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World War II

World War II April 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

If this issue’s “Hitler’s Women” sparked your interest in the early days of the Nazi Party, you’ll want to check out these stories, both by star journalist Andrew Nagorski: Hitler’s Harvard Man On his way up, the Nazi leader had help from a source steeped in American culture: Harvard-educated Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl The American Who Saw Hitler Coming Military attaché Truman Smith was the first American diplomat to meet Hitler—and among the first to warn of Germany’s military resurgence. His reports were largely ignored 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.

JOSEPH CONNOR (“Justice Denied?”) graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in history and from Rutgers Law School. Connor worked in New Jersey his entire career, first as an editor and reporter for seven years before serving 27 years as an assistant county prosecutor. The 1965 film Battle of the Bulge sparked Connor’s interest in Nazi war criminal Joachim Peiper and his role in the infamous Malmedy massacre. WILLIAM R. COULSON (“Trouble in Paradise”) is a Chicago-based entertainment lawyer who frequently travels to remote islands in the southwest Pacific to explore World War II battlefields. Prior World War II “Travel” articles of his have featured Peleliu (June 2018) and Guadalcanal’s Galloping Horse Ridge (July 2019). In this issue, Coulson describes Tulagi and its surrounding islets, which to this day bear…

6 min.
soda & schnapps

YOUR DECEMBER 2019 “TRAVEL” STORY about Camp Hearne, Texas, sparked memories. In 1945, I was six years old and residing in Milwaukee near Camp Billy Mitchell (today home to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport), which housed many German POWs. My older brother drove a truck for a local soda water bottler and I accompanied him on deliveries. Sometimes we threw bottles over the fence to the POWs. My folks immigrated from Germany in the 1920s, plus my older brother’s first language was German, so he could communicate with them. In 1961, I was drafted and sent to Augsburg, Germany. While traveling on the train there, I chatted with the conductor; he spoke such fluent English that I naturally asked him how he learned. He told me he had been a POW in…

2 min.
pow comic book winds its way home

HOWARD WEISTLING wanted to write comic books. He received his wish in a roundabout way. After enlisting, Weistling trained as an aircraft mechanic and shipped off to the European Theater. On his very first bombing run in December 1944, his aircraft was shot down over Austria. Weistling and other crew members parachuted to safety, but an Austrian farmer found them in his barn and turned them over to the Germans. They wound up in a prisoner-of-war camp in Barth in northern Germany. Nearly starving, they survived on scraps of leftover food their guards dumped onto the floor of their barracks. Hungry and miserable, Weistling sought to distract himself by writing a comic, scribbled on cigarette wrappers and bound in scrap metal. He’d finish a panel and pass it around the camp, then start…

2 min.
petrel finds deepest wreck

THERE WASN’T MUCH LEFT. Just debris resting on the floor of the Philippine Sea—a shattered gun deck, two funnels, a propeller shaft, twisted metal. But researchers believe they have found the remains of the USS Johnston (DD-557), a Fletcher-class destroyer sunk on October 25, 1944, in an audacious against-the-odds stand against a Japanese naval squadron at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Images of the wreck were posted October 30 on the Facebook page of the research vessel Petrel. “This wreck is completely decimated. It is just debris. There is no hull structure,” said Rob Kraft, director of subsea operations for Vulcan Inc., founded by the late billionaire and Microsoft founder Paul Allen to search the seas for wartime wrecks, among other projects. The remains were discovered 20,400 feet below the surface, the deepest…

3 min.
survivor meets baby he saved in 1943

THE TWO BOYS lived like animals in the forest, eating wild mushrooms and grass, sleeping in crude shelters, hiding from the Nazis and Ukrainian posses hired to hunt down Jews. Maxwell Smart, born Oziac Fromm, found refuge in the woods in 1943 after his mother urged the 13-year-old to flee from the trucks that had arrived to haul Jews away from his hometown of Buchach, in Poland and now a part of Ukraine. He never saw her again. He lived alone in the forest until meeting a younger boy also in hiding, Yanek Arenberg. They became fast friends. One day, Maxwell and Yanek heard gunshots. Later, they found seven bloody bodies in the snow, shot down near a notorious execution site near Buchach. Across the river, they saw movement. Maxwell wanted to…