After celebrating the 67th anniversary of D-Day this week, it's only fitting that we publish a gallery documenting World War II-era PopSci. A warning, though: this was the 1940s, so practically nothing in here conforms to our modern-day notion of political correctness. Some of these headlines may sound a little extreme, but rest assured, we took care to elaborate on the idea from a scientific standpoint.
First, let's go back three years earlier to 1942, when the Germans unveiled their 88-mm tank gun in Libya and Egypt. After the American and British press acknowledged its spectacular showing, we ran a story to assure our readers that our weaponry could vanquish the Nazi troops any day. "American Guns Do Not Lack a Punch, They Are -- Tank Killers With a Wallop!" we proclaimed.
Like "Tank Killers," "Nightmares to Order for Hitler" coasted on the nation's optimism for an Allied victory. Other features, such as a spread titled "This is How a Defenseless America Could Be Invaded" reflect the apprehension Americans felt while watching footage of bombings in Europe and the Pacific.
If there's one feature that still holds up today, it's an illustrated narrative titled "Yankee Ingenuity Licks Prison-Camp Hardships." Here, Major William Orris describes how he and his fellow POWs survived in a Luftwaffe prison camp by fashioning kitchen devices out of old cans and tin sheets--a combination of The Great Escape and MacGuyver, if you will, but more importantly, a compelling story about how simple gadgetry directed these men toward a certain future.
Click through our gallery to read about the decoy tanks, the kamikaze fighters, and one geologist's plans to bomb Japan's volcanoes.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.