Historia militar - [PDF Document] (2024)

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (1)

0 74470 02360 9

1 1

$5.99US $6.99CAN


tis 0










e 16, No. 3


Battle of the BulgeBATTLE OF MONOCACY

Confederates’ Costly Victory

Viking Raiders!Daniel Morgan’s Deadly Riflemen



M-Nov14 C-1_M-Jun03 C-1 B 9/26/14 11:35 AM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (2)

W-Schiffer FP Oct14_Layout 1 9/4/14 6:52 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (3)

M-Chicago Press FP Nov14_Layout 1 9/4/14 6:54 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (4)

November 2014

Military Heritage (ISSN 1524-8666) is published bimonthly by Sovereign Media, 6731 Whittier Ave., Suite A-100, McLean VA 22101-4554 (703) 964-0361. Periodical postage PAID at McLean, VA, and additional mailing offices. Military Heritage, Volume 16, Number 3 © 2014 by Sovereign MediaCompany, Inc., all rights reserved. Copyrights to stories and illustrations are the property of their creators. The contents of this publication may not bereproduced in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner. Subscription Services, back issues, and Information: 1(800) 219-1187 or writeto Military Heritage Circulation, Military Heritage, P.O. Box 1644, Williamsport, PA 17703. Single copies: $5.99, plus $3 for postage. Yearly subscrip-tion in U.S.A.: $18.95; Canada and Overseas: $30.95 (U.S.). Editorial Office: Send editorial mail to Military Heritage, 6731 Whittier Ave., Suite A-100,McLean VA 22101-4554. Military Heritage welcomes editorial submissions but assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of unsolicited material.Material to be returned should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We suggest that you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for acopy of our author’s guidelines. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Military Heritage, P.O. Box 1644, Williamsport, PA 17703.



A German SS soldier, photographed during the opening hours of the Battle of the Bulge.This is one of a series of photographs from a German camera recoved by Americans duringthe battle. See story page 24. Photo: National Archives



f e a t u r e s24 BASTOGNE MUST FALLBy Mike PhiferIn his offensive gamble in the Ardennes in late 1944, Hitler gave the German 5th PanzerArmy just 72 hours to reach the Meuse River. But he failed to factor in American grit.

32 “A MURDEROUS FIRE OF MUSKETRY”By William E. WelshLew Wallace scraped together a Union army to contest Jubal Early’s crossing of theMonocacy River on July 9, 1864. The day-long battle bought precious time to preparethe capital against the Confederate raid.

40 RACE TO VICTORYBy John ProtasioBritish warships converged on a flotilla of German destroyers at Heligoland Bight onAugust 28, 1914. During the encounter, Vice Admiral David Beatty’s battle cruisers inflicted substantial damage on the Germans.

46 FRENCH FIASCO AT DETTINGENBy David A. NorrisThe Duc de Noailles laid a clever trap for the allied army at Dettingen, but one French general’s folly turned near certain defeat for King George II into a resounding allied victory.

54 NORTHERN FOEBy Louis CiotolaThe western Vikings were ruthlessly efficient warriors. As such, they were universallyfeared by those they preyed on for 300 years.

c o l u m n s6 EDITORIAL







M-Nov14 TOC_M-June06 TOC 6 9/5/14 11:53 AM Page 4

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (5)

M-Bradford FP Nov14_Layout 1 9/4/14 6:51 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (6)

e d i t o r i a le d i t o r i a l

6 Military Heritage November 2014

Vikings had the tools and traits to succeed.

Lindisfarne in the same category as natural dis-asters and believed, as they did with all disas-ters, that it was a punishment for transgressionsagainst God. It was the first of many such dis-asters for the Anglo-Saxons, as the Vikingseventually swept through all of Britain, leavingonly Wessex unconquered.

The passage of nearly 10,000 years since theend of the Viking Age makes it difficult for usto say with a high degree of accuracy much ofanything about the Vikings. Some aspects oftheir style and means of warfare are knownwell enough to get a reasonable idea of thataspect. What cloaks their deeds is not only thelimited amount of primary source documenta-tion available to us, but also the shortage ofarchaeological evidence.

How they fought is understood well enough,but why the western Vikings, those from mod-ern-day Denmark and Norway, expanded sorapidly remains a continuing realm of studyand debate. For almost three centuries, fromthe Lindisfarne raid to the Battle of StamfordBridge in 1066, the western Vikings plunderedthe British Isles, Frisia, Frankish lands, andother realms.

Medieval writers believed that the Vikingswere bigger and stronger than other peoples.They also believed that climactic changes madeit difficult for the Vikings to sustain themselves,which compelled them to plunder abroad.These theories have been proven wrong.

Like a river has many tributaries, so does therise of the western Vikings and their invasionshave many factors. One is that a long traditionof piracy existed in Scandinavia. Another is thatinheritance laws favoring eldest sons forcedyounger sons to seek fortune abroad. Yetanother is the technological advance of theViking ship, or longboat, which facilitated fast-moving seaborne raids.

The Vikings were unequalled at the time asseafaring men, and their longships were a keyfactor in their success. With their ornately

carved prows, their oars and square-riggedsails, their long keels and shallow drafts, thelongships were the perfect vessel to swoopdown on unsuspecting and vulnerable coastaland river settlements.

Generally less than 100 feet long, with about16 oars on each side, and bearing crews of 60to 90 men, the oak-plank longships could landon beaches and could carry their crews farinland. A small raid might involve as few as ahalf dozen ships. A large expedition in the lat-ter days of the Viking Age required several hun-dred ships. Of particular note was the epic raidthat began in AD 859 in which the Vikingssailed through the Straits of Gibraltar andfought their way 200 kilometers up the RhoneRiver to Valence.

Besides their supremacy at sea, the Vikingsalso were successful in land warfare. The west-ern Vikings benefited from strong leadership,and they exhibited great courage and resource-fulness. The element of surprise, which wasenabled through the stealth-like characteristicsof their long ships, also contributed substan-tially to their success. They fought on land pri-marily hand to hand with double-edged swordsfor slashing and battleaxes. They used roundshields, helmets, and leather jackets or mail forprotection. Although they engaged mostly inraids and skirmishes, a few large battlesoccurred, such as Brunanburh (937), Maldon(991), and Clontarf (1014).

The western Vikings were polytheistic; Norsereligion was a subset of Germanic paganism.The gradual conversion of the Vikings to Chris-tianity in the 10th century heralded an end totheir previously separate and unique politicaland religious identity. But their influence was byno means marginalized by this, for by that timethey had settled in many areas, such as north-ern France and Sicily, where they wouldbecome assimilated with other peoples andhave a profound effect on the course of Euro-pean history in the centuries that followed.

“THE WOEFUL INROADS OF HEATHEN MEN MADE LAMENTABLEhavoc in the Church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and slaughter,”reads the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, referring to the savage sacking ofthe island monastery off the coast of Northumbria in ad 793.

Like a fast-moving storm, the Vikings began raiding northern Britain, Scotland,and Ireland in the last decade of the 8th century. Medieval writers put the raid on

M-Nov14 Editorial_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:38 PM Page 6

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (7)

November 2014 Military Heritage 7



Editorial Director, Founder





Contributors:Louis Ciotola, William F. Floyd, Jr., Don

Hollway, Joseph Luster, ChristopherMiskimon, David A. Norris, Mike Phifer,

John Protasio, Simon Rees


BEN BOYLESAdvertising Manager

[emailprotected](570) 322-7848, ext. 130


Chief Executive Officer

JANINE MILLERSubscription Customer Services


KEN FORNWALTData Processing Director


SOVEREIGN MEDIA COMPANY, INC.6731 Whittier Ave., Suite A-100

McLean, VA 22101-4554


2406 Reach RoadWilliamsport, PA 17701

(800) 219-1187PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.



M-Nov14 Editorial_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:11 PM Page 7

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (8)

8 Military Heritage November 2014

Born in New Jersey, in 1736, intothe lower rungs of society, Morganleft home in 1753 after a domesticdispute with his father. He eventu-ally ended up working as a wagonerin the frontier regions of Virginia.He was strong, muscular, and justover six feet tall. By 1755, he wasunder contract to transport suppliesin Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock’sexpedition against the French-heldFort Duquesne that culminated inthe disaster of Monongahela. It wasduring this period that the alterca-tion with the British lieutenantoccurred, with Morgan sentenced to500 lashes. He later claimed to haveremained conscious throughout andeven noted a miscount, with 499

and not 500 blows received. This isprobably an embellishment, forstriking an officer was a seriousoffense and the punishment wouldhave been carried out with preci-sion. White lie or not, the storywould help cement closer ties withhis men in the years to come.

Morgan quickly recovered andvolunteered to serve with a com-pany of Virginia rangers. On oneoccasion when delivering dis-patches, he was ambushed byNative Americans. An enemy mus-ket ball struck him below the jawand exited through his left cheek,smashing both bone and teeth.Somehow Morgan remained in hissaddle, spun his horse around, and

bolted for safety before his enemiescould follow up their surprise. Histraveling companion was less fortu-nate, having been killed instantly.

By 1758, Morgan was working asa wagoner once more but often usinghis spare time to ill effect at a tavernnear Winchester, Virginia, engagingin brawls and fist fights. He was alsobecoming a familiar face with themagistrates. However, by 1763, Abi-gail Curry was living with him andhad helped calm his wilder side. Thecouple soon had two children, whichprompted Morgan to focus on busi-ness and self-education. He thrivedas a result and, by 1774, he had mar-ried Abigail, owned 225 acres offarmland, held 10 slaves, and hadsub-leased his wagon. He was alsocaptain of a local militia unit andinvolved in the colony of Virginia’scampaign against the Shawnee and


to cut this impudent American wagoner down to size with the flat of his sword. But

as a lesson in British Army discipline it proved an abject failure; the frontiersman

responded by smashing a well-aimed fist into the officer’s face, leaving him sprawled

in the dirt. Welcome to the world of Daniel Morgan.

s ol d i e r s

Frontiersman and American RevolutionaryWar hero Daniel Morgan repeatedly bloodied British noses.

B y S i m o n R e e s

BELOW: Daniel Morgan is

visible on horseback, in the

center behind blue-coated

Continentals, at the Battle of

Cowpens fought January 17,

1781. Cowpens essentially

marked the end of Morgan’s

fighting career.

RIGHT: Charles Wilson

Peale’s portrait of Morgan.

s ol d i e r sU

.S. A







l Par


M-Nov14 Soldiers_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:32 PM Page 8

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (9)

Warfare History Network has created these e-Books andis making them available to you free with no stringsattached. Well, actually there’s one string attached. Whenyou download any or all of these free e-Books we’ll signyou up as a member of the Warfare History Network,and the good news is that’s also completely free.

Warfare History Network is the official web portal ofMILITARY HERITAGE, WWII HISTORY MAGAZINE, WWIIQUARTERLY, and CIVIL WAR QUARTERLY. As a member ofWarfare History Network you’ll have access to all of thefresh, in-depth perspectives on a wide variety of topicsincluding battles, weapons, leaders, strategy, and more.All written by the top experts in the field.

As a member of Warfare History Network you’ll haveaccess to hundreds of military history articles from thearchives of our magazines, you’ll be able to download anyand all of our free e-Books, plus you’ll receive WARFARE

HISTORY DAILY, our free email newsletter to bring youimportant new facts and insights, all at absolutely no costto you.

There’s no cost, no risk, and no obligation to buy anything.

Download your free e-Books today at:


From the publishers of MILITARY HERITAGE Magazine

Get these authoritative e-Book Publicationsfrom the Warfare History Network

absolutely FREE!

Warfare Network ad - MH_Layout 1 9/5/14 11:44 AM Page 1

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (10)

10 Military Heritage November 2014

Mingo in 1774, which was known as LordDunmore’s War.

A year later, the colonies finally took up armsagainst the British Crown. In building up theContinental Army, the Second ContinentalCongress requested that Virginia raise two riflecompanies, one eventually selected to comefrom Frederick County, Virginia, which wasMorgan’s home. With his status and militaryexperience, the “Old Wagoner,” as he wassometimes called, was the obvious choice tolead the unit, and on July 15, 1775, he departedWinchester for Cambridge, Massachusetts,with 96 chosen men. From there they were sentto assist the rebel siege of nearby Boston.

Dressed in buckskins and armed with Amer-ican long rifles, Morgan’s men were phenome-nal shots for the age, frequently able to hit aseven-inch target at 250 yards. The long rifleachieved much of its effectiveness through theuse of grooved barreling that added spin to abullet. But it came with two important caveats:it took longer to reload than the smoothboremusket, and it needed a pair of skilled hands toachieve the best results.

Not long after joining the siege of Boston,Morgan’s unit was selected for another mission.The unit would join two Pennsylvania-raisedrifle companies under the command of ColonelBenedict Arnold, who had planned an auda-cious attack on Quebec City via the Mainewilderness. Arnold’s expedition eventuallytotalled 1,050 men and was undertaken in tan-dem with Brig. Gen. Richard Montgomery’sadvance on Montreal.

The expedition departed Fort Western,Maine, on September 25. Morgan was in chargeof the vanguard, whose main job was to clearthe way ahead, a task that became a fearsomeendurance test as the men struggled each day toportage their boats across unforgiving terrain.By mid-October the weather had turned foul,while supplies were running dangerously lowand dysentery was becoming increasingly rife.Worse news came when Lt. Col. Roger Enos’sunit elected to withdraw. Arnold’s army thenentered an icy, waterlogged hell between theKennebec and Chaudière Rivers, with severalmen dying from exposure and many others,now starving, reduced to making broths withbelt or shoe leather. Mercifully, the expeditionleft the wilderness and reached Quebec’s Sarti-gan region by November 3. Only about 650men were left, while Quebec City’s garrisonwould soon reach 1,200 men.

The bulk of Arnold’s forces had successfullycrossed the St Lawrence River and arrivedwithin Quebec City’s environs by mid-Novem-ber. Morgan now argued for an immediatecoup de main but was voted down at a councilof war. Instead, the Americans withdrew justupstream from Quebec City, where they con-tinued to recuperate and waited for Mont-gomery, who was wrapping up his slow butsuccessful Montreal campaign. He arrived onDecember 2, bringing an extra 300 men andsome artillery pieces. Montgomery and Arnoldnow decided to wait for a snowstorm that theycould use as cover to make a surprise assault onthe city using two attack columns.

The storm finally arrived on December 30,raging in full fury by the early hours of Decem-ber 31. Operations started at 4 AM, with Arnoldheading his column’s vanguard. With him camegunners hauling a cannon fixed to a sledge,although the piece was lost to a snowdrift earlyin the movement. Morgan came next with anadditional contingent of riflemen. The Ameri-cans were spotted advancing through the dockarea and, soon afterward, came across anunpleasant surprise. Their way into the lowertown was blocked by a palisade manned byabout 30 defenders. Arnold launched a frontalassault but was hit in the foot by a ricochet andknocked out of action. Morgan immediatelytook over and rushed up a scaling ladder onlyto tumble back down in the face of a raggedvolley. He was unscathed, save for powderburns to his face. Undaunted, he clamberedback up, vaulted over the parapet, and man-aged to avoid the incoming bayonets. Thedefenders soon lost heart and promptly sur-rendered.

The Old Wagoner now reconnoitered aheadand found a second barrier, albeit unguarded.He raced back and urged an immediate assault.Instead of heeding the advice, his brother offi-cers debated the situation and concluded it bestto wait for the rest of the column to catch up.Concern was also voiced that the prisoners justtaken might decide to overpower them. Onecan only imagine Morgan’s bitter frustration atthis point, for his fears proved well-grounded.British and Quebecois units were indeed beingrushed to this vital position.

Finally heading a renewed advance, Morganwas called upon to surrender by a Royal Navyofficer, who had rashly led a contingent ofsailors outside the second palisade. Morganshot him down and, as the British sailors scat-tered, shouted: “Quebec is ours!” The Ameri-cans dashed into heavy fire, but they wereunable to overcome the barrier ahead. Some ofthe Americans tried outflanking the position viaa neighboring house until they were promptlycounterattacked and pushed back. Morgannow ordered the men to occupy other nearbyproperties, hunker down, and fight it out.

Morgan was unaware that Montgomery’scolumn had already disintegrated after its com-mander was killed in front of a blockhouse. Hewas also unaware that the last chance to escapewas fast evaporating as the British had suc-cessfully cleared the dock area and had beenquick to retake the first palisade. They nowsqueezed the Americans between the two pal-isades, crushing their opposition by 10 AM.Morgan was one of the last to cease fighting,only surrendering after being backed into a cor-

Following a Herculean march through the wilds of northern Maine with Colonel Benedict Arnold, Morgan’s riflemen clam-ber over the walls of Quebec under fire from Canadian militia on December 31, 1775. Morgan ultimately was captured inthe disastrous Battle of Quebec.

New York Public Library

M-Nov14 Soldiers_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:32 PM Page 10

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (11)

November 2014 Military Heritage 11

ner by leveled British bayonets. Handing hissword to an enemy officer was an anathema, sohe passed it to a Quebecois priest instead. Theattack had been a disaster: Arnold laterreported 30 dead and 42 wounded, while theBritish would find another 20 American bod-ies during the spring thaw of 1776. They hadalso taken 426 prisoners, including Morgan.

Forced to sit on the sidelines for 1776, theOld Wagoner was paroled and fully exchangedby early 1777. He was also promoted tocolonel and given command of a regiment, the11th Virginia. In June, he was also selected tocommand of the Provisional Rifle Corps, morecommonly known as Morgan’s Rifles, of about500 men including many of his Virginians.Morgan and his men’s main raison d’être wasto scout, flank, and push the enemy’s rearguards, which they did to good effect.

By late summer 1777, Morgan and his menwere ordered north to make their services avail-able to Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, commanderof the Northern Department. Gates was tryingto tackle General John Burgoyne’s army ofabout 7,500 men that had struck deep intoNew York, bagging Fort Ticonderoga on theway and now threatening Albany. On Septem-ber 19, the first major battle between theopposing sides occurred in clearings just

beyond Freeman’s Farm. The opening shotswere fired as British units attempted to deployopposite Morgan’s rifleman, who were makingfull use of a treeline for cover. The Britishwavered and fell back. The Americans chasedafter them until almost colliding with theenemy’s main advance. The riflemen promptlyturned on their heels and raced back for thesafety of the treeline with Morgan using thefrontiersman’s turkey call, “Gobble, gobble,”to rally them.

For the British soldiers, the morale-raisingeffect of this incident was quickly dispelledwhen the unerring and deadly rifle fireresumed. Gunners, officers, and NCOs wereespecially targeted by Morgan’s men, who wereincreasingly supported by other units, particu-larly those under Brig. Gen. Enoch Poor’s com-mand. The tussle for control of the clearingsnow became a prize fight, with the Britishdecidedly having the worst of it. Burgoyne waseventually saved by three factors. His Germanunits were pushing in from the east; Gates waswary of committing to a full battle; and it wasgetting late. The Americans broke off, leavingthe British in command of the field and the win-ners of a Pyrrhic victory with 160 dead, 364wounded, and 42 missing.

Burgoyne returned to his main defensive

positions and pondered his next move. On Sep-tember 22, a message arrived from GeneralHenry Clinton that helped seal his army’s fate.Clinton informed Burgoyne that, if possible, hewould push up the Hudson River with 2,000men in support. In response, Burgoyne orderedhis army to dig in and hold out. It took a cou-ple of weeks for Burgoyne to realize that therewould be no substantial assistance; even if therelief came, it would be too little too late.

Gambling man that he was, Burgoynedecided to roll the dice and give battle again.On October 7, his troops advanced into Bar-ber’s wheatfield not far from Freeman’s Farm.Morgan was on the American left, helping tocontain British efforts to push west. Burgoyneand Brig. Gen. Simon Fraser were instrumentalin steadying British nerves and trying to main-tain some form of momentum. Riding a graymount, Fraser ended up directly across fromMorgan’s position, and the Old Wagonerresponded by ordering a veteran, or possibly anumber of veterans, to take down his opposingnumber. Shortly afterward, Fraser keeled overin his saddle, mortally wounded with an ago-nizing shot to the stomach.

Fraser’s fall shook British resolve, and it wasnot long before an inevitable withdrawalbecame a rapid retreat. Adding to Burgoyne’s

M-Nov14 Soldiers_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:32 PM Page 11

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (12)

12 Military Heritage November 2014

woes, Benedict Arnold then went on to capturethe vital defensive position of Breymann’sRedoubt, assaulting it from the side just asMorgan’s riflemen were also moving in for anattack. British losses that afternoon were grim:278 men dead, 331 wounded, and 285 cap-tured. Soon cut off, Burgoyne surrendered hisarmy on October 17.

From 1777 to 1778, Morgan’s Rifles contin-ued to perform well and were involved in har-rying the British after the Battle of Monmouth.Later on, Morgan learned that a new lightinfantry brigade was being formed and, withsome justification, believed he was the right manfor its command. Thus, he was bitterly disap-pointed on hearing that Anthony Wayne hadbeen given the position. Morgan responded bytaking a furlough and departing for home; how-ever, he might have been grateful for the rest, ascampaigning had left Morgan’s frame plaguedby chronic sciatica and crippling joint pain.

In 1780, Horatio Gates asked for Morgan’sassistance in the southern colonies. Still smart-ing from the snub of 1779, the Old Wagonervoiced concern about seniority and requested apromotion first. This was not just pride cloud-ing judgment, for it would be unwise to forgetQuebec and Morgan’s inability to assert controlat the critical moment. Gates agreed and wroteto Congress asking for a reassessment. Morganthen remained at home until news filteredthrough of Gates’s crushing defeat at the Battleof Camden, South Carolina. This was the joltMorgan needed to put aside his grievances andhead south. He reached Gates at Hillsbor-ough, North Carolina, in early October andtook over the light infantry. Meanwhile, Con-gress had also done the right thing. Morgan’spromotion to brigadier general became effec-tive on October 13.

The Old Wagoner arrived at the main Amer-ican camp at Charlotte, North Carolina, inearly December. He found an army at low ebb,although its new commander, Maj. Gen.Nathanael Greene, was astute and had decidedon a more asymmetric style of warfare. Greenedivided his forces to implement this strategy,well aware of the risks in doing so. Morganentered South Carolina on a mission to disruptand destroy. His core army numbered 600 men,comprising 320 Maryland and Delaware Con-tinentals, 200 Virginia militiamen, who wereactually discharged Continental veterans, and80 Continental dragoons. Morgan’s infantrywas commanded by John Eager Howard, whileWilliam Washington, a distant cousin ofGeorge Washington, headed his cavalry.

By January 1781, Morgan’s men had causedseveral major headaches for the British and

their loyalist supporters. Commanding an armyof roughly 1,150 men, Colonel Banastre Tar-leton was ordered to neutralize this menace,and by January 16 Morgan received news thathis new opponent was closing in fast. Hedecided to head for Thicketty Mountain tomake use of its defensive terrain but stoppedon reaching Cowpens. First, it was fair groundon which to fight, a gently sloping clearing for800 yards north to south and about 300 yardsfrom east to west. Second, Morgan’s menwould be rested while Tarleton’s would befatigued. Third, it allowed militia units to con-verge on Morgan’s position, with the arrival ofBrig. Gen. Andrew Pickens and his men a par-ticularly welcome addition.

American numbers have created greatdebate, with historians giving figures that rangebetween 800 and 1,900 men. Morgan himselfreported 800 men in a post-battle letter toGreene. Whatever the numbers, the Old Wag-oner was particularly worried about hisunproven militia units and so formulated amost irregular plan. A screen of riflemen wouldbe deployed about 300 yards ahead of the mainline under Lt. Col. John Eager Howard andwould ensure an early start to the bloodletting.The riflemen then would fall back to a secondposition under Pickens’s command that was150 yards ahead of the main line. At that spotthey would find militiamen tasked to deliverjust two volleys before they also fell back

behind Howard’s men as support. Morgan spent the night of January 16-17 cir-

culating among the campfires of his men, out-lining his objectives, and offering words ofencouragement. It also is said he would lift hisshirt to show the men the scars on his back andquip that King George still owed him the lastlash. Early on the morning of January 17, heroused his army and rode among his troops toreiterate what was required of them. At 6:45AM, the British appeared, with the riflemenstarting their harassing fire not long afterward.Tarleton responded by ordering about 50British Legion horsem*n to push forward andscout ahead. Within minutes, 15 of their num-ber were dead from rifle fire.

Ignoring this poor start, Tarleton rushed hislead units into advancing. Just as Morgan hadhoped, the British were going to make a frontalassault and, as ordered, the riflemen pulled backto Pickens’s line. The militiamen delivered theirtwo rough volleys and caused a fair degree ofdamage, although the redcoats were quick toreform and replied with a far more impressivevolley. Although some in the militia were left rat-tled, the withdrawal was nonetheless conductedin comparatively good order. Washington’stroopers also rushed in to cover them whenthreatened by an enemy cavalry contingent.

Tarleton now inadvertently upset Morgan’splans by targeting his next advance on theAmerican right. Howard responded by order-

Morgan directs his riflemen to fire on the British during the Battle of Saratoga. One of Morgan’s men concealed in thetreetops has just fired the shot that mortally wounded British Brig. Gen. Simon Fraser in the action at Bemis Heights onOctober 7.


M-Nov14 Soldiers_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:32 PM Page 12

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (13)

November 2014 Military Heritage 13

ing a Virginia company under Captain AndrewWallace to pull back slightly and prepare itselfto meet the threat. However, the command wasmisinterpreted and instead initiated a calmwithdraw down the line. Morgan galloped overand helped fix a new position just beyond a riseand, at 7:45 AM, he thundered along shouting:“Face about, boys! Give them one good fire,and the victory is ours!”

The British believed the American with-drawal was the start of a retreat and rapidlyadvanced over the crest in the expectation of aglorious victory. Instead, they found Howard’smen waiting in good order, muskets raised, andpoised to fire. The resulting volley was deliv-ered at 20 to 30 yards, shredding the Britishfront ranks. Howard then cried out for a bay-onet charge, with the subsequent melee caus-ing the enemy to collapse. “They fled with theutmost precipitation, leaving [their] field piecesin our possession,” Morgan wrote to Greene.Tarleton watched in disbelief as the remnants ofhis army streamed past. In desperation, he triedto order his reserve British Legion dragoonsinto the fray. They refused. So Tarleton alsojoined the flight, although not before fendingoff an attack by Washington himself, escapingonly by shooting the other’s horse. He leftbehind a field littered with more than 100

British dead and approximately 800 taken pris-oner, including 200 wounded.

For Morgan, the Battle of Cowpens in 1781was the apogee of his career, a superb resultthat inspired great confidence as the war nearedits dramatic climax. As a reward, Morganwould be given the abandoned estate of a Tory,while a medal was especially struck for him in1790 to commemorate the event. In manyways, Cowpens marks the end of Morgan’sfighting career as his body was once againwracked with agonizing pain, forcing him toretire. He would briefly join the Marquis deLafayette that summer but returned homeshortly afterward, no doubt then hearing ofCornwallis’s crushing defeat at Yorktown withgreat satisfaction.

Morgan remained a shrewd businessmanafter the American Revolution, and there waseven one last military hurrah when he com-manded a wing of the army sent to crush theWhiskey Rebellion in 1794. Thankfully, thiswas resolved without violence. Morgan alsodabbled in politics and won a term in the U.S.House of Representatives in 1797 on the Fed-eralist platform. Not too long afterward, onJuly 6, 1802, the Old Wagoner breathed hislast. His passing was mourned by friends, fam-ily, veterans, state, and nation.

Artist John Trumbull put Morgan in the foreground amongthe American officers depicted in his famous painting ofthe British surrender on October 17, 1777, at the Battleof Saratoga.

U.S. Army

M-Nov14 Soldiers_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:32 PM Page 13

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (14)

14 Military Heritage November 2014

of my dive,watching my target flyingbackwards towards me,” he wroteafterward. “Target’s wings overlap-ping my windscreen. I fire. A flashand a burst of flame from his portengine. He rears up in front of me,steep turning left. Dash the man!Deflection inside his turn. Can onlyjust do it. Fire again. He’s swervingto the right. Try for his starboardengine. Fire and fire again.”

Barnham recalled his brush withdeath as the air battle continued.

“More 109s from the right. Turn—My Spitfire vibrates violently and thesea changes places with the sky. I’mspinning. Opposite rudder and stickforwards—I’m level again. Two morefrom the right ... Explosion from myengine. Upside down, spinning again... controls don’t answer. All goneslack. Can’t stop spinning. Spitfireburning … out of control! Too low tobail out? Might just make it.”

Barnham was without a wingmanto protect his tail and warn him of

enemy fighters. He had learned fromhis training and experience that thebest course of action to defeat enemyfighter attacks was to turn directlyinto them. This way, deflection wasincreased rapidly, which wouldincrease the aiming problems of theenemy fighter. On the one hand,turning into an attacking aircraftwas an aggressive action that mightjust deter an opponent with lessnerve. On the other hand, turningaway would look like an attempt toescape without a fight and thusencourage an enemy to be moreaggressive. Barnham was to survivethe war with a final score of fiveenemy aircraft confirmed destroyed,one shared, one probable, and onedamaged.

On March 5, 1936, the newSupermarine Type 300 took off fromSouthampton, England. The planewould soon be called the Spitfire,and along with the Hawker Hurri-cane it would become Great Britain’sfirst line of defense. For those wit-nessing this historic event, it wouldhave been hard to imagine thatroughly 20 years earlier the RoyalAir Force (RAF) was close to extinc-tion. After World War I, the Alliesbegan dismantling their victoriouswar machine with hardly anythought for the future. In the Admi-ralty and the War Office there werepowerful lobbies that wanted to seethe end of the RAF as an indepen-dent organization, making it part of


Denis Barnham of No. 601 Squadron was given credit for downing a Ger-

man Junkers Ju-88 bomber and a Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighter. The Super-

marine Spitfire Vc fighter he was flying had been seriously damaged in the

fight, but he managed a wheels up landing at Malta’s Hal Far Airfield. “Easing gently out

The Spitfire was Britain’s first line of defense inthe Battle of Britain in 1940. Afterward it helpedthe Allies turn the tide of war on multiple fronts.

B y W i l l i a m F . F l o y d J r .

A Spitfire formation in North

Africa in 1943. After the

Battle of Britain, the single-

seat Spitfire became the

workhorse of the RAF Fighter

Command, proving itself

versatile in a variety of roles,

including interceptor, recon-

naissance, and ground attack.

w e a p o n sw e a p o n sLi


y of




M-Nov14 Weapons_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:52 PM Page 14

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (15)

M-USSC FP Nov14_Layout 1 9/4/14 6:57 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (16)

16 Military Heritage November 2014

the Army and Navy. This did not occur largelydue to the work of Chief of the Air Staff AirMarshal Sir Hugh Trenchard.

Reginald Joseph Mitchell is the man mostclosely associated with the development of theSpitfire. In 1920, he was appointed chief engi-neer and designer on projects mainly concern-ing flying boats. The Spitfire was developed inresponse to a 1934 Air Ministry request callingfor a high-performance fighter with eight wing-mounted .303-inch machine guns. The planewas to be designed around a 1,000 horsepower,12-cylinder, liquid-cooled, Rolls-Royce PV 12engine (later called the Merlin). The design wasmuch more radical than that of the Hurricane.

The Spitfire had a stressed-skin aluminumstructure with elliptical wings and a thin airfoilthat along with the Merlin’s two-stage super-charger gave the plane exceptional performanceat high altitudes.

After a March 5, 1936, test flight and someminor modifications, the Type 300 was flownto Martlesham Heath in Suffolk to be evalu-ated by the Aeroplane Experimental Establish-ment. On June 10, the Air Ministry approvedthe name Spitfire. After spinning trials and fur-ther flight testing, the plane went backto Martlesham for full handling tri-als. The testing results far exceededthose specified by the ministry. Dur-ing this period the plane underwent sev-eral modifications.These included the replace-ment of the original Rolls-Royce Merlin enginewith a Merlin F, which developed 1,045 horse-power, and the addition of a reflector sight andtail wheel.

The primary architect of the SupermarineSpitfire died of cancer on July 1, 1937, at theage of 42. He had labored under a great deal ofpain while still working on a bomber project atthe time of his death. Mitchell had shunnedfame and any form of publicity for himself.Despite his exceptional ability, he was notwidely known outside aviation circles. His posi-tion at Vickers-Marine was taken by JosephSmith, who had been his assistant. Smith wouldnow be responsible for all future Spitfire designand development.

