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Wehrmacht infantrymen march through a Belgian town to occupy territory overrun by armored divisions.

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German Intelligence Chief Wilhelm Franz Canaris

by David Alan Johnson

In most popular spy thrillers, secret agents are tall, handsome, virile, and irresistible to women. Whether their name is Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, or James Bond, all are hard-drinking, well-tailored ladies’ men. Read more

Viking longboats cut through the sea while on expedition. King Harald’s nickname was “Hardradi,” meaning “the ruthless;” something his enemies could surely attest to.

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Harald “Land Waster” Hardradi

by Kenneth Cline

For many history buffs, the date 1066 conjures up an image of Norman knights breaking through the shield wall of the ax-wielding Anglo-Saxons at Senlac Hill. Read more

High above the clouds, a four-engine Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber wings its way toward a target in Japan.

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Backward in Battle

By Robert F. Dorr

Up front, guns chattered. Out back, in his pressurized compartment aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber high over Japan, Andy Doty heard a warning shouted over the intercom. Read more

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Franklin Roosevelt’s Pre-Pearl Harbor Intervention Plans

By Donald J. Young

This is a story of what might have been. If Japan had chosen to attack far-off British Malaya on December 7, 1941, instead of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, President Franklin Roosevelt was prepared to go before Congress and ask—for the first time in American history—for a declaration of war against a nation that had not fired the first shot against us. Read more

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Finnish Mosin Nagants

By Chuck Lewis

Deral Mosby is hooked. In a little over two years, the 58-year-old retired chemist’s collection of 20th-century military-surplus firearms has evolved from a handful of Russian Mosin Nagant infantry rifles valued at around $125 each to an ever-growing horde of Finnish military rifles and carbines, some of which are quite rare and worth considerably more. Read more

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The White and Black Ship

By Stephen D. Lutz

During World War II, the U.S. Navy built more than 1,000 destroyer escorts, ships whose primary duty was to escort supply convoys across the world’s oceans to insure that their precious cargo of food, fuel, war material, and personnel got to their destinations safely. Read more

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Battle of New Market Heights

By David Norris

Reports of a massive enemy force crossing the James River to assail the paper-thin Confederate lines defending Richmond reached Lt. Read more

With the rising Shangani River behind them, Major Allan Wilson and his 32 hard-pressed troopers make a desperate last stand against King Lobengula’s 1,000 Matabele warriors in southeast Africa.

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Death of the Shangani Patrol

By Robert Barr Smith

On the banks of the rain-swollen Shangani River, a small force of white militiamen closed ranks as hundreds of Matabele warriors swarmed around them. Read more

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Collecting Tanker Helmets

By Peter Suciu

Since the first tanks rolled across the battlefield in World War I, armored crews have required specialized equipment to protect them inside the giant metal beasts. Read more

Soldiers of the 154th Infantry Brigade (part of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division) man a Vickers machine gun in support of the advance of Operation Veritable from Holland into Germany on February 8, 1945.

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Reichswald: The Battle for a Sinister Forest

By Mike Phifer

The bloody fight for the Reichswald, according to Lieutenant General Horrocks, was a soldiers’ battle “fought by the regimental officers and men under the most ghastly conditions imaginable.”  Read more

Italian traveler Marco Polo, shown in this medieval painting leading his 13th-century caravan across Asia, crossed paths briefly with the much-dreaded Assassins. Unlike many, Polo lived to tell about it.

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Blood in the Sand: Shiite Assassins

By Mark S. Longo

Their name has been synonymous with murder for almost a thousand years, but few people know the full truth about the enigmatic organization known as the Assassins. Read more