George Patton saw service in World War I and helped pioneer mobile warfare. An outspoken leader, Patton proved gifted corps and army commander in North Africa and Europe.
After hijacking Air France Flight 139, the terrorists directed the plane to divert to Entebbe, Uganda where the Jews and Israelis were separated from the other passengers and kept hostage in the airport terminal. On July 4, 1976, a group of Israeli commandos landed at Entebbe and stormed the terminal, rescuing the the hostages.
The Panther medium tank entered service with the Wehrmacht in mid-1943. Possessing an excellent blend of firepower, armor, and speed, the Panther was one of the finest tanks produced during World War II. Used until the end of the conflict, the Panther strongly influenced postwar tank designs.
World War I saw some of the bloodiest battles ever fought. Beginning in 1914 with the attack on Serbia, the battles of the World War I ranged across the world from the France to Africa to Russia. These massive battles made famous places such as Tannenberg, the Somme, Verdun, and Gallipoli.
George Washington served as commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. A veteran of the French & Indian War, George Washington achieved mixed results in the field but became a powerful symbol of American resistance to Britain. George Washington later served as the first President of the United States.
The Battle of Okinawa was fought April 1 to June 22, 1945, during World War II. Landing on Okinawa, Allied forces met fierce resistance from the Japanese defenders. Lasting nearly three months, the Battle of Okinawa ended with Allied troops capturing the island.
D-Day refers to the Invasion of Normandy which took place on June 6, 1944, during World War II. Landing on D-Day, Allied forces were preceded by airborne troops which dropped during the night. On D-Day, Allied forces gained a foothold in France from which they would advance to defeat Germany.
The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world's first operational jet fighter. A groundbreaking aircraft, the Me 262 entered service in 1944. Though faster than Allied fighters, the Me 262 was not as maneuverable and never appeared in large enough numbers to have an impact on the war.
The American Revolution was fought between 1775 and 1783, and was the result of increasing colonial unhappiness with British rule. During the American Revolution, American forces were constantly hampered by a lack of resources, but managed to win critical victories which led to an alliance with France. Following the American victory at Yorktown, fighting effectively ended and the war was concluded with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was one of the principal heavy bombers used by the US Army Air Force during World War II. First flying in late 1939, the B-24 Liberator saw extensive service during the war and was also used for maritime patrols. One of the B-24's most famous raids occured in 1943, when the aircraft struck the oil fields near Ploesti.
The Raid on Son Tay was an attempt by US Special Forces to liberate American prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Flying from Thailand, the raiders successfully captured the POW camp at Son Tay, however all of the prisoners had been moved to a different camp a few months earlier. Though no one was liberated, the mission was deemed a
The Lend-Lease Act of 1941 was legislation that allowed the neutral United States to provide direct military aid to the Allies. The Lend-Lease act allowed the US to loan, lease, defense equipment for the duration of the war. Used extensively, it provided all typs of equipment from frontline weapons to vast numbers of trucks and railroad stock.
USS Missouri was an Iowa-class battleship that was launched during World War II. The last battleship built for the US Navy, USS Missoui saw action in the Pacific and was the site of the formal surrender of Japan. After the conflict, USS Missouri saw service in the Korean War and, after a major refit, the 1991 Gulf War.
The Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865, and was the bloodiest conflict in American history. Pitting North against South, the Civil War had lasting repucussions that are still felt today. This overview will provide a brief history of the Civil War.
The Civil War saw the largest battles ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. Beginning with the attack on Fort Sumter, the battles of the Civil War ranged across the country from the East Coast to the Mississippi River. These massive battles made famous places such as Antietam, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Peterburg.
General Sir William Howe was a key British commander during the American Revolution. Howe led took command of British forces in American in 1775 and conducted successful campaigns against New York and Philadelphia. Howe resigned in 1778 and returned to Britain.
The Battle of Alamo was fought between Texan and Mexican forces between February 23 and March 6, 1836. Fighting for independence, the Texans fortified the Alamo and withstood a thirteen-day siege before Mexican forces overran the mission. Noted frontiermen Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett were killed in the fighting.
