Roosevelt with MacArthur, Halsey and Nimitz

The U.S. plan for World War II initially was to defeat Japan first and then devote itself to the European theater. During their offensive against the Japanese, the goal of the U.S. was to establish a series of land basses protected by overlapping zones of air control and island hop across the Central Pacific to Japan. In the meantime British forces advanced on the Japanese from Burma and India and an effort was made to arm Chinese nationalists to fight the Japanese in China.

With the exception of a few major sea battles such as Coral Sea and Midway and the Solomon Island campaign, there was relatively little action in the two years that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor. During that time Japan dug itself in and the U.S. poured its resources into arming itself and preparing for a major offensive against the Japanese.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. William Halsey worked together driving towards the Philippines from New Guinea and islands in the South Pacific while Adm. Chester Nimitz island hopped across the Central Pacific. There was bitter rivalry over strategy between MacArthur and Nimitz. Some historians argue that the disputes were so large that they could be described as an abyss.

Admiral Nimitz took his forces from Hawaii to Tarawa and Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, then hopped to Guam, where offensives were mounted against Palau, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Admiral Halsey and General MacArthur directed their forces from Guadalcanal in the French Polynesia to Hollandia in New Guinea to Morotai in Indonesia and finally to the Philippines. MacArthur staged 87 amphibious landings, leaping from one weak point the next, largely bypassing the Japanese strongholds, cutting their communications and letting them collapse.

American Supply Lines and Military Production

loading ships

Most of the American ships that were sunk in the Pearl Harbor attack were out-of-date World War I-era battleships. One admiral said, "The Japanese only destroyed a lot of hardware. In a sense they did us a favor." The aircraft carriers and faster battleships that would replace them were already under construction in the United States. By the end of World War II all the Japanese ships that had taken part in the Pearl Harbor attack were sunk or destroyed.

Early in the 20th century Sir Edward Grey called the U.S. "a giant boiler: once the fire is lighted under it there is no limit to the power it can generate." By the onset of the Normandy invasion some 11 million American were in military uniform including 2 million troops assigned to 90 combat divisions. American industry was producing material an astounding pace.

After the Battle of Coral Sea, U.S. industrial productive powers began to kick in to high gear. Between 1941 and 1944 the U.S. launched 21 fleet carriers (compared to five for Japan). American convoys proceeded relatively undisturbed across the Pacific, supplied by a fleet train which allowed them stay at sea for weeks at a time. In the meantime American submarines sunk half of Japan's merchant fleet and two-thirds of it tankers. [Source: "History of Warfare" by John Keegan, Vintage Books]

Gen. Curtis Le May said, "the entire [American] population got into the act and worked to make those airplanes and munitions of war...We knew we were going to kill a lot of women and had to be done."

U.S. submarines were key to disrupting Japan’s supply lines. Thirty-three Japanese ships were lost or damaged in and around Palau alone in 1944. A U.S. submarine operating north of Palau fired a torpedo and sank itself on March 26, 1944. The only survivor said the submarine surfaced, shot two torpedoes at a at Japanese cargo ship, and one of the torpedoes circled around and sunk the sub.

Evan Thomas wrote in the Washington Post: “The Japanese built huge, long-range submarines but foolishly failed to use them to sink commercial ships. Instead, the Imperial Navy subs went after warships, with only occasional success. In Japan’s strict militaristic culture, it was considered more manly and heroic to target battleships and aircraft carriers than tankers and cargo ships. Culture, as much as material strength, played a critical role in the Allied victory. With their free and open societies, the Allies were able to adapt to the exigencies of war more quickly and cleverly than their fascist foes. [Source: Evan Thomas, Washington Post, February 01, 2013]

Cargo Ship Sunk by Japanese Submarine

October 1944, the S.S. John A. Johnson, a cargo ship carrying 7,000 tons of military supplies including ammunition and explosives and ship carries a crew of 41 Merchant Marine, 28 Navy armed guards and one Army officer in charge of the cargo, set off from San Francisco with no escort or convoy, traveling at an average speed of 9 knots. At 9:10pm on October 29, after she'd completed a third of her journey, she was struck by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. The explosion ripped trucks on deck from their moorings. A few seconds later a huge explosion occurred in the rear from a second torpedo, sinking the ship. Afterwards the Japanese submarine surfaced and sprayed the crew in lifeboats with machine gun fire for four hours. [Source: Eyewitness to; the National Archives]

