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History > Military History > World War II

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Results 81-90 of 168

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In Hostile Skies Cover

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In Hostile Skies

An American B-24 Pilot in World War II

James M. Davis, and edited by David L. Snead

James “Jim” Davis lived what he considered “an impossible dream” as he piloted a B-24, as part of the 8th Air Force, on nearly thirty missions in the European Theatre during World War II. In this memoir, Davis offers heart-wrenching detail concerning the difficulties of qualifying for the U.S. Army Air Forces pilot program, the strenuous nature of the pilot training program, the anxiety caused by a wartime marriage, and the dangers of flying combat missions over Nazi Germany. Few, if any, other memoirs provide the genuineness and honesty of his story. From his struggles to become a pilot, to seeing death up close on his first mission, to his expected deployment to the Pacific Theatre in the fall of 1945, Davis takes the reader through a fast-paced and exciting narrative adventure. Davis and his crew flew support missions for Operations Cobra and Market Garden and numerous bombing missions over occupied Europe in the summer and fall of 1944. He piloted his B-24 on missions over twenty German cities, including Cologne, Hamburg, Metz, and Munich, and attacked enemy airfields, airplane factories, railroad marshalling yards, ship yards, oil refineries, and chemical plants. While he and his crew survived without serious injuries, they witnessed the destruction of many of their friends’ planes and experienced serious damage to their own plane on several occasions. Readers of his memoir will come away with a much greater appreciation for the difficulties and dangers of the air war in World War II. David Snead happened upon the memoir and its author during his time at Texas Tech University. He was immediately hooked and began the process of preparing it for publication. Snead met with Davis on several occasions, examined his military records, researched in detail at the National Archives, and investigated numerous published sources in order to corroborate the account and add explanatory notes for context.

In Passage Perilous Cover

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In Passage Perilous

Malta and the Convoy Battles of June 1942

Vincent P. O'Hara

By mid-1942 the Allies were losing the Mediterranean war: Malta was isolated and its civilian population faced starvation. In June 1942 the British Royal Navy made a stupendous effort to break the Axis stranglehold. The British dispatched armed convoys from Gibraltar and Egypt toward Malta. In a complex battle lasting more than a week, Italian and German forces defeated Operation Vigorous, the larger eastern effort, and ravaged the western convoy, Operation Harpoon, in a series of air, submarine, and surface attacks culminating in the Battle of Pantelleria. Just two of seventeen merchant ships that set out for Malta reached their destination. In Passage Perilous presents a detailed description of the operations and assesses the actual impact Malta had on the fight to deny supplies to Rommel's army in North Africa. The book's discussion of the battle's operational aspects highlights the complex relationships between air and naval power and the influence of geography on littoral operations.

In the Neighborhood of Zero Cover

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In the Neighborhood of Zero

A World War II Memoir

William V. Spanos

Like so many soldiers of his generation, William V. Spanos was not much more than a boy when he went off to fight in World War II. In the chaos of his first battle, what would later become legendary as the Battle of the Bulge, he was separated from his antitank gun crew and taken prisoner in the Ardennes forest. Along with a procession of other prisoners of war, he was marched and conveyed by freight train to Dresden. Surviving the brutal conditions of the labor camps and the Allies’ devastating firebombing of the city, he escaped as the losing German army retreated. For Spanos, this was never a “war story.” It was the singular, irreducible, unnameable, dreadful experience of war. In the face of the American myth of the greatest generation, this renowned literary scholar looks back at that time and crafts a dissident, dissonant remembrance of the “just war.” Retrieving the singularity of the experience of war from the grip of official American cultural memory, Spanos recaptures something of the boy’s life that he lost. His book is an attempt to rescue some semblance of his awakened being—and that of the multitude of young men who fought—from the oblivion to which they have been relegated under the banalizing memorialization of the “sacrifices of our greatest generation.”

Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal Cover

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Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal

A Sociopolitical Analysis

Kayoko Takeda

In order to ensure its absolute authority, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (1946–1948), the Japanese counterpart of the Nuremberg Trial, adopted a three-tier structure for its interpreting: Japanese nationals interpreted the proceedings, second-generation Japanese-Americans monitored the interpreting, and Caucasian U.S. military officers arbitrated the disputes. The first extensive study on the subject in English, this book explores the historical and political contexts of the trial as well as the social and cultural backgrounds of the linguists through trial transcripts in English and Japanese, archival documents and recordings, and interviews with those who were involved in the interpreting. In addition to a detailed account of the interpreting, the book examines the reasons for the three-tier system, how the interpreting procedures were established over the course of the trial, and the unique difficulties faced by the Japanese-American monitors. This original case study of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal illuminates how complex issues such as trust, power, control and race affect interpreting at international tribunals in times of conflict.

