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WWII Articles
American Airborne Units in WWII
Czechoslovak Exile Units of WWII
Published works on WWII OOB for land forces
Flying Tiger, Hidden Eagle
SAARF – Special Allied Airborne Recon Force
Force at la Difensa
Sabotaging Hitler’s Heavy Water
Soviet Offensive in the Arctic
The Failure of Strategic Bombing
Dutch Harbor: Unraveling of Japan’s Pacific Strategy
Ed Ramsey, 26th Cav Reg (Philippine Scouts)
US Army in Czechoslovakia '45: An Operational Overview
Strategic Culture of the IJN
Battles of Luneville: September 1944
Visual Guide to US Fleet Subs Pt 1
Lodge Act Soldier
The Fate of the Kido Butai
Air Recon in WWII
Turning East: Hitler's only option
Resupply Operations to Malta, 1942
WWII Veteran Interview
Why Arnhem?
Hell Ship - From the Philippines to Japan
The Battleship USS Oregon
US Army in Czechoslovakia '45 to '48
Jewish Resistance in WWII
Battle for Seaports
Banzai Attack on Attu
End of the Battle of the Java Sea
Texas National Guard in WWII
How Arnhem was Lost
Saga of Ormoc Bay
Silent Service of the Pacific
USS Wahoo
Polish Cavalry: A Military Myth Dispelled
Confucian Martial Culture
Operation Market Garden
Legacy of WWII Sub Veterans
Lausdell Crossroads
Kasserine Pass
Arnhem Startline
Bushido: Valor of Deceit
British Offensive Operations
Sir Winston Churchill
American Stubbornness at Rimling
The OSS in Greece
Strategy of Blitzkrieg
Breaking Seelow Heights
The Rape of Nanking
Small Battle: Big Implications
Harris Class APA's
Aerial Defense of East Indies
Why the Bulge Didn't Break
American Forces in WWII
Shadow Warriors
Battle of Surigao Strait
Panzer Brigades
Adolf Eichmann
Interview of a WWII Veteran
Failure and Destruction
Winter Warfare
Operation Rusty: The Gehlen-U.S. Army Connection
Was Hitler right to invade Russia?
Hitler, Germany's Worst General
Surface Actions of World War II
MacArthur's Failures in the Philippines
Japan's Monster Sub
Popski's Private Army
The Soviet Formula for Success
Japan's TA Operation
Hitler Youth: An Effective Organization
After Midway: The Fates of the Warships
Barbarossa: Strategic Miscalculation
The Story of a "Go Devil"
Long Range Desert Group
Island of Death
The Failure of Operation Barbarossa
The Liberation of Czechoslovakia 1945
Only the Admirals were Happy
Bicycle Blitzkrieg - Singapore
Good Grief Sir, We're in Trier!
Barbarossa
Thermopylae, Balaklava and Kokoda
How Hitler Could Have Won
The Battle of Midway
Waffen SS - Birth of the Elite
Nomonhan and Okinawa
Der Bund Deutscher Mädel
Rulers of the World: Hitler Youth
Breakout From the Hedgerows
Yalta
Memories of D-Day
Motivation of the Einsatzgruppen
Pearl Harbor and Midway
Amphibious Assaults during WWII
The 9th SS Panzer Division
The Warsaw Uprising
Sea Lion vs. Overlord
Maginot Line
Battle of Bastogne
Battle of the Barents Sea
Anzio: The Allies' Greatest Blunder
US Army in WWII
Battle of Mers-el-Kebir
Hitler's Ultra-Secret Adlerhorst
The Wilhelm Gustloff Disaster
The 88th Infantry in Italy

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Japan Surrenders
WWII Articles

American Airborne Units in World War II
by Michael F. Dilley

This short history will cover those combat military groups, squadrons, battalions, regiments, divisions, and the one corps of U.S. airborne units in World War II. It will not include Army Air Corps units (such as the Air Commandos) or Troop Carrier units, or organizations that had American individuals in them who were airborne qualified and even made operational jumps, such as Army and Marine Corps members of the Office of Strategic Services (including those with Jedburgh teams and Operations Groups), or the multi-service, multi-national Special Allied Airborne Reconnaissance Force (which initially included women who had previously jumped into denied areas). \ The first plan to use parachute forces by American units was developed during World War I. On 17 October 1918, Brigadier General William P. (Billy) Mitchell, a later proponent of strategic aerial bombing, conceived the idea of dropping an American division by parachute from bomber aircraft into an area in the vicinity of Metz, Germany. The details of the planning were developed by Major Lewis H. Brereton, a member of Mitchell’s Air Service staff. Brereton would later serve as the commander of the First Allied Airborne Army during World War II as a Lieutenant General. (The First Allied Airborne Army consisted of the American XVIII Airborne Corps, which included: the 17th Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 101st Airborne Division; and the British I Airborne Corps, which included: the 1st Airborne Division and the 6th Airborne Division. Troop carrier units were also part of Brereton’s command.)
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Czechoslovak Exile Units of WWII
by Kai Isaksen

