Battle of Arnhem Bridge Battle of Camarón Battle of Shiroyama Eastern Front Fetterman Massacre general george armstrong custer Germany Iraq Japan Marines Military History Movies Nazi Party Pearl Harbor Rome Sake of Rome Samurai Sparta Stalingrad Swiss pikemen the Alamo Thermopylae urban warfare Wake Island Warsaw

The World’s Most Heroic Last Stands

The famous Battle of the Alamo pitted rebellious Texans, some of whom were Americans, against a Mexican army sent to crush their nascent independence movement.
The famous Battle of the Alamo pitted rebellious Texans, some of whom were Americans, against a Mexican army sent to crush their nascent independence movement.

WWII Historical past Journal contributor Christopher Miskimon shares with us his listing of historical past’s lengthy photographs and probably the most heroic final stands.

By Christopher Miskimon

The Siege of the Alamo – February 23 – March 6, 1836

This well-known battle pitted rebellious Texans, a few of whom have been People, towards a Mexican military despatched to crush their nascent independence motion. Mexican chief Basic Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna laid siege to the small mission, bombarding it for days and having a number of small skirmishes earlier than a last assault on the night time of March 5-6. All of the combatants within the Alamo have been killed aside from one man, a slave of the Texan officer Col. William Travis, and a number of other ladies. This brief time period Mexican victory backfired when “Keep in mind the Alamo!” turned the rallying cry. It has since develop into arguably probably the most well-known battle of the American West.

Immediately after their victory at nearby Isandlwana, a large Zulu army attacked a company of British soldiers at the Rorke’s Drift outpost.

The Battle of Rorke’s Drift – January 22-23, 1879

Instantly after their victory at close by Isandlwana, a big Zulu military attacked an organization of British troopers on the Rorke’s Drift outpost. Although badly outnumbered, the English managed to carry off their opponents and inflict heavy casualties by means of sheer willpower and bravado. The profitable protection was a vibrant spot in comparison with the debacle at Isandlwana and 11 Victoria Crosses have been awarded among the many members.

The Battle of Camarón is the French Foreign Legion’s defining battle.

The Battle of Camarón – April 30, 1863

That is the French Overseas Legion’s defining battle. An organization-sized patrol of 65 Legionnaires escorting a provide convoy was overtaken by a pressure of 800 Mexican cavalry, later strengthened by some 2,200 infantry. The French troopers took cowl within the close by Hacienda Cameron Inn and swore to defend it to the demise. The following battle lasted round seven hours and ended solely when the final 5 Legionnaires made a bayonet cost. The final two males alive got permission by the Mexican commander to go away with the physique of their commander, Captain Danjou, who had a picket hand. Immediately that hand is probably the most revered artifact within the Legion’s lengthy historical past.

Captain William Fetterman longed for action against the local Native Americans, who had carried out a campaign of raids against the encroaching Americans.

The Fetterman Bloodbath – December 21, 1866

Captain William Fetterman longed for motion towards the native Native People, who had carried out a marketing campaign of raids towards the encroaching People. On December 21, he acquired all of the motion he might need and extra. The native warriors, led by such braves as Loopy Horse, laid an ambush by attacking a wood-gathering celebration away from the camp. This introduced out Fetterman on the head of 80 infantry and cavalry. Estimates are about 1,000 warriors attacked and overwhelmed them, killing all of the People. Because the native accounts differ, it’s nonetheless not recognized precisely what occurred.

The Misplaced Battalion: The Males of the 77th Division, October 2-Eight, 1918

Some 554 males of the US 77th Division have been surrounded by German troops when the French forces on their flank have been stopped, leaving them remoted. Wishing to revive this gap of their strains the Germans attacked the American for six days; virtually two-thirds of them turned casualties. Regardless of this and shortages of meals, water and ammunition, the People held out till different allied assaults pressured a German retreat, relieving the beleaguered Yanks.

When the Chinese Boxer Rebellion attempted to drive foreign influence out of China the legations belonging to a number of foreign nations were besieged.

Siege of the Worldwide Legations, Peking Boxer Revolt – June 20 – August 14, 1900

When the Chinese language Boxer Riot tried to drive overseas affect out of China the legations belonging to numerous overseas nations have been besieged. The Boxers acquired on-and-off help from parts of the Chinese language authorities. The siege was punctuated by durations of truce intersperse with heavy preventing. The 409 European, Japanese and American troopers and sailors defending the legations suffered virtually 50% lifeless and wounded. Two forces, one Japanese and one French, suffered over 100% casualties as wounded males returned to motion solely to be wounded once more!

The result of the battle became one of the most well-known stories of the century

The Battle of the Little Huge Horn – June 25-26, 1876

America’s most well-known final stand. Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the seventh Cavalry Regiment towards a big Native American encampment. Underestimating his foe, Custer cut up his command into three separate parts and attacked a a lot bigger drive of native warriors. The column led by Custer was worn out. The remaining columns later linked up and made their very own stand on a hill, surviving when their enemy moved off the subsequent day. The occasions of the battle are even as we speak the topic of a lot hypothesis and argument.

The Battle of Wake Island

Wake Island – December Eight-23, 1941

This remoted Pacific outpost was attacked the day after Pearl Harbor however a combined forces of US Marines, Sailors and civilian staff managed to fend off the primary touchdown try by the Japanese on December 11, sinking two destroyers and damaging a cruiser. Afterward the Japanese utilized extra assets to taking the island and a second try on December 23 succeeded regardless of heavy casualties. The small American drive inflicted casualties all out of proportion to its measurement however suffered tremendously in captivity after the battle.

