Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/October 2011/Articles

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Destroyed Serbian tank at Vukovar
Battle of Vukovar (Joy, Prioryman)
The Battle of Vukovar was an 87-day siege of the Croatian town of Vukovar by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and paramilitaries from Serbia, between August and November 1991. In 1990, Croatian Serb separatists launched an armed uprising, supported by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, and seized control of Serb-populated areas of Croatia. The JNA intervened in favour of the Croatian Serbs and launched an offensive in August 1991 against Croatian government-held territory. Vukovar was defended by around 1,800 lightly armed Croatian soldiers and civilian volunteers, against 36,000 JNA soldiers and Serbian paramilitaries equipped with heavy armour and artillery. When the town fell on 18 November 1991 after prolonged fighting, hundreds were massacred by Serb forces and the town's non-Serb population was expelled. Vukovar was peacefully reintegrated into Croatia in 1998 after the end of the Croatian War of Independence and has since been rebuilt, but deep ethnic divisions remain. Several Serb military and political officials, including Milošević, were later indicted and in some cases jailed for war crimes committed during and after the battle.
Portrait by Thomas Hudson, 1744
George II of Great Britain (DrKiernan)
George II (George Augustus; 1683–1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death. George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain, in Northern Germany. In 1701, his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, became second-in-line to the British throne after about fifty Catholics higher in line were excluded by the Act of Settlement, which restricted the succession to Protestants. After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British throne. As king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by Great Britain's parliament. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745, supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, attempted and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. For two centuries after his death, history tended to view George II with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short-temper, and boorishness. Since then, some scholars have re-assessed his legacy and conclude that he held and exercised influence in foreign policy and military appointments.
HMS Princess Royal
HMS Princess Royal (Sturmvogel 66)
HMS Princess Royal was the second of two Lion-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy before World War I. Designed in response to the Moltke-class battlecruisers of the German Navy, the ships significantly improved on the speed, armament, and armour of the preceding Indefatigable class. Princess Royal served in the Battle of Heligoland Bight a month after the war began. During the Battle of Dogger Bank, she scored only a few hits, although one crippled the German armoured cruiser Blücher. Shortly afterwards, Princess Royal became the flagship of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Osmond Brock. The ship was moderately damaged during the Battle of Jutland.
Fake Nazis harass a civilian on If Day
If Day (Nikkimaria)
If Day (Si un jour ... in French) was a simulated Nazi invasion of the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and surrounding areas on February 19, 1942, during the Second World War. It was organized by the Greater Winnipeg Victory Loan organization, which was led by prominent Winnipeg businessman J. D. Perrin. The event was the largest military exercise in Winnipeg to that point. If Day included a staged firefight between Canadian troops and volunteers dressed as Nazi soldiers, the internment of prominent politicians, the imposition of Nazi rule, and a parade. The event was a fundraiser for the war effort: over C$3 million was collected in Winnipeg on that day. It was later the subject of a 2006 documentary, and was included in Guy Maddin's film My Winnipeg.
XF-85 Goblin
McDonnell XF-85 Goblin (Sp33dyphil)
The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin was an American prototype fighter aircraft conceived during World War II by McDonnell Aircraft. It was intended to be carried in the bomb bay of the giant Convair B-36 bomber as a defensive parasite fighter. During World War II, Luftwaffe fighters provided stiff opposition for Allied bombers. The XF-85 was a response to a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) requirement for a fighter to be carried within the Northrop XB-35 and B-36, then under development. Two prototypes were built and underwent testing and evaluation in 1948. Flight tests showed promise in the design, but the aircraft was inferior to the jet fighters it would be facing in combat, and there were difficulties in docking and landing. The XF-85 was swiftly canceled, and the prototypes are now museum exhibits.
Peter Jeffrey
Peter Jeffrey (RAAF officer) (Ian Rose)
Peter Jeffrey was a senior officer and fighter ace in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He joined the RAAF active reserve in 1934, and transferred to the Permanent Air Force (PAF) shortly before World War II. Posted to the Middle East in July 1940, Jeffrey saw action with No. 3 Squadron and took command of the unit the following year, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross for his energy and fighting skills. He was appointed wing leader of No. 234 Wing RAF in November 1941, and became an ace the same month with his fifth solo victory. In 1942, Jeffrey was posted to the South West Pacific, where he helped organise No. 75 Squadron for the defence of Port Moresby, and No. 76 Squadron prior to the Battle of Milne Bay. He commanded No. 1 (Fighter) Wing in the Northern Territory and Western Australia during 1943–44, at which time he was promoted to temporary Group Captain. Jeffrey was transferred to the RAAF reserve after the war but returned to the PAF in 1951, holding training posts in Victoria and command of RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia, before resigning in 1956. Outside the military, he was a grazier and stock broker. He died in 1997, aged 83.
