Military Channel, ancient weapons, dogfights…medieval paleography

The Military Channel had a cool program on the other day, rating various machine guns.  Sounds nuts-and-bolts geeky, but you actually learn a lot of history in these programs, and I stand by their utility.  Couldn’t find the link on the website, but this series on combat rifles might be of interest.  And for those of you interested how-to-make-your-own-trebuchet and such, you could do worse than to check out their Weapons Masters series.

Recently watched a History Channel video on the Korean air war (Dogfights, Season 1), and was impressed with just how much the jet engine and advanced radar changed the way one waged aerial combat.  It was also interesting to see the different philosophies with which the Soviets and Americans approached jet aircraft, the Soviets going for the “interceptor” and the Americans opting for a more traditional fighter–but ultimately, until the F86 was redesigned, the Soviet philosophy resulted in the better “dogfighter.”  It was only the American pilots’ superior training that allowed them to score so many successes, even against “honchos” (Russian veteran pilots and trainers flying with the North Korean airforce).

So, the Army was planning on a replacement for the Kiowa recon helo, but that project wound up being scrapped.  Funny how so many of these projects are going so over budget and getting so far behind schedule…

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On a completely different note:  If there’s anyone out there struggling with 14th-century English paleography, I would recommend looking at the Anglo-American Legal Tradition’s “Paleography Assistance” pages, which can be found at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/IndexPri.html.  They’ve been of great assistance to me over the last couple years, and I still refer to them often, as a refresher if for no other reason.

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