JANUARY 08 - TODAY IN MILITARY HISTORY

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8 JANUARY/ TODAY IN MILITARY HISTORY:
◆871 Battle of Ashdown: King Ethelred of Wessex defeats the Danes.
◆1502 The Massacre of Fermo: At the suggestion of Cesar Borgia, Oliverotto Eufreducci holds a banquet for his kinsman Giovanni Fogliano, the Lord of Fermo, & the leading citizens of the town, and seizes control.
◆1546 Battle of Anaquito: Gonzalo Pizarro seizes Peru from the Spanish Viceroy.
◆1558 Duc de Guise captures Calais, completing the liberation of France from the English.
◆1676 Battle of Stromboli: Anglo-Dutch naval clash off Sicily.
◆1800 Second Battle of Novi: the Austrians defeat French.
◆1806 Battle of Blueberg: British defeat Franco-Dutch.
◆1815 Battle of New Orleans.★
◆1821 Confederate General James Longstreet is born near Edgefield, South Carolina.★
◆1847 Battle of the San Gabriel River.★
◆1863 2nd Battle of Springfield.★
◆1877 Battle of Tongue River.★
◆1940 Mussolini questions Hitler's plans.★
◆1945 Allied forces eliminate German positions on the west bank of the Maas River. In the Ardennes, American forces now control 9 miles of the Laroche-St. Vith road. US 3rd Army captures Flamierge, 9 km northwest of Bastogne, on the southern flank of the German held salient. Meanwhile, in Alsace, the battles north and south of Strasbourg continue. The US 7th Army is under considerable pressure near Rimling and Gambsheim.
◆1946 President Truman vowed to stand by the Yalta accord on self-determination for the Balkans.
◆1951 When blizzards forced USN Task Force 77 carriers to suspend close air support missions for X Corps, Fifth Air Force took up the slack. Superfortresses cratered Kimpo Airfield to prevent its use by enemy aircraft. U.S. forces in central Korea withdrew to new positions three miles south of Wonju. Fifth Air Force Shooting Stars, Thunderjets, and Mustangs provide X Corps 50 close- air support sorties. Afterward, the weather moved in again and Fifth Air Force was forced to completely stand down operations. U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, with attached French and Netherlands battalions, stopped the Chinese communist drive south of Wonju.
◆1966 Operation Crimp.★
◆1967 Operation Cedar Falls.★
◆1975 President Ford appoints an eight-man commission to investigate charges that the CIA had been involved in a wide range of illegal activities. On 21 December, the New York Times had charged that the agency had orchestrated a vast domestic intelligence operation. The next day, President Ford announced that he would not tolerate such activities in his administration. The commission, headed by Nelson Rockefeller, will report its findings in June.

 



 

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Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

BUTLER, EDMOND
Rank and organization: Captain, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Wolf Mountain, Mont., 8 January 1877. Entered service at: Brooklyn N.Y. Birth. Ireland. Date of issue: 27 November 1894. Citation. Most distinguished gallantry in action with hostile Indians.

CASEY, JAMES S.
Rank and organization: Captain, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Wolf Mountain, Mont., 8 January 1877. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 27 November 1894. Citation: Led his command in a successful charge against superior numbers of the enemy strongly posted.

FREEMEYER, CHRISTOPHER
Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

HADDOO, JOHN
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

HOGAN, HENRY
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company G, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 June 1894. Citation: Gallantry in actions.

HOLLAND, DAVID
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Dearborn, Mich. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation. Gallantry in actions.

HUNT, FRED O.
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: New Orleans, La. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in actions.

JOHNSTON, EDWARD
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company C, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. Birth: Pen Yan, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

KENNEDY, PHILIP
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

KREHER, WENDELIN
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company C, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Prussia. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

McCANN, BERNARD
Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 22d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

McCORMlCK, MICHAEL
Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Rutland, Vt. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action .

McDONALD, ROBERT
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Wolf Mountain, Mont., 8 January 1877. Entered service at Fort Sumner, N. Mex. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 27 November 1894. Citation: Led his command in a successful charge against superiornumbers of hostile Indians, strongly posted.

McGAR, OWEN
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: Pawtucket, R.I. Birtil: North Attleboro, Mass Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

McHUGH, JOHN
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Syracuse, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Cltation: Gallantry in action.

