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6th South African Armoured Division M4 Shermans firing at Monte Sole during the breakthrough to Bologna, April 1945. After early victories in North Africa, the South African contingent was kept in reserve until after the fall of Rome, June 4, 1944. The men then really proved their mettle.

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Fighting from Tobruk to Milan

By Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond E. Bell

The contribution of the Union of South Africa’s armed forces to the winning of World War II is little known outside South Africa itself. Read more

Surrounded by Spanish pikemen at the climax of the Battle of Ravenna, French commander Gaston de Foix fights to stay on horseback. He would soon tumble to his inevitable death.

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Death of the Fox: Battle of Ravenna (1512)

By William E. Welsh

As the first rays of sunlight chased away the shadows from the base of the high walls surrounding the village of Ravenna in northern Italy on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1512, the French army besieging the town began to form into columns. Read more

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Rethinking D-Day

By Blaine Taylor

One query that was raised on the Allied side in 1942—two years before Operation Overlord—was if the cross-English Channel invasion of Northwest Europe via France was necessary at all in order to defeat the Third Reich. Read more

Byzantine forces led by Narses won a decisive victory over the Ostrogoths at the Battle of Vesuvius in 553. The resourceful septuagenarian proved an able statesman and general.

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Narses the Eunuch

By Peter L. Boorn

On January 18, ad 532, a 54-year-old eunuch by the name of Narses, described by Agathias, a contemporary chronicler, as “small in stature and of abnormal thinness,” entered alone into the Hippodrome of Constantinople carrying a bag of gold. 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

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Thomas Howard, Third Duke of Norfolk

By Robert L. Swain

On a sweltering evening in early July 1553, the  late King Henry VIII’s only legitimate son, the sickly 15-year-old Edward VI, died an agonizing death from tuberculosis, possibly complicated by measles. Read more

Members of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division march ashore at Gela, Sicily, while an LST burns off shore on the first day of Operation Husky in this 1943 painting by Navy war artist Mitchell Jamieson. Soldiers injured during the fighting can be seen being evacuated to hospital ships. Sicily became the stepping stone for the invasion of the Italian mainland.

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Sicilian Slugfest

By Flint Whitlock

The island of Sicily, lying in the Mediterranean Sea between Tunisia and the toe of the Italian peninsula, is no stranger to war and conquest. Read more

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Sealing Vicksburg’s Fate

By Lawrence Weber

During the Civil War, the strategic importance of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was readily apparent to both the Union and the Confederacy. Read more