1865: In the final months of the American Civil War, Gen. Robert Edward Lee becomes general-in-chief of the Confederate States Army.
WWI-1918: While a Royal Navy 18-ship force of battleships, battle cruisers, heavy and light cruisers, and eight K class submarines, with a destroyer escort, made their way to the North Sea on the misty night of 31 January to 1 February, in order to conduct fleet exercises, five collisions occurred, involving eight different vessels. Two submarines were lost and three other submarines and a light cruiser were damaged. 270 men died, all of the Royal Navy. The incident is also known as Battle of May Island.
1942: The 53-day Battle of Malaya concludes. The Allied force of Malaya Command (17 battalions under Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival) are defeated by Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita's Japanese 25th Army and retreat to the island of Singapore.
[size=1]The Japanese enter Kuala Lumpur[/size]
1943: The exhausted troops of 6. Armee's southern pocket, having expended their last ammunition, surrender to the Red Army. The Soviets capture Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Paulus and 16 generals, a day after Paulus was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal by Adolf Hitler.
[size=1]Don Front HQ. From left to right: Gen. Rokossovsky, Marshal of Artillery Voronov, translator Cpt. Diatlenko, and Field Marshal Paulus, who was taken prisoner by the troops of 64th army under Gen. Shumilov[/size]
1944: The U.S. 34th Infantry Division (Maj. Gen. Charles Lawrence Bolte) crosses the Rapido, reaches the hills behind and attacks Monastery Hill which dominated the town of Cassino. While they nearly captured the objective, in the end their attacks on the monastery and the town failed. The performance of U.S. 34th Infantry Division in the mountains is considered to rank as one of the finest feats of arms during the war.
1944: U.S. forces attack the Marshall Islands, landing on Kwajalein, Roi and Namur. Land fighting begins in the Dutch New Guinea.
1945: Two of Zhukov’s armies establish a bridgehead on the Oder, to the N of Küstrin (present-day Kostrzyn nad Odrą, Poland) and less than 65 km (40 miles) from Berlin.
1945: U.S. Pvt Edward Donald Slovik is executed for desertion, the first such execution of a U.S. soldier since the Civil War.
1968: Viet Cong attack the U.S. embassy in Saigon, and other attacks, in the early morning hours, later grouped together as the Tet Offensive.
[size=1][*******red]Warning![/color] Explicitly graphic[/size]
1996: During the Greco-Turkish Crisis over a set of two small uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea, at 0140 hours, Turkish special forces landed undetected on the west islet further escalating the tensions; it wasn't until hours later that the Greeks noticed this when a Greek helicopter took off from the Greek frigate HNS "Navaríno" (F461) for reconnaissance. During the mission the HN21 Agusta-Bell AB 212 crashed near the islets at 0355 hours killing its crew. The immediate military threat was defused primarily by American officials - in particular, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke. In the aftermath of this crisis, Turkey began to lay parallel claims to a larger number of other islands or islets in the Aegean. These islands, some of them inhabited, are regarded as indisputably Greek by Greece but as grey zones of undetermined sovereignty by Turkey.
[size=1]Turkish special forces on west islet[/size]
[size=1]The No. 21 Agusta-Bell AB 212 of Hellenic Navy that crashed on 31 January 1996 during the crisis[/size]
1411: The Peace of Thorn signed by the allied Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania on one side, and the Teutonic Knights on the other, ends the Polono-Lithuano-Teutonic War. The Knights returned Dobrzyń Land east of the Vistula River, which they captured from Poland during the war and made only temporary territorial concessions in Samogitia, which returned to Lithuania.
1662: Chinese General Zheng Chenggong, known as Koxinga to the west, after a nine-month siege of Dutch Fort Zeelandia, seizes it, thus ending the Dutch East India Company's rule over Taiwan and begining the Chinese Kingdom of Tungning's rule over the island.
1713: During the Great Northern War, the Kalabalik at Bender occurs. King Charles XII of Sweden and his 1,000 men, were attacked by several thousand Ottomans after sultan's order that his unwelcome guest, the King of Sweden, be seized (following the Swedish defeat at Poltava, Charles, a few hundred Swedish soldiers and a large number of cossacks spent five years in Ottoman lands). Over 500 Swedes captured, including Charles. In Turkish the word for "crowd" or "tumult" is kalabalık, which after the incident has become a Swedish loanword, kalabalik, with the meaning "confusion" or "great disorder".
1908: King Carlos I of Portugal and his son, Prince Luis Filipe are assassinated in Terreiro do Paco, Lisbon.
[size=1]Dom Carlos I, King of Portugal and the Algarves[/size]
1940: During the Winter War, General Semion Konstantinovich Timoshenko's Karelian Front of massed 12 infantry divisions, launched a big offensive opposite Viipuri. The Soviet offensive began with a heavy arty preparation while continual air strikes prevented the Finns from reinforcing or resupplying during daylight.
1942: The Red Army begins an offensive toward Vyazma, about halfway between Smolensk and Mozhaysk. Zhukov is promoted to command the West Theatre, which includes the Kalinin, West and Bryansk Fronts.
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1942: U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls-Gilberts raids, tactical airstrikes and naval artillery attacks, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater.
1942: Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling forms a puppet government in German occupied Norway.
1944: The Polish underground executes SS-Brigadeführer and Polizei Generalmajor Franz Kutschera, the chief of SS and Gestapo in Poland.
[size=1]22-year-old Bronisław Pietraszewicz, nom-de-guerre Lot, commander of the execution team that killed Gauleiter Kutschera[/size]
1945: The U.S. First Army (Lt. Gen. Courtney Hicks Hodges) takes Remscheid, 32 km (20 miles) to the E of Düsseldorf. The U.S. Seventh Army (Lt. Gen. George Smith Patton Jr) reaches Moder River, left tributary of the River Rhine, and Siegfried Line (Siegfriedstellung) a line of defensive forts and tank defenses opposite the French Maginot Line.
1958: Egypt and Syria merge to form the United Arab Republic, which lasted until 1961.
1968: During the Vietnam War, the execution of Viet Cong officer, Nguyễn Văn Lém by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan is videotaped and photographed by Pulitzer Prize-winning American photographer and photojournalist Eddie Adams. This image helped build opposition to the Vietnam War.
1968: Canada's three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, are unified into the Canadian Forces.
2003: Space Shuttle "Columbia" disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
876: A Byzantine fleet under admiral Niketas Oryphas (or Ōoryphas according to Ioannes Scylitzes), captures the south Italian city of Bari from the Arabs, thus ending Islam in peninsular southern Italy and restoring the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire.
[size=1]Arab warriors during the Arabo-Byzantine Wars (7th - 12th c.)[/size]
1207: The territories comprising today's Estonia and Latvia form in the aftermath of the Livonian Crusade, Terra Mariana (Land of Mary)
1461: During the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Mortimer's Cross occurs. A Yorkist force under the 18-year-old Earl of March, Edward, decisively defeated the Lancastrians of Owen Meredith Tudor and his son Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford, 1st Earl of Pembroke, near Wigmore, by the River Lugg, England. The Yorkists were victorious, Jasper Tudor fled, while his father was captured and executed and many other were slain, possibly as many as 4,000 according to some accounts.
[size=1]The Monument to the battle erected in 1799[/size]
1509: During the Portuguese-Ottoman War of 1509, the Naval Battle of Diu occurs. A combined fleet of 250 warships from Egypt, Gujarat Sultanate, Ottoman Empire, Venice and Ragusa, under the overall command of the Mamluk admiral Mirocem (Amir Husain Al-Kurdi), were defeated by 18 Portuguese warships under Dom Francisco de Almeida, in the Arabian Sea, near the port of Diu, India. The allies suffered terrible casualties. The spoils of the battle included three royal flags of the Mamluk Sultan of Cairo, that were sent to Portugal and are even today displayed in the Convento de Cristo, in the town of Tomar.
