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Gruntworks History Military

This Week In Military History — August 12th – 18th

August 12th

On this day in 1862, Confederate cavalry leader General John Hunt Morgan captures a small Federal garrison in Gallatin, Tennessee, just north of Nashville. The incident was part of a larger operation against the army of Union General Don Carlos Buell, which was threatening Chattanooga by late summer. Morgan sought to cut Buell’s supply lines with his bold strike.

April 13th

On this day in 1781, Patriot forces led by Colonel William Harden and Brigadier General Francis Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox,” lure British commander Major Thomas Fraser and his 450 soldiers into an ambush at Parker’s Ferry, 30 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, 3,000 soldiers set sail with the French fleet on their way to aid the Patriot cause.

April 14th

On this day in 1945, an official announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people.

August 15th

On this day in 1780, American Lieutenant Colonel Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” and his irregular cavalry force of 250 rout a party of Loyalists commanded by Major Micajah Gainey at Port’s Ferry, South Carolina. Meanwhile, General Horatio Gates’ men consumed half-baked bread, which sickened them overnight and contributed to their disastrous performance at the Battle of Camden, also in South Carolina, the following day.

August 16th

On August 16, 1917, in a renewed thrust of the Allied offensive launched at the end of July in the Flanders region of Belgium—known as the Third Battle of Ypres, or simply as Passchendaele, for the village that saw the heaviest fighting—British troops capture the village of Langemarck from the Germans.

August 17th

On this day in 1943, U.S. General George S. Patton and his 7th Army arrive in Messina several hours before British Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery and his 8th Army, winning the unofficial “Race to Messina” and completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.

Video-Image_0006_The-Battle-of-Long-Tan

August 18th

On t his day in 1966, The First Australian Task Force (ATF) inflicts a major defeat on Viet Cong forces in Phuoc Tuy Province. Australia had first sent troops to Vietnam in 1962 and eventually expanded its commitment in response to President Lyndon Johnson’s call for “Free World Military Forces” to form an alliance of “Many Flags” in South Vietnam. By 1966, the First Australian Task Force included two infantry battalions and associated logistical support elements; it had also been joined by a New Zealand unit made up of two infantry companies and a Special Air Service troops. In the Battle of Long Tan, the ATF acquitted itself very well, inflicting a major defeat on the communist forces, killing 245 while sustaining 17 dead.

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Suggested Reading:

The Battle of Long Tan: As told by the Commanders By Robert Grandin

The Battle of Sicily: How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory By Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.

Passchendaele: The Lost Victory of World War I By Nick Lloyd

 

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Jeremy Scott is a 36-year-old military history buff from Houston, Texas. He has been interested in military history since the age of 8 years old. His interests are the Napoleonic era, the American Civil War, and both World wars I and II. He has a deep respect for the “boots on the ground” the common military soldier, and hopes that his humble writings interest those soldiers. If you have a twitter account, you can follow him @UncleBubba80

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