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World War II

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

An enormous scandal erupted when it was discovered that contestants on TV quiz shows were often given answers. Did the famed psychologist also cheat when she won The $64,000 Question?

J.D. Salinger carried a draft of his later-to-be-famous novel with him when he landed on the beach at Normandy.

I don't think I could stand it if I had to go to war. It wouldn't be so bad if they'd just take you out and shoot you, but you have to stay in the army so goddamn long. Read more >>

The “Divine Wind” began in October 1944 as the Japanese defended against MacArthur’s assault on the Philippines. The Americans who witnessed these first attacks were horrified and shaken, but it was only the beginning.

Editor's Note: James P. Duffy, the author of over a dozen books mostly on military history, wrote “No One Returns Alive“ in our Fall 2017 issue about the critical but often-overlooked New Guinea campaign. Read more >>

The recent discovery of the hull of the battleship Nevada recalls her dramatic action at Pearl Harbor and ultimate revenge on D-Day as the first ship to fire on the Nazis.

Editor's Note: After serving in the Navy during Vietnam, Ed Offley reported on Naval issues for three decades for The Ledger-Star in Norfolk and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and was Editor-in-Chief of DefenseWatch Magazine. Read more >>

Vladka Meed joined the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto, eventually escaped, and helped hundreds of children survive Nazi roundups. 

Editor’s Note: William Morrow has just published Judy Batalion’s extraordinary new book, Read more >>

In the wake of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, he took command of the still-smoldering remnants of the Pacific Fleet and brought the U.S. back from the brink of defeat.

Editor’s Note: Now an operating executive with the Carlyle Group, Adm. Stravridis served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Read more >>

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.

Jim Duffy is author of the recent book, War at the End of t Read more >>

Edward R. Murrow’s radio broadcasts from London, aired live while Nazi bombs fell around him, are classics of journalism – and literature. 

Editor's Note: Bob Edwards is a Peabody Award-winning journalist formerly with NPR and Sirius/XM Radio. He is author of Edward R. Read more >>

The senior British general in the invasion of Europe recalls his friendship with Ike during their service together.      

Viscount Montgomery of Alamein commanded the British Eighth Army in North Africa in 1942 and led Allied land forces in the invasion of Europe. He served with Eisenhower until the end of the war and again in 1951 as Eisenhower's Deputy Supreme Commander at SHAPE. Read more >>

"The four years we spent together are still one of my most treasured memories.”

Paul A. Read more >>

The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and classmate of Eisenhower's recalls his years with Ike.

Editor's Note: In a conversation with the editors of American Heritage recapitulated here, General Omar N. Bradley spoke about the years of his closest association with Eisenhower, from 1943 through 1945. Read more >>

The thousands of Japanese-Americans interned in Wyoming during World War II maintained their dignity and community spirit.

Editor's Note: Tom Brokaw was the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for 22 years. Read more >>

When Germany unleashed its blitzkreig in 1939, the U.S. Army was only the 17th largest in the world. FDR and Marshall had to build a fighting force able to take on the Nazis, against the wishes of many in Congress.

Editor’s Note: Americans can accomplish amazing things when roused to action by strong leadership. Read more >>

We can learn much from how Dwight Eisenhower organized and led three million men in the assault on Nazi Europe, and then governed the nation for eight years as a moderate conservative.

Ike was not a leader in the way we customarily “teach” leadership in our country. He was a strategic rather than an operational one. Read more >>

USS Nevada was the only battleship to get underway during the attack at Pearl Harbor. The recent discovery of the ship's hull revived interest in her dramatic story.

Editor's Note: After serving in the Navy during Vietnam, Ed Offley reported on Naval issues for three decades for The Ledger-Star in Norfolk and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and was Editor-in-Chief of Stars & Stripes. Read more >>

The great war correspondent, who died 75 years ago during the battle of Okinawa, had a knack for connecting with everyday people, both on the front lines and at home.

Seventy-five years ago, Ernest Hemingway and a historian were among the first Americans to enter Paris as guns were still firing.

With the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Paris this month, we did a search through the digital archives of American Heritage to see what we had published previously on this momentous event. Read more >>

Authentic brass “crickets” issued to American paratroopers on D-Day are now quite rare. A worldwide search recently “unearthed a lost piece of sound history”

Seventy-five years ago this June, the celebrated writer for The New Yorker was one of the first journalists to witness the carnage on Omaha Beach.

The April 1969 issue was typical of classic issues of American Heritage, with dramatic and substantive essays on George Washington, Ike and Patton, the Transcontinental Railroad, the "ship that wouldn't die," and many other fascinating subjects from our nation's past

Our April 1969 issue was typical of classic issues of American Heritage, with dramatic and substantive essays on George Washington, Ike and Patton, the Transcontinental Railroad, the "ship that wouldn't die," and m Read more >>

Seventy-five years ago, Allied soldiers made a daring amphibious landing behind German lines and were soon surrounded in what would become one of the toughest battles of World War II

Allied so Read more >>

In 1942, over a quarter of a million ordinary citizens volunteered to help defend our country as Nazi submarines terrorized the East Coast and Caribbean waters, sinking fuel tankers and cargo ships with near impunity.

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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