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Review: Volume 11 - Military History

Review: Volume 11 - Military History


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In late July 1941, Hitler ordered Army Group South to seize the Crimea as part of its operations to secure the Ukraine and the Donets Basin, in order to protect the vital Romanian oil refineries at Ploesti from Soviet air attack. After weeks of heavy fighting, the Germans breached the Soviet defences and overran most of the Crimea. By November 1941 the only remaining Soviet foothold in the area was the heavily fortified naval base at Sevastopol. Operation Sturgeon Haul, the final assault on Sevastopol, was one of the very few joint service German operations of World War II, with two German corps and a Romanian corps supported by a huge artillery siege train, the Luftwaffe's crack VIII Flieger Korps and a flotilla of S-Boats provided by the Kriegsmarine. This volume closely examines the impact of logistics, weather and joint operational planning upon the last major German victory of World War II.

The He 100 can certainly be described as an engimatic aircraft, about which still relatively little is known. The author of the book, a former aeronautical engineer, has spent many years researching the He 100. The book covers all aspects of the aircraft's development, the various sub-series produced, its high-speed accomplishments, and use that was made of it for propaganda and intelligence purposes. The aircraft which were supplied to Russia and Japan are examined as well as later projects based on it. This volume also includes a number of previously unpublished photographs, colour artworks and specially produced detailed technical drawings.


Military History

A reader sounds off about the 1945 Battle of Point Judith, R.I.

WW2TV Will Be Live from Normandy Beaches for D-Day

Woodadge will be broadcasting live on June 6 and 7 from the Normandy beaches for the anniversary of the D-Day invasion—Operation Overlord

‘The Indian Contingent’ Book Review

Ghee Bowman chronicles the little-known story of Force K6 (aka the Indian Contingent), from Dunkirk through the end of World War II

The U.S. 1st Infantry Division in Photos

America's 1st Infantry Division has served with distinction in war for more than a century

‘Vincere!’ Book Review

Frederica Fasanotti chronicles the difficulties the Italian army faced in countering insurgencies in Libya and Ethiopia in the early 20th century

German Failure at Chemin des Dames: How They Lost in 1918

A German feint over the Chemin des Dames in May 1918 gained more ground than expected before devolving into a logistical nightmare

Translating for Yamashita, the ‘Tiger of Malaya’

In 1945 a young Marine with an aptitude for languages landed in the midst of a war crimes trial with international ramifications


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Video


Rick Atkinson and Dr. Nick Mueller, President and CEO of The National WWII Museum, discuss The Guns at Last Light, the final book in the epic “Liberation Trilogy.” In the first installment of this “sneak peek” video series, Rick shares just a few of his discoveries regarding the Normandy invasion.

Video Two: In the second installment of this “sneak peek” video series, Rick introduces us to a lesser-known member of the famous Roosevelt clan.

Video Three: In the third installment, Rick tells the story of John K. Waters and his involvement in General George Patton’s ill-advised raid on Hammelburg prison camp.

Video Four: In the fourth installment, Rick details the invasion of southern France and one of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s most controversial decisions.

Video Five: In the fifth installment, Rick discusses tensions that existed between Eisenhower and Montgomery.

Video Six: In the sixth installment, Rick discusses the Allies failure to fully secure Antwerp by securing the Scheldt River in a timely manner.

Video Seven: In the seventh, and final installment, Rick discusses Eisenhower’s strategy change in regards to taking Berlin and the “fiction” of the National Redoubt.


Review: Volume 11 - Military History - History

[Additional Medical Department histories (not part of the "US Army in World War II" series):]

  • Organization and Administration in World War II
  • Medical Training in World War II
  • Medical Supply in World War II
  • Medical Statistics in World War II
  • Personnel in World War II
  • Blood Program in World War II
  • Cold Injury, Ground Type
  • Radiology in World War II
  • Physical Standards in World War II
  • Combat Psychiatry
  • Developments in Military Medicine During the Administration of Surgeon General Norman T. Kirk
  • A History of the United States Army Dental Service in World War II
  • A History of the United States Army Veterinary Service in World War II
  • Wound Ballistics
  • Volume I: Actions of Medical Consultants
  • Volume II: Infectious Diseases
  • Volume III: Infectious Diseases and General Medicine

  • Volume I was never published
  • Volume II: Environmental Hygeine The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, Supply, and Services, Volume I
  • The Quartermaster Corps: Organization, Supply, and Services, Volume II
  • The Quartermaster Corps: Operations in the War Against Japan
  • The Quartermaster Corps: Operations in the War Against Germany


Contents

The NRA was founded by the KMT in 1925 as the military force destined to unite China in the Northern Expedition. Organized with the help of the Comintern and guided under the doctrine of the Three Principles of the People, the distinction among party, state and army was often blurred. A large number of the Army's officers passed through the Whampoa Military Academy, and the first commandant, Chiang Kai-shek, became commander-in-chief of the Army in 1925 before launching the successful Northern Expedition. Other prominent commanders included Du Yuming and Chen Cheng. The end of the Northern Expedition in 1928 is often taken as the date when China's Warlord era ended, though smaller-scale warlord activity continued for years afterwards.

In 1927, after the dissolution of the First United Front between the Nationalists and the Communists, the ruling KMT purged its leftist members and largely eliminated Soviet influence from its ranks. Chiang Kai-shek then turned to Germany, historically a great military power, for the reorganization and modernization of the National Revolutionary Army. The Weimar Republic sent advisers to China, but because of the restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles they could not serve in military capacities. Chiang initially requested famous generals such as Ludendorff and von Mackensen as advisers the Weimar Republic government turned him down, however, fearing that they were too famous, would invite the ire of the Allies and that it would result in the loss of national prestige for such renowned figures to work, essentially, as mercenaries.

When Adolf Hitler became Germany's chancellor in 1933 and disavowed the Treaty, the anti-communist Nazi Party and the anti-communist KMT were soon engaged in close cooperation. with Germany training Chinese troops and expanding Chinese infrastructure, while China opened its markets and natural resources to Germany. Max Bauer was the first adviser to China.

In 1934, Gen. Hans von Seeckt, acting as adviser to Chiang, proposed an "80 Division Plan" for reforming the entire Chinese army into 80 divisions of highly trained, well-equipped troops organised along German lines. The plan was never fully realised, as the eternally bickering warlords could not agree upon which divisions were to be merged and disbanded. Furthermore, since embezzlement and fraud were commonplace, especially in understrength divisions (the state of most of the divisions), reforming the military structure would threaten divisional commanders' "take". Therefore, by July 1937 only eight infantry divisions had completed reorganization and training. These were the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 14th, 36th, 87th, 88th, and the Training Division.

Another German general, Alexander von Falkenhausen, came to China in 1934 to help reform the army. [1] However, because of Nazi Germany's later cooperation with the Empire of Japan, he was later recalled in 1937. After his goodbye party with Chiang Kai-shek's family, he promised not to reveal his devised battle plans to the Japanese.

For a time, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Communist forces fought as a nominal part of the National Revolutionary Army, forming the Eighth Route Army and the New Fourth Army units, but this co-operation later fell apart. Throughout the Chinese Civil War the National Revolutionary Army experienced major problems with desertion, with many soldiers switching sides to fight for the Communists.

Troops in India and Burma during World War II included the Chinese Expeditionary Force (Burma), the Chinese Army in India and Y Force. [2]

The US government repeatedly threatened to cut off aid to China during World War 2 unless they handed over total command of all Chinese military forces to the US. After considerable stalling, the arrangement only fell through due to a particularly insulting letter from the Americans to Chiang. [3]

After the drafting and implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of China in 1947, the National Revolutionary Army was transformed into the ground service branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces – the Republic of China Army (ROCA). [4]

The NRA throughout its lifespan recruited approximately 4,300,000 regulars, in 370 Standard Divisions (正式師), 46 New Divisions (新編師), 12 Cavalry Divisions (騎兵師), eight New Cavalry Divisions (新編騎兵師), 66 Temporary Divisions (暫編師), and 13 Reserve Divisions (預備師), for a grand total of 515 divisions. However, many divisions were formed from two or more other divisions, and were not active at the same time.

At the apex of the NRA was the National Military Council, also translated as Military Affairs Commission. Chaired by Chiang Kai-Shek, it directed the staffs and commands. It included from 1937 the Chief of the General Staff, General He Yingqin, the General Staff, the War Ministry, the military regions, air and naval forces, air defence and garrison commanders, and support services Around 14 Million were conscripted from 1937-1945. [5]

Also, New Divisions were created to replace Standard Divisions lost early in the war and were issued the old division's number. Therefore, the number of divisions in active service at any given time is much smaller than this. The average NRA division had 5,000–6,000 troops an average army division had 10,000–15,000 troops, the equivalent of a Japanese division. Not even the German-trained divisions were on par in terms of manpower with a German or Japanese division, having only 10,000 men.

The United States Army's campaign brochure on the China Defensive campaign of 1942–45 said: [6] [ failed verification ]

The NRA only had small number of armoured vehicles and mechanised troops. At the beginning of the war in 1937 the armour were organized in three Armoured Battalions, equipped with tanks and armoured cars from various countries. After these battalions were mostly destroyed in the Battle of Shanghai and Battle of Nanjing. The newly provided tanks, armoured cars, and trucks from the Soviet Union and Italy made it possible to create the only mechanized division in the army, the 200th Division. This Division eventually ceased to be a mechanized unit after the June 1938 reorganization of Divisions. The armoured and artillery Regiments were placed under direct command of 5th Corps and the 200th Division became a motorized Infantry Division within the same Corps. This Corps fought battles in Guangxi in 1939–1940 and in the Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road in 1942 reducing the armoured units due to losses and mechanical breakdown of the vehicles. On paper China had 3.8 million men under arms in 1941. They were organized into 246 "front-line" divisions, with another 70 divisions assigned to rear areas. Perhaps as many as forty Chinese divisions had been equipped with European-manufactured weapons and trained by foreign, particularly German and Soviet, advisers. The rest of the units were under strength and generally untrained. Overall, the Nationalist Army impressed most Western military observers as more reminiscent of a 19th- than a 20th-century army.

Late in the Burma Campaign the NRA Army there had an armoured battalion equipped with Sherman tanks.

Despite the poor reviews given by European observers to the European-trained Divisions, the Muslim Divisions of the National Revolutionary Army, trained in China (not by Westerners) and led by Ma Clique Muslim generals, frightened the European observers with their appearance and fighting skills in battle. Europeans like Sven Hedin and Georg Vasel were in awe of the appearance Chinese Muslim NRA divisions made and their ferocious combat abilities. They were trained in harsh, brutal conditions. [7] [8] [9] [10] The 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army), trained entirely in China without any European help, was composed of Chinese Muslims and fought and severely mauled an invading Soviet Russian army during the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang. The division was lacking in technology and manpower, but badly damaged the superior Russian force.

