While parachute units like the 101st Airborne division are the first thing to come to mind when considering the aerial invasion on D-Day, a significant number of troops also arrived in gliders. Importantly, the gliders were able to bring heavier equipment like jeeps and artillery to troops behind the front lines. We devoted our February 1944 cover to wonderous new world of military gilders: "What is the Truth About America's War Gliders?" (be sure to scroll up for the play-along-at-home fun of "Can You Recognize The Flags of Our Allies").
Ever since the four-wheeled Sumerian donkey chariot was replaced by the two-wheeled horse-drawn variety, war and technological innovation have gone hand and hand. In no conflict was this more apparent than World War II–arguably the first modern war. As soldiers fought from one end of the globe to the other, scientists developed many of the technologies that underlie not only today’s wars, but our daily lives: nuclear power, radar, jet propulsion and the personal computer.
And for the entire course of the war, Popular Science Magazine documented the enormous scientific advances spurned on by that most awful conflict. So, in honor of the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe, take a look back at our coverage of D-Day tech from the 1940s when, as always, PopSci envisioned a bold and thrilling future driven by amazing technology. Enjoy.