Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/August 2010/Articles

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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter: Issue LIV (August 2010)
Front page
Project news

New featured articles

Acra (fortress) (Astynax & Poliocretes
The long southern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount rises above two flights of stone steps between which are some low ruins
The Acra (alt: Akra, Hebrew: חקרא or חקרה‎, Greek: Aκρα), was a fortified compound in Jerusalem of the 2nd century BCE, although the exact location of the Acra remains a matter of ongoing discussion. Because the ancient Greek term acra was used to describe other fortified structures during the Hellenistic period, the Acra is often called the Seleucid Acra to distinguish it from references to the Ptolemaic Baris as an acra and from the later quarter in Jerusalem which inherited the name Acra. The Acra was built by Antiochus Epiphanes, ruler of the Seleucid Empire, following his sack of the city in 168 BCE, the fortress played a significant role in the events surrounding the Maccabean Revolt and the formation of the Hasmonean Kingdom. It was destroyed by Simon Maccabeus during this struggle.
Courageous class battlecruiser (Sturmvogel 66
Courageous during World War I
The Courageous class comprised three battlecruisers known as "large light cruisers" built for the Royal Navy during World War I. The first two ships, HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious, were commissioned in 1917 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. They participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and were present when the High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later. Their half-sister HMS Furious was modified during construction to take a flying-off deck and hangar in lieu of her forward turret and barbette. After some patrols in the North Sea, her rear turret was removed and another flight deck added. All three ships were laid up after the end of the war, but were rebuilt as aircraft carriers during the 1920s. Glorious and Courageous were sunk early in World War II and Furious was sold for scrap in 1948.
Midshipman (Kirk
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. During the 19th century, changes in the training of naval officers in both the Royal Navy and the United States Navy led to the replacement of apprenticeship aboard ships with formal schooling in a naval college. Ranks equivalent to midshipman exist in many other navies, especially in those whose officer training structures resemble that of Britain's Royal Navy. Today, these ranks all refer to young naval officer cadets, but historically they were selected by the monarchy, and were trained mostly on land as soldiers.
Raid at Cabanatuan (Nehrams2020
Former Cabanatuan POWs in celebration, January 30, 1945
The Raid at Cabanatuan was a rescue of Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and civilians from a Japanese camp near Cabanatuan City, in the Philippines. On January 30, 1945, during World War II, United States Army Rangers, Alamo Scouts, and Filipino guerrillas liberated more than 500 from the POW camp. In a nighttime raid, under the cover of darkness and a distraction by a P-61 Black Widow, the group surprised and killed hundreds of Japanese troops in a 30-minute coordinated attack. The rescue allowed the prisoners to tell of the death march and prison camp atrocities, which sparked a new rush of resolve for the war against Japan.
Siege of Godesberg (Auntieruth55 & Jayen466
Destruction of the fortress on Godesberg during the Cologne War  in 1583; 1,500 pounds (680 kg) of powder were used to breach the walls and blow part of the castle up; almost all its defenders were put to death.
The Siege of Godesberg, 18 November – 17 December 1583, was the first major siege of the Cologne War (1583–1589). The Godesburg's strategic position commanded the roads leading to and from Bonn, the Elector of Cologne's capital city, and Cologne, the region's economic powerhouse; By the mid-16th century, the Godesburg was considered nearly impregnable. The Godesburg came under attack from Bavarian forces in November 1583. It resisted a lengthy cannonade by the attacking army; finally, sappers tunneled into the basalt core of the mountain, placed 1,500 pounds (680 kg) of powder into the tunnel and blew up a significant part of the fortifications. Ultimately, the Godesburg's commander and a number of surviving defenders took refuge in the keep; the commander eventually negotiated safe passage for himself, his wife and his lieutenant, while the others who were left in the keep—men, women and children—were killed.
SMS König (Parsecboy
Recognition drawing of SMS König prepared by the British Royal Navy
SMS König was the first of four König class dreadnought battleships of the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. She was named in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who was the king of Prussia as well as the German Emperor. Along with her three sister ships, Grosser Kurfürst, Markgraf, and Kronprinz, König took part in most of the fleet actions during the war. As the leading ship in the German line on 31 May 1916 in the Battle of Jutland, König was heavily engaged by several British battleships and suffered ten large-caliber shell hits. In October 1917, she forced the Russian pre-dreadnought battleship Slava to scuttle itself during Operation Albion. König was interned, along with the majority of the High Seas Fleet, in Scapa Flow in November 1918 following the Armistice, and was scuttled at Scapa Flow while the British guard ships were out of the harbor on exercises.
Tower of London (Nev1
The Tower of London, seen from the River Thames, with a view of the water-gate called "Traitors' Gate".
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. Since at least 1100, the castle has been used as a prison, although that was not its primary purpose; a grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.

New featured lists

List of battleships of Austria-Hungary (White Shadows
Austro-Hungarian fleet maneuvers in 1914 before World War I.
The Austro-Hungarian Navy built a series of battleships between the early 1900s and 1917. To defend its Adriatic coast in wartime, Austria-Hungary had previously built a series of smaller ironclad warships, including coastal defense ships, and armored cruisers. The appointment of Admiral Hermann von Spaun to the post of State Secretary of the Navy in 1897 accelerated naval construction and under the command of Franz Joseph I of Austria, the k.u.k. Kriegsmarine began a program of naval expansion at the beginning of the 20th century. All of the ships built for Austro-Hungarian Navy saw service in World War I, although the diversion of coal, which was scarce, to the newer classes limited the service of the remaining battleships. Following the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, the empire was dismantled and all of the battleships were handed over to France, Great Britain, the United States, and Italy.

New featured pictures

New featured sounds

Japanese emperor Hirohito reads out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War

New A-Class articles

1965 South Vietnamese coup (YellowMonkey
On February 19, 1965, some units of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam commanded by General Lam Van Phat and Colonel Pham Ngoc Thao launched a coup against General Nguyen Khanh, the head of South Vietnam's ruling military junta. Their aim was to install General Tran Thien Khiem, a Khanh rival who had been sent to Washington DC as Ambassador to the United States to prevent him from seizing power. The attempted coup reached a stalemate however, and although the trio did not take power, a group of officers led by General Nguyen Chanh Thi and Air Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky hostile to both the plot and to Khanh himself, were able to force a leadership change and take control themselves with the support of American officials, who had lost confidence in Khanh.
Action of 1 January 1800 (XavierGreen
A sketch of the action between Experiment and picaroons.
The Action of 1 January 1800 was naval battle of the Quasi-War that took place off the present day Haitian island of Gonâve in the Bight of Leogane. The battle was fought between an American convoy consisting of four merchant vessels escorted by the United States naval schooner USS Experiment and a squadron of armed barges manned by Haitian picaroons. A French aligned Haitian general, André Rigaud, had instructed his forces to attack all foreign shipping within their grasp. Thus the picaroons attacked the American convoy, capturing two of the schooners before retiring. Experiment managed to defend the other two ships in her convoy and escort them to a friendly port. Although the picaroons took heavy losses after their engagement with Experiment they still remained strong enough to wreak havoc among American shipping in the region until Rigaud was forced out of power by the forces of Toussaint L'Ouverture.
Armed Forces of Liberia (Buckshot06
The flag of Liberia
The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) was constituted in 1962 from the original Liberian military that had been established in 1908 as the Liberian Frontier Force. For virtually all of its history, the AFL has received considerable materiel and training assistance from the United States. For most of the 1941–89 period, training was largely provided by U.S. advisors. For most of the Cold War, the AFL saw little action, apart from a reinforced company group which was sent to ONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1960s. This changed with the advent of the First Liberian Civil War in 1989. The AFL became entangled in the conflict, which lasted from 1989 to 1996–97, and then the Second Liberian Civil War, which lasted from 1999 to 2003. The AFL is in the process of being reformed and retrained after being completely demobilized following the second civil war. The AFL currently consists of two infantry battalions, though the reconstitution of the Liberian Coast Guard and an air wing is planned.
British Commandos (Jim Sweeney
Stone statue of three Second World War Commandos in the Scottish Highlands
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German occupied Europe. Reaching a wartime strength of over 30 individual units and four assault brigades, the Commandos served in all theatres of war from the Arctic circle to Europe and from the Middle East to South-East Asia. Their operations ranged from small groups of men landing from the sea or by parachute to a brigade of assault troops spearheading the Allied invasions of Europe and Asia. After the war most Commando units were disbanded, leaving just the Royal Marine 3 Commando Brigade. However, the present day British Royal Marine Commandos, Parachute Regiment, Special Air Service, and Special Boat Service trace their origins to the original Commandos.
Borodino class battlecruiser (Sturmvogel 66
The four Borodino class battlecruisers of the Imperial Russian Navy were all laid down in December 1912 at Saint Petersburg for service with the Baltic Fleet. Construction of the ships was delayed as many domestic factories were already overloaded with orders and some components had to be ordered from abroad. The start of World War I slowed their construction still further as the foreign orders were often not delivered and domestic production was diverted into things more immediately useful for the war effort. Three of the four ships were launched in 1915 and the other in 1916, but work on the gun turrets lagged, and it became evident that Russian industry would not be able to complete the ships during the war. The outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917 put a stop to their construction, which never resumed. The incomplete hulls were later sold for scrap by the Soviet Union, although some thought was given to completing the most advanced hulls.
December 1964 South Vietnamese coup (YellowMonkey
Before dawn on December 19, 1964, the ruling military junta of South Vietnam dissolved and arrested some members of the High National Council (HNC). The genesis of the removal of the HNC was a power struggle within the ruling junta. Khanh, who had been saved from an earlier coup attempt in September 1964 by the intervention of some younger generals dubbed the Young Turks, but the Young Turks disliked a group of older officers who had been in high leadership positions and wanted to sideline them completely by forcibly retiring them. The HNC recommended against the new policy, and the younger officers, led by I Corps commander General Nguyen Chanh Thi and Air Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky disbanded the HNC and arrested some of its members along with other politicians. Over the next few days, Khanh embarked on a media offensive, criticizing US policy repeatedly and decrying what he saw as an undue influence and infringement on Vietnamese sovereignty, declaring the nation's independence from "foreign manipulation"; as a result, the Americans were forced to back down on their insistence that the HNC be restored.
HMS Speedy (1782) (Benea
HMS Speedy falling in with the wreck of Queen Charlotte, 21 March 1800
HMS Speedy was a 14-gun Speedy-class brig of the Royal Navy. She was built during the last years of the American War of Independence, and served with distinction during the French Revolutionary Wars. Built at Dover, Speedy spent most of the interwar years serving off the British coast. Transferred to the Mediterranean after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, she spent the rest of her career there winning fame for herself in various engagements and often against heavy odds. She served with distinction with several squadrons, assisting in the capture of several prizes, but Speedy was lost to a superior French force on 9 June 1794. She was soon retaken, and re-entered service under Hugh Downman, who captured a number of privateers between 1795 and 1799. She then fought a number of actions with Spanish forces off Gibraltar, at one point forcing the surrender of a much larger Spanish warship, the Gamo. Speedy was finally captured by a powerful French squadron and donated to the Papal Navy by Napoleon.
Rivadavia class battleship (The ed17
ARA Rivadavia
The Rivadavia class was a two-ship group of battleships designed by the American Fore River Shipbuilding Company for the Argentine Navy. Named Rivadavia and Moreno after important figures in Argentine history, they were Argentina's counter to Brazil's two Minas Geraes-class battleships. During their construction, the Argentine battleships were frequently subject of rumors involving their sale to a foreign country, especially after the beginning of the First World War. Throughout their careers, Rivadavia and Moreno were based in Puerto Belgrano and served principally as training ships and diplomatic envoys. They were modernized in the United States in 1924 and 1925 and were inactive for much of the Second World War due to Argentina's neutrality. Struck from the navy lists on 1 February 1957, Rivadavia was scrapped in Italy beginning in 1959. Moreno was struck on 1 October 1956 and was towed to Japan in 1957 for scrapping.
September 1964 South Vietnamese coup attempt (YellowMonkey
Before dawn on September 13, 1964, the ruling military junta of South Vietnam, led by General Nguyen Khanh, was threatened by a coup attempt headed by Generals Lam Van Phat and Duong Van Duc, who sent dissident units into the capital Saigon. They captured various key points and announced the overthrow of the incumbent regime over national radio. With the help of the Americans, Khanh was able to rally support and the coup collapsed the next morning without any casualties.
SMS Rheinland (Parsecboy
SMS Rheinland
SMS Rheinland was one of four Nassau-class battleships, the first dreadnoughts built for the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Rheinland mounted twelve 28 cm (11 in) main guns in six twin turrets in an unusual hexagonal arrangement. The navy built Rheinland and her sister ships in response to the revolutionary British HMS Dreadnought, which had been launched in 1906. Rheinland‍‍ '​‍s extensive service with the High Seas Fleet during World War I included several fleet advances into the North Sea, culminating in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916. The ship also saw duty in the Baltic Sea, as part of the support force for the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in 1915. She returned to the Baltic as the core of an expeditionary force to aid the White Finns in the Finnish Civil War in 1918, but ran aground shortly after arriving in the area. The damage done by the grounding was deemed too severe to merit repairs and Rheinland was decommissioned to be used as a barracks ship for the remainder of the war.
USS Massachusetts (BB-2) (Yoenit
USS Massachusetts (BB-2) as painted by Antonio Jacobsen
USS Massachusetts (Battleship No. 2) was an Indiana-class battleship and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of the time.[1] Authorized in 1890 and commissioned six years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armor and ordnance. Massachusetts served in the Spanish–American War (1898) as part of the Flying Squadron and took part in the blockades of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, but missed the decisive Battle of Santiago de Cuba. After the war she served with the North Atlantic Squadron, performing training maneuvers and gunnery practice. During this period she suffered an explosion in an 8-inch gun turret, killing nine, and ran aground twice, requiring several months of repair both times. Although considered obsolete in 1910, the battleship was recommissioned and used for annual cruises for midshipmen during the summers and otherwise laid up in the reserve fleet until her decommissioning in 1914. In 1917 she was recommissioned to serve as a training ship for gun crews during World War I. She was decommissioned for the final time in March 1919 under the name Coast Battleship Number 2 so that her name could be reused for USS Massachusetts (BB-54). In 1921 she was scuttled in shallow water off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
    • ^ Reilly & Scheina, American Battleships 1886–1923, p. 67.