A Sherman tank from the Canadian 27th Tank Regiment rolls through the shattered, deserted streets of Caen after the Germans pulled out. The British/Canadians lost thousands of men and 300-500 tanks. The delay in securing Caen badly damaged Montgomery’s reputation among the Allies.

European Theater

The European Theater of Operations (ETO) during World War II is generally regarded as the area of military confrontation between the Allied powers and Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The European Theater encompassed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Eastern Front, Western Front, and Arctic areas of operation.

American paratroopers, with their weapons at the ready, advance cautiously through a field near Carentan littered with the bodies of their comrades, picked off by German sharpshooters, June 14, 1944.

European Theater

Bloody D-Day Clash for Carentan

By Mitch Yockelson

On Tuesday, June 6, 1944, at nearly three in the morning, Chicago-native Lieutenant John E. Peters safely landed Snooty, his Douglas C-47 Skytrain, on the massive 5,800-foot runway at Greenham Common airfield in southern England. 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 British M4 Sherman medium tank races past a knocked-out German PzKpfw. IV tank during the desperate fight for control of the crossroads and communications hub of Caen during the weeks after D-Day. Allied planners had projected that Caen would be in British hands on D-Day itself; however, a month of bitter fighting was required for Allied forces to capture the town.

European Theater

Panzer Fury at Caen

By Kelly Bell

The black uniformed German panzer crews climbed into their Panther tanks at 10 pm on June 8, 1944. Read more

Nisei soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team take on German tanks during their successful effort to rescue the Lost Battalion in France in October 1944.

European Theater

Hero of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

By Michael D. Hull

Early on the morning of Sunday, October 15, 1944, a platoon of the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) waited on a hill for its first action in the rugged Vosges Mountains of eastern France. Read more

German officers and enlisted personnel stand in front of Oflag 64, a former reform school for boys that was converted into a somewhat unique prison camp for American officers during World War II.

European Theater

Life In a Unique Nazi POW Camp

By Duane Schultz

On July 28, 2018, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel near Dulles Airport, outside Washington, D.C., Mariusz Winiecki, a 42-year-old Polish professor, told an audience of Americans about his experiences growing up in the small town of Szubin, 150 miles southeast of Warsaw. Read more

European Theater

Delaying Action at Enchenberg

By Allyn Vannoy

The 44th Infantry Division, part of the U.S. Seventh Army’s XV Corps, was pushing elements of the battered German 25th Panzergrenadier Division back toward the German frontier in the Vosges Mountains during early December 1944. 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

Third Reich Women at War

By Paul Garson

During the 12 years of the highly militarized society of the Third Reich, some 20 million Germans—men and women as well as children—donned a uniform of one kind or another.  Read more

European Theater

The Ijmuiden Raids: None Came Back

By Allyn Vannoy

Even as they were being integrated into the European Allied air campaign, the use and operation of American B-26 Marauders, and other medium bombers, was still being worked out—with sometimes, as at IJmuiden, Holland, disastrous results. Read more

101st Airborne Division troopers, backed by Sherman tanks, battle the Germans in the woods surrounding Bloody Gulch in Normandy, June 1944, where Lieutenant Ronald Speirs and his men fought. The paratroopers had only rifles, machine guns, and grenades with which to conduct the battle until armored forces arrived.

European Theater

Ronald Speirs: ‘Imperfect But Daring Leader’

By Jared Frederick & Erik Dorr

Swirls of black smoke billowed high above the steeples and splintered roofs as Lieutenant Ronald Speirs surveyed the stucco exteriors of storefronts and dwellings pocked by the scars of urban battle. Read more