The Muslim divisions of the army controlled by Muslim Gen. Ma Hongkui were reported by Western observers to be tough and disciplined. Despite having diabetes Ma Hongkui personally drilled with his troops and engaged in sword fencing during training. [11]

When the leaders of many of the warlord and provincial armies joined with the KMT and were appointed as officers and generals, their troops joined the NRA. These armies were renamed as NRA divisions. The entire Ma Clique armies were absorbed into the NRA. When the Muslim Ma Clique General Ma Qi joined the KMT, the Ninghai Army was renamed the National Revolutionary Army 26th Division.

Unit organization Edit

The unit organisation of the NRA is as follows: (Note that a unit is not necessarily subordinate to one immediately above it several army regiments can be found under an army group, for example.) The commander-in-chief of the NRA from 1925 to 1947 was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

    ×12 (戰區)
      Army Corps ×4(兵團) – the Army Corps, 兵團, was one of the largest military formations in the NRA during the Second Sino-Japanese War. [12] These Army Corps were composed of a number of Group Armies, Army, Corps, Divisions, Brigades and Regiments. In numbers of divisions, they were larger than Western Army groups. Only four were ever formed to command the large forces defending the Chinese capital during the Battle of Wuhan in 1938. (See Order of battle of Battle of Wuhan).
        ×40 (集團軍 Group Army)
          (路軍) ×30 (軍)
            ×133 (軍團 Army Group) – usually exercised command over two to three NRA Divisions and often a number of Independent Brigades or Regiments and supporting units. [12] The Chinese Republic had 133 Corps during the Second Sino-Japanese War. After losses in the early part of the war, under the 1938 reforms, the remaining scarce artillery and the other support formations were withdrawn from the Division and was held at Corps, or Army level or higher. The Corps became the basic tactical unit of the NRA having strength nearly equivalent to an allied Division.
              (師)
                (旅)
                  Regiment (團)
                    Battalion (營)
                      (連)
                        (排)
                          (班)

                        Suicide squads Edit

                        During the Xinhai Revolution and the Warlord Era of the Republic of China, "Dare to Die Corps" (traditional Chinese: 敢死隊 simplified Chinese: 敢死队 pinyin: gǎnsǐduì ) or "Suicide squads" [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] were frequently used by Chinese armies. China deployed these suicide units against the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

                        "Dare to Die" troops were used by warlords in their armies to conduct suicide attacks. [21] "Dare to Die" corps continued to be used in the Chinese military. The Kuomintang used one to put down an insurrection in Canton. [22] Many women joined them in addition to men to achieve martyrdom against China's opponents. [23] [24]

                        A "dare to die corps" was effectively used against Japanese units at the Battle of Taierzhuang. [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] They used swords. [31] [32]

                        Suicide bombing was also used against the Japanese. [33] [34] A Chinese soldier detonated a grenade vest and killed 20 Japanese soldiers at Sihang Warehouse. Chinese troops strapped explosives like grenade packs or dynamite to their bodies and threw themselves under Japanese tanks to blow them up. [35] This tactic was used during the Battle of Shanghai, where a Chinese suicide bomber stopped a Japanese tank column by exploding himself beneath the lead tank, [36] and at the Battle of Taierzhuang where dynamite and grenades were strapped on by Chinese troops who rushed at Japanese tanks and blew themselves up. [37] [38] [39] [40] In one incident at Taierzhuang, Chinese suicide bombers obliterated four Japanese tanks with grenade bundles. [41] [42]

                        Penal Battalions Edit

                        During the Chinese Civil War the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) was known to have used penal battalions from 1945 to 1949. A unit made up of deserters and those accused of cowardice, the penal battalion was giving such tasks as scouting ahead of the main forces to check for ambushes, crossing rivers and torrents to see whether they were fordable, and walking across unmapped minefields. [43]

                        Conscription Edit

                        The military was formed through bloody and inhumane conscription campaigns. These are described by Rudolph Rummel as:

                        This was a deadly affair in which men were kidnapped for the army, rounded up indiscriminately by press-gangs or army units among those on the roads or in the towns and villages, or otherwise gathered together. Many men, some the very young and old, were killed resisting or trying to escape. Once collected, they would be roped or chained together and marched, with little food or water, long distances to camp. They often died or were killed along the way, sometimes less than 50 percent reaching camp alive. Then recruit camp was no better, with hospitals resembling Nazi concentration camps like Buchenwald. [44]


                        Recent Directions in the Military History of the Ancient World. Publications of the Association of Ancient Historians, 10

                        The subject of ancient warfare has become popular both academically and with the public in recent years. With Recent Directions in the Military History of the Ancient World the editors seek to present a volume of use to both specialists and non-specialists in the field, one which reviews recent trends in the research of ancient military history, provides an overview of the bibliography of these trends, and generally demonstrates the health of the discipline.

                        The editors’ introduction establishes the parameters upon which the volume is based. Authors were instructed to limit their literature review to the last 15 years, and to focus on newer approaches to the study of ancient warfare. The majority of the literature reviewed is English-language, as a consequence of the intended audience for the volume. A perceived imbalance against the Ancient Near East and Late Antiquity is redressed by the inclusion of chapters on them alongside the more familiar Greek and Roman material. The editors acknowledge that reviews of the ancient military history of Persia, North Africa and naval warfare are desirable, but were beyond the scope of the volume. The introduction also charts the theoretical development of ancient military history over the past century, from traditional “drums and trumpets” approaches, through the “face of battle”, “war and society”, and “military revolution” schools of the 1970s, and culminating in the multiplicity of methodological and theoretical approaches employed today. Though some aspects of the approaches discussed may require greater explanation for a non- specialist audience, this provides a suitable background for the chapters which follow.

