Culture & Literature
World War II

World War II November/December 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.

Antony Beevor (“Friend or Foe?”) is the British author of Crete: The Battle and the Resistance; The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939; The Second World War; and Ardennes 1944, from which this article is excerpted. His books have been translated into 30 languages and have sold more than six and a half million copies. He is a visiting professor at the University of Kent. In 2014 he received the Pritzker Military Museum and Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Jessica Wambach Brown (“Time Travel”), a former newspaper reporter and graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism, earned her master’s degree in diplomacy and military studies from Hawaii Pacific University while working for a U.S. Pacific Command organization. Raised in central Montana and now…

3 min.

Hats Off to the Raiders In “World War II Today” in the July/August 2015 issue you show a photo of Robert Hite, a copilot of one of Doolittle’s planes, as a POW of the Japanese. Your caption states he was captured after bailing out of his bomber. Question: Can one bail out and retain his air force crusher cap while bailing? Don’t think so. HERB MOSHER ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. James M. Scott, World War II contributor and author of Target Tokyo, responds: Bobby Hite said in various oral history interviews that he bailed out while wearing his flight jacket. Many of the Raiders stuffed their pockets and jackets with candy bars, cigarettes, pistols, and other supplies. It is possible Hite stuffed his cap inside his jacket before bailing out—or that the Japanese gave him one to…

1 min.
back to boot camp

M1 GARAND RIFLE THIS ONE BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLE (BAR) NOT THIS ONE Although not much is visible, the rifle he carries is clearly a M1 Garand– to quote General Patton, “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” Jerry Reynolds, Elko, Nev. Wow! We goofed. Thanks to our eagleeyed readers, we received a record number of corrections about a misidentified gun in our July/August 2015 article “Into the Inferno”—an editing error. Here are some highlights: You will probably get many notes about this. The Marine in the lead photo for the Okinawa article is carrying an M1 Garand rifle, not a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle). CARL SARDARO, MILAN, N.Y. Your photo shows a Marine carrying an MI Garand, not a BAR. I have carried both in Korea. SAMUEL THAMES, ALBANY, GA. A BAR is pictured on page six of the same issue.…

2 min.
va fails vets poisoned in wartime tests

In 1991, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi told 60 Minutes his agency would “do right” by World War II veterans exposed to mustard gas in secret American military experiments. The VA isn’t keeping that promise, National Public Radio reporters found. Of 4,000 men subjected to the most extreme wartime tests, VA officials working after Principi’s television appearance tried to contact only 610—and then with only a single mailing. The department claimed incomplete records thwarted its outreach, but NPR needed only two months to locate 1,200 survivors, some of whom told of being unable to convince the VA to give them benefits. Charlie Cavell, 88, who volunteered for the tests at 19 in exchange for two weeks’ leave, presented the VA handwritten records from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC,…

1 min.
dover opens a time tunnel

Britain’s National Trust has restored a tunnel network dug into the White Cliffs of Dover to house a coastal gun battery. The compound of five bombproof chambers and a hospital ward, which could hold more than 120 men, was built from 1940 to 1941 after a furious British Prime Minister Winston Churchill learned German ships were sailing the English Channel unmolested. In 1950, workers closed off the tunnels with 100 tons of rubble and soil. Three years ago, after raising $1.9 million, the National Trust bought the land and began excavating the warren. Volunteers uncovered graffiti—including a crude reminder for artillerymen to use toilet paper. The complex reopened in July for guided tours; visitors must book in advance. TUNNELS, AP PHOTO/GARETH FULLER; NEWSSTAND, AP PHOTO/TIME IRELAND; MUNRO, REX FEATURES VIA AP…

1 min.
mitsubishi apologizes to once-enslaved pows

James Murphy, a U.S. Army radioman captured in the Philippines in early 1942, survived the Bataan Death March only to face 30 months of hell in a Mitsubishi Mining copper mine. “It was slavery in every way: no food, no medicine, no sanitation,” Murphy, 94, told the Associated Press. On July 19, Murphy accepted a face-to-face apology from Hikaru Kimura, a senior executive at Mitsubishi Materials, successor to the wartime entity. Making a deep ritual bow, Kimura said, “Today we apologize remorsefully for the tragic events in our past.” The event, at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California, marked the first time a Japanese corporation has apologized for mistreating wartime prisoners. “This happens to be the first time that we’ve heard those words,” Murphy said. “They really touch you at…