Culture & Literature
World War II

World War II July - August 2015

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.

Sharon Tosi Lacey (“Into the Inferno”) is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and earned a PhD from the University of Leeds. She has written on historical topics ranging from Oliver Cromwell to the Israeli-Hezbollah War. Her book, Pacific Blitzkrieg: World War II in the Central Pacific, won the 2013 Army Historical Foundation Book Award for Operational/Battle History. She is a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and is assigned to the U.S. Army Center of Military History. K. D. Leperi (“Time Travel”) retired with 27 years of military service as a naval reserve intelligence officer, flight engineer, and coast guard public affairs officer. She was the first female flight engineer in the naval reserve program, proudly qualifying on the VC-131-H—the plane the air force used to ferry around President Lyndon B. Johnson.…

6 min.

Too Much to Handle I just received and read my March/April 2015 copy of World War II and I was especially pleased by the centerfold Weapons Manual piece on the BAR. I was drafted in June 1943 and sent to Camp Fannin. I eventually qualified on the BAR. The handle shown on the BAR picture had no use for anything but moving the gun, and the bipod was disposed of when in combat. I found that as soon as I took a target under fire, the enemy would quickly direct fire on my location. So I would fire one or two magazines on the appointed target and then move as far as possible from that location before the expected enemy response occurred. Also, although the text referred to 40-round magazines, I never saw…

7 min.
wwii today

Austrians Wrestle over Hitler Birthplace Austrian authorities have multiple options for repurposing Adolf Hitler’s birthplace in Braunau am Inn: Raze the yellow three-story building. House refugees in it. Make it a halfway house for rehabilitating reformed neo-Nazis. However, Gerlinde Pommer, the owner, steadfastly has rejected all overtures. Since 1972, the city—in the north near the German border—and national government have been renting the structure to keep neo-Nazi groups from using it. Pommer, whose family has owned the residence since 1912, collects 4,800 euros ($5,200) a month. In December officials began offering to buy the building and are considering confiscating the property. Since the most recent tenants moved out in 2011 the building has fallen into disrepair. Pommer refuses to allow renovation work to be done. For decades, the notorious landmark has vexed Braunau…

1 min.
liberty in baltimore

To maintain seaworthiness after 72 years, the SS John W. Brown—the only wartime Liberty ship operating on the East Coast—spent four weeks last winter in Norfolk, Virginia, getting five new sections of hull plate. Funds for the refurbishing were raised by the volunteers who operate the vintage transport, which sails out of Baltimore, Maryland, and is open to the public (ssjohnwbrown.org). BOTTOM RIGHT, PLS PHOTO; ALL OTHERS, ANDREA HORROCKS…

5 min.
the reading list

“For nonfiction, I love military history, biography, autobiography, economic theory, and diplomacy; at the top of anyone’s list about World War II is Churchill’s magisterial The Second World War,” writes Admiral James G. Stavridis. “But above all, I love to read the novels that illuminate what flows under the polished surface of historical fact. Here is a handful I cherish relating to World War II.” The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway (1926) “As the lost generation of World War I floods the bars and beaches of Europe, one can sense the Second World War gathering in the apathy and emptiness of the protagonists. Set largely in Spain, a nation that would be nearly destroyed by its brutal civil war in the run up to World War II, the novel is lyrical, symbolic, and…

7 min.
denazifier from dachau

REUBEN S. LEWIS, 90, lost most of his family in the Holocaust. Afterward, he helped to purge Germany of its Nazi masters and emigrated to the United States. He and Lili, his wife of 61 years, have three children and six grandchildren. They live in Aventura, Florida. You’re from Riga; “Lewis” doesn’t sound very Latvian. My father, Jacob Schütz, wholesaled flax. His oldest brother had moved to South Africa where, to sound English, he became “Lewis.” I took the name later. My older brother Ephraim became a dental technician; I expected that after secondary school, which I finished at 16, I would join the family business. That didn’t happen. When the Germans invaded Poland, they and the Soviets agreed the Russians could have the Baltic states. The Soviets nationalized my father’s business. In July…