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  • US military last stands

    I'm doing a brief on a last stands in the US military, from its inception to now. Who was involved, what happened, where did they happen, when did they happen and why did they happen. Besides the obvious ones like Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Alamo, what other last stands were American forces apart of? More importantly, could they have been avoided or the outcome changed? What reasons does a commander resort to making a last stand?
    Thanks
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Frtigern View Post
    I'm doing a brief on a last stands in the US military, from its inception to now. Who was involved, what happened, where did they happen, when did they happen and why did they happen. Besides the obvious ones like Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Alamo, what other last stands were American forces apart of? More importantly, could they have been avoided or the outcome changed? What reasons does a commander resort to making a last stand?
    Thanks
    The Alamo was not an action of the US military.

    The Little Big Horn could easily have been avoided, and Custer had a last stand thrust upon them.

    Same thing with Fetterman.

    The Lost Battalion in WW1 and the defense of Bastone were desperate stands, but they don't qualify as 'last stands', because most survived.

    Several actions in the PI in '42 fought to the point of surrender. Not sure if they count.

    I can't think of any other 'last stands' involving the US military.

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    • #3
      Yes, the Alamo wasn't technically federal forces but it was a military action that involved American military forces, the Texan Army. The Texas Revolution did lead to Texas being annexed by the United States. Maybe if they Alamo did not happen Texas might still be part of Mexico? Also wonder how many men at the Alamo either were or used to be in the US military.
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      • #4
        The Special Forces A Camp in the A Shau Valley.

        The 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions at Cisterna.
        "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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        • #5
          Wake Island comes to mind, as does Batann and corregidor in the Phillipines.

          the bataan Death March was instigated as a 'payback' for the very success of the Bataan peninsular's troops managing to hold out for so long, even turn back an amhibious 'turning movment'. Many americans and Philipino's paid for this success with their lives.

          Depite its rich and varied military history, there have been few actions involving US forces that qualify as Last stands.

          Churchill's favourite episode from the annals of American military history was the stand of the Marine 1st divison on Guadalcanal for something like 6 months before relieved. 90% of the division was hors de' commbat by relief time, and their stand had changed the face of the Pacific war for the better and permanently so.

          "Long may the tale be told..." quoth Churchill.
          Last edited by Drusus Nero; 25 Nov 16, 02:29.
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          • #6
            St. Claire's Defeat would be the first one. Of Course there were others in the Battle Along the Wabash River.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
              The Alamo was not an action of the US military.

              The Little Big Horn could easily have been avoided, and Custer had a last stand thrust upon them.

              Same thing with Fetterman.

              The Lost Battalion in WW1 and the defense of Bastone were desperate stands, but they don't qualify as 'last stands', because most survived.

              Several actions in the PI in '42 fought to the point of surrender. Not sure if they count.

              I can't think of any other 'last stands' involving the US military.
              Do not go down this path. Personal comment deleted.
              Last edited by Bad Wolf; 25 Nov 16, 00:20.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Frtigern View Post
                Yes, the Alamo wasn't technically federal forces but it was a military action that involved American military forces, the Texan Army. The Texas Revolution did lead to Texas being annexed by the United States. Maybe if they Alamo did not happen Texas might still be part of Mexico? Also wonder how many men at the Alamo either were or used to be in the US military.
                The Army of the Republic of Texas was not an American force, and in any case it post-dated the Alamo. Texas joined the Union, not annexed, nine years later.

                As to ex-US military, no regulars. Militia experience was modest at best.

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                • #9
                  Captain Porter and the USS Essex in 1812 might qualify.
                  "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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                  • #10
                    If they fit with your topic:
                    Major Dixon's unit during the battle of Washita after Custer fled.
                    Sgt. Custard's military supply train wiped out within site of what would become Ft Caspar. At the Battle of Platte River Bridge.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
                      Do not go down this path. Personal comment deleted.
                      Okay, but it's okay to posthumously denigrate an accomplished US soldier postmortem? The Hypocrisy is hilarious. At least RimJ here is alive to defend himself. Custer did everything he was ordered to do, the result of his last battle was just as much if not more the result of others mistakes. Now I believe an apology is due, my good man.

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                      • #12
                        Part of the garrison at the Alamo were the Orleans Grays a Militia unit from New Orleans. I have read somewhere that President Jackson sent supplies and allowed soldiers from nearby forts (like Cantonment Atkinson on the shore of Lake Charles) to desert and join Texas forces.

                        The US just has not had to dig in for last stands often. There were a number of close calls like the Wagonbox Fight which I believe caused Lt Fetterman to leave the fort. The fight at the Trading Post in the Panhandle of Texas where Buffalo Hunters stood off Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne comes to mind.

                        Several times in the Civil War Confederate Troops (including Indian units) went up against Union forces and did not take prisoners. Poison Springs is closer to a massacre than Fort Pillow.

                        The French Foreign Legion did a nice "Last Stand" at Camerone, even if some men were allowed to surrender.

                        I thought the Nez Perce fleeing towards Canada was a fine example of retrograde movements.

                        Pruitt
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                          Part of the garrison at the Alamo were the Orleans Grays a Militia unit from New Orleans. I have read somewhere that President Jackson sent supplies and allowed soldiers from nearby forts (like Cantonment Atkinson on the shore of Lake Charles) to desert and join Texas forces.
                          True, but the force was Offically Texican (the term used then), and keep in mind that a significant portion of the garrison was Hispanic.

                          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                          The US just has not had to dig in for last stands often. There were a number of close calls like the Wagonbox Fight which I believe caused Lt Fetterman to leave the fort. The fight at the Trading Post in the Panhandle of Texas where Buffalo Hunters stood off Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne comes to mind.
                          Fetterman pre-dated the Wagonbox fight, although the latter was a good example of what nearly became a last stand.

                          The other fight was Adobe Walls, where Billy Dixon made his epic shot. That, too, was a very near-run thing.

                          EDIT: Got Dixon's first name wrong.
                          Last edited by Arnold J Rimmer; 25 Nov 16, 00:42.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            The fight at the Trading Post in the Panhandle of Texas where Buffalo Hunters stood off Comanche, Kiowa and Cheyenne comes to mind.
                            The Second Battle of Adobe Walls. A desperate stand but not a true last stand. Buffalo hunter Billy Dixon made his famous shot toward the end of the siege.

                            Billy Dixon was involved in another desperate stand just three months later: The Buffalo Wallow Fight.
                            "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
                              Okay, but it's okay to posthumously denigrate an accomplished US soldier postmortem? The Hypocrisy is hilarious. At least RimJ here is alive to defend himself. Custer did everything he was ordered to do, the result of his last battle was just as much if not more the result of others mistakes. Now I believe an apology is due, my good man.
                              Custer disobeyed his orders, exhausted his men and horses in the act of disobeying his orders, failed the scout effectively, disregarded what battlefield intelligence he received, and split his command. Had it not been for Reno and Benteen, the entire Seventh would have been lost.

                              If you want to argue this further, I suggest another thread. Fig has already named Custer's debacle.

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