5 times the Army kicked some serious a**!

Phil Briggs
June 14, 2019 - 4:19 pm

US Amry

From the first skirmishes at Lexington and Concord to the Civil War and the liberation of Nazi-controlled Europe, the United States Army has had some incredible moments shaped the history of the world.

Here are just a few that makes us proud to call them our own:

The Battle of Yorktown

US Army Museum

The Battle of Yorktown was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by Gen. George Washington. The siege proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War.

With the British defense weakened, on Oct.14, 1781, Washington sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses. One American column under Alexander Hamilton took artillery closer and enabled bombardment of British positions. With the capture of more than 7,000 British soldiers, the British asked for surrender terms on October 17 and within two days of negotiation, the surrender ceremony occurred on October 19 effectively winning the war and establishing our great nation. 'Merica!!

The Battle of Vicksburg

Battlefields.org

The Battle of Vicksburg was the culmination of a six-month Union campaign to seize the most important remaining Confederate fortress on the Mississippi. According to National Interest.org, "On May 18, 1863, Grant trapped the out-maneuvered Confederates in Vicksburg itself. The siege of Vicksburg lasted 46 days, with the defenders (led by Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton) surrendering on July 4.

Vicksburg confirmed Union control of the Mississippi, meaning that Union forces could prevent the western Confederacy from supporting the east. It also confirmed the ascendance of Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman to the senior ranks of Union commanders.

It left the underbelly of the Confederacy open to attack by Union armies and gave thousands of slaves the opportunity to make their way to freedom."

Rudder’s Rangers and the Boys of Pointe du Hoc

US Army

ArmyHistory.org shared the incredible story Rudder's Rangers, "Pointe du Hoc, was a prominent position along the coast of Normandy, was a focal point of the amphibious assault by U.S. forces during the early morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944. The cliff top (sometimes referred to as Pointe du Hoe) is located between Utah and Omaha Beaches and sits atop overhanging cliffs up to 100 feet in height. 

Understanding the perils and vital importance of the landing beaches along the coast of Normandy, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff planning Operation OVERLORD assigned the Rangers of the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions, under the direction of Lt. Col. James E. Rudder and organized into the Provisional Ranger Group, the mission of destroying the enemy positions on the cliff top. 

On D-Day, Rudder and his force from the 2nd Ranger Battalion, made up of 225 soldiers, along with Lt. Col. Max Schneider and the 5th Ranger Battalion in support, would carry out the mission to scale these cliffs before dawn on that fateful day and neutralize enemy positions atop Pointe du Hoc.

Due to the nature of the mission, scaling cliffs obviously became a major part of Ranger training, and Rudder’s Rangers spent a considerable amount of time learning, practicing, and reviewing to ensure their minds and bodies were in shape for what many considered to be a suicide mission.  

The Rangers experienced many difficulties climbing up the cliffs that day. Many of the ropes that caught hold of the cliffs that morning were completely covered by enemy fire, making the number available for climbing severely limited. The wet ropes were slippery and soldiers were weighed down by damp uniforms and mud clinging to their clothes, boots and equipment. German bullets and “potato masher” grenades rained down from above. Nevertheless, the Rangers climbed to the top of Pointe du Hoc while under enemy fire. Several German soldiers were killed and others drove off from the cliff edges when Rangers opened fire on them.

US Army

Air strikes targeting Pointe du Hoc took place on April 25, May 21-22 and June 4-5, followed by naval gunfire by the battleship USS Texas and destroyers USS Satterlee and HMS Talybont on the morning of June 6.  Once the Rangers reached the top, they were astonished by the destruction they found. Nothing resembled the aerial photographs and sand tables the Rangers had studied prior to the mission. Any recognizable landmark had been replaced with craters and rubble.

Following their actions, Pointe du Hoc on June 6-8, 1944, Rudder’s Rangers suffered a 70-percent casualty rate. Fewer than 75 of the original 225 who came ashore on June 6 were fit for duty. Of those who served in the 2nd Ranger Battalion on D-Day, 77 were killed and 152 wounded. Rudder was wounded twice and later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his actions at Pointe du Hoc. Thirteen other Rangers also received the DSC for heroism at Pointe du Hoc, and the 2nd Ranger Battalion was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for capturing the position."

The Battle of The Bulge

US Army

The Army’s website offers a great account of the battle forever known as The Battle of the Bulge. “Early on the misty winter morning of Dec. 16, 1944, more than 200,000 German troops and nearly 1,000 tanks launched Adolf Hitler's last bid to reverse the ebb in his fortunes that had begun when Allied troops landed in France on D-Day.

After a day of hard fighting, the Germans broke through the American front, surrounding most of an infantry division, seizing key crossroads and advancing their spearheads toward the Meuse River, creating the projection that gave the battle its name.

Stories spread of the massacre of soldiers and civilians at Malmedy and Stavelot, of paratroopers dropping behind the lines, and of English-speaking German soldiers, disguised as Americans, capturing critical bridges, cutting communications lines and spreading rumors.

Supreme Allied commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower rushed reinforcements to hold the shoulders of the German penetration. Within days, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. had turned his Third U.S. Army to the north and was counterattacking against the German flank. But the story of the Battle of the Bulge is above all the story of American soldiers. Often isolated and unaware of the overall picture, they did their part to slow the Nazi advance, whether by delaying armored spearheads with obstinate defenses of vital crossroads, moving or burning critical gasoline stocks to keep them from the fuel-hungry German tanks.

At the critical road junctions of St. Vith and Bastogne, American tankers and paratroopers fought off repeated attacks. Within days, Patton's Third Army had relieved Bastogne, and to the north, the 2nd U.S. Armored Division stopped enemy tanks short of the Meuse River on Christmas. Through January, American troops, often wading through deep snow drifts, attacked the sides of the shrinking bulge until they had restored the front and set the stage for the final drive to victory.”

The Snow Bowl

In the 118th Army vs. Navy football game, the Army Black Knights defeated the Navy Midshipmen 14-13 in a freag'n snow storm!  

Due to the snow and wind, the offensive scheme for both teams was played largely on the ground as opposed to passing. Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw rushed 21 times for 94 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown. Navy had a chance to win as time expired in Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, but a field goal by Navy’s Bennett Mohering missed the uprights wide left. 

Army, decked out in special all-white uniforms which blended in nicely to the weather, won back-to-back games for the first time in 21 years and also won the Commander-In-Chief Trophy for the first time since 1996. 

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