La muerte de la División Azul española
En la gélida mañana del 10 de febrero de 1943, los 5.900 soldados de la 250ª División de Infantería «Azul» ─voluntarios españoles que luchaban por el Eje en el frente oriental de la Segunda Guerra Mundial─ estaban sentados en sus trincheras y búnkeres cuando les cayeron del cielo los... Read more
The Houthis’ Do-It-Yourself Air Defenses
On the evening of Jan. 7, 2018, the coalition of the Houthi insurgency and Yemeni military units that sided with the Houthis claimed to have shot down a Saudi Tornado fighter-bomber. A day later, Houthi and allied forces claimed to have shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter. In support... Read more
A U.S. Air Force C-141 Almost Got Itself Shot Down Over Chad
During France’s intervention in the Chad-Libya war in 1987, the French restricted air traffic over Chad. No aerial traffic was allowed in an area that extended from the 16th parallel to the outskirts of the capital N’Djamena. Civilian pilots didn’t always respect these air-traffic measures, especially as civil flights... Read more
You Have to Play This 1,600-Year-Old Viking War Game
Viking warriors storm into the torch-lit camp of a rival clan. Outnumbered, the ambushed Norsemen are far from their boats. Their one goal: flee to a nearby castle while keeping their king alive. At first glance, Hnefatafl (prounounced “nef-ah-tah-fel”) might just look like a knock-off version of chess with... Read more
The Ghost Plane of Faya-Largeau
After years of conflict, on Sept. 10, 1987, Chad and Libya agreed to a ceasefire the next day at noon. However, Libyan air patrols continued. Indeed, Muammar Gaddafi seemed to believe any military action short of an actual attack was acceptable. Not coincidentally, in October the United States handed... Read more
The Japanese Carrier ‘Taiho’ Blew Up Due to a Terrible Mistake
Six torpedoes from the U.S. Navy submarine USS Albacore headed toward the Japanese aircraft Taiho as she launched her planes on the morning of June 19, 1944 during the fighting on the Philippine Sea — the largest carrier battle in history and the last major Japanese carrier operation. “White... Read more
In 1986, French Troops in Chad Faced Mysterious Attackers
On its arrival in Chad as part of Operation Épervier, France’s intervention in the Chad-Libya war, the French military set up a radar center in the town of Moussoro, north of the capital N’Djamena starting in mid-February 1986. The radar would become the apparent target of a mysterious raiding... Read more
French Fighters Spent 1986 and ’87 Chasing Libyans Over Chad
In mid-February 1986, French forces launched Operation Épervier — France’s intervention in the Libya-Chad war. The French air force deployed to Chad’s capital N’Djamena around a dozen Jaguar A fighter-bombers and up to six Mirage F.1C interceptors from various units along with a few Mirage F.1CR tactical reconnaissance fighters. The... Read more
The SVT-40 Was Russia’s World War II Nazi-Killer
The United States was the first major power to adopt a semi-automatic service rifle during World War II, the M1 Garand. While most World War II infantrymen had to pull back a heavy bolt after each shot of their bolt-action rifles, a G.I. could expend a Garand’s clip as... Read more
In 1979, Soviet Troops Were in Cuba … And Americans Were Terrified
In the fall of 1979, a furor erupted in the United States over the discovery of Soviet combat troops in Cuba. Scarcely remembered today, it was an episode of the Cold War that seemed like a very big deal at the time, so much so that it prompted U.S.... Read more
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