Author: Larry Holzwarth

The French were among the innovators militarizing the air as early as 1794, when a lighter than air observation balloon tracked the movements of Austrian troops before and during the Battle of Fleurus. France was an early customer of the Wright Brothers, and soon began developing and building its own aircraft, with innovations kept secret…

Read More

If the truth be told, the smartest criminal of all-time likely doesn’t appear on this list. That’s because the smartest criminals’ crimes go undetected. Or at best, the criminal is never identified as the perpetrator of a crime, which remains unsolved, baffling the police and other authorities. There have been many possessed of superior mental…

Read More

There are ships that are kept hidden from the public that pays for them, usually because they are of an experimental nature. Other ships are presented to the public as existing for a purpose far different from the role they actually play. And some ships simply operate in environments where their mission and work are…

Read More

Warfare has always provided the impetus for advancing more efficient methods of killing one’s fellow man. History shows nearly every extended period of warfare found new weapons proposed and developed, which often failed because existing technology incapable of supporting the design. For example, the earliest land mines, filled with gunpowder, often failed because the moisture…

Read More

Since 1942 or thereabouts, the quip, “The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language,” has been attributed to George Bernard Shaw, though it does not appear in any of his known writings. Another, from Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost, claims, “We have really everything in common with America nowadays,…

Read More

During the 2012 presidential election less than 56% of eligible Americans cast votes. Two years later the mid-term elections saw only 36% participation by voters. The lack of participation of so many eligible voters has led to a growing movement in the United States to make voting in national, state, and local elections mandatory, a…

Read More

The chief advantage of the submarine in warfare is stealth. Their ability to approach a target and strike without detection was originally considered unfair by professional naval officers. Naval officers considered them ungentlemanly up to and during the First World War. Since then their operations have become ever more stealthy, and they can operate in all the world’s…

Read More

Soldiers have been decorated by their grateful leaders throughout history, though not always through the awarding of medals. Decorations for heroism or distinguished services appeared in armies of the ancients, including among the Greeks and Romans. Roman commanders wore laurels signifying victory over their enemies, while rank and file soldiers could receive a stiffened neck…

Read More

Some jobs leap to mind as dangerous, including police officer, firefighter, or in current times, front-line healthcare worker. They certainly all present their dangers to those who practice such professions. But none of them qualified for this list, comprised from statistics collected from 2019 and 2018. Some of them are surprising, while others have long…

Read More

Childhood is a time of wondrous belief. Children are taught that those who behave well will be rewarded with a visit from a “right jolly old elf” on Christmas Eve. A miraculous bunny visits on Easter, leaving baskets of goodies and hidden eggs, though the relationship between rabbits and eggs remains mysterious. Why a fairy…

Read More

The chief advantage of the submarine in warfare is stealth. Their ability to approach a target and strike without detection was originally considered unfair by professional naval officers. Naval officers considered them ungentlemanly up to and during the First World War. Since then their operations have become ever more stealthy, and they can operate in…

Read More

Warships first developed as a means of delivering armies to areas of combat. Over the centuries they developed weapons to fight each other, with arrows, flames, rams, and through boarding the enemy. Eventually cannons replaced arrows and catapults, but rams remained a feature on some ships well into the 19th century. CSS Virginia was one…

Read More

The year 1816 was the first since the onset of the French Revolutionary Wars in which the western world was at peace. In Europe, the nightmare of the Napoleonic Wars began to fade. In North America, Washington DC began the process of rebuilding after being burned by the British Army during the War of 1812.…

Read More

Harriet Tubman is well known in the United States as an escaped slave and abolitionist, and as someone who led other escaping slaves to their freedom along the Underground Railroad. But much of what is known about her is untrue. Her exploits have been exaggerated over the years for political purposes. Some of the exaggerations…

Read More