Browsing: Military

A Brief History On August 2, 1916, Austrian saboteurs managed to sink the Italian battleship, Leonardo da Vinci as the great ship lay in Taranto harbor.  Was the magazine explosion an accident, or did the Austrians use some sort of novel booby trap to sink the mighty vessel?  Either way, World War I, like other wars, saw the imagination of arms designers and military engineers run wild.  Here we list 10 of the weird weapons or contraptions dreamed up to help one side or the other win the war.  What items would you add to the list?  (See our follow on article,…

A Brief History On July 30, 1864, Union forces exploded 8,000 pounds of black powder in a tunnel underneath Confederate trenches at Petersburg, Virginia, creating a crater 170 feet long and 120 feet wide, and 30 feet deep.  The unorganized rush of Union troops into the crater resulted in Union failure, with Federal troops suffering well over double the casualties inflicted on the Confederate troops.  The Battle of the Crater as this action was called is an example of an unconventional military idea that did not work.  Back on May 15, 2014 History and Headlines featured a list of 10 Weapons and Weapons…

A Brief History On July 27, 2002, a Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 fighter jet crashed into a crowd of spectators, killing 77 and injuring 534, the worst air show disaster ever.  The crowd was watching a demonstration by the Ukrainian Falcons, the Ukraine acrobatic military team, at Sknyliv airfield (near Lviv).  The jet being flown was the Sukoi Su-27, a modern, cutting edge fighter jet, roughly equivalent to the US F-15.  It is a 2 seat plane, with experienced pilots flying at the air show. Digging Deeper In what was later ruled to be pilot error, the fighter got too…

A Brief History On July 26, 1945, the leaders of the major Allied countries fighting Japan in World War II met in Potsdam, Germany to issue the conditions by which the Japanese were to surrender to the Allies.  Also known as “unconditional surrender” the Allies left no room for negotiation, which soon became a point of controversy and is debated to this day, as the declaration is seen by some as having prolonged the war by leaving Japan no honorable way to stop the fighting. Digging Deeper President Truman, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and Chinese premier…

A Brief History On July 23, 1943,  an English lad of 19 had enough of his crippled father’s abuse and blew up the 47 year old in his bath chair.  The incident, famous in Britain as the Rayleigh Bath Chair Murder, has to be one of the first and perhaps only incident where someone killed their dad with an anti-tank bomb, thereby arguably meriting a ranking on our list of unusual deaths! Digging Deeper Archibald Brown lost the use of his legs at age 24 due to a motorcycle wreck and was confined to a wheeled “bath chair.”  Although he was attended…

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