In 1938, the 1,500,000-strong Czechoslovak Army was among the largest in Europe, and fairly well-equipped with modern weapons, including locally produced tanks and aircraft. On November 1st 1938, German troops entered the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia, occupying the entire region with almost no resistance from the Czech forces – only 3rd Battalion of the 8th Border Regiment briefly resisted advancing German troops before being ordered to lay down their weapons by the Czech High Command. In rapid succession, the Sudetenland was formally ceded to Germany. As had been decided in Munich, a third of Slovakia was ceded to Hungary and Poland occupied the Zaolizie region. Slovakia declared independence under a fascist government, and Ruthenia (part of modern Ukraine) tried to do the same, but was promptly invaded and annexed by Hungary.
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Published works on Second World War Orders of Battle for land forces
by Bill Wilson

The armies of the Second World War were typically large organizations the formation of which was made possible by the total war efforts of the combatant nations. Holding continuous front lines in Europe, particularly in the Soviet Union, demanded the mobilization of hundreds of divisions in addition to other elements by both sides. Orders of battle indicate which units were present in given battles and campaigns, as well as providing information useful for determining the assignments and subordination of particular units within the national military structure. The published works addressing orders of battle vary widely in their degree of comprehensiveness. Some have been published postwar as official works while others are commercial publications. Besides the published works, there are also primary sources available in the archives of the combatant nations. An evaluation of these primary sources is not in the scope of this article. This article will evaluate selected published order of battle works for Germany, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and the United States.
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Book Review: Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt
by Robert Forczyk

Robert Forczyk, a former US Army armor officer, once and for all dispels the persistent myth of German armor superiority during the first years on the Eastern front. As a reader, I found it amazing just how far behind in technology the Germans found themselves even at the very onset of Barbarossa. By providing in-depth analysis of the tank engagements during these first years, Forczyk makes a convincing argument that the early German successes were not due to superior tank design and performace, but instead because of German tactics, experience, logistics, communication, training, and initiative. One realizes it was just became a matter of time before the Soviets caught up to the Germans in the other categories - thus permanently turning the tide in the east. Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942 is a highly-recommended read and is vital to understanding the reasons for eventually German defeat in the east.
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Flying Tiger, Hidden Eagle
by Christopher Lyon

It was December of 1939, and the world was at war. Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, China, Great Britain, Russia and Japan all had seats at the highest stakes game the world had ever seen, but the United States was quite noticeably absent. Many historians have argued that Franklin Roosevelt did his utmost to propel the country into conflict with Germany and Japan, and when viewed through the lens of the Chinese conflict, this controversy is accentuated and brought to the fore. Although it would be two full years before the catastrophe at Pearl Harbor, it was in this critical month, when all Europe was falling under the sway of fascism, that the Roosevelt administration, and especially the president himself, was preparing for the coming storm. By mid-1940, the US was preparing to boost its support of the hard-pressed Chinese troops with a very significant number of advanced fighters, bombers, and hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.[1] For years the Chinese, who had been fighting both the Japanese and been embroiled in their own civil war, had faced the technological might of Japan armed only with planes from WWI and infantry weapons that often pre-dated even that conflict. A US colonel, Claire Chennault, who had been an advisor to the Chinese military since 1937, oversaw the creation of the American Volunteer Group, a unit of US servicemen and pilots who volunteered to serve in the Chinese military in late 1940 and early 1941.
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SAARF – Special Allied Airborne Reconnaissance Force
by Michael F. Dilley

In early 1945, with the Allied forces closing in on Germany from the west and Russian forces from the east, there was concern on the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) staff about the continued safety of Prisoners of War (POWs) in the hands of the Germans. Some intelligence reporting indicated that the Germans may be moving POWs out of camps in areas where Allied military forces were near at hand. Fears of German maltreatment of POWs in the event the war was lost had been raised earlier but planning for those contingencies did not receive a high priority. As the situation became more of a reality and concerns were raised that camp personnel might decide to massacre prisoners, the priority for planning was raised. The new plans centered on establishing Contact Teams which could be parachuted into or near POW camps to observe and report activities relative to prisoner safety or to intercede in the event of any observed untoward actions being directed against prisoners. Based on limited intelligence reporting, conditions in some of the camps were believed to be bad. There was also uncertainty about whether Hitler might order that actions be taken against prisoners in view of Germany steadily losing ground in the war.
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The Force at la Difensa
by Michael F. Dilley

Italy, early December 1943. It had been raining since mid-September. Rivers in the area were running high, bridges were swept away, and road surfaces were mostly gone. And, of course, it was cold. The German Winter Line had held out despite attack after attack by Lieutenant General Mark Clark’s Fifth Army. Regardless of any progress made, no advance beyond the Mignano Gap to Cassino was achieved. This Gap was flanked by the Camino hill mass including mountains such as la Difensa, la Remetanea, Rotondo, and Lungo. On 22 November, Fifth Army had announced Operation Raincoat, “the plan to breach the mountain passes.” One of the units in this plan was new to the Italian theater, having previously served in the invasion of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. It was assigned to the U.S. 36th Infantry Division as the spearhead of the operation. This unit was the First Special Service Force.
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Sabotaging Hitler’s Heavy Water
by Michael F. Dilley

