THE SIEGE OF QUEBEC
BATTLE OF THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, took place on the 13th
September 1759, and was a pivotal battle in the French and Indian
war between the British and French which went a long way in deciding
the fate of New France?
The battle was fought
on a plateau just outside and to the west of the walls of Quebec
City and was the culmination of a three month long siege of the
city. The actual battle lasted less than an hour, during which time,
tactics devised by the British commander, General James Wolfe,
proved successful in breaking the column advance of French and
Canadian troops under The Marquis de Montcalm. Both generals were
mortally wounded during the battle.
THE CONDOR LEGION
Wehrmacht's Training Ground
The Condor Legion was the expeditionary force of soldiers
and airmen sent by Hitler to aid Franco's Nationalists in
the Spanish Civil War. The Germans used the war as an
opportunity to develop equipment and tactics, and their
force included not only instructors, but also combat units
of artillery, aircraft, and tanks. These units tested guns,
planes and tanks, and perfected techniques that were used in
the 1940 Blitzkreig.
Many of the officers prominent in the early
campaigns of WW2 won their first successes in Spain. In
October 1936, 2 German ships arrived in Spain loaded with a
Panzer 1 Company, and all the services and personnel to
establish Franco's army's first armoured unit. The so called
PANZERGRUPPE DROHNE. Oberstleutnant Willhelm Ritter Von
Thoma was to command the contingent.
Gordon at Khartoum
early 1880's, a Muslim uprising began in the Sudan, threatening
Egypt and British colonial interests.The Leader of the revolt
was Muhammad Ahmad who called himself the "Mahdi". His object was to restore Muslim practices and eradicate
foreign influences. Through awe and fear, the Mahdi managed to
gather thousands of loyal followers. Ultimately, Great Britain
was obliged to address the situation, and did so by sending a
national hero to Khartoum, General Charles Gordon, known as "Chinese Gordon" for his leadership in suppressing the
Uprising in China some years earlier.
Charles Gordon was seen as a
"Christian Soldier", who as previous Governor General of Equatoria and then the full Sudan, ended slavery. He knew the
bible well and had even managed to locate the site of the
Genesis Garden of Eden. As a soldier, Gordon was a military
engineer, which would serve him well when forced to fortify
Gordon was also fiercely independent and whose personal view of
justice conflicted with political prerogatives. Stubborn,
insubordinate, and frequently arrogant, he traveled up the Nile
River to evacuate the Europeans and Egyptians despite having
publicly criticized this policy in the British press only weeks
before his assignment was posted. Gordon's own agenda was to
defend Khartoum against the Mahdi.
The Forces of the Mahdi breached Khartoum's defenses in January
1885, slaughtering the inhabitants and murdering
GovernorGeneral Charles Gordon. His severed head was paraded
before the Mahdi on a pike.
THE JACOBITE REBELLION 1745
In 1743 war broke out between England and France.
As France was a Catholic nation, it had always supported the
Stuarts' claim to the English throne. King Louis XV realized
that it would be in his interests if the Stuarts made
another attempt to regain the throne. Louis XV informed
James Edward Stuart in 1745 that if he invaded England he
would supply him with arms and ammunition. James was now
fiftyseven years old and was not keen on becoming involved
in another military campaign. However, his son Charles
Stuart was more enthusiastic, and on 5 July he left France
with 700 men.
Once in Scotland, Charles
Stuart, who had been nicknamed Bonnie Prince Charlie, began
building up his army. He was especially successful at
persuading Catholics living in the Scottish Highlands to
join him. In September, Charles was ready to take action.
The English army arrived soon afterwards but Charles' army
had an easy victory at the Battle of Prestonpans. Charles'
5,000 man army now marched into England and by December he
Charles had hoped that
English Catholics would join his army. This did not happen.
In fact, in many of the towns that he marched through, the
crowds showed great hostility to Charles' army. Louis XV had
promised Charles that 12,000 French soldiers would invade
England in the autumn of 1745. However, Louis XV did not
keep his promise. Although Charles still wanted to march on
London, his military advisers argued that without the
support of the French they were certain to be beaten.
Reluctantly, Charles agreed to return to Scotland.
Another English army, this
time led by the Duke of Cumberland , followed Charles back
into Scotland. Completely outnumbered, Charles's army were
chased into the Scottish Highlands.
In April 1746, Charles
Stuart decided to turn and fight the English army. The two
forces met at Culloden Moor on 16 April. Cumberland's army
devastated the Jacobites and Charles was forced to flee from
This new series will
initially concentrate on the Battle of Culloden Moor.
THE WAR OF 1812
THE BATTLE OF CHIPPEWA
JULY 5th 1814
On July 5th
1814, British and US troops met on the plain at Chippewa, Canada. The Battle was to last nearly 3 hours. The battle was to
show the whole world that, the army of the young country of
America had become a professional military arm, capable of
holding its own against the world's best armies.
Winfield Scott commanded the First Brigade of the Left Division
of the US Army.
He had tried to
obtain the correct blue uniform for his men during the spring of
1814, but failed and was forced to accept the grey jackets
usually worn as fatigues or undergarments, instead of the
regulation short tailed blue coatee.
would make this humble garment famous, and today the grey
uniforms of the West Point Cadets are worn to perpetuate the
memory of the Left Division during the 1814 Niagara campaign.
