What happened at San Sebastian was an exception rather than the rule.
The normal "rule" of the day observed in Siege Warfare was after a besieged city was occupied
the victorious troops had 24 hours to do as they wished, after this time looting, rape and mistreatment of the
local population was heavily clamped down on as the British and the Portuguese had no wish for the
local Spanish population to view then in the same vein as the French occupation troops.
My own fault for posting relying on memory and lack of coffee.
And feel free to post a source for the comment about "Wellington being embarrassed after each siege".
Why would he attempt to "live off the land" when after successfully capturing an enemy town?
S.O.P. for armies of the period was to loot and pillage (with rape thrown in)
by ALL Armies for a standard 24 hours, particularly so those troops who were in the "Forlorn Hope" advance elements attempting to effect an entrance into the enemy fortifications.
And before you go off trying to paint the British Military in a negative manner, take a moment to read up on the Peninsular Wars in general, you might be surprised the French did not leave much, for anybody to live off the land, particularly the Spanish population.
As for the treatment of the Spanish population by the French, taken from Wiki:-
also:-To secure his gains Napoleon pursued a series of intrigues against the Spanish royal family. A coup d'état instigated by the Spanish aristocrats forced Charles IV from his throne and replaced him with his son Ferdinand. Napoleon removed the royals to Bayonne and forced them both to abdicate on May 5, handing the throne to his brother Joseph Bonaparte.
A puppet Spanish council approved the new king, but the usurpation provoked a popular uprising that eventually spread throughout the country. Citizens of Madrid rose up in rebellion against the French occupation on May 2, slew 150 French soldiers, and were not put down until Murat's elite guard and mameluk cavalry crashed into the city and trampled the crowds.
The next day, immortalized by Goya in his painting, The Third of May 1808, the French army shot hundreds of Madrid citizens in retaliation. Similar reprisals were repeated in other cities and continued for days, with no military effect but to strengthen the resistance; soon afterward bloody, spontaneous fighting known as guerrilla ("little war") erupted in much of Spain; the term "guerrilla" has been used ever since to describe such combat.
The tiny province of Asturias rose up in arms, cast out its French governor on May 25 and "declared war on Napoleon at the height of his greatness." Within weeks, all the Spanish provinces had followed its example. Mobs butchered 338 French citizens in Valencia. Every French ship of the line anchored at Cádiz was bombarded and captured.
Napoleon had unwittingly provoked a total war against the Spaniards, a mistake from which the French Empire would never truly recover.
After repulsing Soult's counter-offensive through the Pyrenees at Sorauren, Wellington returned to his plan of capturing the well-fortified town and port of San Sebastián before making any attempt to cross the border into France.
Overlooked to the north by Monte Urgull and the Castle of La Mota, San Sebastián stood across a narrow isthmus with its approach from the south protected by a formidably-strong fortification known as the Hornwork. In 1813, it was possible at low tide to reach the eastern face of the town's walls by foot, and it was from this direction that an unsuccessful assault had been made on 25th July.
Over the following month, the town's defences had been reinforced by the construction of a thick, high stone wall behind the repaired breach. Despite everything, it was decided that the second assault would be made against the same point, albeit only after better artillery preparation.
The bombardment began at 9am on 26th August, the main work being done by 30 guns in two batteries facing the site of the old breach. By the end of the 30th, a breach had been made which extended almost 90 metres north from the southeast corner of the town's walls; further along the wall, a second, much smaller breach had also been made.
The artillery bombardment reopened at dawn on the 31st. By a stroke of good fortune, one shot disabled a mine which had been laid under the main breach. At 10.55am, one hour ahead of low tide, the bombardment lifted and the assault against the main breach began, led by the 1/4th, 2/47th and 2/59th of Robinson's Brigade (5th Division) strengthened by 750 volunteers from the 1st, 4th and Light Divisions.
Leading a 'forlorn hope' of 40 men from the 1/4th, Lt. Francis Macguire was shot dead at the foot of the breach. Wave after wave clambered past to the top of the steep breach only to find the way forward blocked by a sheer drop of at least 6 metres. Swept by terrific frontal and flanking fire, each wave was blown back. The survivors clung to the rubble at the foot of the breach, desperately seeking cover.
Map of the Battle
At 11.35am, 800 men from Bradford's Portuguese Brigade were sent in two columns against the smaller breach. The enemy guns were able to fire just two salvos in the impressively short time that it took the Portuguese to cross 650 metres of tidal flats, and to wade thigh-deep for 180 metres across the river estuary. While one column veered away towards the main breach, the other fought to gain a foothold in the smaller breach.
The impasse was broken by the decision of the Allied commander, Sir Thomas Graham, to order his artillery batteries to open fire against the high curtain which abutted the southern end of the main breach.
Over a 20-minute period from 12.15pm, shells flew over the heads of the Allied infantry crouched beneath the breach to inflict terrible carnage amongst the French troops manning the curtain. As the barrage lifted at 12.35pm, the British infantry surged forwards once more, this time gaining a decisive bridgehead on the high curtain.
As resistance along the curtain fell away - fuelled by the detonation of an ammunition store - troops of the Light Division forced another opening into the town at the northern end of the breach. The Portuguese too were breaking through at the smaller breach. By around 2.15pm, the town was in Allied hands, the French commander, General Emanuel Rey, having led the survivors from the garrison into the temporary security of the castle.
