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United States Army History (FM 7-21.13)


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The early colonists in America used a militia system of defense. How did this work?
This system required that all males of military age (which varied as years went by) to serve when called, to provide their own weapons, and to attend periodic musters. It was a reliance on citizen-soldiers who served in time of need to assist in the colony's defense (para 2-3)
The birth of our Nation began with the signing of an important document. What was this document and what was the date?
The Declaration of Independence; July 4, 1776. (para 2-7)
What date is considered the beginning of the U.S. Army?
June 14, 1775. (para 2-8)
Who was the first Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and when?
George Washington; June 15, 1775. (para 2-8)
Whose last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country?"
Captain Nathan Hale - just prior to being hanged by the British. (para 2-10)
When, where, and by whom did the Army receive its first real training?
During the winter of 1778 at Valley Forge by the former Prussian officer, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. (para 2-13)
The training programs of Baron Friedrich von Steuben were published and known by what name?
The "Blue Book." (para 2-43)
At times, the Revolutionary War was a war between patriots and Tories. What were "Tories?"
Americans who remained loyal to the crown and who were recruited by the British to fight the rebels. (para 2-15)
The Revolutionary War officially ended on what date?
September 3, 1783. (para 2-24)
After the British recognized the United States as a free and independent nation, the US boundaries were the Mississippi River to the west and the Great Lakes to the north. What was the area west of the Appalachian Mountains called?
The Northwest Territory (para 2-25)
The United States was initially governed by what document? What replaced this?
The Articles of Confederation; this was replaced by the Constitution. (para 2-25)
In 1803, the Nation more than doubled in size when it acquired a huge expanse of territory from France. What was this acquisition called?
The Louisiana Purchase. (para 2-29)
After the Louisiana Purchase, President Jefferson sent the "Corps of Volunteers for North Western Discovery" to explore and assert American authority over the area. Name two of the most famous explorers in this group.
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (Lewis & Clark). (para 2-29)
What treaty ended the War of 1812?
The Treaty of Ghent, signed on December 24, 1814. (para 2-37)
What famous battle of the War of 1812 occured some two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent was signed? Why?
The Battle of New Orleans; there had not been enough time for word of the peace treaty to reach the units in the field. (para 2-41)
Expanding on von Steuben's Blue Book, the Army developed written regulations to standardize many aspects of Army operations and covered every detail of the soldier's life, such as the hand salute, how to conduct a march, and even how to make a good stew
The Army Regulations of 1821, written by General Winfield Scott. (para 2-43)
What Mexican general attacked the Alamo on February 23, 1836, in order to quell an uprising and assert the Mexican government's authority over the Texas territory?
General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (para 2-49)
Who was successful in the Battle of the Alamo?
The Mexican Army under General Santa Anna - but with significant losses. (para 2-51)
What event sparked the Mexican War on April 25, 1846?
The admission of Texas to the union. (para 2-52)
What treaty ended the Mexican War on February 2, 1848?
The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. (para 2-56)
With the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico recognized what landmark as the international boundary between Mexico and the United States?
The Rio Grande River. (para 2-56)
What issue, perhaps more than any other, led to the outbreak of the American Civil War?
Slavery. (para 2-57)
When, and with what act, did the Civil War actually begin?
It began when South Carolina militia forces fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in April 1861. (para 2-57)
On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued an order freeing slaves in all areas still under Confederate control as of Januray 1, 1863. What was this order officially called?
The Emancipation Proclamation. (para 2-66)
When and by what means was the Medal of Honor established?
Congress authorized the creation of the Medal of Honor on July 12, 1862. (para 2-67)
Who was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor?
Private Jacob Parrott, Company K, 33d Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on March 25, 1863. (para 2-67)
A campaign by Union general William T. Sherman drove through Georgia and the Carolinas, burning crops, tearing up railroads, and otherwise wrecking the economic infrastructure of those regions. This "campaign" came to be called by what name?
"Sherman's March." (para 2-72)
What event basically marked the end of the American Civil War?
