January 18th 1813 – First Battle of Frenchtown

With Great Britain embroiled in war with Napoleon’s France, the Royal Navy enforced a blockade aimed at choking France’s economy and neutral ships were not exempt from interception. This especially angered the United States who declared the blockade illegal and were increasingly concerned with American citizens finding themselves press-ganged into manning the blockade. Both American and British forces in Canada found themselves engaged in brief skirmishes such as one between between HMS Leopard and the USS Chesapeake in 1807 after the Leopard tried to board the American ship to search for British deserters.

On June 18th 1812, the 4th President of the United States, James Madison Jr, bowed to pressure from those in Congress who wanted war with Britain and signed the declaration. While it would last until February 18th 1815, the war is still remembered as the War of 1812. With the majority of British forces committed to fighting Napoleon in mainland Europe, the British had little choice but to initially adopt a defensive strategy against the Americans until they could bolster their numbers with troops from Europe and the enlistment of local native American tribes to carry out a guerrilla-style campaign against American troops.

On August 16th 1812, British Major General Henry Proctor succeeded in forcing the American contingent at Fort Detroit to surrender. This was a major concern for the Americans and so President Madison assigned General William Henry Harrison the task of retaking Fort Detroit during a winter offensive. Harrison split his army into two contingents. The first he commanded personally and marched his men to Upper Sandusky in modern-day Ohio.

The second contingent was led by Brigadier General James Winchester and consisted of 2,000 untrained regulars and volunteers mostly from Kentucky. As his men marched they were met by citizens of nearby Frenchtown which at that time was under occupation by a small British force from the Essex Militia and a native force from the Potawatomi tribe. Disobeying his orders to wait for Harrison and his men, Winchester ordered Lieutenant Colonel William Lewis to lead over 600 American troops to attack the British and their allies at their base across the frozen River Raisin.

Lewis attacked on January 18th and a brisk battle took place before the Americans forced the British and the Potawatomi to retreat. A Canadian militia group counterattacked later in the day but were unable to force Winchester back across the frozen river. During their retreat, the Potawatomi troops fell upon the settlement at Sandy Creek and destroyed it killing two of its inhabitants in the process.

Winchester was pleased with his victory although Harrison was concerned that his force was still outnumbered by British forces in the region. Upon hearing that Frenchtown had been taken, British Brigadier General Henry Procter marched 597 men from the 41st Regiment of Foot and Royal Newfoundland Fencibles along with around 800 native troops from the occupied Fort Detroit. Supported by Canadian artillery, Proctor’s men recaptured Frenchtown after a pitched battle on January 22nd.

The next day, a number of the captured American soldiers were massacred by native troops including a number of wounded soldiers who were burned to death inside the buildings where they were being kept. The native Americans then marched the survivors to Fort Malden in Ontario. Any American who couldn’t keep up was killed at the side of the road. The exact number of prisoners killed is not known but it is believed to be up to 100.

 

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News Round-Up – September 27th 2017

british army combat

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General Defence News

US-led Exercise Formidable Shield begins offshore Scotland
(Naval Technology)

Trump’s new UK ambassador wrongly accuses Britain of spending ‘minimum’ on its military
(The Independent)

MoD sells off ships, planes and vehicles to meet £20billion hole in defence budget
(Daily Star)

Shocking rise in number of monkeys used for experiments at Ministry of Defence’s top secret warfare lab
(Mirror)

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m
(The Register)

Prince Harry kicks off Invictus Games in Toronto
(insideTORONTO.com)

Ministry of Defence bracing for a no-deal Brexit to protect Armed Forces
(Mirror)

Two planes collide in mid air at Duxford Battle of Britain air show
(Essex Live)


British Army News

Former sergeant major who applied for 400 jobs still struggles to find work
(Telegraph)

The British Army is trying to give its tanks ‘shields’
(Scout)

Battle over plans for new £3bn contract for new Army vehicle
(Telegraph)

‘When will this nightmare end?’ War vet tells of shock at fourth inquiry into suspicious death of Iraqi civilian
(Telegraph)

