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Diaries of a WWII Combat Historian
" With a foreword by Stephen Ambrose and a preface by Franklin D. Anderson Forrest Pogue (1912-1996) was undoubtedly one of the greatest World War II combat historians. Born and educated in Kentucky, he is perhaps best known for his definitive four-volume biography of General George C. Marshall. But, as Pogue’s War makes clear, he was also a pioneer in the development of oral history in the twentieth century, as well as an impressive interviewer with an ability to relate to people at all levels, from the private in the trenches to the general carrying four stars. Pogue’s War is drawn from Forrest Pogue’s handwritten pocket notebooks, carried with him throughout the war, long regarded as unreadable because of his often atrocious handwriting. Pogue himself began expanding the diaries a few short years after the war, with the intent of eventual publication. At last this work is being published. Supplemented with carefully deciphered and transcribed selections from his diaries, the heart of the book is straight from the field. Much of the material has never before seen print. From D-Day to VE-Day, Pogue experienced and documented combat on the front lines, describing action on Omaha Beach, in the Huertgen Forest, and on other infamous fields of conflict. He not only graphically—yet also often poetically—recounts the extreme circumstances of battle, but he also notes his fellow soldiers’ innermost thoughts, feelings, opinions, and attitudes about the cruelty of war. As a trained historian, Pogue describes how he went about his work and how the Army’s history program functioned in the European Theater of Operations. His entries from his time at the history headquarters in Paris show the city in the early days after the liberation in a unique light. Pogue’s War has an immediacy that much official history lacks, and is a remarkable addition to any World War II bookshelf. Franklin D. Anderson, Forrest Pogue’s nephew by marriage, is a longtime educator. He lives in Princeton, Kentucky.
Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda, 1938-1948
Though historians have largely overlooked Robert Horton, his public relations campaigns remain fixed in popular memory of the home front during World War II. Utilizing all media—including the nascent technology of television—to rally civilian support, Horton’s work ranged from educational documentary shorts like Pots to Planes, which depicted the transformation of aluminum household items into aircraft, to posters employing scare tactics, such as a German soldier with large eyes staring forward with the tagline “He’s Watching You.” Iconic and calculated, Horton’s campaigns raise important questions about the role of public relations in government agencies. When are promotional campaigns acceptable? Does war necessitate persuasive communication? What separates information from propaganda? Promoting the War Effort traces the career of Horton—the first book-length study to do so—and delves into the controversies surrounding federal public relations. A former reporter, Horton headed the public relations department for the U.S. Maritime Commission from 1938 to 1940. Then—until Pearl Harbor in December 1941—he directed the Division of Information (DOI) in the Executive Office of the President, where he played key roles in promoting the New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unprecedented third-term reelection campaign, and the prewar arms-production effort. After Pearl Harbor, Horton’s DOI encouraged support for the war, primarily focusing on raising civilian and workforce morale. But the DOI under Horton assumed a different wartime tone than its World War I predecessor, the Committee on Public Information. Rather than whipping up prowar hysteria, Horton focused on developing campaigns for more practical purposes, such as conservation and production. In mid-1942, Roosevelt merged the Division and several other agencies into the Office of War Information. Horton stayed in government, working as the PR director for several agencies. He retired in mid-1946, during the postwar demobilization. Promoting the War Effort recovers this influential figure in American politics and contributes to the ongoing public debate about government public relations during a time when questions about how facts are disseminated—and spun—are of greater relevance than ever before.
The U.S. Decision to Conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
Less than five hours after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, U.S. naval leaders reluctantly chose to pursue a form of warfare they despised—targeting not only Japanese military assets but also civilian-operated fishing trawlers, freighters, and tankers. The move to unrestricted submarine warfare represented a major change in the longstanding American adherence to the classic doctrine of "freedom of the seas," under which commercial vessels were held to have the right to navigate the oceans without threat of attack. This dramatic about-face in naval policy, potentially as controversial as the decision to use the atomic bomb, has never been seriously challenged and, until now, closely examined. Holwitt combed archival sources from the National Archives, the Naval Historical Center, the Naval War College, Yale University, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in order to reconstruct the development of both the U.S. submarine fleet and the policies for its use during World War II. As he shows in this meticulously researched book, the U.S. move to launch unrestricted air and submarine warfare against Japan was illegal. "Execute Against Japan" offers a new understanding of U.S. military policy during World War II. This thoughtful analysis will be a vital resource for military and maritime historians and professionals, as well as students of World War II.
The German Retreat from France, 1944
The Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, marked a critical turning point in the European theater of World War II. The massive landing on France's coast had been meticulously planned for three years, and the Allies anticipated a quick and decisive defeat of the German forces. Many of the planners were surprised, however, by the length of time it ultimately took to defeat the Germans.
While much has been written about D-day, very little has been written about the crucial period from August to September, immediately after the invasion. In R?ckzug, Joachim Ludewig draws on military records from both sides to show that a quick defeat of the Germans was hindered by excessive caution and a lack of strategic boldness on the part of the Allies, as well as by the Germans' tactical skill and energy. This intriguing study, translated from German, not only examines a significant and often overlooked phase of the war, but also offers a valuable account of the conflict from the perspective of the German forces.
Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW
This book is a rare and important gift. One of the few memoirs of combat in World War II by a distinguished African-American flier, it is also perhaps the only account of the African-American experience in a German prison camp.Alexander Jefferson was one of 32 Tuskegee Airmen from the 332nd Fighter Group to be shot down defending a country that considered them to be second-class citizens. A Detroit native, Jefferson enlisted in 1942, trained at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, became a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined one of the mostdecorated fighting units in the War, flying P51s with their legendary-and feared -red tails.Based in Italy, Jefferson flew bomber escort missions over southern Europe before being shot down in France in 1944. Captured, he spent the balance of the war in Luftwaffe prison camps in Sagan and Moosberg, Germany.In this vividly detailed, deeply personal book, Jefferson writes as a genuine American hero and patriot. It's an unvarnished look at life behind barbed wire- and what it meant to be an African-American pilot in enemy hands. It's also a look at race and democracy in America through the eyes of a patriot who fought toprotect the promise of freedom.The book features the sketches, drawings, and other illustrations Jefferson created during his nine months as a kriegie(POW) and Lewis Carlson's authoritative background to the man, his unit, and the fight Alexander Jefferson fought so well.
A History of Civilian Public Service Camp #21 at Cascade Locks
One of the untold stories of America’s World War II experience belongs to the thousands who refused military service for reasons of conscience, instead serving their country through non-military alternate service. Refusing War, Affirming Peace offers an intimate view of a single Civilian Public Service Camp, Camp #21 at Cascade Locks, Oregon, one of the largest and longest-serving camps in the system—and one of the most unusual.
Under the leadership of a remarkable director, Rev. Mark Y. Schrock, and some outstanding camp leaders, the men at Camp #21 created a vibrant community. Despite the requisite long days of physical labor, the men developed a strong educational program, published a newspaper and a literary magazine, produced plays and concerts, and participated in a special school and research project called the School of Pacifist Living. They also challenged the Selective Service System in two political protests—one concerning the threatened removal of a Japanese American, George Yamada, and a second concerning a war- related work project. Their story shows the CPS system at its best.
Jeffrey Kovac’s thorough research has resulted in one of the very few histories of a single Civilian Public Service Camp, shedding light on a generation of men who, during the “good war,” created a community for peace. Refusing War is an important contribution to World War II history, peace studies, and the history of the Pacific Northwest.
Minnesota's Greatest Generation
World War II was the defining event for a generation of Americans. Remembering the Good War tells the stories of over one hundred Minnesotans—ordinary people who rose to duty at an extraordinary moment in our past. Here soldiers and sailors, housewives and farmers, “Rosies” and “Joes” tell what it was like to be swept up in history.Betty Wall Strofus of Faribault recalls how she discovered a love for flying and joined the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) program to serve stateside during the war. Lyle Pasket of St. Paul marvels that he was only seventeen when his cruiser, the USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed en route to the Philippines. After three days without food or drink in shark-infested waters, he was one of only 317 sailors rescued. Paratrooper Frank Soboleski of International Falls recounts how he depended on north woods hunting skills to keep himself alive during battle in the Netherlands. Schoolteacher Vivian Linn McMorrow remembers with quiet intensity the brief time she shared with her husband Ralph Gland, who was killed in France during the second year of their marriage.From the shock of the attack on Pearl Harbor to the excitement of recruits leaving the farm for the first time to the horrors of the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, Remembering the Good War pays homage to the generation of Minnesotans who were forever transformed by World War II. Their voices—honest, emotional, and resolute—remind us of a time of sacrifice and courage.
American Relief Workers Who Defied the Nazis
When Susan Elisabeth Subak discovered that members of the Unitarian Church had helped her Jewish father immigrate to the United States, she was unaware of the impact the organization had made during World War II. After years of research, Subak uncovers the little-known story of the Unitarian Service Committee, which rescued European refugees during World War II, and the remarkable individuals who made it happen. The Unitarian Service Committee was among the few American organizations committed to helping refugees during World War II. The staff who ran the committee assisted those endangered by the Nazi regime, from famous writers and artists to the average citizen. Part of a larger network of American relief workers, the Unitarian Committee helped refugees negotiate the official and legal channels of escape and, when those methods failed, the more complex underground channels. From their offices in Portugal and southern France they created escape routes through Europe to the United States, South America, and England, and rescued thousands, often at great personal risk.
Training British Pilots in Terrell during World War II
With the outbreak of World War II, British Royal Air Force (RAF) officials sought to train aircrews outside of England, safe from enemy attack and poor weather. In the United States six civilian flight schools dedicated themselves to instructing RAF pilots; the first, No. 1 British Flying Training School (BFTS), was located in Terrell, Texas, east of Dallas. Tom Killebrew explores the history of the Terrell Aviation School and its program with RAF pilots. Most of the early British students had never been in an airplane or even driven an automobile before arriving in Texas to learn to fly. The cadets trained in the air on aerobatics, instrument flight, and night flying, while on the ground they studied navigation, meteorology, engines, and armaments–even spending time in early flight simulators. By the end of the war, more than two thousand RAF cadets had trained at Terrell, cementing relations between Great Britain and the United States and forming lasting bonds with the citizens of Terrell.