1542: During the Portuguese-Ottoman War of 1542, the Battle of Baçente occurs. 400 Portuguese musketeers under Cristóvão da Gama, took the hillfort of Baçente in northern Ethiopia, held by 1,500 soldiers form the Adal Sultanate. The Portuguese suffered minimal casualties, while the defenders were reportedly all killed.
1848: The plenipotentiaries of the U.S. and Mexican governments sign the Peace Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which concluded the Mexicano-American War of 1846 - 1848. Mexico ceded to the United States, Upper California and New Mexico (present-day Arizona and New Mexico and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado).
1897: During the Cretan Insurrection, Col. Timoleon Vassos, commander of a Greek expeditionary force of 2,000 men, lands at Gonia monastery near Kolymbari, Canea, in western Crete, ordered by the Greek government to aid the local rebels who seeked union with Greece and to protect the christian populations from the Turkish reprisals that have broke out.
1920: The representatives of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and Estonia sign the Treaty of Taru which ended the Estonian War of Independence. Russia unreservedly recognised the independence of Republic of Estonia de jure and renounced in perpetuity all rights to the territory of Estonia.
1920: The East Prussian city of Memel (present-day Klaipėda, Lithuania) and the surrounding Memel Territory (or Klaipėda Region) was made a protectorate of the Entente States according to the Versailles Treaty. France occupies Memel and appoint a French High Commissioner.
1943: The Battle of Stalingrad comes to conclusion: The remnants of 6. Armee under Generaloberst Karl Strecker in the northern pocket cease fighting and surrender to the Red Army. In all, over 96,000 survivors of the once 300,000-strong Army are captured, of which, only about 5,000 will live to return to Germany after the war. At Moscow, the victory over the Germans is celebrated with a salute of several hundred guns.
1945: French troops occupy Colmar: In a symbolic act, the French 152nd Infantry Regiment (Col. Colliou) re-entered Colmar, its prewar garrison.
[size=1]Emblem of 152e Régiment d'Infanterie; les diables rouges (the red devils)[/size]
1945: The 1st Belorussian Front (Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov) reaches the Oder to the S of Frankfurt (Oder), 115 km (72 miles) from Berlin.
1974: Maiden flight of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
1989: The last Soviet armoured column leaves Kabul. The Soviet war in Afghanistan concludes.
1377: During the War of the Eight Saints (a war between Pope Gregory XI and a coalition of Italian city-states led by Florence over the expansion of the Papal States in central Italy), Pope Gregory XI's condottieri (=mercenaries contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy) sack Cesena at the foot of the Apennines, and massacre 2,000 Cesenatis, in what is known as the Cesena Bloodbath.
[size=1]15th c. Condottiere[/size]
1706: During the Great Northern War, the Battle of Fraustadt occurs. A Swedish force of ca 10,000 men under Field Marshal Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld, defeated a 20,000-strong army from Saxony and Russia, supported by 32 cannon and 50 mortar, under the Saxon Count Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, at Fraustadt (present-day Wschowa, Poland). In the end 7,600 allies were taken prisoner and over 7,000 were killed in the battle. Schulenburg managed to escape. The Swedes suffered some 400 casualties.
[size=1]The conqueror of Fraustadt, Count Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld[/size]
1781: During the American Revolutionary War, the Dutch Carribean island of St. Eustatius (St. Eustache) is taken by British Admiral George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney.
[size=1]The island of St. Eustatius taken by the RN fleet. The island was pillaged by the troops of Rodney[/size]
1807: During the British invasions of the Río de la Plata, the Battle of Montevideo occurs. Brig. Gen. Samuel Auchmuty with ~6,000 British soldiers capture the city of Montevideo, then part of the Spanish Empire, now the capital of Uruguay. Montevideo was garrisoned by 5,000 Spaniards under Don Pascual Ruiz Huidobro. British casualties did not exceed 600 killed or wounded. The Spanish lost ca 1,500 killed or wounded, 2,000 made prisoners. The occupation of the city by the British army lasted until September 1807, when troops were withdrawn in compliance with the agreement signed following the surrender of British forces in Buenos Aires in July 1807.
[size=1]Spanish colonial troops of the Legion of Volunteers of Río de la Plata[/size]
1813: During the Argentine War of Independence, the Battle of San Lorenzo occurs. A 250-strong Royalist army with two cannon, under Cpt. Juan Antonio Zabala, were defeated by the 210 Revolutionaries of Col. José Francisco de San Martín Gómez y Matorras, commonly known as José de San Martín, at San Lorenzo, Santa Fe, Argentina. The fighting ended after nearly fifteen minutes. The royalists lost 54 killed and wounded. 14 revolutionaries died in the combat. 20 more were wounded and 2 more seriously wounded would succumb to their wounds afterwards.
[size=1]The statue of Sgt. Juan Bautista Cabral; during the battle José de San Martín was trapped under his dead horse and the Royalists were about to kill him. He was saved by Sgt. Cabral[/size]
1852: During the Argentine Civil Wars (fought between the Unitarios, the proponents of the concept of a centralized government, and the Federales, the supporters of federalism in Argentina) the Battle of Caseros occurs. A 22,000-strong Unitares army, with 60 cannon under Juan Manuel José Domingo Ortiz de Rozas y López de Osornio, were defeated by a 24,000-strong Grand Army (Ejército Grande) with 50 cannon, comprised contingents from Brazil, from the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos, Corrientes and from Uruguay, under Justo José de Urquiza y García, at Caseros, Buenos Aires (the actual battlefield is now occupied by the National Military College). The whole battle lasted about three hours. Rozas was wounded in the battle, resigned and fled to the United Kingdom.
[size=1]The conqueror of Caseros, General Justo José de Urquiza[/size]
1941: During the Greco-Italian War, 33 Italian Fascist Party leaders are dispatched to bolster morale on the Albanian front. Under Mussolini's mobilization order, 9 Cabinet Ministers are sent away from the comfort of Rome to the mud, rain and snow of the Albanian Front to fight as "volunteers"; these ministers are:
Count Gazeazzo Ciano - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ettore Muti - Secretary General of the Fascist Party
Roberto Farinacci - Minister of State without portfolio
Giuseppe Bottai - Minister of Education
Giuseppe Gorla - Minister of Public Works
Alessandro Pavolini - Minister of Popular Culture
Raffaelo Riccardi - Minister of Trade and Foreign Exchange
Renato Ricci - Minister of Corporations
Giovanni Venturi - Minister of Communications
1942: German forces of Heeresgruppe Mitte (=Army Group Centre) (Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock) launch a counterattack at Vyazma, cutting off and encircling several Red Army divisions.
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1945: Operation Thunderclap; The US 8th Air Force, with 937 bombers and 613 fighters, carries out the heaviest attack to date against Berlin which levels large areas of the city and kills more than 2,500 civilians.
1945: The 30-day Battle for Manilla begins between the 38,000 allied army comprised U.S. troops and Filipino guerillas under Lt. Gen. Robert Lawrence Eichelberger, and the 14,000 Japanese soldiers, sailors and Marines of Rear-Admiral Iwabuchi Sanji. Subjected to incessant pounding and facing certain death or capture, the beleaguered Japanese troops took out their anger and frustration on the civilians caught in the crossfire, committing multiple acts of severe brutality, which later would be known as the Manila Massacre. Violent mutilations, rapes, and massacres on the populace accompanied the battle for control of the city, which lay practically in ruins. The battle left 1,010 U.S. soldiers dead and 5,565 wounded. An estimated 100,000 Filipinos civilians were killed. At least 12,000 Japanese were lost.
