Category Archives: history

What really happened after these photos were taken

Photojournalist Eddie Adams captured one of the most famous images of the Vietnam War – the very instant of an execution during the chaos of the Tet Offensive. It would bring him a lifetime of glory, but as James Jeffrey writes, also of sorrow.

Warning: This story includes Adams’ photo of the moment of the shooting, and graphic descriptions of it.

The snub-nosed pistol is already recoiling in the man’s outstretched arm as the prisoner’s face contorts from the force of a bullet entering his skull.


The bomb too big to use

On the morning of 30 October 1961, a Soviet Tu-95 bomber took off from Olenya airfield in the Kola Peninsula in the far north of Russia.

The Tu-95 was a specially modified version of a type that had come into service a few years earlier; a huge, swept-wing, four-engined monster tasked with carrying Russia’s arsenal of nuclear bombs.

The last decade had seen enormous strides in Soviet nuclear research. World War Two had placed the US and USSR in the same camp, but the post-war period had seen relations chill and then freeze. And the Soviets, presented with a rivalry against the world’s only nuclear superpower, had only one option – to catch up. Fast.


My father fought the CIA’s secret war in Laos

The summer before university, my dad and I went for a drive in the old Volvo – just the two of us, something we never did. We buckled our seatbelts, and kicked up dust on the gravel lane.

“Peter, it’s time to tell you about the family business,” my dad said as he tapped his fingers on the wheel waiting for a red light. The light turned green and we pulled out onto the main road.



Man who saved the world dies…

Stanislav Petrov, who averted possible nuclear war, dies at 77

A former Soviet military officer credited with averting a possible nuclear disaster at the peak of the Cold War has died at the age of 77.

Stanislav Petrov was on duty at a Russian nuclear early warning centre in 1983 when computers wrongly detected incoming missiles from the US.

He took the decision that they were a false alarm and did not report them to his superiors.

His actions, which came to light years later, possibly prevented nuclear war.

Petrov died at his home in Moscow in May but his death has only now been made public.

More here…


Mystery deaths of HL Hunley submarine crew solved – they accidentally killed themselves

The mystery of how the crew of one of the world’s first submarines died has finally been solved – they accidentally killed themselves.

The HL Hunley sank on February 17 1864 after torpedoing the USS Housatonic outside Charleston Harbour, South Carolina, during American Civil War.

She was one of the first submarines ever to be used in conflict, and the first to sink a battleship.


The USS Indianapolis is found after 72 years on the sea bed

Billionaire tech mogul Paul G. Allen announced Friday that a research vessel belonging to his organization has located wreckage from the USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea.

The sinking of the Indianapolis by a Japanese submarine in 1945 remains the single biggest loss of life in US Naval history, and the discovery of the wreckage promises to shed new light on the war-time disaster.

‘To be able to honor the brave men of the USS and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War II is truly humbling,’ Allen said in a statement published to his website.

‘As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances.’


What If Nazi Germany Had Built the Atomic Bomb?

Seventy-two years ago yesterday, the United States dropped the atomic bomb for the first time. The obliteration of Hiroshima left at least 90,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians dead. Three days later, mankind’s first nuclear salvo was followed by the second (and hopefully last) use of nuclear weapons. The apocalyptic mushroom cloud over Nagasaki and the 39,000 casualties that accompanied it were enough to force Japan’s surrender in World War II six days later.

via Instapundit


The History Behind The Movie ‘Dunkirk’

Dunkirk: The History Behind the Motion Picture’ not only fills in the historical gaps of Christopher Nolan’s epic movie, it helps explain what makes the British so British.

This week, theaters across the world will show Dunkirk, a motion picture about one of the most unlikely and incredible series of events in the history of modern warfare. Although well-known in Britain, many in the United States and elsewhere will learn about the remarkable nine-day-long retreat and evacuation for the first time.

I rarely “go” to the movies, I may for this.


Islam’s “barbaric fury”

The peace loving Muslims are as irrelevant to these times as they were at the time of that medieval pope.

That world of Urban II, was vastly different to the world of 2017, in so many aspects, yet there is one constant: the threat of Islam.

The Crusades were defensive wars to halt the aggression of the Muslims and the loss of Christian lands. Recognition of that threat led a desperate Urban II to make one of history’s most important speeches in his to call to the faithful to defend the faith. His speech at Clermont, in response to a plea from the Byzantine Emperor, has not survived but five written accounts speak of its power.

Francis, the current ‘flibbertigibbet Pope,’ (to quote Hal Colebatch), has simply taken ‘refuge in denial,’ of the existence of Islamic terrorism.


On this day in AD 455: the beginning of the end for Rome

On 2 June AD 455, Gaiseric and his Vandals arrived at Rome’s gates. What followed was two weeks that shook the world.

At least that’s how it’s often told. In fact, it was a lot less dramatic.

The Vandals were the second group of “barbarians” to sack Rome. The first attack had come on 24 August 410, when Alaric the Visigoth had looted the city for three days. Even though Alaric was a Christian, and the capital of the Western Roman Empire had moved to Ravenna, his assault had genuinely sent shock waves around the Mediterranean and throughout the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. So by the time of Gaiseric and his Vandals in 455, people had seen it all before.