Beginning of World War II, 1939
"What now?' asked Hitler with a savage look..." Hitler's interpreter describes the reaction
of the Fuhrer and his henchmen to an ultimatum from Britain
and the beginning of World War II.
Goes to War, 1939
Prime Minister Chamberlain's radio
announcement of war was made at 11:15 AM - the air raid sirens
began wailing at 11:27.
"The tanks now rolled in a long column through the line of fortifications and on towards the first houses, which had been set alight by our fire." Join General
Erwin Rommel as he leads his panzers into France.
Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940
"The beach, black with men, illumined by the fires, seemed a perfect target." The British snatch a moral victory from the jaws of defeat.
Surrenders, 1940 •
(Hitler's face) "is afire with scorn,
anger, hate, revenge, triumph." The French are forced to
surrender to the Germans in the same railroad car in which,
22 years earlier, they accepted the German surrender that
ended World War I.
Tours Paris, 1940
"I often considered whether we
would not have to destroy Paris." Join
Adolph Hitler on his whirl-wind tour of the city after the
German defeat of France.
in Defeat, 1940
"...villages are deserted, the farmsteads
empty. Crops are rotting on the ground." France is stunned
by its quick defeat by Germany.
Battle of Britain, 1940
"The sky seemed full of them, packed
in layers thousands of feet deep. They came on steadily,
wavering up and down along the horizon. 'Oh, golly,' I thought,
'golly, golly . . .' " An RAF pilot describes the air combat
London Blitz, 1940
A night bombing raid from a Londoner's
Nazi Occupation Of Poland
A Polish physician documents the German
occupation of a small Polish village.
Siege of Leningrad, 1941-1944
"You just stepped over corpses in the street." For 900 days the German Army attempted to starve the city into submission.
At Pearl Harbor, 1941.
Aboard the USS Arizona during
At Pearl Harbor - the Japanese View
The leader of the air attack describes
the view from his cockpit.
At Pearl Harbor - the White House Reaction
"My God, there's another wave of Jap
planes over Hawaii right this minute." The attack stuns the
The Doolittle Raid, 1942
"I looked back and out I got a quick, indelible vision of one of our 500-pounders as it hit our steel-smelter target." The Americans retaliate for the attack on Pearl Harbor with a daring air raid on Japan.
Battle of Midway, 1942
The view from a Japanese aircraft
carrier of 5 minutes that changed the war.
on an Arctic Convoy, 1942 •
"That was hell. There is no other
word I know for it." Defending a Russia-bound cargo
ship during a Nazi air attack.
Reconnaissance Patrol, 1943
"No!' the woman screamed. 'No! No!" Join an American reconnaissance patrol as it searches a Sicilian village for the enemy.
Bombing Raid on Ploesti, 1943 •
"I looked out to the right for
a moment and saw a sheet of raw gasoline trailing Pete's
left wing." The American low-level bombing raid on the
German refinery complex in Romania was one of the costliest
of the war. Ride along in the cockpit of an attacking bomber.
Bloody Battle of Tarawa, 1943
"I was scared, as I had never
been scared before." The U.S. Marines attack the Japanese
on a tiny Pacific atoll in one of World War Two's costliest
Down Over France, 1944
Flight Officer Chuck Yeager is shot
down over enemy territory and escapes capture with the help
of the French Resistance.
GI's Trip to London, 1944
Four GIs on a 2-day pass
and Death Aboard a B-17, 1944
"They came so close that I could see
the pilots' faces, and I fired so fast that my gun jammed." The
battle in the skies over Europe.
Lips Sink Ships"
Advice to GIs on what to say and not
say when writing home, carrying on a conversation, or if captured
during World War II.
of Normandy, 1944
"Little by little the gray dawn comes up., but this time around, from the intensity of the aircraft and the cannon an idea springs to mind: landing!" A French woman describes the first
hours of D-Day.
The Liberation of Paris, 1944.
"Germans were also shooting from Notre Dame and from nearby houses." After four years, French forces liberate the "City of Light."
Front Line Soldier, 1944
"The dogface's real hero is the litter
bearer and aid man..." Cartoonist Bill Mauldin, creator of "Wille
and Joe" provides insight into the hardships and motivation
of America's combat soldier in World War II.
Lindbergh in Combat, 1944
"My tracers and my 20's spatter on
his plane." Fly with the "Lone Eagle" as he joins the air
war in the South Pacific as a private citizen. The article
includes an audio clip of an anti-war speech given by Lindbergh
in September 1941.
a Nazi Death Camp, 1944
"It looked singularly harmless." A
reporter describes the first Death Camp liberated by Allied
By Submarine, 1944
Aboard the S.S. John A. Johnson attacked
by a Japanese sub in the Pacific.
Forced Suicide of Field Marshall Rommel, 1944
"I shall be dead in a quarter of an
hour." Hitler forces his "favorite General" to take his own
General George Patton Interrogates a SS General, 1944
"He is a liar!" General Patton personally interrogates a SS General captured during the bloody battle of Metz, France.
"It was a fight
to the finish." Aboard a US cruiser as it experiences the
first attack by the most dreaded Japanese weapon.
the Flag Over Iwo Jima, 1945
Raising the 1st US flag over Mt. Suribachi
in the heat of battle.
Capturing the Bridge at Remagen, 1945
"I spotted this lieutenant, standing out there completely exposed to the machine gun fire. . . He was cutting wires and kicking the German demolition charges off the bridge with his feet!" The Americans cross the Rhine River.
Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945
"Hell could be no hotter." In March
1945 The U.S. began an air campaign designed to obliterate
the Japanese cities with fire. The first target was Tokyo
and the results more devastating than the later atomic bomb
attacks. Join an eyewitness on the ground.
Battle of Berlin, 1945
"Throughout the night, we huddled together in mortal fear, not knowing what the morning might bring. " A Berlin women describes the final days of the Nazi capital.
War Ends in Europe, 1945
" 'The war is over!' I was crying in the foxhole from joy, I couldn't believe it." A soldier's story of the end of the
war and his return home.
London Celebrates VE Day, 1945
"American sailors and laughing girls formed a conga line down the middle of Piccadilly." After six years of war, Londoners rejoice victory.
in Defeat, 1945
"...an elderly woman and a little
girl were foraging for fuel in another wrecked house." The
devastation was total and cigarette butts were currency.
in Defeat, 1945
"White flags were hanging out of windows
in villages we passed on the way..." A tour of Germany days
after its surrender.
First Atomic Blast, 1945
"We were reaching into the unknown
and we did not know what might come of it."
The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis, 1945
"I knew I was dying but I really didn't care." A survivor describes the greatest naval disaster in US history.
The Bombing of
"Suddenly there was a strong flash
Sentencing and Execution of the Nazi War Criminals, 1946 •
"Goering came down first and strode
into his cell, his face pale and frozen, his eyes popping..." The
reaction of the defendants at the Nuremberg Trials gives
insight into the mindset of the Nazi hierarchy.