57 posts tagged with History and military.
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The Sexual Outlaw At 83

83 year old Chicano author John Rechy (City Of Night, The Sexual Outlaw, Rushes) talks to Lambda Literary about gay assimilation, being mistaken for white, melding truth and fiction, the post-Stonewall peroid, and hating the word 'queer.'
posted by The Whelk on Sep 10, 2014 - 20 comments

It's Been A Long, Long Time.

Are you trying to write a period-correct Captain America story or just have questions about NYC in the 1930s-40s in general? The tumblr Steve Rogers Is Historically Accurate is here to help.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 6, 2014 - 18 comments

Project Mogul

You may have heard how sounds travel farther during a temperature inversion, when air near the ground is cooler than the air above. But do you know how this phenomenon is related to the 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico? [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Jun 8, 2014 - 14 comments

WWI in Color

World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 31, 2013 - 60 comments

PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn

PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn: For the last six decades or so, a copy [of "Combat Fatigue Irritability"] has been filed away, along with thousands of other films, at the National Library of Medicine. The only people it has been lost to are the public and Gene Kelly’s devoted and still numerous fans. But now the National Library of Medicine is featuring Combat Fatigue Irritability in Medical Movies on the Web, and the film will be given a well-deserved, though very belated, New York premiere, on October 5, 2013, at the New York Academy of Medicine. [more inside]
posted by theatro on Sep 25, 2013 - 8 comments

Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive

The Finnish Defence Forces have put their archive of 170,000 WWII photographs online.
Some "night fighters".
Some American prisoners, probably from the ill-fated Convoy PQ 17 [more inside]
posted by Authorized User on Apr 29, 2013 - 20 comments

"We want you to take a picture."

This iconic photo of the first Aboriginal woman to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps was used as a recruitment tool, and "appeared all over the British Empire [in 1942] to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country." Its original caption in the Canadian War Museum read, "Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war." Its current caption in The Library and Archives of Canada reads: "Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942." But as it turns out, the two people in the photo had never met before that day. They weren't from the same tribe or even related and Private Mary Greyeyes was not an "Indian Princess." 70 years after the photo was taken, her daughter-in-law Melanie made sure the official record was corrected. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 22, 2013 - 13 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

Go to War. Do Art. (II)

The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2012 - 1 comment

Honor your enemy

Who was the greatest foe the British Empire ever faced? George Washington, according to the UK's National Army Museum.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 15, 2012 - 59 comments

"The All-Star Bond Rally"

Hollywood is asking Americans to financially contribute to the war. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 11, 2012 - 26 comments

Chrysler Blue from World War II

"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2011 - 15 comments

Tell

"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Tell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 26, 2011 - 29 comments

Minter's Ring

Smithsonian Magazine's new blog Past Imperfect has already told some interesting stories in its first weeks, but none more compelling than that of Lt. Commander Minter Dial's Annapolis class ring.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 2, 2011 - 10 comments

"Go to War. Do Art."

USMC Warrant Officer (ret.) Michael D. Fay served as a combat artist from 2000 through January 2010 under the History Division of the Marine Corps University. He once described his orders from them as "Go to War. Do Art." Fay was deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been keeping a blog of his sketches since 2005. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2011 - 22 comments

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Humanity

Everybody knows TVTropes is the best and most time-killing-est way to learn about the clichés and archetypes that permeate modern media. But dear reader, there is so much more. Enter Useful Notes. Originally created as a place for tropers to pool factual information as a writing aid, the subsite has quietly grown into a small wiki of its own -- a compendium of crowdsourced wisdom on a staggering array of topics, all written in the site's signature brand of lighthearted snark. Though it reads like an irreverent and informal Wikipedia, its articles act as genuinely useful primers to complex and obscure topics alike, all in service of the project's five goals: "To debunk common media stereotypes; to help you understand some media better; to educate, inform and sometimes entertain; to promote peace and understanding (maybe); and... to facilitate world domination." Sounds about right. Click inside for bountiful highlights... if you dare. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 26, 2010 - 43 comments

They always did tend towards having the snappiest uniforms

American military planners are fascinated with German/Prussian military history. Busts of Von Clauswitz adorn American military academies where On War is taught, often with the misperception that Von Clauswitz viewed war as a controllable science. Shock & Awe is just the idea of Blitzkrieg with better weapons. Endless exhortations about unit cohesion (a complex, multi-layered idea with no military definition that is nonetheless used to keep gay soldiers from openly serving) comes from admiration for the Wehrmacht, their discipline and courage on the battlefield. So too the idea of a military culture separate and more honorable than the civilians they protect, advancing the professional warrior model at the expense of the citizen-soldier model. But to quote author military/adventure author Tom Clancy, “Why do people have a fixation with the German military when they haven’t won a war since 1871?Previously
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 2, 2010 - 128 comments

A G.I.'s WWII Memoir

Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2010 - 7 comments

The Battle of Stalingrad

In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth. - The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 27, 2010 - 61 comments

Short Snorters

Short Snorters: "A short snorter is a banknote inscribed by people traveling together on an aircraft. The tradition was started by Alaskan Bush flyers in the 1920s and spread through the military and commercial aviation...When the short snorter was signed, the collector would have to produce it upon request, if not, they are bounded to give the signer a drink." Some examples: Flickr, A Hawaiian one dollar bill, A bill with some real WWII history, Scrolling Multinational Short Snorters, and a British ten-shilling note.
posted by srboisvert on Oct 27, 2010 - 24 comments

"A Minute With Venus... A Year With Mercury!"

"During World War I, the [US] Army lost 7 million person-days and discharged more than 10,000 men because they were ailing from STDs. Once Penicillin kicked in in the mid-1940s, such infections were treatable. But as a matter of national security, the military started distributing condoms and aggressively marketing prophylactics to the troops in the early 20th century." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 1, 2010 - 45 comments

WWII Infographics

Max Gadney works at the BBC in London, but he also creates graphics and infographics for WWII Magazine in the US. (Flickr Photostream).
posted by zarq on Apr 11, 2010 - 11 comments

Sit down to a familiar face.

Operation Cornflakes was an action by the United States OSS in World War Two to distribute propaganda in Germany, using the Germany's own mail system with forged stamps and bombed mail trains.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 24, 2010 - 10 comments

“A cobra among garter snakes”

He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard Nixon
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2010 - 40 comments

Take Me Back to Constantinople by Edward Luttwak

Economic crisis, mounting national debt, excessive foreign commitments -- this is no way to run an empire. America needs serious strategic counseling. And fast. It has never been Rome, and to adopt its strategies no -- its ruthless expansion of empire, domination of foreign peoples, and bone-crushing brand of total war -- would only hasten America's decline. Better instead to look to the empire's eastern incarnation: Byzantium, which outlasted its Roman predecessor by eight centuries. It is the lessons of Byzantine grand strategy that America must rediscover today.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 25, 2010 - 38 comments

A Russian army recruit's scrap book

Selections from a handmade military discharge scrap book and comic made by a USSR army recruit, 1984-1986.
posted by Rumple on Jan 22, 2010 - 5 comments

Their balmy slumbers waked with strife

The Soldier in later Medieval England is a historical research project that seeks to 'challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453'. They've compiled impressive databases of tens of thousands of service records. These are perhaps of interest only to specialists; but the general reader may enjoy the profiles of individual military men: these run the gamut from regional non-entities like John Fort esquire of Llanstephan ("in many ways a humdrum figure" though once accused of harbouring a hostile Spaniard!) to more familiar figures such as rebel Welsh prince Owain Glyndŵr, who began his soldiering, as did many compatriots, in the service of the English king. Between such extremes of high and low we find, for example, Reginald Cobham, who made 6,500 florins ransoming a prisoner taken at Poitiers and rests eternal in a splendid tomb; and various men loyal and rebel who fought at the bloody Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.
posted by Abiezer on Dec 5, 2009 - 15 comments

Military pictures from around the world.

Pictures of military subjects, many of them annotated, from all over such as Russia, Malaysia, Japan (Special Police), Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Canada. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Jul 20, 2009 - 14 comments

Field Force to Lhasa

Field Force to Lhasa 1903-04 Captain Cecil Mainprise accompanied General Sir Francis Younghusband's expedition to Tibet in 1903. He wrote 50 letters home which trace the expedition’s progress into Tibet. Read this insider's account on the day they were written some 105 years later. Final post is 18 November 2009. [Via]
posted by Abiezer on Apr 4, 2009 - 8 comments

Samuel Huntington Dies

Samuel Phillip Huntington, best known for his work "Clash of Civilizations," died on December 24. Previously on the blue (here, here, here, and here)
posted by Glibpaxman on Dec 27, 2008 - 20 comments

Spy Pigeons

Iran says it caught two pigeons spying on it's nuclear reactor. It sounds crazy, but it's not as farfetched as you might think. The lowly pigeon has been used in military operations since the 12th century. Commando the Pigeon flew 90 missions in German-occupied France during WWII. Pigeons like Commando, Winkie, and Paddy had a lock on the Dickin Medal for animal bravery during WWII. Then again, maybe it's just crazy. Last year Iran said it had arrested 14 squirrels for espionage.
posted by up in the old hotel on Oct 20, 2008 - 40 comments

