23 July 1261

An invading army under John Fitzgerald was defeated by the Gaelic forces of Finghin MacCartaigh at the battle of Callann, near modern-day Kilgarvan in County Kerry.


23 July 1883

Alan Francis Brooke was born near Pau in southern France. A distinguished soldier, he became chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1941 and was noted for his ability to stand up to Winston Churchill.

23 July 1903

In Chicago, Dr Ernst Pfenning becomes the first man to buy a Ford motor car, spending less than $1,000 on a Model A.

23 July 1940

The Local Defence Volunteers, which had been formed after secretary of state for war Anthony Eden’s radio appeal to the nation on 14 May, was first referred to in parliament as the Home Guard. The new name was the brainchild of Winston Churchill who thought that the original title was uninspiring and wanted to emphasise the national nature of the organisation. Despite opposition by some of his colleagues on the grounds that a million armbands with the letters LDV upon them had just been produced, Churchill got his way.


23 July 1942

Adolf Hitler issued Führer Directive Number 45, ordering Army Group A to push on into the Caucasus and Army Group B to smash Russian forces concentrated around Stalingrad and capture the city.

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