Between 1956 and 1972 Goodyear worked on an inflatable rescue plane for the US military. Despite being fully airworthy, the project was abandoned when the military didn’t order such planes.
Viking military tactics succeeded mainly because they disregarded the conventional battlefield tactics, methods, and customs of the time. They ignored unspoken rules, like not attacking holy sites. To the contrary Vikings intentionally targeted religious sites for their vulnerability and wealth.
In 1951, 650 British soldiers were being overwhelmed by 10,000 Chinese. When an American general asked for a status update, a brigadier responded “things are a bit sticky down there.” No help was sent and almost all of the troops were killed because the general did not get the understatement.
Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier take an average of six hours to prepare their uniform. They are also required to memorize 35 pages of information about Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, including the locations of 300 graves and who is buried in each one.
At the start of Operation Good Hope, US forces were supposed to land on the beaches of Mogadishu under the cover of darkness. Instead, they were met by CNN who was covering the landing live on television.
Sailors aboard submarines work 6 hour shifts so that it is easier for them to give their undivided attention to the equipment they operate during a shorter shift. The military also switched submarines from an 18-hour work day to a traditional 24-hour one, improving morale significantly.
During the Austro-Prussian War, Liechtenstein had an army of 80 men. During the conflict no men were injured or killed and they returned home with 81 men because they’d made an Italian friend along the way. The army was then disbanded and Liechtenstein hasn’t had a military since.
Right before WW2, the US created the “Logan Bar,” a chocolate bar that deliberately tasted “a little better than a boiled potato” as an emergency ration to prevent soldiers from snacking on it outside of emergency situations.
To remain calm in stressful situations, Navy SEALS use a breathing technique called ‘box breathing’.
In Ancient Thebes there was a fairly successful band of warriors consisting entirely of 150 gay couples. They were chosen based on the idea that “you fight better when trying to impress your lover”.