1687: The Parthenon, the temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, is partially destroyed by an explosion caused by the bombing from Venetian forces led by the Venetian Doge and General Francesco Morosini who are besieging the Ottoman Turks stationed in Athens.
WWI-1918: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the bloodiest single battle in American history, begins. The US I Corps (77th, 28th and 35th Divisions under French command; in the the final phases of the Meuse-Argonne offensive under Lt. Gen. Hunter Liggett), V Corps (91st, 37th and 79th Divisions under Maj. Gen. Charles Pelot Summerall), III Corps (4th, 80th and 33rd Divisions), and the French Fourth (General Henri Gouraud) and Fifth (General Henri Mathias Berthelot) Armies commenced advancing against the German Fifth (General Johannes Georg von der Marwitz) Army's defence line in order to breach the Hindenburg line and ultimately force the opposing German forces to capitulate. The battle ended on Armistice day (11 November, 1918). Allied losses were severe. The US suffered ca 117,000 killed and wounded, while the French lost approximately 70,000 troops. The Germans suffered ca 190,000 killed and wounded.
1943: Greek Destroyer RHNS "Vasilissa Olga" (Queen Olga) (D-15) was sunk during a German air attack carried out by 25 Junkers Ju 88 while anchored in Lakki bay of Leros island after the capitulation of Italy. Her CO Lt. Cdr. Georgios Blessas, 6 officers and 63 petty officers and other ranks were lost.
[size=1]The Queen Olga is sinking[/size]
[size=1]The signal informing the Navy HQ in Alexandria about Queen Olga's loss. It reads: Destroyer Queen Olga sunk in Leros harbour at 10:14 26/9/43[/size]
1943: British Destroyer HMS "Intrepid" (D-10) (Cdr. Charles Arthur de Winton Kitcat) was sunk during a German air attack carried out by 25 Junkers Ju 88 while anchored in Lakki bay of Leros island.
1944: III Greek Mountain Brigade's 1st Battalion (Major Ioannes Karavías) relieves the 24th New Zealand Battalion (it would go into reserve) and becomes the first allied unit that crosses the Rubicon River in NE Italy: At 06:30 hours after a quick but intense firefight takes the town of Bellaria, near Cesena.
[size=1]Greeks of the III Mountain Brigade. It comprised 205 Officers, 89 WO, 3,083 other ranks[/size]
[size=1]The III Greek Mountain Brigade's crest in WWII[/size]
1944: The Brazilian 1ª Divisão de Infantaria Expedicionária - 1ª DIE (=1st Expeditionary Infantry Division) (Gen. João Baptista Mascarenhas de Morais), on the central front of the Gothic Line, controls the Serchio valley region, after ten days of rugged fighting at a cost of 290 killed or wounded.
[size=1]Brazilian troops of the 1ª DIE enter an Italian town[/size]
1944: The Caserta Agreement is signed in Caserta, Italy, between the Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, the British Minister Resident in the Mediterranean (representative to the Allies in the Mediterranean) Harold MacMillan, the C-in-C Middle East, General Henry Maitland Wilson, the EDES' (=National Republican Greek League) leader Colonel Napoléon Zervas, and the ELAS' (=Greek People's Liberation Army) leader Gen. Stephanos Saraphes. According to it, "...all resistance forces in Greece were placed under the command of a British officer, Lt. Gen. Sir Ronald MacKenzie Scobie".
[size=1]Saraphes (left), Scobie, Zervas[/size]
1950: United Nations 1st Cavalry Division Task Force 777, enters Seoul, South Korea, shortly after dark. The city was full of North Korean soldiers, most wandering aimless around. None fired on the American unit, led by tank platoon from the 70th Tank Battalion.
480 BC: During the Second Persian invasion of Greece, the Naval Battle of Salamís occurs. A joint Greek fleet of ca 366 - 378 triremes from Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Megara, Croton (from S. Italy) and other Greek minor city-states, under the overall command of the Athenian Stratēgós (=Army leader, general) Themistocles, but nominally led by the Spartan Návarchos (=Ship leader, admiral), Eurybiades, defeated the Persian Achæmenid fleet of some 600 - 800 warships (triremes mostly) led by the eldest brother of Persian King Xerxes I, Ariabignes (or Ariamenes according to Plutarch). The Persian fleet sailed into the Straits of Salamís and tried to block both entrances. In the cramped conditions of the Straits the great Persian numbers were an active hindrance, as ships struggled to maneuver and became disorganised. Seizing the opportunity, the Greek fleet formed in line and scored a decisive victory, sinking or capturing at least 200 Persian ships. Ariabignes died in the battle.
480 BC: During the Greco-Punic Wars (a series of conflicts fought between the Carthaginians and the Greeks headed by Syracusans, over control of Sicily and western Mediterranean from 7th - 3rd c. BC), the Battle of Himéra occurs. A 50,000-strong, according to modern estimates, (according to Herodotus' account, 300,000) Carthaginian army comprised Iberians, Libyans, Carthaginians and Libyo-Phnecians, with Gaullic and Sardinian cavalry, under General Hamilcar, the son of Hanno, invaded Sicily and marched along the coast in order to capture the city of Himéra. The Greeks fielded a few tens of thousands (Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus give 50,000) hoplites, mostly from the major Greek city in Sicily, Syracuse, but also hired mercenaries from Greece and local Sicels and Sikans, under the overall command of the Tyrant (=Ruler) of Syracuse, Gelo, acting together with the Tyrant of Acragas (today's Agrigento in Sicily), Theron. About half of the Carthaginian army and majority of the fleet was destroyed, numerous prisoners and rich booty had fallen into Greek hands. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus comments that "..the surviving Carthaginian ships were sunk in a storm on their return journey to Africa".
