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World War Ii: New Eyewitness Testimony

March 2023
1min read

The men who were there—on the ships and battlefields, and in the planes—write a vivid history of their own kind. Professional historians tell us what happened and try to tell us what it meant. The participants speak of fear and blood, boredom and elation, death and triumph. It is this kind of history we present in a special section on World War II: extraordinary eyewitness accounts by the Americans who fought it.

The man who knew what to do …

In 1941 Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer drew up a broad strategy for global war, at the request of Gen. George Marshall. Wedemeyer had been an exchange student at the German War College in the thirties—he already knew what Blitzkrieg meant. Perhaps more than any one man he was responsible for the plan that won the war. An interview by Keith E. Eiler.

The men who did it…

Two pilots tell us, in gripping detail, what it was like in the air over Berlin and over the Rumanian oil fields with a planeload of bombs to drop … Charles Cawthon relives the invasion at Omaha Beach … G. D. Lillibridge revisits Tarawa, where he had taken part in “one of the bloodiest and most intense battles” of the war … Pamela Harriman, then Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law, offers a portrait of the great man at his greatest.

Plus …

Before he built the Brooklyn Bridge, whose centennial year this is, John Augustus Roebling proved that his methods worked by building a smaller version of it across the Ohio River … a gallery of favorite paintings selected by Marshall Davidson, pioneer scholar of American images … on the hundredth anniversary of its adoption, the story of Standard Time … and much more.

We hope you enjoy our work.

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