World War II1 min lettiPolitics
Survey Project Completed
It took two years and 190,000 pages, but researchers at Virginia Tech—aided by an army of online volunteers—managed to complete “The American Soldier in World War II” project. They transcribed 65,000 surveys of American troops in World War II in time
World War II2 min lettiInternational Relations
The Price Of Peace
SETSUKO THURLOW, who survived the bombing of Hiroshima as a 13-year-old schoolgirl, channels her trauma into activism. The 88-year-old travels the world as an anti-nuclear crusader, reliving the horrors she observed on August 6, 1945, as a representa
World War II5 min letti
Full Circle
TOM HANKS HAS PLAYED everything from an astronaut to an animated cowboy, but he keeps coming back to World War II. The actor (and self-proclaimed history buff) starred in 1998’s Saving Private Ryan, co-produced the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and
World War II2 min lettiInternational Relations
Two-edged Sword
THE ATOMIC AGE has been a topic of discourse from the moment an unnatural light flashed over the New Mexico desert sky on July 16, 1945. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and other eyewitnesses recorded their real-time thoughts, observations, and emoti
World War II2 min letti
Creative Force
Curators at The National World War II Museum solve readers’ artifact mysteries My uncle was in the navy and served in the Pacific Theater; this object—which I assume is a Japanese hand grenade or mortar round—was among the items he gave my father. I
World War II1 min lettiInternational Relations
Book Briefs
How a Team of Inventors, Tinkerers, and Spies Took Down a Nazi Superweapon By Jamie Holmes. 416 pp. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. $27. This story of the small band of Americans who developed the proximity fuse—a smart weapon that triggered explosi
World War II1 min letti
WWII Online
WORLDWARII.com One of our best-selling issues in recent memory featured a sharp analysis of Japan’s armored force during the war. If you enjoy Donald L. Caldwell’s “Ten Little Tanks Spitting Death” on page 28, you’ll want to check out this story, fro
World War II3 min letti
Sense Of Place
IT’S AWFULLY FAR AWAY for most and pretty remote, but I can think of few World War II battlegrounds that are better to visit than Guadalcanal in the South Pacific—a place that really got me thinking about the nature of strategic importance. We’re oft
World War II2 min letti
Desert Showdown
UNDAUNTED: NORTH AFRICA Osprey Games, $40. WORLD WAR II RATING Undaunted: North Africa is a card-driven, tactical-level wargame played between two people representing either the British Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) or the Italian Army. The cards co
World War II1 min letti
World War II
Michael A. Reinstein CHAIRMAN & PUBLISHER David Steinhafel PUBLISHER Alex Neill EDITOR IN CHIEF KAREN JENSEN Larry Porges SENIOR EDITOR Kirstin Fawcett ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jerry Morelock, Jon Guttman HISTORIANS David T. Zabecki CHIEF MILITARY HISTORIAN
World War II6 min letti
Great Guns
STUDENTS OF WORLD WAR II are familiar with Nazi Germany’s V1 and V2 weapons that brought terror to southern England in the last year of the war. Less known is the V3—which the Nazis also called the “London Cannon”—a massive, multi-charge gun designed
World War II3 min letti
Broken Faith
MIDWAY THROUGH director Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna, his 2008 film about a squad in the “Buffalo Soldiers,” the all-Black 92nd Infantry Division fighting in Italy in 1944, an African American sergeant, Aubrey Stamps (played by Derek Luke), explai
World War II2 min letti
Contributors
DONALD L. CALDWELL (“Ten Little Tanks Spitting Death”) is a retired research chemist in Round Rock, Texas. He wrote seven books on the Luftwaffe before turning his attention to a little-known National Guard tank unit that served and surrendered on Ba
World War II1 min letti
When You Go
The Mimoyecques complex (mimoyecques.fr/fr/en/home/), on the outskirts of the village of Landrethun-le-Nord, is seven miles from the rail station of Calais-Fréthun, which is serviced by regular high-speed trains from Paris (approximately two hours) a
World War II1 min lettiWorld
Today In History
TSAR NICHOLAS II OF RUSSIA AND HIS FAMILY WERE EXECUTED. YEARS LATER, CONSPIRACY THEORIES EMERGED, AND IMPOSTORS BEGAN TO SURFACE. AN EASTERN EUROPEAN WOMAN NAMED ANNA ANDERSON CLAIMED TO BE GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA ROMANOV, SPARED DEATH IN 1918 BY A
World War II4 min letti
Victory Walk
MY GRANDFATHER, George Charles Barger, was 21 years old in 1945 and awaiting transport to the Pacific at Naval Station Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. On V-J Day on August 15, 1945, he and his shipmate had taken to the streets of San Francisco.
World War II13 min lettiWars & Military
‘Ten Little Tanks Spitting Death’
First Lieutenant William H. Gentry checked the placement and camouflage of his platoon’s five M3 light tanks. He had positioned them beneath a handful of stilted huts in a village on Luzon, the largest of the Philippine islands. The day before—Decemb
World War II1 min letti
Starring Role
Answer to the June Challenge: Many of you—194 to be exact—correctly called us out for rotating the 3rd Infantry Division’s insignia. The unaltered version is at far left. A number of the correct entrants noted that they recognized the insignia becaus
World War II1 min letti
From The Editor
Ever since my staff and I departed our office to work from home during the pandemic, I’ve returned to the building only rarely. So it seemed especially fortuitous that one visit coincided with a recently delivered letter left on my desk. “My name is
World War II2 min letti
No Lightweight
AS WORLD WAR II BEGAN, the 1930s light tanks that had served Europe and the U.S. were slowly being upgraded to better-armored models. The result in America was the M3 light tank, made by the thousands by the American Car & Foundry company from 1941 t
World War II1 min letti
Funny Business
New York-born Donald J. Yarmy served in Guadalcanal with I Company of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, where a serious bout of blackwater fever—a complication of malaria—cut his combat role short. The private first class spent a year at a navy hospita
World War II2 min letti
Former U-boat Pen Now Harbors Art
BUILT BY SLAVE LABOR to protect German submarines that prowled the North Atlantic, a former U-boat base has been reborn as the world’s largest digital art museum. The Bassins de Lumières (“Pools of Light”) opened in Bordeaux in southwest France on Ju
World War II10 min letti
Ben Salomon’s Battle
In Saipan’s steamy predawn darkness on July 7, 1944, thousands of Japanese attackers hurled themselves at frontline positions held by the U.S. Army’s 27th Infantry Division, unleashing the largest banzai assault of the Pacific War. With total defeat
World War II1 min lettiSecurity
Enigma Machine Heads To Polish Museum
ONE OF THE ENIGMA MACHINES that helped the Allies win the war is headed to Poland, home of the cryptographers who made it. London’s Polish Institute donated the encryption machine in July (above) to the Museum of Polish History in Warsaw. The machine
World War II2 min letti
Long Time Coming
When Major General George W. Griner Jr. turned down the recommendation for Captain Ben Salomon’s Medal of Honor in fall 1944, he unwittingly set in motion nearly six decades of gross injustice. Salomon’s exploits began gaining wider recognition short
World War II1 min letti
Milestone Anniversary Observed
AMID THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, scaled-back commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II took place in several countries around the world on August 15, the date Japan announced its surrender. (The U.S. and others celebra
World War II12 min letti
The Privilege Of Playing A Part
“February 10, 1944: I am glad to be leaving…it seems there is another job to be done in which I have the privilege of playing a part. I am going to describe my trip…in a hope that it will be of interest to those who read it.” So began the shipboard d
World War II2 min lettiPolitics
Call To Honor French African Fighters
ADDI BA, born in Guinea before moving to France, fought with colonial Senegalese troops early in World War II only to be captured by the Germans. He escaped from a prison in France’s Vosges mountains and joined the Maquis—a band of resistance fighter
World War II2 min lettiInternational Relations
Bearing Witness
Japanese artists Iri and Toshi Maruki wanted the world to see what had happened in Hiroshima. Buildings aflame, corpses scorched like kindling, the air dense with flies and smoke. Horrors the couple couldn’t comprehend—only paint, first as three coll
World War II1 min letti
Museum Artifacts To Relocate
The coronavirus outbreak finished off a unique exhibition of World War II artifacts—Honolulu’s Home of the Brave Museum. The museum and an adjacent brewpub were already fighting for survival (see “WWII Today,” June 2020) when the pandemic hit and upe
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