1961: The Strategic Air Command (SAC) began Operation Looking Glass. It provided command and control of U.S. nuclear forces in the event that ground-based command centers were destroyed or otherwise rendered inoperable. Looking Glass aircraft were continuously airborne 24 hours a day for over 29 years, accumulating more than 281,000 accident-free flying hours. On July 24, 1990, "The Glass" ceased continuous airborne alert, but remained on ground or airborne alert 24 hours a day.
1989: A military coup led by General Andrés Rodríguez Pedotti overthrows Gen. Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda, dictator of Paraguay since 1954.
[size=1]General Andrés Rodríguez Pedotti[/size]
1998: A USMC EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 163045, 'CY-02', callsign Easy 01, struck the cables supporting the aerial tramway-style cable car near the Italian town of Cavalese, a ski resort located in the Dolomites killing 20 people. The pilot of the military plane, Cpt. Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Cpt. Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the United States and were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane and were discharged from the Marines.
960: Coronation of Emperor Taizu, born Zhao Kuangyin, founder of the Chinese Song Dynasty that would last more than three centuries.
1789: General George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College. He remains the only president to have received 100 % of the electoral votes.
1820: During the Chilean War of Independence, the two-day Battle of Valdivia concludes with the capture of the homonymous Spanish stronghold by the revolutionaries of Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald. 310 Chilean revolutionaries under Lord Cochrane and French officer Georges "Jorge" Beauchef, defeated the 1,600-strong royalist garrison of Valdivia under Col. Fausto del Hoyo. The Chileans lost 7 killed, 19 wounded. The Spanish suffered ca 100 killed and wounded. The capture of Valdivia effectively ended the last vestiges of Spanish power in mainland Chile and opened up the way for Chilean and Peruvian independence.
1932: During the Second Sino-Japanese War, with the establishment of Manchukuo, Harbin (present-day Harbin, Heilongjiang, China) is occupied by Japanese forces. Harbin became the base of operations of the infamous Japanese Unit 731, a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army, responsible for some of the most grisly war atrocities in human history.
1941: During the Greco-Italian War, the Battle of Këlcyrë (Battle of Clisura in Hellenic Army nomenclature), opened on 6 January, officially ends in a complete Greek triumph. The Greeks captured the homonymous gorge and pass, an area of great strategic importance, at a cost of 12,000 killed and wounded. Italian casualties in the fighting and the counter-attacks launched by C-in-C Marshal Hugo Cavallero, were also heavy - up to 17,000. The Italians threw for the first time in the battle their new Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 medium tanks of the Centaur Armoured Division. They were used on frontal attacks, but the result was disastrous, as they were decimated by the Greek artillery fire. The control of the strategic pass by the Greeks was considered a major success for the Allies, with the C-in-C of the British Middle East Command, Gen. Archibald Percival Wavell, sending a congratulatory message to Greek C-in-C Marshal Alexandros Papagos.
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1943: Red Army troops achieve a landing near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
1944: The German III. Panzerkorps (General der Panzertruppen Hermann Breith) and XLVII. Panzerkorps (Generalleutnant Nikolaus von Vormann) start their offensive to relieve the Korsun pocket.
1945: The U.S. 78th Infantry Division (Maj. Gen. Edwin P. Parker Jr) of the U.S. First Army (Lt. Gen. Courtney Hicks Hodges) takes the first of seven Ruhr dams. Belgium is completely free of German troops.
[size=1]78th ID embroidered patch[/size]
1945: The British Indian Army (Lt. Gen. Frank Walter Messervy) and Imperial Japanese Burma Area Army (Lt. Gen. Hyotaro Kimura) begin a series of battles known as the Battle of Pokoku and Irrawaddy River operations over the successful allied Burma Campaign on the China-Burma-India Theater.
1945: A summit conference between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt opens at Yalta in Crimea, to discuss plans for the treatment of postwar Germany, its division into zones of occupation, reparations and the future Polish western border.
1969: Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1974: The M62 Incident occurs; a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded in a M62 coach, specially commissioned to carry British Army and Royal Air Force personnel on leave with their families from and to the bases at Catterick and Darlington, carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel and their family members. Nine soldiers and three civilians were killed by the bomb.
1992: A failed Coup d'état is led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez. As the coup unfolded, Pérez eluded capture, and fourteen soldiers were killed, and 50 soldiers and some 80 civilians injured, in the ensuing violence. Despite its failure, the February coup attempt left a controversy that lasts to the present day, and rocketed Chávez to the national spotlight.
[size=1]Hugo Chávez calls for a final surrender of the forces involved in the 1992 Coup d'état on national TV[/size]
1997: En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion Yas'ur 2000 troop-transport helicopters collide in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
[size=1]Monument for the 73 soldiers killed in the collision[/size]
2003: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.
1782: During the American Revolutionary War, the five-month Siege of Fort St. Philip concludes in British defeat and subsequent capture of the island of Minorca by the Franco-Spanish allies. A ca 14,000-strong Franco-Spanish force under Louis Des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, duc de Mahon defeated the British garrison of ~3,000 men under Lt. Gen. James Murray. The allies suffered ca 560 casualties. The British lost 59 killed, 149 wounded, 2,481 captured. Britain captured Minorca again in 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars, but returned it permanently to Spain in 1802 following the Treaty of Amiens.
1810: During the Peninsular War, the Siege of Cádiz begins. Two French armies numbering some 60,000 Frenchmen under Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno and Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult, 1st Duke of Dalmatia, surround on land the port of Cádiz, that was garrisoned by a 22,700-strong allied force comprised British, Spanish and Portuguese contingents under Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch. The siege will be lifted on 24 August, when Soult ordered his army to retreat. The allies suffered ca 4,600 casualties. The French lost 4,000 - 5,000 killed and wounded.
[size=1]Sir Thomas Graham, the fort's CO[/size]
1818: Marshal of France and Prince of Ponte-Corvo in southern Italy, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, ascends to the thrones of Sweden (as Charles XIV John) and Norway (as Charles III John).
[size=1]Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, King of Sweden, Prince of Ponte-Corvo, Marshal of France[/size]
WWI-1918: U.S. aviator Stephen W. Thompson shoots down a German Albatros D.III fighter aircraft over Saarbrücken, Germany. This was the first aerial victory by the U.S. military. He received the French Croix de guerre with Palm for the action.
WWI-1918: SS "Tuscania", a liner carrying U.S. troops to Europe, is torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk with a loss of 210 lives.
1945: General Douglas MacArthur orders a containment in the northern Philippines, as the main effort is directed to the capture of Manila. The Australians land on the Japanese stronghold of New Britain, East of New Guinea.
[size=1]Australian troops in Rotongor, New Britain[/size]
1958: The Tybee Island Incident; a USAF B-47 bomber carrying a single Mk51 7,600-pound (3,400 kg) hydrogen bomb, collided with an F-86 fighter in mid-air over Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia, USA. The F-86 crashed after the pilot ejected from the plane, but the B-47, despite being damaged, remained airborne, albeit barely. The crew requested permission to jettison the bomb in order to reduce weight and prevent the bomb's exploding during an emergency landing. Permission was granted and the bomb was jettisoned at 7,200 feet (2,200 m). The H-bomb was lost off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.
