Cecile Rol-Tanguy: Fighting for the Liberation of Paris


by Anne Sebba

On 6 June 1944 Allied forces began the long-awaited invasion of northern France. Operation Overlord, code-name for the Normandy landings, was the largest seaborne invasion in history. British, American and Canadian forces landed on a fifty-mile stretch of coast. Fighting was intense, casualties high and progress slower than the Allies had hoped. The town of Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. The Allies could not break out beyond Bayeux until 1 August. But, as they advanced towards Paris, many towns saw spontaneous demonstrations of support from the local people. The vast majority of them women, often wearing red, white and blue and kissing every soldier in sight. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Operation Market Garden: Arnham, September 17–21, 1944

Operation Market Garden

Editor: Michael Spilling and Consultant Editor: Chris McNab

On 17 September 1944, the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group and the First Allied Airborne Army initiated Operation Market Garden.  An audacious ground offensive augmented by the dropping of three Allied airborne divisions into the German rear. Read more ›

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JSOC Missions From Masirah: Taliban Missions in Afghanistan


by Sean Naylor

The vastness of the moonless night sky swallowed the turboprop drone of the four blacked-out Combat Talons high above Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. Headed north, the planes crossed into Afghan airspace at about 11 p.m., October 19. Skimming low across the Registan Desert. On board were 199 Rangers with a mission to seize a desert airstrip and thus send a message to the world that the United States was able to put troops on the ground in Afghanistan at will. Read more ›

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Normandy Landings, June 6, 1944

Normandy Landings

Editor: Michael Spilling and Consultant Editor: Chris McNab

The initial British–Canadian–American Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, the first stage of Operation Overlord), aimed “to secure a lodgement on the continent from which further offensive operations can be developed”. Many preconditions had to be met before the cross-Channel operation could be contemplated.  The vast American forces had to be transported to Britain, requiring the defeat of the U-boats and the availability of huge amounts of shipping. This lead to a high degree of command of the sea and air in the area had to be achieved.  Finally it meant an enormous amphibious forces had to be built up and trained. Read more ›

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Marine Corps Desegregation: WWII Begins to Break Barriers

Marine Corps Desegregation

Michael E. Haskew

Although President Harry S. Truman did not sign the legislation that officially ratified Marine Corps Desegregation the U.S. armed forces until July 26, 1948. African-American Marines had trained and served in a segregated Marine Corps since early in World War II. In June 1942, the Marine Corps authorized African-Americans to enlist in all-Black units, and separate training facilities were then established for them. Read more ›

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