The seasoned war correspondent explained in the attached article as to why Operation Market Garden was such a disaster (and the censors let him) and why the next ambitious Allied parachute assault, Operation Varsity, would be different. Reminiscing about all that he saw of the famed parachute jump beyond the Rhine prior to being forced to turn-tail and bail out over English-occupied Belgium, he observed:
"...the C-46s come in and apparently walk into a wall of flak. I could not see the flak, but one plane after another went down. All our attention was on our own ship. It could blow up in mid-air at any moment. From the pilot's compartment came streams of stinging smoke."
The attached 1945 article from COLLIER'S by George Creel (1876 – 1953) was one of the very first pieces of wartime journalism to report on the Nazi atrocities committed in the forest of Babi Yar, just outside Kiev, Ukraine. Under the command of Reichskomissar Erich Koch (1896 – 1986) 33,000 Ukrainian Jews were slaughtered by German soldiers over a five day period during the month of September, 1941; this brief article tells the tale of Ukrainian partisan Yefim Vilkis, who resisted the Nazi occupation and witnessed the massacre.
A 1944 YANK article tells the tale about a quiet little spot behind the front line where American GIs were able to enjoy 24 hours of peace before being returned to the meat-grinder:
"Sergeant Carmine Daniello, of Brooklyn, New York, smoked a big cigar during the afternoon...he was taking it easy in his own way. He didn't want to sleep just now. He said, 'Just sitting around like this is all I want right now.'On the other side of the river it had been so bad..."
CLICK HERE... to read one man's account of his struggle with shell shock...
During the last miserable days of 1944 came this one page, first person account by a common American soldier marching through a shell-pocked German landscape. The fellow went to great effort to describe the general discomfort experienced by all those GIs privileged enough to be posted at the spearhead of that winter advance through the Hürtgen Forest. Halting in frozen rain and blinding winds, his platoon languished around a liberated Nazi pillbox where it was decided that each of them should enjoy a three hour respite inside to escape the cold. When it was our hero's turn he explains how nice it was to be surrounded by four walls and a roof.
Click here to read about the mobile pill boxes of the Nazi army.
An eye-witness account of the first major American battle to be fought on German ground during World War II. Aachen, the Westernmost city in Germany was defended by some 44,000 men of the Wehrmacht as well as assorted elements of the First SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Division which combined to offer a stubborn defense that lasted nineteen days. This article, written by Bill Davidson, who witnessed the most vicious kind of street combat, believed that the battle for Aachen was simply a re-staging of the battle of Stalingrad and he supports this point throughout the article:
"Godfrey Blunden,the Australian war correspondent, was here in Aachen...he was immediately struck by the similarity between the two battles. 'There is is the same house-to-house and room-to-room fighting, the same combat techniques, the same type of German defense.'"
Years later, historian Stephen Ambrose remarked that the Battle of Aachen was unnecessary.
Five days into Operation Market Garden, this hastily written notice was dispatched by a Stars and Stripes reporter on assignment with the allied airborne forces in war-torn Holland.