Explosions raise billowing clouds of smoke and flame as Malta endures one of many air raids conducted by German and Italian bombers.

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Fighting with Sword and Prayer

By Jon Diamond

The British Army has had its share of religious zealots Serving in the upper echelons of command. These typically independent-minded soldiers, motivated largely by their spiritual belief, were in sharp contrast to those, as characterized by J.F.C. Read more

A Douglas C-47 Skytrain transport plane emblazoned with U.S. markings flies over the Pyramids at Giza, Egypt, in 1943.

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The Workhorse Gooney Bird

Of all the workhorse weapons in the Allies’ World War II arsenal, from the American M-4 Sherman medium tank and jeep to the British Handley Page Halifax bomber and 25-pounder field gun, none was more widely and effectively deployed than the Douglas C-47 transport plane. Read more

Japanese tanks advance across a bridge toward the town of Johor Bahru during their lightning conquest of the Malay Peninsula. This photo was taken in late January 1942, and within weeks the British bastion of Singapore had fallen to the invaders.

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Yamashita’s Bluff Takes Singapore

By Jon Diamond

Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto was not the only gambler in Imperial Japan’s military hierarchy. Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, appointed commander of the Imperial Japanese Army’s (IJA) 25th Army on November 2, 1941, to lead the invasion of Malaya and Singapore, also took risks to capture the prized British territory in less than 100 days after his invasion commenced on December 8. Read more

The cruiser HMNZS Achilles, manned by its crew of New Zealanders, opens fire on the German pocket battleship Graf Spee during the early moments of the Battle of the River Plate. The British naval squadron, which also included the British cruisers Ajax and Exeter, drove the German raider to seek safety in the harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay.

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Death of the Graf Spee

By Michael D. Hull

When German dictator Adolf Hitler loosed his troops into Poland on Friday, September 1, 1939, he hoped that a lightning conquest would result in a negotiated peace with Great Britain and France. Read more

A German tank commander peers from the turret of a formidable PzKpfw. I Tiger tank somewhere in Russia. The great tank battle at Kursk was a significant defeat for the German Army on the Eastern Front, and one of Hitler's favorite commanders, General Walter Model, failed him at a critical time during the action.

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Model’s Failure in Command

By Pat McTaggart

Colonel General Walter Model was a rising star in the German ArFmy in early 1943. The son of a music teacher, Model was born on January 24, 1891, in Genthin, Saxony-Anhalt. Read more

During funeral services for Pfc. Felix Longoria on February 16, 1949, family members pause beside the flag-draped casket. Longoria was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery after a funeral home in his hometown of Three Rivers, Texas, refused to provide services to the Mexican American family.

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The GI Forum

By Mike Shepherd

Hector Garcia was born in Llera, Tamaulipas, Mexico, on January 17, 1914, to schoolteacher parents, Jose Garcia Garcia and Faustina Perez Garcia. Read more

In this painting titled Wounded Warrior by artist Richard Taylor, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed Silver Meteor, heavily damaged during a raid on Munich, Germany, on July 11, 1944, is escorted safely to its base in England by a pair of North American P-51 Mustang fighters. The Mustang provided long-range escort for the heavy bombers penetrating deep into German airspace.

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Little Friends

By Sam McGowan

Undoubtedly, the World War II aircraft type that attracts the most attention is the fighter plane. Yet, before the war, the U.S. Read more

A Marine Raider machine-gun crew uses palm fronds to camouflage its position during intense training prior to the Makin Raid. The Marines fought heroically against a stout Japanese garrison on the atoll and withdrew after controversially considering surrender to the enemy.

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Raid on Makin

By David H. Lippman

In the darkness, the two American submarines moved toward the hostile beach, inching carefully through badly marked waters. Read more

American soldiers splash ashore at Anzio, Italy, during an end run expected to compromise the German defenses of the Gustav Line. The landings failed to achieve the desired results and remain controversial to this day.

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Prudence or Paralysis?

By Steve Ossad

Hitler called it an “abscess.” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the chief sponsor and loudest cheerleader for the endeavor, grudgingly proclaimed it “a disaster.” Read more

Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers run the gauntlet of enemy antiaircraft fire and fighters to bomb the oil refineries and other facilities at Ploesti, Romania, on August 1, 1943.

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The Return of Hadley’s Harem

By Duane Schultz

First Lieutenant Gilbert B. Hadley—he liked to be called “Gib”—was buried back home in Kansas in 1997, some 54 years after he was killed in action on August 1, 1943. Read more

Tanks of the U.S. 6th Armored Division leave their telltale tracks in the snow as they advance toward the town of Bastogne, recently relieved after days under siege by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge.

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Prisoner in the Bulge

By David H. Lippman

Nobody knew it in the 6th Armored Division’s 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, but the tide of the Battle of the Bulge had turned by the time the outfit moved into snow-covered fields and forests near Bastogne. Read more

The battered entrance to Fort Driant after its capture.

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Patton’s Lost Battle

By Duane E. Shaffer

The road to Fort Driant began for the United States Third Army when it landed on Utah Beach at 3 pm on August 5, 1944. Read more