Archive for the ‘Οπλικά συστήματα’ Category

C-47 Dakota and C-130 Fly In Formation Over Normandy – D-Day 70th Anniversary

C-47 C-130

Original Normandy C-47 flies over the beaches and villages it flew over 70 years ago with the help of the 37th Airlift Squadron’s C-130.

In 2014, celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy landings, the plane left its home at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, New York, to attend the historic event. It took approximately fourteen days to complete its trek across the Atlantic, but the participation of Whiskey 7 in the anniversary ceremonies went through without a hitch.

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We haven’t seen these before! 45 mind blowing images of D-Day!


The Normandy landings (codenamed Operation Neptune) were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the liberation of France from Nazi control, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.  Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion. A great collection of images here with some pre D-Day and some D-Day+

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Today in Military History: February 24/25, 1942:Great Los Angeles Air Raid: War Nerves Engulf the City Over «Weather Balloons»

Great Los Angeles Air Raid: War Nerves Engulf the City Over "Weather Balloons"

Coverage of the Los Angeles Air Raid of February 24/25, 1942
Photo spread from Los Angeles Times, February 26, 1942
(Unless otherwise indicated, all illustrations are courtesy of Wikipedia)


As many of you know, among my many interests – beside military history – is movies; war movies, adventure movies, sci-fi films. Today’s dive into military history inspired a lesser-known Steven Spielberg movie entitled 1941, released in 1979.

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Operation Jericho – Mosquito Attack on Amiens Prison – Success or Bloodbath?

by Nikola Budanovic

Operation Jericho
Operation Jericho was an air raid conducted by the RAF with an intention to free the captives of the Nazi-held Amiens prison in France. The raid happened on 18 February 1944, and though it wasn’t a large-scale operation, its precision and accuracy meant that it contributed greatly to the war effort and helped to raise the morale of the French, living under Nazi occupation.

In Amiens there was a high-security Nazi prison which held 717 prisoners, most of them being captured resistance fighters and political figures that were captured due to their support for the rebellion against Nazi occupation.

The British intelligence suggested that the Germans were already executing their prisoners and that an execution was scheduled on the 19 February 1944, for 100 prisoners. The mission was initially planned for 10 February and its original group leader was to be Air Vice-Marshall Basil Embry.

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Αυτόγυρο: Ο πρόγονος του ελικοπτέρου

Το αυτόγυρο είναι κάτι μεταξύ αεροπλάνου και ελικοπτέρου. Εφευρέθηκε από τον ισπανό αεροναυπηγό και πιλότο Χουάν ντε λα Θιέρβα, ο οποίος -μετά την πτώση ενός τρικινητήριου αεροπλάνου που είχε κατασκευάσει τέσσερα χρόνια νωρίτερα, λόγω απώλειας στήριξης- αποζητούσε ένα πιο ασφαλές πτητικό μέσο, που να πραγματοποιεί κάθετες απογειώσεις και προσγειώσεις σε χαμηλές ταχύτητες.

Ο Θιέρβα κατέληξε στο συμπέρασμα ότι η λύση βρισκόταν στα φτερά και όχι στο σώμα του αεροπλάνου. Έτσι, άρχισε να πειραματίζεται το 1920 με την κατασκευή ενός αεροσκάφους με περιστρεφόμενο πτερύγιο, θεωρώντας το ως μία πιο σταθερή κατασκευή από το αεροπλάνο. Η πρώτη επιτυχημένη επίδειξη έγινε στο αεροδρόμιο «Κουάτρο Βιέντος» της Μαδρίτης στις 9 Ιανουαρίου 1923. Διαβάστε περισσότερα…

Forgotten History: Night Witches – All Female 588th Night Bomber Regiment

by Dirk De Klein – 

Night Witches

In the west we know little about the Soviet efforts fighting the Nazi’s. We know about the battle of Stalingrad and the battle of Leningrad etc, And we know that Stalin actually killed more people then Hitler but we know very little of the Soviet Armed Forces, leave alone about an all female bombing squad.

In the Nazi-occupied Soviet Union, German soldiers had a very real fear of witches.

Namely, the “Night Witches,” an all-female squadron of bomber pilots who ran thousands of daring bombing raids with little more than wooden planes and the cover of night—and should be as celebrated as their male counterparts.

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Tiger`s reputation may be in need of a rewrite


“To a New Yorker like you, a hero is a weird type of sandwich, not some nut who takes on three Tigers.” The line is from the 1970 Second World War comedy Kelly’s Heroes: Donald Sutherland’s early-hippie tank commander Oddball had grave misgivings about pitting his American Sherman against a trio of feared German Tiger tanks.

Brad Pitt’s murderous Wardaddy character faces a similar, though decidedly bloodier dilemma in the newly released movie Fury when his squad of four Shermans faces off against a “goddamn Tiger” deep inside Germany late in the war. As the introduction grimly informs us: “U.S. tank crewmen suffered staggering losses” when up against superior German tanks such as the Tiger. A hulking Tiger is also one of the last things Capt. John Miller, played by Tom Hanks, sees before dying in Saving Private Ryan .

Whenever Hollywood shifts its attention to Second World War tank combat, the German Panzerkampfwagen VI, aka the Tiger, inevitably lumbers into view, more often than not pitted against the thinly-armoured though heroically-crewed Sherman tanks that were a mainstay of the American, British and Canadian armies. It’s a classic David and Goliath match-up, but with armour-piercing shells in place of rocks and foreheads.

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Stunning: When a M8 Greyhound knocked out a Tiger tank during an exciting engagement in the Battle of the Bulge

M8´s in winter and summer cammos, Battle of Bulge, 1944

M8´s in winter and summer cammos, Battle of Bulge, 1944 [Via panzerserra.blogspot.com]

During the Battle of St. Vith in the Battle of the Bulge, on 18 December 1944, an M8 armored car from Troop B, 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and Company A, was able to destroy a German Tiger I heavy tank from 1st SS Panzer Division. The M8 fired three 37 mm rounds through the relatively thin rear armor of the Tiger from only 25 yd. (23 m), setting it on fire.

Despite the fact that M8 Greyhound was not adversary for German tanks, statistics and specifications do not determine the result of the battles. The M8 Greyhound was considered fast, sufficiently reliable and armed and armored well enough for reconnaissance missions. Its speed was key to successful in this engagement with Tiger tank.

