Archived posts from category ‘History’

Photos: Death Throes of Soviet Tanks

From the always-fun English Russia, a photo gallery featuring Soviet tanks destroyed in battle in World War II.


Big Sticks: China’s and America’s Global Strike Weapons

On a cold September morning in 1945, just two weeks after World War II ended on the deck of the USS Missouri, three B-29′s lifted off from newly-renamed Sapporo Air Base on the Japanese island of Hokkiado. They would not land again until headwinds over the Arctic forced a refueling stop at Chicago’s Midway Airport, preventing the bombers and their crews from reaching Washington, D.C., non-stop.


History Lives

by KEVIN KNODELL In August 1945, World War II ended with the dropping of the atomic bomb, the Soviet push into Manchuria, and the surrender of the Japanese empire. Soon after, Allied forces under the famed General Douglas MacArthur began the occupation and remaking of Japan. MacArthur’s occupation of Japan is the stuff of legends, [...]

Leave a comment

Riding Shotgun in the Sky

The Pentagon’s AirSea Battle concept continues to create heartburn even as wonks and warriors try to think it through. Like the blind men and the elephant, AirSea battle looks like different things from different perspectives. “It’s aimed at the Army.” Or, “it’s aimed at China.” “It’s aggressive and destabilizing.” “It’s fuzzy and has no form.”

1 Comment

The Starving Art Historian: A Different Sort of Goth

The Dark Ages get the shaft of history and art history pretty often. Of course, it’s not a rare specialty, but over the centuries it has been derided. One of the first major art historians, Giorgio Vasari, had almost nothing good to say about them. But you know who has it even worse? The mercenaries and barbarians in the interlude after the fall of Rome and before the darkness settled. Written off as by man as uncultured and war hungry, the barbarian tribes that gained considerable power in the fifth century were both cunning military strategists and artists worth studying.

Leave a comment

The Starving Art Historian: How We War Now

At a talk at my university last month, a fellow student opined that the media, and in fact we as a society, don’t focus on peace enough. This sentiment begs the question of whether there’s such thing as peace without war. Certainly neither is as black and white as it used to be. Wars are smaller and more dispersed. And probably longer. The only thing for sure about them these days is their ambiguity. If “war is the continuation of politics by other means,” then war and peace seem to exist not as opposites, but in a cycle. What’s more, our current conflicts are completely obscuring any boundaries in that cycle. Sociologist Martin Shaw wrote of 21st century warfare.

Leave a comment

The Starving Art Historian: Happy(?) Veterans Day, Have Some Historical Analysis

“Well might the Dead who struggled in the slime/Rise and deride this sepulchre of crime.”

Leave a comment

The Chechen Wars in Photos

1 Comment

The Starving Art Historian: When Art Surveys the Damage

The sun may have set on the British Empire, but recently artists have lit it back up. It’s not the most flattering light, either. Previously I wrote about how time cannot only heal the wounds of war on society, but with the help of art morph them into, if not causes to celebrate, the kind of battle scars one wear’s with an amount of pride. But we’re past the age of Romanticism. More and more, artists are choosing to pick at the scars of their nation’s dark past and highlight the horror rather than the valor.

Leave a comment

How the Navy Shot Down King Kong

David Lesjak, master of the astonishing Toons At War blog, came up with one of the coolest tributes to naval aviation in this centennial year. In a richly detailed post he points out that it was U.S. Navy pilots who killed King Kong.

1 Comment

The Starving Art Historian: War to be Proud of?

I’d wager a guess that if I asked you to name what comes to mind with “war art,” you would either offer up works highlighting the horrors of war (The 3rd of May, 1808, Guernica, The Massacre at Chios) or propaganda pieces (here’s looking at you, Napoleon). There’s another important role that artistic depictions of war, political turmoil and civil crises play in history: the building of national identity.

Leave a comment

Civilians in Wartime: Then and Now

The “war on terror” has sparked a lot of debate about the relationship between combatants and non-combatants. There has been heated debate about rules of engagement and the escalation of force, and the balancing act that soldiers face in preserving the lives of their comrades and those of civilians. An Army lieutenant colonel told me that this was a new challenge for military planners and soldiers.

1 Comment