Archive
War
Tomorrow’s Missiles Take Off (Oct, 1947)

Tomorrow’s Missiles Take Off
TOMORROW’S Navy will be ready to fight with weapons as deadly accurate as William Tell’s arrow. Successors to the carronade and Dahlgren gun are such characters as Little Joe and the Gargoyle. Some are guided missiles, some are planes, some are power-packages. All fly regularly out over the Pacific from the Navy’s Air Missile Test Center at Point Mugu, Calif. Each run is tracked by radar and telemetering devices. Some units are preset, unalterable once flight commences. Others, with their own radar to detect and steer for the target, are fiendishly accurate. Command-system missiles are usually radio-controlled; course-seeking missiles are directed by light beams or radio energy.

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Gas! (Apr, 1946)

Gas!

America was ready to give and take if the Axis had turned loose with the most inhumane of all modern weapons!

LOOK carefully at the pictures on these pages—if you’ve been wondering what we would have done in case the Axis powers had introduced deadly chemicals in the recent war.

It seems fantastic, weird and remote, now that the shooting is over. But here are the brutal facts, revealed for the first time by the Army’s Chemical Warfare Service. It was alert and ready to retaliate in heaping measure had our enemies used gas. Although the U. S. is not a party to any treaty or other agreement not to use gas, we have long been committed to the policy that we would not resort to this horrible weapon unless it was first employed by our foes. The fact that our troops were fully prepared for offensive and defensive gas warfare undoubtedly stopped the Axis from challenging us on this score.

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The NEXT WAR in the AIR (Feb, 1935)

It’s interesting to read articles like this one, where the revolutionary aspects of one particular piece of technology are considered in near isolation. The author correctly assumes that bombers will get much bigger, fly higher, faster and become much more destructive. But this leads him to the following conclusion:
“In all probability, we shall not see the great numbers of airplanes we had in the last war (WWI).”
Why? Because, “It is so difficult to find aircraft in heavy clouds and in the dark, that the menace of opposing aircraft will be almost negligible.”

People predicting the future often forget that the change they are focusing on is not the only change occurring. In the case of WWII you had radar, acoustic detectors, air patrols, intelligence, radio listening posts and flack among others. All of these combined to require an exponential increase in the number of aircraft, not the great reduction predicted.

The NEXT WAR in the AIR

By GENERAL WILLIAM MITCHELL
Former Commander Air Forces, A.E.F.

AIRCRAFT can now be built that will go around the world at the equator on one charge of fuel.

Lighter-than-air craft now can be made to carry fifty or sixty tons of useful load besides crew and fuel; they can ascend to 30,000 feet or more, and their radius of action is greater than that of any other known means of transportation.

Heavier-than-air craft now can be made to go from 6,000 to 8,000 miles, carrying 4,000 pounds of bombs, to operate at an altitude of 35,000 feet, and at a speed between 300 and 400 miles an hour.

But at present we are in a period of arrested development in air power plants because we cannot easily get away from the internal-combustion engine. We are making these bigger and more powerful continually, at present up to about 4,000 horsepower, while our engine fuel is being made safer and more economical. Steam engines and rocket engines are being experimented with, but our greatest aerial development will come with the development of an entirely new type of engine, lighter, stronger, safer and less complicated. The modern gasoline engine has from 2,000 to 5,000 different parts, one of the most complicated mechanisms ever made, not excepting the mechanical toys of the middle ages.

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Sunken Pillboxes Guarded Jap Coast (Mar, 1947)

I find this rather hard to believe. It doesn’t seem practical, nor does it seem that 40 people would be neccessary to man 3 torpedo tubes.

Sunken Pillboxes Guarded Jap Coast
Japan’s anti-invasion line went out under water at Tokyo Bay. Pillboxes were built into the hulls of sunken ships and equipped with three torpedo tubes and a sound detector. Each pillbox held 40 to 50
men who were relieved every 10 days. Food was canned; oxygen, bottled.

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Realistic Moving Targets Train Antitank Gunners (Feb, 1940)

Realistic Moving Targets Train Antitank Gunners
Constructed of wood and cloth, and equipped with wheels and ground skids, dummy tanks are drawn across open terrain at a speed of twenty miles an hour to give practice to British antitank-gun crews. Pierced by numerous direct hits, a dummy tank is pictured at the left after practice.

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Portable Sound-Detector Units Made for Airplane Spotters (Jun, 1942)

What could I possibly add to this?

Portable Sound-Detector Units Made for Airplane Spotters

A self-contained sound detector, easily carried and operated by one person, makes it possible for individual aircraft spotters to hear approaching aircraft through a set of earphones. When the low-pitched sound is picked up, the spotter slowly turns his body until the sound is loudest. He is then facing in the direction of the plane and can orient his binoculars. The headpiece of this detector consists of earphones topped by a concentrator. Made of thermoplastic material, this is molded to a parabolic curve and contains crossed perpendicular veins which sharpen the aural focus on a sensitive microphone. Amplification is supplied by a three-tube unit slung over the spotter’s shoulder and housed in a case smaller than the usual gas-mask container. A volume-control knob regulates the sound in the earphones to the watcher’s comfort. Special filters eliminate noises other than those of a plane.

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Could You Be A Hero? (Aug, 1957)

This is a pretty funny article about what gives a man courage and what makes him a hero. The real gem however, is the Courage Quotient Quiz. This asks a series of ridiculous questions that seem to have nothing to do with “courage” or “heroism”.

Here are a few examples of statements from the quiz that a man with courage would agree with:

  • Desk work is more for a woman than a man
  • Any man should love camping and hunting
  • I’d rather read a detective story than a humorous story

Here are few statements that reflect poorly on your courageousness:

  • A totalitarian system of government is more efficient
  • After most wars, the U.S. came out the loser in the peace treaties
  • A cowboy movie is more interesting than a good love story

The one thing I can’t understand is why is a detective story courageous, but a cowboy movie is not? Would it be the same if it was a detective movie and a cowboy story?

Take the test for your self to find out if you’re a real man or a whimpering pansy.

Could You Be A Hero?

By Harry Kursh

Your reactions in the face of danger are based on personality traits you may not even be aware of.

(Editor’s Note: Before reading this article we suggest you turn to page 55 and take the Courage Quotient Test to rate your own potential for being a hero when confronted by danger.)

ONE foggy morning last November, 57-year-old Jonathan Kruger stopped to chat with his daughter on a street in North Bergen, N. J. Suddenly, he looked up. He heard the sound of a plane flying too low. Then he saw it. The plane was headed straight for a tall radio tower. In a flash it was a fiery mass bouncing off the tower into the side of an apartment house.

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“Night Glasses” Train Soldiers To Fight in the Dark (Dec, 1940)

Learn how to shoot while wearing a welding mask!

“Night Glasses” Train Soldiers To Fight in the Dark
For practice in fighting in the dark, cadets in a British officers’ training unit wear special “night glasses” during daytime maneuvers. Fitted with dark lenses, the glasses reproduce the visibility conditions that would be encountered at night. In this way, the young soldiers learn to recognize the landscape as it appears in darkness, and acquire skill in taking “pot shots” when they cannot see their rifle sights. In the photograph above, several cadets are using the glasses which turn day into night.

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Ultra-Sophisticated Bombing Simulator (Oct, 1940)

Tricycle” Trains Army Bombers

Perched on an odd three-wheeled framework of metal tubing, a U. S. Army pilot and his bombardier are pictured above at Riverside, Calif., getting in some ground bombing practice with an electrical machine said to simulate actual bombing conditions. A falling plumb bob plays the role of a bomb. Note that the bomb sight, a closely-guarded Air Corps secret since it is reputed to be the most accurate in the world, is covered with a hood to hide it from the prying eye of the camera.

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Electric Cannon Uses No Gunpowder (Jun, 1932)

Electric Cannon Uses No Gunpowder

SILENT guns sending their whistling messengers of death into the sky at speeds far beyond those now attained by powder-driven shells seem likely for the next war, using for propulsion magnetic fields so powerful that when they are short-circuited they produce miniature earthquakes.

Dr. Kapitza, F. R. S., working at the Cavendish laboratory of Cambridge University, England, in his attempts to disrupt the atom has produced magnetic fields so powerful that they “explode” the coils that produce them. This man has finally revealed the secret of the magnetic gun so long anticipated by ballistic experts. Dr. Kapitza accomplishes the electric firing of a shell by short-circuiting powerful dynamos for periods of one one-hundredth of a second.

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