On June 3, 1936, an order was given toSupermarine for 310 Spitfires. The order waspart of the Air Force’s Expansion Scheme F,which called for 1,736 planes to be in service by1939. The first Spitfire to be accepted for RAFcharge was K9792, which went to the CentralFlying Establishment at RAF Cranwell for eval-uation by instructors. The plane was approved,and deliveries continued at the rate of aboutone a week. Other squadrons would slowlybegin to receive the new fighter plane. During

the spring and summer of 1939, as war withGermany began to look more inevitable, thenewly equipped Spitfire squadrons trainedintensively in air gunnery, dogfighting, and for-mations to simulate actual conditions.

A huge part of the RAF’s defense of Britaindepended on the use of radio direction findingstations (RDF). This system, which would soonbe known as radar, could locate all but the low-est flying aircraft. If enemy aircraft were com-ing in at 20,000 feet, they could be spotted byRDF at a distance of about 100 miles, whichwould allow for approximately a 20-minutewarning. For lower flying aircraft, the warningtime was much shorter. In order not to mistakeBritish planes for the enemy, they were fittedwith an “Identification Friend or Foe” device,which would signal in a distinctive manner onthe RDF screen. The initial RDF warnings weretransmitted by phone to the filter room atFighter Command Headquarters in Stanmore,just north of London. Stanmore would verifythat the signal was hostile and pass it on to theproper fighter group. As the information wenton the group’s board, a Women’s Auxiliary AirForce “teller” would phone the plots to the sec-

tor stations. At the point when a German raidcrossed the coast, tracking would go to theObserver Corps. The corps would confirm thelocation of enemy aircraft and phone throughthe information to group and sector headquar-ters. Group headquarters then decided whichsectors were affected and relayed orders as tohow many aircraft should take off. Once thefighters were airborne, the sector controller wasthen responsible for guiding them to their tar-get and for bringing them home.

By May 1940, Germany had conquered Nor-way and Holland, Belgium was on the verge ofsurrendering, and the French Army was col-lapsing. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF)was in danger of being trapped in France. Asthe situation in France became increasingly des-perate, the War Office ordered the BEF to evac-uate France through the northern port ofDunkirk. The BEF was able to fight its way toDunkirk, where approximately 338,000 Alliedtroops were rescued between May 27 and June4, 1940. The vast majority were British withabout 100,000 French and Belgian troops. Therescue, known as Operation Dynamo, becameone of the most celebrated events in British mil-

Imperial War Museum

ABOVE: Spitfire pilots are shown with their aircraft in Burma. Although commonly associated with the Battle of Britain,the Spitfire also saw service in British theaters of war around the globe in World War II. BELOW: Spitfire Mk I, No. 66Squadron, Royal Air Force.

B. Huber

M-Nov14 Weapons_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:52 PM Page 16

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (17)

November 2014 Military Heritage 17

itary history in spite of the fact that it was oneof the worst defeats ever suffered by the BritishArmy.

One of the more controversial aspects of theevacuation involved the RAF. The major prob-lem facing the RAF was one of balance. A greatmany fighter squadrons had been nearlydestroyed in France, and enough squadronshad to be kept in Britain to defend against Ger-man air raids. When the Spitfire squadronswere put into the fight at Dunkirk, the evacua-tions were vastly improved. The RAF flew4,822 sorties over Dunkirk between May 26and June 4. But most of the fighting took placeaway from the beaches. The RAF believed itwas better to attack the Luftwaffe before itreached the beaches and began dropping itsbombs. The air battle at Dunkirk turned out tobe the Luftwaffe’s first real setback.

The war in the skies above Great Britainbegan in earnest in July 1940. The Battle ofBritain took its name from a speech given byPrime Minister Winston Churchill before theHouse of Commons. The battle was confinedprimarily to southeast and southern GreatBritain. The Luftwaffe initiated the battle inpreparation for Operation Seal Lion, the Ger-man invasion of Britain. The RAF did have cer-tain advantages over the Luftwaffe. First, theBritish were fighting to protect their homeland.Second, the British had a distinct advantage onthe defensive as a result of a superb advancedwarning system composed of Chain HomeRadar Warning Stations and the GroundObserver Corps. Third, German pilots werehampered by their 410-mile operational limit.

The main aircraft used against the Luftwaffewere the Hurricane MKI and the Spitfire.Reichsmarschal Herman Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, laid out the aims forthe planned air war with Britain. The Luft-waffe’s objectives included the destruction ofBritish fighter aircraft, airfields, and factories.The first German attacks in July 1940 wereaimed at destroying airfields, but this tactic wassoon switched to bombing more strategic tar-gets in an effort to lower British morale. Thestrategy backfired as British morale remainedhigh, and the reprieve given to the airfields gavethe RAF the break it needed. The RAF initiateda massive repair program under the direction ofLord Beaverbrook that returned battle-dam-aged Spitfires and Hurricanes to service as soonas possible.

The RAF sent accident officers to crash sitesto determine if the planes could be repaired.The repairs were performed by motor car com-panies that were referred to as Civilian RepairUnits. On the other side of Lord Beaverbrook’s

industrial empire was the manufacture of newplanes. In August 1940, the British producedSpitfires and Hurricanes in record numbers.

The Germans had approximately 10,000trained pilots in 1939, while British FighterCommand had 1,450 trained pilots. The fight-ing over London during this time was particu-larly savage. Hurricanes attacked bombers, andSpitfires went after enemy fighters. During thebattle, Fighter Command lost more than 500pilots over southern England. On August 20,1940, in an overcrowded House of Commons,Winston Churchill summed up his feelingsabout the RAF’s defense of the country by say-ing, “Never in the history of human conflictwas so much owed by so many to so few.”

Superiority in the air was the task of the fight-ers, and they played a huge role in the eventualoutcome of the war. In Western Europe, NorthAfrica, the Mediterranean, the Far East, andthe Pacific, the fighter plane seemed to holdthings together when the outcome of WorldWar II was still uncertain. The Spitfire playeda major part in this effort. In early 1941, RAFFighter Command decided to begin offensiveoperations against the Luftwaffe. The opera-tions, which involved both Spitfire and Hurri-cane squadrons, became known as “Rodeos.”From May 1941, RAF pilots flying into Francebegan to see a new model of Messerschmitt thatwas more than a match for the Hurricanes andSpitfires. The RAF squadrons began reequip-ping the Spitfire MK V with a strengthened air-frame and Merlin 45 engine, which was morethan able to fight the Bf-109F on equal terms.

However, in September 1941, events took aturn for the worse. RAF pilots began to reportthat they were being attacked by an enemyfighter that they were not familiar with. Thisadvanced German fighter was the Focke-WulfFw-190, a highly agile radial engine fighter,soon to be known as the “Butcher Bird”because of its combat prowess.

Another major role played by Fighter Com-mand was escorting bombers over the Conti-nent. They also escorted bombers in attacks onenemy shipping, an assignment the Spitfirepilots did not care for. One of the more impor-tant aspects of the RAF during the war was inthe field of photo reconnaissance. Clandestineflights were being carried out over Germany asearly as 1939. From September 1939, the SecretIntelligence Service became an official organi-zation using Bristol Beinheims and Spitfires.The Spitfire without its guns and other equip-ment could carry extra fuel, oil, and oxygen inaddition to cameras. Even with this, what wasneeded was a greater combat radius. Additionalfuel tanks were installed with an increasedcapacity of 114 gallons. The modified aircraftbecame known as the Spitfire IB. One of thegreatest dangers of flying these types of mis-sions was the Spitfire’s condensation trail,which would reveal its presence to the enemy.

In 1943, Germany began using the V-1 buzzbomb against civilian and military targets. Theweapon carried a one-ton warhead and waspowered by a pulse-jet timed to cut off after aset distance, causing it to drop out of the sky.Late in 1943, the V-1 sites became targets of a

Imperial War Museum

A Spitfire patrols the southern coast of England in April 1941.

M-Nov14 Weapons_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:52 PM Page 17

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (18)

18 Military Heritage November 2014

major bombing campaign. On April 12, 1944,two Spitfire squadrons armed with 500-poundbombs attacked V-1 launching sites. Despite thebombing of the sites, the first V-1 attacksagainst England occurred on the night of June12-13, 1944.

Fighter Command designated 11 squadronsto counter these attacks. During this time agreat deal of effort was put into increasing thespeed of the Spitfire. Even with a number ofmodifications, it still proved to be a difficulttask for the Spitfire to catch the V-1. However,when the Griffon engine was installed in theSpitfire, its performance increased dramati-cally. Of course, the real answer was to elimi-nate the launching sites, which did not occuruntil they were overrun by Allied groundforces. This did not completely end the V-1threat, but the number of missiles beinglaunched was greatly reduced.

Early in 1944, the squadrons of the 2nd Tac-tical Air Force were preparing for the invasionof France. It also was during this time that Spit-fires joined with other British and American air-craft to attack German power plants, commu-nications, and transportation systems inoccupied France and the Low Countries. OnMay 28, in preparation for the D-Day landing,62 Spitfires took part in an attack on northernFrance against railroads and other supportingfacilities. On D-Day (June 6), Spitfires were akey part of the air assets assigned to fight theLuftwaffe over the beaches of Normandy. Asthe Allies continued to move inland, airstripswere being constructed on French soil, allow-ing a buildup of Spitfire squadrons to supportthe invasion.

One of the most important uses of the Spit-fire during the war was when Great Britainbegan supplying them to Russia for use on theEastern Front. The Spitfire became operationalin this theater of the war in September 1942,when it was used for reconnaissance againstGerman shipping. On October 4, the Sovietambassador in London requested additionalSpitfires. The request was approved byChurchill, and another 187 Spitfire Mk VBswere sent to Russia. The planes took part in theRussian counterattack that led to the destruc-tion of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad.

In 1942, the Japanese in Burma wereopposed by a combination of American, Chi-nese, and British Commonwealth forces. Thearrival of the Spitfire aided in preventing Japan-ese advances into China and India. By January1944, six Spitfire squadrons played a part inachieving air superiority over western Burma.

Seafire was the name given to the naval ver-sion of the Spitfire. It saw most of its service in

1. Publication Title Military Heritage Magazine. 2. Publication Number 1524-8666. 3. Filing Date 9/1/14. 4. IssueFrequency- Bi-Monthly. 5. Number of Issues Published Annually 6. 6. Annual subscription Price $18.95. 7.Complete Mailing address of Known office of publication- 6731 Whittier Avenue, suite A-100, Mclean, FairfaxCounty, Virginia 22101-4554. Contact Person- Mark Hintz. Telephone (including area code) 703-964-0361 x 101.8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office Of Publisher- 6731 Whittier Avenue,Suite A-100, Mclean, Virginia 22101-4554. 9. Publisher (Name and complete mailing address)- Mark Hintz 6731Whittier Avenue, suite A-100, Mclean, Virginia 22101-4554. Editor- William E. Welsh 6731 Whittier Avenue, suiteA-100, Mclean, Virginia 22101-4554.Managing Editor- Carl Gnam 6731 Whittier Avenue, suite A-100, Mclean,Virginia 22101-4554. 10. Owner- Full Name- Sovereign Media Company, 6731 Whittier Avenue, suite A-100,Mclean, Virginia 22101-4554. Mark Hintz- 6731 Whittier Avenue, suite A-100, Mclean, Virginia 22101-4554. CarlGnam- 6731 Whittier Avenue, suite A-100, Mclean, Virginia 22101-4554. 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees,and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages or OtherSecurities. None. 12. Tax Status- N/A 13. Publication Title- Military Heritage Magazine. 14. Issue Date forCirculation Data Below September 2014. 15. Extent and nature of Circulation. Average No copies Each IssueDuring Preceding 12 Months a. total Number of Copies (Net Press Run) 43,526. (1) mailed Outside County PaidSubscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 19,620. (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form3541- 0. (3) Paid Distribution Outside the Mails including Sales through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors,Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution outside USPS 8,814. (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of MailThrough the USPS- 0. C. Total Paid Distribution – 28,434. D. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (By Mail andOutside the Mail) (1) Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County copies included on PS Form 3541- 0. (2) Free orNominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541 (2) 0. (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies mailed atOther Classes Through the USPS (eg. First Class mail) 0. (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the mail(Carriers or other means) 0. E. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution 0. F. Total Distribution 28,434. G. CopiesNot distributed 15,092. H. Total 43,526. I Percent Paid 100%. Number Copies of Single Issue Published Nearestto Filing Date a. Total Number of Copies (Net Press Run) 37,093. (1) mailed Outside County Paid SubscriptionsStated on PS Form 3541 16,145. (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541- 0. (3) PaidDistribution Outside the Mails including Sales through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, andOther Paid Distribution outside USPS 18,728. (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS-0. C. Total Paid Distribution – 34,873 D. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail) (1) Freeor Nominal Rate Outside-County copies included on PS Form 3541- 0. (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-CountyCopies Included on PS Form 3541 (2) 0. (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies mailed at Other Classes Through theUSPS (eg. First Class mail) 0. (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the mail (Carriers or other means) 0.E. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution 0. F. Total Distribution 34,873. G. Copies Not distributed 2,220. H.Total 37,093. Percent Paid 100%. 16. Electronic Copy Circulation. Average No Copies Each issue duringPreceding 12 Months. A. Paid Electronic Copies 8. B. Total Paid Print copies + paid Electronic Copies 28,442. C.Total Print Distribution + Paid Electronic Copies 28,442. D. Percent Paid (Both Print & Electronic Copies) 100%.No Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date. A. Paid Electronic Copies 4. B. Total Paid Printcopies + Paid Electronic Copies 34,877. C. Total Print Distribution + Paid electronic Copies 34,877. D. Percentpaid (both Print & Electronic Copies) 100%. 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership If the publication is a gen-eral publication, publication of this statement is required. Will be printed in the December 2014 issue of this publi-cation. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager or Owner Mark Hintz. Date 9/1/14.

M-Nov14 Weapons_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:52 PM Page 18

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (19)

November 2014 Military Heritage 19

the Pacific and Far East. It formed part of agroup hunting Japanese and German sub-marines. One problem with the Seafire was itsshort combat radius, which restricted its use tocombat air patrols. In June 1945, auxiliary fueltanks were added to the Seafire, increasing itscombat range by 50 percent and allowing it totake part in offensive operations.

The British Spitfire was probably the bestknown fighter plane during this period of his-tory. As Churchill stated, it was the primaryreason for Great Britain’s survival during theblitz of Great Britain by the Luftwaffe. Attimes, it had to be modified as new Germanplanes came on line, but it continued to hold itsown throughout the war. The pilots who flewthe Spitfire in defense of Great Britain weresome of the bravest of the brave, particularlyearly in the war when they were greatly out-numbered. Even the Germans agreed that theSpitfire was a worthy opponent.

Gunther Rall, a German ace who test flewcaptured Allied fighter planes, said that he pre-ferred the Spitfire over all other fighter aircraftthat he had flown. The Spitfire was in contin-uous production throughout the war with22,800 produced. For many years after WorldWar II, the Spitfire continued in service. It sawaction in the Greek Civil War, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and in a later conflict was flown byboth the Israelis and Egyptians. It also sawaction in Korea in the early 1950s, and its pop-ularity continued to remain high into the1960s.

Imperial War Museum

The Spitfire’s elliptical wings contained eight .303-inchmachine guns.

Blood LinesBook 4 in the Award-Winning series

The Gauntlet Runner


M-Nov14 Weapons *missing baily ad_Layout 1 9/5/14 9:29 AM Page 19

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (20)

20 Military Heritage November 2014

preliminary search revealed that,along with two Sten machine pis-tols, which were British weapons,they were carrying $900 and£1,000 in cash, not to mentionWehrmacht pay books. And undertheir olive drab fatigues they woreGerman field gray.

They turned out to be SergeantGunter Billing, Corporal ManfredPernass, and Private WilhelmSchmidt of the German 150th PanzerBrigade. It was Billing who, perhaps

intentionally, dropped the real bomb-shell. He told interrogators that theirmission was part of a massive secretcommando raid, sent across the linesto infiltrate the Supreme Headquar-ters Allied Expeditionary Force andkidnap or kill no less than GeneralDwight D. Eisenhower, under ordersfrom Hitler’s top commando, SS Lt.Col. Otto “Scarface” Skorzeny.

Among the Allies, few nameswere more infamous. In September1943, Skorzeny had led a glider-

borne commando assault on an Ital-ian plateau to rescue former Italiandictator Benito Mussolini, spiritingIl Duce away in a light plane. Whenthe regent of Germany’s last Euro-pean ally, Hungary, had wavered onthe brink of surrender, Skorzenyhad kidnapped his son and led aGerman-backed coup, keepingHungary in the war. If anyone couldslip into Paris unnoticed and attackIke in his own headquarters, it wasSkorzeny.

He had learned tactics and wonhis dueling scars as a student inVienna’s dueling societies, where theobject was not necessarily victorywith the saber, but remaining stal-wart when receiving Schmissen,marks of honor. “Just as in duelingyou must fix your mind on strikingat the enemy’s head, so, too, in war,”he said.

It was just such a blow Hitler hadin mind when he summoned Sko-rzeny, fresh off his Hungarian suc-cess, to the Wolf’s Lair headquartersin October 1944. The Germanleader gave him hearty congratula-tions, a promotion, and the GermanCross in gold. He also gave Skorzenybarely five weeks to assemble a fullpanzer brigade, more than 3,000men, equipped and trained as Amer-icans. The German commandoswere, their orders instructed, “to goahead [of the German Decemberoffensive] and seize one or more ofthe bridges over the Meuse between


through the Ardennes Forest, three Americans fleeing in a jeep should have

raised no alarm. But when they were flagged down a few miles to the west

at Aywaille, Belgium, Privates Charles W. Lawrence, Clarence van der Wert,

and George Sensenbach spoke poor English and did not know the password. A

In December 1944, Otto Skorzeny led hundreds of German commandos on an audacious missionbehind enemy lines known as Operation Greif.

B y D o n H o l l w a y

A German assault gun with a

captured American half-track

in the background. Otto Sko-

rzeny’s commandos required

American equipment to suc-

cessfully infiltrate ahead of

the main attack force during

the Battle of the Bulge.

i n t e l l i g e n c ei n t e l l i g e n c eB













M-Nov14 Intelligence_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:19 PM Page 20

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (21)

CTS has over 50 playsets starting at $79.95 and over 2.500 different items for sale. To see these and all other productswe have for sale, send $6.00 for our catalog and color brochure or visit our website at: www.classictoysoldiers.com

Unless otherwise stated, shipping rates are as follows:$1.00 - $23.99: add $5.99 for shipping $24.00 - $50.00: shipping is $9.50 $50.01 - $100.00: shipping is $12.00

Pickett's Charge PlaysetCTS proudly offers you our 540 piece “PICKETT’SCHARGE PLAYSET”. If you ever wanted a playset that “hasit all,” this is it! Over 165 Union troops defend their positionon Cemetery Ridge. Advance your 180 plus Confederatesacross the open field as cannon fire from 12 cannons can beheard overhead. You get 2-6 horse limber and cannons, 2-4horse limber and caisson, 1 ambulance wagon and 1 US Cavalrywagon, 8 stone walls, 12 pieces of split rail fence, dead horses,trees, flags and much more. It all comes in our new customprinted box with artwork done by renowned Artist Don Troianiand historical image bank (shown right).

CTS 540 piece “PICKETT’S CHARGE SET” can be yours foronly $349.95 plus $30.00 S&H. You save over $350.00 com-pared to ordering items separately.

Legend of the Alamo PlaysetRemember the Alamo with this AWESOME playset including a 14-piece Alamofort measuring 48” x 48”…Featuring Alamo characters such as Crockett, Travis,Bowie and Santa Anna! Over 200 Mexican soldiers and over 60 American fighters!Many cannons, ladders, stone walls and more! 500 pieces total.

Only $499.95 plus $55.00 S&H (3 boxes required)

Hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Standard Time

244 PieceFrench &Indian WarPlaysetIt’s 1756 and England and Francehave been at war for almost twoyears now. The outcome of thiswar will see who will controlNorth America. This set will helpyou recreate that struggle on theAmerican frontier.

The set comes with the completefort as pictured. Also included are40 British regulars, 20 AmericanColonials, 20 French regulars andover 60 Indians. You also get 5cannons, one covered wagon, fortaccessories and much more.

Order today for $324.95 plus$25.00 S&H.

M-ClassicToys-FP-Nov14.qxp_Layout 1 9/3/14 2:49 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (22)

22 Military Heritage November 2014

Liège and Namur.... Small detachments inenemy uniforms can cause the greatest confu-sion among the Allies by giving false orders andupsetting their communications.”

The task would be made all the more difficultby Hitler’s explicit orders that Skorzeny, toovaluable to risk, was not to cross the lines withhis men. “I know you will do your best,” Hitlertold him. “Of course, the most important thingof all is the strictest secrecy!”

Secrecy, however, went out the windowalmost immediately. An order to all Wehrmachtunits, headed “Secret Commando Operations”and signed by no less than Field Marshal Wil-helm Keitel, called for English-speaking volun-teers to report to Skorzeny. Knowing the enemywould hear of it, Skorzeny sought permission tocancel the entire operation but was denied. TheAllies got wind of the order on November 30but discounted it as a ruse.

With no idea of their mission, volunteerscame from all branches of the German military.Fritz Christ, then a 21-year-old Luftwaffe pri-vate trained as an English translator, thought,“Wonderful! I am going to interrogate Ameri-can prisoners of war and be well away from thefighting.”

They were isolated behind wire in an “Amer-ican School,” with security so tight that oneman was shot when his letter home was toodescriptive. Skorzeny’s deputy, SS Lt. Col. WilliHardieck, drilled them in Americanisms—howto swear, slouch, chew gum, loiter, and marchinstead of goose step.

“We had to watch American films whichshowed us how the GIs saluted, and even howthey smoked cigarettes, never right down to thebutt, and put them out,” Christ remembered.“We were even given daily lessons in Americanslang.”

Sergeant Heinz Rohde, whose father lived inWoodstock, New York, spoke “ShakespeareanEnglish which was a devilish thing,” butenjoyed smoking Camels and Lucky Strikes.“We got the impression that we were perfectYankees.”

Quite the contrary, Skorzeny thought: “Aftera couple of weeks the result was terrifying.” Of2,500 men, only about 400 could speak school-boy English, and just 10 were fluent. “The restcould just about say ‘Yes,’” he wrote, andadvised them to “mingle with the fleeing Amer-icans and pretend to be too flurried and over-come to speak,” admitting they “could certainlynever dupe an American—not even a deaf one!”

“Those with no English were instructed toexclaim, ‘Sorry,’ if they were approached byAmericans,” remembered Christ, “and then toopen their trousers and hurry off feigning an

attack of diarrhea.”More promising candidates were slipped into

POW camps to polish their skills. The bestformed commando teams under SS CaptainErnst Stielau. They were to infiltrate ahead ofthe offensive, spreading confusion and destruc-tion and reconnoitering the all-importantMeuse bridges. Meanwhile, Skorzeny’s mainforce, in American tanks, would mingle withthe enemy retreat and push through to capturethe bridges, perhaps as early as six hours intothe offensive.

The masquerade required costumes andprops, but by mid-November Panzerbrigade150 was still short 1,500 American helmets andhalf the requested American guns and ammo.Many of the uniforms supplied were British,Polish, or Russian, or summer issue, or hadbloodstains or POW markings. Instead of 20Sherman tanks, 30 American armored cars,nearly 200 trucks, and 150 jeeps, Skorzeny gotjust two Shermans (one of which soon brokedown), four armored cars, and about 30 jeeps.The rest of his equipment was German: fivePanther tanks, six armored cars, six armoredpersonnel carriers, and five Sturmgeschutz IIIassault guns. They were disguised with sheetmetal cladding, olive drab paint, and white starinsignia, but would fool, as Skorzeny himselfadmitted, only “very young American troops,seeing them from very far away at night.”

The code name for the operation, Greif,translated as “griffin,” the lion-bird of mythol-ogy, but also (and perhaps not coincidentally)as “grab.” In light of their commander’s repu-tation, his men’s imaginations ran wild. Oneyoung lieutenant offered his intimate knowl-

edge of Paris “because we are going to dashacross France through the American Army andcapture Eisenhower’s headquarters.”

Skorzeny let the rumor work for him: “Don’tmention it to anyone. When the time comes I’llcall on you.”

Its ranks filled out with Luftwaffe para-troopers and Wehrmacht panzergrenadiers, onthe night of December 14 Panzerbrigade 150moved up to the front. Twenty-four hours laterthe Unit Stielau commandos slipped across thelines, mainly by pretending to be lost patrols.Since then stories of their exploits have becomelegend. These included preventing the demoli-tion of the bridge over the Amblève River atStavelot, allowing the panzer spearhead tocross; armored columns and dug-in defenderssent running by panic-stricken ersatz Ameri-cans fleeing the German juggernaut; road signschanged, roads falsely marked as mined, com-munications cut.

Actual successes were more modest. Rohde,who took the name Sergeant Morris Woodahl,and his team ran off the crew of an AmericanM8 Greyhound armored car near Recht, touredMalmedy with it and returned with souvenirleather jackets. One unit posing as militarypolice spent December 17 misdirecting Alliedtraffic at the Mont Rigi crossroads, fleeingwhen real MPs arrived. A team reached Huy,on the banks of the Meuse, on the evening ofDecember 16, and kept a watchful eye on thebridge through the night and all the next day.Yet another unit reached Liege and took theopportunity, as confirmed by Americanaccounts, to steer an American regiment in thewrong direction. Theirs were the high watermarks of the German offensive.

The greatest damage, however, was done atAywaille. As soon as Private Schmidt men-tioned Eisenhower, the story took off: OttoSkorzeny and 300 disguised German para-troopers were to rendezvous at Paris’ century-old Café de la Paix (nothing less would do) tolaunch a suicide attack on the Supreme Head-quarters Allied Expeditionary Force. For sev-eral days Eisenhower was practically impris-oned while a look-alike was driven about thecity in plain sight as a decoy. Brig. Gen. BruceClarke and even Field Marshal Bernard Mont-gomery were detained, Monty threateningcourts-martial for everyone involved and infu-riated that nobody recognized him. When heheard the news, Ike gave Skorzeny credit for atleast “one worthwhile service.”

Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, famouslydisgusted by “half a million G.I.s playing catand mouse with each other every time theymet,” endured a life-or-death quiz game at

SS Lt. Col. Otto “Scarface” Skorzeny

M-Nov14 Intelligence_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:19 PM Page 22

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (23)

November 2014 Military Heritage 23

every roadblock: What’s the capital of Massa-chusetts? His interrogator insisted on Chicago.Where’s the guard on an offensive line of scrim-mage? Who is married to Betty Grable? Who isPrune-face? Where does Li’l Abner live? Whoworks with Jiggs? At least two American sol-diers were shot by mistake.

Confusion wasn’t limited to the Allies. One

of Stielau’s commandos surrendered to anAmerican MP, who revealed himself to be Ger-man as well. Private Christ, now “LieutenantCharles Smith” from Detroit, barely escapedwhen his truck, with its U.S. Army stars, wasstrafed by Luftwaffe fighters. “I jumped off thelorry and hid in a ditch before the vehicleexploded in a ball of fire,” reported the ex-air-

man. “Nobody had told the Luftwaffe whatwas going on.”

Some of Skorzeny’s men might have been bet-ter used to direct traffic on the German side.“Parts of this offensive could hardly bedescribed as well-planned and well-organized,”groused SS Captain Walter Scherf, command-ing one of Skorzeny’s armor groups, which satparked on a road for two hours. Hardieck waskilled when his vehicle rolled over a mine. Sko-rzeny himself found the traffic so blocked thathe abandoned his jeep and walked five miles, atone point organizing a hundred or so sidelinedtroops to roll a 30-foot Luftwaffe transportercarrying useless V-1 buzz bomb parts off theroad into a lake. Operation Greif was goingnowhere. On the night of the December 17,though, Skorzeny decided to put Panzerbrigade150 to good use.

“Nearly all of the north flank of the offensivewas uncovered,” he saw. “The enemy couldeasily thrust southward through the road junc-tion at Malmédy.” The opposite, however, wasalso true. Charged with taking three bridgesover the Meuse, if Skorzeny’s disguised Amer-icans managed to capture just one—over theWarche, at Malmédy—the entire Germanoffensive might roll on.

Eighteen Germans caught in American uniforms were shot as spies during the Battle of the Bulge. German militarylawyers incorrectly counseled that wearing enemy uniforms was legal as long they were removed before actual combat.

Continued on page 70

M-Nov14 Intelligence_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:19 PM Page 23

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (24)

24 Military Heritage November 2014

German armies, the 6th Panzer Army to thenorth and the 7th Army to the south, werepoised to attack the mostly unsuspecting Amer-ican GIs. At 5:30 AM, the order was issued for theartillery to fire. The German guns roared to life,spitting orange flames from their muzzles in thedarkness. German leader Adolf Hitler’s desper-ate offensive gamble in the West to drive theAllies from Germany’s doorstep and possibly

IN the early morning of December 16, 1944, 80-man German shock companies from the 5thPanzer Army slipped toward the American lines in the Ardennes region under the coverof heavy fog. They intended to slip past the sleepy American outposts and get behind the

Allied line in the mountainous region that straddled Belgium and Luxembourg. The shock troopscut any communication wires they found. When the main attack came, it was hoped these shocktroops would be poised and ready to pounce on the American defenders before they had time toreact. Behind them the rest of the 5th Panzer Army anxiously awaited the signal to attack.

German gunners readied their artillery pieces and looked at their watches. They were waiting forthe order to unleash a heavy barrage on the American forces. Besides the 5th Panzer Army, two other

ABOVE: Soldiers of SS Oberst-Gruppenführer Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth Army onthe German northern flank enter Belgium on December 17, 1944. LEFT:General der Panzertruppen Hasso von Manteuffel. RIGHT: A German half-track advances past a disabled American tank destroyer on December 20,1944, during Operation Wacht em Rhein.


M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:20 PM Page 24

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (25)

November 2014 Military Heritage 25

then a regiment, and next a brigade. Transferred to North Africa, Manteuffel proved himselfa capable divisional commander in Tunisia. Evacuated in May 1943 just before the Axis forcesthere surrendered, a month later Manteuffel took command of the 7th Panzer Division inRussia and later the Grossdeutschland Panzergrenadier Division.

Hitler took a liking to Manteuffel, who had earned the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves andSwords, and he promoted him to full general, placing him in command of the 5th Panzer Armyon September 1, 1944. Thus, Manteuffel found himself battling Lt. Gen. George Patton’s U.S.Third Army in the Lorraine region of northeastern France.

On November 2, Manteuffel was informed of the plan deceptively code-named Wacht em Rhein

change the course of the war had begun. The 5th Panzer Army was commanded by

General der Panzertruppen Hasso von Man-teuffel. A veteran of World War I, Manteuf-fel became an adherent of the concept ofarmored warfare in the 1930s while servingunder then Colonel Heinz Guderian. Anxiousto get into the war, Manteuffel saw action onthe Eastern Front commanding a battalion,

All photos: National Archives


In his offensive gamble in the Ardennes in late 1944, Hitler gave the German 5th PanzerArmy just 72 hours to reach the Meuse River. But he failed to factor in American grit.

M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:37 PM Page 25

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (26)

(Watch on the Rhine), which called for the 5th and 6th Panzer Armies, supported by the 7thArmy, to smash through the weakly held American position in the Ardennes, cross the Meuse River,and drive for Antwerp. The goal was to isolate and trap the British and Canadian armies, as wellthe American 1st and 9th Armies. Manteuffel was shocked by the plan. As a realistic frontlinecommander, he believed the plan had little chance of success.

In late November, Manteuffel donned a colonel’s uniform to disguise himself and headed to theEifel front to reconnoiter the sector he was to attack. In the rolling country of the Ardennes, heav-ily wooded and dotted with farmland, Manteuffel planned to make every effort to reach theMeuse River. In the northern part of Manteuffel’s sector lay the heavily wooded ridge of theSchnee Eifel where open ground existed on the northern end in the Losheim Gap. The Ardennespossessed an extensive network of roads, most of which were gravel. The twisting roads gener-ally followed stream valleys, quite often running in a north-south direction.

Speaking with officers and soldiers manning the front line, Manteuffel was informed that inthis quiet sector the Americans kept watch until about an hour after dark. Afterward, theyheaded to their huts to get some sleep. An hour before dawn, they returned to their positions.During the night German patrols had little problem slipping miles behind the American lines.Manteuffel believed a preliminary artillery barrage would only serve to alert the enemy of anattack. He wanted the shock companies to infiltrate enemy lines before the barrage. In a Decem-ber 2 meeting with Hitler, Manteuffel obtained permission to infiltrate the American lines in hissector. Manteuffel also recommended bouncing searchlight beams off the clouds to give histroops artificial moonlight to help them move into position in the woods east of the Our River.Hitler agreed to the plan.