Army grounds £1bn drone fleet after two crash
(Telegraph)


Royal Air Force News

What happened to Corrie McKeague? Bury St Edmunds RAF gunner is still missing one year later
(The Sun)

Shamed historian ordered to pay widow of RAF hero £12500 for stealing treasured Dambusters log book
(Scottish Daily Record)

Dozens of ex-RAF workers ‘suffering life threatening illness and terminal cancers after being exposed to deadly chemicals
(The Sun)

Lucky thirteen take to the skies! Dramatic sight over wartime fighter station as Spitfires and bombers
(Daily Mail)

British pilot of Maltese descent Graham Muscat brings T2 Hawk to Malta for the first time
(Malta Independent Online)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Ultra Electronics wins £37m contract with BAE Systems
(Digital Look)

HMS Ocean has arrived in the Caribbean in mammoth relief effort
(Plymouth Herald)

The Royal Navy and Freedom of Navigation Operations
(CIMSEC)

New Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship to support the Aircraft Carriers arrives in UK
(Royal Navy)

Watch Royal Navy bomb squad carry out explosion on busy Cornwall beach
(Cornwall Live)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

News Round-Up – September 2nd 2017

British army afghanistan

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General News

PM calls for closer defence ties with Japan following North Korea threat
(Forces Network)

Bahrain to get ex-RAF C-130Js
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Miami murders: Court orders release of MoD and PSNI security files
(BBC News)


British Army News

UK special forces to join Trump’s Afghanistan troop surge
(Press TV)

Dramatic footage shows moment British Army paratrooper jumps from dizzying heights
(Evening Standard)

British Army Gurkha ‘super-tracker’ hunting poachers in Gabon to save last remaining elephants
(Telegraph)

Army bomb team disposes of historic hand grenade in Dublin
(Newstalk 106-108fm)

Photograph capturing the spirit of the British Army nominated for National Award
(Forces Network)

Family members who had relatives killed by British Army during Troubles stage sit-in protest at Museum of Free Derry
(Derry Now)


Royal Air Force News

RAF’s close combat unit opens to women for the first time
(BBC News)

RAF Typhoons and Tornados take out ISIS jihadis travelling in a truck in Iraq
(Daily Mail)

RAF fighters reinforce NATO Baltic air policing in Estonia
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Wreckage of WWII RAF plane that helped drive the Nazis from Norway is found by cable-laying boat at the bottom of the North Sea 70 years after it vanished without trace
(Daily Mail)

The RAF Photographic Competition 2017, in pictures
(Telegraph)

New home to save RAF Museum of Firefighting in Lincolnshire
(Lincolnshire Live)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Ministry of Defence names head of Trident nuclear submarine programme
(NW Evening Mail)

Royal Navy sends just one (casualty) ship to showpiece sea and air event
(Telegraph)

“Lessons have been learned”: Royal Navy’s second aircraft carrier prepares for big day
(The Courier)

The Royal Navy’s next ‘frigate’ is not a frigate
(War Is Boring)

Ocean life inspires new Royal Navy submarine concepts
(The Engineer)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

1944 BSA Parabike

A 1944 BSA Parabike on display at a military vehicle show held at Caldicot Castle on May 6th 2017.

For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

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Cyber Security & the British Army

Published on the British Army’s YouTube page today. The British Army takes all threats extremely seriously and is constantly working to safeguard its cyber security. Threats are always changing and becoming increasingly sophisticated. Cyber security is vital to the welfare and defence of the nation. The British Army is constantly working to improve its cyber defences. It is able to anticipate threats, assist in significant cyber incidents and can respond to cyber attacks. It is working with other nations and creating teams of dedicated experts.

Land Rover Series IIa Lightweight 84 KB 48 – Mortar Fire Controller’s Vehicle

A collection of images of Land Rover Series IIa Lightweight 84 KB 48 configured as a mortar fire controller’s vehicle of the 5th Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment taken on the grounds at Caldicot Castle.

All photos were taken on May 6th 2017
Photos: Tony Wilkins

Vehicle History

Gallery

For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to defencerealmyt@gmail.com. If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.