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Smoke billows from a generator employed at Ludwigshafen along the banks of the Rhine River. The ruins of the city of Mannheim, Germany, are visible in the background.

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Smokescreens: Fighting for Metz

By Jon Latimer

With the defeat of the German Seventh Army and the closing of the Falaise Gap in the summer of 1944, the Allies pursued the retreating enemy across France. Read more

Wehrmacht infantrymen march through a Belgian town to occupy territory overrun by armored divisions.

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German Intelligence Chief Wilhelm Franz Canaris

by David Alan Johnson

In most popular spy thrillers, secret agents are tall, handsome, virile, and irresistible to women. Whether their name is Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, or James Bond, all are hard-drinking, well-tailored ladies’ men. Read more

Viking longboats cut through the sea while on expedition. King Harald’s nickname was “Hardradi,” meaning “the ruthless;” something his enemies could surely attest to.

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Harald “Land Waster” Hardradi

by Kenneth Cline

For many history buffs, the date 1066 conjures up an image of Norman knights breaking through the shield wall of the ax-wielding Anglo-Saxons at Senlac Hill. Read more

High above the clouds, a four-engine Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber wings its way toward a target in Japan.

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Backward in Battle

By Robert F. Dorr

Up front, guns chattered. Out back, in his pressurized compartment aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber high over Japan, Andy Doty heard a warning shouted over the intercom. Read more

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Franklin Roosevelt’s Pre-Pearl Harbor Intervention Plans

By Donald J. Young

This is a story of what might have been. If Japan had chosen to attack far-off British Malaya on December 7, 1941, instead of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, President Franklin Roosevelt was prepared to go before Congress and ask—for the first time in American history—for a declaration of war against a nation that had not fired the first shot against us. Read more

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Finnish Mosin Nagants

By Chuck Lewis

Deral Mosby is hooked. In a little over two years, the 58-year-old retired chemist’s collection of 20th-century military-surplus firearms has evolved from a handful of Russian Mosin Nagant infantry rifles valued at around $125 each to an ever-growing horde of Finnish military rifles and carbines, some of which are quite rare and worth considerably more. Read more

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The White and Black Ship

By Stephen D. Lutz

During World War II, the U.S. Navy built more than 1,000 destroyer escorts, ships whose primary duty was to escort supply convoys across the world’s oceans to insure that their precious cargo of food, fuel, war material, and personnel got to their destinations safely. Read more