The 36 best World War II photos you've never seen - We Are The Mighty
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The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen

World War II was one of America’s defining moments, and there are dozens of well-known photos that still resonate with viewers. But the same pictures get used every time the war is discussed, overshadowing the hundreds of other worthy images. Here are 36 of the best World War II photos that you’re probably not familiar with.


You can vote on your favorite photos, helping them climb the list.

36 Rare Photos From World War II

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7 canceled weapons that you’ll wish were standard issue

Thousands of whiteboards owned by inventors and military contractors around the world contain designs for military technologies that could change the way that battles are fought if they’d ever see active service.


But as the U.S. military learns time and time again, these weapons don’t always work as well as hoped. Here are seven designs that would be awesome to fly, ride, or carry into battle if designers had just been able to work the kinks out:

1. XM29

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
(Photo: U.S. Army)

 

While the M4 and M16 are fine weapons, the Army has tried to replace it a few times. Its sexiest candidate was definitely the Objective Individual Combat Weapon, a rifle and airburst grenade launcher hybrid that could be fired around corners. The airburst rounds were programmed to fly customized distances before exploding.

But high costs and weight problems kept the weapon from reaching its potential.

2. XM25

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
(Photo: U.S. Army)

 

When the XM29 was canceled, its airburst grenade technology was split off as its own weapon with 25mm rounds in the XM25. The new weapon even saw combat tests in Afghanistan, but a malfunction that resulted in injury in 2013 caused the grenade launcher to be pulled from theater.

The XM25 is technically still in testing, but the program has been basically shuttered since the safety incidents. A recent inspector general report urged the Army to come to a final decision soon and said that the funds required for the XM25 could be put to better use if the program is canceled.

Would’ve been nice to fire airburst rounds though.

3. Comanche

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
A RAH-66 Comanche prototype flies with an AH-64 Apache. (Photo: U.S. Army)

 

The Comanche was supposed to be the attack/reconnaissance helicopter to rule them all. It was quiet, featured incorporated stealth technologies, and carried a 20mm machine gun and Hellfire and Stinger missiles.

But the development process dragged on for far too long. A 1991 contract netted two prototypes in 2004, by which time the Army had put stealth helicopters on the back shelf while they hunted insurgents.

4. Arapaho

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
(Photo: U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs)

 

The ARH-70A Arapaho was supposed to replace the Kiowa in the reconnaissance business after the Comanche was canceled. It was a Bell 407 helicopter with a stronger engine, weapons, and sensors added. They could have been rapidly deployed around the world with two fitting aboard a C-130H Hercules transport.

And their high maneuverability would have allowed them to fly through cities and hover near buildings.

Unfortunately, the militarization of the 407 was not as smooth as anticipated. Delays and cost overruns got the program put on ice for a few months in 2007 and formally canceled in 2008.

5. Airborne Laser

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
The YAL Airborne Laser Testbed’s turret assembly. (Photo: YouTube)

 

The Airborne Laser was supposed to be the ultimate ballistic missile destroyer. It would fly over or near enemy territory watching for enemy ballistic missile launches. When one took off and entered the boost phase, the plane would fire three lasers. Two were for acquiring and tracking the target and the third would punch through the missile’s body and blow it up.

But the laser had a limited range and loitering capability, meaning that planes would have to spend a lot of their time flying within an enemies’ borders to actually have a shot at the missiles. Luckily, this program could get revived using a new kind of laser and flying on high-altitude, stealthy drones.

6. Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

 

The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle provided better range, better speed, and better armor than the AAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicle it was meant to replace. It featured two 30mm cannons and was propelled through water with jets and it operated on land using its treads.

The EFV suffered some small setbacks during testing and development and then fell victim to budget cuts across the Department of Defense in 2011. The Marine Corps has wrestled with how to best move supplies and Marines from the ships to the shore since then.

7. SL-AMRAAM

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
An AMRAAM-Extended Range missile is fired from a NASAMS launcher. The missile successfully engaged and destroyed a target drone during a flight test at the Andoya Space Center in Norway. (Photo: courtesy Raytheon Company)

 

The Surfaced-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile would have been the Army’s premiere system for defending troops from cruise missiles, helicopters, many jets, and other low and mid-altitude aerial threats. It featured a proven Air Force missile, the AIM-120C-7, originally designed for air-to-air battles.

Norway and Spain field the SL-AMRAAM under the name NASAMS, but the U.S. Army pulled out of the program in an effort to save money and invest in counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar systems instead. Some NASAMS are in U.S. service defending Washington D.C. from cruise missile attack.

Feature image: U.S. Marine Corps photo

Articles

The 13 Funniest Military Memes This Week

Yup, it’s Friday. After another week of tough searching, we’ve been able to find 13 military memes that made us laugh.


Good morning, fellas!

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Yeah, Marines. You may be up first, but it doesn’t make you cool.

Of course, the Army doesn’t mind the early wake up …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
… since they’ll be napping at every halt anyway.

