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Today in Military History (December)
MWH
MWH
Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
Post what you know happened on This Day in Military History during the month of December.

12/1/2009 5:39:30 PM | Edit


12/1/2009 5:43:50 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 1, 1959

Antarctica is declared a military free zone. Twelve nations agree to no weapons testing, military posts, or military action against so called sovereign areas. One of the few treaties signed during the Cold War, President Roosevelt set a precedence which is still followed today. Antarctica is a haven for scientific research.

12/2/2009 5:02:24 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 2, 1777

As the story goes a nurse saves George Washington and his army on this day. A nurse Lydia Darragh overhears the British planning to attack the continental army. Darragh then passes the information onto Colonel Thomas Craig which allows the American’s to be prepared for the attack. After three days the attack was repelled and the British go back to Philadelphia.

12/3/2009 2:44:32 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 3, 1776

George Washington successfully crosses the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. The entire continental army made it across and Washington burned everything in site to the British could not pursue. At this point in the war everything looked bleak and the British were poised to win.

12/4/2009 3:29:02 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 4, 1912

Gregory Boyington was born on this day. Pappy Boyington became infamous during World War II while being an aviator in the Flying Tigers. Boyington resigned his Marine commission to become part of the American Volunteer Group for the Chinese. Pappy was known for his wild behavior and anti-authority antics. When the United States was fully in the war, Pappy rejoined the Marines where he would really make his mark. It was not until Boyington became part of the Black Sheep Squadron did he start to shoot down planes on almost a daily basis. In January 1944 over Rabaul, Boyington set the record of shooting down 26 planes before he was shot down himself and became a prisoner of war for the rest of the conflict. The TV series was loosely based on Boyinton’s exploits which ran during the 1970’s called Baa Baa Black Sheep.

12/5/2009 8:33:43 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 5, 1839

George Armstrong Custer was born on this day. General Custer became infamous during the Battle of Little Big Horn when his military unit was wiped out by Indians. Custer entered West Point in 1868 and soon became an officer during the Civil War. After a successful military campaign during the Civil War, Custer was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars after he explored other options. Fighting in the Black Hills, Custer became over confident and underestimated Indian forces. The Indian tribes had united to discuss what to do about the whites which grew their forces from 1,000 to 2,000 warriors while Custer only had a fraction of that in his cavalry. Custer and his men were wiped out which put even more public opinion against the Indians even though they were just defending the land they had inhabited for generations.

12/6/2009 5:43:32 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 6, 1865

The 13th Amendment to the United States constitution is ratified on this day. The Civil War began because of slavery but was not fought to reunify the states and not solely to end slavery. Whoever once the Civil War became a bloody battlefield the war became all about ending slavery and reunifying the states. Just 8 months after the war ended the 13 amendment freed slaves once and for all.

12/7/2009 9:53:06 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 7, 1941

A day that will forever live in infamy as the Japanese awake the sleeping giant and bring the United States fully into World War II after attacking Pearl Harbor. After many bitter sentiments during from World War I and an isolationist attitude by most American’s it was not until the United States homeland was attacked did people in the masses support American’s going off to fight another foreign war. December 7 was a huge tragedy as more than 2,000 people were killed with little or no defense put up against the surprise attack. The Pacific fleet was devastated but the prized aircraft carriers were not in port and the Japanese did not destroy the oil fields. American citizens from across the spectrum now where out for revenge and this revenge would come both to the Germans and Japanese. World War II awoke the sleeping giant and by the end of the war the world would have a super power that could only be matched by the Soviet Union.

12/8/2009 3:39:58 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 8, 1941

The United States declare war on Japan on this day. President Roosevelt gave his infamous 10 minute speech to the House of Representatives and within one hour a declaration of war of signed. The key to the United States war machine was turned on and there was no looking back.

12/9/2009 9:39:49 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 9, 1992

Amid the humanitarian crisis Operation Restore Hope landed in Somalia on this day. A United Nations resolution led by the United States and George Bush to relieve the suffering in Somalia brought on by Civil War. The United States nor the United Nations could effectively stop the violence or end the Civil War. The United States pulled out after the widely publicized incident referred to in the movie Black Hawk Down. The 1993 Battle of Mogadishu quickly escalated when a Black Hawk helicopter was shot down leading to the most intense action the United States had faced since Vietnam. The Somalia incident changed Bill Clinton policy in that fact that the United States would not get involved into third world conflicts as it had once did.