1994: During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina 68 people are killed and some 200 wounded as a 120 mm mortar shell slams into a downtown marketplace in Sarajevo, the worst single atrocity in the 22-month old conflict between Bosnia's Serbs, Muslims and Croats.
2004: Haitian rebels of the National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Haiti, capture the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion aimed at removal from office of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1649: During the English Civil War, the claimant King Charles II of England and Scotland is declared King of Great Britain, by the Parliament of Scotland. This move was not followed by the Parliament of England nor the Parliament of Ireland.
1685: James II of England and VII of Scotland becomes King upon the death of his brother Charles II. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
1778: During the American revolutionary War, the Treaty of Alliance, a defensive alliance which promised military support in case of attack by British forces and its sister Treaty of Amity and Commerce, are signed between France and the USA, at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris.
[size=1]John Adams, an early supporter and initial author of a US alliance with France[/size]
1806: During the War of the Third Coalition, the Naval Battle of Santo Domingo occurs. Seven ships of the line, two frigates and two brigs of the RN under Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth, 1st Baronet, defeated five ships of the line, two frigates and one corvette of the French Navy under Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain de Leissegues, off the southern coast of the French-occupied Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo. Total RN losses were 74 killed and 264 wounded and several ships damaged. The French lost 1,500 crewmen killed or wounded. Two ships of the line destroyed and three captured. The victory, just four months after the success at Trafalgar, was celebrated in Britain and across the Empire, particularly in the Caribbean.
1810: During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy seizes Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles. A 6,700-strong British force under George Beckwith, defeated a 3,000 - 4,000-strong French force or regular soldiers and militia commanded by Manuel Louis Jean Augustin or Auguste Ernouf. The British will hold the island for three years.
1862: During the American Civil War, the Battle of Fort Henry occurs. The U.S. District of Cairo, Army of the Tennessee with 15 - 17,000 men under Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Western Gunboat Flotilla of 7 gunboats under Flag-Officer A.H. Foote, defeated the Confederate Fort Henry garrison of some 3 - 3,400 men under Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman and captured the Fort. It was the first important victory for the Union and Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the Western Theater. Fort Henry's fall opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
1897: During the Cretan Insurrection, the Battle of Vukolies occurs. A Greek force consisted of an infantry battalion and local Cretan armed bands, supported by six arty pieces under Col. Timoleon Vassos, attacked Fort Vukolies, on the road Kolymbari-Canea in western Crete that was defended by 250 Ottoman troops under Fuat Pasha. The battle went on for the whole day. As night fell, the Ottomans debouched from the fort and attacked the taken by surprise Greeks. Having sustained severe casualties though, Fuat Pasha surrendered. The Ottomans suffered ca 200 killed, wounded and captured; dozens managed to evade captivity. The Greeks lost 25 men.
[size=1]Colonel Timoleon Vassos; his father was the hero of the Greek Revolution, Vaso Brajović, nom-de-guerre Mavrovuniótes Vassos (Montenegrin Vaso)[/size]
1922: The Washington Naval Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., limiting the naval armaments of United States, British Empire, Japan, France, and Italy.
1943: Red Army cut off Heeresgruppe A (=Army Group A) (Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist) by reaching Yeysk on the Sea of Azov.
2000: During the Second Chechen War, Russian forces capture Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. According to the official Russian figures, at least 368 RF troops and an unknown number of pro-Russian militiamen died in Grozny. The separatist forces suffered heavy losses, including losing several top commanders. Russian Defense Minister Igor Dmitriyevich Sergeyev announced that 1,500 separatists were killed trying to leave Grozny.
1074: During the Norman invasion of southern Italy, the city of Montesarchio is captured by Normans and its castle is destroyed. Pandulf IV co-prince of Benevento, is killed battling the invading Normans.
1238: During the Mongol Invasion of Russia, the Mongol-Tatar hordes of Batu-Khan sack the Russian city of Vladimir, the center of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality. A great fire destroyed 32 limestone buildings on the first day alone. The Grand Prince Georgy II Vsevolodovich barely escaped to Yaroslavl while all his family perished in a church where they sought refuge from the fire.
1807: During the War of the Fourth Coalition, the two-day Battle of Eylau begins. The 43,000 Frenchmen of Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte, supported by 300 cannon, defeated the 67,000-strong Russian army with 400 cannon, under Leonty Leontyevich, Count von Bennigsen at Eylau, East Prussia (present-day Bagrationovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia). The Russians counted on the arrival of the 9,000 Prussian horsemen of Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq who did not arrive on time. The Russians retreated leaving behind some 15,000 men killed and wounded, 3,000 made prisoners. The French suffered 15 - 25,000 killed or wounded. While Eylau is considered a French victory tactically due to the Russian retreat, strategically was inconclusive.
1842: During the Ethiopian era of Zemene Mesafint ("Era of Judges or Princes"; a conflict in Ethiopia both between Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and Ethiopian Muslims, and between the Emperor and regional warlords), the Battle of Debre Tabor occurs. A 30,000-strong Ethiopian army under Wube Haile Maryam who sought to unite the demoralized Christian population behind him, were defeated by the ~30,000 Oromo Muslims of ruler Ali II of Yejju, at Debre Tabor in north-central Ethiopia. Ali's victory was a pyrrhic one.
1863: HMS "Orpheus" (Cpt. Robert Heron Burton), a Jason-class RN corvette, was sunk off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, killing 189, making it the worst maritime tragedy to occur in New Zealand waters.
1897: During the Cretan Insurrection, a 4,000-strong Ottoman force under Etem Pasha comprised regular units and local Muslim Cretan armed bands, engaged the 2,000 Greeks (two infantry battalions, one engineer battalion, one evzone coy, one arty battery) of Col. Timoleon Vassos, at Livádia, 4 km (2.5 miles) from Fort Vukolies. The battle went on for the whole day. The Ottoman force retreated in the evening abandoning ~600 killed and wounded. The Greeks suffered three officers killed and 101 other ranks killed and wounded. The Greeks won a victory that infuriated Sublime Porte. The Greek intervention in the Cretan Insurrection of 1897, served as pretext for the outbreak of the Greco-Ottoman War of 1897.
1944: The Germans (14. Armee under General der Panzertruppen Traugott Herr) begin a full-scale counter-attack against the Anzio Beachhead.
[size=1]British POW carry their WIA comrades - Nettuno, February 1944[/size]
1945: The Germans blow up the floodgates in the Ruhr, flooding the area W of Cologne and preventing the use of assault floating bridges by Allies.
[size=1]Jagdpanther, Ruhr area 1944-45[/size]
1945: Soviet attacks N of Königsberg, East Prussia (present-day Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) are blocked with the help of naval gunfire by Kriegsmarine vessels, amongst them the pocket battleship "Admiral Scheer" (Kapitän zur See Ernst-Ludwig Thienemann).
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1986: Twenty-eight years of one-family rule end in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees the Caribbean nation.
[size=1]Tonton Macoutes, Haitian paramilitaries formed by President François "Papa Doc" Duvalier in 1959[/size]
1991: Haiti's first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is sworn in.
1999: Crown Prince Abdullah becomes King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the death of his father, King Hussein.
1587: Mary, Queen of Scots, is executed on suspicion of having been involved in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.
1601: Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex led an abortive coup d'état against Queen Elizabeth I of England and her government. He was tried for treason and executed on 25 February.
1817: During the Chilean War of Independence, Argentine Col. Juan Gregorio de las Heras, led a column of the Army of the Andes (Ejército de los Andes) through the Uspallata Pass, which at its highest reaches some 3,600 metres (~12,000 ft) above sea level, avoiding the 11 day, 5,630 km (3,498 miles) journey by sea and reached Chile.
