Most important battle in U.S. history?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Mar 3, 2003.

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    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (1/14/02 9:37:17 am)
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    OK, historians......which one was it?

    the real fredneck
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    (1/14/02 10:32:54 am)
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    I'll take a shot at it and go with the Boston Massacre even though it could hardly be called a battle it signaled a fundamental change in the way the controling legal authority dealt with dissent. In essence, it made it clear that the only course of action would eventually be armed conflict. Of course this was hyped by the media of the day.

    WyomingSwede
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    (1/14/02 1:12:32 pm)
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    I'll tee off on this too. I have a tie...

    Gettysburg...pivotal turning point of the civil war.
    or
    Midway ... pivotal turning point of the war in the Pacific.


    My $.02 regards swede
    Wyoming Swede

    LIKTOSHOOT
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (1/14/02 1:29:36 pm)
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    "War on Drugs" Nuff said!!!!

    the real fredneck
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    (1/14/02 5:35:41 pm)
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    LTS
    Haven't we been fighting that one since the Controlled Substances Act of 1935(?)? Guess we could rename it the Seventy-Seven Years War (with no light at the end of the tunnel)

    WyomingSwede
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    (1/14/02 6:26:30 pm)
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    The immortal comic strip character 'Pogo' once said
    "We have met the enemy and he is us...."
    Wyoming Swede

    obelix2
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    (1/14/02 8:41:08 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del much as it pains me to disagree with Swede,
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    living where I do, it does seem to me the most important were the series of battles known collectively as "Saratoga". Without them, no France. Without France, no country.

    byw, Swede, do you know if the Pogo books are still in print anywhere?

    kdub01
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    (1/14/02 10:45:49 pm)
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    Yes, Gettysburg was a monumental event. The civil war could have dragged out a couple more years, perhaps, with thousands upon thousands more needless deaths on both sides. That battle took the heart out of the war.

    I have to give equal sharing to two WWII events, however. The Battle of Midway and the Guadalcanal assault. Both were close-run things with little in the way of resources except guts and determination. As Rooseveldt and Churchill had agreed on "Europe First", the Pacific had little in the way of equipment or manpower in the early days. Operations "Torch", "Anvil", "Overlord" and the Battle of the Bulge would all have succeeded, due to the massive means at hand for the allies. The shoestring operations of the Pacific were the ones won by brilliant commanders and dedicated fighters.

    Xracer
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    (1/15/02 9:13:37 am)
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    Obelix.....great minds run in the same path. I too, vote for the Battles of Saratoga.

    For the first time, an entire Brtitish Army had been defeated and forced to surrender. It's Commanding Officer, "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne had been out-generaled by Arnold, and the finest professional troops in the world, the British & Hessians, had been out fought by a rag-tag army of farmers and shopkeepers.

    It led to the French involvement in our Revoulution, the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and to our becoming a nation.

    Without the victory at Saratoga, there might well have never been a United States to win those other battles.

    WyomingSwede
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    (1/15/02 9:57:53 am)
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    I surrender...the battle of Saratoga is significant also...I could remember the british general Burgoyne...just not the name of the battle.
    As far as the Revolution goes...What about Ticonderoga? First time a significant victory was scored against a standing british fort staffed by regulars of the british army. A bunch of rag-tag Green Mountain Boys under Ethan Allen took it and promptly showed the brits they had a real fight on their hands. The continentals lost more battles due to misorganization and officer infighting than they ever did due to a lack of backbone or raw green troops.
    I still stand on my original picks though. LOL swede
    Wyoming Swede

    polishshooter
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    (1/15/02 8:34:51 pm)
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    Wow, there have been so many "significant" ones...obviously we'd have to consider Saratoga, Yorktown, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Kettle Hill, Belleau Wood, Midway, Normandy, Inchon, the entire Tet offensive, maybe Desert Storm....


    BUT I like the obscure ones, that nobody thinks about...as significant

    What about Trenton? Wahington doesn't cross the Delaware and there might not have BEEN a Saratoga...

