Sure, it looks like a smooth little semi-auto mouse gun but, as with many things in this crazy world, under it’s sleekness hides some strangeness. First, it’s not a pee-shooter, but rather a 5-shot .45 ACP hardballer. Second, its not semi-auto at all but rather more of a pump-action. It’s the Semmerling LM-4, and though it may look like a swan to some, at its heart it’s still one odd little duck.
Since the beginning of modern time, there have been rough handed individuals whose services are retained by certain quiet branches of the government to maintain a fragile system of covert operations. These individuals are sent to exotic places, meet interesting people, and occasionally have to fight for their lives to make it back home.
In the 1970s, a small shadowy company in the Boston area by the name of the Semmerling Corporation began producing a compact little gun for the special purpose of arming such individuals. The primary tenants of the pistol was that it be a small and durable as possible, with absolute reliability but crucially pack a decent punch—no mouse guns, as the gun was to allow a covert agent working deep cover, to have a concealed firearm to engage in violence if they could not otherwise extract themselves from the situation.
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com
On 5 May 1945—five days after Hitler’s suicide—three Sherman tanks from the 23rd Tank Battalion of the U.S. 12th Armored Division under the command of Capt. John C. ‘Jack’ Lee Jr., liberated an Austrian castle called Schloss Itter in the Tyrol, a special prison that housed various French VIPs, including the ex-prime ministers Paul Reynaud and Eduard Daladier and former commanders-in-chief Generals Maxime Weygand and Paul Gamelin, amongst several others. Yet when the units of the veteran 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Division arrived to recapture the castle and execute the prisoners, Lee’s beleaguered and outnumbered men were joined by anti-Nazi German soldiers of the Wehrmacht, as well as some of the extremely feisty wives and
girlfriends of the (needless-to-say hitherto bickering) French VIPs, and together they fought off some of the best crack troops of the Third Reich. Steven Spielberg, how did you miss this story?
The battle for the fairytale, 13th century Castle Itter was the only time in WWII that American and German troops joined forces in combat, and it was also the only time in American history that U.S. troops defended a medieval castle against sustained attack by enemy forces…read the rest at the link above.
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week.
- Christopher Eger
Warship Wednesday, May 22
Here we see the New Mexico class battleship USS Mississippi (BB-41) in about 1918. The Mighty Miss had a career much longer than most other WWI-era battleships and gave good service for over forty years.
Laid down just a few months after the start of WWI in Europe, she was commissioned 18 December 1917 some eight months after the entry of the US into the Great War. Built as a oil-fired ship (most other warships of the era were coal burners), her WWI career was spent largely in US waters, a fleet in being along the US East Coast should the High Seas Fleet of Kaiser Wilhelm ever make a sortie to New York. In 1931 she was overhauled and modernized, spending almost all of the time period from 1919-1941 in the Pacific.
She would have been at Pearl Harbor more than likely alongside her sisters New Mexico and Idaho, but all three ships were sent to the Atlantic in June 1941 to help enforce the neutrality patrol against Nazi U-Boats. Once the Japanese struck in the Pacific however, Mississippi and her sisters were sent racing back to the Pacific. For the first several months of the war she protected convoys up and down the West Coast as California braced for invasion. In 1943 she helped protect the landings in the Aleutian Islands. After conducting shore bombardments in Peleiu, Makin Island, Kwajalein, and others, she found herself in the last Battleship vs Battleship action– the Battle of Suriago Strait. There, Mississippi herself fired the final salvo in history by a battleship against other warships– contributing to the sinking of Japanese battleship Yamashiro.
(Again with the camouflage. During WWII her armament of anti-aircraft guns steadily increased)
More shore bombardments in the Philippines and Okinawa took place before she witnessed the surrender of Japan in Tokyo Bay, winning a total of eight battle stars. In 1946, while most of the rest of the pre-1938 US battleships were laid up and/or scrapped, Mississippi was reclassified from BB-41 to AG-128 (auxiliary, gunnery training/guided missile ship) and spent the next decade as a platform for development of surface to air and surface to surface missiles. For this her rear turrets were removed to give a platform of missile launchers. Without her, the RIM-2 Terrier and Petrel missiles would never have been adopted.
Stricken in 1956, at the time she was the last pre-WWII battleship in active service with the US Navy. Of the 12 WWII era US dreadnoughts, only three of the Iowa class were on active duty when Mississippi was decommissioned. The other 9 much newer North Carolina, SoDak, Alaska, and Iowa-class battleships and battle cruisers all being laid up in red lead row as members of the mothball fleet. Within a few years all of these except the Iowas would be pulled from mothballs and sent either to live the rest of their lives as museum ships, or broken up.
Mississippi herself was scrapped without ceremony at the end of 1956, just shy of her 40th birthday. Today knick knacks of the ship sail beneath the sea with the modern Virgina-class submarine USS Mississippi, after being carried for a while by a large nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser of the same name while her bell and silver set are on display in her home state.
