Battle for Brest
The Battle for Brest was one of the fiercest battles fought on the Western Front during World War II. It was estimated that the 37 Allied divisions to be on the continent by September 1944 would need 26,000 tons of supplies each day, the main port the Allied forces hoped to seize and put into their service was Brest, in northwestern France. American and Canadian troops would be moved from North America to England until an Allied invasion could be mounted to the continent, a major issue was of course how to supply the invasion army with the tens of thousands of tons of materiel it would need after it landed. The capture of ports in the European Atlantic coast was a necessity, the capture of these port facilities was deemed crucial, because the lack of supplies would easily strand an invading army. Other ports across the English Channel were Saint Malo, Operation Sledgehammer, the capture of Cherbourg, had been considered by the Allies, but it was cancelled after the disastrous 1942 Dieppe Raid.
It was decided that an attack to a port from the sea was not an option. However, the Germans, realizing this, began building fortifications around these ports earlier in the war through their Organization Todt, some of these ports were major U-boat bases as well, and had bomb-proof concrete sub pens built. These fortifications had been surviving Allied air strikes for some time, soon after Normandy was invaded, the Mulberries were towed from England and deployed in the French coast. Unfortunately for the Allies, one of them was destroyed in a storm less than two weeks. Supplies were mainly landed directly via the beaches, but this process was not as efficient, Cherbourg, at the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy, was captured by the Americans who landed on Utah Beach, but the German garrison destroyed its harbour facilities before surrendering. Cherbourg was so far the major port in the Allied invasion area. Wehrmacht troops trapped in Brittany retreated to the ports in the peninsula, as US Third Army troops moved in.
His forces consisted of the German 2nd Parachute Division, 266th Infantry Division, 344th Infantry Division and other Wehrmacht elements, the old fortress city of Saint-Malo was captured by 83rd Infantry Division on 17 August, but its small port facilities were sabotaged by the defenders. A German garrison stationed at nearby Cézembre Island surrendered only after days of shelling by warships and strong air strikes. The aerial bombing of the island marked one of the first uses of napalm bombs and it was clear that the Germans would deny the Allies the use of French ports as long as possible by defending the fortresses built around them and severely damaging their docks. Brest was reached by American troops on 7 August 1944, Brest was surrounded and eventually stormed by the U. S. VIII Corps. The fight proved extremely difficult, as the German garrison was well entrenched, the German paratroopers lived up to their reputation, as the Allies had experienced previously in battles such as Monte Cassino.
Whilst some less capable units surrendered quite easily, the Fallschirmjäger defended their ground under considerable odds, heavy shelling, air strikes, the attackers had heavy losses for every small advance they made into the city
Battle of Bab El Oued
The OAS decided to dig in at their stronghold of Bab El Oued to fight the Evian Agreements by force. The Battle of Bab el Oued was principally a battle between the French Gendarmerie Mobile and the OAS Commando Delta. The French used M8 Greyhound armoured cars to control the exits to the town whilst suspicious buildings were surveilled from the air by T-6, four T-6s strafed the roofs to clear them from snipers after Army helicopters dropped canisters with tear gas. As part of the attack, naval support from the T47 class destroyers Surcouf and Maillé-Brézé was planned. Most of the troops setting siege to the quarter had been ferried to Algeria by Surcouf and Maillé-Brézé, in support of Bab-el Oued,200 OAS maquis marched from Algiers to Ouarsenis, a mountainous region between Oran and Algiers. On 25 March 1962, General Edmond Jouhaud was arrested at the Hôtel Panoramic dOran with his adjutant, the protestors ran into a road block manned by 45 soldiers of the 4e régiment de tirailleurs algériens who fired on the crowd.
