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Archive for the ‘History Updates’ Category

Custer’s Last Stand 137th Anniversary

25 Jun

 

George Armstrong Custer

George Armstrong Custer

June 25, 1876, 137 years ago today, Lt. General George Armstrong Custer met his fate at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  History, and America’s historical memory (such as it is), remembers that battle by another name:  Custer’s Last Stand

Why is Custer’s Last Stand so well-known among America’s military defeats?  Unusually, for American military history, this battle (and a battle it was, not a massacre, as some folks like to think of it), is known by a person’s name.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons this battle resonates throughout our history, even to this day.  While Custer and 265 of his men (and quite a few Sioux and Cheyenne warriors as well), died that day on the banks of the Little Bighorn River, the news of this military disaster reached the eastern cities on the eve of  the 100th anniversary of the United States’ birth.  The juxtaposition of the nation’s Centennial celebrations with one of the worst military defeats of the Native American wars caused not a little shock to the America’s collective consciousness.  But again, the mythology and the reality of the situation do not always jive.

Many of the stories surrounding the Little Bighorn battle refer to Custer’s defeat as the worst U.S. Army defeat of the Indian Wars.  Yet, while significant in its time, this defeat paled in comparison to the Battle of the Wabash in 1791, in which General St. Clair lost to Native American forces in what is known as Little Turtle’s War.  St. Clair lost nearly 1,000 men, yet this battle is little remembered and the anniversary (November 4), is not marked at all in popular culture.

Custer was a dashing figure who was very well-known in his time, not just for his exploits on the western frontier, but also for his heroism and his victories in the Civil War.  Yes, his defeat was a big deal at the time, but within a few months, the reinforced U.S. Army won the Sioux War and forced Sitting Bull, the victor of the Little Bighorn, to go into exile in Canada.  American history is full of military defeats, but Custer’s Last Stand is perhaps the most well-known and mythologized of them all.

 

 

The Crimean War

21 Apr

The bloody Crimean War (1853-1856) was one of the first modern wars in which railroads were used tactically, the telegraph connected political and military leades “back home” with battlefield commanders, nursing and medical practices on the battlefield were improved (due to pioneers like Florence Nightengale), and modern war reporting brought the day-to-day horrors of combat to the reading public back home. Read more about this important historical conflict at http://www.historyguy.com/crimean_war.htm

The Bloody Aftermath of the Charge of the Light Brigade

The Bloody Aftermath of the Charge of the Light Brigade

 

http://www.historyguy.com/crimean_war.htm

 

Tuareg Rebellions

05 Apr

New page online reflecting the ongoing situation in Mali, with the recent Tuareg Rebellion and military coup. See more of the history of Tuareg Rebellions at
http://www.historyguy.com/tuareg_rebellions.htm

Tuareg Warriors in 1916

Tuareg Warriors in 1916

Also, the Serial Wars and Conflicts page has been revamped.  Check it out at: http://www.historyguy.com/serial_wars_and_conflicts.html

 

War of 1812 Statistics Page

05 Sep

With the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 almost upon us, here is a Historyguy page on War of 1812 Statistics at http://www.historyguy.com/war_of_1812_statistics.htm

 

See also: http://www.historyguy.com/war_of_1812_links.html

 

 

Obama’s Speech on the Death of bin Laden

02 May

Below is the text of President Obama’s Speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden.  Go to http://www.historyguy.com/obama_bin_laden_dead_speech.htm for the video of his speech and the transcript of the president’s remarks on the killing of bin Laden.

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON OSAMA BIN LADEN

East Room

11:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Source:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-dead

http://www.historyguy.com/obama_bin_laden_dead_speech.htm

 

Second Seminole Indian War

27 Feb

New page on the Second Seminole War is now online. http://www.historyguy.com/indian_wars/second_seminole_war.htm

The Second Seminole War Began: December 23, 1835

TheSecond Seminole War Ended: August 14, 1842

The Second Seminole War Was Fought Between: United States vs. Seminole Indians of Florida

The Second Seminole War Resulted In: Seminole Indians were allowed to remain in South Florida, though some were encouraged to move West. In effect, the Army could not defeat the Seminoles, and they were allowed to remain in place.

Major Battles and Campaigns of the Second Seminole War:

“Dade Massacre” (December 28, 1835)Gaines’ Expedition (1836)

Scott’s Expedition (1836)

Battle of Hatchee-Lustee (1837)

Battle of Lake Okeechobee (December 25, 1837)

Battle of Loxahatchee (January 24, 1838)

“Harney Massacre” (July 23, 1839)

Second Seminole War Casualties:

Seminole Casualties: Unnknown (Seminoles usually carried away their dead and wounded)

U.S. Military Casualties: 1,600 (approximately)  

 

Sources:1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1999.

2. Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupey. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present New York, New York: Harper & Row. 1993

Free Military History Webinar Opportunity:
Why Did Germany Lose World War Two? Join The FREE Webinar on This Topic Now

 

This Day In History: February 2-Groundhog Day

02 Feb

This Day In History:

February 2

http://www.historyguy.com/this_day_in_history_february_2.htm

1653 – The Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated. 

1659 – Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town, produced the first bottle of South African wine.

1876 – The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed.

1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.

1901 – The funeral of Queen Victoria of Britain.

1971– One week after overthrowing President Obote in a coup, Idi Amin declared himself President of Uganda, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Army Chief of Staff and Chief of Air Staff.

1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest of the Bloody Sunday violence in Northern Ireland.

1974 – The F-16 Fighting Falcon takes flight for the first time.

1982 – The Syrian army bombarded the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood, killing about 7,000–25,000 people.

1989Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet armoured column leaves Kabul. The Soviets would finish their retreat out of Afghanistan on Feb. 15.

2004 – Swiss tennis player Roger Federer became the No. 1 ranked men’s singles player, a position he held for a record 237 weeks.

February 2 Birthdays: 

1905 – Ayn Rand, Russian-born American author and philosopher (d. 1982)

1915 – Abba Eban, Israeli diplomat (d. 2002)

1937 – Tom Smothers, American musician and comedian (The Smothers Brothers)

1942 – Graham Nash, British-born American musician (Crosby, Stills, and Nash)

1947 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress (d. 2009)

1949 – Brent Spiner, American actor (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

1949 – Ross Valory, American musician (Journey)

1953 – Duane Chapman, American bounty hunter and television personality (Dog the Bounty Hunter)

1954 – Christie Brinkley, American model

1975 – Donald Driver, American football player (Green Bay Packers)

1983 – Ronny Cedeño, Venezuelan baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates)

 

Anglo-Egyptian Wars: The Wars Between Britain and Egypt

01 Feb

NEW Political Unrest in Egypt 2011 Timeline NEW

 Anglo-Egyptian Wars: Wars Between Britain and Egypt

http://www.historyguy.com/anglo-egyptian_wars.htm

 

 Anglo-Egyptian War (1807)– Seeking to replace Muhammed Ali with a puppet ruler favorable to British interests, Britain invaded with nearly 5,000 troops on March 17, 1807. British forces led by General A. Mackenzie Fraser seized the city of Alexandria. British forces suffered several military defeats before retreating and evacuating Egypt on September 14, 1807.

Greek War of Independence (1821-1832)– Egypt’s part in the war came about when the Ottoman Turks requested Egyptian aid in fighting the rebellious Greeks. The Pasha of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, sent his son Ibrahim to Greece with a powerful Egyptian army. The British, French, and Russians intervened to save the Greeks, defeating a combined Turko-Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino in 1827. French troops expelled the Egyptian land forces. The Egyptian portion of the war lasted from 1825-1832. This war led directly to the First Turko-Egyptian War. (see below) See also: Greco-Turkish Wars

Urabi Revolt/British Conquest of Egypt (1881-1882)– Muslim rebels opposed to Turkish, Western, and Christian influence in Egypt (Britain and France had gained a large degree of control due to the Suez Canal project), rebelled on February 1, 1881 in Alexandria. On July 11, 1882, in response to a massacre of Christians in Alexandria, the British fleet bombarded Alexandria, followed up by the landing of 25,000 troops at Ismailia. In the Battle of Tel al-Kebir, the British defeated Urabi’s army. From this point on, Britain retained an army in the countryand effectively controlled Egypt, which remained technically an Ottoman (yet recognized as independent in all but name), vassal.

Anglo-Egyptian War of 1951-1952 (1951-1952)–Egyptian guerrillas, aided by the governement of Egypt, carried out a campaign against British forces stationed at the Suez Canal and against other British and Western symbols and targets. On January 25, 1952, British troops retaliated against Egypt by attacking an Egyptian police station, killing 50 and wounding 100. The conflict ended with a change in the Egyptian government and the eventual withdrawal of British troops. This conflict led to Britain’s involvment in the 1956 Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956. (see below)

Suez/Sinai War (1956)– Since the end of the First War with Israel, Egypt encouraged Palestinian raids against the Israelis from Gaza and Sinai. Israel made plans with Britain and France to attack Egypt. On October 29, 1956, Israeli troops invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and quickly overcame opposition as they raced for Suez. The next day, Britain and France, following suit, in response to Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal, and on October 31, Egypt was attacked and invaded by the military forces of Britain and France. President Eisenhower of the United States pressured Britain, France and Israel into agreeing to a cease-fire and eventual withdrawal from Egypt. Militarily, Egypt was defeated by teh invading allies, but Nasser claimed a political and moral victory as British, French, and Israeli forces were forced to leave Egypt by the Great Powers.

 

 

Sources:1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1999.

2. Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupey. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present New York, New York: Harper & Row. 1993.

