MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History Summer 2015

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.

United States
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4 Números

en este número

2 min.
on this date

Anniversaries have value. Years pass rapidly and memories fade, even collective memories of events laden with watershed cultural or national importance. It is commonly understood, especially where published histories are involved, that anniversaries of certain numbers of years—10, 20, 25, 50, 75, and most of all, 100—carry more weight than seemingly random numbers of years. Not that certain events are more important just because they occurred 50 years ago rather than 46 years ago or 53 years ago. But such numbers as 100 provide a handy common reference point for everyone to turn attention to a past event. The year 2015 happens to be a big anniversary for some world-changing historic events, many of them military. This issue of MHQ reaches readers in the anniversary months of some of those years.…

1 min.

FRANCE 1918 Nicknamed “Bruno,” this 28cm German naval cannon was removed from a pre-dreadnought battleship and used in coastal defense or as a railway gun. TODAY The U.S. Navy announces a “game-changing” weapon—a high-powered electromagnetic railgun that uses electricity rather than chemical propellants to launch projectiles, greatly increasing their range and speed—100 nautical miles at speeds exceeding Mach 6. YEMEN 1964 Yemenis welcome Egyptian president Gamal Adbel Nasser after his forces moved in to shore up a republican coup thwarted by Saudi involvement. TODAY As Yemen becomes increasingly contested ground between the larger regional forces of Iran and Saudi Arabia, Egypt again contemplates joining the fighting in Yemen, this time on the side of the Saudi coalition. ISRAEL 1981 In an Israeli airstrike code-named Operation Opera, eight F-16As, including No. 107, destroyed an Iraqi nuclear…

4 min.
groundbreaking code breakers

With regard to your Winter 2015 Weapons Check, “Bombe vs. Enigma,” I would like to note that the foundation for cracking Enigma machine ciphers was laid by Polish cryptographers, who invented the first so-called “cryptologic bombe”— ahead of the outbreak of World War II. They were Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki, and Henryk Zygalski, and the mechanical- electrical tool they designed automatically broke cables encrypted with the Enigma. It was unique because it used mechanical ciphers as well as a special mathematical equation the cryptographers devised. Rejewski, a civilian mathematician working at the Polish General Staff ’s Cipher Bureau in Warsaw, took advantage of a weakness in the German encryption procedures: The encrypted key for the message was included at the beginning of a message. Initially, Rejewski applied a manually created directory…

2 min.

Thomas Fleming considers his decision to join the united States Navy in the spring of 1945 as a turning point in his life. Fleming sees his navy experience as “a bridge” he had to cross to become an American rather than an Irish-Catholic writer. His bestselling novel about the navy, Time and Tide, sums up what he sees as the essence of the American experience, a sometimes confusing clash between soaring idealism and brutal realism. In this issue, he deals with his own experience of racial issues in the World War II navy (page 20). Fleming’s latest book, The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation, is his 51st in a career that has spanned more than 60 years. Mark Stout has had a long and…

2 min.
marines in the dominican republic?

Q I was part of the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 by the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Marines. I know there were more than 40,000 American troops there, including several thousand from the Organization of American States, and we had more than 120 people killed. But when I mention the operation, most people have never heard of it. One teacher of American history at our local college flatly stated the whole thing was a fabrication; that we invaded the Dominican Republic in 1918 or so, but not since then. Can you recommend some sources? M. C. “Bud” Himes CWO, U.S. Army (ret) A Two good sources that tell the story in detail are Rag-Tags, Scum, Riff-Raff and Commies, by Eric Thomas Chester, and Military Crisis Management, by Herbert…

4 min.
the plagues of war

The Athenian Plague 430 BC A terrifying disease spread through Athens at the outset of the Peloponnesian War with Sparta. Athens became a city of corpses and lawlessness as a plague, as yet unidentified by modern science, devastated its citizenry. When it finally abated in 427, it had taken 4,400 hoplite infantry, 300 cavalrymen, and up to a third of the city’s people, including Athens’s brilliant leader, Pericles. The Antonine Plague ad 165 Another unidentified plague mauled the Roman Empire during the reign of philosopheremperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Brought home by legionaries returning from war with the Parthians in Mesopotamia, this plague recurred in cities throughout the empire, resulting in a loss of population and a reduction in tax monies going to the imperial treasury, and with that, fewer funds to…