The Battle of Milne Bay (25 August – 7 September 1942) took place during the Pacific campaign of World War II, when Japanese naval troops attacked the Allied airfields at Milne Bay, New Guinea. The Japanese miscalculated the size of the predominately Australian garrison and, believing that the airfields were lightly defended, initially landed only a battalion-sized force. Meanwhile the Allies, with intelligence from Ultra, had heavily reinforced the garrison. Despite a significant setback at the outset, when part of the invasion force had its landing craft destroyed by Allied aircraft as they attempted to land on the coast behind the Australian defenders, the Japanese quickly pushed inland and began advancing towards the airfields. Heavy fighting followed as they came up against the Australian Militia troops that formed the first line of defence. These troops were steadily pushed back, but the Australians brought forward veteran 2nd AIF units that the Japanese had not expected. Allied air superiority helped tip the balance, providing close support to troops in combat and targeting Japanese logistics. Outnumbered, lacking supplies and suffering heavy casualties, the Japanese were compelled to withdraw, and the fighting ended on 7 September. The battle is considered the first in the Pacific campaign in which Allied troops decisively defeated Japanese land forces, forcing them to withdraw and completely abandon their strategic objective.
The Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, sometimes referred to as the Second Palaiologan Civil War, was a conflict that broke out after the death of Andronikos III Palaiologos over the guardianship of his nine-year-old son and heir, John V Palaiologos. It pitted on the one hand Andronikos III's chief minister, John VI Kantakouzenos, and on the other the Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, the Patriarch of ConstantinopleJohn XIV Kalekas, and the megas douxAlexios Apokaukos. The war polarized Byzantine society along class lines, with the aristocracy backing Kantakouzenos and the lower and middle classes supporting the regency. To a lesser extent, the conflict acquired religious overtones. Byzantium was embroiled in the Hesychast controversy, and adherence to the mystical doctrine of Hesychasm was often equated with support for Kantakouzenos. During the first years of the war, forces of the new regency prevailed. By 1345, Kantakouzenos had gained the upper hand through the assistance of Orhan, ruler of the Ottoman emirate. Formally crowned as emperor in Adrianople in 1346, Kantakouzenos entered Constantinople on 3 February 1347. By agreement, he was to rule for ten years as the senior emperor and regent for John V, until the boy came of age and ruled alongside him. Despite this apparent victory, subsequent resumption of the civil war forced John VI Kantakouzenos to abdicate and retire to become a monk in 1354. The consequences of the prolonged conflict proved disastrous for the Empire, which had regained a measure of stability under Andronikos III. Seven years of warfare, the presence of marauding armies, social turmoil, and the advent of the Black Death devastated Byzantium. The conflict also led to the establishment of the Serbian Empire, and the expansion of the Bulgarian Empire north of the Evros river.
The Courageous class, sometimes called the Glorious class, was the first multi-ship class of aircraft carriers to serve with the Royal Navy. The three ships—Furious, Courageous and Glorious—were originally laid down as "large light cruisers" (battlecruisers) to be used in the Baltic Project during the First World War. While very fast, their minimal armour and few guns limited their long-term utility in the post-war Royal Navy and they were laid up after the war. Rather than scrap them, the Navy decided to convert them to aircraft carriers as permitted under the Treaty. Furious, already partially converted during the war, began her reconstruction in 1921. Her half-sisters, Courageous and Glorious, began their conversions to aircraft carriers as Furious neared completion. Courageous became the first warship lost by the Royal Navy in the Second World War when she was torpedoed in September 1939 by a German submarine. Glorious participated in the Norwegian Campaign in 1940, but was sunk by two German battleships in June when she was unwisely allowed to sail home with minimal escort. Furious spent most of 1940 in Norwegian waters making attacks on German installations and shipping, ferried aircraft to Malta as part of the Malta Convoys during 1942, and provided air support to British forces during Operation Torch. She made numerous air strikes against the German battleship Tirpitz and other targets in Norway in 1944. The old ship was worn out by late 1944, so she was reduced to reserve status in September before being paid off in 1945 and sold for scrap in 1948.
Sir Francis Walsingham (c. 1532–1590) was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death, and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Born to a well-connected family of gentry, Walsingham travelled in continental Europe after leaving university before embarking at the age of twenty on a career in the law. A committed Protestant, during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I of England he joined other expatriates in exile in Switzerland and northern Italy until Mary's death and the accession of her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth. Walsingham rose from relative obscurity to become one of the small coterie who directed the Elizabethan state, overseeing foreign, domestic and religious policy. He served as English ambassador to France in the early 1570s, and witnessed the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. As principal secretary, he was a supporter of exploration, colonization, the plantation of Ireland, and the use of England's maritime power. He worked to bring Scotland and England together. Overall, his foreign policy demonstrated a new understanding of the role of England as a maritime, Protestant power in an increasingly global economy. He oversaw operations that penetrated the heart of Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, disrupted a range of plots against Elizabeth, and secured the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.
William T. Anderson (1839–1864), better known as Bloody Bill, was a pro-Confederateguerrilla leader in the American Civil War. Anderson led a band that targeted Union loyalists and Federal soldiers in Missouri and Kansas; he became notorious for brutality and the number of people he killed. Raised by a family of Southerners in Kansas, Anderson began supporting himself by stealing and selling horses in 1862. After his father was killed by a Union-loyalist judge, Anderson fled Kansas for Missouri. There, he robbed travelers and killed several Union soldiers. In early 1863, Anderson joined Quantrill's Raiders, a pro-Confederate group of guerrillas that operated in Missouri. He became skilled at guerrilla warfare, earning the trust of the group's leaders, William Quantrill and George M. Todd. Anderson's acts as a guerrilla led the Union to imprison his sisters; after one of them died in custody, Anderson devoted himself to revenge. He took a leading role in the Lawrence Massacre, and later participated in the Battle of Fort Blair. In late 1863, Anderson, perhaps falsely, implicated Quantrill in a murder, leading to the latter's arrest by Confederate authorities. Anderson subsequently returned to Missouri as the leader of a group of raiders and became the most feared guerrilla in the state, killing and robbing dozens of Union soldiers and civilian sympathizers throughout central Missouri. In September 1864, he led a raid of Centralia, Missouri. Unexpectedly, they were able to capture a passenger train, the first time Confederate guerrillas had done so. In what became known as the Centralia Massacre, possibly the war's deadliest and most brutal guerrilla action, his men killed 24 Union soldiers on the train and set an ambush later that day that killed more than 100 Union militiamen. A month later, Anderson was killed in battle. Historians formed disparate appraisals of Anderson: some saw him as a sadistic, psychopathic killer, but for others, his actions could not be separated from the general lawlessness of the time.
HMS Beagle was an Admiralty survey ship sent on three major expeditions. The first (1826–1830) was to survey the coast of South America in company with HMS Adventure. The second expedition (1831–1836) was to build on the work of the first in South America and then to go onward to establish a chain of linked reference points encircling the globe. The third expedition (1837–1843) surveyed the coast of Australia. Beagle required large numbers of chronometers because some would inevitably break down on long voyages and the chronometers were essential for the mission of the ship. Further, the rates of all chronometers vary with time. Although this can be allowed for by interpolating between the regular rate checks, there is no guarantee that the changes are linear, and often they are not. Averaging the readings from a large number of chronometers, especially if they are a variety of types, will tend to cancel out such errors. To reach all points designated by the Admiralty for longitude measurements, it was sometimes necessary to take chronometers ashore, across inlets and up rivers too shallow for the ship. This put the chronometers at risk and the disturbance of moving them affected their accuracy. This was another reason for survey ships to carry a large number – most of them could be kept permanently in a safe, well-cushioned place on the main vessel.
The Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor in 806 was the largest operation ever launched by the Abbasid Caliphate against the Byzantine Empire. The expedition was commanded in person by the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid (reigned 786–809), who wished to retaliate for the Byzantine successes in the Caliphate's frontier region in the previous year and impress Abbasid might upon the Byzantine emperor, Nikephoros I (r. 802–811). The huge Abbasid army, according to Arab sources numbering more than 135,000 men, raided across Cappadocia unopposed, capturing several towns and fortresses and forcing Nikephoros to seek peace in exchange for tribute. Following Harun's departure, however, Nikephoros violated the terms of the treaty and reoccupied the frontier forts he had been forced to abandon. Harun's preoccupation with a rebellion in Khurasan, and his death three years later, prohibited a reprisal on a similar scale. Moreover, the Abbasid civil wars that began in 809 and the Byzantine preoccupation with the Bulgars contributed to a cessation of large-scale Byzantine–Arab conflict for two decades.
