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Military Technology

1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch

16 March

The V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat-4 (A-4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon,” designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of V-177 on 20 June 1944. Continue reading “1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch”

1916 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned into the US Navy

11 March

USS Nevada (BB-36), the second United States Navy ship to be named after the 36th state, was the lead ship of the two Nevada-class battleships; her sister ship was Oklahoma. Launched in 1914, the Nevada was a leap forward in dreadnought technology; four of her new features would be included on almost every subsequent US battleship: triple gun turrets, oil in place of coal for fuel, geared steam turbines for greater range, and the “all or nothing” armour principle. These features made Nevada the first US Navy “super-dreadnought”. Continue reading “1916 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned into the US Navy”

1915 – The Battle of Neuve Chapelle begins

10 March

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10–13 March 1915) took place during the First World War and was the first major operation undertaken by the British Army since the frontier battles of 1914. The offensive occurred in the Artois region of France and broke through at Neuve-Chapelle but the success could not be exploited. Continue reading “1915 – The Battle of Neuve Chapelle begins”

1997 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place

28 February

The North Hollywood shootout, sometimes also called the Battle of North Hollywood, was an armed confrontation between two heavily armed and armoured bank robbers and members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles on this day in 1997. Both perpetrators were killed, eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the approximately 1,750 rounds of ammunition fired by the robbers and police. Continue reading “1997 – The North Hollywood shootout takes place”

1893 – The USS Indiana is launched

28 February

USS Indiana (BB-1) was the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time. Authorized in 1890 and commissioned five years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armour and ordnance. The ship also pioneered the use of an intermediate battery. She was designed for coastal defence and as a result her decks were not safe from high waves on the open ocean. Continue reading “1893 – The USS Indiana is launched”

1710 – The Battle of Helsingborg

28 February

The Battle of Helsingborg fought on this day in 1710, was Denmark’s failed and final attempt to regain the Scanian lands, lost to Sweden in 1658. Continue reading “1710 – The Battle of Helsingborg”

1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier

25 February

USS Ranger (CV-4) was the first ship of the United States Navy to be designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier. Ranger was a relatively small ship, closer in size and displacement to the first US carrier—Langley—than later ships. An island superstructure was not included in the original design, but was added after completion. Deemed too slow for use with the Pacific Fleet’s carrier task forces, the ship spent most of the war in the Atlantic Ocean.

1906 – HMS Dreadnought, the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII

10 February

HMS Dreadnought was a battleship of the Royal Navy that revolutionised naval power. Her entry into service in 1906 represented such a paradigm shift in naval technology that her name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the “dreadnoughts”, as well as the class of ships named after her. The generation of ships she made obsolete became known as “pre-dreadnoughts”. She was the sixth ship of that name in the Royal Navy. Continue reading “1906 – HMS Dreadnought, the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII”

1939 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

27 January

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American propeller driven fighter aircraft. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. The P-38 was used in a number of roles, including interception, dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, night fighting, photo reconnaissance, radar and visual pathfinding for bombers, and evacuation missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings. Continue reading “1939 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning”

1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash

24 January

The 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash was an accident that occurred in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on this day in 1961. A B-52 Stratofortress carrying two Mark 39 nuclear bombs broke up in mid-air, dropping its nuclear payload in the process. Continue reading “1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash”

1915 – World War One: the Battle of Dogger Bank

24 January

The Battle of Dogger Bank was a naval battle fought near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea on this day in 1915, during the First World War, between squadrons of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet. Continue reading “1915 – World War One: the Battle of Dogger Bank”

1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Rorke’s Drift

22 January

The Battle of Rorke’s Drift was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War. The defence of the mission station of Rorke’s Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, and Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead immediately followed the British Army’s defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day, 23 January. Continue reading “1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Rorke’s Drift”

1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Isandlwana

22 January

The Battle of Isandlwana on this day in 1879 was the first major encounter in the Anglo–Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Eleven days after the British commenced their invasion of Zululand in South Africa, a Zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of about 1,800 British, colonial and native troops and perhaps 400 civilians. Continue reading “1879 – Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Isandlwana”

1961 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military–industrial complex”

17 January

The military–industrial complex, or military–industrial–congressional complex, comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the arms industry that supports them. Continue reading “1961 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military–industrial complex””

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