World War II2 min read
JONATHAN DIMBLEBY (“Moscow in the Crosshairs”) is a British writer, radio broadcaster, filmmaker, and television host, and the author of books including Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and Its People (2008) and The Battle of the Atlantic: Ho
World War II3 min read
Touch Of Humanity
I am 81 years old and grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia. When I was in the fourth grade or so, my Sunday school teacher, Wilbert W. Miller, gave me this bowl as an award for perfect attendance. Mr. Miller explained that he was one of the first perso
World War II1 min read
Shipwreck Found Four Miles Down
EXPLORERS FOUND, SURVEYED, and filmed the world’s deepest-known shipwreck in March: the USS Johnston, sunk in a valiant against-the-odds clash that kept a larger Japanese naval force from disrupting General Douglas MacArthur’s liberation of the Phili
World War II2 min read
Film Honors The “Worst Journey”
IT WAS GRIM WORK at the edge of the world. The seamen who ferried supplies through Arctic waters to an embattled Soviet Union endured frigid temperatures, turbulent waters, and ice that could turn ships top-heavy and unstable. Then there were the Ger
World War II6 min read
Old Soldiers Never Die
I LEARNED AS A CHILD that Douglas MacArthur was a hero. He had, after all, rescued my mother, Leanne Blinzler Noe (and her sister Ginny and father Lee and thousands of other Allied civilians), from Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila at the end of
World War II5 min read
Pièce De Résistance
FOR YEARS, Selma van de Perre was “too busy living” to share her story with the world. She raised a son; taught schoolchildren in London; attended social functions with her husband, BBC correspondent Hugo van de Perre; and later worked as a journalis
World War II1 min readSecurity
WWII Online Readers intrigued by Nicholas Reynolds’s account of the wartime evolution of military intelligence— “Magic Act,” on page 48—will want to check out a story by another esteemed historian that is essentially its prequel. “Broken and Unbro
World War II1 min read
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World War II3 min read
Never! Never!
“NOW I DON’T KNOW if it happened in just this way,” a Native American shaman once said, “but I know this story is true.” This is the essence of Darkest Hour (2017), the Oscar-winning drama directed by Joe Wright. Pedants could talk for hours about it
World War II3 min read
In Deep Water
OPERATION PEDESTAL The Fleet that Battled to Malta, 1942 By Max Hastings. 448 pp. Harper, 2021. $35. MOST WORLD WAR II BUFFS are aware of the strategic importance of convoy battles in the North Atlantic, especially during 1941-42. These convoys const
World War II13 min read
Leveling The Playing Field
On July 6, 1944, Jack R. “Jackie” Robinson, a 25-year-old African American lieutenant with the 761st Tank Battalion, boarded a shuttle bus in front of the Black officers’ club at Camp Hood, Texas, and took a seat halfway down the aisle. Five stops la
World War II3 min read
Top Of The Heap
I’M GOING TO OFFER A BOLD SUGGESTION—not for the greatest, but for the most decisive aircraft ever built, and by that I mean the aircraft that has had the most impact. For me, it’s the P-51 Mustang. I’d reached this conclusion some time ago, but a fe
World War II1 min read
From The Editor
Fond of mysteries? We’ve got a particularly compelling one in this issue’s “From the Footlocker” (page 20); a tiny bowl that may well have survived the devastating atomic blast at Hiroshima 76 years ago this August. Was the bowl truly from Hiroshima?
World War II1 min read
Answer to the April Challenge: We inadvertently threw a wrench into this challenge with a typo in the photo description: it should have read “1945,” not “1942.” To make up for that error, we’ve doubled the number of winners this time and included thr
World War II2 min readInternational Relations
Mantle Of Command
WAR ROOM Nightingale Games, $240. WORLD WAR II RATING THE BASICS Released in limited batches since its debut in 2019, War Room is the brainchild of Larry Harris, creator of the seminal Axis & Allies series. The strategy game kicks off in 1942. Two to
World War II4 min read
Beyond Measure
RICHARD B. FRANK’S ARTICLE about the previously unknown death toll of Japanese troops and others due to American submarine campaigns, “Slaughter at Sea” in your April 2021 issue, instantly caught my attention. I became interested in the Pacific War w
World War II2 min read
Pacific Hero Remembered
THE NAVY IS PREPARING TO HONOR a Black mess attendant nicknamed the “Human Tugboat” for swimming through shark-infested waters to tow his shipmates to safety in 1942. Stunned that he’d never heard the story, navy veteran and author Malcolm Nance went
World War II2 min read
Shadow Warriors
THE LIGHT OF DAYS The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos By Judy Batalion. 558 pp. William Morrow, 2021. $28.99. IN THE SPRING OF 2007, Canadian author Judy Batalion was perusing London’s British Library for information on
World War II14 min read
Moscow In The Crosshairs
Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the largest military campaign in history, on June 22, 1941. More than three million men invaded the Soviet Union bent on total victory. Hitler had no doubts: Stalin’s armies would be defeated. Moscow would fall w
World War II2 min read
Right of Way
When Colonel George A. Horkan took command of Camp Lee, Virginia, in February 1943, the camp had a racial problem, and Horkan knew he had to do something about it. The civilian buses transporting soldiers to and from nearby Petersburg, Virginia, were
World War II1 min read
At The Movies
Directed by Michael Polish, starring Meadow Williams, Al Pacino. 107 min. Available on iTunes. The stakes should feel higher and the messaging more poignant in this courtroom biopic, which follows the trial of Mildred Gillars, a.k.a. “Axis Sally”—the
World War II2 min readInternational Relations
Ask Wwii
Q: What was the military purpose behind Japan’s destruction of Manila as its soldiers retreated from the Philippines in 1945? —Anthony L. Gregg, Providence, R.I. A: In short, there was no military purpose. None whatsoever. Manila’s only strategic adv
World War II1 min read
When You Go
The MacArthur Memorial ( is located at Norfolk’s Mac-Arthur Square. Check the website for opening hours. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church ( is just two blocks away at 201 St. Paul’s Boulevard. The Mary Pinkney Hard
World War II2 min readCrime & Violence
Dod Exploring New Way To ID War Dead
UNDER PRESSURE TO IDENTIFY THE REMAINS of troops lost in World War II and other conflicts, the Department of Defense is considering a tactic that police have used to crack unsolved murders and other cold cases. DOD investigators presently undergo a l
World War II14 min read
Reluctant Enemy
Following a brutal and deadly dogfight in November 1944 with five Nakajima Ki-27b Royal Thai Air Force fighters, a young American P-38 pilot from the 449th Fighter Squadron wrote to his parents: “I didn’t even know we were at war with Thailand. Hell,
World War II1 min read
World War II
World War II1 min read
A Life In Color
Artist Robert Rauschenberg, whose work influenced the Pop Art movement, owed his career, in a backhanded way, to World War II. Born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1925, he often sketched as a child but took his ability for granted. Drafted into the navy a
World War II3 min readInternational Relations
Edge Of The World
THE WAR BEAT, PACIFIC The American Media at War Against Japan By Steven Casey. 395 pp. Oxford University Press, 2021. $34.95. “THE FIRST CASUALTY when war comes is truth,” California senator Hiram Johnson, a staunch isolationist, famously declared a
World War II12 min read
Magic Act
The two paragraphs near the bottom of the Washington Post’s July 13, 1956, editorial page were easy to miss. They celebrated the life of a man named Alfred T. McCormack who had just died of cancer at the age of 55. The anonymous writer wanted the pub
World War II2 min read
Actors Explore Grandparents’ War
HELENA BONHAM CARTER HAS PLAYED some formidable characters on the big screen—Queen Elizabeth, Ophelia, the Harry Potter villainess Bellatrix Lestrange. But when it comes to real-life drama, the actress’s own grandparents and their World War II experi
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