The .32 ACP Owen Gun. Australian War Memorial photo The Owen Gun first appeared in .32 ACP by MATTHEW MOSS Australia’s Owen Machine Carbine was one of the most reliable and effective submachine guns of World War II. It’s not widely known that developer Evelyn Owen chambered an early prototype of the carbine in .32... Read more
The Bergmann pistol served Denmark for three decades by MATTHEW MOSS The Bergmann pistol belonged to a generation of early semi-automatic service sidearms that includes the C96, the Schwarzlose M1898, early Mannlicher pistols and the Luger P08. The pistol — named for industrialist Theodor Bergmann — certainly wasn’t the best in its class, mostly owing to... Read more
Thompson’s shotgun patent But the innovative weapon wasn’t meant to be by MATTHEW MOSS In May 1920, John T. Thompson — best known for his famous submachine gun — filed a patent protecting a semi-automatic, magazine-fed, double-barrel shotgun. But the weapon never got off the drawing board. Traditional double-barrel guns had two different chokes. The choke controls... Read more
All the Men and Women Who Marched to Their Deaths at Chernobyl
The meltdown of one of the four reactors of the massive nuclear power plant near the town of Chernobyl in northern Ukraine on April 26, 1986 was the result of badly flawed reactor design, sloppy construction and faulty emergency procedures. The meltdown and its consequences amount to the worst... Read more
An Israeli Merkava Mk. IV tank. IDF photo Boycotts forced Israel to adapt foreign tech and develop its own by ROBERT FARLEY Since 1948, the state of Israel has fielded a frighteningly effective military machine. Built on a foundation of pre-independence militias, supplied with cast-off World War II weapons, the Israel Defense... Read more
The T-148E1 grenade launcher. U.S. Army photo The U.S. Army hoped it would be a deadly hand cannon — but it wasn’t ready for combat by JOSEPH TREVITHICK In 1953, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Roy Rayle took up his new post at Springfield Armory. Best known for his work on the M-14 rifle... Read more
A reenactor roleplays as a Waffen S.S. soldier. Contando Estreles photo via Flickr In reality, there wasn’t much difference by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Spend enough time on military history forums or keep up with battlefield reenactors, and you will surely notice a lingering fascination with the Waffen S.S. This, suffice to... Read more
‘The Battle of Tanga’ by Martin Frost. Illustration via Wikimedia The Battle of Tanga is a lesson in military failure by ROBERT BECKHUSEN The remote African theater of World War I was overshadowed by the vastly greater devastation that tore Europe apart in 1914. Yet the war in Africa ravaged... Read more
None of the proposals panned out by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Oct. 5, 1968, U.S. Air Force HH-3E Jolly Green Giants raced to aid a U.S. Army reconnaissance team pinned down somewhere in southeast Asia. One helicopter tried to land and get the troops on board, but guerrillas chased it off... Read more
A Mirage F.1CR. Yvon Goutx photo With a patrol plane as bait, fighter jets targeted radar sites by TOM COOPER & ARNAUD DELALANDE In 1983 and 1984, France intervened in the war between Chad and Libya. Paris’ Operation Manta established a “red line” along the 15th parallel — a blocking position meant to... Read more
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