In 1918, British and German Tanks Clashed at Villers-Bretonneux
One hundred years ago, on the evening of April 23, 1918, a thousand German artillery pieces unleashed high-explosive shells and mustard gas around the French town of Villers-Bretonneux. Imperial Germany had launching a last-ditch Spring Offensive in the sector around Amiens in an attempt to defeat French and British... Read more
The Battlecruiser That Wouldn’t Die
On Aug. 1, 1914, the German battlecruiser Goeben was taking on coal, preparing to flee the Italian port of Brindisi in order to escape a pursuing British Royal Navy squadron. Thus began an epic pursuit across the Mediterranean, with effects that reverberated across World War I. In the years... Read more
La pistola que empezó la Primera Guerra Mundial
Posiblemente sea la muerte del archiduque austrohúngaro Franz Ferdinand a manos de Gavrilo Princip uno de los asesinatos más conocidos de la historia. Catalizó las disputas marciales, burocráticas y políticas que condujeron a la Primera Guerra Mundial. Por lo tanto, la pistola que Princip utilizó para matar a Ferdinand,... Read more
The Gun That Started World War I
Gavrilo Princip’s killing of Austria-Hungary’s archduke Franz Ferdinand is perhaps one of history’s best known assassinations. It catalysed the political, bureaucratic and martial wranglings that led to World War I. The gun Princip used to kill Ferdinand — an FN-Browning M1910 — is therefore one of history’s most significant... Read more
The Hotchkiss Portative Made For a Decent Tank Gun
Laurence Benét and Henri Mercié designed the Hotchkiss Portative light machine gun at the turn of the 20th century. It was a gas-operated, air-cooled, select-fire weapon that fired from an open bolt. A number of nations adopted the weapon, including France, Belgium, the United States and Britain. The United... Read more
‘Shock Troop 1917’ Is a Brutal War Film … From 1934
Hans Zöberlein’s 1934 feature film Stoßtrupp 1917 — Shock Troop 1917, in English — depicts German stormtroopers fighting on the Western Front during World War I, slogging from the Aisne to Champagne to Cambrai. The film is deeply nationalistic — and was hugely popular in its time. Compared to... Read more
The Lewis Gun Was a New Kind of Killing Machine
It must be an automatic rifle, Robert Jordan thought. “How much does it weigh?” he asked. “One man can carry it, but it is heavy. It has three legs that fold. We got it in the last serious raid. The one before the wine.” “How many rounds have you... Read more
El Lee-Enfield calibre .303 era el mejor compañero del soldado británico
La mañana del domingo 23 de agosto de 1914 repican las campanas de la iglesia en la ciudad belga de Mons, una ciudad industrial que obstaculizaba el avance del ejército alemán para aplastar a la Fuerza Expedicionaria Británica. Los británicos, con una entidad de 70.000 soldados, habían ocupado la... Read more
The .303 Lee-Enfield Was a British Tommy’s Best Mate
Church bells rang on Sunday morning, Aug. 23, 1914 in the Belgian city of Mons — an industrial town that stood in the way of the advancing German army’s plan to crush the British Expeditionary Force. The Tommies – 70,000 strong – were dug in along the Mons-Conde canal and had occupied the town.... Read more
His Majesty’s Scary Steam Subs
Like the airplane, the submarine evolved in the early 20th century into a real weapon. But for the British Royal Navy, this posed a dilemma. The Admiralty’s battle plan for its revolutionary new dreadnoughts foresaw high-speed clashes between rival fleets armed with very-long-range guns. The new dreadnoughts and battlecruisers launching from... Read more
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