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History, Reference, Research, and GrogTalk => Military (and other) History => Topic started by: ArizonaTank on February 13, 2015, 10:42:59 AM

Title: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 13, 2015, 10:42:59 AM
Google, in their bid to 'not be evil', has captured almost everywhere there is a road (in the Western World anyway) on "street view."  So, fellow armchair generals, I am interested in seeing Google Street View links to famous battle sites (or not so famous ones).

For example:  I was recently reading "The Second Battle of the Marne", by Paul Greenwood, covering the German offensives of June / July 1918.  Desperate for detailed maps that would help me understand the terrain while reading the book, I found that "street view" by Google maps is actually very helpful. 

Second Battle of the Marne, July 1918
The link below is the crossing point near Jaulgonne, France, where on July 15th, 1918, the German 5th Grenadiers crossed the Marne in small boats.  The grenadiers crossed under machine gun and rifle fire from H and E companies of the US 38th Infantry (Part of the US 3rd Division).  The view is looking from the German lines towards the American defenses on the opposite bank.,3.530335,3a,75y,96.66h,73.55t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sN0Cc_V5zgq7qU50xDA3sfw!2e0

Austerlitz 1805, Napoleon's greatest victory:
Here is the view looking down Pratzen Heights, where St. Hilaire's Division marched up in Dec 1805 during the battle of Austerlitz.  The village of Pratze is down the road to the right.,16.761708,3a,75y,302.63h,75.99t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1svIjrLO4c_6ztd0811-soKw!2e0

Here is the Pheasantry wall near Sokolnitz, also on the Austerlitz battlefield.  The French put up a spirited defense from the other side of the wall.  The story is that the light colored breaks in the wall, mark where the French broke down the walls to fire artillery through.  The long slope up to the Pratzen heights is left.,16.732248,3a,75y,229.85h,78.83t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sU4hc11kUMMJUrcLospvT1A!2e0

This is the Zuran, a mound built by ancient peoples, but used by Napoleon for his HQ and to direct the battle:,16.737911,3a,75y,89.96h,76.64t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1suGlcQL1xmx549bWVaF4Nwg!2e0

Of course one of the challenges to finding links is that many place names have changed, so you need to do a little research to find these places.  Austerlitz is now "Slavkov u Brna" in the Czech Republic for example.

Anyway, would love to see some other Google Virtual Battlefield Tour links.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 15, 2015, 05:30:06 AM

Battle of Hong Kong, December, 1941
The old British Mount Davis battery on the southern tip of Hong Kong Island.  Google street view lets you "walk" among the bunkers,114.124205,3a,75y,83.37h,75.59t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sdyVR3TkCxDQr8uJUVH-7bQ!2e0!3e5!4m2!3m1!1s0x3403e2eda332980f:0xf08ab3badbeac97c

The battery saw heavy fighting during the Japanese attack on Hong Kong.  Found this diary excerpt from one of the British troops who was stationed there during the fighting.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: steve58 on February 15, 2015, 06:45:32 AM
Very cool, thanks.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 16, 2015, 09:12:07 AM

Normandy Invasion, June, 1944, Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer, the US 1st Division's Fox Green landing zone.,-0.840881,3a,78.7y,6.95h,71.07t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sjS9XYxwWBflkj2rGsJ81Bg!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x480b0811a7f2b3b7:0x6f18b2d62eb739a9

The road leading to the 1st Division Memorial.  Looking back toward the beach where some of the heaviest fighting occurred.,-0.849012,3a,75y,65.6h,76.1t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s1bZjQQjXUKuVyhbHT6WafQ!2e0

This account of the fighting is from this general area:

The 1st Division Memorial near Colleville sur Mer,-0.848048,3a,75y,279.6h,85.77t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sCofJu57O0cwAAAQXH3ODpQ!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x480b0811a7f2b3b7:0x6f18b2d62eb739a9

The US military cemetery in the 1st Division Sector of Omaha.  The beach is in the background.,-0.855634,3a,75y,84.79h,89.66t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s_f9KiueD2AQAAAQIuAng-w!2e0!3e11

Omaha Beach from the 29th Division's Dog Red beach at St. Laurent sur Mer.  To the rear is where the Les Moulins strongpoint (WN 68 - the Germans designated the strongpoints with a numbering system "WN" followed by a number ) still sits today (see )  I could be wrong, but I think the bunker is the odd shaped clump of bushes just over and behind the roof of one of the buildings to the rear.,-0.880643,3a,75y,31.88h,87.33t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sLJjT48xLFAw1KanB7qwVqg!2e0

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 16, 2015, 09:17:53 AM
Very cool, thanks.

No problem, I enjoy doing it.  It's a great way to spend a holiday morning.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 17, 2015, 07:21:46 AM
First Bull Run, Manassas, Virginia, July, 1861

Map of the battle, thanks to Wikipedia.  Henry house is the black square near the center of the battlefield:

Henry house, near the focal point of the battle.  Seen from the road:,-77.524758,3a,19.4y,65.98h,90.77t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sw0VAhGYvyiudvlnSfU5bAg!2e0

"Here stands Jackson like a stone wall".  The view from the Confederate lines, where the defense by Jackson's Virginians earned him his nickname.  The other side of Henry house can be seen in the distance.,-77.520629,3a,73.8y,343.67h,95.76t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sY0wc8UfdR58AAAQWtNf5wA!2e0!3e11

View from the Union lines.  Looking towards Jackson's statue.  The visitor center is to the right.  Henry house is down the line of cannon to the left.,-77.521958,3a,90y,84.45h,75.26t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1skEWjDQu7LHoAAAQWtNabtA!2e0!3e11

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: BanzaiCat on February 17, 2015, 01:18:23 PM
There was a product line of Civil War battlefield interactive CD-ROMs back in the mid-2000s that were very cool...they had animation to show how battles ebbed and flowed, photography both modern and Civil War-era to show a certain point how it looked then and now...wish I could remember what they were called. I reviewed a couple of them for WG back in the day.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 21, 2015, 04:28:43 PM
Another September 11th.

Battle of Brandywine Creek, September 11th 1777, Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania

Brandywine seems almost lost in history, perhaps because it was a clear British victory; Howe just out-maneuvered and out-generaled Washington, plain and simple.  Only some very valiant rear-guard fighting kept the battle from becoming an American rout.

In a nut-shell, Washington was trying to stop a British invasion force from attacking Philadelphia.  He chose to block the British at Chadd's Ford, on the Brandywine.  Howe spilt his forces.  The right wing with 5,000 British and Hessian troops under Hessian general Knyphausen took up positions across from the Americans at Chadd's Ford.  The British Right Wing and Americans fought an artillery duel, but Knyphausen did not cross.     

While Knyphausen kept the American's busy, Howe, took his Left Wing, with 10,000 troops under Cornwallis, on a nine mile march around the American's right flank.  By the time the American's realized the main attack was on their flank, all they could do was retreat in good order.  Towards the end of the day, Kyphausen finally attacked across Chadd's Ford, putting the American line into full retreat.

A pretty good, much more detailed description of the battle here:

An interesting animated map of the battle illustrates the flow of forces very well.

Here is a Google streetview of the area just south of Chadd's Ford.  Looking from the American side to the British.  This is where Knyphausen demonstrated with artillery fire, keeping the Americans busy.,-75.5932007,3a,75y,100.17h,83.99t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-R8ieqySReAM%2FVQcXkpDuWiI%2FAAAAAAAAOo0%2F3H0LO2oTXNUiHsZWfF9xdQc3YdprQWOEQCJkC!2e4!3e11!!7i8704!8i1106!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x89c6fa61c18b0ef7:0x2ee7181fd3f19bf6!2sBrandywine+Battlefield+Park+Associates!3b1!8m2!3d39.8744745!4d-75.5762802!3m4!1s0x0000000000000000:0x702276446d929da6!8m2!3d39.8985524!4d-75.604441!6m1!1e1

Chadd's Ford itself:,-75.596111,3a,75y,357.61h,77.92t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s479Gs1rMM0-MvChBXuVYRQ!2e0

While Knyphausen demonstrated, Cornwallis marched.  This is a streetview of Jefferis Ford, where Cornwallis crossed upstream from the main American positions.  The small plaque on the red post under the bridge signs says:  "Cornwallis crossed here between 1 and 2 o’clock September 11, 1777":,-75.636099,3a,75y,268.37h,63.1t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sm4vC_RqVnStty5T2yDacwg!2e0

How do I know what the plaque says?  And for that matter where anything is on the battlefield?  Some very kind netizen published a very good car tour of the battlefield here:  and here: 

As Cornwallis pushed forward against the American right, Gen. Howe took up a position on Osborne hill to direct the battle.  This is approximately where he was, looking toward the American lines:,-75.609089,3a,75y,193.12h,72.77t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s24F0uxeNH31ha8pgUFkj0g!2e0

The Americans swung backwards and towards their right to meet Cornwallis.  This is the Birmingham Quaker meeting house, looking towards the British lines.  American troops used the stone wall at the meeting house (the one in the view), to help hold back the British advance:,-75.594348,3a,75y,357.36h,89.65t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1se282G0Jy2COAgZVy6UWf2Q!2e0

This is looking south from the meetinghouse.  The British line of grenadiers would have swept from the right to the left in this view:,-75.593781,3a,56.7y,231.08h,86.03t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sd8XjsdDxH4EE8G2RPbFl8A!2e0

As the Americans fell back, fighting became fierce.  Here is the text from the driving tour link at the Wylie road intersection:
There is a Civil War cannon on the far right corner of Wylie Road which approximates the stand taken by the remnants of Sullivan's and Conway's brigades. The intensity of the fighting in this area is shown by the casulties suffered by the Redcoat 64th Foot: they lost all of their officers and 2/3 of their men either wounded or killed. It was in this area that the American cannon fire was very heavy.
At this point in the battle, Washington realized that the enemy at Chadds Ford was a secondary force and that the main battle was being fought here, three miles from his headquarters. He, therefore, led reinforcements from Greene's two brigades and had them march north to here. The soldiers covered the rough terrain, making the march in an impressive 45 minutes.
Near here are what remains of Wistar's Woods. In 1777 they were so thick that when the British Grenadiers and Guards attacked through this area they were lost in the woods for over two hours and emerged in another part of the field altogether.,-75.590895,3a,45.7y,167.01h,87.63t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sKg_1WphHp4WfTi66B1a5DQ!2e0

As the American's retreated, the young Frenchman, Lafayette, part of Washington's staff, dismounted and rallied some of the retreating troops.  He was subsequently shot through the hip.  This column was dedicated to him in 1895 and is very close to the spot where he was wounded.,-75.586941,3a,32.7y,27.29h,89.68t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1suIT9GNVzjveQ3IHmrb40Ww!2e0

I found an interesting book about the dedication of this column, that has a great deal of flag-waiving.  But had some interesting description of Lafayette's visit to the battlefield in 1824.

Eventually, nightfall came, and rescued the Americans.  The last skirmishes were fought at Dilworth Crossroads.  The streetview shows the Dilworthtown Country Store, also a country store during the battle, and in continuous operation since.  The story is that the main counter was used as an operating table for wounded after the battle.,-75.566911,3a,74.2y,17.34h,93.99t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sD8oz5-er2uCQ471kmOZLEQ!2e0

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 21, 2015, 04:39:02 PM
There was a product line of Civil War battlefield interactive CD-ROMs back in the mid-2000s that were very cool...they had animation to show how battles ebbed and flowed, photography both modern and Civil War-era to show a certain point how it looked then and now...wish I could remember what they were called. I reviewed a couple of them for WG back in the day.

Yes I remember those.  I even think I owned them.  Can't find them now of course...  Too bad...:(
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: Cyrano on February 21, 2015, 11:07:14 PM
My memory of standing next to that wall at Austerlitz and staring up at the Pratzen -- even getting a picture taken next to the 1805 etched some years later into the pheasantry wall -- still brings chills.

Cool, cool stuff...

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 22, 2015, 06:18:03 AM
I have had the chance to visit Austerlitz a few times myself.  One of my favorite battlefields, mostly because it has not changed much in 200 years. 

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 22, 2015, 02:16:56 PM
Battle of Plataea, 479 BC, Boeotia, Greece

A massive battle.  One of the last of the second Persian invasion of Greece.  The Greeks under Spartan leadership soundly defeated the Persians, and ended Xerxes' dream of a conquered Greece.

Plataea is one of only a handful of ancient battles where the exact location is known. 

One of my gaming buddies and I have been playing the Plataea scenario from GMT's great Hoplite game.  To get into the feel of the battle, I pulled this link up.  From approximately the center of the Greek lines, looking towards the Persian camp on the high ground in the distance.,23.289994,3a,75y,333.36h,79.78t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sh1RuqHuZtuHzxf0qnbSdog!2e0

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 24, 2015, 04:36:19 PM
Monte Cassino, Cassino, Italy, Jan - May 1944

View from "hangman's hill" towards the town of Cassino.   The monastery is behind up the hill:,13.815959,3a,75y,96.06h,82.89t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sJsmzEo5_S_fBpgJWq6fjGg!2e0

Behind the monastery looking towards "snakeshead ridge.",13.811808,3a,75y,326.98h,89.19t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sNwj9fO-fKL_3kk5wsVYd-w!2e0

The road up to the monastery:,13.814642,3a,75y,21.19h,91.92t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1srwj1D6aWxvcawe_EP05GRg!2e0

This is a very interesting link.  A WWII Polish military map over Google satellite image of the area.  You can make the military map transparent to see the satellite image in military context.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: Martok on February 25, 2015, 03:32:30 PM
Battle of Plataea, 479 BC, Boeotia, Greece

A massive battle.  One of the last of the second Persian invasion of Greece.  The Greeks under Spartan leadership soundly defeated the Persians, and ended Xerxes' dream of a conquered Greece.

