The Dominator Was the B-29 Bomber’s Bizarre Competitor
The B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber achieved fame — and infamy — for its role in the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Developing the huge bombers, which could lug heavy bomb loads over long distances at high altitudes and speeds, amounted to the most expensive... Read more
How the Battle of Kursk Sealed Nazi Germany’s Fate
In 1939, and again in 1940, Adolf Hitler ignored the advice of his cautious generals and decisively ordered bold, creative plans to invade Poland and France, respectively. Hitler felt vindicated, as the German army conquered both nations in mere weeks. By the spring of 1943, however, stung by the... Read more
In 1977, 80 Mercenaries Nearly Took Over Benin
Much of modern-day public opinion about mercenaries is still colored by adventures of Robert Denard, a French solider and mercenary, famous for his involvement in numerous “jobs” in support of Francafrique – France’s sphere of influence in its former colonies in Africa. One of Denard’s typical operations was the... Read more
The Pentagon Scooped Up Soviet Weapons in Chad in 1987 and ’88
During the so-called Toyota War in 1987, forces loyal to Chadian president Hissene Habre fought the Libyan army … and won. In early January 1987, Chadian troops carried out a devastating attack on the city of Fada, killing 784 Libyan troops and capturing six SF.260 light strike planes, one... Read more
La muerte de la División Azul española
En la gélida mañana del 10 de febrero de 1943, los 5.900 soldados de la 250ª División de Infantería «Azul» ─voluntarios españoles que luchaban por el Eje en el frente oriental de la Segunda Guerra Mundial─ estaban sentados en sus trincheras y búnkeres cuando les cayeron del cielo los... Read more
The Houthis’ Do-It-Yourself Air Defenses
On the evening of Jan. 7, 2018, the coalition of the Houthi insurgency and Yemeni military units that sided with the Houthis claimed to have shot down a Saudi Tornado fighter-bomber. A day later, Houthi and allied forces claimed to have shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter. In support... Read more
A U.S. Air Force C-141 Almost Got Itself Shot Down Over Chad
During France’s intervention in the Chad-Libya war in 1987, the French restricted air traffic over Chad. No aerial traffic was allowed in an area that extended from the 16th parallel to the outskirts of the capital N’Djamena. Civilian pilots didn’t always respect these air-traffic measures, especially as civil flights... Read more
You Have to Play This 1,600-Year-Old Viking War Game
Viking warriors storm into the torch-lit camp of a rival clan. Outnumbered, the ambushed Norsemen are far from their boats. Their one goal: flee to a nearby castle while keeping their king alive. At first glance, Hnefatafl (prounounced “nef-ah-tah-fel”) might just look like a knock-off version of chess with... Read more
The Ghost Plane of Faya-Largeau
After years of conflict, on Sept. 10, 1987, Chad and Libya agreed to a ceasefire the next day at noon. However, Libyan air patrols continued. Indeed, Muammar Gaddafi seemed to believe any military action short of an actual attack was acceptable. Not coincidentally, in October the United States handed... Read more
The Japanese Carrier ‘Taiho’ Blew Up Due to a Terrible Mistake
Six torpedoes from the U.S. Navy submarine USS Albacore headed toward the Japanese aircraft Taiho as she launched her planes on the morning of June 19, 1944 during the fighting on the Philippine Sea — the largest carrier battle in history and the last major Japanese carrier operation. “White... Read more
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