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World War II

World War II

April 2021
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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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United States
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
wwii online

WORLDWARII.com Readers glad to meet General Malin Craig in this issue’s “The Man Behind the Man” will want to read these other explorations of leadership by historian and retired major general David T. Zabecki: The Greatest German General No One Ever Heard Of In December 1942, Hermann Balck wiped out a force 10 times the size of his in the most brilliantly fought divisional battle in modern military history. Yet Balck, who ended the war as a three-star general equivalent, remains virtually unknown today. Mentor to the Stars Although Major General Fox Conner retired from the army a year before World War II began, his mentorship of Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and George C. Marshall made him a significant contributor to the Allied victory. Sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletter at: historynet.com/newsletters Let’s connect World…

2 min.

RICHARD B. FRANK (“Slaughter at Sea”) is an internationally recognized authority on the Asia-Pacific War. The first volume of his trilogy on the subject, Tower of Skulls, was published in March 2020; this issue’s cover article stems from his research for volume two. Frank met IT specialist Jay D. Fagel at The International Conference on World War II in New Orleans. Fagel developed a database on Japanese vessels sunk by undersea craft during the war, which serves as the basis for the piece. STUART D. GOLDMAN (“Friendly Deception”) has a PhD in history from Georgetown University. From 1979 to 2009, he served as the Congressional Research Service’s senior specialist in Russian and Eurasian political and military affairs. Goldman and colleague Yaroslav Shulatov met in Mongolia; this is the second article the…

6 min.
better sea than land

THE SAILOR STANDING ON THE HIGGINS BOAT with an open shirt on page 37 of your December 2020 issue is my dad, Carl James Mullen. He enlisted in the navy in March 1942 and was discharged, I believe, in September 1945. He spent the entire war on the attack transport USS Elmore, nearly all of it at sea. He told me for years that his picture was taken when General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in the Philippines, but we never saw it until after he was dead. Shortly after I joined the army, I asked my dad why he joined the navy. His answer: “I didn’t want to sleep on the ground.” THOMAS JAMES MULLENSTAFFORD, VA. LIVING HISTORY I read “The Fourth Axis Power” (December 2020), your story on Hungarian leader Miklós Horthy, with…

1 min.
from the editor

What I love about history is how it often feels like a treasure hunt. Dig deep enough, and you will find something fresh. Two stories this issue highlight that point. New access to Soviet documents allowed an intrepid pair of historians, Stuart D. Goldman and Yaroslav A. Shulatov, to flesh out the story of how downed American airmen escaped from Soviet internment camps—without realizing, by design, that the Soviets were assisting them (“Friendly Deception,” page 48). And renowned Pacific War historian Richard B. Frank found a big untold story in an existing pile of numbers. The result (“Slaughter at Sea,” page 28) casts new light on the role of U.S. submarines in that conflict, and the varied and sometimes unexpected consequences of that role. The deeper the dig and the…

2 min.
welcome reunion for american g.i.

IT WAS ONE OF THE FEW happy memories Martin Adler took from a war that mostly left him with nightmares. Entering a house in northern Italy to search for German troops in the fall of 1944, he saw movement from inside a big basket. Adler and a fellow soldier raised their rifles and screamed for anyone inside to reveal themselves. Just then, a woman burst into the room shouting: “Bambino! Bambino! Bambino!” With that, three little kids aged 3 to 6, the woman’s children, tumbled out of the basket. They were Bruno Naldi and his younger sisters, Mafalda and Giuliana. Adler laughed with relief and asked if he could have a photo taken with the children he almost shot. The mother insisted that they first change into their Sunday best. Fast forward 76…

2 min.
dod searches for buffalo soldiers’ kin

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE wants help identifying the remains of dozens of “Buffalo Soldiers”—Black troops of the 92nd Infantry Division—who died fighting in Italy in early 1945. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is urging family members of the fallen to provide DNA samples. The 92nd, which comprised primarily White officers and enlisted African American men, was the only segregated Black division to see ground combat in Europe during World War II. Fighting Germans in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy, the division lost 548 killed in action; 53 remained unaccounted for when the war ended. Only three have since been identified. The DPAA has an idea of where many of the missing men may be. “There are 51 unknowns buried in Florence [Italy] American Cemetery,” said Dr. Sarah Barksdale with the…