Pilot Aces in Two Wars (WWII and Korea)

There were seven US and seven Soviet combat pilots who achieved ace status in two different wars. These men developed and honed their dog fighting skills while flying piston engine fighters during WWII and then later they advanced to the next level while flying faster jet fighters over Korea. Francis S. Gabreski Francis Stanley "Gabby" … Continue reading Pilot Aces in Two Wars (WWII and Korea)

Captured Allied Planes 1940-45

The Allies strategic bombing campaign main goal was the destruction of the German industrial base and the dislocation of the civilian population. Heavy industry, aircraft production, oil and petrochemical facilities were the main targets. The Allies paid a high price where many bombers and fighters were lost to flak, enemy fighters and other circumstances. The … Continue reading Captured Allied Planes 1940-45

Allied Jet Killers 1944-45

In mid 1944, the Germans introduced jet and rocket propelled aircraft against the Allied bomber forces flying over the Germany. The allies first operational jet fighter, the British Gloster Meteor saw limited action but never encountered the German jets in aerial combat. The Allies propeller driven fighters escorting the bombers began encountering these fast bogies … Continue reading Allied Jet Killers 1944-45

US Liaison Planes WWII

Liaison planes are small lightweight, usually unarmed aircraft used for artillery observation or transporting commanders and messages. The concept was developed before WWII and also included battlefield reconnaissance, aerial ambulance, command and control, light cargo transport and other duties. With short takeoff and landing capabilities, these planes were able to operate from small, unimproved fields … Continue reading US Liaison Planes WWII

Großdeutschland Panzers 1942-45

The Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland was an élite German Army (Heer) combat unit which fought on the Russian front during WWII. Originally a ceremonial unit, it first became an infanterie regiment and over the course of the war expanded to become an "over sized" panzergrenadier division with its own organic panzer regiment which included Tigers and … Continue reading Großdeutschland Panzers 1942-45

Saipan 1944

The invasion of Saipan in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) had been referred to as the "Pacific D-Day" because the invasion fleet departed Hawaii on 5 June 1944 (the day before Operation Overlord in Europe) and the invasion was launched 9 days later. The invasion became the most daring, and disturbing, operation in the … Continue reading Saipan 1944

Soviet Stalinets S-60/S-65 Tractors

The Soviet Union built the Stalinets S-60/S-65 tractors in the 1930s mainly for agricultural work. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and the Soviets took heavy losses in troops and material. To replace their losses, the Soviet were forced to take desperate measures. Large numbers of these farm tractors were taken directly from … Continue reading Soviet Stalinets S-60/S-65 Tractors

Americans at Gazala Libya 1942

In June 1942, a small American tank detachment arrived in Libya and joined the British Eighth Army during the battle of Gazala to get experience in desert warfare under actual battlefield conditions. In combat, they destroyed a number of panzers. Time Magazine recorded this unit as being the first Americans to engage German ground forces … Continue reading Americans at Gazala Libya 1942

Czechoslovakia 1945 and 1968

During the 20th century, Czechoslovakia experienced two invasions by the Soviet Union. The first was in the spring of 1945 when the Soviet Union liberated Czechoslovakia from fascist Germany. The second was 23 years later in August 1968 when the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries "liberated" Czechoslovakia to stop the democratization of the … Continue reading Czechoslovakia 1945 and 1968