Above: The view across La Concha bay towards Monte Urgull and the Parte Vieja (Old Quarter) of San Sebastián. Above: Wrecked. The monument in the English Cemetery to the memory of the British soldiers who died in the Peninsular and Carlist Wars.
Inside the town, fires which had been started by the artillery bombardment were swept from street to street by high winds, while the horrors inflicted on the inhabitants by battle-crazed Allied troops are said by some to have exceeded those at Badajoz.
Rey finally surrendered on 8th September, after the castle had been subjected to a 2 hour-long bombardment from 61 guns and mortars. French casualties during the siege amounted to some 1,400, while a further 1,300 were taken prisoner when the castle fell. The Allies lost 2,400 killed, wounded and missing during the assault.
San Sebastián Today :-
San Sebastián (Donostia) is a great place to visit and makes an excellent base for touring the Battles of the Pyrenees. There is, however, little evidence today of the events of 31st August 1813. The storming sparked off the worst fire in the town's history, leaving only one street left standing; the street - now named the 31 de Agosto - is filled each anniversary with silent townspeople carrying candles in commemoration of that dreadful day.
The town was completely rebuilt after the fire, creating what is now known as the Parte Vieja (Old Quarter). The town walls were demolished in 1864, and land was reclaimed from the Urumea river. The location of the main breach is now marked only by La Bretxa (The Breach) market.
The Cementerio de los Ingleses (English Cemetery) should be visited, though its once-fine monument to the memory of the British soldiers who died in the Peninsular and Carlist Wars appears to have been terribly vandalized. Walk along the harbour-front to the Aquarium. Climb the steps, then follow the path into the park on Monte Urgull. The cemetery is well-signposted from here.
"A History of the Peninsular War, Volume VI" by Sir Charles Oman, published by Greenhill Books 1995, ISBN 1853672262.
"Wellington in the Peninsula 1808-1814" by Jac Weller, published by Greenhill Books 1999, ISBN 1853673811.
Also the following should be pointed out:-
Implying that not only were the British involved, but their Portuguese allies as well,Inside the town, fires which had been started by the artillery bombardment were swept from street to street by high winds, while the horrors inflicted on the inhabitants by battle-crazed Allied troops are said by some to have exceeded those at Badajoz.
and indicating something might have occurred after the Siege of Badaioz.
36 BC: During the Roman Republican Civil Wars, the Naval Battle of Naulochus, off Sicily, occurs. The 300-strong Pompeian fleet under Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius is defeated by the 300-strong Octavian fleet commanded by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who was Octavian's close friend, son-in-law, and lieutenant. Agrippa lost just three ships, while 28 ships of Sextus were sunk, 17 fled, and the others were burnt or captured.
The Harpax, Agrippa's secret weapon in the battle of Naulochus; it was a catapult-shot grapnel invented by himself
863: During the Byzantine-Arab Wars, the Battle of Lalakaon, fought at the banks of the Lalakaon river in Paphlagonia, occurs. The Byzantine army led by Emperor Michael III's uncle, Petronas the Patrician, defeated the Arabs of Umar ibn Abdallah ibn Marwan, surnamed Al-Aqta (=the one-handed), the Abbasid emir of Malatya. Al-Aqta was encircled by the Byzantines and killed in the battle. Only a splinter of his army escaped under his son. He too however was pursued by Machæras, the Cleisurarch (=leader of the Cleisura, a fortified mountain pass) of the Charsianon Thema, and was defeated and captured with many of his men. Byzantine historian Joseph Genesius gives us an interesting account, when he describes the last moments before the soldiers of the Armeniacon (=Armenian) and Charsianon (=named after a fortress in Cappadocia) Themas, attacked the Arabs:
This is about a quarrel amongst the archons (meaning the generals), which of the two armies is more gallant; and then the soldiers of the Armeniacon, the aristocrats of our army, said: "Gallantry is not measured in speechies; let us both rush headlong to the enemy and then we'll see who is the most valiant". The two archons asked the gathered troops: "Men, are you ready to compete with each other, and attack the enemy, so Help us God?" And they answered: "Yes, in the name of our Emperor". And with the thrilling cry "Σταυρός Νενίκηκεν-Stavrós Neníkēken" [The Cross has Conquered], they assaulted the enemy lines"
1260: The Battle of Ain Jalut, a Mongol raid in Palestine, occurs. A 10,000 - 20,000-strong Egyptian Mamluk army under al-Malik al-Muzafar Saif ad-Din Qutuz, the Mamluk Sultan himself, defeated a Mongol army numbering some 20,000 under Kitbuqa Noyan, the Great Khan Hulagu's lieutenant. Kitbuqa was killed by the veteran Mamluk warrior Jamal al-Din Akoush al-Shamsy.
1650: During the English Civil Wars, the Battle of Dunbar occurs. An English Parliamentarian force of 7,500 foot, 3,500 horse, under Oliver Cromwell, decisively defeated a Scottish Covenanters' army of 9,500 foot, 2,500 horse, under David Leslie, Lord Newark. As a result of the destruction of the Scottish army, Cromwell was able to march unopposed to Edinburgh.
1651: During the English Civil Wars, the Battle of Worcester occurs. It was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell with a Parliamentarian army of 31,000 defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II. The 16,000 Royalist forces were overwhelmed by the 31,000-strong New Model Army (consisted of full-time professional soldiers rather than part-time militia) of Cromwell. About 3,000 Royalists were killed during the battle and a further 10,000 were taken prisoner. Around 8,000 Scottish prisoners were deported to New England, Bermuda and the West Indies to work for landowners as indentured labourers while the English prisoners were conscripted into the New Model Army and sent to Ireland.
