World War II

Too often overlooked today, the New Guinea campaign was the longest of the Pacific War, with 340,000 Americans fighting more than half a million Japanese.

Soldiers in the Imperial Army of Japan had a saying: “Heaven is Java; hell is Burma; but no one returns alive from New Guinea.” Read more >>

Ike’s son, historian John Eisenhower, recalls attending meetings with the British wartime leader and reflects on his character and accomplishments.

When the first African-Americans to crew a U.S. warship sailed into the war-tossed North Atlantic, they couldn't have known it would take fifty years to gain honor in their own country

I sometimes felt like I was swimming against a very strong tide when doing research for my book on the men of the USS Mason. Very few people had ever heard of the first ship in the U.S. Navy manned by African-American sailors. Read more >>

The notorious voice of Japanese propaganda during World War II was a former Girl Scout who graduated from UCLA.

“Hello you fighting orphans in the Pacific, how’s tricks?” The young female radio announcer greeted GIs with American slang as they tuned into the Japanese radio during the Pacific War. “Reception okay? Why, it better be, because this is All-Requests night. Read more >>
"TORA TORA, TORA" was the code the Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, used to signal their mission’s success. Focusing on the attack on the U.S. Read more >>

Eisenhower's call to proceed with D-Day was anything but inevitable

It has been 65 years since D-Day—the early June day when the United States and its allies launched a massive attack on the shores of Normandy in a bid to liberate western Europe from the Nazis. Read more >>

Soldiers in World War II would not have understood the idea of "a few good men" outside the bigger structure of Allied effort.

Considerable ink has been devoted to reviews of “The Monuments Men,” the newest World War II story to hit the movie theaters. Starring an ensemble cast of A-list Hollywood actors, under the direction of George Clooney, the movie has endured some harsh criticism. Read more >>

The author took part in the first night combat with Japanese bombers. In that dramatic action, he witnessed the loss of Butch O'Hare, the famous World War II ace for whom O’Hare Airport was named.

By 1943, the war was moving fast—new carriers, new airplane squadrons—and in November our air group, commanded by Lt. Comdr. Edward “Butch” O’Hare, was loaded aboard ship for the Pacific Theater. Read more >>

Historian S. L. A. Marshall Tells How He and “Papa” Hemingway Liberated Paris

Ernest Hemingway told a wonderful story about his liberation of Paris. He claimed he was one of the first to enter the city, taking over the bars at the Crillon and Ritz hotels. Famed World War II historian S.L.A. Marshall corroborated Hemingway’s account in American  Heritage. Read more >>

The author, who once served under General Patton and whose father, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was Patton's commanding officer, shares his memories of "Ol' Blood and Guts"

On the morning of December 19, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower strode into the gloomy school building in Verdun that housed the main headquarters of General Omar Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group. He had called a meeting of all the senior commanders under Bradley. Read more >>

Debate over America's involvement in World War II came to a head in July 1941 as the Senate argued over a draft extension bill. The decision would have profound consequences for the nation.

On July 19, 1941, when Gen. George Catlett Marshall, Army chief of staff, stepped before the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, his gray civilian suit could not disguise the proud bearing of a soldier and commander of men. Read more >>

In a top-secret program, talented, young female mathematicians calculated the artillery and bomb trajectories that American GIs used to win World War II

The air at 20,000 feet above Schweinfurt, Germany, was icy cold, but the bombardier crouching in the nose of the B-17 hardly noticed. Sweat poured down his forehead as flak rocked the aircraft, periodically spattering his compartment's Plexiglas bubble with fragments. Read more >>

He was a lieutenant in the Army of the United States: he saw no reason to sit in the back of the bus

ON JULY 6, 1944, Jackie Robinson, a twenty-five-year-old lieutenant, boarded an Army bus at Fort Hood, Texas. Read more >>
If HBO’s 10-part Pacific series has fired your interest in World War II’s Pacific Theater, consider visiting the newly renovated and much expanded George H. W. Bush Gallery of the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. Read more >>

A preeminent author recalls his experience as one of America's first combat historians, among a handful of men who accompanied soldiers into the bloodiest battles to write history as it was being made

Editor’s note: Fresh from Williams College’s history program, the author entered World War II as a 24-year-old combat historian, earning four combat medals and a Bronze Star. Read more >>

A young man from Queens jumps into the thick of World War II intelligence activities by translating secret Japanese messages

IN HIS MARVELOUS MEMOIR, Flights of Passage, my friend and onetime colleague Samuel Hynes, a Marine Corps combat aviator in World War II, writes that the war is the shared secret of his generation—those young men who came of age between December 7, 1941, and September 2, 1945. Read more >>

The Women Airforce Service Pilots seemed strange and exotic to World War II America. In fact, not even the military could quite fiqure out what to do with them.

The world-shaping relationship between these two giants got off to a rocky start

Often it is said that vast long-range economic and social forces, not the efforts of leading individuals alone, make history. The course of World War II denies this seemingly rational thesis. Read more >>

Gene Wilder discusses his new World War I adventure

Gene Wilder, the son of russian Jewish immigrants, was born in Milwaukee in 1933. Read more >>

You can go there too, even to the Bates Motel

Pork Barrel

A “Call it Pork or Necessity, but Alaska Comes Out Far Above the Rest in Spending.” This headline—from The New York Times—was for a story about the $388 billion federal Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2005. Read more >>

The book that taught GI’s how to behave in England

“The founding of the United States experience: 1763-1815”

The Founding of the United States Experience (Presidio Press, 64 pages, $50) earns the slightly unwieldy last word in its title, because digging into this handsome volume creates an experience much like rooting through a treasure-filled attic. Read more >>

The License Plate

Was he the Beast of Bataan, or was his true war crime defeating Douglas MacArthur? A troubling look at the problems of military justice

We’ve kept Fallujah, but have we lost our souls?

...To 100 Friends!

Rooster

Rooster is the common term today for a male chicken, and most people utter it without realizing that it is a euphemism, a “good” word employed in place of a “bad” one. Read more >>