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[size=1]On December 18, 2008 archeologists uncovered the mass graves of more than 10,000 soldiers holding the remains of 5th century B.C. soldiers near the site of the ancient Greek city of Himéra during the construction of a railway extension, on the island of Sicily: news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/12/081217-himera-mass-grave.html[/size]
1364: During the Hundred Years' War, the Battle of Auray occurs. A 3,500-strong Anglo-Breton army, comprised English and Bretons led by Jean V the Conqueror, Duc de Montfort, assisted by Sir John Chandos, Viscount of Saint-Sauveur, defeated a 4,000-strong Franco-Breton army, under Charles of Blois. In the battle, the troops of Charles of Blois broke and fled and he was killed.
1848: During the Hungarian Revolution (the revolution in the Kingdom of Hungary that grew into a war for independence from Habsburg rule) the Battle of Pákozd occurs. Lt. Gen. János Móga in command of 27,000 Hungarians with 82 cannon, fought and defeated the Habsburg army, numbering from 35 - 40,000 men under Croatian Ban (=Ruler), Count Josip Jelačić of Buim. Although the Battle of Pákozd was one of the smaller of the Revolution, its consequences were very important. The battle became an icon for the Hungarian army because of its influence on politics and morale.
[size=1]The victor, János Móga[/size]
1911: The claims of Italy over Ottoman Libya, lead Italy to formally Declare War against Ottoman Empire on 29 September, although the Italian fleet appeared off Tripoli, Libya, on the previous evening (28 September, 1911).
WWI-1918: Following the breach on the Salonika front occured on 15 September, Bulgaria capitulated and concluded armistice negotiations with the Allies. The Armistice with Bulgaria was signed at the Bulgaria Armistice Convention in Thessaloniki, Greece, between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Allied Powers.
[size=1]The Allied Military Cemetery in Thessaloniki, Greece. 21,000 allied soldiers killed in the Salonika Front (French, Italian, British and Russian) repose there; 7,000 of them are Serbs[/size]
1932: During the Chaco War (fought between Bolivia and Paraguay over control of the northern part of the Gran Chaco region from 1932 - 1935) the Battle of Boquerón ends (it opened on 7 September). A Bolivian army of ca 1,000 men, reinforced by a cavalry regiment and three infantry regiments as the battle progressed (totalling 4,000 troops), under Lt. Col. Manuel Marzana, was decisively defeated by the 14,000 Paraguayan troops under Col. José Félix Estigarribia Insaurralde. Bolivia suffered 1,000 dead or wounded, 800 made prisoners. Paraguay lost ca 1,500 - 2,000 dead or wounded.
1939: Poland formally surrenders. Polish Armed Forces suffered 66,000 dead, 133,700 wounded, 694,000 captured in their desparate 28-day, two-front struggle.
1941: The SS Einsatzgruppen operating in the Ukraine, massacre between 50,000 and 96,000 Ukranians (of which 33,771 are Jews), at Babi Yar, a ravine about 30 miles outside of Kiev.
[size=1]The Babi Yar memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine[/size]
1941: During the night of 28 - 29 September, an insurrection against the Bulgarian occupation troops occured in the town of Doxáto, Drama Prefecture, Greece. The local police station in the town was attacked, leading to the death of 6 - 7 Bulgarian policemen. Although those who participated in the insurrection were killed or fled to the mountains, reprisals were harsh. The next day, Bulgarian forces rounded up all the men in town aged 14 and over, and after dividing them into groups of ten, executed them on the night of 29 September, 1941. 200 men were massacred.
[size=1]The Memorial to the massacre in Doxáto[/size]
1990: The YF-22, which would later become the F-22 Raptor, flies for the first time.
1744: During the War of the Austrian Succession, the Battle of Cuneo, fought on the outskirts of Cuneo in Piedmont, occurs. A combined Hispano-French force of some 26,000 soldiers under Louis François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, defeated a Sardinian army under the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia, Charles Emmanuel III. Out of a total number of 25,000, the King of Sardinia lost 4,400 men, whilst the Bourbon losses were a little over half their enemies at 2,700 men killed or wounded.
[size=1]The conqueror of Cuneo, Louis François de Bourbon[/size]
1938: The Munich Aggreement is signed by the UK, France, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It permitted Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.
1941: The German strategic offensive named Operation Typhoon begins, when Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 opens its offensive against Moscow, 2 days ahead of the rest of Heeresgruppe Mitte (=Army Group Centre) (von Bock) and makes 80 km (50 miles) in its advance towards Orel.
[size=1]Generaloberst Heinz Guderian; USSR autumn 1941[/size]
1943: On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the Gestapo and Danish Nazis begin rounding up all Danish Jews. However, a large number of Danish Jews had been saved when the anti-nazi politician Hans Hedtoft got wind of the German plan and passed the details to the Danish resistance who, with the help of Danish fishermen ferried many Jews to neutral Sweden.
[size=1]The Danish resistance movement as a collective effort, rather than as individuals, has been honoured at Yad Vashem in Israel as being part of the Righteous Among the Nations[/size]
1944: The 7,500 strong Calais garrison surrenders to the First Canadian Army (General H.D.G. Crerar). Rejoicing in the streets of Dover at the announcement that the last of the German cross-channel guns, which have pounded the southeast coast of Britain for three years, have been silenced.
1954: The U.S. Navy submarine USS "Nautilus" ((SSN-571) is commissioned as the world's first nuclear reactor powered vessel.
1975: The Hughes (later McDonnell-Douglas, now Boeing) AH-64 Apache makes its first flight.
1187: Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, commonly known as Saladin recaptures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule, following Balian of Ibelin's surrender (Ibelin was a a castle in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem). The fall of Jerusalem, provoked the Third Crusade by providing it with its principal goal: The return of Jerusalem to Christendom a second time.
