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Fire for Effect

Robert M. Citino, author of The Path to Blitzkrieg and The German Way of War, takes a closer look at World War II’s most riveting battles, leaders, weapons, and tactics.




  • World War II Magazine

    Fire For Effect: Down, Not Out

    A WISE MAN ONCE REMINDED US THAT “we see through a glass, darkly.” Part of the human condition is that our perception of events doesn’t often match reality. Certainty eludes us. And that’s a real problem in analyzing the ebb and...

  • World War II Magazine

    Fire For Effect: Danger Zone

    WWII offered a number of perilous job opportunities: airman in a B-17 over Europe, Marine in the Pacific. Here is another dangerous job: German general....

  • World War II Magazine

    Fire For Effect: Who’s the Boss?

    Most alternate scenarios are operational. What if, in May 1940, Hitler doesn’t halt his Panzers short of Dunkirk? What if, in August 1941, the Wehrmacht, instead of wheeling south into Ukraine, keeps driving to Moscow?...

  • World War II Magazine

    Fire For Effect: Double Jeopardy

    SOMETIMES WORLD WAR II is so big it’s tough to wrap your head around it. Battles that in another conflict would form the martial centerpiece often find little place in memory, and sometimes we forget them altogether. World War II claims...

  • World War II Magazine

    The Kasserine Complex

    THE U.S. ARMY was the 11th army to fight the Germans in World War II and, like the others, it got some rough treatment the first time out. A battle in February 1943 at an obscure hunk of rock in North Africa named Kasserine Pass saw the...

  • Fire for Effect, World War II

    Back to the Future

    Major conventional warfare seems to have gone out of style. Strategic analysts peering into the future see wars with shadowy “non-state actors” like al-Qaeda, or international crime syndicates like the Zetas in Mexico, or even pirates...

  • Fire for Effect

    Lucky Break

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the endgame of the war in the European Theater, early 1945. For the Germans, things had fallen apart. The Soviets were slashing deeply into East Prussia and crossing the Oder. The western allies...

  • Fire for Effect, Politics

    Tiso in the Wolf’s Lair

    Last time out we began a discussion of a seemingly insignificant event. Near the end of May 1944, Monsignor Jozef Tiso, the wartime leader of Slovakia, paid a visit to Adolf Hitler at the latter’s headquarters in East...

  • Fire for Effect, Politics

    Deception

    Last time out we discussed an Allied deception operation called Starkey. Designed to simulate a landing in the Pas de Calais in 1943, and thus to draw off German strength from Italy (where the Allies actually were landing at the moment),...

  • Fire for Effect

    Diversion

    It’s a familiar figure of speech: “What if they gave a war, and no one came?” I am old enough to recognize this slogan. I was born in 1958, the youngest of five, with my older siblings in college. I grew up during the...

  • Fire for Effect

    Why Anvil Gets No Respect

    Last time out, I wrote about a forgotten campaign: the Allied landing in the south of France in August 1944. The planners first called it Operation Anvil, then renamed it Dragoon just days before it took place. By any accounting, it should...

  • Fire for Effect

    No Respect

    Life isn’t fair, and neither is history. Indeed, some historical events—no matter how vast or significant—seem destined to be forgotten. And World War II is full of them. Let’s say you are launching a complex amphibious...

  • Fire for Effect

    Typo

    I am all thumbs. Put me at a computer keyboard, and I am trouble. I am the lord of the typo. Put my on an iPhone and things get exponentially worse. Put me on an iPhone with that quaint function known as autocorrect, and I am capable of...

  • Fire for Effect

    Oh What a Lucky Man, III

    The theme of this column lately has been the way that Americans are keeping alive the memory of World War II. The results are in, and the verdict is “wow!” The recent exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston entitled...

  • Fire for Effect

    Oh What a Lucky Man, II

    Last week I told you about the incredible photo exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston. “War/Photography:  Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath” was a jaw-dropper, featuring images that went well beyond the...

  • Fire for Effect

    Oh What a Lucky Man I Am

    I’ve said it many times: I’m a lucky guy. Beautiful wife. Wonderful family. I get to live in Texas. (No offense to the other states. I’ve lived in a few and they’re not bad at all.) Another way I’m lucky is...