Sunday, June 06, 2010

Remembering Really Old Battles
That Don't Matter Anymore

On this day...

Battle at Novara
In 1513 during the War of the Holy League Swiss mercenaries defeated a French army under Louis de la Trémoille when his Swiss mercenaries refused to fight the other Swiss mercenaries. The victory restored the 20 year old Maximilian Sforza as Duke of Milan where he served as a puppet to the Swiss mercenaries he had hired. Two years later the French returned, defeated the Duke's Swiss mercs, and threw poor Max in a dungeon for the rest of his life (15 more years). Note, while it was fought in their country, the Italians pretty much tried to stay out of the fighting.

Battle at Monte Carlo
The English and Portuguese defeated the Spanish in southern France during the Anglo-Dutch War. These guys really needed a Michelin Guide. The battle was so important neither the British, Spanish, Portuguese, or Dutch seem to remember it.

Battle of Stoney Creek
In 1813, the United States had invaded Canada (because we couldn't reach England). The battle was lost because the Americans had released a captured Canadian prisoner (Guantanamo hadn't been invented yet) and gave him the top secret password so he could walk through the picket lines to go home. The Americans made him promise to keep the secret. He didn't. The British used the password to breach American defenses and win the day.

Battle of Port Royal, South Carolina (1862)
Not to be confused with the 1779 Battle of Port Royal, or the 1861 Battle of Port Royal, or the January 1862 Battle of Port Royal, or the 1863 Battle of Port Royal. The Civil War was not kind to Port Royal.

Battle of Belleau Wood
It was the first US Marines fighting of World War I. The Marines consider it a heroic battle. Most historians consider it a horrible fuck up where the Americans ignored all of the lessons the British and French had learned during five years of ugly trench warfare and marched a brigade of Marines across an open field towards German machine guns. The German's biggest problem was overheating the machine guns during the slaughter.

British, Canadian, and American forces land on the beaches of Normandy.

No comments: