William Wharton wrote the novels Birdy and A Midnight Clear, both of which inspired highly acclaimed movies, one about Vietnam vets adjusting to life after the war and the other about an American intelligence unit’s encounter with a German platoon at the end of WWII.
Wharton was the pen name of Albert William Du Aime, a WWII vet who died in 2008. Shrapnel, his memoir of his military service, has just been published in English for the first time. +Continue Reading
The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan, by James Scott, 450 pages, Simon & Schuster
As combat theaters go there may be none more forbidding than the sea – or more specifically, beneath the sea. And in submarine warfare the very weapons system you serve on provides all you need to stay alive – including air – the tools of war and, if things go bad, your tomb.
Foyle’s War has been quietly running for the last decade on PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery! series, amassing a catalog of 22 movie-length episodes featuring British police detective Christopher Foyle. Those tale have been complied as Foyle’s War: The Home Front Files (Sets 1–6), a new 22-DVD box set that’s out this week via Acorn Media. +Continue Reading
Before he earned fame as the comic book artist who drew covers for Aquaman and Teen Titans in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, Nick Cardy served in WWII as an assistant tank driver in the Third Armored Division and was awarded two Purple Hearts.
The new book The Artist at War compiles a collection of sketches that Cardy made during his service in the European theater. “I carried a 3″ x 5″ spiral bound drawing pads in my duffel bag and a watercolor set and a larger pad. Whatever I could fit in there. As I went along for those three years I sketched and did watercolors.” +Continue Reading
Today is the 71st anniversary of Japan’s infamous attack at Pearl Harbor, and Military Channel (10pm E/P) is commemorating it with a most extraordinary special Pearl Harbor Declassified.
While there have been many Pearl Harbor documentaries produced over the years, this one is different in both tone and imagery. Written and produced by Creative Differences Erik Nelson for Military Channel, Pearl Harbor Declassified approaches the fight on a forensic-history basis in which he’s used state-of-the-art image-stabilized technology to enhance the original black & white footage into HD – with stunning results. +Continue Reading
Francine Mathews’ new novel Jack 1939 invents a story where Harvard senior John F. Kennedy gets recruited by President Roosevelt to foil a Nazi plot that would rig the 1940 U.S. presidential election to elect an isolationist who wouldn’t interfere with Hitler’s plans for Europe. Jack travels to Europe to research his senior thesis (later published as Why England Slept) and tries to intercept a charity ledger that contains the names of American and British citizens who have (knowingly or unknowingly) contributed to Nazi efforts to intervene in American politics. The fact that Jack’s dad (and known FDR rival) Ambassador Joseph Kennedy is on that list gives JFK’s mission a bit more urgency.
In the course of his mission, Jack sleeps with a married woman, helps smuggle the Enigma machine out of Poland, hangs out with Churchill, stabs a Gestapo agent and secretly communicates with FDR via telegraph from rooftops all over Europe. The story works because Mathews starts with some historical facts (FDR’s problems with Kennedy Sr. and J. Edgar Hoover, JFK’s tour of Europe, the Enigma machine, Churchill’s efforts to prepare for war despite Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s utter cluelessness and the actual Nazi efforts to influence U.S. opinion via German-American groups) and imagines a spy thriller tale that forges a personal connection between two of our most popular presidents. +Continue Reading
If anyone thinks that Hitler and his Nazi inner circle managed to take over most of Europe by themselves, let us recommend the Military Channel’s Nazi Collaborators. The 13-part series ran last year on the network and has just come out on DVD. +Continue Reading
If you start with the premise that werewolf bites cause polio and decide that the Axis leaders were actually werewolves, it’s not hard to think up a plot where polio victim Franklin Delano Roosevelt leads the charge into WWII to eliminate the werewolf threat.
How you feel about that idea pretty much determines how much you’ll enjoy FDR: American Badass! Writer/producer/co-star Ross Patterson (we never heard of him before, either) managed to sign up what amounts to a cult movie all-star cast that includes Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Bruce McGill (Animal House), Ray Wise (24 and Twin Peaks) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules). +Continue Reading
MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Legendary comic book artist Joe Kubert has died of cancer in New Jersey at age 85.
Kubert passed away Sunday in Morristown, his son Adam said. Kubert had multiple myeloma.
During a career that began as a teenager in the 1930s Kubert illustrated and wrote a wide range of titles but probably was best known – and likely will be best remembered – for his work on “Our Army at War” and “Sgt. Rock.” +Continue Reading