Video ClipsSee all »
Latest Full EpisodesSee all »
Devised in desperation developed in the shadows unleashed on an unsuspecting enemy. These were the top secret weapons of world war II designed to turn the tide of war. On November 20, 1944, in the early morning hours off the coast of the island of Ulithi the USS Mississinewa sits at anchor. The massive tanker is filled with oila vital supply ship for the American fleet as it continues its attacks on the Japanese empire. At 5:45am, a massive explosion rips apart the Mississinewa. But this is no accident. This is the work of the Kaiten a terrifying new Kamikaze weapon. The Kaiten is a manned, suicide submarine. With rudimentary cockpit controls mounted over an extra large long-lance torpedo. The Kaiten is designed to be driven directly into an American ship before detonating. The Kaiten that hit the Mississenewa was manned by Sub-Lieautenant Seiko Nashina. Fire and oil spill out over the ocean, huge plumes of smoke billowing over the stricken ship. American sailor Herb Daitch barely manages to escape the ship, swimming to safety underneath the burning water. The Kaiten has succeeded here but the program as a whole is a dismal failure.
Operation Bodenplatte was a daring plan to destroy American forward air bases all over Holland, Belgium, and the Netherlands during World War ll. On January l, 1945, 17 of these airbases were attacked. One of the greatest dogfights in history will take place as the Americans make a stand at a Y-29 forwards airbase in northeast Belgium. At 9am a massive formation of German aircraft is headed for Y-29. Eight P-47 Thunderbolts ambush the Germans, derailing the initial attack. 20 American aircraft get off the runway at Y-29 to engage nearly 70 German planes. Ultimately, over two dozen German planes are shot down to the loss of just one P-47 Thunderbolt. The failure at Y-29 embodies the failure of Operation Bodenplatte and helped to facilitate the death of the Luftwaffe.
In the fighter pilot business, they say "speed is life." Speed means the ability to maneuver. Speed is the initiative in a dogfigh t-- with the speed advantage you can almost always outperform and outthink your opponent. From the era of piston-driven, prop planes like the F4U Corsair to high-performance jets like the F-86 Sabre and the F4 Phantom...the pursuit of greater speed has defined the development of aircraft.
Operation Bodenplatte was a daring plan to destroy American forward air bases all over Holland, Belgium, and the Netherlands during World War ll.