A Fateful Friendship

Eisenhower dreamed of serving under Patton, but history reversed their roles. Their stormy association dramatically shaped the Allied assault on the Third Reich

They never had much in common. George Palion was a conceited, spoiled child from an extremely wealthy, snobbish family. He dressed as he pleased, said what he liked, and did as he wished, he cursed like a trooper and told off his inferiors—:ind sometimes his superiors—with profane eloquence. Although he moved easily in America’s highest society, main people, soldiers included, thought Patton vulgar. Dwight Eisenhower came from the wrong side of the tracks in a tiny midwestern town. He had to support himself while in high school by working nights in a creamery: he wanted to be well liked, and he obeyed his superiors. The only thing he did to attract attention was to do his duty quietly and efficiently.
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The Marianas Turkey Shoot

Japanese naval air power was wrecked at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, but, says a U. S. carrier admiral who was there, our Navy missed a chance to destroy the enemy fleet and shorten the war.

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Greetin’s, Cousin George

It was the first time in history that British sovereigns had come to see what they lost in 1776. George and Franklin, Elizabeth and Eleanor, hit it off like old friends; even Texas congressmen melted under the royal charm. Brewing was a crucial World War II alliance

A long line of nervous congressmen stood in the Capitol rotunda awaiting the arrival of someone of obviously high importance. Vice President John Nance Garner buzzed among the legislators trying to ease the tension with his famous stories. Toward the rear of the rotunda, members of the House tittered at Garner’s jokes, while sober-faced senators critically eyed the antics of the Vice President. The audience pleased him. His jokes became less appropriate, the laughs grew louder, and the senators seemed less impressed. Then Garner walked over to the door and peered down the Capitol steps.Read more »

The Place of Franklin D. Roosevelt in History

To what extent did greatness inhere in the man, and to what degree was it a product of the situation?

Seldom has an eminent man been more conscious of his place in history than was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He regarded history as an imposing drama and himself as a conspicuous actor. Again and again he carefully staged a historic scene: as when, going before Congress on December 8, 1941, to call for a recognition of war with Japan, he took pains to see that Mrs. Woodrow Wilson accompanied Mrs. Roosevelt to the Capitol, thus linking the First and Second World Wars.Read more »

“God, Please Get Us Out Of This”

A carefree Sunday lay ahead for one of the mess cooks on USS Oklahoma. His pockets jingled, and a pretty girl awaited him for a picnic on a warm, white beach. Minutes later he lay entombed at the bottom of Pearl Harbor

The world was my oyster that Sunday morning in December, 1941. I was nineteen, breakfast was over, and liberty would be starting in an hour or so. A quick look ont a second-deck porthole of our battleship, the U.S.S. Oklahoma, confirmed my feeling that this was going to be a glorious day. There were still some early morning clouds, but the sun was warm, with just a breath of trade wind ruffling the waters of the harbor.

“I’ve Served My Time In Hell”

So thought many a weary Marine after the bloody, interminable battle for Guadalcanal. It was only a dot in the ocean, but upon its possession turned the entire course of the Pacific war

On May 3, 1942, a small detachment of Japanese sailors, the grd Kure Special Landing Force, landed without opposition on Tulagi Island, then capital of the British Solomon Islands. Read more »

The Battle Off Samar

American forces had returned to the Philippines, and the Japanese Navy was about to make its last, desperate attempt to stave off defeat. Suddenly, by miscalculation, nothing stood between its most powerful task force and the American beachhead at Leyte Gulf but a small group of U.S. escort carriers. Could little Taffy 3 hold off Admiral Kurita’s gigantic battleships?

Wednesday, October 25, 1944 —a gloomy overcast punctuated by rain squalls gave the predawn sky a dirty yellow-gray hue. Six small United States carriers and seven escort ships moved through the somber seas east of the Philippine island of Samar. From the gently swaying flight decks of the carriers, white-starred planes took oil on routine early-morning missions.

The First Flag-raising On Iwo Jima

A single great photograph has become an indelible symbol of the Marines’ heroic fight for the Japanese island. But hours earlier a now-almost-forgotten platoon had raised the first American flag on Mt. Suribachi’s scarred summit—and under enemy fire

Iwo Jima was a gray silhouette in the dawn of February 19, 1945, when we got our first look at it. The naval guns that would support our landing had started to thunder, and the target areas teemed with red perforations. From the deck of our transport we forty-six men of the 3rd Platoon of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, scanned the island apprehensively. We knew that its seven and a half square miles held more than 20,000 of Japan’s best troops and a multitude of ingenious defenses.

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Niihau A Shoal Of Time

For a century Hawaii’s westernmost island has stubbornly resisted the tides of change

No man is an island, we know; and Islands themselves in our time have been steadily stripped of their isolation and their integrity, in the Pacific, the great ocean of atolls and archipelagoes, long waves beat on coral reels as they did when Melville came, and Cook, and the earliest Polynesian voyagers; but now there are jet contrails in the sky, and fallout from nuclear tests comes down impartially on palm tree and penthouse.

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How Papa Liberated Paris

An eyewitness re-creates the wonderful, wacky day in August, 1944, when Hemingway, a handful of Americans, and a senorita named Elena helped rekindle the City of Light. Champagne ran in rivers, and the squeals inside the tanks were not from grit in the bogie wheels

From the war there is one story above others dear to my heart of which I have never written a line—the loony liberation of Paris.

There are reasons for this restraint: a promise once made; the unimportance of trying to be earnest about that which is ludicrous; the vanity of the hope that fact may ever overtake fiction; and the blight of the passing years on faded notes.

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