Using the dark forest of the Eifel for cover, the bulk of the assault divisions assembled about12 miles behind the front on the night of December 12. Two nights later the troops moved closerto the front line. During the build up, Manteuffel issued instructions that vehicles should only moveat night to avoid detection.

The 5th Panzer Army comprised the 66th Army Corps under General der Artillerie WaltherLucht, 58th Panzer Corps under General der Panzertruppen Walter Krüger, and 47th Corps underGeneral der Panzertruppen Heinrich von Lüttwitz. Once the fighting began, Manteuffel plannedto obtain Hitler’s Begleit Brigade, a division-size unit under Hitler’s direct control.

Manteuffel had some concern about the new Volksgrenadier divisions made up largely of Kriegs-marine and Luftwaffe personnel who had seen little combat and had not been properly trained,although they were supposedly led by experienced officers. The 5th Panzer Army had about 396tanks and self-propelled guns, 963 artillery pieces, four divisions of infantry, and three panzer divi-sions, totaling about 90,000 men.

The 5th Panzer Army was deployed north tosouth as follows: 66th Corps, 58th PanzerCorps, and 47th Panzer Corps. Krüger’s 58thPanzer Corps was to push west over the OurRiver and capture crossing points over theMeuse River between Namur and Andenne.Lüttwitz’s 47th Panzer Corps was cross the OurRiver, drive hard for Clerf, and then take Bas-togne, an important road center, before finallypushing west to capture crossings over theMeuse south of Namur.

To the north of Manteuffel’s two panzer corpswas the Schnee Eifel, which was held by thegreen 106th Infantry Division of the U.S. FirstArmy. The division had recently moved up tothe front line to get much needed experience,although in a quiet sector. As the area it heldprotruded through the Siegfried Line and poseda possible threat to the 5th Panzer Army, Man-teuffel ordered Lucht’s 66th Corps to envelopeand destroy the 106th Division and capture thekey road hub of St. Vith. The other Americanunits facing Manteuffel were two regimentsfrom the veteran 28th Division, resting and refit-ting after suffering heavy losses in the HürtgenForest in November.

The Germans attacked on December 16. Areport from an observation post of the U.S.110th Infantry Regiment of the VIII Corps inHosingen noted at 5:30 AM that the entire Ger-man line was a series of pinpoints of lights. Afew seconds later, shells began slamming downin the town and along the whole American line;they would continue to do so for 45 minutes,smashing buildings, splintering trees, and cuttingtelephone lines. A short time afterward, Germanarmor and infantry units swept forward.

The 18th Volksgrenadier Division of Lucht’scorps, which had been posted on the Eifelsalient since October and knew the terrain, wasgiven the task of encircling two regiments ofthe exposed U.S. 106th Division east of the OurRiver. Two regiments of the German divisionand a detachment of self-propelled guns movedthrough the southern end of the Losheim Gap,while the third regiment attempted to encirclethe American position from the south at the vil-lage of Bleialf.

Thirty minutes after the artillery barragelifted, the village was attacked by the 293rdRegiment of the 18th Volksgrenadier Division.With a makeshift force of troops from the sup-ply, headquarters, cannon, and engineer com-panies, Colonel Charles Cavender, commanderof the 423rd Infantry, 106th Division counter-attacked with support from artillery and twoguns from the 820th Tank Destroyer Battalionposted nearby. Moving from house to house,the GIs drove the Germans out of the village


M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:20 PM Page 26

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (27)

November 2014 Military Heritage 27

side of the river. They were partially dug into foxholes and manning the captured pillboxes ofthe Siegfried Line. Another battalion of the regiment, which acted as the reserve, was on the westside of the river.

There was no artillery barrage in this area in the first moments of the attack. This was done toachieve complete surprise so that the Germans might capture the bridges intact. About 6:20 AM,German artillery and nebelwerfers did open up attempting to knock out the Americans’ artilleryand reserve positions. Despite the initial surprise and penetration by the 560th Volksgrenadier Divi-sion, which saw elements reach one of the bridges at Ouren, the GIs from the 112th Infantry forcedthe Germans back after bringing in their reserves and calling in artillery and mortar support.

Meanwhile, the 116th Panzer Division, attacking about 200 hundred yards south of the 62ndVolksgrenadier against the forward battalion of the 424th, was hit hard with small-arms fire.Five Panzer Mark IVs rolled into action. One was knocked out by a 57mm antitank gun, and asecond one was hit with a bazooka round. The other three turned back.

Elsewhere other attacking elements of the 116th did little better, although one assault companydid get behind the command post of the 1st Battalion, U.S. 112th Infantry. Daylight found theadvance party of the assault company in the open. Interlocking machine-gun and small-arms firequickly isolated them. By noon, the GIs facing them were rounding up so many prisoners theycould not handle all of them. Some attacking Germans did manage to reach an American batteryat Welchenhausen but were stopped cold by heavy machine-gun fire. By the end of the day thebridges were in still American hands. However, the GIs of the 112th Infantry Regiment in theirexposed position east of the Our River knew the Germans would be back. One U.S. soldierscrawled in his diary: “This place is not healthy anymore.”

Attacking south of the 58th Panzer Corps was Lüttwitz’s 47th Panzer Corps. Assault compa-nies from the 26th Volksgrenadier Division slipped across the Our River in rubber boats withorders to head west past a highway overlooking the river. Manteuffel wanted the 26th Volks-grenadier to reach the Clerf River by nightfall. Standing in his way was the U.S. 110th InfantryRegiment posted mostly in little villages which the Germans had orders simply to bypass, leaving

except for a few buildings near the railroad. TheAmericans held the village for the rest of the day.

Things went better for the rest of the 18thVolksgrenadier farther north in the LosheimGap. German shock troops had easily slippedpast outposts of the U.S. 14th Cavalry Groupposted on the border between the attacking 5thand 6th Panzer Armies and by daylight werepushing for the crossroads village of Auw to therear of the 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106th Divi-sion. Cavalry outposts at the villages of Roth andKobscheid north and east of Auw soon wereunder attack by dawn. Initially American shell-fire stopped a company of volksgrenadiers atRoth. By 8:30 AM, though, an urgent messagereported the Germans were in the village andenemy armor was firing on the command post.It was the last message from Roth.

By 9 AM, the Germans had infiltrated Kob-scheid. The nearby village of Weckerath wasunder attack, too. The situation was becomingserious as the day progressed, and those out-posts that were not already overrun were evac-uated. This was part of the 14th Cavalry’s with-drawal first to the Manderfield Ridge and thentwo miles farther east to a ridgeline thatstretched from Andler to Holzhiem. By night-fall, the 5th Panzer Army had achieved a break-through in the northern part of its sector.

Attacking south of the 18th Volksgrenadierwas the 62nd Volksgrenadier Division, a greenunit of the 66th Corps. Its objective was tobreach the American line held by the U.S. 424thInfantry Regiment, 106th Division and reachWinterspelt and access to the macadam roadleading to St. Vith before pushing farther westto the Meuse.

Out of the early morning mist shock compa-nies attacked the 3rd Battalion, 424th Infantryat Heckhuscheid. In fierce fighting, the Germanswere driven back as the American battalionthrew in its reserve company, bagging 200 pris-oners. At Eigelscheid, machine-gun and small-arms fire from a small band of GIs from the424th cut down the inexperienced volks-grenadiers, who were attacking in bunches andfiring their weapons wildly. American artilleryfire added to the Germans’ misery. Despite thedetermined American resistance, the Germanshad numbers on their side and managed to cap-ture some of the buildings in the village. As thefighting raged the Americans were forced to giveup the village and withdraw toward Winterspelt.

South of the 66th Corps, Krüger’s 58thPanzer Corps attacked on a front from Heck-huscheid to Leidenborn intending to capturebridges over the Our River. Blocking its waywere two battalions of the U.S. 112th InfantryRegiment, 28th Division posted on the east

ABOVE: Volksgrenadiers ofGeneral der Artillerie WalterLucht's LXVI Corps were taskedwith eliminating the U.S. 106thDivision deployed in the snow-covered hills east of St. Vith.LEFT: American soldiers huddleamid the rubble of destroyedbuildings 20 kilometers east ofBastogne in Wiltz, Luxembourg.OPPOSITE: SS panzergrenadiersadvance past burning Americanvehicles in German film footagethat may have been staged forpropaganda purposes.

M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:35 PM Page 27

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (28)

28 Military Heritage November 2014

them to be mopped up by following units. The Germans planned to capture the villages of Mar-nach and Hosingen, both of which controlled key roads.

South of Hosingen an American platoon was quickly overrun, while behind the village a bat-tery came under attack. German shock companies were spotted near other villages and fired upon,and in some places pinned down by artillery fire. Bitter fighting soon raged throughout the dayas the lightly armed 28th Volksgrenadier and panzergrenadiers from the 2nd Panzer Divisionfought for control of various villages. The GIs hung on, hammering the attacking Germans withmachine-gun and small-arms fire. Mortar rounds and artillery shells came crashing down on theGermans, but they continued to fight desperately. Two companies of the 707th Tank Battalionarrived to buttress American positions in the sector.

At the Our River, German engineers struggled to construct bridges near Dasburg and Gemündto allow the tanks and self-propelled guns of the 2nd Panzer Divisions and the Panzer Lehr Divi-sion, now bogged down in a traffic jam, to get across the river and help break through the Amer-ican lines. By 1 PM, a bridge was completed near Dasburg. Ten tanks rumbled across before a fol-lowing tank turned too short, hit the bridge, and plunged into the river. The Germans did not getthe bridge repaired until 4 PM. By that time, the engineers had also completed a bridge at Gemünd.

With armor support and more firepower, the Germans were able to capture Marnach by mid-night. The GIs still hung on in Hosingen. The 110th, heavily outnumbered, had done well, throw-ing the German timetable back. The 5th Panzer Army was off schedule, although it had managed

a breakthrough in the Losheim Gap where itthreatened to encircle the two regiments of the106th Division. Although Manteuffel’s use ofinfiltrating troops had paid off in certain areas,it had not been a good day for the Germans.

On the morning of December 17, a counter-attack by the 2nd Battalion, 110th InfantryRegiment at Marnach quickly bumped intoadvancing German infantry. Meanwhile, 18light tanks from the 707th Tank Battalion cameunder fire from German self-propelled guns andpanzerfausts. Eleven were knocked out. A smallAmerican force did manage to make it to Mar-nach, but it drew heavy German fire, and itbecame obvious it could not retake the town.

The Americans then shifted their focustoward halting the German advance west on thewinding road toward the village of Clerf, whichthe 2nd Panzer Division needed to capture to

Map © 2014 Philip Schwartzberg, Meridian Mapping, Minneapolis, MN

Counterattacking American forces, fuel shortages, and traffic jams all served to unravel the German Army’s ambitious plan to capture the bridges over the Meuse and continue toward Antwerp.

M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:20 PM Page 28

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (29)

to hold Ouren, but their position was becoming tenuous with German infantry attempting toinfiltrate and firing on their command post. The Americans received orders to evacuate the townbut were unable to blow the bridges due the Germans being too close. It did not matter becausethe Germans later discovered that the bridges would not support the weight of their tanks. Man-teuffel and Krüger had to divert the tanks south to cross at Dasburg in the 47th Corps sector. Whilethe clock continued ticking for the Germans, more time was wasted.

The 112th Infantry ended up at St. Vith, where it joined other American troops preparing todefend the vital crossroads town. Bleialf finally fell to the southern battle group of the 18th Volks-grenadier at dawn on December 17. At about 9 AM, the two German battle groups made contact,encircling two regiments of the 106th Division. The lead German battalions were then orderedto push west toward St. Vith, getting within a couple miles of the town by nightfall.

With no help available, the two trapped regiments of the 106th Division were ordered to breakout toward St. Vith on December 18. In their retreat, they were advised to avoid the Germanbuildup at Schönberg. It was on the road to this town, located about six miles east of St. Vith,that the German armor was bogged down in a huge traffic jam due to bad roads and mud.

At the same time, the 18th Volksgrenadier probed the American line a mile east of St. Vith on highground called Prumerberg, where the 168th Engineer Combat Battalion was entrenching and wait-ing for the arrival of CCB, 7th Armored Division to bolster the line. Manteuffel needed the roadnetwork in St. Vith and the east-west rail line to keep German forces supplied once they reached theMeuse River. The Führer Begleit Brigade was to be brought in to help the 66th Corps take the vil-lage, but massive traffic jams to the rear of the 5th Panzer Army slowed the brigade’s advance.

To the southeast of St. Vith, Winterspelt finally fell to the 62nd Volksgrenadier. The advancingvolksgrenadiers were bloodied at Steinebruck on the Our River by Combat Command B (CCB),9th Armored Division. By late afternoon on December 17, the Americans were ordered back overthe Our River. The next day they blew up the bridge at Steinebruck.

As St. Vith straddled the border of the 5th and 6th Panzer Armies, elements from the latter armythreatened the village from the north. The Americans established a 15-mile horseshoe-shapeddefensive position at St. Vith. On December 19, the Germans continued to probe the Americandefenses. Manteuffel wanted to attack, but traffic jams in the rear continued to bog down theFührer Begleit Brigade, allowing only advance detachments to arrive north of St. Vith. Concur-rently, two of the 18th Volksgrenadier regiments were still focused on the two trapped 106th reg-iments. The commander of the 5th Panzer Army could do nothing but plan to attack early onDecember 20.

On that day the beleaguered 422nd and 423rd Regiments, 106th Division surrendered after abreakout attempt the previous day was stopped by German machine-gun and artillery fire. Mean-while, Manteuffel’s main attack against St. Vith had to be delayed yet another day, for the rest ofthe Führer Begleit Brigade had not arrived yet. About midday a battalion of both tanks and

reach Bastogne. About mid-morning two pla-toons of Mark IVs and 30 half-tracks loadedwith panzergrenadiers from the 2nd PanzerDivision approaching the town were met by aplatoon of Shermans from the 707th Tank Bat-talion. Three Shermans were knocked out, whilefour German tanks were destroyed. The Ger-mans diverted their column to another road.

Another platoon of Shermans moved intoClerf and knocked out the leading Mark IV,temporarily blocking the road. Nineteen moreAmerican tanks from Company B, 2nd TankBattalion, 9th Armored Division rolled intotown and were dispersed where needed.

Despite the reinforcements, the 2nd PanzerDivision soon captured Clerf. Tank shellssmashed into the command post of ColonelHurley Fuller, commander of the 110th Regi-ment. Fuller attempted to escape with his staffbut was soon captured. Clerf was in Germanhands, but American resistance was not doneyet. At the south end of town in a chateau bythe south bridge, a group of GIs held on beforefinally surrendering the following day.

Meanwhile, the 116th Panzer Division con-tinued its assault on Ouren. After hammeringthe Americans at Ouren with artillery andnebelwerfer fire, the tanks and panzer-grenadiers attacked. While the GIs staggeredthe infantry, the tanks pushed on, hammeringthe American foxholes with cannon andmachine-gun fire. A platoon of self-propelledguns from 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion,

Combat Command Reserve (CCR), 9thArmored Division, which had reached Har-spelt, knocked out four German tanks. Thereturn fire left only one self-propelled gun stillintact. The German tanks continued to rumbletoward Ouren only to come under howitzer firefrom the cannon company of the 112thInfantry, which knocked out four of them.

Artillery fire from Battery C, 229th FieldArtillery also helped slow the attacking Ger-man tanks, while antiaircraft half-tracks sport-ing quadruple mounted .50-caliber machineguns cut down the panzergrenadiers.

As the day wore on the Americans continued

BELOW: A patrol from the crack U.S. 101st Airborne Division moves out from Bastogne. LEFT: Artillery of the U.S. 9thArmored Division fires on an enemy target. Maj. Gen. Troy Middleton divided the Combat Command Reserve of the 9thArmored into task forces to slow the German advance.


M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:35 PM Page 29

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (30)

30 Military Heritage November 2014

infantry from the Führer Begleit Brigade attempted to capture Rodt northeast of St. Vith, but theU.S. 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion knocked out four of its tanks. Maj. Gen. Otto Remer, com-mander of the Führer Begleit Brigade, withdrew his men to wait for the rest of the brigade beforeattacking again.

The main attack finally rolled forward on December 21. The Germans had managed to get theirartillery through the traffic jam, and at 11 AM they began pounding the 7th Armored Division,parts of the 9th Armored Division, and other units holding the defenses around St. Vith.

Along the Schönberg road east of the town, the Germans advanced at 5 PM. Other assaultscame down Malmédy road to the north at 6:30 PM and southeast of town at 8 PM along the Prümroad. An artillery barrage preceded each attack. Fighting was fierce as Lucht had told his divisionand brigade commanders to take the town no matter the cost. Multiple waves of volksgrenadierssupported by armor advanced against the American positions.

In the eastern sector, U.S. machine guns cut down many of the volksgrenadiers, but more fol-lowed. When the American machine-gun crews were killed, other GIs scrambled out of their fox-holes to man them. By 7 PM, German rockets fell on the American positions and more panzer-

grenadiers advanced. In the intense fighting, Americanmachine-gun crews and bazooka teams lasted only about 10minutes before being wiped out and replaced by fresh troops.

At Prumerberg, six Panzer VI Tiger tanks rolled forward in thedark toward American tankers waiting for them to come over arise. As they did, suddenly the night came alive with a blindinglight as the Germans fired high-velocity flares. The German Tigercrews quickly knocked out the five silhouetted Shermans. Themassive steel monsters then turned their attention to knocking outmachine-gun crews. Volksgrenadiers soon overran the position.

By 9:30 PM, German tanks were in St. Vith, where scatteredfighting continued for several more hours. With U.S. defensesbreached at St. Vith, Brig. Gen. Bruce Clarke, commander ofCCB, 7th Armored Division, ordered a withdrawal west of town,where new defenses were set up. But many of the Americantroops did not escape. Clarke estimated he had lost about halfhis command.

Lucht’s 66th Corps could not immediately pursue the Ameri-cans as St. Vith became a traffic bottleneck, and it took time to

get the mess sorted out. Taking St. Vith had cost Manteuffel valuable time. “The delay imposedthere put the entire German offensive plan three days behind schedule,” he said. “I didn’t counton such stubbornness.”

The Americans had set up a 10-mile-wide defensive position west of the town that they calledthe “fortified goose egg” due to its oval shape. A change of command had taken place in this sec-tor as the U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps under Maj. Gen. Matthew Ridgway now took commandof the 7th Armored Division. Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight Eisenhower wasquickly sending reinforcements into the Ardennes to contain the bulge in the American lines. Achange of command also took place as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery took charge of thenorthern sector of the Ardennes on December 20.

Despite Ridgway’s determination to hold the goose egg until help arrived, Brig. Gen. RobertHasbrouck, commander of the 7th Armored Division, and Clarke thought otherwise. Volks-grenadiers were already penetrating the goose-egg perimeter, and the commanders did not thinkit was possible to hold on. Not wanting to risk losing the 7th Armored and other defenders,Montgomery ordered them to withdraw, which they did on December 23.

Meanwhile to the south, by the evening of the December 17, Manteuffel had broken open a10-mile gap in the American lines, and the 47th and 58th Panzer Corps poured through it towardBastogne and the Meuse River. Manteuffel gave the task of quickly seizing Bastogne, which lay30 miles east of the Our River by road, to Lüttwitz and his 47th Corps. Manteuffel’s orders stated,“In the case of strong enemy resistance, Bastogne is to be outflanked.” Capturing the town wouldthen be left to the 26th Volksgrenadier and the Panzer Lehr Divisions.

The Germans were not the only ones racing to Bastogne. The paratroopers of the U.S. 101stAirborne Division, led by Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, were making a 100-mile journey by truckto Bastogne from the southwest. Through an intercepted radio message the Germans learned ofthe paratroopers’ pending arrival at the front. “We shall be there before them,” said Lüttwitz.

Not only was the 101st Airborne headed toBastogne, but also the 10th Armored Divisionfrom Patton’s Third Army. General Troy Mid-dleton, who was headquartered in Bastogne,divided the CCR, 9th Armored Division intotask forces to slow the German advance.

The reconnaissance battalion of the 2ndPanzer Division encountered the first task forceat a road intersection near Lullange, where ithad set up a roadblock. A couple of probingattempts on the American position were beatenback. By about 11 AM, Mark IVs began toarrive. Using the cover of smoke, they advancedto within about 800 yards of the Shermans ofCompany A, 2nd Tank Battalion.

By early afternoon more German tanksarrived and began pushing back the Americaninfantry. The Shermans soon found themselvessurrounded on three sides. By 2:30 PM, the road-block had been overrun and Company A hadbeen pushed back from the road junction withthe loss of seven tanks. The remnants of the com-pany escaped cross country during the night.

The bulk of the 2nd Panzer Division encoun-tered the second task force at Allerborn, abouthalfway between Clerf and Bastogne, around8 PM. Sweeping the area with machine-gun fireto drive off any infantry support, the Germantanks quickly overran two platoons of Com-pany C, 2nd Tank Battalion. The shattered sur-vivors retreated to Longvilly, about five milesnortheast of Bastogne.

A third U.S. task force positioned on highground north of the Allerborn-Longvilly roadfound itself cut off. To avoid being encircled,the task force pushed northwest. On December19, the task force reached Hardigny only tostumble into a German ambush that destroyedits vehicles and inflicted 600 casualties. About225 GIs managed to escape the carnage.

Colonel Meinrad von Lauchert, commanderof the 2nd Panzer Division, swung northweston a poor secondary road toward Noville,bypassing Bastogne and following his orders todrive for the Meuse River. By this time CCB,10th Armored Division had arrived in Bastogneand was quickly divided into three teamsnamed after its commanders to defend themajor roads leading into town. Team Cherry(commanded by Lt. Col. Henry Cherry) wassent to Longvilly, Team O’Hara (Lt. Col. JamesO’Hara) was to defend Wardin southeast ofBastogne, and Team Desobry (Major WilliamDesobry) was sent to Noville.

The lead elements of Panzer Lehr, under Lt.Gen. Fritz Bayerlein, reached Mageret aboutthree miles east of Bastogne around midnight.There Bayerlein was duped by a Belgian civil-ian into believing that earlier in the evening

M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:20 PM Page 30

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (31)

November 2014 Military Heritage 31

and six tank destroyers from the 2nd Panzer, advanced on Team Cherry, which was caught in atraffic jam consisting of vehicles from CCB of the 10th Armored, 9th Armored, and other units.Team Cherry was hit hard. About 100 of its tanks, half-tracks, and trucks were either abandonedor destroyed. Elsewhere, elements of Panzer Lehr drove Team O’Hara out of Wardin.

To the north, lead elements of 2nd Panzer struggling along bad roads reached Noville, held byTeam Desobry. Receiving permission from Lüttwitz to bypass the town, a column of the division’sarmor moved along a ridge to the southeast in the fog. The fog lifted, and American and Germantanks began trading shots. The Americans were soon reinforced by a battalion of the 506th PIRand a platoon of the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Fierce fighting broke out, but Germantanks were reluctant to push into Noville due to paratroopers armed with bazookas. The Ger-man tanks that did move toward Noville were knocked out by the American tank destroyers.Noville remained in American hands.

The next morning, the Germans hammered the village with artillery fire followed by an attackby panzergrenadiers, which was hurled back. The situation was critical for Team Desobry. Theroad south of its positopn was cut. During the night, the Germans had captured the hills over-looking Foy, located south of Noville. McAuliffe and Colonel William Roberts of CCB, 10thArmored, who shared command in Bastogne, gave Team Desobry permission to withdraw. Whileparatroopers attacked Foy, Team Desobry fought its way out of Noville, reaching the safety ofAmerican lines around 5 PM. Meanwhile, German attacks to east of Bastogne were pushed backby the Americans.

While Lüttwitz began to shift his forces to the south and encircle Bastogne, the German highcommand persuaded Hitler to authorize reinforcing the 5th Panzer Army, which was showing themost progress of the three armies. Thus, 5th Panzer Army received the 9th Panzer, 15th Panzer-grenadier, and 2nd SS Panzer Divisions. However, fuel shortages slowed their arrival. Lauchertpushed his 2nd Panzer Division west and captured a bridge over the Our River at Ortheuville. Atthat point, his tanks and vehicles sputtered to a stop when they ran out of fuel.

Lüttwitz reinforced the 28th Volksgrenadier with a contingent of the Panzer Lehr and ordered therest of the division to head west for the Meuse. The 26th Volksgrenadier kept up the pressure onBastogne, and by the night of December 20 the town was effectively surrounded, although the west-ern sector was not strongly held by the Germans. Two days later Lüttwitz attempted to bluff theAmericans in Bastogne by offering them the chance to surrender. McAuliffe simply replied, “Nuts.”

“If you don’t understand what ‘Nuts’ means,” said Colonel Joseph Harper, commander of the327th Glider Infantry Regiment, to the two German officers who brought the surrender offer, “Inplain English it is the same as ‘Go to hell.’” When Manteuffel learned of the surrender offer, hewas furious at Lüttwitz for his unauthorized action.

Krüger’s 58th Corps, after breaking through the 112th Infantry, pushed west between St. Vithand Bastogne, encircling a battalion of the 3rd Armored Division at Marcouray. At Hotton in anattempt to capture the bridge over the Our River, the Germans met with a galling fire. The 116th

about 50 American tanks, 25 self-propelledguns, and numerous vehicles led by a generalhad passed through the village. No such thinghad happened, but Bayerlein believed that Bas-togne was held by a division and took up adefensive position northeast of Mageret, cut-ting the Longvilly-Bastogne road, and waitedfor morning before attacking toward the keytown. That night the lead elements of the 101stAirborne, the 501st Parachute Infantry Regi-ment (PIR), reached Bastogne. The Germanshad barely lost the race.

In the heavy morning fog of the 19th, Bayer-lein sent a reconnaissance force toward Bas-togne. The force soon reached Neffe, the loca-tion of Team Cherry’s command post. Whilethe Americans put up stubborn defense from astone chateau, the Germans soon discoveredthey had a more serious problem on their handswhen columns of American infantry were spot-ted coming toward them from Bastogne. It wasthe 501st PIR probing east of Bastogne.

The aggressive paratrooper attack againstHill 510 overlooking Neffe and Mageretcaused Bayerlein to believe he was facing amajor American counterattack. Leaving astrong force to defend the Mageret-Neffe roadand Hill 510, Bayerlein pushed southwest overterrible secondary roads to probe Americandefenses there.

Concurrently, Team Cherry at Longvilly wassurrounded. Elements of the Panzer Lehr thathad been delayed clearing a village east of theClerf River on the 18th began to catch up withthe rest of the division. Lead elements of thedivision, along with the 26th Volksgrenadier

BELOW: An American soldier reloads his M1 nearHouffalize, Belgium. In the fight for Bastogne, Americantroops showed great resilience fighting in harsh winterconditions. RIGHT: A Sherman tank of the U.S. 4thArmored Division of Lt. Gen. George Patton's Third Armycovers a stretch of highway near Bastogne. Patton'sforces raced north to check the advance of the German 5thPanzer Army. OPPOSITE: American vehicles are shown inthe streets of Bastogne. By January 25, the Allies hadcompletely erased the bulge in their lines.

Continued from page 69

M-Nov14 Bulge_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:35 PM Page 31

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (32)

A hill not far from the Worthington houseafforded Gordon a wide view of the battlefieldacross which he would send his infantry againstthe enemy. The Yankee line was situated on alow ridge about a half mile from where Gordonwas making his reconnaissance. The Georgiannoted that the bluecoats were posted behindfences for protection and that their line of bat-tle ran from high ground on his right to theriver on his left. A Yankee battery next to theriver was posted to sweep the farmland. Far-ther back, the Yankees had a second line oftroops in support. Both lines were south ofGeorgetown Pike, which led east from Freder-ick, Maryland, to Washington.

It took only minutes for Gordon to form hisplan. His brigades would form up in a pro-tected area behind a wooded hill on the south-

Major General John Brown Gordon guided his horse pastfields where stalks of waist-high corn glistened in the sun.About 15 minutes earlier he had watched as the foot sol-diers at the head of his 3,500-strong division strode fully

clothed into a shallow ford in the Monocacy River. Having told histhree brigadiers to get their troops across the river as quickly as pos-sible, Gordon rode at mid-afternoon on July 9, 1864, through theford and spurred his horse up a steep grade on the east bank. Hewanted to survey the Yankee position and determine how best todrive the bluecoats from the field.

Gordon rode across John Worthington’s farm toward an adja-cent farm to the north where the Federals were waiting. On theway, the Georgia-born general passed dismounted Virginia cavalrythat had found the ford that morning but failed to drive the Yan-kees from the Thomas Farm. Rifles cracked and minié balls whis-tled through the air as the two sides exchanged fire.

32 Military Heritage November 2014

A Murderous FireLew Wallace scraped together a Union army to contest Jubal Early’s crossing of the Monocacy River on July 9, 1864. The day-long battle bought precious time to prepare the capital against the Confederate raid.

M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 32

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (33)

at Washington. The longer that Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace’sscratch army delayed Early’s army, the more likely that thefortifications at Washington would be manned by Union vet-erans transferred by boat from the Richmond-Petersburgsector when the Confederates reached the city. Time wascritical, and Gordon intended to make quick work of Wal-lace’s Yankees.

At the beginning of June 1864, the Army of the Potomac,led by Maj. Gen. George Meade and accompanied by Gen-eral of the Army Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, had slowlyadvanced after a month of hard fighting to the outskirts ofRichmond. Lee had miraculously managed through theskillful use of maneuver and field fortifications to keepGrant from fighting his way into Richmond. But a newthreat had developed in the form of Maj. Gen. DavidHunter’s Army of the Shenandoah, which was marchingon Lynchburg, bent on destroying the railroads of centralVirginia that supplied Lee’s army.

ern end of the Worthington Farm. The Butter-nuts would cross the hill and debouch from thewoods onto open fields. Gordon’s line wouldoverlap the enemy’s left flank. If everythingwent well, his soldiers would roll that flank up,forcing the enemy to retreat.

Gordon’s brigades would attack by echelon,beginning with Brig. Gen. Clement Evans’sGeorgia Brigade on the right, followed by Brig.Gen. Zebulon York’s Louisiana Brigade in thecenter, and Brig. Gen. William Terry’s VirginiaBrigade on the left. Confident of success, Gor-don turned his horse back to give final ordersto his brigadiers and, as was his custom, to helpguide the troops into battle.

Gordon knew that the Yankees had to bepried from Monocacy Junction before dusk sothat Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s 12,000-man armycould continue its raid on the Federal capital

Veteran Union troops take up a strong position ina ditch as Confederates stream down a hillside onthe Thomas Farm in an effort to uncover rivercrossings for the rest of Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’sConfederate army at the Battle of Monocacy.


Art ©

Keith R

occo; ww


November 2014 Military Heritage 33


M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 33

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (34)

34 Military Heritage November 2014

Lee dispatched Maj. Gen. John Breckinridge with his 2,100-man division from Richmond onJune 7 to resist Hunter’s advance on Lynchburg, but when word reached Lee that Hunter’s 9,000-man Army of the Shenandoah was scheduled to double in size when reinforced by Brig. Gen.George Crook’s Kanawha Division, he sent 47-year-old Lt. Gen. Jubal Early with an entire Con-federate corps to join Breckinridge.

On June 12, Early left Richmond at the head of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corps,comprising 12,000 men in three divisions and two battalions of artillery. Early reached Lynch-burg before Hunter. When Old Jubilee attempted to bring him to battle, Hunter shamefully with-drew into the Allegheny Mountains.

At that point, Lee ordered Early to launch a raid on Washington to siphon troops from the Armyof the Potomac operating against the Confederate capital. It was Lee’s hope that Grant would beforced to send a sizable portion of his army by water from the James River to Washington to defendthe Federal capital. Early knew it was a risky operation. His small army might be attacked beforeit reached Washington, and even if it did make it to the outskirts of the strongly fortified capital,it was likely that it could do little damage. Nevertheless, the Army of Northern Virginia was hardpressed, and Lee was willing to take a major gamble in an effort to disrupt Grant’s strategy.

For the campaign, Early reorganized his forces into two corps of two divisions each whileencamped at Staunton, Virginia. One of the corps was led by Breckinridge, and the other corps

by Maj. Gen. Robert Rodes. Rendezvousing withEarly to support his march north were four brigadesof cavalry under Maj. Gen. Robert Ransom.

