WWII Quarterly

Summer 2014

Volume 5, No. 4

COVER: Royal Marine Comman- dos of 1st Special Service Brigade, photographed in a French village on D-Day.

Photo: Imperial War Museum

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly, Editorial

“The Light Of Battle Was In Their Eyes.”

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord, commonly known as “D-Day.” Of course, every military operation had a “D-day,” which simply means the date that the operation is scheduled to begin. Read more

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly, Tragedies

The Port Chicago Disaster

By Mason B. Webb

In the summer of 1944, with American forces battling their way ever closer to the Japanese home islands, the need for ammunition in the Pacific was hitting its peak. Read more

An artist's depiction of the German battleships Bismarck and Prinz Eugen firing on battlecruiser HMS Hood and battleship Prince of Wales during the Battle of Denmark Strait, May 23, 1941. Both British ships were hit and Hood was sunk but Prince of Wales, although damaged, survived for a few more months.

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly, Investigations

To this day, the cause of the sinking of the HMS Hood during the hunt for the Bismarck is still disputed.

By Mark Simmons

The British Admiralty Board of Enquiry into the loss of the battlecruiser HMS Hood, presided over by Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Blake, concluded, “The sinking of Hood was due to a hit from Bismarck’s 15-inch shell in or adjacent to Hood’s 4-inch or 15-inch magazines, causing them to explode and wreck the after part of the ship.” Read more

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly, Museums

Bovington Tank Museum

By Ray Stevenson

If armored vehicles are your interest, the Tank Museum at Bovington Camp, Dorset, is your holy grail. This cavernous museum, measuring 50,000 square feet, holds the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of over 250 armored vehicles from 26 countries. Read more

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly

Vierville-sur-Mer: Cracking a Critical Draw at Omaha Beach

By Kevin M. Hymell

Shortly after 8 am on June 6, 1944, a German officer overlooking the Vierville-sur-Mer Draw on Omaha Beach reported that the soldiers defending the beach were repelling the Americans: “The enemy is in search of cover behind the coastal zone obstacles. Read more

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly

Commandos Crack Hitler’s Atlantic Wall

By Mark Simmon

After successfully fighting seasickness during the crossing of the English Channel, Lance-Corporal Ted Brooks of Number 48 (Royal Marine) Commando arrived on Nan Red Beach—which formed the left flank of Juno Beach—on the morning of June 6, 1944. Read more

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly

From the Philippines to Borneo: A PT Boat Skipper’s Life

By John Niesel

When the four members of the Japanese surrender delegation climbed aboard the deck of PT-375 on September 8, 1945, the boat’s skipper, Lieutenant Henry “Hank” Blake, directed the men to an open area on the forward deck where the Japanese could be closely watched for any signs of treachery. Read more

With smoke and dust rising below, a B-29 bomber flies over Osaka in June 1945.

Summer 2014

WWII Quarterly

Low Level, No Guns

By Robert F. Dorr

Major Sam P. Bakshas woke up that morning with the secrets in his head.

Bakshas was one of the men flying B-29 Superfortress bombers from three Pacific islands—Guam, Saipan, and Tinian. Read more