George Henry Thomas

George Henry Thomas was a United States Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater. Thomas served in the Mexican–American War and chose to remain with the U. S. Army for the Civil War as a Southern Unionist, despite his heritage as a Virginian, he won one of the first Union victories in the war, at Mill Springs in Kentucky, served in important subordinate commands at Perryville and Stones River. His stout defense at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863 saved the Union Army from being routed, earning him his most famous nickname, "the Rock of Chickamauga." He followed soon after with a dramatic breakthrough on Missionary Ridge in the Battle of Chattanooga. In the Franklin–Nashville Campaign of 1864, he achieved one of the most decisive victories of the war, destroying the army of Confederate General John Bell Hood, his former student at West Point, at the Battle of Nashville. Thomas had a successful record in the Civil War, but he failed to achieve the historical acclaim of some of his contemporaries, such as Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman.

He developed a reputation as a slow, deliberate general who shunned self-promotion and who turned down advancements in position when he did not think they were justified. After the war, he did not write memoirs to advance his legacy, he had an uncomfortable personal relationship with Grant, which served him poorly as Grant advanced in rank and to the presidency. Thomas was born at Newsom's Depot, Southampton County, five miles from the North Carolina border, his father, John Thomas, of Welsh descent, his mother, Elizabeth Rochelle Thomas, a descendant of French Huguenot immigrants, had six children. George had two brothers; the family led an upper-class plantation lifestyle. By 1829, they owned 24 slaves. John died in a farm accident. George Thomas, his sisters, his widowed mother were forced to flee from their home and hide in the nearby woods during Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion. Benson Bobrick has suggested that while some repressive acts were enforced following the crushing of the revolt, Thomas took the lesson another way, seeing that slavery was so vile an institution that it had forced the slaves to act in violence.

This was a major event in the formation of his views on slavery. Christopher Einolf, in contrast wrote "For George Thomas, the view that slavery was needed as a way of controlling blacks was supported by his personal experience of Nat Turner's Rebellion.... Thomas left no written record of his opinion on slavery, but the fact that he owned slaves during much of his life indicates that he was not opposed to it." A traditional story is that Thomas taught as many as 15 of his family's slaves to read, violating a Virginia law that prohibited this, despite the wishes of his father. Thomas was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1836 by Congressman John Y. Mason, who warned Thomas that no nominee from his district had graduated successfully. Entering at age 20, Thomas was known to his fellow cadets as "Old Tom" and he became instant friends with his roommates, William T. Sherman and Stewart Van Vliet, he made steady academic progress, was appointed a cadet officer in his second year, graduated 12th in a class of 42 in 1840.

He was appointed a second lieutenant in Company D, 3rd U. S. Artillery. Thomas's first assignment with his artillery regiment began in late 1840 at the primitive outpost of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the Seminole Wars, where his troops performed infantry duty, he led them in successful patrols and was appointed a brevet first lieutenant on November 6, 1841. From 1842 until 1845, he served in posts at New Orleans, Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, Fort McHenry in Baltimore. With the Mexican–American War looming, his regiment was ordered to Texas in June 1845. In Mexico, Thomas led a gun crew with distinction at the battles of Fort Brown, Resaca de la Palma and Buena Vista, receiving three brevet promotions. At Buena Vista, Gen. Zachary Taylor reported that "the services of the light artillery, always conspicuous, were more than unusually distinguished" during the battle. Brig. Gen. John E. Wool wrote about Thomas and another officer that "without our artillery we would not have maintained our position a single hour."

Thomas's battery commander wrote that Thomas's "coolness and firmness contributed not a little to the success of the day. Lieutenant Thomas more than sustained the reputation he has long enjoyed in his regiment as an accurate and scientific artillerist." During the war, Thomas served with an artillery officer who would be a principal antagonist in the Civil War—Captain Braxton Bragg. Thomas was reassigned to Florida in 1849–50. In 1851, he returned to West Point as a cavalry and artillery instructor, where he established a close professional and personal relationship with another Virginia officer, Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee, the Academy superintendent, his appointment there was based in part on a recommendation from Braxton Bragg. Concerned about the poor condition of the Academy's elderly horses, Thomas moderated the tendency of cadets to overwork them during cavalry drills and became known as "Slow Trot Thomas". Two of Thomas's students who received his recommendation for assignment to the cavalry, J.

E. B. Stuart and Fitzhugh Lee, became prominent Confederate cavalry generals. Another Civil War connection was a cadet expelled for disciplinary reasons on Thomas's recommendation, John Schofield


Zabiče is a village in the Municipality of Ilirska Bistrica in the Inner Carniola region of Slovenia, close to the border with Croatia. Zabiče is the site of two known mass graves and an unmarked grave from the end of the Second World War, they all contain the remains of German soldiers from the 97th Corps that were killed at the beginning of May 1945. The Rebrice Mass Grave lies about 320 m southwest of the bridge across the Reka River and contains the remains of about 20 prisoners of war; the Jernak Pond Mass Grave lies about 450 m northwest of the bridge and contains the remains three prisoners of war. The Yard Grave lies in a yard near the house at Zabiče no. 15 and contains the remains of one soldier. The local church in the settlement is dedicated to John the Baptist and belongs to the Parish of Podgraje. Zabiče on Geopedia

4th Air Division (Germany)

4. Flieger Division was one of the primary divisions of the German Luftwaffe in World War II, it was formed on 1 August 1938 in Munich from the Höheren Fliegerkommandeur 5. The Division was redesignated 21. Flieger-Division on 1 November 1938 and relocated to Braunschweig and again renamed to 4. Flieger Division on 1 February 1939; the unit was relocated to Düsseldorf on 1 October 1939 and redesignated IV. Fliegerkorps on 11 October 1939 and reformed again in June 1943 in Smolensk. Generalmajor Hellmuth Bieneck, 1 August 1938 – 31 January 1939 General der Flieger Alfred Keller, 1 February 1939 – 11 October 1939 Generalmajor Josef Punzert, June 1943 – 30 June 1943 Generalleutnant Hermann Plocher, 1 July 1943 – 25 August 1943 Oberst Franz Reuß, 25 August 1943 – 5 April 1945 Generalmajor Klaus Uebe, 25 December 1944 – 24 January 1945