Early’s army marched north from Staunton onJune 28. Lee had also instructed Early to disrupt theFederal communications and transport infrastruc-ture wherever possible on his march. To get a headstart on these objectives, Ransom’s cavalry had rid-den north to destroy sections of the Baltimore &Ohio Railroad.

Early’s vanguard made contact on July 3 with theFederal garrison under Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel at

Harpers Ferry. After some protracted skirmishing,Sigel on July 5 withdrew his four regiments to astrong defensive position on Maryland Heights.Because Sigel’s guns on Maryland Heights domi-nated the surrounding terrain, including the town,Old Jubilee deemed it impractical for his troops tooccupy the abandoned town. Instead, the Confeder-ates made preparations to cross into Maryland westof Harpers Ferry. On July 6, Early’s troops splashedthrough Boteler’s Ford and entered Maryland.

Word had quickly arrived in Baltimore andWashington that a rebel force of unknown size wasmoving through the Shenandoah Valley. The initial

warning was sounded by B&O Railroad President John W. Garrett, who had received reportson June 29 from railroad agents that the Confederates were destroying B&O property betweenHarpers Ferry and Cumberland.

On July 2, Garrett sought out Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace, who commanded the Middle Department,which was responsible for the upper Mid-Atlantic States. Garrett, who stopped by unexpectedlyat Wallace’s headquarters in Baltimore, requested that Wallace dispatch troops to protect the rail-road between Harpers Ferry and the Monocacy Junction. The junction, situated on the west bankof the Monocacy River, was the point at which a spur of the B&O Railroad ran north to Freder-ick. Wallace told Garrett flatly that he had no authority west of the Monocacy River.

Garrett insisted that at the very least Wallace should take immediate steps to protect the rail-road bridge over the Monocacy River, which was a vital piece of infrastructure. Two blockhouses,one on each bank, were occupied by guards, but Wallace decided to strengthen the junction imme-diately by sending Colonel Charles Gilpin’s Third Maryland Potomac Home Guard Brigade (aregiment-sized unit) to bolster the defenses at the junction. Gilpin’s unit, which was one of fiveregiments in Brig. Gen. Erastus Tyler’s First Brigade of Wallace’s VIII Corps, was the first unit toreach the junction.

Union Chief of Staff General Henry Halleckin Washington briefed Grant by telegraph onJuly 3 about the unfolding crisis. Grant insistedthat Early’s corps was still at Richmond. ButGrant was dead wrong. To put Halleck’s mindat ease, Grant told Halleck to order Sigel tointercept the mysterious Confederate force.Halleck complained that most of the troopsavailable to defend Washington were militia.To appease Halleck, Grant said that if neces-sary he would send Brig. Gen. James Ricketts’s5,000-man Third Division of the VI Corpsnorth by water to Baltimore.

Wallace, who had led a Union division at Shilohin April 1862, had performed poorly on the firstday of the battle and been made a scapegoat inits aftermath. But he was a staunch Repub lican,and in March 1864 Lincoln appointed him tocommand the Middle Department.

Wallace immediately began shifting forceswest to protect the junction and made plans tobe there himself to oversee its defense. Unfor-tunately for Wallace, Halleck could not get helpfrom either Sigel or Hunter, both of whomavoided communications with Washington.Both would eventually be replaced.

On July 6, Wallace accompanied the balanceof Tyler’s First Brigade of the VIII Corps toMonocacy Junction. This included CaptainFrederick Alexander’s Baltimore Artillery com-posed of six 3-inch rifled cannons. A boon toWallace was the unexpected arrival at the junc-tion of five companies of Lt. Col. David Clen-denin’s 8th Illinois Cavalry totaling 230 menarmed with Sharps carbines. Halleck had sentClendenin’s horse soldiers from Washington toprotect the telegraph lines and gather informa-tion on the Confederates. By the end of the day,Wallace had about 2,300 men at MonocacyJunction, but most of them were green troops.

On July 8, the main body of Early’s armymarched through the gaps in South Mountain.Wallace had received a dispatch from Garrettthe day before that a large force of Union vet-eran infantry had arrived by ship in Baltimoreand would begin arriving the next morning toreinforce Wallace.

Wallace issued orders for Gilpin’s brigade andalso for Colonel Allison Brown’s 144th and149th Ohio Regiments to cover the Stone Bridge(21/2 miles north of the railroad junction), whichcarried the National Pike from Frederick to Bal-timore. This was necessary to protect the rightflank of the troops at the junction and maintaincommunications with Baltimore.

At Monocacy Junction itself, Wallace pre-pared to defend a covered wooden bridge thatcarried Georgetown Pike from Frederick toWashington, as well as the iron railroad bridge

TOP Lt. Gen. Jubal Early (left) and Maj. Gen. LewWallace. BOTTOM Brig. Gen. James Ricketts (left)and Brig. Gen. Clement Evans.








M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 34

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (35)

November 2014 Military Heritage 35

etts said. “Never! We’ll stay here. Give me your orders.” Wallace explained that he intended toput a token force on the west bank to delay the Confederates as long as possible. He ordered Rick-etts to deploy his men in two lines on the east bank to receive the attack that was expected thefollowing morning.

A storm swept through the area that night, drenching gray and blue alike. After it was over, thetemperature dropped noticeably, and the soldiers of both armies were awakened by roosters crow-ing in the barnyards of the farms located in the lush river valley. “The sun was bright and hot, a nicebreeze was blowing which kept us from being too warm,” wrote First Sergeant John Worsham ofthe 21st Virginia Infantry of Terry’s Consolidated Virginia Brigade. Union soldiers also noted thespectacular weather. “The clouds dispersed early this morning and the sun came out warm andbeautiful,” wrote Sergeant William James of the 11th Maryland Volunteer Infantry of Tyler’s brigade.

Rodes’s corps marched unopposed through Frederick shortly after daybreak on July 9 withMaj. Gen. Stephen Ramseur’s division forming the vanguard. Ramseur advanced cautiously onGeorgetown Pike toward Monocacy Junction, while Rodes led his own division east on theNational Pike toward the Stone Bridge. Leading the advance toward Monocacy Junction wasBrig. Gen. Robert Johnston’s Brigade, which comprised four North Carolina regiments. As a lineof Tarheel skirmishers fanned out on both sides of the road at about 8:30 AM, Captain ThomasKirkpatrick’s Amherst Artillery unlimbered two 3-inch ordnance rifles on a small hillock behindthem. The Rebel guns immediately began shelling the Federals to the east.

Alexander’s Baltimore battery had been divided into two parts with three guns sent to supportRicketts’s left on the 260-acre Thomas Farm to the south and the other three positioned on Rick-etts’s right opposite the junction. The Federals responded quickly, and the Confederates soonmoved other batteries up to support Kirkpatrick, namely Captain John Massie’s Fluvanna Artilleryand Captain John Carpenter’s Allegheny Artillery, which went into action north and south of thepike, respectively. By late morning, the Confederates had 12 guns in action against the Federalforce at the junction. Before the day was over, they would have three dozen guns engaged.

“We could not see their guns, as they were masked behind some bushes, and for every shot fired,we received two in return; we were having it hot and heavy ... while the other guns were waitingfor further developments,” wrote Union artilleryman Frederick Wild, who was detailed to Alexan-der’s guns on the bluffs protecting Ricketts’s right. “Fortunately for us the enemy were not goodmarksmen, and their shells went screeching far over our heads, doing more damage to troops thatwere maneuvering in our rear, than to us right in front.”

Wallace had sent a small force to the junction on the west bank at 7 AM to guard the approachesto the wooden bridge and the iron bridge. The force was composed of 200 men in five compa-nies of Captain Charles Brown’s 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade and 75 men led by Lieu-tenant George Davis, drawn from the 10th Vermont of Truex’s brigade. The troops fanned out

that Garrett was so concerned about. Earlier inthe war, the Union had erected two block-houses, one at the railroad junction on the westbank and one on the east bank. The two-storyblockhouses were made of massive logs andhad narrow slits through which the troopsinside could fire on any attacking force. Nearthe blockhouse on the east bank, which was sit-uated on the north side of the railroad, a 24-pounder howitzer posted on the bluffs providedsome artillery protection. Unfortunately, thegun would jam halfway through the battle.

William Truex’s 1st Brigade of Ricketts’s divi-sion began arriving by rail at Monocacy Junc-tion on the morning of July 8. After some heavyskirmishing by a portion of Wallace’s commandand Confederate cavalry in Frederick that day,Wallace made assignments that evening for thebattle he expected to occur the following day.The future author of Ben-Hur instructed Clen-denin to deploy his command at river crossingsdownstream from the junction, including theWorthington-McKinney Ford. Wallace gaveTyler command of the right wing. As for thetwo bridges directly east of the junction, Wal-lace planned to rely on Ricketts’s sturdy veter-ans to oversee their defense. At 8 PM, Wallacesent the following message to Halleck: “I shall... put myself in a position on the road to coverWashington, if necessary.”

Another train arrived with additional rein-forcements at 1 AM on July 9. The train carriedColonel Matthew McClennan’s 2nd Brigade ofRicketts’s division, and it also bore the divi-sional commander. Wallace suggested the forcesassembled march west in an effort to join forceswith Sigel’s command at Harpers Ferry, butRicketts dissuaded him of the idea. “What! Andgive Early a clear road to Washington,” Rick-

Confederate cavalry ford the Monocacy River downstream of the railroad junction in a flanking move meant to unhingethe Union position behind the river. Veteran Union infantry easily repulsed the cavalry, which attacked dismounted.

Art ©

Keith R

occo; ww


M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 35

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (36)

36 Military Heritage November 2014

about 350 yards from the railroad bridge, taking cover behind the railroad embankment, whichserved as a ready made breastwork. Some of the men took up positions inside the west blockhouse.

In the event that the Confederates were able to force a crossing at the junction, McClennan’sbrigade was deployed in two lines of battle directly behind the bridges. His three Ohio regimentsformed the first line, and the 9th New York Heavy Artillery (Heavies) and the 138th Pennsylva-nia formed the second line.

The Heavies were one of a number of artillery units from the forts surrounding Washingtonthat had been converted to infantry to compensate for a shortage of riflemen in Meade’s Army ofthe Potomac. Truex’s brigade was assembled at Gambrill’s Mill north of the railroad awaiting fur-ther orders.

About 9 AM, Johnston’s Tarheels attacked the Union bridgehead protecting the junction. Mis-taking the Confederates for Union troops falling back, Brown ordered his men to hold their fire.As a result, the North Carolinians killed some of the Marylanders. Brown then decided to turnover command to the more experienced Davis.

Fearing that the force on the opposite bank might be quickly overwhelmed, Ricketts orderedColonel William Seward Jr., commanding the Heavies, to send two companies across the river toreinforce Davis. A short time later, a company from the 106th New York also went across theriver. Davis ordered these three companies, which totaled about 225 soldiers, to extend his leftso that it was anchored on the river and would be difficult to outflank.

Confederate Maj. Gen. Stephen Ramseur believed that a full-scale attack against the fortifiedFederal bridgehead at the junction would result in heavy casualties. For this reason, the NorthCarolina-born general and division commander instructed Johnston not to launch a major assault,but simply to maintain pressure on Davis’s force. Johnston sent sharpshooters to the Best Farm,located south of Georgetown Pike, and they clambered up into the loft of the large barn on theproperty and proceeded to pick off a few Federals on the left of Davis’s line.

When Union infantry detected puffs of smoke coming from the top of the barn on the Best Farmto the east, they requested that Alexander’s gunners shell the barn to drive away the sharpshoot-ers. It did not take long for the Yankee gunners to produce positive results. “The second shot burstinside of the barn, and did the third, and the fourth, and the barn was soon on fire, and we hadthe satisfaction of seeing some of them being carried away on a litter, and put into an ambu-lance,” wrote artilleryman Wild.

At 10 AM, Brig. Gen. John McCausland led his four regiments of Virginia cavalry from theBuckeystown Pike along a farm path on the west side of the Monocacy River to the Worthing-ton-McKinney Ford located about a half mile downstream from the wooden bridge. Early hadordered McCausland to find a way to cross the river and drive off the Federal forces on the east

bank defending the two bridges near the junc-tion. Only Company B of the 8th Illinois Cav-alry, which had about 40 men, guarded theWorthington-McKinney Ford. Clendenin’sother four companies had ridden farther down-stream to burn any bridges they found to denytheir use to Early’s troops. Heavily outnum-bered, the horsem*n of Company B had noother choice than to fall back and relinquishcontrol of the ford to the Virginia cavalry.

Once across the river, McCausland orderedhis 1,000 cavalrymen to dismount and prepareto advance on foot toward the Federal position.Early, who observed with his binoculars theadvance of McCausland’s brigade, was elated.“McCausland’s movement, which was bril-liantly executed, solved the problem [of how tocross the river] for me,” wrote Early.

Both Wallace and Ricketts observedMcCausland’s advance, and Ricketts orderedTruex to shift four of the five regiments of his1st Brigade to the Thomas Farm, which wassituated north of the Worthington Farm, tooppose the attack. The Federals moved at thedouble-quick onto the Thomas Farm and estab-lished a line of battle facing west behind a fencefacing a cornfield. Truex’s left flank rested onthe Thomas farmhouse, known as Araby, andhis right rested on the river. From right (closestto the river) to left the regiments in the frontline were the 151st New York, 106th NewYork, 14th New Jersey, and 87th Pennsylvania.The 10th Vermont remained in reserve.

Ricketts also established a second line behindthem that consisted of two companies from the122nd Ohio and four companies from the138th Pennsylvania, which belonged toMcClennan’s 2nd Brigade. Wallace wouldeventually redeploy the remaining guns of theBaltimore Artillery to support Truex as thefighting grew in intensity on the Federal left.

While McCausland was making preparationsfor his attack, a Tarheel regiment attempted toget around Davis’s right flank at the Federalbridgehead at the junction. Colonel CharlesBlacknall’s 23rd North Carolina attempted tosneak along the river bank and make a dash tocapture the west end of the railroad bridge. ButDavis had posted pickets near the river bankwho warned him that a flank attack was immi-nent. Davis reinforced his right, and the attackwas repulsed.

McCausland’s Virginians advanced in twolines at noon. They marched east from the Wor-thington House across cornfields heading in thegeneral direction of Gambrill’s Mill. Afteradvancing about 400 yards, the first line of dis-mounted cavalrymen charged in a ragged linetoward the Thomas Farm. The Rebels “raised



of C




M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 36

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (37)

November 2014 Military Heritage 37

enemy position to obtain better results. The Missouri-born cavalry general decided to shift his attacksouth so that he would strike the left flank of Truex’s line. While he was reorganizing his troops forthe fresh attack, Gordon was making his own reconnaissance of the terrain and enemy positions.

McCausland’s dismounted cavalrymen attacked again at 2 PM. The Virginians “advanced onus in two lines of battle, mostly on our left flank, at least a half mile away, without a tree orobstruction of any kind to hide them,” wrote Corporal Roderick Clark of the 14th New Jersey.“It was certainly a grand sight as they advanced, in good order, with their numerous battle-flagswaving in the breeze. We began firing at once, but it made no difference. On they came withquick step until they got within 300 yards of us.”

Wallace was watching the Confederates closely and quickly discerned McCausland’s intent. Hesent orders to Truex’s regiments to move at the double quick to their left to check the Confeder-ate charge. As the musketry grew to a roar, Wallace ordered McClennan to move the remainderof his brigade to fill the gap between Truex’s line, which had shifted several hundred yards south,and the river. McClennan’s regiments were from right (closest to the river) to left the 110th Ohio,New York Heavies, 138th Pennsylvania, 122nd Ohio, and 126th Ohio.

The fighting between the Virginians and Truex’s 1st Brigade raged on both sides of Araby andaround the house itself. At one point McCausland’s boys captured Araby, but Wallace orderedRicketts to counterattack. Wallace sent Colonel William Henry’s 10th Vermont at the doublequick to take up a position on the extreme left of Truex’s line. McCausland rallied his men for

their battle cry, which, sounding across the fieldand the intervening distance, rose to me on theheights, sharper, shriller, and more like the com-posite yelping of wolves than I had ever heard,”wrote Wallace.

When the Confederates came to within 125yards of the fence, the Federals who had beencrouching down rose up and skillfully delivereda volley that shattered McCausland’s front line.McCausland had failed to send skirmishers for-ward, and this allowed Truex’s veterans toambush the dismounted cavalrymen. McCaus-land’s men had expected to chase off greentroops, but instead they encountered savvy vet-erans. Truex’s troops rested their barrels on thefence and fired at will. But McCausland’s menwere demoralized. Many of the Confederate cav-alry officers on horseback had been killed orwounded in the first few volleys. The Confeder-ates who survived the wall of fire crawled backtoward the Worthington House to regroup.

Wallace knew that the Confederates wouldattack again. What is more, he was facing anattack from two directions. Fearing that thestrong Confederate force might scatter Davis’stroops and capture the wooden covered bridgeintact, Wallace sent orders to Seward to burnthe bridge. A three-man detail drawn from theHeavies inside the bridgehead gathered sheavesof dry wheat and at 12:30 PM placed them onthe southeast corner of the structure. The fire“wrapped the roof in flames like magic,” wrotePrivate Alfred Roe of the Heavies, who observedthe fire from the east bank. Seward’s ordersincluded instructions for the three companies ofNew York troops to withdraw to the east bank,but Davis received no similar orders from Wal-lace, and so he remained at the junction.

Early had observed the repulse, and heordered Breckinridge, whose two divisionswere just south of Frederick on the Buck-eystown Road, to order Gordon to reinforceMcCausland. Gordon’s troops began movingtoward the Worthingon-McKinney Ford about2 PM. To support the attack, three Confederatebatteries moved closer to the river on the BestFarm. Breckinridge ordered Major WilliamMcLaughlin’s Monroe Artillery and CaptainWilliam Lowry’s Wise Legion Artillery to fol-low Gordon across the river to support hisattack. But due to the difficulty of gettingMcLaughlin’s battery across the rocky ford,Breckinridge’s staff decided that Lowry’s Bat-tery should join the other batteries on the BestFarm, all of which were in a superb position tobombard the right side of Truex’s line.

McCausland wanted to mount a secondattack, but it took considerable time to rally hisbrigade and also to carefully reconnoiter the

BELOW: A demonstration by troops belonging to Maj. Gen. Stephen Ramseur’s division against Monocacy Junction soughtto pin down Federal forces while Maj. Gen. John Gordon’s division attacked in echelon against the Union left flank on theThomas Farm. OPPOSITE: Company M of the 9th New York Heavy Artillery is shown in the Washington defenses. Lt.Gen. Ulysses S. Grant converted many of the artillery units defending the U.S. capital to infantry to compensate for loss-es in his Overland Campaign against General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Map ©

2014 Philip S

chwartzberg, M

eridian Mapping, M

inneapolis, MN

M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/5/14 9:34 AM Page 37

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (38)

38 Military Heritage November 2014

another attack at 3 PM, but by then nearly all of Ricketts’s troops were engaged. The time hadcome for McCausland to allow Gordon’s better-led infantry to go forward.

It took about an hour for Gordon’s three brigades to cross the river at the Worthington-McK-inney Ford and form up for the attack. At 3:15 PM, Gordon’s infantry advanced. Because someof his regiments did not reach the battlefield in time to participate in the battle, Ricketts’s divi-sion was similar in size to Gordon’s division. The three Rebel brigades formed up in area that wasfor the most part shielded from Federal observations by Brooks Hill directly south of the Wor-thington farmhouse. Evans’s brigade advanced first on the right. It marched over Brooks Hill andemerged from the woods about 700 yards from Truex’s division on the Thomas Farm.

Gordon had noted that Evans’s troops would encounter a number of challenges in their advance.They would have to cross a small stream at the base of Brooks Hill. Then they would have to getover several fences and maintain their cohesion as they advanced through a 40-acre wheatfieldwith numerous shocks of wheat waiting to be collected by the farmhands. The Southern regimentswould have to maintain their alignment throughout the advance despite the obstacles.

As they advanced, McLaughlin’s battery near the Worthington farmhouse opened up on the Fed-erals. In response, Alexander’s guns hurled shells at Evans’s exposed Georgians. Truex’s Yankeeshad taken up an excellent position in a sunken road on the Thomas Farm that served as a naturaltrench perpendicular to the river. The Yankees had a clear field of fire 400 yards in front of them.

Truex’s men hoped to give Gordon’s men the same hot reception that they had given the Virginiacavalrymen. “They moved with great precision down the slope [of Brooks Hill] while the boys of

the 87th and the other veterans under Truex eagerlywatched their movements,” wrote Lt. Col AlonzoStahle, who led the 87th Pennsylvania.

Regimental commanders on Truex’s left told theirboys to hold their fire until the Rebels reached a largeoak about 100 yards from the sunken road. “Oncame the rebels in two lines of battle, their field offi-cers riding in the front of their lines,” wrote CaptainPeter Robertson of the 106th New York. The Geor-gians charged, screaming their banshee-like Rebelyell. The Yankee line erupted in a blaze of fire thatripped into the front line of Evans’s Georgia brigadeand felled many valiant Rebels. Evans was seriouslywounded when a round went clear through his body,but he would eventually recover from the wound.Colonel Edmund Atkinson of the 26th Georgiaassumed command of the brigade as Evans was takento the rear.

“Wallace’s men were well posted in a road thatwas washed out and graded till it was as fine abreast works as I ever saw,” wrote Private G.W.

Nichols of the 61st Georgia, whose regiment was in the middle of the battle line. The Federalfire was delivered with such precision and force that Georgians could not get any closer than30 yards to the sunken road. And that was not the worst of what Evans’s boys experienced.Rather than outflanking Truex, Evans was outflanked instead. The 10th Vermont, togetherwith the 8th Illinois Cavalry, suddenly appeared on Evans’s right flank and poured a destruc-tive enfilading fire into the Georgians. Evans’s attack faltered momentarily as York’s Louisiananscrashed into Truex’s right.

York’s Louisianans struck the 151st and 106th New York Regiments, as well as the left regi-ments of McClennan’s brigade. Because of the rolling nature of the landscape across which Yorkwas advancing, his men were not exposed to Federal fire until they were right on top of Truex’sEmpire Staters. The New Yorkers tried to make a stand halfway down the slope that ran east fromAraby to Georgetown Pike, but the pressure from York’s veteran troops was too much, and theywere not able to rally until they reached Georgetown Pike.

The pike was a strong position, though, because it also was sunken from heavy traffic over theyears. With the two New York regiments in retreat, the 10th Vermont, 14th New Jersey, and87th Pennsylvania all fell back, too. Regiments of both Evans and York attacked Truex’s new posi-tion at 4 PM with great difficulty and were repulsed. “We could not see a Yankees on our part ofthe line during the whole advance,” wrote Private Nichols. “All that we could shoot at was the

smoke of their guns, they were so well posted.” The left regiments of York’s brigade took

heavy casualties from McClennan’s men, whostood their ground and enfiladed their ranks asthey rushed north toward Georgetown Pike.McClennan’s regimental and line officers hadsome of the men change front and pour a with-ering fire into the left flank of the Louisianans.The situation would not be remedied untilTerry’s Consolidated Virginia Brigade struckMcClennan’s line.

Terry’s veterans were anxious to get theirlicks in on the Yankees. The Virginians movedat the double quick through a cornfield nearthe river toward McClennan’s line. “On goinginto the fight, we went on a run, left wheel byregiment,” wrote George Pile of the 37th Vir-ginia. In the blistering heat of the late after-noon, Terry rode alongside his men. The Vir-ginia Military Institute graduate told them toslow down and conserve their energy.

Yankee skirmishers were waiting for theConfederates behind a fence, and they deliv-ered a powerful volley that felled a number ofVirginians. Unlike the dismounted cavalry, theveteran Rebels stood their ground and returnedfire. The Yankee skirmishers fell back to jointhe main line. At that point, Terry’s men saw acolumn of Yankees moving west at the doublequick toward the river. One of the Virginiansshouted, “At ‘em boys!” wrote First SergeantJohn Worsham of the 21st Virginia Infantry.Gordon, who was nearby, said, “Keep quiet.We will have our time presently.” Gordonordered several Butternuts to dismantle a sec-tion of the abandoned fence so that thosebehind them could pass through it without hav-ing to expose themselves to fire by climbingover it. The Virginians did as told, and Terry’stroops surged into the pasture north of Araby.

Waiting for Terry’s Virginians were the 110thOhio and the Heavies. The two sides tradedvolleys. After a short time, McClellan orderedthe two regiments to fall back. As they did so,the Buckeyes inadvertently left a gap of about100 yards between themselves and the river.

Terry ordered Colonel John Funk to take hisregiment, which comprised the remnants of thefamous Stonewall Brigade, and move along theriver bank to strike McClennan’s right flank.The crack troops fell on McClellan’s flank withzeal, delivering rapid volleys that stung the Yan-kees. Coupled with the Confederate batteriesfiring into their ranks from the other side of theriver, McClennan’s brigade was on the verge ofbeing routed.

The 110th Ohio, which was posted on theright of McClellan’s brigade, suffered the mostfrom the flank attack. The Buckeyes came



of C



M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 38

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (39)

November 2014 Military Heritage 39

just as Confederates swarmed the west end of it. The victorious Rebels grabbed several Yankeesbefore they could get away and took them prisoner. Davis narrowly escaped capture. For hissuperb leadership that day, Davis would receive the Medal of Honor. Following on Davis’s heels,the Tarheels of Colonel Thomas Toon’s 20th North Carolina were the first Confederates to crossthe railroad bridge. They immediately occupied empty rifle pits that offered a point of attackagainst Ricketts’s right flank.

At that point, Wallace ordered a general retreat because of a lack of ammunition. The troopswere instructed to retreat to Monrovia. The following day, Wallace’s army entrained for Baltimore.The garrison and whatever reinforcements had arrived in Washington by steamer or rail wouldbe sufficient to cover the federal capital, reasoned Wallace.

Ricketts’ two brigades had great difficulty disengaging, and McClennan’s brigade became dis-organized. But Early was not interested in pursuing Wallace; he just wanted an open road toWashington. By 5 PM, the fighting sputtered out on the southern end of the battlefield.

Colonel Allison Brown had established a bridgehead manned by about 660 men on the westend of the Stone Bridge that morning. Throughout the day he had resisted half-hearted attacksby Rodes’s division. Fearing that the Confederates might seize the bridge and cut off his retreat,Wallace sent orders to Brown at 4 PM that he was to hold the bridge “to the last extremity.” At 6PM, Rodes launched a strong attack that forced Brown to withdraw to the east bank. Many ofBrown’s militia threw down their rifles and fled through the countryside. To his credit, Brown man-aged to lead 300 of the bravest Ohioans in an orderly retreat east along the National Pike.

Wallace’s hastily assembled Union army lost 700 killed and wounded and 600 captured. Early’sConfederates suffered 900 casualties, of which nearly 700 were from Gordon’s division.

Wanting to avoid excessive casualties, Early was reluctant to commit his forces in frontal attacksagainst the two bridgeheads. Thus, a battle that might have been over by noon lasted a full day.Wallace had bought precious time for Halleck to strengthen the defenses at Washington, and hehad done it without having to sacrifice his entire army. Wallace lost tactically, but won strategi-cally. As a result, his reputation was restored.

“under a murderous fire of musketry andartillery, the latter coming obliquely from thefront and rear and directly from the right,”wrote Lt. Col. Otto Brinkely, the commander ofthe 110th Ohio. With both of his flanks receiv-ing enfilading fire, McClennan had no choicebut to order a retreat to Georgetown Pike.

About the time that Gordon’s division wasforming up for its attack mid-afternoon, Ram-seur ordered Johnston to launch anotherattack on Davis’s bridgehead. The Tarheelsstruck at 3 PM, and heavy firing lasted fornearly an hour. Tyler, who was concernedabout similar Rebel demonstrations against theStone Bridge to the north, sent orders to Brownto withdraw his troops across the railroadbridge and then march immediately to theStone Bridge. Davis’s men covered their with-drawal. The retreat was difficult because therairoad bridge had been constructed without afloor; it consisted of nothing more than tiesand rails laid across an iron trestle. Neverthe-less, Brown’s men made it across and marchednorth to the Stone Bridge.

About 4:30 PM, Davis’s men began their ownretreat across the railroad bridge. Davis wasone of the last to step onto the railroad bridge

ABOVE: Union Lieutenant George Davis of the 10th Vermont Infantry Regiment, who would receive the Medal of Honor for holding the two bridges at the railroad junction againstvastly superior numbers for the greater part of the day, ordered his small force to withdraw across the railroad bridge in the late afternoon. OPPOSITE: Private Luther Hart Clapp ofthe 37th Virginia Infantry Regiment fought in Brig. Gen. William Terry’s Brigade, which turned the right flank of Ricketts’s division in the last stage of the battle.

Art ©

Keith R

occo; ww


M-Nov14 Monocacy *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:52 PM Page 39

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (40)



M-Nov14 Heligoland_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:23 PM Page 40

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (41)

November 2014 Military Heritage 41

Great Britain had just entered World War I, and the first few weeks went badly for the British.The Russians were taking a long time to mobilize their military. In contrast, the Germans had mobi-lized and invaded Belgium and France. The German plan seemed a brilliant success.

The Allies also suffered a setback at sea during the first few days of the war. The German dread-nought Goeben and cruiser Breslau were at large in the Mediterranean. Despite the Royal Navy’sefforts to locate and destroy them, both enemy warships managed to escape. Britain clearly neededa naval victory.

Thus, on August 23, 1914, Commodore Roger Keyes, the head of the Royal Navy’s submarineservice, paid a visit to First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. Keyes’s submarines had mon-itored the German warships near Heligoland. It was a risky business. Some of Keyes’s submarineswere nearly sunk by vigilant enemy destroyers. In contrast, the Germans had many close calls. A

German cruiser of the Roon class came close to being sunk by a Britishsubmarine. Keyes’s ships were able to obtain valuable information onenemy ship movement near Heligoland. Keyes proposed a plan for “awell-organized drive commencing before dawn from inshore close toenemy’s coast.”

Heligoland Bight is a shallow bay located in the southeast corner of theNorth Sea off the coast of Lower Saxony. The Bight stretches from themouth of the Elbe River to the Heligoland Islands. The British took con-trol of the Heligoland Islands during the Napoleonic Wars but returnedthem to Germany in 1890. The Germans were delighted to have themback. As one member of the Reichstag said, “We think with gratitude ofthe German statesman Caprivi, who, by concluding the agreementwhereby Heligoland was handed over to us by the British, transformedthat island into the most effective protection for the coast of Germany.”

First Lord of the Admiralty Sir John Fisher regarded the transfer as agrave mistake. “The Tories gave up Heligoland, the key to the Baltic,” said Fisher. At the out-break of the war, Heligoland Bight served as a base for the German High Seas Fleet. When GreatBritain entered the war, the British Admiralty feared enemy warships operating out of HeligolandBight might attack troop transports carrying the British Expedition Force to France. Thus, Tyr-whitt and his destroyers swept the southern area of the North Sea to intercept any German ves-sels that might interfere with the troop transports. There was a brief action at 7 AM on August18, when the cruiser Fearless fired on the German cruiser Rostock. Tyrwhitt attempted to cut offthe fleeing Rostock, but the enemy warship escaped.

According to observation reports from British submarines, the Germans typically sent out a

Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt of theRoyal Navy was in a grave predica-ment on August 28, 1914. His forcewas near the German base at

Heligoland Bight. His flagship, the light cruiserArethusa, had suffered considerable damagewhile engaged with the German light cruiserStettin. The commodore received assistancefrom the cruiser Fearless and several destroyers.

Suddenly, the German cruiser Mainz cameout of the mist. The British destroyers swungaround to attack her. The enemy warshipturned only to come under the guns of Com-modore William Goodenough’s cruisers. Tyr-whitt signaled Vice Admiral David Beatty thathe needed his help.

The situation took a turn for the worse whenthe German cruiser Stralsund came withinsight. The commodore ordered his destroyers tofire torpedoes at her, all of which missed theirtarget. The Stralsund retreated in the mist.

Then the Mainz reappeared out of the fog.Tyrwhitt ordered his destroyers to attack. Dur-ing the battle the British destroyer Laurel wash*t, putting her after gun out of action; Libertywas hit, killing her captain; and Laertes alsotook a hit that killed two of her crew.

“Come on Beatty,” Tyrwhitt thought,“Please come.” He needed Beatty’s battle cruis-ers to remedy the situation. Miles away, Beattywas steaming as fast as he could to help Tyr-whitt. A British victory depended on it.

