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World War II

World War II October 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

WORLDWARII.com One of our best-selling issues in recent memory featured a sharp analysis of Japan’s armored force during the war. If you enjoy Donald L. Caldwell’s “Ten Little Tanks Spitting Death” on page 28, you’ll want to check out this story, from March/April 2017: Pride Before the Fall: Why Japan Failed at Tank Warfare By Jiaxin “Jesse” Du Japan was a leading nation in armored warfare before the war. What changed? 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.

DONALD L. CALDWELL (“Ten Little Tanks Spitting Death”) is a retired research chemist in Round Rock, Texas. He wrote seven books on the Luftwaffe before turning his attention to a little-known National Guard tank unit that served and surrendered on Bataan in 1942. The result was his 2019 book, Thunder on Bataan: The First American Tank Battles of World War II. BILL LIVINGSTONE (“Worry Aboard Ole Worrybird”) entered the U.S. Army in 1942 after spending a semester at the University of Southern California. While stationed with the 95th Bomb Group, he was a replacement gunner aboard the B-17 Ole Worrybird when it was shot down over Germany in 1944. He and the crew spent the war’s remainder in prisoner-of-war camps. A retired urban planner, Bill published the memoir Remembering World War…

5 min.
victory walk

MY GRANDFATHER, George Charles Barger, was 21 years old in 1945 and awaiting transport to the Pacific at Naval Station Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. On V-J Day on August 15, 1945, he and his shipmate had taken to the streets of San Francisco. My grandfather told me that they weren’t necessarily even in the mood to celebrate; they were just unbelievably relieved. As the two young sailors floated through the city on good vibes, they turned the corner from iconic Mason Street; they walked, talked, and rejoiced until they reached the end of the block, where my grandfather was tapped on the shoulder by a man holding a camera. The man told him that he was a professional photographer and that he had just taken Grandpa George’s picture; for…

1 min.
from the editor

Ever since my staff and I departed our office to work from home during the pandemic, I’ve returned to the building only rarely. So it seemed especially fortuitous that one visit coincided with a recently delivered letter left on my desk. “My name is Bill Livingstone, and I am a 96-year-old veteran of WWII,” it began. Livingstone was offering to write the story of the day he bailed out of a crippled B-17. I followed up; he proved to be a talented, lively, and kind individual; and the result appears on page 62. A number of other features in this issue are built around the actions of one person: coastguardsman Jack Rowe, tanker Bill Gentry, acting army surgeon Ben Salomon. I urge you to get to know these amazing people.…

2 min.
former u-boat pen now harbors art

BUILT BY SLAVE LABOR to protect German submarines that prowled the North Atlantic, a former U-boat base has been reborn as the world’s largest digital art museum. The Bassins de Lumières (“Pools of Light”) opened in Bordeaux in southwest France on June 10—its debut delayed several months by the coronavirus pandemic. Culturespaces, a French firm that manages cultural sites, renovated the compound at a cost of $15 million. The inaugural exhibitions, running through January 2021, feature the works of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt and abstract German artist Paul Klee. The U-boat base was one of five the Germans built on the French coast. Serving as the home for Germany’s 12th U-boat flotilla of supply (“milk cow”) submarines, the heavily fortified bunker became operational in 1943, survived several Allied bombing attacks largely unscathed,…

1 min.
enigma machine heads to polish museum

ONE OF THE ENIGMA MACHINES that helped the Allies win the war is headed to Poland, home of the cryptographers who made it. London’s Polish Institute donated the encryption machine in July (above) to the Museum of Polish History in Warsaw. The machine is one of four produced in France by cryptographers from the Polish Cypher Bureau who fled Poland after the Nazis invaded on September 1, 1939. “A priceless piece of Polish national heritage has been secured,” the history museum said in a statement. The Enigma machine was created by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I to encode messages. Polish cryptographers started work in the early 1930s to make their own Enigma machines and break the German codes, ultimately deciphering about 75 percent of German messages. The…