Displacement: 32,000 long tons (32,500 t)
Length: 624 ft (190 m)
Beam: 97.4 ft (29.7 m)
Draft: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Speed: 21 kn (24 mph; 39 km/h)
Complement: 55 officers, 1,026 enlisted
12 × 14 in (360 mm) guns,
14 × 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal guns
4 × 3 in (76 mm) guns, and
2 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes
Belt: 8–13.5 in (203–343 mm)
Barbettes: 13 in (330 mm)
Turret face: 18 in (457 mm)
Turret sides: 9–10 in (229–254 mm)
Turret top: 5 in (127 mm)
Turret rear 9 in (229 mm)
Conning tower: 11.5 in (292 mm)
Decks: 3.5 in (89 mm)
If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO)
They are possibly one of the best sources of naval lore http://www.warship.org/naval.htm
The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.
Nearing their 50th Anniversary, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.
I’m a member, so should you be!
The service today began the public process of searching for a company who can bring three airmen killed in the line of duty – on November 29, 1942 – back home to U.S. soil.
The difficulty is that the three men, two from the Coast Guard and one from the Army, are encased in ice, 40 ft. below the surface near Koge Bay, Greenland, in their amphibious J2F-4.
“The United States Coast Guard has located a downed J2F-4 Grumman Duck aircraft in the arctic of Greenland that was lost during World War 2,” reads the sources sought notice in today’s Federal Business Opportunities website. “The aircraft is in a remote region of the arctic and buried under 40 feet of ice.” Onboard, presumably, are Coast Guard Lt. John Pritchard, Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Bottoms and U.S. Army Air Force Cpl. Loren Howarth.
Keep reading at Aviation Week
Never let it be said that the U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t take care of its own in addition to others.
In the 1950s cars were made out of steel, cigarettes were a food group, and men scraped the hair from their face with a straight razor. That decade where Elvis was thin and everybody liked Ike was also the golden age of the battle rifle.
In 1953, the infant NATO military alliance adopted the US-developed 7.62×51mm T65E3 cartridge as its standard rifle round. This round was destined to replace the US .30-06 fired by the M1 Garand, the British .303 of the Commonwealth Armies, the 8mm Mauser of the West German Army and others. It brought to the table a shorter length round that still had the power of the cartridges it replaced—but with less recoil. This led to a number of so-called battle rifle designs, ending the 70-year reign of the bolt-action rifle in military service. and Guns.com is looking at five classics, many of which are still around today:
Read the rest at GUNs.com
(The m14 in the hands of the soldier above in Afghanistan is likely as old as his father, but is still trucking. Classics are like that)
Cody Wilson, maverick firearms geek behind the printable gun craze is back in hot water again. This time its for the design of his new single shot (single use) Liberator pistol. The thing is, he didn’t even sell it, he gave it away. This brought the ire not of the ATF, FBI, or some other law enforcement organization– but instead, the State Department.
After all the original Liberator was designed as a throwaway ‘gun to get a gun’ that could be dropped to resistance fighters behind enemy lines during World War Two. It seems that some overseas governments may be scared of letting this genie get out of the bottle.
As crazy as it sounds, this is for real.
Read the rest in my article in Firearms Talk.com
Black Aces Tactical has done it again by listening to the marketplace and giving the shotgunners what they want– a retrofit kit that will enable your humble Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 to accept detachable box magazines. Not only is this not just a theory, it’s a reality and they are selling them now.
Shotguns are not new. They have been around for hundreds of years, it’s just that in the past century, or so we have decided to increase their magazine capacity. Early shotguns were single shots, with the double barrel being brought on the scene to increase magazine capacity by 100%. In the late 19th century, the first tubular magazine shotguns came out. They allowed faster follow-up shots as well as being more tactically sound in a combat situation. Today almost every serious rifle in the world uses detachable box magazines– so isn’t it time that the shotgun caught up with the times? Black Aces thinks so.
Read the rest in my article at Firearms Talk.com
Don’t tell Joe Biden but it looks like the humble shotgun has triumphed again in one of the most amazing tales of home defense you are likely to read. It involves a shotgun, a bear, two senior citizens, and a cautionary tale about training.
Outside of the small village of Silver Cliff (pop 529) in Marinette County, there was a small cabin. A rural, back-to-nature way of life is central to this part of the country as the area’s two main rivers, the Peshtigo and Menominee, and many lakes, streams, and forests make it an outdoor destination. As reported by the IBTimes, WPRI, the Green Bay Gazette and others, it was here that 74-year old Gerre Ninnemann and his 71-year old wife Marie were spending a quiet spring day relaxing. That was until Gerre noticed their pet dog barking and went to see what the commotion was all about….
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk
As soon as I saw the guncase, I knew things were getting closer to being like right. The case had spent most of the past few months being empty, save for a few miscellaneous 22 rifles and the occasional shotgun. It was the firearms case of a local big box– and it had several .223 caliber semi-auto modern sporting rifles in it. It was then that I knew, things were slowly getting better.
Inside the case that I had grown to casually inspect every time I passed through the Big Box, I had gotten used to not seeing anything more technologically advanced than a bolt-action rifle or pump-action shotgun. Both of these concepts had come about in the 1880s. Sure, there was a lot of polymer and synthetics in the guns that were there, but you couldn’t really call them modern. With everyone afraid that pending legislation would forbid access to more current designs, the modern sporting rifle had vanished from store shelves in January 2013.
Now, five months into the year, to walk by this case and see no less than four semi-auto centerfire rifles with pistol grips, detachable box magazines, and accessory rails swelled by heart.
Finally, supply was starting to catch up to demand….or so it would seem…..Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk