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Killing Yamamoto: How the U.S. assassinated the Japanese admiral who planned Pearl Harbor: Operation Vengeance

On December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service launched their surprise military strike on Pearl Harbor. The United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed that this date “will live in infamy,” mainly due to there not being a formal declaration of war and the attack happening without an explicit warning from the Japanese. […]

The Deadly Cowra Mass-Breakout (1944): Largest Prison Break of World War 2

During the Second World War, a PoW camp in southeast Australia nearby the township Cowra housed mainly Japanese and Italian prisoners. During the night of August 5th 1944, a bugle sounded in the dead-quiet night. As the camp’s guards would soon find out, this sound was the signal for hundreds of Japanese prisoners to storm […]

The Enigmatic Colonel Tsuji Masanobu: Japan’s Fanatical Ideologue, Staff Officer and Cannibal

One of my patrons, Dan, recently asked me if I could write an article about Colonel Tsuji Masanobu. Professor John Dower describes him as a “fanatical ideologue and pathological brutal staff officer”. Others give him the dubious honour of being “rightly described as a maverick and a fanatic.” The ultranationalist officer indeed was a zealot, […]

The Forgotten (and Flawed) British Invasion of Iceland: Operation Fork (1940)

In early 1940, the Second World War truly began taking shape in the European theatre. On April 9, 1940, Denmark capitulated to invading German forces. One month later, the Phoney War ended as Germany successfully launched its invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.  However, on that fateful day, May 10 1940, Germany wasn’t […]

America’s Last Defector in North Korea: James Dresnok

In 1962, 21-year-old American soldier James Dresnok was facing a court-martial. He was stationed at the Demilitarized Zone between North- and South Korea. The young soldier was caught forging his superior’s autograph to leave his army base to visit his favourite local woman of the night. Real classy. A few hours before he was scheduled […]

Simo Häyhä – The Greatest and Deadliest Sniper in Military History

In November 1939, the Soviet Union invaded their much-smaller neighbour Finland. It marked the start of the so-called Winter War. This war, lasting for just a little over three months, saw many heroic Finnish soldiers stand up against the better equipped and much larger Red Army behemoth. One of those soldiers that truly distinguished himself […]

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