During he 1930s and 1940s, America’s top secret A-bomb program was undergoing scrutiny from our enemies and allies.

CIA

New Mexico: Atomic Spy Capital

By Richard Higgins

New Mexico and its capital of Santa Fe bring to mind some beautiful images. Stunning sunsets, unlimited vistas, a plethora of art galleries, the spectacular food enlivened with the local green chile, an ancient Native American culture that still thrives, and a Spanish heritage tradition going back to within 50 years of Columbus’s arrival all make for a unique cultural and physical environment. Read more

Against the odds, Detroit defied reality to help win World War II.

CIA

Ford’s Willow Run Factory

By Samantha L. Quigley

They said it couldn’t be done. Doubters chided Henry Ford for declaring that his Willow Run Bomber Plant could turn out a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber every hour. Read more

Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin cast the only vote against declaring war on Japan the day after the Pearl Harbor Attack.

CIA

Against the Odds: Jeanette Rankin

By Martin K.A. Morgan

An Associated Press report described “a chorus of hisses and boos” that echoed through the chamber when the Congresswoman from Montana cast her vote. Read more

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

CIA

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

Radio controlled B-17s proved to be deadly and ahead of their time.

CIA

Operation Aphrodite

By Mason B. Webb

When it came to advanced military technology in World War II, arguably no one was better at it than Nazi Germany, whose scientists Adolf Hitler keep busy trying to invent the ultimate “super weapon” capable of defeating his enemies. Read more

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

CIA

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.

CIA

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

Monsignor Josef Tiso led Slovakia into an alliance with Hitler and the Nazis.

CIA

Drawn to the Axis

By Blaine Taylor

According to the 1960 memoirs of Henriette Hoffmann von Schirach, Adolf Hitler called Father Josef Tiso, a monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church and premier of Fascist Slovakia, “The little parson.” Read more

CIA

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

CIA

Opening the Venona Files

By Peter Kross

On February 1, 1943, a group called the U.S. Army Signal Intelligence Service, the forerunner of the modern-day National Security Agency (NSA), began a project to intercept and analyze diplomatic signal traffic sent by an ally of the United States: the Soviet Union. Read more