How the Nazis developed a 'wonder weapon' that the Allies couldn't stop and changed the face of future wars - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY HISTORY

How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

On the morning of September 8, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the southeastern outskirts of recently liberated Paris. The blast killed six people and wounded 36 more. Nearly eight hours later, two more explosions occurred in London, killing three people and wounding 17.

One of the explosions in London left a crater 30 feet wide and 8 feet deep. The site was closed to the public, and censors barred journalists from reporting on it. The blast was blamed on a faulty gas main and quickly hushed up.


Hundreds of explosions in the following weeks forced the British to admit the truth. The Germans had launched a horrifying new type of weapon at France and England: the V-2, the first guided ballistic missile in history.

For almost a year, more than 3,000 V-2s would be launched at civilian and military targets in Belgium, Britain, France, and the Netherlands.

A vengeance weapon

Development of the V-2 started in 1934. The German Wehrmacht had a keen interest in rockets, and some of Germany’s best engineers were tasked by the military to create this new “Wunderwaffe” or “wonder weapon.”

The missile had its first successful test flight in October 1942. Traveling over 118 miles and reaching an altitude of 277,200 feet, or 52.5 miles, it was the first rocket to reach the edge of space.

The project was repeatedly downgraded and upgraded during the war, but in 1943 it became one of the largest weapons projects of the Third Reich.

Hitler, angry at the destruction Allied bombing was causing in Germany, wanted to strike Allied cities in revenge. The missile became the second in Hitler’s series of “Vergeltungswaffen,” or “vengeance weapons,” and was designated V-2.

About 6,000 V-2 rockets were built. They were intended to be launched from hardened complexes similar to modern missile silos, but Allied bombing and advances on the ground forced the Germans to rely on mobile launch platforms.

V-2s were much more complex and larger than their predecessor, the V-1. They were about 46 feet tall and were equipped with a 2,000-pound amatol warhead at the tip. They also had a range of 200 miles.

After launch, the missile rose over 50 miles into the air and reached a speed of over 3,000 mph, enabling most to reach their targets in just five minutes. V-2s were so fast that they could hit their targets at up to 1,790 mph.

A program of death and destruction

Their speed and operational ceiling made them impossible to intercept, and Allied attempts to jam the V-2’s guidance system were useless, as the missile did not use radio guidance. (Its guidance system was an innovation in its own right; gyroscopes and an analog computer in it constantly tracked and adjusted its course to a preprogrammed destination.)

Up to 100 V-2s were launched each day, and they wreaked havoc on Allied cities. Over 2,700 people were killed by the missiles in Britain alone.

One V-2 struck a packed cinema in the Belgian port city of Antwerp, killing 567 people, including 296 Allied soldiers — the deadliest strike from a single piece of aerial ordnance in the European theater.

There is no complete official toll, but it is estimated that V-2 attacks killed anywhere from 5,000 to 9,000 people. Together, V-1 and V-2 attacks caused over 30,000 civilian casualties and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

That number does not include the deaths of 10,000 to 20,000 people who were used as slave labor in V-2 construction at the underground Mittelwerk factory and various concentration camps.

Desperate to stop the strikes, the Allies launched Operation Crossbow — a series of operations and bombing campaigns aimed at destroying the V-weapon program. The Allies were aware of the V-2 as early as 1943 and even managed to obtain V-2 parts with the assistance of the Polish Home Army.

A lasting legacy

In the end, the V-2, like many of Nazi Germany’s so-called wonder weapons, was too little, too late. Though the civilian body count was high, it was smaller than that caused by other weapons.

Moreover, V-2s did almost no significant damage to military targets, and by 1944 the Allied war machine was just too large for Germany to fight off.

The Wehrmacht spent so much money and resources on the V-2 for such minimal military gain that Freeman Dyson, a Royal Air Force analyst during the war, later likened it to “a policy of unilateral disarmament.”

But the V-2 left a lasting legacy. Combined with the advent of nuclear weapons, it proved that the most important weapons of the future would be ballistic missiles.

The Soviets and the Western Allies scrambled to collect as much of the V-2 program as possible when the war ended, and some of the earliest ballistic missiles on both sides of the Cold War were essentially copies of the V-2.

Many scientists from the V-2 program, including its leader, Wernher von Braun, were also directly involved in the US space program, ultimately helping NASA land on the moon in 1969.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY HISTORY

The story of the legendary Black Samurai

The Black Samurai, despite sounding like a name that’d be more at home in a movie or a comic book than the real world, is a genuine nickname given to a mysterious man from feudal Japan, otherwise known only as Yasuke.

The rank of samurai was, of course, considered one of great prestige and it came with a number of perks including a salary, land, a stipend of rice, servants and the ability to kill commoners who offended them without consequence. In regards to that last one, kiri-sute gomen (literally: authorization to cut and leave) was a right granted to samurai that allowed them to kill anyone of a lower rank (even other samurai of lower rank) for any perceived slight against their honor. While this has little to do with the story of Yasuke, we couldn’t not mention the fact that samurai had the ability to basically murder people without consequence, so long as a given set of restrictions was honored, such as doctors and midwives were exempt to a certain extent, that the blow had to come directly after the affront and not later, a witness to the slight was required for proof a slight was in fact made, etc. etc. But in the general case, samurai were of such high standing that dishonoring one in front of a witness was a great way to end one’s life.


Given the highly regarded position samurai enjoyed, it was seldom an honor doled out to foreigners and, as such, there are less than a dozen confirmed examples of a person outside of feudal Japan being allowed to call themselves samurai. Amongst this select group of foreigners, Yasuke not only stands out for being speculated to have been the first, but also because he was the only one who was black.

How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

Little is known about Yasuke’s past, so little in fact that we know neither where he was born nor his original name. It’s mostly agreed that Yasuke hailed from somewhere in Africa, though which area exactly has never been conclusively established, with Mozambique mentioned most in accounts of his life. This is thanks to the Histoire Ecclesiastique Des Isles Et Royaumes Du Japon written in 1627 by one Francois Solier where he claims Yasuke was from that region. However, it’s not clear what his own source for that information was and he wrote it almost a half century after the last known direct documented evidence of Yasuke.