The official death toll given by the French government was 54 killed and 140 injured, according to the historian Benjamin Stora,35 people were killed during the Battle of Bab el Oued and around 150 were wounded. Six French soldiers were killed by the OAS in a previous ambush, chillet, La Bataille de Bab-el-Oued, article from the journal « Accent Grave » n. l4 April 1963 Fusillade à Bab-el-Oued dirigée sur le 2e bataillon du 73e RIMa au poste de zouaves, ECPAD
Second Battle of Fallujah
It was led by the U. S. Marine Corps against the Iraqi insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah and was authorized by the U. S. -appointed Iraqi Interim Government. The U. S. military called it some of the heaviest urban combat U. S, Marines have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968. This operation was the major operation in Fallujah. Earlier, in April 2004, coalition forces fought the First Battle of Fallujah in order to capture or kill insurgent elements considered responsible for the deaths of a Blackwater Security team. In February 2004, control of Fallujah and the area in the Al-Anbar province was transferred from the U. S. 82nd Airborne Division to the 1st Marine Division. Shortly afterward, on 31 March 2004, four American private military contractors from Blackwater USA were ambushed and killed in the city, images of their mutilated bodies were broadcast around the world. Within days, U. S. Marine Corps forces launched Operation Vigilant Resolve to take control of the city from insurgent forces.
On 28 April 2004, Operation Vigilant Resolve ended with an agreement where the population was ordered to keep the insurgents out of the city. The Fallujah Brigade, composed of local Iraqis under the command of a former Baathist officer named Muhammed Latif, took control of the city. Before beginning their attack, U. S. and Iraqi forces had established checkpoints around the city to prevent anyone from entering the city, in addition, overhead imagery was used to prepare maps of the city for use by the attackers. American units were augmented by Iraqi interpreters to assist them in the planned fight, after weeks of withstanding air strikes and artillery bombardment, the militants holed up in the city appeared to be vulnerable to direct attack. U. S. Iraqi and British forces totaled about 13,500, the U. S. had gathered some 6,500 Marines and 1,500 Army soldiers that would take part in the assault with about 2,500 Navy personnel in operational and support roles. Regimental Combat Team 7 comprised the 1st Battalion/8th Marines, 1st Battalion/3rd Marines, about 2,000 Iraqi troops assisted with the assault.
All were supported by aircraft U. S. Marine and U. S. Army artillery battalions, the 850-strong 1st Battalion of the Black Watch was ordered to help U. S. and Iraqi forces with the encirclement of Fallujah. In April, Fallujah was defended by about 500 hardcore and 1, by November, it was estimated that the numbers had doubled. Another estimate put the number of insurgents at 3,000, three groups, had their nationwide headquarters in Fallujah. An estimated 2,000 insurgents were from the Army of Mohammed, Ansar al-Sunna, the Iraqi insurgents and foreign mujahadeen present in the city prepared fortified defenses in advance of the anticipated attack. They dug tunnels, prepared spider holes, and built and they blocked streets with Jersey barriers and even emplaced them within homes to create strong points behind which they could attack unsuspecting troops entering the building
Siege of Breslau
The Battle of Breslau, known as the Siege of Breslau, was a three-month-long siege of the city of Breslau in Lower Silesia, lasting to the end of World War II in Europe. From 13 February 1945 to 6 May 1945, German troops in Breslau were besieged by the Soviet forces which encircled the city as part of the Lower Silesian Offensive Operation. The German garrisons surrender on 6 May was followed by the surrender of all German forces two days after the battle, in August 1944, Adolf Hitler declared the city of Breslau to be a fortress, ordering that it must be defended at all costs. He named Karl Hanke to be the citys Battle Commander, on 19 January 1945, the civilian population was forced to leave. The German Army, aided by the Home Guard and slave labourers, turned the city into a military fortress, a large area of the city center was demolished and turned into an airfield. Late in January, a regiment of Hitler Youth was sent to reinforce the garrison of Festung Breslau, SS regiment Besslein took part.
