1775: the American Revolution starts when British regulars move against Lexington and Concord to seize munitions, weapons, and if possible, several revolutionaries, including John and Samuel Adams.
Forewarned by several riders [including Paul Revere], Colonial militias begin to gather. A skirmish takes place at Lexington, started by a gunshot fired by one side or the other. By the time the British reach the concord Bridge, colonials engage them in a firefight. But the major damage to the British occurs as they retreat toward Boston. Colonists coalesce along the entire route, fighting Indian style [apologies, Sen. Warren from behind trees and stone walls, before falling back and moving to new positions further along the route of march. the British column only escapes further injury when a relief column shows up to aid them.
This opening battle of the Revolution contains a motif that will follow the British through the war. They will never successfully figure out a way to fight the American irregular style of war. Conversely, while the Americans will suffer losses because of their inability, despite their attempts, to successfully engage the British in conventional combat in the early stages of the war, they will have leaned to do so within three years. Within two, a combination of their improved conventional warfare skills, coupled wityh their mastery of irregular warfare, will crush the British at Saratoga, and bring France into the war as an American ally.
1943: The Warsaw Uprising begins:
Heinrich Himmler, Reichsfuehrer SS, decided to offer Adolf Hitler the final dissolution of the Warsaw Ghetto, as a birthday present. Columns of SS police troops converged on the Ghetto on April 19th [the day before Hitler's birthday] to carry out the order. But the remnants of the Jewish community in the Ghetto was well aware of their proposed fate by April 19th. The local Jewish government, the Judenrat, had been fulfilling SS evacuation quota lists for months. Railroad cars with indications of passengers [scratchings on the railroad car interiors, etc.] were found returning to the Ghetto for more evacuees far sooner than they should have been, ostensibly carrying evacuees for re-settlement and work in the East [sometimes less than five days]. And at least several escapees from the Auschwitz- Birkenau had returned to warn the Ghetto inhabitants of what really awaited them.
So, with what few firearms , grenades and other weapons they were able to buy from the Poles, the Jewish defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto gave the SS who entered the Ghetto not only a surprise welcome, but a hot one. In fact, they forced the SS to withdraw. And Himmler found himself in a fix of his own making. the result was a full on assault on the Warsaw Ghetto that took weeks. An SS Brigadefuhrer, Jurgen Stroop was brought in to supervise "operations". So were engineers, heavy weapons, and more SS troops. They used gas, flamethrowers and explosives when Jewish freedom fighters took to the sewers. The result, sadly, was a foregone conclusion. The SS shot every prisoner they took, the Ghetto was largely razed, a few souls managed to escape, and Stroop was able to present his Reichsfuhrer with a lavishly illustrated leatherbound report entitled "The WARSAW GHETTO IS NO MORE [which he may have regretted after the war when they were slipping the rope around his neck].
And Himmler's initial reason backfired in a major way. the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is remembered as a heroic stand for freedom and against tyranny, not as a spectacular birthday present for Adolf Hitler