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Kyle Mizokami Kyle Mizokami Aug 14, 2019. 21 comments

What Really Happened On The Deadliest Single Day In Coast Guard History?

What Really Happened On The Deadliest Single Day In Coast Guard History?
Foxtrot AlphaTech and news from the world of modern defense.  

The sinking of the ammunition ship USS Serpens in January 1945 was the single deadliest day in the history of the Coast Guard. The gigantic explosion, which killed 250 sailors and almost vaporized the ship, was blamed on an accident involving the ship’s explosive cargo. Now, new allegations push the theory that the ship was...

21 Comments

David Tracy David Tracy Dec 14, 2018. 22 comments

Germans Discover Military Jeep Hoods Used to Repair a Ceiling after World War II

Germans Discover Military Jeep Hoods Used to Repair a Ceiling after World War II

Like many other places in Germany, the western city of Bonn had plenty of rebuilding to do after World War II . So, with materials scarce, the owner of one building decided to use hoods from junked army Jeeps to build up his ceiling. Those hoods have just been discovered after over 70 years, and they carry with them some fascinating history.

The story about these army Jeep hoods comes to me...

22 Comments

David Obuchowski David Obuchowski Aug 17, 2018. 20 comments

From Tuskegee Airman to Racing Godfather, Jim Barbour Is the Living Legend You Don’t Know About

From Tuskegee Airman to Racing Godfather, Jim Barbour Is the Living Legend You Don’t Know About

Ninety-two year old James Barbour III is tough in an unusual kind of way. The stereotypical tough guy grimaces and fights and struggles. Instead, Jim has the remarkable ability to stay even, to keep things light. To make it seem like when the going gets rough, well, it’s not rough at all. According to him and wife, Patricia Barbour, he’s never even sworn. He says “Oh my,” when he’s most fired...

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David Tracy David Tracy Jun 09, 2018. 21 comments

How Special Paint On The Hood Of The World War II Jeep Protected Soldiers' Lives

How Special Paint On The Hood Of The World War II Jeep Protected Soldiers' Lives

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a World War II Jeep with brown paint between the points of its “invasion star,” you might have assumed it was just an aesthetic touch. But it was much more than that: the paint was there to keep soldiers safe. Here’s how.

The paint’s purpose was to protect against chemical weapons attacks. It’s called “M5 liquid vesicant detector paint” (a vesicant is a...

21 Comments

David Tracy David Tracy Mar 23, 2018. 16 comments

The Incredible 25,000 Mile Road Trip Through Africa That Had This Man Wrenching For His Life

The Incredible 25,000 Mile Road Trip Through Africa That Had This Man Wrenching For His Life

In 1955, one brave Frenchman’s thirst for adventure took him on an epic 25,000 mile road trip through Africa that would test his wrenching abilities to their fullest. Stranded in a 120 degree barren desert, the options were: wrench or die. He chose to wrench.

David Galand posted the tale of “L’EXPEDITION SAUTERELLE” (“The Grasshopper Expedition”) onto a French military forum called Vehicules...

16 Comments

David Tracy David Tracy Feb 09, 2018. 10 comments

Francis 'Jeep' Sanza, General Patton's Driver During World War II, Has Died At Age 99

Francis 'Jeep' Sanza, General Patton's Driver During World War II, Has Died At Age 99

Perhaps the original Jeep enthusiast, Francis ‘Jeep’ Sanza—the mechanic who drove General George S. Patton Jr. around during the final year of World War II—died last Tuesday at age 99, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. Here’s a look at the man’s incredible story.

Born in 1918 to a Pennsylvania coal miner, Sanza was just the right age to be drafted into World War II in the spring of 1941....

10 Comments

Michael Ballaban Michael Ballaban Sep 06, 2017. 24 comments

New Documents Found Pointing To Japan's WWII Atomic Bomb Program

New Documents Found Pointing To Japan's WWII Atomic Bomb Program

Seventy years ago, the United States dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan. At the time, the US was the only country with nuclear weapons. That wasn’t for a complete lack of effort on the part of other countries, however, and new documents found heap more evidence on Japan having a program of its own.

It’s been known for some time now that Japan had some degree of nuclear weapons...

24 Comments

Chris Clarke Chris Clarke Sep 05, 2017. 18 comments

World War II Bomber Drops Human Munitions Over Chicago

World War II Bomber Drops Human Munitions Over Chicago

The Flying Fortress was made famous in its role in the Daylight Strategic Bombing Campaign of WWII and the post-war movies, like Memphis Belle, that made it an icon. Now this B-17 is no longer avoiding anti-aircraft fire or enemy fighters but has exchanged its explosive warheads in order to drop people from the bomb bay.

The four-engine taildragger was built in 1945, too late to see...

18 Comments

Patrick George Patrick George Sep 01, 2017. 10 comments

Why Is It Called D-Day, Anyway?

Why Is It Called D-Day, Anyway?

Today marks the 71st anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, designated at the time as Operation Neptune but known in popular culture today as D-Day. Why is that, and what does the D stand for?

Lots of people think it means “Decision Day,” “Doomsday” or even “Death Day.” And considering the massive casualties experienced on both sides that day and during the Operation...

10 Comments

Justin T. Westbrook Justin T. Westbrook Aug 26, 2017. 19 comments

Here's How The Allies Played The Nazis For Fools With A Dead Body And A Fake Grave

Here's How The Allies Played The Nazis For Fools With A Dead Body And A Fake Grave

A homeless man dressed as a British soldier and dumped in the ocean as part of a plan masterminded by the creator of James Bond was critical in the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany.

As you may have heard before, one of the most effective acts of espionage in the history of warfare involved the British dressing up a dead homeless man in a British uniform, packing his briefcase full of falsified...

19 Comments

David Tracy David Tracy Aug 25, 2017. 21 comments

The Legendary World War II Jeep Had A Dangerous Engineering Flaw

The Legendary World War II Jeep Had A Dangerous Engineering Flaw

Despite one of America’s top generals calling the World War II Jeep “America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare,” the little 4x4 wasn’t perfect. In fact, it rolled off the assembly line in 1941 with a terrible design flaw that could have sent soldiers barreling into oncoming traffic.

I recently drove a World War II Jeep for the first time and experienced something I had only read about...

21 Comments

Andrew P Collins Andrew P Collins Aug 21, 2017. 21 comments

How A Car Company Built So Many Important Military Machines Of World War II

How A Car Company Built So Many Important Military Machines Of World War II

Did you know that Chrysler built more than 25 percent of America’s tanks during World War II? And in addition to tanks and trucks too, it even helped arm the Allied Powers’ mighty warships. You can learn more about the Chrysler “Arsenal of Democracy” in this new film.

Fiat Chrysler released this mini documentary about its role in the war effort in recognition of the 75th...

21 Comments

David Tracy David Tracy Aug 20, 2017. 22 comments

Here's The Fascinating Way The U.S. Military Waterproofed Its Jeeps During World War II

Here's The Fascinating Way The U.S. Military Waterproofed Its Jeeps During World War II

To allow U.S. military vehicles to drive through deep water during World War II beach landings, the armed forces devised a fascinating method of waterproofing involving a goopy putty called “Asbestos Waterproofing Compound.” Here’s a video showing all the steps needed to keep that Jeep moving through the deep stuff.

Water and internal combustion engines just don’t go together, we’ve shown that...

22 Comments

Nicole Conlan Nicole Conlan Aug 20, 2017. 10 comments

These Artists Created A Powerful Visualization Of D-Day Casualties

These Artists Created A Powerful Visualization Of D-Day Casualties

D-Day was arguably the most significant and well-known event in military history. The Allies landed more than 150,000 troops in Normandy, involving 11,590 aircraft and 6,939 naval vessels. There were thousands of casualties.

The staggering size of these numbers can actually make it difficult for our brains to truly comprehend the devastation. That’s why these artists set out to create a...

10 Comments

David Tracy David Tracy Aug 18, 2017. 20 comments

My German Grandpa's First Ride In A World War II Jeep Since 1945 Was Truly Magical

My German Grandpa's First Ride In A World War II Jeep Since 1945 Was Truly Magical

In 1945, an American soldier gave my Grandpa—who was then an eight-year-old living in Southern Germany—a ride in a World War II Jeep. That short trip changed my grandpa’s life forever, beginning a chain of events that led him to vow never to drive an automobile for as long as he lives.

Seventy-two years ago my grandfather—whom I refer to by the German word “Opa”—had just fled with his sister...

20 Comments

Jason Torchinsky Jason Torchinsky Aug 18, 2017. 24 comments

Occasional Nazi Cosplayer Jesse James Is Selling A Beetle That’s As Nazi As Beetles Get

Occasional Nazi Cosplayer Jesse James Is Selling A Beetle That’s As Nazi As Beetles Get

As you may or may not know, I have a thing for early Volkswagens. I’m also aware of how problematic that is, what with all the Nazi history. That may not have been as much of a problem for Jesse James, who may find the Nazi associations a bit more of a plus than most people. Regardless, the car he’s selling on eBay right now is pretty amazing, partially because of its difficult history.

The...

24 Comments

Benjamin Preston Benjamin Preston Aug 17, 2017. 23 comments

Why A German Pilot Escorted An American Bomber To Safety During World War II

Why A German Pilot Escorted An American Bomber To Safety During World War II

Once in a while, you hear an old war story that restores your faith in humanity. Usually it involves a moment of quiet in the midst of chaos; some singing or the sharing of a few condiments. But how many of them take place in mid air?

This is the remarkable story of a crippled American bomber spared by a German fighter pilot. After the two planes’ pilots had a mid-air moment of understanding,...

23 Comments

Alanis King Alanis King Aug 17, 2017. 22 comments

Creator Of Bugatti 100P Replica Dies In Test Crash 

Creator Of Bugatti 100P Replica Dies In Test Crash 

The Bugatti 100P was an airplane unique in its use and its existence—it was a one-off project by company founder Ettore Bugatti around the start of World War II, and it never got to fly as meant to. A replica of the plane reportedly crashed nose first in a test flight on Saturday, killing its builder.

According to a report from local news station KFOR, the 100P replica went up for its third...

22 Comments

Jason Torchinsky Jason Torchinsky Aug 17, 2017. 24 comments

The Leader Of One Of The Most Daring Raids Of WWII Survived By Landing In A Huge Pile Of Shit 

The Leader Of One Of The Most Daring Raids Of WWII Survived By Landing In A Huge Pile Of Shit 

Exactly 75 years ago today, one of the strangest, most daring, and, frankly, craziest missions of World War II was carried out: the Doolittle Raid, America’s retaliation to Japan for Pearl Harbor, and the first time anyone in the war had directly attacked Japan’s Home Islands.

The history of this incredible raid has been written before, and likely better than I can right now, but I would like...

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