1263: During the Scottish-Norwegian War, the Battle of Largs (present day Largs in North Ayrshire, Scotland) occurs. It was the most important military engagement of the war. The Norwegian forces were led by King Håkon Håkonsson the Old and the Scottish forces by King Alaxandair III mac Alaxandair. The result was inconclusive, but in the long term favoured the Scots.
1552: During the War between Muscovite Russia and the Tatar Khanate of Kazan, the siege of Kazan, the final battle of the war occurs. The 150,000 Muscovite army under Ivan IV the Terrible besieged Kazan and on 2 October the Russians entered the city. The civil population as well as Kazan's army (totalling 80 - 85,000 men) opposed them. The city was totally sacked and burned. Dozens of thousands of Tatars killed, both civilians and garrison, and 60,000 - 100,000 Russians who had been kept captive in khanate were released.
[size=1]The conqueror of Kazan, Ivan IV Vasilyevich the Terrible[/size]
1814: During the Chilean War of Independence, the Battle of Rancagua occurs. A 1,200-strong Spanish Royalist army under the Seville born, Spanish General Mariano de Osorio, defeated the 600 Chilean Revolutionaries under the Chilean patriot Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme. The Chilean force retreated with heavy losses.
[size=1]The victor, Don Mariano de Osorio[/size]
1835: During the Texas War of Independence, the Battle of Gonzales, the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution occurs. Up to 140 Texians under John Henry Moore, one of the Old Three Hundred (=the first Anglo settlers who received land grants along the rich bottomlands of the Brazos, Colorado, and San Bernard rivers) fought a Mexican force of ca 100 cavalry under Lt. Francisco de Castañeda. Castañeda was sent by Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea to retrieve a cannon lent to the citizens of Gonzales in 1831 for their defence. The citizens of Gonzales refused to relinquish the Gonzales cannon, and the battle of Gonzales resulted.
[size=1]The Come and Take It flag flown by Texians[/size]
1939: The first Poles are imprisoned in Pawiak Prison in Warsaw. Some 100,000 people will undergo Nazi interrogations here, of whom 37,000 will be executed and 60,000 sent to concentration camps.
[size=1]The infamous Pawiak Prison[/size]
1941: Heeresgruppe Mitte (=Army Group Centre) (von Bock) launches Operation Typhoon, the main offensive towards Moscow with one million men, 1,700 tanks, 14,000 artillery pieces, 549 aircraft. Heeresgruppe Süd (=Army Group South) (von Rundstedt) begins an advance against Kursk and Kharkov.
[size=1]Soviet documentary for the Battle of Moscow with English subtitles[/size]
1943: The British 2nd Special Service Brigade (Bgd. Ronald John Frederick "Ronnie" Tod) lands at Termoli on East coast of Italy and links up with troops moving North from Foggia.
1944: Warsaw falls to the Germans after 63-day siege, with the Polish Home Army surrendering only after all its food and ammunition had run out. The Germans recognise their valour and treat the survivors not as partisans, but as regular POW.
1950: During the Korean War, General MacArthur issues United Nations Command Operations Order 2 which is the plan to order for U.N. forces to cross into North Korea. ROKA troops are already 30 to 50 km (20 to 30 miles) north of the 38th Parallel on the east coast at this time.
52 BC: During the Gallic Wars, the Siege of Alesia (today's Alise-Sainte-Rein), a major town centre and fort of the confederation of Gaullic tribes, named Mandubii, who lived in the areas of modern-day Bourgogne and Jura in France, ended with the Gallic leader Vercingetorix surrendering to Gaius Julius Cæsar. The country was then subdued, becoming a Roman province. Vercingetorix was taken prisoner, exhibited at Cæsar's triumph and most likely executed.
[size=1]Vercingetorix's statue in Alise-Sainte-Rein[/size]
42 BC: During the Wars of the Second Triumvirate (Roman Civil Wars fought by the forces of Marcus Antonius and Octavian against the forces of Cæsar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus) the First Battle of Philippoi (today's Philippi, Eastern Macedonia, Greece) occurs. The Triumvirs' army of nineteen legions and 33,000 horse (total over 100,000 men) under Octavian and Marcus Antonius decisively defeated the forces of Cæsar's assassins numbering some 100,000 men (seventeen legions, 17,000 horse) under Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. The battle ended in a draw: Cassius lost 9,000 men, while Octavian had about 18,000 casualties. Cassius believing that he had suffered a crushing defeat, committed suicide.
[size=1]The battlefield, as seen from the Acropolis of Philippi[/size]
1935: Mussolini's Italy invades Ethiopia. The war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa.
1943: On the night of 3 October, Germans invade the Greek island of Kos in the Dodekanese, with the assistance of massive air support. German paratroopers landed in and around the airfield at Antimachia. The island was defended by the men of the 1st Durham Light Infantry (Colonel John Kirby) arrived on 16 September. The 1st DLI were almost wiped out on Kos with only some 60 men managing to escape.
[size=1]The Athens Memorial stands within Phaleron War Cemetery and commemorates nearly 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives during the campaigns in Greece and Crete and the Dodecanese Islands including those of the 1st Durham Light Infantry who were killed on the island of Kos 1943[/size]
1951: During the Korean War, the First Battle of Maryang San occurs, pitting Australian and British forces against communist China. It ended 5 days later. The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Lt. Col. Francis George "Frank" Hassett) dislodged a numerically superior Chinese force from the tactically important Kowang-San (Hill 355) and Maryang San (Hill 317) features, in conjunction with other units of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade.
1952: Operation Hurricane was the test of the first British atomic device. A plutonium implosion device was detonated in the lagoon between the Montebello Islands, Western Australia.
1990: German Unity Day: The German Democratic Republic ceases to exist and its territory becomes part of the Federal Republic of Germany.
