The United States has a well documented military history, spanning a period of more than two centuries, and one that has significantly shaped its current standing as arguably being the world’s sole remaining superpower. From their colonial wars to the present day war on terrorism, the US has engaged in conflicts that have had a huge impact on world history.
Battles of Lexington and Concord
The American Revolutionary War was kicked off by the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The combatants in the war were the British soldiers and the militia of Massachusetts. Great Britain had 13 American colonies and from 1764 enacted measures that were intended to raise revenues from their colonies. These measures generated resentment among colonists and led to a buildup of tension between the American colonies and the British Empire. On April 18, 1775, a Patriot named Joseph Warren learned that the British were sending their soldiers to Lexington to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were rebel leaders and to Concord with the intention of seizing an arms cache. Joseph Warren sent Paul Revere and William Dawes to warn the American colonists that the Redcoats were coming. On the dawn of April 19, 1775, a shot was fired after the militiamen were ordered to disperse. It has yet to be confirmed who fired the first shot, but it is considered the first shot of the American Revolution. The British troops totaled around 18,000, and the number of the American militia was unknown. The weapons use in the war bayonet, Muskets, and some light guns. 250 British soldiers were killed and wounded including 19 officers, while the American casualties were hardly 90. The war was the first revolutionary battle and the result of the war set the impetus for revolt across the country in the quest of American independence. Having successfully pushed back the British army, the Americans got the courage to continue in their fight for independence
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg is considered to be one of the most important battles of the American Civil War. It took place over three days, July 1-3, 1863, outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle was between the Confederate Army of the South, which was led by General Robert E. Lee and the Union Army of the North, which was led by General George Meade. On the third day of the battle, General Lee sent General Pickett on what is now known as Pickett's Charge, to attack the Union Army. Over half of Pickett's 12,500 men were either injured or killed and as a result, the Confederate Army retreated. With 8,000 deaths and a total of 46,000 casualties, the Battle of Gettysburg is considered the deadliest battle of the Civil War. President Lincoln gave a two-minute speech famously known as the Gettysburg Address later that year at the Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. The weapons used in this battle were revolvers, bayonets, rifles, Cannons, and swords.
Invasion of Normandy
The Invasion of Normandy commenced on June 6, 1944, now known as "D-Day", along the coast of Normandy, France. The Allies which consisted of Britain, America, Canada, and France attacked German forces and gained a victory that had a huge impact on the Second World War in Europe. Allies prepared for the invasion by increasing airstrikes in German territory and amassing troops and equipment in Britain. The Germans had previous knowledge regarding the invasion, but did not know exactly where the Allied Forces would strike. The Allied Forces were able to defeat the Germans by confusing them and bombing strategic places to hinder their movement. The Allied Forces were led by Dwight D. Eisenhower of the US whereas the Germans were led by Erwin Rommel and Gerd von Rundstedt.
Siege of Yorktown
The Siege of Yorktown is known as the last great battle of the American Revolutionary war. It took place from September 28th until October 19th in 1781. It was in Yorktown that the British Army under General Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans. The Americans were joined by the French forces allowing them to outnumber the British troops. The British began considering a peace treaty opening the door for the Treaty of Paris. Other battles that have a meaningful place in US military history include the Battle of Fort Sumter, the Battle of the Alamo, the Tet Offensive, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Trenton, and the Battle of Bunker Hill.