                        Seth Richardson’s “Mesopotamia and the ‘New’ Military History” covers a period of three millennia in the Near East, a task which the author concedes is impossible to accomplish in a comprehensive fashion. Instead, four main areas of interest – the military and society, the military as a society, the military and the state, and the military and ideology – are examined in a thematic study. On the question of the role of warfare and military organization in state formation old assumptions regarding their importance are overturned, as the evidence suggests a minor role for the military in the state-formation period. The case is well-made, although a claim that early bronze weapons were not battle- effective seems questionable. Richardson correctly notes that the evidence from Egypt appears to show a much more central role for military violence in state-formation, making generalizing conclusions inadvisable. A substantial section of the chapter is devoted to economic matters in the form of sections covering issues of landholding and payment for military service, and on the operation of military economies. Regarding landholding, the importance of land in creating obligations to military service is stressed, although it is noted that whether this meant actual service or payments to support troops is difficult to ascertain. Richardson argues that by the first millennium a “military economy” can be described in the Neo-Assyrian empire after 745 BC, although he is less clear on the consequences of this. A section on scale and diversity in warfare notes the growing scale of military forces up to 60,000 men in the 18 th century BC, and suggests that the functional nature of the documents which record such numbers lends them credibility. The involvement of the military in mass deportations and recolonizations from the mid-second millennium also convincingly makes a case for the importance of the military in the diversity and instability that this created.

                        Perhaps the most intersecting aspect of the ritual aspects of warfare covered in this chapter is the matter of liver- divination and its role as a form of military intelligence. Richardson calls attention to the present lack of understanding in how this was integrated with more familiar forms of military intelligence. The role of letters and other documents in counteracting the official narratives of triumph with stories of hardship is well-handled, and leads naturally onto a discussion of the political role of the army, with the agency exercised by military units being made clear. This section also deals with questions of gender, although the evidence is found to be ambiguous as to a significant gendering of soldiers or their enemies, with metaphors from the animal world, rather than gender, characterizing the defeated.

                        Everett Wheeler uses a metaphor from Lewis Carroll to categorize the military historians of Ancient Greece as “Mad Hatters or March Hares”. His “Mad Hatters” are those who follow traditional historicist methodologies, while the “March Hares” represent the adoption of theories and methods from the social sciences. Wheeler acknowledges that the metaphor is an over-simplified model of recent trends in the military history of ancient Greece, but deploys it skilfully throughout the chapter. Both the “war and society” and “face of battle” schools of thought are shown to have dominated the field over the last twenty years, and both are seen as belonging to the “Hares”. More criticism is directed towards the “face of battle” school, with Victor Davis Hanson’s use of post World War II “buddy theory” and his belief in the Greek invention of decisive battle being a particular focus of attention. Wheeler is also at pains to note the debt owed by both Hanson and John Keegan to the nineteenth-century French officer Ardant du Picq.

                        A more recent development in continental scholarship is addressed by Wheeler as “history and memory”. This approach is centred on the difficulty of reconstructing history from what are always fallible human memories. Wheeler is sceptical as to whether there is a sufficient depth of sources from antiquity for this approach to be deployed. Slightly more favourably received is the Schlachtenmythen (“battle myths”) genre, which studies the construction and manipulation of battles in the memory of a participating society.

                        Revisionism is handled in a single section, with topics covering the existence of rules in warfare, peace, international law, domestic military affairs, and war and the economy. Wheeler does not address the perennial “open” or “closed” phalanx debate, citing instead his chapter in the Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, although given the intended non-specialist audience a short summary would arguably have been appropriate here. The division between “Hatters” and “Hares” is noted to be less prominent in the historiography of Alexander and the Hellenistic period, and Wheeler argues persuasively for greater attention to be paid to the reforms of Philip II. The chapter provides much food for thought, but the scepticism of the author towards much of the work of the “Hares”, and the lack of coverage of certain topics (there is little here on gender, for example) perhaps make it a curious entry given the stated aims of the volume.

                        Sara Phang tackles the subject of the Roman army in the Republican and Imperial periods. This chapter stresses the advances that have been made by applying themes and methods from broader Roman social and cultural studies to the military, ending the traditional isolation of the subject. The chapter is also noteworthy for its use of archaeological evidence, although the emphasis is firmly on traditional historical sources. A prominent theme is the anachronistic nature of concepts such as “grand strategy” and machine-like discipline and drill, which have been applied to Roman military history. In the latter case the argument for a looser formation is well made, although the casual reference to these formations being “considerably looser and wider than either ancient hoplite or early modern infantry formations” masks the perennial and ongoing debate about hoplite formations.

                        In keeping with the volume’s focus on new approaches to ancient military history, Phang’s chapter eschews traditional technological discussion topics in favour of approaches featuring demographic, political, economic, and cultural factors which linked the military to broader Roman society. These approaches take ancient military history into new territory. The impact of warfare upon culture is illustrated by the anti-Hellenic ethos of an austere military propagated in the wake of the conquest of the Hellenistic East, despite the Roman adoption of some Hellenistic traditions of victory and luxury. The increasing separation between the senatorial class and the military during the Imperial period is explored. Despite this, Roman soldiers are cast as sub-elites, possessing access to wealth, literacy, and dominant cultural forms. Army demographics are shown to have received considerable recent attention, with the older idea of an increasingly “hereditary” military recruited from the children of soldiers being undermined by the small number of soldiers who raised families. The increasingly provincial nature of recruitment and the blurring of ethnic identities within the military are also discussed. The current status of gender and sexuality studies within ancient history gives rise to a number of interesting avenues of study, including the effects of the Roman construction of masculinity on the ideology of imperialism: rape-victim iconography was used in the depiction of conquered peoples. It is suggested that military approaches to gender and sexuality lag behind those of Roman history in general, with further valuable contributions possible. Phang’s chapter provides a good introduction to many new directions in ancient military history, although the constraints of space mean that more detail would sometimes be desirable.

