1942

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The most incredible military victory of the 20th century would be World War Two. Also, known as the Second World War, a global war. It started in 1939 and considered ended in 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations; forming the two opposing military alliances: the Allies U.S., Britain, France, USSR, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia) and the Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria). The problem that cause the war is The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate East Asia and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937, but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom. From late 1939 to early 1941. I think it was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people fighting battles from more than 30 different countries during 1939-1945. The major country put their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities into the war effort. Mark by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million death by accident, in war, or from disease.

As the world process,The Axis advance was stopped in 1942. Japan lost a critical battle at Midway, near Hawaii, and never regained its earlier momentum. Germany was defeated in North Africa and, decisively, at Stalingrad in Russia. In 1943, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Allied invasion of Italy which brought about that nation’s surrender, and American victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts.

In 1944, the Western Allies invaded France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the United States defeated the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands. The war in Europe ended with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet and Polish troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August respectively.66,000 people were killed at Hiroshima out of a population of 255,000. Of that number, 45,000 died on the first day and 19,000 during the next four months. In addition, “several hundred” survivors were expected to die from radiation-induced cancers and lukemia over the next 30 years. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago (known as Operation Downfall) imminent, and the Soviet Union having declared war on Japan by invading Manchuria, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, ending the war in Asia and cementing the total victory of the Allies over the Axis.

If we survive World War II the deadliest conflict in human history and come out with a incredible victory. I believe America is ready to survive anything.

See King & Country  Toy Soldiers. Depicting many of the soldiers involved in the greatest military battles ever.

Napolean & The 3rd Coalition

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Emperor Napoleon is famous for his battles and heroism in France, as well as in the world. The Battle of Austerlitz of 1805 is my favourite one as it has multi-dimensional significance in terms of its military, political, economic, as well as cultural significance. It also forms a major event in Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel ‘War and Peace’.

Napoleon defeated the combined forces of Russian and Austrian enemies with minimal losses to France, thus making it a heroic win for himself and his motherland. It altered the course of history as there were drastic hitherto unknown unfolding of events. These took the form of humbling of the Austrian Empire that was brought to its knees in the crushing defeat. Also, the rigid power structures of 18th Century Europe were challenged and the stage was perfectly set for the decade-long French domination of Europe.

It signified a major military feat as the impressive French victory also became a tactical model of warfare. Napoleon used deception to lure the enemies to his chosen field of battle and then broke formations with rapid manoeuvres by his corps resulting in the collapse of the 3rd Coalition. It thereby led to innovations in defence strategy for Napoleon to be used in future wars, as well as solidified the basis of French defence, teamwork, and swiftness in policy and action on the battlefield. Everything is fair in war (and love) after all!

The military and political results also influenced the French economy positively as it faced financial collapse prior to the Austerlitz Battle. It would become anyone’s favourite battle as it is mine because it did not compromise on the human side of war. Emperor Napoleon sought his place in the minds of the French citizens as he declared his satisfaction from this famous battle of victory and attributed it to the courage of the French army whom he provided with 2 million golden francs to the higher officers and 200 francs to each soldier. War-widows were given pensions and orphaned children were personally adopted by Napoleon graciously allowing his name to be added to their baptismal and family names.

Considering the multi-dimensional impact on all areas discussed briefly in the above paragraphs, the Battle of Austerlitz certainly goes down the golden annals of European history, in general and French nationalism in particular. It indeed occupies a special place in the minds of historians and hearts of people like me across the globe.

I was a Sad Kid

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I’m not involved in the military lifestyle; but I do live by the “Semper Fidelis” motto. Majority of my family members consists of Army, Navy, and Air force veterans (not Marines, sorry). I have sacrificed, compromised, and is still reliable for anyone who’s in need for the past 26 years of my life.

Let me give you some background on my life; and tell you why the meaning to “Semper Fidelis” means to me: sacrifice, compromise, and reliable for anyone who’s in need. My life so far haven’t always been a bouquet roses and sunshine; ever since I was about 2 years old I can remember moving from place to place, never staying in one place for more than 6 months to 1 year at a time; we (me, my mother, and my older sister) would even sleep cold on park benches with nothing but the clothes on our backs, some clothes in our luggage, and nothing in our stomachs for days even several weeks at a time.

When I was much younger, I would always ask my mother “Why could I be in a stable environment like all of the other children that were my age?” She would say: “Sweetheart you’re not like the other children.” So, I wouldn’t ask my mother anymore questions and accept the fact that I’m not like the other children; who live in a two-parent household with all of the love and stability that they could ever have and need. I would resent the position that I was in, never resenting my mother for what was happening to us; I couldn’t express how I felt because I had to stay in a child’s place .