The British were
already deployed on the plain. The British commander General Sir
Phineas Riall, upon seeing the greyclad Americans, believed he
faced nothing more than "Buffalo Militia". The British artillery
were ordered to open up on the American lines and despite
fire from the British guns, Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott's brigade
stood firm. Riall soon realized he had made a mistake in
identifying the American force as militia, and declared to his
regulars, by God!
The British went
on to suffer heavy casualties and were forced to retire. The
Battle of Chippewa was an important event in the history of the
US army. After two disappointing and demoralizing years of
combat in the War of 1812, American regulars finally won a
convincing victory over the British army, whose troops were
among the best in the world. The American Left Division were to
continue their advance along the Niagara peninsula,
to the next major engagement at Lundy's Lane on 25thJuly
French and Indian War
Battle of Fort Carillon
The Battle was fought on July 8, 1758. In the
battle, which took place primarily on a rise about threequarters of
a mile (one km) from the fort itself, a French army of about 4,000
men under General
de Montcalm and the
Levis decisively defeated an overwhelmingly numerically
superior force of British troops under General
Abercrombie, which frontally assaulted an entrenched
French position without using
Abercrombie, confident of a quick victory, ignored several viable
military options, such as
waiting for his artillery, or laying siege to the fort. Instead,
relying on a flawed report from a young
engineer, and ignoring some of that engineer's
recommendations, he decided in favor of a direct
assault on the thoroughly entrenched French, without the
The battle was the bloodiest of the war, with over 3,000 casualties
suffered, of which over 2,000 were British.
The 42nd Regiment, known
paid dearly with the loss of many lives and many severely wounded.
More than 300 men (including 8 officers) were killed, and a similar
number were wounded, representing a significant fraction of the
total casualties suffered by the British.
BATTLE ON THE MONONGAHELA 1755
On 9th July 1755 amid the wilderness of North America,
Britain suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in her history.
General Braddock's army, a mixture of British regulars and American
Militia, was devastated, losing over 900 men from a force of 1,300.
General Braddock was killed and his aide, Colonel George Washington,
rescued the remnants of his army. This defeat and
subsequent chain of
events ultimately led to the start of the Seven Years' War.
General Braddock's army consisted of a mixture of
British regulars and American Militia, and set off intending to attack
the French at Fort Duquesne. The French knowing they could not
withstand British cannon fire, decided to launch a
preemptive strike as
Braddock's army crossed the Monongahela River. The French force
consisted of about 250 regulars and
Canadian militia, with about 640
Indian allies. The Canadian militiamen and Indians enveloped the
British and fired from the woods and ravines on the sides of the road.
After 3 hours of intense battle, Braddock was mortally wounded, and
resistance collapsed. By sunset the surviving British and American
forces were fleeing back down the road they had built. Braddock died of his wounds
during the retreat. Of the
1,460 men Braddock had led into battle, 456 were killed and 421
wounded. The officers were prime targets and suffered greatly. Out of
86 officers, 63 were killed or wounded. George Washington emerged from
the disaster as Virginia's military hero, and distinguished himself as
being calm and courageous under fire. The French force of 250 had 8 killed and
Their Indian allies lost 15 killed and 12 wounded.
BATTLE ON SNOWSHOES, 14th March
On March 14th 1758 a small battle took place
in the wilderness of North
America. The total number on both sides did not exceed
500 men. The men on the British side were primarily
native born settlers from New England led by Robert
Rogers, and on the French side native born Canadians and
their native Indian allies of New France led by the
French partisan Langy. This battle did not end in a
draw. Despite the success of an initial ambush by Rogers
and his rangers, the battle was to swing the way of the
numerically superior French force. It was to be a clear
cut victory for the French and Indians and resulted in
the almost total annihilation of the best of the newly
formed English Rangers. Only darkness was to save
Rogers and the remnants of his force.
THE RAID ON St. FRANCIS
Of all the episodes embraced within Robert Roger's chequered
career, none gained him greater fame than his 1759 raid upon the
Abenaki village of St. Francis. It could be said to be the most
incredible feat of the French and Indian War. The three pronged
attack to complete the conquest of French Canada was losing
momentum. Wolfe had reached a stalemate at Quebec. Gage was
making slow progress at Oswego on Lake Ontario, and Amherst, the
Commander in Chief was at Crown point awaiting the construction
of his fleet for his advance on Montreal. The British needed a
safe communication route to Wolfe, as well as a diversion to
draw the French forces away from the siege at Quebec.
Major Robert Rogers raid on the notorious Abenaki Indian town
of St. Francis, deep in French Canada, was the answer. The
American colonial New Englanders, who had long suffered at the
hands of the raiding Abenaki from St. Francis, had good reasons
to encourage this daring venture.
Where better to start the story of the Raid on St.Francis than
at Fort Number Four. This was the outpost which marked the
northern limit of British settlement in the fertile valley of
the Connecticut River, and whose settlers lived in fear from the
frequent raids from the Woodland Indians of the Abenaki tribe.
The Battle of Bushy Run 1763