Reenactors heft medieval bills in anticipation of an attack by men on horse. Bills were favored by the English but were more effective on mail than on plate armor.



By Michael Kluever

The medieval polearm was the Colt Pistol equalizer of the Middle Ages. it placed the common infantry soldier on par with the heavily armored horseman. Read more

A samurai and his horse bound up the bank of a river to come to grips with the enemy. Precious sword in hand, the tsuba, or hand guard, is clearly visible. For hundreds of years great artistry was worked into the tsuba.


Katana Handguards

By Peter Suciu

The swords of the samurai have long been desirable to collectors. Now, even their parts have become prized. Read more


Revolutionary War Weapons: The American Long Rifle

By David Alan Johnson

By the mid-1700’s, the American long rifle had acquired an almost supernatural reputation. To the British troops who were unfortunate enough to come up against it in combat during the Revolutionary War, the rifle was more an affliction than a weapon. Read more

With their Ka-Bar fighting knives at their sides, U.S. Marines sit atop a pile of spent shells and provide cover for comrades moving inland on Iwo Jima.


The Marine Corps’ Ka-Bar Fighting Knife

By Mike Haskew

When Private Clarence Garrett of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, United States Marine Corps, clung to the loose black volcanic sand on the sloping beach of Iwo Jima on Feburary 19, 1945, he probably had no idea that his photograph was being taken. Read more


Garand’s Wonder Weapon

By Michael D. Hull

A variety of outstanding weapons and pieces of equipment affected the course of World War II for both the Allies and the Axis powers. Read more


The Workhorse Lancaster

By Nigel Price

Powerful, brisling with firepower and able to carry an amazingly large bombload, the majestic Avro Lancaster, along with the iconic Supermarine Spitfire, has come to symbolize the might of the Royal Air Force in World War II. Read more


The Strange Odyssey of USS Stewart

By Glenn Barnett

The Spanish-American War saw the development of the torpedo as we know it today. It was not the static mine of the Civil War but a propeller driven, waterborne explosive device. Read more

An American soldier of the 31st Infantry Division carries an M3 submachine gun, known as the Grease Gun, during landings on the island of Morotai in the Pacific in September 1944.


The Controversial M3 Grease Gun

By Patrick J. Chaisson

No one ever used the words “graceful” or “elegant” to describe the M3 submachine gun. Instead, those soldiers, sailors and Marines who carried it called the M3 a “plumber’s nightmare” or “the cake decorator.” Read more


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 guns of the German battleship Bismarck and the cruiser Prinz Eugen fire at the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Hood in the Denmark Strait on May 23, 1941.


The Hood Has Blown Up!

By Mark Carlson

In one of the most gripping scenes of the 1960 motion picture Sink the Bismarck! the viewer is witness to the climactic moment of the Battle of the Denmark Strait on May 24, 1941. Read more