Behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner trained pigeons to guide an early missile system.

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

Complex weather patterns and varied Allied forecasting techniques posed challenges that were overcome prior to D-Day.

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

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

The NSU Kettenkrad served on all fronts and on all surfaces during World War II.

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

At the end of 1943 the Allied armies battling their way north in Italy came up against the German Gustav Line and ground to a halt.

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

The ordeal of the Pedestal convoy saved the island of Malta at a tremendous price.

Nazi Germany

Operation Pedestal: The Rescue of Malta

By Michael D. Hull

Located 58 miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, the rocky, 122-square-mile island of Malta was the hinge upon which all Allied operations in the Middle East turned during the first half of World War II. Read more

The Third Reich’s treatment of black soldiers was harsh, in keeping with its doctrine of racial superiority.

Nazi Germany

Black POWs Under the Nazis

By G. Paul Garson

On May 13, 1940, the German army invaded France, crossing the River Meuse at Sedan. Upon France’s capitulation, the Franco-German armistice was signed on June 22, and a portion of France was placed under German occupation, with the remaining area ostensibly left to its own, with the Vichy collaborationist government in control. Read more

Was the Italian Army simply a poor fighting force or doomed from the start by circumstance?

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Italy’s North African Misadventure

By Walter S. Zapotoczny

When most people think of the Italian Army in North Africa during World War II, they tend to believe that the average Italian soldier offered little resistance to the Allies before surrendering. Read more

Heinz Lüning, a reluctant spy for the Third Reich, served as inspiration for British writer Graham Greene.

Nazi Germany

The Abwehr’s Man in Havana

By Peter Kross

In espionage fiction, there are three types of spies. The first is the suave, dapper James Bond, 007, license to kill, a hit with the ladies. Read more