Nazi Commando Otto Skorzeny Continued His Life of Intrigue After the War
Otto Skorzeny was Nazi Germany’s most notorious commando. His missions included rescuing Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from imprisonment and sending German troops in American uniforms to conduct sabotage during the Battle of the Bulge. Hitler favored Skorzeny, though many of his colleagues disliked him. Admittedly a brave man, he... Read more
The Forgotten Angels of Dien Bien Phu
In November 1953 the French army began building a base in the mountains around Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, hoping that it would lure the Viet Minh guerrilla fighters into an open battle. Eventually, 16,000 French personnel each manned the six fortified outposts named, as legend has it,  after... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Probably Can’t Afford to Replace the F-22
A new fighter to replace the F-22 Raptor could eat the U.S. Air Force’s budget starting in the 2030s, the Congressional Budget Office reported. The Air Force on average spent $12 billion per year, in current dollars, on new aircraft between 1980 and 2018. But replacing the flying branch’s... Read more
Niels Bohr’s Flight From the Nazis Was a Science Drama
Danish physicist Niels Bohr was a scientific genius who also displayed a coincidental penchant for espionage and intrigue. He employed these skills, along with a bit of science, to foil the Nazi at several turns. His small crusade began in 1933 after the Nazis came to power in Germany.... Read more
The Soviet Ampulomet Launched Glass Bombs
As German troops invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Red Army scrambled to arm itself with anti-tank weapons. One system the Soviets hurriedly developed was the Ampulomet, a mortar that launched a glass projectile filled with an incendiary mix. The Ampulomet, named for the Greek ampoule, or... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wings Lack Range
The U.S. Navy’s carrier air wings lack the range to win in battle with Chinese and Russian forces, according to one new study. The Navy’s nine front-line wings “lack the range, endurance, survivability and specialization to carry out the operational concepts needed to defeat great-power militaries,” the Washington, D.C.-based... Read more
U.S. Air Force Cadets Are Building a Stealthy Drone
Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy are building a stealthy target drone to help pilots prepare for combat with Chinese and Russian stealth fighters. But the drone could do so much more. The U.S. military uses a variety of drones as targets in live-fire exercises. The Pentagon also... Read more
The Chinese Military Lacks Experience
The Chinese military has almost no combat experience, analyst Timothy Heath wrote for the California think-tank RAND. But that inexperience might not matter very much, Heath explained. “Today, China’s military has an increasingly impressive high-tech arsenal, but its ability to use these weapons and equipment remains unclear. There are... Read more
The U.S. Air Force’s Treaty Planes Are Falling Apart
The two surveillance planes the U.S. Air Force uses to monitor Russian forces under the auspices of a 1992 arms-control treaty are old, in poor condition and barely flyable, records reveal. Their toilets in particular are a problem. On Dec. 6, 2018, the Air Force deployed one of the... Read more
The French Military Recruited Colonial Sex Workers
The French army procured prostitutes for its troops in the field throughout the 20th century. And it was hardly alone in doing so. During and prior to World War II, Japan and Germany were infamous for large-scale state-organized military brothels that often included unpaid or captive sex slaves. France’s... Read more
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