Plataea is one of only a handful of ancient battles where the exact location is known. 

One of my gaming buddies and I have been playing the Plataea scenario from GMT's great Hoplite game.  To get into the feel of the battle, I pulled this link up.  From approximately the center of the Greek lines, looking towards the Persian camp on the high ground in the distance.,23.289994,3a,75y,333.36h,79.78t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sh1RuqHuZtuHzxf0qnbSdog!2e0

Okay, that's just cool.  O0 

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 26, 2015, 05:52:26 PM
Bosworth Field, Leicestershire, England, 1485

The culmination of the Wars of Roses, seeing Richard III fall in battle, the end of the Plantagenets and the beginning of the Tudors. 

Until just recently, the battlefield was thought to be near where the current visitor center is located.  In 2010, it was announced that archeological evidence (including handgun balls, and cannon balls) placed the battle about a mile southwest of the visitor center.  This view is from the recently discovered battlesite.,-1.434891,3a,75y,343.06h,79.96t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sf92Msy7SxKKnAHc4mrsosA!2e0

For more info on how the exact battle site was rediscovered:

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: Jack Nastyface on February 26, 2015, 11:17:25 PM
Pegasus Bridge, over the Orne River Canal: (
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 28, 2015, 05:26:35 AM
Pegasus Bridge, over the Orne River Canal: (

Very cool!  Complete with German AA gun.   I don't know why, but I always thought the canal was wider. 

I couldn't find a good battle map online, but from one I see it looked like the gliders landed on the west side to the north?  But the map was not really clear.  But if correct, taking a gander from D514, looks very flat out there.  No wonder they decided to go with gliders.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 06, 2015, 07:07:55 AM
Buchholz Station, Buchholz Belgium, Battle of the Bulge, December 16, 1944

Buchholz station was the scene of an intense firefight that started with the Americans getting caught off guard while eating breakfast, but ended in the Germans being held off.  The link below, is to the main road.  I am not certain, but there is a rail line just north of the road, so I assume that was where the station was.  In fact, if you switch to satellite view of the area, you can see what appears to be the outline of old foundations of a rail station, just north of this link.  Buchholz Station was even a scenario in the original AH Squad Leader game (no. 7 I believe).,+Belgium/@50.372996,6.318591,3a,75y,105.52h,83.73t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sctz2FAxMAZkM47fKKUcJXw!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x47bf84d60010488b:0xbbef7d9b4f034490

This is an excerpt describing the fighting at Buchholz station, from page 84 of Hugh Cole's excellent official history of the battle.  Available here:

About 0745 L Company, at the Buchholz station, had taken advantage of the lull in the shelling and was just lining up for breakfast when figures were seen approaching through the fog, marching along the track in a column of two's. First thought to be friendly troops, the Germans were almost at the station before recognition brought on a fusillade of American bullets. The enemy scattered for the boxcars outside the station or sought shelter in ditches along the right of way and a close-quarters fire fight began. A 3-inch tank destroyer systematically worked over the cars, while the American mortar crews raked the area beside the track. A few Germans reached the roundhouse near the station, but Sgt. Savino Travalini, leader of the antitank platoon, went forward with a bazooka, fired in enough rounds to flush the fusiliers, then cut them down with his rifle as they broke into the open. (Sergeant Travalini was awarded a battlefield commission as second lieutenant.) K Company, ordered up to reinforce the outnumbered defenders at the station, arrived in time to take a hand in the affray. By noon the Germans had been repelled, leaving behind about seventy-five dead; L Company had suffered twenty-five or thirty casualties.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 08, 2015, 09:36:25 PM
Battle of Little Big Horn, "Custer's Last Stand", June, 1876, Crow Agency, Montana

The battlefield is not well covered by Street View, but there is one spot in the central battlefield itself,,-107.429485,3a,74y,111.71h,61.69t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sDF1wi7QhIdwAAAQYJRskVA!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x5337d2121e3281d1:0x5984413c1c22e3a9

Here is the view towards the battlefield, from the Little Big Horn river.,-107.451945,3a,75y,65.7h,85.05t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sgTHqROKvU7OIlpTnhsKlfw!2e0
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 11, 2015, 07:13:02 PM
Ortelsburg, Battle of Tannenberg, August 29, 1914, East Prussia (now Szczytno, Poland)

The Battle Tannenberg, the greatest German victory of WWI, was a huge sprawling affair.  The end of fighting, saw a major portion of the Russian Second Army surrounded by the Germans.  There were a few attempts by the Russians to cut through the encirclement from the outside.  One of these attempts saw the Russians attempting to push southwest, through the East Prussian (now Polish) town of Ortelsburg (now Szczytno).
The below excerpt from Prit Buttar’s “Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914” describes the fighting.

Russian forces outside the encirclement made two attempts to reach their comrades. On 29 August the Russian 4th Cavalry Division, which together with Blagoveschensky’s VI Corps had been tasked with protecting the eastern flank of Second Army, probed into Ortelsburg, held at that time by only a small force of German cavalry. Generalmajor Hennig, commander of 35th Infantry Division , personally drove in search of reinforcements, coming under fire from Russian troops to the north of the town. By the time he encountered half a dozen companies of 176th Infantry Regiment hurrying down the road from the north, news of the fighting in Ortelsburg had already reached the marching column. A spearhead had already been dispatched, passing Hennig on a parallel road north of Ortelsburg. The expression ‘marching’ is used here in its loosest sense; the footsore soldiers walked along in groups rather than ranks, and had abandoned many of their packs and other items during their long journey, but they still had their rifles. Hennig hurried back to Ortelsburg at the head of the column. Ahead of him the spearhead from 176th Infantry Regiment, mounted on a mixture of horse -drawn wagons and bicycles, rushed a small Russian defensive position north of Ortelsburg and entered the town at 7 p.m. The remaining Russian cavalry put up no significant resistance and withdrew to the southeast. Hennig and the rest of the troops from 176th Infantry Regiment appeared two hours later. 82 During the evening Blagoveschensky gathered together something approaching a division of infantry and attempted to recapture Ortelsburg. Early the following morning two squadrons of the 10th Jäger cavalry regiment, sent north by Schmettau, arrived as welcome reinforcements for the Germans in the town. The first probing attacks began shortly after dawn, and rapidly developed into heavy fighting. Despite having no artillery or machine guns, the troops of 176th Infantry Regiment, who had enjoyed only a single day of rest in the previous eleven and had been marching almost continuously the rest of the time, held on grimly. Pressure was particularly strong from the northeast, eventually driving the defenders from a seminary on the edge of the town. As the Russians attempted to penetrate further, infantrymen occupying the church tower near the market square stopped them, until artillery made the position untenable.

This link is showing the church and town center, where much of fighting occurred.,20.994714,3a,75y,207.71h,92.76t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s9rA3B6sb34zHiaiNrC0IlA!2e0

The town was pretty much destroyed in the fighting.  This is a link to an old postcard, showing the destruction.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 15, 2015, 10:01:28 AM
Bletchley Park, Home of British Code-breaking in WWII

Many consider that the tide of the German U-boats was stopped here, with the breaking of German naval codes.,-0.742684,3a,75y,229.14h,84.81t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s-9C8v6ZZ485sLnaBcMxn8g!2e0!3e5

Hut 8 where Alan Turing and his team worked, using what is probably the worlds first computer, the "bombe", to break the German Enigma codes,-0.741732,3a,75y,296.03h,87.99t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1svVuejOPG3Ero_7maxPZJQQ!2e0!3e5!4m2!3m1!1s0x4876553e20a29323:0xab6c668894377f73

The machine itself,-0.740308,3a,75y,71.34h,78.53t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sojRl6QVuWfAAAAQW42pZ7Q!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x4876553e20a29323:0xab6c668894377f73
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 15, 2015, 03:05:58 PM
Prokhorovka, Battle of Kursk, Russia, July 12, 1943

The crescendo of the Battle of Kursk, has to be the tank fight at Prokhorovka.  The largest tank battle in history started when two Russian Tank Corps, attacked the German II SS Panzer Corps.  Approximately 250, German tanks and assault guns, and 500 Russian tanks were engaged in hellish combat in a relatively small area.  Tiger tank ace Michael Wittman, whose Tiger was rammed by a T-34 during the fight, made his name here.

This view is looking northwest, toward the crest of Hill 252.2, defended by the Germans.  The monument to battle can be seen.,36.667883,3a,75y,39.42h,75.97t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sf6rApx87VEOYdJH4XnLWNw!2e0

On top of Hill 252.2, looking across the German lines.  The Russians would have been coming from Prokhorovka to the left.,+Belgorod+Oblast,+Russia,+309000/@51.021362,36.667963,3a,75y,103.11h,90.95t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sh5XRD7-n4YcXfDfYr-Mwbg!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x4125fb03129ed2cb:0x422810fbf0f64856

The Russians would have been coming from up this road.  Looks like a small museum to the left.,36.675281,3a,75y,35.74h,69.81t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZ_Eept6K_VlRy6ITd2oeNQ!2e0
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 17, 2015, 02:18:28 PM
Vionville, Lorraine, France, Battle of Mars-La-Tour, August 16, 1870

This is the critical battle of the Franco-Prussian War, that doomed Napoleon III's Second Empire, and created Otto Von Bismarck's 2nd Reich.  The Prussians launched an audacious attack against superior French forces.  Through superior Prussian coordination and slow, clumsy French reactions, the Prussians achieved a surprise victory.  The battle also saw the last great, successful cavalry charge in Europe.  This was von Bedow's Prussian cavalry's famous "Deathride". 

This view is south of Vionville, along the path of the "Deathride", looking towards French lines.  As you can, see great cavalry country.,5.9533356,3a,60y,174.79h,83.57t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1soT2zKCBm0QiVkTFpAEl0OA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

A great virtual tour of the battlefield is also at:

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 19, 2015, 09:07:35 PM
Battle of Tsushima, May 27 - 28, 1905, Tsushima Straits, Sea of Japan

Admiral Togo's flagship the Mikasa, sits in Yokosuka, Japan.  Togo achieved a stunning victory against an equal Russian force.  The Mikasa was set into concrete in the early 60s, so does not have trouble staying afloat, like other old ships.,139.67412,3a,90y,88.1h,101.65t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1slhxexX8jqrIIvawbZkpXsQ!2e0!3e2

Google even lets you walk the decks,139.674437,3a,75y,109.09h,83.8t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sdACSWu2EYiQAAAAGOw22xw!2e0!3e11,139.674582,3a,75y,184.26h,78.08t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sdxA6kqOwAogAAAAGOwxHGw!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x6018400b8f29b8ad:0x53ec1e307c8cfd37,139.674217,3a,75y,39.25h,83.05t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1szXMkwzXGYS9v1YV2809aIg!2e0!3e2!4m2!3m1!1s0x6018400b8f29b8ad:0x53ec1e307c8cfd37,139.674214,3a,75y,92.56h,76.23t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sHZ2GiPm2HINveoXOrHFAig!2e0!3e2

and here is another Tsushima survivor, the Protected Cruiser Aurora, docked in St. Petersburg.  But Google street view doesn't have any good views of the ship.  Like the USS Constitution, Aurora is still a commissioned ship, manned by active duty sailors.  One source says the ship went into overhaul in September 2014 for two years.  So these photos must have been taken just before the ship was moved.,30.3426478,3a,15y,274.07h,90.88t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1swsTrtUQkbYFDIWUSCWoj8w!2e0!5s20120701T000000!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1,30.336746,3a,75y,93.62h,90.03t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1siPH0HuQxdZcPHzbGrLfTYQ!2e0

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 21, 2015, 06:16:12 AM
Battle of the Boyne, Drybridge, County Meath, Ireland, July 1690

The last time two crowned kings of England met each other on the battlefield, was actually not in Britain, but in Ireland.  Catholic James II and Protestant William III, fought with mostly non-English armies.  Despite James' strong defensive position, William won a crushing victory, by outmaneuvering the Catholic forces.  The Battle of the Boyne finished any Catholic hopes of taking back the English throne.

James had taken up a strong defensive position, at a hook in the Boyne River at Drybridge.  William took up camp across the river.  Early on the morning of the battle, William marched about a third of his forces south to cross further upstream, and turn James' flank.  James, detected the movement, but thought the force was much larger, so he sent about 2/3 of his force south to meet William's flanking force.  Now that James force at Oldbridge was weakened, William's main attack, came directly across the river.  Oldbridge estate is the approximate center of much of the fighting.

