Culture & Literature
World War II

World War II May - June 2016

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 (“Jump into the Fire”), a former U.S. Army paratrooper and graduate of the University of Texas, developed his avid interest in World War II airborne history while in the service. He has toured battlefields in North Africa and Europe and jumped from a C-47 in Normandy during the 70th anniversary D-Day commemoration. Fenelon, who lives outside Austin, Texas, is writing a book about Operation Varsity, the Allied crossing of the Rhine in 1945. Gordon Hearne (“War Story”) was born in Englewood, California, in 1923. Drafted in February 1943, he served in the European Theater. He was home on furlough when Japan surrendered, and mustered out in October 1945. At the University of Southern California, he studied journalism and English literature; he wrote the essay in this issue in…

5 min.

Truscott Tough I wish to thank World War II magazine and Carlo D’Este for the “Great Leaders” article on General Lucian K. Truscott Jr.—a man who knew “No Fear,” as highlighted in the January/February 2016 issue. Most Americans have never even heard of this soldier’s soldier general; I was glad to see him honored on the cover of the magazine. This signed photograph (above) shows Lieutenant General Truscott presenting the Medal of Honor to my father, First Lieutenant Orville E. Bloch. The photo was taken during a regimental review for the 338th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division, near Firenzuola, Italy, in February 1945. Lieutenant General Truscott was then the Commander of the U.S. Fifth Army in Italy. Obscured in World War II history is that the Polish government decorated 18 American soldiers with…

2 min.
pressure rises for arlington wasp interment

Elaine Harmon’s family says her ashes belong in Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. For now, the former flier’s remains are in a closet in Silver Spring, Maryland, awaiting the outcome of a dispute over interring female military pilots of World War II at Arlington. Harmon, who died in April 2015 at 95, was one of nearly 1,100 women who served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. WASPs operated nearly every aircraft the army had, test-flying planes, towing gunnery targets, and ferrying aircraft, primarily P-51 Mustang fighters to Newark, New Jersey, from factories around the country. Though 38 of them died in service, military officialdom did not regard WASPs, disbanded in December 1944, as military personnel. Decades later, Harmon and others campaigned for the federal…

1 min.
japan’s emperor makes apology tour of philippines

Emperor Akihito paid his respects in January to the more than a million Filipinos, nearly 16,000 Americans, and 320,000 Imperial Japanese soldiers who died in the islands. The gestures, however, did not mollify Filipino women subjected to sexual slavery who have joined the chorus of protest at Japanese wartime mistreatment of women. Akihito, 82, and Empress Michiko, 81, laid wreaths at Manila’s Heroes’ Cemetery, where 44,000 Filipino veterans lie. At a Japanese memorial garden on Lake Caliraya southeast of Manila the couple laid a bouquet of white chrysanthemums, symbol of the imperial household. Akihito, Emperor Hirohito’s son, voiced “a renewed sense of sorrow” and a “feeling of deep remorse” over the war. Japan and the Philippines are renewing bonds as China lays claims in the South China Sea. Some Filipinos protested…

1 min.
wartime flames reconnect 70 years on

They met in London in spring 1944. Norwood Thomas was 21, a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne. Londoner Joyce Morris was 17, planning to study nursing. Spotting Morris and a friend renting a rowboat at the River Thames, Thomas introduced himself, and the three went boating, then shared a meal. “Joyce and I just clicked,” he said. A few weeks later, Thomas jumped behind enemy lines into Normandy, going on to fight that September in Operation Market Garden and survive wounds from the Battle of the Bulge. He never forgot the “pretty little thing” he had romanced in London. After the war, back home in Norfolk, Virginia, Thomas proposed by letter, asking Morris to “make my house a home.” Wrongly concluding that he was married and wanted to leave his wife,…

1 min.
hungary kills plan to honor anti-semite

Facing international outrage, Hungary canceled plans for a monument to a notorious anti-Semite. A private foundation wanted to honor historian Balint Homan, Hungary’s wartime minister of religion and education. Homan, a respected academic, co-wrote an eight-volume history of his homeland. He also championed anti-Semitic laws and backed an alliance between Germany and Hungary, whose World War II treatment of Jews was ugly. During the war, the country deported a half million Jews, most of whom died in concentration camps. The controversy has revived focus on that legacy and increased attention on Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-winger who wants a more conservative Hungary. The Balint Homan Foundation intended to underwrite a statue of the historian in Szekesfehervar, a heartland city that in the Middle Ages was Hungary’s capital. Homan supporters say…