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History of the bazooka

Immediately recognizable due to its name and appearance, the bazooka is one of the most iconic weapons of all time. Developed in the early 20th Century, it first saw widespread use during World War II. The development of the bazooka entailed two separate technologies: rocketry and shaped-charge warheads. Like many WWII inventions, it was a high-powered weapon that was scaled down for increased mobility and ease of fire. It was named by General Gladeon M.

Dazzle camouflage – Hiding in plain Sight

Despite the inauspicious start, the Balloon Corps served with honor at various locations: the Siege of Yorktown, the Battle of Fair Oaks, the Seven Days Battle outside Richmond, the Battle of Fredericksburg and other clashes. While some theaters of the Civil War were characterized by static lines, sieges and what later developed into the trench warfare of the Great War, many others saw a new type of highly mobile warfare. Troops and artillery engaged in

Operation Tidal Wave

In 1943, with Soviet oil fields getting farther and farther away from Hitler’s grasp, the Third Reich’s need for fuel became a vulnerable Achilles’ heel. British war plans have already identified Germany’s hard-to-serve needs for oil as a weakness before the war and now the Allies saw a chance to exploit this weakness. The oil refineries near the city of Ploiești, Romania, were responsible for one-third of Germany’s high-octane fuel and was perceived as a

Clark Gable, WW-II bomber & gunner

“Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.” While Rhett Butler didn’t care about Scarlett O’Hara’s future in Gone with the Wind, the famous line couldn’t be further away from Clark Gable and the war effort. Today we’ll look at Gable’s actions in WWII. William Clark Gable (1901-1960) was born to a protestant father working as an oil well driller and a catholic mother who died when he was 10 months old. As a young man,

The uniforms of Hugo Boss

According to popular wisdom, Hugo Ferdinand Boss, founder of the Hugo Boss fashion brand, was responsible for designing Nazi Germany’s military uniforms, most notably the sleek, menacing black SS uniform. It’s one of those bits of trivia that most WWII buff know. To come clear right at the beginning, it’s not true. Boss did not design the infamous uniform, and probably not any other military clothing, either. He did manufacture them, however, being one of

The Martin B-26 Marauder

Public imagination is more readily captured by the nimble fighters and the formidable heavy bombers than by the light and medium bombers. Most people are familiar with the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator and the B-29 Superfortress. Many would have also heard of the B-25 Mitchell from the famed Doolittle Raid, but this time, we’ll concentrate on the less appreciated Martin B-26 Marauder. In 1939, the military issued a call for a high-speed, long-range twin-engine

Ray Ban the Aviator shades

The Aviator sunglasses Ray-Ban is famous for were first developed for pilots in the war. However, there’s an additional, little-known part to that story. In the First World War, pilots used full goggles to protect their eyes from the wind and the cold in their open cockpits. As aircraft technology advanced and planes reached higher and higher altitudes, goggles eventually became unsuitable because they would freeze over and couldn’t protect against the glare of the

Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa

In the spring of 1942, the Japanese had surprising air superiority in the Pacific. This was achieved by the much lauded Mitsubishi Zero of the Imperial Japanese Navy and its army counterpart, the Nakajima Ki-43. At the beginning of its six and a half year production, the Ki-43 was a formidable adversary for contemporary Allied designs. Its appearance was a complete surprise, and its superior performance helped a number of Japanese fighter aces establish their

Support the F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler.

Just in from the Boeing Company Thank you for your continued support of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. We wanted to let you know that the Growler is featured on the June cover of Boeing’s Frontiers magazine. In this story, you’ll hear first-hand from EA-18G Growler flight crews stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island who operate and maintain these aircraft. Boeing’s electronic warfare fighter jet is used extensively in combat today. By detecting enemy threats,

Self driving trucks for the next big war

Ever since World War II, driving a truck has been one of the more dangerous wartime assignments; U.S. Army truck drivers were the first solders captured or killed in Operation Desert Storm, and in recent years contractors hired to haul goods for American armed forces suffered greatly from attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Which is the major reason a short convoy of trucks rumbled around Fort Hood, Texas, earlier this month without drivers — testing a

Japanese I-400 found

Longer than a football field with stunning capability, the I-400 was one of five Japanese submarines that at one time docked at Pearl Harbor. Terry Kerby, of the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, recalled seeing the wreckage for the first time as their submersible combed the ocean floor in August: "There was a communications cable and it was coming out of the bottom into space and so we knew it was pretty big and so we

Last reunion for vets of WWII Doolittle raid

Washington (AFP) - For Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot, taking off from an aircraft carrier, flying hundreds of miles and bombing Japan was the easy part of the daring 1942 American air raid on Tokyo. The worst moment came hours later, when he had to parachute out of his B-25 bomber over China in the middle of a heavy storm. "That was the scariest time," said Richard Cole, now 98 years old. "There you are in an airplane over a

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