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Today in Military History: November 6, 1865,Confederate Raider Shenandoah Surrenders to British Authorities at Liverpool, Seven Months after Appomattox

Confederate Raider Shenandoah Surrenders to British Authorities at Liverpool, Seven Months after Appomattox

«Destruction of Whale Ships off Cape Thaddeus Arctic Ocean, June 23, 1865 by
(Confederate Steamer) Shenandoah;» Colored lithograph of artwork by B. Russell
Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph
(Unless otherwise indicated, all illustrations are courtesy of Wikipedia)

Today’s little history lesson involves a warship still fighting for its «Lost Cause» seven months after the surrender of the Army of North Virginia. Its actions became the basis of an international court case between the U.S. and Great Britain.

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Top 5 Best Military Bolt Action Rifles

Bolt Action Rifles

Bolt action rifles were the mainstays of armies across the globe for nearly over half a century, and today we pick what we believe to be the five best ever fielded. The list factors in effectiveness, fun factor, historical significance, and ease of use.

Mauser derivatives and predecessors to the 98 were excluded from the list, or it would have been 5 Mausers. Derivatives included the Arisaka series, Springfield M1903s, and the P14/M1917

All five of these guns are fantastic, and we recommend you get behind them should the opportunity present itself!

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Check Out The Incredible Armored Trains Of WWI & WWII

by Jack – 




Now the world has turned it’s attention on South-Western Poland in the hunt for the Lost Nazi (Armored) Train, let us take a look at armored trains that were used during WWI and WWII.

Armored trains saw use during the 19th century in the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War, the First and Second Boer Wars.  During the Second Boer War, Winston Churchill, then a war-correspondent, was travelling aboard an armored train on 15 November 1899, when a Boer commando led by General Louis Botha ambushed the train. The Boers captured Churchill and many of the train’s contingent, but many others escaped, including wounded soldiers who had been carried on the train’s engine.

Early in the 20th century, Russia used armored trains during the Russo-Japanese War. armored trains went on to see use during the Mexican Revolution and World War I. The most intensive use of armored trains was during the Russian Civil War. The Spanish Civil War saw a little use of armored trains, though World War II  saw more. The French used them during the First Indochina War, and a number of countries had armored trains during the Cold War. The last combat use appears to have been during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

German BP 42 armored train on the Eastern Front, 1942- 1943

Im Osten, Panzerzug mit Geschütz und Vierlingsflakww2db / Bundesarchiv

This early Polish train, Smialy, is one of the most famous of the era. The rotating turret on the front helped clear out anything that got in the way.

this-early-polish-train-smialy-is-one-of-the-most-famous-of-the-era-the-rotating-turret-on-the-front-helped-clear-out-anything-that-got-in-the-wayWikimedia Commons

Here is another shot of Smialy. It was captured by Poland in 1919 but was used in both wars by four different nations: Austria, Poland, the USSR, and Germany.

here-is-another-shot-of-smialy-it-was-captured-by-poland-in-1919-but-was-used-in-both-wars-by-four-different-nations-austria-poland-the-ussr-and-germanyWikimedia Commons

Extensive armor plating could withstand a lot of punishment.

extensive-armor-plating-could-withstand-a-lot-of-punishmentWikimedia Commons

Each nation’s trains were an imposing force.

each-nations-trains-were-an-imposing-forceWikimedia Commons

Over time, the compartments for the soldiers became increasingly secure. This one resembles a fortress.

over-time-the-compartments-for-the-soldiers-became-increasingly-secure-this-one-resembles-a-fortressWikimedia Commons

The Danuta, in 1939

Pociag_pancerny_Danuta_z_1939_rWikimedia Commons

From the left: artillery wagon, infantry assault wagon, armored locomotive, artillery wagon

Polish Artillery Car in 1939

Smialy_wagon_altyleryjskiWikimedia Commons

Austro-Hungarian armored train from 1915

Wagon_pancerny_sWikimedia Commons


Soviet armored train, circa 1941


There was no job too big or too small. Anti-aircraft weaponry was common on many of these trains.

there-was-no-job-too-big-or-too-small-anti-aircraft-weaponry-was-common-on-many-of-these-trainsWikimedia Commons

Some of the cannons on these locomotives appear to be a size that would be more appropriate for a battleship.

some-of-the-cannons-on-these-locomotives-appear-to-be-a-size-that-would-be-more-appropriate-for-a-battleshipWikimedia Commons

Russian workers building an armored train, 1941


The main issue with these trains was that they ran on tracks. Derailments and fires were their Achilles’ heel.

as-we-said-the-main-issue-with-these-trains-was-that-they-ran-on-tracks-derailments-and-fires-were-their-achilles-heelWikimedia Commons

During WWII, the Germans derailed this Polish train with a bomb dropped by the Luftwaffe. It was deserted as the German soldiers neared.

during-wwii-the-germans-derailed-this-polish-train-with-a-bomb-dropped-by-the-luftwaffe-it-was-deserted-next-to-the-tracks-as-the-german-soldiers-nearedWikimedia Commons


Another shot of the carnage.

heres-another-shot-of-the-carnageWikimedia Commons

The wartime role of trains has not been totally forgotten. Some remain in museums around the world.

the-wartime-role-of-trains-has-not-been-totally-forgotten-this-russian-train-now-decommissioned-is-part-of-an-installation-in-its-home-countryWikimedia Commons

Some of the trains are still on display, in Poland.


Panzertriebwagen Nr 16 (PzTrWg 16 or PT 16)


German heavy armored motorcar built in 1942 by Schwarzkopff company. Based on WR550 D14 diesel locomoive, surrounded by armor and with two armored units added at each end. Initially armed with 2 cm Flakvierling 38 AA guns, later replaced (after additional modifications to the units) with russian 76,2 mm FK 295/1 gun-equipped turrets. Armor thickness was from 31 to 84 mm. Fought on Eastern Front. In 1943 as a reserve unit used to patrol guerilla-threatened areas. In 1944 assigned to Army Group Mitte, fought in Rawa Ruska and Lublin, later in Kielce surroundings. Withdrawn to Gliwice for repairs, was finally repaired in Germany. In 1945 took part in combat near Neuruppin, and was finally captured intact on 2nd May 1945 at Neustadt Dosse.

Incorporated into the structures of Polish Army, served in no. 4194 unit, as a part of an armored train. In 1945-47 took part in fights with Ukrainian UPA partisans at Bieszczady area. Later stored on a siding at Przemyśl, before becoming part of Warsaw Railway Museum. (Source)

A tank bolted on a German armored train


Red Army officer observing from an armored train


PV-1 machine gun aboard a Soviet armored train, Nov 1941


Damaged Polish Armored Train


A damaged Polish armored train captured by German Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler regiment, near Blonie, Poland, Sep 1939

This is is a replica of a Slovakian armored train, now situated near Zvolen, Slovakia.

this-is-is-a-replica-of-a-slovakian-armored-train-now-situated-near-zvolen-slovakiaWikimedia Commons

Pancierovy_vlak-ZvolenWikimedia Commons

Last us of an armored train: Krajina Express


The Krajina Express was an improvised armored train used by the Krajina Serb army during the Croatian War of Independence and the Bosnian War, from 1991 to 1995. The main battle in which the train became involved was the siege of Bihać. The train’s crew also performed in combat in the role of infantry.

