World War Two – Articles from Magazines & Newspapers – Podcasts


World War Two. Selected online articles from newspapers and popular magazines, and podcast episodes. All aspects of WW2 history; military strategy, diplomatic, home front, economic and living conditions, Nazis, causes of war, and more.

 

Go to Century Past History Resources for a directory of all pages.

First Food, Then Morality

Review essay of ‘The Bitter Taste of Victory: In the Ruins of the Reich’, by Lara Feigel

Gavin Jacobson, LA Review of Books 2016

The Casablanca Conference – Unconditional Surrender

In January, 1943, President Roosevelt embarked on a secret mission that would determine the course of World War Two. His destination – Casablanca, Morocco. His goal – to finalize Allied military plans with the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

Paul M. Sparrow, Blog of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum 2017

Churchill’s army: the wartime leader’s military track record examined

Here, writing for History Extra, the author of Churchill’s Army: 1939-1945 The Men, Machines and Organisation, investigates Churchill’s military achievements.

Stephen Bull, History Extra 2016

Soviet Women at War

Eager to prove themselves, women served the Red Army as nurses, medics, cooks and clerks—but also as snipers, surgeons, pilots and machine gunners.

Roger Reesem, History Net

Stalag 17-B

The prison that inspired a movie and a TV comedy was a dingy, fleabag patch of hell for the Allied “kriegies” who got stuck there.

Eric Ethier, America in WWII 2006


See our collected links to Online Collections of Military Maps


Adolf Burger, survivor of Nazi counterfeiting operation, dies at 99

Imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp north of Berlin, he was detailed to Operation Bernhard, a massive Nazi plot that relied on concentration camp inmates to forge British currency.

Emily Langer, Washington Post 2016

Army battle casualties and nonbattle deaths in World War II

The final statistical record of battle casualties and nonbattle deaths incurred during World War II by United States Army military personnel, including members of the Army Air Forces.

U S Adjutant General, Dept. of the Army 1953

World War II in Europe: Every Day

Animated YouTube map of Europe. This video shows the changing front lines of the European Theater of World War II every day from the German invasion of Poland to the surrender of Germany.

EmperorTigerstar, YouTube, 2013

Voting in the midst of Nazi terror

In March 1933, Germans voted for a new parliament – their last free election before all but the Nazi party was banned. Such extraordinary measures of terror preceded the election that there was little “free” about it.

Marc von Lupke-Schwarz, Deutsche Welle 2013

Why did the Second World War happen?

We can now say without equivocation that this was Hitler’s war, say historians. But could more intelligent diplomacy on Britain’s part have saved Europe from a devastating conflict? Laurence Rees examines the evidence and what caused the Second World War

Laurence Rees, History Extra 2019

Time for America to get over its WWII nostalgia

There’s nothing wrong with an interest in history. But the distorted and chauvinist way the war’s history has been presented in the popular imagination is a major problem. It’s long since time Americans adopted a more realistic and sensible attitude towards World War II.

Ryan Cooper, The Week 2018

Forgotten trials: the other side of Nuremberg

A landmark in the history of international criminal justice, the Nuremberg trials saw 24 major Nazi criminals tried as war criminals. It was only a tiny fragment of a whole system of largely forgotten war crimes trials organised by the Allies across Europe

A. T. Williams, History Extra 2018

The 11 most significant battles of the Second World War

Second World War battles took place across the globe; some lasting days, others months or even years. But which are the most significant? Here, Professor Evan Mawdsley from the University of Glasgow lists the battles that had the most impact upon later military and political events, and indeed the outcome of the war itself

Evan Mawdsley, History Extra 2019

The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan … Stalin Did

Have 70 years of nuclear policy been based on a lie?

Ward Wilson, Foreign Policy 2013

Unsung heroes: the brave dogs who fought in WWII

Would you send your pet to war? Reams of once secret documents have revealed the heroic deeds of the British dogs recruited in the fight against Adolf Hitler

Joe Shute, Telegraph 2015

Fresh-Water Flattops – The U.S. Navy’s Forgotten Great Lakes Aircraft Carriers

Two carriers, the USS Wolverine and the USS Sable, prepared thousands of naval aviators for the dangerous job of landing planes on pitching and rolling flight decks at sea.

Military History Now 2016

As rationing grows, so does the black market

You can’t buy shoes. You need a coupon book to buy a limited supply of groceries for the week. And your neighbor was arrested for black market oil books. All of this means one thing: rationing is here and it is here to stay, at least until the end of the war.

Kevin Huebler, World War 2.0

Who Voted for Hitler?

The Nazi rise to power in Germany was largely due to voters opting for what they perceived as their economic self-interest.

The Wilson Quarterly 2009

Why Did Operation Barbarossa Fail?

Operation Barbarossa was a huge undertaking that offered Hitler myriad opportunities. He believed that the defeat of the Soviet Union would force American attentions towards a then-unchecked Japan, in turn leaving an isolated Britain obliged to enter peace talks.

Simon Parkin, History Hit 2018

Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration

On 5 June 1934 the leading lawyers of Nazi Germany gathered at a meeting to plan what would become the Nuremberg Laws, the centrepiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi race regime. They debated whether they should bring Jim Crow segregation to the Third Reich. They engaged in detailed discussion of the statutes from the 30 US states that criminalised racially mixed marriages. They reviewed how the various US states determined who counted as a ‘Negro’ or a ‘Mongol’, and weighed whether they should adopt US techniques in their own approach to determining who counted as a Jew. Throughout the meeting the most ardent supporters of the US model were the most radical Nazis in the room.

James Q. Whitman, Aeon

Germany’s post-war justice ministry was infested with Nazis protecting former comrades, study reveals

Fully 77 per cent of senior ministry officials in 1957 were former members of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, a higher proportion even than during the 1933-45 Third Reich, the study found.

Frank Zeller, The Telegraph 2016

Thousands without a home: how will Washington respond?

With almost 400,000 people having moved to Washington since January of 1940, it is no wonder that there is no place for all of them to stay. More than 126,000 Americans in the nation’s capital will be homeless tonight.

Aitana Robinson, World War 2.0

High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history

German writer Norman Ohler’s astonishing account of methamphetamine addiction in the Third Reich changes what we know about the second world war

Rachel Cooke, The Guardian 2016

Higher Education Adapts to the War

Article written by 21st Century journalism student based on 1942 sources, in style used at that time.

Macarena Solis, World War 2.0

The Employment of Negro Troops

Ulysses Lee, Center of Military History, U.S. Army 2001

The Fake British Radio Show That Helped Defeat the Nazis

By spreading fake news and sensational rumors, intelligence officials leveraged “psychological judo” against the Nazis in World War II

Marc Wortman, Smithsonian 2017

Hitler Accuses Roosevelt, Jews in Speech at Berlin Conference

Article written by 21st Century journalism student based on 1942 sources, in style used at that time.

Anna Griffin, World War 2.0

In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

Review essay of ‘Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939’, by Volker Ullrich

Michiko Kakutani, NY Times 2016

House Votes Largest Appropriation Bill in History for War Efforts

Article written by 21st Century journalism student based on 1942 sources, in style used at that time.

Macarena Solis, World War 2.0

The Inside Story of How a Nazi Plot to Sabotage the U.S. War Effort Was Foiled

In late June 1942, two squads of German saboteurs landed on American beaches, ferried by U-boats to Long Island and Florida’s coast. The saboteurs had enough explosives for two years of mayhem, with immediate plans to blow up a critical railway bridge, disrupt New York’s water supply and spread terror.

David A. Taylor, Smithsonian 2017

Aggressive Action by Japan Imminent

Image of declassified Secret Memorandum. On November 28, 1941, the Commander of the Western Defense Command issued a memo (National Archives Identifier 41049939) to the Commanding Generals and Commandants on the West Coast, notifying them that negotiations with Japan had broken down and that “surprise aggressive action at any moment” was possible.

Tumblrweed Times 2017

Was Vichy France a Puppet Government or a Willing Nazi Collaborator?

The authoritarian government led by Marshal Pétain participated in Jewish expulsions and turned France into a quasi-police state

Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian 2017

What’s Fact and What’s Fiction in ‘Dunkirk’

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ is likely to be the most widely seen or read depiction of history released in 2017. So how does a British historian who teaches and writes about World War II rate it as history?

John Broich, Slate 2017

FBI Cracks Down on Draft Dodgers: 638 Arrested

The FBI’s nationwide arrest of draft violators reached its peak the night of May 15, as 638 men across 20 cities were seized from their homes over the weekend.

Seda Payton, World War 2.0

The USS Mason Battles U-Boats and Bigots

When the first African-Americans to crew a U.S. warship sailed into the war-tossed North Atlantic, they couldn’t have known it would take fifty years to gain honor in their own country

Mary Pat Kelly, American Heritage 2017

Unbreakable: The Navajo Code

The Japanese cracked every American combat code until an elite team of Marines joined the fight. One veteran tells the story of creating the Navajo code and proving its worth on Guadalcanal.

