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Memoirs of a Marine Artillery Officer, 1943–1945
The gritty combat memoir of a Marine Corps artilleryman and forward observer
As a married man and Stanford graduate student nearing thirty, Christopher Donner would likely have qualified for an exemption from the draft. Like most of his generation, however, he responded promptly to the call to arms after Pearl Harbor. His wartime experiences in the Pacific Theater were seared into his consciousness, and in early 1946 he set out to preserve those memories while they were still fresh. Sixty-five years later, Donner’s memoir is now available to the public.
Angelo Tasca from Italian Socialism to French Collaboration
Angelo Tasca, a pivotal figure in 20th-century Italian political history, and indeed European history, is frequently overshadowed by his Fascist opponent Mussolini or his Socialist and Communist colleagues (Gramsci and Togliatti). Yet, as Emanuel Rota reveals in this captivating biography, Tasca--also known as Serra, A. Rossi,Andre Leroux, and XX--was in fact a key political player in the first half of the 20th century and an ill-fated representative of the age of political extremes he helped to create. In A Pact with Vichy, readers meet the Italian intellect and politician with fresh eyes as the author demystifies Tasca's seemingly bizarre trajectory from revolutionary Socialist to Communist to supporter of the Vichy regime. Rota demonstrates how Tasca, an indefatigable cultural operator and Socialist militant, tried all his life to maintain his commitment to scientific analysis in the face of the rise of Fascism and Stalinism, but his struggle ended in a personal and political defeat that seemed to contradict all his life when he lent his support to the Vichy government.Through Tasca's complex life, A Pact with Vichy vividly reconstructs and elucidates the even more complex networks and debates that animated the Italian and French Left in the first half of the 20th century. After his expulsion from the Italian Communist Party as a result of his refusal to conform to Stalinism, Tasca reinvented his life in Paris, where he participated in the intense political debates of the 1930s. Rota explores how Tasca's political choices were motivated by the desperate attempt to find an alternative between Nazism and Stalinism, even when this alternative had the ambiguous borders of Vichy's collaborationist regime. A Pact with Vichy uncovers how Tasca's betrayal of his own ideal was tragically the result of his commitment to political realism in the brief age of triumphant Fascism. This riveting, perceptive biography offers readers a privileged window into one of the 20th century's most intriguing yet elusive characters. It is a must-read for history buffs, students, and scholars alike.
Company B, 1303rd Engineer General Service Regiment
These words may seem to have been written by an advance infantry unit or a combat brigade, carrying out an assault against entrenched enemy troops. Instead, this hair-raising narrative comes from the diary of “B” Company of the 1303rd Engineer General Service Regiment, a “non-combat” unit attached to Patton’s Third Army during his epic pursuit of the retreating German forces across France during August, 1944. Though the 1303rd (called “the thirteen-third” by its soldiers) was supposed to perform its duties outside the zone of armed conflict, these men found themselves acting as the southern flank of Patton’s rapid advance. More than once, they had to re-build bridges the Germans had hastily destroyed in order to permit the continued advance of American troops—often doing so under enemy fire. Twice they were called upon to deploy as infantry in holding back German attacks. Careful editing and annotation by military historian Joseph C. Fitzharris corrects occasional lapses in the diary, clarifies references, and provides important context for following the movements and understanding the importance of Company B, the 1303rd, and its sister regiments. Patton’s Fighting Bridge Builders rewards its readers with a new understanding of both the messiness and the bravery of the Second World War.
The 94th US Infantry Division at the Siegfried Line
Initially used as part of the force blockading the Brittany ports after D-Day, in December of 1944, the division was incorporated into General Patton’s Third Army south of the Moselle-Saar Triangle, the base of which was a portion of the Siegfried Line known as the Orscholz Switch. Its first combat experience came in battalion-sized attacks during that terrible winter while the Battle of the Bulge raged to the north, and the Division suffered heavy casualties, many due to the ferocity of the winter weather. Patton, with characteristic zeal, excoriated the division’s officers and senior NCOs for the rate of non-combat casualties. Thereafter, the division was ordered forward on an all-out assault to break through the Siegfried Line. After horrific fighting against entrenched defenders, with ice turning to mud as spring approached, on February 19, 1945, the 94th broke through to open the roads to Trier and the Rhine.
This book is the most comprehensive study to date of the fierce fighting between the 94th U.S. Infantry Division and their German counterparts during that spring of 1945. It sheds new light on the achievements of the outnumbered division in penetrating Germany’s Westwall. With characteristic verve and detail, Tony Le Tissier narrates the action and illuminates the tribulations and sacrifices of American soldiers who won their laurels at great cost.
Willis M. Everett and the Malmedy Massacre
In the wake of World War II, 74 members of the Nazi SS were accused of a war crime--soon to be known as the Malmedy Massacre--in which a large number of American prisoners of war were murdered during the Battle of the Bulge. All of the German defendants were found guilty and more than half were sentenced to death.
Yet none was executed and, a decade later, all had been released from prison. This outcome resulted primarily from the dogged efforts of Willis M. Everett, Jr., a prominent Atlanta attorney who jeopardized his status as a member of the social elite to defend with great zeal and commitment the accused Germans.
James Weingartner offers fresh insights into one of the most controversial episodes of World War II and in the process casts new light on the often convoluted politics of war crimes justice.
The World War II Parachutists and the Making of Israeli Collective Memory
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.
In Racial Science in Hitler’s New Europe, 1938–1945, international scholars examine the theories of race that informed the legal, political, and social policies aimed against ethnic minorities in Nazi-dominated Europe. The essays explicate how racial science, preexisting racist sentiments, and pseudoscientific theories of race that were preeminent in interwar Europe ultimately facilitated Nazi racial designs for a “New Europe.”
The volume examines racial theories in a number of European nation-states in order to understand racial thinking at large, the origins of the Holocaust, and the history of ethnic discrimination in each of those countries. The essays, by uncovering neglected layers of complexity, diversity, and nuance, demonstrate how local discourse on race paralleled Nazi racial theory but had unique nationalist intellectual traditions of racial thought.
Written by rising scholars who are new to English-language audiences, this work examines the scientific foundations that central, eastern, northern, and southern European countries laid for ethnic discrimination, the attempted annihilation of Jews, and the elimination of other so-called inferior peoples.