Cultura y Literatura
Military History

Military History May 2019

Military History is the nation’s oldest and most popular war magazine devoted to the history of warfare. Topics include naval history, army, infantry and foot soldiers from all branches of the military.

United States
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6 Números

en este número

3 min.
crossing facts

[Re. “Many Waters to Cross,” by James F. Byrne Jr., March 2019:] The famous painting by Emanuel Leutze, “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” on P. 22, contains many flaws: 1) The flag with the 13 stars and stripes did not exist until the summer of 1778; 2) the uniforms are German, not American; 3) Washington could not have stood up in the boat, as it would have flipped over; and 4) with all those men and horses in the boats, they all would have sunk before leaving the shoreline. Larry Bossone BERWYN, PA. Editor responds: Likely for reasons of aesthetics and scale, the boat at the center of Leutze’s painting is far smaller than the high-walled, double-ended Durham boat Washington is thought to have used that Christmas night of 1776. Washington would have been…

10 min.
british researchers find jones’ bonhomme richard

British search and recovery firm Merlin Burrows [merlinburrows.com] has discovered the wreck of USS Bonhomme Richard, the 152-foot, 42-gun frigate commanded by Capt. John Paul Jones, Continental Navy hero and “Father of the American Navy.” The ship lay off the Yorkshire coast, where it sank on Sept. 25, 1779, after defeating HMS Serapis in the hard-fought Battle of Flamborough Head. Divers recovered timbers and mast sections, which show signs of the fire that swept the doomed ship. The French-built East Indiaman, laid down in 1765 and named Duc de Duras, was designed for easy conversion to a man-of-war when needed. That time came amid the American Revolution in 1779, when King Louis XVI donated the vessel to Jones. The captain renamed his ship Bonhomme Richard as a nod to U.S. Minister…

8 min.
bob drury & tom clavin forging washington’s army

With their 2018 book Valley Forge best-selling authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin turn their attention to one of the most underappreciated chapters in American history—the Continental Army’s 1777–78 transformation in that Pennsylvania winter camp. Drury, a contributing editor and foreign correspondent for Men’s Health, has authored, co-authored or edited nine books and written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal and GQ. Clavin, the investigative features correspondent for Manhattan, is the author or co-author of 16 books. For more than 15 years he wrote for The New York Times, and he has contributed to such magazines as Golf, Men’s Journal, Parade, Reader’s Digest and Smithsonian. Valley Forge marks the co-authors’ sixth collaboration. How did you light on Valley Forge as a topic? Drury: It started years…

3 min.
a sailor from boyhood

At the 1914 outbreak of World War I Britain rushed cadets of the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, from the classroom to sea. Among them was 15-year-old Eric Bush, who shipped out aboard HMS Bacchante, flagship of 7th Cruiser Squadron. Bacchante was present during the August 28 British victory at Heligoland Bight off the northwest German coast. Though the ship saw no action, it took on both wounded British sailors and German prisoners. “A few of the wounded who had died in the night were placed behind a screen on the upper deck, so we had a peep at them,” Bush recalled. “I had never seen a dead man before… quite an experience for a boy of just 15.” During the April 25, 1915, landing of the Australian and New Zealand Corps at…

3 min.
what we learned from…battle of the chir river

In December 1942 German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein’s Army Group Don was preparing to launch Unternehmen Wintergewitter (“Operation Winter Storm”) to relieve the encircled Sixth Army at Stalingrad, Russia. To the south along the Chir River the Germans were deployed with two infantry divisions on line, while the 11th Panzer Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Hermann Balck, formed the corps reserve. But on December 7 the Russians struck first, as elements of the Soviet Fifth Tank Army stormed across the river and hit the XLVIII Panzer Corps. That day the Soviet I Tank Corps penetrated 10 miles into German lines. Advancing his units rapidly overnight, Balck counterattacked at dawn, pinning down the Soviet front with one of his Panzergrenadier regiments while his panzer regiment and other Panzergrenadier regiment swung around…

3 min.
hardware merkava mk ii

As Israel developed an armored corps, it faced the quandary of acquiring weaponry from an outside world devoid of trustworthy sources. The grim losses it suffered during the 1973 Yom Kippur War—with 1,500 of its more than 2,500 dead being tankers—underscored the dire need for a tank capable of both protecting its crew and taking on the best Israel’s Arab enemies sent against it. Under the direction of Maj. Gen. Yisrael Tal, the Israelis set to work on an indigenous design, virtually every component of which would be produced by Israeli manufacturers. The resulting Merkava (“Chariot”) Mk I debuted in 1979. Inspired by the close-range battles waged with Syrian armor in the Golan Heights, the Mk I was designed primarily to protect its crew, with an angled turret to deflect shots,…