The surrender of of General Robert E. Lee and his Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. The last major Confederate unit west of the Mississippi gave up six weeks later. (para 2-73)
The Civil War was the bloodiest war in American history. It is estimated that over ______ Americans on both sides died during this war.
600,000. (para 2-74)
Who were the major "players" of the Battle at Little Bighorn? What was the outcome?
LTC George A. Custer commanded 652 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry against 1,800 warriors of the Sioux and the Cheyenne Indian tribes that had gathered in the valley of the Little Big Horn in Montana, under the leadership of Sitting Bull, Custer and his Army were killed. (para 2-77)
What event sparked the Spanish-American War?
On February 15, 1898, a US Navy battleship, the USS Maine, mysteriously exploded while anchored in the harbor at Havana, Cuba. Public opinion turned hostile toward Spain and Congress declared war on April 25, 1898. (para 2-79)
After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, an expiditionary force of the 1st Volunteer Cavalry led by LTC Theodore Roosevelt landed in Cuba. What is the famous name for "Teddy" Roosevelt's volunteer cavalry?
"The Rough Riders." (para 2-80)
What event occured in 1916 that almost led to a second war with Mexico?
Pancho Villa and his band of Mexican rebels killed eighteen American soldiers and civilians in a raid on Columbus, New Mexico. In an attempt to bring Villa to justice, President Woodrow Wilson sent BG John J. Pershing to lead a punitive expedition south of the border into Mexico. An all-out war was narrowly avoided. (para 2-84)
When did the United States officially enter World War I?
FM 7-21.13 gives the date as April 2, 1917 (about three years after it officially began), "when President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany due to intelligence that indicated an alliance with Mexico." (para 2-86) This date is a little misleading...this is the date that President Wilson gave his "War Message" to a special session of Congress and essentially asked Congress to declare war. However, Congress did not pass this "War Resolution" until four days later on April 6, 1917. That would be the more accurate date.
At the outset of World War I, who was the commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) sent to Europe?
General John J. Pershing. (para 2-89)
In July 1918, the 3rd Infantry Division made a stand against a German-launched offensive attempting to cross what river?
The Marne. (para 2-93)
The soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division were called by what name?
"Doughboys" (para 2-93)
Under heavy attack by the German infantry, MG Joseph Dickman was asked by a French commander if the soldiers of his 3rd Infantry Division could hold. What was his famous reply?
"Nous resterons la" - We shall remain there. (para 2-93)
We celebrate November 11th as Veteran's Day. What was the original significance of this date?
The armistice ending the fighting of World War I occurred at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. It was known as "Armistice Day." The final peace treaty was signed at Versailles the following year. (para 2-98)
What is the location of the Tomb of the Unknowns?
Arlington National Cemetary - it contains the remains of soldiers from WWI, WWII, the Koerean Conflict and, for a time, the Vietnam War. (para 2-98)
One result of WWI was the creation of an international body that was envisioned as a forum where disputes could be settled peacefully. If peaceful negotiations failed, this body could collectively force one or more belligerents to comply. What was the na
The League of Nations - roughly similar to the United Nations of today. The U.S. never joined the league. (para 2-100)
What legislation established the Army of the United States as an organization of three components: the professional Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Organized Reserves (Officers' and Enlisted Reserve Corps)?
The National Defense Act of June 4, 1920. (para 2-101)
Which war was inappropriately called the "war to end all wars?"
World War I - also sometimes called "The Great War." (para 2-105)
Approximately how many Americans died as a result of fighting in WW!?
Th first peacetime draft in American history occured in what year? What was it officially called? What was the reason for it?
The Selective Service and Training Act of 14 September 1940; the exploits of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and the Empire of Japan sparked an interest in an expansion of the Army to protect the United States and the Western Hemisphere against hostile forces. (para 2-109)
What was the name of the foreign aid program of March 1941 that openly avowed the intention of the United States to become an "arsenal of democracy" against aggression?
The Lend-Lease Act of March 1941. (para 2-110)
What event sparked the United States into action and the official entry into World War II?
