The Hiroshima Peace Memorial.


The Hiroshima Peace Memorial.


“We fled to the Philippines, which was under American occupation at the time. But it wasn’t long before the Japanese took over the islands. We were living in Manila, and when the Japanese occupied the city, they began to teach us to read and write Japanese. When the Americans came to retake the city, they invaded from the north, and the Japanese blew up the bridges and barricaded themselves in the southern part of the city where we lived. Shells were falling all around us, because the Japanese had stationed a gun encampment across from our house. One morning, we decided to make a run for the hospital, so that we could put ourselves under the protection of the Red Cross. Our neighbors were running in front of us, pushing their belongings on a pushcart, when they stepped on a land mine and the whole family was killed. We kept running, but when we got to the main street, there was a checkpoint and we weren’t allowed to cross. So we hid beneath a house, and soon we were discovered by Japanese soldiers. They lined us all up against the wall to be executed. We begged and begged and begged for our lives. They finally allowed my mother and the children to step aside, but they told my father to stay. My mother dropped to her knees and asked the Japanese commander to imagine it was his family. And he finally let all of us go.”


P-38s headed to provide top-cover to Allied troops in France


The order issued by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to encourage Allied soldiers taking part in the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944.


Lt. Sidney J. Montz lands that morning on Utah Beach with Company D, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. He later writes in his diary of the day’s atmosphere and experience going ashore that morning on Utah Beach.

His diary is now part of the collection at The National WWII Museum.

"Years ago, when ever I’d walk onto a beach I’d see red. There was blood everywhere in the water. I’d hear gunfire, the machine guns cutting down my men and their screams. The flashbacks you know, I couldn’t escape them. Sometimes I still have nightmares about it."
- Sgt Bell, A Company 116th Infantry, Hitler’s War: The Western Front (via demons)


Assault onto the Omaha Beach sector by the Americans.

"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."
- "In Case of Failure" press release by General Eisenhower if the Overlord landings had failed, written 05 June 1944 (via demons)

General Eisenhower meeting the 101st Airborne Division as they prepare for the jump before D-Day, June 5th 1944.


Evacuation of Dunkirk, 27 May-2 June 1940: Most of the time, the evacuation of Dunkirk is referred to as the Miracle at Dunkirk—and it was a miracle. The outcome of the war stood on the edge of a knife, had the BEF been decimated in the French harbor, the war in Western Europe would have been more than over.

As a result of Belgium’s surrender only days earlier, the Dunkirk evacuations began on 27 May after remaining French, British, and Belgium troops found themselves cut off and surrounded by German forces. Instead of attacking, as the German military leadership desired to do, Hitler halted his generals with his 22 May 1940 order. Historians agree that this (foolish) action was done with full expectation that Prime Minister Winston Chuchill and His Majesty’s Government would work for an armistice to save the “whole…core and brain of the British Army” that the Reich had backed onto the sea.

There was a major problem with Hitler’s theory, however, and that was if you surround an army against the sea with their nation across the Channel: they’ll come to evacuate their men. And evacuate them they did.

On the first day, just over 7500 men were evacuated, but by the ninth a total of 338,000 soldiers had been rescued by a mismatched fleet of just over 800 boats. Since they lacked docks, the military on shore used their remaining armor and tanks to create floating docks into the water to board. Many of the troops were lucky to leave the harbor on 39 Royal Navy destroyers and other large ships, while others waited for hours in shoulder-deep water on their makeshift docks. Some found themselves ferried from the beaches on the larger ships of the famous Little Ships of Dunkirk, the flotilla of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, private pleasure craft, and lifeboats called into emergency service by His Majesty’s Government.

Though it was a great success having rescued over 330,000 soldiers, the BEF lost 68,000 during the French campaign alone—and then France on 22 June 1940—and lost nearly everything that makes an Army beyond men; tanks, vehicles, rifles and other direly needed equipment. They saved their men, but lost almost everything else.

But despite what was lost, the majority of Britain’s most experienced troops had been saved, though Dunkirk was a retreat, and was hailed a victory albeit a cautious one. “Wars,” PM Winston Churchill would say to the House of Commons on 4 June 1940, “are not won by evacuations.”

One could argue, however, that evacuations do help win wars.