The British Admiralty had developed a planto attack German warships operating in thewaters off Heligoland Bight earlier that month.

Mary Evans Library / The Image Works

BELOW: British vessels sail toward HeligolandBight in August 1914.They steamed into actionat high speed to foil minesand submarines. OPPOSITE: The HMS Lion was the flagship ofthe First BattlecruiserSquadron stationed atScapa. The squadron’s rolewas to support Britishdestroyers and submarinesin interrupting Germanpatrols in the North Sea.


© Press Association / The Image Works

M-Nov14 Heligoland_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:23 PM Page 41

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (42)

42 Military Heritage November 2014

flotilla of destroyers accompanied by two cruis-ers north of Heligoland during the night andfanned seaward. They were relieved shortlyafter daylight by a second flotilla of light cruis-ers on a much less extensive beat about 20 milesnorthwest of the island. The submariners alsoobserved that German patrols went to seabefore dark and returned at dawn. Little couldbe done during daylight, for a large number ofdestroyers were on patrol both north and southof Heligoland. The destroyers steamed at highspeed to foil mines and submarine attacks.

Originally Keyes envisioned a plan to attackthe enemy’s night patrol. After consulting withTyrwhitt, the plan was altered to conduct theactual drive at 8 AM when the night patrol was in port and the day patrol was just starting its duty.The submarines E6, E7, and E8 were to show themselves 40 miles from Heligoland to lure outthe German destroyers. Tyrwhitt’s force would attack them, while the submarines E4, E5, andE9 dealt with any German cruisers coming out of the Bight to assault the British destroyers.

The plan was carefully explained to Admiral John Jellicoe, the commander in chief of the GrandFleet. He believed the attacking force was too weak in the event the enemy’s heavy ships cameout. Jellicoe suggested that the entire Grand Fleet cooperate with Tyrwhitt’s force. The BritishAdmiralty rejected this idea, but instead allowed Beatty’s battle cruisers at Scapa Flow, the Lion,Princess Royal, and Queen Mary, to furnish “support if convenient.”

Beatty was ready on the morning of August 28. He was not able to leave harbor until 1 AM

because of the tide. A squadron of cruisers under the command of Goodenough was to make forthe destroyers’ rendezvous. Due to the mismanagement of the British Admiralty’s staff, neitherTyrwhitt nor Keyes was informed that Beatty and Goodenough were coming. As a result, Good-enough’s cruisers were nearly attacked by Tyrwhitt’s force at 3:30 that morning.

Beatty was ignorant of the details of the plan. At 8 AM, he signaled the First Battle CruiserSquadron and the First Light Cruiser Squadron. In addition to informing them of the position atsea where they were to rendezvous at 5 AM with Rear Admiral Archibald Moore’s Cruiser ForceK, comprising Invincible and New Zealand, to support the British destroyers and submarines,Beatty informed them, “Operation consisting of a sweep of a line north-south true from HornsReef to Heligoland to westward ... know very little, shall hope to learn more as we go along.”

Tyrwhitt left harbor with his ships at midnight on August 26, 1914. The submarines also wentout to sea to take up their position. His intent was to attack on August 28. So far everything wasgoing as planned.

Tyrwhitt personally led the Third Flotilla. His flagship, Arethusa, was a 3,500-ton cruiser witha top speed of 28.5 knots and armed with two 6-inch guns and four 4-inch guns. Unfortunately,it was a brand new ship, leaving the builders just three days prior.

The Third Flotilla consisted of four divisions with a total of 16 destroyers. Accompanying the

commodore was the First Flotilla, which wasled by the 3,400-ton cruiser Fearless with aspeed of 25.4 knots and armed with 10 4-inchguns. This flotilla had five divisions of destroy-ers for a total of 19 destroyers. The FourthDivision with four destroyers was detached toaccompany the battle cruisers. Keyes, who wasin command of the cruiser Lurcher, had withhim the cruiser Fire Drake and a destroyer inclose company with the submarines. Goode-nough with his six cruisers was also participat-ing in the operation.

Both Tyrwhitt and Keyes were unaware ofGoodenough’s participation in the expedition.Unfortunately for the British, the Germans hadpicked up the wireless traffic of Tyrwhitt’s shipsand suspected the British were up to something.They put into effect their own counter plan,which they had devised sometime earlier in theevent of a British attack. The Germans sent outa few torpedo boats to draw the British insideHeligoland Bight, intending to cut them offwith their cruisers. It was an unusual situationin which both the British and Germans wereattempting to trap the other. Since the Britishwere on the offensive, the Germans were thefirst to score.

All of this was unknown to Tyrwhitt. Thecommodore was coming close to the Bight forthe 8 AM rendezvous. Following him were hisdestroyers five cables apart. Two miles asternwas the First Flotilla led by Captain W.I. Blunt.Goodenough in Southampton was followingeight miles away. His flotilla included five morecruisers in three divisions, which were twomiles apart.

A few minutes before 7 AM, one of the Germandecoy destroyers was sighted by the British look-outs about 31/2 miles to the southeastward. Tyr-whitt dispatched the Fourth Division of destroy-ers to chase the enemy warship since they werethe closest to her. The four destroyers, Laurel,Liberty, Lysander, and Laertes, steamed towardthe enemy destroyer, which fled southeastwardinto the Bight. The commodore continued oncourse with the balance of his force.

The four British destroyers came upon sev-eral German destroyers, and immediatelyaction began. Both sides opened fire. The range,however, was too great to be effective.

At 7:30 AM, Tyrwhitt lost visual contact withthe Fourth Division. He heard gunfire andknew his ships were engaging the enemy. Thecommodore sighted other German destroyersto the south-southwest. Tyrwhitt faced adilemma. He had to decide whether to attackthe enemy destroyers he saw to the south orcome to the assistance of the Fourth Division.

The commodore decided on the latter course

Bundesarchiv Bild 134-B3954; Photo unknown



ia C



Commodore Sir Roger Keyes (left) and Vice Admiral SirDavid Beatty. TOP: German light cruisers SMS Ariadne,Stralsund, and Danzig photographed during the action atHeligoland.

M-Nov14 Heligoland_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:23 PM Page 42

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (43)

November 2014 Military Heritage 43

missed their targets. Arethusa scored a few hits but was badly damaged herself in the engagement.By 8:05 AM, Fearless and her destroyers had come on the scene. Stettin turned away 16 points.

She appeared to be running back to Heligoland. Fearless and her flotilla gave chase, leavingArethusa alone to engage Franenlob. At 8:10 AM, the German cruiser turned southward downthe west side of Heligoland. Tyrwhitt gave chase and opened fire with his guns and torpedoes.At times the range was down to 4,000 yards. The British managed to get a hit under the enemy’sforebridge.

The German cruiser eventually pulled out and made for Heligoland. Tyrwhitt surmised that theenemy warship was so badly damaged that she would founder before she reached port. The com-modore was wrong; Franenlob managed to reach the port of Wilhelmshaven by noon with about50 of her crew killed or wounded.

Tyrwhitt’s flagship was badly damaged as well. All of his guns were out of action except one6-inch gun. Also, his forces were scattered. Some of the commodore’s destroyers were attendinga tramp steamer flying a Norwegian flag that seemed to be laying mines ahead of Arethusa. Afew of Tyrwhitt’s destroyers attacked a torpedo boat and mistakenly believed they sank her.Instead, she remained afloat and was taken in by two German destroyers. Still, other ships of theBritish flotilla were coming up on the forts of Heligoland and were fired on. Tyrwhitt signaledthat they should make a drive westward. Fearless followed the order and broke off her chase ofthe Stettin, which escaped in the mist.

At 8:15 AM, Fearless sighted the German destroyer V 187, a destroyer flotilla leader’s ship. V187 was on patrol that morning about 24 nautical miles northwest of Heligoland when shereceived a wireless from another destroyer, “Am chased by enemy armored cruiser.” V 187 setcourse to help when she came within sight of Fearless.

The German destroyer turned to run away and managed to disappear in the fog. At 8:25 AM,V 187 was sighted again by the Fifth Division going south. The British destroyers gave chase andopened fire on the enemy warship, nearly to scoring hits. V 187 tried to escape westward, thenturned southward where the German ship encountered the Nottingham and Lowestoft of Good-enough’s cruiser squadron. She turned 16 points and came under the guns of the British destroy-ers of the Third Division. In an effort to escape, V 187 rushed toward the Fifth Division in hopesof getting through the opposite course. This proved futile, and the British warships opened fireon her. At 8:50 AM, nothing could be seen of her except a cloud of black smoke.

Captain Blunt left V 187 to his Third and Fifth Divisions and took the balance of his destroy-

of action, altering course four points to portand increasing his speed. The sea was calm andclear to the seaward. However, visibility wasgreatly reduced as Tyrwhitt approached land.

At 7:40 AM, the commodore caught sight ofthe Fourth Division engaging the Germandestroyers. He altered course another twopoints to port and began a full-speed stern chaseof the enemy ships with Fearless and her flotillafollowing. The range was too great for effectivefiring, and he was not gaining on the Germans.

A wireless message was flashed at Germanheadquarters: “In square 142 and 151 enemycruisers and destroyers are chasing the FifthFlotilla.” Immediately two light cruisers—theStettin, a 3,466-ton 24-knot warship armedwith 10 4.1-inch guns, and the Franenlob, reg-istered at 2,656 tons with a speed of 21 knotsalso equipped with 10 4.1 inch guns—were dis-patched to help the destroyers under attack.

However, the German battle cruisers werenot sent to sea because of the tide. Other shipswere able leave harbor to render assistance. Thecruiser Mainz was ordered to “put to sea andtake the reported English forces in the rear.”

At 8 AM, a Stettin-class cruiser believed to bethe Stettin herself was seen by Tyrwhitt’s look-outs coming up from the north of Heligoland.The commodore turned four points westwardto engage her. As he did so, Franenlob wassighted coming up from the port quarter. Stet-tin turned 16 points inward, and Tyrwhittaltered to the southeast to fight her on a par-allel course.

Fighting erupted. Tyrwhitt’s destroyers sup-ported him with torpedoes. However, they all




/ T

he G


er C



n, N


The German flagship SMS Cöln takes fire from Commodore William Goodenough’s cruisers. Having suffered severe dam-age, her crew decided to scuttle her in the hope that they would be picked up by ships in close proximity. Sadly, all butone man perished at sea.

M-Nov14 Heligoland_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:24 PM Page 43

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (44)

44 Military Heritage November 2014

ers to rejoin the commodore. He made contact with Tyrwhitt at 9 AM, and together they wentwestward according to plan.

V 187, meanwhile, was in her death throes. The British destroyers were firing on her at a rangeof 600 yards. The German vessel was down by her bows, and the British ceased fire and sent awayboats for survivors. However, the Germans thought this was an attempt to capture their ship. Theycontinued to fire their guns and hit the Goshawk in the wardroom. The British resumed firing onher, and at 9:10 AM the gallant V 187 went down.

Rescue work was resumed. The boats had picked up several of V 187’s crew when Stettin sud-denly reappeared out of the mist and began firing on the British destroyers. The boats werequickly recalled. They did manage to take the German destroyer’s commodore and 26 othermen prisoner.

The commander of the British submarine E4 saw all of this. He fired a torpedo at the Stettinand missed. Stettin attempted to ram the submarine, but E4 managed to dive in time. Stettin thendisappeared in the mist. At 9:30 AM, the submarine resurfaced and assisted with the survivors ofV 187. The submarine commander took one officer and two others “as a sample” and gave water,biscuits, and a compass to other survivors in the boats.

Beatty by this time was able to leave port with his battle cruisers. In the flagship Lion he reachedhis supporting position 50 miles west-northwest of Heligoland. Beatty’s ships zigzagged making8-point turns to avoid torpedo attacks from enemy submarines. By this time, Goodenough hadreached his final position west-southwest of Heligoland. He had received a report that Tyrwhittwas engaging the enemy and thus sent Nottingham and Lowestoft to his assistance.

The two cruisers sighted a German destroyer and gave chase but lost it in the mist. Later theysaw more enemy destroyers and bore down on them. These German warships disappeared in thethick weather as well.

Goodenough decided to join Keyes and at 6:30 AM steered westward but could not see Keyes’sships. At 8:50 AM, Goodenough went northward and sighted Lurcher. Through the mist Keyesmistook the British vessels for German cruisers and consequently signaled Invincible that he waschased by four enemy cruisers.

At 9:05 AM, Goodenough decided to turn west to join the flotilla. This brought him to the outerline of British submarines. A little before 9:30 AM Goodenough saw a submarine he took to beGerman. The commodore tried to ram her, but the submarine, the British E6, managed to divein time. Her captain, Lt. Cmdr. C.F. Talbot, refrained from torpedoing the Southampton becausehe was not certain whether it was friend or foe.

Goodenough continued on his westerly course. The two cruisers he detached from his flotilla,Nottingham and Lowestoft, however, steamed north-northwest toward where their captainsbelieved the battle cruisers were. Actually, Beatty was changing course and signaled this infor-mation to Goodenough, Keyes, and Tyrwhitt. Unfortunately for the British, the captains of theNottingham and Lowestoft did not receive this vital message and were out of touch with the restof the forces.

By this time, Beatty was becoming concerned for Tyrwhitt’s force. He knew from the reports

he was receiving that action had been going onfor some time. The Germans by now had timeto put out their heavy ships. Although they hadnot done so, Beatty did not know this for cer-tain. The admiral was in a dilemma. Should heremain where he was or risk his battle cruisersto assist Tyrwhitt?

Beatty said that he received several signalsbeginning at 11:25 AM that were the first realnews his squadron had of the battle that had bythen been underway for 31/2 hours.

“The situation appeared to me to beextremely critical; the flotillas had advanced ontheir sweep only 10 miles since 8 AM, and thuswere only 26 miles from an enemy base in theirrear, with another base 25 miles on their flank… there was the possibility of a grave disaster,”Beatty wrote afterward.

At 11:30 AM, Beatty decided to go and helpTyrwhitt. Of Beatty’s performance, Churchillwrote, “Admiral Beatty, in spite not only of therisk of mines and submarines, but all he couldknow of meeting superior forces, had withextraordinary audacity led his squadron far inthe Bight.”

Beatty took a calculated risk regarding thethreat German U-boats posed to his cruisers.Invincible and New Zealand were attacked bythree U-boats shortly after 11 AM. “[Beatty] felthimself justified in risking attack from enemysubmarines, thanks to his speed, and he calcu-lated that he was powerful enough to take onany force which might come out,” said onenewspaper account. “Enemy battleships neednot be taken into account, as they would taketime to get steam up, locate him, and bring himto action, there again he had the legs off them.”

On the battle cruiser Invincible men sprangto life. Moore signaled Beatty that his shipmight do 25 knots. “It was just after noon thataction was sounded on the Invincible—the firsttime any of us had even heard the stirring callblown [on a bugle] in earnest,” said AssistantPaymaster Gordon Franklin.

Meanwhile, the destroyer Fire Drake, attachedto Keyes, passed on the signal to Tyrwhitt thatshe was being chased by enemy cruisers. Tyr-whitt did not know at the time they were actu-ally British cruisers Keyes and his lookouts hadseen. Tyrwhitt stopped going westward and setcourse to the east to help Keyes. It was then thathe sighted the Stettin again. The commodorebegan to chase the German cruiser and onceagain lost sight of her in the fog.

By this time the Third and Fifth Divisions,which had finished off V 187, rejoined theflotilla. Shortly afterward, Tyrwhitt began tofear that he was coming too close toHeligoland, so he turned back 16 points to the

Wikipedia Commons

M-Nov14 Heligoland_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:24 PM Page 44

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (45)

November 2014 Military Heritage 45

to deliver a torpedo attack. Blunt’s destroyers turned on the enemy, but the Stralsund retreated.Tyrwhitt considered chasing the German cruiser. In the end he decided not to follow the enemy

warship. The commodore sensed that there was a trap set for him. Then Stettin appeared oncemore, and Arethusa and Fearless engaged her. During the exchange of shots, Blunt signaled hisdestroyers to deliver a torpedo attack on the German cruiser. Commodore Arthur Dutton of thedestroyer Lookout, who was in charge of the First Division of the Third Flotilla, turned east-south-east to assist.

Suddenly, the German cruiser Mainz came on the scene. The destroyer Ariel, leading the Sec-ond Division of the First Flotilla, swung around to attack her. The Third and Fifth Divisionsjoined in. Several minutes later the Mainz turned back 16 points, where she came in contact withGoodenough’s cruisers, which opened fire on her.

The situation became critical for the British at 11:30 AM when Stralsund came out of the mist.She began to engage Arethusa. Tyrwhitt signaled Beatty that he required immediate assistance,and Beatty responded by ordering Goodenough to help.

Tyrwhitt felt uneasy about engaging Stralsund alone, so he ordered his destroyers to deliver atorpedo attack. The British destroyers moved in for the attack but Stralsund turned northwest to

avoid them. Several torpedoes were fired, but they all missed their mark. This, however, savedArethusa, for the enemy cruiser retreated and disappeared in the thick weather.

With this immediate danger past, Tyrwhitt decided to resume his westward course. Then, a lit-tle after noon Mainz was sighted going southward. She was trying to escape from Goodenough’scruisers. Fearless engaged her, firing a torpedo, but gyroscope trouble caused the torpedo to miss.

The commodore ordered his destroyers to assist Blunt. The First Division of the First Flotillaand the First and Second Divisions of the Third Flotilla moved northward of Arethusa and formeda line ahead to swing to the starboard on an opposite course of the enemy. The other destroyerswere southward of the flagship and held on a westward course. Laurel fired two torpedoes, butboth missed. Mainz opened fire on the British destroyer. Laurel was hit, and the lyddite in the afterready racks detonated, putting the after gun out of action. The destroyer limped away.

The destroyer Liberty was also hit. The mast tumbled down, killing the captain, Lt. Cmdr. NigelBartelot. Laertes suffered a hit that killed two members of her crew and wounded six others.

Mainz was also badly damaged. She was ablaze fore and aft, and her helm was jammed, caus-ing the warship to steam in circles. The situation was so critical that the order “steer from wheel-house” was issued.

The German cruiser received help when Stralsund, Stettin, and the flagship Cöln, bearing the

west. Twenty minutes later the commodore sig-naled the Fearless and the other ships under hiscommand to stop engines. Tyrwhitt wanted totake time to repair his flagship.

While the crew of Arethusa tended to its ship,Tyrwhitt pondered the situation. He hoped thatthe enemy would not come on the scene untilhe had Arethusa repaired and ready. It wouldbe a disaster if the Germans attacked his flag-ship while she was vulnerable. It was obviousby now that it was a mistake to send this cruiserinto action just three days after leaving herbuilders.

Meanwhile, Keyes in Lurcher came uponthose mysterious cruisers. He challenged themand learned they were British of Goodenough’ssquadron. This brought a sense of relief toKeyes. Although he now knew Goodenough’scruisers were taking an active part in the oper-ations, the British submarine commanders werestill ignorant of this fact. This meant there wasa distinct possibility these cruisers might beattacked by their own submarines. Therefore,Goodenough signaled Beatty and requestedpermission to leave the danger area.

Beatty replied that Goodenough was not togo too far south and instead to keep north ofthe flotilla. Goodenough ceased his movementsouthward and headed to the north.

Beatty at this time was making his best effortto join Tyrwhitt. His ships were making goodspeed. The admiral later wrote to his wife, “Atone time I thought we should never do it, [getto Tyrwhitt in time] but by hard steaming,thanks to old Green [engineer Percy Green], theLion fairly flew 28 knots.” Beatty felt that itwas safe enough to come to the assistance ofhis comrades at arms.

Even so, Beatty felt that he was risking agreat deal. The admiral confided to his flag cap-tain Ernle Chatfield, “Am I justified in goinginto the hornet’s nest with these great ships? IfI lose one it will be a great blow to the coun-try.” Nevertheless, Beatty was determined tocarry out his decision.

Tensions were high on the bridge of the bat-tle cruiser Lion. Beatty was calm and collected.Chatfield and the other officers present wereimpressed with Beatty’s leadership. He inspiredconfidence to everyone on the bridge.

At 10:30 AM, the crew of Arethusa managedto get all of its guns working except two 4-inchguns. Still the flagship was badly damaged andcould make only 10 knots. Tyrwhitt signaledFearless to maintain visual contact with him.

Then, a few minutes before 11 AM a Breslau-class cruiser, the Stralsund, was seen in the south-east coming up on a northern course. She openedfire on the British ships. Tyrwhitt ordered Blunt

Bundesarchiv VM 10 Bild-23-61-47; Photo unknown

ABOVE: Shells explode around the German cruiser SMS Ariadne in this dramatic illustration. In the aftermath of the Britishvictory, the Germans became overly cautious. OPPOSITE: British sailors watch as the German cruiser Mainz suffers cripplingfire. The German light cruisers were no match for superior British tactics and firepower at Heligoland Bight.

Continued on page 68

M-Nov14 Heligoland_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:24 PM Page 45

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (46)

46 Military Heritage November 2014

IT SOUNDS LIKE IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A SCENE FROM THE Middle Ages. A king of England with sword in hand led his forces againsttheir longtime enemies, the French. But amid the ranks of warriors and theirbright banners on this battlefield, there were no helmeted knights or sturdyarchers. The knights in this king’s army wore red coats and powdered hairrather than chain mail and helmets. Instead of the clanging of swords onshields, there was the sputtering of muskets as they flashed against a back-ground of booming artillery and thick sulfurous smoke. This was a mod-ern battle of the Age of Enlightenment. The Battle of Dettingen, fought June27, 1743, would be remembered as the last time a British monarch per-sonally led soldiers into battle.

In the early 1700s, Charles VI was both the elected Holy Roman Emperorand the hereditary Hapsburg ruler of Austria and Hungary. Charles facedthe same problem that bedeviled Henry VIII nearly two centuries before inEngland. He lacked a male heir for his inherited dominions. The emperor’ssolution was an accord called the Pragmatic Sanction. Drafted in 1713, thedocument stated that Charles’s eldest daughter would inherit his Hapsburglands in the absence of a male heir. Years of diplomacy persuaded most ofthe major powers of Europe to accept the succession agreement. In 1717,the solution became a real possibility when Charles VI’s wife, Empress Eliz-abeth, gave birth to a female heir, Maria Theresa.

The deaths of two rulers in 1740 toppled Europe into another war. KingFrederick William I of Prussia died on May 31, bringing his ambitious sonFrederick II, who eventually became known as Frederick the Great, to thethrone. The old king was an efficient ruler who built what had been the sec-ond-rate army of a small power into one of the Continent’s most formida-ble military forces.

Frederick II saw his chance for more power and territory when he learnedof the October 20 death of Emperor Charles VI. Maria Theresa inheritednumerous titles, including Queen of Hungary and Archduch*ess of Austria,along with an unwieldy empire with a run-down army. Prussia immediatelydemanded that Austria cede the disputed territory of Silesia. Frederick II repu-diated his father’s agreement to the Pragmatic Sanction, and his successfulinvasion of Silesia grew into a wider European conflict, the War of the Aus-trian Succession.

France joined the side of the rising power of Prussia. Charles Albert, rulerof Bavaria and soon to be chosen as the next Holy Roman Emperor, alsorepudiated the Pragmatic Sanction in hope of gaining new territories.

Opposing the Franco-Prussian forces was a new collection of allies led byAustria and Great Britain. Besides holding the British throne, George II’s sta-tus as the Elector of Hanover made him the hereditary monarch of thatnorthern German state. Hanover’s role in continental politics brought




M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:53 PM Page 46

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (47)

November 2014 Military Heritage 47

King George II is shown in a period painting with his son, William, Duke of Cumberland, and Robert,Fourth Earl of Holderness, at the Battle of Dettingen.The French squandered a golden opportunity to defeat the British and capture their king.

National Army Museum, London / The Bridgeman Art Library

M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:54 PM Page 47

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (48)

48 Military Heritage November 2014

George II and the British Army into the war. Amid the complex jumble of international conflict,Britain and France were technically not at war with each other, but were only fighting on the sideof their respective allies.

Because they were upholding the Pragmatic Sanction, the alliance was called the PragmaticArmy. For this ad hoc alliance or confederation opposing France, contemporary accounts also referto the Pragmatic troops as allies or confederates.

Pragmatic was hardly an apt word for the uneasy international coalition. Vienna was far fromLondon, and central European concerns seemed far distant from English life. Not a few of GeorgeII’s subjects felt that their army was sent across the English Channel to fight for the king’s Hanover-ian dominions rather than for their own country. King George added to English displeasure by wear-ing a bright yellow sash, a symbol of Hanover, rather than a comparable English sash. A Hanover-ian official at the British court, Thomas Eberhard Von Ilten, wrote later that year that the English“rancour to the French holds … but second place” to their dislike of their Hanoverian allies.

In May 1740, the Austrians, British, and their German allies marched from their base in Flan-ders. Their aim was to invade Bavaria, preventing that country’s forces from linking with theFrench. John Dalrymple, Second Earl of Stair, commanded the British contingent; Leopold, DucD’Aremberg, commanded the Austrians; and von Ilten was in charge of the Hanoverians.

Stair was 70 years old and a longtime soldier and diplomat. Born in Edinburgh in 1673, youngStair was eight when he accidentally shot and killed his elder brother. His parents sent him awayto the Netherlands for schooling. Stair made a career of the army, first seeing service at the Bat-tle of Steenkerke in 1692. He commanded regiments and brigades in many actions and spentyears on diplomatic missions, but had never before commanded an army.

When the army reached Frankfurt, friction developed between Stair and D’Aremberg. Stairdecided to push on deeper into Bavaria, moving to Aschaffenburg, a town on the Main River. TheMain divided Bavaria from Hesse, a German state allied with Britain. D’Aremberg quarreled withStair, believing that the army could not obtain enough supplies if it moved so far up the Main.Intending to cross to the south side of the river, Stair was overruled by the king and ordered toremain at Aschaffenburg.

George II hastened to join the army, reaching Stair’s forces on June 19. It was not his first timein the field. As a young man the king served with the Hanoverian cavalry at the 1708 Battle ofOudenarde in Flanders. With the king was a young major general, his son William Augustus, Dukeof Cumberland. George II’s secretary of state, John Carteret, the Earl of Granville, also accom-panied the king to Germany for the Dettingen campaign.

Barely noticed among the high officers and commanders with the king was a young volunteeraide to Colonel Scipio Duroure, commander of Duroure’s Regiment. This was the future majorgeneral, Ensign James Wolfe, to whom great fame would come on the day he died during his vic-

tory at the Battle of Quebec in 1759. In 1743,Wolfe was already halfway through his shortlife at the age of 16.

Even when joined by D’Aremberg and moreAustrians, there were only about 28,000 menwith the Pragmatic forces. An army of 60,000French troops in Bavaria had been movingtoward them since May. This force was com-manded by Adrien Maurice, Duc de Noailles.Born in 1678, Noailles first saw action in the1693 Siege of Rosas in Spain during the War ofthe Grand Alliance. The duke’s wife, Francoised’Aubigne, was a niece of Madame de Main-tenon, who was the mistress and later the secretwife of Louis XIV.

A good strategist and planner, Noailles deftlyoutmaneuvered the enemy troops. Most of theduke’s army was massed opposite Aschaffen-burg, where the higher southern bank gave himthe advantage in artillery. Having failed to gaina foothold on the Hessian side of the Main,French guns prevented the allies from gettingany supplies from that bank of the river.Noailles also blocked the enemy from obtain-ing supplies from upriver, and his cavalryforded the Main and raided allied foraging par-ties and supply wagons.

George II’s orders to remain at Aschaffen-burg were ensnaring his army in a trap. Mattersbecame much worse when the French took Seli-genstadt, a short distance downriver, and builttwo pontoon bridges. Noailles then had easyaccess to both sides of the river and could cutoff the allies from their supply base at Hanau.

The French commander had a streak ofchivalrous generosity in him. Several British sol-diers, captured by the cavalry raiders, werestripped of their uniforms and possessions.Noailles ordered their clothing given back.Their possessions were already lost and scat-tered, so the duke gave each of the redcoats agold coin and ordered their release. Similar kindtreatment was given a captured English sutlerwho was taken by the French cavalry.

Only a dozen miles from their supply base atHanau, the Pragmatic Army was running out ofsupplies. Horses began to starve on their scantrations of unripe wheat. The soldiers were lit-tle better off, subsisting on sour wine and adwindling supply of unappetizing, government-purchased “ammunition bread.” Despiteorders against looting, the Pragmatic troopsplundered the countryside and villages on theirside of the river, and the French burned villageson the Hessian bank. Both armies drank fromthe river, and by agreement the opposing sol-diers did not fire at each other when merelypicking up water.

Deep in enemy territory and running out of

John Dalrymple (left), Second Earl of Stair, and Adrien Mauric, Duc de Noailles.

Wikipedia Commons/VersaillesWikipedia Commons

M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:54 PM Page 48

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (49)

November 2014 Military Heritage 49

the village. It was perhaps an hour later when cavalry patrols spotted Gramont’s forces blockingthe way ahead of them. Only then did the Pragmatic commanders realize that they had blunderedinto a trap.

The battle opened badly for the allies. When the French infantry bound for Aschaffenburgcleared the batteries south of the Main, the French 18-pounder guns opened fire. Disorganizedafter filing through the bottleneck of Klein Ostheim, the wagons and draft animals of the alliedbaggage train were massed in the open ground west of the village. As French shot crashed amongthe wagons and animals, drivers sought cover in nearby woods while local inhabitants plunderedthe wagons during the confusion.

The baggage train had been in the middle of the column, leaving the allied artillery far in therear. Amid the chaos, it took considerable time to get the guns moved forward to reply to theFrench. For more than one hour, the Pragmatic infantry was exposed to artillery fire. “Our men… did not like the long bullets … for indeed they swept off Ranks and Files,” wrote an officer inthe Welsh Fusiliers. (The game of long bullets was a blend of football and bowling; usually playedin streets or roads, one team threw a cannon ball, which the other team tried to prevent from

rolling across a goal.) To the relief of the fusiliers and other foot soldiers, the British guns at lastreached the scene and went into action.

Between Klein Ostheim and Dettingen was a wood edged with swamps on each side. Britishand Austrian cavalry followed by foot regiments formed in front of the woods to face Gramont.Under von Ilten’s orders, most of the Hanoverian cavalry and some infantry, including the threeFoot Guards battalions of the British army, had been left in the rear to deflect a French move fromAschaffenburg. Damaging or destroying the bridge would have made the allied rear much safer,but the span was left untouched.

By that point, fortune was running with Noailles. He wrote later that everything portended “ahappy day” for his army. Gramont needed only to sit safely behind his entrenchments. When theattack from Aschaffenburg began, the Pragmatic Army would be pressed from in front and behind,hemmed in on its flanks by the Spessart Hills and the river. But Gramont drastically changed thecourse of the battle by ordering his troops out of their safe positions. His reasons for this unwisecourse of action are unknown. He may simply have become overconfident and tried to take advan-tage of the disorganization of the enemy before it could regroup. “Gramont somehow thought

bread, King George ordered the army to with-draw to Hanau, where there were an additional12,000 Hessian and Hanoverian troops as wellas fresh supplies. The decision to break campand march out immediately was made on thenight of June 26. The march had only one pos-sible route, downriver along the river roadwhich ran through a narrow plain between theMain on the south and the wooded SpessartHills to the north.

Noailles’s intelligence services were muchmore efficient than those of the Pragmatic com-manders, so he knew that the enemy was run-ning out of supplies and would have to with-draw. The French commander also knew theonly feasible route to Hanau would force theallies to march along the only road runningalong the Bavarian bank of the Main. SeveralFrench batteries were already positioned southof the river, and the retreating army would bewithin easy range of the guns.

Noailles learned that the allied army was inmotion at 1 AM on June 27. To cut off theenemy the French commander sent LouisAntoine Armand, Duc de Gramont, with28,000 men to block the allies. Gramont wasNoailles’s nephew. Born in 1689, he was only11 years younger than his uncle, and his mili-tary experience went back to his commissionas an ensign in 1705.

Gramont’s men filed across the two Seligen-stadt bridges. About one mile upriver of thebridges was the village of Dettingen (now Karl-stein am Main). There the Forchbach, a streamrising in the Spessart Hills, emptied into theriver. Gramont’s men held high ground on thewest side of the stream. The Forchbach’s onlycrossing was the bridge on the river road atDettingen. Nearly all of the French line wasprotected from attack by low, boggy ground.They needed only to wait for the rest of theirarmy to close in.

The Pragmatic Army left its camp about 4AM. In the advance were the British and Aus-trian cavalry. In anticipation of the French get-ting behind the column, the rear was held bythe British Guards and top German and Aus-trian regiments. In the early light of day, theycould see more French infantry marching southof the river, heading to cross at the Aschaffen-burg Bridge. Noailles was setting in place thefinal piece of his mousetrap, which he wasabout to spring on the king of England.

At 7 AM on June 27, 1743, the PragmaticArmy reached Klein Ostheim, a village on abend in the river about 21/2 miles from its camp,where it was forced to squeeze through on asingle road. The cavalry rode through first andhalted to wait for the rest of the force to pass

A French musketeer (left) of the Maison du Roi whose elite unit fought in the traditional place of honor on the Frenchright is shown in a period engraving. A British Highlander, also depicted in a period engraving, wears the traditional plaidkilt, red jacket, and blue bonnet.


h: A



. B


n M


ry C




M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:54 PM Page 49

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (50)

50 Military Heritage November 2014

that most of the enemy had gotten past him and that he faced only the rear guard, which he couldeasily handle,” wrote Voltaire in The Age of Louis XV.

Whatever his motivations, Gramont sent his troops across the ravine of the Forchbach to formline of battle on the open ground in front the stream. Across the Main, Noailles watched in dis-may as his careful plans dissolved. Volunteer aide George Townshend, later to serve under Wolfeat Quebec, was happy to see Gramont marching ahead of the stream and its protective swamps,“leaving all the advantageous features of the ground in his rear.” Across the river, the Frenchartillery fell silent for fear of mowing down their comrades.

The advancing French foot and cavalry facedtwo lines of Pragmatic troops, with their frontline anchored on the left near the river by John-son’s Regiment. British regiments at the time ofDettingen were usually referred to by theircommander’s names rather than the numericaldesignations that became standard a few yearslater. The left and center of the two lines wereheld mostly by the British with Austrian footand horse soldiers deployed on their right.

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew, com-manding the Royal Scots Fusiliers, was deter-mined that his men eat before battle. His wor-ried officers saw French troops slowlyadvancing toward them. “The loons will never[have] the impudence to attack the ScotsFusiliers!” Agnew scoffed. Occasional musketshots landed among the soldiers as they ate.While Agnew picked at some meat, a bulletknocked the bone out of his hand. At that pointhe got up from the dinner table to issue orders.

As the French advanced in three lines, theirright was led by the Maison du Roi (the king’shousehold), which comprised the top cavalryand infantry units of the French army and wasthe French equivalent of the crack EnglishHousehold Cavalry. The allied left, which facedthem, was commanded by Lt. Gen. Jasper Clay-ton. An officer since 1695, Clayton had servedwell in Flanders, Spain, Canada, and Scotland.Seeing the French cavalry, Clayton sent for theKing’s Dragoons and placed them between theriver and Johnson’s Regiment. The dragoonswere commanded by Humphrey Bland, whoserved as their colonel and who also was arecently appointed brigadier.

Both armies advanced. George II was seen onhorseback, waving his sword and encouraginghis men onward with his characteristic Germanaccent. Although encouraged by the sight of theirking sharing their dangers, the redcoats sloggedthrough swampy ground slowly and in badorder. Their officers ordered the troops to pauseand dress their ranks into tighter formations.

Some of the redcoats gave a cheer, but itsounded ragged and wavering amid the tumult.Other men, anxious because of the French cav-alry, started firing their muskets without orders.As the irregular musket fire flashed up anddown the line, the king’s horse panicked. “Withpurple face and eyes starting out of his head,”the king pulled at the reins but could not stopthe horse. Before he was thrown out of the sad-dle, Ensign Cyrus Trapaud of Howard’s Regi-ment (known as “the Buffs” for the color oftheir jacket facings) caught the fleeing horse.Dismounting, the king stationed himself nearthe right of the line. Quite calm, the monarchcame up with one of the most quoted lines of

The British army at Dettingen is shown bottled up between the River Main and the Spessart Hills with no chance ofresupply. The Duc de Gramont’s entrenched blocking force is at left, and the Duc de Noailles’ force is at right.

Maps © 2014 Philip Schwartzberg, Meridian Mapping, Minneapolis, MN

M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/5/14 9:32 AM Page 50

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (51)

November 2014 Military Heritage 51

As the Gardes-Françaises fell back, the Maison du Roi’s cavalry moved against the British left.Among the horse units of the Maison du Roi were two companies of musketeers. They wereknown as the Mousquetaires Gris and the Mousquetaires Noirs (the Gray Musketeers and theBlack Musketeers), as they were mounted on either gray or black horses. Part of the king’s per-sonal guard, the musketeers relied on cavalry weapons rather than their namesake muskets.

As Clayton ordered Johnson’s Regiment and the neighboring Scots and Welsh Fusiliers to pre-pare for the attack, two of Bland’s squadrons charged into the French cavalry. Giving and takingheavy losses, Bland’s troopers cut their way out and rode back to their lines.

With the English dragoons withdrawn, the French horsem*n charged the three foot regimentsin their front. Each rider held two pistols with sabers hanging from their wrists. They fired theirpistols at the redcoats, hurled the empty weapons at their enemies, and then wielded their swords.

Agnew of the Scots Fusiliers saw that the riders about to crash into his line were protected withhelmets and iron curaisses, which were buckled to the French saddles. Bayonets would be uselessagainst the metal armor, so Agnew ordered his men to open their formation and let the cuirassiersgallop through. He anticipated that the French horsem*n would halt and turn around when theycame to the main infantry line. Just as Agnew thought, the cuirassiers wheeled around to pass backthrough the Scots Fusiliers. With orders to aim for the horses, but not to fire until they were atclose range, the fusiliers held their fire until it tore into the cavalry with maximum effect.

The Maison du Roi cavalry was thrown back with heavy losses. Riding with them, Philippe,the Comte de Noailles (the army commander’s son) had two horses shot from under him. Hisbrother Louis de Noailles, Duc d’Ayen, was wounded and thrown from his horse.

In a calmer moment after the battle, King George teased Agnew, “So, Sir Andrew, I hear youlet the French get in among us.” The fusilier commander answered, “Yes, please your Majesty,but they [did not want] back again!”

On the allied left, supporting French infantry fired into Bland’s men, but they charged twice moreinto the opposing horse troops. By this time, three-fourths of the dragoons and their horses werecasualties and only two officers were left unwounded. Of their three flags, two were ripped andshredded to bits by enemy fire and their staffs splintered. Their third standard slipped from thegrasp of a wounded cornet.

Seeing the standard of Bland’s Dragoons in danger of capture, Trooper Thomas Brown rode toretrieve it. When Brown was dismounting to pick up the standard, a French horseman swung hissaber, cutting off two fingers of Brown’s bridle hand. Brown’s horse panicked and broke into arun, bearing itself and its rider straight into the French lines. Trying to get control of his horse,Brown spotted the French cavalryman holding the captured standard. With his saber, Brownkilled the enemy soldier and took back his regiment’s standard. Clamping the banner between his

the battle: “Now if my horse will run away mylegs will not.” One of several officers promotedby the king after the battle, Trapaud became afull general before his death in 1801.

Aware of his limitations as a military tacti-cian, the king nevertheless well understood hisrole as a symbol of national and military lead-ership. D’Aremberg pleaded with the king toremove himself from the battlefield, lest he endup a casualty or a prisoner. The monarchrefused, saying, “What do you think I camehere for? To be a poltroon?” George II stayedon the field for the rest of the battle. D’Arem-berg himself was seriously wounded after hiswarning to the stubborn king.

The king’s son, the Duke of Cumberland,also found himself on a runaway horse. Thehorse was possibly spooked when Austriantroops fired on Cumberland’s unit by mistake.Out of control, the mount tore away into theFrench lines before the duke could get it undercontrol. Costing the French a very importantprisoner, the duke managed to get back to theallied lines, although in need of treatment for asevere leg wound.

The Gardes-Françaises, part of the Maisondu Roi and known to their English enemies asthe French Guard, pushed forward from Gra-mont’s right center. By the time the FrenchGuards were within musket range, the Britishtroops were no longer disorganized, but calmand steady. Lord Stair hushed the scatteredspontaneous cheers of some of his men. “Nowone and all together when I give the signal,” heordered. Their united roar, with a series ofsteady volleys of musketry, was enough to sendthe French Guards reeling in disorder. Claytonwas heard to remark to other officers that “theymight ever depend on the English foot.”

King George II is shown giving orders to his generals in a period painting of the Battle of Dettingen. Puffs of whitesmoke are visible as individual companies discharge their muskets into the opposing enemy ranks. Like many period ren-derings of linear warfare, this painting by David Morier fails to convey the chaos of battle.

Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2014 / The Bridgeman Art Library

M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:54 PM Page 51

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (52)

52 Military Heritage November 2014

leg and the saddle, Brown spurred his horse for friendly lines. Galloping through a gauntlet ofFrench horsem*n, Brown took eight saber cuts on his head and neck and two musket balls in hisback. Three more balls tore through his hat.

King George learned of Brown’s gallant ride while the battle was still going on. For his exploit,the king dubbed Brown a knight banneret. This rank, dating back to the Middle Ages, was usu-ally conferred by the monarch on a battlefield. King George bestowed the rank on several otherhigh officers that day, making the last such honors ever bestowed.

Cornet Henry Richardson of Ligonier’s Regiment also saved a regimental standard. Richardsonhacked his way through a barrier of French cavalry, taking saber cuts and bullet wounds. In honorof his valor, when the regiment received new standards the one he saved was presented to him. “TheDettingen Standard” was an old-style horse regiment flag, square in shape and edged with fringe.

Wolfe was riding one of Duroure’s mounts when a musket ball struck the horse in a hind leg.Wolfe was thrown from the saddle and watched the horse run away. The young volunteer aideperformed his duties for the rest of the day in “a pair of heavy boots,” which were painfullyunsuitable for spending a day on foot. With the runaway mount went Wolfe’s horse “furniture”and pistols, which had cost the lad 10 ducats.

Although he interfered with grand strategy, unlike many a monarch King George left his morequalified generals to direct the course of the battle. He issued some commands on a limited scale,such as directing the positioning of a Hanoverian battery. But the king well understood that hewas far more important as a symbol of Great Britain than a military planner. While giving up onriding his fine but skittish white horse, King George was readily visible during the battle. It wassaid he wore the same red coat he had worn as a young volunteer at Oudenarde.

All day, the foreign-born king of England shouted encouragement to his men, amusing themwith his German accent. Seeing a steadfast regiment holding their own in the action, the king calledout to them, “Bravo, Buffs!” Because of the buff facings of their uniforms, the monarch had mis-taken them for Howard’s Regiment. A soldier shouted back, “Sir, we are the Thirty-first, not theOld Buffs.” King George II corrected himself with his reply, “Then, bravo, Young Buffs!” Theking’s spontaneous reply gave the regiment a lasting nickname.

Many of the French troops made valiant charges that day. But at a higher level the attacks werepoorly coordinated and were thrown back one by one without a chance to change the course ofthe battle.

One such attack near the end of the battle was made by the Black Musketeers. They chargedto right of the allied line engaging Hawley’s Regiment, also known as the Royal Dragoons, or theRoyals. Austrian and British infantry poured their fire into the musketeers. A British officer esti-mated that barely “four score” or 400 of Black Musketeers survived the charge. Among those leftbehind was a cornet, a young officer entrusted with the musketeers’ flag. Although he was stonedead, the cornet was upright in the saddle, having been buckled to his horse. The bloodstainedbanner and its broken staff were taken by the Royals.

After breaking this charge, the allied infantry moved toward the French foot, which began tobreak. The cavalry of the Maison du Roi held on as the infantry ran for the river. Heavily pressedin front by the British dragoons, the French cavalry collapsed when the Scots Greys tore into theirflank. The Scots Greys took a banner of the Maison du Roi, a disaster that had not happenedbefore to the elite cavalry of the royal household.

Later, amid the debris scattered among the dead on the battlefield were found many cuirassesonce worn by the French cavalry. An officer of the Welsh Fusiliers considered collecting a few ofthe discarded breastplates and backplates as curiosities. Deciding that they were too heavy todrag with him during a campaign, he left the trophies on the ground.

With the repulse of his finest cavalry, Noailles’s carefully set mousetrap was knocked to pieces.His infantry fled across the Main on the pontoon bridges while the cavalry splashed throughfords. In his report to the king, the duke placed part of the blame for the catastrophe on hisinfantry, which contained a large proportion of militia and new recruits. One of the bridges col-lapsed, throwing men into the water. The Marquis de Puysegur watched his men flee, crying out,“Sauve qui peut” (Every man for himself). The marquis reportedly killed several of his own mentrying to slow their rout.

One of the last shots fired at Dettingen fatally struck Clayton. Highest in rank of the allied sol-diers killed in the battle, Clayton was much admired by his fellow officers. This respect did notsave him from being among those dead and wounded whose bodies were stripped of all valuables.

Lieutenant Ned Draper of Honeywood’s Cavalry fell mortally wounded by a bullet that struckhim in the back and passed entirely through his body. Draper lived a little while after he was hit.

In a final bit of bravado, he joked that if helived to get back to England he would telleveryone that instead of the bullet hitting himin the back and coming out the front he “neverwould own but that the ball went the reverseway.”

Major Philip Honeywood of Bland’s Dra-goons (the major was the nephew of anotherPhilip Honeywood, the commander of Honey-wood’s Regiment), was nearly among the slain.Wounded and thought to be dead, he wasrobbed while he lay insensible on the field forseveral hours. An Austrian soldier found him,but instead of rescuing the major he stabbedhim twice with his bayonet. The Austrian wasaiming his musket at Honeywood before themajor found the strength to gasp that he was“Anglois.” Honeywood survived his woundsand lived to serve in Parliament and have SirJoshua Reynolds paint his portrait.

The French collapse meant that the Hanove-rians and the Foot Guards were not needed.Stationed in the rear, they missed the battle.Some officers and men of the Foot Guards weredisappointed or angry at losing their share ofthe victory. Lt. Col. Charles Russell told hiswife in a letter, “As a soldier and a man of hon-our I must tell you that the brigade of Guardshad the misfortune not to be in the battle.” VonIlten pointed out that he had “preserved” them.When that remark about preservation got to

the troops, they nicknamed the Hanoveriancommander “the Confectioner General.”

Four hours had turned potential disaster forthe Pragmatic Army into a notable victory.Although Lord Stair insisted that the cavalry besent after the enemy, the Austrian and Hanover-ian commanders objected. The winning armydid not follow up its advantage and let Gra-mont’s shattered regiments run away.

On the other hand, Marshal Noailles still had



ia C



M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:54 PM Page 52

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (53)

November 2014 Military Heritage 53

vived, although the leg wound troubled him for the rest of his life. Victorious or not, the Pragmatic Army was still running out of food. The allied force did not

linger, but continued its march to Hanau. It departed so quickly that it left two cannons behind forthe French. After the army pulled out, looters roamed through the battlefield robbing and murder-ing many of the wounded. Heavy rains fell throughout the night. The French reported that about600 of the wounded were still alive when they took them into custody the next day. Those who sur-vived owed their deliverance to Noailles, who ordered medical care for the wounded prisoners.

At Dettingen, the French lost about 5,000 killed, wounded, or missing. Ninety-three horse orfoot officers of the Maison du Roi were killed or wounded. The Regiment de Chartres lost sixofficers and 60 men dead, and 17 officers and 110 men wounded. The Duc de Rochechouart, oneof the four First Gentlemen of the Chamber, who were companions and confidants of Louis XV,was among the dead. Vincent-Dominique-Régis, Comte de Boufflers, was only 13 years old butfollowed his father on the battlefield. Voltaire wrote that the young count’s leg was shattered bya cannon shot. He was conscious during the amputation of his leg and died soon after.

Combined losses for the Pragmatic Army were only about half those of the French, fewer than2,400 men, including 755 dead. About 420 horses were reported killed with about 200 morewounded or lost. The British lost 265 dead and 561 wounded.

Heaviest hit were Bland’s Dragoons. That unit lost an officer and 41 men dead, and six offi-cers and 100 men wounded. About 140 of their horses were killed, including one shot from underBland. Inspecting the British cavalry some days after his last battle, George II paused in front ofone unit. It seemed to be such a small regiment that the king was puzzled and demanded to knowwhere the men were. “Please your majesty,” said Bland, “it is my regiment, and I believe the restof it is at Dettingen.”

Three days after the battle, Wolfe got back the horse that had thrown him and run away dur-ing the battle. Safe and recovering from its bullet wound, the horse was found without Wolfe’spistols and 10 ducats’ worth of equipment. During the action, the young volunteer impressed hissuperiors enough that Wolfe was made regimental acting adjutant and soon after received hiscommission as lieutenant. Wolfe was on his way to everlasting fame as a military commander dur-ing the victory at Quebec.

more than 30,000 men in hand south of the riverthat had not been thrown into battle. Theuntouched portions of his forces even then out-numbered the allies. Unable to adjust to hisreversal of fortune, the French commander neverrallied his troops or made any offensive movesagainst the enemy during the following days.

Individually, some of the redcoats did man-age to follow up on the victory. Lord Carteretwas on the battlefield in his carriage when aBritish soldier ran up to him. “Here, my lord,”said the redcoat, “do hold this watch for me; Ihave just killed a French officer and taken it,and I will go take another.”

The Duke of Cumberland, who had beenwounded in the fighting, was brought back tohis tent. He was tended by John Ranby, who wasthe sergeant-surgeon, the medical officer whoseprimary duty was to attend the king on the bat-tlefield. Examining his royal patient, Ranbyfound that the duke had been struck in the calfby a piece of grapeshot leaving a hole “thatmight have very well admitted a large Hen-Egg.”But when bearers also brought in other woundedofficers, including a French musketeer namedGirardot, the duke ordered his surgeon to tendto the wounded musketeer first.

Ranby drew 20 ounces of blood from thewounded duke, who endured an excruciating15-mile trip by carriage with the army. Besidesbleeding the patients, the sergeant-surgeon’streatment included probing shot wounds witha finger and doses of “bark” (cinchona bark,from which quinine was extracted). With, orperhaps despite, Ranby’s help, the duke sur-

ABOVE: Seeing that the standard of Bland’s Dragoons was in danger of capture, Trooper Thomas Brown fought his waythrough French lines to retrieve it. His feat, in which he took multiple saber cuts and was shot twice in the back, earnedhim everlasting fame. OPPOSITE: The Dettingen Standard, an old-style square horse regimental flag edged with fringe, ispreserved in the Royal Dragoon Guards Museum in York, England.

Continued on page 69



ia C



M-Nov14 Dettingen *Map_Layout 1 9/4/14 5:54 PM Page 53

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (54)

54 Military Heritage November 2014

T he stereotypical Viking and his method of warfare have long been etched in the popular mind.Images of hairy, axe-wielding, and horned-helmeted barbarians raiding coastlines amid afrenzy of rape and pillage have for centuries filled our collective consciousness, as well asour desire to be entertained. But, as so often occurs, history tells a different story.

Much of what we thought we knew about Vikings and Viking warfare has been passed downfrom idealized Norse sagas. A great deal of the information contained therein, when placedagainst archaeological and contemporary evidence, proves more fiction than fact. Nevertheless,the popular image of the Viking warrior is not entirely shattered, and the history of the VikingAge remains monumental in both its significance and ability to excite the imagination.

The Vikings were Norse seafaring warriors from Scandinavia who traveled to distant lands pri-marily for the purpose of raiding. The term “to go a-Viking” literally meant to go plundering. TheVikings that came to wreak havoc on Western Europe and the British Isles originated in Denmarkand Norway, though their victims, most notably the Anglo-Saxons, tended to lump them all togetheras Danes. They left their homes seeking wealth, prestige, and later land on which to settle. Althoughtheir victims often considered them to be nothing more than bloodthirsty pirates, the Norse them-selves believed that to go a-Viking was a practice reserved for the honorable and courageous.

The Viking Age in the West lasted roughly from the end of the 8th century to the mid-11thcentury, for many ending romantically with the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. During thefirst period of Viking activity, Norsem*n were almost exclusively raiders, opportunistically strik-ing at England, Ireland, and Francia, which roughly constituted modern-day France. Around themid-9th century, though, they began to settle in many of the lands they had ravaged, integratingthemselves into the European system to which they had previously been so alien. Throughout bothperiods, the Viking warrior distinguished himself as one unique to his time and place. For 300years he gave the Anglo-Saxons, Irish, and Franks little respite, forging a terrible and often dis-torted image that would last to the present day.

No single explanation suffices to fully reveal why the Vikings suddenly exploded on WesternEurope and the British Isles during the final years of the 8th century. Many historians cite Scan-dinavian demographic changes as the key, chiefly a rising population in combination with a sub-sequent need for land. Others focus on political change in the region, which left many dispos-sessed. The relatively new use of the sail in the northern lands made Viking expeditions possible,while the aggravating activities of Christian missionaries may have instigated reprisals.

The most alluring explanation is economic. Thanks to a recent boom in trade throughout West-ern Europe, the Norse appetite for wealth was whetted. In England, for example, the minting ofgold and silver coins to facilitate that trade proved an especially tempting motivation for the would-be Viking. Maldon, the scene of a famous battle in England in 991, was targeted because of itsmint, while across the Channel Vikings raided Dorestad in Frisia three times between 834 and 837to loot its royal mint. With little need for a standing army at home in remote Scandinavia, at leastin the early days, the Vikings were free to sail west in pursuit of dreams of wealth and adventure.

The West was easy pickings. Neither England nor the Frankish Empire, which would collapseinto civil war less than a generation after the death of Charlemagne in 814, were unified enoughto decisively face the new threat. Europe lay virtually undefended, its resistance too sluggish tothwart Viking hit-and-run tactics. For decades the attackers bounced between the British Isles andFrancia, demonstrating an acute sensitivity to the political and military vulnerabilities of their vic-tims as they probed for soft targets. Only complete political unity, as later illustrated by Muslim


M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:27 PM Page 54

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (55)

Viking marauders sackthe Clonmacnoisemonastery in centralIreland. Medievalmonasteries were exor-bitantly wealthy andtypically overflowedwith treasure, whichmade them temptingtargets for Vikingsseeking instant riches.

© N

ational Geographic S

tock, Vintage C

ollection / The G

ranger Collection, N



M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:27 PM Page 55

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (56)

56 Military Heritage November 2014

Spain and Alfred the Great’s England, served to stem their fury. The greatest motivator for theViking warrior soon became his own repeated success.

In 793, a small Viking fleet landed on the tiny island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Northum-bria, site of one of the holiest places in England, the monastery of St. Cuthbert. What happenednext became legend. The Vikings, who had seemingly come out of nowhere, proceeded to sackthe monastery, slaughter its host of monks, and leave with all its treasure as well as a handful ofcaptives. The pure scale of the blasphemous act, perpetrated by heathen barbarians, reverberatedthroughout Christendom. Far distant at the court of Charlemagne in Aachen the scholar Alcuinwrote of the Viking exploit, “It was not believed such a voyage was possible.” For Alcuin andmany like him, that God would abandon his flock to merciless pagans was unfathomable.

The Viking attack on Lindisfarne was not only fathomable, it was also predictable. AlthoughLindisfarne has been celebrated ever since as the first Viking raid, it was hardly the case. TheVikings had struck as early as 787, when three of their ships landed in Dorset, resulting in themurder of a tax man after a brief skirmish. What had instead made Lindisfarne stand out werethe scale of the brutality and that such brutality soon became the norm.

Over the course of the next two decades, beginning in 795, the Vikings struck repeatedly, rav-aging the Hebrides, Ireland, and Scotland. One of the largest raids occurred at Iona in Scotlandin 806 when they butchered 68 monks along a shore that forever after became known as Mar-tyr’s Bay. By then, small fleets were already biting the Frankish coastline as well. Ironically, Eng-land, site of the most famous raid, was largely spared. According to chroniclers, a Viking forceattempting to attack the monastery at Jarrow, having been stranded when its waiting fleet wasdestroyed by a storm, was trapped onshore and massacred by a group of vengeful defenders.Apparently traumatized, the Vikings would not return to England for another 40 years. Fategranted the rest of Western Europe no such relief.

Besides being holy sites, monasteries were exorbitantly wealthy and typically overflowed withtreasure, making them obvious targets for Vikings seeking instant riches. Their lack of defense

and frequent placement along coasts for purposes of trade made the temptation irresistible. Anycommunity sufficiently wealthy and isolated could be targeted. The objective of the Viking war-rior was simply to grab what he could and make a quick escape. Treasure, material wealth, cat-tle, and slaves constituted the plunder. Such things could raise a Viking’s standard of living andprestige, while kings such as Olaf Tryggvason and Sven Forkbeard of Norway could fund polit-ical ambitions at home.

The dividends of raiding bore enormous potential. Goods stolen in one place fetched a high priceon the market in another. Captives of high status could be ransomed, like the Abbot of St. Denisand his brother in 858, who together brought in an astounding 686 pounds of gold and 3,250pounds of silver. Meanwhile, those of low status became slaves. In one raid on Armagh in Irelandin 869, Vikings carried off more than 1,000 unfortunate individuals. The Vikings in Ireland evenlearned to ransom holy relics, such as the body parts of deceased saints, rather than discard theseemingly worthless items amid their scramble for more traditional loot.

The key to pulling off a successful Viking raid was speed. Because it was impossible to protectan entire coastline with anything other than weak local means, the Vikings could hit a target andflee the scene before sufficient defenses could be mustered. The Norman historian Dudo of St.Quentin lamented in 820, “If you by chance go forth to contend with them, oh! Either you willdie or they, extremely swift, will return to their ships having slipped away in flight.” Only poorweather, as demonstrated at Jarrow, brought guaranteed respite. For that very reason, as evi-denced in their poetry, many Irish came to dread calm seas.

Viking raiders almost certainly practiced a specific set of tactics. The raiding party, after estab-lishing a base camp on shore, likely divided into groups to protect its ships and escape route, cutoff the target, and attack it. Those parties originated from larger Viking fleets; for instance, the

raid on Lindisfarne was likely part of a largerexpedition to the Hebrides. Each raid broughtin valuable new intelligence about the sur-rounding area, allowing the Vikings to confi-dently select their targets, often deep upriverinto the very heart of a country.

The most intangible element to Viking suc-cess in conducting these early raids was thesame factor that made them so despised—alack of Christian morality. The psychologicalshock of pagans burning and murdering in holyplaces spread terror that undermined resistance.In the eyes of his victim, the Viking warrior wasa preordained punishment from God.

Seemingly as invincible was the Viking long-ship, which had no rival as a transport vessel.Powered by both sail and oar so that it neednever rely entirely on wind, it could crossoceans using the stars and a simple sun compassto navigate. Drawing very little water, the long-ship could penetrate nearly every waterway,extending the Viking reach inland to those whowould otherwise have been considered a safedistance from seaborne invaders. Constructedto facilitate speedy disembarkation, few localcommunities had much of a chance once theirlookouts spotted longships on the horizon.

The size of a Viking raid was best calculatedby the capacity of the longship, which couldcarry up to 35 warriors. During the first fewdecades of Viking activity, the number of shipsreported was relatively small, meaning Vikingnumbers amounted to the low hundreds. A typ-ical raid was three to six ships. Later, after 850,reports of fleets of more than 100 were com-mon, translating into Viking armies in the thou-sands, though many such accounts weredoubtlessly exaggerated. However, the Vikings’ability to establish winter bases in hostile landssupported such large numbers. Even when araiding party was small, speed and surprisegave it strength disproportionate to its seem-ingly insignificant size.

When raiding or on campaign, Viking war-riors were divided into warbands called lids.Each lid was a king’s private retinue of war-riors, making recruitment a personal affair. Inthe years before Denmark and Norway wereunified into cohesive states, there were numer-ous kings, often engaged in direct competition,and hence many lids. They could also be led byjarls, which roughly translated into earls,although a king’s lid was generally larger. InScandinavia the lids served as local defenseforces, but abroad they were the instrument ofinvasion. Often on campaign, lids would unitewhen kings and jarls held a mutual objective,the most famous example being the so-calledGreat Heathen Army that marched the length




M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:27 PM Page 56

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (57)

November 2014 Military Heritage 57

his poorer men at the front of his assaults with the reasoning they would fight the hardest.Much of what was written of the Vikings comes from the sources of their victims, so that the

picture of the typical warrior has come to be somewhat distorted. Often portrayed as giants, theaverage Viking was only a few centimeters taller than his Anglo-Saxon or Frankish contempo-rary. Furthermore, Vikings were not the hairy brutes of legend. They took proper grooming seri-ously, especially in regard to their commonly long beards, the braiding of which served both acultural and practical purpose.

Only two to three percent of Norse males chose to go a-Viking. Most of them were free farm-ers that saw little hope for a better life in destitute Scandinavia. The skills learned from huntingprovided them with a talent in weaponry easily converted to warfare. Because Vikings fought forpersonal reasons, be they wealth or adventure, their fighting spirit was high in comparison to thosewho fought for a ruler or a state toward which they had little real connection.

Once united, a band of Vikings formed a bond of loyalty known as a felag in which disciplinewas maintained through a system of honor. With Odin, the god of war, as their patron, the Vikingideal was to follow their leader to the death. Bravery would be richly rewarded in Valhalla. Whiledeath on the battlefield was revered, death in flight was an inerasable shame. Consequently, theViking ideal was to always stand their ground, though retreating in battle was hardly unheard of.Only amid treachery was flight permissible. Vikings always treated each other with honor, divid-ing spoils as evenly as possible while ironically considering theft to be a cowardly practice.

Like most soldiers of the era, a Viking went to battle with a variety of weapons that he wasresponsible for procuring himself. To be considered an asset, each Viking needed at minimum ashield, sword or axe, and a spear. Anything less would have been detrimental to himself and hiscomrades. Metal weapons were in short supply in Scandinavia. Much that was not taken fromthe dead was imported, primarily from the Rhineland where well-known craftsmen like Ulberht,whose name was inscribed on many Viking swords, operated and sold their products to the Norsedespite Frankish prohibitions against it. Undoubtedly, the finer blades were imported, as on aver-age the Frankish warrior possessed a stronger sword. Once imported, the blade was often finishedin a Scandinavian workshop and sold. For a Viking, a weapon was a symbol of status, and accord-ingly they were in the habit of awarding their arms proper names. For example, Magnus theGood wielded an axe named Hel, and Earl Sigurd dubbed his sword Bastard.

Popular images of Vikings usually depict them bearing axes, but it was the sword that the

and breadth of England throughout the late 9thcentury. Once that objective had been obtained,the lids would disperse. It was not until the daysof Sven Forkbeard in the early 11th centurythat national militaries based on a crude formof drafting would appear among the Vikings.

A Viking joined a lid based on the reputationof the king that led it, which was in turn basedon several factors. One key factor was theking’s potential to lead his warriors to mater-ial gain. Another key factor was the heroicexploits of his men, which would often berecorded in skaldic verse and runic inscrip-tions. Some, like Hakon the Great, got startedas young as age 12, which was not uncommonamong Vikings in general. Plunder, fame, andpolitical gain were the typical objectives of theking. Considering the hazards of their chosenvocation, kings anticipated short lives. Thesuccessful king encouraged his warriors byalways leading from the front. As MagnusBarefoot of Norway put it, “Kings are madefor honor, not long life.”

Because of the nature of their employment,Vikings possessed an independent streak thata king needed to bear in mind. He best main-tained loyalty by allowing his men a largeamount of freedom in decision making. Oftentargets were determined spontaneously basedon the whims of the warriors, usually as aresult of some unforeseen discovery or chancebit of information. A king might even take hiswarriors’ advice in regard to tactical matters;King Olaf of Norway did so when he placed


an Library

Danish raiders soundly defeated an Anglo-Saxon army at the Battle of Maldon in 991. The Danes were drawn to Maldonbecause gold and silver coins were minted at the Essex town.

M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:27 PM Page 57

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (58)

Viking most cherished as the symbol of his power, rank, and wealth. Viking swords were primarilysingle-handed, double-edged swords anywhere from 70 to 90 centimeters in length and weighingbetween four and five pounds. Most were made of iron rather than stronger carbon steel butwere pattern-welded at the core from bundles of iron rods to give them greater strength andincreased pliability. A fuller down the center of the blade reduced the weight.

Most Viking swords possessed both an upper and lower pommel to protect the hand. Pommelswere made from iron or copper alloy, silver, bone, or antler and were often decorated with silveror copper patterns, typically in the shapes of animals. Handles were covered by wood, leather,horn, or bone. Scabbards were made of wood and sometimes covered in leather.