1798: During the French Revolutionary Wars (a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states) the Battle of St. George's Caye, fought at the St. George's Caye island off the coast of Belize, occurs. It opened on 3 September and lasted for a week. An invading force from Mexico, comprised 35 vessels with 2,500 soldiers and sailors, attempting to claim Belize for Spain and commanded by Don Arturo O'Neill de Tyrone, was blocked by 4 Sloops, 2 schooners, 7 gunboats, and 700 troops of the local Baymen (=the earliest European settlers of the eventual colony of British Honduras, modern day Belize) under the British Captain John Moss. Following the Spanish defeat, the threat of Spanish attacks decreased significantly. The event is celebrated every 10 September in Belize as St. George's Caye Day or National Day.
1939: After Germany rejects the Anglo-French ultimatum, which called for the withdrawal of all German forces from Poland, the UK and France declare war on Germany.
1943: The new Italian government under Marshal Badoglio signs an armistice with the allies in secret. This allows the allies to launch Operation Baytown, the invasion of mainland Italy. The British Eighth Army crosses the Strait of Messina unmolested.
1944: The British Second Army liberates Brussels. French and U.S. forces enter Lyons.
1994: Russia and the People's Republic of China agree to de-target their nuclear weapons against each other.
476: Romulus Augustus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed when the Scirian Foederatus General, Odoacer, proclaims himself King of Italy, thus ending Western Roman Empire. The period of both cultural and economic deterioration as well as disruption of Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire, known as Middle Ages, begins.
1812: During the Anglo-American War, the Siege of Fort Harrison occurs. It opened on 4 September and lasted for 11 days. It was the first American land victory in the war of 1812, won by an outnumbered United States force under Zachary Taylor, who would later become the 12th President of the United States, garrisoned inside the fort against a combined Native American force of Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo and Winnebago warriors.
1939: The German 3. Armee and 4. Armee join in the Corridor and re-establish the land connection between East Prussia and the Reich that was severed in 1919 as a result of the Versailles Treaty. German troops cross the River Pilica in southern Poland. The German successes in Poland are beginning to wear down the Polish armies, which are now becoming isolated from one another, making the mounting of coordinated counter-attacks increasingly difficult. At Bydgoszcz, 1,000 Poles are murdered, including several dozen Boy Scouts who are shot against a wall by German troops.
1944: The British 11th Armoured Division takes Antwerp, Belgium, and the docks undamaged.
Captured Germans in Antwerp - 10 yr old boy and Major
1967: During the Vietnam War, Operation Swift, a search and destroy mission in the Quế Sơn Valley, carried out by Bravo, Delta, Mike and Kilo Companies of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, begins. It ended on 15 September. The ensuing battles killed 114 Americans and an estimated 376 North Vietnamese.
1996: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (=Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army/FARC-EP) attack a military base in Guaviare, starting three weeks of guerrilla warfare in which at least 130 Colombians are killed.
1800: During the Napoleonic Wars, French General Claude-Henri Belgrand de Vaubois surrenders Malta to Great Britain. The British granted Vaubois and the French fair terms and the honours of war, including the right to keep their arms and spoils. General Vaubois and his troops were quickly repatriated to Marseilles.
Claude-Henri Belgrand de Vaubois
1807: The Bombardment of Copenhagen with fire bombs and phosphorus rockets by the British, to prevent Denmark from surrendering its fleet to Napoleon, ends. The battle began on 16 August between the British troops led by General William Schaw Cathcart, 1st Earl Cathcart, and the Danish troops and militia under Heinrich Ernst Peymann. The Danish rejected British demands to surrender, so the British fleet under Admiral Sir James Gambier, 1st Baron Gambier, bombarded the city from 2 to 5 September 1807. More than 2,000 civilians and 3,000 militia and troops were killed and 30% of the buildings were destroyed during the battle. The Danish surrendered their fleet (18 ships of the line, 11 frigates, 2 smaller ships, 2 ship-sloops, 7 brig-sloops, 2 brigs, 1 schooner and 26 gunboats) on 7 September.
1839: The First Opium War begins in China. It was the climax of trade disputes and diplomatic difficulties between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire after China sought to restrict British opium traffickers. It ended on 1842 in a British victory.
1905: In New Hampshire, USA, the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt, ends the Russo-Japanese War.
WWI-1914: The First Battle of the Marne begins. It was fought between 5 and 12 September 1914. It resulted in an Allied victory of the combined Anglo-French forces under Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, against the German Army under Chief of Staff Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke the Younger (nephew of Count von Moltke). The war became a stalemate after the Allies won the Battle of the Marne.
1943: The US paratroops of the 503rd Parachute Regiment land behind about 20,000 Japanese troops at Lae, New Guinea.
1944: The U.S. 3rd Army crosses the Meuse as the British reach Ghent in Belgium.
1944: A German-Hungarian counterattack in the area of Cluj-Napoca in Romania fails.
1969: During the Vietnam War, US Army Lt. William Calley is charged with six specifications of premeditated murder for the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai.
A graphic photo taken by US Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on 16 March, 1968 in the aftermath of the My Lai massacre showing mostly women and children dead on a road
1970: During the Vietnam War, Operation Jefferson Glenn begins. It was the last major operation in which U.S. ground forces participated in Vietnam. The United States 3rd Marine Division, 101st Airborne Division and the South Vietnamese 1st Infantry Division initiate a new operation in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.
394: The Battle of Frigidus, fought near the river Vipana/Vipacco (that flows for 44 km/27 miles through western Slovenia and northeast Italy) between the army of the Eastern Emperor Flavius Theodosius I the Great and the army of Western Roman ruler Flavius Eugenius, occurs. The defeat of Eugenius and his commander, the Frankish General Flavius Arbogastes commonly known as Arbogast, put the whole empire back in the hands of a single emperor for the last time in Roman history. Eugenius was captured and brought before the emperor. His pleas for mercy went unanswered and he was beheaded. Arbogast escaped the defeat and fled into the mountains, but after a few days' wandering, he concluded escape was impossible and committed suicide. The battle was the last attempt to contest the Christianization of the empire; its outcome decided the fate of Christianity in the Western Empire.
Solidus of Emperor Theodosius I
1634: During the Thirty Years' War, the Battle of Nördlingen occurs. A 34,000-strong Catholic Hispano-Imperial army, comprised forces from Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Bavarian League commanded by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III and his cousin the Cardinal of the Catholic Church and Infante of Spain, Fernando, defeated the combined Protestant armies of some 16,300 infantry and 9,300 cavalry from Sweden and their German-Protestant allies of Saxe-Weimar and the Heilbronn League (=an alliance between Sweden, France, and the Protestant princes of Western Germany), under the Swedish-Finnish nobleman Count Gustav Horn af Björneborg and Prince Bernard of Saxe-Weimar. Gustav Horn af Björneborg was captured and his army was destroyed.
The conquerors of Nördlingen, Emperor Ferdinand III and Cardinal-Infante Fernando
1669: During the Sixth Turco-Venetian War, the Siege of Candia (today's Heraclion, Crete), possibly the longest siege in history, lasting for 21 years, ends. The commander of the Venetian forces, the Doge-General Francesco Morosini, surrendered his forces to the Ottoman commander Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha. Crete is ceded to Ottomans.
The Morosini Fountain built in 1628 by the Venetians, in downtown Heraclion, Crete
1885: With a bloodless Revolution, Ottoman autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia, was annexed by the tributary Principality of Bulgaria (=the self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878).
A traditional Greek Eastern Rumelian Dance; 5% (ca 45,000) of Eastern Rumelia's population comprised ethnic Greeks
1937: During the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of El Mazuco begins. It was fought between the Republican and Nationalist armies and lasted for 16 days. The defence of El Mancuzo and the surrounding mountains by the 5,000 troops of the Asturian People's Army under Colonel Juan Ibarrola Orueta halted the Nationalist advance into eastern Asturias, despite their forces being outnumbered sevenfold. This battle was probably the first use of carpet bombing against a military target.
1941: Hitler’s War Directive No. 35 orders the capture of Moscow after the Ukraine operation has been completed.
1944: The Canadians surround Calais, trapping the German garrison. Liege falls to British troops, while the US First Army pushes East through Belgium, crossing Meuse.
Devastated Liege in 1944
1944: The Soviets advance to the Yugoslav border. They also reach the eastern Carpathians.
1955: A planted bomb on 5 September, by a Turk usher (who was later arrested and confessed) at the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, Greece, allegedly the house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born in 1881, incited two-day riots against the Greeks, Armenians and Jews of Istanbul. The riots were orchestrated by the Turkish military's Tactical Mobilization Group, the seat of Operation Gladio's Turkish branch, the Kontrgerilla (=Counter-Guerrilla).
The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras I, mourns at the ruins of a destroyed Christian Church; Hypsomathia (now Samatya), Istanbul, September 1955
1965: Following the Pakistani Operation Grand Slam, an audacious plan drawn up by the Pakistan Army, in May 1965, to attack the vital Akhnoor Bridge in Jammu and Kashmir, at 04:00 hours, on 6 September, 1965, the Indian Army (XI Corps) crossed the International Border on the Western front, marking an official beginning of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.
Indian 18th Cavalry on the move, 6 September 1965
1972: During the Munich 1972 Summer Olympic Games, 9 Israeli athletes taken hostage by the Palestinian Black September terrorist group died (as did a German policeman) at the hands of the kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt. 2 other Israeli athletes are slain in the initial attack the previous day.
1976: Soviet Air Defence Forces/11th Air Army/513th Fighter Regiment's pilot, Lt Viktor Ivanovich Belenko, lands a MiG-25 jet fighter at Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido in Japan and requests political asylum in the United States.
70: Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus with a 66,000-strong Roman Army, occupies and plunders Jerusalem. According to the Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus, only 97,000 Jerusalemites survived from the million plus inhabitants of the city.
1191: During the Third Crusade, the Battle of Arsuf occurs. A 12,000-strong Crusader force of Anglo-Normans, Templars and Hospitallers under the King of England Richard I Cœur de Lion (=Lionheart), defeated a 20,000-strong Ayyubid army under the Kurdish general Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, commonly known as Saladin. The Christian chroniclers claim Muslims lost 32 emirs and 7,000 men, but it is possible or likely that the true number may have been considerably less than this. Richard's own dead are said to have numbered no more than 700, which included James of Avesnes, Condé, and Leuze, leader of the French, Flemish, and Frisian contingent.
1652: The Guo Huaiyi Rebellion: Around 15,000 Han farmers and militia rebells under the sugarcane farmer and militia leader Guo Huaiyi, revolt against Dutch rule on Taiwan (then Dutch Formosa). The uprising lasted for 5 days. In total some 4,000 Chinese were killed during the five-day uprising, approximately 1 in 10 Chinese living in Taiwan at that time.
1776: During the American Revolutionary War, the first documented record of use in battle of a Submarine, occurs. Sergeant Ezra Lee, took the Turtle submarine out to attempt a - what it proved to be - unsuccessful attack on Admiral Richard Howe's flagship HMS "Eagle" a 64-gun third rate ship of the Royal Navy, moored off Manhattan.
A photo of a full-size model of the Turtle submarine on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum
1812: During the French Invasion of Russia, the largest and bloodiest single-day battle is fought, the Battle of Borodino. The French Grande Armée under Emperor Napoleon I the Great, attacked the Imperial Russian Army of Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov. More than 250,000 troops involved and resulted in at least 70,000 casualties on both sides. While Napoleon won the battle of Borodino, some scholars and contemporaries described Borodino as a Pyrrhic victory. The battle was famously described by Leo Tolstoy in his novel War and Peace as a continuous slaughter which could be of no avail either to the French or the Russians.
The famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his 1812 Overture masterpiece to commemorate Russia's defence against Napoleon's advancing Grande Armée at the Battle of Borodino
1821: The Republic of Gran Colombia (=Great Colombia; a federation covering much of present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador) is established, with Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios, commonly known as Simón Bolívar as the founding President and Francisco José de Paula Santander y Omaña, commonly known as Francisco de Paula Santander, as vice president.
The Flag of the Republic of Gran Colombia in 1821
1822: Dom Pedro I of Brazil declares Brazil independent from Portugal on the shores of the Ipiranga creek in São Paulo.
Memorial to the Independence of Brazil, built in the margin of the Ipiranga creek
1939: Polish forces trying to hold the line at the Narew River, start to collapse. Krakow surrenders to German troops. The German 10. Armee (von Reichenau) closes ever nearer to Warsaw. A deeper defensive line is prepared by the Poles at the Bug River, as their battered armies begin a withdrawal toward that line.
1940: The sustained bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany, known as the Blitz, begins. At 16:56, London's air-raid sirens announce the arrival of 375 German bombers and supporting fighters. They come up the Thames to London from the sea and set the London docks ablaze. The day-light raiders are gone by 18:00, but the fires are still burning when the night raiders arrive to inflict more damage at 20:10 during which 306 are killed and 1,337 seriously injured. This will be the first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing. The codeword Cromwell is passed nation-wide, and church bells ring out in warning that a German invasion may be underway.
1944: The British 11th Armoured Division crosses the Albert Canal, to the East of Antwerp. The US Third Army crosses the Moselle. US 9th Air Force fighters, supporting elements of the US 7th Army in southern France, destroy an estimated 500 German vehicles along a 25 km (15 mi) section of road. Germany's armoured forces have been shattered along the Western Front. German Heeresgruppe B has only about a hundred operational tanks.
1965: During the Vietnam War, United States Marines (3rd Battalion, 7th Marines-1st Battalion, 7th Marines) and South Vietnamese forces (2nd Battalion, 4th ARVN Regiment, 3rd Vietnamese Marine Battalion) initiate Operation Piranha on the Batangan Peninsula, targetting the 1st VC Rgt. During Piranha, allied forces killed 178 VC, captured or detained 360 enemy or suspects. Allied losses were two Marines and five South Vietnamese killed, 14 Marines and 33 Vietnamese wounded.
1380: The Battle of Kulikovo, fought near the Don River, between combined Russian armies (50 - 60,000) under the command of the Grand Prince of Vladimir, Dmitri Ivanovich of Moscow and the Mongols of the Golden Horde (100 - 150,000) under the Tumenbashy (=general) Mamai, occurs. Mamai's allies, Grand Prince Oleg of Ryazan and Grand Prince Jogaila of Lithuania were late to the battle. After approximately three hours of battle (from noon to 3 p.m.) the Russian forces were successful, although suffering great casualties, in holding off the Horde's attack. The Russians lost ca 20,000 killed. The Mongol army was annihilated. The defeated Mamai was dethroned by a rival Mongol general, Tokhtamysh.
Grand Prince Dmitri Donskoi (=of the Don) is venerated as a Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. The relief above, depicts the blessing of Grand Prince St Dmitri Donskoi by St Sergei of Radonezh before the Battle of Kulikovo
1449: During the Sino-Mongol War, the Battle of Tumu Fortress occurs. It was a frontier conflict between the Oirat (today's Kalmyks) Mongols and the Chinese Ming Dynasty which led to the capture of the Chinese Emperor Zhengtong. The Ming army of about 500,000 men under the eunuch Wang Zhen, was attacked, routed and almost destroyed by the 30,000 Mongols under the Oirat Khagan (=Emperor) Esen Tayisi. The Chinese emperor was captured, and was sent to Esen's main camp near Xianfu.
1514: During the Fourth Russo-Lithuanian War (a series of wars between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, allied with the Kingdom of Poland, and the Grand Duchy of Moscow), the Battle of Orsha occurs. An allied force of less than 30,000 troops from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland under the command of the Ruthenian Hetman Konstanty Ostrogski, defeated a Russian army of 13 -15,000 troops commanded by the Boyar Ivan Andreyevich Chelyadnin. Due to Ostrogski's Ruthenian descent, the battle is regarded by Belarusian nationalists as a symbol of national revival.