Actually, anytime they are left unsupervised.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Hmm, I wonder what happened right after this picture was taken.

Except for picnics. They love picnic time.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
What, no MREs?

Oh, Coast Guard!

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Always trying to be in the club.

SEE ALSO: 27 Incredible Photos of Life On A US Navy Submarine

To be fair, service members ask for the Air Force all the time.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Mostly because they act like the military’s travel agency.

Fine, yes. We also call them for that one other thing.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
And by one other thing, I mean constant close air support.

And, yeah, that one other, other thing.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
I swear to god, Air Force, it was just a joke.

It’s all about knowing your weaknesses …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
… and overcoming them through brute force.

U.S. Army Infantry

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
What can’t be done in columns and ranks will be done with brooms and rakes.

Meanwhile, in the Corps.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Too cool for school Marine.

Oh Marines, you’re tough, but you’ll never be an MP with kittens tough.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
This selfie is for Mittens.

Regardless of your time in service, this will be you a few years after you’ve served.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen

NOW: 11 Insider Insults Sailors Say To Each Other

AND: 23 Terms Only US Marines Will Understand

OR HURRY UP AND WATCH: Starship Troopers In Under 3 Minutes

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9 weapon systems that troops absolutely love

Troops in contact with the enemy have a few awesome weapons that they like to hear firing in support. Any weapon firing on the enemy is a good weapon, but these 9 have become hallowed in military culture.


1. M2 .50 cal machine gun

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Melissa Wenger

Quite possible the favorite weapon of troops from World War II to today, the .50 Cal is largely unchanged after over 90 years of service. It fires half-inch rounds at up to 550 rounds per minute, taking down low-flying aircraft, hostile infantry, and light vehicles.

It’s so reliable that after the Army began overhauling M2s in 2011, they found a weapon that served for more than 90 years and still fired perfectly.

2. AH-64 Apache

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: US Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton

One of the world’s premier attack helicopters, the AH-64 Apache can fly at over 173 mph, climb at 2,000 feet per minute, and carries Hellfire missiles, 30mm grenades, and 70mm rockets. Designed for an anti-tank role, Apaches are also great at covering and supporting infantry on the ground.

3. TOW Missile

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided or wireless-guided missiles are great against armored and fortified targets at a range of nearly three miles. There are portable launchers that can be carried by infantry, and the missiles can also be mounted on helicopters and vehicles.

4. Carl Gustav

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: US Army Sgt. Justin Morelli

The M3 Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle can fire a number of different rounds to destroy tanks, bunkers, or infantry formations. Originally fielded in the U.S. by Special Operations Command, the Army bought it for conventional units because it had better range and firepower than the more common AT-4.

5. A-10

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
BRRRRRT Forthcoming. (DARPA Photo)

Seriously, troops love the Warthog. This flying tank-buster operated by the Air Force was built around a 30mm gatling gun, but it can also carry and precisely deliver bombs, mines, rockets, and missiles. The A-10 is so popular that airmen secretly made a video praising it to help save it from the Air Force chopping block.

6. Mortars

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo by Visual Information Specialist Paolo Bovo/US Army

When infantry soldiers are under attack, they don’t want to wait for close air support or artillery strikes. Mortars give infantry units the opportunity to drop 60mm and 81mm rounds directly on the enemy without calling for help. Army efforts to reduce mortar weight are making them even more popular.

7. Mk. 19

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Edward G. Martens

The Mk. 19 automatic grenade launcher fires 40mm grenades at targets nearly a mile away. Against infantry, each grenade kills targets within 5 meters of its impact and wounds people within 15 meters. It can even punch through some armored personnel carriers and many light vehicles.

8. M-134 minigun

Adopted during the Vietnam War, the M-134 fires between 2,000 and 6,000 7.62mm rounds per minute through six barrels. It was designed for helicopters to use in suppressing enemy troops, and it still chews through infantry formations today.

9. M1 Abrams

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Army Gertrud Zach

The M1 Abrams is the main battle tank of the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army. It carries a 120mm smoothbore main gun and can be fitted with machine guns from 5.56mm up to .50 cal. The almost 70-ton tank can race across the battlefield at over 40 miles per hour.

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Military working bees and other animals you didn’t know serve in the US military

Most people know about military working dogs, but there are some lesser known creatures that also conduct missions for the U.S. military:


1. Honeybees

Honeybees can smell explosives and other compounds nearly as well as dogs can, so researchers have begun training bees in bomb detection. The bees are trained to believe that sugar water is typically located near TNT. Once they make the association between TNT and sugar, they can be employed in two ways.

First, they can be restricted to glass tubes at check points. When people, cars, and packages are moved through the checkpoint, handlers watch the bees to see if they start moving their proboscis, a feeding tube that is part of their mouth. Movement in multiple bees is a sure sign that explosives are in the area. Alternatively, the bees can be fitted with radio transponders and released into a large area. Handlers then watch on computer screens to see where the bees swarm to and then check that spot for a mine.

