From Pacifist Sheep Farmer to One of Britain’s Greatest Secret Agents
Occupied France, 1944. Francis Cammaerts stepped from a train onto the railway station platform in Avignon. Almost immediately, German security forces at a checkpoint became suspicious and asked for his papers. The son of a Belgian poet and English actress, he was everything you would never expect in a secret agent. Cammaerts had... Read more
Women Pilots, Who Flew During World War II, Denied Rest at Arlington National Cemetery
First Lt. Elaine Danforth Harmon, a Women’s Airforce Service Pilot, or WASP, was one of many women who served their country when it needed them the most. More than 70 years after Harmon flew military aircraft, her family wants to place her ashes at Arlington National Cemetery. Harmon, a Congressional Gold... Read more
The P38 Was the Wehrmacht’s Workhorse Pistol
U.S. Army Sgt. Ivan Schwartz survived D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge by remaining very, very careful. Schwartz had landed on Utah beach, going ashore when the sand was littered with dead men and smashed vehicles. He carried rounds for an 81-millimeter mortar, survived a close call when... Read more
Watch David Bowie Resist Japan in ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence’
He waits to find out if he will die. Guards pull him from the cell and drag him in front of a commander sitting behind a desk. The bloated man rises from his seat and moves to the prisoner. He taps the prisoner on the back of his neck... Read more
No One Made Short-Man Jokes Around Leonard Funk, Jr.
Many veterans say combat will make men do things that they would never dream of doing in normal life. That saying goes double for a five-foot, three-inch, 140-pound U.S. Army soldier from Pennsylvania who was World War II’s most decorated paratrooper. The exploits of 1st Sgt. Leonard Funk, Jr. read... Read more
How the Holocaust Could Happen Again
The modern world lives in the shadow of World War II and the Holocaust. More than any other recent historical event, Adolf Hitler’s actions and the world’s reaction to them have shaped the world we live in. To many today, the Holocaust is an unthinkable atrocity — a historical... Read more
Hitler Hated the Nazi Assault Rifle
By 1944, the Third Reich pulled out all the stops when it came to technological marvels. It was the year of the Wunderwaffe, the “wonder weapon” – devices born out of a combination of science and desperation that Nazi Germany hoped would knock the Allies back on their heels.... Read more
The Plot to Nuke Japan’s Fleet
Less than a year after the formal end of World War II the United States tested its new superweapons in peacetime. Operation Crossroads in 1946 at Bikini Atoll tested the effects of nuclear weapons on naval fleets and harbors. While burrowing through the vast Manhattan Project archives historian Alex Wellerstein turned... Read more
A Lot of What We Think We Know About World War II Is Wrong
The Second World War remains an enduringly fascinating subject, but despite the large number of films, documentaries, books and even comics on the subject, our understanding of this catastrophic conflict, even seven decades on, remains heavily dependent on conventional wisdom, propaganda and an interpretation skewed by the information available.... Read more
Before the Fulton Recovery System, There Was the Man Pick-Up Kit
For almost as long as combat aircraft have been around, engineers have looked for ways to quickly rescue downed pilots from dangerous situations. Thanks to movies like Thunderball and video games like Metal Gear Solid V, the Fulton Recovery System has become one of the best known, if extreme methods. But before the... Read more
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