How to Nuke a Submarine
Can you kill a sub with a nuke? It seems pretty obvious that a nuclear explosion deep in the ocean should sink a submarine, but you need to be sure if you’re gearing up for World War III. During the heyday of nuclear testing in the 1950s, the U.S.... Read more
Union Spies Saved Washington, D.C. From Becoming a Confederate City
In December 1860, the United States was on the brink of civil war. South Carolina’s legislature had already passed an ordnance of secession and other states would soon follow suit. The nation’s capital Washington, D.C. was in a perilous position. Surrounded by secessionist Virginia and ambivalent Maryland, the undefended... Read more
The Strange History of Sci-Fi Super Fuels
They sound like something out of a movie villain’s secret rocket base, but exotic and toxic fuels with names like “pentaborane” and “HEF-3” were once the height of cutting-edge Cold War technology. Of all the sources about such science-fiction stuff, the most entertaining is the one written by a... Read more
NATO Reenacts Baltic Guerrilla War
Arvids Eriks Bluzmanis, a former border guard, was a Latvian resistance fighter — or Forest Brother — when his unit received word that 200 Soviet soldiers were heading their way. The partisans dug trenches and hid behind trees. As the Soviet troops approached, the guerrilla fighters readied their weapons... Read more
Yes, the CIA Flew U-2 Spy Planes From Aircraft Carriers
On May 1, 1960, the Soviet Union shot down a CIA U-2 spy plane and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers. It was an international crisis for America’s intelligence agencies. A planned summit between Pres. Dwight Eisenhower and Premier Nikita Khrushchev was scuttled, much to Eisenhower’s embarrassment and to... Read more
Nazi Germany Tried to Beat Britain With Counterfeit Cash
This story originally appeared on June 12, 2016. In 1967, organ experts cracked open an old organ at the church of San Valentino in Merano, Italy in an attempt to find markings which could date the instrument. Instead of a production label, the workers found £5 million in cash... Read more
The Avro Arrow Was Canada’s Awesome, Pointless Jet Fighter
This story originally appeared on June 18, 2016. In the early 1950s, the Canadian government began to solicit orders for a new high-speed interceptor. The explosion in jet technology had rendered Canada’s first- and second-generation interceptors obsolete. In order to patrol Canada’s vast airspace, the Royal Canadian Air Force... Read more
The Lovely Little Town That Would Have Been Absolutely Screwed by World War III
This story first appeared on Sept. 27, 2013. For 40 years, during the height of the Cold War, the future battleground of World War III was a little known place. Just east of the West German town of Fulda, near the Inter-German Border, it was one of the most... Read more
The Libyans Have a Different Take on Their Battle With the U.S. Navy
On Aug. 19, 1981, U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighters shot down two Libyan air force Su-22 fighter-bombers over the Gulf of Sidra. The American pilots’ version of the clash is well-known in the West. The Libyan view of the battle, however, remains obscure. We can fix that. In 1973,... Read more
With the MP-57, Mauser Valiantly Tried to Best the Israeli Uzi
In November 1955, West Germany stood up its new, postwar military — in the process, creating the Bundeswehr. Almost immediately, the new ground-combat branch began looking for new small arms. Between 1956 and 1959, the Bundeswehr organized trials of nine-by-19-millimeter submachine guns. The trials spurred wide-ranging submachine-gun development in... Read more
  • 100% ad free experience
  • Get our best stories sent to your inbox every day
  • Membership to private Facebook group
Show your support for continued hard hitting content.
Priced at $19.99 per year, the first 200 people to sign up will receive a free War is Boring T-Shirt.
Become a War is Boring subscriber