Whatever the case, originally believed to have been a slave captured sometime in the 1570s by the Portuguese, Yasuke was bought by and became the servant of an Italian Jesuit and missionary called Alessandro Valignano. Valignano was famed for his insistence that missionaries to Japan become fluent with the language, requiring a full two years of study in Japanese, which helped his group stand out and be more successful than others. As for Yasuke, he travelled with and served Valignano for several years until the pair made port in Japan around 1579.

Upon arriving in Japan, as you might expect Yasuke immediately became a subject of intrigue and curiosity, both because of his apparently extremely dark skin and his intimidating stature. Variously described as being between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 5 inches tall, Yasuke towered over the Japanese populace of the period, with males only averaging about 5 feet tall at the time. Beyond his height, he is said to have possessed a powerful, chiselled physique. According to legend, Yasuke’s very presence inspired both terror and curiosity in locals to such an extent that several people were supposedly crushed to death in an attempt to make their way through a large crowd that had gathered to see him. Other stories tell of people breaking down the doors of the places Yasuke was staying just to catch a glimpse.

Yasuke: Story of the African Samurai in Japan

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Whether any of that is true or not, sometime in 1581 while visiting Japan’s capital, Yasuke came to the attention of a man who is considered one of the people ultimately responsible for the unification of Japan, famed Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga apparently insisted on meeting the mysterious dark-skinned stranger who was causing such a commotion in his city. Upon meeting Yasuke, according to an account by Jesuit Luis Frois, Nobunaga apparently ordered Yaskue to be roughly scrubbed with brushes to prove that his dark skin was real and not artificially done with ash, charcoal, or the like.

It’s from this first meeting that one of the only known accounts of Yasuke’s appearance comes from, with this fateful meeting documented in the Lord Nobunaga Chronicle:

On the 23rd of the 2nd month March 23, 1581, a black page (“kuro-bōzu”) came from the Christian countries. He looked about 26, 24 or 25 by Western count or 27 years old; his entire body was black like that of an ox. The man was healthy and good-looking. Moreover, his strength was greater than that of 10 men…. Nobunaga’s nephew gave him a sum of money at this first meeting.

Presumably thanks to Valignano requiring missionaries to Japan to learn Japanese, it appears at this point he also required it of Yasuke, as Nobunaga was said to have greatly enjoyed conversing with Yasuke and was intrigued to learn about his homeland. He ended up liking Yasuke so much that he eventually took him as his own, or rather officially Valignano gifted him to the warlord.

Nobunaga, who was known to have a fondness for other cultures, which is in part why he was allowing Christian missionaries to operate in the area, gave his newly found confidant the name Yasuke. Although technically still a slave in the sense that he had to serve Nobunaga, Yasuke quickly rose in stature in the eyes of Nobunaga, with Yasuke ultimately given a house, salary, and servants of his own. During his rise, he apparently served as Nobunaga’s weapon bearer and bodyguard and was otherwise seemingly treated as an equal by his peers. Yasuke was also eventually given a katana from Nobunaga, apparently conferring the title of samurai upon him as only samurai were permitted to carry such a weapon at the time. It’s also noteworthy that he wore the traditional armor of the samurai when in battle. Yasuke also had the frequent extreme honor of dining with Nobunaga, something few others were allowed to do.

How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

Oda Nobunaga.

Yasuke’s time with Nobunaga was cut short, however, when the warlord was betrayed by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide, a year later in 1582. In a nutshell, Nobunaga was at the Honnō-ji temple in Kyoto, taking with him only a contingent of 30 pages and guards. For reasons unknown, though perhaps just a simple power grab, Mitsuhide chose to betray Nobunaga at this point, surrounding the temple and attacking. Yasuke is known to have been there and fought alongside Nobunaga, but ultimately when defeat was imminent as the temple burned around them, Nobunaga chose to commit ritual suicide rather than be captured.

Legend has it, whether true or not isn’t known, that one of Nobunaga’s last acts was to order Yasuke to carry Nobunaga’s head and sword to his son and heir, Oda Nobutada.

Whether he actually did this or not, it is known Yasuke managed to escape and joined Nobutada who himself was under attack at the time by a separate contingent of Mitsuhide’s soldiers at nearby Nijō Castle.

Nobunaga’s son was eventually defeated, committed ritual suicide, and Yasuke was captured by Mitsuhide’s men. Apparently unsure what to do with the foreign samurai, or even whether they should consider him a true samurai or not despite that he wielded the sword and wore the traditional armor, they chose not to kill him and instead left it to Mitsuhide to tell them what to do.

In the end, while there is some contention, it would seem Mitsuhide decided to dishonor Yasuke by not allowing him to commit ritual suicide and instead had him returned to the Jesuits. Whether Mitsuhide did this out of pity or contempt for Yasuke is a matter of contention, though it’s noteworthy that there was little in the way of racism towards black people in Japan at the time because so few black people ever visited the country anyway.

From here, as unlikely as it’s going to sound, Yasuke, the giant, Japanese speaking black, now ronin, samurai who supposedly caused crushing crowds wherever he went, disappeared from history, even in the Jesuit’s own accounts. This has led some to speculate that he did not stay with the Jesuits and even some speculation that, if becoming a samurai wasn’t enough, that he became a pirate after this, meaning his moniker could have potentially been not just The Black Samurai, but the ultimate in badass nicknames- The Black Pirate Samurai, though there is unfortunately no hard documented evidence that he actually became a pirate.

This article originally appeared on Today I Found Out. Follow @TodayIFoundOut on Twitter.

Also read:

  • Saburō Sakai: The Samurai of the Skies
  • The Man Who Was Too Sexy For Hollywood
  • A Japanese Soldier Who Continued Fighting WWII 29 Years After the Japanese Surrendered, Because He Didn’t Know
  • The Man Who Fought in WWII With a Sword and Bow
  • MIGHTY TRENDING

    The Air Force’s week in photos

    These photos from the week of Aug. 24, 2018, feature airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    2. Airman 1st Class Cassandra Herlache, 9th Operation Support Squadron radar, airfield and weather apprentice, executes a climb during a trial run at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 16, 2018. Airmen in the process of climbing must have three points of physical contact with the tower at all times.

