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 Film and Battle of San Pietro

By Michael E. Haskew

The monotonous rattle and snap of the film projector provided a steady accompaniment to the images flickering across the screen in the darkened room. Read more

U.S. Army Rangers

European Theater

Colonel William O. Darby and the U.S. Army Rangers

By William E. Welsh

On the morning of Friday, February 18, 1944, fresh groups of German panzergrenadiers backed by tanks swept south from their defensive positions at Anzio and overran American forward positions at Aprilia, eight miles north of the landing beaches. Read more

Waffen SS in Berlin

European Theater

Hitler’s Waffen-SS and the Last Battle in Berlin

By Christopher Miskimon

In the predawn hours of April 24, 1945, SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg received orders from Army Group Vistula defending Berlin to immediately lead the remnants of the 57th Battalion of the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne from its staging area at the SS training camp at Neustrelitz to the German capital. Read more

European Theater

D-Day Assault on Juno Beach

By Nathan N. Prefer

Most students of World War II know that there were five invasion beaches included in Operation Overlord, the invasion of northwestern Europe, on June 6, 1944. Read more

The "Devil's Brigade," or 1st Special Service Force, gained its place in history with daring WWII exploits in combat in France and Italy.

European Theater

What the Devil’s Brigade Did in World War II

By Michael D. Hull

When General George C. Marshall visited London in April 1942, the new chief of the British Combined Operations Command, Lord Louis Mountbatten, introduced him to a “very odd-looking individual … [who] talks well and may have an important contribution to make.” Read more

T-26 Pershing tank

European Theater

Clash of Heavy Tanks at Cologne

By Christopher Miskimon

Sergeant Nicholas Mashlonik watched closely as the Panzerkampfwagen (PzKpfw) VI Tiger heavy tank rampaged through the village of Elsdorf in the Rhineland-Westphalia region of Germany on February 27, 1945. Read more

European Theater

Remembering D-Day

By Michael E. Haskew

Few events in human history have been so fraught with drama as the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Read more

European Theater

German Spymaster Reinhard Gehlen

By William F. Floyd, Jr.

When Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, chief of the German General Staff, presented German leader Adolf Hitler with estimates of Russian strength for Operation Barbarossa, Hitler declared that the numbers were “completely idiotic” and “pure bluff.” Read more

Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division talk during the flight from their staging area in North Africa to drop zones on the island of Sicily.

European Theater

High-Spirited Stupidity

By Patrick J. Chaisson

Paratrooper Lt. Col. Bill Yarborough was flying into hell. As he prepared to jump from a Douglas C-47 transport plane then approaching the coast of Sicily, hundreds of American antiaircraft gunners below started shooting at him. Read more

Panzer assault on Bastogne

European Theater

Panzer Lehr Division’s Assault on Bastogne

By Arnold Blumberg

On December 10, 1944, Generalleutnant (equivalent to major general in the U.S. Army during World War II) Fritz Bayerlein was called to a meeting at Kyllburg (Eifel) to participate in a map exercise involving an advance to the Meuse River. Read more