On This Day … 18 July


  • 477 BC – Battle of the Cremera as part of the Roman–Etruscan Wars. Veii ambushes and defeats the Roman army.
  • 387 BC – Roman-Gaulish Wars: Battle of the Allia: A Roman army is defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome.
  • 362 – Roman–Persian Wars: Emperor Julian arrives at Antioch with a Roman expeditionary force (60,000 men) and stays there for nine months to launch a campaign against the Persian Empire.
  • 452 – Sack of Aquileia: After an earlier defeat on the Catalaunian Plains, Attila lays siege to the metropolis of Aquileia and eventually destroys it.
  • 645 – Chinese forces under general Li Shiji besiege the strategic fortress city of Anshi (Liaoning) during the Goguryeo–Tang War.
  • 1195 – Battle of Alarcos: Almohad forces defeat the Castilian army of Alfonso VIII and force its retreat to Toledo.
  • 1389 – France and England agree to the Truce of Leulinghem, inaugurating a 13-year peace, the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years’ War.
  • 1391 – Tokhtamysh–Timur war: Battle of the Kondurcha River: Timur defeats Tokhtamysh of the Golden Horde in present-day southeast Russia.
  • 1507 – In Brussels, Prince Charles I, is crowned Duke of Burgundy and Count of Flanders, a year after inheriting the title.
  • 1555 – The College of Arms is reincorporated by Royal charter signed by Queen Mary I of England and King Philip II of Spain.
  • 1806 – A gunpowder magazine explosion in Birgu, Malta, kills around 200 people.
  • 1812 – The Treaties of Orebro end both the Anglo-Russian and Anglo-Swedish Wars.
  • 1841 – Coronation of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil.
  • 1857 – Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrives to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Tall’s war against the French.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Fort Wagner: One of the first formal African American military units, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, supported by several white regiments, attempts an unsuccessful assault on Confederate-held Battery Wagner.
  • 1914 – The US Congress forms the Aviation Section, US Signal Corps, giving official status to aircraft within the US Army for the first time.
  • 1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf.
  • 1936 – On the Spanish mainland, a faction of the army supported by fascists, rises up against the Second Spanish Republic in a coup d’état starting the 3-year-long Civil War, resulting in the longest dictatorship in modern European history.
  • 1942 – World War II: During the Beisfjord massacre in Norway, 15 Norwegian paramilitary guards help members of the SS to kill 288 political prisoners from Yugoslavia.
  • 1942 – The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 using its jet engines for the first time.
  • 1944 – World War II: Hideki Tōjō resigns as Prime Minister of Japan because of numerous setbacks in the war effort.
  • 1966 – A racially charged incident in a bar sparks the six-day Hough riots in Cleveland, Ohio; 1,700 Ohio National Guard troops intervene to restore order.
  • 1982 – Two hundred sixty-eight Guatemalan campesinos (“peasants” or “country people”) are slain in the Plan de Sánchez massacre.
  • 1994 – Rwandan genocide: The Rwandan Patriotic Front takes control of Gisenyi and north western Rwanda, forcing the interim government into Zaire and ending the genocide.
  • 1996 – Battle of Mullaitivu: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam capture the Sri Lanka Army’s base, killing over 1200 soldiers.

People (Births)

  • 1886 – Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., American general (d. 1945).
  • 1887 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian military officer and politician, Minister President of Norway (d. 1945).
  • 1893 – David Ogilvy, 12th Earl of Airlie, Scottish peer, soldier and courtier (d. 1968).
  • 1899 – Ernst Scheller, German soldier and politician, 8th Mayor of Marburg (d. 1942).
  • 1909 – Mohammed Daoud Khan, Afghan commander and politician, 1st President of Afghanistan (d. 1978).
  • 1915 – Louis Le Bailly, British Royal Navy officer (d. 2010).
  • 1921 – John Glenn, American colonel, astronaut, and politician (d. 2016).

People (Deaths)

  • 715 – Muhammad bin Qasim, Umayyad general (b. 695).
  • 1100 – Godfrey of Bouillon, Frankish knight (b. 1016).
  • 1639 – Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, German general (b. 1604).
  • 1650 – Robert Levinz, English Royalist, hanged in London by Parliamentary forces as a spy (b. 1615).
  • 1730 – François de Neufville, duc de Villeroy, French general (b. 1644).
  • 1837 – Vincenzo Borg, Maltese merchant and rebel leader (b. 1777).
  • 1863 – Robert Gould Shaw, American colonel (b. 1837).
  • 1949 – Francisco Javier Arana, Guatemalan Army colonel and briefly Guatemalan head of state (b.1905).
  • 2005 – William Westmoreland, American general (b. 1914).
  • 2009 – Henry Allingham, English soldier (b. 1896).
  • 2012 – Dawoud Rajiha, Syrian general and politician, Syrian Minister of Defense (b. 1947).
  • 2012 – Assef Shawkat, Syrian general and politician (b. 1950).
  • 2012 – Hasan Turkmani, Syrian general and politician, Syrian Minister of Defense (b. 1935).

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