2. Dolphins and Sea Lions

Though they’re slowly being replaced by drones, the Navy still uses trained dolphins and sea lions to hunt for mines and enemy swimmers. The animals are trained over a number of years and then deployed in vulnerable harbors, marking the mines and swimmers for human personnel to clear or capture. The aquatic mammals mark divers by attaching devices to their scuba tanks or limbs. They mark mines by attaching a cable or buoy to the mine. The mammals have been deployed to Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and both U.S. coasts.

One team of dolphins and handlers in the program, MK8, can deploy ahead of an amphibious landing group and indicate safe routes for ships, Marines, and other forces.

3. Mules

The Marine Corps has come up with a few innovative ideas for resupplying forward Marines, including stepping back to the days of pack animals and running mules. Mules were used in Afghanistan and the Marines maintain a training program at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California to prepare troops to use pack animals overseas.

4. Insect cyborgs

Currently going through development and testing in various DARPA programs, cyborg insects are designed for disaster relief and search-and-rescue missions. The bugs; muscles are controlled through implants. Researchers are experimenting with different power sources for the rig and any sensors strapped to the bug. One option that has been tested is nuclear cyborg bugs, where a low-radioactivity isotope is slowly broken down to power transmitters.

5. Horses

Most horse units were transitioned to mechanized in the lead up to World War II, and almost every U.S. horse unit has been shut down. But, there is an active law enforcement horse patrol in the U.S. Air Force. At Vandenberg Air Force Base, police have to clear launchpads and the surrounding area during missile launches and some of the area is too rough for ATVs. Also, patrols of the 40 miles of beach cannot always be done with vehicles due to a federally protected species that lives on the base. The horse patrols cover both the rough mountains and the beaches where vehicles can’t go. The U.S. also trains Marines and Special Forces to ride horses and other animals for certain operations.

 

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The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Back to standard two-day weekends. Oh well. At least Independence Day weekend was fun while it lasted.


1. Really, really fun (via Sh*t My LPO Says).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Hopefully, this guy wasn’t in your unit.

2. If you want logistics join the Army (via Terminal Lance)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
If you want robots, join DARPA.

SEE ALSO: 5 insane military projects that almost happened

3. Your medicine will be ready when it’s ready … (via Sh*t My LPO Says)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
… which will be sometime next Thursday.

4. Congratulations on your contract (via Sh*t My LPO Says).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
It’s a bummer when your family celebrates that they’ll only see you half the time for the next few years.

5. Budget cuts are taking a toll (via Air Force Memes and Humor)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
But at least everyone’s spirits are up.

6. Profiles, chits, doctors’ notes, it’s all shamming.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Not sure which service lets you spend your light duty drinking beer in a recliner though. Pretty good reenlistment incentive.

7. You know that even Unsolved Mysteries couldn’t answer that question, right? (via Team Non-Rec)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Warrant Officer’s are like reflective belts. The brass insist they work and everyone else just goes along with it.

8. I want to see these three guys shark attack some young private (via Sh*t My LPO Says).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
It’s always great when lieutenants explain the military to senior enlisted.

9. It gets real out there (via Team Non-Rec)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
I mean, they don’t even have napkins for their pizza.

10. Patriotic duty

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Say your pledges, protect America, see peace in our time.

11. They specialize in anti-oxidation operations and haze grey proliferation.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
That’s a fancy way of saying they scrape rust and spread paint.

12. Never forget (via Air Force Memes and Humor)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Clearly, this man behind the stick of an F/A-18 is a good idea.

13. You want their attention? Better have some Oakleys and cigarettes that “fell off a truck.”

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
This is also what the E4 promotion board looks like.

NOW: The 6 most shocking military impostors ever

WATCH: Vet On The Street

Lists

The 12 newest aircraft carriers in the world

The earliest aircraft carriers in history looked nothing like those of today.


They were known as “seaplane tenders” because they could only carry and support seaplanes.

These ships, like France’s Foudre and Britain’s HMS Ark Royal, didn’t even have large, flat decks because seaplanes could only take off from the surface of the ocean after being placed on the water.

Over a century later, almost everything has changed. Affectionately nicknamed “flattops,” aircraft carriers have become one of the most important weapons in the arsenals of navies around the world.

Also read: These really smart people say bigger is better when it comes to building aircraft carriers

There are currently 20 aircraft carriers in service with nine different countries around the world today. Five of those countries are currently building new aircraft carriers, which are expected to take to the seas in the next few decades.

The US, UK, China, India, and Italy are all either in the process of building new flattops or are in the final stages of planning. Aircraft carriers that support fixed-wing, smaller helicopters are being built and may be upgraded to carry aircraft, like the F-35B, which has vertical take-off and landing capabilities.

See the newest aircraft carriers here:

1. USS Gerald R. Ford

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 approaches the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) for an arrested landing, July 28, 2017. (US Navy)

The USS Gerald R. Ford was laid down in November 2009, completed in October 2013, and commissioned in July 2017. It is the lead ship of its class and is planned to be the first of 10 new aircraft carriers.

