MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History16 min letti
Crapshoot In Cassino
George Aarons was born to Yiddish-speaking parents in New York City in 1916, but in later years he called himself “a simple farm boy,” obscuring some of the unpleasant circumstances of his childhood. His father was a phantom figure in his life, and a
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History2 min letti
Opening Round
The Spencer repeating rifle was the most sought-after firearm of the Civil War, and little wonder: It was deadly accurate out to about 300 yards, could unleash up to 20 shots a minute, and loaded seven metallic cartridges from a spring-action tubular
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History2 min letti
Dawn Of The Nuclear Age
In June 1946 the U.S. military assembled a fleet of more than 95 obsolete, decommissioned, and captured ships at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands to study the effects of nuclear weapons on ships, equipment, material, and living creatures. The exe
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
Battle Of Grunwald, July 15, 1410
A Polish-Lithuanian army marches into East Prussia and decimates the German-Prussian Knights of the Teutonic Order near the villages of Tannenberg and Grunwald. TODAY: A search team wielding metal detectors unearths two axes used in the hand-to-hand
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History15 min letti
Eye In The Sky
At 9:10 a.m. on Monday, August 6, 1945, Thomas Ferebee was hunched over his Norden M-9B bombsight, serial number V-4120. Ferebee, a 24-year-old major in the U.S. Army Air Forces, was the bombardier aboard Enola Gay, a specially modified Boeing B-29 S
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1864
Simon G. Elliott, a railroad engineer and surveyor, visits the site of the 1862 Battle of Antietam to prepare a map of the burial places of 5,844 Union and Confederate soldiers. TODAY: Two historians searching for information about Elliott in the col
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History16 min letti
Revolt Of The Ionians
IONIAN REVOLT On a spring night in 498 BCE, spiky tongues of orange and yellow flames darted high into the Anatolian sky. By morning, the ancient city of Sardis would be a smoking pile of ash and corpses. Even the Temple of Cybele, the revered mother
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
Strait Of Malacca, April 22, 1943
The crew of the USS Grenadier (shown here at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard) scuttle the Tambor-class submarine off the coast of Thailand after it is attacked by Japanese bombers. TODAY: A team of four divers announce that they have found what they believ
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
Culture Of War
Two big dangers for tankers in World War I were machine-gun and artillery fire and the violent motion of their vehicles lumbering over trenches or shell-cratered terrain. This leather helmet guarded against impact injuries; the armored goggles and ch
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History4 min letti
The Blonde Bombshell
The Winter 2020 issue of MHQ featuring Marilyn Monroe’s 1954 visit to U.S. troops in Korea [“Marilyn in Korea,” by Liesl Bradner] was of special interest to me. My father, Colonel Thomas J. Badger, commanded an artillery unit in Korea at the time and
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History5 min letti
Great Victory!
In 1815 James Morgan Bradford may well have become the first modern war correspondent when he sent a firsthand account of the Battle of New Orleans to The Time Piece, the tiny newspaper he had established four years earlier in St. Francisville, Louis
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History
BILL HOGAN ELIZABETH G. HOWARD CONSULTING EDITOR JON GUTTMAN RESEARCH DIRECTOR STEPHEN KAMIFUJI CREATIVE DIRECTOR BRIAN WALKER GROUP ART DIRECTOR JON C. BOCK ART DIRECTOR MELISSA A. WINN DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY ALEX GRIFFITH PHOTO EDITOR RICK BRITTON
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History10 min letti
The Short Goodbye
In the photograph, the private allows himself a tight little smile as though he has just shared a wisecrack. A cutaway doublet-style jacket drapes his slight, 140-pound frame. He’s about 5-foot-9 and wears a khaki kilt apron with a pocket replacing t
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
At The Front
A soldier in the U.S. Army Signal Corps transports feathered messengers in a wicker backpack at Fort Bonnelle in Langres, France, in 1919. Many of the pigeons returned from the front lines even after being wounded by machine-gun fire or shrapnel. ■
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History9 min letti
Fallen Star
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Self-Portrait as a Soldier remains one of the most famous European paintings produced during World War I. The fame of the work grew from the time Kirchner painted it in 1915. In fact, the self-portrait was his first piece to a
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History9 min lettiCrime & Violence