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Parsons)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Quail)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Xavier Lockley)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Cameron Lewis)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne A. Clark)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank)

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Ross Franquemont)

    13. A U-2 Dragon Lady pilot assigned to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing pilots the high-altitude reconnaissance platform at approximately 70,000 feet above an undisclosed location. The U-2 is a high-altitude, near space reconnaissance aircraft and delivers critical imagery which enables decision makers at all levels the visual capabilities to execute informed decisions in any phase of conflict.

    This article originally appeared on the United States Air Force. Follow @usairforce on Twitter.

    MIGHTY TRENDING

    Russia’s longing for former Soviet Union hits 14-year high

    More Russians regret the breakup of the Soviet Union than at any other time since 2004, an opinion poll shows.

    In a survey whose results were published on Dec. 19, 2018, two-thirds — or 66 percent — of respondents answered “yes” when asked whether they regret the 1991 Soviet collapse.

    That is up from 58 percent a year earlier and is the highest proportion since 2004, the last year of President Vladimir Putin’s first term, Levada said.


    One-quarter of respondents said they do not regret the Soviet breakup, the lowest proportion since 2005, and 9 percent said they could not answer.

    Putin, president from 2000-08 and 2012 to the present, has often played up the achievements of the Soviet Union while playing down some of its darkest chapters.

    In 2005, Putin called the Soviet breakup the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, citing the large numbers of Russians it left outside Russia.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    In March 2018, when asked what event in the country’s history he would like to have been able to change, he named the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    But Levada said that Russians’ concerns about their economic security today were among the main reasons for the increase in the number voicing regret.

    A highly unpopular plan to raise the retirement age by five years has stoked antigovernment sentiment and pushed Putin’s own approval ratings down in 2018.

    The peak of regret over the Soviet collapse came in 2000, when 75 percent of Russian polled by Levada answered “yes” to the same question.

    In 2018, Levada surveyed 1,600 people nationwide in the Nov. 22-28, 2018 poll.

    The pollster said that 52 percent of respondents named the collapse of the Soviet Union’s “single economic system” as the main thing they regretted.

    Worries about their current economic situation and prospects were a major factor for many of those respondents, Levada said.

    At the same time, 36 percent said they miss the “feeling of belonging to a great power,” and 31 percent lamented mistrust and cruelty in society.

    This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Follow @RFERL on Twitter.

    popular

    8 times ‘Jarhead 2’ made you grit your teeth

    Hollywood loves to make sequels even from semi-successful films. Maybe that’s the reason why “Jarhead 2” was made or just because the world needs more movies about Jarheads — but who knows.


    Released in 2014, the film follows a squad of supply Marines who get attacked by enemy forces and must fight their way to safety. Some other stuff happens along the way and spoiler alert — most of them eventually make it back safely.

    There, we just saved you two hours.

    This film is one of many that makes Marines grit their teeth and have to look away — that’s difficult to pull off.

    So check out our list of moments that made us grit our teeth.

    1. Priority during a firefight

    In the opening scene of the film, the Marines at Patrol Base Cobra are under heavy attack from enemy forces. But this Marine is ordered to finish unloading supplies from a truck rather than firing his weapon to defend the area.

     

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    We guess hydrating is more important than laying down a base of fire. (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    2. Jarhead shows biggest bullseye ever

    Corpsmen and medics haven’t carried medical bags with the Red Cross stamped on it in decades — just saying. That’s a huge a** red cross to add insult to injury.

     

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars
    We wouldn’t want to stand next to this fictional Corpsman anywhere in country carrying that. (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    3. Camp Leatherwhat?

    They could have done a better job rendering what Camp Leatherneck looked like a few years ago. That’s why we have Google images.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Not even close. (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    The tent city of the real Camp Leatherneck. Much different, right?

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars
    The Marine Corps’ base camp in Afghanistan. (Source: Pinterest)

    4. Sleeves up and wearing the wrong undershirt

    A senior officer would know better than to put on the wrong color undershirt, wear gunny sleeves and sport a cover that looks like a blooming onion. Plus he’s wearing a guard duty belt for some reason.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    You could afford a talented actor like Stephen Lang, but researching Marine Corps uniforms wasn’t in the budget? (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    5. At the rifle range without any protective gear

    The Range Safety Officer would lose his qualification in a heartbeat if a superior saw this crap.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Safety isn’t a real issue. (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    6. Jarhead 2 could have at least got collar device placement right

    Oh, come on! Really?

     

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Countless numbers of teeth have just broken after spotting this captain’s rank insignia placement. (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    7. Worst secured perimeter ever

    If you wanted to attack these fictional Marines, you could just walk right up from behind and they would never f*cking notice.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    WTF? (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    8. Jarhead 2 features a scope mounted on the carrying handle

    Nope. This film takes place in 2013, meaning RCOs were used and mounted in lieu of a carrying handle. No offense, but supply Marines do not rate those types of scopes.

     

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    For the love of God, do some research people. (Source: Universal/ Screenshot)

    MIGHTY TRENDING

    Navy ships back up Taiwan before important summit

    The US Navy sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait Nov. 28, 2018, just days ahead of a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale, accompanied by the Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Pecos, transited the strait, US Pacific Fleet explained to Business Insider in an emailed statement.


    “The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Dave Werner, a Pacific Fleet spokesman, told BI. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

    The move could be seen as a message to China, which the US has accused of intimidation and coercion in the region, behavior that runs contrary to the US vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” The US military has used similar rhetoric for freedom-of-navigation operations, bomber overflights, and other activities in that area that have at times run afoul of Chinese interests.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale.

    The US Navy sent two warships — the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur and the cruiser USS Antietam — through the strait in October 2018. A similar operation was carried out in July 2018, when the destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold sailed between mainland China and Taiwan.

    Beijing is extremely sensitive to US military maneuvers near Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province.

    The US Navy’s moves through the Taiwan Strait come just before Trump is expected to sit down to dinner with Xi at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The two leaders are expected to discuss a number of different issues, ranging from trade to tensions at sea, during their meeting.

