Other Post Past Military facts and trivia


MI.Net Member
Mar 23, 2004
Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 U.S. and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. Twenty-one troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been any Japanese soldiers on the island.
It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so at long range if your tracers were hitting the target 80 percent of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
Shortest War in history
British ships bombed the island of Zanzibar at
9 am on August 27, 1896. At 9.45 am Zanzibar surrendered, after the shortest war in history. Germany and Britain had been engaged in territorial disputes over the small island of Zanzibar, off the east African coast, for several years. During the late 1880s and early 1890s, the island had gradually come under British control. Throughout this time the Sultan of Zanzibar obediently carried out British commands. When the Sultan died in 1896, however, his second son seized the throne and, with German support, he declared himself the new Sultan. The British feared their German rivals would come to dominate Zanzibar and so they ordered the new Sultan to retire - or face the consequences. The Sultan refused to withdraw his claim to the throne. Instead he assembled 2,500 Arab soldiers and hastily re-commissioned an ancient bronze cannon, which had not been fired in anger since 1658. The British began bombarding the small island from a fleet of warships anchored offshore. The sultan had no effective means of retaliation and surrendered 45 minutes later, after being granted asylum at the island's German consulate.
strangest war
The late fall of 1864 produced one of the strangest strategic situations of the American Civil War. Two hostile armies that had been opposing each other for months on the battlefields of North Georgia broke off contact and marched away in opposite directions--the Northern army going south; the Southern army going north. William T. Sherman's Yankees struck out southeastward across Georgia on a march that would take them to Savannah on the coast. Meanwhile, John Bell Hood's Confederates swung westward to the florence-Tuscumbia area in northwestern Alabama, and then they marched north into Middle Tennessee.

Sherman's March to the Sea ended in the capture of Savannah in December 1864 and set the stage for his early 1865 advance northward into the Carolinas. The campaign did not involve any serious fighting, but it constituted a great strategic triumph for the Union. As Sherman boasted, it demonstrated to the world that a Federal army could march at will through the Confederacy. In so doing, it demoralized Southern soldiers and civilians and led to increased desertions from Confederate forces in all areas.

Hood's march northward, by contrast, took the Rebels deeper into disaster and defeat. The Confederate general led his army into northwestern Alabama, where logistical difficulties and high water in the Tennessee River combined to delay the secessionists for several weeks. Once across the river, Hood's troops marched for middle Tennessee. On November 29 they (or, more accurately, their generals) bungled an effort to cut off a Federal force at Spring Hill. The next day Hood threw his troops into a suicidal attack at Franklin, and in mid-December the army was routed at Nashville and fled south into Mississippi.

These two campaigns, "two halves of a whole" (xv), constitute the subject of Anne Bailey's Chessboard of War. The work is a volume in the "Great Campaigns of the Civil War" series, of which Bailey serves (with Brooks Simpson) as coeditor. Volumes in the series are not intended to present the mind-numbing tactical detail that burdens so much Civil War military history. Rather they give readers an overall general narrative of the military operations and some account of the way the military campaigns affected and were affected by political, social, economic, and/or racial factors. They are, in fact, something of an updating and expansion of the Scribner's "Campaigns of the Civil War" series of the 1880s.

Bailey's Chessboard of War neatly meets the criteria of the series as she deftly switches back and forth from one of the fall 1864 campaigns to the other. She gives readers enough of a narrative of the military events that they can easily follow the movements of the armies and understand the intentions and actions of the commanders and the many administrative, logistical, and other problems they faced. She also includes sufficient details on the problems the military operations caused for civilians, especially those living in the path of Sherman's force as it swept through Georgia. Nor does she neglect the impact of the military operations on blacks in Georgia (thousands of runaway slaves followed Sherman's troops) and Tennessee (where units of the United States Colored Troops participated in the Battle of Nashville as well as in several other actions of the campaign).
I had two direct ancesters that fought in the Civil War(locally known as the "War of Northern Aggression"{ain't over yet-we're merely regrouping}).One on the Northern side and one on the Southern side.My Southern g-g-grandfather was killed at the battle of Franklin.My Northern g-g-grandfather managed to get captured at the battle of Nashville but was later one of the few to excape from Andersonville prison.

Similar threads