Steven L. Ossad Google+ Profile
... photos, research files, archival documents, visits to battlefields, staff ride materials, drawings, collected images, maps ...,
Finalist, 2011 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award
A hero who faced down Pancho Villa with only a pistol and turned the tide of battle during the Salerno Operation in late 1943, John Lucas discovered at Anzio that his comrades were more dangerous than his enemies.
Brevet Colonel, Commander of the 30th Indiana Volunteers, and recipient of the Medal of Honor - all by the age of 23 - Henry Lawton's career spanned four decades until he fell in battle "bringing democracy to a distant land." Featured on the Center of Military History Civil War Website
When Joseph K.F. Mansfield fell at the Battle of Antietam, he was the ranking casualty on either side, the oldest general and West Point graduate to die in battle.
William and James Terrill of Virginia chose opposing sides in the Civil War, each rose to general and fell in battle. Theirs is a unique story of "brother against brother".
The only American armored division commander to die in battle, Maurice Rose was the son and grandson of rabbis who rose from private to general to lead the premier American armored force to victory over the Nazi empire.
Winner, 2003 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award
Thomas Macdonough faced Arab terrorists with steel and musket - in 1804
Russia's Rommel, General Ivan Chernyakhovsky survived brutal Anti-Semitisim, Stalin's madness, and German tanks to achieve a stunning combat record only to fall with final victory in sight.
Daniel Judson Callaghan's heroic sacrifice off Guadalcanal saved the embattled defenders of Henderson Field at the cost of his life and the destruction of his fleet.
Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle's leadership in and out of the cockpit made him one of the most admired men in the Eighth Air Force and one of the architects of daylight precision bombing.
The only physician ever to rise to Army Chief of Staff, Leonard Wood's path to success produced as many enemies as admirers.
Creator of the modern American Rangers, Darby led his men to great victories and a catastrophic defeat, but was always in the thick of the action.
Martin Blumenson spent his life writing the history of an institution he respected greatly and knew intimately, the United States Army. He inspired generations of his students and successors to the highest standard of excellence.
Described by some pretty eminent art historians as perhaps his greatest work, Leonardo Da Vinci's "Battle of Anghiari" defined for centuries the way artists portray the fury of battle and the anatomy and motion of warriors and horses in combat. The lost work sparked intense and on-going debate, and inspired many other great masters working in a variety of media. But, the battle has disappeared from history. Why?
Historian, biographer, memoirist, "novelist", and companion of Socrates, at the end of his life Xenophon wrote a small book of advice about reforming the Athenian cavalry. A discussion of specific suggestions, Xenophon's Hipparchicus
reflects decades of the author's experience as an army commander. The wily survivor offers subtle insights on leadership as well as observations valuable to modern theorists and practioners of the "mounted service" that will always resonate.
The Battle of Kadesh, the greatest chariot clash in all recorded history, pitted the war-hardened Hittites against an untested Pharaoh in a struggle that shaped the destinies of the two dominant empires of the early Iron Age. Recorded as a great Egyptian victory, it is a case study of how a brilliant and well-executed public relations campaign can trump performance - and reality.
Born to greatness, Peirce ended his life in poverty, obscurity, and disappointment. Afflicted by illness, pain, drug-addiction and the suffocating moral intolerance of 19th Century America, the time to tell his story to a broad audience has finally arrived.
More than 3,500 years ago, Abraham, the leader of the Hebrews, led his men on a daring, long-distance, commando raid to rescue hostages. Hidden in a very brief passage of Genesis is the story of the first organized military action and victory of the Jewish people, a tale of courage and inspired leadership, and battle far from their borders. One cannot help but think of Operation THUNDERBALL, the Israel Defense Forces dramatic rescue of Jewish hostages at Entebbe, Uganda on July 4, 1976.