1993: During Operation Gothic Serpent (a military operation conducted by special operations forces of the United States with the primary mission of capturing Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Mogadishu, Somalia), the Battle of Mogadishu occurs. It was fought on 3 and 4 October, 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, by forces of the United States supported by UNOSOM II against Somali militia fighters loyal to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, with support from armed civilian fighters. 18 US Soldiers and hundreds of Somalis were killed in heavy fighting.
I remember my father singing bits of that Napoleonic sea shanty, usually at parties, with a drink or two in hand. Now I know where it comes from... That's pretty cool.
Thanks Valtrex, this thread rocks. It has become a daily read for me.
"Buvons un coup, buvons en deux!..."
7 October 1944; 130,000 Dutch Guilders dropped behind enemy Lines in Holland for Jedburgh/SF-team Dudley.
1238: King of Aragon, Jaume I el Conqueridor (=the Conqueror) defeated the Moors from the Balansiya taifa (=independent Moslem-ruled principality) and entered the city of Valencia on 9 October, which is regarded as the dawn of the Kingdom of Valencia.
[size=1]John of Aragon's equestrian statue, in Valencia[/size]
1264: The Kingdom of Castille takes the Moslem town of Sherish and renames it Jerez, the capital of sherry wine, the Andalusian horse, and flamenco.
[size=1]The Alcázar (=Arabic castle) of Jerez[/size]
1760: During the Seven Years' War, the Russians under Count Pyotr Semyonovich Saltykov and Austrians under Franz Moritz Graf von Lascy take Berlin from the Prussians and briefly occupied it.
[size=1]Count Saltykov (left) and Count Lascy[/size]
1806: As part of the War of the Fourth Coalition (the fourth major concerted effort by Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and the United Kingdom to contain Napoleonic France), Prussia declares war on France.
[size=1]Friedrich-Wilhelm III, King of Prussia from 1797 - 1840[/size]
1831: The First Governor of the Independent Greek State, a Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire, Count Ioannes Antonios Capodistrias (or Kapodistrias), is assassinated on Sunday morning, on the steps of the church of Saint Spyridon in Nauplion (Greece's first capital) by the heroic Maniot family of the Greek War of Independence turned brigand, the Mavromikhales. On 21 September 2009, the city of Lausanne in Switzerland inaugurated a bronze statue of Kapodistrias in a ceremony attended by the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, Sergei Lavrov and of Switzerland, Micheline Calmy-Rey.
[size=1]Capodistrias as unofficial Russian ambassador to Switzerland, actively facilitated the initiation of a new Constitution for the 19 cantons that were the component states of Switzerland, with personal drafts[/size]
1854: During the Crimean War, the Siege of Sebastopol begins, lasting until September 1855. The defence of the city was led by Vice Admirals Vladimir Kornilov and Pavel Nakhimov assisted by the chief engineer, Lieutenant Colonel Eduard Totleben, commanding a garrison of ca 36,600 and from May 1855, 42,000 troops. The task to capture the city was undertaken by an allied army of French, British and Ottoman troops (comprised 75,000 French, 35,000 British, 60,000 Turkish, 15,000 Piedmontese and from August 1855, additional 85,000 troops from Switzerland, Poland, Malta, various German States) under French General François Certain de Canrobert, British General FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan and Ottoman Omar Pasha Latas.
1912: During the First Balkan War, the Battle of Sarandáporon occurs. The Greek Army of Thessaly with five Divisions, reached the Sarandáporon straits which had been extensively fortified by a German mission before the war. The total Ottoman force defending it equalled five Divisions with further 11 infantry battalions in reserve, supported by substantial artillery and three machine-gun companies. The Greek offensive began on the morning of Tuesday, 9 October, with the I, II and III Divisions attacking the Turkish main line frontally, the IV Division attempting a flanking move to the west, in order to bypass the fortifications and thence occupy the Porta straits in the rear of the Turkish positions, while the V Division was ordered to execute an even broader maneuvre. Hassan Tahsin Pasha deployed 9 Infantry battalions (22nd Division), 12 guns and 2 MG companies on the western front. On the central front, 5 Infantry battalions with 10 guns awaited the enemy's advance and on the eastern front 4 Infantry companies, one MG company and 2 cavalry troops had being placed in position fronting the Greeks. The advance of the Greek troops commenced at 06:30 hours (with Gennádes' Evzone Detachment under Colonel Stephanos Gennádes) on open terrain, under Turkish artillery fire (Krupp 75mm) that caused high casualties. The V Division run into stiff resistance, but the IV Division moved quickly and managed to push back the Turkish flank and occupy its designated objective (in this battle IV Division earned the name the winged division). The 9th Evzone Battalion under Major Ioannes Velissaríu attacked the Turkish flank at Deskáte and captured the town. During the night the Ottomans, after becoming aware of the IV Division's flanking move, retreated in order under the cover of the darkness and the heavy rain to avoid being completely encircled. The battle, although not very successful, was nonetheless of major significance to the Greeks. Despite the somewhat clumsy Greek plan, the Greek soldiers performed well, and the victory helped expunge the stain of the 1897 defeat to Ottoman Turkey. Greek losses accounted for 182 killed (18 officers) and 995 (30 officers) wounded. Ottoman casualties were severe. The Battle of Sarandáporon was the first action on the Greek Thessalian theatre of operations during the First Balkan War.
1934: King Alexander I Karadzordzevich, the First King of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, was assassinated as he was arriving in Marseilles to start a state visit to the Third French Republic, when a gunman, the Bulgarian Vlado Chernozemski, stepped from the street and shot the King and his chauffeur. He was himself killed immediately afterwards. French Foreign Minister Jean Louis Barthou was accidentally shot by a French policeman and died later.