McLOUGHLlN, MICHAEL
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

McPHELAN, ROBERT
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MILLER, GEORGE
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company H, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Brooklyn, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

MONTROSE, CHARLES H.
Rank and organization: Private, Company I, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: St. Paul, Minn. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

ROCHE, DAVID
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

RODENBURG, HENRY
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

ROONEY, EDWARD
Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Birth: Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

RYAN, DAVID
Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

SHEPPARD, CHARLES
Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: Rocky Hill, Conn. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Bravery in action with Sioux.

WALLACE, WILLIAM
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

WHITEHEAD, PATTON G.
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: - - - . Birth: Russell County, Va. Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

WILSON, CHARLES
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company H, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, etc., Mont., 21 October 1876 to 8 January 1877. Entered service at: Beardstown, Ill. Birth: Petersburg, Ill Date of issue: 27 April 1877. Citation: Gallantry in action.

SCHILT, CHRISTIAN FRANK
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Quilali, Nicaragua, 6, 7 and 8 January 1928. Entered service at: Illinois. Born: 1 March 1895, Richland County, Ill. Other Navy awards: Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished FlyingCross with 1 gold star. Citation: During the progress of an insurrection at Quilali, Nicaragua, 6, 7, and 8 January 1928, 1st Lt. Schilt, then a member of a marine expedition which had suffered severe losses in killed and wounded, volunteered under almost impossible conditions to evacuate the wounded by air and transport a relief commanding officer to assume charge of a very serious situation. 1st Lt. Schilt bravely undertook this dangerous and important task and, by taking off a total of 10 times in the rough, rolling street of a partially burning village, under hostile infantry fire on each occasion, succeeded in accomplishing his mission, thereby actually saving 3 lives and bringing supplies and aid to others in desperate need.

DUNHAM, RUSSELL E.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kayserberg, France, 8 January 1945. Entered service at: Brighton Ill. Born: 23 February 1920, East Carondelet, Ill. G.O. No.: 37, 11 May 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At about 1430 hours on 8 January 1945, during an attack on Hill 616, near Kayserberg, France, T/Sgt. Dunham single-handedly assaulted 3 enemy machineguns. Wearing a white robe made of a mattress cover, carrying 12 carbine magazines and with a dozen hand grenades snagged in his belt, suspenders, and buttonholes, T/Sgt. Dunham advanced in the attack up a snow-covered hill under fire from 2 machineguns and supporting riflemen. His platoon 35 yards behind him, T/Sgt. Dunham crawled 75 yards under heavy direct fire toward the timbered emplacement shielding the left machinegun. As he jumped to his feet 10 yards from the gun and charged forward, machinegun fire tore through his camouflage robe and a rifle bllet seared a 10-inch gash across his back sending him spinning 15 yards down hill into the snow. When the indomitable sergeant sprang to his feet to renew his 1-man assault, a German egg grenade landed beside him. He kicked it aside, and as it exploded 5 yards away, shot and killed the German machinegunner and assistant gunner. His carbine empty, he jumped into the emplacement and hauled out the third member of the gun crew by the collar. Although his back wound was causing him excruciating pain and blood was seeping through his white coat, T/Sgt. Dunham proceeded 50 yards through a storm of automatic and rifle fire to attack the second machinegun. Twenty-five yards from the emplacement he hurled 2 grenades, destroying the gun and its crew; then fired down into the supporting foxholes with his carbine dispatching and dispersing the enemy riflemen. Although his coat was so thoroughly blood-soaked that he was a conspicuous target against the white landscape, T/Sgt. Dunham again advanced ahead of his platoon in an assault on enemy positions farther up the hill. Coming under machinegun fire from 65 yards to his front, while rifle grenades exploded 10 yards from his position, he hit the ground and crawled forward. At 15 yards range, he jumped to his feet, staggered a few paces toward the timbered machinegun emplacement and killed the crew with hand grenades. An enemy rifleman fired at pointblank range, but missed him. After killing the rifleman, T/Sgt. Dunham drove others from their foxholes with grenades and carbine fire. Killing 9 Germans - wounding 7 and capturing 2 - firing about 175 rounds of carbine ammunition, and expending 11 grenades, T/Sgt. Dunham, despite a painful wound, spearheaded a spectacular and successful diversionary attack.

