Monday, May 25, 2009

Professor Genius Reviews: US Military Battles

Today, in honor of Memorial Day, I wish to remind Americans of the greatest military battles of all time. I have listed five battles within the top 10 (scores are based upon the Krieger Scale*).

May 26, 1637 - Mystic Massacre of the Pequot War. John Mason led a force of colonists along with Niantic warriors against the Pequot. During an extended siege of the palisade of the Pequots, observing much struggle between Mason's men and the Pequot amazonian and youth warriors, he instructed his troops to set the enclosure on fire, killing all 600 soldiers therein. He later commented on this military success by saying that it was an act of God who "laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn making [the Pequot] as a fiery Oven . . . Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling [Mystic] with dead Bodies."

Score - 9.79

October 3-4, 1993 - Battle of Mogadishu. This is better known for the skirmish of where the helicopter Black Hawk was lost. Despite this, allied forces were successfully able to extricate all but eighteen soldiers, killing over 700 Somali militants. US Black Hawk helicopters fell victim to the superior technological might of the Somali militants, but were able to bounce back with sheer heroism and win the day (thanks to the aid of Pakistani and Malaysian forces).

Score 9.28

March 8-9, 1962: Battle of Hampton Roads. Better remembered as the battle between the "Monitor" and the "Merrimack", as US warfare entered the technological age. Racist Confederate forces resurrected the destroyed USS Merrimack and reforged them using the fires of Mount Doom into an ironclad ship called the CSS Virginia. This technological monstrosity wreaked havoc on the Union forces until they unveiled their doppelganger of righteousness - USS Monitor. In a tense battle where several Union ships were destroyed or heavily damaged, but the lines were held, both sides were forced to accept a draw. Questions still linger on the European involvement in this battle, as Americans do not accept draws as a result.

Score 8.87

February 23-March 6, 1836 - Battle of the Alamo. Remember the Alamo? It is not only a popular tourist trap in Texas, but was also the site of a historic battle in the US-Mexican War. Outnumbered fifty to one (my estimate may be higher than that previously reported), US forces outlasted superior Mexican forces in a major front to lead to independence for Texas. In hindsight, if we knew what Texas would give us, we probably should not have fought so hard. Nevertheless, American forces fought valiantly in a well deserved bittersweet victory. Why bittersweet? All women and children were released despite the deaths of every American soldier at the Alamo.

Score 8.85

September 1918-July1919 - Polar Bear Expedition. Part of the Allied intervention into Northern Russia to prevent acquisition of war stockpiles in Archangelsk from falling into the hands of the Kaiser or the Bolsheviks. Though no official battle was fought in Archangelsk, the bravery of US soldiers to protect the supply must not be ever forgotten. Over 110 soldiers died in battle, 30 went M.I.A., and 70 died from Spanish flu. Possibly the first example of biological warfare?

Score 8.06

*The Krieger Scale of Justified Militarism is based upon a complex equation using the Kohlberg scale of morality, the pentatonic scale, the Goddard scale, and the Aarhus diplomacy constant. Scores range from 1-10, with 10 being the highest.

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