1867: The Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich (Compromise) established the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Cisleithania (Austria) and Transleithania (Hungary), each had separate parliaments that met in Vienna and Buda (later Budapest), respectively, that passed and maintained separate laws. The armed forces were combined with the Emperor as C-in-C.
1904: The Russo-Japanese War begins with the two-day Naval Battle of Port Arthur. An Imperial Russian fleet of 7 pre-dreadnought battleshipsand 5 protected cruisers with escorts, under Vice-Admiral Oskar Victorovich Stark, defeated an Imperial Japanese fleet of 6 pre-dreadnought battleships and 9 armored cruisers with escorts commanded by Fleet Admiral, Marquis Togo Heihachiro, near Port Arthur, Manchuria (present-day Lüshun Port, Liaoning province, China). The Russians suffered 150 casualties to around 90 for the Japanese. Although no ship was sunk on either side, several took damage.
1912: Eight months before the outbreak of the First Balkan War, Emmanuel Argyropulos is the first Greek aviator who flies over Greek soil. The aircraft is a monoplane Nieuport IV.G named "Halcyon". Later on the same day, Argyropulos invites Greek PM Eleutherios Venizelos for a flight with him. After the short flight over the Acropolis, Athens, Venizelos is very impressed and states that the airplane is the weapon of the future.
1941: The first convoy of the newly formed Deutsches Afrikakorps under the command of General der Panzertruppe Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel leaves the Italian port of Naples for Tripoli in Libya.
1942: The Soviet North West Front (Lt. Gen. Pavel Alekseyevich Kurochkin) finally cut all land communication for 90,000 troops of the German II. Armeekorps (Generalleutnant Max Föhrenbach) and X. Armeekorps (General der Infanterie Erich Raschick) at Demyansk, as the 11th (Lt. Gen. Vassily Ivanovich Morozov) and 1st Shock (Lt. Gen. Vassily Ivanovich Kuznetsov) Armies link up on the river Lovat, about 40 km (25 miles) to the west of Demyansk.
1944: The Soviets seize Nikopol in Ukraine. The surrounded German forces in the Korsun pocket are invited to surrender by the Russians.
1945: Marshal Ivan Stepanovich Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front breaks out of its Oder bridgehead N of Breslau (present-day Wrocław, Poland), with six armies.
1945: Operation Veritable; the British Second (Lt. Gen. Miles Christopher Dempsey) and the Canadian First (Gen. Henry Duncan Graham "Harry" Crerar) Armies with 500 tanks and 1,034 arty pieces launch a new offensive into the Reichswald, to the SE of Nijmegen. It was a part of General Dwight Eisenhower's "broad front" strategy to occupy the west bank of the Rhine before attempting any crossing.
1962: During a Paris left-wing demonstration against the Organisation de l'armée secrète (=Secret Armed Organization or OAS), a French far-right nationalist militant and underground organization, nine members of the CGT trade union, most of them communists, were killed by the police forces at Charonne metro station, at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Paris Prefecture of Police.
1968: During the American civil rights movement, the Orangeburg massacre occurs. Nine South Carolina Highway Patrol officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina, fired into a crowd protesting local segregation at a bowling alley, killing three people and wounding 28 more. South Carolina State University's gymnasium is named in memory of the three men. A monument was erected on campus in their honour and the site has been marked.
[size=1]The three students killed during The Orangeburg Massacre in 1968; 18-year-old Henry Smith, 18-year-old Samuel Hammond Jr. and 17-year-old Delano Middleton[/size]
1971: During the Vietnam War, the 47-day Operation Lam Son 719 opens. It was the first major operation conducted by the I Corps (Lt. Gen. Hoàng Xuân Lãm) of the Republic of Viet Nam without being teamed with American ground troops. The ARVN ground troops launched an incursion into Laos to try and cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail and stop communist infiltration. The operation ended hastily after more than a month of fighting, leaving on the battlefields heavy human and material losses on both sides. The situation in Laos remained unchanged. The South Vietnamese lost from 1,500 - 8,500 KIA, 5,500 - 12,500 WIA and 625 MIA. The PNVA suffered 2,163 KIA and 6,176 WIA.
Last edited by valtrex; 02-09-2011 at 05:07 AM.
1788: During the Russo-Turkish War of 1787 - 1792, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, who was in an alliance at the time with the Russian Empire under Catherine the Great, joins the War. The Austro-Turkish War, that took place concomitantly with the Russo-Turkish one and lasted for three years, opens.
[size=1]The two adversaries, Kaiser Joseph II and Sultan Selim III[/size]
1934: The Balkan Entente is formed. Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia sign a treaty for mutual respect of the geopolitical status quo in the region following the Great War. Albania (instigated by Italy) and Bulgaria (due to its persistent policy of revanchism) refused to recognize the territorial status quo and did not accede to the pact. The pact was openly supported by France.
[size=1]Romanian stamp featuring the CoA of the states formed Balkan Entente[/size]
1943: Japanese complete their evacuation of Guadalcanal. Allied authorities declare Guadalcanal secure.
[size=1]Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal[/size]
1945: British and Canadian troops smash the first of the main Siegfried Line defence zones. The last Rhine bridge is blown in the Colmar Pocket. Half the German 19. Armee (General der Infanterie Hermann Foertsch) were evacuated, but General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny's First French Army have taken 22,000 German prisoners since the 20th January.
[size=1]General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny[/size]
1945: In a rare submarine-to-submarine duel, HMS "Venturer" (P68) (Cdr. James "Jimmy" S. Launders) sinks German U-864 (Korvettenkapitän Ralf-Reimar Wolfram) off the coast of Fedje, Norway.
2001: The American submarine USS "Greeneville" (SSN-772) (Cdr. Scott Waddle) accidentally strikes and sinks the Ehime-Maru, a Japanese high school fishing training ship operated by the Uwajima Fishery High School about 9 nautical miles off the south coast of Oahu, Hawaii, United States. 9 Ehime-Maru crewmembers were either killed or drowned (including 4 high school students). Greeneville suffered some damage in the collision.
[size=1]The Ehime-Maru memorial located in Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, Hawaii[/size]
[size=1]Greeneville in drydock[/size]
660 BC: 11 February, 660 BC, in the Gregorian Calendar, is the traditional date for the foundation of Japan by the mythical emperor Jimmu. During the Meiji period, in 1872, the day began commemorated as the national holiday Kigensetsu (=Era Day). Suspended after WWII, the celebration was reinstated in 1966 as the national holiday Kenkoku Kinen no hi (=National Foundation Day).
[size=1]Depiction of bearded Emperor Jimmu with his emblematic long bow and an accompanying wild bird[/size]
1659: During the Second Northern War (fought between Sweden and its adversaries the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, Brandenburg-Prussia, the Habsburg monarchy and Denmark-Norway; the Dutch Republic often intervened against Sweden) the Assault on Copenhagen occurs. Around 11,000 Swedish soldiers under Count Gustaf Otto Stenbock, attempted to take the Danish capital city of Copenhagen by a grand assault, as a prolonged siege no longer offered any hope of success. Copenhagen was defended by ~10,600 Danish soldiers, 600 Dutch Marines and Danish students, supported by 343 guns of various caliber under the overall command of King Frederick III of Denmark. The Swedes failed and retreated abandoning ca 1,700 killed and wounded. The Danes had only suffered about thirty losses.
[size=1]Danish students rush to defend Copenhagen[/size]
1929: Fascist Italy and the Vatican sign the Lateran Treaty. The treaty recognised the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established.
