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Military History: Most Popular Articles

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Road to Conflict: The Causes of World War II
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.
A Guide to the Falklands War
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.
Final Victory: The Battle of Yorktown
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.
Nightmare Camp: Andersonville Prison
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.
Battle of Midway: Turning Point in the Pacific
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.
World War II 101: A Brief History
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.
The Globe Afire: The Battles of World War II
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.
What Caused the Vietnam War?
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.
A Short Introduction to the Vietnam War
Start here for information about the Vietnam War - a short, one page overview of the conflict.
What Were the Intolerable Acts?
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.
Bending Neutrality: The Lend-Lease Act
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.
The Battle of Fort McHenry and the Birth of the...
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.
Evacuation of Dunkirk: Miracle on the Channel
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.
Battle of the Bulge: Germany's Last Major...
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 Battle of Okinawa: How the US Advanced to...
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.
Forging an Army: Winter at Valley Forge
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 Iwo Jima: A Costly Victory
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.
Island Hopping in World War II: A Path to...
During World War II, the Allies adopted a strategy of island hopping to move across the Pacific and defeat Japan.
The Victor of Tours: Charles Martel
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.
What Caused the Civil War?
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.
End of an Era: The Fall of Constantinople
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.
Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Austerlitz
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
Crossing the Delaware: Battle of Trenton
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.
Historical Figures of the American Revolution:...
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.
A Bridge Too Far: Operation Market-Garden
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.
Military Terms: What Does 'Going Over the Top'...
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The Battle of Stalingrad: A Turning Point on...
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.
Texas Independence: Remember the Alamo
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.
Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points: A Path to Peace
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.
Vietnam War 101: A Brief Overview
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.
The Munich Agreement: How Appeasement Failed to...
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.
Crusader King: The Military Exploits of Richard...
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.
Leaders of the American Revolution: Marquis de...
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 Longest Day: D-Day - The Invasion of Normandy
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.
World War II: General George S. Patton
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.
Persian Wars: Battle of Thermopylae
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 Bloody Sideshow: The Battle of Gallipoli
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.
Making History: The Battle of the Coral Sea
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.
Ike: General Dwight D. Eisenhower
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.
Architect of Pearl Harbor: Admiral Isoroku...
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.
War on an Industrial Scale: The Battles of...
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.
Leyte Gulf: The Largest Naval Battle of World...
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 Frozen Chosin: Battle of Chosin Reservoir
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.
What Was China's Boxer Rebellion?
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.
World War II: Battle of Kasserine Pass
The Battle of Kasserine Pass was the first major clash between American and German forces during World War II. Fought February 19-25, 1943, the Battle of Kasserine Pass saw the Germans soundly defeat US troops under Maj. Gen. Lloyd Fredenhall. The defeat at Kasserine Pass led to sweeping changes in the US organization of forces and comjmand structure.
World War I: Causes
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. Page 2.
Victor of Lake Erie: Commodore Oliver Hazard...
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was a noted American naval officer during the War of 1812. In 1813, Oliver Hazard Perry won the Battle of Lake Erie and captured the opposing British squadron. After the war, Oliver Hazard Perry served in a variety of peacetime assignments until his death in 1819.
Monty: Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
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.
Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox of the American...
American Revolution Brigadier General Francis Marion a.k.a.The Swamp Fox
First Blood in Vietnam: Battle of Ia Drang
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 Korean War: An Overview
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.
World War I: Sinking of the Lusitania
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.
Battle of Anzio: A Bloody Beahhead
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.
A Desperate Defense: Battle of Bataan
The Battle of Bataan began on January 7, 1942, between Allied forces and the Japanese military, not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
A Guide to the American Civil 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.
Operation Torch: America Enters the Fray
Operation Torch was launched November 8, 1942, and saw British and American forces land in North Africa. During Operation Torch, troops came ashore at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers. Meeting mixed resistance from the Vichy French, the Torch landings saw the Allies establish a position in western North Africa.
The GI General: General Omar Bradley
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.
Brother vs. Brother: Battles 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.
World History 101: A Brief Overview of World...
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.
American Revolution: General Thomas Gage
A veteran of the French & Indian War, General Thomas Gage commanded British forces in America during the opening days of the American Revolution. Appointed governor of Massachusetts in 1774, Gage's attempts to regain control of the colony led to the outbreak of fighting in April 1775. Later that year, Gage was recalled in favor of General William Howe.
The Yalta Conference: Setting the Stage for the...
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.
Britain's Bloodiest Days: The Battle of the Somme
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.
Southern Campaigner: Lord Charles Cornwallis
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.
What Caused the Mexican-American War?
An overview of the roots of the conflict that resulted in the 1846-1848 war between the United States and Mexico
What Were the Main Causes of World War II in...
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.
An American Icon: General George Washington
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.
Everything You Need to Know About the War of 1812
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.
World War I: Zimmerman Telegram
The Zimmermann Telegram was sent in January 1917, by German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to his ambassadors in the United States and Mexico. The Zimmermann Telegram instructed them to seek a military alliance with Mexico if the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies. Intercepted by the British, who sent it to Washington, the Zimmerman Telegram helped draw the United States into the conflict.
The Battle of Berlin: Soviet Victory and German...
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 Paris Peace Accords and the Last Days of...
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.
Liberty or Death: Causes of the American...
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.
World War II: Battle of the Atlantic
The Battle of the Atlantic took place between 1939 and 1945 during World War II. The Battle of the Atlantic saw German U-boats attempt to cut off Britain by sinking merchant shipping. Though German U-boats inflicted heavy losses, Allied naval forces ultimately won the Battle of the Atlantic.
World War II: German Panther Tank
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.
Remember the Maine: The Beginning of the...
Commissioned in 1895, USS Maine was an armored cruiser built for the US Navy. Sent to protect American interests in Havana, Cuba, USS Maine exploded on the night of February 15, 1898. The loss of USS Maine, coupled with tensions over Cuba, led the United States to declare war on Spain that April.
American's First Conflict: The Quasi-War
The Quasi-War was an undeclared maritime conflict between the United States and France. Fought between 1798-1800, the Quasi-War was the result of disagreements regarding the United States' neutrality during the war of the French Revolution.
Muslim Invasions: Battle of Tours
The Christian triumph at this battle between the Carolingian Franks and the forces of the Umayyad Caliphat, stemmed Muslim expansion into Western Europe.
World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal
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.
What Caused the War of 1812?
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.
How the Stamp Act Set the Stage for the...
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
Guide to the American Revolution
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.
Circling the Globe: Voyage of the Great White...
The Great White Fleet departed Virginia in December 1907, and circumnavigated globe. Conducting a good will tour, the Great White Fleet's voyage lasted fourteen months as the ships visited ports such as Australia, Japan, and Egypt. The Great White Fleet also served to demonstrate the United State's growing naval strength.
World War II: V-2 Rocket
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 II: Messerschmitt Me 262
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.
"Don't Give Up the Ship": Battle of Lake Erie
A decisive naval engagment of the War of 1812, the Battle of Lake Erie saw an American squadron capture its British counterpart. Fought on September 10, 1813, Master Commandant Oliver H. Perry engaged the British near Put-in-Bay, OH. Following a prolonged fight, six British ships were captured.
World War II: Sturmgewehr 44 (StG44)
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.
Leader of the 54th Massachusetts: Colonel...
A native of Boston, MA, Robert Gould Shaw was the son of wealthy abolitionists. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Shaw joined the Union Army and saw service with the 2nd Massachusetts. In 1863, he was offered command of the 54th Massachuesetts, the first Union regiment composed entirely of black soldiers. Shaw was killed leading his regiment during the assault on Fort Wagner, outside Charleston, SC, on July 18, 1863.
Leading the Green Mountain Boys: Ethan Allen
Ethan Allen was the leader of the Green Mountain Boys and an American officer during the Revolutionary War. In 1775, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold famously captured of Fort Ticonderoga. Ethan Allen served throughout the northern front and was heavily involved in Vermont politics.
A World War II Icon: M4 Sherman Tank
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 Army's Drillmaster: Baron Friedrich von...
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.
World War I: Second Battle of Ypres
The Second Battle of Ypres was fought April 22 to May 25, 1915 during World War I. Releasing poison gas, German forces attacked Allied positions with the goal of reducing the Ypres salient. In the resulting Second Battle of Ypres, the Allies gave ground but were able to hold the town.
The Bull: Fleet Admiral William Halsey
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Washington's Artilleryman: Major General Henry...
Learn about Henry Know, who went from bookseller at the beginning of the American Revolution to serving as the United States' first secretary of war.
Ottoman-Habsburg Wars: Battle of Lepanto
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.
Attacking the Soft Underbelly: Invasion of Italy
The Invasion of Italy was conducted from September 3-16, 1943, during World War II. First landing in Calabria, Allied troops soon expanded the invasion.
Persian Wars: Battle of Salamis
The Battle of Salamis was fought in September 480 BC during the Persian Wars. Having been defeated at Thermopylae, Greek forces retreated to Salamis where they were pursued by the Persian fleet. Attacking the Persians in the Straits of Salamis, the Greeks won a stunning victory.
Rebels and Redcoats: People of the American...
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.
Manhattan Project: Little Boy
Little Boy was the first atomic bomb used against Japan in World War II, detonated over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
Late Victory: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of...
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.
How the Gulf of Tonkin Incident Escalated the...
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.
America's First Battleship: USS Texas (1892)
USS Texas (1892) was the US Navy's first modern battleship and entered service in 1895. USS Texas (1892) later saw service in the Spanish-American War.
Hundred Years' War: English Longbow
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).
Death in the Snow: Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Moscow began on October 2, 1941 and ended on January 7, 1942. In the Battle of Moscow, German forces launched Operation Typhoon to take the city but were turned back. The Battle of Moscow concluded with a Soviet counterattack which pushed the Germans back from the city.
Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive
The Tet Offensive was launched in January 1968, and redefined the Vietnam War. Though defeated by US and South Vietnamese forces, the Tet Offensive changed public perceptions of the conflict.
Firestorm: Bombing of Dresden
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.
The Fighting Quaker: Major General Nathanael...
A native of Rhode Island, General Nathanael Greene served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. After several years with General George Washington's army, Greene was given command of Continental forces in the South. Fighting a brilliant campaign, Greene reclaimed much of the Carolinas by the war's end.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord: Prelude...
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.
Vietnam War: Battle of Hamburger Hill
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
Bleeding France to Death: Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun was fought from February 21 to December 18, 1916, and was a key engagement of World War I. Attacking the French positions around Verdun, German troops initiated a grinding battle of attrition. By the time the Battle of Verdun ended, over 700,000 had been killed or wounded.
A New Army Fights: Battle of Monmouth
Fought in June 1778, the Battle of Monmouth was the Continental Army's first major test after the winter at Valley Forge. The last major engagement in the north, the Battle of Monmouth ended as a draw with the British withdrawing to New York.
Triumph in the East: The Battle of Tannenberg
The Battle of Tannenberg was fought in August 1914 during World War I. Taking place on the Eastern Front, the Battle of Tannenberg saw German forces under Gen. Paul von Hindenburg attack the Russians. In the fighting, the Germans won a stunning victory effectively destroying the Russian Second Army.
Top Five Admirals of World War II
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.
Wars of the Second Triumvirate: Battle of...
Learn the history behind the Battle of Philippi, instigated by the assassination of Julius Caesar and fought on two separate dates, October 3 and 23, 42 BC.
Tecumseh's War: Battle of Tippecanoe
The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought November 7, 1811, and was the climatic battle of Tecumseh's War. Fighting near the Tippecanoe River, William Henry Harrison defended against attacks by Tenskwatawa's Native American forces. Harrison's victory at Tippecanoe damaged Tecumseh's vision of uniting the Native Americans and helped lead to the War of 1812.
World War II: The Liberty Ship Program
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.
Italy Stunned: Battle of Adwa
The Battle of Adwa was fought in 1896 during the First Italo-Ethiopian War and saw the Ethiopians win a stunning victory.
World War II/Korean War: Lieutenant General...
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.
Holding the Line: First Battle of the Marne
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.
To the Shores of Tripoli: Battle of Derna
The Battle of Derna was fought between April 27 and May 13, 1805. Leading a contingent of US Marines and mercenaries, William Eaton and 1Lt. Presley O'Bannon succeeded in capturing the port of Derne from the forces of Yusuf Karamanli. The victory at Derne was a key moment in the conflict and gave birth to the line
American Rifleman: Brigadier General Daniel...
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.
World War II: Tiger I Tank
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.
Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh
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.
Gallic Wars: Battle of Alesia
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.
Marianas Turkey Shoot: Battle of the Philippine...
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was fought June 19-20, 1944, and was a decisive victory for the Allies. It's also known as the Marianas Turkey Shoot.
World War I/II: Lee-Enfield Rifle
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.
Cavaliers & Roundheads: The English Civil...
The English Civil War was fought between Parliamentarian and Royalist forces and began in 1642. During the English Civil War, Parliamentarian forces won key battles at Marston Moor and Naseby. The English Civil War ended in 1651 when Parliamentarian troops triumphed.
5 Things You Should Know on the Mexican-America...
The Mexican-American War resulted the dramatic growth of the United States and laid the seeds for the American Civil War. Beginning in 1846, the Mexican-American War saw American troops invade from the north and then land at Veracruz. The Mexican-American War effectively ended when US forces captured Mexico City in late 1847.
A Desperate Defense: First Battle of Ypres
The First Battle of Ypres was fought October 19 to November 22, 1914, during World War I. The First Battle of Ypres took place as the Allies sought to protect the Channel ports and Germany sought to turn the enemy's flank. After heavy fighting during the First Battle of Ypres, the Allies succeeded in holding the town.
MacArthur's Gamble: Landing at Inchon
A decisive early battle of the Korean War, the Inchon invasion saw UN troops storm ashore deep behind North Korean lines.
World War II: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
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.
World War II: Boeing B-29 Superfortress
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.
Leading the AEF: General John J. Pershing
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.
Second Opium War: Overview
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.
World War II: P-38 Lightning
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.
American's World War I Ace of Aces: Captain...
The top American ace of World War I, Eddie Rickenbacker was a former racecar driver who joined the US Army in 1917. A gifted mechanic, Rickenbacker had to talk his way into flight training as his skills were needed on the ground. Flying with the 94th Aero Squadron, Rickenbacker downed 26 enemy aircraft.
World War II: Doolittle Raid
The Doolittle Raid was launched on April 18, 1942, and was the first Allied attack to strike the Japanese homeland. Flying B-25 bombers from USS Hornet, the Doolittle raiders struck targets in Tokyo and other cities. While the Doolittle Raid did little physical damage, it provided a significant boost to American morale.
World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino
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.
Crossing the Rhine: The Bridge at Remagen
The Bridge at Remagen was the first Allied bridgehead over the Rhine River in the closing days of World War II.
Turning Point: Battle of Saratoga
The Battles of Saratoga were fought September 19 and October 7, 1777, in upstate New York. Advancing south, Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne encountered American forces south of Saratoga. Fighting two battles, Burgoyne was ultimately forced to surrender his army. The American victory at Saratoga was the turning point of the war and led to an alliance with France.
American Revolution: "Brown Bess" Musket
Originally the Long Land Pattern, the
Tuskegee Airman: General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. earned fame as the leader of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The first African-American fighter unit, Benjamin O. Davis' flyers earned a sterling reputation for their performance in combat. Remaining in service, Benjamin O. Davis aided in de-segregating the US Air Force and served until 1970.
Weapons of World War II: The M1 Garand
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.
Frontier Campaigner: Brigadier General George...
Brigadier General George Rogers Clark was an American leader during the American Revolution. Campaigning in the Old Northwest, Clark won key victories over the British at Kaskaskia and Vincennes. Clark's victories helped ensure that the United States received the region during peace negotiations.
The Desert Fox: Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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Latin America: The Football War
Clashing in 1969, the Football War was the result of tensions between El Salvador and Honduras regarding immigration and land reform. Drawing its name from riots around qualifying matches for the 1970 World Cup, the Football War lasted approximately 100 hours before the Organization of American States forced a ceasefire.
The Big E: USS Enterprise (CV-6)
USS Enterprise (CV-6) was an American aircraft carrier during World War II. Entering service in 1938, USS Enterprise saw action throughout the war in the Pacific including the Battle of Midway. One of the most honored ships of the war, USS Enterprise earned 20 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.
World War II: First Lieutenant Audie Murphy
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.
John Paul Jones: America's First Naval Hero
Born in Scotland, John Paul Jones served as a merchant captain before coming to America in 1773. Joining the new Continental Navy, Jones distinguished himself in a number of commands including as captain of USS Ranger. Given command of Bonhomme Richard in 1779, Jones captured the British frigate HMS Serapis. Known for his fighting spirit, he is considered one of the fathers of the US Navy.
American Revolution: Boston Tea Party
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.
Mighty Mo: USS Missouri (BB-63)
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.
Commanding the British: General Sir Henry Clinton
General Sir Henry Clinton was a key British commander during the American Revolution. Initially serving under Gen. William Howe, Clinton became the British commander-in-chief in 1778. Leading British troops until 1782, Clinton oversaw the final British defeat in North America.

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