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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.

Many observers ignore the real cost of Japan's war in eastern Asia.

I sharply remember the moment when my grasp of the most searing moral issue of the end of the Asia Pacific War vaulted from a strong but detached intellectual plane to a vastly more wrenching visceral urgency. Read more >>

A cataclysm became inevitable in the last months before Hiroshima.

By the summer of 1944, U.S. military power in the Pacific Theater had grown spectacularly. Beginning nine days after the D-Day invasion in France, American forces launched their largest attacks yet against the Japanese-held islands of Saipan on June 15, Guam on July 21, and Tinian on July 24. Read more >>
NOTE: This is the introduction to Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World (Simon & Schuster, 2020) There have been no discussions with the author or publisher about using it. Read more >>

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The most basic fact about the Asia-Pacific War is that Japan alone controlled when it ended. Thus, the sharpest lens for understanding and judging these events is through the viewpoints of key Japanese leaders. American leaders figured in this story, but fundamentally in a supplementary role. Read more >>

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 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: 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, 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 >>

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 >>

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