The Japanese attack of December 7, 1941 on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. (para 2-113)
Who was the Chief of Staff of the Army when the U.S. entered WWII?
General George C. Marshall. (para 2-109)
What code-names were used for friendly and enemy forces during WWII?
Allied powers (friendly) and Axis powers (enemy).
Describe the situation on the U.S. entry into WWII (who was fighting with whom and where?).
Allied powers Britain and Russia were fighting Axis powers Germany and Italy in Europe and Africa (France had already fallen to Germany). In Asia, Axis power Japan was fighting in Japan and conquering Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The United States was facing a war on two fronts - Europe and the Pacific.
What famous general led the fight in the Pacific theatre during WWII?
General Douglas MacArthur. (para 2-114, 117)
What Colonel led a daring bombing raid into the heart of Japan (Tokyo) in April 1942 and gave American morale a tremendous boost?
Colonel James H. Doolittle. (para 2-115)
The US Navy victory during what epic battle of the Pacific helped to seize the initiative away from Japanese forces?
The Battle of Midway. (para 2-115)
What famous generals led the fight in the European theatre during WWII?
General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lieutenant General Geroge S. Patton, Jr. (para 2-116)
Who were Merrill's Mrauders?
This was a group of volunteer, named after their leader BG Frank D. Merill, that were specially trained to carry out long-range penetration missions behind enemy lines in Burma. Their successes greatly attributed to the overall success of the mission in the Pacific Theatre. This grouop is included in the proud history of today's Army Rangers. (para 2-117)
June 6, 1944 marked the beginning of the invasion in Europe when General Eisenhower's armies landed in France. What was this day called?
"D-Day." (para 2-119)
On D-Day, elements of the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions parachuted into what region of France?
Normandy. (para 2-119)
On D-Day, elements of the 1st, 4th, and 29th Infantry Divisions assaulted two beaches in France. What were the code names for these beacehs?
Utah and Omaha. (para 2-119)
Hitler gambled on a surprise counteroffensive in the Ardennes on December 16, 1944, which lasted for six weeks and cost over 80,000 American casualties but ended in victory for the Allies. This epic battle became known by what name?
The Battle of the Bulge. (para 2-122, 123, 124)
Who was the most decorated soldier of WWII?
Audie Murphy - who began as an enlisted soldier and was discharged as a 1LT. (para 2-124)
On March 7, 1945, soldiers of the 9th Armored Division were the first Allied soldiers to cross the Rhine into Germany. Over what famous bridge did this occur?
The Bridge at Remagen, Germany. (para 2-125)
The war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945. What was this day called?
"V-E Day" (Victory in Europe) (para 2-126)
When and where was the first atomic bomb dropped on Japan?
August 6, 1945; Hiroshima. (para 2-130)
What was the name of the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb?
The "Enola Gay."
When and where was the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan?
August 9, 1945; Nagasaki. (para 2-130)
What President authorized the use of atomic bombs against Japan? What was the primary reasoning for this?
President Truman; the Battle of Okinawa had shown what the cost might be if the United States had to invade the Japanese home islands. Estimates of total American casualties in an invasion of Japan ran from 100,000 to as high as one million. Japanese casualties, both combatant and noncombatant, could have been far heavier. It was decided that a few "surgical strikes" would force the Japanese into surrender before these kinds of casualties would be required. (para 2-130)
Who was the Japanese emperor during WWII?
Emperor Hirohito. (para 2-130)
What were the approximate casualties of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan?
Based on best estimates by the Manhattan Engineer District:
Hiroshima Nagasaki
Pre-raid population:
255,000 195,000
Dead: 66,000 39,000
Injured: 69,000 25,000
Total Casualties:
135,000 64,000
Approximately how many Americans died as a result of the fighting in WWII?
Over 405,000. (para 2-130)
The war in Japan ended on September 2, 1945. What was this day called?
"V-J Day" (Victory in Japan). (para 2-130)
Within two years after the end of WWII, the United States found itself in a long-term global struggle of power and ideology against the Soviet Union and international communism. What was this "struggle" called?