ICBM Trains

RT-23_ICBM_complex_in_Saint_Petersburg_museumWikimedia commons

Towards the end of the Cold War, both superpowers began to develop railway-based ICBMs mounted on armoured trains; the Soviets deployed the SS-24 missile in 1987, but budget costs and the changing international situation led to the cancellation of the programme, with all remaining railway-based missiles finally being deactivated in 2005. Pictured is a RT-23 Molodets in the Saint Petersburg railway museum.


Mosquito: The Best Warbird of WWII – in Color!


Undoubtedly – the best aircraft of its time. Many will of course argue that and that’s understandable, we all have our favourites. The De Havilland Mosquito was such a versatile fighter bomber. Nations tried to copy it but failed.

The de Havilland Mosquito distinguished itself as both the worlds fastest operational piston engine aircraft, and the most versatile combat aircraft – built during World War II. The Mosquito excelled in a variety of roles during World War II, including as day or night fighter, strike fighter-bomber, photo-reconnaissance, pathfinder, intruder, maritime strike, and surprisingly, a few BOAC mailplane variants flew regular nightly services over Nazi-occupied Europe. It was conceived as a fast twin engined day bomber that could outrun all contemporary fighters.

The USA thought the P-38 could handle the same role and the Germans tried with the Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito. Several days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USAAF then requested one airframe to evaluate on 12 December 1941, signifying that the USAAF realised that they had entered the war without a fast dual-purpose reconnaissance aircraft.

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Sinking the Tirpitz, Sister to the Bismarck and the Heaviest European Battleship Ever

The story of the World War II German battleship Bismarck is legendary. The massive warship was destroyed by British ships and planes and then scuttled by its crew in one of the most famous naval battles in the Atlantic during the war.

Bismarck, however, had a sister. The Tirpitz was commissioned into the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) in February 1941, and after a series of improvements, she weighed even more than the Bismarck. This was the heaviest battleship ever built by a European navy.

The British Royal Navy and Royal Air Force each dedicated several missions to destroying this behemoth, finally succeeding in November 1944. Apart from the sizable periods of time the Tirpitz spent under repair from the damages the British caused in a few of the missions, she was effectively an entire  fleet in one ship. So feared was the Tirpitz, that is, the British had to dedicate a huge counter-force to remain in the region, should the Germans release this beast in an attack.

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Two Jet Fighters Sent Up to Shoot Down a WWII Warbird in 1956 – Blasted 208 Rockets at it, it Survived

by Shahan Russell – 


In August 1956, a drone went rogue over Southern California, threatening cities, including Los Angeles. In its aftermath, over 1,000 acres were destroyed, forests and scrubland were set ablaze while homes and property were damaged. But it wasn’t because of the drone.

With Cold War tensions on the rise and everyone fearing an invasion of the Red Menace, the US Navy began research on surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. To test those missiles, they’d launch remote-controlled planes (drones) into the sky for target practice, mostly from the Naval Air Station Point Mugu in Ventura County.

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The Supersonic Nazi Rocket Bomber That Could Destroy Any City

by Joris Nieuwint


It is May 1945, Nazi Germany has been defeated and the former Allies are now trying to get their hand on as much of the Nazi developed technology as they can. It is well known that Wernher von Braun and his V2 missile was the foundation of the American Space program but that was not the only rocket that the Nazis were developing.

Starting in 1942, after the United States have joined the war against the Nazi’s and Japan the Germans believed it was time to develop weapons that could strike back and hit the Americans back home. The “America bomber” project was started which focused on a long range, piston engine bomber that could cross the Atlantic ocean and hit the East coast cities. This project ultimately delivered two working prototypes, the Messerschmitt Me 264 and Junkers Ju 390, which actually took to the air but never tried to cross the Atlantic.

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Α)Σαν σήμερα προσαρτάται το Ιόνιο στην Γαλλία 17 Οκτωβρίου 1797

Η Συνθήκη του Κάμπο Φόρμιο (Campo Formio) που συνάφθηκε στις 17 Οκτωβρίου 1797 ήταν μια σπουδαία συνθήκη ειρήνης μεταξύ Γαλλίας και Αυστρίας η οποία και επισφράγησε την προκαταρκτική Συνθήκη ειρήνης Λεόμπεν που είχαν συνομολογήσει οι ίδιες χώρες έξι μήνες πριν. Υπογράφηκε στο Κάμπο Φόρμιο, ένα χωριό της Βενέτσια Τζούλια, (Βενετίας), ύστερα από την ήττα των Αυστριακών και τον τερματισμό της νικηφόρας εκστρατείας του Ναπολέοντος, στην Ιταλία.

Στο άρθρο 5 περιέχονται στην Γαλλία οι ενετικές κτήσεις στον ελλαδικό χώρο (Λεβάντε): Τα Ιόνια Νησιά, το Βουθρωτό, η Πάργα, η Πρέβεζα και η Άρτα. Διακρίνεται η υπογραφή του Βοναπάρτη.


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Straight Out Of Star Wars! The Soviet VVA-14

Untitled design (1)

In the 1970s the Soviet Union developed the VVA-14, a vertical take-off amphibious aircraft which could take off from water and fly at high speed over long distances but also to fly just above the sea surface using what is known as the “ground effect”. It was designed by Italian-born designer Robert Bartini in answer to a perceived requirement to destroy United States Navy Polaris missile submarines.

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An Unexpected Partnership: Nazi Germany and the Republic of China

by Norton Yeung

nazi china(Sources: Wikipedia pages on Chiang Wei-Kuo and the National Revolutionary Army – see references)

Look at these photos – a Nazi German officer and Wehrmacht troops, right? Wrong.

A quick first glance at these photos would have most military history enthusiasts fooled. You would be forgiven to assume that these are German-trained Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) personnel. But that cannot be further from the truth – they are in fact Nazi-trained Chinese soldiers of the National Revolutionary Army (NRA), destined to fight Japanese invaders. The Wehrmacht officer is Chiang Wei-Kuo, adopted son of Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang Wei-Kuo commanded a German Panzer during Anschluss, earned a commission as a Wehrmacht lieutenant in anticipation of Fall Weiss, before being recalled back to China.