                        Doug Lee’s “Military History in Late Antiquity: Changing Perspectives and Paradigms” covers the period of the early third to early seventh centuries AD, an era which Lee notes contained a number of major historical events with military dimensions. Attention is also drawn to recent scholarship challenging preconceptions of imperial decline as being inevitable – an intellectual inheritance from Edward Gibbon – and sometimes finding more positive aspects to the period. This can certainly be seen in the assessment of the army’s organization and effectiveness. A previous view of the limitanei (troops based in frontier provinces) was that they were inferior to the comitatenses (troops of the emperor’s mobile field army) by dint of their position as landholders causing them to be seen as a “peasant militia” this sees revision due to the fact that limitanei were used for offensive operations as late as the sixth century, and that they did not necessarily work the land. More broadly, the point is made that Late Antiquity sees notable military successes as well as failures, and that failures might be due to poor leadership and planning rather than an inherently ineffective army.

                        The issue of technological change is also discussed, with changes to equipment occurring, perhaps most notably in the form of heavy armoured cavalry. However, Lee argues that infantry remained centrally important. Moreover, given that the period did not see any huge developments in military technology, social factors relating to the army may be more profitable avenues of research. These are covered in a section on demographics, recruitment and identity. Perhaps the most interesting part of the chapter, this section discusses the focus of recruitment on “martial races” from inside and outside the empire, and their rise to military and political prominence. Questions of personal identity also feature, with the matter of the citizen status of “barbarians” being said to have received little attention. The religious allegiances of the military are shown to have been fluid, as might be expected of a period characterised by conflicts between Christianity and Paganism. Gibbon’s view that Christianity weakened the empire’s military capability is challenged, as Christianity could have positive effects upon morale, and bishops were known to organize defenders during sieges. It is further suggested that Christianity provided a new ideological aspect to the wars with a Zoroastrian Sasanian Persia that held a substantial Christian minority within its borders.

                        Overall, criticism may be directed at the nature of some of the entries in the volume, which through either the historiography that they cover or the views of their authors cleave more closely to traditional approaches to military history than might be expected in a volume devoted to “new directions”. Phang’s chapter is exemplary in the prominence it gives to new thinking. Still, the volume admirably achieves its aim of producing an overview of military history which is accessible to scholars and students from outside the field of military studies. For those within the field, the ability to see perspectives from other periods, and mine the bibliography, will also be valuable.


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                          Request Military Service Records

                          Recent military service and medical records are not online. However, most veterans and their next of kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) and the following military service records any of the ways listed below.

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                          If you are unable to start the form online and prefer to submit a traditional request form, you can mail or Fax it:

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                          Allow about 10 days for us to receive and process your request before checking your request status.

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                          You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line (this is a long-distance call for most customers): 314-801-0800. Note: Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CT.

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                          What if I’m not the Veteran or next-of-kin? Can I still access files?

                          • It depends on the date the service member separated from the military. Military personnel records are open to the public 62 years after they leave the military. (To calculate this, take the current year and subtract 62.) Records of any veteran who separated from the military 62 (or more) years ago can be ordered by anyone for a copying fee (detailed below under “cost”). See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.

                          But what if it's been less than 62 years?

                          • Records of individuals who left service less than 62 years ago are subject to access restrictions and only limited information or copies may be released to the general public within the provisions of the law. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act provide balance between the right of the public to obtain information from military service records and the right of the former military service member to protect his/her privacy. See Federal Records Center Program to access these records.

                          Cost: Most basic requests are free but it depends on the discharge date. (Learn more)

                          Free if Discharge Date is LESS than 62 years ago:

                          Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical record information provided to veterans, next of kin and authorized representatives from Federal (non-archival) records.

                          Some companies advertise DD Form 214 research services and will charge a fee for obtaining copies. This is provided as a free service by the National Archives and Records Administration.

                          Costs for Discharge Dates MORE than 62 years ago:

                          There is a fee for records that are considered "Archival," which depends on the discharge date. If the request is made 62 years after the service member's separation from the military, the records are now open to the public and subject to the public fee schedule (44 USC 2116c and 44 USC 2307). This is a rolling date, the current year minus 62 years. Learn more.

                          These archival requests require the purchase of the COMPLETE photocopy of the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF):

                          • A routine OMPFs of 5 pages or less: $25 flat fee
                          • A routine OMPF of 6 pages or more: $70 flat fee (most OMPFs fall in this category) OMPF: $.80 cents per page ($20 minimum)

                          If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made.

                          Response Time: most requests for separation documents can be processed within 10 days (Learn more)

                          Response times from NPRC vary depending on the complexity of your request, the availability of the records, and our workload.

                          • Requests for separation documents DD 214 within 10 days (about 92% of the time)
                          • Requests that involve reconstruction efforts due to the 1973 Fire, or older records that require extensive search efforts, may take 6 months or more to complete.

