While the British defense of Crete in May 1941 was considered a military failure, it altered Hitler’s future tactics.

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Beyond All Praise: British Defense of Crete

By Jon Diamond

Brigadier Eric Dorman-Smith, serving as a liaison to Lt. Gen. Richard O’Connor during Operation Compass, the Western Desert campaign, traveled to General Archibald Wavell’s Middle East Command headquarters in Cairo on February 12, 1941, to seek permission to advance British XIII Corps farther west to Tripoli after the total victory over the Italian Xth Army at Beda Fomm, which gave Britain and her Commonwealth Allies control of the Cyrenaican half of Libya. Read more

In August 1944, the Allies followed up the massive Normandy Invasion with another in southern France known as Operation Dragoon.

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Rampage on the Riviera: Operation Dragoon

By Glenn Barnette and André Bernole

Early in 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the defeated hero of North Africa and now head of Army Group B in France, was tasked with strengthening the Atlantic Wall defenses against Allied invasion. Read more

Was the deadly 1937 Japanese attack on the USS Panay in China’s Yangtze River a case of mistaken identity or something more sinister.

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Attack on the USS Panay

Chuck Lyons

For some Americans, World War II started early. In December 1937, four years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into the war, Japanese planes attacked an American gunboat, the USS Panay, on China’s Yangtze River, strafing and bombing the boat, sinking it, killing three American crew members, and the wounding 45 others. Read more

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Was Rudolf Hess Murdered?

By Mason B. Webb

In 1979, Dr. Hugh Thomas, a British physician, came out with a highly controversial book that made the startling claim that Nazi Germany’s Deputy Führer, Rudolf Hess, did not commit suicide in Berlin’s Spandau Prison in 1987, but actually died in 1941, and that the man who died in prison was, in reality, Hess’s double! Read more

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P-47 Thunderbolts at the Battle of the Bulge

by Robert F. Dorr & Thomas D. Jones

The captured German pilot was cocky and boastful. He had just parachuted into the American airfield, now lit up by the fires of burning Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, a sprinkling of bright torches amid the gray January gloom and the dirty white snow. Read more

German airborne troops finally secured the island Crete following a pitched battle for Maelem airfield.

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ANZACs at Maleme

By David H. Lippman

“Maleme. 20th May, 1941. Usual Mediterranean summer day. Cloudless sky, no wind, extreme visibility; e.g., details on mountains 20 miles to the southeast easily discernible.” Read more