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WWII Amazing Stories: How a Handgun Shot Down a Fighter Plane!

by Heziel Pitogo – 

Zero Fighter Versus Handgun

How could a small weapon – a handgun – win over a bigger foe, a fighter plane?

The year was 1943. It was the height of the Second World War. Second Lieutenant Owen J. Baggett of the US Army Air Force was sent to India with the Tenth Air Force, a co-pilot of a B-24 Bomber. During that time, the Japanese Imperial Army was occupying Burma and constantly threatened India.

Eventually, Baggett and his comrades were sent on a mission to attack a Japanese position in Burma. However, Japanese Zero fighters spotted them and started strafing them resulting to their plane being damaged heavily giving Baggett and the rest of the crew no choice but to bail out.

As the aircraft’s crew slowly descended to the ground in their parachutes, the Japanese fighters swung around and closed in on them with the intention of killing them. They attacked killing some of the crew members. Baggett was grazed in the arm.

The pilot who fired against him moved closer, perhaps to see if the soldier was dead. Baggett pretended to be that hoping against hope that the pilot would not fire at him again. But when the pilot opened his canopy and was just a few feet away from the Second Lieutenant’s chute, Baggett – who had been enraged at the merciless killing of his crew mates – pulled out the handgun that was hidden against his leg and fired four shots at the opened cockpit leading to the stalling and finally, spinning in of the Zero.

Baggett made it to the ground alive but was captured by the Japanese and was taken to a grim war camp situated near Singapore. However, they did regard him with a degree of respect for downing a Zero with just the use of a handgun.

It appeared that the Japanese found the pilot Baggett shot. he had sustained a wound to the head resulting to his immediate death.

Shortly after being captured, Baggett was taken to a Japanese Major General who was placed in charge of all the prisoners of war in the said area. The Japanese officer offered him an honorable opportunity way out which was hara-kiri though the US soldier declined the proposal.

The respect showed to him by his own enemies was the result of his handgun downing what was a feared flying machine in those times.

Baggett went on to survive the horrors of being an American POW under the Japanese’s iron hands and lived on until the old age of 85.

Before bombs: pilots dropped these steel arrows on the enemy.

by Jack – 


French aviators dropped the arrows or Flechettes which when released on an unsuspecting soldier could piece his body from head to foot. What did a flechette look like? Well, a photograph appeared in The War Illustrated on 23rd January 1915, with a description of one.

“They are pieces of steel rod about six inches long, sharpened at one end like a pencil, and with the four and a half inches or so at the other end machined out so that the whole thing has the section of a cross…which is, of course, very much lighter than the front end, and so acts just as a feather of an arrow.”
The steel arrows were packed in boxes of 500 and placed over a hole in the floor of the aircraft. When over the target the flechettes were released in a stream, simply by pulling a string! When they hit the ground, the arrows covered an area of about fifty yards by ten yards.

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Gut Wrenching Gun Camera Footage Of B-17s Under Attack By Luftwaffe Fighters

by Joris Nieuwint – 

d2eae42934d2e176a360e7e22f4072b0Allied B-17 of the 836th Squadron 10 April 1945. Cannon shells from a German Me262 ripped into it’s tail, perforating the vertical stabilizer & inboard right wing panel. Fire in No 3 engine, flames swept back to the tail. Peeled off shortly afterwards and dropped behind. Crew bailed out at RP, 7 miles West of Elbe River. Later right wing came off. 

In the air war over Europe, by 1944, the Allies had overwhelming advantages in numbers. The Luftwaffe had to come out and attack the bomber formations by day and by night or see its towns, cities and industry destroyed.

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Awesome! Red Army War Sleds With Airplane Engines & Guns!

War Sleds

The Winter War of 1939, between Finland and the Soviet Union convinced the Soviets to develop more effective tactics in the so-called “General Winter” conditions.

The Finns have already managed to repel the enemy attacks due to their knowledge of the terrain and since they were more accustomed to the harsh winter conditions. They managed to get an upper hand on the Soviets who had superiority both in technology and in manpower.

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Airborne Aircraft Carriers of the early 1950’s by The Dakota Hunter



B-29 wingtip coupled to F-84

B-29 wingtip coupled to F-84B-29 Super Fortress coupled to two EF-84 D’s with wing tips connected to each other in flight.

During WWII, the flight range of the USAF long distance bombers made huge leaps forward with every new model that came out, mainly due to the rapid development in aero engine HP output that allowed up scaling to unprecedented dimensions of wings and internal fuel tanks. Διαβάστε περισσότερα…

5 Things You Don’t Know About: Spy Planes

by Joris Nieuwint Mar 24, 2016

There is a lot unknown about the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 “Blackbird”.



The SR-71 Blackbird is, without a doubt, the most advanced airplane ever built in relation to the technology available at the time. It broke all aviation records,it flew incredible missions, and it became the stuff of legend!

The SR-71 was a technological marvel. Practically every area of design required new approaches or breakthroughs in technology. To withstand high temperatures generated by friction in the upper atmosphere during sustained Mach 3 flight, the Blackbird required an array of specially developed materials including high-temperature fuel, sealants, lubricants, wiring and other components.

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Top 10 Most Bizarre Tanks Ever Built

The 10 Most Bizarre Tanks Ever Built-1

(1) Designer’s model of the Soviet tank with glider wing, ‘Antonov A-40‘ photographed in 1942. The flying tank had one semi-successful test flight (2) ZIL-2906, the screw drive vehicle (3) Front view of the Churchill Crocodile Flamethrower tank, showing the hooded flame throwing nozzle next to the viewing hatch of the driver (4) The surviving Praying Mantis prototype at Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset

Tanks are designed for front-line combat. These strong armored fighting vehicles are a pivotal part of any land forces in warfare. Tanks can be used in both offensive and defensive situations. With the help of the large-caliber cannon fitted to its rotating turret, the tank can take hold of and dominate an area and prevent the advancement of enemy vehicles during combat. Modern tanks have gone through a century of development from the early armored war vehicles.

The following 10 most bizarre tanks which, among many freakish tank designs, were actually constructed. Some militaries possess bigger dreams than others. However, not surprisingly, most of these ludicrous tanks never saw substantial action in the battlefield.

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Heavy Tank Destroyer Ferdinand Facts & Images

by Joris Nieuwint – 

The Elefant was a heavy tank-hunter—a tank destroyer—of the German Wehrmacht during World War II.

It was built in small numbers in 1943 under the name Ferdinand after its designer Ferdinand Porsche, using tank hulls that had been produced for a cancelled German heavy tank design.

