About this Blog

On this Day in Military History is the product of my intense fascination in that topic. How did I come to be fascinated by it? Such a considerable penchant, one could say, was many years in the making. It was the product of the evolution of my interests.

The seeds, I believe, were sown in the frequent trips my Dad and I made to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. when I was a child. I was entranced by the World War One and, to a lesser extent, Two exhibits. We watched again and again, at times during the same visit, the short movie on the how the war above the Western Front was portrayed on film. I can vividly remember the black and white film footage, the planes flying about, strafing and dog-fighting... and me staring at the screen in love and wonder. This feeling was augmented by the other displays in that exhibit and Aviation History magazine, and expressed by my many drawings.

My interests kept on expanding. In the First grade, the Medieval Period was added to aviation; in the second, when my parents were looking for a new home in the northern Virginia countryside, knights and aircraft were somewhat replaced by the American Civil War; and in the third, spurred on by the Sierra city-building games such as Caesar IIIPharaoh, and Cleopatra, the Ancient World kicked the Federals and Confederates off the pedestal. Having moved out to the country, Billy Yank and Johnny Reb once again predominated in the Fourth Grade. Joining them in the Fifth Grade were the American Continental, the British Redcoat, and the Hessian mercenary. At a time when I was still ignorant of the proper-- or at least the American-- way to have a conversation, I promulgated my zealotry to all.

The last days of sixth grade can, in retrospect, be considered the true genesis of my affinity for military history. It all started when I saw the 1943 movie Guadalcanal Diary, with Anthony Quinn and William Bendix. The combat scenes inspired me to draw pictures of them, but I had no knowledge of what the Japanese soldier looked like. So my Mom, two months later, bought for me a book on the uniform, belief and belonging, and daily life of the Emperor's warriors at the local Borders. The book was published by Osprey-- "the destination for military history"-- and its many details on the weapons, clothing, and equipment made me desire more Osprey books. Consequently, more of them were bought-- different series, different subjects. Thus began my current period of interest, "the Age of the Osprey" I call it.

In seventh grade, I started learning that I should not randomly impart to someone about, say, the Battle of Chancellorsville. I held it in check for the most part, which frustrated me. Twice, in the eighth grade, I let could not bear holding my knowledge in any longer and spilled out some of it, the Battle of Belleau Wood to be exact. Those incidents were the exceptions though. For the most part, I exhibited great reticence on military history.

This sustained silence-- except in my history classes in High School, of course-- lasted until the tenth grade, soon after I made a Facebook page. Initially, I started to write about history day-by-day... but then I realized something: that is what the History Channel, NPR morning edition, and Wikipedia do as well. So I decided to do something a bit more unique: a recounting of military history day-by-day. Added to these daily postings would be albums, wall photos, and shared pictures of events of that topic. Finally, I had a way to inform people of what I knew without looking socially awkward.

Eventually, this system got to a point that my Dad suggested I should make myself a blog. I did so, and I now have two ways to tell others of military history: Facebook and this blog.

What is Military History?

Simply put, military history is the study of anything pertaining to warfare-- armies, weaponry, tactics, battles, generals, the origins of a war, the political involvement in the armed forces and the conduct of a conflict. 

Nevertheless, I discuss events and aspects of warfare that, on the surface, might appear as having nothing to do with military history. Clausewitz observes that war is merely an extension of politics. Therefore, almost all of military history is political history. The two subjects are inseparable. The Gettysburg Address, for example, is as much military as it is political history, since in it President Lincoln called for his audience to remain "dedicated to the great task remaining before us," to "take increased devotion to" the Union cause, and to "highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

A Parting Word

Although I try to remain dedicated to title of the blog, I am a human being who has a life outside of the computer. Therefore, I might not be able to publish a post on the day, or even days, its content occurred. I try at least to finish my blog-post around the time the event discussed in it happened-- ranging from a couple weeks from the anniversary to a couple months.

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