[size=1]The flag of Vatican City, the world's smallest sovereign state[/size]
1940: During the Winter War, Soviet troops finally breach the Mannerheim line, forcing the Finns to withdraw to a secondary defence line. The Soviets deployed on the Karelian Isthmus around 460,000 men, over 3,350 artillery pieces, about 3,000 tanks and about 1,300 aircraft. The Red Army was constantly receiving new recruits after the breakthrough. Opposing them the Finns had eight divisions, totalling about 150,000 men. One by one, the defenders' strongholds crumbled under the Soviet attacks and the Finns were forced to retreat.
[size=1]Red Army soldiers display a captured Finnish flag[/size]
1942: The two-day Battle of Bukit Timah ends. Elements from the Japanese 5th (Lt. Gen. Matsui Takuro) and 18th (Lt. Gen. Mitsuomi Kamio) Infantry Divisions captured at dawn of 11 February, Bukit Timah Hill, the highest point in the island of Singapore. Bukit Timah was defended by British, Indian and Australian troops (elements from two Indian and one Australian Brigade) and the 4,000 men of Dalforce (a local ethnic Chinese volunteer army commanded by Lt. Col. John D. Dalley) under Lt. Col. Ian MacAlister Stewart and Maj. Angus MacDonald. The road to the city of Singapore was now open.
[size=1]Type 97 Chi-Ha tank at Bukit Timah, Singapore[/size]
1944: U.S. General Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower is officially designated as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), in western Europe.
1944: U.S. troops at Cassino are relieved by Indian and New Zealand forces. U.S. II Corps (Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes), after two and a half weeks of torrid battle, was fought out suffering some 2,200 casualties. The allies are pushed back to final defence line at Anzio.
1944: German relief forces (III. Panzerkorps under General der Panzertruppe Hermann Albert Breith) are now just 16 km (10 miles) from the Korsun pocket.
[size=1]The 1. Panzer-Division (Generalmajor Werner Marcks) attempts to relieve Korsun pocket. Its tanks and halftracks begin movements towards the pocket[/size]
1949: During the Greek Civil War, the attempt by the communist insurgents of the Greek Democratic Army (DSE) to seize the town of Phlórina on the Greco-Yugoslav border, fails. Four DSE brigades (14th under George Georgiades, 103rd under Ypsilani, 18th, 107th under Elias Runes, with 700 troops each), cadets from the DSE officer academy, three saboteur companies and two tank-destroyer companies, attacked the government forces (II Infantry Division under Maj. Gen. Nicholas Papanikoláu, the local gendarmerie chapter and a number of Commando companies) stationed in the town. After a two-day battle, DSE forces retreated leaving behind 713 killed and wounded. 350 insurgents were captured. The government forces sustained 44 killed and 284 wounded; 35 troops went missing.
[size=1]Communist DSE insurgents march towards Phlorina[/size]
1979: Islamic revolution of Iran establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
1429: During the Hundred Years' War, the Battle of Rouvray occurs. French forces numbering between 3,000 and 4,000 under Charles I, Duc de Bourbon and 400 Scottish infantry under John Stewart of Darnley, Constable of the Scots in France, attacked a supply convoy comprised 300 carts and wagons, defended by a small English force under Sir John Fastolf that was carrying rations to the English army besieging Orleans, at Rouvray (present-day Rouvray-Sainte-Croix) just north of Orléans. The allies failed to intercept and divert the supply convoy headed for English forces. The combined Franco-Scottish force lost about 400 men, including Stewart, the leader of the Scots. The English suffered minimal casualties.
[size=1]The action is also known as Battle of the Herrings, because the English barricaded behind the wagons with herring barrels to repel the attack[/size]
1593: During the First Japanese Invasion of Korea, the Battle of Haengju occurs. Approximately 3,000 Korean defenders of the Haengju fortress, led by the General of the Korean Kingdom of Great Joseon, Kwon Yul, successfully repelled more than 30,000 Japanese under Ukita Hideie and Kato Kiyomasa. The Koreans inflicted more than 10,000 casualties on the Japanese during the battle and recovered 727 spears and swords from the retreating Japanese.
1817: During the Chilean War of Independence, the Battle of Chacabuco occurs. The 3,600-strong Ejército de los Andes (=Army of the Andes), supported by 9 cannon and commanded by the Argentine revolutionary, José de San Martín, after just having crossed the Andes (where they lost as much as one-third of their force), defeated a 1,500-strong Spanish army under Don Rafael Maroto Yserns, at Chacabuco, near Santiago, Chile. The revolutionaries suffered up to 100 killed and wounded. The Spanish lost ca 500 killed and wounded, 600 made prisoners.
[size=1]Chilean Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme and his men, overwhelmed the Spanish troops in the battle[/size]
1818: Chilean Supreme Director, Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme, approves the Chilean Declaration of Independence. The formal ceremony and pledge of independence was set for the first anniversary of the Battle of Chacabuco: 12 February, 1818.
1912: Puyi, the last Emperor and twelfth and final member of the Manchu Qing Dynasty to rule over China, abdicates.
1934: The February Uprising, the clashes between socialist and conservative-fascist forces that took place between 12 February and 16 February 1934, in Austria, begin. The entire Austrian Federal Army, police, gendarmerie, and paramilitary Heimwehr forces, were also engaged in the skirmishes. Between 200 - 1,200 people died in the tumult. 10 more socialists were executed afterwards.
1935: USS "Macon" (ZRS-5) (Cdr. Alger H. Dresel), a rigid airship built and operated by the U.S. Navy for scouting, that served also as a flying aircraft carrier, launching Sparrowhawk biplanes, crashes into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California and sinks, killing two crewmen.
1945: Simultaneous announcements in Moscow, London and Washington about the Yalta agreement. Agreement is reached about the allied occupation of Germany, the founding of the United Nations, the "resettlement" of the inhabitants of the eastern German territories to be ceded to Poland and the entry of the Soviet Union into the war against Japan. Thus far, the Kriegsmarine has evacuated 374,000 German refugees by sea from East and West Prussia.
[size=1]East Prussian refugees on a ship near Pillau[/size]
1945: The Várkiza Peace Pact that terminated the December hostilities between the Greek Army and Gendarmerie (supported by British troops), and the Communists, that killed and wounded up to 7,000, is signed by the plenipotentiaries of the Greek government and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), at Várkiza, in southern Attica, on the way to Cape Sounion. In return for surrendering their arms, the communists were promised freedom to engage in political activities, and the government guaranteed civil and political liberties and undertook to organise a non-political national army. These commitments were not fulfilled, and the Várkiza pact was followed by a rightist reaction and widespread persecution of leftist elements. The treaty ended the first phase of the Greek Civil War.
1945: British and Canadians troops advancing from Southeast Holland take Cleves in western Germany, near the Dutch border and the River Rhine.
[size=1]Senior Officers of the 8th Royal Scots study a map near Kleve (Cleves)[/size]
1946: Operation Deadlight, the scuttling of U-boats surrendered to the Allies after the defeat of Germany, concludes with the last U-boat sunk, U-3514.
1968: During the Vietnam War and a retaliatory campaign after the famous Tet offensive, the Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat massacre occurs. Between 69 - 79 unarmed citizens in Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat villages are massacred by Marines of the 3rd Platoon of the 2nd Marine Brigade of ROK Marine Corps. The commander of the 1st Company that took charge of the attack on Phong Nhi, Cpt. Kim Sok Kyun, who claimed not to have a clear recollection of the operation, was shipped back to Korea after the killings were publicised. On 10 January 1970, Col. Robert Morehead Cook, United States Army inspector general, reported the massacre was conducted by the ROK Marines.