1944: The 1st Bulgarian Army (Lt. Gen. Vladimir Stoychev) attacks the German Army along the Bulgaria-Yugoslavia border, towards Ni in Yugoslavia, with Yugoslavian partisans on their left flank and a Soviet force on their right. At this time the First Army consisted of three 10,000-men divisions.
[size=1]General Stoychev took part in the Moscow Victory Parade in June 1945[/size]
1967: A day after being captured, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara is executed.
1970: The République Khmère or Khmer Republic, the ill-fated regime of Cambodia that preceded the establishment of the totalitarian communist state known as Democratic Kampuchea is proclaimed in Cambodia.
1983: Attempted assassination of South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan during an official visit to Rangoon, Burma. Chun survives but the blast kills 17 of his entourage, including four cabinet ministers, and injures 17 others. Four Burmese officials also die in the blast.
1999: The last flight of the Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" at Edwards AFB.
2006: North Korea allegedly tests its first nuclear device.
680: The Battle of Karbala: 72 supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali, were perished (Ali included) by the forces of Yazid ibn Mu‘awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, commonly known as Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph, in Karbala (southwest of Baghdad, present-day Iraq). Shia Muslims commemorate the Battle of Karbala every year in the Islamic month of Muharram. The tenth day of Muharram is called Yaumu-l 'Ashurah, which is known by Shia Muslims as the day of grief, a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali.
[size=1]Husayn ibn Ali's Mosque, on the site of his grave in Karbala, Iraq[/size]
732: The two-day Battle of Poitiers opens. A Carolingian Frankish army, numbering somewhere between 30 - 80,000 men, under the Frankish military and political leader, Charles Martel (=the Hammer), also known as Carolus Martellus, decisively defeated an army of the Umayyad Caliphate, numbering from 25,000 to 80,000 men under the governor of Al-Andalus, Abu Said Abdul Rahman ibn Abdullah ibn Bishr ibn Al Sarem Al 'Aki Al Ghafiqi, commonly known as Abdderrahman. Franks suffered ca 1,100 losses. The Moors lost (according to modern estimates) ca 12,000 men, including Abdderrahman. Many historians claim that had Charles fallen, the Umayyad Caliphate would have easily conquered a divided Europe.
[size=1]Charles Martel, the conqueror of Poitiers[/size]
1471: The Battle of Brunkeberg: A 9-12,000-strong Swedish army under Sten Sture den äldre (=the elder), the regent of Sweden, defeated the 6,000 Danes of the King of Denmark, Christian I. Advocating Swedish secession from the Kalmar Union (=the union of the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden - including a part of modern day Finland - under a single monarch) Sture's victory over Christian meant his power as viceroy of Sweden was secure and would remain so for the rest of his life.
[size=1]According to legend, Sture had prayed to Saint George before the battle. He later tributed George by commissoning a statue of Saint George and the Dragon carved by the Lübeck sculptor Bernt Notke for the Storkyrkan church in Stockholm, as an obvious allegory of Sture's battle against Christian[/size]
1575: The Battle of Dormans: French Catholic troops under Henri I de Lorraine, 3rd duc de Guise, defeated a Protestant army under Philippe Du-Plessis-Mornay. Mornay was taken prisoner by the Duke of Guise but ransomed for a small sum. Henri de Guise suffered an injury to his face, which earned him the nickname le Balafré (=the scarred).
[size=1]The victor, Henri de Guise[/size]
1911: The Wuchang Uprising, motivated by anger at corruption in the Qing government, frustration with the government's inability to restrain the interventions of foreign powers, and resentment of the majority Han Chinese toward a government dominated by an ethnic minority (the Manchus), started the Xinhai Revolution, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC).
1912: During the First Balkan War, the two-day Battle of Kumanovo opens. The Serbian Army with five Divisions, one cavalry Brigade and 148 artillery pieces, was engaged by the ca 65,000 troops (with 164 artillery pieces) of the Ottoman Vardar Army under Zeki Pasha. On the evening of the first day (Wednesday 10 October, O.S.), the Turks began the offensive at Kumanovo (modern-day Kumanova, northeast of Skopje, FYROM) attacking the Serbian positions (Danube Division I), 8 km (5 miles) distant. The Ottoman onslaught was checked with severe loss on both sides. At 01:00 hours of Thursday 11 October, the Serbs approached the Turkish entrenchment and fought for two hours. The country was open and although exposed to heavy artillery they stormed the Turkish positions repeatedly driving out the Turks in a hand-to-hand combat. Many dropped their rifles and used their knives or bayonets. The Serbs by noon had cleared Lobovkas valley and Kumanovo while the Turks withdrew 15 km (9 miles). Serbs suffered 687 killed, 3,280 wounded, 597 missing. Ottomans lost ca 4,200 killed or wounded (some of the Turkish officers wounded proved to be Germans), 327 made prisoners. The Battle of Kumanovo was the first action on the Serbian theatre of operations during the First Balkan War.
[size=1]Commemorative medal for the First Balkan War of the Kingdom of Serbia[/size]
1941: The 250. Infanterie-Division, commonly known as División Azul (=Blue Division) (Maj. Gen. Agustín Muñoz Grandes), made up of Spanish volunteers and formed within days of the German attack on the Soviet Union, goes into action against the Soviets for the first time in the sector between Lake Illmen and the west bank of the Volkhov river. General Zhukov is put in charge of the West Front for the defence of Moscow. Heeresgruppe Süd (=Army Group South) (Gen. Friessner) concludes the battle along the Sea of Azov and takes 100,000 prisoners.
[size=1]Men of the 263rd Regiment of the Spanish División Azul[/size]
1943: The Kempeitai - Japanese Military Police - arrested and tortured fifty-seven civilians and civilian internees on suspicion of their involvement in a raid on Singapore Harbour that had been carried out by Anglo-Australian commandos. After the war ended, twenty-one of the Kempeitai involved were charged with war crimes. Eight received the death sentence, seven were acquitted, and the remainder were given prison sentences varying from one year to life.
