Source A simple, reliable weapon by MATTHEW MOSS Gunnar Johnsson, an engineer at Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori designed the Kulsprutepistol m/45 — sometimes known as the “Swedish K” — at the end of 1944. It endured in military service for more than 60 years, making it a true classic. Demand was so high that, when Sweden... Read more
Comics about corruption in one of the world’s worst war zones, part one by ALEX DE WAAL & VICTOR NDULA This project was co-sponsored by Cartoon Movement, Justice and Security Research Program and the World Peace Foundation. Read more
This American Warship Shot Down MiGs and Pranked the Soviets
During the Cold War, many lesser-known confrontations occurred at sea away from the headlines and major crises. This was certainly true for the crew of the U.S. Navy’s Belknap-class guided-missile cruiser USS Biddle. The warship sailed into the thick of the Vietnam War and came face-to-face with the Soviet Navy.... Read more
St. Petersburg, Russia in 1970. Fortepan photo via Wikimedia Those who fought it used to think so by ROBERT FARLEY Could the Soviets have won the Cold War? In retrospect, Soviet defeat seems overdetermined. The USSR suffered from a backwards economy, an unappealing political system, and unfortunate geography. But even into... Read more
Japanese Type A midget submarine Ha-19 beached at Waimonolo, Oahu in Hawaii after the attack on Pearl Harbor. U.S. Navy photo Nearly everything that could go wrong did for Japan’s submariners by SÉBASTIEN ROBLIN On Dec. 7, 1941, the aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy rained devastation upon the U.S.... Read more
‘Saint Barbara fleeing from her Father,’ oil on panel, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, 1620. Google Cultural Institute photo Dec. 4 is the Feast of Saint Barbara by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Legend has is that Dioscorus, a wealthy fourth-century pagan living in what is now Turkey, locked his daughter Barbara in... Read more
A painting depicting the Battle of Stalingrad at Russia’s State Historical and Memorial Museum. Edmund Gall photo via Flickr World War II’s bloodiest battle shows what happens when human beings abandon all mercy by DANIEL L. DAVIS Since July 2012, the world has watched in horror as the once-beautiful and vibrant Syrian... Read more
B-17 bombers during World War II. Air Force photo With better leadership, the iconic fighter plane might’ve been unnecessary by JAMES PERRY STEVENSON and PIERRE SPREY The benefits the P-51 Mustang brought to aerial battles in World War II, particularly over Germany, are reasonably well known. The iconic fighter plane could... Read more
Sparta’s oligarchical society was built for conquest, but hid contradictions that ensured its decline by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Sparta spent nearly three centuries as the preeminent military power in Ancient Greece. It rose to dominate the Peloponnese, Greece’s large southern peninsula, and led an alliance of city-states to defeat a Persian... Read more
A Mk.IV Lewis Gun with its mainspring running in a tube through the center of the skeleton stock. Royal Armouries photo Armorers rushed old and damaged guns back into service by MATTHEW MOSS Following the disastrous Battle of France and the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in early... Read more
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