On 2 February 1945, Hanke presented colors to the newly formed Home Guard units in Breslau, on the same day, Major General Hans von Ahlfen became the garrison commander of Fortress Breslau. Ahlfen, who commanded for three weeks, had been personally selected by the Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Center, Ferdinand Schörner. On 2 March 1945, Infantry General Hermann Niehoff replaced Ahlfen as garrison commander, Niehoff held the position until the final surrender on 6 May 1945. The 1st Ukrainian Front forces besieged the city with the 22nd and 74th Rifle Corps,50,000 German troops defended the city. The Siege of Breslau consisted of destructive house-to-house street fighting, the city was bombarded to ruin by artillery of the Soviet 6th Army, as well as the Soviet 2nd Air Army and the Soviet 18th Air Army, and the destruction caused by the German defenders. On 15 February, the German Luftwaffe started an airlift to the besieged garrison, for 76 days, until 1 May, the Luftwaffe made more than 2,000 sorties with supplies and food.
More than 1,638 short tons of supplies were delivered, on 22 February, the 6th Army occupied three suburbs of Breslau, and during the next day, the 6th Army troops were in the southern precincts of the city itself. By 31 March there was heavy fire into the north, south. On 4 May the clergy of Breslau — Pastor Hornig, Dr. Konrad, Bishop Ferche, Hanke ordered Niehoff not to have any further dealings with the clergy. Local German communists called for an end to the resistance of the city in flyers, in a pamphlet titled the Freiheits-Kämpfer it called for an end to the fighting and told the local population not to be afraid of the Red Army who came as liberators. Seventeen of the members of the group were executed on Gauleiter Hankes orders. On 6 May, after 82 days of siege and shortly before the surrender of Germany in World War II
1997 Coalisland attack
The blast sparked an immediate reaction by an undercover Special Air Service unit, who shot and wounded Gareth Doris, an Irish republican and alleged IRA volunteer. The SAS unit was surrounded by a crowd of protesters who prevented them approaching Doris or leaving. RUC officers arrived and fired bullets at the crowd, allowing the special forces to leave the area. Coalisland is a town in County Tyrone that had a tradition of militant republicanism, in February 1992, four IRA volunteers were killed in a gun battle with the SAS during their escape after a machine gun attack on the RUC/British Army barracks there. A number of civilians and soldiers were injured, a backpack radio destroyed. The meleé was followed by a 500-strong protest in the town, at 9,40 pm on Wednesday 26 March 1997, a grenade was thrown at the joint British Army/RUC base at Coalisland, blowing a hole in the perimeter fence. The RUC reported that a 1 kg device hit the fence 10 feet off the ground, another source claimed that the device was a coffee-jar bomb filled with Semtex.
The grenade was thrown or fired by two unidentified men, at the time of the attack, there was an art exhibition at Coalisland Heritage Hall, known as The Mill, from where the explosion and the gunshots that followed were clearly heard. The incident lasted one to two minutes, just one minute after the IRA attack, bypassers heard high-velocity rounds buzzing around them. A number of men, apparently SAS soldiers, got out of civilian vehicles wearing baseball caps with Army stamped on the front, a first-hand source initially described them as members of the 14 Intelligence Company. The men were firing Browning pistols and Heckler & Koch sub- machine guns, witnesses said there were eight to ten gunshots, while a republican source claimed that up to 18 rounds were fired. Nineteen-year-old Gareth Doris was shot in the stomach and fell to the ground, Doris was allegedly returning from the local church and was in the company of a priest when he was shot. A local priest, Seamus Rice, was driving out of the car park when his car was hit by bullets.
