Research, books and book reviews, news
By DONALD NIJBOER
From Zenith Press: "Climb inside the cockpits of the world's most famous military aircraft from World War I, World War II to the present day! What was it like to sit in the pilot's seat and take control of a P-51 Mustang in World War II? What about an F-14 Tomcat at the height of the Cold War? Or a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor today? The cockpits of these fighter and bomber aircraft are revealed in Fighting Cockpits."
▪ Air War: 1939-1945
▪ British Forces and The Battle of Britain
▪ Bio: Leaders and Commanders
▪ Books and Book Reviews
▪ D-Day, Normandy and Europe
▪ War on the Eastern Front
▪ Erwin Leydekkers' WWII Photos
▪ The First World War
▪ The Holocaust
▪ The Pacific and China-Burma-India
▪ Victory at Sea: U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine
▪ Women's Contribution in World War II
By MARTIN K.A. MORGAN
From Zenith Press: "Experience the all-important Normandy invasion through some of D-Day's most incredible photographs." Book review »
By member WAYNE VANSANT
From Zenith Press: "In Battle of the Bulge, author and artist Wayne Vansant brings readers into the frozen foxholes, haunting forests, and devastated villages of the Ardennes during that freezing cold winter.
By Benjamin Carter Hett
From Oxford University Press: "A powerful new look at the Reichstag fire.... Based on years of archival and scholarly research, the book reconstructs the event in gripping detail."
By P.R. REID
From Zenith Press: The Germans thought escape was impossible. These men proved them wrong. Colditz Castle, located near Leipzig Germany, was the last stop for select Allied prisoners during World War II. It was here, a reportedly impregnable fortress, that the Germans sent all the prisoners who escaped from other prisons.
By MICHAEL SMITH
From Aurum Press: "For Winston Churchill the men and women at Bletchley Park were 'the geese the laid the golden eggs', providing important intelligence that led to the Allied victory in the Second World War.
By member RANDALL HANSEN
From Oxford University Press: "Fills a crucial niche in the history of WWII resistance, focusing on disobedience after Valkyrie, which has typically been overlooked.... Based on extensive archival research in three languages.... Considers a wide range of resistance figures, including officers, soldiers, and citizens."
By Harry Yeide
From Zenith Press: "He is remembered as an officer with few equals. A leader who attained legendary status while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness."
By member GAVIN MORTIMER
From Zenith Press: "In The First Eagles: The Fearless American Aces Who Flew with the RAF in World War I, award-winning historian Gavin Mortimer engagingly profiles the restless, determined American aviators who grew tired of waiting for the their country to establish an aerial military force during World War I."
By CORY GRAFF
From Zenith Press: "Do you want to get an up-close look at some of the rarest airplanes in the world? ... In deluxe hard-back volumes, Flying Warbirds brings U.S., British, German, Russian and Japanese fighting planes from the 1930s and 1940s together, complete with detailed photographs to delight every aeronautics connoisseur."
By COLIN HEATON & ANNE-MARIE LEWIS
From Zenith Press: "When The German Aces Speak published in 2011, Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine welcomed Colin Heaton’s and Anne- Marie Lewis’s masterful command of interview-based narrative, writing,”
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E U R O P E A N T H E A T E R O F O P E R A T I O N S
2 May 1945: Berlin, Germany: The Battle of Berlin ends » Only fitting that the final major battle of the ETO in World War II would also prove to be the costliest. Soviet and Polish forces numbered 2.5 million as compared to 767 thousand German troops. Eisenhower determined that western Allied involvement was not needed due to the increased chances of friendly fire would increase casualties as the Allies would draw closer to Soviet forces. Fighting would continue however, as German forces fought their way westward in order to surrender to Allied Forces rather than surrender to Soviet troops.
7 May 1945 Rheims, France: Germany signs the Instrument of Surrender » The armistice was signed on 7 May and formally ratified on 8 May 1945 which ended the War in Europe. More than one million people celebrated in the streets of cities around the world. President Harry Truman would dedicate the victory to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who would pass away just a month previous on 12 April in Warm Springs, Georgia. Overall, the number of lives lost during WWII is staggering: 61 million from the Allied nations and 12 million from the Axis Powers, military and civilian included.
18 May 1944: Cassino, Italy: Allied Forces complete victory at Monte Cassino » The four battles involved the U.S., U.K., Canada, Poland, New Zealand and others against the German Army and air forces. Allied forces reached a strength of twenty divisions, but the four-month long battle would see a huge loss of Allied lives and its overall battle efficiencies remain in debate by historians. The ancient abbey at Monte Cassino was destroyed from Allied bombing, of which its necessity is still debated. More controversy surrounded the competition between British and American commanders to be the first to liberate Rome after the Battle of Anzio.
P A C I F I C T H E A T E R O F O P E R A T I O N S
4 May 1942: Coral Sea: Battle of the Coral Sea » Widely regarded as the pivotal naval battle which helped to turn the tide of the war in the Pacific, the Battle of the Coral Sea was viewed as a victory by Japan in terms of US ships sunk. This victory by Japan may have been seen as a tactical victory, however in terms of overall strategy the Battle of the Coral Sea was a strategic victory by the Allied Forces. The Battle of Midway which was fought one month later ended in victory for the Allies due to the weakening in Japanese naval forces in the Coral Sea. These two naval battles are regarded as turning the tide for the Allies in the Pacific.
6 May 1942: Corregidor, Philippines: The Fall of Corregidor » In what would become one of the more controversial topics from the Pacific Theatre was the fall and surrender of Corregidor Island and the Philippines. The years of discussion by historians centered around the medal of honor awarded General Douglas MacArthur for his defense of the Philippines. MacArthur was ordered to escape the Philippines by boat to Austrailia, leaving Lt. General Jonathan Wainwright to surrender to the Japanese.
11 May 1943: Attu Island, Alaska: The Battle of Attu Island, Alaska » US and Canadian forces combined to retake the Island of Attu in the Alaskan Aleutian Island chain. Debate among historians of World War II would ask why Japan felt the need to take such inhospitable land in Alaska. The only logical answer has been its proximity to the US mainland as well as extending its immense Pacific defense perimeter. The battle would see one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific War. The Allies would ultimately prevail.
29 May 1945: Shuri Castle, Okinawa: The Conquest of Shuri Castle » During the Battle of Okinawa, the conquest of Shuri Castle by the US Marine and Army forces was considered both a strategic win and psychological blow to the occupying Japanese forces in May of 1945. The battle would see Marine Major General Pedro del Valle earn the Distinguished Service Medal and Army General Simon Buckner Jr. lost to Japanese artillery fire on 18 June 1945.
C H I N A - B U R M A - I N D I A T H E A T E R
4 May 1942: Republic of China: The Flying Tigers at Kunming » The 1st AVG, or American Volunteer Group also known as the "Flying Tigers" would see action in China from December 1941 to July 1942. Chinese ground forces were able to hold off the Japanese 56th Division's drive to Kunming with air support from the AVG, or "Flying Tigers". Largely comprised of American fighter pilots, these "volunteers" were key in successes over the Japanese Air Force during May of 1942. Actual numbers are disputed of enemy aircraft destroyed by the Flying Tigers, but even with conservative numbers used the AVG had superior ratios of air victories.
8 May 1944: Burma, Southeast Asia: Merrill's Marauders take Myitkyina » Merrill's Marauders, fought in Burma against the Japanese forces and were the Army's first Ranger unit. Led by Major General Frank Merrill, the unit was made up of experienced jungle fighters exclusively. In March and subsequent months of 1944 while vastly outnumbered, the unit advanced 750 miles through some of the harshest jungle terrain in the world.
17 May 1944: Myitkyina, Burma: General Joseph Stilwell Four-star General Joseph Stilwell was best known for his service in the China and Burma Theatre during World War II. He had earned the nicknames "Uncle Joe" and "Vinegar Joe" for his tough personality and his caring attitude for the enlisted men in his command. His popularity would be tested in Burma operations and the Battle of Myitkyina.