Nazi Germany spent many years (and a fortune) creating an invasion-proof barrier, only to have it breached in the span of a morning.

Operation Sea Lion

Smashing Hitler’s Atlantic Wall

By Flint Whitlock

After overrunning France and other Western European countries in 1940, Adolf Hitler was certain that the Allies would one day attempt to invade the European continent and attack through the occupied countries to destroy his regime. Read more

Political in-fighting, vanity and conspiracy led to the ousting of RAF Fighter Commands Hugh Dowding.

Operation Sea Lion

The “Big Wing” Controversy and Hugh Dowding’s Fall From Grace

By Jon Diamond

In the summer of 1940, the vaunted Luftwaffe, fresh from its victories in the skies of France and the Low Countries, began its aerial assault in an attempt to either bring Britain to “peace” terms or destroy the Royal Air Force as a prelude to Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of southeastern England. Read more

Hitler did all in his power to create an impenetrable “Fortress Europa” and prevent an Allied invasion, but it wasn’t enough.

Operation Sea Lion

Building the Atlantic Wall

By Allyn Vannoy

The popular image of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall (Atlantikwall) is one of massive bunkers and huge artillery pieces recessed in concrete casemates stretching the length of the Reich’s coastline. Read more

Operation Sea Lion

Poison Darts in World War II

By Michael E. Haskew

During the darkest days of World War II, the British War Office considered any and every option to combat the burgeoning Nazi menace on the continent of Europe. Read more

The British 3.7-inch antiaircraft gun might have served as an effective counter to heavy German armor in the North African Desert.

Operation Sea Lion

A 3.7-Inch AT Gun? A Wartime What-If…

By Jon Diamond

The often see-saw action across the North African littoral from 1940-1942 was fostered in part by both the British and Axis forces racing to innovate and implement novel tactics and upgraded weaponry. Read more

Early in World War II, the Red Sea was a combat zone as the Allied and Axis navies vied for control.

Operation Sea Lion

Red Sea Naval War

By Vincent P. O’Hara & Enrico Cernuschi

On May 9, 1936, four days after Italian troops entered Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, Mussolini appeared on a balcony of Rome’s Palazzo Venezia to proclaim Victor Emmanuel emperor of the newly created Italian East Africa. Read more

The six-pounder was the first British antitank gun that could reliably pierce the armor of German panzers.

Operation Sea Lion

Six-Pounder Versus Panzer

By Christopher Miskimon

Sergeant Charles Callistan looked through the sights of an antitank gun at an approaching enemy tank. His weapon, a six-pounder cannon, was in the perimeter of a surrounded British outpost named Snipe. Read more

Operation Sea Lion

WWII Spies: Oreste Pinto

by Robert Whiter

Two men were seated on either side of a paper-strewn table inside an office of MI5, the British intelligence service, in the Royal Victoria Patriotic School at Clapham, London, shortly after the fall of France in the spring of 1940. Read more

Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding led RAF Fighter Command against the bombastic Hermann Goering and the Luftwaffe in the 1940 Battle of Britain.

Operation Sea Lion

Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding & Hermann Goering

by Michael Haskew

By the summer of 1940, Hitler’s Nazi war machine had advanced from victory to victory, crushing Poland, overrunning France and the Low Countries, and ejecting Allied forces from the continent of Europe at Dunkirk. Read more