Much of the battle was fought here, Oldbridge Estate.,+Co.+Meath,+Ireland/@53.723267,-6.42314,3a,75y,323.74h,92.89t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sYI-OomLgmLhireVtAWjg3Q!2e0!3e5!4m2!3m1!1s0x486738f75ef7f26f:0xa00c7a99731fff0

Main crossing from Williams side,+Co.+Meath,+Ireland/@53.725342,-6.425076,3a,75y,168.79h,80.3t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1siSl_CYMdRDdQLGM6k-XicQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x486738f75ef7f26f:0xa00c7a99731fff0

The only saving grace for James that day, was that his crack French and Irish cavalry, had not gone south with the main body.  The cavalry attack Williams forces from these hills, creating havoc among the Protestant forces.,+Co.+Meath,+Ireland/@53.715169,-6.410213,3a,75y,335.8h,69.55t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sUZeVPLURYelwB3hX3GF8HQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x486738f75ef7f26f:0xa00c7a99731fff0

While the main battle raged at Oldbridge, the flanking forces were stopped by a rough marshy area with tangled underbrush, and could not engage each other.

In the end, James forces at Oldbridge could not hold and they retreated.  The climax of the battle was up this hill (Donore Hill), where James' forces made their last stand at a churchyard.,-6.407956,3a,75y,57.6h,81.63t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1swTiMftKcQK4Is2r1ZdfBtg!2e0

Some interesting videos and information about the battle thanks to the BBC
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 21, 2015, 08:53:04 PM
oops double post
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 24, 2015, 07:28:55 PM
Santa Maria Infante, Italy, Allied Rome Offensive, May, 11 -14 1944

In May of 1944, the Allies began a major offensive to push towards Rome.  Part of this effort, was the US 351st Infantry Regiment's attack on Santa Maria Infante.  The regiment's objective was 1900 meters up a narrow road that ran along a ridge.  Defending the ridge, with pillboxes, barbed wire, mine fields, artillery, mortars and assault guns, was the 94th Fusilier Recon Bn, of the German 71st Infantry Division.  The German defenders fought tenaciously, and it took the 351st, 3 days of hard fighting in difficult terrain to get to Santa Maria Infante. 

This fight is recorded in great detail, in the official US Army history volume, Small Unit Actions (the narrative is only from the US side however)

This is the Google street view, of the approximate position of the German forces (the "spur" in the text), looking south towards to oncoming 351st.  This battle is somewhat unique, in that its main focus was along this ridge road and you can pretty much follow the axis of the US advance with Google.,13.740327,3a,75y,192.46h,70t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1seWeYbZx8uWfA5PMAkZ0Dbg!2e0

This is the starting point of the US attack.  The cemetery mentioned in the text is to the left.  The camera is facing north, towards the German defenses.  Follow this road until you get to Santa Maria Infante, and you will see that in three days of hard fighting, the Americans did not get far.,13.738814,3a,75y,337.06h,75.08t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sMMGMcsiaEj_Sz5jNAMYyiw!2e0
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 27, 2015, 10:56:37 AM
Battle of Cameron, Camaron De Tejeda, Veracruz, Mexico, April 30, 1863

Every April 30th, French Foreign Legionaries everywhere, stop to remember the Battle of Camaron.   The battle was a "last stand" by 65 French Foreign legionnaires fighting up to 2,000 Mexican Army troops.

The French army invaded Mexico in 1861, over what was claimed to be issues of free trade. 

As part of French siege of Puebla in 1863, a company of the French Foreign Legion was dispatched to strengthen the guard of a supply convoy.  Along the route, the 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, was surrounded by Jaurista forces.  The French took up defensive positions in the Hacienda Camaron.  The Mexican’s offered surrender three times during the day.  But the  legionnaires made an oath on the wooden hand of their commander, Captain Danjou, that they would fight to the death.  After nearly 10 hours of combat, the last five legionnaires, charged with bayonets, only three were subdued and captured. 
When these last three legionaries were brought before the Mexican commander,  Col Milan, he reportedly said:  “Is this all of them?  Is this all the men who are left?  These are not men, these are demons.” 

Today, Captain Danjou’s wooden hand is a revered object for the French Foreign Legion.

This is the Mexican monument to the battle.  According to James Ryan’s book, “Camerone, the French Foreign Legion’s Greatest Battle,”  it is about 30 meters from the location of the Hacienda were most of the fighting occurred.,-96.6131568,3a,75y,170.9h,80.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spPDeeXZF6A-bxMsO20eQ6A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This large monument is just north of the village, and holds the ashes of the dead from the battle.  It was erected in the 60s by the French Government.,-96.614089,3a,47.4y,79.78h,86.93t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sOQvvmM57IfG8j_5Fs79vSQ!2e0
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on March 29, 2015, 02:56:10 PM
The Battle for Skyline Ridge, Okinawa, Japan, April 19, 1945

The Battle for Okinawa lasted from early April through mid-June 1945.  It was a bitterly fought campaign, with some of the highest casualty counts during the entire Pacific War. 

On April 19th, the US 184th Infantry and 32nd Infantry, part of the US 7th Division, pushed south along the eastern shore, and ran into fierce opposition from the Japanese 11th Independent Infantry Battalion defending "Skyline Ridge."   

K, L and I companies of the 32nd Infantry, attacked this part of the ridge.  This view is looking out from the ridge towards the positions of the advancing Americans.,+Nishihara,+Nakagami+District,+Okinawa+Prefecture+903-0126,+Japan/@26.230851,127.759,3a,75y,64.56h,86.65t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sRwMZwbK58YS55Yq_V1jq0g!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x34e56c58ecb31ed7:0x51dc8a0d869a0dd3!5m1!1e4

Skyline Ridge was finally taken after 3 days of hard fighting.  Details of the fighting can be found

The below, describes the fighting on this portion of Skyline Ridge

Down below along the coastal flat Company I, 32d Infantry, 7th Division, went through Ouki and, following tanks and armored flame throwers, moved against the lower tip of Skyline Ridge, while Company L maneuvered into position on the right (west) for a frontal attack against the ridge. One platoon of Company I assaulted the nose of the ridge after the flame tanks backed away, found that all Japanese at this point had been killed, and occupied the forward face of the tip at 0710. Mortar fire covered the crest and prevented further gain. By this time the leading platoon of Company L, under 1st Lt. Lawrence T. O'Brien, had climbed up the slope of Skyline to the right (west) and started west along the side of the ridge. One hundred yards ahead a northward jog in the ridge and a dip in the crest allowed the enemy on the reverse slope to fire eastward through the dip to the forward face of Skyline. Machine-gun fire, directed against O'Brien's platoon, now came through the depression, and O'Brien and his men dashed to an abandoned pillbox on the crest. This brought the platoon within grenade range of Japanese on the other side, and the men were forced to scatter. Knee mortar shells began to fall, plummeting almost straight down. Watching the sky, the men could see the descent of the small black objects in time to dash from the calculated point of impact.

To the right of O'Brien's men another platoon of Company L started up the slope and came into the line of fire of a machine gun that kept silent until the men were exposed. With its first burst the gun wounded nine men, almost half the platoon, which fell back disorganized to the base of the ridge. Meanwhile the third platoon of Company L, which had taken refuge from mortar fire in burial tombs near the lower tip of the ridge, was trapped inside by a Japanese machine gun that put a band of fire across the entrances of the tombs when anyone tried to get out. In the Ouki coastal area combat patrols of Company B protected the regiment's left flank, encountering several strong points and killing numerous enemy soldiers. 
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 04, 2015, 02:51:59 PM
Battle of Towton, War of Roses, North Yorkshire, England, March 29, 1461

During England's War of the Roses, civil war, the two houses of the Plantagenet line fought a long battle between the villages of Towton and Saxton.  Edward Duke of York became Edward IV, after soundly defeating the Lancastrian Henry IV.   

Towton was possibly the largest, and bloodiest battle ever fought in England (the exception may be Boudicca's defeat to the Romans at the Battle of Watling Street).  Likely 50,000 men met on these gently rolling fields.  The weather during the battle was atrocious, with strong winds and driving snow.  An initial round of arrow volleys from the Yorkists could not be effectively countered, as the Lancastrians were blinded firing into the driving snow, and the strong winds made their arrows fall short.  This forced the Lancastrians to close for melee.  After many hours of beating on each other, with breaks for the sides to rest and clear away some of the dead, the battle could have gone either way.  In late afternoon, the Earl of Norfolk arrived, with several thousand fresh men to reinforce the Yorkists.  This tipped the battle and the Lancastrians broke and fled.  Henry IV was forced to flee England.

This view is looking parallel to the two opposing lines.  The Lancastrians were in the north (on the left), facing the Yorkists to the south.,-1.275628,3a,75y,134.21h,74.64t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sKyOM0bd866Bu45istCv4cw!2e0

Behind this bush and barely visible, is the Towton Cross.  A small monument erected in 1929, said to be made of materials from a never completed chapel that Richard III was erecting in honor of the Yorkist victory (but never completed because of his death at Bosworth),-1.274667,3a,75y,278.85h,66.58t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sVzaalSWExwQZbpbZkiGVgA!2e0

a much better image of the Towton Cross,+Tadcaster,+North+Yorkshire+LS24,+UK/@53.841754,-1.274843,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m5!1e2!3m3!1s21151309!2e1!3e10!4m2!3m1!1s0x4879476b1179395f:0x9bf2c249fa53e17f

For the boardgamers out there, Towton is one of the subjects of GMT's excellent "Blood and Roses".
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 07, 2015, 06:24:48 PM
Burma-Siam Railway, "Bridge Over the River Kwai", Thailand - Burma, 1943

Starting in 1942 and through 1943, the Japanese Army built a railway through the jungles, mountains and highlands of Thailand and Burma. 

Approximately 180,000 souls, including 60,000 Allied prisoners were forced to labor on the railway.  Almost 13,000 POWs died while working on railway.  The ordeal of these soldiers received the Hollywood treatment in the 1957 best picture, "The Bridge on the River Kwai."

Here is the real bridge.  It was destroyed during the war by Allied bombers, not William Holden.  It was rebuilt after the war by Japan as part of war reparations.  The round truss spans are from the original bridge.,99.503746,3a,75y,222.71h,88.95t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s3u1gLgd37P0AAAQZYeW2zg!2e0!3e11,99.503997,3a,75y,189.38h,81.23t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sb8I3ue5irzlZ-sjtDeyTAA!2e0!3e5

This gives you an idea of some of the difficult terrain the railroad was built on.,99.1668113,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m5!1e2!3m3!1s-qYbKxUFi6bs%2FVNcmgvHONQI%2FAAAAAAAAnXI%2F_UrSMtlqq1U!2e4!3e12!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0xefa253b7b2cc0006

Many of the soldiers who died working on railway, are buried here, at the Chungkai War Cemetery which has almost 1800 Commonweath and Dutch graves.,99.525707,3a,75y,181.85h,78.15t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s0kHl_7Op3-QAAAQfCMEnfw!2e0!3e11

The war cemetery's website is at

Here is the war cemetery's description of the railroad from the website.
The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar).

Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma, worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. The Japanese aimed at completing the railway in 14 months and work began in October 1942. The line, 424 kilometres long, was completed by December 1943.

The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.

Chungkai was one of the base camps on the railway and contained a hospital and church built by Allied prisoners of war. The war cemetery is the original burial ground started by the prisoners themselves, and the burials are mostly of men who died at the hospital.

There are now 1,426 Commonwealth and 313 Dutch burials of the Second World War in this cemetery.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 14, 2015, 05:11:25 AM
Sergeant Alvin York’s battle, Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Chatel-Chehery, France, October 8th, 1918

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, is the largest battle in US history.  1.2 million US troops fought against tenacious German opposition, a month before the end of WWI.  At the height of the fighting, the US was taking 20,000 casualties a week. 

On October 6th, as part of the second phase of the offensive, the US 82nd, “All American” Division replaced the tired 28th Division in the final push towards the Hindenburg Line.  The village of Chatel-Chehery had just been taken, and would become the springboard for the continued advance. 

The Google street view is looking north-northwest along the main street in the village.   In the distance, behind the church steeple you can see the top of hill 223 (strangely Google street view doesn’t get closer).   Hill 223, was the base for an attack by the US 328th Infantry Regiment of the 82nd on October 8th, 1918.  The defending units of the German 2nd Landwehr Division, along with several supporting units, had set up strong machine gun positions, in the hills west and north of this location.,4.953989,3a,75y,335.3h,77.76t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sbpzAmvLYSMFvqEqY1wnYGQ!2e0

The axis of the American attack was heading northwest from hill 223 to a rail line about 2 miles away.  On the left of end of the American assault was a platoon from G Company, of the 328th Infantry.   Shortly after the 0600 H hour, the attack quickly stalled under heavy German machine gun and artillery fire.   To dislodge the Germans, Corporal Alvin York’s platoon, went around the German position's flank.  While they were able to get behind the German machine guns, causalities in the platoon were heavy; York was just a corporal, but found himself in a command of the platoon, now only a small group of eight troops. 