The ship has a number of new technologies, like the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, which is intended to replace the steam-powered launch system on current aircraft carriers.

With a length of 1,106 feet, Ford is expected to carry over 75 individual aircraft, with most of them planned to be F-35 variants. However, due to technical and delivery issues, Ford will likely not see F-35s on her deck until late 2018 at the earliest.

Ford recently tested launching F/A-18F Super Hornets off of its deck. It is expected to be fully operational and integrated and into the US Navy by 2022.

2. USS John F. Kennedy

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
A crane moves the lower stern into place on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, June 22, 2017. (US Navy)

USS John F. Kennedy is the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier to be built for the US Navy. The ship was reportedly 50% structurally complete as of June 2017.

Kennedy is currently under construction at a Huntington Ingalls Industries facility in Newport News, Virginia. The carrier was originally supposed to be completed in 2018, but it ran into a number of problems during construction.

Most of the problems stem from cost issues relating to the Gerald R. Ford. Ford had a cost increase of 22%, topping $12.8 billion in 2008.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended delaying the commissioning of the ship in 2013. It is now expected to be commissioned in 2020.

3. USS Enterprise

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Artist’s impression of the future USS Enterprise.

USS Enterprise is the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier currently being built. The first cut of steel was cut in a ceremony August 2017 by the ship’s sponsors, Olympians Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles.

Enterprise will the be the ninth vessel in the US Navy to have the name. The previous ship was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ever built and was decommissioned February 2018.

Like the Ford and the Kennedy, Enterprise expected to carry over 75 aircraft.

4. HMS Queen Elizabeth

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Portsmouth Harbour on February 2, 2018. (Crown Copyright)

Commissioned in 2017, HMS Queen Elizabeth is the newest aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, and currently Britain’s only active one as well.

Queen Elizabeth is unique from other carriers in that she has two control towers, one for sea operations, and one for air operations.

With a deck that is 932 feet long, Queen Elizabeth is intended to have up to 40 aircraft, with the F-35 being the main fixed-wing jet for the ship. Other aircraft planned to be included are Chinook helicopters, Apache AH MK1 gunships, AW101 Merlin transport helicopters, and AW159 Wildcat anti-surface warfare helicopters.

Queen Elizabeth docked for the first time at an overseas port on February 2018, when it visited Gibraltar.

5. HMS Prince of Wales

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
HMS Prince of Wales was officially named on Friday 8 September during a ceremony in Rosyth. The Naming Ceremony is a naval tradition dating back thousands of years and combines a celebration and a solemn blessing. (Aircraft Carrier Alliance)

HMS Prince of Wales is Britain’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. It is currently under construction at the Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland and will be Britain’s second aircraft carrier when complete.

Prince of Wales was officially named at a ceremony September 2017, which was attended by the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Rothesay.

December 2017, Prince of Wales un-docked and was afloat for the first time. The carrier was moved to her fitting-out berth, where she will have all of her equipment and controls added on.

The carrier is structurally complete and is expected to start sea trials in 2019 and be officially commissioned in 2020.

6. Liaoning

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
China’s carrier Liaoning.

Liaoning is the Peoples Liberation Army Navy’s first combat-capable aircraft carrier. China had bought other aircraft carriers before to use as casinos and museum ships, but it wasn’t until it purchased a half-built Soviet carrier in 1998 that China seriously started its carrier program.

Liaoning is 999 feet long and has an air wing of 26 Shenyang J-15 multi-role fighters, 12 Changhe Z-18 anti-submarine warfare/transport helicopters, and two Harbin Z-9 utility helicopters.

The carrier was commissioned in 2012, and although the Liaoning is a fully functional aircraft carrier, it is currently classified as a training ship, so as to help the Chinese Navy (PLAN) become familiar with aircraft carrier operations.

Related: These US aircraft carriers will be the first to launch unmanned tankers

7. Type 001A

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Type 001A aircraft carrier in Dalian, China, 2017.

The Type 001A is China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier. Initial construction started almost immediately after Liaoning was commissioned, and it has a number of improvements over its Soviet-built predecessor.

Most notably, the Type 001A has an overall length of 1,033 feet and is planned to carry 48 aircraft.

It is not known what the Type 001A will be named, but there was speculation that it will be named ‘Shandong.’ The carrier is currently being fitted out at the PLAN port in Dalian and is expected to be commissioned around 2020.

8. Type 002

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Aircraft Carrier Liaoning CV-16.

The Type 002 will be China’s second domestically-built aircraft carrier, and the third in its fleet. It has been under construction since 2015 and is reportedly a massive leap forward for China’s aircraft carrier ambitions.

The Type 002 will be nuclear powered, which will make China only the third nation in the world to have nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the first two being the US and France.