Disparate Justice
In June 2003, four months after the United States invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian regime, disturbing reports and photographs of the mistreatment and torture of Iraqi detainees in the American-controlled Abu Ghraib prison began
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History2 min letti
Collateral Casualties
Horses are not for war. Perhaps for the sabre-slash of the hunting-field, or a white-lathered dash into clay-thick farmyards, or the soft-silver slide of Imperial Reviews. But not for the uphill slog as pack transport, the noise, mud, shell-sliver sc
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History10 min letti
‘A Most Remarkable Conflict’
On July 17, 1863, two weeks after the Battle of Gettysburg ended in defeat for Confederate general Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, the Daily Richmond Examiner brought its readers an eyewitness account of events before, during, and af
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min lettiInternational Relations
Big Shots
John Foster Dulles was born in 1888 in the Washington, D.C., home of his maternal grandfather, a brigadier general in the Civil War and secretary of state under President Benjamin Harrison. In 1917, with World War I raging in Europe, Dulles, by then
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min lettiInternational Relations
Trouble Brewing
In 1915, as World War I ground to a stalemate along the Western Front, nearly 60,000 Australian soldiers were sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign, an Anglo-French operation aimed at knocking Ottoman Turkey—an ally of Germany and Austria-Hungary—o
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History7 min letti
Plots And Subplots
400 pages. Pegasus Books, 2020. $29.95. Reviewed by Paul Starobin In December 1917, President Woodrow Wilson approved a covert U.S.government initiative to help anti-Bolshevik Cossacks in the south of Russia topple Vladimir Lenin’s new Soviet regime
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History8 min letti
A New Kind Of Firepower
On August 18, 1863—a day that saw fighting in Virginia, Kentucky, and both Carolinas—President Abraham Lincoln stood in the Oval Office with Christopher Spencer, very carefully examining his guest’s repeating rifle. “Handling it as one familiar with
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min lettiInternational Relations
DRAWN & QUARTERED
This propaganda postcard shows Count Oku Yasukata, the commanding general of Japan’s Second Army, reigning supreme after handing Russian forces a series of bloody defeats in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905). With its victory, Japan became the first
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History5 min letti
‘War Is…’
War is men’s business. Homer, ancient Greek poet, quoting Hector in The Iliad War is sweet to those who have no experience of it. But the experienced man trembles exceedingly in his heart at its approach. Pindar (ca. 518–438 BCE), ancient Greek lyric
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History2 min letti
Browning M1910
A. Blowback mechanism. When the M1910 is fired, the rearward gas pressure on the cartridge case cycles the weapon, as the slide is not locked to the breech. B. Sights. The weapon’s practical range is a little more than 30 yards, with the sights arran
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History3 min letti
Pedal To The Metal
On June 25, 1942, barely six months after the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Donald M. Nelson traveled to Capitol Hill to appear before the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. Nelson, who for
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History19 min letti
Summer Of ’42
A dense curtain of fog gripped the coastline of Long Island, New York, in the early hours of June 13, 1942, parted here and there only by misty beams of moonlight. Amagansett Beach, a sheltered stretch of rolling dunes and tall grasses, was deserted,
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History2 min letti
Medieval Hand Grenade
At 3¾ inches high with a 3-inch diameter at its widest point, the grenade fit comfortably in the palm. The grenade, when empty, weighed about 1 pound. A warrior with a good throwing arm would have been able to hurl the grenade about 35 yards. The bod
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History1 min letti
DRAWN & QUARTERED
This Italian cartoon postcard, published before the outbreak of World War I in 1914, shows Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph (right) and German emperor Wilhelm II kicking the world back and forth before an assortment of international onlookers. T
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History3 min letti
The Soldier’s Friend
Ernie Pyle always seemed to be in the right place at the right time—until, on April 18, 1945, he wasn’t. That morning, packed in a jeep with Lieutenant Colonel Joseph B. Coolidge and three other U.S. Army officers, he was heading to a command post on
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