Victorians, eminent and otherwise

The Victorian Web is your one-stop resource for England in the Victorian era (1837-1901). The site is much too extensive to give but a flavor. It is divided into 20 categories, including Technology, Gender Matters, Economic Contexts, Authors, Political History, Theater and Popular Entertainment, Science and Genre and Technique. Here are a few examples of the articles inside: Inventions in Alice in Wonderland, The Role of the Victorian Army, Earth Yenneps: Victorian Back Slang (and a glossary of same), Algernon Charles Swinburne and the Philosophy of Androgyny, Hermaphrodeity, and Victorian Sexual Mores, Evolution, progress and natural laws and, of course, Queen Victoria.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 28, 2008 - 10 comments

Први светски рат

Prvi svetski rat - Gritty and poignant Serbian postcards from the First World War. Just one of the seriously interesting (e.g. check out the collection of 78s) holdings at the Digital National Library of Serbia.
posted by tellurian on Jul 20, 2008 - 12 comments

The Saddam Sessions

Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2008 - 24 comments

Charlie Foxtrot.

Embrace the Suck. Intensive military activity creates an incubator for slang. By bringing together people from geographically diverse backgrounds, putting them into stressful circumstances, and teaching them a new language of jargon and acronym, the armed forces create fertile ground for new idioms - many of which return home in civvies when the conflicts are over. In the Civil War, World War I and World War II, in Korea and in Viet Nam, servicepeople created or popularized now-familiar terms like shoddy, hotshot, cooties, tailspin, fleabag, face time, joystick, SNAFU, FUBAR, flaky, gung ho, no sweat, flame-out, and many, many others. Now, the GWOT brings us a new generation of 'milspeak'. Military columnist Austin Bay has published an early collection of neologisms from Gulf War II. On NPR, Bay explains what The Suck is, how to identify a fobbit, and why Marines look down on the attitude of Semper I.
posted by Miko on Mar 31, 2007 - 66 comments

The Goats of West Point

The Goats of West Point
”...though only about twenty years of age, had the appearance of being much older. He had a worn, weary, discontented look, not easily forgotten by those who were intimate with him.”
A new book tells the story of Sergeant Major Edgar Allan Poe, Battery H (.pdf), First Artillery Washout, West Point, Class of 1834. And of other famous cadets.
posted by matteo on Apr 6, 2006 - 6 comments

Happy Independence Day

Today is Texas Independence Day On March 2, 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos. The document was created by the Convention of 1836 while almost a couple hundred brave Texans at the Alamo held Gen. Santa Anna's army of several thousand at bay for 13 days. On March 6, the Alamo finally fell, slaughtered to the last man. On March 27, 352 Texas soliders were slaughtered at the Goliad Massacre. Finally on April 21, the untrained armies of Texas, outnumbered and under the command of Sam Houston, decisively defeated the much larger and better trained and equipped Army of Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto and captured the Mexican dictator Santa Anna. Happy Texas Independence Day.
posted by dios on Mar 2, 2006 - 89 comments

Military History Online

Attention history geeks. The US Army Military History Institute has tons of documents online [almost all following links are .pdf]. There are lots of "staff rides" from the 1980's and 1990's, but some digging will unearth some primary documents, such as Pershing's Report on the Mexican Punitive Expedition (Oct. 1916), Sheridan's Engagements with Hostile Indians, 1868 - 1892. [mi]
posted by marxchivist on Nov 16, 2005 - 5 comments

Razzle Dazzle Camouflage

Razzle Dazzle Camouflage
"During World War I, the British and Americans faced a serious threat from German U-boats, which were sinking allied shipping at a dangerous rate. All attempts to camouflage ships at sea had failed, as the appearance of the sea and sky are always changing. Any color scheme that was concealing in one situation was conspicuous in others. A British artist and naval officer, Norman Wilkinson, promoted a new camouflage scheme that was derived from the artistic fashions of the time, particularly cubism. Instead of trying to conceal the ship, it simply broke up its lines and made it more difficult for the U-boat captain to determine the ship's course. The British called this camouflage scheme 'Dazzle Painting.' The Americans called it 'Razzle Dazzle.'"
posted by hall of robots on Nov 4, 2005 - 31 comments

A history of modern military rations

A history of modern military rations from canning to MREs. Also, reproductions of American, Russian, Italian, British, and Japanese WWII rations.
posted by milovoo on Sep 22, 2005 - 49 comments

