Browsing: Military

A Brief History On February 28, 1893, the United States Navy made an enormous step toward eventually ruling the seas by launching its first ever battleship commensurate with those of other great naval powers.  Though the USS Indiana BB-1 was launched on this date, she would not be commissioned until 2 years later. Digging Deeper Designed for coastal defense, the Indiana was not intended to throw her weight around the world as her decks were not designed to take heavy seas in the open ocean.  About 351 feet long and with a beam of 69 feet, she did not have the size or proportions of…

A Brief History On February 26, 1935, the militant German nationalist leader Adolf Hitler defied the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and ordered the reestablishment of the German Air Force, known as the Luftwaffe. Digging Deeper Hitler and his Nazi buddies had plotted this for some time, disguising pilot training as lessons to fly gliders, something allowed by the treaty.  As German industry developed war planes, the ruse that these planes were civilian craft was used as a cover story. German pilots got their first taste of combat flying in the Condor Legion of “volunteers” during the Spanish Civil…

A Brief History On February 25, 1336, the 4,000 defenders of the medieval Lithuanian fortress of Pilénai thought they had no other choice but to make the horrible decision to kill themselves and their families after torching and destroying everything they had of value to deny their Teutonic besiegers the spoils of victory and the opportunity to kill or enslave them. Digging Deeper The number of women and children sacrificed is unknown, but even just the number of defenders, recorded at 4,000, is more than enough to rank as history’s largest mass suicide, eclipsing the 900+ dead at Masada in 37-31 B.C. and the 900+…

A Brief History On February 21, 1973, the Israeli Defense Force sent American-built F-4 Phantoms to shoot down a Boeing 727 operated by Libyan Arab Airlines.  Flight 114 had taken off from Tripoli and was headed to Cairo when it got lost over Egypt due to weather and equipment malfunction.  Digging Deeper The two Phantoms intercepted the jet liner over the Sinai desert after it had strayed there from the Suez Canal.  The Sinai had been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.  The failure of Egypt to shoot missiles at the plane, and the seeming approach toward a secret Israeli nuclear (possibly bomb making?) facility exacerbated the situation, especially since…

A Brief History On February 16, 2006, the United States Army decommissioned the last of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals, or MASH as they were called.  Since the Army is staffed by educated and intelligent people (mostly), they obviously had a backup plan, and that is the Combat Support Hospital (CSH pronounced cash). Digging Deeper Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals had served the combat medical needs of the U.S. Army since their inception in 1945, continuing through the Korean and Viet Nam Wars and then in the conflicts in the Middle East until being replaced by Combat Support Hospitals. Famously depicted in the 1968…

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