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World War II Table of Contents
The Atomic Bomb
Part I: The Early Years
An American Reporter in Berlin
by William Shirer
A journalist in Europe, Shirer looks at the shadow of the Nazi movement
in Germany and the dark, brooding cloud it brings with it.
German Blitzkreig in Poland
by Jan Nowak
A Polish solider recounts the time he served in the army and found, on September
1, 1939, that the war had suddenly started.
Jews in Hiding
by Rose Silberberg-Skier
After Kristallnacht when the Germans broke the windows of German
businesses, the persecution of the Jews was openly practiced.
Photo Album: War in Europe
Air Spy: The Story of Photo Intelligence in World
by Constance Babington-Smith
A daughter of a Scottish duke describes her work reading photographs taken
by military spy planes and why it was important to the war effort.
Poetry of the War:
Lessons of the War
by Henry Reed
Reed's poem is a classic expression of life in the army and war.
United States, 1940
I Forgot for a Moment
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Expressing the thoughts and feelings of so many, Edna St. Vincent Millay
captures a moment of remembrance of the war far away.
Second Air Force
by Randall Jarrell
A visiting soldier's mother watches, remembers, and wonders.
Part II: War in Europe
Newfoundland, August 1941
The Atlantic Charter
Following a secret meeting, Roosevelt and Churchill share their goals in
the war and describe how the world will be if they win.
The Battle for Stalingrad
by William Hoffman
A German soldier's diary records the fierce fighting during the long battle
The Infantry in North Africa
by Ernie Pyle
The war reached to every continent, and here journalist Pyle describes the
fighting in Tunisia.
Photo Album: Bill Mauldin's War
Italy, Germany, France, 1944-1945
by Desiderio J. Sais
Sais's diary tells of day-by-day life in the army as described by a common
soldier who worked in the motor pool.
Life in a German POW Camp
by Michael Mazza
Nineteen-year-old Mazza tells how he was captured and what the last part
of the war was like as a German prisoner of war.
Part III: War in the Pacific
Oahu, Hawaii, December 7, 1941
The Bombing of Pearl Harbor: A Nurse's Eyewitness Account
by Myrtle Watson
A hospital nurse describes what it was like the day the Japanese unleashed
their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Photo Album: Homefront
"A Date That Will Live in Infamy"
by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President Roosevelt's address to Congress the day after Pearl Harbor was
bombed made the date famous.
United States, 1942-1945
Life in the Internment Camps
by Richard Lidz
Historian Lidz's interviews with Japanese Americans who were sent to internment
South Pacific, 1942-1945
The Navajo Code Talkers
by William E. Hafford
This account tells how the Navajo created the only unbreakable code in the
history of warfare.
South Pacific, 1943
Pacific War Diary
by Edward Robb Ellis
A sailor in the South Pacific, Fahey describes in graphic detail the fighting
for the islands.
United States, 1940s
"I Believe in This War"
by J. Redding Saunders
Saunders, an African American soldier, talks about the reasons he supports
the war and his dislike of the racist aspects of it.
Photo Album: War in the Pacific
Part IV: War Ends
Berlin, Germany, April 1945
The Last Days of Hitler
What happened in the end to Hilter? What were his final hours like? Historian
Hugh Trevor-Roer here presents the evidence about Hitler's death.
August 6, 1945
Hiroshima Survivors: Yamaguchi and Hirata
by Robert Trumbull
This nonfiction account tells the story of two victims of the Hiroshima
boming who survived.
An Ambulance Driver Recalls the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp
by Norman Shethar
In the final days of the war, troops with ambulances were sent to concentration
camps to free survivors.
Photo Album: War Ends
Chronology of the War