Used by the Soviet Red Army in WWII, tank desant is a military tactic in which foot soldiers ride into battle on top of a tank and then dismount when in close range of the enemy. This helped accelerate the deployment of troops into battle. Before advances in mechanized warfare rendered this tactic obsolete, some tanks were even built with handholds for the soldiers. Despite the fact that this practice left troops dangerously exposed, some felt it was safer than riding inside the tanks. Why?
Back in the day
Located near the magnetic South Pole, Russia's Vostok Research Station in Antarctica experiences three straight months of polar night every year from April to August, a period during which the Sun does not rise. In 1983, in the dead of southern winter and polar night, Vostok experienced the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth, a chilling -128.56 degrees F (-89.2 degrees C). December 1989 was the warmest month ever recorded at Vostok. On average, how warm was it?
Born on a day like today
Born in Ukraine, Stern came to the US as an infant and began studying violin as a child. He made his New York debut at 17 and toured extensively after World War II. A cultural ambassador, he performed in the Soviet Union and China as one of the world's top violin virtuosos. In 1960, he formed a famous trio with pianist Eugene Istomin and cellist Leonard Rose. Stern helped establish the National Endowment for the Arts and is noted for having saved what landmark institution from demolition?