HMS Bellerophon was a 74-gun third-rateship of the line of the Royal Navy. Launched in 1786, she served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, mostly on blockades or convoy escort duties. Known to sailors as the "Billy Ruffian", she fought in three fleet actions, the Glorious First of June, the Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Trafalgar, and was the ship Napoleon finally surrendered aboard, ending nearly 22 years of war with France. Built at Frindsbury, Bellerophon entered service with the Channel Fleet on the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, and took part in the Glorious First of June in 1793. She joined Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson's fleet in 1798, and took part in the decisive defeat of a French fleet at the Battle of the Nile. Bellerophon returned to European waters with the resumption of the wars with France, joining a fleet under Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood blockading Cadiz. At the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October Bellerophon fought a bitter engagement against Spanish and French ships, sustaining heavy casualties including the death of her captain, John Cooke. After repairs Bellerophon was employed blockading the enemy fleets in the Channel and the North Sea. She went out to North America as a convoy escort between 1813 and 1814, and in 1815 was assigned to blockade the French Atlantic port of Rochefort. In July 1815, defeated at Waterloo and finding escape to America barred by the blockading Bellerophon, Napoleon came aboard "the ship that had dogged his steps for twenty years" to finally surrender to the British. It was Bellerophon 's last seagoing service. She was paid off and converted to a prison ship in 1815, and was renamed Captivity in 1824 to free the name for another ship. The Admiralty ordered her to be sold in 1836, and she was broken up. Bellerophon 's long and distinguished career has been recorded in literature and folk songs, commemorating the achievements of the "Billy Ruffian".
American soldiers search Iraqis at a vehicle checkpoint in Fallujah in July 2003
The Iraq War in Anbar Province, also known as the Al Anbar campaign, was a counterinsurgency campaign waged in the western Iraqi province of Al Anbar by the United States military and the Government of Iraq against Sunni insurgents. The campaign lasted from 2003 until 2008, although the majority of the fighting took place between April 2004 and September 2007. Though it initially featured heavy urban warfare primarily between insurgents and United States Marines, in later years insurgents focused on ambushing the American and Iraqi security forces with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Almost 9,000 Iraqis and 1,335 Americans were killed in the campaign, many in the Sunni Triangle around the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. In early 2004 the US Army relinquished command of the province to the Marines. By April 2004 the province was in full-scale revolt. Savage fighting occurred in both Fallujah and Ramadi by the end of 2004, including the Second Battle of Fallujah. Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) became the province's main Sunni insurgent group and turned the provincial capital of Ramadi into its stronghold. The Marine Corps issued an intelligence report in late 2006 declaring that the province had been lost. In August 2006, several tribes located near Ramadi and led by SheikhAbdul Sattar Abu Risha revolted against AQI. The tribes formed the Anbar Awakening and helped turn the tide against the insurgents. US and Iraqi tribal forces regained control of Ramadi in early 2007, as well as other cities such as Hīt, Haditha, and Rutbah. In June 2007 the US turned its attention to eastern Anbar Province and secured the cities of Fallujah and Al-Karmah. The fighting was mostly over by September 2007. The Marines were replaced by the US Army in January 2010. The Army withdrew its combat units by August 2010, leaving only advisory and support units. The last American forces left the province on 7 December 2011.
The Java War (also called the Chinese War) of 1741 to 1743 was an armed struggle by a joint Chinese and Javanese army against the Dutch colonial government that took place in central and eastern Java. Ending in victory for the Dutch, the war led to the fall of the Sultanate of Mataram and, indirectly, the founding of both the Sunanate of Surakarta and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. After Dutch forces massacred 10,000 ethnic Chinese in Batavia (now Jakarta), a group of survivors led by Khe Pandjang headed east for Semarang. Despite being warned of the impending uprising, the head of the Dutch East India Company's military Bartholomeus Visscher ignored his advisers and did not prepare reinforcements. As the situation developed, the court of Pakubuwono II, Sunan of Mataram, decided to tentatively support the Chinese while seemingly helping the Dutch. After the first casualties on 1 February 1741 in Pati, Chinese insurgents spread through central Java, joining forces with the Javanese while staging sham battles to convince the Dutch that the Javanese were supporting them. As the deception became increasingly obvious and the Chinese drew closer to Semarang, Visscher became mentally unstable. After capturing Rembang, Tanjung, and Jepara, the joint Chinese and Javanese army besieged Semarang in June 1741. In response, Visscher issued an order to eliminate all Chinese in Java. Prince Cakraningrat IV of Madura offered his alliance, and worked from Madura westward, killing any Chinese he and his troops could find and quashing the rebellion in eastern Java. In late 1741, the siege around Semarang was broken as Pakubuwono II's army fled once it became apparent that the Dutch, with their reinforcements, had superior firepower. The Dutch campaign throughout 1742 led Pakubuwono II to surrender and switch sides; as some Javanese princes wished to continue the war, on 6 April Pakubuwono II was disowned by the revolution and his nephew, Raden Mas Garendi, was chosen to be their sultan. As the Dutch recaptured cities through the northern coast of Java, the rebellion led an attack on Pakubuwono II's capital at Kartosuro, forcing the Sunan to flee with his family. Cakraningrat IV retook the city in December 1742, and by early 1743, the last Chinese had surrendered. After the war, the Dutch asserted greater control of Java through a treaty with Pakubuwono II.
