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This Week in History | 7/19/2020 – 7/25/2020

19 July 1940 – The Two Ocean Navy Expansion Act is signed by President FDR. The bill increased the size of the Navy by 70% and cost $8.55 billion (after inflation it would be about 157 billion in 2020 dollars). 257 ships would be added to the US Navy with an added emphasis to naval aircraft, with 18 aircraft carriers to be built as a result of the bill. The increase in the size of the US Navy would expand the United States capabilities across the globe and in the dominant oceans it operated in, the Pacific and Atlantic. 

22 July 2003 – US Army forces kill Saddam Husseins two sons, Qusay and Uday, at a villa located in Mosul, Iraq. Both were high value targets and there was a $30 million dollar reward for information leading to their capture. The battle lasted a total of 6 hours. After Special Forces attempted to enter the villa and were fought back with wounded, elements of the 101st Airborne were called up with air support. Along with small arms fire, air support attacks and .50 cal machine gun fire a total of 12 TOW missiles ( Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) were fired in order to kill the defenders of the house. US forces were led to the villa by an informant who was possibly the owner of the villa. 

25 July 1866 – Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army, the first officer to hold the rank. His appointment came at the end of the Civil War. He was the first officer to hold the rank and only seven others have held it since. At the time it was only a four star rank but after US involvement in WW2 began it was upgraded to five stars. General Grant was bestowed with the rank due to all the tasks he undertook after the end of the war. He oversaw the beginning of Reconstruction, the handling of the defeated Confederate States, Mexico, and the evolving Indian Wars.

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