The conqueror of Orsha, Konstanty Ostrogski
1793: During the French Revolutionary Wars, the Battle of Hondschoote occurs. At Hondschoote, France, 40,000 Frenchmen under General Jean Nicolas Houchard and Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, 1st Comte Jourdan, defeated 24,000 British and Hanoverian troops under Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. The French lost 3,000 killed and wounded while captured 6 flags and all of the Duke of York's artillery. The allied Anglo-Hanoverian army suffered 4,000 killed and wounded. General Houchard was later tried and guillotined for not pursuing the British.
The Monument to the Battle in Hondschoote, Nord, France
1796: During the French Revolutionary Wars, the Battle of Bassano, in Italy occurs. A 20,000-strong French army under Napoleon Bonaparte, defeated a 11,000-strong Austrian army under Dagobert Sigismund, Count Wurmser. Bonaparte executed a double flanking attack and Wurmser’s army collapsed quickly. About 600 Austrians were killed, 3,000 were captured, along with 8 flags, 35 cannon and a pontoon train. About half of the remaining Austrians fled to the east, while Wurmser with another group retreated to the south. The French suffered 400 killed, wounded or missing.
A young Napoleon Bonaparte
WWI-1914: Private Thomas James Highgate (13 May 1895 - 8 September 1914), was the first British soldier to be convicted of desertion and executed during that war.
1939: The Polish government leaves Warsaw for Lublin (Eastern Poland).
1941: Leningrad is now completely surrounded after German troops close the land bridge at Schliesselburg (a fortress built in 1323 by Prince of Novgorod Jury Danilovich on the island of Oreshek).
1943: Eisenhower announces the Italian unconditional surrender.
1944: The first V2 rockets hit London and Paris from mobile bases in Holland.
1944: The mother of seven and head of the resistance group Bumbulina (=the name of a heroine of the Greek War of Independence), the 45-year old Lela Karagiannes, is put before the German firing squad together with 72 other memebers of the resistance, in Athens, Greece. She died singing the Greek National Anthem.
Lela Karagiannes and her statue bust in her hometown, Chalkis, Eubœa
1945: United States troops arrive to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.
1951: The Treaty of Peace with Japan was officially signed by the nations of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, the Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, Uruguay, The UK, The USA, Venezuela, Vietnam in San Francisco, California in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War.
The Monument to the Treaty of San Francisco in Tokyo, Japan
9: During the Roman-Germanic Wars, the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest occurs. Roman Legio XVII, Legio XVIII and Legio XIX, commanded by Publius Quinctilius Varus, are ambushed and destroyed by the 10,000 - 12,000 warriors from the Germanic tribes of Cherusci, Marsi, Chatti, Bructeri, Chauci and Sicambri under the Chieftain of the Cherusci, Arminius (=Hermann). According to the Roman historian Suetonius, Emperor Augustus was so shaken by the news that he stood butting his head against the walls of his palace, repeatedly shouting Quintili Vare, legiones redde! (=Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!). Varus had committed suicide by falling upon his sword. In Roman History, the Roman defeat in the battle was known as Clades Variana (=Varian Disaster).
The Hermannsdenkmal, the monument commemorating the Cherusci chieftain Hermann or Arminius at the Teutoburg Forest
1493: During the Hundred Years' Croatian-Ottoman War, the Battle of Krbava field occurs. A Croatian army of the Kingdom of Hungary (Croatia was during this period united under the crown of the Kingdom of Hungary, and the Croatian lords who fought in the battle were subjects of the unified crown) numbering some 8,000 foot, 2 - 3,000 heavy cavalry, under the Ban (=Ruler) of Croatia Emerik Derenčin and the Count of Cetin, Ivan Frankopan Cetinski, was decisively defeated by the 8,000 Akıncı (=irregular light cavalry) of the Ottoman Bosnian Sanjak Bey, Hadım Yakup Pasha. The defeat was resounding. In one single day, around 7,000 Croatian soldiers lost their lives, including Derenčin and Cetinski. Following the battle, scores of Croatian refugees moved toward Austria while others migrated to Italian coastal areas.
The CoA of the unified kingdom of Hungary and Croatia
1513: During the War of the League of Cambrai, the Battle of Flodden Field occurs. An invading Scottish army under the Scottish King James IV numbering some 30 - 34,000 troops, was defeated by the ca 26,000 English soldiers commanded by Sir Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, 1st Earl of Surrey, 13th Baron Segrave, 12th Baron Mowbray. It ended in a victory for the English and was the largest battle (in terms of numbers) fought between the two nations. Surrey's army lost 1,500 men killed. Scottish losses were somewhere between 5 - 10,000. James IV , King of Scots, died in the battle.
The Memorial to the Battle at Flodden Field
1922: The Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922 ends with Turkish victory over the Greeks. The last Units of Greek C' Corps, board ships and abandon Smyrna/İzmir. A' and B' Corps have already been transported to Piræus, Greece, on 3 September. Greek losses in the 3-year war, accounted for 24,240 dead (KIA and dead from disease), 48,880 wounded, 17,630 made prisoners. Turkish losses accounted for 10,885 KIA, 22,690 dead from disease, 31,173 wounded, 9,000 made prisoners. The first 400 Turkish troops enter and take control of the city of Smyrna/İzmir. The Greek Orthodox Bishop of Smyrna, Chrysostom, is abducted by an angry Turkish mob incited by Nureddin Pasha and according to eyewitness accounts, is tied to a barber chair, cruelly tortured, and put to death.