The carrier will also have electromagnetic (EMALS) catapults to launch aircraft from its deck, which is expected to be longer than the Liaoning.

The EMALS systems will allow the carrier to launch more than just J-15s, the only jet that can be launched on China’s other two carriers. In fact, China announced that it wants its future aircraft carriers to launch its J-31 or J-20 stealth jets.

China announced that it intends to speed the development of the unnamed Type 002, which is part of its plans to have a “blue-water navy” by 2025.

9. INS Vikramaditya

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
(Photo by Indian Navy)

INS Vikramaditya is currently India’s only aircraft carrier after India retired the INS Viraat in early 2017.

A heavily modified Kiev-class, it was originally built for the Soviet Navy in 1982 and served the Soviet Union under two names: Baku from 1987 to 1991, and Admiral Gorshkov from 1991 to 1996.

The carrier entered full service in the Indian Navy in 2013, after extensive modernization efforts.

Vikramaditya is 930 feet long and carries a total of 36 aircraft: 26 MiG-29K and 10 Kamov Ka-31 and Kamov Ka-28 helicopters. It is also the first ship in the Indian Navy to have an ATM on board.

1o. INS Vikrant

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Vikrant being moved for fitting out, June 10, 2015.

INS Vikrant is India’s first domestically-built aircraft carrier, and the first ship in the Indian Navy to be built completely using domestically-produced steel.

The carrier was ordered in 2004, and initial construction started in 2009. It is shorter than the Vikramaditya, with a total length of 860 feet. It will reportedly be able to carry 30 to 40 aircraft, mostly MiG-29Ks and helicopters.

The Vikrant has been the cause of a lot of headaches for India. It was delayed several times and has gone over budget, but is expected to finally start two years of sea trials by the end of 2018. It is planned to be commissioned in 2020.

More: These 4 islands could be America’s unsinkable aircraft carriers in the Pacific

11. Trieste

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
A model of the Trieste at the 2016 Naval Defense Exhibition in Paris. (DefenseWebTV/YouTube)

Trieste will be Italy’s third aircraft carrier, after the Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Cavour. The Trieste is not a traditional aircraft carrier, but a Landing Helicopter Dock, more similar to the US Navy’s America-class amphibious assault ship.

Its total length is 803 feet, smaller than the America-class. It will hold 12 aircraft, probably AgustaWestland AW101s or NHIndustries NH90.

But the Italian Navy may put a small number of F-35Bs, the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35, on the Trieste, which would make it a conventional aircraft carrier that can carry fixed-wing aircraft.

Italy currently has San Giorgio-class amphibious transport docks.

Trieste is expected to be launched in 2019, and commissioned in 2022.

12. ROKS Marado

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
A US Navy SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter flies by the Republic of Korea Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship Dokdo as it cruises through the East Sea, July 27, 2010. (US Navy)

Like the Trieste, South Korea’s ROKS Marado is an amphibious assault ship. Construction started April 2017 and it is expected to be launched just a year later, in April 2018.

Current plans are to have Morado commissioned by 2020, which will make it South Korea’s second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ships, behind ROKS Dokdo, which was commissioned in July of 2007.

At 653 feet, the Morado can currently carry 10 helicopters like the UH-1H, UH-60P or the Westland Super Lynx. However, like Italy, South Korea is debating putting F-35Bs on the ships as well.

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Here’s your weekly ration of memes to make Black Friday a little brighter. (And be safe out there, troops):


1. The Light Anti-tank Weapon usually wins (via The Most Combat Engineer Man In The World).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
But Sergeant Major is going to win when he sees you weren’t wearing gloves or a helmet.

2. ISIS has a lot of demented dreams that will never work out (via Team Non-Rec).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
After they fail to invade Russia, they can go ahead and fail to invade other places.

SEE ALSO: The mastermind of the Paris attacks was killed in a raid

3. When you know that 5-kilometer ruck march is really going to be a 20K.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
You could use that thing as an auxiliary fuel bladder for a Humvee.

4. Don’t mess with his pile (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
His pile is pretty much all he’s got in this world.

5. Air Force embracing the suck:

(via Air Force Nation)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen

6. The new 5.56mm lightbulbs (via Funker 530).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
They can get really bright.

7. Coast Guardsmen have their own motivations (via Coast Guard Memes).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
I like turtles too, buddy.

8. Marines know every discipline except “ammo.”

(via Devil Dog Nation)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
They throw ammo discipline out the window — along with a bunch of grenades.

9. Til Valhalla!

(via The Senior Specialist)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen

10. Aviation is for the elite (via Air Force Nation).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Doesn’t matter what they are elite in. Bus driving experience is helpful.

11. How medical section does poetry:

(via Sh-t My LPO Says)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen

12. McDonald’s makes the years of war worth it (via Military Nations).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Apparently, Freedom tastes like unidentifiable meat and thin barbecue sauce.

13. Stop playing …

(via The Senior Specialist)

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
… we know you’re going to sham.