York, an excellent backwoods marksman, moved away from his platoon, and took up a firing position, low on the slope of the hill.  The German machine gunners turned their guns to face the rear threat.  The gunners had to depress their guns, and aim by raising their heads.  York later said: “every time a head done come up, I knocked it down.”  Desperate to rid themselves of the threat, the Germans tried a bayonet charge on York’s position.  With combined rifle and pistol fire, York stopped the charge.  He then went back to taking out gunners.  It was too much for the Germans and they surrendered.  In the end, York, and his depleted platoon, brought in 132 prisoners (including 4 officers).  York would win the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Unlike some military heroes, York remained humble in the face of tremendous publicity.  Not until 20 years after the event did he agree to sell his story to Hollywood, so that he could have funds to donate to the charities he supported.  The Hollywood version of the fight, from the 1940 movie "Sergeant York", with Gary Cooper, is somewhat accurate; the map in the beginning of the video is not a bad depiction of the actual battlefield (even the German officer who speaks English in the movie is accurate….one of the officers York captured worked in New York City before the war). 
Here is a clip:

Over the years (and another world war), the exact location of York’s fight was lost.  About ten years ago, a team of off-duty US military, dedicated themselves to finding the location.  Based on their extensive research and archeological finds, the team rediscovered the locations.  A “circular walk” and monument was put in place to mark the location.

The report of the team is available on-line.  It has quite a bit a military analysis and some great maps.'s%20report.pdf

Here is a picture of the circular walk, and site:,4.95037,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m5!1e2!3m3!1s37105220!2e1!3e10

It should be noted, that another team from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) determined that a site about 1 kilometer away from the monument is what they believe to be the correct site.  Their report is here:
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 24, 2015, 10:58:22 AM
The Texas War for Independence, October 1835 to April 1836.

In late 1835, US settlers and other local residents (Texanos) of the Mexican province of Texas, revolted and declared independence.  The Texians gathered troops, and the President of Mexico, General Santa Anna,  marched a force of 1,500 Mexican troops into the province to quell the rebellion. 

The result was the 13 day siege of the Alamo in February and March of 1836, where 250 Texians held against Santa Anna’s troops.

The Alamo is a major tourist attraction in San Antonio today.  The iconic church and some of the original buildings still survive.,-98.486558,3a,75y,99.24h,78.12t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1shh2cNU0ZEiDFIUjYM8D4tA!2e0!3e5

What has not survived, are the original walls.  You can see the original layout here:

This is the approximate location of the south wall.  Evidence of the southwest corner of the Alamo complex have been found in this park.  The church is to the rear.,-98.486938,3a,75y,253.09h,71.04t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sgxk-kOMMTgci61MUJsUlmA!2e0

This is the approximate location of the north wall, where Santa Anna’s final successful assault broke through.,-98.4867251,3a,75y,107.23h,75.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBKyOaUaQyrd_avvySqq0-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

After the Alamo, Santa Ana pursued the Texian army under Sam Houston.  Finally, in April, the Texians turned and struck Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto.  The result was complete surprise, and a Mexican rout.  Today the Battlefield is a state historical site.,-95.080933,3a,75y,14.24h,102.77t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s5kd7ofIQeTsAAAQfCXv__Q!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x8640a0f1682225a7:0x1e89b74ee8a6425b

Here is the official site

This map compares the battlefield today, with a historical map of the San Jacinto battlefield.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on May 02, 2015, 01:25:29 PM
Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1 - 3, 1863

The last Southern invasion of the North was stopped at Gettysburg.  The largest battle of the American Civil War, considered by many historians to be the turning point of the war.   

The first day of the battle started here.  Where US cavalry under Buford attempted to hold, or at least slow the advance of Heth's Southern Division coming down the Chambersburg Pike toward Gettysburg.  The statue of Buford is standing next to the road.,-77.2516881,3a,75y,351.12h,73.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQr7m1_KeCJBjvjdAgVOJ0Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

During the first day, the Union was forced to retreat, creating a fishhook shaped line.  The top of the curve of the fishhook was here, at Cemetery Hill.  Looking down towards Gettysburg.,-77.229279,3a,75y,11.21h,81.21t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s0o4aRAR0oSGtV4YJGWOJFA!2e0

The second day of battle shifted to the southern end of the union hook.  The Union defense of Little Round Top, would save the day for the North.  This view is looking from Little Round Top down towards Devil's Den.  The hiking trails here are actually mapped in Google feel free to "walk" around a bit.,-77.23703,3a,55.3y,290.87h,72.97t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sRPmjmIBsO5f56AZbcDvnrA!2e0!3e5

Many historians, when picking one place, one fight, where the Battle, and therefore the War were won, pick the defense of Little Round Top and the fight of Col Joshua Chamberlain's 20th Maine Infantry.  By holding firm, against a determined Southern attack, the south anchor of the entire Federal line was saved.   Here is an excerpt from Chamberlain's official report of the fighting.

"The enemy seemed to have gathered all their energies for their final assault. We had gotten our thin line into as good a shape as possible, when a strong force emerged from the scrub wood in the valley, as well as I could judge, in two lines in echelon by the right, and, opening a heavy fire, the first line came on as if they meant to sweep everything before them. We opened on them as well as we could with our scanty ammunition snatched from the field.:

It did not seem possible to withstand another shock like this now coming on. Our loss had been severe. One-half of my left wing had fallen, and a third of my regiment lay just behind us, dead or badly wounded. At this moment my anxiety was increased by a great roar of musketry in my rear, on the farther or northerly slope of Little Round Top, apparently on the flank of the regular brigade, which was in support of Hazlett's battery on the crest behind us. The bullets from this attack struck into my left rear, and I feared that the enemy might have nearly surrounded the Little Round Top, and only a desperate chance was left for us. My ammunition was soon exhausted. My men were firing their last shot and getting ready to club their muskets.:

It was imperative to strike before we were struck by this overwhelming force in a hand-to-hand fight, which we could not probably have withstood or survived. At that crisis, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough. It ran like fire along the line, from man to man, and rose into a shout, with which they sprang forward upon the enemy, now not 30 yards away. The effect was surprising; many of the enemy's first line threw down their arms and surrendered. An officer fired his pistol at my head with one hand, while he handed me his sword with the other. Holding fast by our right, and swinging forward our left, we made an extended right wheel, before which the enemy's second line broke and fell back, fighting from tree to tree, many being captured, until we had swept the valley and cleared the front of nearly our entire brigade.:

Meantime Captain Morrill with his skirmishers sent out from my left flank, with some dozen or fifteen of the U.S. Sharpshooters who had put themselves under his direction, fell upon the enemy as they were breaking, and by his demonstrations, as well as his well-directed fire, added much to the effect of the charge.:

Having thus cleared the valley and driven the enemy up the western slope of the Great Round Top, not wishing to press so far out as to hazard the ground I was to hold by leaving it exposed to a sudden rush of the enemy, I succeeded (although with some effort to stop my men, who declared they were "on the road to Richmond") in getting the regiment into good order and resuming our original position.:

Four hundred prisoners, including two field and several line officers, were sent to the rear. These were mainly from the Fifteenth and Forty-seventh Alabama Regiments, with some of the Fourth and Fifth Texas. One hundred and fifty of the enemy were found killed and wounded in our front

Just below Little Round Top, there a small boulder strewn hill, named "Devil's Den", that was a natural defensive position.  First defended by union artillery and infantry, it was taken by McLaw's Southern division during the 2nd day of the Battle.  After that, it served as natural cover for Southern sharp-shooters.  A closer view of Devil's Den.  The hill in the background is Little Round Top.,-77.242106,3a,75y,239.32h,87.45t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s1d8P8UH2OpUAAAQDMaODdQ!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c9ace65f3a5d61:0xbd318f2711ad0a67

Here is an eyewitness account, sharpshooters at Devil's Den.   The account of Captain Augustus P. Martin, commander of the Union V Corps artillery at Gettysburg (From "Gettysburg Compiler", October24, 1899)

"Among the interesting incidents that occurred on Little Round Top was the summary way in which a sharpshooter was disposed of in rear of Devil's Den. He had concealed himself behind a stone wall between two boulders and for a long time we were annoyed by shots from that direction, one of which actually combed my hair over my left ear and passed through the shoulder of a man a little taller than myself who was standing behind me for a cover. At last we were able to locate the spot, by the use of a field glass, from whence the shots came by little puffs of smoke that preceded the whizzing of the bullets that passed by our heads. We then loaded one of our guns with a percussion shell, taking careful and accurate aim. When the shot was fired the shell struck and exploded on the face of one of the boulders. We supposed the shot had frightened him away, as we were no longer troubled with shots from that location. When the battle was ended we rode over to the Devil's Den and found behind the wall a dead Confederate soldier lying upon his back and, so far as we could see, did not have a mark upon his body, and from that fact became convinced that he was killed by the concussion of the shell when it exploded on the face of the boulder."

On the 3rd day, Confederate General Lee decided to push through the Union center.  12,000 Southern troops marched, then charged in open ground, against a solid Northern line.  The Southern General Pickett, for whom the charge is named, effectively lost his entire division, while the Northern line held.  Years later, Pickett is reported to have said about Lee:  "that old man had my division slaughtered."  This view is from the Northern lines, looking out over the fields where the Southern charge came from.,-77.236259,3a,75y,163.8h,88.64t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s4EdnbRRDe2wAAAQIt2I3Rw!2e0!3e11!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c9ace65f3a5d61:0xbd318f2711ad0a67
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on May 15, 2015, 01:37:19 PM
Battle of Sekigehara, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, October 21, 1600

For 250 years, the “Warring States” period was one of the most tumultuous eras in Japanese history.  Numerous warlords rose and fell, as they fought each other to rule Japan and establish themselves as Shogun (Military Dictator).  This period came to an end here, at Sekigehara.   

The Eastern Army under Tokugawa Ieyasu had approximately 75,000 men, against the Western Army’s 120,000 men under Ishida Mitsunari.  The Western Army had an advantage of position, as they held the high ground. 

Tokugawa’s camp site was here,136.465196,3a,33.1y,350.64h,88.06t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sb-ahIfb7AW6oW0pve2z6GQ!2e0

and Ishida’s camp was here,136.459856,3a,75y,341.27h,90.44t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sMax3GWLyMRAEoGVpwGbVLA!2e0

The battle started Tokugawa’s advance guard of 6000 men crossed the Fuji river here.  The camera is looking toward the Western Army’s center right positions.  The fighting quickly bogged down on muddy ground.,136.458588,3a,75y,271.88h,86t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sC3ykM-d9iRIx-WvfER2ikg!2e0

To support the action on his left, Tokugawa then ordered attacks against the center.  This then became the main focal point of the battle.   This view is looking toward the Western Army's positions in the hills.,136.46164,3a,75y,357.79h,82.31t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sl7Ky-VwUmItr00QEsSaWvg!2e0!6m1!1e1

Tokugawa had an ace up his sleeve.  One of Ishida’s generals, Kobayakawa, on the Western Army's right flank, on Mt. Matsuo, was ready to defect.  But Kobayakawa was taking his time, so Ieyasu directed arquebus fire towards Kobayakawa, and he finally defected.  This turned the tide and Ishida’s forces could not recover from the treachery.  Here is Kobayakawa’s postion, on Mt. Matsuo,136.461674,3a,75y,210.74h,95.18t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s7UGPyUxzW5Em_2Y0LZLnUg!2e0

Because of his victory at Sekigehara, Tokugawa Ieyasu was able to consolidate power, and establish a Shogunate, that lasted until 1868. 
Normally, it would have been difficult to find all of these locations.  However, some kind netizen had done most of the hard work already.  You can see this great map of key locations.  I will certainly be taking this, if I ever visit the battle site.

Some more detailed information and a good English map is at:

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on May 15, 2015, 01:47:26 PM
Unfortunately, there are many battlefields that are not well covered by Google street view at the moment.  But things do improve.  For example, I recently noticed that coverage of Waterloo has improved in the last few months, so I will be posting that battle sometime soon.

Here are some of the battlefields that I have not posted because the view is too obscure, or far away.