The German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) built a series of protected cruisers in the 1880s and 1890s, starting with the two ships of the Irene class in the 1880s. The Navy only completed two additional classes of protected cruisers, comprising six more ships: the unique Kaiserin Augusta, and the five Victoria Louise-class ships. The type was then superseded by the armored cruiser at the turn of the century, beginning with Fürst Bismarck. Due to limited budgets in the pre-Tirpitz era, the German Navy attempted to build vessels that could serve as overseas cruisers and fleet scouts, though the ships were not satisfactory. The protected cruiser designs generally copied developments in foreign navies. The Victoria Louise design resembled contemporary German battleships, which favored smaller-caliber main guns and a greater number of secondary guns than on their foreign counterparts. Most of the German protected cruisers served on overseas stations throughout their careers, primarily in the East Asia Squadron in the 1890s and 1900s. Prinzess Wilhelm participated in the seizure of the Kiautschou Bay concession in November 1897, which was used as the primary base for the East Asia Squadron. Kaiserin Augusta, Hertha, and Hansa assisted in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and Vineta saw action during the Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903, where she bombarded several Venezuelan fortresses. Irene, Prinzess Wilhelm, and Kaiserin Augusta were relegated to secondary duties in the 1910s, while the Victoria Louise class was used to train naval cadets in the 1900s. All eight ships were broken up for scrap in the early 1920s.
Melville Island is a small peninsula in Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Northwest Arm of Halifax Harbour, west of Deadman's Island. It is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The land is rocky, with thin, acidic soil, but supports a limited woodland habitat. The site was first discovered by Europeans in the 1600s, though it was likely earlier explored by aboriginals. It was initially used for storehouses before being purchased by the British, who built a prisoner-of-war camp to hold captives from the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812. The burial ground for the prisoners is on the adjacent Deadman's Island. Melville Island was used as a receiving depot for slaves escaping the United States, then as a quarantine hospital for immigrants arriving from Europe (particularly Ireland). It briefly served as a recruitment centre for the British Foreign Legion during the Crimean War and was then sold to the British for use as a military prison. The land was granted to the Canadian government in 1907, which used it to detain German and Austro-Hungarian nationals during the First World War. During the Second World War, prisoners were sent to McNab's Island instead, and ammunition depots were kept on Melville Island. The peninsula now houses the clubhouse and marina of the Armdale Yacht Club. Melville Island has been the subject of a number of cultural works, most of which concern its use as a prison.
HMS Agincourt was a dreadnought battleship built in the United Kingdom in the early 1910s. Originally part of Brazil's role in a South American naval arms race, she held the distinction of mounting more heavy guns (fourteen) and more turrets (seven) than any other dreadnought battleship constructed, in keeping with the Brazilians' requirement for an especially impressive design. Brazil ordered the ship as Rio de Janeiro from the British Armstrong Whitworth shipyard, but the collapse of the rubber boom and a warming in relations with the country's chief rival, Argentina, led to her sale while under construction to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans renamed her Sultan Osman I, after the empire's founder. The ship was nearly complete when World War I broke out, and British Admiralty fears of a German–Ottoman alliance led to her seizure for use by the Royal Navy. This act was a major contributor to the decision of the Ottoman Empire to support Germany in the war. Renamed Agincourt by the British, she joined the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. The ship spent the bulk of her time during the war on patrols and exercises, although she did participate in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Agincourt was put into reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1922 to meet the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.