Articles

5 things we’d love to do with the Army’s surplus battleship ammo

Popular Mechanics dug this gem out of the list of contract requests from a government website this week: The U.S. Army is soliciting a contract for someone to destroy 15,595 naval artillery rounds originally designed for the 16-inch guns of massive ships like the USS Iowa.


The Army has maintained the shells since the Navy retired the massive battleships that fired them, but these things can’t be safely stored forever and the military needs them gone.

Hiring a responsible contractor with a proven track record is the best way to do this, but WATM came up with these 5 more entertaining ideas:

1. Host history’s best Independence Day party

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
It would look like this, but near a beach while you and your mildly intoxicated buddies got to watch from the shore. (Photo: U.S. Navy PH1 Terry Cosgrove)

So, the Army is looking for solutions in October, which is exactly the right month to start planning the perfect party for July 4th. Especially if the plans involve a few thousand 16-inch artillery shells. Pretty sure those require permits or something. Be sure to tell the permit office that the fireworks will explode over the water or an open, uninhabited area. And that they’re pretty lethal loud.

2. Blowing up a mountain, like in Iron Man

Remember that scene where Tony Stark is showing off the Jericho missile and he blows up an entire mountain range? Pretty sure everyone reading this would pay at least $15 to see a mountain disappear. Call me Army. We could turn a profit on this.

3. Play a real life game of battleship

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
I would tune into this show for literally every episode. (Meme: courtesy Decelerate Your Life)

The Navy is already getting rid of some old ships, and the Army has found itself with way too many naval artillery shells, meaning this is the perfect time to hold a full-sized game of battleship. Pretty sure the TV ratings could pay for the cost of towing the ships into position.

4. Give drill sergeants really accurate artillery simulators

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
That smoke in the back is coming from an artillery simulator. That’s not realistic enough training for our fighting men and women. (Photo: U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. David J. Overson)

Right now, drill sergeants and other military trainers use little artillery simulators that make a loud whining noise and then a sharp pop to teach recruits to quickly react to incoming indirect fire. They’re great, but it really ignores that sphincter-tightening boom that comes with real incoming fire.

Now imagine that drill sergeants threw the artillery simulator and then were able to remotely detonate an actual, buried battleship shell 100 yards away. Right? No one gets hurt, but it would teach those kids to get their heads down pretty quick.

5. Create claymore mines that shoot grenades

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
This is what it looks like with 1.5 pounds of C4. Someone has to try this with battleship shells and their little grenade submunitions. (Photo: U.S. Army Capt. Adan Cazarez)

Stick with me here. Claymore mines are brutally effective. A C-4 charge sends 700 steel balls flying in an arc at enemies. But the Army currently needs to get rid of 835 warheads that contain grenade submunitions and a whole bunch of other warheads filled with Explosive D.

So, how about we cut the grenades out of the submunition warheads, and duct tape them in rows around the Explosive D warheads? Sure, it would probably break a few treaties to use them in war, but it’s perfectly legal for a government to create an awesome piece of performance art on a military range. Probably.

(h/t Doctrine Man and Popular Mechanics)

Articles

39 Awesome photos of life in the US Marine Corps infantry

YouTube, We Are The Mighty


From fighting pirates in the First Barbary War of 1801 to seizing the Kandahar International Airport in 2001 and beyond, Marine Corps infantrymen have been fighting and winning our nation’s battles for more than 200 years.

Known as “grunts,” infantrymen receive specialized training in weapons, tactics, and communications that make them effective in combat. And while many things have changed for grunts over time, they continue to carry on the legacy that was forged from the “small wars” to the “Frozen Chosin” to the jungles of Vietnam.

After more than a decade of war following the 9/11 attacks, many grunts have deployed to combat …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

… In Iraq, where they earned their place in history at Nasiriyah, Najaf, and Fallujah (shown here), and many others.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

While others deployed to Afghanistan, into the deadly Korengal Valley …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Darren Allen

 … Or more recently to Marjah, in Helmand Province.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

But before infantrymen join their units, they need to complete initial training. For enlisted Marines, that means going to the School of Infantry, either at Camp Pendleton, California or Camp Geiger, North Carolina.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

For officers, their training at Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Va. involves both tactics and weapons, along with a more intense focus on how to lead an infantry platoon.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

While most enlisted grunts become 0311 riflemen, others receive more specialized training, like 0331 machine-gunners, which learn the M240 machine gun (shown here), the MK19 grenade launcher, and the M2 .50 cal.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

0341 Mortarmen learn how to operate the 60 mm (shown below) and 81 mm mortar systems, which help riflemen with indirect fire support when they need a little bit more firepower.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

0351 Assaultmen learn basic demolitions, breaching, and become experts in destroying bad guys with the SMAW rocket system. The Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) is shown below.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Packing even more punch that’s usually vehicle-mounted, 0352 Anti-tank missilemen learn their primary M41 SABER (below) heavy anti-tank weapon and the Javelin, a medium anti-tank weapon.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Some more experienced infantrymen go into specialized fields, such as Reconnaissance or snipers (below).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

Always present is a focus on mission accomplishment, and to “keep their honor clean” — to preserve the legacy of the Corps …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Library of Congress

… That grunts are proud of. Always remembering heroics from the Chosin Reservoir Marines in Korea …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

… To those who fought in Vietnam jungles, or the storied battles of Hue and Khe Sanh.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Since Vietnam, grunts have been repeatedly been called upon for minor and major engagements, such as Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Operation United Shield in Somalia in 1995 (below).

