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World War II   (• = Interactive)
 The 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.

 London 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.

 Blitzkrieg, 1940
Blitzkrieg, 1940"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.

 France 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.

 Hitler 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.

 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.

 The 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 over London.

 The London Blitz, 1940
A night bombing raid from a Londoner's perspective.

  The Nazi Occupation Of Poland
A Polish physician documents the German occupation of a small Polish village.

  The 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.

 Attack at Pearl Harbor Attack At Pearl Harbor, 1941.
". . .a terrible explosion caused the ship to shake violently." Aboard the USS Arizona during the attack.

 Attack At Pearl Harbor - the Japanese View
"Suprise attack succesful!" The leader of the air attack describes the view from his cockpit.

 Attack 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 White House.

 The Bataan Death March, 1942
"The bodies were left where they lay" - an eyewitness account of Japanese brutality during the forced-march of American prisoners into captivity after their surrender in the Philippines.

 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.

 The Battle of Midway, 1942
"A lookout atop the bridge yelled: 'Enemy torpedo bombers, 30 degrees to starboard, coming in low!'" The view from a Japanese aircraft carrier of 5 minutes that changed the war.

 Attack 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.

 The 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 battles.

 A Battlefield Death, 1944
"They laid him on the ground in the shadow of the stone wall alongside the road." The death of one American soldier in the hills of southern Italy symbolizes the brutal reality of war.

 Shot Down Over France, 1944
Flight Officer Chuck Yeager is shot down over enemy territory and escapes capture with the help of the French Resistance.

 A GI's Trip to London, 1944
Four GIs on a 2-day pass

 Life 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.

 Loose Lips Sink Ships "Loose 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.

 The Invasion of Normandy, 1944: On the Beach
"I saw men sinking all about me." D-Day: join the assault on Fortress Europe as the first wave of the Normandy Invasion lands on the French beaches.

 Invasion of Normandy, 1944: A Civilian's View
"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."

 America's 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.

 Charles 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.

 Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944
"It looked singularly harmless." A reporter describes the first Death Camp liberated by Allied troops.

  Sunk By Submarine, 1944
"I spotted wake in the water, about four hundred to four hundred and fifty yards away from the ship." Aboard the S.S. John A. Johnson attacked by a Japanese sub in the Pacific

 The 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 life.

 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.

 Kamikaze Attack, 1944
"It was a fight to the finish." Aboard a US cruiser as it experiences the first attack by the most dreaded Japanese weapon.

 Raising 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.

 The 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.

 The 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.

 The 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.

 Berlin in Defeat, 1945
" elderly woman and a little girl were foraging for fuel in another wrecked house." The devastation was total and cigarette butts were currency.

 Germany 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.

 The 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 Hiroshima, 1945
"Suddenly there was a strong flash of light..."

 The 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.

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