The Battle of Quebec was fought across the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759. Led by Major General James Wolfe, British forces succeeded in defeating the French and captured Quebec a short time later. The Battle of Quebec was the decisive battle of the war in North America and resulted in the death of both commanders.
The V-2 was designed by the Germans during World War II and was the world's first ballistic missile. Fired from mobile launchers, V-2 strikes hit Antwerp and London during the latter stages of the conflict. Following the war, the V-2's creators played key roles in the space race.
World War I commenced in August 1914 after a series of events sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. World War I was the largest conflict in history to date, killed over 15 million people, and devastated large parts of Europe before its end in November 1918.
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was fought during the Korean War after Chinese forces entered the conflict. Occurring between November 26 and December 13, 1950, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir saw badly outnumbered United Nations forces fight their way through Chinese lines to reach the port of Hungnam. During the campaign, UN troops endured extreme cold and hardship before successfully escaping.
The War of 1812 was the result of rising tensions between the United States and Great Britain during the early years of the 19th century. These included the frequent impressment of sailors from American ships, interference with overseas trade, and the belief that the British were encouraging Native American attacks on the frontier. As a result, the US declared war in June 1812.
The M1 Garand was the first semiautomatic rifle to be issued to an entire army. Developed in the 1920s and 1930s, the M1 was designed by John Garand. Firing a .30-06 round, the M1 Garand was the main infantry weapon employed by US forces during World War II and the Korean War.
With the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973, the United States ended its direct involvement in the Vietnam War. In 1974, North Vietnam began offensive operations against South Vietnam. The Vietnam War ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was a noted British commander during World War II. Taking command of Eighth Army in 1942, he won a critical victory at El Alamein before successfully leading it across North Africa, then across to Sicily and Italy. Commanding Allied forces in Western Europe, Montgomery masterminded Operation Market-Garden and fought until the end of the war.
The Battle of Anzio began on January 22, 1944, with Allied troops landing as part of Operation Shingle. Blocked by the Germans at Monte Cassino, Allied leaders hoped to outflank the Winter Line by landing further north at Anzio. While a beachhead was established around Anzio, it was soon contained by German forces. The Allies would not break out from Anzio until May.
American Revolution Brigadier General Francis Marion a.k.a.The Swamp Fox
Best known for his role in the American Revolution, Lord Charles Cornwallis was a noted British military commander and colonial governor in the 18th and 19th centuries. Forced to surrender to George Washington at Yorktown in 1781, Cornwallis later served as governor-general of India where he worked to reform British colonial administration.
The Battle of Plassey was fought June 23,1757, during the Seven Years' War. Taking place in India, the Battle of Plassey saw the British East India Company square off against the French and Nawab of Bengal. A decisive victory for Robert Clive and the British, the Battle of Plassey saw them gain control of Bengal with the assistance of defectors from the Nawab's army.
Fought on April 19, 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord were the opening actions of the American Revolution. The first shots were fired at Lexington as British troops from Boston passed through on their way to capture colonial military stores in Concord. After departing Concord, the British were attacked by colonial militia en route back to the city and suffered substantial casualties.
The Battle of New Orleans was fought between December 23, 1814 and January 8, 1815. Unaware that peace had been concluded at Ghent, British forces moved forward to capture New Orleans. In several battles around the city, American troops, under Major General Andrew Jackson succeeded in defending the city.
Little Boy was the first atomic bomb used against Japan in World War II, detonated over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
The iconic American tank of World War II, the M4 Sherman was produced in large numbers and served in all theaters. The M4 Sherman tank was a reliable, easily produced medium tank that provided invaluable service in supporting American troops. The M4 Sherman tank saw service with many nations during and after the war.
The Battle of Lepanto was a key naval engagement during the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars. Meeting in the Gulf of Patras, the forces of the Holy League succeeded in defeating the Ottoman fleet and ending Turkish expansion in the Mediterranean.