                          We work actively to respond to each request in a timely fashion, keep in mind we receive approximately 4,000 - 5,000 requests per day.

                          Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed, as it may cause further delays.

                          Who may request military service records?

                          You may request military service records (including DD 214) if you are:

                          • A military veteran, or
                          • Next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military.
                            The next of kin can be any of the following:
                            • Surviving spouse who has not remarried
                            • Father
                            • Mother
                            • Son
                            • Daughter
                            • Sister
                            • Brother

                            Public access depends on the discharge date:

                            Records are accessioned into the National Archives, and become archival, 62 years after the service member's separation from the military. This is a rolling date, the current year minus 62 years. See more information on records older than 62 years.

                            Archival records are open to the public and can be ordered online for a copying fee. See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.

                            What information do I need for the request?

                            Required Information:

                            Your request must contain certain basic information for us to locate your service records. This information includes:

                            • The veteran's complete name used while in service
                            • Service number
                            • Social Security number
                            • Branch of service
                            • Dates of service
                            • Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known).
                            • If you suspect your records may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
                              • Place of discharge
                              • Last unit of assignment
                              • Place of entry into the service, if known.

                              Recommended Information (optional):

                              While this information is not required, it is extremely helpful to staff in understanding and fulfilling your request:

                              • The purpose or reason for your request, such as applying for veterans benefits, preparing to retire, or researching your personal military history.
                              • Any deadlines related to your request. We will do our best to meet any priorities. For example, if you were applying for a VA-guaranteed Home Loan and need to provide proof of military service by a specific date.
                              • Any other specific information, documents, or records you require from your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) besides your Report of Separation (DD Form 214).

                              For additional details on what information may or may not be included, please see the Special Notice to Veterans and Family Members regarding requests for copies of military personnel and/or medical files.

                              Where to Send My Request

                              You can mail or fax your signed and dated request to the National Archives' National Personnel Record Center (NPRC). Be sure to use the address specified (either in the instructions on the SF-180 or in our online system, eVetRecs). Most, but not all records, are stored at the NPRC. (See full list of Locations of Military Service Records.)

                              NPRC Fax Number :
                              FAX: 314-801-9195

                              NPRC Mailing Address:
                              National Personnel Records Center
                              Military Personnel Records
                              1 Archives Drive
                              St. Louis, MO 63138
                              PHONE: 314-801-0800*
                              *Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 a.m. CT and 3:00 p.m. CT. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m. CT.

                              Please note that requests which are sent by Priority Mail, FedEx, UPS, or other "express" services will only arrive at the NPRC sooner. They will not be processed any faster than standard requests. See the section above on emergency requests and deadlines.

                              Other Methods to Obtain Military Service Records

                              Other potential methods to obtain your records include:

                              Special Note on Contacting by Email: Requests for military personnel records or information from them cannot be accepted by email at this time. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Department of Defense directives require a written request, signed and dated, to access information from military personnel records. Our email address should only be used only to request general information (hours of operations, procedures and forms) or to submit compliments, complaints, or concerns.

                              NOTE: If you send messages using WebTV or a free-email service, you will not receive our response if your mailbox is full. Messages sent to full mailboxes are returned to us as "undeliverable." You may wish to include your mailing address in your message so that we may respond via the U.S. Postal Service.

                              How Can I Check on the Status of My Request?

                              Allow about 10 days for us to receive and process your request, then you may check on the status. If you know your request number, click the Check Status button below to go to the check status page.

                              If you do not know your request number, please provide the following information using the Online Status Update Request form.


                              Review: Volume 11 - Military History - History

                              The Hawaiian Situation: The Invasion of Hawaii
                              Digital History ID 4050

                              Author: Eugene Tyler Chamberlain
                              Date:1893

                              Annotation: Hawaiian annexation.

                              After a century of American rule, many native Hawaiians remain bitter about how the United States acquired the islands, located 2,500 miles from the West Coast. In 1893, a small group of sugar and pineapple-growing businessmen, aided by the American minister to Hawaii and backed by heavily armed U.S. soldiers and marines, deposed Hawaii's queen. Subsequently, they imprisoned the queen and seized 1.75 million acres of crown land and conspired to annex the islands to the United States.

                              On January 17, 1893, the conspirators announced the overthrow of the queen's government. To avoid bloodshed, Queen Lydia Kamakaeha Liliuokalani yielded her sovereignty and called upon the U.S. government "to undo the actions of its representatives." The U.S. government refused to help her regain her throne. When she died in 1917, Hawaii was an American territory. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state after a plebiscite in which 90 percent of the islanders supported statehood.

                              The businessmen who conspired to overthrow the queen claimed that they were overthrowing a corrupt, dissolute regime in order of advance democratic principles. They also argued that a Western power was likely to acquire the islands. Hawaii had the finest harbor in the mid-Pacific and was viewed as a strategically valuable coaling station and naval base. In 1851, King Kamehameha III had secretly asked the United States to annex Hawaii, but Secretary of State Daniel Webster declined, saying "No power ought to take possession of the islands as a conquest. or colonization." But later monarchs wanted to maintain Hawaii's independence. The native population proved to be vulnerable to western diseases, including cholera, smallpox, and leprosy. By 1891, native Hawaii's were an ethnic minority on the islands.

                              After the bloodless 1893 revolution, the American businessmen lobbied President Benjamin Harrison and Congress to annex the Hawaiian Islands. In his last month in office, Harrison sent an annexation treaty to the Senate for confirmation, but the new president, Grover Cleveland, withdrew the treaty "for the purpose of re-examination." He also received Queen Liliuokalani and replaced the American stars and stripes in Honolulu with the Hawaiian flag.

