Nazi Germany

The Muddled History of Philippe Pétain

By Michael E. Haskew

He was, in the truest sense, a national hero. Philippe Pétain, Marshal of France, the hero of Verdun, is, however, best remembered in the modern world as a traitor, a collaborationist who sacrificed the honor of France to make a deal with Hitler and the Nazis. Read more

Nazi Germany

WWII Warplanes: The Superb Supermarine Spitfire

By Sam McGowan

In the annals of World War II, one of the most famous airplanes is the British-developed Supermarine Spitfire, an agile, elliptical-wing fighter that has become synonymous with the Royal Air Force victory in the Battle of Britain. Read more

Nazi Germany

Reginald Earnshaw: The Youngest British Casualty

By Michael E. Haskew

Duty in the British Merchant Navy was hazardous during World War II. Braving the stormy Atlantic, the expanse of the Pacific, and the daily rigors of life aboard ship were challenging enough during peacetime; however, during the dark days of the war a determined enemy, bent on bringing the island nation and its far-flung empire to their knees, unleashed a vicious campaign against Britain’s merchant lifeline. Read more

Nazi Germany

Bringing Down the Bridges

By John Mancini

In April 1941, German troops swarmed into Greece from Bulgaria. Despite a valiant defense by the Greek Army and support from the British, the Nazis smashed their battle lines and controlled Greece within weeks. Read more

Nazi Germany

Panzers at the Gates of Moscow

By Jonathan Jordan

The war map gave Adolf Hitler every reason to be confident. Operation Barbarossa, Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union begun on June 22, 1941, had succeeded spectacularly on nearly every front. Read more

Nazi Germany

War Takes Wing

By Gregory Peduto

The army brass argued at length; the scheme proposed by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner was mad, foolhardy, but also ingenious. Read more

Nazi Germany

Mission Critical Overlord Weather

By Gene J. Pfeffer

Operation Overlord, the cross-Channel attack that hit the Nazi-occupied beaches of Normandy in 1944, was the culmination of a grand strategy adopted early in the war, followed sporadically during the years of conflict, and aimed at defeating Hitler’s Reich by striking directly at Germany by invasion. Read more

Nazi Germany

Night Jump into Tragedy

By Victor Kamenir

In August 1943, immediately after the Battle of Kursk, the Red Army launched a series of follow up operations, resulting in the liberation of a large swath of Nazi-occupied Soviet territory. Read more

The Red Army pioneered airborne operations but often failed to execute missions successfully.

Nazi Germany

Red Army Airborne

By Victor Kamenir

The official history of Russian and Soviet airborne forces began on August 2, 1930, when 12 parachutists were dropped during maneuvers in the Moscow Military District. Read more

Nazi Germany

German All-Terrain Vehicle

By Blaine Tayloy

The first published photo of one of the odd—but highly versatile —frontline vehicles of World War II appeared on the cover of the July 1942 edition of German Propaganda Minister Dr. Read more

Nazi Germany

Barrier at Monte Cassino

By John Brown

The Gustav Line, stretching across Italy at its narrowest part between Gaeta and Ortona, was a formidable system of defenses, some of it in coastal marshes but mainly in mountainous country through which ran fast-flowing rivers. Read more

Nazi Germany

A Warning Against Appeasement

By Jon Diamond

The “Mythology of Munich” and “What Would Winston Do?” These were the feature story and the cover headline, respectively, for the June 23, 2008, issue of Newsweek magazine. Read more

Felix Sparks led elements of the 45th Division through heavy fighting and the liberation of Dachau.

Nazi Germany

A Fighting Foot Soldier of the 45th

By Christopher Miskimon

The morning of February 16, 1944, dawned foggy over the Via Anziate in Anzio, Italy. The 45th Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment had advanced overnight to take positions on the west side of the roadway, assuming its place on the front line. Read more

Nazi Germany

Rudolf Hoess: Infamous Mass Murderer of Auschwitz

By Richard Rule

At 10 am on Wednesday April 16, 1947, the former commandant of Auschwitz extermination camp, SS Oberstürm bannführer (lieutenant colonel) Rudolph Hoess, briskly walked under armed escort toward the small wooden gallows specifically built for him inside the camp grounds. Read more