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Gruntworks History Military

This Week In Military History — October 7th – October 13th

October 7th

On this day in 2001, a U.S.-led coalition begins attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with an intense bombing campaign by American and British forces. Logistical support was provided by other nations including France, Germany, Australia and Canada and, later, troops were provided by the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance rebels. The invasion of Afghanistan was the opening salvo in the United States “war on terrorism” and a response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

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October 8th

On this day in 1967, a Bolivian guerrilla force led by Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara is defeated in a skirmish with a special detachment of the Bolivian army. Guevara was wounded, captured, and executed the next day.

October 9th

On this day in 1967, socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara, age 39, is killed by the Bolivian army. The U.S.-military-backed Bolivian forces captured Guevara on October 8 while battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and assassinated him the following day. His hands were cut off as proof of death and his body was buried in an unmarked grave.

October 10th

On this day in 1845, The United States Naval Academy opens in Annapolis, Maryland, with 50 midshipmen students and seven professors. Known as the Naval School until 1850, the curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French. The Naval School officially became the U.S. Naval Academy in 1850, and a new curriculum went into effect, requiring midshipmen to study at the academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer–the basic format that remains at the academy to this day.

October 11th

On this day in 1942, the American Navy intercepts a Japanese fleet of ships on their way to reinforce troops at Guadalcanal. The Navy succeeded in its operation, sinking a majority of the ships.On this day in 1942, the American Navy intercepts a Japanese fleet of ships on their way to reinforce troops at Guadalcanal. The Navy succeeded in its operation, sinking a majority of the ships.

October 12th

On this day in 2000, at 12:15 p.m. local time, a motorized rubber dinghy loaded with explosives blows a 40-by-40-foot hole in the port side of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer that was refueling at Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded in the attack.

October 13th

On October 13th, the Continental Navy was formally organized, and in December Esek Hopkins was appointed the first commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy. His first fleet consisted of seven ships: two 24-gun frigates, the Alfred and the Columbus; two 14-gun brigs, the Andrea Doria and the Cabot; and three schooners, the Hornet, the Wasp, and the Fly.

Suggested Reading:

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy By Ian W. Toll

Front Burner: Al Qaeda’s Attack on the USS Cole By Kirk Lippold

Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal By James D. Hornsfischer

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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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