[*******red]Warning![/color] graphic photos
[size=1]U.S Marines recovered victims' bodies in Phong Nhi and Phong Nhat villages; the photos were taken by Corporal J. Vaughn, Delta-2 Platoon, U.S. Marine[/size]
2002: The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milošević, begins at the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.
1503: The Challenge of Barletta occurs, at Trani near Barletta, southern Italy, when the French Knight, Charles de la Motte, after drinking too much of the local wine, accused Italians of cowardice. This led to a mounted tournament between 13 Italian Knights (the most famous being Ettore Fieramosca), based in Barletta, and 13 French Knights. The Italian Knights won the battle, and the French then left the area. Barletta has since acquired the moniker Città della Disfida (=City of the Challenge), as a result.
[size=1]Detail of the monument at Barletta[/size]
1692: During the Jacobite uprising of 1689, the Massacre of Glencoe occurs. About 38 MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were massacred by the 1st and 2nd companies of the Earl of Argyll's Regiment of Foot, which consisted of approximately 120 men under the command of Cpt. Robert Campbell of Glenlyon. They were killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.
1941: During the Greco-Italian War, Greek C-in-C Marshal Alexandros Papagos, opened an offensive against Tepelenë with the objective of driving on to seize the port city of Vlorë. The Greeks advanced their line 5 km (3 miles) in the coastal sector in a bayonet attack but failed to take Tepelenë because the Italians there, were prepared to die than yield further ground. The Greek attack was repulsed and the V Cretan Division (Maj. Gen. Georgios Papastergiu) which traditionally possessed great fighting spirit was literally mown down (3,350 casualties).
[size=1]Greek troops killed in Albania[/size]
1945: Budapest is reported as fully captured by the Soviets. German and Hungarian forces unconditionally surrender to the Red Army.
[size=1]The Budapest Medal was awarded to all Soviet service personnel who took part in the battle[/size]
1951: During the Korean War, the two-day Battle of Chipyong-ni begins. A mass assault by 18,000 troops of CCF/CPV army is contained by the U.S. 23rd Regiment and French Battalion (both placed under the operational control of U.S. 2nd Infantry Division under Maj. Gen. Clark Louis Ruffner), 1st Ranger Company, 37th Field Artillery Battalion, and Battery B of the 82nd Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion. Casualties on the UN side of the conflict were 51 killed, 250 wounded, and 42 missing. The Chinese lost approximately 2,000 killed and 3,000 wounded. After the battle, all units fought in Chipyong-ni were awarded the United States Distinguished Unit Citation.
[size=1]The WWII veteran officer, Raoul Magrin-Vernerey took a temporary demotion from Maj. Gen. to Lt. Col. in order to command the French Bataillon de Corée (=Korea Battalion). The French in the Battle of Chipyong-ni measured up in every way to the battle conduct of the finest troops[/size]
1960: With the success of a nuclear test codenamed Gerboise Bleue, France becomes the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons. The weapon was detonated atop a 105-metre (344 ft) tower near Reganne, Algeria. The test was a pure fission device with a plutonium core and a one-point initiated implosion system.
1982: During the period recalled in Guatemala as La Violencia (=The Violence; a series of extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and rapes that claimed up to 5,000 lives of men, women and children between 1980 and 1982, committed by Guatemalan government and paramilitary forces in order to eliminate the Achi Mayan community who resisted their forced resettlement for the construction of the Chixoy hydroelectric dam), the Río Negro Massacre occurs. 74 people from Río Negro (55 men and 19 women), were massacred by paramilitaries.
1991: During the Gulf War air campaign, the al-Amiriyah Shelter Massacre occurs. Two USAF F-117 stealth fighter/bombers, each dropped a 2,000 pound GBU-27 laser-guided bomb on the shelter, killing more than 408 civilians. The Pentagon targeted al-Amiriyah because it picked up electronic signals coming from the site, and spy satellites could see a lot of people and vehicles moving in and out of the bunker. According to Charles Heyman, the London-based editor of Jane's World Armies, "the Pentagon didn't find out until much later that the Iraqis had put an aerial antenna on top of the bunker. The antenna was connected by cable to a communications center safely 300 yards away".
1898: The USS "Maine" (ACR-1) (Cpt. Charles Sigsbee) explodes and sinks in Havana harbour in Cuba, killing more than 260. Public opinion in the United States, urged on by the yellow press, assumed that Spain had plotted the treachery. Scant attention was given to the possibility that an accidental internal explosion had occurred. Cries of Remember the Maine, To Hell with Spain were heard throughout the U.S. and war fever increased. This event leads the USA to declare war on Spain.
1940: During the Winter War and the Soviet all-out offensive on the Karelian Isthmus, Finnish C-in-C Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim authorised a general retreat of the II Army Corps (six divisions under Lt. Gen. Harald Öhquist) to the Intermediate Line. On the eastern side of the isthmus, Soviet engineers attempted to lay pontoon bridges at the Taipale river (approximately 20 km/12 miles from the Soviet border). As the Soviets then charged onto the Finnish positions, they were met by withering fire. Well placed Finnish machine gun emplacements mowed down the Soviets, killing many, and sometimes, entire battalions were wiped out. Three Soviet divisions failed to breach Finnish defences, and the Finns won an outstanding victory in the Battle of Taipale.
[size=1]The Memorial near Solovyovo (Taipale)[/size]
1941: During the Greco-Italian War, two regiments of the V Cretan Division (Maj. Gen. Georgios Papastergiu) take Heights 1647 (Punta Nord), 1260 and 1178 near the village Mezhgoran in the district of Tepelenë. One Evzone Btn of the 39th Evzone Rgt. (Col. Georgios Tzumerkas) seizes Height 1723. The Greeks officially report that in the Muskopol-Tepelenë sector, the Greek troops have completely routed the Italian XI. Corpo d'Armata (11th Army Corps) (Gen. Mario Robotti).
1942: After a short-lived resistance, the fortress of Singapore falls to the Japanese. Approximately 70,000 British, Australian and Indian soldiers are taken prisoner. The public response in Great Britain and Australia is that of shock. The terms of the surrender included:
-The unconditional surrender of all military forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) in Singapore Area.
-Hostilities to cease at 8:30 p.m. that evening.
-All troops to remain in position until further orders.
-All weapons, military equipment, ships, planes and secret documents to be handed over intact.
-To prevent looting, etc. during the temporary withdrawal of all armed forces in Singapore, a force of 1,000 British armed men to take over until relieved by the Japanese
The Japanese Occupation of Singapore had begun. The city was renamed Syonan-to. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried by a U.S. military commission for war crimes committed by Japanese personnel in the Philippines earlier that year, but not for crimes committed by his troops in Malaya or Singapore. He was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February 1946.
1944: Monte Cassino is devastated by 382 tonnes (422 tons) of bombs as the Indian and New Zealanders begin their offensive to capture the monastery which is now occupied and defended by paratroopers (the Green Devils) of 1. Fallschirmjäger-Division (Generalmajor Hans Korte).
1944: Adolf Hitler permits Generaloberst Walter Model's troops to withdraw to Panther-Wotan Line (a defensive line on the Eastern Front between Lake Peipus in Estonia and the Baltic Sea at Narva) and also allows the Korsun pocket defenders to break out towards the relieving forces.