    How about Cowpens, or any number of battles in the South where "The Continental Line" stood up to the best the Brits had in classic European style?

    For that matter, Lundys Lane for the same reason.

    Perry on Lake Erie?

    Antietam? Shiloh? First time Union soldiers PROVED they were as good man to man as the Rebels...

    Murfreesboro? (The Civil War was won in the WEST, not the east, it opened the way to Chattanooga...)

    How about Manila Bay or Santiago? Put the US Navy on the short list of the "World's Best"

    Coral Sea? Set the table for Midway, and Guadalcanal, first time the Japs DIDN'T beat us....

    How about the Battle of the Bismarck Sea? MAY have broke the back of the Japs in the Pacific, but kept quiet because we "slaughtered" so many helpless troops in the water....

    Savo Island...a major defeat that made the US Navy learn FAST, and within 6 months was dominating night surface actions...

    The entire campaign on New Guinea...

    Iwo Jima...

    The breakout from Pusan...a defeated demoralized green "garrison" army transforms itself under fire and goes on the offensive and takes back everything that was lost...

    Chosin Reservoir?

    Hue. Khe Sahn.

    Geez, thanks for even getting me thinking along these lines, I appreciate it.

    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 1/15/02 8:37:14 pm

    bierpumpe
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    (1/16/02 6:06:21 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del 6th June, 1944
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    I think the most important battle in U.S. history was the run for Normandy on the 6th of June in 1944. They ran for the beach and faced a huge amount of German soldiers, which were better equipped and are better protected by bunkers. Nevertheless the U.S. army strike the Germans back and bring a beginning to the end of WWII.
    Who will know what have happened if the Germans knew that the allies want to take the Normandy and concentrate their forces on this part of France.

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (1/16/02 9:20:48 am)
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    Hi bierpumpe...and WELCOME to TFF, and particularly to the "History Hangout'!

    We hope you'll stick around the most disagreeable forum on TFF.....nobody ever agrees with anybody else here, but we sure have a lot of fun!



    17th FA Bn
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    (1/16/02 8:28:47 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Life or death for the Republic?
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    My criteria for choosing the most important battle would be a battle that if the U.S. lost would threaten the very existence of our country!

    If we had lost at Midway or the Battle of the Bulge it would have taken longer to win WW II, but we still would have won. If D-Day 06 June 1944 had failed the German's would have eventually been defeated, either by the Russians or a U.S. atomic bombing campaign. the map of Europe might look different today, but the very existence of the U.S. was not in doubt.

    No battles of the Korean, Vietnam or Persian Gulf wars were life or death for the U.S.

    In the Civil war some people say that if the south had won the north would have been ready to give up. Other historians say that a defeat would have hurt the Union forces, but would not have been decisive, because the confederates could not exploit such a victory.

    If we had not won the war against Mexico our country would be much smaller, with out California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. So the battle of Mexico might be one of the most important battles in U.S. history.

    Is there any battle in the Revolutionary war that if we had lost the war would have been over and America would remain a colony of Britain? We lost many battles, but as long as a rebel army remained in the field the war would go on.

    If France had won the French and Indian wars the American colonies would have gone under France. This would have truly changed this country. Is there any battle in the French and Indian war that would have resulted in a French victory? The battle of Montreal sealed their defeat. If the French had won there, and gone on to win other decisive victories the U.S. as we know it would not exist.

    The battle we fight every day against terrorism may be the most important in U.S. history. With bio- and chemical weapons terrorist threaten the very fabric of American life. It is scarry to think that the high school drop outs working security at the airports are on the front line against terrorism.

    jimejones
    Member
    Posts: 6
    (1/17/02 8:53:15 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Midway
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    The Battle of Midway may not have broken the back of the Japanese navy, but it sure gave them a bloody nose and knocked out quite a few teeth. It also limited their further expansion in the Pacific, and enabled us to start on the long journey from Guadalcanal to Tokyo. Unlike the Normandy invasion, which was planned and executed with enormous forces, the Battle of Midway was hurredly improvised with a tiny fleet and lots of luck. Had we lost, we would have had to forgo aggression in the Pacific for a long time. Even Hawaii might have become unusable. Perhaps Australia would have fallen. And all this hinged on a problem with the catapult on a Japanese cruiser!

    polishshooter
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    (1/17/02 11:44:05 pm)
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    ...and a REALLY (typical) complicated plan, and the fact we read their "mail."

    MAYBE if we lost all three carriers, or two of them, and MAYBE if they take Midway, and could supply it, and MAYBE use it as a springboard to take Hawaii...we sue for peace in the Pacific....

    But I doubt it....and even if they TOOK Midway, they would NEVER have been able to sustain it, the Japs would have lost the war at Midway later instead of when they did...and after what Devereux did to them at Wake with literally nothing, I'm not sure they COULD have assaulted Midway successfully even if the fleet wasn't there...

    Plus we have to keep in mind the ONLY reason we had all our carriers there at that time WAS because we knew their plan ahead of time...

    I'm not sure if Coral Sea and the Bismarck Sea were not BIGGER battles...the Japs take Moresby by sea, in early '42, and Australia and possibly New Zealand is lost...and possible we sue for peace too...where would we stage from, Samoa?

    Using that criteria, X, I'd have to say if the Battle of Long Island, which we lost, turned out a LITTLE differently, and GW is captured and hung by Howe, there might not have been an army left....

    Yeah, Saratoga brought the French in, and that's (Specifically their FLEET) is what WON the war...even if it was lost, Burgoyne was finished...

    And there STILL would have been a Continental Army...


    How about this twist...the greatest battle of our History happened in 1789....and it was POLITICAL....




    Without the Constitution, I think we can safely say the US as we know it would NOT exist....






    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    jonkx
    Member
    Posts: 7
    (2/3/02 3:24:56 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Most important
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    Gonna go out on a limb here and say that the collective group of battles leading to the invasion of Italy. Italy was no soft underbelly, but once there, given enough time, even without Normandy, we would have rolled up the Germans. Once on the continent in force, we had the Germans by the throat... without Normandy, the squeeze would have just taken a little longer to choke them.

    warpig883
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    (2/4/02 12:00:40 am)
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    Unfortunatley I am not schooled enough on the topic to speak with any mind boggling knowledge, however I do think that it stands to reason that the most important battles would have to have been during the Revolution. For without the victory of the insipid tea drinkers from over the pond none of the others would have taken place.
    We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans... -- Bill Clinton, US President (USA Today, 11 Mar 1993, page 2a)

    jonkx
    Member
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    (2/4/02 1:16:38 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del RE: revolution
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    I truly dont' think we beat the British in the REvolution, so much as they just decided it wasn't worht it and left. Sure, we won some battles, but their nation was not defeated. They could have kept pouring men into the rat trap for alot longer. I liken it to Vietnam. We didn't lose the war; we left. We could have militarily fought a lot longer and won, had we not worried about Russia, China, the peaceniks, etc.

    warpig883
    Moderator
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    (2/4/02 1:36:40 pm)
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    By the Brits leaving we won the war

    By the US leaving the North Vietnamese won the war.

    A foe does not have to be obliberated to achieve victory.
    We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans... -- Bill Clinton, US President (USA Today, 11 Mar 1993, page 2a)

    rjpatt1
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (2/17/02 11:56:12 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Greatest Battle
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    Well, All the aforementioned battles are historically important to "History". They give us insight to who we are. But friends, the most important battle is the one we wage now against in our own country. Against those that would strip us of our rights "for the good of society".
    You all know these people. ie: The Brady Center for Anti-American Activities. Diane Feinstein, Chucky Schumer and a host of other undesirables. They seek to disarm us in order to subjugate us (sounds kind of insidious doesn't it). To paraphrase an American Communist Party member. "Why do we need to expose ourselves in public when the Democratic Party is capaigning on our own platforms". Food for thought folks.
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