The threatened Philippine war over trash would be hilarious

Neither country has significant power projection, and Canada is much stronger than the Philippines, but Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte has threatened war with Canada over a large shipment of trash that has been stuck in a Philippine port for years.

The Philippine president and authoritarian strongman Rodrigo Duterte has threatened war with Canada over a festering trash debacle. That would be an amazing overreach by the bombastic leader, and it would result in one of the most mismatched military engagements in modern history, if the two sides could even manage to hit each other in any real way.

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This famous pilot once dangled from his plane by the machine gun

Royal Flying Corps Lt. Louis Strange would go on to have a distinguished career as a pioneering aviator, which was lucky for the British since Strange almost died halfway through World War I when his aircraft flipped in flight, and Strange found himself dangling by the machine gun drum.

Louis A. Strange was a British Pilot who would lead aerial forces in World War I and World War II, eventually rising to the rank of wing commander and earning top British awards like the Distinguished Service Order and Officer of the Order of the British Empire, which is lucky, because he almost died as a young pilot when he fell out of his plane and was left hanging from the machine gun.

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This Indian military unit fought for the Nazis

During World War II, some Indians wanted to fight the Axis, some wanted to keep fighting against the British, but most of them wanted independence.

During World War II, the military force aiming to install an Aryan master race over the world found potentially unlikely allies on the subcontinent of India where thousands of soldiers joined the "Free Indian Legion," fighting on behalf of the Nazis against the Allied Powers from the China-Burma-India Theater to the Atlantic Wall on D-Day.

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These were the helicopters of World War II

The helicopter was an iconic weapon of the Vietnam War, but it had actually served extensively in Korea and even, in some cases, in World War II. These early helicopters were used for scouting and rescue, plotting the path that helicopters would trod regularly in the decades since.

Think of a military helicopter. Think of it in combat. Is it a Black Hawk dropping off operators in urban combat? A Chinook picking troops up from a remote ridge or rooftop? Maybe you're old school and you see a Piasecki H-25 or H-19 Chickasaw from the Korean War. But few people will think all the way back to World War II when German and American helicopters all served on the front lines.

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America's first fighter plane blinded pilots and lost its wings

The Nieuport 28 was a capable and powerful fighter in World War I, but its engine had drawbacks that blinded the pilots and gave them diarrhea. Worse, its wings had a tendency to snap off during aggressive maneuvers.

When America threw its weight behind the Allies in World War I, optimistic politicians and the writers of the day predicted that, soon, tens of thousands of top-tier planes would pour from American factories to the front lines, blackening the skies over the "Huns." In reality, American aviation was too-far behind the combatants to catch up, and so American pilots took to the air with French castoffs that gave them diarrhea and nausea, obscured their vision, and would lose its wings during combat.

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The 8 rules for rookie combat pilots in World War I

During World War I, a German pilot who led and mentored the legendary "Red" Baron Manfred von Richthofen also earned fame for his own skill in the air. And that pilot, Oswald Boelcke, wrote the "Dicta Boelcke," eight rules for new pilots that would help them survive combat to earn experience and become resilient aces.

Before the Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen was Germany's air power hero, it was Oscar Boelcke, a German air ace and the mentor to von Richthofen and the "Flying Circus." Boelcke was one of Germany's first fighter aces and, when he took command of a group of fighters, he did all that he could to pass on the knowledge that would keep the men alive. He came up with eight rules that would stand for decades, and most still apply today.

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A fake smokestack made this German ship an unstoppable predator

During World War I, a new German warship slipped into the largely Allied-controlled Indian Ocean and captured or sunk 30 Allied ships and 25 civilian ships while attacking multiple shore installations in a short-lived, pirate-like rampage that lasted only about 90 days but terrorized British shippers.

The SMS Emden was supposed to be a nice ship, but not all that crazy important in war. It was a light cruiser, a utilitarian ship type that is quick, capable, but not all that robust or rugged. These ships are typically designed for low-level conflict or serve as a guard or screening force for larger ships like battleships or, later, carriers.

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It's official: F-35As in position to fight ISIS

The U.S. Air Force has released photos and video of an undisclosed number of F-35A Lightning IIs touching down at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, for the first time. This has been the starting point for many missions against ISIS, a fight the F-35A could be uniquely qualified for.

The Air Force's version of the F-35 Lightning II, the F-35A, has officially been deployed to the Middle East. In the air, the F-35A is supposed to be the most capable variant of the plane, and it has been sent to a base used to generate sorties against ISIS. The base is also well-positioned to support potential U.S. operations in Iran or across the Middle East.

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The Air Force's first chief of staff snuck to the front to kill 3 Germans

In World War I, long before he rose to command of air forces bombing Nazi Germany and then Imperial Japan, and long before he became the first Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Capt. Carl Spatz was ordered back to the U.S. in World War I without any combat time. So he snuck away to the front lines and killed three German planes before heading home.

He would later be the first top officer of the independent U.S. Air Force, a job he earned partially by leading the Allied air forces against Germany and Japan, but in World War I Carl Spatz was just a captain in charge of America's aerodrome in France. So, when his bosses tried to order him home near the end of the war, Spatz begged for a week at the front and used the time to shoot down three German planes.

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