The P-38 Lightning entered service in 1941, and saw action with American forces for much of World War II. Known for its twin tail booms and single central nacelle, the P-38 was fast and durable. With its nose-mounted armament, the P-38 was favored by American aces such as Richard Bong and Thomas MacGuire.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the genius behind Japan's early naval successes during World War II. After the attack at Pearl Harbor, Yamamoto was finally defeated at the Battle of Midway. On April 18, 1943, Yamamoto was killed when his plane was intercepted by American fighters near Bougainville.
The Battle of Agincourt was fought October 25, 1415, during the Hundred Years' War. In the resulting battle, Henry V won a decisive victory.
The Tiger I was a famous tank produced by Germany during World War II. The Tiger was the first to mount the heavy 88mm gun. Used on all fronts by the Wehrmacht, the Tiger was a dangerous opponent, but complex and mechanically unreliable.
Audie Murphy was the most decorated America soldier of World War II. Achieving the rank of first lieutenant, Audie Murphy received 33 decorations for his service in Europe. Audie Murphy won the Medal of Honor for his actions at Holtzwihr, France and later became a movie star.
The Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773, in Boston harbor. Angered by the imposition of the Tea Act, colonists in Boston refused to allow new shipments to be landed. On the night of December 16, angry colonists boarded three tea ships in the harbor and tossed crates of tea into the harbor. Known as the Boston Tea Party, this act contributed to the tensions that led to the American Revolution.
Fighting the Battle of Dunkirk, the British Expeditionary Force struggled to hold off the German advance in order to allow Allied forces to evacuate to England. Forming a defensive perimeter around Dunkirk, British forces held out long enough to allow a wide variety of vessels to rescue over 330,000 men. Though a defeat, the success of the Dunkirk evacuation allowed Britain to continue the war.
World War II saw the rise of great admirals in each of the combatant nations. Here we profile five of the best admirals to command fleets during the conflict.
The Korean War was fought between 1950 and 1953 between South Korea and United Nations forces and North Korea and China. The Korean War began when North Korea invaded its neighbor in June 1950. Over the next three years, the Korean War saw both sides fight up and down the peninsula until an armistice took effect in July 1953.
The P-47 Thunderbolt was a key Allied fighter and fighter-bomber during World War II. The P-47 Thunderbolt entered service in 1942, and the fighter saw service in both Europe and the Pacific. Nicknamed
The Battle of Singapore was fought in early 1942 during World War II. The Battle of Singapore saw a smaller Japanese force force the surrender of Britain's strongest outpost in the Far East. Defeated at Singapore, the British lost over 100,000 men.
The causes of World War II in the Pacific began following World War I when the Western Powers recognized Japan as a colonial power. In a quest for additional natural resources and to ease population pressure, Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. These conflicts were condemned by the West, and pressure was exerted on the Japanese government to withdrawal. Rather than bow to the West, Japan launched attacked Western colonies causing World War II in the Pacific. Page 2.
The Munich Agreement was concluded on September 30, 1938, and saw the powers of Europe give in to Nazi Germany's demands for the Sudetenland. Meeting in Munich, British and French leaders elected to effectively cede part of Czechoslovakia rather than risk war. The Munich Agreement was part of a policy of appeasement which led Europe down the path to World War II.
The Sturmgewehr 44 was the first assault rifle to see deployment on a large scale. Developed by Nazi Germany, the Sturmgewehr 44 was introduced in 1943, and first saw service on the Eastern Front. Though far from perfect, the StG44 proved a versatile weapon for German forces.
The Bridge at Remagen was the first Allied bridgehead over the Rhine River in the closing days of World War II.
The Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero was the primary fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Highly maneuverable, the Japanese Zero outclassed most Allied fighters during the early years of the conflict. As the war progressed, the Zero found itself inferior to the new generation of fighters such as the F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair.
Chesty Puller was noted US Marine who saw service during World War II and the Korean War. During his career, Chesty Puller became one of the most decorated Marines in history. Seeing action at notable engagements such as Guadalcanal and Chosin Reservoir, Chesty Puller later retired as a lieutenant colonel.
During World War II, the Allies adopted a strategy of
The Yalta Conference was held February 4-11, 1945, and was the last wartime meeting between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. Meeting at the Black Sea resort of Yalta, the conference addressed many issues pertaining to the postwar world including the occupation of Germany, Soviet intervention against Japan, and the borders of Poland.
The Battle of Khe Sanh was fought during the first four months of 1968. Besieged during the Tet Offensive, the Marine base at Khe Sanh held out against heavy attacks by the North Vietnamese with the support of American air power. In April, Operation Pegasus was launched which ultimately relieved the garrison.
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred on August 2 and 4, 1964, and saw US naval forces engage North Vietnamese patrol boats. While the attack on August 2 happened as reported, the second attack may not have taken place. As a result of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, President Lyndon Johnson was given as free hand in Southeast Asia by Congress.
George A. Custer first achieved fame as a cavalry commander during the Civil War. A reckless soldier, Custer was known for his personal bravery and willingness to attack the enemy. Following the war, he was assigned to the frontier and took part in the US' wars against the Plains Indians. George Custer was killed in 1876, after his men were overrun at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The causes of World War I can be traced to several factors which had been simmering for a number of decades. Among these causes of World War I were rising tensions over imperialism, increased nationalism, and a major naval arms race. These causes were brought to a head by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which set in motion the series of events that led to World War I.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was a noted German commander during World War II. Known as the
One of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the last major addition to the US bomber fleet during the conflict. Easily recognized by its distinctive silhouette, the B-29 is best known as the aircraft that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Battle of Berlin was fought April 16-May 2, 1945, during the final days of World War II. In the Battle of Berlin, Soviet forces encircled the city and endured a bitter fight to capture it. During the course of the Battle of Berlin, Adolf Hiter committed suicide.
The Japanese battleship Yamato, and its sisters, were the largest, most powerful ships of their type ever constructed. Completed in late 1941, Yamato served with the Imperial Japanese Navy throughout World War II. In April 1945, Yamato was sunk by US aircraft while on a
The Battle of Artemisium was fought in early August 480 BC in conjunction with the Battle of Thermopylae. The Battle of Artemisium was a naval engagement between the Greek and Persian fleets and saw fighting over a three day span. With the defeat on land at Thermopylae, the Greeks were forced to withdraw from Artemisium.
A prominent Vietnamese general and statesman, Vo Nguyen Giap led the Viet Minh during the First Indochina War against France and masterminded the capture of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. During the Vietnam War, Vo Nguyen Giap served as commander-in-chief of the People's Army of Vietnam and planned the Tet Offensive.
The American Revolution saw professional British officers clash with American leaders who were drawn from all walks of life or from overseas. While many American leaders of the American Revolution had militia experience others were new to military activities. Some American commanders proved successful while others proved less so.
The F-4 Phantom II was originally developed for the US Navy, but also was used by the US Air Force and Marine Corps. A long-range fighter/fighter-bomber, the F-4 Phantom II saw extensive service during the Vietnam War. Replaced by the American military in the 1980s, the F-4 continued to see service with other nations.
The Supermarine Spitfire was the iconic British fighter of World War II. With over 20,000 built, the Supermarine Spitfire saw action in all theaters of the war and proved a nimble and deadly aircraft.
DKM Bismarck was one of the most feared battleships constructed by Nazi Germany. Launched in 1939, Bismarck inspired such fear that when it first entered the Atlantic two years later the British devoted all of their resources to sinking it. After defeating HMS Hood, Bismarck was damaged by British aircraft and ultimately sunk on May 27, 1941.
The Christian triumph at this battle between the Carolingian Franks and the forces of the Umayyad Caliphat, stemmed Muslim expansion into Western Europe.
The Battle of the Somme was fought during World War I and lasted from July to November 1916. Attempting to draw German forces away from the Battle of Verdun, British forces battled to break through along a 12-mile front. When the fighting at the Somme ended, over 1.5 million casualties had been suffered.
Fought between 1856 and 1860, the Second Opium War led to the further opening of China to foreign influence and contributed to the spread of imperialism. Led by Britain and France, Western forces were able to defeat the Chinese and gain significant concessions. The Second Opium War was ended by the Convention of Peking.
The first major war to feature widespread bombing, World War II produced a variety of bombers of all shapes and sizes. While some nations such as the United States and Great Britain built long-range, four-engine aircraft, others chose to focus on smaller, medium bombers. This gallery will provide an overview of some the bombers used during the conflict.
In May 1969, US forces moved into the A Shau Valley in South Vietnam opening the Battle of Hamburger Hill. Enduring close quarters jungle fighting and several friendly fire incidents, they were finally able to overcome the North Vietnamese resistance. Due to the severity of the fighting, Hill 937 became known as
The Bombing of Dresden took place February 13-15, 1945 during World War II. In the course of the bombing, Dresden was struck by British and American aircraft which resulted in the destruction of the city and widespread civilian casualties.
Operation Dragoon was conducted August 15, 1944, as Allied troops landed in southern France. Coming ashore during Operation Dragoon, Allied forces caused German Army Group G to retreat from the region. Operation Dragoon forced the Germans to pull back to the Vosges Mountains.
The Battle of the Coral Sea was fought May 4-8, 1942, and was a strategic victory for the Allies. In the first naval battle fought entirely with aircraft, Allied naval forces were able to block a Japanese drive through the Coral Sea to Port Moresby. When the Battle of the Coral Sea ended, the Japanese had lost a light carrier while the Allies lost a heavy carrier.
World War I was raging in 1915 as both sides sought to achieve a breakthrough that would lead to victory. With the Western Front locked in trench warfare, the Allies launched costly offensives to no avail. In the East, the Central Powers made great strides against Russia while in the south Italy joined the war on the Allied side.
The Great Escape took place March 24/5, 1944, and saw 76 Allied POWs escape from Stalag Luft III in Poland. Building a series of tunnels, POWs were able to create a passage under the camp's fence. Of the 76 who were part of the Great Escape only 3 reached freedom.
Fought on August 23, 1914, the Battle of Mons saw the British Expeditionary Force conduct a classic holding action against the German First Army. The first major engagement of the war for the British, the Battle of Mons ended with them inflicting heavy casualties on the Germans before being forced to withdraw. Though a defeat, Mons showed the determination and skill of the British soldier.
General Curtis LeMay first gained fame as leading bombing raids over Germany during World War II. By the end of the conflict, LeMay was commanding the bomber offensive against Japan. Following the war, LeMay became the driving force behind the Strategic Air Command and later served as Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu began March 13, 1954, and was the decisive engagement of the French war in Indochina. Building a base at Dien Bien Phu in the Vietnamese highlands, the French were soon besieged by Viet Minh forces. In a two-month battle, the Vietnamese forced the Dien Bien Phu garrison to surrender, effectively ending the war.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a series engagements fought October 23-26, 1944, in the waters around the Philippines. During the fighting, the Japanese attempted to block the Allied invasion of Leyte through a series of naval battles. The Battle of Leyte Gulf ended in a massive Allied victory and effectively crippled the Imperial Japanese Navy.
The Battle of Alesia took place in the fall of 52 BC as Julius Caesar laid siege to the Mandubii settlement at Alesia in Gaul. Building an extensive set of fortifications around Alesia, Caesar beat off attacks from Vercingetorix's garrison as well as a relief army. The victory at Alesia effectively secured Gaul for Rome.
Built in 1754, by Lt. Col. George Washington, Fort Necessity was located in the Great Meadows in present-day southwestern Pennsylvania. Tasked with constructing a road through the wilderness, Washington had Fort Necessity built after encountering resistance from the French in May. Attacked on July 3, Washington was forced to surrender Fort Necessity the next day.
Opening an eastern front in Europe by invading the Soviet Union in June 1941, Hitler expanded World War II and started a battle that would consume massive amounts of German manpower and resources. After achieving stunning success in the early months of the campaign, the attack stalled and the Soviets began to slowly push the Germans back. On May 2, 1945, the Soviets captured Berlin helping to end World War II in Europe.
