History is always relevant if we're willing to learn from it. A good example is the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo Japan on April 18, 1942. By way of quick background, the United States was forced into World War II after the surprise Japanese attack on our naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japan had been aggressively moving against other countries in the Pacific realm for several years, taking territory and raw materials to satisfy its expansionist aims.
The Japanese correctly saw the U.S. Pacific Fleet, stationed at Pearl, as the biggest threat to their continued activities and so devised a plan to mount a surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941 against our forces. The surprise worked. The attack sank or disabled eight of the nine battleships in the fleet (only the USS Pennsylvania, in dry dock, escaped major damage), destroyed dozens of aircraft on the ground and killed more than 2,300 U.S. military and civilian personnel, all for the loss of only 29 Japanese aircraft.