29 July, 2014
(Originally published in September, 2013)
THIS COMING SUMMER, the world marks a grim milestone – the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The four-year conflict, which was fought between 1914 and 1918, was like no other war in history up to that point. An unprecedented 70 million combatants from more than 40 nations took part in the fighting and when it was over, an estimated 20 million soldiers and civilians were dead. Not surprisingly, as an event so manifestly Read more [...]
28 July, 2014
WHEN WAR ERUPTED IN EUROPE 100 YEARS AGO TODAY, many expected a short but decisive conflict – one in which the boys would be “home by Christmas”. More astute observers however anticipated a bloody and protracted struggle in which millions (even tens of millions) of soldiers and civilians alike would be killed. The war that they foretold would soon see the widespread use of such things as poison gas, unrestricted submarine warfare and indiscriminate areal bombardments of cities and civilians, Read more [...]
25 July, 2014
ON AUG. 25, 1914, A RUSSIAN PILOT by the name of Pyotr Nesterov rammed his unarmed Moraine Saulnier Type G aircraft into an Austrian Albatross B.
Most likely, Nesterov was trying to damage the enemy plane with his own landing gear. The two machines collided, became entangled and fell from the sky. Although both fliers were killed in the crash, the Russian aviator had in fact scored history's first air combat kill. Britain’s first-ever air-to-air victory came later that same day, when Read more [...]
23 July, 2014
AS PART OF THE continuing onslaught against militants in Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces are targetting not just enemy guerrillas, but the vast network of tunnels that snake beneath the embattled Mid East territory. For years, insurgents have used the labyrinth of passageways to smuggle food, supplies and armaments into Gaza as well as to launch raids into the Jewish state. The use of tunnels is hardly a recent development in warfare. In fact, armies have been burrowing beneath the battlefield Read more [...]
21 July, 2014
ALFRED GRAF VON SCHLIEFFEN WAS 79 YEARS OLD when he died in 1913. The Prussian-born career soldier, who first made a name for himself as a cavalry officer during the 1866 Austrian War, eventually rose to become one of Germany’s top military strategists.
In 1906, von Schlieffen famously devised a war plan that would enable Germany to deliver a decisive knock out blow against long-time rival France. The scheme involved driving the entire right wing of the Kaiser’s army Read more [...]