The "Cold War." (para 2-132)
In 1947, America offered economic and military aid to any nation threatened by communist takeover. What was this "offer" officially called?
The Truman Doctrine.
Not long after the Truman Doctrine, the United States also offered economic aid to help war-torn countries of Europe. What was this "offer" officially called?
The Marshall Plan.
During the period from 1948-1949, the Soviet Union tried to divide Britain, France, and the United States out of West Berlin, Germany - an area that the four powers jointly occupied following WWII. They did this by forming a blockade around the city and
The Berlin Airlift.
Following WWII, the United States accepted a commitment of alliance to thwart Communist moves against Western nations. What was this alliance called and who were the primary members?
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization); the United States, Canada, Britain, and France. (para 2-132)
What Soviet-led alliance opposed NATO?
The Warshaw Pact forces.
When, and by what act, was the Department of the Army established?
The National Security Act of 1947 created the Department of Defense and separate military departments of he Army, Navy, and a new, separate United States Air Force made up of the former Army Air Force. (para 2-133)
What war, formarlly referred to as a "conflict," has sometimes been referred to as "the forgotten war?"
The Korean Conflict.
In the last days of WWII, the US and USSR agreed to a line of demarcation between the occupation forces of those two countries as they moved onto the Korean peninsula. What was this line of demarcation?
The 38th parallel. (para 2-135)
What event touched off the Korean conflict and when did this happen?
The communist North Korean People's Army (NKPA) struck south across the 38th parallel into South Korea and quickly overran the poorly equipped army of the Republic of Korea (ROK); June 25, 1950. (para 2-135, 136)
Who was the President during the Korean Conflict?
President Truman. (para 2-137)
A U.S. forces attack at what city in South Korea put the NKPA in full retreat back across the border and ultimately pushed them almost as far ack as North Korea's border with China?
Incon. (para 2-138)
What caused the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Chinese Forces (CCF) to enter the Korean Conflict?
When US led United Nations (UN) forces had crossed the 38th parallel in pursuit of the NKPA, the PRC warned the UN not to approach the Chinese border. The UN Command ignored these warnings and the CCF took action to halt the advance of UN forces.
Once the PRC entered the Korean Conflict, 300,000 CCF soldiers poured into, around, and through UN lines during the fierce winter of 1950-1951. Prior to the retreat of UN forces a defensive stance was taken in and around a frozen reservoir known by what
The Chosin Reservoir. (para 2-139)
Who was the leader of the PRC during the Korean Conflict?
Mao Zedong ("Mao Tse-Tung"). (para 2-142)
What events, perhaps more than any other, precipitated an end to the Korean Conflict?
Dwight D. Eisenhower became President of the United States, Stalin died in the Societ Union, and Mao Tse-Tung began to see that the war in Korea was detracting from his ability to address issues in China. (para 2-142)
What social reform in the Army was precipitated by the Korean Conflict?
Racial integration. (para 2-137)
When did the Korean Conflict end?
July 27, 1953. (para 2-142)
In 1950, the French had control of Indochina. When the French withdrew in 1954, the former French colony became what nations?
Laos, Cambodia, and North and South Vietnam. (para 2-143)
How did the United States become embroiled in the Vietnam War?
Communist North Vietnam sought to take over non-Communist South Vietnam. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy sent military advisors and supplies to help South Vietnam, but ther kept losing ground. The United States decided to increase American involvement. (para 2-143, 144)
What joint resolution of Congress, passed on August 7, 1964, gave the President expanded powers to commit American troops and supplies to South Vietnam?
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Barred by policy from attacking North Vietnam, what general adopted a strategy of attrition, seeking to inflict enough casualties on the enemy in the South to make him more amenable to American objectives?
General William C. Westmoreland. (para 2-145)
What was the cost, in lives, of the Vietnam War?
It has been estimated that over 58,000 Americans lost their lives and more than 1 million Vietnamese.
What was the full-scale assault conducted by the enemy on all major South Vietnamese cities in early 1968 called? Why was it called this?
The Tet Offensisve; it occured during the Tet-lunar new year, normally a Vietnamese holiday. (para 2-146)
What do the letters "VC" stand for?
