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.

Military Heritage February 2006

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

Military Heritage February 2006

Famous Marines: Smedley Butler

By Edward L. Bimberg

The annals of the United States Marine Corps are filled with the names of mavericks known not only for their fighting skills, but for their offbeat personalities as well. Read more

Marines of Company D, 3rd Platoon, rush to take defensive positions around Con Thien as they encounter heavy North Vietnamese gunfire.

Military Heritage February 2006

Con Thien: Hell on the Hill of Angels

By Al Hemingway

Lieutenant General Lewis Walt was not a happy man. The burly III Marine Amphibious Force commander had just been ordered by Commanding General William C. Read more

An artillery battery stationed in the Korean hills provides support fire for forward-positioned infantry units.

Military Heritage February 2006

The Korean War’s Counterfire Platoons

By Richard E. Ecker

In March 1953, a battle-scarred United Nations outpost called “Old Baldy” was attacked by elements of the Chinese Army and captured from the Colombian soldiers occupying it. Read more

Military Heritage February 2006

The History of the U.S. Coast Guard

By Blaine Taylor

On August 4, 1790, at the urging of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, the United States Congress authorized the construction of 10 armed revenue cutters. Read more

A company of exhausted and wounded members of the English Coldstream Guards and 20th East Devonshire Regiment stagger down from the heights of Inkerman in this 1877 painting, The Return From Inkerman, by Lady Elizabeth Thompson Butler.

Military Heritage February 2006

Inkerman: The Soldiers’ Battle

By Victor Kamenir

When armed hostilities flared up between the Russian and Ottoman Empires in 1853 over control of holy places in Turkish-ruled Jerusalem, Great Britain was quick to throw its weight behind the Ottomans. Read more

Military Heritage February 2006

Leo Tolstoy & The Siege of Sevastopol

by Roy Morris Jr.

Of the thousands of Russian soldiers and civilians pinned down by Allied forces during the 11-month-long siege of Sevastopol, one in particular chafed at the monotonous, mind-numbing routine. Read more

Resplendent atop a white war horse, William III leads his expeditionary force against his deposed uncle, King James II, at the Battle of the Boyne in this 18th-century painting by Benjamin West.

Military Heritage February 2006

King Billy at the Boyne River

By Eric Niderost

On March 12, 1689, James II, recently deposed king of England, landed in Ireland in a last-ditch attempt to regain his throne. Read more