Famous U.S. Army Battles

Battle of the Bulge tanks and infantrymen of the U.S. Army’s Company G, 740th Tank Battalion, 504th Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, push through the snow toward their objective near Herresbach, Belgium, Jan. 28, 1945. Photo courtesy of the Army Center of Military History

The United States Army is so foundational to American history that it actually predates the formation of the United States. The Continental Army was formed on June 14, 1775, more than a year prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Since then, the U.S Army has proven itself to be an essential component of the U.S armed forces. The current population of the U.S. Army is so large that it would be the 10th largest city in America if it were concentrated in one place. The notable battles fought and won by the U.S. Army are too many to name all at once but here are a few that are essential to American history:

Battles of Lexington and Concord
The American Revolutionary War officially began on April 19, 1775, prior to the formation of the Continental Army. British forces marched to Concord, MA to seize an arms cache. Silversmith Paul Revere and others like him rode to alert colonists in an effort to halt their intended seizure. British forces and militiamen clashed for the first time in Lexington, which marked the first confrontation and battle. British forces were sent retreating after being met with heavy fire. Further conflict broke out at Concord’s North Bridge, where the infamous ‘shot heard ‘round the world’ was fired by British forces, who once again were forced to fall back. 

Battle of Gettysburg
Considered a turning point in the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg also marked the largest quantity of casualties in a single battle during the war. Taking place between July 1 and 3 of 1883, Confederate General Lee was pursuing a northern victory in the hopes of pushing a surrender for the North. Instead, thanks to the resilience of the Union’s General George G. Meade, Lee and his many injured men were sent scattering south. The battle also led to President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which became one of the most famous speeches of all time.

Battle of Normandy (D-Day)
More than half a century later, June 6 remains a date etched in the mind of millions. D-Day, whose meaning is still debated (disembarkation, debarkation, day of decision are among those discussed). The beaches of Normandy, France were heavily fortified by Nazi Germany forces, but more than 160,000 Allied troops converged with the 50-mile stretch of the French coastline and marked a turning point in World War II as Allied forces pushed through and began to trek through Europe to decimate Hitler’s oppressive forces. 

Battle of the Bulge
The nearly-six week-long Battle of the Bulge marked the last significant offensive by Hitler’s Nazi Germany. British PM Winston Churchill called it “the greatest American battle of the war.” Across 85 miles of Belgium’s Ardennes Forest, nearly 30 divisions of German forces launched a counter-offensive against tired American troops in late December 1944. American forces’ position gave the visual appearance of a bulge, hence the battle’s name. When Germans demanded surrender on December 22, General Anthony McAuliffe replied with just one word: “Nuts!” It marked the greatest losses for American forces during World War II, but the unrelenting resilience of American troops ultimately set the stage for the Allied victory of the war in mid-1945.

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Posted on June 12 2023 in Blog

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