The years leading up to and including World War II saw a race by Germany and the United States to develop an atomic weapon. Although the idea of nuclear fission was first mentioned in 1934, it was not until four years later that experiments confirmed it by using Uranium. The two methods for moderating the energy of neutrons loosed by bombarding Uranium involve the use of heavy water or graphite. Heavy water, or Deuterium, which looks like regular water, was discovered in 1933. Germany ultimately decided to use heavy water in its nuclear reactor to breed the Plutonium-239 needed in its weapons research. One method of producing heavy water is by separating it from regular water using electrolysis. This method requires electrolysis chambers and a considerably large amount of power. Ultimately the heavy water supplier for scientists throughout the world was the hydroelectric plant run by Norsk Hydro, located near Rjukan in the Telemark region of Norway.
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The Soviet Offensive in the Arctic: The Pechenga (Petsamo)-Kirkenes Operation 1944
by Kai & Iryna Isaksen

The Pechenga-Kirkenes Operation, as it became known in Soviet military literature, is an important part of Soviet military history, but has been largely ignored in Western military literature, even though the last few years have seen an increased interest in the operations north of the Arctic Circle in WW2. It was the "10th hammer blow", the last in a series of strategic offensive operations conducted by Soviet armed forces throughout 1944, designed to deal a decisive blow to the German ability to conduct counter offensives and mount military operations along the entire Eastern Front. The battle, or rather series of battles, is the largest ever fought north of the Arctic circle and lessons are still being drawn today from the experience of the two armies that slugged it out in the moonlike landscape of the tundra west of Murmansk. On October 7th 1944, a Soviet force of nearly 113,000 men of the Karelian Front, commanded by General Meretskov (later Marshal of the Soviet Union) launched an offensive against the 60,000-man German XIX Mountain Corps, defending in prepared positions along the Litsa river valley northwest of Murmansk. Assisted by sea, air, and land forces (Naval infantry/marines) of the Northern Fleet, the Soviet 14th Army defeated the German forces in a three-phased operation that lasted a total of 24 days.
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The Failure of Strategic Bombing and the Emergence of the Fighter as the Preiminent Weapon in Aerial Warfare
by Jeff L. Patton

The aircraft family tree began to split into specialties at the beginning of the Great War in 1914. From the Wright Brothers first flight in 1903, the airplane developed into single and twin engine variants carrying one or two crewmembers whose primary duty was observation and reconnaissance. Immediately before the advent of hostilities, the need for specialized aircraft became apparent and the combatant powers followed similar lines of development of fighter, bomber, and reconnaissance aircraft. Fighter aircraft were generally lighter, smaller, faster and more maneuverable in keeping with their mission to shoot down other aircraft while bombers were larger, longer ranged, carried multiple crew members and a heavier payload in keeping with their mission of being bomb haulers. When man first dropped explosives from an aircraft is unknown. However, the concept of using aircraft as bombers predates fighters by several years.
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Dutch Harbor: The Unraveling of Japan’s Pacific Strategy
by Del C. Kostka

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto drew his hand across a map of the northern Pacific Ocean in a long, sweeping arc. From Attu Island on the far western edge of the Bearing Sea, the admiral traced his finger along the Aleutian archipelago to the island of Amaknak near the Alaskan mainland. There, in June of 1942, Yamamoto intended to strike the American forces at Dutch Harbor. As a strategist, Yamamoto had achieved near deity status among the Japanese Imperial High Command. His crushing attack on Pearl Harbor just six months prior was followed by quick and decisive victory in the Philippines, Malaya, and the East Indies. Now, with the southwest Pacific under firm Japanese control, Yamamoto looked to expand offensive operations to the north and central Pacific. By attacking key strategic points in the Aleutians, as well as Midway Island on the western tip of the Hawaiian chain, he intended to lure the already weakened U.S. Pacific fleet from Pearl Harbor to its final destruction.[1] Yet despite his meticulous planning, his intellect and his vaunted reputation, the attack on the remote Alaskan harbor upon which he now rested his finger would prove to be one of Yamamoto’s greatest strategic blunders.
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The Texas 36th Division: A History
by Bruce Brager

Perhaps the best way to give an idea of the human cost the 36th Division paid in World War II (and its other wars) is to reprint some material from the files of the 36th Division Association [ii] (apparently a rough draft of material for an early newsletter).
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Soldier: Ed Ramsey, 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts)
by Bob Seals

This meeting engagement on Bataan at the village of Morong, led by then First Lieutenant Ed Ramsey on 16 January 1942, was to be the last horse mounted charge by U.S. Army Cavalry in military history. Surviving early days of defeat and disaster, Ed Ramsey was destined to have one of the most challenging and interesting wartime careers of the Pacific theater during the Second World War. His action packed four years of combat, mostly spent behind Japanese lines, reads like a pulp fiction novel written by a Hollywood screen writer. An illustrative example of an interwar generation of hard-charging Cavalry Army Officers, who worked hard and played hard, Ramsey rose to the occasion after the 8th of December 1941. Refusing to surrender on Bataan in April of 1942, he led tens of thousands guerrillas on Luzon in one of the most successful resistance campaigns of the war against ruthless Imperial Japanese Army occupation forces. His remarkable career in the Second World War encompassed the end of several storied American military institutions, to include the Philippine Scouts and Army horse cavalry, while helping to lay the doctrinal foundation of an Army branch not born until after the war, the U.S. Army Special Forces.
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The U.S. Army in Czechoslovakia 1945: An Operational Overview
by Bryan J. Dickerson

From April to December of 1945, the Third U.S. Army conducted operations in and around the western region of Czechoslovakia. Altogether, three of its corps (XII, V and XXII) and nine infantry and four armored divisions and two cavalry groups participated in these operations. The Czechoslovak operations fell into three distinct phases: Border Operations, Liberation and Occupation. The Border Operations Phase occurred from 15 April until 5 May. During this time, the 90th and 97th Infantry Division and 2nd Cavalry Group screened the Czechoslovak border and conducted several limited offensive operations across the border to protect Third U.S. Army’s left flank as Third Army drove south-eastward into rumored Alpine Festung (National Redoubt) area of southern Germany / western Austria. During the Liberation Phase (5-8 May 1945), V Corps and XII Corps conducted a major offensive to liberate western Czechoslovakia from Nazi German occupation. The 1st, 2nd, 5th, 26th, 90th and 97th Infantry Divisions, 4th, 9th and 16th Armored Divisions and the 2nd and 102nd Cavalry Groups all participated in liberating over 3,400 square miles of Czechoslovakia. Their irresistible drive was only halted by the orders of Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower approximately on the line Karlovy Vary – Plzen – Ceske Budejovice. Having been oppressed by the Nazis for six long years, Czechs in small villages, towns and the large city of Plzen greeted their liberators with exuberant public celebrations. The phase ended with the German High Command surrender and the termination of all hostilities.
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The Strategic Culture of the Imperial Japanese Navy
by Gary A. Gustafson

With the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Japan entered into a war against the two most powerful navies in the world, the United States and Britain. An Imperial Liaison Conference on 6 September 1941 approved the “Outline Plan for the Execution of the Empire’s National Policy.” The plan called for three phases. The first phase required the destruction of the US battle line at Pearl Harbor and the capture of resource-rich Southeast Asia. Phase 2 required the consolidation of a defensive perimeter from Burma to Sumatra to the Gilbert Islands to the North Pacific. Phase 3 looked to exploit the natural resources of the captured territory while the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) exhausted American attempts to retake the newly formed Empire of Japan.[3] At a Cabinet Liaison Conference on 1 November 1941, Admiral Nagano Osami, Naval Chief of Staff (NCS), echoed Yamamoto’s earlier thoughts, “We can fight effectively for about two years, but no prediction can be made for after that.” [4] Despite unprecedented success in the first phase of the plan, within ten months the IJN had lost two thirds of its fleet carriers, was quickly losing an attritional campaign in the Solomon Islands, and had completely relinquished the initiative to the enemy.
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The Battles of Luneville: September 1944
by Bryan J. Dickerson

The catalyst for this paper was Jenna Carpenter Smith. On Veterans Day 2012, she contacted me seeking information about her late grandfather, Staff Sergeant Joseph Carpenter, who had served in the 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Group [Mechanized] in World War Two. Jenna had contacted me after reading about her grandfather in my article “The Liberation of Western Czechoslovakia 1945” which is also posted on Military History Online. I knew Joe Carpenter and his wife Ellin for several years before their deaths. Joe was one of the many World War Two veterans who have assisted me with my research on World War Two in Europe and the liberation of Czechoslovakia. That night, Jenna and I spoke by phone, during which time I shared my memories of her grandfather and grandmother. I explained to her the role that her grandfather and the 2nd Cavalry Group played in the European Campaign and share with her some of the stories that Joe had told me a number of years ago.
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Member Article: Military History Online - World War II Game
by Ed Druback

This “After Action Report” (AAR) was intended to be written for a dual audience even though it is a review of one game played of the infinite variety of possible outcomes. First and foremost this AAR was written for someone who has never played a table top war game. If you are interested in the early stages of WWII (through the fall of France) whether you have ever played a war game or not, I hope I have made this AAR an enjoyable read.
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Visual Guide to the U.S. Fleet Submarines: Part 1
by David L. Johnston

A cursory review of photographs of the U.S. fleet submarines of World War II often leaves the reader with the impression that the boats were nearly identical in appearance. Indeed, the fleet boats from the Porpoise class all the way to the late war Tench class were all similar enough in appearance that it is easy to see how this impression is justified. However, a more detailed examination of the boats will reveal a bewildering array of differences, some of them quite distinct, that allow the separation of the boats into their respective classes. Ironically, the rapidly changing configuration of the boats’ appearances often makes it difficult to get down to a specific boat identification. However being familiar with all of the wartime changes will allow you to narrow down the date of the photo and when combined with other data will sometimes get you the specific name.
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Lodge Act Soldier: Henryk "Frenchy" Szarek
by Bob Seals

No nation of the world suffered more during World War II than Poland. Having the geographical misfortune to exist between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Poland sustained more losses as a percentage than any other belligerent; an estimated twenty percent of every man, woman or child in the nation, some 6 million or so by best estimate.[2] Enduring six hellish years of occupation, partition, deportations, slave labor and mass executions, the Polish suffering did not end with the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich on May 7, 1945. Thousands of Polish nationals, to include soldiers who had faithfully served the Allied cause on various fronts, faced an uncertain future, part of the enormous 14 million refugee population of Europe displaced by war.[3] With the Iron Curtain stretching from “…Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic,” in the words of Winston S. Churchill, individuals displaced by the war faced the agonizing choice of remaining in the west or returning eastward to live in their Stalinist dominated communist homelands.[4]
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Air Reconnaissance in the Second World War
by Del C. Kostka

In 1919, the great arsenals of the world lay in ruins. After four years of bitter conflict, weary governments eagerly scrapped the instruments of war that spread so much carnage and destruction across the continent of Europe. A global peace movement and tight fiscal budgets conspired to keep military development to a minimum during the post-war era, and in almost every nation’s air service the discipline that suffered the most was aerial reconnaissance. It would be a shortsighted policy. Just twenty years after “the war to end all wars," an even greater global crisis would once again prove the indispensable nature of strategic aerial reconnaissance in modern, mechanized warfare. Without question, air reconnaissance had an enormous impact on military operations during the First World War. Airborne observers provided clarity and situational awareness for battlefield commanders (Tactical Intelligence), and air photo interpreters provided information about the enemy’s strength, logistics and capabilities (Strategic Intelligence). But the intelligence value of air reconnaissance in the First World War was considered secondary to the role that aviation played in guiding artillery fire. Airborne artillery spotting, when combined with new wireless communication and artillery technologies, constituted the most lethal weapon system of the war. In fact, airborne artillery spotting was so effective that most post-war military strategists considered air reconnaissance simply an extension of ground operations.
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Interview with WWII Veteran Walter Holy
Interview by Tony Welch

An astounding number of American teenagers, both male and female, altered their birth dates in order to serve their country during World War 11. The practice reached its peak in 1943. Over time, nearly 50,000 were detected and sent home. Among the many who eventually managed to enlist, a handful was discovered – court martialed – and then stripped of any valor awards they might have earned. But the great majority – some 200,000 -- went unnoticed and served honorably for the duration. Among those sworn in was Walter Holy (rhymes with ‘moly,’ as in ‘holy moly’). Walter and his wife Frances reside in Vancouver, Washington, just over the Columbia River from Portland. There’s a possibility that Walt’s combat boots are still stashed in the hall closet, just in case. What might Walter be thinking? If you’re never too young, then you’re also never too old…?

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Member Article: Turning East: Hitler's only option
by Thomas Tripp

The invasion of the Soviet Union arguably was the most important military decision Adolf Hitler made in his life. In just a little under four years, it destroyed the Thousand Year Reich along with tens of millions of innocent lives. Did this fatal decision go against his belief of avoiding a two-front war or did Hitler feel he had a small window of opportunity to win a campaign in the East, provided it was swift, while the British remained isolated on their island? He felt this would bring about a settlement with Great Britain without the risk of a cross channel invasion. Hitler in one of his last recorded conversations in the Reich Chancellery Bunker in April 1945, stated:
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Member Article: The Club Runs: Allied Aircraft Resupply Operations to Malta, 1942
by Brick Billing

By early 1942 the tiny island of Malta, approximately 100 km south of Sicily, was effectively under siege. German and Italian advances in North Africa had transformed the Mediterranean an Axis-held lake, with the nearest Allied bases in Gibraltar on the eastern end and Egypt on the west. The Axis, realizing Malta’s strategic position, subjected the tiny island to daily aerial bombardments. Over the course of two years Malta became one of the most heavily bombed places on Earth as the German Luftwaffe, and the Italian Regia Aeronautica flew over 3,000 bombing raids in an attempt to neutralize the island .[1] For as long as Malta remained in Allied hands, British air and sea forces could mount attacks against Axis shipping, threatening General Erwin Rommel’s supply lines in North Africa. As early as May 1941, Rommel had warned his superiors that: "without Malta the Axis will end by losing control of North Africa."[2] Standing against this Axis threat were a series of fighter, bomber, and torpedo squadrons based at Malta’s three airfields; Luqa, Hal Far, and Takali.[3] 
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Interview with a World War II Veteran
by Robert C. Daniels

In preparation for writing a book, tentatively entitled “World War II in Mid-America,” I have conducted oral interviews on 33 people of a small mid-western American community that had lived during and through the war. These people represent a wide and diverse range of those living in that area at the time: male, female, military, civilian, adult, children, farmer, factory worker, etc. These interviews were designed to gather information on how World War II affected the interviewees’ lives. As such, questions were asked during the interviews about their lives prior to, during, and after the war.
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Why Arnhem?
by Thomas Leckwold

Operation Market-Garden, the largest airborne operation in history, is a well known failure because of the inability to capture a bridge over the Rhine River, and the resulting destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem. Many opinions of the Battle of Arnhem were established by Cornelius Ryan in his book A Bridge Too Far which became an epic 1977 movie by Joseph Levine and Richard Attenborough. These works provided readers and movie goers an understanding of the defeat that Allies suffered. However, these works fail in answering the basic question of how events on the Western Front influenced the decision of choosing Arnhem as the objective for such a daring and risky operation to force a crossing of the Rhine?
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Hell Ship - From the Philippines to Japan
by Robert C. Daniels

U.S. Marine Edmond Babler was forced to surrender to the Japanese Imperial Army in April 1942 with the fall of the Island fortress of Corregidor in the Philippines. Like many of his fellow POWs, after spending two years of hard labor under what can only be described as horrendous and savage slave labor conditions in the Philippine Islands of Luzon and Palawan, he was transported to the Japanese main islands in what would be known to the prisoners as a Hell Ship. What follows comprises Chapter 7 of 1220 Days: The story of U.S. Marine Edmond Babler and his experiences in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps during World War II, and is his personal account of that trip using his vernacular and colloquialisms whenever possible, including the phonetic form in which Ed originally wrote and remembered several Japanese phrases. It is his views and memories, with no apologies made nor intended to conform to the modern concept of political correctness. The author has sparingly inserted clarifications and corroborating information in encapsulated brackets where deemed necessary to give the reader a better understanding of the ‘overall picture’ of the war in relation to what Ed was experiencing.
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“She Hastens Onward Still”: The Battleship USS Oregon And its Place in National Memory
by Dr. Christopher M. Jannings

Ship breakers claimed the vast majority of 19th Pre-dreadnought and 20th century United States battleships like the USS Oregon upon decommission.[1] Masts, guns, anchors, smoke stacks, and other elements of the most famous remain on public display at historic sites, serving as substitutes for full-sized memorials that require private donations or taxpayer dollars to maintain. The USS Oregon was the centerpiece for the State of Oregon Marine Park from 1927 to 1942, and seemed destined for honorable retirement until the outbreak of World War II, but was sacrificed because of misguided patriotism in the State of Oregon and misappropriation of war materials and building contracts, particularly involving the use of steel, within the highest levels of government and industry.[2]
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From Liberation to Confrontation: The U.S. Army and Czechoslovakia 1945 to 1948
by Bryan J. Dickerson

In the closing days of World War II in Europe, soldiers of the U.S. Army were welcomed as Liberators by crowds of Czech civilians exuberant at being freed from six long years of Nazi tyranny and occupation. Just three short years later, the relation-ship between the U.S. Army and Czechoslovakia was dramatically different. Instead of allies, they were now adversaries. Due to the rapidly changing political situation in central Europe and the emergence of a Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the U.S. Army in Europe underwent a series of major changes in mission and structure which culminated with it being forced to assume a combat posture against the very same country and ally that it had helped liberate from the Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945. In just three and a half years, the U.S. Army performed the roles of a combat force / liberator, an occupation force / rebuilder, a police or constabulary force and ultimately, a combat force again in rapid succession.
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Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust: Fact or Fiction?
by Abigail Pfeiffer

For close to fifteen years after the Holocaust there was little written about the resistance of the European Jewish population against the Nazis and their collaborators. According to Michael Marrus in his article “Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust” the reason for this is “…most Jews had little stomach for myth-making of any kind about Jewish resistance in the immediate shock of the war. It was all Jews could do in the first postwar years to absorb the reality of mass murder on an unimagined scale…”[2] Only after the shock of the attempted liquidation of the whole population of European Jews wore off did some solid historiography emerge about Jewish resistance. The trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel also prompted more historians to examine Jewish resistance, especially outside of Israel and Yiddish speaking populations. Two historians emerged during this time, Hannah Arendt and Raul Hilberg, with views that the Jews did not resist, at least not on a scale that would have made their resistance successful.
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Member Article: Battle for the Seaports
by Ruud Bruyns

On January 30 1945 there was a remarkable movie premiere in the French seaport of La Rochelle. The latest German war movie ‘Kolberg’ was displayed for the first time to an audience which consisted of more than 20.000 soldiers, who were besieged by Allied forces since August 1944. This movie, which was shot in full color, was meant to boost morale among the German garrison by setting the siege of Kolberg by the French in 1806 as an example. This was necessary because the Germans were trapped there for almost half year, as were ten of thousands other German soldiers in the ports of France, Belgium and Holland during the autumn of 1944. How was it possible that approximately 200.000 German soldiers were locked up in these ports while the German homeland was bound to be attacked by the Allies? Was it coincidence, or was there a plan behind this set-up?
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Member Article: A Turn Too Far: Reconstructing the End of the Battle of the Java Sea
by Del C. Kostksa

Attu rises like a jagged stone from the churning waters of the North Pacific. Barren, wind-swept, and shrouded in perpetual fog, the island has little relevance to a world that is barely aware of its existence. Yet in 1943, this obscure wilderness was the scene of an epic battle between resilient Japanese occupiers and an American invasion force who were equally determined to possess the island. It was a battle fought as much against the elements as with an enemy, and where a small and ill-equipped band of US Army combat engineers found themselves squarely in the path of one of the largest Japanese Banzai attacks of World War Two.[1]
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Member Article: A Turn Too Far: Reconstructing the End of the Battle of the Java Sea
by Jeffrey R. Cox

The Java Sea campaign has gotten little in the way of analysis in the English-speaking press, and what coverage it has gotten has largely focused on the role of the crews of individual ships such as the US cruiser Houston, the Australian cruiser Perth and the British cruiser Exeter, particularly in their futile efforts to escape the Java Sea, James Hornfischer’s excellent book Ship of Ghosts being a case in point. This relative silence is understandable for several reasons. First of all, we lost. Unless the defeat can be used to bash the United States like Vietnam is, defeats tend to get less play in the media. Furthermore, the territory being defended was a Dutch colony, which, since the Dutch mainland was under Nazi occupation, was effectively serving as their homeland, and thus meant much more to the Dutch than the Anglos, who found the campaign small in comparison to their overall war effort in the Pacific.
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Member Article: How Arnhem was Lost around Eindhoven
by Landon McDuff

The Texas Army National Guard has a proud history that has not only influenced but, has come to define its military culture. It is the purpose of this essay to discuss some of those defining and controversial moments and remember the heroes that made them so. Texas has traditionally been committed to the defense of its nation and usually contributes more troops to the U.S. military than any other state.[i] The Texas Army National Guard traces their beginnings to the fight for Texas’ independence from Mexico. The spirit of the defenders of the Alamo, and the victorious men that carried the day on the grounds of San Jacinto, is alive and well in the hearts of every Texas National Guard soldier and airman. The TXARNG is a state military force in local operation but trains and fights alongside the federal Army, daubed “Big Army”. They call themselves “citizen soldiers” because although they have the same training as “Big Army”, they only serve one weekend out of the month, unless called into active duty.[1]
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Member Article: How Arnhem was Lost around Eindhoven
by Ruud Bruyns

A lot of explanations have been written about the failure of Operation Market Garden, better known as the Battle of Arnhem after the ultimate goal of the operation. In the mainly English speaking literature there has been very few references to Dutch sources, while there have been many detailed publications about Market Garden. The most notable are ‘Een andere kijk op de slag om Arnhem’ (Another Perspective on the Battle of Arnhem, 2009) by Peter Berends, and ‘Einddoel Maas’ (End Goal Meuse, 1984) and ‘Brabant bevrijd’ (Brabant liberated, 1993) by Jack Didden en Maarten Swarts. The latter argue that Market Garden was lost in Brabant. I want underline their thesis and want to add some new perspectives to this in this article.
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Member Article: The Saga of Ormoc Bay - November 10, 1944
by Stuart Goldberg

The battle for Leyte had been raging since an Allied invasion force arrived off the coast of this central Philippine island. From the 23rd of October to the 26th, in a running battle on the sea and in the air, the Japanese attempted to repulse the landing. This titanic military engagement, known as “The Battle of Leyte Gulf,” proved to be the largest naval battle in history and decided the fate of not only the Philippines, but also of the once mighty IJN Combined fleet. During the four-day skirmish, Adm. Halsey’s Third Fleet and Adm. Kinkaid’s Seventh decimated four separate Japanese naval task forces commanded by Admirals Ozawa, Kurita, Nishimura and Shima. When the smoke had cleared, the surviving Japanese ships of Operation “SHO-GO” limped back to Tokyo and the Americans secured the landing beaches. Consequently, despite the stiff resistance by the Imperial Navy and Adm. Onishi’s newly instituted Kamikaze tactics, American ground troops finally stormed ashore.
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Member Article: Hunters of the Deep: A Brief Synopsis of the Contribution of the Silent Service of the Pacific
by Bryan T. Hayes

The English dictionary refers to "Pacific" as an unaggressive or peaceful nature. The Pacific theater in WWII was a direct antonym as American and Japanese forces exercised immense human destruction across the islands and atolls in the central and Southern theaters. American memories of the WWII Asian battles usually dwell at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Hiroshima. As such, the majority of Naval dramatic action captured on film and in books occurred on the surface, on the beaches, or in the air, as the era witnessed an incredible shift from the battleship force to the aircraft carrier, its support units and amphibious operations of the Marines and sustaining naval units.
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Member Article: Mush Morton and the crew of the Wahoo, War Criminals?
by David Johnston

On 26 January 1943 the submarine USS Wahoo (SS-238), under the command of the indomitable Lt. Commander Dudley W. "Mush" Morton, engaged in a running gun and torpedo battle with a Japanese convoy consisting of four ships off the northern coast of New Guinea. It would later prove to be a seminal moment in the history of the famous Morton and his Wahoo, forever cementing their combined reputation as ace ship hunters. At a time when the war news was almost universally bad, and when the submarine force was struggling to hit its stride against the Japanese, Morton and the fighting Wahoo provided a much needed shot in the arm and morale boost to our Navy and country. Unfortunately, it also would prove to be one of the most controversial acts committed by one of our submarines during the war, and would later result in whispered back room (and sometimes open) charges of racism, murder, and official cover-up.
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Member Article: Polish Cavalry: A Military Myth Dispelled
by Alexander Zakrzewski

At 2:00 P.M. on September 1st, 1939, Colonel Kazimierz Mastelarz, commander of the 18th Regiment of the Pomorska Cavalry Brigade, spotted a badly exposed battalion of German infantry in the woods near the Polish village of Krojanty. He hurriedly assembled his troopers for a sabre charge and fell upon on the unsuspecting enemy, easily overrunning them. For the Colonel, the short but brief action must have seemed a fortuitous start to the war for he and his men. Their first encounter with Hitler’s vaunted Wehrmacht had proven a tactical success at negligible cost. However, his victory would prove short lived. Before the Poles could reorganize, a column of German tanks and motorized troops appeared from around a bend and unleashed a devastating hail of fire.
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Excerpt from World's Bloodiest History: Massacre, Genocide, and the Scars They Left on Civilization by Joseph Cummins

