Victoria Cross

Australia’s Heroic Son

By Christopher Miskimon

John Hurst Edmondson, known to his friends as Jack, died April 14, 1941, lying on the concrete floor of a sand-swept fighting outpost in the perimeter around Tobruk, Libya. Read more

Victoria Cross

Bold Stand at Rorke’s Drift

By Arnold Blumberg

From atop the bluff overlooking a ford on the Buffalo River, Captain Alan Gardner, a staff officer in the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot, looked down at the chaos and carnage being played out below him. Read more

Victoria Cross

Operation Chastise: Night of the Dambusters

By Mark Simmons

May 16, 1943, had been a sweltering spring day in England. At 9:39 pm, as the sun was dipping below the western horizon, leaving a rim of light and still good visibility, the first three of 19 Avro Lancaster bombers of No. Read more

Victoria Cross

Holding New Guinea: A First Defeat For Japan’s Land Forces

By John Brown

One blazing hot day in mid-January 1942, Cornelius “Con” Page, an Australian plantation manager and coastwatcher on Tabar Island 20 miles north of New Ireland reported on his radio a Japanese aircraft passing Tabar and heading for Rabaul on the Australian-administered island of New Britain. Read more

Victoria Cross

The Final Offensive

By David H. Lippman

“It is very difficult to be an openly declared, courageous Nazi today, and to express one’s faith freely,” read the editorial in the Völkischer Beobachter newspaper, which further added, “We have no illusions now.” Read more

Victoria Cross

Aubrey Cosens of the Queen’s Own Rifles

by Angus Scully

Aubrey Cosens was the first soldier of the Third Canadian Division to earn the Victoria Cross in World War II—and this was a division that had landed on D-Day, taken 76 percent casualties in Normandy, and used its amphibious warfare experience to defeat the Germans in Holland. Read more

Mussolini lost his empire in East Africa to a relative handful of Commonwealth troops.

Victoria Cross

No Deserts for Il Duce: The Italian Rout in East Africa

By John W. Osborn Jr.

“I am not a collector of deserts,” Mussolini declared regarding his imperial ambitions. Instead, he would be a loser of them, most publicly in North Africa and, in one of World War II’s least-known campaigns, in East Africa. Read more

Victoria Cross

The Battle of Narvik: Crippling the Kriegsmarine

By David H. Lippman

The Germans could not believe it. Without suffering the loss of a single soldier or sailor, the German Army and Navy had sailed 1,500 miles through waters dominated by the British Royal Navy and captured Narvik without firing a shot, bagged nearly 500 Norwegian soldiers, seized one of Norway’s major military depots, and even taken five armed British merchant ships and their crews. Read more