Battle of Agincourt,6.237125,3a,75y,75.14h,91.19t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s2Ro3nnDuIpTEdJVYZbMDpw!2e0

Roark’s Drift's+Drift,+South+Africa/@-28.353428,30.53142,3a,80y,54.93h,84.3t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1slJaaRCNBhwmGFXPVor-apA!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x1ef1be1ed21b4ee9:0x3fcfccd4d4d8eca8!6m1!1e1




Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on June 03, 2015, 06:23:01 PM
Battle of Waterloo, Mont St. Jean, Belgium, June 18, 1815

The last major battle of Napoleon's career, was a "near run thing" according to the Duke of Wellington.
72,000 French met 68,000 British and Allied troops on the road to Brussels, on ground of the Duke of Wellington's choosing.
The later part of the battle focused on the farm of La Haye Sainte.  The French, in a very late afternoon attack, focused on La Haye Sainte, and the open ground to the west of the farm.  Marshall Ney, led the French cavalry and Napoleon even committed the Imperial Guard to the attack.  Here is a view of La Haye Sainte,4.412355,3a,75y,234.88h,81.04t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1soQ9NhFEEY-0kobTBixho5A!2e0

This view is looking toward the area where the final defense against the Guard occurred.   After the war, the battlefield almost immediately became a tourist attraction, and a large observation hill was built at the point where the battle finally culminated.    Pan to the right and you can see La Haye Sainte.,4.408973,3a,75y,16.14h,88.19t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sempyftCZ_1nP6BV9eP7cZw!2e0

This is the view from atop the observation hill.  Looking towards where the French cavalry and Guard were coming from.  The British defense was so intense, the Middle Guard broke and the cry was heard, "La garde recule ! Sauve qui peut!" (The Guard retreats ! Save yourself if you can !),4.404918,3a,78.2y,133.27h,80.5t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s-P0It7a_-AQAAAQZEmO2Ng!2e0!3e11

Here is a pretty good site describing the Guard’s final actions at Waterloo.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on September 04, 2015, 05:56:37 PM
Battle of Mons, Belgium, August 23, 1914

As part of the Schlieffen Plan, the German 1st Army acted as the “right hook” as it swung through Belgium in mid / late August, 1914.  The British Expeditionary Force (BEF), newly arrived, moved to Mons on August 22nd, to take up its planned positions on the far left of the Allied line.  This put the two corps of the BEF, directly into the path of Alexander von Kluck’s German First Army, with it’s seven corps.
On August 23rd, the first major British, German engagement was fought here.  The Google location is where the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, defended the canal crossing.  The Germans began their attack across the canal at 9am.,3.9454069,3a,75y,309.28h,67.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfoJdGCYjHs3gVUXDd839PA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The original BEF was still a highly professional pre-war force.  The British fire discipline was so intense, that the Germans thought that some of the infantry fire was machine gun fire.  Initial German casualties were very heavy.  Eventually, around 3PM, the British badly outnumbered, could no longer hold.  Lt  Maurice Dease of the 4th Bn, kept his machine gun section firing to cover the British retreat.  Lt Dease, and one of his gunners, Pvt. Sidney Godley each received the Victoria Cross for staying behind to hold back the German advance.   

You can see the plaque to the two British VC winners behind this view.

An interesting centennial site:

and Dan Snow explains the entire battle in less than 3 min...and does a good job.

The BBC "Battlefield Walks" episode.  Well worth 30min
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on September 30, 2015, 04:57:49 AM
Battle of Talavera, Talavera de le Reina, Toledo, Spain, October 27 and 28, 1809

In the summer of 1809, 20,000 British and Portuguese troops, under Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, used their recent success in Portugal to march into the teeth of French controlled Spain. The British joined forces with a 33,000 strong Spanish Army under General Cuesta and marched toward Madrid.  Marshall Victor, with 46,000 French troops, attacked the British / Spanish forces at Talavera. Sir Arthur, probably the best defensive general of his era, chose his ground well, and repulsed numerous French attacks.
As Victor’s forces arrived on the evening of October 27th, he immediately attacked the Cerro de Medellin, a hill on the left of the British / Spanish line, that was Wellesley’s key defensive position.  The ensuing rare Napoleonic night fight, saw the French division under Ruffin, briefly hold the Medellin, only to be pushed back by British counter-attack. 

Here is the Google view, looking up the Medellin as the French would have seen it.  Note the dam and reservoir behind.  Those were put in place in the 1940s, so the battlefield has changed significantly in 205 years.,-4.8415914,3a,75y,242.76h,89.52t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_guWnWEprBT0PJmPCb119A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

At first light, Ruffin's division launched a new, more massive attack on the Medellin.  Charles Oman describes the attack in his goto work “A History of the Peninsular War Vol II”, published 1903.  The book is available for free download at Google books.

When the light companies had fallen back, the French were at last visible through the smoke. They had mounted the lower slopes of the Cerro without any loss, covered by their artillery, which only ceased firing at this moment. They showed nine battalions, in three solid columns : Victor had arranged the divisions with the 24th in the centre, the 96th on the left, and the 9th Leger, which had suffered so severely in the nightbattle, upon the right. This arrangement brought the last named regiment opposite their old enemies of the 29th, and the Battalion of Detachments, while the l/48th and 2/48th had to deal with the French centre, and the Buffs and 66th with their left. When Ruffin's columns had got within a hundred yards of the sky-line, Hill bade his six battalions stand to their feet and advance. As they lined the crest they delivered a splendid volley, whose report was as sharp and precise as that of a field-day. The effect was of course murderous, as was always the case when line met column. The French had a marked superiority in numbers ; they were nearly 5,000 strong, Hill's two brigades had less than 4,000 2. But there was the usual advantage that every British soldier could use his weapon, while the French, in column of divisions, had the normal mass of useless muskets in the rear ranks. The first volley brought them to a standstill—their whole front had gone down at the discharge—they lost the impetus of advance, halted, and kept up a furious fire for some minutes. But when it came to a standing fight of musketry, there was never a doubt in any Peninsular battle how the game would end. The French fire began ere long to slacken, the front of the columns shook and wavered.

Just at this moment Sherbrooke, who had noted that the divisions in his own front showed no signs of closing, took the 5th battalion of the King's German Legion out of his left brigade 1, and sent it against the flank and rear of Ruffin's nearest regiment—the 96th of the line. When the noise of battle broke out in this new quarter, the French lost heart and began to give ground. Richard Stewart, at the northern end of the British line, gave the signal to his brigade to charge, and —as a participator in this fray writes, ' on we went, a wall of stout hearts and bristling steel. The enemy did not fancy such close quarters, and the moment our rush began they went to the right-about. The principal portion broke and fled, though some brave fellows occasionally faced about and gave us an irregular fire.' Nothing, however, could stop Hill's division, and the whole six battalions rushed like a torrent down the slope, bayonetting and sweeping back the enemy to the line of black and muddy pools that marked the course of the Portifia. Many of the pursuers even crossed the ravine and chased the flying French divisions right into the arms of Villatte's troops, on the Cascajal Hill. When these reserves opened fire, Hill's men re-formed on the lower slope of the Cerro, and retired to their old position without being seriously molested, for Victor made no counter-attack.

Ruffin's three regiments had been terribly punished : they had lost, in forty minutes' fighting, 1,300 killed and wounded, much more than a fourth of their strength. Hill's brigades had about 750 casualties2, including their gallant leader, who received a wound in the head, and had to go to the rear, leaving the command of his division to Tilson. The loss of the German battalion which had struck in upon the French rear was insignificant, as the enemy never stood to meet it

This is the view of the Medellin that Ruffin would have had just before his division attacked on the morning of October 28th:,-4.8320469,3a,22.9y,228.9h,91.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sL8foqtxGgghrp6F5yLzb0Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

After Ruffin's morning attack, the other French divisions attacked at various points on the British line, all during the day; including the attacks on the Medellin, there were a total of seven attacks.  Only one of the attacks forced a localized British retreat, creating a gap, that Wellesley managed to plug before the French could push through the line.

This view is approximately where one of those attacks started; Levalle’s French division.,-4.8260916,3a,75y,295.11h,81.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1seLuFwANWYQqUrj-4_gaSjQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

At the end of the 28th, their attacks having failed to dislodge the British, the French troops were spent.  Victor had had enough.  When the British awoke on the morning of the 29th, they found the French had gone.  While Sir Arthur had won the battle, decidedly beating Victor, he soon found out that another French force of 50,000 troops under Marshall Soult was on an intercept path.  Low on supplies, and bickering with his Spanish allies, the future Duke was forced to retreat back into Portugal.

The original battlefield memorial is on the Medellin.  But the hill is private property, so another was erected at the approximate center rear of the British line.,-4.8471801,3a,75y,297.94h,101.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZWsR4oubyd9zmIRzOsKBbQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Some kind netizen has posted a battlemap super imposed on the modern roads. Great for battlefield visitors.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on October 18, 2015, 06:14:49 PM
Battle of Leipzig, 16-19 October, 1813,

Part 1, Cavalry Clash at Liebertwolkwitz, Germany, 14 October, 1813

Many historians have argued that the most important battle of the Napoleonic Wars was not Waterloo, but Leipzig.  It was the largest Napoleonic battle, with 225,000 French and French allied troops, against 380,000 Coalition Allied troops, made up of Russians, Austrians, Prussians and Swedes.  Truly the “Battle of Nations”, Leipzig was a sound defeat for Napoleon, ending his 1813 campaign in Germany, and sending the French reeling back to France, where Allied victories would force Napoleon to abdicate.

The battle of Leipzig was a sprawling affair, fought over three days.  One of the initial actions, fought on October 14th, two days before the main battle, was a cavalry clash south of the village of Liebertwolkwitz.  Intent on attacking Napoleon’s forces at Leipzig, the Allies resolved to send a “grand reconnaissance” forward.  This reconnaissance was conducted by the vanguard of the Army of Bohemia, led by Russian General Count Wittgenstein, who attacked the village of Liebertwolkwitz from south and southeast.  The village was held by a French mixed cavalry and infantry force under Marshal Murat. 

While French and Allied infantry fought a seesaw battle for control of the village itself, the Allied left, mostly made of cavalry, halted as it observed a large French cavalry and artillery force west of Liebertwolkwitz.  The Allied force regrouped, then attacked.  The result was a massive cavalry battle in this field (the Allied position would have been to the left, and the French to the right in this view):,+Leipzig,+Germany/@51.2729981,12.4490443,3a,75y,265.77h,80.46t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sfR4SoBb365gGr_zEOnyxUA!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x47a6feaf27e69435:0x521b1cb428d6d00!6m1!1e1

The French defensive line was backed by 30 artillery pieces located approximately here, looking toward the Allied positions.,+Leipzig,+Germany/@51.2831593,12.4414761,3a,75y,190.36h,83.84t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sb9U55c_uU37uWivjgH036w!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x47a6feaf27e69435:0x521b1cb428d6d00!6m1!1e1

The combat is described in Napoleon at Leipzig, the Battle of the Nations, 1813, by George Nafziger, pages 91 -93

Roder sent the landwehr cavalry, under von Mutius, to support the Cossacks north of Crobern, and placed himself with the Slilesian Cuirassier Regiment and Horse Battery #2. He ordered them to advance at a trot, and ordered the Brandenburg Cuirassiers to follow behind quickly. As he reached the Leipzig Road, he saw on the plateau a mass of French cavalry to the north.  The Silesian Cuirassier Regiment were ordered forward to attack them.
The Brandenburg and Silesian Cuirassiers deployed to the left in platoon column and trotted forward on Pahlen’s left.  The Silesian Cuirassiers deployed to the left and the Brandenburg Cuirassiers deployed to the right, both in echelons. They advanced forward on either side of the East Prussian Cuirassier Regiment. The three regiments drove forward and struck the head of Milhaud's column of dragoons, the 22nd and 25th Dragoons, who had formed in line. Behind the 22nd and 25th Dragoons came a column formed of the 20th, 19th and 18th Dragoon Regiments.
The battle continued, in an uninterrupted series of charges and countercharges. Murat ignored his position as commander by once again reducing himself to the position of brigade or regimental commander and leading one charge after another. He lost overall control of the battle.
Towards noon, the exhaustion of both sides was so great, that, for a short while, the two belligerent forces on the plateau by Giilden-Gossa stood 300 to 400 paces from one another, resting their panting horses and recovering their wounded.  The further course of the battle consisted solely of the constant and uncoordinated  pushes of small groups  of  cavalry without plan.
In one instance, Murat had personally led forward a regiment. It broke in the attack and was falling back, when Lieutenant Guido von der Lippe, of the Neumark Dragoon Regiment, spotted Murat alone and undefended. He promptly led forward a small force of men, in an effort to seize Murat, but was shot dead by the single trooper standing by Murat.
Pahlen (Allied), seeing the turn taken by the battle, resolved to hold his position, until the arrival of Klenau's column. He refused his left wing and supported it with two Prussian batteries. He pushed forward his right wing. The French, on their side, reinforced their right and established, between Wachau and Liebertwolkwitz, a number of strong batteries, whose fire took the allied left in enfilade.
Murat, believing the moment had come to finish the allied force, formed a single large column, with the cavalry of the V Cavalry Corps, and threw them against the allied batteries. The allied artillery responded with cannister, that inflicted many casualties on the head of the French column.  The Russian Hussars, the Prussian Uhlans and the Brandenburg Cuirassiers took advantage of this, to throw themselves on the French. It was now 2:00 P.M., and the battle had begun at 9:00 A.M.

By the end of the day, neither side had made significant gains, and both sides had lost approximately 1500 men each. But this was just a taste of the much larger battle to come. 

For the wargamers out there, Liebertwolkwitz has two scenarios in GMT's recently released Command and Colors Napoleonics, Expansion 5.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on November 28, 2015, 07:34:52 AM
Battle of Lundy's Lane, near Niagara Falls, Canada, July 25, 1814

In the summer of 1814, the American army under Major General Jacob Brown, moved into Canada, up to Niagara river. They had some initial success, defeating a British force at the Battle of Chippawa.

But the American's did not have enough heavy guns to take the British stronghold at Ft. George, so they took up positions near the fort, waiting for naval reinforcements that would never come.

