united states military history

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Thinking of Pépère Hug today, on the 100th Anniversary of the United States entering World War One.

My great grandfather was an immigrant. Born in Alsace at a time when it was conquered by the German Empire, he was constantly harassed for being both French and German ethnically. He moved to the United States in 1910, when he was only 18 with his pregnant wife, settling in Rhode Island. A short six years later he as a soldier in the U.S. Army returned to Europe to fight in the Great War against the very nation that he was born in, and the one that had oppressed him so. To have done so much at such a young age is awe inspiring. His story is that of the American Dream, and supreme love for the Nation who had given him so much.

I love you Pépère Hug, and respect the millions of other Yanks who fought and bled “Over There”.

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Light Cavalry Sabre from the United States dated 1865 on display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds

By the end of the Civil War, the sword (like this US Pattern 1860 one) had largely been replaced by the revolver. This broken example was made by the Ames Cutlery Company, and was found on the battlefield of Bentonville, North Carolina.

Bentonville was a Confederate defeat at the hands of General Sherman and was part of the Carolinas Campaign.

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Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor which officially catapulted the United States into the Second World War.

This illustration from 1943 depicts Doris “Dorie” Miller (1919-1943), an African-American sailor from Waco, Texas during that fateful morning in 1941 as he defends the fleet at Pearl Harbor from the USS West Virginia. Despite not being trained on the .50 caliber Browning, Miller impressively managed to shoot down an estimated 3 to 4 Japanese planes until he ran out of ammunition. At that point, Miller began to help moving injured sailors out of harm’s way before abandoning the ship.

For his efforts on that day, Miller was awarded the US Navy Cross and was lauded as one of the first American heroes in Second World War (as the pin shows).

Miller would unfortunately be killed in action onboard the USS Liscome Bay during the battle of Makin Island 1943.

(US National Archives, USAmericana)

The USS Nebraska, a United States Navy battleship, with dazzle camouflage painted on the hull, in Norfolk, Virginia, on April 20, 1918. Dazzle camouflage, widely used during the war years, was designed to make it difficult for an enemy to estimate the range, heading, or speed of a ship, and make it a harder target. How well dazzle camouflage worked, or if it worked at all, were never clearly established, despite several attempts by the British Admiralty and others.