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Lieutenant Commander Eddie C. Outlaw and his wingman, Lieutenant (j.g.) Donald ‘Dagwood’ Reeves, wing over Truk Lagoon during their destructive April 1944 fighter sweep. A Japanese fighter, shot down in flames, has just hit the water and exploded on impact. The pilots took their Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters into action without dropping their auxiliary fuel tanks, which are prominently visible in this painting by artist Jack Fellows.

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Ten Minutes Over Truk

By Chris Marks

Lieutenant Hollis Hills had every reason to be puzzled. His guns had just raked the Japanese fighter ahead of him, the rounds striking home along the enemy’s fuselage and wing roots. Read more

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Furious Charge Against Malakoff

By Charles Hilbert

The Ottoman Empire of Sultan Abd al-Majid I was in decline. Less than 200 years before, it had reached its high water mark in 1683 when Ottoman armies surrounded the walls of Vienna, only to be beaten back by the forces of Jan Sobieski, King of Poland, and Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, who were bankrolled by Pope Innocent XI and the Holy League. Read more

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Tracings Of Barbarossa

By Kevin M. Hymel

Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, showed the world the extent of Nazi brutality. Read more

Hauptmann Gordon Gollob poses with his Messerschmitt Bf110 fighter. He made recommendations for technical improvements to the heavy fighter and traveled to a Luftwaffe test facility to consult with aircraft engineers on his ideas.

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German Fighter Ace Gordon Gollob

By William E. Welsh

German Luftwaffe pilot First Lieutenant Gordon Gollob moved in for the kill at midafternoon on December 18, 1939, with his Messerschmitt Bf 110 against a formation of seven British Vickers Wellington medium bombers heading home from their bomb run against German battle cruisers in Wilhelmshaven harbor. Read more

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Weapons of War: the War Hammer

By William McPeak

Not to be confused with Mjollnir, the mythical Norse god Thor’s fabled hammer, the real-life war hammer was a brutal and effective weapon. Read more

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Manstein’s Victorious Panzers

By William E. Welsh

Deep snow blanketed the steppes surrounding the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov on February 6, 1943. The soldiers of Major Kurt Meyer’s reconnaissance battalion of SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler shivered from the cold. Read more

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Rivals of the River Plate

By David H. Lippman

The four ships that raced into battle on December 13, 1939, off the mouth of the River Plate were, as historian and novelist Len Deighton tartly observed, “three different answers to the question that had plagued the world’s navies for half a century: what should a cruiser be?” Read more

Roman troops under Governor-General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus massacre Druid priests at Anglesey, Wales, in ad 60.

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Gaius Suetonius Paulinus

By Eric Niderost

The name Gaius Suetonius Paulinus doesn’t ring across the centuries from the annals of Roman military history like the names of Julius Caesar, Tiberius Nero, or Scipio Africanus. Read more

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Wreaking Havoc

By Sam McGowan

Few airplanes can claim the honor of being credited with changing the course of World War II, but the Douglas A-20 Havoc twin-engine light bomber is one that can. Read more

The inept leadership of John De Warenne led to the English disaster at Stirling Bridge. From their position on Abbey Crag, the Scots carried everything before them wiping out the English bridgehead on the north bank of the River Forth. Painting by Angus McBride

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Revenge at Falkirk

By Charles Hilber

Standing 6 feet 2 inches tall with a fiery temper, English King Edward I was an imposing and intimidating figure. Read more

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Combat Photographers: Shooting the War

By Susan Zimmerman

Much of what we know today about World War II are the visual images—both still and moving—that combat photographers took to document all phases of this costly human tragedy. Read more