Oveta Culp Hobby and the Women's Army Corps

Oveta Culp Hobby and the Women's Army Corps. Early in 1941 Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts (the first woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives) met with General George C. Marshall, the Army's Chief of Staff, and informed him that she intended to introduce a bill to establish an Army women's corps, separate and distinct from the existing Army Nurse Corps. Rogers remembered the female civilians who had worked overseas with the Army under contract and as volunteers during World War I: serving without benefit of official status, they had to obtain their own food and quarters, and they received no legal protection or medical care. Upon their return home they were not entitled to the disability benefits or pensions available to U.S. military veterans. Rogers was determined that if women were to serve again with the Army in a wartime theater they would receive the same legal protection and benefits as their male counterparts. After a long and acrimonious debate, the following year the bill was finally approved by Congress and signed into law by FDR. Oveta Culp Hobby, chairman of the board of the Houston Post, was appointed as Director of the WAAC. (more)
posted by PenguinBukkake on Sep 4, 2005 - 4 comments

Numbers vary when available but are only going down

.... Numbers vary but are only going down. Belgium has none left. Neither does New Zealand . Australia losts its last decorated member, and the remainder are a handful only. Likewise Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom (notably Mr Anderson) and France. Germany has a few, one of which whom share with France. And let us not forget there were women present. As recently as two years ago, some countries could count the numbers in four figures. Today- generally in the low twos. Spare a moment sometime this week to reflect on them now. A lot of them are not going to make it to November 11 2005. (Astonishingly, many countries do not keep tabs on this sort of thing, but anyone who finds this more moving than ghoulish can find updated information here. )
posted by IndigoJones on Jan 19, 2005 - 26 comments

Alas Babylon

The damage wrought by the construction of an American military base in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon must rank as one of the most reckless acts of cultural vandalism in recent memory. And all the more so because it was unnecessary and avoidable... but given that it was, the US authorities were very aware of the warnings of archaeologists of the historic importance of the site. Yet, as a report by Dr John Curtis of the British Museum makes clear, they seem to have ignored the warnings. Dr Curtis claimed that in the early days after the war a military presence served a valuable purpose in preventing the site from being looted. But that, he said, did not stop "substantial" damage being done to the site afterwards not just to individual buildings such as the Ishtar Gate, "one of the most famous monuments from antiquity", but also on an estimated 300,000 square metres which had been flattened and covered in gravel, mostly imported from elsewhere. This was done to provide helicopter landing places and parking lots for heavy vehicles that should not have been allowed there in the first place...

Cultural vandalism. Months of war that ruined centuries of history. American graffiti.
posted by y2karl on Jan 15, 2005 - 62 comments

Mayday! Mayday!

The Pacific Wrecks Database is an impressive collection of information about lost and found WWII wrecks in the Pacific. The site is a little hard to navigate (I suggest using the past news archives and the direct links in the description slug on the first page, rather than the drop-down menu,) but the content is worth the trouble. Essays from veterans, discovery tales, photographs, maps, and more await.
posted by headspace on Sep 10, 2004 - 3 comments

A little lesson on the superpower of the 17th-18th centuries

And when an American mouths off about French military history, he's not just being ignorant, he's being ungrateful. The War Nerd provides a little historical perspective. [via monkeyfilter]
posted by jb on Aug 22, 2004 - 32 comments

Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Or something.

naval-history.net :: yet another fine example of how the web can help one man or woman with a true passion for a subject go from a hobbist to a published expert. Be sure to read the dedication to his dad at the top of the page.
posted by anastasiav on Jul 16, 2004 - 1 comment

German Helmets

The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945.
posted by starscream on Jun 15, 2004 - 31 comments

Sex and violence

Sex and PsyOps. An interesting look at sexual propaganda throughout modern military history. Unfortunately slightly censored, but a good look into what may or may not have been an effective demoralization tool.
posted by eas98 on May 19, 2004 - 25 comments

Journalising humanity

A photo journal of a UNPA Nurse Practitioner's experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 12, 2004 - 4 comments

US Sponsored Regime Change in the Middle East: Episode One

On the night of April 27th, 1805, US Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon led a ragtag army of Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries in a desperate charge into the teeth of the fortifications of Derna, Tripoli (now Libya). The defenders inexplicably turned and ran, leaving behind loaded cannons which, turned around, secured victory for the US in its first land battle in the old world.

In recognition of his bravery, Lt. O'Bannon was given a sword by Hamet Karamanli. William Eaton (no, the other William Eaton ) had led O'Bannon, six other US Marines, and the five hundred odd mercenaries across six hundred miles of North African desert in order to replace the usurping Pasha of Tripoli, Yusef, with the rightful heir, his pro-American older brother Hamet.

Shortly after the battle, Yusef reached a peace with Col. Tobias Lear, the American Consul to Tripoli, and hostilities between the US and Tripoli ceased. Eaton, O'Bannon, and Hamet Karamanli, along with the Marines and most of the Greeks, departed aboard American warships, leaving the Muslim mercenaries behind in Derna. Unpaid.
posted by hob on Jan 7, 2004 - 11 comments

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