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[Part 1] …[an] insidious gang of possible accomplices… we’ll need to investigate a little further before passing judgment. . The Winter of Life . At the worst of the Ice Age, the Arctic of now was the Europe of then- ice to the North, then permafrost all the way south to the Alps, then tundra and […]

[Part 1] Flowers were invented towards the end of the dinosaur’s reign, then grass, that uncanny, flowering plant.   The Autumn of Life   Around the time the dinosaurs left us, or maybe sometime after, the Earth began to get colder. There was a brief Indian Summer of an Eocene High, followed by the Azolla […]

This video is an excellent summary of the fighting in Europe at the end of WW2.  I love the graphics which show the movements of corps and armies and the map’s color even changes in winter. I knew a lot of bad strategic defensive decisions were made by the Germans (all Hitler’s fault?) towards the end […]

Yesterday was the 204th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo making this week’s WW post a perfect time to recommend two excellent books and an interview I conducted with author (Waterloo Betrayed) Stephen Beckett.  Always a risky thing recommending books on Waterloo as there have been a multitude of books published on the topic but […]

Printed before the war ended, Thrilling Stories of the Russian-Japanese War covers the 1904 – 1905 war up to the Battle of Mukden but before the final naval catastrophe at Tsushima.  The title is a little misleading as the first eight chapters provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese history, the Mikado (imperial dynasty), home life […]

A reader of both the history of firearms, history, and science fiction generally leads to a collision of all three. I have discussed how many governments chose not to make changes in small arms. Light machine guns were seized upon with enthusiasm but not self-loading rifles. You start to think of “what ifs?” The Third […]

World War 2 had shown that small infantry units could do more with increased firepower. The German Sturmgewehr 44 pointed the direction to the future with select fire capability and a less powerful cartridge. The bolt action rifle still had some life in it. The first Arab-Israeli War fought in 1948 mainly with bolt action […]

There is a short chapter in R. Dupuy’s St. Vith Lion in the Way on artillery spotting planes titled Bumble Bees in the Fog. Unfortunately, the L2 and L4  light aircraft used for spotting are only mentioned briefly and just a third of the chapter talks about this interesting topic  I’m guessing much of the original […]

World War 2 started on September 1, 1939 with the infantrymen of the initial belligerents using the same rifles used a generation before in World War 1. The biggest difference was the use of a new generation of light machine guns – Bren guns, MG-34s etc. The submachine gun did have an impact, and everyone […]

The interwar period of 1919 to 1939 in the realm of small arms has two distinct periods. The first half 1919-1929 was a time awash in WW 1 surplus. The Polish-Soviet War, the Freikorps action in the Baltic States were all fought with WW 1 weaponry. The British and French Empires were enlarged by territory […]

Last week, I mentioned a mistake in the novel Skylark Mission with the mention of Japanese automatic rifles in World War II. I thought I would discuss small arms of World War II with some emphasis on “automatic rifles.” I started writing and ended up with multi-part series. Modern firearms have their origin in the […]

A few months back I posted about Project 1944, a group of Belgian historical researchers and reenactors who focus on the great wars of the 20th Century.  My Bulge series of posts has highlighted the Volks-grenadiers and I was glad to see the recent “Kochen im Feld” or “Cooking in the Field” post which presents […]