Most Heroic Last Stand Ever

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St Cir
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Post by St Cir » 18 Mar 2005 14:18

Don't know if it's the most heroic, but probably one of the longest. The Spanish garrison of Baler (Phillipines) were besieged by Phillipino guerrillas and defended their outpost for more than one year...after the war had ended!. The officer in command refused to believe Spain had surrendered the islands and went on with his resistance, thinking it was a trick played by the Phillipinos. When a Spanish general went there to order him to surrender, he again though the general was a prisoner forced by the Phillipinos to do so. Finally, on one of the Spanish newspapers the Phillipinos used to send to the besieged force, the commanding officer read about the promotion of one of his friends in Spain, a fact that the enemy could not know and thus, he finally knew the Spanish defeat was real and surrendered.

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Alp Guard
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Post by Alp Guard » 18 Mar 2005 15:22

Polynikes wrote:
David C. Clarke wrote:Come on guys, the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae!!!!!

Best Regards,
David
Hollywood has done a great dis-service to the 2,000 Thessilians who were also there.

Besides at Camerone, Little Big Horn, Alamo etc ...the defenders LOST!

The most heroic stands are when the defenders WIN.

So my top 3 would be:

1. Rorke's Drift, 23-23 January 1879.
2. Arakan Admin, Box 6-25 Feb 1944.
3. Imjin, 22-25 April 1951.

No coincidence that all three were fought by the best defensive soldiers in the history of the world - those wearing the uniform of the British army.

Cheers from Rich
In this case I would like to mention "The thin Red Line"

400 Highlanders from the Argyll & Sutherland regiment under Col. Colin Campbell stood firm and fought down 10'000 Russian cavalry at the battle of Balaclava during the Crimean war. The Russians had to retire.

A most remarkable performance.

Polynikes
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Post by Polynikes » 18 Mar 2005 16:03

You can also add the British infantry (including the 25th regt of foot) that actually attacked the French cavalry at the battle of Minden 1st August 1759 (first recorded incident of its kind).

The French cavalry then attacked themselves and were repelled.

....oh and yes I know that the 7th cavalry initiated the battle of the Little Big Horn but by the time a few of them made their last stand, they were cast firmly in the role of defenders.

Polynikes
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Post by Polynikes » 18 Mar 2005 16:13

3 more succesful defensive actions from the Hundred Years War:

Crecy
Agincourt
Poitiers

3 Victorian ones:

Omdurman
Mafeking
Ladysmith

First World War:

Mons-Nery

Second World War:

Dunkirk
Kohima
Tobruk

Post War:

BAT House, Oman

dragos03
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Post by dragos03 » 19 Mar 2005 11:14

My vote goes for the Japs who were still holding islands in the Pacific decades after the war was over. Although no fighting was involved, no other troops in the world would have stayed at their posts for so long.

szopen
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Post by szopen » 19 Mar 2005 16:55

Polynikes wrote:You can also add the British infantry (including the 25th regt of foot) that actually attacked the French cavalry at the battle of Minden 1st August 1759 (first recorded incident of its kind).
First? Definetely not. Scot mercenaries tried to do the same in 160? at Kircholm.

Polynikes
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Post by Polynikes » 20 Mar 2005 03:17

szopen

First? Definetely not. Scot mercenaries tried to do the same in 160? at Kircholm.

Battle of Kircholm 1603.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedi ... f-Kircholm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kircholm

I checked a couple of sittes but they don't mention an infantry attack on cavalry in the 20 minute battle - It seems the battle was a series of cavalry charges.

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 20 Mar 2005 03:50

Hey, I thought a "Last Stand" meant a "Last Stand"--that is, a unit stands its ground and fights to the end--to the last man!

Polynikes, the Thespians and the Theban contingents also stood at Thermpoylae, as you pointed out, their last stand in the same battle has faded from popular memory.
But as long as I'm talking about Greek history, the Last Stand of the Theban Sacred Band at Chaeronea was also heroic.

Best Regards,
David

szopen
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Post by szopen » 21 Mar 2005 11:40

Polynikes wrote:szopen

First? Definetely not. Scot mercenaries tried to do the same in 160? at Kircholm.

