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.
Last month we noted that the infamous war criminal Laszlo Csatary managed to escape justice and die at age 98 while awaiting trial for his crimes. However, this month things are looking up for those who support the rule of law. On September 3rd, German prosecutors announced that they are seeking to put 30 former Auschwitz death camp guards on trial for murder.
The 30 suspects all live in Germany, and their files have been referred to individual state level prosecutors who will decide whether to put them on trial.
On the morning of 7 May 1945 and as the Third Reich collapsed, soldiers of Combat Command A (CCA), U.S. 9th Armored Division mounted up their vehicles and resumed their advance eastward further into north-western Czechoslovakia. Temporarily attached to the 1st Infantry Division, CCA’s mission was to liberate the Czech city of Karlovy Vary. CCA’s task forces rolled forward against negligible German resistance. Nevertheless, after only a couple hours, higher headquarters radioed orders for CCA to halt its forces in place.
For those of you who don't know Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe is about to be published in the United Kingdom by Casemate. As such, Casemate recently interviewed author Steven D Mercatante regarding such topics as how he became interested in World War Two, whether he was nervous about challenging the conventional wisdom on the reasons for the outcome of the War in Europe, and more.
For instance, the interviewer asks "In contesting a widely accepted theory based upon the inevitability of Germany’s defeat, were you nervous of what the response would be
“I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as Fuhrer and Reichschancellor, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you, and those you have named to command me, obedience unto death, so help me God.”
This oath, taken by each member of the Waffen SS, summarized their unflinching obedience to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Although rightly condemned as a criminal organization following the Military Tribunal at Nuremburg, the Waffen SS, more specifically its Panzer Divisions, also ranked as among the most effective of any German military formations.
Antoni Dobrowolski, the oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp died today in Debno, Poland. Born on October 8, 1904 Dobrowolski was 108 years old when he died. In a world where today the word "hero" is almost casually applied Dobrowolski truly was one.
A teacher, Dobrowolski practiced his profession during the World War II German occupation of Poland. What made him so memorable was that he continued to teach in spite of the fact that the Germans had banned education of most Poles past four years of elementary school.
Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is a U.S. Federal holiday honoring the contributions of America's workers. In celebration of Labor Day 2012 we will take a look at one of the biggest and most spectacular industrial efforts in U.S. history: the Willow Run Manufacturing Plant.
During the massive rearmament drive ordered by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt prior to the U.S. entry into World War II aircraft production quickly rose to the forefront of manufacturing efforts - particularly the production of heavy bombers.
World War II era German submarine U-550, a Type IX C-40 U-boat, was found this past week roughly 70 miles off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. On April 16, 1944 U-550 discovered Allied convoy CU-2, which had departed from New York for the United Kingdom.
Straggling behind the convoy was the massive tanker SS Pan Pennsylvania, which U-550 promptly discovered and torpedoed; causing the tanker to begin to sink. The convoy's escorts, The US Navy's USS Gandy and Coast Guard's USS Joyce and Peterson, immediately pounced and sank the German U-boat after a brief engagement (the sinking U-boat
What follows are two complete interviews done with author Steven D. Mercatante. Whether you are interested in military history, the writing process, or just like learning about how one comes to write a book then you should find both of these interviews interesting. Each can be read in its entirety here, or you can follow the provided links to read the full interviews at their respective websites.
Most recent interview done on March 11, 2013 with Casemate - Publisher of U.K. hardcover edition of Why Germany Nearly Won: A New History of the Second World War in Europe with text as follows and