Porsche GmbH had manufactured about one hundred chassis for their unsuccessful proposal for the Tiger tank, the “Porsche Tiger”. Both the successful Henschel proposal and the Porsche design used the same Krupp-designed turret.

However, the Henschel design had its turret more-or-less centrally located on its hull, while the Porsche design placed the turret much closer to the front of the superstructure.

ELEFANT_Panzerjager_Tiger_P_Elefant_Sd.Kfz_.184Ferdinand Panzerjager Tiger (P) number 501, Eastern Front Operation Citadel 1943

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Strange! Object 279 The Soviet Heavy Tank Designed To Survive A Nuclear Explosion

Object 279

In 1959, at the height of the cold war era, Soviet Union built this experimental nuclear explosion proof heavy tank called Object 279. It was one of the last Soviet prototypes of heavy tanks before Kruschev banned any tank heavier than 37 tons.

Only one unit of Object 279 was built at Kirov Industrial Plant in Leningrad. It weighs 132,277 lbs or 60 metric tons. It had a running gear consisting of four-tracks and a 1000 hp 2DG-8M diesel engine that could power the tank to achieve a speed of 55 kmph with an active range of 300 km per refueling.

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A)Superb high-resolution short video shows the forging of a Roman Gladius with Damascus Steel


Some time ago, we touched upon the impressive yet mysterious status of the so-called Ulfberht swords. Wielded by the Vikings, these extremely rare swords comprised high-carbon content that could be compared to the ‘advanced’ crucible steel variety of the later 1800’s. Now historically, beyond the boundaries of Europe, there had been manufacturing processes that facilitated the production of high-quality steel for ‘elite’ blade weapons. One good example would obviously pertain to the famed Damascus Steel produced in the the Near East. This steel variety was characterized by its distinctive patterns of banding and mottling that sort of evoked the delicateness of flowing water, and was crafted from the wootz steel imported from Southern India. And now master bladesmith Tony Swatton had taken up the task of forging a Roman Gladius entirely with the ‘damascus’ technique. Cinematographer Phil Holland has brilliantly captured the painstaking procedure in 8K resolution, and compiled it into a short video with all the expressive sights-and-sounds.

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The Biggest War Machines Ever Built – Mighty Monsters of the Seas…Check Out the Size of the Guns Too!


From the Dreadnoughts to the battleships of WWII – naval power ruled the waves. Amazing designs and revolutions were abound and you can see this from the images below. All of these images are from the Facebook page  Photos of When There Were, Giants!! Check them out and you may be able to help in captioning the images too.

Keep your eye out for the naval guns in this gallery – they are MASSIVE!!!

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Today in Military History: August 30, 1943:Lt. Kenneth Walsh, US MC, Receives Medal of Honor for Downing 4 Japanese Zeroes in a Borrowed F4U Corsair

by Siggurdsson

Lt. Kenneth Walsh, USMC, Receives Medal of Honor for Downing 4 Japanese Zeroes in a Borrowed F4U Corsair

1st Lt. Kenneth Walsh, USMC on June 22, 1945,
the day he made his 21st kill vs. the Japanese
Image courtesy of http://flattopshistorywarpolitics.yuku.com
(Unless otherwise indicated, all illustrations are courtesy of Wikipedia)


After posting four stories ranging from ancient times, to the mid-Dark Ages, to the Hundred Years’ War, I will bring readers a story just a little closer to our own time. Today the spotlight shines on a Marine aviator who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Pacific during the Second World War.

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Hans Joachim Marseille, anti Nazi & one of the most amazing fighter pilots of WWII & 99 images with some you haven’t seen before




H. J. Marseille mit abgeschossener "Hurricane"s

Hans Joachim Marseille, a young German fighter pilot, was the most amazing, unique, and lethal ace of World War 2. A non-conformist and brilliant innovator, he developed his own personal training program and combat tactics and achieved amazing results, including 17 victories in one day, and an average lethality ratio of just 15 gun rounds per victory. Marseille was described by Adolf Galland, the most senior German ace, with these words: “He was the unrivaled virtuoso among the fighter pilots of World War 2. His achievements were previously considered impossible.”

Marseille, who later became one of the ten most highly decorated German pilots of World War 2 and was nicknamed “The Star of Africa” by the German propaganda, (“Jochen” by his friends), had a very unpromising and problematic start. At age 20 he graduated the Luftwaffe’s fighter pilot school just in time to participate in the Battle Of Britain in the summer of 1940. He initially served in fighter wing 52 under Johannes Steinhoff (176 victories). In his third combat sortie, he shot down a Spitfire and by the end of the Battle Of Britain he had seven victories, but he was also shot down four times, and his behavior on the ground got him into trouble.

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Messerschmitt BF 110 – Luftwaffe’s Airborne Artillery & Night Fighter (Pictures)



The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was a twin-engine heavy fighter and fighter-bomber developed in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and used by the Luftwaffe during World War II.

The BF 110 was armed with two MG FF 20 mm cannons, four 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, and one 7.92 mm MG 15 machine gun or twin-barrel MG 81Z for defence.

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ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΑ ΑΡΜΑΤΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΡΩΣΙΑ (Μικρή συλλογή άρθρων)

Α)13 Awesome Close Up Pictures of a German Heavy Tank «Tiger I» displayed in Russia

Tiger in Russia
 Tank front view

This is a awesome collection of close up pictures of a captured German tank Pz.Kpfw. Vl Ausf.H «Tiger I» displayed at Lenino-Snegiri Military Historical Museum in the Russian territory. The chassis number is 250427. It presumably belonged to 424 th Heavy Tank Battalion and was captured during the retreat of the Battalion in January 1945. Now the tank paint and marking the 505 th Heavy Tank Battalion.

During WWII, German Tiger tanks were primarily organized into special schwere Panzer Abteilung (roughly «heavy tank battalions»). Ten Wehrmacht and three Waffen-SS schwere Panzer Abteilung were formed.

The s.Pz.Abt. 501 (later redesignated s.Pz.Abt. 424) was formed in May 1942. It was sent to North Africa with Tiger I and Panzer III tanks in late 1942 and early 1943 and surrendered with the German defeat in Tunisia. Later, it was reformed and it was sent to Eastern Front in November 1943. It was largely destroyed in Russian offensive in summer 1944. It was reformed again and was issued with Tiger II. It returned to Eastern Front. It was redesignated as s.Pz.Abt. 424, and after heavy losses it was disbanded in early 1945.

This war museum is dedicated to the Russian 16th Army, which defended Moscow during the battle of Moscow (1941-1942). Attached to the museum building is an open air exhibit with tanks and armoured vehicles. Here you can watch this powerfull German tank, as trace of war.

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Top 10 Monsters of the Sky


We’ve flipped through the pages of aviation history to bring you ten of the biggest, heaviest, weirdest and most astounding aircraft ever built.

Antonov An-225 Mriya


With an overall length of 84 metres and a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes, the An-225 is officially the longest and heaviest aircraft ever built. The An-225 was originally designed by the Antonov Design Bureau as a transport for the Buran spaceplane, but after the end of the Buran program, the An-225 became a commercial cargo aircraft.

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Whisky business: The strange story of the Planet Satellite


Image credit: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/mags

I was wrong. I wanted to write about the Planet Satellite, because I thought it was an merely an obscure, attractive failure. However, the more I researched the Satellite’s story, the more bizarre it became.

00e4b1a35ab1cbe68ae61aed6547da49The 1948 Planet Satellite was an unusual and very beautiful aeroplane. Its appearance suggested that Hergé had created it especially for Tintin to steal. The aircraft was the shape of a tear-drop, with a butterfly ‘Y-shaped’ tail. Its ‘hygienically’ clean shape spoke of speed, progress and a utopian future.  The Satellite was a revolutionary design in almost every way. It was a true monocoque design, for those unfamiliar with the term- this does not mean it was single-penised (In fact, the aircraft had no penis). A monocoque structure is supported by its external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame. It is analogous to an invertebrate (such as a beetle), whereas an animal with a normal internal skeleton, like a person, is more like a traditional aircraft. Though many aircraft are described as monocoque, strictly speaking the vast majority are actually semi-monocoque. The Satellite was a true monocoque design, meaning it was far simpler structurally than any contemporary aircraft. This simplicity could result in an aircraft that was cheap to produce and assemble, with far less to go wrong. These traits were vital as the Satellite was intended to become a flying Model-T Ford.
Following World War Two, Major J. N. D. Heenan (more on him later) went to the United States to study the needs of the general aviation market. He concluded that what was needed was a cheap and quiet aircraft. By adopting the ‘pusher configuration’, with the engine (he would choose a 250-hp Gipsy Queen 32) and propeller behind the cabin, noise would be significantly reduced for the occupants. This layout would also give the pilot and passengers of the a four-seater an excellent, unobstructed view from the cockpit. Additionally it would make allow the nose section to be smooth and aerodynamically efficient.

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THE ULTIMATE WHAT-IF: How the Zero won the Battle of Britain

In this subjunctive history, we look at how the Luftwaffe’s Mitsubishi A6M ‘Zero’s were a decisive weapon in the Battle of Britain.

In the Messerschmitt Bf 109 the Luftwaffe possessed possibly the World’s finest fighter aircraft at the beginning of the Second World War. It was superlative in all regards save one: range. Given the Luftwaffe’s primary role as a tactical force, operating in support of the Army in a Blitzkrieg attack, this was not seen as a major problem. Despite this, some consideration was given by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) to the problem of bomber escort over longer ranges and the initial response to this requirement was Messerschmitt’s Bf 110 which seemed to offer a fine solution and was, in its way, a fine aircraft. It was, however, a large twin-engined machine and a small but vocal group of officers within the Luftwaffe remained unconvinced by its ability to combat the latest single-engined fighters that were being constructed in ever-greater numbers in France and the United Kingdom – aircraft that would however behard pressed to deal with a machine in the class of the 109.

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Focke-Wulf 190 – 27 Of The Best Pics We Could Find On The Net!

Focke Wolf 190

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft which was widely used during World War II. Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Focke Wulf 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s Fighter Force.

The twin-row BMW 801 radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Fuselage_Assemblies_at_Kolleda_Germany_1945Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Fuselage Assemblies at Kolleda Germany 1945

The Fw 190A started flying operationally over France in August 1941, and quickly proved superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force’s main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V, especially at low and medium altitudes. The 190 maintained superiority over Allied fighters until the introduction of the improved Spitfire Mk. IX.

In November/December 1942. The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front, finding much success in fighter wings and specialised ground attack units called Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings) from October 1943 onwards.

Fw_190_A_Engine_BMW801_2.JG_51_Lt.Joachim_Brendel_Winter_1942_1943_2Fw 190 A of 2/JG 51 Lt. Joachim Brendel Winter 1942 1943. Engine BMW801

The Fw 190A series’ performance decreased at high altitudes (usually20,000 ft and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor. From the Fw 190s inception, there had been ongoing efforts to address this with a turbosupercharger BMW 801 in the B model, the C model with the Daimler-Benz DB 603, and the D model with the Junkers Jumo 213.

V5kFw 190 V5k. This is the V5 with the original small wing. The 12-blade cooling fan and redesigned undercarriage and canopy fairings are visible.

Problems with the turbos meant only the D model would see service, entering service in September 1944. While these “long nose” versions gave them parity with Allied opponents, it arrived far too late in the war to have any real effect.

The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots. Some of the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer.

Schlachtflieger_Fw_190_-ESchlachtflieger Fw 190 +E being fueled

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_winter_-PHFocke-Wulf Fw 190 winter +PH

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Jagdbomber_-BFocke-Wulf Fw 190 Jagdbomber +B

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_GN-25_in_flightFocke-Wulf Fw 190 GN+25 in flight

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Jagdbomber_-AFocke-Wulf Fw 190 Jagdbomber +A

Fw_190_A_11.JG_11_Pilot_Uffz._Karl_Heinz_1944Fw 190 A of 11/JG 11 Pilot Uffz. Karl Heinz 1944

Fw_190_A_white_10_10.JG_51_Otto_Gaiser_Smolensk_Febr_1943Fw 190 A white 10 of 10/JG 51 pilot Otto Gaiser, Smolensk February 1943

Focke-Wulf Fw 190Fw 190 A-0s or A-1s of an unknown unit.

German_Military_Aircraft_1939-1945_CH16121Fw 190 G-1 showing the ETC 250 bomb rack, carrying a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb, and the underwing drop tanks on VTr-Ju 87 mounts.

DAYTON, Ohio -- Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)A side view of the NMUSAF’s D-9. One can easily distinguish the D-9 model from earlier variants by the extended nose and tail sections, in addition to the exhaust manifolds located near the base of the engine cowling

Wrecks / Crashes

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_attack_aircraft_-PFocke-Wulf Fw 190 attack aircraft +P crash landed

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_DN-FA_crash_landingFocke-Wulf Fw 190 DN+FA crash landing

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_Wreckage_2Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Wreckage 2

Focke_Wulf_Fw_190_black_10Focke-Wulf Fw 190 black 10

US_Troops_with_Luftwaffe_Fw_190_and_Bomber_WrecksUS Troops with Luftwaffe Fw 190 and Bomber Wrecks


Destroyed Fw 190


Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_050602-F-1234P-005A captured Fw 190A-4. The USAAF-painted Balkenkreuz and swastika markings are of nonstandard size and proportions.

British_RAF_Fw_190British RAF Fw 190

British_Fw_190_in_flightBritish Fw 190 in flight

A_captured_Focke_Wulf_Fw_190A-3_at_the_Royal_Aircraft_Establishment,_Farnborough,_with_the_RAE's_chief_test_pilot,_Wing_Commander_H_J_-Willie-_Wilson_at_the_controls,_August_1942._CH6411A captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 at the Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough with the RAEs chief test pilot Wing Commander H J -Willie- Wilson at the controls August 1942.

Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_(15083338499)Captured Fw 190A-5 Werknummer 150 051, in U.S. Navy colors

Fw_190_A-8An Fw 190 A-8/R2 in American hands. “White 11” of 5./JG 4 was captured during Operation Bodenplatte after its engine had been damaged by American light flak.

FW190-D9This captured Fw 190 D-9 appears to be a late production aircraft built by Fieseler at Kassel. It has a late style canopy; the horizontal black stripe with white outline shows that this was a II. Gruppe aircraft.

Image sources: Wikipedia / Bundesarchiv / WorldWarPhoto


Flying Tigers – P-40 Tomahawk – Amazing WWII Color Pictures




The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, comprised pilots from the United States Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps. The shark-faced nose art of the Flying Tigers remains among the most recognizable image of any individual combat aircraft or combat unit of World War II.

The group comprised of three fighter squadrons of around thirty aircraft each. It trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II with the mission of defending China against Japanese forces. The group of volunteers were officially members of the Chinese Air Force.

The group first saw first combat on 20 December 1941, twelve days after Pearl Harbor. It demonstrated innovative tactical victories when the news in the U.S. was filled with little more than stories of defeat at the hands of the Japanese forces.

They achieved such notable success during the lowest period of the war for both the U.S. and the Allied Forces as to give hope to America that it might eventually defeat the Japanese. AVG pilots earned official credit, and received combat bonuses, for destroying 296 enemy aircraft, while losing only fourteen pilots in combat.

On 4 July 1942 the AVG was disbanded. It was replaced by the 23rd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces, which was later absorbed into the U.S. Fourteenth Air Force with General Chennault as commander. The 23rd FG went on to achieve similar combat success, while retaining the nose art on the left-over P-40s.


Jack D. Canary Special Collection Photo

Jack Canary was a Tech Rep with North American Aviation in China during World War Two. After the War, he continued to work with NAA and also built and restored aircraft. He worked as a consultant on the film “Tora, Tora, Tora” and was killed while flying a PT-22 for the film in 1968. [via]


R.T. Smith next to the Disney “Flying Tiger” decal on the side of P-40 Tomahawk #40 in Kunming, China on May 23, 1942. [via]


R.T. Smith next to Chuck Older’s P-40 Tomahawk #68 in Kunming, China on May 23, 1942. [via]


R.T. Smith in the cockpit of P-40 Tomahawk #40 in Kunming, China on May 23, 1942. [via]


The photograph P-40 Tomahawk #49 flown by Tom Hayward of the Third Pursuit Squadron — Hell’s Angels — of the American Volunteer Group was probably taken from aircraft #47 on May 28, 1942 near the Salween River Gorge on the China-Burma border. [via]


Chuck Older and R.T. Smith after being decorated with the Fifth Class Order of the Cloud and Banner and the Star-Wing Metal in front of a P-40 Tomahawk at Yunnanyi, China. The photograph was taken on June 6, 1942. [via]


The photograph of the Third Pursuit Squadron — Hell’s Angels — of the American Volunteer Group was probably taken from aircraft #47 on May 28, 1942 near the Salween River Gorge on the China-Burma border. The shot of P-40 Tomahawks includes #68 flown by Arvid Olson, #46 flown by Bob Prescott, and #24 flown by Ken Jernstedt. [via]


The photograph P-40 Tomahawk #47 flown by R.T. Smith of the Third Pursuit Squadron — Hell’s Angels — of the American Volunteer Group was probably taken on May 28, 1942 near the Salween River Gorge on the China-Burma border. [via]


AVG Third Squadron P-40 Tomahawks #75, #96, #47, #22 and #35 parked at Kunming in May 1942. [via]


Top 5 Guns With Strange WTF Features


Some firearms are straight-up bizarre, but some are relatively conventional yet employ an odd feature or two. In this episode of TFBTV, we take a look at 5 firearms that incorporate a bizarre feature that isn’t generally found on other guns.

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T114 Tank Destroyer


Here’s something that’s probably not well known. The T114 tank destroyer. It was built on the T114 APC chassis. The T114 came in service as the M114 AFV and was used in the Vietnam war, where it proved to be a disaster and was relatively soon pulled from service.

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Ενας ήρωας που μένει να αποκατασταθεί. Πλωτάρχης Ελ. Χανδρινός (1974)

Το αρματαγωγό ΛΕΣΒΟΣ L-172

Το αρματαγωγό ΛΕΣΒΟΣ L-172

του Παντελή Καρύκα
Συγγραφέα – hellasforce.com

Ελευθέριος Χανδρινος

Πλωτάρχης Ελευθέριος Χανδρινος

Το αρματαγωγό «Λέσβος» καθελκύστηκε το 1942 ως USS «Boone County». Ήταν ένα αρματαγωγό τύπου LST 1 (Landing Ship Tanks = πλοίο αποβίβασης αρμάτων). Το σκάφος είχε εκτόπισμα, με πλήρες φορτίο, περί τους 4.000 τόνους. Είχε μήκος 100 μ. και μέγιστη ταχύτητα μόλις 12 κόμβων. Ήταν οπλισμένο με δίδυμα αντιαεροπορικά πυροβόλα Bofors των 40 χλστ.



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ΛΕΙΨΑΝΑ ΤΟΥ Β! ΠΟΛΕΜΟΥ-2 (Μικρή συλλογή ‘άρθρων)

Α)Historic Aircraft Wreck Found. Is This The Wildcat Of US Ace James E Swett? By Roderick Eime


On my last trip to the Solomon Islands in October, I was fortunate to make my first dive on some of the historic aircraft wrecks that litter the harbour near Tulagi in the Florida Islands.

