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The Vault

Vietnam’s Overburdened M16

by Tom Laemlein

I’ve been working with Dale Dye of Warriors Inc. to put together a photo study on the infantry weapons of the Vietnam War. The conflict in Vietnam is particularly interesting for students of small arms as all of Southeast Asia became both a proving grounds for the [...]

MG17 Adapter, and Some Grainy Old Video

First up, you may recall that a while back we had some photos of an MG17 belt-feed adapter salvaged from the wreck of an Me-109. The fellow who owned that piece was hoping to restore it to functionality, and use it on his MG15 ground gun. Well, he did finally get it completely disassembled and [...]

XM-2 Personnel Detector

XM-2 Personnel Detector

by Tom Laemlein

In the rather deadly game of “hide & seek” played by the US Army and the Viet Cong led to a rather bizarre technical innovation during the Vietnam War: the people sniffer. The detection technology was developed by General Electric for the US Army’s Chemical Corps. “People Sniffer” [...]

Chain Mail for Machine Gunners

Chain mail appeared in a couple different forms during World War I – the most well-known is probably the mail facemasks developed for tank crews. These were intended to protect crew members from steel shards that would fragment off the interior of the tank’s armor plate when taking machine gun fire. There were also metal-lined [...]

Vintage Saturday: Everyone Likes Kittens

And kittens love anything that can be batted at.

The lighter side of war – German soldiers in a halftrack playing with a kitten and their MG34 mount (note the periscope optic. Photo from WarAlbum.ru.

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Vintage Saturday: Trench Periscope

German soldier using a somewhat primitive trench periscope with a Mauser rifle, circa 1916 (photo from Drake Goodman)

Japanese Aerial Gunnery Camera

I got an email recently from a producer of a TV program who is looking for a vintage photo of a Japanese aerial gunnery training camera – specifically a Type 89 Rokuoh-Sha:

He wants something showing one in context – mounted on an aircraft, with some trainees or pilots, or that sort of thing. [...]

Vintage Saturday: Mission Critical Equipment

Ja, even zee anchor is essential equipment! (photo from Drake Goodman)

A German WWI pioneer displays (rather sarcastically) the gear he has to carry – complete with wagon, ladder, 2-man saw, naval anchor, axe, sledgehammer, and pipe (click to see the full size version). The more things change, the more they stay the same…

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Browning 1919 Experimental Belt Box

About a year ago, I wrote a post about some Browning 1919 feeding devices that were patented but never went into production. Well, reader Alex found photos of one of them in the Springfield Armory archives. Thanks, Alex!

It’s a belt box designed to be clipped onto the top cover of a slightly modified Browning [...]

¡No Pasarán!

I’ve been doing some reading a researching on the Spanish Civil War in preparation for an upcoming month that will be dedicated to that conflict and the arms involved in it (which include virtually everything in military use in the first half of the 20th century). One particularly interesting item just arrived last night: