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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Feb 21 2014 - 3:20pm

Just a brief break from our usual programming.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Feb 16 2014 - 6:17pm

In Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia Canada sits one of the more unique Second World War era museum ships: the HMCS Sackville. The Sackville was one of 123 Flower Class Corvettes to serve with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. As of this writing it is the last of its kind.

Corvettes are small multi-role ships that for centuries have served as a key component of the world's naval powers.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Feb 7 2014 - 4:00pm

German police have recently recovered 1,500 mostly modernist works of art - including from artists such as Picasso, Chagall, and Matisse. The entire haul, estimated to be worth over €1 Billion, was discovered in the flat of a Munich resident late last year.

The art was originally confiscated by the Nazi's during the 1930's and 1940's. From there it ended up in the hands of art collector Hildebrand Gurlitt who upon his death passed on the trove of great works to his son Cornelius.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Jan 27 2014 - 7:14pm

On January 16, 2014 former Imperial Japanese Army Intelligence Officer Hiroo Onoda passed away in Tokyo at age 91. Onoda, a veteran of the Second World War, had an otherwise unremarkable wartime service record but for what he did after the Japanese September 1945 surrender to the Allies.

In December of 1944 Onoda had been ordered to Lubang Island in the Philippines (which the Japanese had taken from the U.S. in 1942). In October of 1944 U.S.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Jan 22 2014 - 2:50pm

Though the Third Reich started it, the Allies ended it in spectacular fashion: with that "it" being WWII. As part of the comprehensive crushing of Germany required to defeat Hitler's regime the Allies dropped roughly 1.9 million tons of bombs on Germany during the war, with the vast majority of this destruction coming in the war's final year.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Jan 14 2014 - 3:08pm

With the likely impending passage of the recent budget deal the Department of Defense continues to squeal about the inadequacy of a funding level of $572.6 Billion (of course this number does not include nuclear weapons costs allocated to the Department of Energy). This in spite of the fact that the Pentagon has enjoyed near record levels of funding for over a decade.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Jan 7 2014 - 4:31pm

Regardless of your feelings about automatic rifles and their place in modern society, there is no denying the military utility of such weapons as brutally efficient killing machines. And of the innumerable automatic rifles created in the past seventy five years perhaps none had the impact of Mikhail Kalishnikov's reliable, simple, and effective AK-47 (and its modern variants).

On December 23, 2013 former peasant, World War II veteran, and eventual Lt. Gen. Mikhail T.

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Dec 5 2013 - 10:32pm

By Bryan J. Dickerson*

For naval enthusiasts and historians, there exists a unique opportunity on the Philadelphia / Camden waterfronts of the Delaware River. There one can physically walk through nearly a hundred years of naval history and technological development. 

Berthed on the Pennsylvania side of the river are the cruiser USS Olympia and the submarine USS Becuna (see first picture).  Just a couple hundred yards away on the New Jersey side sits the battleship USS New Jersey (see second,

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Nov 12 2013 - 4:43pm

By Bryan J Dickerson* and Steven D Mercatante*

On the morning of Sunday 23 October 1983, the city of Beirut, Lebanon was rocked by two powerful explosions.  Suicide bombers sponsored by Iran and Syria detonated two massive truck bombs outside the barracks of U.S. Marine and French Army peacekeepers, killing 299 and wounding nearly a hundred.  Thirty years later, we remember the incident that led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon .

In August 1982, troops

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Submitted by
Steve Mercatante
on: Oct 25 2013 - 2:12pm

The Michigan War Studies Review (MiWSR) has just published my latest book review. This is my third review for MiWSR (a scholarly journal affiliated with the Michigan War Studies Group) and it is of David Stahel's Operation Typhoon: Hitler's March on Moscow, October 1941. Unlike the previous two work's I have reviewed for MiWSR this is unfortunately a book that I found quite lacking.

Though the book has some commendable qualities, it's overall impact is to further obscure just why and how the

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