[size=1]Kempeitai is the term used to describe the infamous Japanese military police, which often accompanied Japanese invasion forces to carry out the transition to a Japanese controlled government[/size]
1985: United States Navy F-14 fighter jets intercept an Egyptian plane carrying the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijackers and force it to land at a NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily where they are arrested by the Italians after a disagreement between American and Italian authorities: Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi claimed Italian territorial rights over the NATO base and there was a standoff, between the U.S. and Italy, because the U.S. had only informed the Italians minutes before the intercept.
[size=1]The former Achille Lauro American hostages depart from Germany for the US[/size]
1531: During the Second war of Kappel (an armed conflict between the Protestant and the Catholic cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy), the Battle of Kappel occurs. The Catholic cantons decisively defeated the forces of Zürich at Kappel am Albis, a municipality in the district of Affoltern in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland. The Zürich troops were without support from allied cantons, and Huldrych Zwingli, a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, led them rather inexpertly, and was killed on the battlefield, along with twenty-four other protestant pastors. Zwingli was among the 500 casualties in the Zürich army.
1649: During the Eleven Years' War (a conflict in Ireland that pitted the native Irish Catholics against English and Scottish Protestant colonists and their supporters) the Sack of Wexford occurs. After a ten-day siege, English Parliamentarians (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish troops and 1,500 civilians. Much of the town was burned and its harbour was destroyed.
1899: The Second Boer War, fought between the British Empire and the Dutch-speaking Boer inhabitants of the two independent Boer republics, the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State, begins, with a Boer offensive into the British-held Natal and Cape Colony areas.
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1912: During the First Balkan War, the Battle of Kirkkilisse occurs. On the night of 10 October, an Ottoman column consisting of infantry, cavalry and volunteers under Mahmud Mukhtar Pasha, moved in a northerly direction from Kirkkilisse (modern-day Kırklareli in the European part of Turkey) threatened to split the 1st (Lt. Gen. Vasil Kutinchev) and 3rd (Lt. Gen. Radko Dimitriev) Bulgarian armies. The Turkish vanguard came in contact with the Bulgarians at dawn of 11 October and it was then found that the enemy was in overwhelming strength. The Turkish cavalry attempted to charge the Bulgarians (1st Sofia and 2nd Preslav brigades) but were punished and fled. Their rout created panic amongst infantry who began to withdraw. It was the 2nd Division of the Konstantiniye Corps that ultimately stemed the rout. Approximately 90,000 Turks engaged in the battle, but only a division and a half defended Kirkkilisse itself. At noon, Kirkkilisse was in Bulgarian hands. After the victory, the French minister of war Alexandre Millerand stated that the Bulgarian Army was the best in Europe. Bulgarians suffered ca 4,000 killed or wounded. Ottoman casualties were similarly heavy. Two hundred Ottomans of the rank and file were shot for cowardice. The Bulgarians captured 58 artillery pieces and two airplanes.
1942: The two-day Naval Battle of Cape Esperance, begins. A Japanese naval force, comprised 3 cruisers and two destroyers, under Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto as it approached Savo Island near Guadalcanal with the objective to bombard the Allied airfield on Guadalcanal, was intercepted by a U.S force of four cruisers and five destroyers, under the command of Rear Admiral Norman Scott. The Japanes were taken by surprise and Scott's warships sank one of Goto's cruisers and one of his destroyers, heavily damaged another cruiser, mortally wounded Goto, and forced the rest of his warships to abandon the bombardment mission.
[size=1]Rear Admiral Scott, a posthumously MoH recipient (left) and Rear Admiral Goto[/size]
1943: A German section of ca 20 men is ambushed near the Thessalian town of Trikala, by an ELAS (=Greek People's Liberation Army) coy. After a fierce battle, the insurgents withdraw with an officer and a guerilla killed. All twenty of the Germans, perished.
1944: Hungarian forces in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca are defeated by the Soviet and Romanian armies. Hungary and the Soviet Union begin negotiations for a ceasefire.
[size=1]Hungarians of the 22nd SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Maria Theresia, manning a PaK-40[/size]
1976: George Washington's appointment, posthumously, to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 is approved by President Gerald R. Ford.
1987: During the Sri Lankan Civil War, Operation Pawan a codename assigned to the operations by the Indian Peace Keeping Force to enforce the disarmament of the LTTE as a part of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord, begin. In brutal fighting that took about three weeks, the IPKF took control of the Jaffna Peninsula from the LTTE rule, something that the Sri Lankan army had tried and failed to achieve for several years.
533: General Belisarius enters triumphally into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals.
[size=1]Belisarius dressed as "Θριαμβευτής" (thriamveutḗs, Greek for vir triumphalis, man of triumph), wearing his ceremonial panoply[/size]
1813: Napoleon Bonaparte begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
1894: Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent, is arrested for spying in what later proved to be a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. The famous and influential French writer, Émile François Zola, wrote an open letter to the President of France, published on January 13, 1898, in the newspaper "L'Aurore", under the title J' Accuse (I Accuse), accusing the highest levels of the French Army of obstruction of justice and antisemitism by having wrongfully convicted Alfred Dreyfus to life imprisonment on Devil's Island, based on fabrications.
WWI-1917: At Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (real name, Margaretha-Geertruida Zelle) is executed by firing squad for spying for the German Empire.
1934: The Chinese Soviet Republic collapses after Chiang-Kai Shek's Kuomintang captures the county-city Ruijin, seat of the CSR central government, forcing the fleeing Communists to begin the Long March, the massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Chinese Communist Party, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army.