Three minutes after the blast, hundreds of residents gathered at the scene. The soldiers fired live rounds at the ground and into the air to keep people back, the crowd kept drawing back and moving forward again until 9,50, when the RUC arrived and began firing plastic bullets at the protesters. Two women were wounded by bullets and the undercover soldiers fled in unmarked cars. Sinn Féin councillor Francie Molloy claimed that the protesters forced the SAS to withdraw, witnesses allegedly feared an undercover soldier brandishing a pistol would have killed the wounded Doris with a shot to his head. Afterward, hundreds of residents were forced to leave their homes as security forces searched the area near the base and this kept tensions high, according to local republican activist Bernadette McAliskey
Battle of Khorramshahr
The Battle of Khorramshahr was a major engagement between Iraq and Iran in the Iran–Iraq War. The battle took place from September 22 to November 10,1980, known for its brutality and violent conditions, the city came to be known by the Iranians as Khuninshahr, meaning City of Blood. The battle lasted for 34 days, and saw an investment of Iraqi forces. In turn, this enabled the Iranians to stabilize front-lines at Dezful and Susangerd. The city was mainly being defended by Iranian Navy Commandos, some units of the 92nd Armored Division, Khorramshahr was eventually recaptured during Operation Jerusalem, a turning point in the war. Prior to the war, the city of Khorramshahr had a population of about 220,000 and had grown extensively and was home to some of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Iran, the population was predominantly wealthy and upper class. Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, elements of Arab anti-government groups began plotting in the Khuzestan province in an effort to join Iraq, between October and September 1980, the city saw several incidents of bombings and terrorism amongst the population.
This period saw frequent border violations between Iran and Iraq, in fact, these violations and episodes of violence became so frequent, some locals believed the first days of the war were the result of worsening clashes. Finally, on September 17, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein declared the 1975 Algiers Agreement null and void, thus setting the countdown to war, in the defense of Khorramshahr, the Iranians prepared a series of dikes on the city outskirts. The first dike held regular soldiers and the second dike held tanks, the Dej garrison of the Iranian Army was responsible for much of the city’s outer defences with a single company of British-made Chieftain tanks at their disposal. The main command center was based in the Masjed-Jameh Grand Mosque at the centre of the city control of the Pasdaran. Mohammad Jahanara acted as commander of the Pasdaran force in Khorramshahr, most personnel had little more than fifteen days of training in the beginning. In the afternoon of September 22, Iraq launched its first phase of the invasion through a series of air throughout the country.
The customs office of Khorramshahr was among the first targets, roughly 150 artillery batteries based around the Iraqi town of Tannumah fired the opening salvo. By evening, as the air raids died down, the city lay shrouded in fire, overnight,500 Iraqi tanks moved in towards the Khorramshahr-Ahvaz road. Outposts surrounding the city fell, but Iranian defenders managed to back several Iraqi tanks using recoilless rifles. While most of these fell to Iraqi mechanized divisions by early morning, September 23, they gave the Iranians enough time to prepare defenses in. The Iraqis proceeded to surround Khorramshahr in a crescent-like formation, the third and fourth day of the invasion consisted of Iraqi forces trying to capture and hold the Khorramshahr-Ahvaz road
Battle of Khafji
The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War. The 1st and 5th Mechanized Divisions and 3rd Armored Division were ordered to conduct a multi-pronged invasion toward Khafji, engaging American and these three divisions, which had been heavily damaged by Coalition aircraft in the preceding days, attacked on 29 January. Most of their attacks were repulsed by U. S, Marines as well as U. S. Army Rangers and Coalition aircraft, but one of the Iraqi columns occupied Khafji on the night of 29–30 January. By 1 February, the city had been recaptured at the cost of 43 Coalition servicemen dead and 52 wounded, Iraqi Army fatalities numbered between 60 and 300, while an estimated 400 were captured as prisoners of war. Although the invasion of Khafji was initially a propaganda victory for the Baathist Iraqi government, it was recaptured by Saudi. The battle serves as a demonstration that air power in a supporting role to ground forces can be of great assistance in halting and defeating a major ground operation.
On 2 August 1990, the Iraqi Army invaded and occupied the state of Kuwait. In response, the United Nations began to pass a series of demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Afraid that Saudi Arabia would be invaded next, the Saudi government requested military aid. As a result, the United States began marshalling forces from a variety of nations, Saddam Hussein attempted to deter Coalition military action by threatening Kuwaits and Iraqs petroleum production and export. On 16 January, Iraqi artillery destroyed an oil tank in Khafji, Saudi Arabia. The oil flowed into the sea at a rate of 200,000 barrels a day, despite these Iraqi threats, the Coalition launched a 38-day aerial campaign on 17 January 1991. On the third day of the campaign, many Iraqi pilots fled across the Iranian border in their aircraft rather than be destroyed, the air campaign targeted command-and-control sites, bridges and petroleum storage facilities. Saddam Hussein, who is believed to have said, The air force has never decided a war, the Iraqi leader believed that the United States would not be willing to lose many troops in action, and therefore sought to draw Coalition ground troops into a decisive battle.
