Discovery of WWII photos in a foxhole was just a dumb hoax

Right around Independence Day, an amazing story went around: historians discover a soldier's camera at the site of the Battle of the Bulge. They develop the 70-year-old film and find grainy but gripping images taken by a soldier just before he was killed. It's an engrossing tale—but it's false: the photos came from a… » 7/11/14 2:22pm Friday 2:22pm

Spies in the Skies: How Aerial Surveillance Tipped the Balance of WWII

When General Werner von Fritsch, the then commander-in-chief of the German Army, predicted in 1938 that "the military organization which has the best reconnaissance unit will win the next war," few doubted that, in aerial reconnaissance and photography, the Luftwaffe reigned supreme. This, however, proved to be far… » 6/18/14 3:00pm 6/18/14 3:00pm

15 Incredible Photo Composites Match Up Normandy on D-Day and Today

Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, aka Operation Overlord, the single largest seaborne military invasion of all time. How has Normandy changed in the seven decades since? In these perfectly-matched photo composites, Getty Images photographer Peter Macdiarmid compares the quaint towns in 1944 and 2014. » 6/06/14 9:00am 6/06/14 9:00am

The TV-Guided Drones of World War II

Drones were quite primitive during World War II, compared with the unmanned aerial vehicles we know today. They were most commonly used as target practice for the Navy and rarely had offensive capabilities. But a few of these experimental planes were outfitted with some incredibly futuristic tech that would help pave… » 4/07/14 6:14pm 4/07/14 6:14pm

The 500 MPH Superplane That Bugatti Had to Hide From the Nazis

This is the Bugatti Model 100P: A 900 HP, 500 MPH, race plane imagined by none other than legendary automotive designer Ettore Bugatti, so technologically advanced that it could have single-handedly dominated the skies of WWII for Germany, had the Nazis ever gotten their hands on it. But after more than seven decades… » 3/10/14 11:40am 3/10/14 11:40am

The Incredible Flying Tanks of WWII

Given how devastatingly effective both newly-invented tank and airplane technologies proved during World War I, it was only a matter of time before enterprising military designers on both sides of the Atlantic thought to combine them into a flying Reece's Peanut Butter Cup of armored mayhem. And they almost succeeded.… » 2/20/14 11:40am 2/20/14 11:40am

Brutal Art Show Depicts Machines at the End of Humanity

It's hard to know where to begin describing artist Jan Manski's brutal new show forthcoming at London's BREESE LITTLE gallery. Called "Possesia" and opening to the public on February 26, it's a surreal and over the top look at "archaic instruments" turned into end-of-the-world machinery used by some unnamed conquering… » 2/14/14 6:05pm 2/14/14 6:05pm

The Real-Life Monument Men: How American Scholars Went to War For Art

They came from the best museums and universities in the country: Art historians, curators, artists and architects who probably never dreamed of joining the army. This band of unlikely soldiers was tasked with the uniquely challenging job of finding—and saving—Europe's great masterpieces before the Nazis could steal or… » 2/07/14 10:00am 2/07/14 10:00am

Watch a concrete WWII bunker get cut in half

In 2010 a Dutch WWII bunker was sliced in half to create one of the most unique war memorials in the world. This video documents the transformation of bunker 599 into a work of art. The sculpture, designed by Dutch studio RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon, recently won the Architectural Review Award in 2013 for Emerging… » 1/16/14 9:49pm 1/16/14 9:49pm

Being a Courier For The Manhattan Project Sounded Like An Awful Job

What would you do if your boss handed you a mysterious box and said that if anything weird started happening with it, to just ditch the thing and run as fast as you can? Well that's exactly what happened to a poor courier working for the Manhattan Project back in the 1940s — a courier who, as it turns out, was… » 10/23/13 7:12pm 10/23/13 7:12pm

This Bear Was an Official Member of Poland's WWII Army

After being invaded by Germany in the west and later by Soviet Russia in the east, the Polish government fled Warsaw but continued to fight from abroad. After Germany attacked Russia, the Russians decided to release their Polish prisoners of war, who then began re-forming into an army. » 9/26/13 6:00am 9/26/13 6:00am

How Underwater Drones Are Searching For the Lost Pilots of WWII

Deep below the Pacific Ocean, dozens of WWII pilots are lying in watery graves, still inside the aircraft took them across the sky decades ago. It's far too late for a rescue, but as Popular Science explains, the people behind the BentProp Project—and their undersea drones—are surfacing these soldiers' incredible… » 8/17/13 8:07pm 8/17/13 8:07pm

The Astonishing Tale of Nazi Prisoners, a Smuggled Camera, and Survival

In 1940, 5,000 French officers were held as prisoners of war in a German camp called Oflag 17A. There were thousands of captive soldiers in similar camps all across Germany, but these inmates had an advantage other prisoners could only dream of: a secret camera, smuggled in from the outside world. The footage—and… » 8/01/13 11:34am 8/01/13 11:34am

Marilyn Monroe Assembled Drones During World War II

It seems every six months or so these photos of Marilyn Monroe from World War II make the rounds on the good ol' internet machine. At the time they were captured in 1944 she hadn't yet taken the name Marilyn Monroe, nor had she dyed her curly locks blonde. She was simply known as Norma Jeane Dougherty and worked in a… » 7/26/13 11:54am 7/26/13 11:54am

UCLA's 1948 Mechanical Computer Was Simply Gorgeous To Watch in Action

The mechanical computers of yesterday may have been enormous, difficult to program, and amazingly clunky—but they sure were beautiful to watch in action. Released theatrically by Popular Science on August 6, 1948, this short film played before Paramount Pictures movies and demonstrated to the public how computers… » 7/22/13 6:54pm 7/22/13 6:54pm