Tag Archives: major

Article: WWII – Major William Martin


The link below is to an article that tells the story of Major William Martin in WWII.

For more visit:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/49029/corpse-fooled-hitler

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Today in History: 13 April 1861


Fort Sumter Surrenders to Confederate Troops

ABOVE: Fort Sumter

ABOVE: Fort Sumter from the Charleston Defences

On this day in 1861, Fort Sumter, the island fort in the entrance to Charleston Harbor surrendered to Confederate troops following a fierce bombardment that had begun the previous day. The Battle of Fort Sumter was the first major battle of the American Civil War.

For more, visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Sumter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Sumter

Books:
Within Fort Sumter, by A. Fletcher
Major Robert Anderson and Fort Sumter, by Eba Anderson Lawton


Today in History: 05 March 1770


USA: War of Independence – Boston Massacre

On this day in 1770, the Boston Massacre took place and became an important incident in the lead up to the American War of Independence. The massacre was really something of a ‘beat up,’ with five men being killed when British troops fired into a crowd that was harassing them and throwing objects at them.

Also of major interest in this incident, was the court case in the trial of the British troops, as  John Adams (second president of the USA) defended the British troops in their trial.

For more, visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Massacre

Also, a newspaper report:
http://www.archive.org/details/bostonmassacre00good


Today in History: 22 February 2011


New Zealand: Christchurch – Major Earthquake Kills 185 People

On this day in 2011, the second in a series of major earthquakes strikes Christchurch in New Zealand. 185 people were killed in the 6.3 quake and the historic city of Christchurch was changed forever. On the first anniversary of the earthquake the city of Christchurch is still coming to terms with what the future now holds for the devastated city.

For more visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_2011_Christchurch_earthquake


Today in History – 23 May 1945


Germany – World War II: Heinrich Himmler Committed Suicide

Heinrich Himmler, a leading Nazi and mass murderer in World War II, committed suicide on this day in 1945. This before he was brought to justice for his crimes.

Himmler was born on the 7th October 1900. He became a leading member of the Nazi Party and was a major player in the leadership that brought about the Holocaust (the mass murder of millions of Jews, Roma, Poles, Communists and POWs).

 


Today in History – 14 May 1955


The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance is Signed

The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, also known as the Warsaw Pact, was signed in Warsaw, Poland. This was the military alliance signed by the Eastern Bloc of nations, namely the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. The treaty came about in response to West Germany being included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the 9 May 1955. These were the two major treaties to come out of post war (WWII) Europe and were the opposing parties of the Cold War.

For more information on the Cold War see:
http://www.coldwar.org/

Timeline of the Cold War:
http://library.thinkquest.org/10826/timeline.htm

 


Today in History – 28 April 1789


William Bligh: Mutiny on the Bounty

William Bligh was born on the 9th September 1754 to Francis and Jane Bligh in St Tudy, Cornwall. He was signed up for a career in the Royal Navy when aged 7 in 1761.

In 1776, Bligh was with Captain James Cook as Sailing Master on the Resolution for Cook’s third and final voyage during which Cook was killed. Following this Bligh served on various ships and saw military action at a number of locations including Gibraltar in 1782.

In 1787 Bligh was made commander of the Bounty. On this day in 1789, the mutiny on the Bounty took place. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian, Master’s Mate. Bligh and a large number of the crew were provided with a ship’s launch and a small amount of provisions and Bligh made for Timor (from near Tonga). The journey was completed in 47 days and covered a remarkable distance of 6 700km.

It is thought that the mutiny took place in order to escape from the hardline discipline of Bligh and to escape to the island pleasures of Tahiti. Evidence would suggest that Bligh was far more easy going than other captains, though the future ‘mutiny’ in Sydney (see below) would suggest otherwise. Bligh was treated well in the court-martial and was acquitted.

From the Bounty, Bligh served in various roles, including Governor of New South Wales from the 13th August 1806 to the 26th January 1808. His post ended with the Rum Rebellion, which essentially was an on land mutiny by the New South Wales Corps under Major George Johnston. He succeeded Philip Gidley King and was replaced by Lachlan Macquarie.

Bligh’s rise through the ranks of the Royal Navy continued until he was appointed Vice Admiral of the Blue in 1814, though he never again received an active command. He died on the 7th December 1817.

As an interesting side point, the current premier of Queensland (Anna Bligh) is a descendant of William Bligh.

 


Today in History – 25 April 1915


ANZAC: First Landings at Gallipoli – Turkey

Around the world today, Australians and New Zealanders will be remembering the fallen, on what is now known to us as ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day is remembered annually on the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I. On this day in 1915, ANZAC troops landed on the beach of what is now Anzac Cove. Gallipoli was evacuated in December 1915. The campaign was a disaster, but a legend was born out of it, that of ANZAC.

ABOVE: Map Showing the Location of Gallipoli

ANZAC Day was officially held for the first time in 1916 with a number of ceremonies and services held in Australia, New Zealand, England and Egypt. It was not until 1927 however, that Australians held their first uniform remembrance day and it became more established after that.

From the Second World War, ANZAC Day took on a broader significance, as a day to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in both Australia and New Zealand.

For more visit these sites:

 


Today in History – 19 April 1587


Sir Francis Drake Destroys the Spanish Fleet in Cadiz, Spain

War had broken out (Anglo-Spanish War of 1585 to 1604) between the Spanish and English – between Roman Catholic Spain and Protestant England. But it was more than just a religious war, for there were also political and economic agitations. English privateers were having a major impact on Spanish shipping. English support for the Netherlands in their fight for independence against Spain and also their support for an alternative Portuguese ruler (Portugal were in league with Spain) were a constant annoyance to the Spanish Empire. England saw Spain as a major threat to their security. Soon it was war, with Spain determined to invade England and crush Protestantism in its infancy.

Sir Francis Drake had been one of the thorns in Spain’s side, acting as a privateer in the Spanish Indies and taking many a Spanish ship as a prize. He was given command of an English fleet and set out to attack the Spanish on the 12th April 1587. On the 19th April 1587, Sir Francis Drake carried out what he described as having ‘singed the beard of the King of Spain,’ by sinking the Spanish fleet at harbor in the Bay of Cadiz, Spain. Up to 33 ships were destroyed and four were captured. This occurred the year prior to the sinking of the Spanish Armada during the attempted invasion of England.

When the fleet returned to England on the 6th of July, they had sunk over 100 enemy vessels and suceeded in setting back the planned Spanish invasion of England by a year. Drake had already sealed his place in history as one of England’s heroes, but his work had only just begun.

 


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