Posts Tagged ‘Bambi

13
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-13-2008: The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain begins

On this day in 1940, German aircraft begin the bombing of southern England, and the Battle of Britain, which will last until October 31, begins.

The Germans called it “the Day of the Eagle,” the first day of the Luftwaffe’s campaign to destroy the RAF, the British Royal Air Force, and knock out British radar stations, in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, the amphibious invasion of Britain. Almost 1,500 German aircraft took off the first day of the air raid, and 45 were shot down. Britain lost 13 fighters in the air and another 47 on the ground. But most important for the future, the Luftwaffe managed to take out only one radar station, on the Isle of Wight, and damage five others. This was considered more trouble than it was worth by Herman Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe, who decided to forgo further targeting of British radar stations because “not one of those attacked so far has been put out of operation.”

Historians agree that this was a monumental mistake on the part of the Germans. Had Goering and the Luftwaffe persisted in attacking British radar, the RAF would not have been able to get the information necessary to successfully intercept incoming German bombers. “Here, early in the battle, we get a glimpse of fuddled thinking at the highest level in the German camp,” comments historian Peter Fleming. Even the Blitz, the intensive and successive bombing of London that would begin in the last days of the Battle of Britain, could not compensate for such thinking. There would be no Operation Sea Lion. There would be no invasion of Britain. The RAF would not be defeated.

“The Battle of Britain begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6550.

 

On This Day

1792 – French revolutionaries took the entire French royal family and imprisoned them.

1846 – The American Flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles, CA.

1907 – The first taxicab started on the streets of New York City.

1932 – Adolf Hitler refused to take the post of vice-chancellor of Germany. He said he was going to hold out “for all or nothing.”

1942 – Walt Disney’s “Bambi” opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY.

1960 – “Echo I,” a balloon satellite, allowed the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite to take place.

1961 – Berlin was divided by a barbed wire fence to halt the flight of refugees. Two days later work on the Berlin Wall began.

1994 – It was reported that aspirin not only helps reduce the risk of heart disease, but also helps prevent colon cancer.

 

Aztec capital falls to CortÉs

After a three-month siege, Spanish forces under HernÁn CortÉs capture TenochtitlÁn, the capital of the Aztec empire. CortÉs’ men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor.

TenochtitlÁn was founded in 1325 A.D. by a wandering tribe of hunters and gatherers on islands in Lake Texcoco, near the present site of Mexico City. In only one century, this civilization grew into the Aztec empire, largely because of its advanced system of agriculture. The empire came to dominate central Mexico and by the ascendance of Montezuma II in 1502 had reached its greatest extent, extending as far south as perhaps modern-day Nicaragua. At the time, the empire was held together primarily by Aztec military strength, and Montezuma II set about establishing a bureaucracy, creating provinces that would pay tribute to the imperial capital of TenochtitlÁn. The conquered peoples resented the Aztec demands for tribute and victims for the religious sacrifices, but the Aztec military kept rebellion at bay.

“Aztec capital falls to CortÉs.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:51 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5257.

Patriots ambush Loyalists as French set sail

On this day in 1781, Patriot forces led by Colonel William Harden and Brigadier General Francis Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox,” lure British commander Major Thomas Fraser and his 450 soldiers into an ambush at Parker’s Ferry, 30 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, 3,000 soldiers set sail with the French fleet on their way to aid the Patriot cause.

Fraser’s command consisted of 450 Loyalists who had begun an uprising in the region. Marion, who earned his nickname for his ability to “outfox” his opponents in the swamps of the South Carolina backcountry, sent his fastest riders ahead to tempt Fraser into a waiting Patriot trap. The maneuver succeeded. Fraser ordered his men to charge, and three successive volleys of musket fire by the Patriots mowed down the ranks of the Loyalist cavalry. Only a shortage of ammunition among the Patriots saved the Loyalists, who lost half their force in the skirmish. Fraser himself was hit three times in the course of the engagement, but managed to continue in command of his men.

“Patriots ambush Loyalists as French set sail.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:53 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50693.

Deep Bottom Run campaign begins

Sensing a weakness in the Confederate defenses around Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, Union General Ulysses S. Grant seeks to break the siege of Petersburg by concentrating his force against one section of the Rebel trenches. However, Grant miscalculated, and the week-long operation that began on August 13 failed to penetrate the Confederate defenses.

Grant was operating on the information that General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, was sending part of his force to the Shenandoah Valley to support General Jubal Early, who had spent the summer fending off Union forces and threatening Washington, D.C. Without realizing that this information was false, Grant believed that a section of the Confederate trenches around Deep Bottom Run, between Richmond and Petersburg, was now lightly defended.

Grant shipped parts of three corps north across the James River on August 13. Led by General Winfield Scott Hancock, the plan called for a series of attacks along the Confederate fortifications. Beginning on August 14, the Yankees tried for six days to find a weakness. Although a Union force broke through at Fussell’s Mill, a lack of reinforcements left the Federals vulnerable to a Confederate attack, and the Rebels quickly restored the broken line.

The campaign cost 3,000 Union casualties and about 1,500 for the Confederates. The Southern defensive network, stretching over 20 miles, remained intact, but the failed operation prevented Lee from shipping troops to Early in the Shenandoah; Early would soon face defeat at the hands of a larger Union force commanded by General Philip Sheridan.

“Deep Bottom Run campaign begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:55 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2282.

 

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Winston Churchill

Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.
Winston Churchill

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