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World War II

World War II April 2019

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World War II magazine covers every aspect of history's greatest modern conflict with vivid, revealing, and evocative writing from top historians and journalists. Each issue provides a lively mix of stories about soldiers, leaders, tactics, weapons, and little-known incidents of the war, including riveting firsthand battle accounts and reviews of books, movies, and video games. And the most authoritative magazine on the war features a striking design that highlights rare, archival photographs and detailed battle maps to convey the drama and excitement of the most famous battles and campaigns.

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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

JAMES M. FENELON (“Against All Odds”) is a former U.S. Army paratrooper who developed an avid interest in World War II Airborne history during his military service. His book, Four Hours of Fury, about the 17th Airborne Division jumping over the Rhine in 1945, will be published in May. STUART D. GOLDMAN (“The Fanatical Colonel Tsuji”) was the Congressional Research Service’s senior specialist in Russian and Eurasian political and military affairs from 1979 to 2009. He has a PhD in history, and spent a year in Tokyo as a Japan Foundation exchange scholar focusing on Soviet-Japanese conflict in the 1930s and its connection to the outbreak of World War II. His book, Nomonhan, 1939: The Red Army’s Victory that Shaped World War II, was published in 2012. BARBARA NOE KENNEDY (“Travel”) is…

8 min.
innocence lost

IN THE 30-PLUS YEARS that I have been subscribing to World War II, never have I been so moved, to the point of tears, as I was by your Portfolio, “Living Color” (December 2018). Brazilian artist Marina Amaral’s colorized photos are striking, but none more so than the identification photos of Auschwitz inmates. In particular, the portrait of 14-year-old Czesława Kwoka is hauntingly beautiful. This poor child, subjected to indescribable horrors and knowing the fate that awaited her, still managed to maintain her innocence and dignity. The picture shows both the evil that mankind is capable of and the inherent goodness we are all born with. Determined to learn more of Czesława’s story, I did some research. Little is known of her life before arriving at Auschwitz other than that she lived in…

2 min.
auschwitz music given new life

“SING A SONG WHEN YOU’RE SAD.” “The Most Beautiful Time of Life.” For songs arranged by inmates and performed at a death camp, the upbeat titles are jarring. Patricia Hall, a University of Michigan professor of music theory, says she was “completely thrown” by what she found in the card catalogs at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland when she visited to learn more about music performed by prisoners at the camp. Since 2016, Hall has found several musical arrangements handwritten by Auschwitz inmates to match the instruments and musicians available. But just finding the music wasn’t enough. Hall enlisted university conductor Oriol Sans and graduate student Josh Devries to transcribe the handwritten sheet music into notation software that makes it easier for musicians to read. University musicians recorded “The Most Beautiful Time…

2 min.
liberty ship gets eviction notice

NEEDED: Dock space for a 440-foot Liberty ship. The SS John W. Brown is in danger of losing its home on the Baltimore waterfront, and the volunteers who keep the old ship afloat are looking for a place to put it. “We haven’t really had a whole lot of luck,” Richard Bauman, a retired ship pilot who serves as the vessel’s captain, told the Baltimore Sun. Just two of the 2,700 Liberty ships built to haul troops and cargo during World War II are still fully operational. One is the John W. Brown; the other is the SS Jeremiah O’Brien on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The John W. Brown is currently docked off Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. When it bought a pier from the state of Maryland in 2014, Rukert Terminals agreed to…

1 min.
pearl harbor relic surfaces

The International Museum of World War II in Natick, Massachusetts, purchased a USS Arizona life preserver at auction in November for $104,550. The ring—used by an unnamed sailor to float to safety after the attack on Pearl Harbor—ended up in the collection of the family of Chief Petty Officer Allan Randle Moyers, who obtained it from a friend who had helped with the rescue effort. A curator from the USS Arizona Memorial and a historian at the Valor in the Pacific Museum confirmed the life preserver’s authenticity by examining the letter stenciling. The Arizona went down at Pearl Harbor with 1,177 of 1,512 crew members onboard at the time.…

1 min.
wartime drug shows parkinson’s promise

BIOCHEMISTS AT ENGLAND’S OXFORD UNIVERSITY developed it as an antidote to the World War II chemical warfare agent lewisite—an arsenic-laden compound that, like mustard gas, causes blisters and lung damage. Now the drug dimercaprol may have a new peacetime purpose: combating Parkinson’s disease. Research by Purdue University neuroscientist and biomedical engineer Riyi Shi has found that dimercaprol can neutralize a Parkinson’slinked neurotoxin called acrolein, which builds up in the body after nerve cells are damaged. Acrolein intensifies pain and can increase the severity of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Dr. Shi plans to publish a second paper this spring on dimercaprol’s promise against Parkinson’s, with human clinical trials to possibly begin soon after. A half-million Americans are contending with Parkinson’s disease—50,000 more cases are diagnosed each year. Early symptoms…