    In recent months, the US Air Force has repeatedly flown B-52 bombers over the South China Sea. In September 2018, a US Navy destroyer conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation near the contested Spratly Islands, where it was challenged by a Chinese warship that forced the American vessel off course.

    Despite some goodwill gestures, such as the recent port call by the USS Ronald Reagan in Hong Kong, tensions between Washington and Beijing persist.

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    The US Army is practicing a new way to get to a fight in Europe

    Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team started arriving in Europe this week for a nine-month rotation as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

    The 2nd ABCT’s rotation is the fifth one by an armored brigade in support of Atlantic Resolve, which started in 2014 to show US commitment to Europe’s defense after Russia’s interference in Ukraine.

    But the unit is the first “in recent memory” to use the port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands, where soldiers, Army civilians, and local workers started unloading the first of three shipments of equipment early on Oct. 11, 2019.


    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    A 2nd ABCT soldier directs an M1A2 Abrams tank as vehicles are offloaded at the Port of Vlissingen, Netherlands, Oct. 11, 2019.

    (US Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

    Armored units deployed for Atlantic Resolve rotations are typically stationed in Germany or elsewhere in Eastern Europe and have in the past arrived at ports closer to their bases.

    But the 2nd ABCT’s arrival at Vlissingen — like that of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team at the nearby port of Antwerp last spring — is part of an Army effort to practice navigating Europe’s bureaucratic and geographic terrain.

    NATO has been trying to operate out of more ports in Europe since around 2015, according to Ben Hodges, who led the US Army in Europe between 2014 and 2017.

    There was a need to “to reestablish capabilities in all these ports” and “to demonstrate that we could come [into Europe] at a variety of different places,” Hodges, who is a retired lieutenant general, told Business Insider in 2018.

    Vlissingen is the “first main juncture point” for the 2nd ABCT’s current deployment, and its troops and gear will arrive at ports in Poland, Latvia, Belgium, Greece, and Romania throughout October, the Army said in a release.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    First Lt. Quanzel Caston, a unit movement officer with the 2nd ABCT, examines M1A2 Abrams tanks at the Port of Vlissingen, Netherlands, Oct. 11, 2019.

    (US Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

    In total, the unit will deploy about 3,500 soldiers, 85 tanks, 120 Bradley fighting vehicles, 15 Paladin self-propelled howitzers, 500 tracked vehicles, 1,200 wheeled vehicles and pieces of equipment, and 300 trailers.

    Massing forces across the Atlantic Resolve area of operation “displays the US Army’s readiness, cross-border military mobility and speed of assembly,” the release said.

    The Army’s 598th Transportation Brigade will move the 2nd ABCT’s gear a variety of ways, including by “low-barge, rail-head, line-haul and convoy operations.”

    It’s the first time the Army has used a low-barge inland cargo ship to transport tracked armored vehicles across Europe for Atlantic Resolve.

    “The significance of using the low-barge is it enhances readiness in the European region by introducing another method of movement to the Atlantic Resolve mission,” said Cpl. Dustin Jobe, noncommissioned officer in charge of lifting provisions for the 647th Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Sgt. Julian Blodgett, a senior mechanic with the 2nd ABCT directs an M1A2 Abrams tank for loading on a low-barge cargo ship at the Port of Vlissingen, Netherlands, Oct. 12, 2019.

    (US Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

    ‘Better than it was’

    The US Army in Europe shrank after the Cold War. Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014, however, the Army has beefed up its presence with exercises along NATO’s eastern flank and back-to-back rotations of armored units.

    But returning to Europe in force has highlighted NATO’s problems getting around the continent, where customs rules and regulations, insufficient infrastructure, and shortages of transports for heavy vehicles inhibit movement.

    These obstacles would present issues for any peacetime mobilization effort and led NATO to conclude in a 2017 internal report that its ability to rapidly deploy around Europe had “atrophied since the end of the Cold War.”

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    A local contractor attaches lift chains to an M1A2 Abrams tank for lowering into a low-barge ship at the Port of Vlissingen, Netherlands, Oct. 12, 2019.

    (US Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

    European countries, working through the European Union and NATO, have sought to reduce or eliminate the hurdles.

    A new NATO command based in Germany now oversees the movement of alliance forces in Europe, and the EU has set up Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, to address security issues by “integrating and strengthening defence cooperation within the EU framework.”

    The logistical skills of the US and its NATO allies will face their biggest test yet next year, during Defender 2020 in Europe — the US Army’s largest exercise in Europe in 25 years. It will range across 10 countries and involve 37,000 troops from at least 18 countries.

    The point of Defender 2020 “is to practice the reinforcement of US forces in Europe for the purposes of collective defense of the alliance,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the head of US Army Europe, said on Monday during a panel hosted by Defense One at the Association of the US Army’s annual conference in Washington, DC.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    A 2nd ABCT M1A2 Abram tank is raised over the pier at Vlissingen to be lowered onto a low-barge ship for transportation to another location in Europe, Oct. 12, 2019.

    (US Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

    “That’s something that requires practice, because you’re moving large forces great distances through complicated infrastructure and across a variety of different national lines,” Cavoli added.

    “We call this strategic readiness, the ability to strategically deploy and to project a force,” he said. “It’s a significant concatenation of small things that have to go right in order to do this well.”

    Asked about Europe’s railways, which vary in rail size and have differing regulations, Cavoli said there were procedural and infrastructural issues that had to be addressed.

    “Procedurally, we’ve made a great deal of progress across the alliance. Some countries, they’ve relaxed some of their restrictions, shortening the notification times required,” Cavoli said. “We, as an alliance, have gotten much more practice scheduling and moving and loading rail, and we’re able to move very, very quickly across great distances.”

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    US Army Reserve Cpl. Dustin Jobe watches a 2nd ABCT M1A2 Abram tank as it’s raised over the pier to be lowered onto a low-barge ship for transport elsewhere in Europe, at Vlissingen, Netherlands Oct. 12, 2019.

