Battle of Bladensburg, August 24, 1814

Battle of Bladensburg

Editor: Michael Spilling and Consultant Editor: Chris McNab

American Battles and Campaigns – Battle of Bladensburg, August 24, 1814

After Napoleon’s exile, Britain directed considerable resources into the ongoing war in North America. Around 2500 of Wellington’s regulars joined a force of 20 warships in an attack up the Chesapeake Bay directly into the central United States. The American defenses included a flotilla of gunboats and a few forts, the one at Mount Vernon being blown up by its own garrison when the British approached. Admirals Alexander Cochrane and George Cockburn sought profitable looting of Virginia tobacco, the crushing of Maryland privateering and the destruction of the US capital at Washington. American resistance varied from the heroic to the wildly incompetent, perfectly exemplified at this battle, when 4000 regulars marched through Maryland towards Washington. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Weird Ways to Die in Florida: FDR’s Assassin Giuseppe Zangara

Death

by Craig Pittman

Giuseppe “Joe” Zangara: FDR’s Assassin

In my time covering courts, I tracked down the grave of Giuseppe “Joe” Zangara, a bricklayer who in 1933 tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin Roosevelt after a speech at Miami’s Bayfront Park. Zangara was unstable, in more ways than one. He perched on a metal folding chair twenty-five feet from the car where FDR sat. As he took aim, he yelled, “Too many people are starving!” and emptied his pistol. Read more ›

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Posted in Modern History

The First Barbary War 1801–05

First Barbary War

Editor: Michael Spilling and Consultant Editor: Chris McNab

American Battles and Campaigns – First Barbary War 1801–05

The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitanian War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars between the United States and the four North African states known collectively as the “Barbary States”. Three of these were nominal provinces of the Ottoman Empire, but in practice autonomous: Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis. The fourth was the independent Sultanate of Morocco. The cause of the war was pirates from the Barbary States seizing American merchant ships and holding the crews for ransom, demanding the U.S. pay tribute to the Barbary rulers. United States President Thomas Jefferson refused to pay this tribute. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Lt. General (Ret) Michael T. Flynn: The Mistakes of the Iraq War

Michael T. Flynn

by Lt. General (Ret) Michael T. Flynn and Michael Ledeen

Lt. General (Ret.) Michael T. Flynn spent 33 years as an intelligence officer. Before he was terminated from government service, he served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Senior Military Intelligence Officer in the Department of Defense. He has since run for Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential nominee and now gives his account of the mistakes of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Read more ›

Posted in Military History

The Siege of Yorktown, 28 Sep–19 Oct 1781

The Battle of Yorktown

Editor: Michael Spilling and Consultant Editor: Chris McNab

American Battles and Campaigns – The Siege of Yorktown, 28 Sep–19 Oct 1781

The final decisive major battle of the war, the siege of Yorktown established both the collapse of the British ‘Southern Strategy’ and Prime Minister Lord North’s ability to prosecute the war further. After a series of reverses and costly battles in the Carolinas, plus the hoped-for masses of loyalists not flocking in vast numbers to his army, British Gen Charles Cornwallis shifted his 7000 remaining troops into Virginia, having sent 2000 to the New York area in response to George Washington’s plans to assault the main British foothold in the colonies. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History
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