The Second Battle of Fallujah was fought in 2004. The process of clearing the city was slowed by booby-traps and improvised explosive devices.
The P-51 Mustang was an iconic American fighter of World War II. Originally developed for the British, the P-51 Mustang became a critical weapon in the air for Allies due to its performance and range. The P-51 Mustang was retained after the conflict and saw service during the Korean War.
Commencing on September 26, 1918, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive saw American forces attack the German lines with the goal of taking Sedan. Breaking through after a series of bloody assaults, American troops forced the Germans to withdraw. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive ended with the Germans agreeing to an armistice on November 11.
The Lockheed U-2 spy plane was developed in the 1950s by the Skunk Works at Lockheed. The U-2 is capable of extreme high altitude flight and has been used extensively as a surveillance aircraft as well as for research. The U-2 came to prominence when one was downed over the Soviet Union in 1960.
The Battle of Iwo Jima was fought from February 19 to March 26, 1945 during World War II. Attacking Iwo Jima, US forces encountered heavy resistance after landing. Fighting on Iwo Jima was heavy until Japanese forces were finally defeated.
The Sten was as type of British submachine gun developed and used during World War II. Entering service in 1941, the Sten gun was simple to build and maintain and was widely used by British troops and exported to other allies and resistance forces. Over 4 million Sten guns were ultimately made.
The Grumman F6F Hellcat entered service in 1943 as a replacement for the F4F Wildcat. Designed to combat the Japanese A6M Zero, the F6F Hellcat was a rugged fighter that proved superior to its opponents. Flying through the end of the war, the F6F Hellcat amassed an impressive service record.
A pivotal leader of the US Army in the early 20th century, General John J. Pershing was the leader of US forces in Europe during World War I and was a mentor for many of the generals of World War II. In addition, John J. Pershing was the only leader to achieve the rank of General of the Armies.
The Christmas Truce of 1914 has become one of the mythic events of World War I. A series of localized ceasefires, the Christmas Truce saw British and German soldiers stop fighting to exchange gifts, fraternize, and play games. Frowned on by both high commands, the Christmas Truce lasted only a few days before fighting recommenced.
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair entered service at the end of 1942, and became one of the most feared American fighters of World War II. With its gull wings and high speed, the F4U Corsair achieved an 11:1 kill ratio against Japanese aircraft. Retained after the war, the Corsair later saw service during the Korean War.
King Philip's War was fought in New England between 1675 and 1676. Beginning after a period of increasing tensions, King Philip's War saw King Philip (Metacomet) lead a Native American alliance against English settlers and other Native Americans. King Philip's War ended after King Phlip was killed in August 1675 though some skirmishing continued.
The Battle of Monte Cassino was fought January 17 to May 18, 1944, during World War II. Part of the Italian Campaign, the Battle of Monte Cassino saw German forces initially halt the Allied advance up the peninsula. After four engagements, which included the controversial destruction of Monte Cassino Abbey, the Allies succeeded in breaking through and opened the way for the capture of Rome.
The Winter War occurred between the Finland and the Soviet Union during the winter of 1939-1940. Begun by the Soviets who sought to gain territory, the war cost them dearly as the Finns mounted a heroic defense. Finally breaking through the Finnish lines, the Russians forced Finland to sign the Peace of Moscow which ended the Winter War.
The most-produced assault rifle ever made was developed for the Soviet Union. Designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, it entered service in 1949.
Baron Friedrich von Steuben was a former Prussian staff officer who served with the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Baron von Steuben is best remembered for training the army at Valley Forge. He later served in the Southern campaigns and was at the Battle of Yorktown.
The Fall of Saigon took place on April 30, 1975, when North Vietnamese troops captured the city. The Fall of Saigon marked an end to the Vietnam War and saw the country reunited under Communist rule. During the Fall of Saigon, US aircraft conducted a massive airlift to remove personnel and friendly civilians.
Following the outbreak of World War II after the invasion of Poland, Great Britain and France remained on the defensive. After defeating the Allies in Norway, the Germans launched a massive assault, sweeping through the Low Countries and France and forcing British troops to evacuate across the Channel. Standing alone, Britain successfully beat off German air attacks during the Battle of Britain.