I’ve always held my feelings in as a child, I would become so angry and resentful at the position that I was in: I would lash out at everyone and anyone who was around me or even near me. I would even scare myself sometimes. I didn’t know what was wrong with me; I was an angry, confused, and sad a little girl. I didn’t even want be around the other children at that point in time in my life. I just wanted to be left alone.

The teachers and guidance counselors were so concerned about me at that time; they wanted to put me on anti-depressants and other mood stimulator to make me become a happy child again. I wasn’t a happy child back then; and no kind of anti-depressant and mood stimulator was going to make a happy child again. A stable home environment like all of the other children was going to make me happy child again.

So, whether I was at school or at home; I would become this over obsessive child that kept my head into the books; my ears into every genre of music that you can think of, and I was apart of every church and school activity that you can possibly imagine for a child that wasn’t in a stable environment like the other children at that point in time.

Then, add bullying, molestation, rape, being beaten up, harassed, and a failed suicide attempt during the beginning of my freshman year of high school (pill over dose) to the situation as well. I was bullied, beaten up, and harassed by the children and the adults (certain teachers and church members at home and school); and I was being bullied, molested, raped, and beaten up at home because I wouldn’t say anything.

As I’ve gotten much older, I’m able to express my feelings much better and calmly; without all of the anger, resentfulness, hatred, hostility,and animosity. I’m able to look back at my life right now and say: “I have sacrificed, compromised, and was even reliable for everyone else during my 26 years on this earth that I can keep my head held high with dignity and respect for myself; regardless of everything that I’ve gone through, everything that I’ve went through, and everything that I’m about to go through.”

So, that’s just a snippet of my life; and why the meaning to “Semper Fidelis” means to me: sacrifice, compromise, and to be reliable for anyone who’s in need.

The Bloodiest War In American History

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The Civil war is known as the bloodiest war in American history – on American soil. It was generally a fight for change basically. This event has changed our country greatly. It brought changes to politics, cultures, technology, social groups, and military advances. If it weren’t for this exact event, our country would not be where it is today – period. It brought all American societies together; of course it took a while for America to become comfortable with the changes, but this event benefited us greatly at the end.

On November 6, 1860, a man who proclaimed “government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free…” named Abraham Lincoln, is elected president. Being that he had made that he believed this, the South Carolina legislature received him as a threat to their lifestyle and called a state convention, which led to them to secede from the union followed by the secession of six more states of six more states – Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas, which formed the Confederate States of America. The South seized Fort Sumter which prompted four more states to join the Confederacy. Among the extra four seceding states was Virginia. Residents of the western counties of Virginia did not want to secede, therefore splitting the state in half. Although, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri were slave states, they did not wish to join the Confederacy. The First Battle of Bull is won by the Confederates.

As the war continued, the Confederacy shrank in size and began to lose its resources. The Union began to have the advantage and started a southern blockade, to prevent any goods and supplies entering from foreign countries, hoping that it would cause the Confederate economy to collapse. At first, people thought that the blockade would not be a useful strategy plan. At the end of the war, the blockade was successful, bringing the South’s economy to a halt. Its main export, cotton, was cut short ninety- five percent. Soldiers began to decrease because of starvation; they began to let slaves take their place in the war. The Confederates tried to recover but they ended up being defeated and surrendered.

The most important part of the war is the change that it made on America. Most of the changes were good and beneficial to the majority of citizens, some were not as much. In 1865, a group of Confederate veterans formed a secret society called the “Ku Klux Klan.” The clan rapidly grew from being a secret society to a paramilitary force to stop the Reconstruction Era activities in the South, especially polices regarding to the African Americans. The government passed the thirteenth amendment stating that slavery was banned, fourteenth amendment stating that all citizens born in the United States will be considered natural born citizens and the fifth tenth amendment giving all male citizens the right to vote regardless of their race. I believe that the most important change was that in equality. Having people accept African Americans as an actual human being because that is what they were. It took a very long process but in the end, America did succeed.

Battle of Austerlitz

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My favorite Napoleonic battle is that of Austerlitz. Much of history proclaims that Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the best military and political leaders. However, the normally confident and collected Napoleon was concerned about the uphill battle he faced in the “Battle of Three Emperors”. Although he did not know it at the time, this would be one of his greatest victories, as the French Empire defeated the Third Coalition which included the Russian empire and the Holy Roman Empire. This remains as my favorite battle because Napoleon utilized not just military tactical strategy but also psychological fake out on his adversaries.

There are two key circumstances that allowed for Napoleon to make the moves he made in the Battle of Austerlitz; he was also the emperor of the nation and had the strength of the Grande Armee at his disposal. The former allowed him to make key military moves and determine the French army’s agenda without bureaucracy or time constraints and the latter allowed for military innovations that would prove crucial in defeating the opposing troops even before the formal battle began. In the late summer to early fall of 1805, Napoleon, had decided to direct his energy to the Rhine and move away from the English Channel push to handle the Russian and later Austrian threats. The French forces moved in a circular motion that put them behind the Austrian forces. This was an impressive execution of an innovative technique known as Ulm Maneuver. The Austrian general and his 23,000 troops surrendered while Russian troops moved northeast to wait for back up and allow for the potential of meeting up with any leftover Austrian troops.

Napoleon moved the French northeast as well, but were met with the threat of the unpredictable Prussians, the convergence of the Russian and Austrian troops, and weak lines of communication. Another example of Napoleon’s use of psychology was his urge to capitalize on the recent success at Ulm which meant forcing the two allies to battle and hopefully to defeat. Russian commander Kutuzov recognized what was coming and retreated to avoid the massive loss. With stall tactics and ruses from both ends, the Allies stayed back and the French followed suit… but not for long. Napoleon created a psychological trap to bait the Allies out of retreat. Napoleon, although morally questionable, had given the Allies the impression that the Grand Armee and such were weak and that his interests lied in peace talks. Napoleon did this through positioning about 50,000 French troops in the area that the 89,000 Allies could easily overtake. The reality was that Napoleon had already positioned reinforcements a short distance away from the location who could be quickly called on, making them a sizeable threat to the enticed Allies. Napoleon’s ruse went a step further as he sent a surveyor to the Allied forces to scout the competition and reported back to his foes that he wished to avoid battle, feigning intimidation. When armistice was offered Napoleon acted as if he was excited and looking to accept it. Many of the Allied forces leadership pushed for an immediate attack thinking they could quickly disarm an already weakened Napoleon regime. The trap was set.

At the start of the fight Napoleon did find himself inferior in number as the Allies had 85,000 soldiers. Most were Russians armed with over 300 guns compared to the 157 guns the 72,000 French were in possession of. Napoleon’s underdog status also made this a favorite for me because he turned his weakness into an advantage. This is not just a tactical lesson, this is a life lesson. One can turn a setback or failure into a success by outsmarting the obstacle. On November 28th the French troops discussed strategy and Napoleon hoping that the Allied forces would attack purposely weakened his right flank. Even after meeting with French leadership who was weary of the battle, Napoleon refused to retreat. Instead, anticipating a strong attack on the right, he realized that the Allies middle and left would be weakened by their heavy approach from the right. To keep up appearances he removed troops from the Pratzen Heights area further portraying a weakened right flank and weak French army. The reality was that his troops were positioned on a completely opposite side of the heights, where they would double back and retake the heights and then launch into the center of the Allied forces disarming them from their backside. Another interesting factor in Napoleon’s victory was that the troops who attacked the center were cloaked by mist, which lasted just long enough- if the mist dissipated too soon their cover would have been blown, if too late the French’s vision would have been compromised- to further the General’s goal. Another almost magical aspect of the Battle of Austerlitz was how nature had seemed to align with the French that day. Napoleon also showed great decision- making and leadership in appointing his best Marshal, Davout, to support the French’s weakened right flank. The right flank was also protected geographically by bodies of water.

The Battle of Austerlitz is a prime example of Napoleon’s genius in battle. On December 1st the Allied and French troops moved in the same direction as Napoleon had planned. The battle began early in the morning and the village of Sokolnitz changed hands several times throughout the day. As predicted the Allied troops attacked hard at the right. Kutuzov, being much wiser than the younger Alexander Tsar, stayed still and like Napoleon recognized the importance of Pratzen. He decided to defend the Heights which we know now was the beginning of the end for the Allies. There is another lesson to be learned from this part of Austerlitz. Kutuzov was wiser in his methods and an admirable adversary, while Tsar, young and inexperienced fell short in almost all of his tactical moves. Tsar should have respected the wisdom and experience of Kutuzov. Within 45 minutes the Allied center was weakened and Napoleon was satisfied. An hour in and Napoleon ordered one final blow to the enemy by having St. Hilaire charge up the middle shocking the Allies with the size of the French army coming towards them. In the end, the French only lost one battalion, the battalion of the 4th Line Regiment. When Napoleon had learned he sent his own Guard cavalry out to pick up the slack. This battle was amazing in that both sides had used all the resources at their disposal but Napoleon’s strategic maneuvers won the French empire the victory.

As a history buff, the battle of Austerlitz is my favorite because it effectively changed European politics as the French ended up occupying Vienna by destroying two armies, and dethroned the Austrian Empire as the biggest players. This battle and the events before it made the 18th century much different from the strict 17th century. The battle of Austerlitz set the stage for a near-decade of French domination of Europe. Another minor but immediate effect was baiting Prussia into a war. News of the Austerlitz victory uplifted the people of Paris who were downtrodden due to the country’s current financial crisis. History widely reports that 1806 marked the end of the Holy Roman Empire as well. Napoleon rewarded his forces well and it is even noted that he adopted the orphans of fallen soldiers, allowing them to bear his last name. The Battle of Austerlitz is my favorite as a true turning point in military strategy and world politics.