|The B-17 (Coronet Magazine, 1959)|
The B-17 Flying Fortress
was "the most fabulous combat plane ever built. Like Douglas' unretireable DC-3 airliner, the B-17 is history written in metal, a pivot of progress which helped influence an entire generation".
"Perhaps more than any other plane, the B-17 beat Hitler. Its 640,036 tons of bombs on Europe, nearly the total dropped by all other U.S. planes combined, knocked out much of his industry, oil and railroads... The B-17 unveiled the era of strategic air power and turned man's eye to the stratosphere and beyond"
Andrew Higgins: Creator of the Landing Craft and PT Boat (Click Magazine, 1942)
During an informal conversation with his biographer, Stephen Ambrose, Dwight Eisenhower once remarked that it was Andrew Higgins (1886 – 1952) who had "won the war for us". Knowing that such words do not flow from the lips of generals easily, Eisenhower went on to explain to Ambrose that if it were not for the creation of Higgin's landing crafts, the architects of the Allied victory would have had to seize the existing, and well-fortified, harbors of Europe in order to unload their invasion forces - and who knows how the island-hopping war in the Pacific would been fought?
Attached is a five page photo-essay from the Fall of 1942 about the man and his early contributions.
The German Pz Kpfw VI Tank (The U.S. War Department, 1945)
The sweetest conte crayon illustration ever to depict a Tiger tank is accompanied by some vital statistics and assorted observations that were collected by the U.S. Department of War in one of their 1945 manuals:
"This tank, originally the Pz. Kpfw. VI, first was encountered by the Russians in the last half of 1942, and by the Western Allies in Tunisia early in 1943..."
Click here to read about the German King Tiger Tank.
The Sten Gun (Collier's Magazine, 1943)
The Sten gun was hastily created after the catastrophic retreat from Dunkirk when it was widely believed that the invasion of England was inevitable. The British Home Guard requested an easily produced sub-machine gun that could be quickly assembled and easily used by those who have never had any firearm training whatever. Dubbed "the ten dollar gun", the Sten gun met all these requirements and more; over four million of them were manufactured throughout the Forties and although they were never used to defend the British Isles, they were parachuted en masse to the partisan armies in Europe.
The attached article is illustrated with six images and tells the story of the Sten Mark II and the small Canadian factory that produced them. Interesting stories are told and there are pictures of cute Canadian girls.
The Undeveloped Weapons of the Nazi Scientists (Yank Magazine, 1945)
The war was over when the U.S. Army Ordnance Department began snooping around all the assorted ÜBER-secret weapons labs and work shops where the pointiest headed Nazis were developing some truly far-seeing weaponry, inventions that they were never able to perfect (thankfully).
One of the most striking aspects of the attached article is the part when you recognize that it was the Nazi scientists who first conceived of such space-based weaponry as the "Star Wars" technology that was ushered in during the Reagan presidency (i.e.: the "Strategic Defense Initiative"). While in pursuit of their nefarious tasks, these same scientists also conceived of harnessing the powers of the sun in order to advance Hitler's queer vision of the perfect world.
The Germans also experimented with wire-guided rockets (such as the TOW anti-tank missile, that appeared in the sixties) and submarine-based missile delivery systems; two concepts that were researched to a further degree in American labs and would later play a key roll countering the Soviet threat during the Cold War.
Click here to read about the firm belief held by the German Army concerning the use of motorcycles in modern war.
*Captured Color Film Footage of the Nazi Rocket Facilities*
The Birth of the M-1 Garand Rifle (American Legion Magazine, 1939)
This article was written by the war correspondent Fairfax Downey (1894 - 1990) for a magazine that catered to American veterans of W.W. I, and it seemed that he simply could not contain his enthusiasm for the U.S. infantry's new rifle, the M-1 Garand:
"What a gun it is! Its nine pound weight swings easily through the manual of arms. The eight-round clip (three more shots than the we used to have with the '03 Springfield) slips in easily and the breech clicks closed. The old range scale slide has vanished; range and windage adjustments are made simply by turning two knobs...The new semi-automatic means, among other things, that the fire power of troops armed with it has increased at least two and a half times over the old Springfield. For the low flying aviator, bound for a grand strafe, it is a keep-off-the grass sign with heavy penalties attached."
Mention is made of the rifle's inventor, John Garand (1888 - 1974), and how his cranium came to produce this wonder weapon.
In 1939, a German spy almost succeeded in delivering the blueprints of the Garand rifle into the blood-soaked hands of his Nazi overlords: read about it here.