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Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/September 2019/Articles

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The black windmill device worn by the 18th Infantry Division while based in Britain
HMS Bulwark in 1912
Territorial control by the three contenders for the Umayyad caliphate during the peak of the Second Fitna (Second Islamic War) in 685–686
Project Excalibur (Maury Markowitz
Excalibur was a US research program during the Cold War that aimed to develop an X-ray laser as a ballistic missile defense. It involved packing lots of expendable X-ray lasers around a nuclear device so that, when the device detonated, the X-rays released by the bomb would be focused by the lasers, each aimed at a target missile. Excalibur appeared to be a significant advance in BMD performance, and attracted plenty of funding in the early 1980s, but tests did not go well and the project was cut back before being cancelled in 1992.
18th Infantry Division (United Kingdom) (EnigmaMcmxc
EnigmaMcmxc continues his series on British divisions with this article about an ill-fated World War II unit. The 18th Division spent its first two years of existence on home defence duties, and was sent to fight in Egypt in late 1941. When news of the Japanese entry into the war arrived, it was diverted to Singapore, where it fought piecemeal against the Japanese advance. Ill-prepared for jungle warfare, the 18th surrendered with the rest of the garrison in one of the largest disasters for the British Army during the war, and more than a third of its personnel died in captivity.
Operation Obviate (Nick-D
Another in Nick's series on air attacks against the German battleship Tirpitz, Operation Obviate took place in October 1944. Two of the Royal Air Force's elite heavy bomber squadrons failed at the last minute to find their target owing to clouds suddenly covering the battleship. This bad luck led to many of the bombers making multiple passes before their crews dropped scarce and expensive Tallboy bombs where they thought Tirpitz probably was. In the event, none of the bombs struck their target.
HMS Bulwark (1899) (Sturmvogel 66
The first of Sturm's FAs this issue features a British pre-dreadnought battleship that served as flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet from 1902 to 1905, and then spent the rest of her career in home waters as part of the Channel and Home Fleets. The ship was reduced to reserve in 1910–1914, but was reactivated during the July Crisis of 1914. Following the outbreak of World War I, she was assigned to the Channel Fleet to protect the British Expeditionary Force from interference by the Imperial German Navy. Bulwark was destroyed in an accidental magazine explosion in November 1914, and almost all aboard were killed.
Operation PBFortune (Vanamonde93
PBFortune was a covert US operation to overthrow Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz in 1952. The plan involved arming an exiled Guatemalan military officer who was to lead an invasion from Nicaragua. The US Government cancelled the operation due to concerns that details of the plan had become too widely known.
Black Prince's chevauchée of 1355 (Gog the Mild
Continuing Gog's series on the Hundred Year's War, the Black Prince's chevauchée was a major raid carried out by an Anglo-Gascon force under the command of Edward, the Black Prince, in late-1355. The local French commander, John I, Count of Armagnac, avoided taking on the invading forces, so little fighting ensued, leaving Edward's troops to devastate the countryside and sack many towns in their march from Bordeaux to Narbonne and back again.
Mary Bell (aviator) (Ian Rose
Mary Bell was one of the first women to hold a pilot's license in Australia, and the first to quality as a ground engineer. Shortly before World War II she founded the paramilitary Women's Air Training Corps, and agitated for the establishment of a women's branch of the Royal Australian Air Force, which was formed in March 1941 as Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force. She served as the WAAAF's initial commander but was passed over as director in favour of Clare Stevenson. Bell agreed to stay on in the WAAAF as a junior officer until resigning late in the war.
Second Fitna (AhmadLX
Also known as the Second Islamic Civil War, the Second Fitna describes a period of political and military conflict that took place during the early Umayyad caliphate, after the death of its first caliph, Mu'awiya I, in 680. Lasting more than a decade, the war involved challenges to the Umayyad dynasty by Husayn ibn Ali and Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. Ideological differences contributed to the eventual development of the Sunni and Shi'a sects.
Milorad Petrović (Peacemaker67
Another in PM's series on the military history of the former Yugoslavia, Petrović was the commander of the Royal Yugoslav Army's 1st Army Group during the April 1941 German-led Axis invasion. He joined the Royal Serbian Army in 1901, and served through World War I. Petrović's Army Group disintegrated in days during the 1941 invasion, and he was captured by fifth columnists. He returned to communist Yugoslavia after the war, and lived to the age of 99.
Normandie-class battleship (Sturmvogel 66 and Parsecboy
Another collaboration between two of our leading 'shipwrites', the Normandie-class program commenced in 1912 to replace most of the older battleships in the French Navy. The first to feature quadruple-gun turrets, all five ships were still under construction when World War I began and were suspended for the duration. After the war, the navy considered finishing them or modifying them to incorporate the experiences learned during the war, but the government's parlous financial state prevented this. One ship, Béarn, was converted into an aircraft carrier during the 1920s and later became an aircraft transport before being scrapped in 1967.
Wittelsbach-class battleship (Parsecboy
Parsecboy's second entry this issue focusses on the first ships built under the Imperial German Navy commander Alfred von Tirpitz's fleet expansion program in the late 1890s and early 1900s. They were considerably out of date by the beginning of World War I and saw little activity. Four were scrapped in the early 1920s, and the fifth converted into a target ship that survived until 1944, when Royal Air Force bombers sank her.

New featured topics

The route of the English army during the Crécy campaign in 1346
Crécy campaign (Gog the Mild
The Crécy campaign was a large-scale, year-long raid on northern France by the English under Edward III during 1346–47. Part of the Hundred Year's War, the campaign's major actions included the Battle of Caen in July 1346, the Battles of Blanchetaque and Crécy the following month, and the finally the Siege of Calais that culminated in the city's fall in August 1347; it remained in English hands for the next 200 years.

New featured pictures

New A-class articles

Prussian infantry advancing during the Second Silesian War
George Gosse defusing a German mine
A line drawing of the intended design for the Lyon-class battleships
Yuri Gagarin in Warsaw during 1961
The US Secretary of Defense and British Defence Minister during a reception marking the 50th anniversary of the 1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement
A colourised photo of the two Japanese Yamato-class battleships
The lines of the Australian 9th and 10th Battalions at Mena Camp, Egypt, in December 1914
Battle of Kapetron (Cplakidas
This article continues Cplakidas' series on medieval battles and is about an 11th-century battle that ended with a Byzantine tactical victory but failed to stop Turkish gains. The first large-scale engagement between the Byzantines and the Seljuk Turks, it paved the way for the disastrous Byzantine defeat at Manzikert more than a generation later, which resulted in the Byzantine loss of Anatolia.
HMS Roebuck (1774) (Ykraps
Another of Ykraps' articles about warships of the age of sail, this article describes the long career of a Royal Navy fifth-rate tailored for operating in shallower American coastal waters. Roebuck notably saw action in the Battle of Long Island and the Siege of Charleston during the American Revolutionary War, but was likely found redundant after the conclusion of the latter. As a result, she spent the rest of her career as an auxiliary ship, being broken up during the Napoleonic Wars.
Second Silesian War (Bryanrutherford0
Following on from Bryanrutherford0's article about the First Silesian War, this article describes the Prussian-Austrian conflict during the 18th century War of the Austrian Succession. The war was fought over control of the crucial region of Silesia, and included Frederick the Great's famous victory at Hohenfriedberg. Thanks to the latter and further Prussian victories, the war ended with Prussia retaining control of Silesia, though a third war would be fought over the region slightly more than a decade later.
149th Armor Regiment (RightCowLeftCoast
RightCowLeftCoast's second A-class article covers the history of a California Army National Guard unit, which traces its lineage back to one of the few American tank units in the Battle of Bataan. The latter, equipped with M3 Stuarts, fought gallantly against the Japanese advance and destroyed their tanks when the American-Filipino forces surrendered at the end of the battle. Postwar, its lineage was perpetuated in the National Guard by tank units of the 49th Infantry Division, later reduced to a single battalion before merger into a support unit in the 21st century.
George Gosse (Peacemaker67
Peacemaker continues his series on South Australian valor award recipients with this biography of Gosse, an Australian mine disposal officer during World War II who received the George Cross for his actions. Despite his initial Royal Australian Navy service ending after he failed a lieutenant's examination, Gosse returned to service in World War II and gained a reputation for ingenuity, a quality that assisted him in the dangerous work of defusing naval mines.
Lyon-class battleship (Sturmvogel 66 and Parsecboy
The Lyon-class battleships were the 1915 tranche of a French naval expansion program begun in 1912. Their design had not been finalized before the beginning of the First World War in August 1914. The Army's demands for munitions, the conscription of dock workers and a decision by the Navy to prioritise ships which could be quickly completed led to the class being cancelled before construction began.
Lionel Matthews (Peacemaker67
The second article of the month on a South Australian who received the highest possible award for gallantry covers an Australian Army officer who was posthumously awarded the George Cross for running an intelligence network from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Matthews was a reservist in the Army and Navy before World War II, and volunteered for the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1940. He was captured in early 1942 when Singapore fell to the Japanese, and was sent to Sandakan POW camp in British North Borneo. There, Matthews established an intelligence network and made contact with organisations outside the camp. In July 1943, members of his organisation were betrayed, and Matthews and others were arrested. He was executed in March 1944, and awarded the GC in November 1947.
USS Oberrender (Kges1901
USS Oberrender was a destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. Commissioned in May 1944, Oberrender served mainly as a convoy escort in the Pacific from August that year. She was heavily damaged by the explosion of the ammunition ship USS Mount Hood in November 1944. Returned to service in December, Oberrender served on anti-submarine patrol during the Battle of Okinawa, during which she was irreparably damaged by a kamikaze attack in early May 1945. She was decommissioned in July, and sunk as a target in November 1945.
Yuri Gagarin (Coffeeandcrumbs
Yuri Gagarin was, of course, the first human in space. He and his family spent much of World War II living in harsh conditions in a German-occupied area of the USSR. Gagarin began military flight training in 1955 and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Soviet Air Forces in 1957. He transferred to the Soviet space program in 1959, and flew his historic space mission on 12 April 1961. He remained a member of the space program, but was not permitted to fly into space again. He died in 1968 when a fighter jet he was piloting crashed.
Silesian Wars (Bryanrutherford0
