The Worst U.S. Special Operations Disasters
Since World War II, the U.S. military has experimented with special operations forces, small groups of warriors with the equipment and training to undertake extremely difficult missions. In effect, special forces exist to leverage human capital in unusual tactical situations. Soldiers selected for high physical and mental capabilities, then... Read more
French Mirage Fighters Turned Israel Into a Major Air Power
Fifty years ago, on May 19, 1967, the Mirage V made its first flight from Melun-Villaroche airfield in France. Within context of events that were to follow ever the next few weeks, this date marked the birth not only of the modern-day French military aviation sector, but also what can... Read more
The Battle of Dunkirk Was Nerve-Wracking—and Bizarre
Open Road Media sponsored this post. It’s hard to grasp the unfolding disaster that was the 1940 Battle of Dunkirk. For nine days, Britain evacuated 200,000 of its soldiers—most of the United Kingdom’s trained troops—along with nearly 140,000 Allied soldiers, from northern France with a fleet of naval vessels... Read more
La ametralladora MG3 de Alemania resulta insustituible
Alemania Occidental se convirtió en miembro de la OTAN en mayo de 1955. Seis meses después su ejército se convirtió en la Bundeswehr (Fuerza de Defensa Federal de Alemania). A finales de los años 1950 y principios de los años 1960, la Bundeswehr inició un importante programa de rearme.... Read more
Evolution of the Landship
At the outset of World War I, the British Army possessed a motley collection of motor vehicles including staff cars, trucks and a handful of artillery tractors. The early fighting on the Western Front compelled the British to hastily deploy rudimentary armored cars. And as the front lines became... Read more
This Snag-Proof Pistol Never Caught On
In September 1918, inventor John Morrison of Spokane, Washington patented a simple adaptation for sidearms that ostensibly made them snag-proof. The modification also elongated a weapon’s sight radius. Morrison’s patent claimed to “provide a pistol embodying a simple and inexpensive appartenance designed and adapted to provide a considerable distance between the... Read more
A Medieval Knight Was Surprisingly Nimble
It’s a popular misconception that a medieval knight, once knocked off his mount, could barely move and was thus vulnerable to more fleet-footed light infantry. An October 2016 exhibition at the Swiss Military Museum at the Castle of Morges helped to disprove this myth. The museum organized a race... Read more
The Moment Ukrainian S.S. Troops Killed Their German Officers
The 2017 book When Eternities Met is an absorbing and heartbreaking story of several individuals during World War II, which writer Matt Rhode recounts from interviews and archival documents. I was particularly drawn to the story of Myroslaw, a young Ukrainian peasant living in Galicia, then part of Poland. Myroslaw was... Read more
Colt’s Underslung Grenade Launcher Was Too Complex
Since the 17th century, infantry have tried to shoot grenades from their firearms. Until the 1960s, this almost always meant some kind of muzzle attachment or a grenade that could be fired from the end of a rifle’s barrel. In May 1963, the U.S. military called for a new... Read more
The Perils of Humanitarian Intervention
It’s been a busy few months for the U.S. military. Between the Tomahawk missile strike in Syria on April 7, the first-ever battlefield use of the GBU-43 “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan on April 13 and the movement of the USS Carl Vinson carrier group toward North Korea,... Read more
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