War

George Lawrence Price — Second-to-Last Soldier Killed in WWI

11/11/2017

The armistice1 that ended the fighting in World War I was signed by representatives from Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, at 5AM on 11/11/1918, in a railroad carriage in Compiègne, France, but the agreement didn't go into effect for another six hours. WWI would end at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which was fine for those who like things wrapped up in neat little packages for posterity, but bad for those who were still in the trenches living like rats and getting shot at. 

Nagasaki — Second City to Suffer a Nuclear Attack

08/20/2017
Updated
09/05/2017

Nagasaki was not the primary target for the nuclear attack the United States launched against Japan on the morning of August 9, 1945. It had barely even made the list of potential targets for atomic bombings. Kokura was the primary target, and Nagasaki was the secondary target should weather conditions have prevented the attack on Kokura.

Conditions for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which occurred three days earlier, were perfect — sunny, clear skies, nothing to obscure the target. Not so on August 9 over Kokura. The city was obscured by clouds and smoke coming from a nearby town that had been, ironically enough, firebombed by the U.S. the day before. This was a big problem.

JANCFU

04/21/2017

It was common during WWII for USAF (United States Air Force) ground crews to write out little messages on bombs meant to be dropped on the enemy. It was a sort of middle finger to the soldiers whom they blamed for there being a war in the first place. There are even stories of bomber crew members throwing trash out the plane as an extra bit of nastiness and rancor to go along with usual payload of high-explosive and incendiary ordinance.

Jules André Peugeot — Second Person Killed in WWI

01/24/2017
Updated
11/22/2017

French Corporal Jules André Peugeot was 21 years old when he was shot and killed by a German patrol. Although he was the first soldier to get shot in WWI, he ended up being the second person to die. The guy who shot Peugeot, German Lieutenant Albert Mayer, was the first person to actually die in WWI, with Peugeot himself succumbing to his wounds only a short while later. It all happened during a 13-person skirmish in the little French town of Joncherey, near the Swiss and German borders.