The "Silesian Wars", which were found between 1740 and 1763, are mainly a feature of German military historiography, since from other perspectives they seem to generally be thought of as theatres of wider wars (the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War), but they mark a watershed in German history, signalling the rise of Prussia to parity with Austria in German affairs. Prussia defeated Austria in all three of the wars, leading to it gaining the majority of Silesia.
1958 US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement (Hawkeye7
Hawkeye7 described the latest article in his huge series on the British nuclear weapons program as being "an unusual article, which grew organically from humble beginnings". It covers a bilateral treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom on nuclear weapons co-operation which was signed in 1958 and has been extended and renewed nine times. The treaty grants the UK extensive access to American nuclear weapons technology, with the US also being able to draw on Britain's nuclear weapons expertise.
List of battleships of Japan (Sturmvogel 66 and Parsecboy
This article summarises the huge number of battleships operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy between 1897 and 1945. The IJN's battleship force began with the rather modest Fuji-class battleships built in Britain, and ended with the massive Yamato-class battleships which were constructed domestically. The battleships generally performed well during the Russo-Japanese War, but few survived World War II.
59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division (EnigmaMcmxc
The 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division was a British Army division during the Second World War. The division, raised initially as a motor division before being converted into an infantry formation, remained in the UK until it was deployed to Normandy in late June 1944. In Normandy, it was involved in several brief sharp clashes with German forces (Operation Charnwood and Pomegranate) before the British manpower crisis came to a head. In August, as the junior division in Normandy, it was disbanded and its units transferred to other divisions to bring them up to full strength.
SMS Medusa (1864) (Parsecboy
SMS Medusa was a steam corvette built for the Prussian Navy in the 1860s, and was ordered as part of a naval expansion program to counter the Danish Navy over the disputed ownership of Schleswig and Holstein. She missed the second and final Danish-Prussian war, but undertook two major cruises: the first to the Mediterranean during 1867-68 and the second to East Asia from 1868 to 1871. After returning to Germany in 1872, she spent the remaining eight years of her career as a training ship.
List of battleships of France (Parsecboy
This article covers the battleships built by France between the late 1880s and the 1940s, from the early experimental vessels built during a muddled period of French naval philosophy to some pretty cutting-edge thinking in the interwar period with the Dunkerques and Richelieus. The promotion of this article and the corresponding article on Japanese battleship's marks the end of work on those two navies for phase I of the long-running Operation Majestic Titan collaboration.
Japanese aircraft carrier Zuihō (Sturmvogel 66
Zuihō was originally laid down as a submarine tender, but was converted into a light aircraft carrier before the Pacific War began. She did not participate in the opening campaigns of the war, but played a minor role in the Battle of Midway. The ship participated in most of the aerial battles during the Guadalcanal Campaign, sometimes with her air group disembarked. She was not damaged during the Battle of the Philippine Sea in 1944, but was sunk on 25 October 1944 during the Battle of Cape Engano when she served as a diversion for the surface striking forces
Operation Catechism (Nick-D
Operation Catechism was the last in the long-running series of air attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz during World War II. Crippled by damage from earlier attacks, the battleship had been downgraded to a floating battery and stationed in an unsuitable anchorage. She survived the Operation Obviate attack on 29 October 1944 due to luck, but stood little chance of survival when the pair of elite British heavy bomber squadrons which had been tormenting her struck again on 2 November. Two hits from massive bombs and several near misses left Tirpitz a wreck and killed most of her crew.
10th Battalion (Australia) (Peacemaker67 and AustralianRupert
The 10th Battalion was the first battalion of the First Australian Imperial Force raised in South Australia, and was part of the covering force for the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. After fighting for almost all of the Gallipoli campaign, it then went on to the Western Front where it was involved in many major battles, including Pozieres, Menin Road, Hazebrouck and the Hundred Days Offensive. It continued as a part-time unit during the interwar period, but never served outside Australia in World War II. After that war, it was part of the part-time forces in various forms, and it is currently represented in the Australian Army's order of battle by the part-time 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australian Regiment.
Third Silesian War (Bryanrutherford0
The Third Silesian War was one of the theatres of the Seven Years' War. It was fought between Austria and Prussia between 1756 and 1763, and began with a Prussian invasion of Saxony in mid-1756. The war's casualties amounted to over 325,000 killed or missing, and it did not lead to any territorial changes. However, it represented a diplomatic victory for Prussia as Austria agreed to recognise its sovereignty in Silesia in return for Prussia's support for the election of Maria Theresa's son, Archduke Joseph, as Holy Roman Emperor.
Japanese battleship Hatsuse (Sturmvogel 66
In the nomination statement Sturmvogel noted that this article forms part of "my series on ill-fated battleships". Hatsuse was a pre-dreadnought battleship built in the UK for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1890s. She participated in the early stages of the Russo-Japanese War, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war, as the flagship of the 1st Division. Hatsuse was involved in the subsequent operations until she struck two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. The second mine detonated one of her magazines and she sank almost immediately afterwards with the loss of over half her crew.
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