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A lesson in every war: Survive the first few missions — your chances improve greatly

“If you lived the first three, four, five or six sorties, you cottoned on very quickly and learned the business of rubbernecking,” recalled a British pilot quoted in Joshua Levine’s Forgotten Voices of the Blitz and the Battle for Britain. “Because far more pilots were shot down by aircraft they never saw than by ones they actually did see.”

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What do you know about the Lusitania?

As a kid, in grade school, we saw an old movie about the sinking of the Titanic. I don’t remember, but it might have been Roy Ward Baker’s A Night To Remember. Whatever it was, the sinking of the Titanic was always in the front of my mind when someone mentioned the words “passenger ship” and “sunk.” The attack and sinking of the Lusitania, however, was a footnote in our history books; maybe it made half the page — if that.

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Enoch Powell’s amazing WWII career

When people remember Enoch Powell today, if at all, it is as an anti-immigration Tory politician in Britain.

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More things Tom didn’t know: The 18th and 19th century European military edition

In the 18th century, one reason for a distinction between enlisted and officers was that it made it easier to assimilate foreigners into the enlisted ranks, which was done in great numbers.

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Some lively old military slang, WMP

One of my odder hobbies is reading through specialized dictionaries. It may sound boring, but to me is like sorting through the bargain bins of the tools of my trade, writing.

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A random photo of a World War II colonel

Just look at him. A youth. What a time.

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    March 2015 Issue Cover