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Advancing past a knocked-out Mk IV panzer, an American infantry patrol picks its way through the rubble of a Normandy village, wrecked during the Operation Cobra bombings. Cobra was launched to break through the second line of German defenses and regain the momentum lost after the initial Operation Overlord landings.

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Normandy Breakout

By Brian Todd Carey

Concentrated against the beaches of Normandy on June 6, Operation Overlord landed 9 army divisions plus support troops on five beaches in anticipation of a breakout across France and toward Berlin. Read more

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Better Or Best: The B-17 Vs. The B-24

By Sam McGowan

One of the most frequently discussed arguments to come out of World War II is which was the “better” bomber, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress or the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Read more

British prisoners march off under German guard after the capture of Tobruk. Rommel was aided in this astonishing coup of June 1942 by knowledge of British plans intercepted from messages by the U.S. Military Attaché in Cairo.

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Colonel Bonner Fellers

By Harold E. Raugh, Jr.

German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, renowned as “the Desert Fox,” was a master of mobility and maneuver warfare during the see-saw North African campaign of World War II. Read more

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John T. Kuehn’s ‘Strategy in Crisis’

By Christopher Miskimon

The Pacific War of 1941-1945 really stems from the Sino-Japanese conflicts of the 1930s. It most likely would not have happened had Japan not been embroiled in a war in China, which began with sporadic skirmishing and “incidents” in the early 1930s. Read more

Canadian tanks and troops advance across the Liri Valley toward the so-called Hitler Line in May 1944. The tanks seen in the distance likely belong to the 8th “Princess Louise” Hussars, which accompanied the Cape Breton Highlanders during this movement forward in the Italian campaign.

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Bouncing the Hitler Line

By Patrick J. Chaisson

A Polish flag, followed minutes later by a Union Jack, appeared above the ruins of the abbey on the summit of Italy’s 17,000-foot Monte Cassino. Read more

A U.S. Coast Guardsman carries a Model 50 Reising submachine gun while on patrol with his dog. The Reising proved to be quite unpopular with line troops fighting during World War II, particularly Marine units in tropical climates.

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The M50 Reising Submachine Gun

By Patrick J. Chaisson

On paper, the Reising submachine gun appeared to be an ideal close-combat weapon. Accurate, lightweight, and inexpensive to manufacture, it was selected by the U.S. Read more

Members of a U.S. Congressional committee investigating German atrocities and war crimes inspect a rocket engine captured at an underground Nazi manufacturing facility at Nordhausen. A top American priority, Operation Paperclip was tasked with gathering German scientists and rocket technology for development in the U.S. after World War II.

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Operation Paperclip

By Don Smith

At first, Major Robert Staver seemed to have plenty of time. An Army Ordnance officer with a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford, he had been sent to Germany as part of the Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee. Read more

Liberated French prisoners of war cheer American soldiers as they advance rapidly through Germany. Wolf’s 86th Infantry Division joined General George S. Patton’s Third Army for its dash across the Third Reich in the waning days of the war in Europe.

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From Bavaria to the Philippines

By Kevin M. Hymel

Private First Class Bob Wolf rode in a jeep along an exposed hill in Germany’s Ruhr Valley when he heard an enemy artillery round screeching toward him. Read more