Welcome to *** Battle of the Day ***

Brought to you by ‘Clash of Steel’, an ongoing project to record, analyse, study and commemorate military engagements throughout history.
The following anniversaries have been found for 7th December :
The Civil Wars of the Three Kingdoms
The 374th anniversary of the end of Action at Tadcaster (Battle, 06 December 1642 – 07 December 1642)
(Part of The 1st English Civil War)
– A victory for Royalist Forces over Parliamentarian Forces
The Earl of Newcastle assaulted and took Tadcaster from Lord Fairfax
The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
The 223rd anniversary of Villelongue (Battle, 07 December 1793)
(Part of French War of the First Coalition)
– A victory for Coalition Forces [Spanish & Portugese] over French Forces
The engagement entailled no great losses on either side but the French lost almost as many men by desertion as were killed or wounded. The poor French discipline also showed in the amount of equipment, guns & muskets that the allies captured.
The 203rd anniversary of Bornhöft (Battle, 07 December 1813)
(Part of Napoleon’s Leipzig Campaign)
– A victory for French Allies [Danes] over Allied Forces [Swedes]
An unsound attack by a Swedish cavalry force against a body of troops [mainly infantry] nearly eight times their number. In addition to the disparity in numbers the country was not suited to cavalry deployment/tactics. They paid the price with over a third of their men.
American Civil War
The 154th anniversary of Prarie Grove (Battle, 07 December 1862)
(Part of Western Theatre, 1862)
– A victory for American Union Forces over American Confederate Forces
Late in 1862, Maj Gen Thomas Hindman gathered a Southern conscript force of 20,000 Arkansans, Texans and Missourians and resolved to attack Schofield occupying Missouri. Having retired his soldiers to winter quarters, Schofield fell ill, leaving one of his divisions in Arkansas under Blunt, and his remaining two divisions at Springfield in Missouri under Herron. Hindman decided to attack them while separate, and moved against Blunt through the Boston Mountains. Blunt gather rumours indicating an imminent attack so called for help, and Herron’s divisions rushed 110 miles in 3 days to assist. In the end Hindman flanked the single union division at Cane Hill and dug in at the hill top village of Prarie Grove on the Fayetteville pike. Herrons attacks and Hindman’s counter attacks were successively repulsed for 5 hours, neither side giving ground till Blunts forces, having heard the battle behind them came to the relief and hit the Confederates in the flank although still making little ground. Darkness brought an end to the battle, and Hindman being outnumbered, retired.
First World War
The 101st anniversary of the start of Siege of Kut al Amara (Battle, 07 December 1915 – 29 April 1916)
(Part of The Mesopotamian Front)
Second World War
The 75th anniversary of the start of Japanese initial offensive (Campaign, 07 December 1941 – 08 May 1942)
(Part of Asia and Pacific)
The 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbour (Battle, 07 December 1941)
(Part of Asia and Pacific, Japanese initial offensive)
In a surprise attack, at 07:55 on Sunday 7th December, aircraft from the Japanese First Air Fleet under Adm. Nagumo attacked Oahu Island and the ships of the US Pacific Fleet. The defenders were taken completely unawares (war had not yet been declared, due to ‘administrative problems’) and as a result 4 US battleships, the Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia and California were lost along with 11 other ships while all four remaining battleships were damaged and more than 250 aircraft destroyed or damaged. The Japanese lost 29 of more than 300 attacking aircraft and 5 midget submarines. However, the US carriers were at sea so were not involved, and the dock and harbour facilities were quick to recover, both factors which made a difference to the American response in 1942.

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