Harold L. Clark, a member of the crew of the S.S. John A. Johnson, wrote: "I was on watch on the starboard wing of the bridge. At about 9:10 (pm), I spotted wake in the water, about four hundred to four hundred and fifty yards away from the ship. I reported wake to the bridge over phone. Missing man (Cloyd) was on the phone at bridge. Torpedo hit ship, knocking me some fifteen feet away and water and oil came down all over me. General Quarters was sounded. [Ibid]

Lieutenant Yates came up and told me to help man the number #6 gun. I proceeded to the number #6 gun, and there sighted explosion just astern of ship. It looked like another torpedo. Ship began to break in two. Abandon ship signal sounded on the whistle. I proceeded to boat deck, port side, where a raft had been tripped. I jumped over and got on to the raft. We drifted around the stern of the ship. Ship was now in two separate sections. We paddled away from the bow of the ship. [Ibid]

We saw object about three hundred feet away from us. We signaled object thinking it was another raft and it returned the signal. It came to the surface and turned out to be the submarine, and it started coming toward us. About one hundred and fifty feet from us, submarine machine-gunned us. I could see tracers going over our heads. We jumped into water. Submarine passed by about one hundred and fifty feet. We swam back and got on the raft. Submarine circled and came back at us again.

We dove into the water again. This time submarine hit the raft, and as it passed by they fired again with machine gun, tracers hitting water near me. Submarine was from three hundred to four hundred feet long., with stepped up conning tower and clipper type bow. Five American flags were painted on port side of the bow. Men on the submarine were yelling 'Bonzi' and cursing at us.

Submarine had two guns one forward and one aft. First shot fired after ramming was a single shot by pistol. I saw one machine gun aft of coning tower on bridge, and saw man at gun. There were approximately fifteen men on the bridge. Submarine passed on and made a circle about one half mile from us. It came at us again and passed about two hundred feet, but did not bother us. After submarine left we saw one boat; tried to get to it, but didn't make it.

About one half hour later, submarine shelled both portions of ship. Both sections caught fire. Two or three hours after ship caught fire, forward portion of ship blew up. About fifteen minutes before the explosion occurred, we sighted first plane. After explosion, there were two planes. We signaled one of the planes, and plane answered.Planes came over occasionally. At dawn we could still see the glow of the burning ship. At daylight we signaled number #3 boat, which came alongside and tied up to our raft."

Mel Collins, the Swimming Rescuer and Inspiration for Navy Seals

George Bush in the ockpit of TBM Avenger

Brian T. Murphy wrote: “During World War II, Destroyers, “tin cans” as they are called, were the primary rescue vessels for saving downed aircraft carrier pilots. Deployed 2000 yards behind a carrier during flight operations, they steamed at full speed when an aircraft crashed into the sea then came to a full stop and launched a whaleboat. More often than not the pilot and crew, trapped in the doomed plane, would sink beneath the waves before they could be saved. [Source: Brian T. Murphy, The American Legion,]

“The USS Franks, a Fletcher class destroyer, was part of the 5th Fleet. During the Tarawa campaign, an atoll in the central Pacific, they were ordered to attempt a rescue of three Navy pilots that had been downed by enemy gun fire in their Grumman Avenger, the same type of torpedo bomber that George H.W. Bush was shot down in while attacking the Japanese Island of Chichi Jima. Winds howling, the sea was particularly heavy, rouge waves tossing the Franks every which way. The Navy plane began to slip below the surface, its aviators trapped inside. Rather than standby during a painfully slow launch of the whaleboat, Mel Collins, a 19-year old radar man aboard the Franks from Ottumwa, Iowa, implored the captain to allow him to attempt a swimming rescue all the while stripping down as the skipper ruminated over the notion. The captain went along with the bold move but warned Mel that if they came under enemy attack they would have to cut his life line and take evasive action in an attempt to save the 300 men aboard the Franks; adding that he’d try to come back for him if he could. “Fat chance,” Mel thought but tied a line around his waist anyway, took the knife that one of his shipmates offered to fight of sharks and dove overboard into the frigid waters.

