20th century

  • World War II Magazine

    ‘Dream Big and Dare to Fail’

    From the icy shoreline where he stood, a tall gaunt man took off his goggles and stared out into the rough seas. It was nearly impossible to see anything through the descending fog, and he was alone except for his dogs. He was on the...

  • World War II Magazine

    Armament: The Lost KVs

    Did the KV-85 heavy and T-34/85 medium tanks, which entered service in the war on the Russian Front, show up around the beginning of 1943 or much later at the start of 1944? Marshal Georgi Zhukov boasted in his memoirs, “By the summer of...

  • World War II Magazine

    At the Bayonet’s Point

    With his battalion being shredded by the German defenders of Carentan, Lt. Col. Robert Cole ordered his men to fix bayonets and charge. General Omar Bradley knew he had to have Carentan. The crossroads town of some 4,000 people sat astride...

  • World War II Magazine

    Surviving Armageddon

    In the final year of the Pacific War, the Japanese worked undetected on a massive underground fortification project that might have convinced Emperor Hirohito to fight on— even after the atomic bombs were dropped. A mushroom cloud...

  • World War II Magazine

    A Fool’s Errand: Patton’s Flawed Mission

    Putting his heart before his head, Third Army commander Lt. Gen. George S. Patton ordered a small armored column on a fatally flawed mission to rescue his son-in-law. On the morning of March 26, 1945, Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cohen’s...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Perspectives: Novices at War

    Vincennes was an imposing sight when I first saw it tied alongside a pier in the New York Naval Shipyard on January 6, 1942. The heavy cruiser had just arrived with gold shipped from the Bank of South Africa—lest the Nazis capture it. I...

  • World War II Magazine

    Commands: 18th Netherlands East Indies Squadron

    DESIGNATION: 18th Netherlands East Indies Squadron ACTIVATION: April 4, 1942 CAMPAIGNS: New Guinea, New Britain, Dutch East Indies Most members of the 18th Netherlands East Indies Squadron were airmen who had escaped from Dutch possessions...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: After Such Knowledge

    After Such Knowledge: Memory, History and the Legacy of the Holocaust by Eva Hoffman;  Public Affairs, New York, 2004, hardcover $25, paperback $14. Eva Hoffman, whose writing I have long admired, has produced here another...

  • World War II Magazine

    Commands: 540th Combat Engineer Regiment

    DESIGNATION: The 540th Combat Engineer Regiment ACTIVATION: September 11, 1942 CAMPAIGNS: Algeria–French Morocco, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Anzio, Southern France, Ardennes-Alsace. The 540th Engineer Shore Regiment was activated...

  • World War II Magazine

    The Salamander: Bernard Freyberg

    To Winston Churchill, he was “the Salamander of the British Empire,” like the mythical creature that could pass through fire unharmed. To a subordinate, Major General Sir Howard Kippenberger, he was “simple as a child and cunning as...

  • World War II Magazine

    New Zealand’s Unknown Warriors

    When Lord Louis Mountbatten was named supreme Allied commander of the South East Asia Command (SEAC) in 1943, among his first decisions was to address the soldiers of the British Fourteenth Army in Burma, who felt so neglected they had...

  • World War II Magazine

    Reinhard Heydrich: A Devil With Many Faces

    On June 22, 1941, the first day of the German invasion of Russia, the Luftwaffe took advantage of beautiful weather to attack targets deep in enemy territory. Playing a big part in the initial onslaught were Messerschmitt Me-109E fighters...

  • World War II Magazine

    Crossing the Rubicon

    The thousands of young men who flew in the terror-filled skies over Nazi-occupied Europe laid the foundation for American air power well into the 21st century, all while confronting some of the most timeless questions in the history of...

  • World War II Magazine

    Crossed Communications a Nightmare for USS California Survivor’s Parents

    Melvin “Mutt” Helmick’s first assignment following boot camp in the fall of 1940 was the battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor. He didn’t find it a favorable experience, however. “The crew was cool to young sailors,” he recalled,...

  • MHQ Magazine

    MHQ Book Review: Absolute Destruction

    Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany Isabel V. Hull, (Cornell University Press, 2005), 384 pages, $24.95. Over the past twenty years, there has been a fundamental rethinking of a number of...

  • MHQ Magazine

    The Smaller Dragon Strikes

    The battle between the French and Communists for control of Hanoi in 1946-1947 sparked Vietnam’s decades-long national nightmare. Everything was going to start at 8 P.M. sharp. At least that was what the French expected. Some record that...