Explore news and articles from the Private Letters collection. Come back often as new articles are added often.

The Lorraine Cross

by Richard Price

My late father served in Company I, 313th Inf. His scrapbook includes some old newspapers: The Lorraine Cross (the 79th Div's bi-weekly), and the 313th's The Dim View. Here are a few of those. Check back frequently to find more.

The Lorraine Cross - 2800 Mile Dash  The Lorraine Cross: 2800-Mile Dash
The Lorraine Cross - The 315th at Embermenil  The Lorraine Cross: The 315th at Embermenil
The Lorraine Cross - The 79th Recon Troop  The Lorraine Cross: The 79th Recon Troop
The Lorraine Cross - Sniper  The Lorraine Cross: Sniper

Out of Oblivion

by Gerard Louis

French amateur historian Gerard Louis' discovery and tenacity of many years, led to the discovery of 3 American Servicemen and their final resting place. This is his story in English and the original French. View Article

The Steep Price of Victory in Europe

by Seth Paridon, May 8, 2020

As the world celebrated victory over Nazi Germany and the boys eventually did come home, the war they fought thousands of miles from American shores came home with them. It came home with them in their wounds, in their memories, in their daily lifeā€¦in their nightmares. View Article

Popski's Private Army

by Allen Parfitt, 2007

Popski's Private Army was a tiny elite unit of the British Army. It fought from its formation in late 1942 until the end of the War in North Africa and Italy, specializing in intelligence gathering, sabotage, and partisan support. His name was Vladimir Peniakoff. His nom de guerre was bestowed by the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) when their radio operators had trouble getting their tongues around "Peniakoff". He liked it, it stuck, and as Popski he is remembered. Perhaps the greatest of Popski's gifts was his strong sense of risk versus reward. View Article

How Ramsdail and 314th's 3rd Battalion Bridged the Meurthe; River Fight One of Div's Hottest

by PFC Raymond Hutchison, Lorraine Cross, 1944

The Allied bridgeheads across the Seine, the Rhine, and the Roer copped the headlines, and rightfully so. But take it from doughs of the Purvis (Third) Battalion of the 314th Infantry: Neither of those three major operations is in a class with the crossing of the Meurthe River near Frambois, France. That swift-flowing, muddy, curving little stream seemed custom-built for a defending force. And the defenders in this particular instance were a numerically superior bunch of of tough krauts who knew they were holding most of the aces. View Article

Breakout From The Hedgerows: A Lesson in Ingenuity

by Walter S. Zapotoczny, 22 August 2005

Within a few days after the Allied invasion of Normandy, the U.S. Army found itself facing a stubborn terrain that favored the defender. A significant tactical dilemma facing the U.S. Army in Normandy was the local terrain, called Bocage in French. Bocage refers to farmland separated by thick coastal hedgerows. These hedgerows are denser, thicker, and higher in Normandy than elsewhere along the French coast or in the British countryside on the opposite side of the English Channel. From a military perspective, they were ideal for defense, since they broke up the local terrain into small fields edged by natural earthen obstacles. They provide real defense in depth, extending dozens of miles beyond the coast. The Bocage undermined the U.S. Army?s advantages in armor and firepower, and the hedgerows gave the German defenders natural shelter from attack. View Article

Memories of D-Day

by Nitin K. Shankar, 14 August 2005

There was a special brand of individualism which marked the D-Day landings. If the operation succeeded, it was not only due to the high quality of planning and preparation. What saved the day were the individual acts of leadership displayed on the beaches. We will never know what motivated these leaders but they got moving when things got bogged down. What finally counted was that this exceptional victory of minds over matter. View Article

The Battles for Elsenborn Ridge Part I

by Seth Paridon, December 16, 2019

The real crusher to the German offensive plans in the Ardennes occurred 46 miles north east of Bastogne, in a small area consisting of a copse of small villages and a piece of high ground called Elsenborn Ridge. View Article

The Battles for Elsenborn Ridge Part II

by Seth Paridon, December 19, 2019

At the end of the day, the veterans of the 26th Infantry still held their ground and looked out on a battlefield strewn with destroyed German armor and scores of enemy dead. View Article

