Saturday, May 19, 2012

5 Amazing Military Heroes From The Past

cc licensed flickr photo shared by mikeensor
H. Norman Schwarzkopf
Graduating from West Point just like his father, Norman Schwarzkopf became a second lieutenant in the infantry in June of 1956. On the first of his two tours in Vietnam, he served as an advisor; while on his second tour he served as commander of the 23rd Infantry Division. Promoted to Colonel, Schwarzkopf returned to America in a full body cast due to war injuries.
Throughout the next couple of decades, Norman held several distinguished military positions, putting him in the U.S. Central Command, where he planned Desert Shield/Desert Storm. It is said that he organized the largest mechanized combat operation since World War 2, assembling 765,000 troops and numerous ships, tanks and aircraft. Famous for the end run he performed against Saddam Hussein's Guard, he was able to cut their supplies and communications.
Norman earned three Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts, retiring in 1992 to much praise by the world community for his skill, success and bravery.
George S. Patton
Hailing from a family with a rich military history, George attended several military schools including West Point. Eventually earning the title of Major General, Patton participated in Operation Torch, the landings in French Morocco and a campaign in Sicily, before heading to Normandy. He enjoyed much success against the German army, which eventually surrendered.
While an amazing military man, Patton was not a politician, often annoying Eisenhower and causing him to move Patton around to keep him out of trouble. Sadly, one of America's most brilliant field commanders was struck in an automobile collision which left him paralyzed from the neck down. America lost a great warrior less than two weeks from that accident.

Douglas MacArthur
MacArthur's list of military titles include, Commander in France, Major General and Lieutenant General in the Philippines. He made a miscalculation regarding the Japanese, but the revered strategist was reassigned to Australia to help defend against Japan. MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the Supreme Commander, Allied Forces of the Southwest Pacific.
Pressing on to stop the Japanese and reopen the way to the Philippines, MacArthur also presided over Japan's surrender, treating the defeated country with kindness. Following North Korea's invasion, he nearly destroyed their army with strategic blows. MacArthur went on to ruffle Communist China's feather, drawing then into the Korean War, much to the chagrin of the United Nations and President Truman. Regardless, General MacArthur retired, beloved for his efficiency, low casualties and brilliance.
Ulysses S. Grant
Though not a successful farmer or the greatest president, Grant was a graduate of West Point and an effective General. Under Generals, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, he earned two Commissions of Higher Rank for gallantry, during the Mexican-American War.During the Civil War, Grant served as Colonel and Brigadier General, seizing Fort Henry and demanding surrender. After the capture at Vicksburg, he aided General Rosecran in pushing the Confederates into Georgia, for which Lincoln made Grant, Lieutenant General and General-In-Chief of the Armies. Defeating General Robert E. Lee's army and his general popularity, earned the resolute Grant, the U.S. Presidency in 1869.

Robert E. Lee
Graduating second in his West Point class, Lee was said to have been more interested in fighting for Virginia, then for the Confederate cause. He served as a staff member during the Mexican-American War and his penchant for reconnaissance led to many victories for General Scott. Lee rejected a top command post in the Union, going on to become a brilliant strategist, delivering a black eye to the Union at Fredericksburg.
Although Grant delivered a blow to the right flank of the Army of the Potomac, he became overconfident at Gettysburg. He evaded Grant for 8 months at Petersburg, costing him a third of his men, before his surrender. Even so, Grant's men and Northerners alike, admired and loved the high character, selflessness and skill of the fine Virginian General.
Karl Foskey is a military historian and guest author at, a site with information and guides about available military degrees.

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