Bishop Chrysostom of Smyrna, is venerated as a Martyr by the Orthodox Christians, especially of Greece and Cyprus
1939: The 8. Armee (Blaskowitz) captures Lodz and Radom, as the 1. and 4. Panzer-Division reach the outskirts of Warsaw. Further penetrations into the suburbs of Warsaw by the 4. Panzer-Division are repulsed by the city's defenders.
1943: All Italian forces within the German-controlled areas of Italy, southern France, Yugoslavia and Albania are disarmed without opposition and made prisoners of war. In Greece however, in the island of Cephallonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands, the 5,000 officers and other ranks of the Italian 33ª Divisione Fanteria Acqui (33rd Acqui Infantry Division), are massacred, drowned or otherwise exterminated. It was one of the largest prisoner of war massacres of the war, along with the Katyn massacre of Poles, and one of the largest-scale German atrocities to be committed by Wehrmacht troops (specifically, the 1. Gebirgs-Division) instead of the SS.
General Hubert Lanz, CO of the XXII Gebirgskorps, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment at the Nuremberg Trials for the Cephallonia massacre, as well as the participation of his men in other atrocities in Greece.
Massacred Italian troops at the village of Troinnata, Cephallonia
The Monument to the Massacre, in Cephallonia, Greece
1943: Operation Avalanche sees the US Fifth Army (Lt. Gen. Mark Clark) land at Salerno, South East of Naples. Taranto is occupied by the British without resistance. Formation of an anti-Badoglio, Republican Fascist Government is formed in northern Italy.
2004: A one-tonne (1.1 ton) car bomb, which was packed into a small Daihatsu delivery van, exploded outside the Australian embassy at Kuningan District, South Jakarta, at about 10:30 local time (03:30 UTC), killing 9 people including the suicide bomber, and wounding over 150 others. It gutted the Greek Embassy on the 12th floor of an adjacent building, where three diplomats there were slightly wounded.
1547: During the Anglo-Scottish Wars, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh occurs. An English army of tens of thousands (including several hundred German mercenary arquebusiers, a contingent of Italian mounted arquebusiers under Don Pedro de Gamboa and 6,000 cavalry) under Earl Marshal Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp, 1st Baron Seymour, decisively defeated a Scottish army numbering 22,000 or 23,000 men, while English sources claimed that it comprised 36,000, under the Scottish nobleman James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault and 2nd Earl of Arran. It was a catastrophic defeat for the Scots caused by the use of naval artillery (30 warships) by the English for the first time in a land battle in Britain. In Scotland, it was known as Bloody Saturday.
The Monument to the Battle, at Pinkie Cleugh, East Lothian, Scotland
1813: During the Anglo-American War, the Naval Battle of Lake Erie occurs. It was fought in Lake Erie off the coast of Ohio between nine warships of the US Navy commanded by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, and six warships of the Royal Navy, commanded by Lt. Commander Robert Heriot Barclay. The British suffered 41 killed, 93 wounded, while their entire squadron was captured. The British defeat ensured American control of the lake for the rest of the war, which in turn allowed the Americans to recover Detroit.
1939: German troops achieve a breakthrough at Kutno and Sandomir and reach the Vistula.
1944: The first allied patrol crosses German frontier east of Liege, near Aachen. US First Army (Lt. Gen. Hodges) liberates Luxembourg.
1297: During the First War of Scottish Independence, the Battle of Stirling Bridge on the River Forth in Scotland, occurs. A Scottish force numbering some 2,300 troops (including 300 cavalry) under Sir William Wallace and Andrew Moray, defeated an English force of ca 9 - 12,000 men under John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham the treasurer of the English administration in Scotland. The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a shattering defeat for the English. Contemporary English chronicler Walter of Guisborough recorded the English losses in the battle as 100 cavalry and 5,000 infantry killed, including Hugh de Cressingham. Scottish casualties in the battle are unrecorded, with the exception of Andrew Moray. He appears to have been injured in the battle and died of his injuries.
1390: During the Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–1392, the Teutonic Knights launched a five-week Siege of Vilnius. Vilnius' castles were held by Skirgaila the regent of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, commanding combined Polish, Lithuanian, and Ruthenian troops.
1565: The Siege of Malta, one of the bloodiest and most fiercely contested in history, is finally won by the Knights Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. The siege was the climax of an escalating contest between a Christian alliance and the Ottoman Empire for control of the Mediterranean.
García Álvarez de Toledo, 4th Marquis de Villafranca (center) gives thanks to God for the lift of the Siege of Malta
1649: During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, the Siege of Drogheda, ends. Drogheda was garrisoned by an English Royalist regiment and Irish Confederates of ca 3,100 men, under Sir Arthur Aston, a native of Cheshire and from a prominent Roman Catholic family. Cromwell had around 12,000 men and 11 heavy, 48-pounder, siege artillery pieces. After breaking into the town, Cromwell's soldiers pursued the defenders through the streets, killing them as they ran. As few as 700 civilians died in the chaotic aftermath of the fall of Drogheda, together with the 2,800 soldiers killed. This massacre became infamous in Ireland and remains so today.
1697: During the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars, the Battle of Zenta, fought south of today's Senta in Serbia, occurs. In a surprise attack, a Habsburg Imperial force comprised 34,000 infantry, 16,000 cavalry from the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, under the Prince François Eugène of Savoy, routed the Ottoman army numbering 80 - 100,000 men, under their Sultan Mustafa II Ghazi, who were in the process of crossing the River Tisa. The battle was an amazing victory for the Habsburg Empire; at the cost of 500 men they had inflicted the loss of 30,000 men and captured the Sultan's harem, 87 cannons, the Royal treasure chest and the State Seal of the Ottoman Empire.
