MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History Autumn 2021

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History takes you on an exciting journey to the world's greatest battles and campaigns over the last 5,000 years, from ancient warfare through modern battles. Written by distinguished authors and historians who bring the world of history alive, the magazine covers in vivid detail the soldiers, leaders, tactics, and weapons throughout military history, and delivers it in an exquisitely illustrated, premium quality edition.

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4 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

1 Min
opening round

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time on December 7, 1941, a dive-bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. Within just a few minutes, Japanese warplanes filled the sky over Pearl Harbor, raining bombs and bullets onto the vessels moored at the U.S. naval base below. At 8:10 a.m., an 1,800-pound bomb crashed through the deck of the USS Arizona, landed in its forward ammunition magazine, and exploded. The battleship sank with more than 1,000 men trapped inside. The Imperial Japanese strike force, which would batter Pearl Harbor in two massive waves, included 353 aircraft: 131 dive-bombers, 103 level bombers, 79 fighters, and 40 torpedo bombers. The surprise attack hit all eight U.S. Navy battleships there…

1 Min

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 5, 1940 King George VI (in front, wearing uniform) tours Southampton to inspect areas of the city that sustained heavy damage during a Luftwaffe raid five days earlier. TODAY: Terrified families are evacuated as police confiscate a live incendiary bomb that a metal detectorist has listed on eBay as a “genuine” munition from the Southampton Blitz. PARIS, MAY 14–15, 1941 French police order 6,694 Jews to report to sites across the city for a “status check”; the 3,747 who show up are arrested and sent to transit camps; most will later die at Auschwitz. TODAY: Some 98 photos of the first “green ticket roundup,” taken by a Nazi soldier and discovered years later at a flea market, go on display at the Holocaust Museum of Paris. AMBER ROOM, CATHERINE PALACE, 1941 Nazi…

5 Min
fault lines

More Surprises I was surprised that there was no mention in Alan Green’s “Surprise!” [War List, MHQ, Spring 2021] of the latest and greatest use of operational surprise by American armed forces—namely, Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. military operation in 1991 that left Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and his generals falling for General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.’s feint, with coalition forces faking an amphibious operation and push up the coast while the main attack was actually the giant “Left Hook” from the U.S. Army’s VII and XVIII Corps. I was also surprised that in Henry J. Wisner’s 1864 dispatch for the New York Times, which appeared in the same issue of MHQ [Classic Dispatches], the correspondent included no mention of Camp Douglas in Chicago—the North’s version of Andersonville—where as a prisoner my great…

12 Min
the pajama pilot

When Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, Philip M. Rasmussen was a 23-year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Assigned to the 46th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu, he was one of the few American pilots to get into the air while enemy planes were still in the skies over Hawaii. Rasmussen, who would be awarded a Silver Star for his actions that day, went on to fly many other combat missions in World War II, including a bombing run over Japan, for which he later received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following assignments in the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, Rasmussen became the chief of operations at Eglin Air Force Base, and he retired in 1965 with…

10 Min
crime or culture?

On the morning of December 26, 1862, 38 men were hanged on a single gallows in Mankato, Minnesota. It was the largest simultaneous execution in American history. The execution of these men, all Dakota Indians, closed the first chapter of the most violent American Indian war of the 19th century. It was a short war, with actual fighting lasting only six weeks, but more lives were lost in this conflict than in any other war of the American frontier period. In the aftermath of the carnage, the officer in command of U.S. Army forces in the field, Colonel Henry Hastings Sibley, convened a military commission to try Dakotas accused of various atrocities. This hasty, field-expedient tribunal conducted 392 trials and sentenced 303 defendants to death, ultimately resulting in the 38 executions. Perhaps…

2 Min
porter turret rifle

The Porter turret rifle was one of those weapons that brimmed with ingenious features but was critically flawed. From the 1830s, several American firearms designers strove to develop effective repeating rifles that incorporated the new percussion system of ignition. Samuel Colt led the way by applying his revolver cylinder mechanism to rifles; other designers, largely to avoid infringement of Colt’s patent, went the “turret rifle” route. Here the multiple cylinders of the weapon were arranged in a rotating disk, radiating from a central hub like the spokes of a wheel. Patented in 1851 by Perry W. Porter, the Porter turret rifle featured a nine-shot turret, each cylinder loaded with powder and ball. The turret was rotated by an underlever, which indexed the cylinders to align with the barrel one shot…