After being continuously harassed by British allied native raids, the American's started to withdrawal in late July. The British, under Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond, maintained contact, and took up defensive positions near Niagara Falls, on a low ridge at Lundy's Lane.

The key to the British position, were the British line of artillery pieces on the ridge.  The Americans, decided to attack, to force the British back to Fort George.

The American forces, made up of many US Army regulars, came to around 2,500 men, and British forces around 3,500. The battle would be a night fight, with the Americans attacking around 6PM. After taking the brunt of point-blank cannon fire, the American's were able to take the line of British guns. The combat was mostly hand to hand, and so bloody that British troops who had seen combat in Spain, said they had seen nothing like it. The British counter-attacked three times, the last time around midnight, but they could not retake the guns. 

After the last British attack, the Americans, were depleted and outnumbered, so they retreated from the field, leaving the guns. The British, with one general officer captured, and Drummond wounded, were too spent to pursue. Both sides lost almost 900 men each, for the Americans, this was a devastating number.

Overall, the battle was a strategic victory for the British, as the American's had lost so many troops that they were forced to withdraw to Fort Erie.

This is a view of the battlefield today. In 1814 this was open land, but now is urban sprawl. The churchyard to the left was there, and this road is the approximate position of the British guns. The American attack would have been coming from the left.,-79.0956424,3a,75y,242.05h,85.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s93HfAOcPGhCLpuXCcu3lBQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This is a pretty good site that gives some great background, and a great map of the battle.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on December 14, 2015, 03:44:43 PM
Lexington and Concord, near Boston, Massachusetts, April 19, 1775

“the shot heard ‘round the world”

The American Revolution started with a series of skirmishes between British Regulars and Colonial Militia at Lexington and Concord.  And while the military effect of these fights were relatively minor, the political effect was to ignite the Revolution.   

In the early morning hours of April 19, 1775, a force of 700 British regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, left Boston, on a secret mission to destroy rebel supplies at Concord, a small town west of Boston. While rebels were clearly planning for trouble, as of April 19th, there were still no shots being fired. 

The Americans were forewarned of the British expedition.  At dawn, the British advanced guard entered Lexington, a small town on the main route to Concord. As the British troops approached the town center, a group of about 80 militia emerged from Buckman’s tavern on Lexington Green. The militia formed a line and blocked the British advance. A British officer approached the militia and apparently ordered them to disperse. The atmosphere was charged with tension, but neither side was looking for a fight. Then someone fired a shot. The Regulars thinking they were being fired upon, started volley fire, and followed-up with a bayonet charge.  The colonists broke and ran, but eight of them were killed.
"[A]t 5 o’clock we arrived [in Lexington], and saw a number of people, I believe between 200 and 300, formed in a common in the middle of town; we still continued advancing, keeping prepared against an attack through without intending to attack them; but on our coming near them they fired on us two shots, upon which our men without any orders, rushed upon them, fired and put them to flight; several of them were killed, we could not tell how many, because they were behind walls and into the woods. We had a man of the 10th light Infantry wounded, nobody else was hurt. We then formed on the Common, but with some difficulty, the men were so wild they could hear no orders; we waited a considerable time there, and at length proceeded our way to Concord." — Lieutenant John Barker, 4th Regiment of Foot

Here is Lexington Green.  Buckman tavern can be seen behind this view.,+Bedford+St,+Lexington,+MA+02420/@42.4495359,-71.2302337,3a,90y,267.43h,76.43t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sri0rTXaHy_OxK8-jcjz07g!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x89e39dd044394067:0x633747e130438b8c

The British then marched on to Concord. The skirmish on Lexington Green stirred the hornets nest, and more colonial militia began to gather to oppose the Regulars.  When the British came into Concord, they split. The main body stayed in Concord, while a scouting party went out to a nearby farm to look for contraband weapons.  About 100 Regulars secured North Bridge as a retreat route for the scouting party. Overlooking North Bridge, on the top of a low hill, the colonial militia gathered. Neither side was firing on the other at this point. 

When the militia clearly outnumbered the small British force at North Bridge, the militia began to advance.  The British, began to retreat back across the bridge, towards town.  At some point, a panicked British soldier fired a shot.  Then volleys were exchanged, and the disrupted British began to flee back toward Concord. 

This is a view of North Bridge, looking from the American militia positions at the top of the hill.  The minuteman memorial can also be seen. The tall white memorial on the other side of bridge is approximately were three British soldiers fell from the American volleys.  Two of these British soldiers are still buried at the foot of the bridge.  The following inscription is on their grave: They came three thousand miles and died,To keep the past upon its throne.Unheard beyond the ocean tide,Their English mother made her moan.,+Bedford+St,+Lexington,+MA+02420/@42.469479,-71.3529713,3a,15y,107.24h,88.54t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-WnWuRPsUiY8%2FVlkQ7__l3vI%2FAAAAAAAAL5E%2FSzJljZ-eybk!2e4!3e11!!7i8704!8i4352!4m2!3m1!1s0x89e39dd044394067:0x633747e130438b8c

The British would have a long tortuous march back to Boston, enduring harassing fire from militia all along the route.  Eventually, Smith’s troops were saved by a relief force, and made it back to Boston.  By the next day however, 15,000 colonial militia had gathered, and Boston was besieged.  The Revolution had begun. 
This is a link to a great animated map, that is pretty detailed and shows the situation very well.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: BanzaiCat on December 14, 2015, 08:13:47 PM
Thanks, AT, for continuing to do this.

This site ( is indeed pretty awesome! I watched several of the animations and bookmarked for later to finish it up.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on December 15, 2015, 08:42:43 PM
Thanks, AT, for continuing to do this.

This site ( is indeed pretty awesome! I watched several of the animations and bookmarked for later to finish it up.

Thanks, please post your own Google battlesites.

Regarding Lexington/Concord, I see that Compass Games has just put Revolution Road on the pre-order list.  Lexington/Concord and Bunker Hill.  So I am jazzed about that.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 10, 2016, 12:07:22 PM
Pearl Harbor, Oahu, December 7, 1941

The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, was a severe blow to the US Pacific Fleet, and was the jolt that brought a reluctant US into WWII.  The Japanese attacked in two waves, using over 350 aircraft from six aircraft carriers.  All eight US battleships were hit, with four of them being sunk (two were later refloated).  Over 180 US aircraft were destroyed, mostly on the ground. 

The view below is looking out over the harbor to Ford Island.  The long white building in the distance is the Arizona memorial, and marks the end of "battleship" row, where the Japanese pilots found easy targets.,-157.9398514,3a,66.7y,277.27h,84.07t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s31v36Mb9G5pRL1bJZIev_Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

The view from inside the Arizona memorial.  The US Arizona, BB-39 was a Pennsylvania class battleship, that had been the height of technology in WWI, but by 1941 would  have had trouble standing toe-to-toe with more modern battlewagons.  The Arizona was hit four times by Japanese dive bombers.  The last bomb, penetrated the deck, and reached the forward magazine.  The resulting explosion doomed Arizona, and killed over 1,000 sailors.  During WWII, the superstructure and main turrets were salvaged. The barbette of one of the turrets is still visible above water.,-157.9499973,3a,75y,77.17h,65.08t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-nvGH01L3kxE%2FVDs2Qv4IH6I%2FAAAAAAAABOA%2FnSlUp4AYsRU!2e4!3e11!!7i6656!8i3328!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0xb4bdfae6059c127c!6m1!1e1

Two battleships were completely destroyed in the attack.  Besides the Arizona, the other was the USS Utah. BB-31 (technically Utah was ex-BB-31, and was designated AG-16 at the time of the attack).  The Utah was an older, pre-WWI dreadnought, its main guns removed, it was used as a target ship (US bombers would drop water bombs on its decks), and for AA gun training.  During the attack, Utah was struck with two torpedoes, it rolled over, and trapped 64 men who were never recovered.  Attempts to refloat the ship failed.  The wreck can still be seen from the memorial pier on Ford Island.,-157.9621375,3a,75y,281.14h,83.39t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-gvkrznVnW8U%2FV3LHnPhf8lI%2FAAAAAAAAHcs%2FprFinTR89EMsTDsS2lajtabth1P7HHwWwCLIB!2e4!3e11!!7i10240!8i5120!4m5!3m4!1s0x0000000000000000:0xb4bdfae6059c127c!8m2!3d21.3683597!4d-157.9615341

Here is a great site that gives more details on the USS Utah:

In addition to the ships at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attack also concentrated on the US airbases on Oahu.  Hickam airfield was strafed and bombed.  Today, bullet and shrapnel damage is kept on the headquarters building as a reminder.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: Bardolph on April 29, 2016, 11:48:00 AM
Good stuff. I used Google Street View a few years back when I was putting together a miniatures version of La Fiere Manoir to get the lay of the land and buildings. Also was able to follow the path of Harrison Summers at "WXYZ" when I was researching a scenario to represent his action there. The cool thing is there are lots of WWII recon photos available online as well so you can compare and correct where things have changed since the war.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 30, 2016, 09:43:58 AM
Battle of Thermopylea, Phthiotis, Greece, Late Summer 480BC

In 480 BC, the Persian King Xerxes invaded Greece with a massive army, estimated to be anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 men.  The Greek city states, often at war with each other, were slow to coordinate and react.  Eventually, a force of about 7,000 Greeks (I have also seen much lower estimates), with a core of 300 Spartans, led by the Spartan King Leonidas, took up a defensive position in a small pass directly on Xerxes route to Athens.

For two days, the Greeks, with their large heavy shields, held off the much larger Persian force.  On the third day, a local farmer led a portion of the Persians along a mountain path, around the Greeks.  All of the Spartans were killed (except one who was sent back by Leonidas with a message for the Greek coalition).  While the Greeks only delayed Xerxes for approximately a week, most historians seem to agree that this gave the Greek more time to gather forces and prepare.  While Xerxes would eventually take Athens, he eventually lost a major battle at Platea the next year, and he had to retreat from Greece.

Approximate location of the Day 1 and Day 2 Greek line, and main battles.  At the time of the battle, the ocean came up to where the road is today.  So the pass between the mountains and sea was very narrow.,22.5346203,3a,81.3y,191.14h,85.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP3bvgSw1rZoBmZctiv9QXg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The Leonidas memorial,22.5364993,3a,75y,347.21h,92.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqlcVvqDSQOL1YzUAaeBQ9g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

This video is a quick overview of the modern day battlefield.  One issue with it is that the presenter says there were 1400 Greeks.  While I have seen this number elsewhere, Wikipedia elaborates a much larger number of 7,000.

Another video overview,  with much a less steady hand, but more information.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 30, 2016, 09:45:57 AM
Good stuff. I used Google Street View a few years back when I was putting together a miniatures version of La Fiere Manoir to get the lay of the land and buildings. Also was able to follow the path of Harrison Summers at "WXYZ" when I was researching a scenario to represent his action there. The cool thing is there are lots of WWII recon photos available online as well so you can compare and correct where things have changed since the war.

I agree, Google street view is a real boon for wargamer's.  Also for house hunting, and vacation planning....:)

I would be interested to see any good links for WWII recon photos.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: Bardolph on April 30, 2016, 11:42:58 AM (has pics from 1947, select in upper right corner)

Also have a ton of map links if you want a dump of those ;)

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on May 01, 2016, 11:37:29 AM
Also have a ton of map links if you want a dump of those ;)

Great links, yes, please post your map links...I love good maps.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on May 01, 2016, 01:12:26 PM
Battle of Palo Alto, May 8, 1846, Brownsville, Texas

The first major battle of the Mexican American War, was a defensive action by Mexican General Arista.  The Mexican army had started to besiege the US Fort Texas, on the northern bank of the Rio Grande river, near modern day Brownsville.  Gen Zachary Taylor, with a force of over 2000 troops, marched from his base at Ft. Polk to relieve Fort Texas.  Mexican General Arista, with a force of over 3500 troops, set up a defensive line to block the US relief force.  While the Mexicans outnumbered the US forces, Mexican artillery fire was ineffective, and a Mexican cavalry charge was repulsed by a US infantry square.  After spirited fighting, Taylor’s force won the day using superior artillery tactics.

Views of the Battlefield,-97.473565,3a,90y,184.25h,67.39t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-jGFOsQsdZfM%2FU8gyH59tEgI%2FAAAAAAAAKC8%2F_lPEYg1aqBoTXCRA51oyvuG9Lo1VaJLKQ!2e4!3e11!!7i4000!8i2000!4m2!3m1!1s0x866f97925a5c2337:0x8eb9d17681c20c5e!6m1!1e1,-97.4744555,3a,87.3y,61.59h,70.75t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-e3wjULkYt4s%2FU8gyHygLdkI%2FAAAAAAAAJ2U%2Fk7U2oOsiF1kdsMUCJm_8stfCf0S6jBi_w!2e4!3e11!!7i4000!8i2000!4m2!3m1!1s0x866f97925a5c2337:0x8eb9d17681c20c5e!6m1!1e1,-97.473726,3a,75y,257.08h,63.47t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-sDksnU7f0GI%2FU8gyHw2WwrI%2FAAAAAAAAJ38%2FPHJYz-t6dCgCqKjSUOyz5O5sKWQNYiJFw!2e4!3e11!!7i4000!8i2000!4m2!3m1!1s0x866f97925a5c2337:0x8eb9d17681c20c5e!6m1!1e1

Battlefield Park Entrance,-97.4810243,3a,46.5y,70.22h,84.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srS4PkcRjc87VTqLqPwrRxA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: Bardolph on May 01, 2016, 11:10:28 PM
Not sure if I should post em here or on a separate thread but... mods can move it if they feel appropriate:,Pub_Date,Pub_List_No,Series_No

Some may well be out of date but pasting the address into will often find a captured version of the page.