The Vikings used their swords as hacking weapons. Spears and the occasional single-edgedknife, known as a scramasax, were reserved for thrusting, most often during the initial phase ofclose combat. The Viking spear was heavy, though light enough to be used one-handed with ashield, made of iron, and pattern-welded. The shaft was up to two meters long and fitted atthe end with a 10- to 20-inch, leaf-shaped head that was either angular or rounded. Rarely,the spearhead was decorated with silver, copper, or brass. The Vikings also used short, light-weight spears and the occasional heavy two-handed spear, which could penetrate mail.The heavier spear was sometimes fitted with wings to prevent it from becoming lodgedinto the body of an enemy.

The famous Viking axe was a common weapon given only the scarcity of the morefavored sword. The most used axe was not the often imaged two-handed broad axe,which came to frequent the battlefield only later during the Viking Age. For most of theera, a short, single-handed axe was much more common, although a much longer Dan-ish version with a 22-inch blade made frequent appearances. Axe heads were made of ironand usually plain with only a few decorated with silver and copper. The largest came armedwith projecting spurs.

Axes were heavy weapons that relied as much on gravity as strength. Nevertheless, only thestrongest men wielded the heavier varieties, which could smash right through an enemy’s shieldin one solid blow. Because of the weight and reach of the longer, heavier axes, both of the one-and two-handed varieties, tightly packed ranks were an impossibility as the swing of the weaponcould just as easily dispatch friend as foe.

Though close combat kills were considered nobler by the Viking warriors, they nevertheless usedprojectile weapons in battle, specifically at the start of an engagement as a way to clear a path forshort-range fighting. Both javelins and arrows, for example, were used extensively at the Battleof Maldon before the two armies clashed at close quarters. The Vikings employed the longbow,which was approximately 192 centimeters in length. The bow fired birchwood arrows with ironheads at a range of 200 meters, but was most effective at close range where it could penetrate mail.

Mail shirts were rarer among the Vikings than their contemporaries, being common only amongthose of high status. Weighing up to 70 pounds, many warriors found them restrictive. Accordingto legend, the army of Harald Hardrade chose not to wear any armor at all, though that wasextremely unlikely. Despite some controversy, metal helmets were not uncommon, many being fit-ted with eye and cheek guards, as well as mail to protect the neck. There is no evidence to supportthe use of leather helmets, while the popularly depicted horned headgear was entirely fictitious.

Much more fundamental for defense than armor was the Viking shield. Viking shields were cir-

cular, roughly three feet in diameter, and madeof wooden planks that were strengthened byiron bands along the rim. The famous medievalkite-shaped shield appeared only at the end ofthe era. Some shields were reinforced by aleather cover, while others were richly painted,usually in skaldic verse. Grips were normallywooden, but on occasion made of brass.Cheaply made, the Viking shield rarely survived

a single battle. One blow of an axe was almostcertain to shatter it to pieces; however, a lighterweapon would often become lodged within thewood after which a quick jerk of the arm mightsuccessfully disarm the attacker.

Chroniclers often depicted the use of shieldwalls in battle, such as at the battles of Eding-ton and Maldon, but exactly what that meantremains debated. It was unlikely that Vikingsemployed the Roman-style tactic of interlock-ing shields, as it would have prohibited themfrom using their slashing weapons, at leastwithout doing serious harm to their fellow war-riors. The term shield wall was nothing morethan an expression for an army in line forma-tion. Regardless, the meeting of two such linesoften resulted in a bloody struggle lasting allday, ending with merciless slaughter of the sidethat broke first.

During the first several decades of the VikingAge, raiding was exclusive to the warmermonths. A raiding party would land, sack, andreturn home content with its plunder. But bythe end of the first quarter of the 9th century,the nature of the attacks had begun to changeT

he G


er C



n, N


ABOVE: An iron helmet unearthed from a Viking burialmound in Norway. LEFT: Norwegian King OlafTryggvason used the spoils from raids to fund politicalambitions at home.


M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:28 PM Page 58

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (59)

November 2014 Military Heritage 59

again, this time by Ragnar’s son, Björn Ironside.Cities were not always wide open for the Vikings to do as they pleased. As Viking operations

grew larger, the Norsem*n inevitably had to become more adept at siegecraft to strike more promi-nent targets. Only concerned about material gain, Viking armies almost always bypassed forts toinstead besiege wealthy towns. In the early days of Viking raids, many cities in Francia were vul-nerable to attack as they were protected only by dilapidated Roman walls. At Nantes, for exam-ple, it was only a matter of scaling those walls and smashing open the cathedral doors. But as theVikings became a more anticipated threat, defenses improved and the besiegers had to becomemore innovative.

No siege was better known during the Viking Age than that of Paris in 885-886. Much of whatwas known about the siege came from the writings of the French monk, Abbo of Fleury. It allbegan when a Viking army amounting to a dubious 40,000 men aboard 700 ships under the seaking Sigfrid approached Paris by way of the Seine in late 885. Judging the target not worth theeffort, Sigfrid offered to leave Paris in peace in return for free passage past the city’s two fortifiedbridges. The city’s defender, Count Odo, refused. Instead, he and his paltry 200 warriors were

determined to resist inside their citadel of Ile de la Cité until an army under the Frankish KingCharles the Fat could come to their relief.

Abbo described a number of ways that the Vikings attempted to reduce the Parisian defensesover the next several months. They used siege engines against the bridges and towers, fired poi-son arrows over the walls, launched incendiary boats, and even filled the moat with dead menand animals. While the siege was underway, the Vikings plundered the countryside. According toAbbo, they also constructed a 16-wheel oak battering ram with its own roof for protection, butit was all to no avail. By summer they had run out of time with the arrival of King Charles.

Then a most remarkable thing occurred. Rather than crush the tired Viking besiegers, Charlesgranted them passage to plunder Burgundy. It was the ultimate act of betrayal, one that Odorefused to recognize. He continued to man the two fortified bridges, compelling the Vikings toportage their ships from the Seine to the Marne. The decision turned out to be most politicallyunwise for Charles. His enemies deposed him the following year.

Not all major Viking forays took them deep up river into the interior of a country. Some tra-versed great distances to acquire their fortunes, but none more famously than the chieftainHastein, who penetrated the Mediterranean in 859. With a fleet of about 60 ships, Hastein sailedfrom the Loire down the French coast to Muslim Spain with the intention of raiding the coastal

dramatically with the establishment of winterbases. Suddenly, raids being led by increasinglyhigher nobility with larger and larger forcesusing river systems to penetrate ever deeper intothe interior of the European continent, andshortly thereafter the British Isles, had becomethe norm.

Viking bases were strategically placed to con-trol river systems. It was typical to choose anisland as a base because of its defensibility. Oneof the earliest Viking bases in France waslocated on the island of Noirmoutier near themonastery of St. Philibert. Established in 819,it allowed the Vikings to dominate passage ofthe Loire. The Viking return to England in 850was marked by wintering on the Isle of Thanetoff the Kentish coast, while the Isle of Sheppeywas used to control the Thames.

The preparation for large raiding expedi-tions commenced in the winter with the found-ing of a base. The Vikings constructedfortresses of earth and timber in which togather supplies, keeping in mind escape routeswhen plotting the locations. The raiding seasonbegan each spring. Anyone living in a city ortown lying on or near a navigable river was atrisk of attack, which for Francia and Irelandmeant virtually everyone.

Most raiding, as with all military operationsof the period, occurred during the day, althoughon occasion Vikings risked the confusion ofdarkness such as at Bordeaux in 848. It waspopular to take advantage of their adversary’sreligion and strike on Christian holidays whenthe enemy would be distracted and the poten-tial loot at its greatest. Fortunately for theVikings, the Christian calendar of the time pro-vided no shortage of those days. They struck atKildare in Ireland on St. Brigid’s Day in 929and Iona on Christmas in 986. One of thelargest raids of all occurred during the Feast ofSt. John the Baptist in 843, when the Norse-men butchered a worshipping congregationinside the cathedral at Nantes.

The most famous of all such raids was onParis in 845. The attack up the Seine to Pariswas supposedly led by Ragnar Lodbrock, a leg-endary ruler whose existence remains in doubt,but who according to the sagas liked to strikeduring Christian feasts. After defeating asmaller force outside the city that had moved tointercept, Ragnar’s Vikings hung 111 of theirprisoners in full view of the remaining Frankson the opposite bank of the river. The act,which was likely a mixture of ritual and psy-chological warfare, served its purpose. TheFranks stood aside as the Vikings entered Parison Easter Sunday, March 28, and plundered thecity. Twelve years later, Paris would be sacked

Wikipedia C



Powered by both oar and sail, the longship was unrivalled as a transport vessel during the Viking Age. The Oseberg ship,which is displayed at the Oslo Viking Ship Museum, was discovered in 1904 almost completely intact in a clay bog.

M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:28 PM Page 59

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (60)

60 Military Heritage November 2014

towns of the Umayyad Caliphate. Far more united than their Anglo-Saxon and Frankish con-temporaries, however, the Muslims easily repelled Hastein. Undaunted, Hastein continued aroundSpain and through the Strait of Gibraltar, hoping to surprise those who as yet knew nothing ofthe Viking scourge.

After establishing a base on the island of Camargue, which controlled entry into the Rhone River,the Vikings fanned out in all directions, possibly even as far as Toulouse. But Hastein’s true dreamwas to sack Rome, the center of the Christian world. Nothing would bring him more glory. For-tunately for the Eternal City, he would never find it, but his attempt to, as recorded by Dudo ofSt. Quentin, would go down as Viking legend.

Hastein’s fleet moved along the coast of Italy until stopping at the town of Luna. Mistakenlybelieving it to be Rome, he was determined to take the place. Luna was well protected, so it wouldtake all his cunning to gain entry. Hastein resolved to play on Christian sensibilities. Feigning ill-ness and a Christian identity, he requested entry into the town so that he could receive last rites.Feeling obligated out of Christian charity, the town accepted. Hastein entered Luna, received therites, and departed peacefully, having earned the town’s trust.

Shortly thereafter, the Viking fleet sent a messenger with news of Hastein’s death and a requestthat Luna grant him a proper Christian burial. Feeling secure, the town again granted the request,this time allowing the entire Viking force entry. The burial called for a procession in whichHastein’s body was carried on a bier to the cathedral. At the given signal, however, a very muchalive Hastein leaped from the bier and with his warriors commenced the usual sacking. Accord-ing to Dudo, that plundering turned to massacre when an enraged Hastein realized that the townwas not Rome. Nevertheless, the windfall from the expedition was huge, and his fleet left for homeladen with riches. Unfortunately, much of it was lost at Gibraltar where it was caught by a venge-ful Muslim fleet armed with flamethrowers. Only 20 of the 60 ships escaped destruction.

Massively powerful fleets were not necessarily required to cope with the Vikings. Therewere other methods to alleviate their threat. One such method was the payment of Danegeld.Because Vikings wanted material gain at the lightest cost possible, they were highly suscep-tible to being bought off. For the Vikings it was considered tribute, while their victims feltmore comfortable calling it a bribe. In return, the Vikings refrained from raiding a target.The sum could be quite high. Charles the Bald paid Ragnar Lodbrock 7,000 pounds of sil-ver to quit Paris following its sack in 845, and Charles the Fat paid 700 livres and granted

the right to plunder Burgundy in 886.As the payment of Danegeld became more com-

mon, the Vikings became craftier in ensuring itsextraction. While the payments may have tem-porarily kept the peace, they also encouragedVikings to return in the hopes of acquiring more.Such was the case of Sven Forkbeard and Olaf Tryg-gvason, whose repeated trips to England in the late10th century were for the purpose of demandingever increasing sums, usually to fund their politicalambitions back home. The threats to attack unlesspaid were nothing more than blackmail, but theyproved an effective strategy for guaranteeing long-term wealth at the cost of fewer warriors.

Vikings were also often susceptible to politicalmanipulation as another method for averting theirfury and possibly deflecting it in another direction.The sack of Nantes, for example, was at least par-tially the result of a deal made between the Vikingsand Count Lambert, who was rebelling againstCharles the Bald, while that same Charles paid a

Viking named Weland in the late 850s to besiege another group of Vikings on the island of Ois-sel. Those same Vikings in turn paid Weland to allow them to escape.

These sometimes confusing examples of opportunism were extensive. Pippin II of Aquitainefought with the Loire Vikings in the sack of Poitiers in an attempt to gain the throne, an act thatled to accusations of paganism and execution in 864. Charles the Fat allowed the Vikings pas-sage to Burgundy in 886 because he feared Burgundian disloyalty, while the Irish King of Osraige,Cerb all mac Dunlainge who ruled from 842 to 888, famously played Vikings off against each

other throughout his long reign.The most famous bargain struck between a

Viking and a potential victim occurred in 911between Rollo and Charles the Simple. Rollowas a Norwegian who had been exiled fromNorway by Harald Fairhair for committingstrandhugg, the plundering of his own lands tofund campaigns. Rollo was notorious through-out northern Francia, and Charles saw littlechoice but to placate him by handing overthrough treaty the province of Normandy,making the Viking a French duke. Significantly,it was Rollo’s lineage that would later produceWilliam the Conqueror.

When Danegeld and political machinationsfailed, the Vikings’ victims had to rely on theirdefenses. As demonstrated by Spain, the mosteffective ingredient in a successful defense waspolitical unity. After the deposition of Charlesthe Fat, Odo and Arnulf of the East Franksunited and successfully drove the Vikings out ofFrancia and back to England. But most defensesremained localized, often through peasantbands, which sometimes proved more troublethan help. Professional soldiers rarely arrivedat the scene of a raid in time. Tactically, entirecoastlines and river systems were too large tocompletely defend, but rivers could be block-aded, as demonstrated by the fortified bridgesat Paris in 885, and that was done increasinglyafter 859. Meanwhile, new fortifications beganappearing in Francia during the last decades ofthe 9th century to replace the old Roman wallsthat had proved so ineffective at places such asNantes. They played a large role in decreasingthe number of Viking raids.

After more than half a century of raiding, theVikings began to slowly evolve toward empirebuilding. The conquest and settlement of Ire-land was long underway, having commencedaround 840. Years of successful raiding up theLoire, meanwhile, eventually tempted sometoward territorial acquisition. But it was Eng-land, beginning with the occupation of York in867, which witnessed the biggest shift fromraiding to conquest, culminating a century anda half later in 1013 when Sven Forkbeard tookthe English throne. The shift, however, changedthe nature of Viking warfare by reducingseaborne mobility, allowing men like Alfred theGreat the opportunity to meet the Vikings headto head on even terms.

Viking armies could number thousands ofmen. The largest was the Great Heathen Army,which crossed between England and Franciathroughout the latter half of the 9th centuryuntil its final dissolution in 896. Sven Fork-beard’s national army a century later was aboutequal in size at 10,000 men. It was so large that



of C



M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:28 PM Page 60

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (61)

November 2014 Military Heritage 61

a notable exception. Chippenham was a Viking victory, albeit a temporary one. Soon after, the place was lost fol-

lowing defeat in the Battle of Edington. The Viking legend of invincibility was only a myth. Infact, when it came down to an equal fight, the Vikings may have lost more than they won. At theBattle of Saucourt in 881, King Louis III was said to have killed some 7,000 of them. A similarnumber died at Clontarf in Ireland in 1014, routed by an Irish army under Brian Boru that wasvictorious despite a deficiency in armor. At Maldon in 991, the Vikings snatched defeat from thejaws of victory when the Anglo-Saxons were forewarned that Olaf Tryggvason was attempting anight crossing of the causeway that separated the two armies.

No single ruler, however, was more successful against the Vikings than the Anglo-Saxon Kingof Wessex, Alfred the Great. Thanks to political unity, he was able to create a national defensethat possessed offensive capability as well. Under Alfred, the Anglo-Saxons built new fortifi-cations and supply centers. They organized peasant armies that made provisioning difficult forthe Vikings. Most astoundingly, they challenged the Vikings at sea with the construction of acoastal navy.

The Viking Age has popularly been bookended on September 25, 1066, with their defeat at theBattle of Stamford Bridge. A fittingly dramatic end, Stamford Bridge highlighted the quintessen-tial Viking in Harald Hardrade, as well as the classic Viking engagement. A Norwegian king,Harald lived the life of a true Viking. Most of it was spent like other nobles before him, fightingto expand his power. He participated in a number of famous engagements and traveled as far asConstantinople. In 1066, while immersed in a competition for the Danish throne, a successioncrisis across the North Sea sent him opportunistically racing to England.

His defeat at Stamford Bridge bore all the military hallmarks of the age. It featured the famousViking shield wall and illustrated the Viking code of honor in that the warriors stubbornly stoodtheir ground even when annihilation became imminent. Leading from the front like a true Vikingking, Harald was killed when an arrow struck his throat.

Were the Vikings really any more violent than their contemporaries? The chroniclers of thetime certainly thought so. But it would be unwise to rely solely on the accounts of undoubtedlybiased victims. Generally speaking, the Vikings were no more violent than the world around them.Rather, it was their unique method of warfare that singled them out. At the same time, though,efforts to soften their image should be looked upon warily. The Vikings may not have been horn-wearing giants, but they certainly destroyed more than they built, and in doing so fully earnedtheir reputation as merciless, opportunistic, fearless, and efficient warriors.

his successor had to pay out to his warriors72,000 pounds of silver to get all but a smallretinue to return home from England followingthe conquests.

The land-based Viking armies that emergedduring their late period of conquest still pre-ferred to fight on foot rather than on horse-back. Although horses were commandeered,typically for scouting, transportation, and raid-ing purposes, Viking warriors dismounted forbattle. Once on foot, they formed the shieldwall of legend, sometimes in unique formationssuch as the “svinfylking,” or boar formation,which comprised 20 to 30 warriors and wasshaped like a spear to punch through an enemyline. Kings and jarls maintained control of eachseparate battalion, which understood its placewith the help of banners. An overall leaderwould sometimes group warriors of similar ori-gin together, as did the Norwegian King OlafHaraldsson at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030.Supplies came from ships using various riversystems or, like all armies of the day, foraging.

Despite popular belief, Vikings avoidedpitched battles whenever possible, though theirattempts to hold land now made that difficult.Battles were risky without the element of sur-prise. They meant high casualties, especiallydeaths as the wounded frequently died of infec-tion. Furthermore, leaders lost all tactical con-trol of their warriors as they were compelled tolead from the front. Whenever possible, anunavoidable battle was fought during the dayto minimize confusion. Despite their Nordicorigins, Vikings also preferred to campaign inthe summer, though Guthrum’s attack onAlfred at Chippenham in January 878 proved

Wikipedia C



ABOVE: English King Harold Godwinson triumphed over Norwegian King Harald Hardrada in the close-fought Battle ofStamford Bridge in 1066. The battle marked the last time the Vikings tried to conquer England. OPPOSITE: Alfred theGreat waged war relentlessly against Viking colonies in England.

M-Nov14 Vikings_Layout 1 9/4/14 3:28 PM Page 61

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (62)

62 Military Heritage November 2014

in particular, they lacked artillery topress the siege to a conclusion. It wasearly May 1775 and the rebels hadto move quickly to cut off Britishsources of supply and communica-tion. Not too far away in the relativewilds of New York was one of thekey bastions of British control inNew England, but it was vulnerable.Fort Ticonderoga was isolated anddefended by only a small garrison ofBritish troops. Patriot Ethan Allenand his local force of irregulartroops, known as the Green Moun-tain Boys, were tasked to take the

fort and secure its guns, a missionthey eagerly accepted. Thus beganthe first special operation of theAmerican Revolution.

The taking of the fortand another nearby atCrown Point would netthe nascent ContinentalArmy more than 200 can-nons, howitzers, mortars,and other supplies. It wasa tale beset by challenges.Allen and his officers hadto gather their forces, sup-ply them, move them by both land

and water, and launch assaults ontwo fortresses. Along the way therewere many impediments. On May 8

Benedict Arnold showedup with his own ideas oncapturing the fort. Thispresented Allen with adilemma; Arnold hadwritten authority fromMassachusetts and acolonel’s commission.However, the GreenMountain Boys refused toserve under Arnold, so

Allen retained command withArnold going along as a volunteerofficer. The famous traitor wouldlater claim he had shared commandof the expedition.

Weather and a lack of boatsthreatened their success, but theactual taking of Ticonderoga onMay 10 proved somewhat anticli-mactic. The garrison was quicklyoverwhelmed in a night attack. Likemost daringly executed unconven-tional operations, achieving surpriseled to quick victory. Two days laterCrown Point was taken without ashot fired. Speed, surprise, and forcehad won the day. Later some 57 ofthe captured guns would be labori-ously hauled to Boston, helping toforce the British out of the city andsending the war to its next phasearound the city of New York.

Today special operations are con-sidered a hallmark of military oper-ations and receive much attention.


at Lexington and Concord, the fledgling United States, its army mostly

underequipped militia, set out to defeat the British Army. By the end of April

1775 that force had dug in at the city of Boston and was soon surrounded by

a Patriot force that had encircled it. Still, the rebels lacked the ability to take the city;

A new work shines light on special operationsmissions that were an essential component ofwarfare during the American Revolution.

B y C h r i s t o p h e r M i s k i m o n

Ethan Allen demands the sur-

render of Fort Ticonderoga

from the British officer in

charge on May 10, 1775.

b o ok sb o ok s

M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:29 PM Page 62

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (63)


M-Flame FP Nov14_Layout 1 9/4/14 6:49 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (64)

64 Military Heritage November 2014

Such operations have taken place throughoutAmerican history, despite the lack of attentiongiven them until recently. From 1775 to 1783many important operations of the war werecarried out by small groups of rangers, scouts,and other specialized groups pulled together tocarry out difficult tasks. Special OperationsDuring the American Revolution (Robert L.Tonsetic, Casemate Publishers, Havertown PA,2013, 272 pp., maps, illustrations, notes, bib-liography, index, $32.95, hardcover) delvesinto the details of these efforts, most of whichremain obscure.

The taking of Ticonderoga is probably thebest known of the operations described in thiswork. Unless reader are veritable authorities onthe Revolutionary War, they is sure to readsomething in this book they did not knowabout. For example, the New ProvidenceRaid—the first amphibious landing by the U.S.Marines against a British town in theBahamas—was carried out to capture gun-powder for the Continental Army. Each chap-ter covers a different special operation. Thebook also covers partisan warfare betweenPatriots and Tories. The author’s coverage ofsmall engagements gives readers a good sense ofthe bitterness and hatred that tore apart theAmerican colonies. Last, a summary of GeorgeRogers Clark’s expedition in what wouldbecome the Northwest Territory sheds light onhis herculean efforts to bring the war to Britainin the then-undeveloped wilderness.

This is a well-written, easy to follow work thatdoes an excellent job telling many small storiesof the American Revolution. Many of the lead-ers of these operations are lesser known figuresmost readers have likely heard of but know lit-tle about. While some biographical informationis included on each, their deeds speak much moreloudly, showing the sort of men who led the bud-ding United States of America in the struggle forits independence from the contemporary super-

power, Great Britain.

Henchmen of Ares: War-rior and Warfare inAncient Greece (JoshoBrouwers, KarwansarayPublishers, Rotterdam,Netherlands, 2014, 203

pp., maps, photographs, illustrations, biblio-graphic notes, index, $40.00, hardcover)

The Greeks are generally looked on as thefounders of Western Civilization, as well as itsfirst defenders. Contemporary pop culture hasparticularly embraced Sparta and its warrior cul-ture in print and film. But there was more depthto the ancient Greek warrior. They fought each

other or outside enemies at need, developing anintricate military tradition along the way. Whatwe know of the Greek warrior has been gleanedfrom various archaeological records. This newDutch import collects these various finds anduses them to paint a detailed description ofGreek soldiery and how they fought.

The book takes a scholarly approach to

demonstrating what archaeology tells us aboutthe era. It is well illustrated with battle scenes,period artifacts, and imagery of ships, weapons,and fortifications. There has been a recentdearth of books covering ancient warfare; thiswork goes far to redress that imbalance.

Prelude to Blitzkrieg: The 1916 Austro-German

SHORT BURSTSReporting Under Fire: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photojournalists (Kerrie Logan Hol-lihan, Chicago Review Press, 2014, 256 pp., $19.95, softcover). This book tells the stories of femalereporters from World War I to the present. Some are famous, while others are relatively unknown.

Crescent Moon Over Carolina: William Moultrieand American Liberty (C.L. Brigg, University ofSouth Carolina Press, 2014, 336 pp., $29.95,hardcover) Moultrie is best known for the defenseof Charleston in 1776 during the American Rev-olution. This biography gives more depth to theman’s life.

Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, The Women Who Fought for Them,and The One Who Never Returned (Alvin Townley, Thomas Dunne Books, 432 pp., 2014, $27.99, hard-cover) During the Vietnam War, a number of American prisoners were kept in a special jail nicknamedAlcatraz. This is the story of how they endured and how their loved ones fought for them back home.

Cultures of Commemoration: War Memorials Ancient and Modern (Edited by Polly Low, Graham Oliverand P.J. Rhodes, Oxford University Press, 2013, 200 pp., $85.00, hardcover) This is a collection of dif-

ferent authors’ writings on war memorials from Ancient Greece to Viet-nam. It also covers rituals, festivals, and the role of the state in honoringits soldiers.

Poetry of the World Wars (Edited by Michael Foss, Michael O’MaraBooks Ltd, 2014, 192 pp., $24.95, hardcover) A collection of warpoetry showing the progression of poetry as it evolved between and

during the world wars. The work of famous poets is included alongside the words of soldiers and sailorswriting of what they saw.

At the Crossroads Between Peace and War: The London Naval Conference of 1930 (Edited by John H.Maurer and Christopher M. Bell, Naval Institute Press, 2014, 288 pp., $59.95, hardcover) The London

Naval Conference was an important yet ultimately failed attempt atarms control between the wars. Critics argue it weakened American andBritish naval power at a critical point.

Whips to Walls: Naval Discipline from Flogging to Progressive-EraReform at Portsmouth Prison (Rodney K. Watterson, Naval InstitutePress, 2014, 272 pp., $59.95, softcover) A study of how the U.S.

Navy reformed its system of punishment between 1850 and World War I. The prison at Portsmouth wascentral to this process.

7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution: The Founding Fathers, Liberty and the Struggle for Inde-pendence (John Antal, Casemate Publishers, 2013, 240 pp., $29.95,hardcover) This work seeks to teach leadership lessons using definingmoments of the war. It shows how they overcame tremendous odds andpersevered through adversity.

Discovering Cyrus: The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World(Reza Zarghamee, Mage Books, 2013, 784 pp., $85.00, hardcover)

The first volume in a series devoted to the ancient emperor and his vast empire.

M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:29 PM Page 64

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (65)

November 2014 Military Heritage 65

Campaign in Romania(Michael B. Barrett, IndianaUniversity Press, Blooming-ton, 2013, 399 pp., maps,photographs, notes, bibliog-raphy, index, $45.00, hardcover)

Most Westerners think ofWorld War I as a stagnant conflict fought fromtrenches. The fighting on the Eastern Front wasmuch more fluid, a war of maneuver wherethere was far too much ground to ever fortifywith continuous defenses. Armies could maneu-ver and even take advantage of the newfoundmobility of trucks and armored cars. This isexactly what occurred in Romania.

That nation unexpectedly joined the Allies,quickly mounting an offensive to capture terri-tory in Transylvania, part of the Austro-Hun-garian Empire. Germany committed what itcould to support its ally; many of the assem-bled troops were second rate. The leader of thishastily formed army, Erich Von Falkenhayn,was first rate; however, and led this force to acrushing victory over the attacking Romanians.Combining rapid movement and flankingassaults, in a year of fighting Von Falkenhaynnot only pushed his opponents out of Transyl-vania but continued into Romania itself, effec-

tively knocking that nation out of the war. The Eastern Front during World War I is not

as well understood in the United States. Thisbook brings well-deserved light to the subject.Studying this part of the war greatly widens thereader’s understanding of the conflict as a whole.

In the Hour of Victory: TheRoyal Navy at War in theAge of Nelson (Sam Willis,W.W. Norton and Company,Inc. New York, 2014, 416pp., maps, illustration,appendices, notes, index,

$35.00, hardcover)The Napoleonic era was the Golden Age of

the British Royal Navy, when challenges criti-cal to the nation arose, were met, and astound-ing victories won. In an age where communi-cations moved only as fast as the wind couldpush a sail, naval officers possessed extensivedecision-making authority. They were empow-ered to act and often did so. The result of thiswas an enormous amount of correspondenceas reports, invoices, and what today would becalled after-action reviews flowed back to Lon-don from far-ranging battlefields.

This new work takes all of this correspon-dence and collates it into a narrative that

reassesses the key battles of the era, giving freshperspectives on them and allowing the reader tosee the actual thoughts and statements of theparticipants, ranging from high admirals to sur-geons reporting casualties and boatswains eval-uating the damage done to their beloved vessels.Along the way the author includes interestingpieces of information to accompany the cover-age of battle. For example, Nelson kept thelightning rod from the French ship L’Orient dis-played prominently in his hallway. The ship hadexploded at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 andthe rod was one of the few pieces left intact.Since Trafalgar was such an important victory,pieces of the involved ships were turned into allmanner of souvenirs; even Nelson’s pigtail wascut from his head after his death and is now ondisplay in the Royal Maritime Museum inGreenwich. These tiny details round out thebook and give it a modern connection.

Unknown Wars of Asia,Africa and The America’sThat Changed History(Steven M. Johnson, AtlasWorld Publishing, NewYork, 2013, 421 pp., maps,photographs, bibliography,index, $24.99, hardcover)

M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:29 PM Page 65

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (66)

66 Military Heritage November 2014

Wars often mark turning points in history,causing or enabling change. Many are wellknown, while others are virtually unknown butplayed equally important roles in shaping ourworld. Often this is a matter of culture; an aver-age western reader knows nothing of the warsthat rocked the Khmer Empire in the 12th cen-tury because it is too far outside their society’sframe of reference to make it seem relevant.Those wars affected the development of modernSoutheast Asia, a region very much in the pub-lic eye of the 21st century. This new workexplores a number of those conflicts and howtheir effects trickle through history to our time.

For example, the Taiping Rebellion (1851-1871) claimed 30 million lives over 20 years,beginning when a Chinese schoolteacher readpoorly translated Christian tracts and decidedhe was meant to rid China of Confucianismand government corruption. Raising an army,the movement quickly became a threat to theruling Qing Dynasty and war broke out. Thefanatical Taiping troops won many victories,arming themselves with captured weapons and,in time, growing to 500,000. Eventually, inter-nal dissent fragmented the Taiping troops andthe original leader of the rebellion died in 1864.

Nevertheless, fighting went on until the last ves-tiges of the Taiping army were destroyed in1871. Little known in the West, this war fea-tured the rise of regional warlords and theirpersonal armies, which were to have wideeffects on China through the mid-20th centurywhen the Communist Revolution began.

This book provides general retellings of the 18various conflicts it covers, ranging from ancientwars to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.Some chapters summarize a series of campaignsspread over centuries, such as England’s pirateactions against Spain and the wars conductedaround the African slave trade.

Code Name Johnny Walker:The Extraordinary Story ofthe Iraqi Who RiskedEverything to fight with theU.S. Navy Seals (JohnnyWalker with Jim DeFelice,William Morrow, NewYork, 2014, 285 pp., maps,

photographs, $26.99, hardcover)Working as a “terp,” or interpreter, for the

American troops was a dangerous occupationin Iraq. These men didn’t even use their real

names while working but rather code names inan effort to keep them anonymous and safe.One such terp, “Johnny Walker,” was drivingthrough Mosul one morning in 2004 on theway to work at a U.S. base nearby. Suddenly hesaw a car behind him, two men in it. Johnnyknew what was going to happen. The men firedat him but missed. The terp rammed their carthen jumped out with his AK-47 blazing. Bothmen died and a crowd quickly formed,demanding to know why Johnny had foughtthem. If he admitted that he had defended him-self from terrorists who wanted him deadbecause he worked for the Americans, then themob would kill him in turn. Johnny did whathe had to do; he lied, told them he had killedthe two men because they had been workingfor the Americans. The crowd cheered him andhe quickly got away.

This book chronicles the story of JohnnyWalker as he spends six years working withU.S. Special Forces troops. They quicklyadopted him as one of their own and when hisservice to America made it too dangerous forhim to remain, Navy SEALs helped get him tothe United States. This book is written as anautobiography. It is a gritty look at the life of a

From the first time we previewed Valiant Hearts:The Great War, it was clear that Ubisoft and devel-oper Ubisoft Montpellier had something special ontheir hands. Too often we find ourselves wadingthrough the same few genres when it comes to wargames, whether it be strategy or straight-up shoot-ing, and that makes Valiant Hearts’ effort to tell areal story in a novel way all the more engag-ing.The very first thing you’ll notice about ValiantHearts is its aesthetic. Beautifully illustrated 2D land-

scapes spread from foreground to background,with lively, cartoony characters interacting on thecentral plane. The lush visuals are all thanks toUbiArt Framework, Ubisoft’s in-house engine that’salso been used for games like Rayman Origins,Rayman Legends, and Child of Light. The main ben-efit of the engine is that illustrators who work out-side of game development can concentrate on theart, which an animator then takes to split up andapply a skeleton to it. The technical side of things

takes over from there. Thus,any kind of image can beanimated, so UbiArt Frame-work is able to draw from awide variety of visualsources, from 3D renderingsto India ink drawings, modelclay backgrounds, and more.

Valiant Hearts’ attractiveand lovingly crafted artworkcontrasts nicely against thebleak setting of World War I.The story kicks off in 1914,as France begins to deport all German citizens inanticipation of war. One of those citizens is Karl,who gets separated from his wife Marie and theirchild, Victor. The same goes for Marie’s father,Emile, who is drafted into the French Army, trained,and quickly captured and forced to cook for theGermans.

While Karl finds himself serving under the infa-mous Baron Von Dorf, Emile soon meets an Amer-ican named Freddie, and the two become fastfriends. Their unlikely party is rounded out when adog saves Emile and starts following them throughbattle, and a Belgian student named Anna—now







s i m u l a t io n g a m e s B y J o s e p h L u s t e r


M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:30 PM Page 66

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (67)

November 2014 Military Heritage 67

man who risked everything because he thoughtit would help his nation.

Blucher: Scourge ofNapoleon (Michael Leg-giere, University of Okla-homa Press, Norman, 2014,536 pp., maps, illustrations,notes, bibliography, index,$34.95, hardcover)

This Prussian officer isbest known for his late-day arrival at Water-loo, one of the actions that led to the defeat ofNapoleon Bonaparte on June 18, 1815. Thereis more to the man however, including servicein the Swedish Army against Prussia during theSeven Years War. Later he served virtuallythroughout the Napoleonic Wars in one capac-ity or another, taking part in some of that con-flict’s most famous battles such as Jena-Auerst-edt, Lubeck, and Ligny. At this last engagement,Blucher’s horse was struck by a musket ball andin its death throes fell atop the hapless fieldmarshal, pinning him to the ground. Enemycavalry rode all around him, but his aide cov-ered him with his cloak to prevent any-one from recognizing him

or his rank. As rain clouds gathered the enemybroke off their attack and the aide had Blucherevacuated from the field, allowing him to makehis rendezvous with destiny at Waterloo twodays later.

Blucher’s life was full of such drama. He wasa general who led from the front; his men calledhim “Marshal Forward.” This is the first Eng-lish-language biography on the man and the 41stVolume of the University of Oklahoma Press’well-regarded Campaigns and Commandersseries. It is well researched and Blucher’s story iswoven into the wider narrative of theNapoleonic Era, showing how his actions inter-twined with those of his allies and enemies.

The Most Dangerous Manin America: The Making ofDouglas MacArthur (MarkPerry, Basic Books, NewYork, 2014, 384 pp., maps,photographs, notes, bibliog-raphy, $29.99, hardcover)

Douglas MacArthur is a con-troversial figure in Americanmilitary history. Some proclaimhim a genius, others a danger-

ous egomaniac. Mark Perry’s new book exam-ines how President Franklin D. Roosevelt andothers used MacArthur’s ability while simul-taneously bending him away from his over-weening ego to make him a useful asset to thenation. The author holds that the generalexhibited both genius and vanity in full mea-sure, but could still be an asset to his countrynonetheless.

MacArthur led Allied forces from the Philip-pines to Australia, the numerous islands of theSouth Pacific, and eventually back to the Philip-pines and beyond. The author covers this jour-ney with easy to follow prose and insightful judg-ments of the decisions of not only MacArthur,but his opponents and fellow Allies. These areinteresting to read even if one does not agreewith them as the arguments are well put. His-tory has been hard on MacArthur; this bookmaintains the man had successes and failures,but only the failures are remembered today.

Yankee Air Pirates: U.S. Air Force Uniforms andMemorabilia of the Vietnam War, Volume I(Olivier Bizet and Francois Millard, Schiffer Pub-lishing, Atglen PA, 2013, 328 pp., maps, pho-tographs, $89.99, hardcover)

a battlefield nurse—crossestheir path and finds sheshares a common goal.Revenge is on the menu,and Von Dorf is the main course. It’sgoing to take a great deal of blood, sweat, andtragic tears to take him down, but it doesn’t seemso impossible when this group bands together andtakes advantage of their unique individual skill sets.

Emile runs around with a shovel and can digthrough dirt, while Freddie can cut his waythrough barbed wire and smash obstacles. Annauses her nursing skills frequently, and the dog isan all around crucial asset since it can squeezethrough tight spaces and fetch otherwiseunreachable items. With all that in mind, youcan probably see how the puzzles manifest them-selves in Valiant Hearts.

Most of the puzzles are pretty simple, callingback to classic adventure games with isolated fetchquests and the like. There’s nothing terribly obtusehere, thankfully, and a lot of that is thanks to thecomic-like language Valiant Hearts employs. Char-acters don’t really speak to one another in any-thing but mutters and a few scattered words, butlittle word bubbles will pop out with images hint-ing at what they might need. You’ll approach ataxi, for instance, which needs some water to run.That intuitively directs you to a fire hydrant thatneeds a wrench to turn it on, an empty bottle from

a nearby character, and so on. Valiant Hearts would be awfully dull if that’s

all there was to it, but puzzles mixthings up frequently. Sometimes

you’ll just need to toss a stick at some untrig-gered explosives, or command the dog to go turna lever to raise an item up from below. As you getdeeper you’ll be working in tandem with one ofyour buddies, and some of the methods of pro-gression reminded me of the 2000 PlayStation 2puzzle game The Adventures of Cookie and Cream… except in this case the colorful world has beenblown to smithereens in a brutal war.

There are even a few moments that couldqualify as “boss battles,” in whichyou’ll be tasked with acting undera bit more duress than usual.That’s another place ValiantHearts mixes things up. Itsounds more chill thanyour average war game,but there are absolutelybombastic and thrillingmoments. You’ll be runningfrom and dodging falling bombs,evading enemy turret fire, andeven dodging cars and obstaclesin a rhythmic driving game set torousing classical music.

The story and characters in

Valiant Hearts may be fictional, but its settingremains soaked in the true horrors of war. In addi-tion to unlocking character diary entries, you’ll fre-quently receive new updates in the form of histori-cal facts behind areas and situations youencounter. Ubisoft Montpellier teamed up with thecreators of the five-part documentary series Apoc-alypse, World War I—a co-production betweenFrench company CC&C and Canadian firm Idea-com International—allowing them to incorporatereal photos from the database into the game’sencyclopedia. Stumble into a medical area andyou’ll be able to read about the presence of nursesin World War I, encounter your first flamethrower

soldier, and read about the psychological effectstheir introduction triggered; it’s all just as fas-cinating as playing the game itself.

The best part is, pretty much anyone canenjoy Valiant Hearts. You don’t need tobe an expert in twitch action or be astrategy-minded genius to play, youjust need to have a bit of patience for

puzzles and occasionally dodge a fewthings here and there. Anyonewho has been turned off topast video game representa-

tions of war should give this onea chance; there’s a great story being told

here and it’s one that doesn’t get toldoften enough.

M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:30 PM Page 67

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (68)

68 Military Heritage November 2014

Schiffer Publishing spe-cializes in comprehensivebooks that appeal to historybuffs, re-enactors, and vet-erans; this new work shouldappeal to all three. It is anextremely detailed photo-book concentrated on the

U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. Each chapter focuseson a different role, such as forward air control,rescue, and security. While the text vividlydescribes the work of each role, the illustrationsare what make the book. Uniforms, patches,insignia, weapons, and specialized equipmentare all shown in well-designed layouts. Thenumerous photographs are a combination ofofficial images and personal pictures taken onthe spot. This book even goes so far as to showthe labels of locally produced clothing manyairmen procured. Vietnam-era USAF veteransor militaria collectors may find this book ofparticular interest.

Samurai Revolution: TheDawn of Modern JapanSeen Through the Eyes ofthe Shogun’s Last Samurai(Romulus Hillsborough,Tuttle Publishing, NorthClarendon, VT, 2014, 608

pp., map, photographs, appendix, bibliogra-phy, index, $29.95, hardcover)

Japan transformed itself from a feudal stateto an emerging industrial power with stunningspeed. Within five decades it built a nation andmilitary able to take on the likes of China andRussia and achieve victory. The work is dividedinto two books. In the first, the author main-tains the most significant part of this changeoccurred between 1853 and 1878, whenextreme changes occurred in Japanese society.These alterations included the Meiji Restora-tion, when the shogunate was brought downand the emperor was restored to the throne.The cultural and economic influence of thisevent resonated in the following decades.

The second book discusses the decade afterthe restoration of the emperor, when power hadto be consolidated and steps begun to makeJapan a world power. During this period thesamurai, unhappy with the changing nation,put up resistance. This culminated in the Sat-suma Rebellion of 1877; government victory inthis war effectively ended the samurai tradition.The author heavily uses the various writings of“the shogun’s last samurai,” Katsu Kaishu. Thiscombined statesman and sailor played variousroles in the period, giving him vast insight intoJapan’s emergence into the modern world.

German commander, Rear Admiral LeberechtMaass, came on the scene.

Fearless exchanged gunfire with the last twowhen suddenly the 2,608-ton, 22.2 knot Ger-man cruiser Ariadne with her 10 4.1-inch gunscame out of the mist. Fearless steamed on andcame within range of Mainz. Fearless openedfire on the enemy cruiser, which drew theMainz’s attention away from the Britishdestroyers.

During the confusion the destroyers of theThird Division of the Third Flotilla fired tor-pedoes at the Mainz. One, possibly two, of thetorpedoes fired from Lydsard hit the enemycruiser. Mainz stopped and became silent.

Tyrwhitt sighted Goodenough coming withhis cruisers. He was relieved to see friendlycruisers at hand. Tyrwhitt decided to leaveMainz to Goodenough while he reformed hisflotilla. As he did so, Goodenough came uponCöln and Stettin and opened fire on them.

Mainz, meanwhile, was sinking. Her captaincalled out, “Abandon ship, ship’s company getclear with life belts.” Many of the ship’s crewdid not hear this, including the first gunneryofficer who ordered torpedoes to be fired. Onetorpedo was discharged from the port side andtwo from the starboard tubes. However, allthree missed their target.

Then at 12:30 PM, Beatty arrived with hisbattle cruisers. This raised the spirits of theBritish immensely. As an officer on one of Tyr-whitt’s destroyers described the scene, “Therestraight ahead of us in lovely procession, likeelephants walking through a pack of ‘pi-dogs,’came the Lion, Queen Mary, Invincible, andNew Zealand, our battle cruisers. Great andgrim and uncouth as some antediluvian mon-sters, how solid they looked, how utterly earth-quaking!”

Beatty quickly surveyed the scene. The admi-ral noticed that Mainz was still afloat. Beattytrained his guns on the dying cruiser and fin-ished her off.

Beatty heard the gunfire from Fearless, Cöln,and Stettin. He was steaming in that directionwhen he came upon Cöln. Beatty altered a lit-tle to port and opened fire. After two or threeminutes of firing the German cruiser was ablazeand limped off to the northwest.

Cöln was so heavily damaged that her crewset scuttling charges to sink her. The survivorsexpected the British to pick them up, but theBritish had already left the area. All but onecrew member, including Maass, perished in thefrigid waters. The sole survivor was picked up

later by the Germans. At 12:56 PM, Beatty’s lookouts spotted the

Ariadne. The admiral ordered his guns to openfire on her. The battle cruisers’ guns roared andwithin minutes the German cruiser was ablazeand listing badly.

Beatty was now faced with the decisionwhether or not to go further. After carefulthought he decided against going on. TheBritish destroyers to the eastward reportedfloating mines. The Germans might also havesent out their heavy ships. At 1:10 PM, Beattysignaled for his squadron to retire.

Rescue work was undertaken for the crews ofthe sinking German ships. As one German offi-cer stated, “The English ships made the great-est effort to pick up the survivors.” Keyes cameup and rescued the survivors from the Mainz.The crew of Ariadne was later picked up by aGerman battleship.

At one point during the rescue, Keyes noticeda young officer standing on the Mainz. Thecommodore wanted to leave before the Ger-man warship capsized. However, the youngofficer refused to abandon his ship as long asshe was afloat. He saluted and said, “Thankyou, no.” The cruiser sank, and he was pluckedout of the water along with another officer, theson of Admiral Tirpitz.

The Germans lost three cruisers and adestroyer along with more than 1,000 menkilled, wounded, or captured. The British bycontrast lost not a single ship and suffered 35men killed. Only two British ships sufferedseverely, the cruiser Arethusa and the destroyerLaurel, which were taken in tow by Hogue andAmethyst.

The defeat the Germans suffered in Augustdeterred them from venturing far from theirbases for some time. As Churchill observed thatfrom August to November 1914, “Except forfurtive movements by individual submarinesand minelayers, not a dog stirred.” This gavethe British time to complete the defenses of theirbases and consolidate the position of the GrandFleet. The kaiser, fearing the loss of more ships,put restrictions on the movement of Germanwarships. Admiral Tirpitz protested against thispolicy and noted, “There sprang up from thatday forth an estrangement between the emperorand myself, which steadily increased.”

The Battle of Heligoland Bight was the firstmajor victory for the Allies during World WarI. It raised British morale considerably andinstalled an inferiority complex in the mindsof German naval officers. As Churchillremarked, “Hence forward the weight ofBritish naval prestige lay heavy across all Ger-man sea enterprise.”

H e li g ol a n dContinued from page 45

M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:30 PM Page 68

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (69)

November 2014 Military Heritage 69

Panzer was facing the 51st Combat EngineerBattalion and elements of the CCR, 3rdArmored Division. Believing he was facing astrong American force and that it would taketoo much time to force a crossing, Krügerordered his panzer division to head south tocross at La Roche. Valuable time was wastedsorting out traffic issues and repulsing Ameri-can attacks.

The 2nd Panzer received enough fuel to allowits reconnaissance battalion to continue the raceto the Meuse, skirting between the U.S. 84thDivision at Marche, where a blocking force wassoon deployed, and Rochefort. The latter wascaptured by Panzer Lehr, which was supposedto secure the German left flank on its drive tothe Meuse.

On December 23 the cold spell that hadimproved the roads also cleared the skies,allowing Allied planes to attack the Germansand drop supplies into Bastogne. That day thereconnaissance battalion of 2nd Panzer gotwithin a few miles of the Meuse River. Theadvance guard of 2nd Panzer, which hadreceived some fuel, soon arrived nearby thenext day. Three Mark V Panther medium tanksfrom the reconnaissance battalion wereknocked out by British tanks on patrol aroundDinant as the British XXX Corps had beenpositioned to hold the crossings over the MeuseRiver. The Germans had reached their highwater mark in the Ardennes offensive.

The Germans soon had other concerns whenthe 2nd Armored Division, VII Corps attacked,intending to cut off the 2nd Panzer’s spearheadon Christmas Day. Two days later the spear-head was crushed despite breakout attemptsand failed efforts from the Panzer Lehr Divi-sion and the rest of the 2nd Panzer Division tobreak through. Six hundred troops managed toescape on foot during a snowstorm. It was nowclear to Manteuffel that further attempts toreach the Meuse would be useless.

Things were no better at Bastogne, whereearly on Christmas morning the Germans madea large thrust under the cover of darkness toavoid Allied aircraft. The 15th PanzergrenadierDivision, under Colonel Wolfgang Maucke,who had just arrived the night before, made themain attack between Champs and Hemroulleto the west of Bastogne reinforced with ele-ments of the 26th Volksgrenadier Division. Thetanks quickly overran two companies of the 1stBattalion, 327th Glider Regiment. Despitebeing overrun, these troops hunkered down intheir foxholes until the German tanks had

passed by and opened up on the next wave ofadvancing panzergrenadiers.

The German tanks split up. Some headed toHemroulle and others toward Champs. Boththese groups were shot to pieces by elements ofthe 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment and705th Tank Destroyers. When the smokefinally cleared, all 18 German tanks wereknocked out, and supporting panzergrenadierswere either killed, wounded, or captured.Smaller infiltrating attacks by the 77thGrenadier Regiment, 26th Volksgrenadier hadinitial success around Champs, but these troopswere soon pinned down.

The following morning a desperate effort inthe direction of Hemroulle was repulsed byAmerican artillery and tank destroyers. Ele-ments of Patton’s Third Army pushing norththrough the German 7th Army made contacton December 26 with the determined defend-ers of Bastogne, thus breaking the siege. Heavyfighting continued in the sector throughout thefollowing week as the Americans attempted tosecure the supply corridor between the ThirdArmy and U.S. forces in Bastogne.

Hitler was adamant that Bastogne be cleared.To do this, the Germans assembled an armygroup drawn from elsewhere in the Ardennes thatincluded the battered 1st SS Panzer Division, 3rdPanzergrenadier Division, and the Führer BelgeitBrigade to help take the town. Eastern front vet-eran Maj. Gen. Karl Decker’s 39th Panzer Corpswas brought in to handle the Bastogne operation.He attacked during a snowstorm on December28 with no success. The following day Decker’scorps was put under the command of Lüttwitz,becoming Army Group Lüttwitz.

Manteuffel launched a major attack onDecember 30 with the 47th and 39th PanzerCorps against the supply corridor from boththe northwest and southeast, which was pro-ceeded by an artillery and rocket barrage. Pat-ton launched an attack the same day. When thesmoke had cleared after a day of bloody fight-ing, the Germans had failed. The corridorremained open, and Bastogne remained firmlyin American hands.

Although fighting would continue into Jan-uary before the bulge was erased, the Germanoffensive was over. The Germans lost about100,000 men killed, wounded, or captured. Incontrast, the Americans suffered about 81,000casualties. The 5th Panzer Army had advancedthe farthest of the three German armies partic-ipating in the winter offensive. Still, the Ger-mans gained nothing and lost a great deal. Ahigh-ranking German officer said that theArdennes campaign had “broken the backboneof the Wehrmacht on the Western Front.”

B a s t o g n eContinued from page 31

Just as the allies did not pursue Gramont,Noailles never rallied his forces to make an effec-tive pursuit of the Pragmatic Army. King Georgeand his army safely reached Hanau on June 28.Stair’s plans to give battle again were overruledby the king. Frustrated, Stair resigned, request-ing of the king, “‘Leave to return to my ploughwithout any mark of your displeasure.” Severalhigh British officers also resigned in sympathywith Stair or due to irritation with the king’sfavoritism toward his Hanoverian officers.Although the allies had wasted the opportunitygenerated by their victory, the French army soonwithdrew from Germany.

Noailles wrote King Louis XV that the defeatwas due to “the enemy’s discipline, and to theirofficers’ strict obedience and subordination tocommands.” The duke went on ruefully that“these qualities are unknown among our owntroops.” Gramont was blamed for throwingaway the battle but still commanded troops atthe Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. At Fontenoy,Gramont was killed early in the battle, a clashthat the French won over an army commandedby the Duke of Cumberland.

Stair later spoke to Voltaire about Dettingen;the two men had been friends since Stair’s diplo-matic service back in the 1720s. “You commit-ted one mistake,” said Stair, “and we committedtwo. Yours was … not having patience to wait,and ours was, exposing ourselves to Destruction,and then not making proper use of our victory.”

When news of Dettingen reached London,the English public was ecstatic. Few were strate-gists enough to mourn the failure to pursue thebroken French army at the end of the battle.Instead, the nation was thrilled with stories ofindividual soldiers such as Trooper Brown andCornet Richardson.

From the tales of George II’s conduct on thefield, the English were surprised by a new admi-ration for their normally rather unlikable king.Dettingen marked a historic occasion in thechanging world of modern warfare. Neveragain would the ruler of Great Britain dub newknights banneret on the field of battle. Thefuture King George IV was a midshipmanaboard the ship of the line Prince George at theBattle of Cape St. Vincent in 1780. King GeorgeVI served as a sub-lieutenant aboard the bat-tleship HMS Collingwood during the Battle ofJutland in 1916. However, in both cases theirmilitary service happened long before eitherking came to the throne. Dettingen marked thelast time a monarch of England or Great Britainled troops in battle.

D e t t i n g e nContinued from page 53

M-Nov14 Books_Layout 1 9/5/14 12:31 PM Page 69

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (70)

70 Military Heritage November 2014

Lieutenant Commander Philipp Baron vonBehr of Unit Stielau had made a wrong turninto town wearing a German uniform. Findingit lightly held, he said, “We got off with noth-ing worse than a fright.” Since then, however,news had spread, not only of fake Americans,but of the Malmédy Massacre. Skorzeny didnot believe the massacre had occurred. “Weconsidered that such a crime was quite unthink-able in the German Army.” Vengeful U.S.troops had arrived in force. Worse, a capturedGerman alerted them to the impending assault.

In his headquarters at Ligneuville at 4:30 AM

on December 21, Skorzeny launched atwo-pronged assault under cover of darknessand fog, but lacking artillery support. Scherfled one battle group from the southeast withthe Sturmgeschütz assault guns. SS CaptainAdrian von Fölkersam led two companies ofpanzergrenadiers and paratroopers, four dis-guised Panthers, and the captured Sherman viaside roads up to the village of Falize on a ridgesouthwest of Malmédy.

“Just when the attack was to begin,” remem-bered Skorzeny, “I heard heavy gunfire fromthe north. The right wing of the attack had runinto a barrage and been held up.”

Scherf’s disguised assault guns had not fooledmen of the American 120th Infantry Regimentat the Baugnez crossroad, where victims of themassacre still lay in the snow. They called forartillery and gunned down fake GIs withoutmercy. Scherf lost 11 vehicles. “It was clear tous that the Americans had already beenalerted,” he reported. “The battle group hadalready lost 60-70 men, dead or wounded, bythis point. I wasn’t prepared to lose any moremen and vehicles in the dark without reachingMalmédy so I ordered the battle group to dropback slowly toward Ligneuville.”

West of Malmédy a raised embankment ledto a rail bridge over the Warche. A road bridgelay behind a choke point between an aban-doned paper mill and a house, the forwardcommand post of the 823rd Tank DestroyerBattalion. Nineteen-year-old Sergeant FirstClass Frank Currey, an automatic rifleman ofthe 120th’s Company K, and his platoon man-ning the roadblock were told “armor couldn’toperate in that terrain.... Just leave a squad toguard that bridge and you’re OK.”

Meanwhile, about a mile across the WarcheValley to the southeast, von Folkersam had setup his headquarters in a café in Falize. He sentLieutenant Peter Mandt with two Pantherstoward the rail bridge and 1st Lt. Otto Dreier

with two Panthers and the Sherman, with fullinfantry support, toward the road bridge. Theywere only partially across the valley floor whensomebody snagged a trip wire.

Flares popped overhead. Green tanks withwhite stars milled in the foggy dark. “We hadhardly any chance of attacking reasonably,”reported Mandt, “as we had very little cover andwe advanced very hesitatingly.” With their tur-ret cupolas removed the Panthers resembled M-10 tank destroyers but required their comman-ders to expose their heads; the second tank’scommander took a mortal hit and fell backinside. Mandt’s Panther reached the embank-ment but hit a mine, unraveled a tread, andbrewed up; with his crew dead, Mandt bailedout, took over the second tank, and fell back toFalize. “After the panzers were knocked out Ibelieve the foot soldiers retreated.”

Dreier, assaulting the road bridge, was alsohit in the face and staggered back across thefield to Falize, leaving his crew to carry on. Thelead Panther barreled down the street at fullspeed, crossed the bridge, stopped, and wheeledto cover the German advance. Panzergrenadiersreached the American command post andbegan tossing grenades through the basem*ntwindows.

Master Sergeant Ralph McCarthy of the291st Combat Engineer Battalion had wiredthe bridge for demolition and explained the useof detonators to the men of the 120th, “butapparently those devices were not particularlyhigh on their list of things to remember in theevent of an attack.” First Lieutenant KennethR. Nelson of Company M led his machine-gunplatoon’s defense as Germans closed to within20 yards. Nelson was wounded. Sergeant Johnvan der Kamp took over and was also hit, butcarried on. Both won the Distinguished ServiceCross, Nelson posthumously. Currey, dartingback and forth through the fire between thepaper mill and command post, used a bazooka,heavy machine gun, rifle grenades, and amedium machine gun in turn to hold off theattackers, earning the Medal of Honor.

“I could only guess what was happening upfront by the noise of the fighting and the vehi-cles returning with wounded men,” recalledSkorzeny. At daylight he looked down fromFalize to see “our tanks engaged in a hopelessstruggle with a superior force of the enemy.”

The German Sherman and Dreier’s Pantherwere both hit and abandoned. Across the river,2nd Lt. Arnold L. Snyder, a forward artilleryspotter, crept up behind the stationary lead Pan-ther and shot it in the engine compartment witha bazooka. Its crew bailed out. All but one wasshot down as they fled back across the bridge.

German radioman Karl Meinhardt hid in ahayloft for six days: “I believed that our troopswould continue the advance and I could fightmy way out again…. I waited in vain.” Thatwas the closest Panzerbrigade 150 ever cameto fulfilling its mission.

At midmorning the fog lifted, and Americanartillery plastered the little battlefield with3,000 rounds, including new top-secret, prox-imity-fused airburst shells, which showered theGermans with splinters. Amid confusion in Fal-ize, the surviving Panther backed into its owncommand post. Fölkersam was shot in the but-tock. Skorzeny was struck in the head andnearly lost an eye.

The following day, American engineersdropped Malmédy’s bridges into the river. Hor-ribly, through miscommunications, the Ameri-cans believed the town was lost and bombed itthree times, killing more soldiers and civiliansthan died in the Malmédy Massacre. Mean-while, Soldiers’ Radio Calais, the British propa-ganda station, announced that no less than 250spies and saboteurs had been taken prisoner,which must have given Skorzeny a laugh; by hiscount he had exactly 28 men over the lines.

For many it was no laughing matter. Some ofhis three- and four-man teams found out thehard way that American jeeps rarely carriedmore than two riders and regulations forbademore than three. One unit requested “petrol”instead of “gas” and was captured. Anothertried to pass themselves off as members of ECompany, 14th Cavalry, learning too late thatAmerican cavalry was organized into troops,not companies; real Americans opened fire,killing them all. German lawyers had main-tained wearing enemy uniforms was legal aslong they were removed before actual combat,but American lawyers apparently disagreed.Eighteen Germans were shot as spies, includ-ing Pernass, Schmidt, Billing, and almost cer-tainly a number of ordinary Wehrmacht sol-diers with the bad luck to be caught wearingcaptured American gear.

On December 28, Panzerbrigade 150, hav-ing taken 15 percent losses all told, went to therear. Within a month the survivors all wereback with their original units. Von Fölkersamwent missing in action on the Eastern Front.Upon war’s end Skorzeny surrendered to theAmericans. He, Scherf, von Behr, and otherswere tried and absolved of war crimes. Afterthe war Skorzeny was implicated with the noto-rious Werewolf, Spinne, and Organization ofFormer SS Members networks. Nothing wasever proven, but for years every internationalplot and incident of intrigue required his offi-cial disclaimer: “I’m a retired kidnapper.”

i n t e l l i g e n c eContinued from page 23

M-Nov14 Intelligence_Layout 1 9/4/14 2:19 PM Page 70

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (71)

M-Karwansaray FP Nov14_Layout 1 9/4/14 6:46 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (72)

M-S&S Atria FP Nov14_Layout 1 9/4/14 7:01 PM Page 2

Historia militar - [PDF Document] (2024)


What was one action the Khmer Rouge took to control the people of Phnom Penh? ›

In 1975, Khmer Rouge fighters invaded Phnom Penh and took over the city. With the capital in its grasp, the Khmer Rouge had won the civil war and, thus, ruled the country. Notably, the Khmer Rouge opted not to restore power to Prince Norodom, but instead handed power to the leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot.

What is one impact of the removal of the Edict of Nantes on French society? ›

On October 18, 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked as the King thought most of the Protestants had recanted their religious beliefs and turned back to Catholicism. In just a handful of years, France would see a mass exodus of more than 400,000 Huguenots emigrating to England, Prussia, Holland and America.

Which historical event most directly influenced the development of the 1947 plan shown on map A? ›

The first question asks, “Which historical event most directly influenced the development of the 1947 plan shown on Map A?” The correct answer, according to the test, is the Holocaust.

What are two factors that contributed to the expansion of democracy prior to the Civil War? ›

Expanding democracy
  • In the early nineteenth century, political participation rose as states extended voting rights to all adult white men.
  • During the 1820s, the Second Party system formed in the United States, pitting Jacksonian Democrats against Whigs.

Why did the US help Khmer Rouge? ›

US leaders at the time contended they were supporting a legitimate Cambodian government against aggression by Communist Vietnamese forces. Washington hoped that helping Lon Nol would ultimately serve the Cold War goal of stemming Communism's spread in Southeast Asia.

How many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge? ›

The Cambodian genocide was the systematic persecution and killing of Cambodian citizens by the Khmer Rouge under the leadership of Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea, Pol Pot. It resulted in the deaths of 1.5 to 2 million people from 1975 to 1979, nearly 25% of Cambodia's population in 1975 ( c. 7.8 million).

Which religious groups was most affected when the Edict of Nantes was revoked? ›

On October 18, 1685, Louis XIV formally revoked the Edict of Nantes and deprived the French Protestants of all religious and civil liberties.

Who benefited the most from the Edict of Nantes? ›

The Edict of Nantes helped to end the Wars of Religion in France, which had been raging for decades. It also ensured that the Protestant minority in France would have a measure of religious and political freedom, and helped to establish France as a more tolerant and pluralistic society.

What 2 things did the Edict of Nantes do? ›

The passage of the Edict of Nantes in 1598 brought an end to the Wars of Religion and granted religious and civil rights to Protestants in France.

Which situation was a contributing factor in the decision to partition British Palestine? ›

The Jewish population had been attacked during the Arab revolt, leading to the idea that the two populations could not be reconciled. The Commission concluded that the Mandate had become unworkable, and recommended Partition into an Arab state linked to Transjordan, a small Jewish state, and a mandatory zone.

What was equally important to English agriculture? ›

Equally important to English agriculture was the development of new ways of raising crops and animals. About the same time that Townshend was experimenting with turnips and clover, an English farmer, Jethro Tull, introduced a new way of planting seed.

What was an important contribution of the Sankin Kōtai Alternate Attendance System to the modernization of Japan? ›

Another important contribution of the operation of the sankin kōtai system to the modernization of Japan was to promote the intellectual and cultural unification of the country.

What was America like before the Civil War? ›

These years witnessed rapid economic and territorial expansion; the extension of democratic politics; the spread of evangelical revivalism; the rise of the nation's first labor and reform movements; the growth of cities and industrial ways of life; radical shifts in the roles and status of women; and deepening ...

Which era of American democracy was characterized by deference to the elites? ›

This era, called the Jacksonian Era or Second Party System by historians and political scientists, lasted roughly from Jackson's 1828 presidential election until the practice of slavery became the dominant issue with the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854 and the political repercussions of the American Civil ...

When did democracy start in America? ›

The history of direct democracy amongst non-Native Americans in the United States dates from the 1630s in the New England Colonies. The legislatures of the New England colonies were initially governed as popular assemblies, with every freeman eligible to directly vote in the election of officers and drafting of laws.

What did the Khmer Rouge do to Phnom Penh? ›

In 1975, a communist regime known as the Khmer Rouge conquered the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The occupation set in motion a four-year campaign of genocide that would wipe out 2 million people – a quarter of the country's population.

When did the Khmer Rouge take control? ›

Ultimately, the Khmer Rouge would take power in 1975, installing Pol Pot as the leader of the country.

What did Khmer Rouge do in the Vietnam war? ›

On 23 December 1978, 10 out of 19 divisions of Khmer Rouge's military divisions opened fire along the shared Southwestern borderline with Vietnam with the goal of invading the Vietnamese provinces of Đồng Tháp, An Giang and Kiên Giang.

What caused the Phnom Penh war? ›

The Cambodian Civil War was primarily caused by political disagreements between the right-wing military-led government of General Lon Nol and the communist Khmer Rouge group, alongside the broader context of Cold War geopolitics, particularly American involvement in Vietnam.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated:

Views: 5587

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.