Cultura y Literatura
Military History

Military History March 2020

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.
patchwork history

I need help identifying my grandfather’s World War II Italian army unit. On a whim, we recently made an impromptu visit to my grandfather’s former home (he came to America in 1947 and moved back to Italy in the 1970s). The current homeowner surprised us with the photo above. She said her husband found it in a basement crawl space. We had heard stories of my grandfather’s service but had no evidence, until now. He rarely discussed his service, and he probably hid the photo so no one would find it. He was captured in North Africa in 1943 and released from service in 1944. (Ironically, I had relatives in the U.S. Army in the North African theater serving at the same time.) The unit portrait looks like it was taken in front…

2 min.
petrel pinpoints midway targets kaga and akagi

The crew of the research vessel Petrel—owned by the estate of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and operated by Vulcan Inc.—has found the World War II wrecks of the Japanese aircraft carriers Kaga and Akagi, both sunk during the pivotal June 4–7, 1942, Battle of Midway. Petrel’s team spent weeks surveying more than 500 square nautical miles of the central Pacific battle site, which lies within the vast Papahanau-mokuakea Marine National Monument west of Hawaii. Kaga and Akagi rest at more than 17,000 feet below the surface. The four Japanese fleet carriers sunk at Midway—Kaga, Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu—represented two-thirds of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier. American planes also sank the Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma, while the Japanese submarine I-168 sank the U.S. carrier Yorktown and…

1 min.
bunker hill musket fetches half-million

Morphy Auctions has realized $492,000 for a Dutch Type III .79-caliber smoothbore musket, bayonet and soldier’s commission put up for auction by a descendant of Patriot militiaman Pvt. John Simpson, who used the weapon to fire the first shot at the June 17, 1775, Battle of Bunker Hill during the siege of Boston. Simpson served in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment under Col. John Stark (see P. 42). Though field officers had purportedly ordered their men to hold fire “until you see the whites of their eyes,” Simpson jumped the gun as British troops advanced, touching off the bloody clash. Admonished for his disobedience, he served with honor in the American Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of major in the New Hampshire militia.…

1 min.
franco remains moved from state mausoleum

The Spanish government has exhumed the remains of fascist former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco (1892–1975) from a mausoleum in the Valley of the Fallen, a state-owned basilica and national monument northwest of Madrid—resting place of some 40,000 people killed on either side of the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War. The caudillo was the only person buried in the valley not to have died in the war. Franco’s family reinterred his remains beside those of his wife, Carmen Polo, in Madrid’s El Pardo municipal cemetery. The controversial move by the ruling socialist government comes amid Spain’s ongoing attempts to reconcile its politically divisive past. ZUMA PRESS, INC. (ALAMY STOCK PHOTO)…

1 min.
war record

Feb. 25, 1943 Japanese prisoners riot at a POW camp in Featherston, New Zealand, leading to the death of 48 inmates and one guard. The incident prompts heightened security at the POW camp in Cowra, Australia (P. 64), from which some 1,100 Japanese seek to escape in 1944. March 1919 In a direct provocation of the American Expeditionary Force, Siberia, Bolshevik partisan firebrand Yakov Try-apitsyn demands the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Suchan coal mining district. That June a Red Army unit in the region ambushes a U.S. Army camp, sparking the Battle of Romanovka (P. 32). March 1941 The Italian navy sets out to upgrade its anti-torpedo defenses in Taranto Harbor. British Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers had ravaged its fleet there the prior November in the Battle of Taranto (P. 50). March 22,…

2 min.
marines: another iwo jima flag raiser misidentified

The U.S. Marine Corps has corrected the identity another of the half-dozen men in Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photo of Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The Corps originally named Pfc. René A. Gagnon as the Marine on the far side of the flagpole with part of his helmet showing, but it recently concluded that man was in fact Cpl. Harold “Pie” Keller. The Marines made a similar correction in 2016, announcing that Pfc. Harold Schultz, not Navy corpsman John Bradley, was the man second from the left. The photograph depicts the second of two flag raisings that day; Bradley had participated in the first, but not the second. From their amphibious landing on Feb. 19, 1945,…