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World War II

World War II December 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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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
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If you enjoy Joseph Connor’s story, “One False Step,” on page 38 of this issue, you’ll want to check out the tale of another potential lost opportunity to defend against the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor: First Shots Fired at Pearl Harbor By Steve Twomey An old vessel, the USS Ward, and its new captain and crew of reservists encountered the enemy off Oahu in the crucial minutes before the Pearl Harbor attack. Their alerts to navy commanders went unheeded. 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.

JOSEPH CONNOR (“One False Step,” “Pulled Punches”), who holds degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Rutgers Law School, worked for seven years as a newspaper reporter and editor before serving as an assistant county prosecutor in New Jersey for 27 years. Always fascinated by the Pacific War’s early stages, Connor considers Pearl Harbor’s radar readings and the events surrounding Japan’s attack on Clark Field to be intriguing stories that deserve a closer look. DAVE KINDY (“The Dark Place”) is a freelance writer who lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. A lifelong lover of history, he is especially fond of old Hollywood films and patriotic movie stars like Jimmy Stewart. He writes for Smithsonian, Air & Space, Military History, Vietnam, American History, and other publications. BRENDAN SAINSBURY (“A Narrow Escape”) has long been interested in…

8 min.
a speculative succession

REGARDING YOUR AUGUST 2020 COVER STORY, “Night of the Assassins,” about Germany’s Operation Long Jump: Had the plot to assassinate the three Allied leaders succeeded in Tehran in 1943, we know who would have replaced Roosevelt. Who would most likely have replaced Churchill and Stalin, and how might that have affected the rest of the war? RICHARD SMITH HORSESHOE BAY, TEX. Howard Blum, the story’s writer and author of the book Night of the Assassins: The Untold Story of Hitler’s Plot to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin, responds: This “what if” question is particularly problematic because neither the United Kingdom nor the Soviet Union had a statutory system for succession. If both Churchill and Stalin had been assassinated at Tehran, it remains a matter of pure conjecture—however well-informed—as to whom would have taken their…

1 min.
ike’s memorial opens to mixed reviews

DELAYED BY CONTROVERSY over architect Frank Gehry’s design, and then the coronavirus, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial finally opened in September in Washington, D.C. The $150 million, 4-acre site includes statues of Ike as a young man, D-Day commander, and president positioned before a stainless-steel tapestry of the Normandy coast in peacetime. It occupies an impressive spot across the street from the National Air and Space Museum and offers a good view of the Capitol. Commissioned in 1999, the memorial’s original design drew complaints from critics—including members of Eisenhower’s family—that Gehry made too much of Ike’s humble Kansas origins and downplayed his accomplishments. Eventually, former Secretary of State Jim Baker brokered a compromise. The statue of young Ike was moved to the side, and Gehry dropped plans to display Kansas on the…

3 min.
much-needed tlc for mired sub

THE USS LING HAS BEEN STUCK in the Hackensack River’s mud for years, damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and flooded when vandals opened its hatches in 2018. The Balao-class sub was essentially abandoned when its caretaker, the New Jersey Naval Museum, closed in 2013 to make way for riverside development. Now a wide-ranging collection of volunteers—submarine enthusiasts, first responders, off-duty sailors from the navy base in Groton, Connecticut, aging veterans who trained on the Ling, Jersey boys who toured it as kids—are working weekends to make the old vessel seaworthy again. Their plan has been to tow the Ling down the Atlantic Coast, across the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to a new life as a maritime museum in Indiana across the Ohio River from Louisville,…

2 min.
volunteers trace memories of the fallen

BEHIND EVERY GRAVESTONE, there’s a story. Don Milne wants to tell 400,000 of them. Recently retired, Milne is on a mission to pass along the story of every American who died in World War II. For his “Stories Behind the Stars” campaign, he’s getting help from more than 500 volunteers. Milne hopes to have biographies for each of the fallen completed by September 2, 2025, the 80th anniversary of the war’s end. Milne, who recently relocated from Utah to Kentucky, is putting the stories in a searchable database and hopes to develop an app that will let visitors at veterans’ cemeteries scan headstones on their phones and read stories of the men who lie beneath them. “You can take a cemetery and turn it into a museum,” he said. The project began as…