“That night below decks Mel made the following entry in his diary, redefining forever the way downed pilots were rescued in the open sea: “Avenger goes down after bombing. Waves plenty big - ship is really rolling. Too rough to go after them in a boat so officer let me rescue them. Tied a rope around my waist and dove off forecastle and swam to the plane – exhausted - saw to one who was going down. I towed him in and put him in a stretcher that was over the side of the ship then went and got other two who were ‘OK’. All three pilots saved. Officer congratulated me afterwards – I was the big boy for a couple of days. The boys I saved thanked me and said I got there just in time.”

George Bush rescued by a submarine

“Mel was from a poor family, a “really poor” family; eight kids and no father. He grew up during the Depression and there was little to eat. The local Y.M.C.A became his home away from home and buddies that were better off shared their lunches with him. It was at the Y.M.C.A. that Mel developed into a well-rounded athlete. An outstanding swimmer, they called him a squid, later nicknaming him “squib” – no one knows why the change. It was his swimming ability honed at the “Y” that empowered him to rescue pilots in all sorts of weather – even typhoons. In spite of Mel’s extraordinary athleticism, not all rescue attempts had happy endings as evidenced in his diary entry of January 10: “Rescued pilot from an Avenger. Only one got out. Lost other two. Bad weather; swells like mountains – 50 feet.”

Still, Mel enjoyed his fair-share of success: “Feb 17. After raids on Tokyo one fighter from a Hellcat crashed . . . I rescued him in really cold water and also wind that was so bad that all hands were wearing fur lined coats and pants. Water really cold. After I got back aboard the captain told all hands, ‘hats off to Collins.’ A cruiser sent us a message and said ‘congratulations on fast rescue. If all ships used your method there would be more pilots alive today’. Quite a compliment. Sent our method of swimming rescue to Navy Department also to all ships in the fleet.”

“Unbeknownst to each other, Roy Boehm, a hard hat diver aboard another destroyer participated in many of the same campaigns that Mel fought in. Almost twenty years later, in 1960, Roy would develop, design, and implement what would become the US Navy commando organization that we know today as the SEALs.

Developing the Swimming Rescue Technique

Brian T. Murphy wrote: “With the success of Mel’s first rescue, the crew of the USS Franks worked feverishly to refine the technique. Rigged for a mid-ship rescue, Mel was eventually outfitted with a leather belt that had a “D” ring sewn into the back of it so that a life-line could easily be attached. There was a sheath for a knife to fight off sharks while sharp shooters stood watch at the rail whenever Mel dove in, looking for tell-tail fins of swarming sharks drawn by blood from bleeding pilots and cuts from razor-sharp barnacles on the ship’s hull. [Source: Brian T. Murphy, The American Legion,]

Net rescue in 1943

In addition to occasional strafing by enemy pilots while exposed in the open sea, Mel dealt with other hazards as he continued to break new ground. On one occasion a Corsair returning from a strike crashed nearby and Mel was sent in after the pilot. The Franks still had headway as it approached the plane so the captain put the engines full speed astern (reverse) with Mel in the water. Mel wrote: “I was drawn under the water by the screws . . . the guys holding my line said it tangled in the guard rail and that saved me from the screws – they thought the line was going to break but it didn’t. I finally came to the surface after taking a lot of water then . . . it took me under again, rolling me like a top. I thought sure I was a goner. Air all gone, I had strength for one more stroke and thank God I broke to the surface. I got some air and tried to wave but they didn’t see me and under I went again. Nothing I could do. Finally the guys hollered to the captain to stop. I was weak and ready to drown . . . never got to the pilot.”

“A swimming rescue required that Mel dive fifteen feet from the deck of the Franks into the open sea then battle cresting waves to reach the downed aircraft – sometimes a hundred yards away – before it sank. If he was successful he was towed back carrying the dead weight of an unconscious pilot and flight gear. A stretcher was lowered to water level with 5” powder casings attached to the side that allowed it to float – a device contrived by an engineer aboard the Franks. Once the pilot was inside the stretcher he was hauled aboard. Mel was always last, winched up in a boatswain’s chair. Although it was war-time, rescues became a game for Mel and the crew of the Franks as they timed each attempt, always trying to beat their best effort. A successful rescue was occasion for rejoicing. It meant that once the carrier had received its pilot back aboard, twenty gallons of ice cream would be sent over to the crew of the Franks – the only ice cream they had when they were at sea.”

