Tag Archives: WWII

The Cannons on the B-29 Bomber Were a Mid-Century Engineering Masterpiece

Five remote-controlled cannons with computer-aided aiming made the Superfortress way, way ahead of its time.

Source: The Cannons on the B-29 Bomber Were a Mid-Century Engineering Masterpiece

20 maps that never happened

Maps are a powerful way of illustrating not only the world that is, but worlds that never have been. What follow are not fictional maps — there’s no Westeros or Middle Earth — but plans and hypotheticals that never came to pass. You’ll see military plans for invasions that didn’t happen or conquests that were hoped-for and never achieved. You’ll also find daring infrastructure schemes that would have remapped cities and even whole continents. There are proposals for political reform — some serious and some more fanciful — as well as deeply serious plans for entire independent nation-states that have never been brought to life. Welcome to maps of worlds that don’t exist — but might.

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The Greatest Raid of All

Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear) narrates a little-known story of spectacular bravery and legendary heroism from British commandos who, against all odds, led a successful raid on one of the most heavily-fortified positions in Nazi-controlled Europe.

Pearl Harbor Newsreel

The United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

TIL: Don Adams (Inspector Gadget, Maxwell Smart) was shot and nearly died at Guadalcanal before serving as a USMC drill instructor during WWII.

TIL: Don Adams (Inspector Gadget, Maxwell Smart) was shot and nearly died at Guadalcanal before serving as a USMC drill instructor during WWII.

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A Story of Fokkers

A World War II pilot is reminiscing before school children about his days in the air force.

“In 1942,” he says, “the situation was really tough. The Germans had a very strong air force. I remember, ” he continues, “one day I was protecting the bombers and suddenly, out of the clouds, these Fokkers appeared!”

At this point, several of the children giggle.

“I looked up, and right above me was one of them. I aimed at him and shot him down. They were swarming! I immediately realized that there was another Fokker behind me!”

At this instant the girls in the auditorium start to giggle and boys start to laugh. The teacher stands up and says, “I think I should point out that ‘Fokker’ was the name of the German-Dutch aircraft company–”

“That’s true,” says the pilot, “but these fokkers were flying Messerschmidts!”

Working In The Armoury

What better way to spend a Saturday evening than in your friend’s basement cleaning and restoring weapons?

Meet Eva, a GEW Model 1888 German Commissioned rifle.

Eva is an heirloom weapon, a trophy of war that my grandfather pulled off a dead Nazi somewhere in France. She hadn’t been fired since 1944 and 60+ years in storage had taken its toll on her.

Eva’s disassembled bolt.

In addition to the years of dust and chemical deterioration, Eva’s bolt assembly had fallen apart. Adam did a little research and managed to find a compatible replacement.

Eva’s old, broken firing pin and her new, functional one.
Adam works on Eva’s bolt assembly.

After some minor restorative work on Eva, I needed to do a little work on my Tokarev. I purchased her at a gun show a couple weeks ago and needed to perform a little maintenance after taking her to the range.

Meet Shenyi, a Tokarev Model 238 Chinese 9mm variant. The “contour grips” are original, but I didn’t think they felt right.
This is one of Shenyi’s clips. That earwax-looking stuff on the spring is a substance called Cosmolene. It’s basically a preservative–keeps the metal from corroding while the weapon is in storage. This is why this clip hasn’t been actioning as well as it should.
Disassembled clip soaking in paint thinner to remove Cosmolene.
Look out! Naked Shenyi!
Shenyi with replaced “classic Tokarev” grips. They feel better and keep her balanced better in my small hands. Sure test will come at the range.
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