1944: The Hungarian chief of state, Admiral Miklós Horthy, shortly after announcing Hungary's withdrawal from the war against the USSR, is taken prisoner by a commando unit led by SS Sturmbannführer (=Major) Otto Skorzeny. A new government under Ferenc Szalasi vows to continue the alliance with Germany.
[size=1]Admiral Miklós Horthy, Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary, during an official visit to Hitler's Germany[/size]
1944: Greek Sacred Band's, Alpha Squadron after a three-day battle liberate the island of Naxos, in the Cyclades. 69 German troops made prisoners.
[size=1]Sacred Band's Crest. This Crest was (1916 - 1918) the Greek WWI Cross, a design of the French sculptor André Rivaud. Sacred Band's motto, was the phrase: E Tan, e Epi Tas (Either it, or upon it), the wish given from the ancient Sparta's mothers to their sons in war times. Literally, it means, either you will return home carrying your shield, victorious, or you'll return carried on the shield, dead[/size]
1946: Hermann Göring committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule the night before he was to be hanged. Because he committed suicide, his dead body was displayed by the gallows for the witnesses of the executions.
1953: British nuclear test Totem 1 detonated at Emu Field, South Australia.
456: The Germanic General and Magister Militum (=Master of Troops, Supreme Commander), Flavius Ricimer, defeated the Gallic-Roman Emperor of the Western Empire, Eparchius Avitus, in Placentia (modern-day Piacenza, Italy) and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire. The Emperor and his army entered the city and attacked the huge army led by Ricimer, but after a great massacre of his men, Avitus fled. Ricimer decided to spare the life of the defeated Emperor; he deposed Avitus and obliged him to become Bishop of Placentia.
1793: During the French Revolutionary Wars, the two-day Battle of Wattignies opens. A 45,000-strong French army under the overall command of Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan and Lazare Nicolas Marguerite, Comte Carnot (commander of French columns on the Northern Front), defeated the 30,000-strong Habsburg army led by Prince Frederick Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. French losses numbered 5,000 killed, wounded, and missing, plus 27 artillery pieces captured. The Austrians suffered 2,500 killed and wounded, while an additional 500 men were captured.
[size=1]The conqueror of Wattignies, Jean-Baptiste Jourdan[/size]
1813: During the War of the Sixth Coalition, the three-day Battle of Leipzig, opens. A 195,000-strong, Imperial Napoleonic army, comprised Poles under Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski, the Poles and Saxons of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, and the French under the overall command of Emperor Napoleon I, with 700 cannon, was defeated by the 430,000-strong allied army under Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, consisting of troops from the Habsburg Empire, Swedes under Charles XIV John Bernadotte of Sweden, the Prussians of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher and the Russians of Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly and Leonty Leontyevich Count von Bennigsen, with 1,500 cannon. The battle involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to WWI. It was one of the most decisive defeats suffered by Napoleon I. Napoleon lost about 38,000 killed and wounded. The Allies captured 36,000 French, 325 cannon and 28 eagles, standards or colours. Among the dead was Prince Poniatowski, a nephew to the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski. The Allies suffered approximately 54,000 casualties. The battle ended the First French Empire's presence east of the Rhine and brought the German states over to the Coalition. The Coalition pressed its advantage and invaded France in early 1814. Napoleon was forced from the throne of France and exiled to the island of Elba.
[size=1]Painting by January Suchodolski illustrating Poniatowski's death in the Battle of Leipzig[/size]
1941: The Soviet major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea, Odessa (today's Odesa, Ukraine) falls to the Romanians after a Soviet evacuation by sea. During the two-month siege, the Romanians have suffered 98,000 casualties.
[size=1]Romanian infantry in Odessa[/size]
1944: The Red Army enters German territory near Goldap in East Prussia. Thousands of German civilians flee the area in panic.
1944: Greek Sacred Band's Alpha Raider Squadron (i.e. Alpha Commando Battalion), under Col. Themistocles Ketseas, raid the N. Aegean island of Lemnos. Lemnos is liberated after a two-day battle. Dozens of Germans are killed, wounded or held prisoners.
[size=1]Colonel Themistocles Ketseas[/size]
1949: Nikos Zakhariádes, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announces a temporary cease-fire, effectively ending the Greek Civil War.
[size=1]Nikólaos "Nikos" Zakhariádes[/size]
1964: People's Republic of China conducts its first nuclear weapons test (Project 596). It was a U-235 implosion fission device and had a yield of 22 kilotons. With the test, China became the fifth nuclear power.
1975: The Balibo Five, a group of journalists for Australian television networks, comprised two Australians, a New Zealander and two Britons, based in the town of Balibo in the then Portuguese Timor (now Timor Leste), were killed during Indonesian incursions prior to the invasion of Portuguese Timor by Indonesia. In 2007, an Australian coroner ruled that they had been deliberately killed by Indonesian special force soldiers.
1986: The IAF fighter pilot and weapon systems officer, Cpt. (now Lt. Col.) Ron Arad, is captured by Lebanese Shi'ite militia Amal. He is officially classified as MIA since October 1986, but widely presumed dead.
1993: The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Glaukos Clerides and Greek PM, Andreas Papandreou, agree in Athens, Greece, for the creation of a joint defence doctrine, encompassing Cyprus as part of a Common Defence Doctrine with Greece. Any attack on Cyprus was tantamount to an attack on Greece.
539 BC: King Cyrus the Great of Persia, marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and making the first Human Rights Declaration. The charter, a baked-clay cylinder, with Old Persian cuneiform script, was discovered in 1878 in Babylon. In it, Cyrus the Great described his human treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Persians. The document has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, and in 1971 a translation of it was published, under the ægis of the UN, in all the official UN languages.