Chester Nez, HistoryNet

Universities in Nazi Germany

Universities in Nazi Germany were strictly controlled by the authorities. Senior university professors were hand-picked Nazis. The subjects that were taught in universities had to fit in to Nazi ideology and few in the universities were prepared to openly defy the regime.

History Learning Site

Japanese Bombard, Occupy Manila

Article written by 21st Century journalism student based on 1942 sources, in style used at that time.

Benjamin K., World War 2.0

How Europe Went To War In 1939

The decisions that led to war reflected the ambitions, rivalries, fears and anxieties that developed in the two decades that followed the end of the First World War. The European powers were willing to go to war to extend or protect what each nation saw – in dramatically different ways – as matters of vital interest, great power status, international prestige, and national survival.

Staff, Imperial War Museum 2018

How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler

Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe were not the American media’s finest hour

John Broich, Smithsonian 2016

How Millions Of Secret Silk Maps Helped POWs Escape Their Captors in WWII

The ingenious maps played a role in some 750 successful escapes.

Cara Giaimo, Atlas Obscura 2016

The Psychological Tricks used to help win World War Two

What did the British government learn from Mein Kampf? And how did they deal with the idea of ‘the enemy within’? Fiona Macdonald finds out from a new book about British propaganda.

Fiona Macdonald, BBC Culture 2016

The reluctant kamikaze of the Second World War

They’ve long been portrayed as brainwashed zealots lusting for destruction, death and glory. Yet, as Christopher Harding reveals, many kamikaze stepped into the cockpit for the final time wracked with fear, confusion and anger at their fate…

Christopher Harding, History Extra 2014

Four Pulitzer-winning takes on the rise of Adolf Hitler

The biggest running international story of the 1930s was the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. Today we share the work of four reporters who won Pulitzer Prizes for covering this story.

The Pulitzer Prizes

The Supermanagerial Reich

In Nazi Germany, economic history shows us a rapid change in the distribution of income and the emergence of a managerial elite who obtained an outsized share of national income, not just the now-proverbial one percent, but the top 0.1 percent. These were Nazi Germany’s equivalent to today’s so-called “supermanagers” (to use Thomas Piketty’s now-famous term). This parallel with today’s neoliberal society calls for a closer examination of the place of supermanagers in both regimes, with illuminating and unsettling implications.

Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Raphaële Chappe, L.A. Review of Books 2016

I survived the Warsaw ghetto. Here are the lessons I’d like to pass on

I’m 93, and, as extremism sweeps across Europe, I fear we are doomed to repeat the mistakes which created the Holocaust

Stanisław Aronson, The Guardian 2018

Merchant Marine: The war’s riskiest form of service

Article written by 21st Century journalism student based on 1942 sources, in style used at that time.

Gary Phillips, World War 2.0

Monopoly vs. the Nazis: How British intelligence used board games to thwart the Germans

In WW2, MI9 smuggled escape maps and supplies in care packages to troops in POW camps. Here’s how

Tristan Donovan, Salon 2017

Muslims in Hitler’s War

The Nazis believed that Islamic forces would prove crucial wartime allies. But, as David Motadel shows, the Muslim world was unwilling to be swayed by the Third Reich’s advances.

David Motadel, History Today 2015

The GIs’ favorite correspondent

This article, “The God-damned Infantry” was written by Ernie Pyle in May 1943, reporting from the American front lines in Tunisia.

Ernie Pyle, The Pulitzer Prizes 1944

Operation Barbarossa: 9 popular myths busted

The German invasion of the Soviet Union, launched on 22 June 1941, was the largest military operation in history. Borne out of Hitler’s desire to conquer the Soviet territories and defeat Bolshevism, Operation Barbarossa was part of Hitler’s racial fantasy of establishing ‘lebensraum’ (living space) in the east

Christer Bergström, History Extra 2019

Operation Downfall — The Campaign to Conquer Japan Would Have Dwarfed the D-Day Landings

Operation Downfall, the codename for the U.S.-led mission to capture the Japanese homeland in 1945 and 1946 never did take place. Had the invasion not been preempted by the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, almost all agree that the campaign would have stood as the bloodiest chapter of the Second World War, adding as much as an additional 10 million dead to the war’s already mind-boggling final body count of 50 million.

Editor, Military History Now 2013

This is the massive Nazi sneak attack at the Battle of the Bulge

On Dec. 16, 1944, Adolf Hitler launched an ambitious but badly planned counterattack meant to break the back of the Allied forces and allow the Nazis to dictate the peace terms that would end the war.