Recognition of the Mel Collins’ Swimming Rescue

Brian T. Murphy wrote: “The USS Franks became the first destroyer to use a swimmer to rescue downed pilots. News traveled fast and it wasn’t long before all the carriers were requesting the Franks to watch over their pilots. January found the Franks in the Kwajalein Islands where Mel’s diary describes the 800 ships that were assembled; then Guadalcanal in March; Bougainville; June and July in Guam and finally Leyte Gulf during October of 1944 – MacArthur’s return to the Philippines. The Franks earned nine battle stars before the War’s end and Mel had performed his heroic swimming rescue over and over; an extraordinary feat. Mel received the Bronze Star Award and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor.” [Source: Brian T. Murphy, The American Legion,]

“Besides the gratitude of pilots, it is especially sweet when exploits are memorialized by one that has the attention of a grateful nation. In 1945 Ernie Pyle watched the rescue of his good friend Jimmy Van Fleet, an F6F pilot, from the decks of the aircraft carrier USS Cabot.He described what he saw in his book The Last Chapter: . . . Jimmy had hardly hit the water when we saw (a) destroyer heel over in a swath-cutting turn. They had been watching the takeoffs through their glasses, and had seen him go over. Our own ship, of course, had to keep going straight ahead.

“The destroyer had Jimmy aboard in just seven minutes. They didn’t put over a boat for him, but instead sent a swimmer out with a line tied around his waist. He got there just in time; Jimmy passed out in his arms. . . Destroyers keep a box score . . . and try to set a new record. Their record rescue was three minutes . . . This particular destroyer had fished out so many pilots that they had a scroll already printed up, and all they had to do was fill in the name . . . We got Jimmy aboard and then sent twenty gallons of ice cream back across in the chair . . . The swimmer(s) were Seaman First Class Franklin Calloway . . . and . . . Radarman Third Class Melvin Collins of Ottumwa, Iowa.”

American Soldiers, Fear and Poor Treatment of Blacks

As part of their training some 18- and 19-year-old recruits were given a brochure that read: "Before going into battle, you'll be frightened at the uncertainty, at the thought of being killed...Will it hurt? Will you know what to do? If you say you're not scared you'll be a cocky fool. Don't let anyone tell you you're a coward if you admit to being scared."

In a study involving 2,095 combat veterans, the participant were asked how they reacted to fear of combat: ten percent said they urinated in their pants, 21 percent lost control of their bowels, 27 percent vomited, 45 percent felt stiffness, 49 percent felt faint or weak, 56 had cold sweats, 55 percent were sick to their stomach, 60 percent shook and trembled, 60 percent had a sinking feeling in their stomach, 84 percent experienced violent pounding of the heart.

Evelio Grillo was one of the African-American that helped build the Stilwell Road. He told the Los Angeles Times he had to suffer the indignities of racial segregation on the 58-day passage to India aboard the Santa Clara, where the only comforts were reserved for the white officers. Grillo remembers most of them as vulgar racists, and wrote in his memoir, "Black Cuban, Black American," that the road builders assumed that the white men giving them orders in Southern drawls had been selected because they were "deemed to know how to handle black men."

The black GIs had to bunk in the ship's windowless, foul-smelling hold, stewing in the "stench cooked up by the sweat, the farts and the vomit of 200 men," he recalled in the memoir. "White troops had fresh water for showering," Grillo continued. "Black troops had to shower with sea water. White troops had the ample stern of the ship to lounge during the day. Black troops were consigned to the narrow bow, so loaded with gear that it was difficult to find comfortable resting places."

