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

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (right) inspects members of an assault gun battalion standing in front of their guns—10.5cm leFH 18 (Sf.) auf Geschützwagen 39H(f)—a self-propelled howitzer designed by Alfred Becker—in Normandy, France, a month before the Allied invasion. Only 48 were produced during the war.

European Theater

Oberstleutnant Alfred Becker

By Craig Van Vooren

Students of World War II know the name Percy Hobart—a British general who raised and trained several armored divisions and who invented all sorts of unique and unusual weapons of war—swimming tanks, flail tanks (for exploding landmines), a flame-throwing tank, a tank that laid down its own roadway, and many other odd-but-useful devices. Read more

Their foxhole reinforced with logs, a pair of American soldiers of the 99th Infantry Division watch and wait for a German attack during the Battle of the Bulge. The heroic stand at Lanzerath by 20 year old Lt. Bouch and the 21 men under his command slowed the advance of Kampfgruppe Peiper.

European Theater

Hold at All Costs

By Brent Dyck

After D-Day, the Allied armies slowly advanced across Europe and pushed the German army back. Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944, the Belgian capital of Brussels fell on September 3, and the important port of Antwerp was taken two days later. Read more

British commandos sit aboard a Whitworth Whitley aircraft during exercises.

European Theater

Operation Biting: ‘The Bruneval Raid’

By Nathan N. Prefer

By January 1942, Britain was still in the fight of her life. Germany had occupied all western Europe, controlled the Mediterranean, and was threatening British colonies in North Africa. Read more

A German soldier surveys an antiaircraft defense gun on the bank of the Rhine near the Ludendorff Bridge, January 1945.

European Theater

A “Bright Opportunity” At Remagen

By Flint Whitlock

It was March 7, 1945––a gray, overcast day with a nasty chill in the air, the kind of day in which a soldier at the front wished he could relax in front of a toasty fire with a canteen cup full of hot coffee and think about home. Read more

Soldiers of the U.S. 75th Infantry Division tramp through the snow in the Colmar Pocket sector in the Alsace region. The pocket, which consisted of 850 square miles on the west side of the Rhine River, was the last piece of German-held territory on French soil.

European Theater

Destruction Of The Colmar Pocket

By Christopher Miskimon

On January 25, 1945, every officer in Company B of the 15th Infantry Regiment of the American 3rd Infantry Division became a casualty in the fight for the “Colmar Pocket” except Lieutenant Audie Murphy. Read more

With smoke rising and the barrel of their Bofors gun hot from rapid discharging, the weapon’s crew fires over open sights during support for British and Canadian troops in Operation Veritable. This photo was taken in the Netherlands at Nuttderden on the road to Kleve, as British and Canadian troops moved forward.

European Theater

Devils in the Forest

By William E. Welsh

The German paratroopers marched the captured Canadian officer through the dark forest to the damp underground bunker that served as their platoon headquarters. Read more

European Theater

Nuremburg Prosecutor

By Blaine Taylor

On March 23, 1991, at a reunion of the postwar Nuremberg International Military Tribunal staffers in Washington, I had occasion to meet the former American prosecutor, Brigadier General Telford Taylor. Read more

Polish soldiers, attached to the British Eighth Army in Italy, slog along a flooded road.

European Theater

Blood In The Soil

By Glenn Barnett

In 1939 the one thing that Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin could agree on was the partition of Poland. Read more

European Theater

Massacre At Malmédy

By Nathan N. Prefer

The surrender did not begin well. As First Lieutenant Virgil Lary stood in the road next to a snow-covered field just south of Malmédy, Belgium with his hands raised, one of the German tankers poked his head out of the hatch and fired twice at him with his pistol. Read more

Follow-on troops of the Royal Marine Commandos, lugging their equipment, come ashore at Juno Beach, Normandy.

European Theater

A “Light-Hearted War”

By Mark Simmons

Vice Admiral Norman Denning said of Ian Fleming, the “ideas man” who worked at British Naval Intelligence, that a lot of his proposals “were just plain crazy.” Read more

Seize the Day by Jim Dietz shows men from the 505th Regiment, 82nd Airborne in Sainte-Mère-Église, the parachute of trooper John Steele still hanging from the church tower in the background.

European Theater

Target: Sainte-Mere-Eglise

By Flint Whitlock

The night of June 5/6, 1944, was pretty much like every other night since the Germans had occupied Normandy and the Cotentin Peninsula in the summer of 1940: dark, quiet, chilly, and mostly boring. Read more

European Theater

Too Many Close Calls

By Flint Whitlock

Clarence M. “Monty” Rincker was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on September 8, 1922. When he was a year old, his parents bought a farm in eastern Wyoming and the family moved there. Read more

European Theater

The Power of Cloth

By G. Paul Garson

The evolution of the Nazi-era military wardrobe followed from a long history of European uniforms in general and Imperial German uniforms in particular. Read more

European Theater

Montgomery’s Bridge Too Far

By Michael D. Hull

Operation Market-Garden, British Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery’s imaginative and daring plan—reluctantly endorsed by his superior, General Dwight D. Read more