Browsing: Military

A Brief History February 9, 1959 opened a new and scary chapter in the atomic age when the U.S.S.R. fielded the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) armed with a nuclear warhead, the R-7 Semyorka. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find the United States (and allies) and the U.S.S.R. (and its allies) engaged in a scary Cold War from the end of World War II until 1991 when the U.S.S.R. finally disintegrated. The reason for the scariness can be summed up in one word: Nukes!  The prospect of total nuclear war was sobering, since mutual nuclear destruction could actually have ended…

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A Brief History On January 30, 1703, 47 Japanese samurai avenged the forced suicide of their feudal lord. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find that the Japanese code of Bushido was an Eastern code of honor similar to the old European code of chivalry. Samurai who became leaderless were called Ronin (a term made memorable by Robert DiNiro in the 1998 movie Ronin, set in modern times) and were bound by honor to avenge the death of their lord and leader. The 47 Ronin at the center of this incident were left leaderless when their lord was forced to commit suicide after having…

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A Brief History On January 27, 1973, the United States, North Viet Nam and South Viet Nam signed a treaty in Paris, France, effectively ending direct American involvement in the Viet Nam War. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find Viet Nam to be a country divided into a communist North and a (supposedly) democratic South. The North was allied with and supported by the U.S.S.R. and China, while the South was supported by and allied with the U.S. and some other western countries. The split had taken place after the country’s liberation from Japanese control at the end of World…

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A Brief History On January 24, 1972, on the U.S. territory of the island of Guam, Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi was found hiding, believing that World War II was still going on! Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find an incredibly dedicated soldier discovered by 2 islanders who had captured him and presented him to American military officials. Yokoi had taken part in the 1941 invasion and capture of Guam and was fighting the losing battle when the Americans retook the island in 1944.  Yokoi did not surrender then and continued to hold out for the next 27 years, never believing the leaflets that…

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A Brief History On January 17, 1966, a U.S. Air Force B-52 hit a KC-135 tanker plane in mid-air causing 4 nuclear bombs to fall on Spain! Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find the U.S. in the middle of the cold war and therefore keeping bombers flying or on the runway with live hydrogen bombs at all times. The B-52 Stratofortress was the mainstay of the U.S.A.F.’s bomber force and with aerial refueling could hit any target in the world.  Spain was not on the list! Of the 4 Mk28 thermonuclear bombs that fell that day, one fell in the…

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