    (US Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

    But infrastructural problems remain, Cavoli said, pointing specifically to a difference in rail gauge between Poland and Lithuania. But Lithuania plans to buy dual-gauge rail cars for heavy equipment, Cavoli added.

    “In addition to that, across the alliance, there’ve been some challenges with bridge classification, with the strength of rail heads … can it take a tank driving off a train there?” Cavoli said. “The EU has really stepped in using prioritized … shopping lists, prioritized by NATO, and it has been investing throughout the alliance in mobility infrastructure.”

    Cavoli said recent exercises had exposed challenges to mobility but had also prompted NATO members “to get after those challenges. So I think we’re in a fairly good place right now.”

    Asked to assign the alliance a letter grade for mobility, Cavoli demurred, saying only that it’s “better than it was previously.”

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    Airman of the Year earns Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan

    A U.S. Air Force combat controller will receive the nation’s third highest award for valor for playing an essential role in two intense firefight missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan last year.

    Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith, an airman with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing at Air Force Special Operations Command, will receive the Silver Star at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on Nov. 22, 2019, the service announced Nov. 18, 2019.

    AFSOC spokeswoman 1st Lt. Alejandra Fontalvo said the award is for his total service during a 2018 deployment alongside an Army special forces team in support of the Resolute Support mission and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.


    Smith was also named the “2019 Airman of the Year” by Air Force Times. As part of the award, the paper interviewed Smith and detailed his actions.

    Serving as the sole joint terminal attack controller, or JTAC, during a two-week long mission, Smith and the joint Army and Afghan teams were sent out to disperse Taliban forces that had created a stronghold in the Maymana village in northwest Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2018.

    TSgt Cody Smith: Air Force Times Airman of the Year

    www.youtube.com

    En route to the area, the forces, which included Green Berets, lacked aerial cover due to poor weather conditions, but pressed on despite roadblocks and dozens of improvised explosive devices hidden within rubble along the path to slow their progress, according to Air Force Times.

    The groups were immediately met with machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades when they got to the village.

    Smith called in nearby AH-64 Apache helicopters, as well as F-16 Fighting Falcons that dropped “multiple precision guided 500-pound bombs engaging as close as 90 meters away,” Air Force officials said.

    The firefight went on for nearly 10 hours.

    Exactly one week later, pushing forward to Shirin Tagab just due north of Maymana, Smith and the teams were met by an overwhelming force — nearly 600 Taliban fighters amassing on the village’s southern flank. The fighters once again set up roadblocks and IEDs to slow the U.S. troops’ convoy before another fierce battle broke out — this time with mortars.

    Smith told Air Force Times the scene turned to chaos as dozens of civilians ran up to the troops for help to save their children wounded in the firefight.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith.

    (Air Force photo)

    Smith tried to get medical aid all while protecting the convoy. First hit in his body armor, Smith kept firing.

    Mortars rained down, and one exploded two meters away from his position, resulting in a severe concussion. When Smith awoke, he declined medical attention and fought for five more hours, Air Force Times reported, before an RPG hit his vehicle.

    For a second time, he turned medics away to keep fighting, the paper said.

    Smith called in 11 danger-close strikes amid the pandemonium during that Oct. 14 mission, resulting in 195 enemy fighters killed and 18 fighting positions destroyed. He aided in saving American and Afghan lives, and even helped medevac a wounded team member, Air Force Times said.

    “[He] remained with his team for the 14-hour vehicle movement back to friendly lines to ensure their safety,” the Air Force said Monday.

    The service has awarded 11 Air Force Crosses and 48 Silver Star Medals to Special Tactics airmen. Last year, President Donald Trump posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, also a combat controller, and promoted Chapman to master sergeant.

    This article originally appeared on Military.com. Follow @militarydotcom on Twitter.

    Articles

    That time a Coast Guard icebreaker made a massive drug bust off the coast of Jamaica

    Nope, that headline isn’t a mad lib. A Coast Guard icebreaker was sailing near Jamaica, the hot island in the tropics, and seized a boatload of marijuana.


    The capture came in 1984 and represented the first narcotics bust for an Arctic icebreaker.

    The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Northwind was based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, and spent most of its time breaking ice in the Great Lakes, Arctic, and Antarctic regions. But it was known to do some cruises in warmer climes, occasionally even the tropics.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars
    The U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Northwind in 1986, assisting Greenland in repopulating musk-ox herds. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

    In 1984, the Northwind was operating in the Atlantic. It MEDEVACed a woman from a sailboat one day, put out a fire with the U.S. Navy on another, and captured 20 tons of marijuana on its own on another day.

    The seizure came on Nov. 4, 1984. The Alexi I was sailing 240 miles from Jamaica when it was spotted by the Northwind and stopped. The Coast Guardsmen found 20 tons of marijuana onboard.

    That had to be rough for the crew of the CGC Glover, which had made news three days before with a 13-ton record-setting bust. At the time, the Northwind’s was the largest maritime marijuana capture in history, breaking a 1976 record established by the CGC Sherman.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars
    The U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Northwind was heavily armed for its class. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

    The Northwind served for another five years after the incident but was decommissioned in 1989 and sent to the James River Reserve Fleet. The ship was later broken down for scrap.

    MIGHTY TACTICAL

    This is what it’s like to take an F-16 to the absolute limit

    Anything close to the maximum structural speed for a jet is usually just for the glossy brochure—99.9% of the time we don’t come close to reaching it. There was one time, though, that I pushed the F-16 as fast as it could go.

    I was stationed in Korea and there was a jet coming out of maintenance; the engine had been swapped out and they needed a pilot to make sure it was airworthy. It was a clean jet—none of the typical missiles, bombs, targeting pod, external fuel tanks were loaded. It was a stripped down hot-rod capable of it’s theoretical maximum speed.

    When we fly, we usually go out as a formation to work on tactics; every drop of fuel is used to get ready for combat. This mission, however, called for me to launch as a single-ship and test the engine at multiple altitudes and power settings. The final check called for a max speed run.


    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Justin “Hasard” Lee in the cockpit of an F-16 (Sandboxx)

    I took off, entered the airspace, and quickly started the profile. Topped off, I could only carry 7,000 pounds of internal fuel; never enough with the monster engine behind me burning up to 50,000 pounds of fuel per hour. I knocked out the various tasks in about 15 minutes and then was ready for the max speed run.

