On the Far East Station With the Royal Navy’s Big, Sturdy Submachine Gun
The photographs in this story were taken during the 1965-’66 deployment to the Far East station by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Barrosa. Barrosa was part of a task force supporting British operations in Borneo during the Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation, an undeclared war along the border between Indonesia and East... Read more
The Gun That Killed James Garfield
Charles Guiteau used a British Bulldog pistol to kill the 20th president of the United States James Garfield on July 2, 1881 at the busy Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station in Washington, D.C. Guiteau had stalked Garfield for a considerable time. He reportedly believed that killing Garfield, thus elevating Vice... Read more
In 1905, a Former U.S. Army Officer Added Moving Maps to Cars
Before satellite navigation, people found their way using paper maps. Which, of course, can be cumbersome — and ill-suited to the confines of any vehicle, let alone an early open-top automobile. In 1905, Henry Metcalfe, a 58-year-old retired U.S. Army ordnance officer and firearms inventor, filed a patent for... Read more
The Gun That Killed Abraham Lincoln
On April 14, 1865 U.S. president Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by a single shot to the back of the head. The American Civil War had ended just days before with Southern general Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox when John Wilkes Booth, a well-known stage actor, shot Lincoln as the president... Read more
The Gun That Killed John F. Kennedy
On Nov. 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald fired two 6.5-millimeter rounds from an Italian Carcano Fucile di Fanteria Mod. 91/38 rifle and killed U.S. president John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the fourth American president to be assassinated. Oswald, a 24-year-old former Marine, fired from the sixth floor of... Read more
The Guns That Killed Malcolm X
On Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X, leader of Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity, was assassinated during an Organization of Afro-American Unity meeting at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. Malcolm X had been a civil-rights activist and leader of the Black Muslim community in New York City... Read more
The Gun That Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.
At 6:00 P.M. on April 4, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped onto the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Seconds later, a single .30-06 round mortally wounded the 39-year-old civil-rights leader. King had arrived at the motel on March 29. He was in... Read more
The Gun That Killed Adolf Hitler
On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler, leader of the Third Reich, killed himself with a 7.65-millimeter Walther PPK pistol. Terrified of falling into the hands of the Soviets, who were fighting their way through Berlin, Hitler first swallowed a hydrogen-cyanide capsule and then, at 3:30 P.M., shot himself, possibly firing a round... Read more
The Gun That Almost Killed Theodore Roosevelt
On Oct. 14, 1912, John Flammang Schrank shot Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin while Roosevelt was campaigning. Roosevelt was running for a third term as president at the head of his newly formed Progressive Party. His opponents were Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson. As Roosevelt was... Read more
It’s a Mystery What British Special Operators Did With This Silenced Pistol
An M1908 Webley pistol sporting an M1929 Parker Hale silencer is part of the British National Army Museum’s firearms collection. The museum’s catalogue entry on the pistol states that it was used by the British Special Operations Executive during World War II. Exactly what the SOE did with the... Read more
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