[size=1]...Today, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights. I prevent slavery and my governors and subordinates are obliged to prohibit exchanging men and women as slaves within their own ruling domains... - Cyrus the Great[/size]
1396: During the Second War of Scottish Independence, the Battle of Neville's Cross occurs. 12,000 Scots under their King, David II, invaded England and were defeated by an English army of some 3 - 4,000 men from Cumberland, Northumberland and Lancashire, with another 3,000 Yorkshiremen en route, mobilised under the supervision of William de la Zouche, Archbishop of York and led by Ralph Neville 2nd Baron Neville de Raby and Henry de Percy 9th Baron Percy, 2nd Baron of Alnwick. Scottish chroniclers Andrew of Wyntoun and Walter Bower both wrote that 1,000 Scots were killed in the battle, while according to the Chronicle of Lanercost, few English were killed.
1448: During the Ottoman Wars in Europe, the three-day, Second Battle of Kosovo begins. A coalition army of ca 24,000 men from the Kingdom of Hungary and Wallachia, under John Hunyadi, also known as Ioannes Corvinus, was defeated by an up to 60,000-strong Ottoman army under the Ottoman Sultan, Murad II. Ottomans suffered 34,000 killed or wounded. The Hungarians lost almost 75% of their force.
[size=1]The victor, Murad II[/size]
1777: British General John Burgoyne surrenders his sword to American General Horatio Lloyd Gates, only to have it returned. Burgoyne's army - ca 6,000-strong - marched out to surrender their arms while the American musicians played Yankee Doodle. The British acknowledge defeat in the Battle of Saratoga.
1781: British Major General, Charles, Earl Cornwallis, offers his surrender to the American revolutionists at Yorktown, Virginia.
1797: The Treaty of Campoformido, is signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Johann Ludwig Joseph von Cobenzl as representatives of France and Austria. It marked the collapse of the First Coalition, the victorious conclusion to Napoleon's campaigns in Italy and the end of the first phase of the French Revolutionary Wars. Austria received Dalmatia, Istria and the city of Venice, France ceded the Ionian Islands.
[size=1]Commemorative medal for the Treaty of Campoformido, with the portrait of the young revolutionary general, Napoleon Bonaparte[/size]
1827: During the Greek War of Independence, the French veteran of the Napoleonic wars and Philhellene, Charles Nicolas Fabvier, commanding Greek regular and irregular units, as well as many armed Chians, land and liberate the island of Chios.
[size=1]Charles Nicolas Fabvier...[/size]
[size=1]...in July 1825 formed the first Greek regular infantry unit, known to the Greek revolutionaries as Fabvier's tactical, based on French Réglement concernant l'exercice et les manoeuvres de l'infanterie (Regulations concerning Infantry exercises and maneuvres) of 1818[/size]
1941: Destroyer USS "Kearny" (DD-432), while escorting convoy SC-48, is torpedoed and damaged by German submarine off Iceland. For the first time in WWII, a German submarine attacks an American ship.
1941: Two companies of German troops, raze to the ground the villages of Ano Kerdylia and Kato Kerdylia in the prefecture of Serres, Eastern Macedonia, Greece, and massacre 235 male inhabitants, 130 from Ano Kerdylia, 105 from Kato Kerdylia, as reprisal for the killing of one German soldier.
[size=1]The memorial to the massacred Kerdylians[/size]
1943: During military operations in Aegean after the surrender of Italian forces, Greek destroyer RHNS "Miaoules" (L91) (Lt. Cdr. Niketiades) and British destroyer HMS "Hursley" (L84) (Lt. Church) attack and sink the German submarine chaser UJ2109 (Ex-British minesweeper of Hunt class) and badly damage the transport "Trapani" (1000 t).
[size=1]The Miaoules (left) and the Hursley[/size]
1961: During the Algerian War, scores of Algerian protesters (from 200 to 325) are massacred when the Paris police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police, attacked an illegal but peaceful demonstration of some 30,000 pro-FLN Algerians.
[size=1]A memorial plaque for Algerians massacred on 17 October, 1961[/size]
1740: Following her father's death, Maria Theresia Walburga Amalia Christina takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refuse to recognise Maria Theresia as heiress and the War of the Austrian Succession begins.
[size=1]Empress Maria Theresia was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, and Holy Roman Empress. She reigned for 40 years[/size]
1883: The Treaty of Ancón, signed by Chile and Peru in the Ancón District near Lima, ends the War of the Pacific. Under the treaty's terms, Chile gained control over the province of Tarapacá.
1941: As a direct reprisal for the German losses in the attack by Communist Partisans on German soldiers near Gornji Milanovac, Yugoslavia, German troops rounded up thousands of Kragujevac (today's Kragujevac in Serbia) male inhabidants aged 16 - 60. The massacre started at 6 PM on 20 October and lasted for two days. People were shot in groups of 400. The number of people massacred ranged between 2,300 - 7,000. Franz Böhme, the Commanding General in Serbia, charged with war crimes committed in Serbia, was brought before the Hostages Trial, a division of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials. He committed suicide by jumping from the 4th floor of the prison he was being held in.
1944: The Red Army liberates Belgrade, Yugoslavia (modern-day Belgrade, Serbia).
[size=1]Soviets enter Belgrade[/size]
1944: General Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines. The U.S. Sixth Army (Lt. Gen. Krueger) landings in the Philippines begin on the East Coast of Leyte, but the 60,000 men sent ashore encounter stiff Japanese resistance.
1950: PRC's, PVA (People's Volunteer Army) secretly move four 30,000-man field armies across the Yalu River into North Korea. Three of the armies are in western North Korea to face the Americans and South Korean soldiers streaming up from Pyongyang. The fourth is in the east. Preparations are underway to move two more armies into North Korea in October.
[size=1]PVA crossing the Yalu River[/size]