    I was at 25,000 feet when I pushed the throttle forward, rotated it past the detent and engaged full afterburner—I would have 5 minutes of useable fuel at this setting. I could feel each of the 5-stages lighting off, pushing me forward. I accelerated to Mach 1—the speed of sound that Chuck Yeager famously broke in his Bell X-1—and started a climb. A few seconds later 35,000 feet went by as I maintained my speed. Soon I was at 45,000 feet and started to shallow my climb to arrive at the 50,000 foot service ceiling. This was as high as I could go, not because the jet couldn’t go higher, but because if the cockpit depressurized, I would black out within seconds.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt. Don Taggart)

    Looking out at 50,000 feet, the sky was now a few shades darker. I could start to see the curvature of the earth. To my right was the entire Korean peninsula—green with a thin layer of haze over it. To my left, a few clouds over the Yellow Sea separating me from mainland China.

    As I maintained my altitude, the jet started to accelerate. At 1.4 Mach, with only about 2 minutes of fuel left, I bunted over and started a dive to help with the acceleration. In my heads-up-display 1.5 Mach ticked by, backed up by an old mach indicator slowly spinning in my instrument console.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Justin “Hasard” Lee (Sandboxx)

    At 1.6 Mach, the jet started to shake. I was expecting it—the F-16 has a flight region around that airspeed that causes the wings to flutter. Still, this jet had a lot of hours on the airframe, and if anything were to fail, the breakup would be catastrophic. Similarly, ejecting at that speed would be well outside the design envelop—the air resistance at Mach 1.6 is about 300 times what a car experiences at highway speeds. A few pilots have tried, only to break nearly every bone in their body.

    So now, the option was slow down until the vibration stopped, or push though until it smoothed out on the other side. I was running low on fuel, so I elected to increase my dive so I could accelerate faster. Slowly 1.7 Mach ticked by, next 1.8, and then at 1.9, everything smoothed out. I was now traveling 1,500 mph over the Yellow Sea. The cockpit started feeling warm so I took my hand off the throttle and put it about a foot away from the canopy and could feel the heat radiating through my glove, similar to sticking your hand in an oven.

    At this point I was entering the thicker air at 35,000 feet which was preventing the Mach from going any higher. I was also nearly out of fuel, so I pulled the throttle out of afterburner and into military-powerthe highest non-afterburner power setting. Despite a significant amount of thrust still coming from the engine, the drag at 1.9 Mach caused the jet to rapidly decelerate, pushing me forward until my shoulder-harness straps locked. It took over 50 miles for the jet to slow down below the mach.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Justin “Hasard” Lee (Sandboxx)

    Taking a jet to 1.9 mach isn’t any sort of record; in fact, some aircraft have gone twice as fast. It is an interesting feeling, though, to be at the limit of what an iconic aircraft like the F-16 can give you. Thousands of incredible engineers, who I never had the chance to meet, designed the plane and you are now realizing the potential of what they built. The heat and vibration, coupled with being outside the ejection envelope, let you know the margin of safety is less than it normally is.

    I’ve since moved on to the F-35 which correctly prioritizes stealth, sensor fusion, and networking over top speed, so that’s likely as fast as I’ll ever go. It was a visceral experience that was a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s—where the primary metrics a plane was judged by how high and fast it could go.

    Make sure to check out Justin Lee’s podcast, The Professionals Playbook!

    This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.


    MIGHTY CULTURE

    How much a beer costs in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world

    Three cities currently share the title of most expensive city in the world — Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore — and, across those cities, the average price for a beer ranges from $1.77 and $2.27.

    That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Report, which uses over 400 prices across 160 different products and services — including food and drink — to calculate rankings. Among these products is the average cost of a bottle of beer (330 ml).


    Some cities, such as Copenhagen — home to major brewing company Carlsberg — saw price drops when compared to last year’s average prices. New York, meanwhile, led the charge with the highest price per beer bottle.

    Keep reading for a look at the cost of beer in 10 of the most expensive cities worldwide, along with some of the areas’ best-known breweries. All prices are in USD.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / Ralf Steinberger)

    Tel Aviv, Israel: .94

    City ranking by cost of living: 10

    Tel Aviv’s price per beer bottle dropped 25 cents from last year’s price of .19. Though Israel’s two major breweries are located farther up the coast in Ashkelon and Netanya, Tel Aviv is home to micro-breweries such as The Dancing Camel Brewing Company.

    Source: Time Out, Hareetz, Bloomberg, Tempo, Carlsberg

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr photo by Jörg Schubert)

    New York, USA: .33

    City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with Copenhagen and Seoul)

    New York has the highest price per bottle. The city is known for its breweries, and while many are upstate, several are located in the city area. Brooklyn especially is infamous for new pop-ups — including Circa Brewing Company and Five Boroughs Brewing Company — along with Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery, which was established in 1988. Overall, the price of beer in New York changed only eight cents, rising from last year’s price of .25.

    Source: Time Out, New York State Brewers’ Association, City Brew Tours, NY State Senate, Brooklyn Brewery

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / Ryan Bodenstein)

    Copenhagen, Denmark: .61

    City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Seoul)

    Home to the Carlsberg Group, Denmark’s capital has been brewing beer for over 170 years. Copenhagen’s price per bottle dropped almost 50 cents compared to last year, lowering its cost from .06.

    Source: Carlsberg Group, Visit Denmark

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / Philippe Teuwen)

    Seoul, South Korea: .13

    City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Copenhagen)

    Seoul’s beer scene is best known for the Oriental Breweries headquarters, more commonly known as OB. The city saw a bottle price reduction of eight cents compared to .25 last year.

    Source: Bloomberg

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / Pedro Szekely)

    Osaka, Japan: .30

    City ranking by cost of living: 5 (tied with Geneva)

    As the popularity of craft beer in Japan steadily increases, Osaka remains a major hub for both food and drink. Alongside restaurants with prime beer on tap, the city is home to several breweries, including Dotonbori Beer. The price change from last year included an eight cent raise from .22.