Stalingrad – July 17, 1942 – February 2, 1943

Stalingrad – July 17, 1942 – February 2, 1943

This well-known battle was additionally the final stand of all the German sixth Military, proving every little thing was certainly greater on the Japanese Entrance. After being minimize off by Soviet counteroffensives, Nazi forces have been prohibited from breaking out by Adolf Hitler, who was loath to ever retreat or surrender territory. Unable to interrupt the encirclement from outdoors, the Germans watched as their brethren in Stalingrad have been slowly floor up in bitter city warfare. Ultimately their meals and ammunition have been exhausted and the 90,000 survivors surrendered. Solely round 5,000 survived the warfare and returned to Germany in 1955.

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Battle of Thermopylae – 480 BC

Battle of Thermopylae – 480 BC

The sacrifice of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans has been advised and retold till it’s now virtually a cliché. Although there have been many extra Greeks current, together with Arcadians, Thebans and Thespians, the Spartans have acquired credit score for the spirited protection of the Greek military’s rear guard. The primary Greek military, variously estimated from 5-7,000 held off a a lot bigger Persian drive for 2 days. Whereas historic chroniclers declare the Persian drive at over one million, trendy estimates are a lot decrease, at most a couple of hundred thousand, nonetheless lengthy odds. On the third day, with the Persians now outflanking the Greeks Leonidas, his Spartans and round a thousand others remained to behave as a rear guard. They have been slaughtered however entered the annals of army historical past the place they’re celebrated to today.

The Swiss Guard During the Sake of Rome – May 6, 1527

The Swiss Guard In the course of the Sake of Rome – Might 6, 1527

On today a Hapsburg military entered Rome to sack and occupy it. Most of the troops have been mutinous Lutheran mercenaries keen to say loot. As this pressure closed on the Vatican, it turned clear the Pope’s life was in jeopardy. To purchase him time to flee 189 Swiss Guards made a stand on the Vatican grounds; solely 42 survived the onslaught however Clement VII was capable of attain relative security. At this time every new group of recruits to the Papal Guard is sworn in on Might 6.

Battle of Shiroyama – September 24, 1877

Battle of Shiroyama – September 24, 1877

This battle marked the top of the Samurai and ushered in a brand new age for Japan. Takamori Saigo, the chief of a gaggle of 500 Samurai which had been defeated earlier, took place on a hill named Shiroyama close to the town of Kagoshima. The Japanese military of 30,000 outfitted with trendy weapons surrounded them and commenced a punishing artillery bombardment. By morning solely 40 Samurai remained. Saigo had been wounded earlier and both died or dedicated ritual suicide. The final 40 warriors charged, sword in hand, solely to be shot down. The battle was used as a common affect for the ultimate battle scene within the film The Final Samurai.

The Battle off Samar – October 25, 1944

The Battle off Samar – October 25, 1944

With a big Japanese fleet bearing down on them, the destroyers, destroyer escorts and escort carriers of the US process drive designated Taffy three made a determined stand. Past them was the US amphibious drive conducting landings at Leyte Gulf. If the Japanese battleships and cruisers reached them it will be a slaughter. Taffy three’s sailors fought with such aggressiveness the enemy fleet was turned again, although at a lack of 5 ships sunk, together with two of the tiny carriers, and a couple of,496 casualties. It’s nonetheless lauded as one of many US navy’s proudest moments.

Defense of Arnhem Bridge – September 17-26, 1944

Protection of Arnhem Bridge – September 17-26, 1944

Probably the most distant of the airborne assaults of Operation Market Backyard, British paratroopers have been capable of seize this bridge over the Decrease Rhine River with a view to maintain it for advancing British 2nd Military. That pressure was delayed by a cussed German protection, leaving the paratroopers remoted and with little provide. After holding for 9 days, the survivors withdrew, leaving numerous wounded to be taken prisoner. It was a darkish day for the British Military regardless of the valiant efficiency of the airborne troops.

The Warsaw Ghetto – April 19 - May 16, 1943

The Warsaw Ghetto – April 19 – Might 16, 1943

Because the Nazis started to spherical up the final Jews from the Warsaw Ghettos, an underground group of Jewish fighters selected to withstand. The following battle was determined and uneven because the poorly armed Jews fought to stave off almost-certain demise within the camps. The Nazis used the incident as an excuse to homicide hundreds of ghetto residents and shortly deported the remaining, leaving the Ghetto an empty and haunted place.

Battle of Karbala – October 10, 680

Battle of Karbala – October 10, 680

This battle occurred in what’s now Iraq between the Umayyad caliph Yazid and supporters of Hussein Ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad. Hussein’s followers numbered maybe 72, dealing with hundreds of enemy troopers. All of them have been killed making their stand which is now an necessary day in Shia Islam. Even immediately in Muslim tradition struggling towards lengthy odds is called “dealing with one’s Karbala.”

The Stand of the Saxon Housecarls at Hastings - October 14, 1066

The Stand of the Saxon Housecarls at Hastings – October 14, 1066

Hastings is extensively referred to as a crucial battle of European historical past, however much less well-known is the stand made by the English Housecarls, primarily family troops in service to King Harold. When that ruler was killed in the course of the battle, his Housecarls took positions round his physique and fought till they have been worn out. Whereas the battle was finally misplaced the Housecarls honored their oaths and fought to the final man.

In fact, these are just some of probably the most heroic final stands in historical past. Others might be included as we replace the listing, however which of them do you assume we have to add first? Tell us within the feedback part under.

Up to date June 19, 2017