Logan Nye, We Are the Mighty 2016

The Nazis Fought the Original War on Christmas

As they rose to power, party leaders sought to redefine the holiday to suit their own political needs

Joe Perry, Smithsonian 2016

Patton: Loved, Hated, Appreciated

Genius. Jerk. Call him what you will, General George Patton managed to do the impossible while alienating peers and subordinates alike.

Richard Sassaman, America in WWII

“Only skeletons, not people”: diaries shed new light on siege of Leningrad

Academic says contemporary accounts of suffering are very different to stories survivors now tell of triumphant resistance

Dalya Alberge, The Guardian 2016

“A Comparative Study of America’s Entries into World War I and World War II”

Samantha Alisha Taylor, East Tennessee State University. Master’s Thesis

10 tips for surviving on the home front during the Second World War

During the Second World War millions of men bid farewell to their families in order to fight for their country. But how did those left behind cope?

Megan Westley, History Extra 2014

Raid In Ruins: Ploesti

Ploesti was Hitler’s oil supply, so it had to burn. In August 1943, 179 American bombers set out to do the job. A third of them would never return.

Jay A. Stout, America in WWII

1939: Was Britain ready for war?

Daniel Todman, History Extra 2009

8 Convicted Nazi War Criminals Who Got Off Easy

Graham Land, Made from History 2015

Raoul Wallenberg’s Quest to Save a Nation

Raoul Wallenberg was the scion of one of Sweden’s most powerful and richest families. He saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews in one of the greatest humanitarian feats in history.

Carlo D’Este, HistoryNet

Rudolf Hess’ Tale of Poison, Paranoia and Tragedy

In August 1945, an Army major named Douglas Kelley was handed one of the most sought-after assignments in his profession: examining the most prominent Nazis who’d been taken prisoner of war. It was at the Nuremberg prison that Kelley interviewed Rudolf Hess, beginning in October 1945. Hess was a special case.

Caren Chesler, Smithsonian 2014

Enough To Go Around

The Rationing system in the U.S. in WWII

by Carl Zebrowski, America in WWII 2006

The 10 Things You Need To Know About D-Day

Staff, Imperial War Museum 2018

The Will to Win: British Strategy, Propaganda, and Public Opinion 1940-1942

Professor Stephen Badsey, The Second World War Research Group 2017

Aleutian Islands: the U.S. Army campaigns of World War II

MacGarrigle, George L. , World War II Operational Documents

Auschwitz: the men behind the mass murder

Laurence Rees – who has interviewed war criminals from German, Russian and Japanese camps – explains why many of the former Nazi soldiers he met had a different mentality from the others…

Laurence Rees, History Extra 2015

Beyond the Hitler diaries

His mistaken authentication of the ‘Hitler diaries’ in 1983 shouldn’t overshadow the career of historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003), writes Sir John Elliott

Sir John Elliott, History Extra 2014

Russian Women Speak Up About the Front Lines and the Home Front

Review essay of ‘The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II’, by Svetlana Alexievich.

Dwight Garner, NY Times 2017

How a Nation Lost Its Mind

Review essay of ‘Selling Hitler: Propaganda and the Nazi Brand’, by Nicholas J. O’Shaughnessy.

Pete Candler, LA Review of Books 2016

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman Ohler reviews a crass and dangerously inaccurate account

Ohler’s book claims not only that German soldiers and civilians commonly used methamphetamine, but that Hitler was a drug addict

Richard J Evans, The Guardian 2016

Book review: Warsaw 1944: The Fateful Uprising by Alexandra Richie

Evan Mawdsley commends a powerful account exploring the causes and tragic consequences of the Warsaw Uprising

Evan Mawdsley, History Extra 2014

Culpable Negligence

A submarine commander tells why we almost lost the Pacific war.

Edward L. Beach, American Heritage 1980

Dambusters mission was economic disaster for Nazi Germany, pilot says

A retired fighter pilot has revealed the true extent of the damage the Dambusters mission caused to Nazi Germany, hailing it as an economic disaster for the Third Reich.

The Telegraph 2013

Dunkirk: how the Guardian reported the evacuation – archive, 1940

The full front page of that day’s Manchester Guardian.

Manchester Guardian, May 31, 1940

She Spies – Six Amazing Female Agents Who Helped the Allies Win WW2

Article about the book ‘Shadow Warriors of WWII: The Daring Women of the OSS and SOE’, by Gordon Thomas and Greg Lewis

Greg Lewis, Military History Now 2018

 

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