The Belgian farmer, whose name was Henri Lejoly, was surprised at the nonchalance of the U.S. troops. Standing in the barren field outside of the town of Malmedy on that cold early afternoon in the winter of 1944, they smoked and joked with each other. Some of them had placed their hands on their helmets in a casual token of surrender to the Waffen-SS troops of Kampfgruppe Peiper—the mechanized task force commanded by the brilliant young German Colonel Jochen Peiper—as it passed by, but beyond that they seemed remarkably unconcerned. The offhand behavior of the roughly 115 U.S. prisoners may have been because the men came from Battery B of the 285th Field Observation Battery. This was an outfit whose job was to spot enemy artillery emplacements and transmit their location to other U.S. units. It had seen relatively little frontline duty and was filled with numerous green replacements.
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Member Article: The Predominance of Confucian Martial Culture over Western Influence in the Far East
by Holly Senatore

Consider a society where equality among men is a foreign concept. Consider a state where democracy is firstly established through removing a military threat through war and reestablishing a viable working government. Lastly, consider a situation where asking the post- war populace to embrace democracy is also asking them to rid themselves of their own centuries long cultural values. This article does not address the invasion of Iraq in 2003, an event in which the military goals were readily accomplished yet the cultural goals of instilling democracy among a hostile people are yet to be seen. Instead, this article examines a similar instance that unfolded during the mid twentieth century when Japan surrendered to United States military forces on September 2nd, 1945. This date marked the end of World War II but established the beginning of a new chapter in Anglo-Japanese relations whereby democracy was grafted upon a stratified and hierarchal civilization ruled by the military class since the Yorimoto Shogunate in the 12th century A.D.
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Member Article: Operation Market-Garden: British Ground Opeartions on September 17, 1944
by Thomas Leckwold

Operation Market-Garden was the largest airborne operation ever executed that was coordinated with a simultaneous ground operation. The operation ultimately failed but it was largely not an airborne failure, but a ground force failure that was attributed to a combination of the British operational doctrine and geography. The British operational doctrine was ill suited for the operation that was envisioned because, along with the geography, it emphasized the comparative weakness of the British Army while simultaneously not denying the Wehrmacht many comparative advantages in its defensive efforts. The result was the British Army’s ground forces inability to gain momentum during the first day of the offensive and was a critical factor for the failure of the entire operation.
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Member Article: On the Shoulders of Giants: Innovation and Courage - The Legacy of World War II Submarine Veterans
by Daniel T. Rean

The numbers tell a story. They do not lie. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 900 World War II veterans die every day. But that number is not the whole story. We cannot simply consider statistical losses when we look at that number. What we are really losing is a unique brand of warriors who let nothing stand in the way of the march toward victory, and no group of World War II veterans typified that never-say-die attitude better than that of America’s submarine service.
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Member Article: Lausdell Crossroads
by Allyn Vannoy and Jay Karamales

During December 17-19, 1944, the Belgian villages of Krinkelt and Rocherath, and the surrounding countryside, provided a setting that would determine whether or not the flank of the U.S. First Army would be rolled up and the German Ardennes breakthrough widened, permitting the Germans to reach their objectives beyond the Meuse.
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Member Article: Baptism of Fire: Kasserine Pass, 1943
by Eric Niderost

In the winter of 1942-43 the Allies had every reason to believe that they were on the verge of total victory in North Africa. It started that November, when Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika was decisively defeated by the British Eighth Army at the Second Battle of El Alamein.
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Member Article: Momentum Lost: The Battle for the Arnhem Startline
by Thomas Leckwold

After the capture of Antwerp on September 4, 1944, the Second British Army commander, Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey, ordered its spearhead, the XXX Corps, to halt because it had outrun its "administrative resources."[1] The order was in response to the supply issues that were constraining the Western Allies offensive, and though not recognized at the time, the British Army offensive reached its culmination point and was suffering the effects of strategic consumption.[2][3]
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Member Article: Bushido: The Valor of Deceit
by Holly Senatore

As the historian Yuki Tanaka asserted, "The extreme ill-treatment of POWs by the Japanese in World War II was a historically specific phenomenon that occurred between the so-called 'China-Incident' and the end of World War II."[3] According to Tanaka, the cruelty committed by Japanese soldiers during World War II towards Allied POWs was an effect of the subordination and the corruption of the Code of Bushido to the emperor ideology and the 'new' military ideology.[4]
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Member Article: Strategic Consumption and British Offensive Operations in Northwest Europe: August - September 1944
by Thomas Leckwold

The Western Allies launched Operation Market-Garden on September 17, 1944 under the overall command of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and his Twenty First Army Group with the intended goal of ending the war in 1944. The decision to launch Operation Market-Garden, like most military operations, had a causal relationship to the events that had created the current military situation.
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Member Article: Sir Winston Churchill: The Man Who Gave Britain Back its Roar
by Carl J. Ciovacco

Never before has there been a leader as determined as Sir Winston Churchill. His determination and perseverance helped to steer Britain through arguably its most difficult time in history. How could a sickly, pudgy, outcast child, transform into the "Savior of the Nation" by leading Britain against the epitome of evil?
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