12/10/2009 11:38:48 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 10, 1898

On this day the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the Spanish-American War. The United States gained control over Puerto Rico, Philippines, Cuban and Guam. The Spanish-American war only last a few months but was full politics like most wars. Cuba started the war with demands for independence from Spain and the United States supported due to politics. Soon the other annexed countries from Spain were also involved.

12/11/2009 8:35:00 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 11, 1941

Germany declares war on the United States, giving FDR the last piece of the puzzle he needed. Japan wanted Germany to declare war on the United States as to divided its forces but Germany’s military leaders were not so fast however Hitler’s ego would not pass up this opportunity as he believed the United States was already in the European war attacking his U-boats. Hitler was surprised and very excited about the attack on Pearl Harbor as he believed they could wipe out the U.S. then help him with the Russian’s. However the United States was underestimated by the Axis powers and U.S. war machine would be fully online.

12/12/2009 9:07:20 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 12, 1806

Stand Watie is born on this day, he was the only Indian to achieve a rank of General during the Civil War. Born in Georigia, Watie was constantly pressured to move West by the whites and follow the Trail of Tears that most of his common Cherokee Indians followed. Ironically Watie was on the side of the Confederates and fought heavily against his own people during the Civil War.

12/13/2009 9:29:22 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 13, 2003

Saddam Hussein is captured on this day in a hole in the ground. The United States invaded Iraq in March of 2003 due to the threat Hussein played in the world. Hussein ruled from 1979 to 2003. He played a large role in the Ba’ath Part coup in 1968 to dispose the government. He soon masterminded a plan to become the ultimate dictator of Iraq ruling with fear and violence. Saddam survived the Iran and Iraq war of the 1980’s and the Persian Gulf war of 1991.

12/14/2009 11:00:20 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 14, 1799

General of Army and President George Washington died on this day. Washington became the leader of the Continental Army in 1775 and the first United States President in 1789. Washington established many of the traditions that today’s presidents still follow. Washington got his start by applying for a command before he had any experience but due to his charisma and his brother, he was made Major of a Virginia militia at age 20. Washington made several attempts to get a commission in the regular army but was unsuccessful. He then married a wealthy widow Martha who gave him the resources he needed. He led a prestigious life until the American Revolution started. Washington showed up at the second continental congress in full military dress and the rest became history.

12/15/2009 10:06:17 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 15, 1945

General Douglas MacArthur ends the Japanese state religion of Shintoism on this day. Shinto was the belief that the emperor was God essentially meaning that everyone must follow his every word. This is rarely seen in the history books how the United States successfully eliminated a national religion, created a democracy and over 60 years later the Japanese thrive. Democracy could not co-exist with King at the table so that is why it was done. Many countries have fought for 1,000’s of years over religion but in this one case, religion was changed and the people thrived. May give some hope for all the religious wars currently being fought.

12/16/2009 4:21:29 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 16, 1944

Battle of the Bulge was started on this day when Germany began a counter offensive. The Allies were winning the war and many even thought it would be over by Christmas however Hitler thought differently. As the United States was being over confident, German forces in total secrecy began the largest American fought battle of World War II in the Ardennes forest. Germany wanted to hit the weakest point and split allied forces so that they could be enveloped to force a peace treaty. The Allies were hugely could off guard and unprepared while the German offensive quickly made a huge bulge in the Allied lines. Due to overcast skies and troops in the wrong place, Germany inflicted heavy causalities on the Allies. However the Allies stood fast, reacted, and when the skies opened up the combined air and ground assault eliminated the bulge and Hitler’s hope of any victory. The battle lasted over a month and had the allies on their heals for the first weeks. Band of Brothers 101st Airborne became even more famous as they sucessfully held Bastogne being fully encircled by the Germans.

