TODAY IN HISTORY: American Revolution Began – Jews Attacked Nazi Forces

American Revolution Began

On April 19, 1775, 700 British troops marched into Lexington at 5 a.m., aiming to capture Patriot leaders and seize an arsenal. They confronted 77 minutemen under Captain John Parker. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disband, but a shot was fired, initiating the Battle of Lexington. At the end of that brief battle, eight Americans died, and 10 were wounded, and that sparked the American Revolution.

Tensions escalated between American colonies and the British government, particularly in Massachusetts, where Patriot leaders organized militias. General Thomas Gage received orders from England to seize Patriot arsenals, leading to the march against the Patriots at Concord on April 18.

Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes warned the militia about potential attacks and prepared them for confrontation. At Lexington, the Patriots were routed quickly, but the conflict spread across Massachusetts.

At Concord, British troops faced armed Patriots and destroyed military supplies. Encircled by hundreds of Patriots, they retreated to Boston, suffering heavy casualties from Patriot marksmen. Nearly 300 British soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing, while the Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties.

The battles of Lexington and Concord further escalated the American Revolution, evolving into a global conflict and ultimately leading to the declaration of independence by the United States of America in July 1776. Free at last, but many paid the ultimate price while fighting for that freedom Americans still enjoy till date.

TODAY IN HISTORY: American Revolution Began - Jews Attacked Nazi Forces

Jews Attacked Nazi Forces

Also, on this day in 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising commenced as Jewish resistance fighters confronted Nazi forces attempting to clear the Ghetto. Following the German occupation of Poland, Jews were confined to a cramped area, enduring dire conditions with disease and starvation rampant. Amid mass deportations of Jews to Treblinka who usually ended up being killed. When they realized this, some of the remaining Jews formed the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB) and bought limited arms to fight for their people.

On January 18, 1943, ZOB fighters ambushed Nazis preparing deportations, initiating days of skirmishes. On April 19, Heinrich Himmler ordered the Ghetto be emptied ahead of Adolf Hitler’s birthday the following day, prompting a fierce Nazi assault the next day. Many of the Ghetto’s remaining 60,000 Jews tried to hide in secret bunkers when more than 1,000 S.S. soldiers entered the Ghetto with tanks and heavy artillery, but over 1,000 ZOB members resisted with guns and homemade bombs.

One of the last survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto resistance tells of the  bravery of those who dared to stand up against the Nazis - CNN

Facing heavy casualties, the Germans temporarily withdrew, only to return on April 24 with full force. They systematically destroyed buildings, leading to thousands of deaths. The ZOB retreated to the sewers but succumbed on May 8, with leaders committing suicide.

By May 16, the Ghetto fell, and mass deportations to Treblinka commenced. The uprising claimed around 300 German soldiers and thousands of Jewish lives. Most survivors faced eventual death in Treblinka or other camps by the end of the war.

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