The Battle of Towton was fought during the English Wars of the Roses on 29 March 1461, near the village of the same name. It was the "largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil." According to chroniclers, more than 50,000 soldiers from the Houses of York and Lancaster fought for hours amidst a snowstorm on that day, which was a Palm Sunday. A newsletter circulated a week after the battle reported that 28,000 died on the battlefield. The engagement brought about a change in the rulership of England—Edward IV displaced Henry VI as King of England, driving the head of the Lancastrians and his key supporters out of the country. Later generations remembered the battle as depicted in William Shakespeare's dramatic adaptation of Henry's life—Henry VI, Part 3, Act 2, Scene 5. In 1929, the Towton Cross was erected on the battlefield to commemorate the event. Various archaeological remains and mass graves related to the battle have been found in the area since the engagement.
The Minas Geraes class consisted of two battleships built for the Brazilian Navy by Armstrong Whitworth. Named Minas Geraes and São Paulo after major cities in Brazil, the ships were intended to be the country's first step towards becoming an international power. Designing and ordering took two years, but these plans were scrapped after the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought rendered the Brazilian design obsolete, and two dreadnoughts were ordered instead. Soon after their delivery in 1910, the battleships were embroiled in the Revolt of the Lash, in which the crews of four Brazilian ships demanded the abolition of corporal punishment in the navy. The ships surrendered four days after the revolt began, after an amnesty was granted. In 1922, they put down a revolt at Fort Copacabana. Two years later, lieutenants on São Paulo mutinied and sailed to Montevideo, Uruguay, requesting asylum. In the 1930s, Minas Geraes was modernized but both battleships were too old to actively participate in World War II and instead were employed in harbor defense in Salvador and Recife. In 1951, São Paulo was sold for scrap but sank in a storm north of the Azores while under tow. Minas Geraes was sold to an Italian scrapper in 1953 and towed to Genoa the following year.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19thPresident of the United States, serving one term from 1877 to 1881. As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution. Hayes was a reformer who began the efforts that would lead to civil service reform and who attempted to reconcile the divisions that had led to the American Civil War 15 years earlier. A lawyer by trade, Hayes also had a significant military career with the Union Army. Wounded five times, he earned a reputation for bravery in combat and was promoted to the rank of major general. After the war, he served in the U.S. Congress from 1865 before leaving to serve as Governor of Ohio between 1867 and 1876. In 1876, Hayes was contentiously elected president. Although he lost the popular vote to DemocratSamuel J. Tilden, a Congressional commission awarded him twenty disputed electoral votes. The result was the Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats acceded to Hayes's election and Hayes accepted the end of military occupation of the South. He implemented modest civil service reforms that laid the groundwork for further reform in the 1880s and 1890s. He did not run for re-election and retired to his home in Ohio, becoming an advocate of social and education reform.
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its variants were the highest awards in the military of the Third Reich during World War II. This military decoration was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves was introduced on 3 June 1940 to further distinguish those who had already received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and who continued to show merit in combat bravery or military success. A total of 882 awards were made between 1940 and 1945, with 192 being bestowed in 1943.
The Arado E.381 was a fighter aircraft (Kleinstjäger – "smallest fighter") designed by Arado Flugzeugwerke in December 1944 for the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany during World War II. Had the Arado E.381 been completed it would have been carried aloft by and launched from an Arado Ar 234 carrier aircraft to attack Allied aircraft, but the plane was cancelled before completion. It was designed with a rocket engine to quickly close and fire on American and British bombers. To survive close pursuits, the E.381 was designed with the narrowest frontal cross section possible: 0.45 square meters (4.8 sq ft), or approximately a quarter of the cross section of the Messerschmitt Bf 109. As planned, the fighter would have had fuel capacity for only two target runs, after which the pilot would have needed to glide without power to the ground and land on skids. The project continued until the end of the war, but was eventually abandoned because of a shortage of Ar 234 mother ships and a lack of interest from the Ministry of Aviation (German: Reichsluftfahrtministerium).
Aftermath of Japanese raid on Isley Field, November 1944
During World War II, a series of Japanese air attacks on the Mariana Islands took place between November 1944 and January 1945. These raids targeted United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bases and sought to disrupt the bombing of Japan by B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers operating from the islands. The Japanese lost 37 aircraft during this operation, but destroyed 11 B-29s and damaged a further 43. Preparations were also made for commando raids on the bases in early and mid-1945 but these did not go ahead. While the attacks on the Mariana Islands did not seriously disrupt the USAAF air campaign, they had an effect on other American operations. After determining that the Japanese raiders were staging through Iwo Jima, American forces stepped up their attacks on that island. While the decision to invade Iwo Jima had been made before the raids commenced, stopping the attacks formed part of the justification for the landing. In addition, further air defense units were deployed to the Mariana Islands to protect the B-29 bases.
A Royal Navy recognition drawing of SMS König (Markgraf 's sister ship)
SMS Markgraf ("His German Majesty's Ship Margrave") was the third battleship of the four-ship König class. She served in the German Imperial Navy during World War I. The battleship was laid down in November 1911 and launched on 4 June 1913. She was formally commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 1 October 1914, just over two months after the outbreak of war in Europe. Markgraf was armed with ten 30.5-centimeter (12.0 in) guns in five twin turrets and could steam at a top speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). Along with her three sister ships, König, Grosser Kurfürst (or Großer[Note 1]Kurfürst), and Kronprinz, Markgraf took part in most of the fleet actions during the war, including the Battle of Jutland on 31 May and 1 June 1916. At Jutland, Markgraf was the third ship in the German line of battle and heavily engaged by the opposing British Grand Fleet; Markgraf also participated in Operation Albion, the conquest of the Gulf of Riga, in late 1917. In 1919 Markgraf was scuttled at Scapa Flow along with the rest of the interned German High Seas Fleet. She was never scrapped and the wreck remains at the bottom of the bay.