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World War Two - Weapons and Inventions

               World War Two Film Clips

Dealing with Lightning (Pathfinder Magazine, 1946)

When the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics was let-in on the secret that the U.S. Army intended to manufacture and deploy wooden gliders, a red light went on in their collective heads as they all remembered how susceptible wood and canvas aircraft had been in attracting lightning bolts. This article outlines the steps that were taken to remedy the problem.


Andrew Higgins: He Made D-Day Possible (Click Magazine, 1942)

During an informal conversation with his biographer, Stephen Ambrose, Dwight Eisenhower once remarked that it was Andrew Higgins (1886 1952) who had "won the war for us". Knowing that such words do not flow from the lips of generals easily, Eisenhower went on to explain to Ambrose that if it were not for the creation of Higgin's landing crafts, the architects of the Allied victory would have had to seize the existing, and well-fortified, harbors of Europe in order to unload their invasion forces - and who knows how the island-hopping war in the Pacific would been fought?

Attached is a five page photo-essay from the Fall of 1942 about the man and his early contributions.


The Sten Gun (Collier's Magazine, 1943)

The Sten gun was hastily created after the catastrophic retreat from Dunkirk when it was widely believed that the invasion of England was inevitable. The British Home Guard requested an easily produced sub-machine gun that could be quickly assembled and easily used by those who have never had any firearm training whatever. Dubbed "the ten dollar gun", the Sten gun met all these requirements and more; over four million of them were manufactured throughout the Forties and although they were never used to defend the British Isles, they were parachuted en masse to the partisan armies in Europe.

The attached article is illustrated with six images and tells the story of the Sten Mark II and the small Canadian factory that produced them. Interesting stories are told and there are pictures of cute Canadian girls.


Fresh Meat Delivery System for Italian Troops (Click Magazine, 1938)

This is a highly amusing collection of photos depicting the seldom remembered "Para-Sheep" of the Italian Army during their adventures in Ethiopia. It would seem that Italian grunts simply would not stomach canned food the way other infantrymen were able to do at the time and so it was decided that sheep would be individually rigged with parachutes and tossed out of planes, where they would be butchered and cooked by the Mussolini's finest. The accompanying paragraph explains that even a bull had been air-dropped for the same purpose.
Take a look.


The R.A.F. Mosquito-Bomber (Click Magazine, 1944)

"Almost entirely [composed] of wood, Britain's Mosquito Bomber can sting the enemy out of proportion to its size and appearance. Thirty odd German cities already have felt the devastating, impressive bite of Mosquitoes in more than 150 bombing raids on the Reich."


The Grumman Hellcat (Collier's Magazine, 1943)

An enthusiastic piece that informed the folks on the home front that the days of the Japanese Zero were numbered:

"Hellcat, daughter of battle, answers all the prayers of Navy pilots. She's a low-winged Navy fighter; F6F, the Navy's newest and the world's best...F6F is a ship that can fight the Jap Zero on the Zero's own terms, a plane that can stand up and slug, that can bore in with those terrible body blows."


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