German helmets, British and Soviet guns by MATTHEW MOSS The Royal Afghan Army suffered terrible neglect throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. A period of relative modernization and standardization belatedly began in the 1920s. For starters, Kabul purchased rifles from Britain. Adopting .303 as its standard service cartridge, Afghanistan acquired British World War... Read more
The S-class submarine ‘S-51’ pokes above the waves as pontoons lift her in 1926. Photo via Boston Public Library & NavSource ‘On the Bottom’ recounts U.S. Navy deep water diving, 1920s style by ROBERT BECKHUSEN This article was sponsored by Open Road Media. It was the night of Sept. 25, 1925... Read more
A Comet in 1969. Photo via Wikipedia But the speedy jet suffered tragic accidents by MICHAEL BYRNE On July 27, 1949, the world quite abruptly became a very small place. The new scale, which drew together cities and coastlines that had for millennia existed on basically separate planets, came courtesy... Read more
The 999th in Korea. U.S. Army photo The 999th Armored Field Artillery fought through a bloody ambush by SEBASTIEN ROBLIN In April 1951 the African-American soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 999th Armored Field Artillery charged their ungainly self-propelled howitzers past a hundred Chinese infantry waiting in ambush. Thanks to the interviews of... Read more
Oliver Law with other members of the Lincoln Battalion. Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives photo Three stories of black Americans in Spain by SEBASTIEN ROBLIN In the 1930s, African-Americans were systematically disenfranchised, barred from participating in many arenas of civic life and subject to frequent violence and systematic discrimination. Yet many not... Read more
British iron steamship ‘Nemesis’ destroys a Chinese junk at the Second Battle of Chuenpi. Edward Duncan painting Fighting over dope helped to create modern China by SEBASTIEN ROBLIN In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and... Read more
Swordfish torpedo-bombers attack battleship ‘Bismarck’ in May 1941. Image copyright — Dennis Andrews Iain Ballantyne’s new book recounts daring air raid In Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom, historian Iain Ballantyne lays out in an almost cinematic style how the German high-seas raider met her match during a contest of steel versus struts and canvas.... Read more
Confederate reenactors in 2015. Rob Bixby/Flickr photo ‘Mr. Lincoln’s Army’ recounts how orderly ranks fell apart when the bullets began flying by ROBERT BECKHUSEN This article was sponsored by Open Road Media. The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in American history and those who lived through it were beset by... Read more
USS ‘Stark’ as seen from USS ‘Conyngham’ on the morning of May 18, 1987, listing heavily to port. USS ‘Conyngham’ Association photo It wasn’t a Mirage F.1 that hit USS ‘Stark’ by TOM COOPER On May 17, 1987, the U.S. Navy guided-missile frigate USS Stark was on a patrol in the... Read more
The operation remained classified for decades by JOSEPH TREVITHICK On Dec. 24, 1970, an odd airplane touched down at an air base in Thailand. Though it might not have looked like it, this was a top secret U.S. Air Force propaganda plane and the crew had just flown the last... Read more
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