weapons

Operation Aphrodite

By Mason B. Webb

When it came to advanced military technology in World War II, arguably no one was better at it than Nazi Germany, whose scientists Adolf Hitler keep busy trying to invent the ultimate “super weapon” capable of defeating his enemies. Read more

In August 1944, the Allies followed up the massive Normandy Invasion with another in southern France known as Operation Dragoon.

weapons

Rampage on the Riviera: Operation Dragoon

By Glenn Barnette and André Bernole

Early in 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the defeated hero of North Africa and now head of Army Group B in France, was tasked with strengthening the Atlantic Wall defenses against Allied invasion. Read more

weapons

Attack on the USS Panay

 By Chuck Lyons

For some Americans, World War II started early. In December 1937, four years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into the war, Japanese planes attacked an American gunboat, the USS Panay, on China’s Yangtze River, strafing and bombing the boat, sinking it, killing three American crew members, and the wounding 45 others. Read more

The Soviet Union’s two primary antitank rifles saw wide use in World War II despite the limitations of their small calibers.

weapons

Russian Antitank Rifles

By Christopher Miskimon

The German panzers approached the Russian artillery  column as it moved to a new position. As the troops trudged toward their new firing point, six panzers appeared, rampaging into the Russian rear area, no doubt searching for vulnerable targets to destroy. Read more

weapons

Hobart’s Funnies

By Phil Zimmer

The elite German paratroopers, who were some of the finest fighters in the service of the Third Reich, believed they were exceptionally well prepared to defend the deep water port of Brest on France’s Brittany coast against an impending attack by the Allies. Read more

weapons

Halberds and Spontoons

By David A. Norris

Pikes and most similar pole weapons disappeared from European armies by the early 1700s. After all, bayonets let each man convert his flintlock into a pike that fired bullets. Read more

weapons

Duel to the Death on Saipan

By David Alan Johnson

On board one of the transports headed for the island of Saipan in early June 1944, a battalion surgeon gave a group of Marines a lecture on what they could expect when they reached their destination. Read more

weapons

The Mighty Beau

By Phil Zimmer

The day’s flight was to be a fairly typical “rhubarb,” or a fast freelance strike, for the two pilots in their Bristol Beaufighters. Read more

weapons

Fighting to Survive

By Ric A. Dias

America’s involvement in World War II was so deep and broad that it demanded that virtually every citizen, farm, and company become involved. Read more

weapons

Australia’s Owen Gun

By Jon Diamond

A casual observer of World War II photographs after 1943 will often notice slouch hat- or beret-wearing Australian “diggers,” or armed Melanesian natives in the Australian Constabulary battalions, slogging through the muck and jungle of New Guinea, Bougainville, New Britain, and Borneo carrying a rather odd-looking weapon with a vertical top-mounting magazine. Read more

weapons

Saga of the Eggbeater

By Mark Albertson

On September 14, 1939, Igor Sikorsky attained stability and control with the initial flight of an open cockpit test bed known as the VS-300. Read more