Iwo Jima from the Japanese Infantryman’s Perspective

Peaceful At First In early 1944, Iwo Jima was viewed as a remote and boring place to be assigned as a soldier. No fighting was involved since the Japanese Navy and Air Force controlled the islands and the waters nearby. The only real threat at that time was the absence of clean, drinkable water. Increasing […] More

10 Things about the V-1 Buzzbomb We Learned

Kevin from Air Zoo gave us a technical tour of the world’s first operational cruise missile. Here are some interesting facts about the V-1 Flying Bomb: 1. The nose has a little spinner Its spinner is an air log that measures the distance the V-1 has flown and is connected to a counter unit with […] More

The WW2 Super Fighter That Was Built Backwards

Experimental Interceptor In late 1939, the USAAC sought out a design that specifically called for unconventional designs. Curtiss-Wright’s entry for the proposal was the XP-55 Ascender – or “Ass-ender,” as some would call it. Peculiar Airframe It had a rear-mounted engine driving an ejectable pusher propeller. Meanwhile, the rear-mounted wings were swept-back and had vertical […] More

10 Facts About the Greatest Naval Speedrun In History

In 1941, British forces failed to enforce a blockade on the English Channel, allowing a huge German fleet to move through even the narrowest sections. The failure of the bomber command to land a hit or the Navy to hit a single torpedo made headlines. Here’s how it went down: 1. Germany had limited maritime […] More

10 Facts of the M47 Patton You Didn’t Know

1. It was an interim solution When war broke loose in Korea, the US decided not to wait on the T42 medium tank still in development. Their solution was to use an existing M46 hull and combine it with a T42 turret. Though it was still new, officials decided that the improvements in firepower and […] More

20 Facts You Didn’t Know About Saving Private Ryan

1. Opening Sequence Wasn’t Filmed In France The French government refused to give permission to film on the beaches of Normandy. The sequence was instead shot in Ireland.  2. Based Casting On WWII Footage Spielberg argued that the boys before looked like men, unlike today, where we all look innocent. Therefore, he based his casting […] More

10 Reasons the “Mediocre” Curtiss P-40 Was So Important

Dive and Zoom Attacks P-40s turned better at high speeds than the Zeroes. Moreover, it was slower to climb but faster in a dive. Though the Zero was generally quicker and had better handling qualities, it often lacked firepower and sturdiness. If the P-40 could dive into the Zero, fire its machine guns, and zoom […] More

How a Corsair Pilot Pulled Off The Impossible

MiGs In The Distance At 4:10 PM on September 10, 1952, Captain Jesse Folmar and his wingman Lt. Walter Daniels were ordered to attack a troop concentration on the south side of the Taedong River. As the two entered enemy territory, they began to execute a tactical weave at 10,000ft. The pair patrolled over the […] More

5 Facts About the XP-50: Grumman’s Almost Army Interceptor

Had A Tricycle Landing Gear Unlike its predecessor, the XP-50 actually had a nose. Its nose allowed it to house a nose wheel, giving it a tricycle landing gear configuration instead of the usual “tail dragger.” The new configuration offered better visibility and significantly reduced ground looping. Impressive Proposed Armament If the XP-50 were to […] More

The Strange B-17 that terrified the Luftwaffe

Experienced At 23 A B-17G piloted by Richard L. Maggart took off from RAF Manston to escort other bombers and bring down a German weapons complex in France. Despite being 23 years old, this was Maggart’s 23rd mission as a B-17 pilot. Experimental B-17 His Flying Fortress had the words “West End” on its nose. […] More

3 of the Worst WWII Fighters

Regardless of how bad their engines or handling characteristics were, maybe – just maybe, they were made at the wrong time or for the wrong mission. Here are the three worst WWII fighters: 1. Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov’s LaGG-3 The Soviet-designed LaGG-3 had underpowered engines in addition to being relatively heavy. Therefore, it suffered from poor maneuverability, particularly […] More

Big Guns – The 16-Inch Triple Monster Battleship

Last American Battleship The historic battleship was the 4th Iowa-class ship ordered in June 1940. The 5th and 6th ships were laid down but never entered service, making the USS Missouri the Navy’s last American battleship ever commissioned. Battle of Iwo Jima and Okinawa Missouri supported Allied troops during the invasion of Iwo Jima by […] More