What was the Big Wing?

Introduction The Big Wing, also known as a Balbo, was an air fighting tactic proposed during the Battle of Britain by 12 Group commander Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Bader. In essence, the tactic involved meeting incoming Luftwaffe bombing raids in strength with a wing-shaped formation of three to five squadrons.… Read More


What was a Combat Box?

Introduction The combat box was a tactical formation used by heavy (strategic) bombers of the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II. The combat box was also referred to as a “staggered formation”. Its defensive purpose was in massing the firepower of the bombers’ guns, while offensively it concentrated the release of bombs… Read More

What was Kantai Kessen?

Introduction The Decisive Battle Doctrine (艦隊決戦, Kantai Kessen, “naval fleet decisive battle”) was a naval strategy adopted by the Imperial Japanese Navy prior to the Second World War. The theory was derived from the writings of American naval historian Alfred Thayer Mahan. In the Decisive Battle Doctrine the Japanese navy would win a war by… Read More

What is IFF Mark X?

Introduction IFF Mark X was the NATO standard military identification friend or foe transponder system from the early 1950s until it was slowly replaced by the IFF Mark XII in the 1970s. It was also adopted by ICAO, with some modifications, as the civilian air traffic control (ATC) secondary radar (SSR) transponder. The X in… Read More

What is IFF Mark III?

Introduction IFF Mark III, also known as ARI.5025 in the UK or SCR.595 in the US, was the Allied Forces standard identification friend or foe (IFF) system from 1943 until well after the end of World War II. It was widely used by aircraft, ships, and submarines, as well as in various adaptations for secondary… Read More

What is IFF Mark II?

Introduction IFF Mark II was the first operational identification friend or foe (IFF) system. It was developed by the Royal Air Force just before the start of World War II. After a short run of prototype Mark Is, used experimentally in 1939, the Mark II began widespread deployment at the end of the Battle of… Read More

What is the Lascar War Memorial?

Introduction The Lascar War Memorial, located on Napier Road in the Hastings area of Kolkata, is a memorial dedicated to the memory of the 896 lascars (sailors from the Indian subcontinent) who died serving on ships of the Royal Navy and British Merchant Service during World War I. Lascar Refer to Lascar. He had thought… Read More