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M16 rifle

The M16 rifle designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is a family of military rifles adapted from the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle for the United States military. The original M16 rifle was a 5.56mm automatic rifle with a 20-round magazine. In 1964, the M16 entered US military service and the following year was deployed for jungle warfare operations during the Vietnam War. In 1969, the M16A1 replaced the M14 rifle to become the US military's standard service rifle; the M16A1 improvements include a 30-round magazine. In 1983, the US Marine Corps adopted the M16A2 rifle and the US Army adopted it in 1986; the M16A2 fires the improved 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and has a newer adjustable rear sight, case deflector, heavy barrel, improved handguard, pistol grip and buttstock, as well as a semi-auto and three-round burst fire selector. Adopted in July 1997, the M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series, it is equipped with a removable carrying handle and Picatinny rail for mounting optics and other ancillary devices.

The M16 has been adopted by other armed forces around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its 5.56 mm caliber. The US military has replaced the M16 in frontline combat units with a shorter and lighter version, the M4 carbine. In 1928, a U. S. Army'Caliber Board' conducted firing tests at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and recommended transitioning to smaller caliber rounds, mentioning in particular the.27. In deference to tradition, this recommendation was ignored and the Army referred to the.30 caliber as "full sized" for the next 35 years. After World War II, the United States military started looking for a single automatic rifle to replace the M1 Garand, M1/M2 Carbines, M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, M3 "Grease Gun" and Thompson submachine gun. However, early experiments with select-fire versions of the M1 Garand proved disappointing. During the Korean War, the select-fire M2 carbine replaced the submachine gun in US service and became the most used carbine variant.

However, combat experience suggested. American weapons designers concluded that an intermediate round was necessary, recommended a small-caliber, high-velocity cartridge. However, senior American commanders having faced fanatical enemies and experienced major logistical problems during WWII and the Korean War, insisted that a single powerful.30 caliber cartridge be developed, that could not only be used by the new automatic rifle, but by the new general-purpose machine gun in concurrent development. This culminated in the development of the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. The U. S. Army began testing several rifles to replace the obsolete M1 Garand. Springfield Armory's T44E4 and heavier T44E5 were updated versions of the Garand chambered for the new 7.62 mm round, while Fabrique Nationale submitted their FN FAL as the T48. ArmaLite entered the competition late, hurriedly submitting several AR-10 prototype rifles in the fall of 1956 to the U. S. Army's Springfield Armory for testing; the AR-10 featured an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design, forged aluminum alloy receivers and with phenolic composite stocks.

It had rugged elevated sights, an oversized aluminum flash suppressor and recoil compensator, an adjustable gas system. The final prototype featured an upper and lower receiver with the now-familiar hinge and takedown pins, the charging handle was on top of the receiver placed inside of the carry handle. For a 7.62mm NATO rifle, the AR-10 was lightweight at only 6.85 lb empty. Initial comments by Springfield Armory test staff were favorable, some testers commented that the AR-10 was the best lightweight automatic rifle tested by the Armory. In the end the U. S. Army chose the T44 now named M14 rifle, an improved M1 Garand with a 20-round magazine and automatic fire capability; the U. S. adopted the M60 general purpose machine gun. Its NATO partners adopted the FN FAL and HK G3 rifles, as well as the FN MAG and Rheinmetall MG3 GPMGs; the first confrontations between the AK-47 and the M14 came in the early part of the Vietnam War. Battlefield reports indicated that the M14 was uncontrollable in full-auto and that soldiers could not carry enough ammunition to maintain fire superiority over the AK-47.

And, while the M2 carbine offered a high rate of fire, it was under-powered and outclassed by the AK-47. A replacement was needed: a medium between the traditional preference for high-powered rifles such as the M14, the lightweight firepower of the M2 Carbine; as a result, the Army was forced to reconsider a 1957 request by General Willard G. Wyman, commander of the U. S. Continental Army Command to develop a.223-inch caliber select-fire rifle weighing 6 lb when loaded with a 20-round magazine. The 5.56 mm round had to penetrate a standard U. S. helmet at 500 yards and retain a velocity in excess of the speed of sound, while matching or exceeding the wounding ability of the.30 Carbine cartridge. This request resulted in the development of a scaled-down version of the Armalite AR-10, named ArmaLite AR-15 rifle. In the late 1950s, designer Eugene Stoner was completing his work on the AR-15; the AR-15 used.22-caliber bullets, which destabilized when they hit a human body, as opposed to the.30 round, which passed through in a straight line.

The smaller caliber meant. Being one-third the weight of the.30 meant that the soldier could sustain fire for longer with the same load. Due to design innovations, the AR-15 could fire 600 to 700 rounds a minute with an low jamming ra

Kobayakawa Takakage

Kobayakawa Takakage was a samurai and daimyō during the Sengoku period and Azuchi–Momoyama period. He was the third son of Mōri Motonari, adopted by the Kobayakawa clan and became its 14th clan head, he merged the two branches of the Kobayakawa, the Takehara-Kobayakawa clan and Numata-Kobayakawa clan. He became an active commander of the Mōri army and he with his brother Kikkawa Motoharu became known as the “Mōri Ryōkawa", or “Mōri's Two Rivers"; as head of the Kobayakawa clan, he expanded the clan's territory in the Chūgoku region, fought for the Mōri clan in all their campaigns At first he opposed Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi but swore loyalty and became a retainer of Hideyoshi who awarded him domains in Iyo Province on Shikoku and Chikuzen Province on Kyūshū, totalling 350,000 koku. Hideyoshi gave him the title Chûnagon appointed him to the Council of Five Elders but died before Hideyoshi himself, he was born in 1533 with the childhood name Tokujumaru as the third son of Mōri Motonari and his main wife Myōkyū.

In 1541 the 13th head of the Takehara branch of the Kobayakawa clan, Kobayakawa Okikage, got ill and died while attacking Sato-Kanayama Castle. In November, 1543 since he had no heir Tokujumaru was declared successor because he was a cousin of Okikage's wife. So at twelve years of age he had become the 14th head of the Takehara-Kobayakawa clan and received the name Kobayakawa Takakage. In 1547, when Ōuchi Yoshitaka attacked Kannabe castle in Bingo Province, Takakage served as one of his commanders and was commended for capturing Kannabe castle's support castle, the Ryuoyama Fort with the Kobayakawa army alone; the other branch of the Kobayakawa clan was the Numata-Kobayakawa clan. The head of the family, Kobayakawa Shigehira was young and blind due to an eye disease so in 1550 it was decided that Takakage would become heir of the Numata branch and merge the two rival branches of the clan; the Takehara-Kobayakawa branch ceased to exist and Takakage moved into Takayama Castle, the main base of the Numata branch.

In 1552 Takakage decided to build a new main castle across the Numata River and called it is Niitakayama Castle. He married Lady Toida, daughter of Kobayakawa Masahira and sister of the blind Kobayakawa Shigehira in order to cement his succession, they would never have children for unknown reasons but they would adopt to keep the clan alive. After this the Kobayakawa clan was incorporated into the clans following the powerful Mōri clan of his father, Mōri Motonari; the Kobayakawa would become an important naval force under the direct control of his father. His older brother, the second son of Motonari was adopted into the Kikkawa clan and became Kikkawa Motoharu, they were both together pillars of the Mōri forces and were known as "Mōri's Two Rivers". This was. In 1555 at the Battle of Miyajima, Takakage led his naval forces under control of the Mōri clan and broke the naval blockade of the Ōuchi clan forces under the command of Sue Harukata, he sailed straight toward Miyao Castle in a feint retreated so he could be in a position to return the following day, his attack synchronized with the overland assault.

At dawn and his 1,500 troops landed before the small fortress, the sound of shell trumpets signalled that all units were in position and the attack commenced. As Takakage's force rushed the front gate of Miyao Castle, Mōri and his troops hit the Ōuchi position from behind. Caught by surprise, many of the Ōuchi troops scattered in disarray. Hundreds drowned in the attempt. Many more saw that defeat was committed seppuku. By 18 October 1555, resistance had ended at a cost of about 4,700 dead among the Ōuchi army. Sue Harukata escaped from the confines of Miyao Castle, but when he saw that escape from the island was not possible, he committed suicide by seppuku. In 1557 Takakage took part of the Conquest of Bōcho and the Mōri forces took both Suō Province and Nagato Province of the Ōuchi clan and Ōuchi Yoshinaga committed suicide, they took Yoshinaga's Moji Castle in 1558 but in September, 1559 it was retaken by Ōtomo Yoshishige. In 1561 Kobayakawa again led the Mōri navy in the recapture of the castle in the Siege of Moji.

During the same year his father, Mōri Motonari retired in favor of Mōri Takamoto. Under Takamoto, Takakage continued to be a main force of the Mōri along with his second older brother Kikkawa Motoharu. In 1561 In 1563 Mōri Takamoto died of illness and his son Mōri Terumoto became head of the Mōri clan. While the 2nd brother Kikkawa Motoharu was in charge of military affairs, Takakage took responsibility of political affairs, he worked on diplomacy. In the Siege of Toda Castle they destroyed the Amako clan. During the following year of 1567 he was dispatched to help the Kôno clan of Iyo Province and at the Battle of Torisaka captured Ozu Castle forcing Utsunomiya Toyotsuna to surrender. Takakage was also dispatched to fight the Ōtomo clan in Kyūshū; when Murakami Michiyasu died that year Takakage sent his widow, a daughter of Kôno Michinao to marry Shishido Takaie. In 1568 Kobayakawa Takakage fought in the 1568 Battle of Tatarahama. In 1570 he fought in the Battle of Nunobeyama. In 1571, Takakage was sent to help the Mimura clan of Kojima, Bizen Province against Urakami Munekage

George Lee (pilot)

Douglas George Lee MBE is a glider pilot, world gliding champion on three consecutive occasions. He was born in Ireland, he joined the Royal Air Force as an engineering apprentice at the age of sixteen in 1962, becoming a British subject. He completed his training as an electrical fitter and in 1967 he was selected for officer and pilot training, he joined an operational squadron in 1971 flying Phantoms. He joined Cathay Pacific to fly Boeing 747s. During his apprenticeship he began gliding with the Royal Air Force Gliding & Soaring Association, winning his first British National Championship in 1974 in an ASW17, he was selected for the British Team for the World Gliding Championships at Räyskälä in Finland in 1976 and won the Open Class in an ASW17. He won the following two World Championships at Châteauroux in France 1978 and at Paderborn in Germany 1981 in a Nimbus-3, becoming the first person to win three successive World Championship titles, he flew in two more World Championships but his home in Hong Kong had reduced his opportunities for gliding and so he was out of practice.

He received several awards including the MBE, the Royal Aero Club's Gold Medal in 1976, the Britannia Trophy and the Lilienthal Gliding Medal. In 1978 he took Prince Charles for his first flight in a glider, he bought a farm near Dalby in Queensland in 1996 in anticipation of his retirement in 1999. He is now an Australian citizen. With his Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4DM, he taught advanced pilots for ten years, he and his wife, are now active in their church and in politics in Queensland. They have two children and Brian, he published his autobiography, Hold Fast To Your Dreams, in 2013, published in Polish in 2015 as Uwierz w marzenia. List of glider pilots