I was introduced to Bob Norton, an Kiwi ex-serviceman and the new proprietor of the Raiders Hotel in Tulagi, a quaint and peaceful waterfront hotel in the little former British pre-war colonial capital in the Florida Islands, across Iron Bottom Sound from Honiara.

The well-known wrecks of large ‘Mavis’ flying boats sunk on 7 August 1942 at the onset of the Guadalcanal campaign are well documented and frequently dived, but Bob was excited to show me a wreck of a Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat only recently discovered.


In remarkably good condition, the Wildcat lies in 40 metres of water and bears hallmarks of Swett’s account of the action including a jettisoned canopy, broken nose and damaged wings.

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With Suicidal Courage, Commander Ernest Evans Took on 4 Japanese Battleships near Leyte, With 3 Destroyers


Just as they were heading into action having witnessed the overwhelming enemy fleet ahead of them, it is reported that Commander Ernest Evans of the USS Johnston spoke over the ship’s intercom, “A large Japanese fleet has been contacted.  They are fifteen miles away and headed in our direction.

They are believed to have four battleships, eight cruisers, and a number of destroyers.  This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected.  We will do what damage we can.”  The Battle of Samar, which was part of the broader Battle of Leyte Gulf, is considered one of the greatest Naval engagements of the Second World War.

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The Guardian of the ghost fleet of Mallows Bay

A man living near the Potomac River has to look at dozens of broken-down, abandoned ships that have been left behind. The man’s name is Don Shomette and he is fighting for those ships to be preserved. After all, they had been designed to serve the United States in the First World War.

Shomette canoes down the Potomac River almost every day, knowing where to go for having made the trip thousands of times. In a quiet inlet just halfway downriver, he rounds a corner and faces the decaying ships. No matter how sad the scene is, he keeps coming back to the area to just stare in wonder.

Hundreds of ships, most from the early 20th century, make up the 'Ghost Fleet' of Mallows Bay. (Don Shomette)
Hundreds of ships, most from the early 20th century, make up the ‘Ghost Fleet’ of Mallows Bay. (Don Shomette)

He said visiting the ships and looking at them is something quite ironic. Those massive ships were supposed to serve in our country’s war and yet they are just sitting there, left to rot and being re-claimed slowly by nature.

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Good “Old 666”, the Cursed Bomber that No One Wanted to Fly took on 17 Japanese Fighters Alone and Lived to Tell About It

Note, the bomber on the right is B-17G 43-38172 of the 8th AF 398th.
Note, the bomber on the right is B-17G 43-38172 of the 8th AF 398th.

When you see the number “666” on the tail number of a plane, it is entirely understandable if you opt to stay on the ground.  That number is as superstitious as a black cat walking under a ladder and given the reputation of this particular plane for returning to base shot to pieces; it becomes impossible to distinguish fact from superstition.

But that didn’t stop an insubordinate and audacious crew from taking a chance on her.  And that strategic bet at the cost of much blood and steel would earn two of its crew the Medal of Honor and the rest the Distinguished Service Cross. This is the tale of the most heavily armed B-17 of the Pacific Theatre who took on 17 Japanese fighters alone and limped home victorious.

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What Happened To the French Undersea Cruiser Surcouf? Bermuda Triangle, Sunk by Friendly Fire or Rammed?


Surcouf was a French submarine ordered to be built in December 1927, launched on 18 October 1929, and commissioned in May 1934. Surcouf – named after the French privateer Robert Surcouf – was the largest submarine ever built until surpassed by the first Japanese I-400-class submarine in 1943. Her short wartime career was marked with controversy and conspiracy theories. She was classified as an “undersea cruiser” by sources of her time.

Soon after Surcouf was launched, the London Naval Treaty finally placed restrictions on submarine designs. Among other things, each signatory (France included) was permitted to possess no more than three large submarines, each not exceeding 2,800 long tons standard displacement, with guns not exceeding 6.1 inch in caliber. Surcouf, which would have exceeded these limits, was specially exempt from the rules at the insistence of Navy Minister Georges Leygues, but other ‘big-gun’ submarines of her class could no longer be built.

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After the war, the U.S. Army pulled one of the Japanese tanks out of the lake but left the other one on the bottom.

A project is under way to find a “phantom tank” at the bottom of Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Imperial Japanese Army produced two Type 4 Chi-To medium-heavy tanks on a trial basis near the end of World War II, utilizing what was considered at the time cutting-edge technology.

But the vehicles never saw combat and instead were deep-sixed in the lake sometime between Aug. 23 and 28, 1945, to keep them out of the hands of the U.S. military. After the war, the U.S. Army pulled one of the tanks out of the lake but left the other one on the bottom.  The 30-ton tank was approximately 6.3 meters long and 3 meters high and wide. The Imperial army wanted a class of tank bigger than most of its previous vehicles to compete with those of the United States and European countries, according to Kunihiro Suzuki, 54, president of Fine Molds, a company in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, that produces plastic models of military hardware, including the Chi-To tank.

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20 Images of Damaged B-17 Bombers That Miraculously Made It Home

B-17 Damaged
Crews examine flak damage to B-17G Fortress at RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England, UK. Damage sustained on mission to Munich, Germany, Jul 6 1944. Note “Mickey” pathfinder radar dome in place of ball turret.

The B-17 Flying Fortress was famous for being able to take a lot of damage and still make it back to base. We have collected a number of incredible images of damaged B-17 Flying Fortresses that made it home.

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14 exceptional weapon designs from history that were ahead of their time


The scope of ‘hi-tech’ designs is not just limited to our modern affairs. As it turns out, history has had its fair share of brilliant (and sometimes bizarre) weapon conceptions that were arguably ‘advanced’ in every sense of the word. So, without further ado, let us take a gander at fourteen such advanced weapon systems from history that were surely far ahead of their time.

*Please note – By ‘designs’ we have also taken into account the conceptual designs that were conceived by military engineers throughout history.

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22 Gut Wrenching Images Of Bombers That Didn’t Make It Home

Douglas A-20J-10-DO (S/N 43-10129) of the 409th or 416th Bomb Group after being hit by flak over Germany. It burst into flames and crashed a mile west of the target. Two chutes were seen to come out of the plane. Its crew was 1st Lt Robert E. Stockwell, pilot, 2d Lt Albert Jedinak, bombardier-navigator, S/Sgt Hollis A. Foster and S/Sgt Egon W. Rust, gunners. Lt Stockwell had been with the Group almost from the beginning of its existence.

The strategic bombing campaign during WWII cost the lives of roughly 160,000 Allied airmen and 33,700 planes in the European theater alone.

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