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Operation Rolling Thunder & Grants Promotion

29 FEB 1944 – The Office of Price Administration announces that in 1943 the black market made over 1 billion dollars due to war time rationing. Goods and food such as meat, sugar and car tires were all rationed and at times unavailable on the civilian market during the war. As a result, many citizens turned to the illegal black market to get the items they needed. Even after the end of the war this shady market would thrive for a few years, with building supplies and automobiles remaining scarce as the economy reverted back from its war time stance.

1 MAR 1864 – President Lincoln promotes Major General Ulysses S Grant to the rank of Lieutenant General during the Civil War. The rank of LT General had only ever been held by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Along with his promotion Grant was also named General In Chief of the Armies of the United States. President Lincoln would have a good working relationship with his highest general and allowed him to create his own strategies for the Army. Upon his promotion he would command 533,000 battle ready troops that would spread across multiple fronts to press the Confederacy into defeat.

2 MAR 1965 – Operation Rolling Thunder would begin over the skies of Vietnam. The 44 month long aerial bombardment campaign had four main goals. To boost the low morale of the Saigon Regime (South Vietnam), cause the North to stop supporting communist forces in the south without having to send American ground troops north, destroy key North Vietnamese infrastructure, and halt the flow of enemy troops into the south. By the end of the operation over 300,000 attack sorties would be flown by American forces with 864,000 tons of bombs being dropped. In comparison to other wars, only 653,000 tons of bombs were dropped in the entire Korean War and 503,000 in the Pacific Theater during WW2. While massive amounts of enemy infrastructure and supplies were destroyed along with thousands killed, the operation was not truly successful. The North Vietnamese people and military would prove exceptionally capable in dealing with the punishment of the bombings and American politics would hamper and limit the campaign from reaching its full potential.

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