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World War II

World War II June 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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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

PETER CADDICK-ADAMS (“These Final Days”) is a lecturer in military history and current defense studies at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He is the author of several major World War II history books, including Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell and Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45. His latest work is Sand and Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France, from which his article is adapted. JOSEPH CONNOR (“Man on a Mission”) 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. Since seeing The Longest Day at a drive-in theater with his…

4 min.

SLAM DUNK I thoroughly enjoyed the article “Terror in the Gulf” featuring the story of Ray Downs Jr. (“Conversation,” February 2019). While attending the University of Texas at Austin during the fall of 1957, I saw a Raymond Downs who played center for the Texas Longhorns basketball squad. Downs camped in the lane under the goal (there was no three-second lane violation then), and with great head fakes and quick positioning he was able to make many easy layups and bank shots off the glass. Could this be the same Ray Downs Jr. from your story? J. D. WENDEBORN LAREDO, TEX. Writer David Kindy, who interviewed Downs for our story, replies: Yes, that is the same Raymond Downs! The All-American forward was a starter for the Texas Longhorns for three years. In his junior…

1 min.
from the editor

The framed image hung on a wall in his office for years and, much after that, outside the door of his assisted living home. Yet when Elizabeth Rowan-Mitchell, youngest daughter of William M. Kays, pressed him late in life to elaborate on something he clearly was proud of, Kays insisted he displayed the famous Robert Capa D-Day photo in which he appears simply because it “interested me.” As his daughter explains, “My dad was more about action than talking about feelings.” Fortunately, one action he took was putting his story into words: “Going Over the Top” appears on page 46. I deeply regret that Kays did not live to see it published; his writing is an editor’s joy. Yours too, I hope. PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO: World War II 1919 Gallows Road, Suite…

2 min.
new research highlights nazi killing frenzy

THE NAZIS MURDERED nearly 1.5 million Jews—a quarter of the number slain during the entire Holocaust—in a 100-day rampage of killing in Poland in the summer and fall of 1942, new research finds. This “kill rate” is higher than that of the 1994 Rwandan genocide—previously thought to have had the highest rate—by 83 percent. For a study in the January issue of the journal Social Advances, biologist Lewi Stone analyzed German railway records to document Jewish arrivals at the death camps Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka in occupied Poland during Germany’s murderous 1942 to 1943 Operation Reinhard. Virtually no one left those camps alive. Stone, a professor at Tel Aviv University and Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, found that 1.465 million Jews were slain in what he calls an “enormous pulse of…

1 min.
report of soldier’s death greatly exaggerated

THE STORY BEGINS with the telegram every military family dreads. Private Tom Greenwood (top left), operating with the 22nd Armoured Brigade behind German lines in North Africa, had been “killed in action” on June 13, 1942, read the terse dispatch from the British government. Greenwood’s fiancée, Marjorie Hartley, refused to believe it. Her instincts were right. Greenwood, now a great-grandfather of two, celebrated his 100th birthday on December 29, 2018, with three generations of his family (top right) at an assisted-living home in Shipley, West Yorkshire. Turns out he had been captured—not killed—near El Alamein while working with the brigade to sabotage German supply lines. He spent the rest of the war in POW camps in Libya, Italy, and Austria. His family received a second official telegram in August 1942 saying that Greenwood was…

2 min.
storied sunken ships found in pacific

ON APRIL 18, 1942, the USS Hornet launched 16 B-25 bombers off its flight deck; they were bound for Tokyo on the legendary Doolittle Raid to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor and boost American morale. Just over six months later, the aircraft carrier was gone, sunk by Japanese torpedo planes and dive bombers in the Battle of Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands. But at the end of January of this year, a research team established by late philanthropist Paul Allen found the wreck on the floor of the South Pacific, 17,500 feet underwater. A 10-person team aboard the research vessel Petrel pinpointed the site after poring through old logs and action reports and using sightings from nine other American warships involved in the battle. An autonomous underwater vehicle discovered the wreck…