Hitler and Napoleon

Napoleon is recognized as a military genius.  Hitler probably thought of himself as his equal. In any analysis of World War II military campaigns, especially the Russian campaign, Hitler receives blame for many of the German military reverses.  Hitler was always interjecting himself into the strategic planning, often overruling the advice of his senior military […]

The Great War Begins

One hundred five years ago, on July 27, 1914, Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia.  During the week that followed, all major European powers slid into the maelstrom of a general war.  Last summer I described World Wars I and II in a post that I titled “War and Madness”. In this post I provide a […]

Dropping the Atomic Bomb

From time to time scholars question President Harry Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb in 1945. How easy it is to look backwards and see things so clearly.  There are those who maintain that Japan would have surrendered, without invasion and without the atomic bomb, prior to the end of 1945 — and probably […]

Remember Lidice

Evil exists.  Sometimes people say that all men are basically good, and that we do evil things only when there has been a bad environment, poverty, lack of education or some other unfortunate cause.  That is not true.  I tend to believe what Johannes Gossner, 19th century Lutheran pastor and philanthropist, once wrote, “The heart […]

D-Day, the Sixth of June

Tomorrow, June 6, we mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Nazi-held western Europe. Joseph Stalin had been pushing for this cross-channel assault since early 1942, and American military leaders were also eager to get our troops into action against the main German armies.  In 1942 we were not ready.  British strength was […]

The Saga of the Hood

  Seventy-eight years ago, on May 24, 1941, the battlecruiser Hood, pride of the British navy, blew up and sank during a brief exchange of gunfire with the new and powerful German battleship Bismarck.  Over fourteen hundred men went down with the Hood; only three crew members survived. The HMS Hood The Hood was the […]

Remember Pearl Harbor

There are certain events in your life that stand out above all the others. Hurricane Hazel, the assassination of President Kennedy, the destruction of the World Trade Center are events I remember vividly. Then, of course, there was Pearl Harbor.  That was an event that turned our world upside down. In 1940 and 1941 America […]