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Darren Allen

But it’s not all combat.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Darren Allen

Marine grunts are constantly training, whether it’s practicing amphibious landings …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

… Or learning the skills needed to survive and thrive in a jungle environment.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Sometimes they take a break to catch up on their reading.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Michael Sinclair

And when they’re not training, they are trying to have fun.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Josh Boston

Sometimes … maybe too much fun.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Donnie Hickman

While technology has made today’s infantrymen even deadlier, the life of the grunt has always been spartan.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: US Marine Corps

Grunts often work in rough conditions, and they need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

And quite often, they need to be self-sufficient. At remote patrol bases, that means everything from burning their trash and other waste …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Paul Martin

To fixing their morning coffee in any way they can.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

Grunts learn to appreciate the little things, like care packages from home …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Matt McElhinney

… Any privacy they can get …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

… Or a “FOB Pup” to play around with in between missions.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

When they get into a fight with the enemy, they battle back just as their predecessors did.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

And with solid training and leadership, they can easily transition, as Gen. Mattis says, from no worse enemy to no better friend.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

When things don’t go exactly as planned …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Josh Boston

… Grunts can usually shake it off with a smile.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: JC Eliott

Especially in a combat zone, humor helps a unit through tough times.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

And there are plenty of opportunities for laughs.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Marc Anthony Madding

Whether it’s graffiti on a barrier …

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: JC Eliott

 Or taunting the Taliban with a Phillies t-shirt.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Zac Mercoli

But the bottom line is that grunts are the Marine Corps’ professional war-fighters.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

They forge brotherhoods that last for a lifetime.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo Credit: Nate Hall

And they never forget those who didn’t make it home.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Memorial ceremony for Sgt. Thomas Spitzer. (Photo Credit: US Marine Corps)

Lists

The 11 stages of leaving the Navy

The decision to get out of the Navy can be just as tough as the decision to join.


Everyone’s exit experience is different, but they all have these basic elements in common:

1. It all starts with a thought.

It sure would be nice to come and go as I pleased without having to worry about liberty restrictions. *Sigh* What a fantasy.

2. You begin to research life outside of the Navy.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Communication Specialist 3rd Class K. Ashley Lawrence/USN

Some Navy jobs transfer easily into the civilian world, maybe even with higher pay. Some of your training even counts for school credit. (The key word here is “some.”)

3. You tell a friend.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Gary Nichols/USN

 

4. The word gets out.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Gary Nichols/USN

Some of your friends will think you’re stupid while others will wish they had the courage to join you in facing the insecurities of civilian life.

5. You get the CMC talk.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Achterling/USN

This is the retention talk. The CMC will paint a picture of doom and gloom of life without the support of the Navy. It’s his job; he’s protecting the Navy’s investment. It costs a lot to train, feed, and house a sailor.

6. You make it official.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Damian Berg/USN

This is a big deal. It’s just as nerve-racking as signing your enlistment contract. “Come to me, DD-214.”

7. You celebrate.

You live up to the Navy song (Anchors Aweigh) and drink to the foam while partying one last time with shipmates — the best friends you’ve ever had.

8. You disappoint the CMC.

The CMC feels like he failed you and the Navy.

9. The feeling you get when you’re finally out.

All this time you were providing freedom and now you know what it feels like. You will never take it for granted again.

10. You become the token military guy.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Ranger Up YouTube screen grab

 

You become the unofficial spokesperson for all veterans. No matter what branch of the military you were in, you’ll get the questions. You’re now the expert in all things military, you know all the ranks in every branch, every custom, every piece of gear, every operation, etc. Our friends at Ranger Up made a video about this. Check it out.

11. You miss it.

After a few years, maybe even a few months, you begin to miss it. You miss the adventure, the awesome stuff you got to do, and most of all, the camaraderie. Congratulations, you experienced what one percent of America gets to do. When they say, “thank you for your service,” you can reply, “thank you for funding it.”