 

Egyptian-Israeli Wars 1948-1979

01 Feb

Wars Between Egypt and Israel

Egyptian FlagIsrael Flag

 http://www.historyguy.com/egypt-israel_wars.htm

Arab-Israeli War of 1948 (1948-1949)–The First Arab-Israeli War, in which Egypt acquired the Gaza Strip. Egypt joined with several other Arab nations in an invasion of Israel in May, 1948 in support of Palestinian Arabs fighting against the newborn Israeli state. See Arab-Israeli Wars

Egyptian Seizure of the Israeli ship Bat Galim (Summer, 1954)—Egypt seized the Israeli ship Bat Galim as it attempted to enter the Suez Canal.  According to various international agreements, the Suez Canal is supposed to be accessible to ships of all nations.  This provoked worsening tensions between Israel and Egypt.

Israeli Raid on Gaza (Feb. 28, 1955)—Israeli forces conducted a raid, a response to repeated guerrilla attacks and the seizure of an Israeli ship by Egypt, which resulted in the deaths of 51 Egyptian soldiers and 8 Israeli troops.  This raid was the largest of its kind against Arab forces since the end of the First Arab-Israeli War in 1949.–See Arab-Israeli Border Wars

Suez/Sinai War (1956)– Since the end of the First War with Israel, Egypt encouraged Palestinian raids against the Israelis from Gaza and Sinai. Israel made plans with Britain and France to attack Egypt. On October 29, 1956, Israeli troops invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and quickly overcame opposition as they raced for Suez. The next day, Britain and France, following suit, in response to Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal, and on October 31, Egypt was attacked and invaded by the military forces of Britain and France. President Eisenhower of the United States pressured Britain, France and Israel into agreeing to a cease-fire and eventual withdrawal from Egypt. Militarily, Egypt was defeated by teh invading allies, but Nasser claimed a political and moral victory as British, French, and Israeli forces were forced to leave Egypt by the Great Powers.

Arab-Israeli War of 1967 (1967)– As the underlying tensions between the Arab nations and Israel remained unchanged since the First Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949, the outbreak of a third major war was expected. The introduction of the American-Soviet competition and arms sales in the region only accelerated the likelihood of a Middle Eastern war evolving into a Cold War confrontation. the immediate cause of war in 1967 came out of Egypt’s decision to expel United Nations (UN) troops from the Sinai peninsula and blockade Israel’s port of Eilat. The UN forces were intended to form a buffer between the border separating Israel and Egypt, and their expulsion led the Israeli government to fear an imminent attack by Egypt. Fearing an attack by the Arab states, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. In this lighting war, Israel siezed the Gaza Strip and Sinai from Egypt, the West Bank and Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. See Arab-Israeli Wars

The War of Attrition (1968-1970)–After the shockingly quick defeat of the Arab nations by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Egypt (supported by the Soviet Union), engaged in a low-level war of attrition with Israel along the Suez Canal and in the Sinai region. See Arab-Israeli Wars

Arab-Israeli War of 1973 (1973)–Also known as the Yom Kippur War by Israel, as the Ramadan War by the Arab nations, or simply, as the October War. In October, 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israeli forces occupying the Egyptian Sinai, and Syrian Golan. The Arab nations failed to defeat Israel, but this war set the stage for peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel. See Arab-Israeli Wars

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979. Egypt was the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel.. In 1982, per the peace treaty, Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, and the Sinai once again came under Egyptian control.

 

 

Sources:1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1999.

2. Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupey. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the Present New York, New York: Harper & Row. 1993.

 

Egypt History Timeline

31 Jan

Timeline of Egyptian History at http://historyguy.com/egypt_history_timeline.htm

1970– Nasser dies, and Vice-President Anwar al-Sadat becomes President of Egypt.

1973War with Israel. The Yom Kippur/Ramadan War paves the way for eventual peace negotiations to take place.

1974First Sinai Disengagement Agreement between Egypt an Israel. Israel pulled back from part of the Sinai. This agreement was, in effect, the first land-for-peace agreement between Israel and an Arab neighbor.

1977 (January)–Egyptian ‘Bread Riots’ against economic reforms. Nearly 80 deaths, and 800 wounded.

1977 (July)-Short border war with Libya.

1977 (November)-Sadat goes to Jerusalem and is the first Arab leader to visit Israel. Sadat spoke before the Knesset in Jerusalem about how to achieve a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab nations.

1978-Egypt and Israel sign the Camp David Accords. There were two accords, titled A Framework for Peace in the Middle East and A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel. The Accords set the stage for the 1979 peace treaty.

1979-Egypt and Israel sign the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, ending the state of war that had existed since 1948.

1979-Egypt is expelled from the Arab League for making peace with Israel.

1981-Assassination of President Sadat. Vice-President Hosni Mubarak assumes power.

1989-Egypt readmitted to the Arab League.

1991-War with Iraq. Egypt took part in the multi-national coalition that drove Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

2011Massive unrest takes place throughout Egypt with opposition groups calling for the ouster of President Mubarak.