The Fourteen Points were developed during World War I by President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson hoped the terms of his Fourteen Points, which stressed progressive ideas like self-determination and free trade, could serve as the basis for a peace agreement. The Fourteen Points were discussed and partially incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles.
RMS Lusitania was a British luxury liner operated by the Cunard Line between 1907 and 1915. On May 7, 1915, Lusitania was torpedoed off the southern coast of Ireland by U-20 during World War I. Sinking quickly, 1,198 of Lusitania's passengers were killed, including 128 Americans. The attack on Lusitania sparked international outrage.
The F-14 Tomcat entered service in 1972, as the US Navy's principal fleet defense fighter. Armed with a variety of missiles, the F-14 was intended to prevent long-range attacks against US carrier groups as well as perform air superiority roles. The F-14 later was adapted for air-to-ground attack prior to its retirement in 2006.
Sherman's March to the Sea commenced on November 15, 1864, after the capture of Atlanta by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman. Marching to the port of Savannah, Sherman's men succeeded in taking the city on December 22. During the March to the Sea, Sherman's men conducted a scorched earth campaign to destroy Confederate resources in Georgia.
Liberty Ships were mass-produced cargo ships built during World War II to provide the Allies with much needed merchant tonnage. Designed to replace merchant ships lost to U-boat attacks, Liberty Ships were of a simple design that could be build quickly. Utilizing a variety of new and old technologies, Liberty Ships proved vital to the Allied war effort.
The Battle of Wake Island was fought December 8-23, 1941 and saw the US Marines mount a heroic defense before being overwhelemed by Japanese forces. First landing on Wake Island on December 11, the Japanese were repulsed by the Marines. Reinforced, they returned on the 23rd and succeeded in taking Wake Island.
The First Battle of the Marne was fought September 6-12, 1914, during World War I. During the Battle of the Marne German forces drove into into northern France and Belgium before encountering Allied forces along the Marne. In the week-long Battle of the Marne, the Allies succeeded in halting the German advance.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower led Allied forces in Europe during World War II. During the conflict, Dwight Eisenhower oversaw operations ranging from the landings in North Africa to D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Dwight Eisenhower later served as US Army Chief of Staff and was elected President of the United States in 1952.
The Battle of Austerlitz was one of Napoleon Bonaparte's greatest victories. Fought on December 2, 1805, Austerlitz is also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors as Russian and Austrian forces were led by Tsar Alexander I and Emperor Francis II. The French victory at Austerlitz ended the War of the Third Coalition and led to the Austrians signing the Treaty of Pressburg
Fought August 27-30, 1776, the Battle of Long Island saw the British force Gen. George Washington's army from Long Island. Occupying a line near Flatbush, the Americans were outflanked when British troops move through Jamaica Pass. Falling back, Washington waited two days before evacuating to Manhattan.
Key American field commander during World War II, seeing service in North Africa, rising to command the 12th Army Group in Western Europe after D-Day.
The Battle of Guadalcanal was the Allies' first major offensive action of World War II in the Pacific. Landing on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on August 7, 1942, Allied troops began a prolonged campaign to take the island. After several battles on and around Guadalcanal, Allied forces succeeded in taking the island from the Japanese.
Brigadier General Daniel Morgan was a famed American commander during the American Revolution. First seeing action during Siege of Boston, Daniel Morgan played a key role in the Battle of Saratoga. Given a command in the south, Daniel Morgan won a decisive victory at the Battle of Cowpens in 1781.
The Pequot War was fought from 1634 to 1638 in present-day New England. The Pequot War saw colonists in Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and their Native American allies battle the Pequot tribe. After several battles, the Pequots were defeated and the war ended.
Major General Charles Lee was an officer during the American Revolution. A veteran of the Seven Years' War and British Army, Charles Lee joined the Continental Army in 1775. Captured in 1776, Charles Lee was later exchanged and saw action at the Battle of Monmouth two years later. Performing poorly, Charles Lee was relieved during the battle.