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on May 28, 2016, 07:35:02 PM
Suvla Bay, Gallipoli Campaign, Dardanelles, Turkey, August 6 - 10, 1915

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was an Allied attempt to knock Turkey out of WWI.  For a brief moment, a naval campaign to destroy the Turkish forts guarding the gateway to Istanbul, almost succeeded.  But a combination of bad luck and Allied caution led to the naval campaign quickly losing steam.  Undaunted, the young British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, pushed, prodded and cajoled the Army to provide troops to land on the Gallipoli peninsula.  The idea was to take the remaining forts from land, and guarantee the fleet safe passage to Istanbul. 

The landings at Gallipoli in April 1915, produced little result, and the land campaign quickly bogged down.  The Turks and Allies settled into trench warfare, sometimes within sight of beaches.   

In late summer of 1915, the Allies decided to attempt a breakout.  The plan was to land fresh troops, one of Kitchner's New Army corps, several miles behind the Turkish lines.  A successful landing would force the Turks into a retreat.  The place chosen was Suvla Bay.  On the evening of August 6, 1915, the British IX Corps, made up of the 10th (Irish) Division and the 11th (Northern) Division landed mostly unopposed. 

This is a view of the landing areas.  If you look at the map, the large salt lake was dry during the attack.,26.2193118,3a,75y,143.12h,74.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKPbntckcF-kvhEAutJIBnw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

In one of the most infamous examples of inept generalship in WWI, the British commander General Stopford, had his 25,000 troops sit on the beach for almost two days.  The IX Corps could have easily pushed past the scant 1,500 Turks who held defensive positions on the high ground around the beaches.  Because of his inaction, Stopford would eventually be relieved; but it was too late.  By the time the IX Corps decided to move off the beaches, the Turks had been reinforced with several divisions, and their new commander, Mustafa Kemal, had built defensive positions that the British and Irish would pay dearly trying to penetrate. 

This is a view of Green Hill.  One of the Turkish defensive positions that was hotly contested once the British tried to move off the beaches.  The British 11th Division was given the task of taking this area.  The view is from the backside of the Turkish side of the hill.  If you spin the view around, you will see the Green Hill war cemetery.,26.2798136,3a,75y,256.05h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sASgpAV3lQ3xUBHvLUSX9aQ!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Eventually, like the rest of landing sites at Gallipoli, Suvla Bay would turn into a trench bound battle of stalemate.  In the end, the Gallipoli campaign was a complete Allied failure, and a great Turkish victory.  The Allies withdrew in January 1916.  Among the causalities, was Winston Churchill's early career; he was demoted and became the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Suva Bay was a bitter experience for the Allies.  For this reason, it is memorialized in the Irish revolutionary song "The Foggy Dew"; 'for it twas better to die neath an Irish sky than at Suvla....'
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 02, 2016, 09:32:18 AM
Battle for Stonne, Champagne-Ardenne, France, May 15  - 17, 1940

As part of the German 1940 invasion of France, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German General  Heinz Guderian , commanding the XIX Panzer Corps, made an aggressive thrust to seize river crossings over the Meuse and push on to Sedan.  To help secure the bridgehead, Guderian ordered the 10th Panzer division, and the Gross Deutschland Infantry regiment, to attack across the Stonne plain and seize the village there.  Seeing an opening to attack the relatively lightly defended bridgehead, French General Charles Huntziger, ordered elements of his XXI Corps to counter-attack at Stonne, in the hopes of collapsing the German river crossing.

The first French attack, saw the Gross Deutschland IR defending the town with anti-tank guns against an onslaught of French Char B-1 bis tanks.  The heavily armored Char B-1s were very difficult to kill, and it was only at the edge of the village where the Germans stopped the attack, when GD AT gunners took out three of the Char B-1s at point blank range.

This view is looking toward the main French axis of advance from German positions,4.9234943,3a,75y,224.3h,66.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssPAPNSrrXWr6H8t1mMn2aQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (,4.9234943,3a,75y,224.3h,66.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssPAPNSrrXWr6H8t1mMn2aQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

Here is the memorial in the village, complete with Char B-1 bis,4.9251355,3a,75y,315.16h,75.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0OgnttcezEJ1kwi_kxso7Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (,4.9251355,3a,75y,315.16h,75.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0OgnttcezEJ1kwi_kxso7Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

There aren’t many good battle maps available on the internet, but this one on a French forum is a very good depiction of the May 15 French attack.  Note that the three knocked out Chars are marked on the map. (

The battle was a seesaw affair, with the village changing hands 17 times during the course of the two days.  The Char B-1 was a surprise for the Germans.  While very slow and unreliable, the tank’s heavy armor, outclassed German capabilities at this point in the war.  On May 16, a Char B-1, commanded by Captain Pierre Billotte managed to kill 13 Panzer IIIs and IVs and take 140 hits, before being forced to retreat. (

In the end Germans were able to reinforce Stonne with two more infantry divisions, and the Germans retook the village for the last time on May 17th.  The French counter-attack failed; it was a bold stroke that could have changed the course of the war, but was stopped by tenacious German defenders.
While the battle is somewhat obscure today, the German veterans of WWII remembered it as deadly test of wills; they dubbed it the ‘Verdun of 1940.”

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on October 13, 2016, 01:07:26 PM
Battle of Hastings, near modern day Battle, East Sussex, England, October 14, 1066

Tomorrow is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. 

It is not exaggeration to say Hastings is the most famous battle of English history.  William, Duke of Normandy, and descendant of Viking raiders who settled in Normandy, invaded England to claim the English throne.  The invasion was triggered after Harold Godwinson, an Anglo-Saxon nobleman, crowned himself King of England, after the death of Edward the Confessor.  William believed that he had a more legitimate claim to throne than Harold, and during the spring and summer of 1066 he assembled an invasion force to take England away from Harold. 

William, after some delay, landed about 10,000 troops, including archers and cavalry, at Pevensey in late September.  At the same time, Harold, already had his hands full.  Another foreign force, the Vikings, had invaded northern England.  So Harold first marched 200 miles north to York, to defeat the Vikings at Stamford bridge.  Harold then turned around, marched back south, and positioned his very tired 7,000 troops in front of William’s advancing invasion force.

Harold, took up a superior defensive position at the top of a hill, and William came at him with ferocious frontal attacks.  The result was an all-day battle, with the Normans making repeated attacks against the Anglo-Saxon shield wall.  The battle ended, when Harold was killed by an arrow in his eye, and the Anglo-Saxon feudal army subsequently disintegrated. The rest is history.

Here is the traditional site of the battlefield.  William built an abbey on the site several years after the battle, to commemorate his victory.  This view is of the abbey grounds, and you can see where the alter was, that supposedly marked the place where Harold fell.,0.4875878,3a,75y,23.74h,83.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP1AdT6rMrNrvgwuBa5EdWw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (,0.4875878,3a,75y,23.74h,83.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP1AdT6rMrNrvgwuBa5EdWw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

This article has an interesting discussion of the place where Harold is thought to have fallen: (

Over the years, there have been several new theories about the site of the battle.  Mostly driven by the fact that traditional site does not seem to have much archeological evidence.  The below is a link to the British Channel 4's excellent TV show “Time Team,” that discusses other theories that say the traditional site of the battle is wrong. (

Here is the Time Team episode.  Worth watching.
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on November 04, 2016, 09:14:35 AM
Operation Biting, Bruneval, Saint-Jouin-Bruneval, France, February 27-28, 1942
"The Bruneval Raid"

In late 1941, as British bombers ramped up the night bombing campaign of the German Reich, Allied planners were becoming increasing alarmed at the effectiveness of the German radar defenses.  In order to determine how best to jam this radar network, the British set out to examine the German radar sets. 
Aerial reconnaissance soon found an isolated “Wurtzburg” radar set located on a cliff near the coastal French town of Bruneval.  Because the site was well protected from a sea-side assault, a combined para-drop, seaborne evacuation was planned.  The idea was that the paras would land behind the sea facing defenses, capture as many radar components as possible, neutralize the German defenses from behind, and then evacuate by sea.
The unit given this task was C Company of the 2nd Battalion of the British 1st Parachute Brigade.  Most of the 120 men had joined the paras from Scottish regiments.  The plan was to drop in three sections.  One section, would rush the villa where the radar was located.  One would secure the route out, and the other would provide security. 
The main assault group landed in the correct place, and was able to quickly seize the radar location and start taking parts.  They even captured one of the radar operators.  One of the security groups was dropped in the wrong place, but quickly got their bearings and were able to secure the route out. 

The landing zone for the main assault group:,0.1714239,3a,75y,204.31h,71.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srYCc0TvBuV2WIgioAo8Zjg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The spot where one of the security groups "mislanded",0.1636387,3a,75y,288.16h,86.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_xmdr2u2s6sh9l_V2rFpmQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The route that the assault force took to the beach for pickup:,+76280+Saint-Jouin-Bruneval,+France/@49.6654957,0.1632304,3a,60y,39.91h,91.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHQGpuowSYvr_tNlPUiHutA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e022c6b6705f55:0x260c14494e59dfd2!8m2!3d49.663033!4d0.163853

The beach where the six Royal Navy landing craft picked up the raiders:,+76280+Saint-Jouin-Bruneval,+France/@49.6671772,0.1598447,3a,75y,223.07h,95.97t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-HF33vrIPUmE%2FWAie58feMPI%2FAAAAAAAAqUE%2FHzEEwQZlvOMH-A0n1ZhmZCO8bfSIdGTuQCLIB!2e4!3e11!!7i6144!8i3072!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e022c6b6705f55:0x260c14494e59dfd2!8m2!3d49.663033!4d0.163853!6m1!1e1

The Germans were taken by surprise, and while they did resist, they could never provide a coordinated counter-attack.  While prowling German torpedo boats did cause some concern, the Royal Navy was able to pick up all three parts of C Company as planned. 
The result was very successful raid.  The first use of British paratroops ever.

And of course, there is plenty of good stuff on the internet about this raid.  I recommend the following youtube documentary as a good overview for those that want to know more:
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on November 25, 2016, 08:57:27 AM
Operation Anthropoid,  Prague, Czechoslovakia  (currently the Czech Republic), May 27, 1942
The Assassination of SS Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich

In late December 1941, the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) secretly dropped a group of soldiers from Czechoslovakia’s army in exile into Czechoslovakia.  Two of the Czech soldiers, Josef Gabcik and Jan Kubis had trained in Scotland to assassinate the Nazi’s number three in command, Reinhard Heydrich.  Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo and one of the architects of the Holocaust, was also the Nazi governor of Czechoslovakia, stationed in Prague. 

After landing, Gabcik and Kubis contacted the local Czech resistance.  With local support, the pair mapped out Heydrich’s routine.  They chose to attack him during his daily commute from his home in the Prague suburbs to his HQ in Prague Castle.  The plan was simple, while Heydrich’s car slowed on a tight turn, Gabcik would step in front of it, and pepper Heydrich with a Sten sub machine gun.  The attack was set for the morning of May 27th, 1942.  From the start, almost nothing went right.  Gabcik’s Sten jammed and Heydrich and his driver returned fire with their side arms.  At some point, Gabcik tossed a British anti-tank grenade under the car, but this seemed to do little damage.  Hitting nothing with their pistols, Gabcik and Kubis fled. 

Gabcik and Kubis believed that their mission had been a total failure.  However, shrapnel from the grenade had hit Heydrich in the back.  The SS Obergruppenfuhrer died on June 4th, from infections in the wound. 

This is the location of the attack, marked by the red pillar memorial,14.4651797,3a,75y,172.07h,86.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbB6E3S_hDNj7_ge3RD-Mzw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Gabcik and Kubis, along with a group of other parachutists, were hid by the Orthodox Bishop of Prague in the Church of St Cyril and Methodius.  A traitor betrayed their location, and on June 18, 750 SS troops surrounded the church in order to capture the Czechs.  After a six hour gun battle, the Czechs were all killed, either by the Germans, or by their own hand.

Church of St Cyril and Methodius.  Bullet marks from the gun battle are preserved above the memorial.,14.4168664,3a,75y,22.72h,92.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sy_mN4hme5DCTbwdIOKi9uQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Nazi reprisals against the citizens of Prague and Czechoslovakia where immediate and ferocious.  Over 5,000 civilians were executed.  An entire village was killed because the Germans had the mistaken belief that Gabcik and Kubis had come from there.  The Nazi’s hunted down and killed the immediate family members of anyone involved.  The Orthodox Bishop of Prague and the priests who hid the Czech soldiers were executed.

