As Germany collapsed upon itself in the closing months of World War II, Allied units raced forward, each nation jockeying the first to cross the Rhine. To do this with rapidity, it sometimes meant that forces were ahead of their support, both logistically and martially. Bad weather grounding close air support, or lagging artillery meant that infantry and mechanized units were…Continue
Arming guerrillas and insurgents, especially during World War II, was accomplished in two fashions. One was to bundle up any recent front-line weapons and get them to the fighters of an occupied nation. The other was design simple, easily mass produced weapon that were more disposable than maintainable. It also had a significant psychilogical impact on both the occupied and…Continue
When U.S. forces battled from island to island in the Pacific theater of World War II, Marines and soldiers came upon a small, portable mortar left behind by retreating Japanese forces. At first glance, to American eyes, the baseplate looked like mount for placement on a bent knee, earning it the knickname the knee mortar (see below.)
However, firing the compact tube…Continue
During World War II, the fighting forces that were Allied and Axis paratroopers were the cutting edge of warfare. Today, special operations have the cache, but 70 years ago, the swagger and elite belonged to the paratroopers. And along with that stature, came a series of special weapons designed specifically for them.
One such weapon was the unique FG-42, the…Continue