August 2021

Volume 20, No. 4

Cover: Two American soldiers of the 96th Infantry Division
engage stubborn Japanese defenders on the island of Okinawa.
Photo: National Archives

An M4A3E8 of 4th Armored Division takes cover along a sunken road while covering the H-4 highway outside Bastogne with its 76mm gun. This updated version of the Sherman has wider tracks for better performance in snow and mud; note the star has been painted over so German gunners cannot use it as an aiming point.

August 2021

WWII History

Deadly Drive to Bastogne

By Christopher Miskimon

Private Bruce Fenchel was writing a letter home when his first sergeant burst into the barracks room. “Pack your duffel bags and get ready to roll,” the NCO said ominously. Read more

Two American soldiers of the 96th Infantry Division engage stubborn Japanese defenders on the island of Okinawa. One of them is seen firing his M-1 Garand rifle at a distant target, while the other is in the process of reloading his weapon. The bloody fight for Okinawa lasted 82 days.

August 2021

WWII History

Hell on Hacksaw Ridge

By Nathan N. Prefer

It was called the Maeda Escarpment, after the nearest native village. An escarpment, according to the dictionary, is “a steep slope in front of a fortification” or “a long cliff.” Read more

Two Type XXI U-boats lie under construction at the shipyards in Bremen, Germany in this photo taken after the submarines were captured by Allied troops in 1945.

August 2021

WWII History, Ordnance

The Wonder of the Walter Boat

By Phil Zimmer

German engineer Hellmuth Walter stretched his shoulders, rubbed his face, and eased his hat back on his head as he walked down the wooden dock toward a covered deck. Read more

In this famous photo, General Erwin Rommel gestures during an inspection of Italian troops in North Africa.

August 2021

WWII History, Profile

From the Army to the Resistance

By Anne Saunders

September 1943 was an extraordinary month for the Royal Italian Army. On the 8th, General Dwight Eisenhower and Marshal Pietro Badoglio announced Italy’s surrender to the Allies. Read more

A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber flies over a body of water. Corporal Joseph Hartman survived a terrible ordeal following a mid-air collision aboard a B-17, which was followed by an incredible odyssey.

August 2021

WWII History, Insight

Sole Survivor

By Phil Scearce

On December 1, 1942, a 431st Bomb Squadron Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress named Omar Khayyam – The Plastered Bastard took off from a base codenamed Cactus on a photo-reconnaissance mission toward enemy-held Bougainville Island in the Pacific. Read more

In this painting by artist Mark Churms, high value Axis prisoners arrive at Fort Hunt near the city of Alexandria, Virginia.

August 2021

WWII History, Top Secret

Prisoners on the Potomac

By Patrick J. Chaisson

May 3, 1944: The nondescript army bus slowed to make a turn off the Mount Vernon Memorial Parkway just outside suburban Alexandria, Virginia. Read more

August 2021

WWII History, Books

The Luftwaffe Against England

By Christopher Miskimon

In order to establish the necessary conditions for the final conquest of England … I therefore order the Luftwaffe to overpower the English air force with all forces at its command, in the shortest possible time.” Read more