Today, the Czech Republic remembers Operation Anthropoid as an act of resistance and sacrifice.  The Czech ministry of defense has published a pretty good booklet on the subject that is available here: (
Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on December 18, 2016, 03:38:14 PM
Defense of Tros-Ponts Belgium, Battle of the Bulge, December 18 - 21, 1944

A major part of the German plan for the Battle of the Bulge, was a powerful armored thrust to the Meuse by the 6th Panzer Army.  To accomplish this, the cream of the German armored forces, were allocated to Kampfgruppe Peiper, made up of elements from the 1st SS Liebenstandarte Division.

Right from the beginning, Peiper's heavy armored spearhead, including King Tiger II tanks, was unable to achieve much speed.  This was mostly due to constrained terrain, that forced his armor to stick to the roads, allowing small units of American troops to cause major delays.

Tros-Ponts, Beligium was one such place.  Peiper's superior firepower was hobbled by determined Americans, using the terrain to their advantage.  On December 18th, a depleted company of US combat engineers, and a lone 57mm AT gun, successfully defended, then blew the bridge crossings over the Ambleve. 

This action is described in Hugh Cole's Official US Army History of the battle.  Available here: (by the way, it has some excellent color maps at the back of the pdf of the book)

Page 267 - 268

While the engagement in Stavelot was still in progress, Peiper turned some of his tanks toward Trois Ponts, the important bridgehead at the confluence of the Salm and the Amblève. As Peiper puts it: “We proceeded at top speed towards Trois Ponts in an effort to seize the bridge there. . . . If we had captured the bridge at Trois Ponts intact and had had enough fuel, it would have been a simple matter to drive through to the Meuse River early that day.” One company of Mark IV tanks tried to reach Trois Ponts by following a narrow side road on the near bank of the Amblève. The road was almost impassable, and when the column came under American fire this approach was abandoned. The main part of the kampfgruppe swung through Stavelot and advanced on Trois Ponts by the highway which followed the north bank of the river. Things were looking up and it seemed that the only cause for worry was the lowering level in the panzer fuel tanks. Missing in Peiper’s calculations was an American gun, the puny 57-mm. antitank weapon which had proven such an impuissant answer to German tanks. Trois Ponts gains its name from three highway bridges, two over the Salm and one across the Amblève. The road from Stavelot passes under railroad tracks as it nears Trois Ponts, then veers sharply to the south, crosses the Amblève, continues through the narrow valley for a few hundred yards, and finally turns west at right angles to cross the Salm and enter the main section of the small village. A number of roads find their way through the deep recesses of the Salm and Amblève valleys to reach Trois Ponts, hidden among the cliffs and hills. Most, however, wind for some distance through the gorges and along the tortuous valley floors. One road, a continuation of the paved highway from Stavelot, leads immediately from Trois Ponts and the valley to the west. This road, via Werbomont, was Peiper’s objective. Company C, 51st Engineer Combat Battalion, occupied Trois Ponts, so important in the itinerary of the kampfgruppe. Quite unaware of the importance of its mission, the company had been ordered out of the sawmills it had been operating as part of the First Army’s Winterization and Bridge Timber Cutting Program, and dispatched to Trois Ponts where it detrucked about midnight on 17 December. Numbering around 140 men, the company was armed with eight bazookas and ten machine guns. Maj. Robert B. Yates, commanding the force, knew only that the 1111th Engineer Group was preparing a barrier line along the Salm River from Trois Ponts south to Bovigny and that he was to construct roadblocks at the approaches to Trois Ponts according to the group plans. During the night Yates deployed the company at roadblocks covering the bridge across the Amblève and at the vulnerable highway underpass at the railroad tracks north of the river. On the morning of 18 December a part of the artillery column of the 7th Armored Division passed through Trois Ponts, after a detour to avoid the German armor south of Malmédy; then appeared one 57-mm. antitank gun and crew which had become lost during the move of the 526th Armored Infantry Battalion. Yates commandeered the crew and placed the gun on the Stavelot road to the east of the first underpass where a daisy chain of mines had been laid. A quarter of an hour before noon the advance guard of Peiper’s main column, nineteen or twenty tanks, came rolling along the road. A shot from the lone antitank gun crippled or in somewise stopped the foremost German tank, but after a brief skirmish the enemy knocked out the gun, killed four of the crew, and drove back the engineers. The hit on the lead tank checked the German column just long enough to give warning to the bridge guards, only a few score yards farther on. They blew the Amblève bridge, then the Salm bridge, and fell back to the houses in the main part of town. In the meantime one of the engineer platoons had discouraged the German tank company from further advance along the side road and it had turned back to Stavelot 7. Frustrated by a battalion antitank gun and a handful of engineers, Kampfgruppe Peiper now had no quick exit from the valley of the Amblève. With but one avenue remaining the column turned northward toward La Gleize, moving through the canyons of the Amblève on the east side of the river.

This is the approximate location of the American roadblock where Peiper's main column was stopped by the lone 57mm AT gun (looking from the American side towards the advancing kampfgruppe):,5.8768563,3a,75y,83.86h,84.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxpuPA8nDd4f9cYNrns1jAA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The highway underpasses mentioned in the text.  The kampfgruppe had to traverse this easily defended choke point.  Viewed from the German side.,5.8762212,3a,60y,324.22h,91.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9vUPCp6xxjWy5DbM7S7FrQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This is the main Stavelot highway bridge over the Ambleve.  This was blown as part of the American defense,5.8734069,3a,75y,37.2h,75.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srVBAhmeWb-i5XoXuGYe-Dw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The side road, where a platoon of the 51st stopped a company of Pz IVs (looking from the German point of view):,5.8750208,3a,75y,245.08h,77.34t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sM6cY8WqlMq6YICvoRyfFxA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Another description of the Dec. 18th battle is at:

Peiper was not done with Tros-Ponts yet.  On the 19th, the 51st Engineers were relieved by 2/505th Parachute Regiment.  And another fight ensued on Dec. 21st.  The description of this fight, in the words of the Commander of "E" Co. 2/505th is at:

In the end, the Germans were never able to fully clear Tros-Ponts, and like Bastogne, it's very existence, blocking a vital portion of the road net, doomed the German advance. 

Memorials to the defense of Tros-Ponts can be seen on Google:,5.8738245,3a,46.6y,159.31h,78.8t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sW4Z_SYgDk9P7fxeaPUyhpw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

A web site describing the memorials.

Finally, for wargamers.  Here is an interesting GHQ micro-armor scenario, with some great maps of the location.  However, it should be taken with a grain of salt, since some of the information seems to be a little off (understandable since it is a reprint of a 1993 article, pre-Internet times, when research resources were not as accessible).

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on February 11, 2017, 01:26:20 PM
Battle of Monocacy, near Frederick, Maryland, July 9, 1864
“The Battle that Saved Washington”

In the early summer of 1864, Grant stripped troops from the defense of Washington, D.C., for his final push against Lee and Richmond.  He was confident, that the South was on its last legs.  Even if Lee did try to invade the North again, there were several Union forces available to stop him.

From Lee’s side of the table, he desperately needed something to force Grant to lessen the pressure on the CSA forces fighting tooth and nail to save Richmond.  Also, Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley, under David Hunter, were creating havoc, threatening to cut off the Valley as one of Lee’s supply sources.   So in late June, Lee dispatched Jubal Early, with Stonewall Jackson's old corps of 15,000 men, to clear the Valley and cause as much havoc as possible. 

Jubal Early’s corps met David Hunter at the Battle of Lynchburg on June 17-18, forcing Hunter to retreat into West Virginia.  This left the Valley wide open for Early’s march north.  The next Federal force, at Harper’s Ferry, stepped aside, leaving the route to Washington wide open.
Early’s march, then took him into Maryland, where he planned to turn southeast at Frederick, and move straight into Washington.  But Union Major General Lew Wallace (who would later write “Ben Hur”), heard about the Confederate advance from B&O Railroad agents, and he quickly mobilized his forces in Baltimore to march out and stop Early. 

With prompting from the B&O Railroad President, Wallace chose to defend the rail and road bridges at Monocacy Junction, a critical transportation choke point.  Wallace’s command at Baltimore was made up of training units, so he had only 2,500 relatively green troops, not nearly enough to stop Early.  Wallace wired for reinforcements, and on July 8th, he was joined by veteran troops from Brigadier General Rickett’s division, who had been rushed from Grant’s 6th Corps.  In total, Wallace now had about 6,000 men, to Early’s 12,000.

The battle started in the mid-morning of July 9th, with a spirited attempt by Confederate troops under Ramseur to force their way over the main river crossing.  They were met with dug in artillery and infantry, and despite heavy skirmishing, the Federals would not be dislodged.

Here is the field where the battle began.  Ramseur’s CSA troops crossed from the right, heading toward the rail bridge over the Monocacy River to the left.,-77.3945842,3a,54.8y,240.88h,82.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sr6sXCijn869Vxc6vmPrM3A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Here is the bridge over the Monocacy.  The covered B&O rail bridge would have been to the right.  This view is looking toward the advancing Confederates.,-77.389842,3a,75y,339.21h,85.44t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sVXNRjUf4ewDTSE-MW2xzcw!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656

Deciding against a frontal assault, Early sent his cavalry around the Unions left flank.  McCausland’s Confederate horsemen initially had easy going crossing the river a mile from the main crossing.  Then they ran into Ricketts’ men, and the CSA cavalry were sent reeling by several well placed volleys.

Not to be deterred, Early then reinforced his cavalry with Major General John B Gordon’s infantry.  Gordon began a fierce attack against the Union left and Ricketts’ men.  While Ricketts held Gordon off for most of the afternoon, eventually, the Union left buckled around 3:30pm, forcing Wallace to retreat.

The rolling countryside where Gordon’s troops clashed with Ricketts’.  This looking across lines.  The Union troops were on the right, the Confederate on the left.,-77.3903725,3a,75y,292.75h,84.05t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sMSpcumHrZCXvAXMRJmVUUg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

While Monocacy was technically a Union loss, it was a strategic victory for the Federal Government.  The fighting at Monocacy held up Early for a crucial day, giving Federal forces more time to organize the defense of Washington.  When Early’s troops reached the outskirts of Washington they were met by recently arrived Union troops, dug-in around Fort Stevens.  The resulting battle dashed Early’s hopes to advance into Washington, and after two days, he retreated back to the Valley.  One interesting side note about the Battle of Ft. Stevens is that it is the only time a sitting US President has come under enemy fire.  Lincoln stood on the ramparts observing the battle, while Confederate bullets plinked all around him.

These are the reconstructed ramparts of Ft. Stevens in the Washington, DC suburbs.,-77.0298751,3a,65.3y,124.34h,88.32t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLOkE7ji9FlVBDUNvn4eVig!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

FYSA, my inspiration to look up the location of this battle, is the latest Strategy and Tactics (S&T) magazine No. 303.  The magazine has a great article about Jubal Early’s 1864 campaign to take Washington.  For boardgamers, if you are looking to game Monocacy, there appears to be only one boardgame, published by SPI, as part of the Great Battles of the Civil War series.  However, MMP currently has a title in the works covering both Monocacy and Ft. Stevens. 

This is a pretty good overview of the troop movements on the battlefield that day.

A CSPAN discussion of the battle

US Army History Article

Title: Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 01, 2017, 07:59:51 AM
Lochnagar Crater, the Battle of the Somme, near La Boisselle, Picardy, France, July 1st, 1916

At 7:28am on July 1st, 1916, the British army opened up its Somme Offensive with the explosion of 19 carefully dug mines under German positions.  The largest of these was the Lochnagar Mine, named after a street in London. 

The tunnel was directly sited along the main axis of advance south east of La Boisselle.  The British Royal Engineers had taken nearly eight months to build the tunnel and managed to get directly under a German strongpoint.  The British tunnelers put 60,000 pounds of explosive into the mine. 

The explosion was the largest the world had seen up to that point.  It vaporized hundreds of German defenders, and created a crater 450 feet wide.  The sound was reportedly heard as far away as London.

The Grimsby Chums, an infantry battalion of the British 34th Division were able to quickly occupy the crater, but German counter-attacks from the second line of trenches, and German artillery fire kept the Chums from advancing further.

Here is a view of the Lochnagar Crater today.  It is a private war memorial and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.,2.6975187,3a,75y,123h,64.35t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-M5DwUSXSQt4%2FV3jpGDWjVJI%2FAAAAAAAAhy0%2F-be5SqeosUg_Irk9zvXkPEOXd1Lvq93qgCJkC!2e4!3e11!!7i9948!8i4736!4m5!3m4!1s0x47dd58f6fc508de7:0x1f612a72b76f1ee!8m2!3d50.0155739!4d2.6973836!6m1!1e1 (,2.6975187,3a,75y,123h,64.35t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-M5DwUSXSQt4%2FV3jpGDWjVJI%2FAAAAAAAAhy0%2F-be5SqeosUg_Irk9zvXkPEOXd1Lvq93qgCJkC!2e4!3e11!!7i9948!8i4736!4m5!3m4!1s0x47dd58f6fc508de7:0x1f612a72b76f1ee!8m2!3d50.0155739!4d2.6973836!6m1!1e1)

A good memorial web site is at: