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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.

The famous journalist was arrested for stowing away on a hospital ship to cover the action on Normandy, writing a more compelling article than did her husband, Ernest Hemingway.

One of the great tragedies of World War II, when five brothers were lost on the same ship, is remembered at two museums.

U.S. military leaders drew up elaborate plans to invade Japan, with estimates of American casualties ranging as high as two to four million, given the terrible losses at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

As defeat became inevitable in the summer of 1945, Japan's government and the Allies could not agree on surrender terms, especially regarding the future of Emperor Hirohito and his throne. 

Nearly killed by a German bomb, Pyle faced the fear and frustration known as “Anzio anxiety” among the American soldiers trapped with him on the beach.

Paul Douglas was 50 years old when he left a career in politics to join the Marines at the outset of World War II, earning Purple Hearts at Peleliu and Okinawa.

Then 50, future U.

When judging the morality of the use of atomic weapons in World War II, observers typically focus on Japanese deaths, while ignoring the far-larger number of non-Japanese casualties.

In the spring of 1945, American bombing raids destroyed much of Tokyo and dozens of other Japanese cities, killing at least 200,000 people, without forcing a surrender.

Editor’s Note: David Dean Barrett is a military historian, specializing in World War II.

The U.S. government managed to hide the magnitude of what happened in Hiroshima until John Hersey’s story appeared in the New Yorker, driving home the truth about America’s new mega-weapon.

Editor's Note: Lesley M.M.

Eighty minutes before Pearl Harbor, Japanese troops stormed ashore at Kota Bharu in Malaysia and fired the first shots of World War II in Asia.

Adding Republicans to key positions in his administration, Franklin Roosevelt created a unified effort to fight World War II.

Allied soldiers struggled for months to clear veteran German troops dug into the mountains of northern Italy in late 1944 and early 1945.

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 subsequently classic 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.

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.

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: Don't miss the first half of this essay, Two Hours in Hell at Pearl Harbor. Author Ed Offley, after serving in the Navy during Vietnam,

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,

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

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.

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.

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

Paul A.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”

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