On December 16, 1944 the Battle of the Bulge, or Operation Herbstnebel (Autumn Mist), began. It remains the largest battle the U.S. Army has participated in outside of the U.S. Civil War, and hundreds of books have been penned about it. But it is a German commando operation during the Nazi offensive that has created one of the Second World War's more intriguing mysteries. One that remains unsolved to this day.
In the fall of 1944 Adolf Hitler asked Otto Skorzeny to create a special unit to help spearhead Herbstnebel by capturing key bridges over the Meuse River and sowing confusion and panic
When we think of the U.S. Marine Corps and World War II we all too often think of grand amphibious assaults at places like Tarawa or Iwo Jima. Rarely do we consider that the U.S. Marine Corps was, and is, more than a bunch of highly trained light infantry. So on this year's Memorial Day I would like to remind our readers of a few of the U.S. Marine Corps stunning Second World War aviation accomplishments.
Last month I posted a short write-up on Auschwitz, which I visited in September of last year. In addition, at the website's World War II gallery I posted fourteen photo's I took at Auschwitz, and corresponding detailed descriptions amply illustrating these German initiated crimes against humanity. In addition, I have also published a detailed look at the former German concentration camp at Terezin in the Czech Republic (which I visited in 2013) and repeated articles, book reviews, and pictures amply detailing the horrors of the Holocaust, the individuals who suffered or fought against the
Today, Tuesday January 27th, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It has been 70 years since the Red Army liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945.
Auschwitz is actually more than just one camp. At its peak it included a network of dozens of camps all built and operated during World War II by Hitler's Third Reich in Silesia in occupied Poland. Auschwitz I and nearby Auschwitz II-Birkenau were the two main camps. Auschwitz I was primarily a work camp though tens of thousands died there.
Early in December 1941 German led Axis forces had driven to the gates of Moscow. However, the Red Army counter-attacked their overextended enemy. Soviet armies drove the Wehrmacht and its Axis allies back across the entirety of the front, and put the nail in Operation Barbarossa's coffin. Nevertheless, by early in January 1942 most of the initial Soviet counterstrokes had fizzled to a halt, and for good reason.
In just over six months of warfare the Soviet Union had lost control over 40 percent of its population, a third of its heavy industry, and staggering military losses reaching nearly 5
As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising I thought it would be appropriate to set the stage for the brave but doomed efforts of the Polish Resistance to free their city from Nazi occupation. Late in July of 1944 and as the Red Army approached Warsaw's outskirts it must have seemed as if the Soviet war machine was unstoppable. Alas, this would prove not to be true.
Even though much of the blame for the failure of the Polish Resistance to overcome their Nazi overlords must be placed at Stalin's feet (with his decision to not raise a finger to help the courageous resistance
On June 6, 1944 the Anglo-American led alliance invaded Nazi occupied France. Known today as D-Day it would be the greatest invasion in history. And though the Red Army was by June of 1944 well into the process of bleeding the Wehrmacht white, inflicting approximately 80% of Germany's Second World War military casualties, this should not take away from the considerable achievement that is since remembered today and forever since as D-Day.
It was actually on June 5, 1944 that D-Day could really be said to have begun.
On this Memorial Day, and with the pending 70 year anniversary of the June 6, 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy, France, I want to highlight the often overlooked sacrifice of those U.S. servicemen killed while preparing for the most famous invasion in modern military history.
In the months leading up to the June 6th Allied invasion of Nazi occupied France the assault divisions went through an intensive training regimen. Needless to say there were many fatal mistakes.