The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon Cover

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The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon

Bernard Norling

" Following the Japanese invasion of the islands in 1942, North Luzon was the staging area for several Filipino-American guerrilla bands who sought to gather intelligence and to destroy enemy military installations or supplies. Bernard Norling focuses on the Cagayan-Apayao Forces, or CAF, commanded by Maj. Ralph Praeger. Their bravery was unquestionable, but by September 1943 all but one member of Troop C had been claimed by combat, enemy capture, or disease. The only survivor, Capt. Thomas S. Jones, remembered, ""Defeat is a terrible thing. . . . It brings down with it the whole structure about which a nation or an army has been built. It subjects men to the most severe of moral tests at a time when they are physically least able to meet them."" Based primarily upon unpublished sources, The Intrepid Guerrillas of North Luzon includes the diary of Praeger's executive officer, Jones, and draws on transcripts of radio communications between Praeger and General MacArthur's headquarters in Australia. The struggles of the men of the CAF tell a harrowing tale of valor, determination, and occasional successes mixed with the wildcat schemes, rivalries, mistrust, and betrayals that characterized the intramural relations of guerrilla forces all over the Pacific islands.

The Japanese American Cases Cover

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The Japanese American Cases

The Rule of Law in Time of War

By Roger Daniels

After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt, claiming a never documented “military necessity,” ordered the removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II solely because of their ancestry. As Roger Daniels movingly describes, almost all reluctantly obeyed their government and went peacefully to the desolate camps provided for them.

Judgment without Trial Cover

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Judgment without Trial

Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II

by Tetsuden Kashima

The Last Century of Sea Power, Volume 2 Cover

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The Last Century of Sea Power, Volume 2

From Washington to Tokyo, 1922--1945

H. P. Willmott

In this second volume of his history of naval power in the 20th century, H. P. Willmott follows the fortunes of the established seafaring nations of Europe along with two upstarts -- the United States and Japan. Emerging from World War I in command of the seas, Great Britain saw its supremacy weakened through neglect and in the face of more committed rivals. Britain's grand Coronation Review of 1937 marked the apotheosis of a sea power slipping into decline. Meanwhile, Britain's rivals and soon-to-be enemies were embarking on significant naval building programs that would soon change the nature of war at sea in ways that neither they nor their rivals anticipated. By the end of a new world war, the United States had taken command of two oceans, having placed its industrial might behind technologies that further defined the arena of naval power above and below the waves, where stealth and the ability to strike at great distance would soon rewrite the rules of war and of peace. This splendid volume further enhances Willmott's stature as the dean of naval historians.

The Last Lieutenant Cover

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The Last Lieutenant

A Foxhole View of the Epic Battle for Iwo Jima

John C. Shively

"Shively has documented in a very readable fashion the transformation of a young Hoosier into a disciplined member of the United States Marine Corps. His book is a detailed and touching tale of one man's experience of the battle of Iwo Jima, and the many excellent photographs and maps enhance the story." -- Major General Fred Haynes, USMC (Ret.)

The 36-day assault on the small volcanic island known as Iwo Jima resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead. Of the 20,000 Japanese defenders, only 1,083 survived. The Marines' efforts secured what would become a vital emergency landing strip for crippled B-29s returning from bombing runs. Twenty-seven Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines and sailors, many posthumously, more than were awarded for any other single operation during the war.

Jim Craig was a platoon commander with the Marines on Iwo Jima. This book presents his story, as told to his nephew, John C. Shively. A particularly vivid and exciting account of some of the most intense fighting of the Pacific War, the immediacy of the story is heightened by the detail that Shively's research has added to Craig's recollections. The result is one of the most realistic depictions of combat ever written.

Learning under Fire Cover

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Learning under Fire

The 112th Cavalry Regiment in World War II

By James S. Powell

Thrown into the heart of war with little training--and even less that would apply to the battles in which they were engaged--the units of the 112th Cavalry Regiment faced not only the Japanese enemy, but a rugged environment for which they were ill-prepared. They also grappled with the continuing challenge of learning new military skills and tactics across ever-shifting battlefields. The 112th Cavalry Regiment entered federal service in November 1940 as war clouds gathered thick on the horizon. By July 1942, the 112th was headed for the Pacific theater. As the war neared its end, the regiment again had to shift its focus quickly from an anticipated offensive on the Japanese home islands to becoming part of the occupation force in the land of a conquered enemy. James S. Powell thoroughly mines primary documents and buttresses his story with pertinent secondary accounts as he explores in detail the ways in which this military unit adapted to the changing demands of its tactical and strategic environment. He demonstrates that this learning was not simply a matter of steadily building on experience and honing relevant skills. It also required discovering shortcomings and promptly taking action to improve—often while in direct contact with the enemy.

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