A Sherman tank from the Canadian 27th Tank Regiment rolls through the shattered, deserted streets of Caen after the Germans pulled out. The British/Canadians lost thousands of men and 300-500 tanks. The delay in securing Caen badly damaged Montgomery’s reputation among the Allies.

European Theater

The European Theater of Operations (ETO) during World War II is generally regarded as the area of military confrontation between the Allied powers and Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The European Theater encompassed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Eastern Front, Western Front, and Arctic areas of operation.

European Theater

The OSS and the Fourth Dimension of Warfare

By Bob Bergin

Major General John K. Singlaub was a young airborne lieutenant when he took up an offer from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to become engaged in “hazardous duty behind enemy lines.” Read more

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are working on a third HBO series about World War II. based on Donald L. Miller's acclaimed book, "Masters of the Air."

European Theater

HBO Working on “Band of Brothers In The Sky”

Thirteen years after completing “Band of Brothers” and four years after its companion series, “The Pacific,” Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are teaming up again for a new World War II HBO series: “Masters of the Air.” Read more

European Theater

Massacre at Hémevez

By Martin K.A. Morgan

When we remember the 13,000 paratroopers and glider infantrymen who contributed so significantly to the hard-won success of June 6, 1944, we tend to remember the stories that leave us with something to admire. Read more

European Theater

Vierville-sur-Mer: Cracking a Critical Draw at Omaha Beach

By Kevin M. Hymell

Shortly after 8 am on June 6, 1944, a German officer overlooking the Vierville-sur-Mer Draw on Omaha Beach reported that the soldiers defending the beach were repelling the Americans: “The enemy is in search of cover behind the coastal zone obstacles. Read more

European Theater

General Percy Hobart: Britain’s Genius Tanker

By Jon Diamond

An army that will be poised for victory requires élan, military intellect, a penchant for tactical and strategic innovation, and the zeal to use the most qualified individuals for training and leadership. Read more

European Theater

Bovington Tank Museum

By Ray Stevenson

If armored vehicles are your interest, the Tank Museum at Bovington Camp, Dorset, is your holy grail. This cavernous museum, measuring 50,000 square feet, holds the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of over 250 armored vehicles from 26 countries. Read more

European Theater

Heroic Stand at Hosingen

By Alice M. Flynn and Allyn Vannoy

First Lieutenant Tom Flynn and his fellow POWs remained locked inside their boxcar prison on a Frankfurt railroad siding on Christmas Eve, 1944, as air raid sirens wailed and bombs exploded throughout the city. Read more

European Theater

Commandos Crack Hitler’s Atlantic Wall

By Mark Simmon

After successfully fighting seasickness during the crossing of the English Channel, Lance-Corporal Ted Brooks of Number 48 (Royal Marine) Commando arrived on Nan Red Beach—which formed the left flank of Juno Beach—on the morning of June 6, 1944. Read more

European Theater

A Sergeant in the 12th Armored Division

By Kevin M. Hymel

Sergeant Carl Erickson sat in shock inside his Sherman tank as he watched emaciated people dressed in tattered, striped suits smile and feebly wave to him and his fellow tankers. Read more

Marines pause on one of the invasion beaches on Guam in July 1944. An amphibious tracked vehicle is seen at left, while soldiers take up positions and prepare to advance inland.

European Theater

Liberating Guam

By David H. Lippman

Above all, the island was defendable. From Ritidian Point in the north to the extreme southern coastline, Guam is 34 miles long, made in an irregular shape covering 228 square miles, the largest of all Pacific islands between Japan and New Guinea. Read more

European Theater

Voices of the Bulge, Part II

By Michael Collins & Martin King

In the first installment, a large German force made a surprise counteroffensive against American positons along the Belgian-German border—an operation that became known in the West as “the Battle of the Bulge.” Read more

European Theater

Voices of the Bulge, Part I

By Michael Collins & Martin King

BACKSTORY: Unternehmen Wacht-am-Rhein (Operation Watch on the Rhine), better known in the West as the Battle of the Bulge, had its beginnings following the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life by Colonel Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and a group of other high-level plotters who felt that their Führer was not only leading Germany to defeat but also its doom, and thus had to be eliminated. Read more

European Theater

The Volkssturm: Last-Ditch Militia of the Third Reich

By Blaine Taylor

On October 18, 1944—the 131st anniversary of the Battle of the Nations’ victory over Napoleon in 1813—Reichsführer-SS (National Leader) Heinrich Himmler stepped up to a microphone to make a national radio address announcing the formation of the Nazi Party-controlled Volkssturm, or People’s Militia. Read more

An American machine gunner sprints for cover while carrying his Browning .30-caliber machine gun as an ammunition carrier follows, his rifle slung across his back. This photo was taken in the French arrondissement of Sarreguemines at the height of the fighting in the Colmar Pocket during early February 1945.

European Theater

The Path of Heroism

By Stephen J. Ochs, PHD

On the morning of April 18, 1945, amid street fighting in rubble-strewn Nuremberg, Germany, 20-year-old U.S. Read more

European Theater

Flying For the Luftwaffe

By Jack Hildebrandt wih M.M. Harris

It was November 1, 1944. I, Feldwebel (Technical Sergeant) Gustav Jack Lothar Carl Herbert Julius Hans Jergen Hildebrandt von Lengerke (aka “Jack” Hildebrandt), had just completed a successful strafing run against British General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery’s advancing army along the southern end of the Dutch-Belgian border. Read more