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A trip to the main library took me down to the military science section looking for new additions of Osprey Men-at-Arms booklets. Instead, C. J. Chivers’ The Gun caught my attention. This is a history of the AK-47 assault rifle. Chivers served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He is a writer […]

[Part1] …a recurring theme… first the new life spreads out across the surface, there to ASCEND into the space above.   Judgment Day   Before the last Ice Age began, a new kind of creature, the one we call Man, came into the world somehow. We don’t know quite how, scientifically, but there he is. […]

[Part 1] …there is another diabolical piece to this puzzle, one the Prosecution had failed to fit to its proper place before.   The Carbon Wars   They began a long time ago, long after the dinosaurs were gone, sometime late in the Autumn of Life. We can’t say just when. The ancient forests were […]

[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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The last quarter of the 19th Century saw the several European powers carve up any territory they could annex around the globe. Previously, the Dutch, French, and British Empires would be territory in the Caribbean basin for producing raw materials such as sugar and indigo. There would be some trading posts or ports in the […]

The United States of America got into the empire business in the wake of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Cuba achieved independence after a few years, but the U.S. decided to keep Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. Hawaii was scooped up at this time also. The Spanish had a ramshackle empire in the late […]