When to Shoot a Nuclear Bomb With Your Gun
This story originally appeared on Jan. 30, 2015. The year is 1960 and a congressional delegation is touring military bases in Western Europe to evaluate custody and safety issues associated with U.S. nuclear weapons. With the delegation is a scientist named Harold Agnew—and he’s not just another congressional staffer.... Read more
Hitler Hated the Nazi Assault Rifle
This story first appeared on Nov. 26, 2015. By 1944, the Third Reich pulled out all the stops when it came to technological marvels. It was the year of the Wunderwaffe, the “wonder weapon” – devices born out of a combination of science and desperation that Nazi Germany hoped... Read more
Those Who Witnessed Castle Bravo Looked Into Armageddon
This story originally appeared on Feb. 28, 2015. More than 60 years ago on an island in the South Pacific, scientists and military officers, fishermen and Marshall Islands natives observed first-hand what Armageddon would be like. And it almost killed them all. The Atomic Energy Commission code-named the nuclear... Read more
The Combat History of the Condom
This story originally appeared on Nov. 27, 2015. The humble condom — a U.S. soldier’s companion for a hot night out on leave since the military began issuing them in the 1930s as a barrier against infection. But for decades many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines often used condoms... Read more
El fusil Baker convirtió a los soldados en letales tiradores a larga distancia
Un gélido día de enero de 1809, Thomas Plunkett ─ fusilero del 95º Regimiento de Fusiles británico ─ se encontraba fuera de la ciudad española de Cacabelos tumbado en el suelo con la espalda sobre la nieve. Cualquiera diría que no era lugar para un irlandés, pero... Read more
The Baker Rifle Transformed Soldiers Into Long-Distance Killers
Originally published on June 16, 2015. On a freezing January day in 1809, rifleman Thomas Plunkett of the British 95th Rifles was flat on his back in the snow outside of the Spanish town of Cacabelos. Some might say that was no place for an Irishman, but this was... Read more
Viet Cong Commandos Sank an American Aircraft Carrier
It was shortly after midnight when two Viet Cong commandos emerged from a sewer tunnel that emptied into Saigon Port, each man carrying nearly 90 pounds of high explosives and the components needed to make two time bombs. Their target was the largest American ship in port, USNS Card.... Read more
The ‘Tsar Bomba’ Was a 50-Megaton Monster Nuke
Maj. Andrei Durnovtsev, a Soviet air force pilot and commander of a Tu-95 Bear bomber, holds a dubious honor in the history of the Cold War. Durnovtsev flew the aircraft that dropped the most powerful nuclear bomb ever. It had an explosive force of 50 megatons, or more than... Read more
How a Hipster City Planned to Survive Nuclear Armageddon
Think of the city of Portland, Ore., today and it’s easy to conjure images of hipsters living the earth-friendly and artsy Pacific Northwest lifestyle — a laid-back place where a vegan donut is the most popular pastry and according to a character from the T.V. show Portlandia, you can... 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

Paul Richard Huard

Contributing Writer

Military historian, free-lance journalist, and contributor to War Is Boring. Areas of expertise: American military history, the Cold War, Russia and the Soviet Union, military small arms.

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