Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Request for Historical Help!

Hi all!

First off, I am sorry things have been SOOOO quiet around the House of War recently... work and life have been VERY busy. And with all the computer work, the House of War has been ESPECIALLY bereft of anything toy soldier! Argh! For shame!

Hopefully in the near future that will change.

However, for now I have an important question to ask, one where your answer might make its way to national television!

I have a very near and dear friend who is a writer for one of the top television shows in the United States. He is currently on script and needed some help from the military community... and I was hoping you all could help!

He is looking for an example from history, preferably a none-too-obscure example, in which one side in a war or battle began the war or battle with a quick, decisive, and violent strike, a strike which was so devastating that it almost ended the war or battle before it could even begin!

He will be working this into an upcoming script, so if you can think of the perfect example of such an event (remember, it cannot be too obscure... it is being referenced by a pretty average guy on the show, so this is not the ideal time to try to show off your intimate knowledge of the 1823 Swede-Franco Battle of Flargeton Village!) and could let us know I, and he, would truly appreciate it!

Thanks everyone, and fear not, the House of War will be back to toy soldiers soon!


Ed said...

Several come to mind:

The most current and effective would be the airstrikes at the beginning of the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli War.

Another is the Japanese sneak attack on Port Arthur to start the Russo-Japanese War. (Pearl Harbor, maybe?)

WW2 might give you the invasions of Poland, Yugoslavia, Denmark, or Norway...or even Russia.

Or what about the battles of Jena-Auerstadt for Napoleon?

Hope that helps get the juices stirring.

Ed v. H-F

Anthony said...

Like Ed, I would say Moshe Dayan and the 6 Day War, or German Blitzkrieg which means "lightning war" into either Poland, or even into France, where in short time the Allies were doing nothing but falling back. Or how about the German invasion of Crete, lightning fast airborne assaults and the allies fleeing.

You could even say the fall of Singapore, though it was not really as fast as youf friend might want.

Author said...

Hey guys!

Thanks much, some good suggestions so far... definitely hoping to find something where there was one single decisive strike, even one that took out a "head" or something of a force...

Thanks so much for the suggestions so far... some others might be appreciated too! Thanks SO much!

Victor said...

The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 ended the war in the northern colonies with the surrender of General Burgoyne's army.

Anonymous said...

desert storm

Docsmith said...

'how about the German invasion of Crete, lightning fast airborne assaults and the allies fleeing'

Anthony - the Aussies, Kiwis and Brits (and a few Greek units) knew they were coming - it was an expected attack - nothing 'lightning' or surprising about it! As for the Allies fleeing - absolute rubbish! Hitler's elite para force were so bloodied by the fighting with some 2/3rds of the force killed or wounded that Hitler expressly forbade any further airborne ops!

The Kiwis and Aussies in particular gave good account of themselves and inflicted four or five times (and sometimes more) the number of casualties on the Germans. Ever hear of the term 'Pyrric victory'? Well, this was one of the German's. They took Crete in nearly two weeks of fighting but their superbly equipped elite paras were virtually destroyed in the process! Without the Mountain Div troops air-lifted in for support, they more than likely would have been.

The modern examples are many and as others have stated but for Napoleon - his first campaign in Northern Italy in 1796(ending in the battle of Rivoli) was extraordinary in both speed and accomplishment. Equally remarkable and lightning fast for the time was the first part of his 1805 campaign against Austria which ended in the capitulation at Ulm. You could also look at his response to the Austrian invasion of Bavaria in 1809 - in less than two weeks he defeated them and bundled them back into Austria - Landeshut and Eggmuhl being decisive battles. And remember this was weeks before Wagram!

Hope this is of some use.

BTW - Chancellorsville would be a good one for the ACW!


Brian said...

The two that immediately come to mind are the Six Day War and the Nazi blitzkrieg against any number of countries, Denmark being the most shocking which I blieve lasted no longer than 4 hours. I am sure there are also some examples from Roman history but that's not my specialty area. Sounds like a sweet project!

Snickering Corpses said...

The Six Day War air strikes was also the first thing on my mind with the question.

The other area that comes to mind, in keeping with being wars that people might recognize, would be some of Rommel' offensives in the desert against the British. Perhaps the surprise offensive in January 1942, at Agedabia, that wiped out much of the British armor preparing for an assault of their own, and pushed all the way to the Gazala line.

Gunfreak said...

Anglo Zanzibar war, laster 38 minutes and is the shortest was in history

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Definitely the blitzkrieg in Poland and beyond. For those first hit, the war was over in the first strike.

Watcher said...

ACtually, "Desert Storm" would be the latest or most recent military event I can think of that would fall into this bracket.

Have fun with ti!


CWT said...

Either Napoleon's 1812 or Hitler's 1941 invasions of Russia?

There's also Prussia in the Seven Years' War, where Frederick knocked Saxony out of the war and it looked like Austria would follow after Prague, only to then lose at Kolin and spend the rest of the war fighting for survival.

Docsmith said...

There is one that is a perfect example of a devastating first strike, lightning fast and inflicting total annihilation of the opposing force - North Africa in 1943 and the Afrika Korps under Rommel's last victory at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.

James said...

The Mongol Invasion of Russia, 1237 to 1240 A.D.'

Equally as fast and more devastating than Hitler's Blitzkrieg b/c the Mongols won and stayed for about 200 years.

I think fair to say the Mongols rolled Russia up like wet towel.

MAJ Steve said...

I agree that Desert Storm was a lightning victory at the strategic down to the tactical level. The speed at which all command & control as well as tactical assets were destroyed/bypassed/overrun indeed ended hostilities before they enemy could effectively counteract.

MAJ Steve said...

actually, looking at the post again, if the script is geared toward and "average guy" and nothing too obscure, maybe just ANY reference to Hitler's Blitzkrieg should suffice (?)

david said...

This one couldnt be shorter. The war lasted 45min. The Royal Navy bombarded the Royal Palace. War over

Anglo-Zanzibar War
United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Two of the shortest engagements are the battle of San Jacinto, with Sam Houston capturing "El Presidente" Santaanna. But as already mentioned the Anglo Zanzibar war was truly quick and decisive, due to the raw firepower of the Royal Navy.