Does it make any sense to talk about a "philosophy of war?" What kinds of things would be discussed in such an academic sub-category? Whose works would make up the canon of study? On that point, why is it that Carl von Clausevitz's early 19th century book "On War" is virtually the only work generally accepted as a work of philosophy? In a world where war is so common, why is there so little systematic examination of its "first principles?" These are only a few of the questions that spark this general inquiry.
A stamp "album" that illustrates the military history of the United States as depicted in postage stamps. From the US first official postage stamp showing George Washington in uniform (1857) to the present day, the nation has remembered its wars and battlefields - both famous and forgotten - and honored its heroes, its weapons, and its victories.
Updated: October 11, 2012
BG Fred Castle's death ended the career of one of the 8th Air Force's most beloved officers and deprived the Air Force of one of its shining stars.
Frederick Walker Castle was literally born into the U.S. Army on October 14, 1908 at Fort McKinley, Manila, Philippines, during his father’s first assignment after graduation from West Point. Already voted by his father’s classmates – including future Air Force chief Henry “Hap” Arnold - Class Boy of 1907, “Freddy” excelled at academics, graduating at the top of his West Point class (#7/241). In 1930 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the prestigious Corps of Engineers, but soon transferred to the Air Corps. After flight training, he reported for duty in October 1931 as a fighter pilot with the 1st Pursuit Group. As the full force of the depression hit the Army funds were severely limited, flight assignments dwindled, promotions were frozen, and the young pilot found himself assigned to the Civilian Conservation Corps. He grew dissatisfied and bored and on February 19, 1934 resigned from the Regular Army.
Hap Arnold, Curtis LeMay, and Fred Castle
Over the next eight years, Fred Castle built a successful business career. Deeply involved in the manufacture of the Norden bombsight - the precision instrument upon which the emerging doctrine of Daylight Precision Bombing was largely based - Castle was clearly on the fast track to senior management. War changed everything and after Pearl Harbor he returned to active duty. At the beginning of 1942, BG Ira C. Eaker was assembling a small planning staff that became the nucleus of VIII Bomber Command in England and eventually Eighth Air Force, the largest ever assembled. On April 15, the headquarters, officially known as “Pinetree”, was established at the Wycombe Abbey Girls' School located near RAF Bomber Command.
Castle’s assignment was to prepare for the flood of airplanes and personnel that would soon begin arriving. In addition, like many others at HQ, Castle flew missions and eventually pressed Eaker for a combat assignment. An opportunity soon became available. The 94th Bombardment Group had been particularly hard hit in the early days of the air war. Eaker transferred the group commander and give the job to Castle. He flew the dangerous missions and in a bid to gain trust ate his meals with his crews. In mid April, he was promoted to command of the 4th Combat Bomb Wing (CBW), the largest in the Eighth Air Force, comprising five groups, including his own 94th BG.
Castle, then 36, was promoted to Brig. General on November 20, 1944, less than three years after returning to active duty as a 1st Lieutenant. As one of the architects of American air power, his place in the future independent Air Force was secure. In spite of his rank, however, and the risks, he continued to fly. On December 16, 1944 the Germans launched their last major offensive in the West, the “Battle of the Bulge.” By Christmas Eve, they had come pretty close to their initial objectives. That night, the 3rd Air Division, including the 4th CBW, assembled over England and dispatched 2,000 heavy bombers escorted by 900 fighters and attacked the German airfields and communications facilities west of the Rhine. Fred Castle’s B-17 was shot down.
The wreckage of "Treble Four"
That night Hap Arnold wrote a letter to his classmate and friend, Ben Castle, to tell him that his only son was missing and presumed dead. For his heroism, Castle was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the highest-ranking officer in the Eighth Air Force to receive the honor, and the last of the unit’s seventeen recipients. For decades afterward, and until they were old men, those who formed that initial planning group at the girl’s school in England during those grim days, held a reunion and drank a toast to Castle.
Castle as Commander of 94th Bomb Group (Heavy)