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Last weekend, I met a hero. Oh, I know, "hero" is a cliché of military history. I've always been skeptical of the term. How do you judge a hero? What is the qualification? Do you have to...
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My War – Ken McGwin

McGwin, a Navy 2nd class petty officer, was serving aboard Wesco the night it was attacked in the Mekong Delta, Nov. 1, 1968
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My War – POW Jay Hess

Lt. Col. Jay Hess was shot down in an F-105, captured and held prisoner for nearly six years during the Vietnam War
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Niwi: Nine Men

Last week, I wrote a teaser about the 1940 campaign. For most military historians, the German victory in France remains a kind of gold standard: a rapid, decisive, and relatively bloodless victory that smashed...

Mein Kampf: The Sequel

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler laid out a philosophy that would trigger global war. But a later volume, not published in his lifetime, is at least as shocking as his notorious My Struggle.
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Mystery Date: Pacific War Edition

Norma Clinton was an attractive young honors student living in rural Georgia. Harry Kipp was a Marine captain from Minnesota who had survived the attack on Pearl Harbor before shipping off to the Pacific. At...
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Ugly: A Last Note on the Ethiopian Campaign

Over the last few weeks, I've been writing about the Italian campaign in Ethiopia (1935–36), one of the many wars between the two world wars. We often speak of the "interwar" period, but in...
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Sitting in Judgment: the Ethiopia Campaign

Last week I wrote about the Italian campaign in Ethiopia (or Abyssinia, as many in the world still called it) in 1935–36. It barely registers in the western historical consciousness today. After all,...
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Conversation with Joe Mantegna

"I know there are a lotta great stories out there about World War II,” declares actor Joe Mantegna, “but I’ve got a pretty good one.” The versatile Chicago-born star’s...
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Corregidor: Return to the Rock

The fading beams of my flashlight sweep the cavernous reinforced concrete laterals of Malinta Tunnel, barely illuminating my passage. Vintage wires and fixtures, timber trusses, and piles of rubble flare into...