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.

European Theater

Hobart’s Funnies

By Phil Zimmer

The elite German paratroopers, who were some of the finest fighters in the service of the Third Reich, believed they were exceptionally well prepared to defend the deep water port of Brest on France’s Brittany coast against an impending attack by the Allies. Read more

European Theater

The Hardest Fight

By Arnold Blumberg

On September 4, 1944, tanks of the British 11th Armored Division lumbered into the outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium. Read more

European Theater

Key to the Eternal City

By Nathan N. Prefer

They had been staring at it for the past four months. That small, rubble-strewn town of Cisterna di Littoria in central Italy just inland from the ports of Anzio-Nettuno, had become their nemesis. Read more

European Theater

Belgrade Blitz

By John W. Osborn, Jr.

It was the most exciting scene Associated Press correspondent Robert St. John had yet witnessed in the career he had abandoned for five years to farm in New Hampshire then returned to when he sensed that war was coming. Read more

European Theater

The Battle for Aachen

By Arnold Blumberg

In their directive to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in northwestern Europe, the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff ordered Allied forces to land in France in June 1944, break out of Normandy, and mount an offensive “aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her armed forces.” Read more

European Theater

Combat Soldier and Later, POW

By Ray Allen Miller

I was raised on a farm between Hickory and Conover, North Carolina, the oldest of nine children, and this is a brief accounting of my military, combat, and prisoner of war experience in World War II. Read more

European Theater

The Mystery of the Amber Room

By Chuck Lyons

In September 1941, during the siege of Leningrad, as the Soviets then called St. Petersburg, Nazi troops overran the Tsarskoye Selo Palace, the former summer residence of the czars in the suburban town of Pushkin. Read more

European Theater

Fighting to Survive

By Ric A. Dias

America’s involvement in World War II was so deep and broad that it demanded that virtually every citizen, farm, and company become involved. Read more

European Theater

Exhausted Caravan

By Tim Miller

During the afternoon of May 16, 1940, flames rose from the block of Foreign Office buildings on the Quai d’Orsay in Paris. Read more

European Theater

Is London Burning?

By David Alan Johnson

The bombers seemed to arrive overhead with much less warning than on any past air raid. Olive Bayliss, who lived with her family over at London Wall, in London’s City District, was certain that the Luftwaffe came in faster than usual tonight, catching everyone by surprise. Read more

European Theater

Dark Days of Spring

By Mark Simmons

In the early hours of May 14, 1940, General Alphonse Georges, the French commander of the northeast front, received bad news at his headquarters, the small but elegant 18th-century Chateau des Bondons, an hour’s drive east of Paris near the River Marne. Read more

European Theater

The Mosquito

By Phil Zimmer

Precise timing was crucial. More than 700 prisoners were being held in the Amiens prison, many of whom were being tortured by the Gestapo and were soon to be executed, according to reports that reached London. Read more

European Theater

Every man an Emperor

By Patrick J. Chaisson

Sergeant William R. Kelly crashed through the treetops, slamming to a stop when his parachute canopy caught on some branches. Read more

European Theater

Sinking the Bismarck Myth

By Mark Carlson

In 1960 Twentieth Century Fox released the film Sink the Bismarck! Based on C.S. Forrester’s bestselling book The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck, the documentary-style film tells a gripping and reasonably factual account of the most famous sea chase in history. Read more

European Theater

Freeing Mont Saint Michel

By Kevin M. Hymel

Of all the landmarks in Europe, few are as distinctive and instantly recognizable as the medieval fortress/ monastery of Mont Saint Michel, located on the French coast seven miles southwest of the city of Avranches. Read more