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World War II

World War II August 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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United States
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

JESSICA WAMBACH BROWN (“Fire on the Mountain”) writes about history and the outdoors from Kalispell, Montana. While drafting a story about the first climber to ascend Mount Rainier, she learned of the 10th Mountain Division’s brief training stint there and was inspired to explore the ski-clad soldiers’ longer-term home at Camp Hale, high in the Colorado Rockies. JAMES M. FENELON (“Now Is When You Pray”) is a former U.S. paratrooper who developed an avid interest in World War II Airborne history during his military service. He is the author of the book Four Hours of Fury, which chronicles the experiences of the American 17th Airborne Division’s role in Operation Varsity, the war’s largest single-day airdrop. Four Hours of Fury was released by Scribner in May. ALEX KERSHAW (“First In”) is a journalist…

5 min.
in good company

This last issue was a winner for our family, with Johnny Carson (“Familiar Face,” April 2019) being on the USS Pennsylvania at the same time as my darling husband, Jack, when the ship was torpedoed and all those dear men were killed. Of course, Carson and my Jack didn’t know each other—but just like Carson, Jack was sent to the hole in the stern to pick up the dead and their belongings. My Jack only spoke of this maybe twice in our life together, and he would say, “Eth, I said a lot of ‘Our Fathers’ and ‘Hail Marys.’” By the way, he is in heaven now—maybe he and Johnny will meet! ETHEL SELTERSMAITLAND, FLA. ANCHORED IN TRUTH I am a first-time reader and couldn’t help but take notice of your article on…

1 min.
jewish ghetto massacre victims discovered

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS CLEARING GROUND in February for a luxury apartment building in Brest, Belarus, uncovered a mass grave in what was once a Jewish ghetto. Buried in a 130-foot-long pit were the remains of 1,214 men, women, and children. Bones were found in six-foot-deep piles. The find wasn’t exactly a surprise: the Germans had executed 16,000 of the city’s Jews in a forest outside the city and were believed to have killed others within the ghetto. But the mass grave was still shocking. “The site was horrific,” Belarusian major Pavel Galetsky, commander of the search battalion exhuming the site, told the Belarus press, according to ABC News. “I felt like weeping when I saw so many remains of women and children, a female skeleton cradling a baby. Victims had bullets in the back…

1 min.
fallen b-17 crew honored in england

TONY FOULDS REMEMBERS watching the B-17G Flying Fortress approach the group of children gathered in Endcliffe Park in the English city of Sheffield on February 22, 1944. The pilot was gesturing from the cockpit. Foulds, then seven years old, and his friends waved back. He couldn’t see that Lieutenant John G. Krieghauser, returning from an abortive bombing run over Nazi-occupied Denmark, was trying to get the children to clear out so he could make a crash landing. Instead, after making three passes, Krieghauser crashed the bomber, nicknamed Mi Amigo, into the woods nearby, killing himself and the other nine men aboard. Only years later did Foulds, now 82 and a retired engineer, come to understand what had happened: Krieghauser and the crew had chosen near-certain death rather than endangering those on the ground.…

2 min.
‘great escape’ diary sells

A DIARY WRITTEN by one of the British prisoners who plotted the real-life “Great Escape” sold at auction for nearly $18,000 on March 22, three days before the audacious getaway’s 75th anniversary. Royal Air Force flight lieutenant Vivian Phillips kept a journal filled with drawings, photos, and poems from 1943 to 1945. It documented his capture after bailing out of a downed bomber and his experiences at Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Poland. At the prison camp, Phillips joined the escape effort planned by Royal Air Force pilot Roger Bushell, who had slipped away from German prison camps twice before. Phillips dug tunnels and performed tasks like helping to disperse the excavated dirt. As he wrote in his journal, “It was our job to ‘work in’ the light-coloured sand from underground to…

2 min.
german firm confronts its nazi past

WHEN MEMBERS of Germany’s second-richest family learned what their ancestors had done during World War II, they turned “white as a wall” and decided to donate more than $11 million to charity as penance. According to Peter Harf, one of two managing directors of Reimann-owned JAB Holdings—whose brands include Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Pret A Manger, and Panera Bread—the family was “speechless” and “ashamed” to learn that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. were Nazi supporters and committed anti-Semites who used slave labor during the war. A March report in the German newspaper Bild disclosed that the Reimann family had hired Munich University historian Paul Erker in 2014 to research the family’s ties to Adolf Hitler’s regime after discovering incriminating papers belonging to Reimann Sr. Erker’s initial findings were explosive:…