In an attempt to provoke a battle, he directed Iraqi forces to launch Scud missiles against Israel. As the air continued, the Coalitions expectations of an Iraqi offensive decreased. As a result, the United States redeployed the XVIII Airborne Corps, the Coalitions leadership believed that should an Iraqi force go on the offensive, it would be launched from the al-Wafra oil fields, in Southern Kuwait. The Iraqi Army had between 350,000 and 500,000 soldiers in theater, organized into 51 divisions, including eight Republican Guard divisions
Battle of Aachen
The Battle of Aachen was a major combat action of World War II, fought by American and German forces in and around Aachen, between 2–21 October 1944. Although most of Aachens civilian population was evacuated before the battle began, much of the city was destroyed and both sides suffered heavy losses. It was one of the largest urban battles fought by U. S. forces in World War II, the battle ended with a German surrender, but their tenacious defense significantly disrupted Allied plans for the advance into Germany. By September 1944, the Western Allies had reached Germanys western border, on 17 September, British and Polish forces launched Operation Market Garden, an ambitious attempt to bypass the Siegfried Line by crossing the Lower Rhine River in the Netherlands. The failure of this operation, and a supply problem brought about by the long distances involved in the rapid drive through France. In September, the Wehrmacht high commands reinforcement of the Siegfried Line brought total troop strength up to an estimated 230,000 soldiers, at the start of the month, the Germans had had about 100 tanks in the West, by the end, they had roughly 500.
As men and equipment continued to flow into the Siegfried Line they were able to establish an average depth of 3.0 miles. Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, set their sights on the occupation of the Ruhr, Germanys industrial heartland. General George S. Pattons Third Army was given the task of occupying the French region of Lorraine, hodges had initially hoped to bypass the city itself, believing it to be held only by a small garrison, which would presumably surrender once isolated. The ancient, picturesque city of Aachen had little value in itself. Its population of around 165,000 had not been subject to bombing by the Allies. As such, it was of immense psychological value, in several areas, German defenses were over 10 miles deep. It was, in the words of historian Stephen Ambrose, undoubtedly the most formidable man-made defense ever contrived, fighting around Aachen began as early as the second week of September, in a period known to the Germans as the First Battle of Aachen.
At this time, the city was defended by the 116th Panzer Division, the proximity of Allied forces had caused the majority of the citys government officials to flee before the evacuation of its citizens was complete. He was replaced by General Gerhard Wilck, the United States VII Corps continued to probe German defenses, despite the resistance encountered on 12–13 September. Between 14–16 September the US 1st Infantry Division continued its advance in the face of strong defenses and repeated counterattacks, ultimately creating a half-moon arc around the city. This slow advance came to a halt in late September, due to the problem. The Wehrmacht took advantage of the brief respite on the front by pulling the 1st, 2nd and 12th SS Panzer Divisions, as well as the 9th and 116th Panzer Divisions, off the line
2007 Lebanon conflict
It was the most severe internal fighting since Lebanons 1975–90 civil war. Lebanon is home to more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees, some 215,000 of whom live in camps, in 1962, Palestinians were categorized as foreigners in Lebanon, regardless of how long they had lived there. Non-Lebanese, which included the refugees, were restricted from working in over 70 skilled professions until 2005, the civil war left Lebanons government and the general Lebanese populace deeply suspicious of Palestinian refugees because of their involvement in the Lebanese war. Yet, under a 1969 Arab accord, annulled by the Lebanese Parliament in the mid-1980s but maintained in principle, the current residents of the camps are currently denied access to their homeland or neighboring Arab nations. Fatah al-Islam militants based in the camp were blamed, about 30,000 displaced Palestinians live in the camp. Fighting began early in the morning after a raid on a house in Tripoli which was apparently being used by militants from Fatah al-Islam.
