The Long History of Korea’s Missile Program
It’s said history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. In the late 14th century, Korea’s ruling Joseon dynasty began an all-out espionage campaign to acquire classified missile technology from neighboring China. At the time, stateless wokou “dwarf pirates”—so called because of their comparatively shorter stature—were ravaging the Korean... Read more
Every German Submarine Is Out of Action
On Oct. 15, 2017, the submarine U-35 was performing a diving maneuver off the Norwegian coast when one of the four fins on its X-shaped rudder struck a rock. The damage was severe enough she needed to be escorted back to Kiel by the testing ship Helmsand. The 56-meter-long submarine would have... Read more
Un criador de pollos español, una apostadora peruana y un mujeriego serbio le tomaron el pelo a Adolf Hitler
Nadie se cree que los espías disfruten en la realidad de estilos de vida glamurosos tipo James Bond con trajes a medida, vestidos ajustados, sexo y apuestas. Así que, uno de los placeres de leer el libro Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies [Double Cross: La... Read more
Was the M2 Carbine America’s First Assault Rifle?
Germany is generally credited with developing the first assault rifle with the MP-43, which entered service with select units towards the end of 1943. Later renamed the Sturmgewehr 44 — literally “assault rifle 44” — this used an intermediate-strength kurz cartridge that balanced the long-range accuracy of heavy, slow-firing bolt-action rifles... Read more
The PPsH-41 Submachine Gun Makes Me Want to Shout ‘Uraah!’
The PPsH-41 submachine gun undoubtedly reigns as an icon of the Soviet war machine in World War II, immortalized in combat photographs and in films such as Cross of Iron and The Tin Drum.  Like the T-34 tank and the Il-2 Shturmovik attack plane, the “Pepsha” or “Papasha” (“Daddy”) was not only a... Read more
A Spanish Chicken Farmer, a Peruvian Gambler and Serbian Playboy Fooled Adolf Hitler
No one really expects spies to live glamorous James Bond-lifestyles full of tailored suits, tight dresses, sex and gambling. So, one of the pleasures of reading Ben Macintyre’s Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies is learning about a half-dozen outrageous secret agents who really did lead... Read more
Seventy-Eight Years of Jet Fighters
On Aug. 27, 1939, a stubby-winged airplane made of unpainted steel alloy took off over Germany and soared into history. Instead of a pointy propeller hub in the nose, the Heinkel 178 had an open-mouthed turbojet intake, making it the first operational jet-powered aircraft. The He 178 could only... Read more
Pentagon to Congress — Please Don’t Make Us Deploy Missiles on the East Coast
On Nov. 28, North Korea tested a Hwasong-15 missile with sufficient range to hit targets on the East Coast of the United States, including Washington, D.C. This follows an earlier test in July which demonstrated Pyongyang’s ability to strike targets on the West Coast of North America. The U.S.... Read more
The Really Big Tank That Helped to Break the Nazis
In the first six months of Operation Barbarossa, the brutal Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, German tanks overran hundreds of miles of Soviet territory and reached the outskirts of Moscow before winter weather and reinforcements from Siberia brought a halt to their advance. In a period when the... Read more
Aboard His Submarine, Jimmy Launders Sank Ralf-Reimar Wolfram’s U-boat
The Hunt for Red October dramatized for the public one of the tensest forms of warfare imaginable: combat between submarines submerged deep under the ocean’s surface, the nerve-wracked crews scouring the fathomless depths for their adversary’s acoustic signature using hydrophones. However, while hunting undersea enemies is one of the primary... Read more
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