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World War II

World War II February 2020

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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

Joseph Connor, the author of this issue’s “Character Study,” is behind some of World War II’s most intriguing features. Check these out: Have You Heard? The Secret Mission to Kill Yamamoto Talkative Americans—including those involved in the mission—risked revealing that the U.S. could read the Japanese naval code Who Leaked FDR’s War Plans? In December 1941, someone leaked America’s top-secret blueprint for war for all the world—even Hitler—to see HISTORYNET NOW Sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletter at: historynet.com/newsletters Let’s connect World War II magazine Go digital World War II is available on Zinio, Kindle, and Nook…

2 min.

DEBBIE CENZIPER (“Land of the Free”), a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Washington Post, is the author of Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America (2019). The book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews; thousands of pages of official documents and transcripts; on-the-ground reporting in Europe; and research by historians Peter Black, Eric Steinhart, and others. Cenziper began her book in 2016 after learning about a little-known, years-long investigation conducted by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations: the search for the men of Trawniki. JOSEPH CONNOR (“Character Study”) graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in history and from Rutgers Law School. Connor became interested in Maynard “Snuffy” Smith when he read Andy Rooney’s memoir, My War, which mentions Smith, and wanted to…

6 min.
family ties

WHEN I SAW THE “CHALLENGE” PAGE in my October 2019 issue of World War II, I was shocked to see a photo of my uncle, Clifford Russell. He is the man lying in front of the tank on the right. I have another picture of him from that day that was in the May 15, 1944, issue of Life magazine. He had sent a letter home and said that General Eisenhower had come to inspect the troops and that they had taken pictures of him standing next to his tank. My uncle and the rest of his crew died in France on July 5, 1944, when they ran over a mine; I was the first male born after the war, in 1946, so my mother named me after him. Last June…

2 min.
d-day radio broadcast tape discovered

THE RECORDING TRANSPORTS LISTENERS directly to the chaotic scene that was unfolding 75 years ago. German planes are bombing Allied ships crossing the English Channel heading toward Normandy. The sound of antiaircraft fire is overwhelming. The radio journalist describing the battle from the deck of an American ship sheds his objectivity: “Give it to them, boys!” he shouts to the crew. A little later: “There we go. We got one.” More detail: “A great blotch of fire came down and is smoldering now just off our port side in the sea. Smoke and flame there.” The 13-and-a-half minutes of audio, recorded on June 6, 1944, by broadcast reporter George Hicks of NBC’s Blue Network (later ABC News), are among the most famous of World War II. In 2012, the recording was added to…

1 min.
new hotel planned in german bunker

A wartime bunker (above, in 1945) in Hamburg, Germany, is getting a retrofit and will become home to a novel hotel. The imposing Hochbunker (top), originally built by forced labor in 1942 to protect up to 25,000 Germans from Allied air raids, has housed a variety of businesses since the war’s end, from nightclubs to radio stations. Now the NH Hotel Group plans to add five pyramid-shaped floors and a luxury rooftop garden to create “nhow Hamburg,” a 136-room hotel that will join the 40 current tenants and open in 2021.…

2 min.
wartime gi surveys open windows to past

THEY COMPLAIN about their officers, about the grub, about not getting enough time off. They don’t sound like warrior-gods but like ordinary men contending with clueless leaders, boredom, and fear. During World War II, the Army Research Branch of the U.S. War Department surveyed tens of thousands of American soldiers, offering them anonymity to share their experiences in hopes of making the military more effective. Now, 65,000 of the surveys are being transcribed as part of “The American Soldier in World War II,” a digital project at Virginia Tech University that last year received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Historian Edward Gitre of Virginia Tech, who is leading the project, said that reading the soldiers’ accounts helped bring a global conflict down to a human scale. “Because these surveys…