A US poliy initiated by President Richard Nixon late in the war to turn over the fighting to the South Vietnamese Army during the phased withdrawal of American troops was known by what name?
Vietnamization. (para 2-149)
When did the war in Vietnam officially end (for the United States)?
In 1973, with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. (para 2-150)
What happened to South Vietnam after the United States officially withdrew?
Within two years, South Vietnam was overrun by North Vietnamese Communists. (para 2-150)
When, and with what event, did women achieve full military status?
With the creation of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in 1943. (para 2-151)
During the ongoing Cold War, the Army maintained readiness through constant training at Hohenfels, Grafenwhor, and other training areas in Germany. This was demonstrated through an annual exercise known as what?
REFORGER (REturn of FORces to GERmany). (para 2-154)
What event symbolized the end of the Cold War?
The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989. (para 2-154)
The murder of Grenada's prime minister in October 1983 created a breakdown in civil order that threatened the lives of American medical students living on the island. At the request of allied Caribbean nations, the United States invaded the island to saf
Operation Urgent Fury. (para 2-156)
In 1983 Manuel Noriega took control of Panama. Due to his cooperation with Columbian drug producers and increased harassment of American personnel in the vicinity of the Panama Canal, the security of the United States was threatened and an operation was
Operation Just Cause. (para 2-156, 157)
What event sparked the Persian Gulf War?
Saddam Hussein's armies overran Kuwait in August 1990 and appeared poised for further advance on Saudi Arabia. (para 2-158)
What operation, prior to the onset of war with Iraq, moved military assets into Saudi Arabia and built an enourmous infrastructure to support a force of 500,000 troops?
Operation Desert Shield. (para 2-158)
What was the name for the actual military operation during the Persian Gulf War?
Operation Desert Storm. (para 2-159)
The Persian Gulf War is sometimes referred to as what? Why?
The "100-hours War," because it only took 100 hours for coalition forces to liberate Kuwait and destroy much of the offensive capability of the Iraqi army. (para 2-159)
Just prior to the Persian Gulf War, how did Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein refer to the upcoming battle?
As the "mother of all battles."
Who was the commanding general of the US-led forces in Operation Desert Storm?
General Norman H. Schwartzkopf. (para 2-159)
How many Americans lost their lives in the Persian Gulf War?
148. (para 2-159)
Following the Iraqi defeat in Desert Storm, the Kurdish minority living in northwestern Iraq rebelled in an attempt to win independence. The Iraqi government responded harshly and a gigantic refugee problem developed as hundreds of thousands of Kurds fle
Operation Provide Comfort.
What operation, conducted in drought-stricken Somalia in the early 1990s, was designed to protect relief workers so humanitarian aid could continue to flow into the country and end the starvation of the Somali people, and to assist in civil projects that
Operation Restore Hope. (para 2-160)
On June 5, 1993, Pakistani forces operating under UN command were ambushed during a mission to find and destroy arms caches, killing 24 soldiers. The UN resolved to capture all those responsible for their deaths, including Mohammed Farrah Aideed, leader
Task Force Ranger. (para 2-161)
On October 3, 1993, Task Force Ranger executed a mission to capture Aideed and key members of his group. What was the target for this mission? Was it successful?
The Olympic Hotel in Mogadishu; the mission succeeded in capturing a number of SNA leaders (but not Aideed) - 18 Americans died and 84 were wounded. (para 2-161)
During the raid on Mogadishu two UH-60 helicopters were shot down. Name the twp US Special Operations soldiers that gave their lives trying to protect one of the downed crews against overwhelming numbers of SNA gunmen, and were posthumously awarded the M
MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart. (para 2-161)
In what year did the United States withdraw completely from Somolia?
1994. (para 2-162)
In 1994, the same year the U.S. pulled out of Somolia, ethnic hatred in Rwanda led to murder on a genecide scale. Up to a million Rwandans fled andsettled in refugee camps in several central African locations. Appaling conditions, starvation, anddisease
Operation Support Hope. (para 2-162)

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