Category Archives: MILITARY HISTORY

János Hunyadi, 15th century Hungarian leader

János Hunyadi, 15th century Hungarian leader


János Hunyadi (c.1387 – 1456) was a 15th century Hungarian leader who was instrumental in repelling the Ottoman Turks. The son of a knight, he rose to the rank of general in the Hungarian army and served as governor of the Hungarian kingdom for six years. Hunyadi was born in Transylvania, in what is now Romania, around 1407. His father, Woyk, was a knight who had received Hunyadi castle (also in present-day Romania) from the king. This raised the family’s standing, and young János entered the knighthood.

The importance of the battle of Marathon

The importance of the battle of Marathon

“For if you agree with me that we should fight, you make your country free and your city the best in all of Greece. But if you choose not to fight, we will lose it all” (Herodotus 6.109)

So spoke the Athenian general Miltiades to his fellow general Callimachus, setting in motion one of the greatest military gambles in history. The date was 490 BC. The place was Marathon. The mission: to resist the invasion of the Persian army, the largest fighting force ancient Greece had ever seen.

Five 19th century conflicts

Five 19th century conflicts

The Crimean War, 1853-56

After a long period of peace, the coup of 1851 brought Napoleon III to the French throne, dedicated to the pursuit of glory through an aggressive foreign policy. At the same time, the growing problems of the Ottoman empire opened up to the Russians the possibilities of their first territorial gains since the short Russo-Turkish clash in 1853, and was joined by Britain, France and Piedmont-Sardinia on the Turkish side in 1854-55. It was ended by negotiation when it became clear to the Russians that they could not gain their objectives.

The battle of Wagram – Napoleon’s last victory

The battle of Wagram – Napoleon’s last victory

Around 9PM on the evening of 4th July 1809 several hundred French  infantrymen embarked in a flotilla of small boats and began to make their way across the broad river Danube. Rain was falling in torrents, but this was doubtless a great relief to the troops: together with the gathering dusk, the weather served to shield them, as they supposed, from the guns of a powerful army that had but weeks before inflicted a heavy defeat upon their standards.

General Masaharu Homma and Manila, the open city

General Masaharu Homma and Manila, the open city

The day after Christmas 1941, when his forces left, US Army General Douglas MacArthur had declared Manila an open city and retired to the Bataan and Corregidor Island. Darkened windows were in lights again, and nightclubs were filled with frantically cheerful people. The same day the huge warehouses of oil burned, to prevent the fuel fall into Japanese hands.