    Source: Culture Trip, Dontonbori Beer Co., Culture Trip

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / ITU Pictures)

    Geneva, Switzerland: id=”listicle-2632285079″.54

    City ranking by cost of living: 5 (tied with Osaka)

    While it is best known for its watchmaking and Swiss chocolate shops, Geneva hosted its first Open Air Craft Beer Festival in 2017 and is also home to Les Brasseurs micro-brewery. The city’s per per bottle dropped 34 cents compared to its 2018 price of id=”listicle-2632285079″.88.

    Source: Les Brasseurs, Geneva Live Tourism

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / szeke)

    Zurich, Switzerland: .25

    City ranking by cost of living: 4

    At over a dollar more than fellow Swiss city Geneva, Zurich’s price per bottle rings in at .25, down three cents from last year. Travel + Leisure noted that craft beer is becoming more accessible, and several small breweries now exist in the region.

    Source: Travel + Leisure, MySwitzerland

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / Barbara Willi)

    Hong Kong: id=”listicle-2632285079″.77

    City ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Singapore and Paris)

    Hong Kong is home to Hong Kong Beer Co., the city’s first craft brewery. According to the company’s website, it is also the first craft brewery in Asia to sell beer exclusively in bottles and kegs. Though Hong Kong is tied for the No. 1 most expensive city, it actually offers the cheapest beer prices amongst the expensive cities, with a price of id=”listicle-2632285079″.77 — down from last year’s id=”listicle-2632285079″.93.

    Source: Hong Kong Beer Co., Time Out

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (John Towner / Unsplash)

    Paris, France: .10

    City ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Singapore and Hong Kong)

    While Paris is better known for its wine — brought from vineyards in Bordeaux and Burgundy — the French capital has several microbreweries. Located both inside and just outside the city arrondissements, locations include La Brasserie de l’Etre, Paname Brewing Company, and Le Triangle. Beer prices dropped 35 cents compared to .45 in 2018.

    Source: Trip Savvy, Urban Adventures, Culture Trip

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    (Flickr / nlann)

    Singapore: .37

    City ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Paris and Hong Kong)

    Beer in Singapore is dominated by Heineken Asia Pacific — formerly known as Malayan Breweries Limited — which produces both the Heineken brand and also owns craft breweries such as Archipelago Brewery, whose headquarters are located outside the city in Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim.

    The area is best known for Tiger Beer, first brewed by Malayan Breweries Limited in 1932 but now distributed worldwide. Retaining its position as the most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year, Singapore’s beer prices dropped from .53 in 2018 to .37.

    Source: The Heineken Company, Time Out, Archipelago Brewery, Tiger Beer, CNBC

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

    MIGHTY MOVIES

    These discoveries will break your ‘Jurassic Park’-loving heart

    If your image of Tyrannosaurus rex is based on the ferocious creature in “Jurassic Park,” you’ve gotten quite a few things wrong about the “king of the dinosaurs.”

    In recent years, paleontologists have been revising the scientific consensus about how T. rex looked, sounded, and ate.

    “Everyone’s preconceived ideas of what T. rex acted like and looked like are going to be heavily modified,” Mark Norell, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, told Business Insider. The museum just opened an exhibit devoted to the dino, called “T. rex: The Ultimate Predator.”


    The exhibit showcases the latest research on the prehistoric animal. And as it turns out, these predators started their lives as fuzzy, turkey-sized hatchlings. They also had excellent vision, with forward-facing eyes like a hawk for superior depth perception. And T. rexes couldn’t run — instead, they walked at impressive speeds of up to 25 mph.

    But to be fair to Steven Spielberg, only seven or eight T. rex skeletons existed in the fossil record when his classic movie was produced in 1993. Since then, a dozen more skeletons have been discovered, and those bones have changed scientists’ understanding of the creatures.

    Here’s what the T. rex was really like when it hunted 66 million years ago, according to the experts at the AMNH.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Henry Osborn, Fred Saunders, and Barnum Brown on the AMNH scow Mary Jane, 1911.

    1. The first T. rex skeleton was discovered in 1902 by Barnum Brown, a paleontologist with the AMNH.

    Today, the institution boasts one of the few original T. rex skeletons on display.

    Tyrannosaurus rex — from the Greek words for “tyrant” and “lizard” and the Latin word for “king” — lived between 68 million and 66 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period (just before the asteroid impact that ended the era of the dinosaurs).

    2. The T. rex rocked a mullet of feathers on its head and neck, and some on its tail too.

    Feathers are rarely preserved in the fossil record, so they haven’t been found on a T. rex specimen. But other dinosaur fossils, including other tyrannosaur species and their relatives, do have preserved feathers.

    That means paleontologists can “safely assume” T. rex had feathers as well, Norell said.

    Though adult T. rexes were mostly covered in scales, scientists think they had patches of feathers on attention-getting areas like the head and tail.

    3. T. rex hatchlings looked more like fluffy turkeys than terrifying predators.

    T. rex hatchlings were covered in peach fuzz, much like a duckling. As they aged, they lost most of their feathers, keeping just the ones on the head, neck, and tail.

    Most hatchlings didn’t survive past infancy. A baby T. rex had a more than 60% chance of succumbing to predators, disease, accidents, or starvation during its first year of life.

    4. T. rex had a fairly short lifespan by human standards. No known T. rex lived past the age of 30.

    The T. rex was like “the James Dean of the dinosaurs,” said Gregory Erickson, a paleontologist from Florida State University who consulted on the museum’s new exhibit.

    The Hollywood actor, often connected to the famous quote “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse,” died in a fiery car crash at the age of 24. T. rexes, similarly, were spectacular but died quite young.

    Paleontologists can estimate the age that a dinosaur was when it died by analyzing its fossilized bones, which have growth rings that correspond to its age, much like trees. Experts can count the number of rings to determine its age, as well as compare the spaces between rings to find out how fast the dinosaur was growing at different ages.

    5. A T. rex grew from a tiny hatchling to a 9-ton predator in about 18 to 20 years, gaining an unbelievable 1,700 pounds per year.

