After The Air Raids

An insider’s account of a startling— and still controversial—investigation of the Allied bombing of Germany

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Ernie Pyle

Chronicler of “The Men Who Do the Dying”

During a driving rain, the American infantry company worked its way toward a German strong point rmi the outskirts of Cherbourg. Rifle and machinegun fire echoed through the deserted streets, and shells passed overhead with rustling noises before exploding. Riflemen edged along both sides of a narrow, winding street, now darting forward, now crouching beside a wall or ducking into a doorway. They halted when they came up behind two American tanks training their guns on a German pillbox.Read more »

The Real Meaning Of Pearl Harbor

The Japanese planes that came screaming down on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, changed the whole course of history. The United States was plunged into a long, grueling war. But more than that, the lives of most Americans were to be altered radically not just for the duration of the war, but forever. Read more »

Truman At Potsdam

His newly discovered diary reveals how the President saw the conference that ushered in the Cold War

For the past year and a half, Robert H. Ferrell, a diplomatic historian at Indiana University, has been at work among President Harry S. Truman’s newly opened private papers at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. Early last year, working with Erwin J. Mueller, an extraordinarily able library archivist, he uncovered a hitherto unknown personal journal kept sporadically by the President during the 1945 Big Three Conference at Potsdam, Germany. Scribbled on miscellaneous scraps of paper—White House stationery, lined sheets from a tablet, note paper picked up aboard the U.S.S.Read more »

Culpable Negligence

A SUBMARINE COMMANDER TELLS WHY WE ALMOST LOST THE PACIFIC WAR

 

LIFE ABOARD

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Sorry No Gas

How Americans Met the First Great Gasoline Crisis—Nearly Forty Years Ago

According to the members of the blueribbon committee, the situation was desperate. Their report, released to the Washington press corps, had been blunt, unsparing, and apocalyptic. “We find the existing situation to be so dangerous,” it warned, “that unless corrective measures are taken immediately this country will face both a military and civilian collapse.” The committee proposed to counter the dire threat by the imposition of nationwide gasoline rationing. Read more »

Forbidden Diary

During three harrowing years as a prisoner of the Japanese, an American woman secretly kept an extraordinary journal of suffering, hope, ingenuity, and human endurance

On December 5, 1941, Natalie Crouler, an American housewife living in the Philippines, started a chatty letter to her mother in Boston: the children ‘s cat had died, and she described the tearful funeral. But the letter was never mailed. Within three chaotic weeks, the Crouter family were prisoners of the Japanese, trying to adjust to an internment that was to last more than three years. Read more »

Bloody Huertgen: The Battle That Should Never Have Been Fought

In his reassessment of a tragic World War II battle, General Gavin concludes that, for the Germans, holding the Huertgen Forest was Phase One of the Battle of the Bulge. For the Americans, trying to occupy the forest was a ghastly mistake.

The Battle of the Bulge came to an end in the closing days of January, 1945. The combat divisions were immediately redeployed to resume the offensive into Germany, and the 82nd Airborne, which I commanded, was ordered into the Huertgen Forest, a densely wooded area astride the Siegfried Line, just inside the German border. In the fall of 1944 there had been many grim stories in the Stars and Stripes , the army newspaper, about the fighting in the Huertgen. We were not looking forward to the assignment. Read more »