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

The Battle of Ortona: Italy’s Stalingrad

By Mike Phifer

“Where the hell have you been?”

Major Bert Kennedy, acting commander of Canada’s Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, asked Lieutenant Farley Mowat of the intelligence section. Read more

European Theater

Achtung! Panzers in Normandy

By Michael E. Haskew

The ongoing debate between German Field Marshals Erwin Rommel and Gerd von Rundstedt over how best to use the German Army’s elite panzer divisions against the coming Allied invasion ultimately reached no clear conclusion. Read more

European Theater

Death of Himmler’s Henchman

By Richard Rule

In a desperate bid to avoid another war in Europe, both Britain and France signed the notorious Munich Agreement in 1938, which annexed the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis. Read more

European Theater

Desperate Days On Hill 314

By Alan Davidge

When the 230th Field Artillery Battalion was attached to the 30th Infantry (“Old Hickory”) Division in Mortain, France, on August 6, 1944, many of its men had already received their baptism of fire in Normandy. Read more

A long line of American soldiers are about about to begin their long journey into captivity. Most of the troops were moved by rail; Allied planes sometimes unknowingly attacked trains that carried American POWs.

European Theater

Captured in the Bulge

By Flint Whitlock

It took the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the world’s largest passenger liner, only five days to transport 15,000 men of the 106th Infantry Division from New Jersey to Glasgow, Scotland, making port on November 17, 1944. Read more

British paratroopers of the 1st Airborne Division, who were tasked with the highway bridge over the Nederrijn at Arnhem, land in an open field at the outset of Operation Market Garden.

European Theater

Hellish Fight at Arnhem

By John E. Spindler

As the clock struck 8:00 p.m. in Arnhem, Holland, Lt. Col. John Frost’s British 2nd Parachute Battalion captured the north end of the road bridge over the Nederrijn River. Read more

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

European Theater

Holding Hosingen At All Costs

By Alice Flynn

Ordered to “hold at all costs,” 300 American soldiers defended the small Luxembourg town of Hosingen during the first three days of the Battle of the Bulge. 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