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Military Technology

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Storms of Steel

    Artillery barrages from U.S. Army fire support bases proved devastatingly effective in both offensive and defensive roles. EARLY IN THE MORNING a large Communist force was about to attack his small camp about 5 kilometers from the...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Book Review: U.S. Combat Shotguns

    U.S. Combat Shotguns by Leroy Thompson, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, England, 2013 The shotgun, scattering multiple rounds at close range rather than a single bullet from a distance, is a nasty weapon whose use by U.S. military forces is...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    Book Review: Charlie Chasers by Larry Elton Fletcher

    Charlie Chasers: History of USAF AC-119 “Shadow” Gunships in the Vietnam War, by Larry Elton Fletcher, Hellgate Press, 2013 Falling chronologically between the more famous Douglas AC-47 “Spooky” and the more potent Lockheed AC-130...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Not-So-Secret Weapon: The Norden Bombsight

    Bombardiers took an oath to guard the Norden bombsight with their lives to ensure it didn’t fall into enemy hands, but the secret was already out. A jeep carrying an ordnance technician, escorted by two armed guards, arrived at the B-17...

  • Aviation History Magazine

    Going Ballistic: The Development of the Ballistic Missile

    Despite the many obstacles involved, a decades-long quest to develop air-launched ballistic missiles continues.  Right now, officers on duty in hardened capsules near under- ground missile silos await an order they hope will never...

  • World War II Magazine

    Pride before the Fall: Why Japan Failed at Tank Warfare

    During World War II, Germany's tanks were deemed superior. But Japan was the first leading nation in armored warfare before the war. What changed?...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Seeing the Elephant: On the Civil War Battlefields

    Civil War soldiers fought close-up, in grisly, deafening conditions. MANY SOLDIERS volunteered to “see the elephant,” a period metaphor for witnessing something exotic, outside the realm of everyday life. Volunteers might also have...

  • World War II Magazine

    Profiles in Cold Steel: The Making of Tanks

    In making tanks, countries revealed their national personalities—and sealed their fates. Elusive Insights on Factory Floors TANKS HAVE LONG BEEN A FAVORITE topic of World War II history—the “gateway drug” for many lifelong students...

  • HistoryNet

    The Great War’s Killing Technology

    When World War I began in August 1914, few at the time anticipated the prolonged bloodletting that eventually produced the deaths of tens of millions of men fighting on land, sea and in the air in the global conflict. The horrendous...

  • HistoryNet

    Civil War Firepower Denied!

    The Union Army’s chief of ordnance sabotaged the introduction of repeating weapons. The Civil War has been called the first “modern war” and is credited with the introduction of revolutionary military technologies to include...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Tanks that Mattered

    For the past century, in single combat and in wars, these landmark tanks have been arbiters of victory and defeat. The tank was the glamour weapon of 20th-century warfare, combining mobility, armor, and firepower into one deadly package....

  • MHQ Magazine

    The Man Behind the Rodman Gun

    The Rodman gun, developed in the mid-19th century, was the technological apex of smoothbore, muzzle-loading artillery. Cannons using chemical explosives to propel a projectile had made their first appearance on the battlefield in the 14th...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Mills Bomb: Trench Terror

    The Mills bomb, officially called the No. 5 hand grenade, is one of the most iconic weapons of the 20th century. Named after its British inventor, William Mills, who drew inspiration from the Belgian Roland grenade (1912), the bomb was...

  • MHQ Magazine

    Cold War Armageddon’s Dubious Arsenal

    Marc G. DeSantis discusses some of the strangest and most controversial nuclear weapons programs of the 20th century. M28/M29 Davy Crockett These man-portable recoilless rifles were designed to launch the 51-pound W54 atomic warhead, the...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    M29A1 81mm Medium Mortar

    Shortly before midnight on July 12, 1970, Alpha Company of the 2nd Battalion, 501st Airborne Infantry Regiment, detected movement about 200 meters below its landing zone on a hill. Company commander Chuck Hawkins ordered his forward...

  • HistoryNet

    Early Naval Innovation- American 44 Gun Frigates

    By 1802, professional naval opinion in Britain had concluded that the 44-gun frigate, armed with 24-pound cannons on the gun deck, was a failure. Drawing from their war experience with Revolutionary France, during which 6 new French 44-gun...