Lost Battalion Dispatch #7 for the Week of August 15, 2022

Weekly Occurrences in Military History and News from the LBP Frontline

The Lost Battalion Dispatch

Lost Battalion Dispatch #7 for the Week of August 15, 2022
This Week in Military History

Lafayette returns. F-14s rule.

Marquis de Lafayette
The Marquis de Lafayette landed on Staten Island on August 15, 1824, to begin a year-long tour of the country he had helped liberate 50 years earlier. He visited all 24 states, making notable stops to visit John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Lafayette was a witness to the two major Revolutions of the late 18th century in America and France. A hero of the revolution in America, both on the battlefield and as a diplomat, he became despised and imprisoned when his own country sought to throw off the tyranny of a monarch. Lafayette understood that the key difference between the two revolutions was that after the king was overthrown in America a new government was built on tried-and-true foundations, those of the British constitution and the Roman Republic; while in France everything was torn down and built anew on the foundation of so-called Reason, an abstract concept that was subject to the whims of whoever wielded the most political power on any given day. After things started going badly in France, he said, “All the evils of France have been produced less by the perversity of the wicked and the violence of fools than by the hesitation of the weak, the compromises of conscience, and the tardiness of patriotism. Let every deputy, every Frenchman show what he feels, what he thinks, and we are saved!” His call went unheard and thousands died in the Terror that resulted.
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Polish Machine-gun Position c. 1920
The little-known (outside of Poland) Battle of Radzymin ended on August 16, 1920, with the withdrawal of Russian forces from the area around Warsaw. The battle was part of the also little-known Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920. Poland was attempting to secure anti-Bolshevik governments in Belarus and Ukraine, while Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin hoped to extend Russia’s borders to Germany and unite Russian and German socialists in his Communist Revolution. Although a Polish offensive to liberate Kiev from Soviet control failed, the Poles destroyed three Russian armies and firmly established their own sovereignty. Some historians believe that the failure of the Soviets to conquer Poland ended all chance of the international revolution for which Lenin hoped.
The novella Animal Farm was first published in England on August 17, 1945. In it, George Orwell put forth his anti-Stalinist views in the form of a satirical allegory about a badly-run farm where the animals overthrow the farmer only to end up in an even worse situation under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon. Complaints against the tyranny of the pigs by the other animals were met by the famous reply, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. The novella was not well received at the time and only began to sell when the amical war-time relations between the Soviet Union and the West began to deteriorate into the Cold War.
George Orwell
Battle flag of the USS Rasher
In the South China Sea, on August 18, 1944, the Gato-class submarine USS Rasher sank 4 ships, including the escort carrier Taiyo. Taiyo, a passenger liner that had been converted to a carrier, functioned more as a platform for ferrying aircraft than for naval aviation operations. She had large stores of aviation fuel aboard and Rasher’s torpedoes caused the aft avgas tank to explode, sinking her in 28 minutes. Rasher expended her torpedoes in the action, returning to port with the highest tonnage sunk for any submarine patrol to date.
Fast Eagle 102 aboard USS Nimitz after the Gulf of Sidra Incident
On August 19, 1981, F-14 fighters from the USS Nimitz shot down two SU-22 Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyans fired a missile at the American planes. The Libyan government had attempted to close the Gulf of Sidra in 1973 but because the area was legally defined as international waters the US Navy routinely conducted Freedom of Navigation exercises there. These exercises were intensified after Ronald Reagan became President. An F-14 painted to depict Fast Eagle 102, one of the planes involved in the incident, is on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
In Parliament, on August 20, 1940, Winston Churchill delivered a speech praising the Royal Air Force wherein he spoke the famous line, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The Battle of Britain was not yet over, but the tide had clearly turned in favor of the RAF after “The Hardest Day” on August 18 when both sides lost about 70 aircraft but the Luftwaffe failed to cripple British Fighter Command.
Royal Air Force Spitfire Mk I from the Battle of Britain
Enemy In Sight is an exciting card game of skill and luck for two to eight players that puts you in command of a fleet of Age of Sail warships. Sail your line of battle into harm’s way, open fire with broadsides, dismast the enemy, grapple, and send your Marines to board through the smoke! If things go badly, put out the fires with a bucket brigade and send your ship back to port for repairs. Whatever happens, don’t give up the ship! Check it out by clicking here: Enemy in Sight.
About the Lost Battalion Dispatch

This weekly newsletter is brought to you by Cher Ami, the homing pigeon whose heroic flight helped bring relief from a barrage of friendly fire to the First Battalion, 308th Infantry of 77th New York Infantry Division and alerted high command that over 500 American troops were holding out against all odds while surrounded in the Argonne forest during World War One.

At Lost Battalion Publishing we take inspiration from the historical Lost Battalion that never gave up, never lost hope, and persevered despite a series of devastating setbacks.

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