    A full-grown Tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 6 to 9 tons. It stood about 12 to 13 feet tall at the hip and was about 40 to 43 feet long.

    6. The “king of the dinosaurs” evolved from a larger group of tyrannosaurs that were smaller and faster.


    While the T. rex emerged about 68 million years ago, its tyrannosaur ancestors were 100 million years older than that.

    The tyrannosauroidea superfamily consists of two dozen species spanning more than 100 million years of evolution.

    7. That evolutionary lineage might explain why T. rex had tiny arms.

    For earlier tyrannosaur relatives with smaller bodies, these tiny arms were long enough to grasp prey or pull food into their mouth.

    “The earliest tyrannosaur species had arms that were perfectly proportioned,” Erickson said.

    He said he thinks T. rex’s puny arms were vestigial — a body part or organ that no longer serves a function but is nevertheless retained (kind of like a human’s appendix or wisdom teeth).

    8. An adult T. rex didn’t need its arms to hunt — its massive jaws, filled with sharp teeth that constantly grew back, were enough.

    “T. rex was a head hunter,” Norell said. The predator had the rare ability to bite through solid bone and digest it.

    Paleontologists know this from the dinosaur’s fossilized poop; they’ve discovered T. rex feces containing tiny chunks of bone eroded by stomach acid.

    9. The force of a T. rex bite was stronger than that of any other animal.

    T. rex had a bite force of 7,800 pounds, equivalent to the crushing weight of about three Mini Cooper cars. By comparison, the massive saltwater crocodile of northern Australia — which grows to 17 feet and can weigh more than a ton — chomps down with 3,700 pounds of force.

    No other known animal could bite with such force, according to museum paleontologists.

    10. T. rex was also a cannibal.

    Scientists are pretty sure that T. rex ate members of its own species, but they don’t know whether the dinosaurs killed one another or just ate ones that were already dead.

    Arguments about whether the dinosaur was a hunter or a scavenger have raged over the years, but “a bulk of the evidence points to T. rex being a predator, not a scavenger,” Erickson said. “It was a hunter, day in and day out.”

    What Did a Baby T. rex Look Like? ? Find out in T. rex: The Ultimate Predator (Now Open!)

    www.youtube.com

    11. The predator had a keen sense of smell, acute vision, and excellent hearing, making it hard for prey to avoid detection.

    When “Jurassic Park” came out in 1993, scientists knew only that the T. rex was big and carnivorous and had a small brain, Erickson said.

    But now paleontologists know that the dinosaur had some of the largest eyes of any land animal ever.

    About the size of oranges, T. rex eyes faced forward like a hawk’s and were spread farther apart on its face than most other dinosaurs’ eyes, giving it superior depth perception during a hunt.

    12. One of the biggest differences between the museum’s depiction of T. rex and the images in popular culture is that the real animal appears to be much svelter.

    The new model shows a T. rex with even smaller forelimbs than previous ones and more prominent hind limbs.

    According to museum paleontologists, an adult T. rex walked with fairly straight legs, much like an elephant. Walking with bent legs would have placed immense stress on its bones and joints, quickly exhausting its leg muscles.

    13. So unlike the creature in “Jurassic Park,” the real T. rex couldn’t run. It just walked quickly.

    An adult T. rex had a long stride, helping it reach speeds of 10 to 25 mph. But the dinosaur never reached a suspended gait, since it always had at least one leg on the ground at all times.

    Juvenile T. rexes, which weighed less than an adult, could run.

    14. There are still a few lingering mysteries about T. rex, including what color it was.

    In movies and illustrations, the animal is often depicted in drab colors, similar to those of a crocodile. But the new museum exhibit suggests that, since reptiles come in every color, the T. rex could have been brightly colored.

    It’s also challenging for experts to determine the sex of the T. rex skeletons they dig up, leaving questions about differences between males and females unanswered as well.

    15. Scientists aren’t sure what T. rex sounded like, but the best guesses are based on the dinosaur’s closest living relatives: crocodiles and birds.

    A 2016 study suggested that T. rex probably didn’t roar, but most likely cooed, hooted, and made deep-throated booming sounds like the modern-day emu.

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

    MIGHTY HISTORY

    Arnold Schwarzenegger drives the same tank he trained on in the Army

    It’s not bravado, it’s not some Hollywood publicity stunt, and it sure as hell isn’t special effects. Arnold Schwarzenegger not only owns a tank, he knows how to drive it and operate it in every possible way. It wouldn’t have done him much good in the Army if he didn’t know how to use its weapons. But the tank he has is a special one – to him, anyway.

    The Terminator’s tank is the same one he used to learn his tank skills while serving in the Austrian Army.


    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Schwarzenegger (left, duh) in his Army days.

    Austria is one of few countries in Europe to have mandatory civil or military service upon graduating from high school at age 18. A young Arnold Schwarzenegger, never one to shirk his duties, did what he had to do. He joined up and became a tanker in the Austrian National Army in 1965. His tank is a 1951 M-47 Patton tank, designed for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to take the place of the Pershing tank in the early days of the Cold War.

    He’s owned his tank since 1991, paying ,000 to have it shipped from Austria.

    The 50-ton behemoth uses a V-12 Chrysler twin turbo gas engine and cranks out 810 horsepower for a max speed of 30 miles per hour and a whopping 2.3 miles per gallon. But Schwarzenegger doesn’t use it to get around the streets of Southern California.

    He uses it to keep kids in school.

    How the Nazis developed a ‘wonder weapon’ that the Allies couldn’t stop and changed the face of future wars

    Disadvantaged or at-risk students come to Schwarzenegger’s home to check out the tank and have fun with him in a series of after-school programs. The ones who stay in school get to drive the tank. With Arnold. And maybe even driving it over a few cars.

    He even put a day in the tank up as an Omaze reward, offering donors to The After-School All-Stars Program the chance to crush stuff and “blow sh*t up” with him. Before that, the tank was housed at the Motts Military Museum in Ohio. In 2008, the then-Governor of California decided his role would soon include driving over a few jalopies to support youth enrollment. The program has been ongoing ever since.

    Do Not Sell My Personal Information