                              Cleveland also ordered a study of the Hawaiian revolution. The inquiry concluded that the American minister to Hawaii had conspired with the businessmen to overthrow the queen, and that the coup would have failed "but for the landing of the United States forces upon false pretexts respecting the dangers to life and property." Looking back on the Hawaii takeover, President Cleveland later wrote that "the provisional government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States. By an act of war. a substantial wrong has been done."

                              President Cleveland's recommendation that the monarchy be restored was rejected by Congress. The House of Representatives voted to censure the U.S. minister to Hawaii and adopted a resolution opposing annexation. But Congress did not act to restore the monarchy. In 1894, Sanford Dole, who was beginning his pineapple business, declared himself president of the Republic of Hawaii without a popular vote. The new government found the queen guilty of treason and sentenced her to five years of hard labor and a $5,000 fine. While the sentence of hard labor was not carried out, the queen was placed under house arrest.

                              The Republican Party platform in the presidential election of 1896 called for the annexation of Hawaii. Petitions for a popular vote in Hawaii were ignored. Fearing that he lacked two-thirds support for annexation in the Senate, the new Republican president, William McKinley, called for a joint resolution of Congress (the same way that the United States had acquired Texas). With the country aroused by the Spanish American War and political leaders fearful that the islands might be annexed by Japan, the joint resolution easily passed Congress. Hawaii officially became a U.S. territory in 1900.

                              When Capt. James Cooke, the British explorer, arrived in Hawaii in 1778, there were about 300,000 Hawaiians on the islands however, infectious diseases reduced the native population. Today, about 20 percent of Hawaii's people are of native Hawaiian ancestry, and only about 10,000 are of pure Hawaiian descent. Native Hawaiians were poorer, less healthy, and less educated than members of other major ethnic groups on the islands.

                              Sugar growers, who dominated the islands' economy, imported thousands of immigrant laborers first from China, then Japan, then Portuguese from Madeira and the Azores, followed by Puerto Ricans, Koreans, and most recently Filipinos. As a result, Hawaii has one of the world's most multicultural populations.

                              In 1993, a joined Congressional resolution, signed by President Bill Clinton, apologized for the U.S. role in the overthrow. The House approved the resolution by voice vote. The Senate passed it 65 to 34 votes.


                              Document: Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, on July 14, 1851, wrote to Luther Severance, representing the United States at Honolulu:

                              Mr. Webster went further, directing Mr. Severance to return to the Hawaiian Government an act of contingent surrender to the United States, placed in his hands by that Government, and specifically warned Mr. Severance against encouraging in any quarter the idea that the Islands would be annexed to the United States.

                              Up to January 16, 1893, the broad principles laid down in Mr. Webster’s quoted words were not only the rule of conduct for the Government of the United States in its relations with the Government of Hawaii but they were also recognized by those who desire, as well as by those who do not desire, the annexation of the Hawaiian archipelago to this country. The state papers of Secretary Marcy and Secretary Blame, and the published utterances of other distinguished citizens of the United States who have regarded annexation as the ultimate and desirable destiny of these islands of the Pacific, will be searched to no purpose for indications of a belief that annexation should be brought about otherwise than in fidelity to treaty obligations, openly in the face of day, in entire good faith and known to all nations, and without the menace or actual application of superior military force. A belief to the contrary is so repugnant to the traditions and temper of the American people, and so clearly involves adherence to the theory of insular colonial expansion by conquest, that one may safely assert it will find scant favor among the people of the United States.

                              The dethronement of Queen Liliuokalani and the establishment of an oligarchy on the island of Oahu, “until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon,” were effected on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 17, 1893, in the presence of a considerable body of the naval forces of the United States, armed with Gatling guns, and stationed in the immediate vicinity and in plain sight of the Palace and Government Building, where the so-called revolution was consummated.

                              The local causes of this so-called revolution, remote and proximate, are relatively immaterial to the United States. They, with the general issue of annexation, dwindle before the question: What were the purpose and the effect of the presence of the forces of the United States in Honolulu on January the sixteenth and seventeenth?

                              The recognized government of a nation with which we were at peace had officially notified Minister Stevens, our representative, of its ability to preserve order and protect property. The Vice-Consul-General of the United States, Mr. W. Porter Boyd, testifies that no uneasiness was felt at the consulate, and that the landing of the troops was a complete surprise to him. All the signs of street life betokened good order, and, soon after the blue-jackets had trailed their artillery through the streets, the population of Honolulu was enjoying the regular Monday evening out-of-door concert of the Hawaiian Band. The landing of the troops was promptly followed by the protests of the proper authorities of the kingdom and the island, transmitted officially to Minister Stevens. No evidence has been presented to Commissioner Blount to show that there was any apprehension or any desire for the presence ashore of the men of the Boston under arms, except on the part of the members of the Citizens Committee of Safety. The matter was not referred to at the mass meeting of the foreign population, organized by that committee, and held but a few hours before the troops landed.

