USS Alabama

In the aftermath of the First World War, the victorious Entente Allies were ready for a change. With an entire generation of young men lying mangled in the trenches, the world was tired of war and was determined to make an idealistic effort to end it. Within a few years of the Versailles Treaty which ended the Great War, most nations had signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which they solemnly pledged to renounce the use of armed force. A series of disarmament agreements were negotiated in the 1920s and 30s. One of these, the 1925 Geneva Protocols, banned the use of chemical weapons, such as the phosgene and mustard that had soaked the battlefields in France. The Geneva Conventions spelled out the “laws of war”, prohibiting things such as exploding bullets, and also detailing the treatment to be given enemy POWs. Another agreement was the Washington Naval Treaty, which set limits on the number and size of naval battleships.

USS Alabama, Mobile Bay

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Icons of aviation history: Grumman TBF Avenger

Designed as a replacement for the TBD Devastator, the Avenger torpedo bomber began entering the Pacific War in June 1942—just in time for the Battle of Midway.

TBM Avenger on display at the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola FL


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The Royal Game of Ur

This game is a potential claimant to the title of “oldest known board game”. In fact, it is so old that we do not know where exactly it was begun, or even what its actual name was. Because it is best-known from a number of game sets found in tomb burials in the ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur, it has been dubbed the “Royal Game of Ur”, and that is the name under which it has become identified today. It is also sometimes called the “Game of Twenty Squares”.

The Royal Game of Ur

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