Prince Eugène of Savoy, the Conqueror of Zenta
1709: During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Battle of Malplaquet occurs. A 75,000-strong Franco-Bavarian army under Claude Louis Hector de Villars, Prince de Martigues, Duc de Villars, Vicomte de Melun and Louis François, Duc de Boufflers, Comte de Cagny was defeated by an Anglo-Habsburg army of some 86,000 men under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim and Prince François Eugène of Savoy. By the norms of warfare of the era, the battle was an allied victory, because the French withdrew at the end of the day's fighting, and left Marlborough's army in possession of the battlefield, but with double the casualties (11,000 versus 21,000). Malplaquet was the bloodiest battle of the 18th c. Europe.
1714: During the War of the Spanish Succession, Barcelona surrenders to Spanish and French Bourbon armies. The Catalan Colonel Rafael Casanova i Comes who led the last and failed Spanish-Catalan charge to defend the city of Barcelona from the Franco-Spanish army of the Bourbonic pretender to the throne Philip V, Duke of Anjou, and Josep Moragues i Mas, the Catalan General during the War, are honoured traditionally every year on 11 September, on La Diada, the Catalan National Day.
1758: During the Seven Years' War, the Battle of Saint Cast occurs. It was fought on the French coast between British Naval and Land expeditionary forces and French coastal defence forces. The British forces comprised two Royal Navy squadrons consisting of Admiral of the Fleet George Anson, 1st Baron Anson's 31 warships and Commodore Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe's 24 warships, transporting ground forces totaling over 10,000 soldiers under Lt. Gen. Thomas Bligh. The French had some 8 - 9,000 garrison troops and militia spread thinly over the northern coast of France, under Emmanuel-Armand de Vignerot du Plessis de Richelieu, duc d'Aiguillon. The British amphibious expedition failed due to the French artillery; their batteries were well positioned on higher ground commanding the beach and the bay inflicting heavy casualties to the British. 2 - 3,000 were killed and wounded, 700 – 800 made prisoners. The French lost roughly 300 killed and wounded.
Emmanuel de Richelieu, duc d'Aiguillon
1814: During the Anglo-American War, the 5-day Battle of Plattsburgh ends. A British army numbering some 10,000 men under Lt. Gen. Sir George Prévost, 1st Baronet, and a Royal Navy squadron comprised 15 warships under Cpt. George Downie, converged on the lakeside town of Plattsburgh, which was defended by 1,500 regular American troops and 1,900 militia under Brigadier Gen. Alexander Macomb and 14 US Navy warships commanded by Thomas MacDonough. The British casualties during the land engagement were 37 killed, 150 wounded and 57 missing. During the naval battle, the British lost 131 killed, 70 wounded, 317 made prisoners. 4 Royal Navy ships captured. The battle took place shortly before the signing of the Treaty of Ghent which ended the war. The American victory denied the British negotiators at Ghent leverage to demand any territorial claims against the United States.
1829: Don Isidro Barradas, the Spanish General sent to Mexico in 1829, eight years after Mexican independence, to try to reconquer the country for the Spanish Crown, signed the Capitulation of Pueblo Viejo with Antonio López de Santa Anna and General José Manuel Rafael Simeón de Mier y Terán. Santa Anna was hailed as the saviour of the Republic. This was the final consummation of Mexican independence.
1943: On the morning of 11 September, Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force (ANCEF) Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham ordered a small allied squadron to meet the surrendering Italian Fleet off the coast of Malta and escort its warships back into the island. The Allied Forces assembled to meet the Italian Fleet were:
-HMS "Warspite" (03)
-HMS "Valiant" (1914)
-HMS "Faulknor" (1914)
-HMS "Fury" (H76)
-HMS "Echo" (H23)
-HMS "Intrepid" (D10)
-HMS "Raider" (H15)
-RHNS "Queen Olga" (D15)
and the French
-FNFL "Le Terrible" (D611)
For the Greeks and the French it was a sign of recognition of the their Navy's contribution to the allied cause in WWII.
For the British this had also a symbolic meaning: Warspite and Valiant were the same vessels present to the surrender of the German Imperial Fleet in 1918.
1944: The 15th Scottish Division crosses the Dutch border, east of Antwerp. A bridgehead is established across Meuse-Escaut canal. The US Third Army (Lt. Gen. Hodges) captures a large part of Maginot Line intact and reach the German border at Trier on the Moselle river. The 1st French Division occupies Dijon.
1945: Forty prominent Japanese are arrested for war crimes. Hideki Tojo, the Japan's Prime Minister who ordered the raid on Pearl Harbour attempts suicide.
A graphic photo showing Hideki Tojo after his attempted suicide during his arrest
1973: A coup in Chile headed by General Augusto Pinochet topples the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. Pinochet remains in power for almost 17 years.
2001: The September 11 attacks take place in the United States. Airplane hijackings result in the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City, destruction of the western portion of The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a passenger airliner crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
2004: A Greek military CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashes in the Aegean Sea killing its crew, the Patriarch of Alexandria, Peter VII and 16 other passengers (including journalists and bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria)
2007: Russia tests the largest conventional weapon ever, the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP), knicknamed Отец всех Бомб (=The Father of all Bombs) or FOAB
Really, really great thread valtrex!!