NOW: 9 tips for ‘skating’ in the Navy

AND: 9 things new chief petty officers do when they put on the khakis

OR: See what life is like on a US Navy carrier:

Articles

The US military took these incredible photos in just one week-long period

The military has very talented photographers in its ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. This is the best of what they shot this week:


AIR FORCE

President Barack Obama transits aboard Air Force One through the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., April 2, 2015. Obama was in town to discuss job training and economic growth during a visit to Indatus, a Louisville-based technology company that focuses on cloud-based applications.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Maj. Dale Greer/USAF

Crew chiefs prepare a B-1B Lancer on Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar, for combat operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists, April 8, 2015. Al Udeid is a strategic coalition air base in Qatar that supports over 90 combat and support aircraft and houses more than 5,000 military personnel.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Senior Airman James Richardson/USAF

NAVY

The guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) moors between two buoys in Port Victoria, Seychelles. Oscar Austin is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Ensign Kirsten Krock/USN

CARIBBEAN SEA (April 15, 2015) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter attached to the Sea Knights of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 22 provides search and rescue support during a search and rescue exercise conducted by the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during Continuing Promise 2015.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kameren Guy Hodnett/USN

ARMY

A Paratrooper from the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division provides security while mounted on a camouflaged Lightweight Tactical All Terrain Vehicle during Combined Joint Operational Access Exercise 15-01 on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, April 14, 2015.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Sgt. Flor Gonzalez/US Army

Engineers, from 2nd Cavalry Regiment, conduct a platoon breach at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, April 13, 2015, as part of Exercise Saber Junction 15. Saber Junction 15 is a multinational training exercise which builds and maintains partnership and interoperability within NATO.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Maj. Neil Penttila/US Army

MARINE CORPS

LISBON, Portugal – U.S. Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa post security during an assault training exercise near Lisbon, Portugal, April 10, 2015. Marines stationed out of Moron Air Base, Spain, traveled to Portugal to utilize a variety of different ranges and training exercises alongside with the Portuguese Marines.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Lance Cpl. Christopher Mendoza/USMC

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY , N.C. – Naval aviators with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 shoot flares from an EA-6B Prowler during routine training above Eastern North Carolina, April 14, 2015. VMAQT-1 student pilots and electronics countermeasures officers train to perform dynamic maneuvers while focusing on communication and radar jamming.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics/USMC

COAST GUARD

A helicopter from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen stands at the ready on the flight deck of Coast Guard Cutter Resolute.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: USCG

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Senecastands watch over Lower Manhattan in New York City with One World Trade Center in the background.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: USCG

NOW: 9 reasons candidates are disqualified from military service

OR: Watch Shepherds of Helmand:

Lists

7 movies every sailor needs to watch

There are movies that fizzle, and then there are movies that last for generations.


At any given moment on any given ship, one of these movies is guaranteed to be on rotation. They’re not only relatable, but timeless too. For example, “Cinderella Liberty” was made in the 1970s and yet a variation of the plot still happens to sailors in today’s Navy. And, when sailors watch “Master and Commander” they realize that the Navy hasn’t changed much since the 1800s.

Then, there are movies like “Top Gun” and “Officer and a Gentleman” that motivated a generation of sailors to join the service. “Top Gun” debuted in 1986 and until this day you can hear the echoes of aviators throughout the ship referring to each other as Maverick and Goose (our resident ex-naval aviator Ward Carroll disagrees. We’re guessing he’s a huge “Behind Enemy Lines” fan instead).

Another reason for the longevity of these films is because sailors relate to different characters at different stages of their careers. Early on they see themselves as Mayo in “Officer and a Gentleman” and years later they find themselves relating to Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter in “Crimson Tide.”

Here’s our list of movies movies every sailor needs to watch. Got any more? Add them to the comments.

1. The Sand Pebbles — 1966

This Navy engineer is transferred to a new ship in a foreign land where tensions are high with the United States. He doesn’t get along with the shipmates or the skipper and to make matters worse, he gets implicated in an incident that could cause full out war. Every sailor will relate to Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Holman played by Steve McQueen at some point in their career.

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: 20th Century Fox

 

2. The Hunt For Red October — 1990

Set during the Cold War, the USSR’s best submarine captain and crew plan to defect to the United States without triggering full out war. After watching this movie, you’ll realize that the USSR Navy isn’t very different from the U.S. Navy.

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Paramount Pictures

 

3. Top Gun — 1986

Dogfights, explosions, rivalries, and love, this movie was the beginning for a lot of aviators. A look at Maverick and you’ll understand what a lot of Navy pilots think of themselves.

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Paramount Pictures

 

 

4. Crimson Tide — 1995

On one hand you have a trigger-happy skipper ready to unleash his nukes onto Russia and on the other you have a subordinate staging a mutiny. It’s a sailor’s fantasy played out.

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Hollywood Pictures

 

5. Officer and a Gentleman — 1982

This story plays out every day in the military. It’s about a guy wanting to turn his life around by joining the Navy. Sound familiar?

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Paramount Pictures

 

6. Master and Commander — 2003

Although this film is recent compared to the others, it made our list for its timelessness. With phrases such as port side, starboard, head, and others, sailors quickly realize that if they were to be transported to the 1800s that they would still make good sailors.

 

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

7. Cinderella Liberty — 1973

A quick read of the captions and you could probably think of a sailor or two that fit the profile.

The 36 best World War II photos you’ve never seen
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

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