World Battlefronts: MEN AT WAR: Roll Out the Barrel

Super-careful South African censors finally released a story of the days when the Italians were rampant and the Allies unprepared. Back in 1940 a South African crew took an ancient Valencia biplane loaded with supplies, ferried them to a Kenya outpost south of Mussolini's then-powerful Ethiopian empire. At dinner an engineer told them about a nearby Italian fort "simply waiting to be bombed."

The Valencia was no bomber, but the crew was willing. From a 40-gallon oil drum stuffed with 386 sticks of dynamite, parts of a sewing machine, a motorcar differential and two packets of incendiary bullets, they fashioned their...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!