An Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs on their way to strike targets in North Vietnam. Refueling operations in the Vietnam War peaked during Operation Rolling Thunder.

European Theater

During the opening hours of Operation Goodwood, a Sherman tank carrying infantrymen, a Sherman flail tank nicknamed a “Crab,” and a halftrack serving as an ambulance await orders to advance on July 18, 1944. Caen was a D-Day objective, but the Allies were required to fight for weeks to capture the town.

European Theater

Capturing Caen

By Alan Davidge

One of the most important tasks for Allied troops after the D-Day landing was to seize the city of Caen, nine miles behind Sword Beach. Read more

European Theater

Bold Gamble Above Cologne

By Michael D. Hull

Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Travers Harris, the burly, red-haired chief of Royal Air Force Bomber Command, was an anxious man on the evening of Saturday, May 30, 1942. Read more

European Theater

Italian Blunder in the Balkans

By Roy Morris, Jr.

A thin shaft of moonlight played over the broad, deserted boulevard leading to the suburban Athens home of Greek Prime Minister John Metaxas on the night of October 28, 1940. Read more

Portuguese soldiers board the passenger ship Mouzinho in Lisbon harbor, April 1941. Their destination was the Azores, where they would reinforce the garrison against the threat of German invasion.

European Theater

Portugal’s Political Tightrope

By B. Paul Hatcher

“With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas. Read more

European Theater

Q-Ships in World War II

By William H. Langenberg

As an effective naval weapon, submarines were in their infancy when World War I began in August 1914. Read more

European Theater

The Many Faces of Adolf Hitler

By Kevin M. Hymel

As the Allied armies in the West closed in on Germany in late September 1944, one question began to dog many of democracy’s leaders. Read more

George S. Patton’s bull terrier Wille waits quietly for his late master to return.

European Theater

Patton’s Death

By Blaine Taylor

It was 11:45 am, on December 9, 1945, and former U.S. Third Army Commanding General George Smith Patton, Jr., Read more

European Theater

The Plot Against Einstein

By Eric Niderost

When Albert Einstein arrived in Pasadena, California, in early 1933, he was to take up his duties as visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology for about three months. Read more

American soldiers drive by a destroyed German vehicle and the bodies of its former occupants during the Battle of the Bulge. U.S. Army PFC Frank Cohn and his team were suspected of being German spies when they were stopped and interrogated at an American checkpoint in Belgium.

European Theater

‘Vat Goes on Here?’

By Kevin M. Hymel

On a Belgian hillside at the height of the Battle of the Bulge, an American lieutenant watched as a jeep carrying four men dressed in American uniforms stopped on the road in front of him. Read more

European Theater

The Boy Who Got Rommel

By R. Douglas Nunes

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the infamous “Desert Fox,” was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Army Group B on the Western Front and put in charge of strengthening the Normandy coastal defenses. Read more

European Theater

French Commandos Land on D-Day

By John E. Spindler

Aboard one of two LCIs carrying French commandos approaching the Normandy coast, Lieutenant-Commander (Capitaine de Corvette) Philippe Kieffer looked at his watch. Read more

After having failed to conquer his long-time rival Greece, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini asked Axis partner Adolf Hitler for help. Here, German soldiers raise the German war banner atop the Acropolis in Athens after forcing the Greeks to surrender on April 27, 1941. Terrible atrocities by the Germans against the Greek populace followed.

European Theater

The Greek Holocaust

By Nathan N. Prefer

In late 1940 and early 1941, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler was concentrating on his next great conquest, the Soviet Union. Read more

On the coast of Italy, military personnel take time out from their duties at the beach. The water adapted observation plane may have been used for water skiing.

European Theater

Uniformed for R&R

Photo Essay by Kevin M. Hymel

For the lucky few that got the opportunity, putting on a bathing suit and hitting the waves or pools was a welcome escape from the war. Read more

European Theater

OSS Spymaster Allen Dulles

By Peter Kross

During World War II, Switzerland was one of the few neutral countries to survive unscathed amid the death and destruction that was being heaped upon the rest of Europe. Read more

European Theater

U.S. Navy Captain Forrest Biard

By Hervie Haufler

“For several months after the outbreak of the war with Japan the very fate of our nation rested in the hands of a small group of very dedicated and highly devoted men working in the basement under the Administration Building in Pearl Harbor.” Read more

European Theater

The Blue Ridge Division in Europe

By Andy Adkins & Madeline Hanson

The 80th Infantry Division’s lineage goes back to the First World War. It was first organized at Camp Lee, Virginia, on August 5, 1917. Read more

Soldiers watch from a distance as the Warsaw Ghetto burns.

European Theater

Warsaw 1943: A War of Desperation

By Kelly Bell

In April 1940, Adolf Hitler’s SS began building a walled compound in occupied Warsaw in which to imprison Jews who had survived the previous autumn’s bitter fighting as the German juggernaut romped through western Poland. Read more

American soldiers rush to cross the captured Ludendorff railroad bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, captured largely intact, by Combat Command B from the 9th Armored Division. The German officers in charge of defending, then destroying, the bridge at Remagen were court martialed and shot.

European Theater

The Bridge at Remagen

By Victor Kamenir

By the end of January 1945, Hitler’s desperate Ardennes Offensive had ground to a halt. Though the last-ditch push to the west had inflicted heavy casualties on American forces, it was the German army that suffered irreplaceable losses in men, equipment, and materiel and was no longer capable of offensive operations. Read more