Loose Lips Sink Ships

In an effort to prevent inadvertent disclosure of important information to the enemy, each soldier that entered a battle area was given a document that read: “WRITING HOME. THINK! Where does the enemy get his information -- information that can put you, and has put your comrades, adrift on an open sea: information that has lost battles and can lose more, unless you personally, vigilantly, perform your duty in SAFEGUARDING MILITARY INFORMATION” [Source: U.S. Government; Eyewitness to]

THERE ARE TEN PROHIBITED SUBJECTS 1. Don't write military information of Army units -- their location, strength,, materiel, or equipment. 2. Don't write of military installations. 3. Don't write of transportation facilities. 4. Don't write of convoys, their routes, ports (including ports of embarkation and disembarkation), time en route, naval protection, or war incidents occurring en route. 5. Don't disclose movements of ships, naval or merchant, troops, or aircraft. 6. Don't mention plans and forecasts or orders for future operations, whether known or just your guess. 7. Don't write about the effect of enemy operations.8. Don't tell of any casualty until released by proper authority (The Adjutant General) and then only by using the full name of the casualty. 9. Don't attempt to formulate or use a code system, cipher, or shorthand, or any other means to conceal the true meaning of your letter. Violations of this regulation will result in severe punishment. 10. Don't give your location in any way except as authorized by proper authority. Be sure nothing you write about discloses a more specific location than the one authorized.

SILENCE MEANS SECURITY -- If violation of protective measures is serious within written communications it is disastrous in conversations. Protect your conversation as you do your letters, and be even more careful. A harmful letter can be nullified by censorship; loose talk is direct delivery to the enemy. If you come home during war your lips must remain sealed and your written hand must be guided by self-imposed censorship. This takes guts. Have you got them or do you want your buddies and your country to pay the price for your showing off. You've faced the battle front; its little enough to ask you to face this 'home front.'

CAPTURE Most enemy intelligence comes from prisoners. If captured, you are required to give only three facts: YOUR NAME, YOUR GRADE, YOUR ARMY SERIAL NUMBER. Don't talk, don't try to fake stories and use every effort to destroy all papers. When you are going into an area where capture is possible, carry only essential papers and plan to destroy them prior to capture if possible. Do not carry personal letters on your person; they tell much about you, and the envelope has on it your unit and organization. BE SENSIBLE; USE YOUR HEAD.

Codes, Code Breaking and the Navajo Code Talkers

Navaho code talker on right

Just as the British broke the German Enigma coding device, the Americans broke the Japanese cipher machine which was code-named "Purple." The Japanese codes were broken early in the war, before the attack at Pearl Harbor. The codebreaking and translation process, known as "Magic," was tedious and time-consuming. [Source: Bruce Watson, Smithsonian]

The hard-drinking cryptographer H.O. Yardley was honored for breaking Japanese diplomatic codes in the 1920s. He later sold his skills to the Japanese. Some say he helped give the Japanese the ability to mount the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor.

Some 420 Navajos served as code talkers and radiomen in the Pacific during World War II. The Japanese never cracked the code. "If it wasn't for the Navajo code there would have been a lot more casualties," a Navajo radioman told National Geographic. More than 3,000 Navajos served in World War II in duties other than code taking. [Source: National Geographic, October, 1995]

The first 29 code talkers created the code and developed a dictionary with Navajo words for military terms. The were placed on duty in May, 1942. Using Navajo words that stood for letters in the English alphabet, the Navajo radio men spelled out messages that often incorporated Navajo words like “gini” ("chicken hawk") for dive bomber; “callo” ("shark") for destroyer; “jaysho” ("buzzard") for bombers; “ayeshi” ("eggs") for bombs; “bikehhe” ("war chief") for commanding officer; “haselishnih” ("mud-clan") for platoon; and “nimasii” ("potato") for hand grenade. When Mount Suribachi was captured on Iwo Jima, the Navajos sent the message “Dive binaa naadzii” ("the eye of the sheep has healed").

It is not exactly clear who came up with the idea of using Native Americans to use their languages to relay coded messages. Some thinks it dates back to World War I when a U.S. intelligence officer listened in on a conversation by two native Americans and was unable to understand a word they were saying and realized the importance of their languages as codes. The idea to use Navajos was the idea of one Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary who was raised on a Navajo reservation.

Generally unrelated to any Asian or European language, Navajo is an Athapaskan language with complicated syntax and tonal qualities. At the time of World War II, Navajo was an oral language with no alphabet or symbols. The only non-Navajo who were familiar with the language were anthropologists and linguists, none of them Japanese. This suited the military just fine. No code books were made

The Navajo Code takers were first used with some skepticism by officers at Guadalcanal but later proved indispensable in Saipan, New Britain, Guam and Pelilui. One officer later said, "Without the Navajos the marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.

Launch of Modern Special Forces

CIA painting of Kachin rangers

D. M. Giangreco wrote in American Heritage magazine, “Modern Special Forces, can be traced directly to organizations formed during World War II. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the American Army was strictly a conventional force. Highly trained, specialized units like those of the British Special Air Service had to be built from scratch, with no established doctrine, let alone such things as field manuals, to help them. The crush of events inexorably channeled the evolution of American special operations into two general categories: raids behind enemy lines by large battalion- or brigade-sized units and “unconventional warfare” performed by small, specialized teams that, like the Swamp Fox, either gathered intelligence or organized guerrilla forces in enemy territory. [Source: D. M. Giangreco, American Heritage magazine, November/December 2002]

Particularly effective raiding units included the 5307th Composite Group (Provisional), better known as Merrill’s Marauders; a joint U.S.-Canadian brigade called the 1st Special Service Force; the 1st Ranger Battalion, which scaled the sheer cliffs at Pointe du Hoc during the Normandy invasion; and the Alamo Scouts, who aided the Rangers in the liberation of more than 500 POWs from a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines. As for the unconventional warfare category, it was the exclusive province of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), organized 60 years ago, in 1942.

Burmese tribesmen formed into the Kachin Rangers by OSS Detachment 101 protected the flanks of Merrill’s Marauders and conducted devastating raids and ambushes that peaked during the Japanese retreat from northern Burma. They ultimately killed 5,428 Japanese soldiers at the cost of only 22 Americans and 184 Kachins dead. (How was such an exact figure obtained? In part from counting Japanese corpses on the battlefields, but also from the long bamboo tubes filled with ears that the tribesmen would bring in after their attacks on isolated Japanese patrols. The OSS soldiers spent months trying to get the Kachins to abandon the practice, but it was never fully curbed.)

World War II Spies

Richard Sorge

One of the most famous spies during World War II was a beautiful young woman named Banda Macleod, who allegedly but unlikely was the daughter of Mati Hari, the famous World War I spy. A young socialite who had worked as a schoolteacher, Banda befriended several high-level Japanese soldiers in Indonesia, and gave the Allies important information pertaining to Battle of Guadalcanal and other important battles. After the war she worked for the Indonesian underground in its struggle against the Dutch and spied for the U.S. in Communist China and North Korea, where she predicted the invasion of South Korea and was eventually executed for espionage.

Richard Sorge, a German who became a Communist and moved to Russia after World War I, established spy networks in Germany, China and Japan. Posing as a Nazi party member and journalist in Tokyo, he penetrated the Japanese high command and informed Stalin of the date that Hitler would invade the Soviet Union (Stalin ignored him and was caught unprepared with catastrophic results).

Sorge also learned the date for the Pearl Harbor attack. He informed his Communist bosses that Japan had no plans to invade the Soviet Union. As result 250,000 Soviet soldiers stationed near Japan in Siberia were transferred to the Western front to fight against the Nazis, a move that helped changes the course of the war. The Japanese eventually found out that Sorge was a spy, and had him killed.

See Pearl Harbor

Disease in World War II

US Marines with malaria in Guadalcanal

In Asia and the Pacific malaria killed five times as many people as combat. At one point two thirds of the men fighting in the southern Pacific had malaria. In 1942, an entire division of Marines had to withdraw from action and was moved to Australia because 17,000 men were incapacitated by malaria. About 85 percent of the men holding on in Bataan had malaria.

DDT was used effectively to combat malaria and dengue fever. The military developed DTT bombs and tanks that sprayed the chemical from planes. DDT was spayed on beaches before major landings.

In Saipan, dengue fever infected 500 men a day. DDT was used. The disease was controlled and Saipan was taken.

Image Sources: National Archives of the United States; Wikimedia Commons; Gensuikan;

Text Sources: National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, Yomiuri Shimbun, The New Yorker, Lonely Planet Guides, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wikipedia, BBC, “Eyewitness to History “, edited by John Carey ( Avon Books, 1987), Compton’s Encyclopedia, “History of Warfare “ by John Keegan, Vintage Books, Eyewitness to, “The Good War An Oral History of World War II” by Studs Terkel, Hamish Hamilton, 1985, BBC’s People’s War website and various books and other publications.

Last updated November 2013

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from, please contact me.