*TURNER, DAY G.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 319th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division. Place and date: At Dahl, Luxembourg, 8 January 1945. Entered service at. Nescopek, Pa. Birth: Berwick, Pa. G.O. No.: 49, 28 June 1945. Citation: He commanded a 9-man squad with the mission of holding a critical flank position. When overwhelming numbers of the enemy attacked under cover of withering artillery, mortar, and rocket fire, he withdrew his squad into a nearby house, determined to defend it to the last man. The enemy attacked again and again and were repulsed with heavy losses. Supported by direct tank fire, they finally gained entrance, but the intrepid sergeant refused to surrender although 5 of his men were wounded and 1 was killed. He boldly flung a can of flaming oil at the first wave of attackers, dispersing them, and fought doggedly from room to room, closing with the enemy in fierce hand-to-hand encounters. He hurled handgrenade for handgrenade, bayoneted 2 fanatical Germans who rushed a doorway he was defending and fought on with the enemy's weapons when his own ammunition was expended. The savage fight raged for 4 hours, and finally, when only 3 men of the defending squad were left unwounded, the enemy surrendered. Twenty-five prisoners were taken, 11 enemy dead and a great number of wounded were counted. Sgt. Turner's valiant stand will live on as a constant inspiration to his comrades His heroic, inspiring leadership, his determination and courageous devotion to duty exemplify the highest tradition of the military service .

WETZEL, GARY GEORGE
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class (then Pfc.), U.S. Army, 173d Assault Helicopter Company. Place and date: Near Ap Dong An, Republic of Vietnam, 8 January 1968. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 29 September 1947, South Milwaukee, Wis. Citation. Sp4c. Wetzel, 173d Assault Helicopter Company, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life. Above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Wetzel was serving as door gunner aboard a helicopter which was part of an insertion force trapped in a landing zone by intense and deadly hostile fire. Sp4c. Wetzel was going to the aid of his aircraft commander when he was blown into a rice paddy and critically wounded by 2 enemy rockets that exploded just inches from his location. Although bleeding profusely due to the loss of his left arm and severe wounds in his right arm, chest, and left leg, Sp4c. Wetzel staggered back to his original position in his gun-well and took the enemy forces under fire. His machinegun was the only weapon placing effective fire on the enemy at that time. Through a resolve that overcame the shock and intolerable pain of his injuries, Sp4c. Wetzel remained at his position until he had eliminated the automatic weapons emplacement that had been inflicting heavy casualties on the American troops and preventing them from moving against this strong enemy force. Refusing to attend his own extensive wounds, he attempted to return to the aid of his aircraft commander but passed out from loss of blood. Regaining consciousness, he persisted in his efforts to drag himself to the aid of his fellow crewman. After an agonizing effort, he came to the side of the crew chief who was attempting to drag the wounded aircraft commander to the safety of a nearby dike. Unswerving in his devotion to his fellow man, Sp4c. Wetzel assisted his crew chief even though he lost consciousness once again during this action. Sp4c. Wetzel displayed extraordinary heroism in his efforts to aid his fellow crewmen. His gallant actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1815
BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS: US forces led by GEN Andrew Jackson and French pirate Jean Lafitte led 4,000 backwoodsmen to victory, defending against 8,000 British veterans on the fields of Chalmette in the closing engagement of the War of 1812. Two weeks after the War of 1812 officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, U.S. General Andrew Jackson achieves the greatest American victory of the war at the Battle of New Orleans.

In September 1814, an impressive American naval victory on Lake Champlain forced invading British forces back into Canada and led to the conclusion of peace negotiations in Ghent, Belgium. Although the peace agreement was signed on December 24, word did not reach the British forces assailing the Gulf coast in time to halt a major attack.

On January 8, 1815, the British marched against New Orleans, hoping that by capturing the city they could separate Louisiana from the rest of the United States. Pirate Jean Lafitte, however, had warned the Americans of the attack, and the arriving British found militiamen under General Andrew Jackson strongly entrenched at the Rodriquez Canal.

In two separate assaults, the 7,500 British soldiers under Sir Edward Pakenham were unable to penetrate the U.S. defenses, and Jackson's 4,500 troops, many of them expert marksmen from Kentucky and Tennessee, decimated the British lines. In half an hour, the British had retreated, General Pakenham was dead, and nearly 2,000 of his men were killed, wounded, or missing.

U.S. forces suffered only eight killed and 13 wounded. Although the battle had no bearing on the outcome of the war, Jackson's overwhelming victory elevated national pride, which had suffered a number of setbacks during the War of 1812. The Battle of New Orleans was also the last armed engagement between the United States and Britain.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1821
GENERAL LONGSTREET BORN: Confederate General James Longstreet is born near Edgefield, South Carolina. Longstreet became one of the most successful generals in the Confederate Army, but after the war was a target of some of his comrades, who were searching for a scapegoat. Longstreet grew up in Georgia and attended West Point, graduating 54th in a class of 62 in 1842.

He was a close friend of Ulysses S. Grant, and served as best man in Grant's 1848 wedding to Julia Dent, Longstreet's fourth cousin. Longstreet fought in the Mexican War and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec. He served in the army until he resigned at the beginning of the Civil War, when he was named brigadier general in the Confederate Army.

Longstreet fought at the First Battle of Bull Run and within a year was commander of corps in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. Upon the death of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, Longstreet was considered the most effective corps commander in Lee's army.

He served with Lee for the rest of the war - except for the fall of 1863, when he took his force to aid the Confederate effort in Tennessee. Longstreet was severely wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, and he did not return to service for six months. He resumed service and fought with Lee until the surrender at Appomattox in April 1865.

After the war, Longstreet engaged in a number of businesses and held several governmental posts, most notably U.S. Minister to Turkey. Although successful, he made two moves that greatly tarnished his reputation among his fellow southerners. He joined the despised Republican Party and publicly questioned Lee's strategy at the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg.

His fellow officers considered these sins to be unforgivable, and former comrades such as Generals Jubal Early and John Gordon attacked Longstreet as a traitor. They asserted that, in fact, Longstreet was responsible for the errors that lost Gettysburg. Longstreet outlived most of his comrades and detractors but died on January 2, 1904. His second wife, Helen Dortch, lived until 1962.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1847
BATTLE OF SAN GABRIEL RIVER. About 500 Mexican militia led by commanders Jose Maria Flores and Andres Pico offered the last serious Mexican resistance against U.S. invasion forces at the Battle of the San Gabriel River (in modern-day Montebello). There Mexican defenders attempted to block the march of U.S. Army and Naval troops commanded by General Stephen Watts Kearny and U.S. Navy Captain Robert F. Stockton advancing from the direction of San Diego.

A month earlier, Pico had led a successful attack on Kearny's force at San Pasqual, inflicting heavy casualties on the Americans (18 killed) and forcing them to retreat to San Diego. At the Battle of San Gabriel, however, the Mexicans were not successful in facing Kearny and Stockton's new offensive. The Americans possessed superior firepower and a more professional military force.

The Mexicans were mostly hastily assembled local people and ranchers. After two hours of artillery duels, infantry and cavalry charges, the Mexicans saw no chance of victory and conceded the Battle of the San Gabriel River by withdrawing. Pico also feared that, if captured, Kearny would have him executed out of revenge for the San Pasqual defeat.

Another military skirmish occurred the following day in what is now Vernon (the Battle of La Mesa). The Mexicans again attempted to fight off an American assault yet found themselves unable to match their firepower. After hearing of the final military outcome, leaders from Los Angeles came out to surrender the city peacefully to the American military force.

Pico headed north to meet up with and surrender to U.S. Army General John C. Fremont's force in the Cahuenga Pass that had been marching from the north to meet Stockton and Kearny in Los Angeles. Pico signed the Treaty of Cahuenga, effectively surrendering California to the United States. A plaque presently marks the site of the Battle of the San Gabriel River. It is located at the northeast corner of Washington Blvd. and Bluff Rd. in Montebello.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1863
THE SECOND BATTLE OF SPRINGFIELD was a battle in the American Civil War fought in Springfield, Missouri. It is sometimes known as The Battle of Springfield. (The First Battle of Springfield was fought on October 25, 1861, and there was also the better-known Battle of Wilson's Creek, fought nearby on August 10, 1861.) Fighting was urban and house-to-house, which was rare in the war.

As the morning of January 8, 1863 dawned, two of the Confederate columns under Marmaduke approached Springfield from the south. Since Porter's and MacDonald's columns had yet to arrive, Marmaduke occupied the early morning with foraging and capturing some of the Enrolled Missouri Militia about five miles (8 km) from Springfield.

With MacDonald finally present by 10:00 a.m., the Confederates dismounted two regiments about three miles (5 km) from Springfield and advanced to feel out the Union lines and develop their strength. After the Confederates had pushed two Union Missouri State Militia Cavalry Regiments two miles (3 km) north, the smoking ruins of burning homes on the outskirts of Springfield came into view. To provide an unobstructed view for his artillery inside Fort No. 4 (located on the east side of South Avenue between Elm and Cherry Streets), Brown at the last minute ordered ten homes burned along South Avenue.

Colonel Joseph Orville Shelby took command of the tactical operations, launching piecemeal assaults upon the Union center and west flank. The Confederates advanced over open ground against Fort Number 4, seeking such shelter as they could get from tree stumps, piles of rock, and the charred remains of the homes burned by the Union forces. Despite repeated efforts, the assault on the fort failed.

Shelby then resolved to take Springfield by an oblique attack from the west. The Confederates were drawn by the cover offered by a ravine that led uphill toward town from what is now the intersection of Grand Avenue and Grant Street. At the head of this draw stood a two-story brick academy surrounded by a stockade. Used by the Federals as a prison, it stood near the northwest corner of what is now the intersection of Campbell Avenue and State Street.

The Union forces failed to garrison the college stockade, so the Confederates were able to seize the building easily and use it as their own fortress to return the fire from Fort No. 4. However, heavy fighting soon erupted around the stockade as the Union forces attempted to retake the college and stockade. The Confederates found a local advantage in numbers and pressed their own attack.

This phase of the assault saw the most severe casualties, hand-to-hand fighting, and the capture of a cannon by the Confederates. Union troops on the west flank also were pushed back to College Street from their original position along the Old Wire Road and State Street. But Union reinforcements halted the Confederate drive and even pushed back the Confederates to the vicinity of State Street.

With the sun sinking, Marmaduke launched a final assault against Fort No. 4. The Union forces again repelled the attack. As night fell, the Confederates withdrew down the Ozark Road to the Phelps farm (now Phelps Grove Park). The Battle of Springfield had ended, and the Union supply depot was safe.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1877
BATTLE OF TONGUE RIVER. Outnumbered, low on ammunition, and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves, Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana. Six months earlier, Crazy Horse (Tashunca-uitco) and his ally, Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake), led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and his men near the Little Bighorn River of Montana.

Outraged by the killing of the flamboyant Custer and more than 200 soldiers, the American people demanded speedy revenge. The U.S. Army responded by commanding General Nelson Miles to mount a winter campaign in 1876-77 against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains.

Combining military force with diplomatic overtures, Nelson succeeded in convincing many Indians to surrender and return to their reservations. Much to Nelson’s frustration, though, Sitting Bull refused to give in and fled across the border to Canada, where he and his people remained for four years before finally returning to the U.S. to surrender in 1881.

Meanwhile, Crazy Horse and his band also refused to surrender, though they were suffering badly from sickness and starvation. His followers later reported that Crazy Horse, who had always been slightly odd, began to grow even stranger during this difficult time, disappearing for days into the wilderness by himself and walking about the camp with his eyes to the ground.

On January 8, 1877, General Miles found Crazy Horse’s camp along Montana’s Tongue River. The soldiers opened fire with their big wagon-mounted guns, driving the Indians from their warm tents out into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to regroup on a ridge and return fire, but most of their ammunition was gone, and they were reduced to fighting with bows and arrows.

They managed to hold off the soldiers long enough for the women and children to escape under cover of the blinding blizzard before they turned to follow them. Though he had escaped decisive defeat, Crazy Horse realized that Miles and his well-equipped cavalry troops would eventually hunt down and destroy his cold and hungry people.

On May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse led 1,100 Indians to the Red Cloud reservation near Fort Robinson. The mighty warrior surrendered in the face of insurmountable obstacles. Five months later, a guard fatally stabbed him after he allegedly resisted imprisonment by Indian policemen.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1940
MUSSOLINI QUESTIONS HITLER'S PLANS. A message from Benito Mussolini is forwarded to Adolf Hitler. In the missive, the Duce cautions the Fuhrer against waging war against Britain. Mussolini asked if it was truly necessary “to risk all-including the regime-and to sacrifice the flower of German generations.” Mussolini’s message was more than a little disingenuous.

At the time, Mussolini had his own reasons for not wanting Germany to spread the war across the European continent: Italy was not prepared to join the effort, and Germany would get all the glory and likely eclipse the dictator of Italy. Germany had already taken the Sudetenland and Poland; if Hitler took France and then cowed Britain into neutrality – or worse, defeated it in battle—Germany would rule Europe.

Mussolini had assumed the reigns of power in Italy long before Hitler took over Germany, and in so doing Mussolini boasted of refashioning a new Roman Empire out of an Italy that was still economically backward and militarily weak. He did not want to be outshined by the upstart Hitler. And so the Duce hoped to stall Germany’s war engine until he could figure out his next move.

The Italian ambassador in Berlin delivered Mussolini’s message to Hitler in person. Mussolini believed that the “big democracies…must of necessity fall and be harvested by us, who represent the new forces of Europe.” They carried “within themselves the seeds of their decadence.” In short, they would destroy themselves, so back off.

Hitler ignored him and moved forward with plans to conquer Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Mussolini, rather than tie Italy’s fortune to Germany’s – which would necessarily mean sharing the spotlight and the spoils of any victory – began to turn an eye toward the east. Mussolini invaded Yugoslavia and, in a famously disastrous strategic move, Greece.

 



 

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 8 JANUARY 1966
OPERATION CRIMP (8–14 January 1966), also known as the Battle of the Ho Bo Woods, was a joint US-Australian military operation during the Vietnam War, which took place 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Cu Chi in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam. The operation targeted a key Viet Cong headquarters that was believed to be concealed underground, and involved two brigades under the command of the US 1st Infantry Division, including the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) which was attached to the US 173rd Airborne Brigade. Heavy fighting resulted in significant casualties on both sides, but the combined American and Australian force was able to uncover an extensive tunnel network covering more than 200 kilometres (120 mi).

The operation was the largest allied military action mounted during the war in South Vietnam to that point, and the first fought at division level. Despite some success, the allied force was only able to partially clear the area and it remained a key communist transit and supply base throughout the war. The tunnels were later used as a staging area for the attack on Saigon during the 1968 Tet offensive before they were largely destroyed by heavy bombing from American B-52 bombers in 1970, ending their utility.

 



 

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8 JANUARY 1967
OPERATION CEDAR FALLS was a military operation of the Vietnam War conducted primarily by US forces. The aim of this massive search and destroy operation was to eradicate the so-called "Iron Triangle", an area located in close proximity to Saigon which had become a major stronghold of the communist National Liberation Front (NLF) or Viet Cong. The operation began on January 8, 1967, and ended on January 28, 1967.

Operation Cedar Falls was the largest American ground operation of the Vietnam war: Two Army divisions, one infantry and one paratrooper brigade, as well as one armored cavalry regiment participated in the operation; altogether, Operation Cedar Falls involved 30,000 US and South Vietnamese troops.

The Vietcong, however, chose to evade this massive military force by either fleeing across the border to Cambodia or hiding in a complex system of underground tunnels. Nevertheless, the Allied forces uncovered and destroyed some of the tunnel complexes as well as large stockpiles of Vietcong supplies. In the course of the operation, so-called tunnel rats were introduced to infiltrate Vietcong tunnel systems.

In an attempt to permanently destroy the Iron Triangle as a Vietcong stronghold, Operation Cedar Falls also entailed the complete deportation of the region's civilian population to so-called New Life Villages, the destruction of their homes, as well as the defoliation of whole areas.

Most senior officers involved in planning and executing the operation later evaluated it as a success. Most journalists and military historians, however, paint a bleaker picture. They argue that Cedar Falls failed to achieve its main goal since the Vietcong's setback in the Iron Triangle proved to be only temporary.

Moreover, critics argue that the harsh treatment of the civilian population was both morally questionable as well as detrimental to the US effort to win Vietnamese hearts and minds driving many into the ranks of the NLF instead. Therefore, some authors cite Operation Cedar Falls as a major example for the misconceptions of the American strategy in Vietnam and for its morally troublesome consequences.

 




 

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