In 1986, French Troops in Chad Faced Mysterious Attackers
On its arrival in Chad as part of Operation Épervier, France’s intervention in the Chad-Libya war, the French military set up a radar center in the town of Moussoro, north of the capital N’Djamena starting in mid-February 1986. The radar would become the apparent target of a mysterious raiding... Read more
French Fighters Spent 1986 and ’87 Chasing Libyans Over Chad
In mid-February 1986, French forces launched Operation Épervier — France’s intervention in the Libya-Chad war. The French air force deployed to Chad’s capital N’Djamena around a dozen Jaguar A fighter-bombers and up to six Mirage F.1C interceptors from various units along with a few Mirage F.1CR tactical reconnaissance fighters. The... Read more
The SVT-40 Was Russia’s World War II Nazi-Killer
The United States was the first major power to adopt a semi-automatic service rifle during World War II, the M1 Garand. While most World War II infantrymen had to pull back a heavy bolt after each shot of their bolt-action rifles, a G.I. could expend a Garand’s clip as... Read more
In 1979, Soviet Troops Were in Cuba … And Americans Were Terrified
In the fall of 1979, a furor erupted in the United States over the discovery of Soviet combat troops in Cuba. Scarcely remembered today, it was an episode of the Cold War that seemed like a very big deal at the time, so much so that it prompted U.S.... Read more
Has Anyone Ever Shot Down an F-15 in Air Combat?
Read part one. According to official releases from Boeing and the U.S. Air Force, the F-15 Eagle has a clear-cut win-to-loss ratio of 104 to zero. But in fact, opposing air forces have claimed, in nearly a dozen cases, to have shot down the iconic, twin-engine fighter. All the... Read more
Has Anyone Ever Shot Down an F-15 in Air Combat?
According to official releases from Boeing and the U.S. Air Force, the F-15 Eagle has a clear-cut win-to-loss ratio of 104 to zero. But in fact, opposing air forces have claimed, in nearly a dozen cases, to have shot down the iconic, twin-engine fighter. All the claims have one... Read more
The Rise and Fatal Fall of Gen. Georg Stumme
On Oct. 24, 1942, German Gen. Georg Stumme, commanding officer of the Third Reich’s Panzer Army Africa — which included the famed Afrika Korps — was riding in a car along a track with his signals officer, Col. Andreas Buechting, near the front line for an inspection. It was... Read more
The Final Flight of Ezzedin Khalil
On July 18, 1980, Libyan air force MiG-23MS serial number 6950 crashed on Mount Sila in Calabria in southern Italy. The pilot, Capt. Ezzeden Khalil, died on impact. Ever since, there’ve been wild rumors and conspiracy theories regarding the incident. The most fantastic of these connect Khalil’s death with... Read more
Russia Invaded Japanese Islands With U.S. Ships — After Japan Surrendered
Seventy years after World War II ended, Japan and Russia are still trying to sign a peace treaty. The persistent bone of contention? The Kuril Islands, seized by Soviet troops in a bloody amphibious landing after Japan announced it was ready to surrender. But how and why did the Soviets seize the Kurils... Read more
Indoctrinated Teenagers Piloted This Wooden Nazi Jet
By the summer of 1944, the German Luftwaffe had a lot of problems. Huge Allied four-engine strategic bombers were pummeling Germany’s industrial base daily, escorted by long-range fighters that were frittering away the German flying arm’s elite cadres of combat pilots nurtured since the 1930s. While the bombing campaign... Read more
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