                              The Committee of Safety, at whose request Mr. Stevens summoned the troops, did not prefer that request as American citizens. It could not, for only five of its thirteen members owed allegiance to and were under the protection of the United States. By the admission of several of their own number to Mr. Blount, they were engaged in plotting secretly the overthrow of the government and the establishment of themselves in power until they could transfer the Islands to the United States, and Minister Stevens was in their full confidence at the time they asked for, and he ordered, the lauding of the troops. They had been threatened with arrest by the government they planned to overthrow, and he had promised to protect them. The troops of the Boston were the only means he had of keeping good that promise, and he did not scruple to use them for it. But even to the thirteen engaged in the plot the danger of arrest was not so imminent as to deter them from requesting Mr. Stevens not to land the troops too soon for their purposes. Mr. W.0. Smith, the attorney-general of the Provisional Government and a leader in the committee, testifies that at a conference on Monday afternoon, at four o’clock, “our plans had not been perfected, our papers had not been completed, and, after a hasty discussion--the time being short--it was decided that it was impossible for us to take the necessary steps, and we should request that the troops be not landed until the next morning, the hour in the morning being immaterial--whether it was nine, eight, or six o’clock in the morning--but we must have further time to prevent bloodshed.” Nevertheless the “Boston’s” men landed at five o’clock, Mr. Stevens being apparently the only man on the Island of Oahu who deemed their presence necessary at that time.

                              To keep pace with Mr. Stevens haste the Committee of Safety met secretly a few hours later and selected Judge Sanford B. Dole as the civil head of their oligarchy, and Mr. John II. Soper, a citizen of the United States, as the head of its military forces, then in existence only in the imagination of the conclave. Mr. Soper admits that he did not agree to accept the command of the provisional “army” until he was assured that Minister Stevens would recognize the Provisional Government on Tuesday. On their part both Judge Dole and Minister Stevens apparently did not have entire confidence in the prowess of “General” Soper, as witness the following letter to Judge Dole the next day:

                              U. S. Legation, Jan. 17, 1893. Think Captain Wiltse will endeavor to maintain order and protect life and property, but do not think he would take command of the men of the Provisional Government. Will have him come to the Legation soon as possible and take his opinion and inform you soon as possible.

                              Yours truly, John L. Stevens.

                              The purpose of the presence of the blue-jackets, in the minds of the committee that asked for it, is summed up in the admission of Judge Dole that when the troops were first furnished they could not have gotten along without their aid, and of Mr. Henry Waterhouse of the Committee:

                              The forces of the United States, thus brought ashore against the protest of a friendly Power, at the request of men engaged in a plot to overturn that Power, were stationed, remote from the residences of Americans, less than a hundred yards from the Government Building, designated by Minister Stevens as the place in which the Provisional Government should be established to secure his recognition, and in plain sight of the Queens palace windows. Admiral Sketrett sums up the disposition of the forces thus:

                              The Queen was dethroned and the oligarchy established by proclamation, read by a citizen of the United States, shortly before three o’clock, and recognized, in the name of the United States, by Minister Stevens before it was in possession of any point held in force by the Queen’s government. With more prudence Captain Wiltse, in command of the “Boston,” declined to recognize it until it came into possession of the military posts of the Queen, as it did by her voluntary surrender of them early in the evening. Her surrender was in terms to the superior force of the United States, and until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative, and on this understanding it was accepted by the junta.

                              On February 25, 1843, King Kamehameha III ceded the Hawaiian Islands to Lord George Paulet under duress of the guns of Her Majesty’s ship “Carysfort,” subject to review by the government of Queen Victoria, and the British flag was raised over Honolulu. On July 31 of the same year Rear Admiral Richard Thomas, representing the Queen, declined to accept the cession, and recognized the King as the lawful sovereign of the Islands, stating that this act of restoration should be accepted by the King

                              The people of Hawaii have dedicated one of the public squares of Honolulu to the memory of this just and generous restoration of their national life.

                              The questions raised by Commissioner Blount’s report—and the statement of facts given in these pages rests on the testimony of annexationists--take precedence of any question of territorial expansion. Through the action of their representative the United States were placed on January16 and 17 in the position of armed invaders of a friendly state, giving countenance and moral support to a plot to overturn a Government, which could not otherwise have succeeded and would not otherwise have been attempted. The character of that Government does not enter into the question of the observance of our treaty obligations to it or into that consideration which is due to the weak from the strong in the mind of every American.

                              Additional information: The North American Review , Volume 157, Issue 445


                              9/11 Anniversary and Memorial

                              On December 18, 2001, Congress approved naming September 11 “Patriot Day” to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, Congress named September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

                              The first memorials to September 11 came in the immediate wake of the attacks, with candlelight vigils and flower tributes at U.S. embassies around the world. In Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth sang the American national anthem during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Rio de Janeiro put up billboards showing the city’s Christ the Redeemer statue embracing the New York City skyline.

                              For the first anniversary of the attacks in New York City in 2002, two bright columns of light were shot up into the sky from where the Twin Towers once stood. The “Tribute in Light” then became an annual installation run by the Municipal Art Society of New York. On clear nights, the beams are visible from over 60 miles away.

                              A World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was held to select an appropriate permanent memorial to the victims of 9/11. The winning design by Michael Arad, “Reflecting Absence,” now sits outside the museum in an eight-acre park. It consists of two reflecting pools with waterfalls rushing down where the Twin Towers once rose into the sky. 

                              The names of all 2,983 victims are engraved on the 152 bronze panels surrounding the pools, arranged by where individuals were on the day of the attacks, so coworkers and people on the same flight are memorialized together. The site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum followed, opening on the original World Trade Center site in May 2014. Theਏreedom Tower, also on the original World Trade Center site, opened in November 2014.  


                              Watch the video: Ο Σοσιαλισμός και η Ιστορία των Πολιτικών Ιδεολογιών - Ένας είναι ο εχθρός ο Ιμπεριαλισμός (June 2022).


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