1945: Soviet troops are now covering the approaches to Danzig (present-day Gdańsk, Poland). The Red Army captures Sagan (present-day Żagań) in Silesia. The German SS-Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 11 (General der Infanterie Anton Grasser) begins a counterattack Operation Sonnenwende (Solstice) with three Corps (XXXIX. Panzerkorps under General der Panzertruppen Karl Decker, III. (germanische) SS-Panzerkorps under Generalleutnant Martin Unrein and the Gruppe Krappe under Generalleutnant Günther Krappe). However, only the III. (germanische) SS-Panzerkorps (11. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland under SS-Brigadeführer Joachim Ziegler and 27. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Langemarck under SS-Oberführer Thomas Müller) are ready and begin their attack S towards Arnswalde (present-day Choszczno) in West Pomerania, about 30 - 35 km (18 - 21 miles) SE of Stargard Szczeciński.
1954: Canada and the United States agree to construct the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska, in addition to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland.
1965: A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the Flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. The inauguration of the Flag of Canada on that date is observed annually as the National Flag of Canada Day.
1972: José María Velasco Ibarra, serving as President of Ecuador for the fifth time, is overthrown by the military for the fourth time. He only served one of five terms without being ousted by the army, from 1952-1956.
1999: Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), is arrested in Kenya whilst being transferred from the Greek embassy to Nairobi international airport.
1646: During the First English Civil War, the Battle of Great Torrington occurs. A 10,000-strong Parliamentarian force under Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron, defeated a Royalist army consisted of 2,000 foot, 3,000 horse, under Ralph Hopton, 1st Baron Hopton, in the last major battle of the Civil War. The Parliamentarians, swept into the town and defeated Lord Hopton's forces. This marked the end of Royalist resistance in the West Country.
[size=1]The conqueror of Great Torrington, Sir Thomas Fairfax, nom-de-guerre Black Tom[/size]
1804: During the First Barbary War (fought between the United States of America and the North African Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States), the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbour occurs. On the night of 16 February, USN Lt. Stephen Decatur Jr, led a small USMC contingent in the captured Tripolitan ketch rechristened USS "Intrepid", to deceive the guards on board the - captured since 31 October 1803 by the Tripolitans - USS "Philadelphia", and float close enough to board the captured ship. Decatur's men stormed the vessel and overpowered the Tripolitan sailors standing guard. With support from USN ships, the Marines set fire to the Philadelphia, denying her use to the enemy. The bravery in action of Lt Stephen Decatur made him one of the first American military heroes since the American Revolutionary War.
1862: During the American Civil War, the Battle of Fort Donelson concludes. After capturing Fort Henry, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's District of Cairo, Army of the Tennessee (24,531 troops), moved up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Following the failure of a Confederate all-out attack aimed at breaking through Grant's investment lines, the fort's 12,000-strong garrison under Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd, surrendered unconditionally. This was a major victory for Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and a catastrophe for the South. The U.S. suffered 507 killed, 1,976 wounded, 208 captured or missing. The C.S. lost 327 killed, 1,127 wounded; 12,392 were either captured or missing.
1918: The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopts the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state.
[size=1]"The Council of Lithuania, proclaims the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital"[/size]
1934: The Austrian Civil War, opened on 12 February, concludes, with the defeat of the Social-Democrats and the paramilitaries of Republikanischer Schutzbund. The incidents of February 1934 were taken as a pretext by the Austrian government to prohibit the Social-Democratic Party and its affiliated trade unions altogether. The Heimwehr (Homeguard) paramilitary militia, merged with the the right-wing Christian Social Party and formed the Patriotic Front, an authoritarian Austrofascist political party that dominated Austrian political scene until the Anschluss.
[size=1]Memorial to the victims and fighters for freedom and justice at the place where the civil war started, in the courtyard of the Hotel Schiff in Linz[/size]
1940: The Altmark Incident; the German supply ship KM "Altmark" (Kapitän zur See Heinrich Dau) received a boarding party from the British destroyer HMS "Cossack" (F03) (Cpt. Philip Louis Vian) consisting of three officers and thirty men in what were, at that time, neutral Norwegian waters. 299 British prisoners, captured by the German cruiser KM "Admiral Graf Spee" are freed. During an Altmark's attempted escape across the ice, seven of the her crew were shot down. To date, it is the last major boarding action fought by the Royal Navy.
[size=1]The Cossack in 1938[/size]
1941: During the Greco-Italian War, the 1,805-metre (5,921-ft) northern peak of Mal Shëndëlli is taken by the Greek V Cretan Division (under Col. Dionysius Papadóngonas who had replaced Gen. Papastergiu) after a pitched battle against the Italian 2nd Mountain Division Sforzesca (Maj. Gen. Carlo Pellegrini); the V Cretan Division sustained one officer, 45 other ranks killed, 15 officers, 267 other ranks wounded. 41 other ranks were frost-bitten. Greek forces are by now about 7.5 km (4.5 miles) away from the northeastern entrance of Tepelenë, while at the same time the II Infantry Division (Maj. Gen. Georgios Lavdas), is closing in from SE and has also reached 7.5 km (4.5 miles) from the town.
[size=1]Command post of the Italian 53° Rgt. Fanteria “Umbria” (Col. Pietro Maggiani) of the 2a Divisione di Fanteria "Sforzesca" set in extreme cold and on altitude of 499 metres (1,640 ft)[/size]
1942: ELAS (=Greek People's Liberation Army), the military arm of the left-wing EAM (=National Liberation Front) resistance group is formed in the village of Domnista in Evrytania, one of the least populated prefectures in Greece, covered almost entirely with mountains. Two years after its foundation, ELAS' military strength had grown from the small group of fighters in Domnitsa to more than 50,000 partizans. ELAS' first C-in-C was the former Hellenic Army officer, General Stephanos Saráphes.
1943: The Soviets take Kharkov (present-day Kharkiv, Ukraine) and Voroshilovo, Ukraine, after nine days of heavy street fighting.
1944: German troops encircled in the Korsun-Cherkassy pocket achieve a breakout, but at a heavy cost in men and equipment. The Soviets also begin to storm Krivoi Rog (present day Kryvyi Rih) in central Ukraine.
1944: C-in-C South, Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring, launches seven divisions in a second major attack against the U.S. Fifth Army's (Lt. Gen. Mark Wayne Clark) bridgehead at Anzio.
1945: The Battle for the Recapture of Corregidor, Philippines, fought between 16 February and 26 February, 1945, by American and Filipino liberation forces against the defending Japanese garrison on the island fortress, begins when the first of one thousand troopers of the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team (Lt. Col. George M. Jones), based at Mindoro, began dropping out of C-47 troop carriers of the U.S. Thirteenth Air Force (Gen. Nathan Farragut Twining) and to float down on the surprised Japanese defenders (6,550 troops under Maj. Gen. Rikichi Tsukada). This was the most vicious combat action in which the Combat Team engaged during its existence. The honours for recapturing the Rock, went to the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team of Lt. Col. George M. Jones and elements of Maj. Gen. Roscoe B. Woodruff's U.S. 24th Infantry Division. The U.S. suffered 207 killed, 684 wounded. Of the 6,550-strong Japanese garrison, only 50 survived.
[size=1]Pvt Lloyd G. McCarter received the Medal of Honor during the battle to recapture Corregidor Island in the Philippines[/size]
1947: Canadians are granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.
[size=1]Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first person to take the Oath of Citizenship, from Chief Justice Thibaudeau Rinfret, in the Supreme Court[/size]
1985: The Shiite militant group and political party based in Lebanon, Hizbullah, is founded.
[size=1]Hizbullah's current leader, Hassan Nasrallah[/size]
1987: The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem. He has gained notoriety after being accused numerous times of Holocaust-related war crimes, yet never actually proven to be guilty.
Last edited by valtrex; 02-16-2011 at 05:39 AM.