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Historical Figures

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Dogs of War, by Katherine Kinsolving

    Dogs of War: The Stories of FDR’s Fala, Patton’s Willie, and Ike’s Telek By Kathleen Kinsolving. 64 pp. WND Books, 2012. $19.99.  Three of the war’s most  prominent canines get their own profiles, complete with pictures,...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Blackett’s War

    Blackett’s War: The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-Boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare By Stephen Budiansky. 336 pp. Knopf, 2013. $27.95. Admiral Karl Dönitz’s U-boats posed the single greatest threat to the Western Allies in...

  • World War II Magazine

    ‘I Am Destiny’: Reporting on the Atom Bomb

    To scoop the world on the atomic bomb, a reporter vanished into the corridors of top-secret power In early May 1945, U.S. Army Major General Leslie R. Groves visited the New York Times offices on West 43rd Street to talk with managing...

  • World War II Magazine

    The Limits of Genius: Erich von Manstein

    Erich von Manstein was Germany’s greatest commander, and the Battle of Kharkov was his greatest victory. Why, then, did it matter so little? War, the poet Virgil once wrote, is a tale of “arms and the man.” The outcome of battle...

  • World War II Magazine

    Their Darkest Hour: A Handle on How FDR Handled People

    FRANKLIN DELANO Roosevelt wrote no memoir, kept no diary, confided in no one. Though celebrated as one of the greatest American presidents, FDR remains an elusive figure. Which is why I so valued the opportunity some years ago to interview...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Those Angry Days

    Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939–1941 By Lynne Olson. 576 pp. Random House, 2013. $30.  Now that World War II has been enshrined as The Good War fought by The Greatest Generation,...

  • World War II Magazine

    True Fiction: The Caine Mutiny

    Why a classic World War II story always matters. Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny may be the greatest American novel of World War II. This 1951 study of men at war with a foreign foe and with each other spent 122 weeks on the New York...

  • World War II Magazine

    Hitler’s Harvard Man: Ernst Hanfstaengl

    On his way up, the Nazi leader had help from a source steeped in American culture.  On a cold spring morning in 1906, a canoeist on the Charles River in Boston lost control in the swift current and tipped into the water. At that...

  • World War II Magazine

    Forgotten Valor: Royce Special Mission

    An accident of timing consigned a groundbreaking mission to the shadows. The San Antonio Rose II, steel propellers slashing the skies above the Celebes Sea, was hurtling toward hell at 200 miles an hour. The B-17 was leading a flight of 10...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Review: Ghost Army

    Ghost Army Directed by Rick Beyer. 60 minutes, $24.99. Also airing on PBS and playing at select theaters; information at ghostarmy.org. The Ghost Army of World War II: Artists of Deception By Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles. 48 pp. Plate...

  • World War II Magazine

    The Peacemaker: Simon Bolivar Buckner

    How Simon Bolivar Buckner fought to keep the services from fighting— each other. MONDAY, JUNE 18, 1945, dawned hot and steamy on Okinawa. For 79 days, the American Tenth Army and Japan’s 32nd Army had been struggling for the island in...

  • World War II Magazine

    Danger Zone: Battle of Mortain

    When the Germans fought back at Mortain, the violence pivoted around a patch of high ground and the American artillerymen trapped there. War, as historian Bruce Catton once wrote, sometimes “went by a queer script of its own,” putting...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII DVD Review: Inside WWII

    Inside WWII National Geographic 135 minutes, $19.97.  This three-parter premiered on cable for Memorial Day and quickly made its way to DVD, a mark of how powerful a draw World War II has become—and also how crowded the market is,...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: Operation Typhoon

    Operation Typhoon: Hitler’s March on Moscow, October 1941 By David Stahel. 429 pp. Cambridge, 2013. $35 In the early 1860s, Charles Joseph Minard created an extraordinary map that communicated the scope and scale of Napoleon’s...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Review: Kid Stuff

    Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent By Pearl Witherington Cornioley, edited by Kathryn J. Atwood. 208 pp. Chicago Review Press, 2013. $19.95.  This is aimed at young adults, but that shouldn’t stop everyone...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: The Making of a Nazi Hero

    The Making of a Nazi Hero: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel By Daniel Siemens. 20 pp. I. B. Tauris, 2013. $20. Horst Wessel was a rank- and-file storm trooper, an SA Brown Shirt, whose murder in 1930 made him a propaganda icon as the...