The Moment Ukrainian S.S. Troops Killed Their German Officers
The 2017 book When Eternities Met is an absorbing and heartbreaking story of several individuals during World War II, which writer Matt Rhode recounts from interviews and archival documents. I was particularly drawn to the story of Myroslaw, a young Ukrainian peasant living in Galicia, then part of Poland. Myroslaw was... Read more
Colt’s Underslung Grenade Launcher Was Too Complex
Since the 17th century, infantry have tried to shoot grenades from their firearms. Until the 1960s, this almost always meant some kind of muzzle attachment or a grenade that could be fired from the end of a rifle’s barrel. In May 1963, the U.S. military called for a new... Read more
The Perils of Humanitarian Intervention
It’s been a busy few months for the U.S. military. Between the Tomahawk missile strike in Syria on April 7, the first-ever battlefield use of the GBU-43 “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan on April 13 and the movement of the USS Carl Vinson carrier group toward North Korea,... Read more
The Sinking of HMS ‘Victoria’ Led the Royal Navy Astray
Why would any sane naval commander execute an order sure to bring about catastrophe? That’s among the questions historian Andrew Gordon investigates in his masterful work The Rules of the Game. Ostensibly about the 1916 Battle of Jutland, The Rules of the Game is really about the perils of... Read more
The P26/40 Tank Was the Italian T-34
Italy was not renown in World War II for its tanks, which tended to be light and poorly used on the battlefield. But the Italian arms industry did produce interesting designs, some quite formidable. The Carro Armato P26/40 was a rare example of an Italian medium tank—the Italian army referred... Read more
La brutalidad de la Guerra de Corea le revolvió el estómago a los más  aguerridos soldados estadounidenses
Resulta difícil mantenerse al día respecto a los acontecimientos en el último asalto del cruce de bravuconadas entre Estados Unidos y Corea del Norte. El presidente estdaounidense Donald Trump y el “líder supremo” coreano Kim Jong-un han intercambiado en repetidas ocasiones palabras a través de Twitter y otros medios... Read more
Foreign Soldiers Built the French Army
At the end of World War II, the French Army was the fourth largest military force on the European continent, behind the Soviet Union, the United States’s expeditionary forces and Britain. The Free French Forces under Charles de Gaulle had battled fascism alongside the Allied armies and marched straight... Read more
Germany’s MG3 Machine Gun Is Irreplaceable
West Germany became a member of NATO in May 1955. Six months later its army reformed as the Bundeswehr. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, the Bundeswehr launched a major rearmament program. Despite adopting a wide range of new weapons, the Bundeswehr continued to use the 7.92-by-57-millimeter MG42... Read more
The Destroyer ‘Le Terrible’ Was Blazingly Fast
Destroyers in World War I rarely got close enough to battle an enemy fleet with their guns, so navies began building faster, most robust and heavily-armed destroyers packing bigger weapons and additional torpedo tubes. During the following interwar period, no country embraced this trend more than France, which built several large, fast... Read more
The French MAS-38 Was Weird But Well-Designed
In the early 1930s, France’s Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne developed the Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS Modèle 38 in a response to the French military’s call for new submachine gun. The French tested the weapon, selected it in 1938 and launched production in 1939, just months before the beginning of World... Read more
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