Rochester Castle's keep, seen from the north-west
Rochester Castle (Nev1)
Rochester Castle stands on the east bank of the River Medway in Rochester, Kent, England. The 12th-century keep or stone tower, which is the castle's most prominent feature, is one of the best preserved in England or France. The first castle at Rochester was founded in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest. Between 1087 and 1089 Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, was commissioned to build a new stone castle at Rochester. In 1127 King Henry I granted the castle to the Bishops of Canterbury in perpetuity. William de Corbeil built the massive keep that still dominates the castle today. During the First Barons' War (1215–1217) in King John's reign, baronial forces captured the castle and held it against the king. The siege that followed was one of the largest in England up to that point. Although the castle had been greatly damaged, with breaches in the outer walls and one corner of the keep collapsed, it was hunger that eventually forced their hand. Rochester was besieged for the third time in 1264 during the Second Barons' War (1264–1267). Rebel armies led by Simon de Montfort and Gilbert de Clare entered the city and set about trying to capture the castle. Although the castle did not surrender, it suffered extensive damage which was not repaired until the following century. The castle saw action for the last time in 1381 when it was captured and ransacked during the Peasants' Revolt. The castle was opened to the public in the 1870s, and remains so today.
Sevastopol, 1904
Russian battleship Sevastopol (1895) (Buggie111
Sevastopol (Russian: Севастополь) was the last of three ships in the Petropavlovsk class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1890s. Named after the siege at Sevastopol during the Crimean War, the ship was commissioned into the First Pacific Squadron of the Russian Pacific Fleet and was stationed at Port Arthur. Sevastopol saw service in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, most notably in the Battle of the Yellow Sea, where she was damaged by several shells. Immediately after the surrender of Port Arthur she was scuttled to prevent her capture by the Imperial Japanese Navy and never raised. The remains of the ship still lie outside the entrance to Port Arthur.
Stephen of England
Stephen, King of England (Hchc2009)
Stephen (c. 1092/6–1154), a grandson of William the Conqueror, was King of England from 1135 to his death. His reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda. Stephen was born in the County of Blois, France. Placed in the court of his uncle, Henry I of England, Stephen rose in prominence and was granted extensive lands. When Henry died in 1135, Stephen took the throne, arguing that the preservation of order across the kingdom took priority over his earlier oaths to support the claim of Henry I's daughter, Empress Matilda. The early years of Stephen's reign were largely successful, despite a series of attacks on his possessions in England and Normandy from David I of Scotland, Welsh rebels and Matilda's husband, Geoffrey of Anjou. In 1138 the Empress's half-brother Robert of Gloucester rebelled against Stephen, threatening civil war. When the Empress and Robert invaded in 1139, Stephen was unable to rapidly crush the revolt. Captured at the battle of Lincoln in 1141, he was abandoned by many of his followers and lost control of Normandy. Although Stephen was eventually freed, the war dragged on for many years with neither side able to win an advantage. In 1153 Matilda's son, Henry Fitzempress, invaded England and built an alliance of powerful regional barons to support his claim for the throne. In the Treaty of Winchester, Stephen recognised Henry as his heir in exchange for peace. Stephen died the following year, and Henry succeeded him as the first of the Angevin kings.

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The Duke of York leading his troops at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815
Napoleonic Wars (User:MarcusBritish
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to the application of modern mass conscription. French power rose quickly as Napoleon's armies conquered much of Europe but collapsed rapidly after France's disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. The Napoleonic Wars ended following Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815 and the Second Treaty of Paris. The wars led to the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France, the development of nationalist movements in Germany and Italy, the beginning of the Spanish Empire's dissolution and the start of the British Empire's preeminence in world affairs.

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Albert Ball
Albert Ball (Ian Rose, Georgejdorner)
Albert Ball VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (1896–1917) was an English fighter pilot of the First World War and a recipient of the Victoria Cross. At the time of his death he was, with forty-four victories, the United Kingdom's leading flying ace. Raised in Nottingham, Ball joined the Sherwood Foresters at the outbreak of war and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in October 1914. He learnt to fly in his spare time and gained his pilot's licence in October 1915. Transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), he was awarded his wings in January 1916. Ball joined No. 13 Squadron RFC in France, flying reconnaissance missions before being posted in May to No. 11 Squadron, a fighter unit. From then until his return to England on leave in October, he accrued many aerial victories, and became the first British fighter ace to capture the public's imagination. Following service on the home front he was posted to No. 56 Squadron, which deployed to the Western Front in April 1917. Ball continued his record of victories until his final flight on 7 May, when he crashed to his death in a field in France while pursuing the Red Baron's brother, Lothar von Richthofen. During the engagement he managed to force von Richthofen to the ground, but soon after emerged from a cloud bank upside down and crashed before he could recover. The Germans buried him in Annœullin, with full honours. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, and his memorials include a statue and plaque in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.
Rear Admiral William S. Parsons
William Sterling Parsons (Hawkeye7
Rear Admiral William Sterling "Deak" Parsons was a naval officer who worked as an ordnance expert on the Manhattan Project during World War II. A 1922 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Parsons served on a variety of warships during the first years of his military career. In July 1933, he became liaison officer between the Bureau of Ordnance and the Naval Research Laboratory. He was one of the first people to recognize the potential of radar to locate ships and aircraft and worked on the development of the proximity fuze. In June 1943, Parsons joined the Manhattan Project as Associate Director at the research laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and became responsible for the ordnance aspects of the project. In August 1945 he participated in the bombing of Hiroshima as weaponeer on the B-29 Enola Gay. After the war, Parsons was promoted to the rank of rear admiral without ever having commanded a ship, and he participated in several nuclear weapons tests. He became deputy commander of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in 1947 and died in 1953.
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (N) (MisterBee1966)
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. It was awarded 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. A total of 7,322 awards were made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945. This number is based on the analysis and acceptance of the order commission of the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR). Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) and the Volkssturm. There were also 43 recipients in the military forces of allies of the Third Reich. The 7,322 recipients are listed in the 1986 edition of Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book, Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945. In 1996 a second edition of this book was published with an addendum delisting nine of these original 7,323 recipients. Author and historian Veit Scherzer has cast doubt on a further 192 of these listings. The majority of the disputed recipients had received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of the Third Reich during the final days of the war left a number of nominations incomplete and pending in various stages of the approval process. Listed in this article are the 145 recipients whose last names begin with the letter "N".
Front view of large white building
Hillingdon House at RAF Uxbridge
RAF Uxbridge (Harrison49
RAF Uxbridge was a Royal Air Force (RAF) station in Uxbridge within the London Borough of Hillingdon. Its grounds covered 44.6 hectares (110 acres) originally belonging to the Hillingdon House estate, which was purchased by the British Government in 1915, three years before the founding of the RAF. The station is best known as the headquarters of No. 11 Group RAF commanded by Air Vice Marshal Sir Keith Park during the Battle of Britain, when it was responsible for the defence of the main area of combat around London and the South-East of England. Hillingdon House served as the group's headquarters. An underground bunker, subsequently known as the Battle of Britain Bunker, was built nearby to handle the control of fighter squadrons, primarily from the 11 Group Operations Room. The base was responsible for controlling the evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940 (Operation Dynamo) and the D-Day landings during the latter stages of the Second World War (Operation Overlord). It was also the location where Prime Minister Winston Churchill first made his comment "Never was so much owed by so many to so few", which he later repeated in a speech to Parliament. The station closed on 31 March 2010 with many units relocating to RAF Northolt the following day.
Moments before his death, Shadrick (right) looks on as another soldier fires a bazooka
Kenneth R. Shadrick (Ed!
Kenneth R. Shadrick was a private in the United States Army at the onset of the Korean War who was widely but incorrectly reported as the first American soldier killed in action in the war. He joined the U.S. Army in 1948 and spent a year of service in Japan before being dispatched to South Korea at the onset of the Korean War in 1950 along with his unit, the 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. During a patrol on July 5 1950, Shadrick was killed by the machine gun of a North Korean T-34 tank, and his body was taken to an outpost where journalist Marguerite Higgins was covering the war. Higgins later reported that he was the first soldier killed in the war, a claim that was repeated in media across the United States, but Shadrick was actually killed after the first American combat fatalities in the Battle of Osan.
Black and white photo of a ship with a flat upper deck viewed from above
Akagi in the summer of 1941
Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi (Cla68 and Sturmvogel 66
The Akagi was originally begun as an Amagi-class battlecruiser but completed as an aircraft carrier. The ship entered service with the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1927 and underwent a lengthy modernization between 1935 and 1938. Akagi saw limited combat in the Second Sino-Japanese War during 1939 and 1940. She was the flagship of the First Air Fleet from early 1941 and took part in the Pearl Harbor raid in December of that year. As part of the Japanese offensive in the Pacific, Akagi participated in the invasion of Rabaul, bombing of Darwin and Indian Ocean raid during early 1942 and also formed part of a force which attempted to locate the American carriers which had launched the Doolittle Raid. She was severely damaged by U.S. Navy aircraft during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942 and was scuttled by Japanese destroyers the next day.
A black-and-white image of a document's first page. The words "Air Force Special Weapons Centre" are in large print above an image of a crest or seal, whilst the title "A Study of Lunar Research Flights – Volume I" is towards the bottom of the page.
A Study of Lunar Research Flights
Project A119 (Grapple X)
Project A119, also known as "A Study of Lunar Research Flights", was a top-secret plan developed in the late 1950s by the United States Air Force to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Moon to boost public morale in the United States. The existence of the project was revealed in 2000 by a former executive at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Leonard Reiffel, who led the project in 1958. A young Carl Sagan was part of the team responsible for predicting the effects of a nuclear explosion in low gravity. Project A119 was never carried out, primarily because a moon landing would be a much more acceptable achievement in the eyes of the American public. The project documents remained secret for nearly 45 years, and despite Reiffel's revelations, the US government has never officially recognized his involvement in the study.