Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb

The most spectacular episode of Harry Truman's presidency will never be forgotten but will be forever linked to his name: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and of Nagasaki three days later. Probably around two hundred thousand persons were killed in the attacks and through radiation poisoning; the vast majority were civilians, …

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When the US Invaded Russia

Amid the bi-partisan mania over the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki, fevered, anti-Russian rhetoric in the United States makes conceivable what until recently seemed inconcievable: that dangerous tensions between Russia and the U.S. could lead to military conflict. It has happened before. In September 1959, during a brief thaw in the Cold War, Nikita Khrushchev made …

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Germany Was Defeated on the Eastern Front, Not Normandy

On my many walking visits to the vast Normandy battlefield in France, I kept recalling the ever so wise dictum of Prussia’s great monarch, Frederick the Great: ‘he who defends everything, defends nothing.’ On this 74th anniversary of the D-Day landings, it’s well worth recalling the old warrior-king. Adolf Hitler, a veteran of the infantry, …

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Fifty Years Ago: The Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

Fifty-one years ago today Israeli fighter aircraft and torpedo boats tried to sink the USS Liberty, a surveillance ship stationed off the coast of Egypt during Israel’s attack on Egypt and Syria. Israel was unable to sink the USS Liberty, but did manage to kill or wound almost the entire crew. Thirty-four Americans were killed …

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A German Tank Battalion Fought to the End in the Icy Hell of Stalingrad

The Panzer-Abteilung 129, a tank battalion serving with the German 6th Army, fought its way into the Soviet city of Stalingrad in late 1942 only to find itself pinned down during winter. A a million-man Red Army counter offensive, attacking in two giant pincers, surrounded the Germans that November. Trapped, the battalion’s soldiers sheltered wherever …

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Trump Did NOT Convince Kim to Ditch His Nukes. China Did

Donald Trump thinks his “maximum pressure” campaign persuaded North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But it’s a bunch of baloney. The reason Kim Jong-un is planning to denuclearize is because China adamantly opposes nuclear weapons on the peninsula. That’s the whole deal in a nutshell. China, who is North Korea’s biggest trading partner, …

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The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On

Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions. — Primo Levy On March 17th, 1968, The New York Times ran a brief front page lede headed, “G.I.s’ in Pincer Movement Kill 128 in Daylong Battle;” the …

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Analysis of American Intelligence and Military Operations: The Tet Offensive

Preparations for the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched Tet Offensive started months before the evening of January 31, 1968. In 1967 the Vietnam-American War was stalled. The United States had prevented the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong from taking control of the South, but could not force them to abandon their struggle (Hess, 103). …

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