Battle of Kircholm 1603.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedi ... f-Kircholm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kircholm

I checked a couple of sittes but they don't mention an infantry attack on cavalry in the 20 minute battle - It seems the battle was a series of cavalry charges.
I will try to search exact quote, ok? I have it either in home or someone in my old home.. if the latter, it could took me some time.

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Vulkan
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Post by Vulkan » 23 Mar 2005 12:09

David C. Clarke wrote:Hey, I thought a "Last Stand" meant a "Last Stand"--that is, a unit stands its ground and fights to the end--to the last man!
The Grenadiers and Chasseurs of the Old Guard at Waterloo.

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D. von Staberg
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Post by D. von Staberg » 23 Mar 2005 12:41

The battle of Kircholm was fought in 1605, not 1603 and there wasn't a single scots unit present in the Swedish army. Only Swedes, Finns and Germans. Nor was it a 20 minute battle, the pages linked to are fileld with errors in just about every area. For example the Swedes numbered exactly 10.868 men, not 14.000. Swedish losses were 7602 killed and 400-500 captured, not 9500. And so on.

Infantry attacking cavalry is recorded much earlier than Minden, the record goes well back into ancient times. for example the armies of the germanic tribes who mixed infantry and cavalry in their battles with the superior rman cavalry in the 4th&5th centuries.
Alexander the Great attacked Schythian cavalry at Jaxartes with his infantry.

beauregard61
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Post by beauregard61 » 23 Mar 2005 18:29

The Grenadiers and Chasseurs of the Old Guard at Waterloo

I think that is more a myth than anything else. The commitment of the old guard was very limited at Waterloo. The final attack on the Allied position was carried out by the 3rd and 4th chasseurs and the 3rd grenadiers from the moyen garde.
The commander of the famous last carre Cambronne was pulled out by his epaulettes from the middle of his position. The later admired death of the guard didn't happen.

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G. Trifkovic
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Post by G. Trifkovic » 23 Mar 2005 18:43

Hey, I thought a "Last Stand" meant a "Last Stand"--that is, a unit stands its ground and fights to the end--to the last man!
Ok,a fine example would be the "Battery of the Dead" at Könnigrätz 1866,although it didn't involve much fightning-whole Austrian battery (some 60 men IIRC) was mowed down in couple of minutes by Prussians-while hardly a romantic episode,a grim testimony to the effectivnes of Dreyse Nadelgewehr nonetheless ...

Cheers,

Gaius
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Landsturm
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Post by Landsturm » 23 Mar 2005 19:50

Going little off-topic but interesting facts no less:

508 B.C. Roman soldier Horatius alone defended the bridge crossing Tiber-river against an etruscan army, until his troops managed to destroy the bridge.

538 A.D During the siege of Rome, soldier called Krosmantis got a madness-seizure (caused by his wounds and alcohol) and attacked a barbarian camp. He managed to cause 20 casualties to enemy horsemen until killed himself.

1066, Harald`s Anglo-Saxon army marched to York to meet the Harald Harddåre`s viking invasion. Harald surprised the enmy, but in order to get them he had to lead his troops across Stamford bridge which was defended by a lonely viking. Warrior killed the first 40 who tried to cross, until himself killed by a spear from underneath the bridge. By now the viking-army had been armed itself and was ready for battle.

1167, in the battle of Dricourt a knight called Sir William Marshal (1146-1219) killed 40 enemy knights after his horse was killed beneath him.

1945, Corporal Junior J. Spurrier received a medal (...of Honor, if I`m correct?) after conquering the town of Achain by himself. Using hand grenades, bazooka, heavy MG and M1-carbine. During his house-to-house battle, he conquered several strongpoints and killed 25 German soldiers. Finally capturing 19 soldiers and their commander.

1945, Taungdaw, Burma. Gurkha-soldier Lachiman Gurung defended single-handedly (literally!) his outpost against the attack of approx. 200 Japanese soldiers. After surviving the first two hand grenades thrown into his station, the third one wounded him (losing a finger, right hand broken and the other eye blinded). During the next 4 hours Gurung loaded and fired using his left hand and killing 31 enemies until they decided to withdraw. Gurung is still one the most famous recipients of Victoria Cross.

GE Longstreet
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Post by GE Longstreet » 24 Mar 2005 14:10

Yeah, Haratius Coglia, the One-Eyed. If I remember right he jumped/fall into the tiber then and was rescued on the roman side, hm?

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