12/17/2009 9:15:21 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 17, 1903

The Wright Brothers take flight and become the first people to take the air in a powered airplane on this day. After many years of perfecting gliders the Wright Brothers were ambitious enough to make the Wright Flyer I which is credited as the first ever airplane. Not only did they build the airplane themselves but everything else like the propellers and aluminum engine. Their propellers were so perfect that modern wood propellers are only a few percentages points more efficient. The Wright Flyer flew three times in the Outer Banks before a gust of wind flipped it over, the longest flight being 200 feet and 10 feet off the ground. With the limited distances many newspapers did not take them seriously or made up grander stories. The brothers were unfunded by the government and chose to make airplanes their lives instead of bicycles. They created an airstrip near their home so that they could easily work on it. Ohio weather proved more challenges but by 1904 the Wrights were flying in circles constantly beating their previous flights. In 1905 a new Flyer was built with the main controls none to modern airplanes, pitch, yaw, and roll. Soon making some more design changes the Wrights now had a plane that could fly for over 30 minutes and now knew they had a design that could be sold. The brothers did not want press as they wanted secrecy and for this lack of press many people did not believe they actually did it. After more than two years (no flights) working to establish some patents and a government contract the Wrights were ready to show the world what they had done was not a lie. In 1908 in France Wilbur showed the public they could fly and all the doubters were silenced.

12/18/2009 10:56:06 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 18, 1916

World War I battle of Verdun finally ends after a million casualties on this day. Verdun would become the symbol of the horrific trench warfare fought during the Great War. New weapons and gas were used to make killing more efficient and with both sides evenly matched a stalemate of death drug on for numerous months before Germany finally was worn down. It was because of battles like this that World War II was fought with much different tactics and why many people chose to be isolationist instead of engaging in World War II.

12/19/2009 10:03:42 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 19, 1941

Hitler takes over command of the German army as the invincible German’s begin their slow fall on this day. Initial the Germany army could not be matched but once the Russian winter set in on the Eastern front the German war machine was stopped in its tracks. Hitler was not in touch with reality and removed his officers and took command. The German’s would suffer a huge moral defeat along with massive casualties as the Soviet’s unite against the invaders.

12/20/2009 9:59:54 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 20, 1989

Operation Just Cause commences on this day as the United States invades Panama. After the election where Manuel Noriega candidate lost, Noriega nullified the election and took control. President Bush was provoked by the media and the death of US service man in Panama. On January 3, Noriega was captured and the dictator was disposed. There was a lot of damage inflicted during the invasion and after it was over the Panamanians looted their own country which led to some animosity to the United States for freeing their country.

12/21/2009 12:09:50 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 21, 1945

On this day the great charismatic leader George S. Patton dies in a car accident. Following a family of very successful army officers, Patton was destined to server in the Army. Patton was involved in what seemed to be a very minor accident on December 9 near Mannheim, Germany. His vehicle ran into a truck at low speed and no one was injured except Patton had hit his head on a piece of metal in the back seat causing a major spinal injury and paralysis. Patton was buried with his men in Hamm, Luxembourg. General Patton served in the World War I and was a crucial part of the United States development of the tank and how to use it effectively in battle. He quickly rose the ranks and was a key General in North Africa and Europe. His ego, his need for self glorification, and his politically incorrect actions often led to him getting into trouble and sometimes losing his command. Nonetheless the General George S. Patton was key in helping the United States end the war in Europe and stop the Nazi proliferation.

12/22/2009 10:25:40 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 22, 1944

With the 101st surrounded during the Battle of the Bulge in a small town of Bastogne the German’s demand the forces surrender. This is when the infamous line is sent to the German’s, “To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" by Anthony McAuliffe. The German’s did not understand it and needed translation but the American soldiers understood it and it became a rallying cry for the forces. The German’s threatened annihilation if surrender was not given but the German’s could not put up the offensive. Soon American reinforcements would come and put an end to the siege allowing the United States to win a key battle in the Battle of the Bulge marking a huge turning point in the favor of the Allies.

12/23/2009 9:25:15 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 23, 1939

Aircraft designer Anthony Fokker died on this day. Fokker was born in Indonesia, grew up in the Netherlands, and moved to Germany where his passion would take fruit. Inspired by the Wright’s exhibits of flying, Fokker would go to school for flying and soon make his first airplane. At age 22, 1912 Fokker had his own company and was making planes. Soon World War I would start and Fokker would lose his factory to the German war machine but still maintained control which allowed him to build numerous planes. Fokker is most famous for being credited with inventing the a mechanism which allowed planes to shoot through the propeller for the German’s. When Germany lost the war, Fokker returned to the Netherlands, then moved to the United States in 1922 to open up Atlantic operations.

12/24/2009 10:04:10 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 24, 1814

On this day a peace treaty was signed to end the War of 1812 with the British. Since the treaty was signed in the Netherlands it took weeks for the war to actually stop as new travelled very slowly. The treaty essentially brought out no change from the pre-war situation which is what the United States was looking to achieve. This would be the last time American’s would fight the British as soon Napoleon would start more wars in Europe and the United States was left alone by foreign powers.

12/24/2009 10:15:03 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 25, 1914

On Christmas Day a temporary truce was made in parts of the Western Front as German soldier’s approached no man’s land without weapons as a gesture of goodwill. World War I had just begun and trench warfare had already taken shape. Although short lived the friendly exchange between soldiers would be the last recorded in history has officers considered the idea as insubordinate.

12/26/2009 12:31:17 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 26, 1861

Confederate diplomats Slidell and Mason are freed by President Lincoln in the midst of Civil War on this day. The Union captured a Confederate ship on its way to Britain to try to get support. Once the British found out, it gave an ultimatum to the Union to release the prisoners or war could be upon them. President Lincoln took the ultimatum seriously and released the diplomats thus avoiding Britain from backing the confederacy and maintaining the British out of the United States since the War of 1812.

12/27/2009 4:00:52 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 27, 1979

Soviets begin their takeover of Afghanistan thus starting a war that would last 10 years. With the support of the United States via secrets supplies, the Afghans were able to beat the Russians and cost them dearly.

12/28/2009 1:56:42 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 28, 1941

On this day a request was made to create Construction Battalions in the Navy on this day. They would be called Seabees after the initials C. B. The Seabees were professional construction units which also had to be infantry man. They were used to build airstrips, roads, and demolition. More than a quarter million men served in the Seabees during World War II.

12/29/2009 11:41:30 AM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 29, 1890

The bloody massacre of Wounded Knee occurred on this day. The last of the Lakota were to be sent to Nebraska from Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota. The 7th Cavalry had orders to round up the remaining and put them on a train, one man was not interested in giving up his rifle which spawned a scuffle which quickly escalated into a close range gun fight. The Army shot women, children, and men indiscriminately. They also hunted and killed unarmed Indians who scattered. 25 soldiers (some believe from friendly fire) and 150 Indians died that day because the whites wanted the land. Ironically the most Medal of Honor’s were awarded on this day for the killing of children and women. A sad day in history for the Army but the 19th century was much different than today’s civilized 21st century United States; however actions like this still occur throughout the world.

12/30/2009 12:23:28 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 30 2006

Saddam Hussein is hung on this day by the Iraqi’s. After decades of murder and genocide the United States finally captured Hussein in 2003 after the second gulf war. Hussein essentially won the first gulf was as he stayed in power. However it cost the United States thousands of good soldiers to do it, hopefully it was worth the cost.

12/31/2009 4:56:29 PM
MWH
MWH

Joined: 02/12/2008
Posts: 346 Ohio
December 31, 1880

General George C. Marshall is born on this day. Marshall served in World War I and went on to follow General Pershing. Before World War II Marshall had achieved the rank of General and became Chief of Staff. He was known for centralizing command and making the military efficient. After the war and as a civilian Marshall became even more well know for the Marshall Plan which provided stimulus to Europe in order to support democracy.

8/31/2016 3:08:41 AM
hannamarin
hannamarin

Joined: 08/31/2016
Posts: 1
thanks for raising such a topic! http://bigpaperwriter.com/blog/declaration-of-independence-day has some information about the declaration of the independance day of the US!