Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Taste of America Invaded



Thanks very much to Military History Now for offering a taste of our new book -- America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil...

http://militaryhistorynow.com/2017/08/15/battlefield-usa-seven-american-states-that-were-attacked-invaded-or-occupied-by-foreign-powers/



In America Invades (2014, www.americainvades.com) Kelly and Laycock wrote about American military involvement around the globe devoting a chapter to every country in the world.  The one country they left out was the United States of America.  With their new sequel, America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil (www.americainvaded.com) they turned this approach on its head.  Their new book features conflicts with indigenous people, the American Revolution, the Civil War, Axis submarines off the American coastline in World War II and even the terrorist attacks of the 21st Century.  America Invaded explains how invasions and fighting in all fifty states helped shape them with repercussions that are with us today.

Soldier Fort Ticonderoga, NY

I) New York
New York was, of course, invaded by the Dutch.  Their invasion had a more commercial character as Manhattan was purchased for 60 guilders from the Canarsee tribe – though it was mainly inhabited by the Weckquaesgeeks.   In 1777 “Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne” led one of the most dangerous invasions of New York form Canada.  He seized Fort Ticonderoga but was defeated in the Battles of Saratoga.  The surrender of his army led directly to French intervention on the Patriot side in the American Revolution.  Nazi U-boats used the brightly illuminated skyline of Manhattan to sink many ships in the early days of World War II.

Robert E. Lee
Invaded Pennsylvania
II) Pennsylvania
The Keystone state has been subject to many invasions.  The Swedish set up a colony (new Sweden) establishing a Fort on Tinicum Island in 1643.  The British arrived not long after.  The French launched invading expeditions into Pennsylvania in the Seven Years War .  The British seized Philadelphia during the American Revolution.  Robert E. Lee led an invasion of Pennsylvania with 75,000 Confederate soldiers that culminated with the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.  The airspace over Pennsylvania was, in a sense, “invaded” by Al Qaeda terrorists on 9/11 when United Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA.

Andrew Jackson
Jackson Square, New Orleans
III) Louisiana
Many waves of invasion have swept across Louisiana.  Hernando de Soto, the Spanish Conquistador, explored the Mississippi River in 1541 and died, possibly in Louisiana in 1542.  The Spanish were followed by the French who named the area Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV – the Sun King.  Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States in 1803.  During the War of 1812 the British launched a determined invasion of Louisiana that sought to capture the commercial entrepôt of New Orleans.  Andrew Jackson won a decisive victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815 with a force that included Baratarian pirates and Jean Laffite.  In April of 1862 David Farragut captured New Orleans with Union Naval forces during the US Civil War.

IV) Indiana
The Hoosier state derives its name from being a Land of Indians.  French explorer Robert de La Salle arrived in the area now known as South Bend in 1679.  American settlers clashed with native Americans repeatedly in the frontier area of Indiana.  Governor William Henry Harrison led American forces in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811 near an area that is now known as Battleground.  Morgan’s Raid swept through Indiana in 1863 during the US Civil War.

Mitchell Monument
6 Americans died here near Bly, Oregon
Killed by a Japanese Fu-Go Bomb
V) Oregon
Spanish ships were the first Europeans to explore the Oregon coast in the 16th century. Captain Robert Gray of Rhode Island and the US Navy arrived off the Columbia River in 1792.  Captains Lewis and Clark constructed Fort Clatsop near the Oregon coast in 1805.  During the War of 1812 the HMS Racoon cruised along the Oregon coast and Fort Astoria was briefly re-christened Fort George.  But it was the American invasion of the Oregon territory that would endure.  Various conflicts between American settlers and native Americans flared up in Oregon in conflicts such as the Rogue River War of 1855-56.  Fort Stevens was built in 1863 to prevent an “invasion” by Confederate raiders.  On June 21, 1942 Fort Stevens was shelled by the deck gun of a Japanese submarine.  No one was killed or injured.  A Japanese seaplane bombed the forests of  Oregon near Brookings that same year.  In 1945 a Japanese Fu-Go balloon bomb detonated in a forest near Bly Oregon killing a woman and five children – the only fatalities caused by the thousands of bombs that were launched.

VI) Alaska
Between 13,000 and 15,000 years ago humans first crossed the Bering Sea into the area now known as Alaska.  Captain Cook explored Alaskan waters in 1778.  The Russians invaded and colonized Alaska before selling the territory to the United States in 1867.  In June of 1942 Japanese planes bombed Dutch Harbor  and Japanese troops invaded Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands.  In May of 1943 American forces invaded and liberated Attu.  Kiska was booby-trapped and abandoned by its Japanese occupiers in 1943.

Plaque marking the site of
Captain Cook's home in London
VII) Hawaii
Polynesian people first arrived in Hawaii around 1,500 years ago.  Captain Cook of the Royal Navy was killed by Native Hawaiians on his second visit to the islands in 1779.  The French, British and Russians sent warships to Hawaii.  American missionaries began arriving in the islands in 1819.  In 1893 an American coup made the islands American.  On December 7, 1941 warplanes of the Imperial Japanese navy attacked ships of the US Navy at Pearl Harbor forcing America into World War II.



Signed copies of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil are available here...www.americainvaded.com

Regular copies may be purchased from Amazon...www.amzn.com/0692902406

Or on Kindle...www.amzn.com/B073RJQ8PK




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Olive Oil Riot





What was the Olive Oil Riot?

CRK is IBM (Italian By Marriage)
This incident took place in Missoula Montana in 1942 during World War II.  We noted it in the Montana chapter of America Invaded...


"Fort Missoula became a prisoner-of-war camp in World War II.  The crew of the Italian ship SS Conte Biancamano, which had been seized in Panama, was transported to Missoula and held prisoner in Fort Missoula.  Japanese-American men were also detained at Fort Missoula.  The Italian POWs called the area Bella Vista, and many wound up settling in Montana after the war. So this would qualify as an Italian detention rather than an invasion.  There was, however, one violent incident—the Olive Oil Riot. An Italian cook became indignant when told that he must use beef fat for cooking rather than his beloved olive oil. A guard shot himself in the foot during the ensuing disturbance!"

I signed a book for YOU!
Signed copies of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil are available here...www.americainvaded.com

Regular copies may be purchased from Amazon...www.amzn.com/0692902406

Or on Kindle...www.amzn.com/B073RJQ8PK



Signed Copies of Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World are available here...www.italyinvades.com

Or on Amazon...www.amzn.com/1940598729

Or on Kindle...www.amzn.com/B0178GCYDO


Meet Christopher Kelly on the road.  Here is our America Invaded Tour Schedule...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2017/08/america-invaded-book-tour-schedule-2017.html

Monday, August 14, 2017

America Invaded: Book Tour Schedule 2017

Hitting the Road!
8/17/17 - 10/12/17

I am thrilled to be launching the America Invaded book tour this week.  Major Jack Coughlin (USAF ret.) and I will be driving in our Sprinter van across the USA to promote the launch of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil.  Our tour will include stops at two battleships, many bookstores, several military museums and at least five libraries.  We will be attending four Italian events where the focus will be on our earlier book Italy Invades: How Italians Conquered the World.

Major Jack Coughlin
Soviet MIG
In America Invades (2014, www.americainvades.com) Kelly and Laycock wrote about American military involvement around the globe devoting a chapter to every country in the world.  The one country they left out was the United States of America.  With their new sequel, America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil (www.americainvaded.com) they turned this approach on its head.  Their new book features conflicts with indigenous people, the American Revolution, the Civil War, Axis submarines off the American coastline in World War II and even the terrorist attacks of the 21st Century.  America Invaded explains how invasions and fighting in all fifty states helped shape them with repercussions that are with us today.

The initial response to America Invaded has been excellent...

"Unique, informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil" is an inherently fascinating read..."  Midwest Book Review

"Easy to browse and easy to enjoy...America Invaded is a fun jumping-off point for discussions about history."  Foreword Reviews


"Kelly and Laycock are masters of the fascinating factoid...All told, this is a worthwhile addition to the authors’ invasion series."  Kirkus Reviews

For Full reviews see...http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2017/07/america-invaded-reviewed.html

We look forward to seeing you on the road!


Aunties Books
Spokane WA

DATE DAY VENUE TIME

Aug 18 FR        Aunties Books 1:30PM
402 W Main Spokane, WA 99201

Aug 19 SA Fact and Fiction 10:30AM
220 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802           www.factandfictionbooks.com/
        SA Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History 2:00PM
        Buildings T-310 and T-316
        Fort Missoula, MT
Aug 21 MO Country Bookshelf 2:00PM,
                                28 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715         www.countrybookshelf.com/

Aug 22 TU Wind City Books 2:00PM
152 S. Center Street, Casper, WY to 4:00PM
Aug 26 SA Prospero’s Books 2:00PM
1800 West 39th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111
   
Aug 27 SU I Know you Like a Book 2:00PM
4707 N. Prospect Road, Peoria Heights, IL 61616
 
Aug 29 TU Michigan Military Heroes Museum TBD
1250 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI www.michigansmilitarymuseum.com/

Aug 30 WE Public Library TBD
311 S Main St, Poland, OH 44514

Battleship New Jersey
Sep 3 SU Battleship New Jersey 10:00AM 
        62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ 08103 to 5:00PM

Sep 7 TH Lemon Mediterranean Restaurant 7:00PM
        3475 Route 9
       A&M Shopping Plaza
       Freehold, NJ 07728
       Italy Invades
       Italians American Cultural Center of NJ

Sep 9 SA Norfolk Gun Show 9:00AM to 
        Norfolk Scope Arena 5:00PM
        201 E Brambleton Ave
        Norfolk, VA 23510

Sep 10 SU Norfolk Gun Show   10:00AM to
        Norfolk Scope Arena 5:00PM
       201 E Brambleton Ave
       Norfolk, VA 23510

Sep 11 MO America Invaded Dinner 7:00PM
       Plates Kitchen
       01 Glenwood Avenue Suite 100, Raleigh, NC

Sep 13 WE Fort McCoy Public Library 12:00N
        14660 NE Co Rd 315,
                                Fort McCoy, FL 32134

Sep 14 TH Belleview Public Library 3:30PM
        13145 SE County Hwy 484
                                Belleview, FL 34420

Sep 15 FR Dunellon Pulbic Library 2:00PM
        20351 Robinson Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34431

Sep 19 TU Garden District Bookshop 6:00
        2727 Prytania Street              to 7:30PM
       New Orleans, LA 70130
Sep 20 WE Italy Invades Presentation 7:00PM
The Italian Cultural and Community Center
1101 Milford, Houston, Texas 77006

Battleship Texas

Sep 21 TH Battleship Texas 1:00pm
                                3523 Independence Pkwy
        La Porte, TX 77571

Sep 23 SA Festa Italiana 10:00AM
        Fisher Pavillion, Seattle Center to 7:00PM
       305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109

Sep 24 SU Festa Italiana 10:00AM
        Fisher Pavillion, Seattle Center to 7:00PM
        305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109
        www.festaseattle.com

Major Jack
Chetco Public Library
Brookings, OR


Sep 27 WE Chetco Community Public Library 6:00pm
        405 Alder Street
       Brookings, OR 97415

Sep 28 TH Village Books 7:30PM
        1200 11th Street
        Bellingham, WA 98225
        www.villagebooks.com/

Sep 30 SA Lynden Pioneer Museum 2:00PM
        217 Front Street
        Lynden WA, 98264                     http://lyndenpioneermuseum.com/

Oct 7 SA Great Italian Festival TBD
        El Dorado Resort / Casino
        345 N. Virginia Street
        Reno, NV, 89501

Oct 8 SU Great Italian Festival TBD
        El Dorado Resort / Casino
        345 N. Virginia Street
        Reno, NV, 89501




ALL FOUR of my books will be available at ALL of the above events!


You can also order signed copies here...




Also available on Amazon.com...





Thursday, August 10, 2017

Puget Sound Navy Museum

Puget Sound Navy Museum, Bremerton, WA

Bremerton Washington is a Navy town.  The US Navy first began servicing and constructing ships in its dry dock in 1896.  The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was a beehive of activity in both World Wars.  During World War II the Bremerton shipyard competed with the Mare Island (CA) shipyard for naming rights for a US Navy cruiser.  The men and women of Bremerton Shipyard were faster and a cruiser was christened the USS Bremerton in their honor.

USS Bremerton Model
Puget Sound Navy Museum
Today Bremerton remembers its historic past at places such as the Puget Sound Navy Museum (http://www.pugetsoundnavymuseum.org/).

Aircraft Carrier Model
Puget Sound Navy Museum
The Museum has two floors of displays that document our naval history and offer interactive information and videos on what it is like to serve in the US Navy today.

USS Maine Baseball team
Puget Sound Navy Museum
The museum has a section on Baseball and the US Navy.  Visitors will find a poignant photograph of the baseball team of the USS Maine most of whom were killed in Havana Harbor in 1898 in the event that led directly to the start of the Spanish-American War.  Readers of this blog may recall my earlier posts American Baseball Imperialism and Remember the Maine, etc....http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2017/04/american-baseball-imperialism-2017.htmlhttp://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2012/02/remember-maine-but-forget-war-lovers.html


This museum also features a section devoted to Patrol or PT boats in the Puget Sound.  President Kennedy, of course, distinguished himself in WW2 while serving as a commander of PT-109 (http://americanconservativeinlondon.blogspot.com/2017/07/jfk-and-ensign-fujita.html).

WWII Poster
Puget Sound Navy Museum

We are very please to have included the Puget Sound Navy Museum in the Washington State tourist sites of our latest book America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil.  Our new book is a passport and an invitation for readers to explore our country's amazing history for themselves.

Signing Books in Remond, WA
You can now find signed copies of America Invades and America Invaded at the Puget Sound Navy Museum in Bremerton (http://www.pugetsoundnavymuseum.org/) or on these web sites...





See my latest interview with Kate Nagle from Rhode Island here...




Monday, August 7, 2017

Dunkirk(s)



Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk emerged as the most popular movie ticket in the world on its opening weekend.  Dunkirk is a hit that has now grossed over $200 million worldwide.

This came as a surprise to many who had predicted that the film would only appeal to 50+ white males.  When I saw the movie on its opening weekend at the Cinerama theatre in Seattle I was seated between a black kid on one side and a woman with her Asian boyfriend on the other.  You can't really have a mega-hit movie with very narrow demographic appeal these days.

Winston and Union Jack
As a historian I find it encouraging that people in the 21st Century are still interested in the events of the past.  Dunkirk took place in 1940 and was central to the British experience of the war but is less well known among Americans.  Nor was Dunkirk either glorious or a victory.  As Churchill said (quoted effectively at the film's conclusion): "Wars are not won by evacuations."

What does explain the tremendous popularity of this film?  Why should an English retreat still have the power to capture new generations of movie-goers.  Nolan's film-making technique deserves enormous credit.  He paints the Dunkirk disaster with vivid colors and portrays the human misery that defined the event.  Harry Styles' legion of young fans has broadened the film's appeal.  Nolan's film is short on dialogue, short on plot and Nolan refuses to place the viewer into any kind of historical context.  Nolan, however, excels at presenting visceral and emotionally compelling action about the horrors of modern warfare.


If you seek a more conventional telling of the Dunkirk story there is always the 1958 Black and White Dunkirk (www.amzn.com/B00H2EO4AO).  This film stars John Mills and Richard Attenborough.  It also features the fine actor Benard Lee who played "M" in many Bond films.  It is a good telling of the Dunkirk story that does provide historical context for the events of Dunkirk.

An Army is supposed to provide defense and protection for a nation's people.  At Dunkirk it was the people who came to the rescue of their army.  The mosquito fleet sailed the Channel to bring their boys home.  Prior to Dunkirk, Britain remained a divided nation.  Many Britons were unsure what to make of the Phoney War or "Sitzkrieg" that endured from the fall of Warsaw in September 1939 until the invasion of France and the Low countries in May of 1940.  Dunkirk brought Britain together in much the same way that Pearl Harbor brought Americans together.

Afghanistan Memorial, WA state
The "All Pulling Together" unity of World War II is today a distant memory.  We are divided politically and in many other ways.  Over 300 million Americans pursuing happiness (or misery) in their own individual way.

Moreover, there is today in the West a disconnect between the people and the defense forces that fight and, sometimes die, to preserve their liberties.  Only around one percent of the American population serves in the military or defense industries.  Thousands of lives have been lost and trillions of dollars have been spent fighting the War in Afghanistan but the media pays scant attention.  The war in Afghanistan is now the longest running war in American history.  Senator McCain is right to point out that, "More than six months after President Trump's inauguration, there still is no strategy for success in Afghanistan."

The success of Nolan's Dunkirk is a sign of our deep nostalgia for the Unity and certitudes of World War II.

Christopher Kelly is the co-author with Stuart Laycock of America Invades, America Invaded, Italy Invades.  He edited An Adventure in 1914.





Sunday, August 6, 2017

Napoleon House



The Napoleon House in New Orleans (http://www.napoleonhouse.com/) positively reeks with historic atmosphere.  I have trod the Napoleonic trail from Ajaccio Corsica to Waterloo Belgium and this is one of my favorite Napoleonic stops in the world.  It remains a classic "What might have been?"  Any visitor to New Orleans should stop by for at least one drink!

This is what we noted in the Louisiana chapter of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil...

Napoleon Bust
Musée de l'Armée, Paris, France
"Louisianans plotted in the 1820s to bring one of history’s greatest invaders to their shores. A conspiracy was formed to rescue the exiled Napoleon from his British captors on the rocky island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Ships were obtained, crews were formed. A house was built to suit the emperor for his sojourn in the New World. From this house, future Napoleonic invasions directed against the possessions of the dying Spanish Empire in Central and South America might be hatched. Today, the Napoleon House in New Orleans remains a watering hole for thirsty tourists, who can savor its grilled alligator po-boys while enjoying its historic atmosphere. Napoleon himself foiled the conspiracy by dying, most likely of stomach cancer, in 1821, prior to the execution of the plot."

Plot you own conspiracy at the Napoleon House!


You can find signed copies of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil here...www.americainvaded.com

Amazon is now shipping copies...www.amzn.com/0692902406

Or on Kindle...www.amzn.com/B073RJQ8PK

CRK signs hundreds of copies of America Invaded 8/2/17



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Infinite Regression of Secession



California is a deep blue state.  Hillary won the state in November 2016 with over 8 million votes versus 4.19 million for Donald Trump.  Many Californians have expressed their exasperation with the Electoral college system that awarded the Presidency to Trump.  They note that California would be the sixth largest economy in the world.  Some have even gone so far as to call for a Cal-Exit from the Union (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_California).

One of the many problems with secession, however, is that it always leads to an infinite regression of subsequent secessions.  When one smaller political entity manages to secede from a larger political entity the establishment of this precedent allows an even smaller political entities to demand secession from the newly formed state.

The birth of West Virginia during the US Civil War is an historic case in point.

We discussed this phenomenon in the West Virginia chapter of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil (www.americainvaded.com)...


"West Virginia was, in fact, part of Virginia up until the Civil War. But the western part of the state was very different from the Tidewater shore of Chesapeake Bay. There were, for example, no plantations and very few slaves in western Virginia. On May 23, 1861, Virginia voted to secede from the Union. West Virginia, on the other hand, chose to secede from the secession.

Two Wheeling conventions were held in May and June of 1861. Supporters of the Union won a referendum, and a state constitution was adopted. On June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state to join the Union."

If California were (inexplicably) able to pull off a secession for the rest of the United States then why couldn't Orange County secede from the Republic of California?  And then why couldn't Pasadena secede from Orange County?  And so on.

Why, in fact, couldn't an individual citizen simply secede from the the tax base?  A tempting if anarchic thought!


You can find signed copies of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil here...www.americainvaded.com

Or regular copies here on Amazon...www.amzn.com/0692902406

Or on Kindle...www.amzn.com/B073RJQ8PK

Listen here to my interview with John Gibson...http://podcast.gcnlive.com/podcast/johnGibson/0718173.mp3