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

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

European Theater

The German Channel Dash

By Mark Simmons

“To cap it all, down came the fog, the sort you sometimes get at sea—one minute clear, the next in a fog bank—so we relied on our radar a lot. Read more

European Theater

World War II Odyssey Across Europe

By Roy Altenbach

Roy Altenbach, a soldier from a German-speaking family in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was assigned to the 47th Medium Maintenance Company, 22nd Ordnance Battalion. Read more

Adolf Hitler's final days

European Theater

Hitler’s Death in the Führerbunker

By Flint Whitlock

His world was literally crashing down in flames around him.    Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, which he had created out of nothing but his own will—an empire that he had once boasted would last for a millennium—was on fire and being torn apart by shot and shell, besieged on all sides. Read more

European Theater

Captured at the Bulge

By Kevin M. Hymel

Private Leon Goldberg pulled the trigger on his heavy, water-cooled M-1917 Browning machine gun and fired bursts of .30-caliber rounds into the attacking German infantry. Read more

European Theater

D-Day Capture of Les Moulins Draw

By Kevin M. Hymel

 Twelve Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVPs) carrying Captain William Callahan’s F Company and Captain Eccles Scott’s G Company—some 400 men—slapped the English Channel’s rough waves as they approached Omaha Beach’s Les Moulins Draw. Read more