The militant group subsequently began shooting at the Lebanese security forces who returned fire, the men reportedly resisted arrest and the violence spread to neighbouring streets. By now the camp was surrounded by the Lebanese Army and more troops were coming in with tanks. Beiruts airport was the scene of military aid shipments, mainly from the United States. Tanks massed outside the Nahr al-Bared camp and started a ground offensive, the fighting was concentrated in the southern and northern entrances of the camp. At least 19 people were killed, including three army soldiers, among the dead was a senior leader of Fatah al-Islam, Abu Riyadh, he had been killed by a Lebanese army sniper. After 48 hours of fighting the battle was over and the Army was repelled, after mediators failed to convince the Islamists to surrender, the Lebanese Army attacked Nahr el-Bared once again. The troops advanced 50 meters before they had to stop after taking heavy casualties due to booby-trapped buildings, in all 29 people were killed within 24 hours,11 soldiers,16 militants and 2 civilians.
Some of the fighting was close-quarters and almost hand to hand, on June 11, two Lebanese Red Cross workers were killed outside Nahr al-Bared as they were evacuating civilians. On June 12, the Lebanese army continued their push and took two key positions from Fatah al-Islam within the camp, one of them on the side of the camp. The Lebanese Army continued the offensive and heavy bombardment hit the camp, on June 16, two Lebanese Gazelle helicopters fired four air-to-ground missiles at suspected militant positions inside the camp. In 48 hours the Army managed to take another six Fatah al-Islam positions, at this time the only aim of the military was to destroy all of the militants positions on the outskirts of the camp, but the Army had no intention of going into the camp itself. On June 19, the Army finally managed to take all of the positions of the Islamists
Battle of Carthage (c. 149 BC)
The Battle of Carthage was the main engagement of the Third Punic War between the Punic city of Carthage in Africa and the Roman Republic. It was an operation, starting sometime between 149 and 148 BC, and ending in spring 146 BC with the sack and complete destruction of the city of Carthage. After a Roman army under Manius Manilius landed in Africa in 149 BC, Carthage surrendered and handed over hostages and arms. However, the Romans demanded the surrender of the city, and surprisingly to the Romans the city refused. The Carthaginians manned the walls and defied the Romans, a situation which lasted for two years, in this period, the 500,000 Carthaginians inside the wall transformed the town into a huge arsenal. They produced about 300 swords,500 spears,140 shields, the Romans elected the young but popular Scipio Aemilianus as consul, a special law being passed to lift the age restriction. Scipio restored discipline, defeated the Carthaginians at Nepheris, and besieged the city closely, in spring 146 BC, the Romans broke through the city wall but they were hard-pressed to take the city.
Every building and temple had been turned into a stronghold, the Romans were forced to move slowly, capturing the city house by house, street by street and fighting each Carthaginian soldier who fought with courage born of despair. Eventually after hours upon hours of fighting, the Carthaginians surrendered. An estimated 50,000 surviving inhabitants were sold into slavery, the land surrounding Carthage was eventually declared ager publicus, and it was shared between local farmers, and Roman and Italian ones. They negotiated their surrender, but Scipio Aemilianus expressed that forgiveness was impossible either for Hasdrubal, Hasdrubal left the Citadel to surrender and pray for mercy. At that moment Hasdrubals wife allegedly went out with her two children, insulted her husband, sacrificed her sons and jumped with them into a fire that the deserters had started, the deserters too hurled themselves into the flames, upon which Scipio Aemilianus began weeping. He recited a sentence from Homers Iliad, a prophecy about the destruction of Troy, Scipio declared that the fate of Carthage might one day be Romes.
Polybius actually heard him and recalls it in his history, since the 19th century, various historians have claimed that the Romans plowed over the city and sowed salt into the soil after destroying it, but this is not supported by ancient sources. Campbell, siege warfare in the ancient world, Osprey Publishing,2006, ISBN 1-84603-019-6, pages 113–114