Winter Warfare

by Bruce L. Brager, 29 September 2007

The "Southern Front" in Europe opened on August 15, 1944, when three American divisions, the 3rd, the 45th and the 36th, invaded the French Riviera beaches. The American divisions, soon part of the Seventh Army, were joined by French divisions in the First French Army, the primary French military contribution in the European theater. View Article

American VI Corps Fought the Battle for Herrlisheim

by David Zabecki and Keith Wooster, January 1999

In the cold and foggy pre-dawn hours of January 17, 1945, the U.S. 12th Armored Division's 43rd Tank Battalion prepared to renew the previous day's unsuccessful attack on German positions in and around the small Alsatian village of Herrlisheim. Thus far in that operation, the battalion had lost 12 of its tanks, and 11 others were damaged. Now, as the 43rd was resupplying and refueling its remaining 29 operational tanks, the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Novosel, felt uneasy about what was to come. He was overheard telling another officer from the division: "Meyer, you're a lucky SOB. I think we're not coming back from this one." Novosel's premonition would prove all too right for many of his men. View Article

American Forces in World War II

by Tom Wade, 2 March 2008

The entry of the United States into World War II was marked by constant setbacks spanning the Western Pacific beginning December 7, 1941 and into early 1942. After being defeated and pushed back for six months, the U.S. military machine began to turn out victories that would push back every advancement of the Axis powers and in 45 months lead to their total defeat. Thousands of books, articles and papers have been written trying to dissect and analyze every aspect of the conduct of the war by the United States. This paper will look at a few of those books and discuss their methodology and interpretation. View Article

Why the Bulge Didn't Break: Green Troops Grew Up Fast to Become Heroes of Hofen

by Rob Dean, 9 March 2008

The master story of the Battle of the Bulge is the German breakthrough that created the bulge in American lines and the U.S. fight to restore the original line. Not well known is the story of the U.S. infantry that held the northern flank. If not for the stand by three rifle companies, the bulge may have become a break. View Article

Lessons From the Bulge

by Paul Connors, 21 December, 2004

Sixty years ago this month, out of the fog and icy mists of one of the coldest Belgian winters on record, the Wehrmacht attacked American forces along its thin defensive line in the Ardennes forest. The day will live on in the memories of the surviving American GIs who were there, as well as the German veterans, who in one final desperate surge sought to push the U.S. Army all the way back to the Atlantic ports. View Article


by Bevin Alexander, 4 February 2006

The purpose of military strategy is to diminish the possibility of resistance. It should be the aim of every leader to discover the weaknesses of the enemy, and to pierce his Achilles' Heel. This is how battles and wars are best won. View Article

The Soviet Formula for Success in World War II: Deep Operations to Defense in Depth

by Walter S. Zapotoczny, 11 February 2007

From the time of Peter the Great, Russia embarked on path to increase their military strength that made it possible for it to become one of the greatest powers of the world. During WW2, the Soviet response to the German invasion changed from a strategy of deep operations, utilizing cavalry and mechanized formations, to one of defense in depth, which involved command and control changes, a reorganization of the force, rapid reconstitution of formations, the relocation of industries to the east, and a scorched earth policy. The Soviets went to great lengths to encourage their forces to defend in depth and to use active, flexible tactics. This change in strategy eventually permitted the Soviet army to return to the offensive and defeat the German army. View Article

A Fighting Perth Remembers

by Stan Scislowski, 11 November 2003

The night was black as pitch, no moon, no stars, no flash of artillery fire to light the way for the Canadian infantry moving forward to the start-line of their next attack. The night was unusually quiet, as though both armies facing each other in the flatlands of the North Italian plains had gone to bed early. The only sound came from the scuffle of the infantrymen's boots on gravel as they worked their way forward. View Article

On the Shoulders of Giants: Innovation and Courage. The Legacy of World War II Submarine Veterans

by Daniel Rean, 2008

The numbers tell a story. They do not lie. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 900 World War II veterans die every day. But that number is not the whole story. We cannot simply consider statistical losses when we look at that number. What we are really losing is a unique brand of warriors who let nothing stand in the way of the march toward victory, and no group of World War II veterans typified that never-say-die attitude better than that of America's submarine service. View Article