Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers of the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force fly through thick enemy flak during bombing runs against the oil refinery complex at Ploesti, Romania. These bombers executed one of the most hazardous missions of World War II, and accurate weather information decrypted from German sources facilitated such air operations.


Department G Code Breaker

By Glenn Barnett

Throughout World War II the center of cryptography among the Allies was at the top-secret location at Bletchley Park outside London. Read more

This stirring image titled “Douglas A. Munro Covers the Withdrawal of the 7th Marines at Guadalcanal”was painted by artist Bernard D’Andrea for the observance of the bicentennial of the United States Coast Guard.


U.S. Coast Guard Goes to War

By Michael D. Hull

Recently put ashore, three companies of U.S. Marines advanced stealthily along the Matanikau River on the northern coast of Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942. Read more

Troops of the 4th U.S. Infantry Division cross the Rhine River at Worms, March 26, 1945, on a pontoon bridge constructed by the 85th Engineer Heavy Pontoon Battalion. In background are the ruins of the Ernst Ludwig highway bridge that the retreating Germans destroyed in a vain hope of stopping the Allied advance.


The Forgotten Rhine Crossings

By Mason B. Webb

While British Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery’s 21st Army Group was marching across Belgium, Holland, and into northern Germany on his way to the Rhine, Omar Bradley’s 12th Army Group, made up of Courtney Hodges’s First and George Patton’s Third U.S. Read more


An Execution That Lingers

The photograph is brutal, harsh, and unsettling. The death of Sergeant Leonard George Siffleet occurred on October 24, 1943. Eighty years ago, Siffleet was bound and blindfolded, transported to the beach at Aitape, New Guinea, after two weeks of torture and mistreatment at the hands of his Japanese captors. Read more

Despite being cold and weary, some reconnaissance troops of the 87th Infantry Division (Patton’s Third Army) can smile as they march through Bihain, Belgium, to attack German troops dug in beyond the town, January 1945.


Patton’s Fateful Verdun Meeting

By Kevin M. Hymel

On the morning of December 19, Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., prepared his Third Army for a battle raging north of him—the Battle of the Bulge. Read more


War Through an Artist’s Eyes

By Howard Brodie

Newspaper artist Howard Brodie enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, soon joining the combat artist program. He was sent by Yank magazine to capture his impressions of the war with a pencil during the Guadalcanal campaign and then the fighting in Europe. Read more

Because retreating German forces had to be able to pass through their own Siegfried Line, passageways such as this one, which had steel girders blocking the gap, were necessary. Here, men of Company E, 358th Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, move unhindered through one of these gaps, January 12, 1945.


Siegfried Line: Breaking the Dragon’s Teeth

By Allyn Vannoy

As the battalion officers surveyed the terrain before them, they must have been worried about the men who would have to cross it—the 300 yards of open ground to the banks of the Saar River lined with barbed-wire, concrete pillboxes, anti-vehicle “dragon’s teeth,” and reinforced with minefields in depth known as the Westwall or, more commonly, the “Siegfried Line.” Read more

Armored recovery vehicles (ARVs) retrieve a damaged tank near Beggendorf, Germany. ARVs were typically built on a tank chassis and hoisting cranes in place of a gun turret.


Combat Command: Glory in the Wrenches

By Allyn Vannoy

The U.S. Army’s drive across France and Belgium during the late summer and fall of 1944 was made possible by the support of the logistics and maintenance personnel that performed their duties magnificently—but received little credit or glory. Read more

During an inspection tour of OSS headquarters in New Delhi, General William, "Wild Bill" Donovan stands fifth from the left. To Donovan's right is Colonel John Coughtlin, commander of the New Delhi unit. Elizabeth McIntosh stands third on Donovan's right.


Inside the OSS: An Interview With Elizabeth P. McIntosh

By Bob Bergin

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was America’s first strategic intelligence organization. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized its establishment on June 13, 1942, six months after World War II began, to collect and analyze strategic intelligence and to conduct special services, including subversion, sabotage, and psychological warfare. Read more