The Red Army’s Moscow Airborne Operation Turned Into a Debacle
This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one. On Feb. 22, 1942, Soviet Maj. Gen. A.F. Levashev was sitting inside a TB-3 bomber as it carried the Fourth Airborne Corps’ senior officers to their landing zone — part of a major operation to relieve the Eighth... Read more
Soviet Paratroopers Fought for a Month Behind the Lines in Freezing Temperatures
This article is part one of a two-part series. The Soviet Union was a pioneer in airborne warfare in the years before World War II — the first conflict to see widespread use of paratroopers. And in the USSR, this development was part of an intense period of post-revolutionary... Read more
The French Cruiser ‘Emile Bertin’ Escaped Halifax With a Belly Full of Gold
In June 1940, the 581-foot-long French light cruiser Émile Bertin sat docked in Halifax, when back in Europe, French officers gathered in the late Ferdinand Foch’s railway car at Compiègne to sign the humiliating armistice with Nazi Germany — sealing continental France’s subordination to German hegemony for a following... Read more
Europe’s Last World War II Battle
The small town of Odžak is nestled between the Bosna and Sava rivers, in the north of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. To the north and east, a handful of villages spread over the plains, while to the south and west a few shallow inclines lead into the foothills of... Read more
The Ecclesiastically-Named Howitzers of the British Army
In 1940, the United Kingdom went to war with the Axis in North Africa and quickly encountered an unnerving tactical problem. The nature of warfare in the flat, open desert inevitably favored tanks, which could easily outrun the range of supporting artillery that could not move unless towed. Limbering... Read more
Marcel Mitzakis’ Giant Tank-Mounted Lamp Blinded German Troops
In March 1945, the rapidly advancing U.S. Army’s 9th Armored Division — to its surprise — found itself at Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine at Remagan; one of the two surviving bridges into the heart of Germany. The bridge was a considerable prize and its capture would shorten the... Read more
The Dominator Was the B-29 Bomber’s Bizarre Competitor
The B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber achieved fame — and infamy — for its role in the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Developing the huge bombers, which could lug heavy bomb loads over long distances at high altitudes and speeds, amounted to the most expensive... Read more
How the Battle of Kursk Sealed Nazi Germany’s Fate
In 1939, and again in 1940, Adolf Hitler ignored the advice of his cautious generals and decisively ordered bold, creative plans to invade Poland and France, respectively. Hitler felt vindicated, as the German army conquered both nations in mere weeks. By the spring of 1943, however, stung by the... Read more
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 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

Robert Beckhusen

Managing Editor

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