Four decades after the launch of World War II, a new book journeys us to places few have been.
In The Hidden Places of World War II: The Extraordinary Sites Where History Was Made During The War That Saved Civilization (Lyons Press/Rowman & Littlefield), Navy veteran, award-winning journalist, and recognized historian Jerome M. O’Connor takes readers back to the world’s biggest and most significant war, to the overlooked places to describe little-known events where history was made.
Many of the sites were thought to be closed or locked away forever or believed to never have existed. Some of the war-changing events described here were ignored for decades by military historians. With historical and contemporary photos, the book opens the eyes of both a new and older generation of readers, in an exploration of the actual locations that changed history.
O’Connor (www.historyarticles.com) has had many firsts over the years, as a contributor to the Chicago Tribune, Naval History magazine, British Heritage, and other publications, including being the first to write about Churchill’s secret war rooms in 1977. The U.S. Naval Institute, in 2000, awarded him “Author of the Year,” acknowledging his writings as “significant contributions to the history of World War II.”
The book brings to life the side of the war few have seen. Many military history readers are unaware that all five of the Atlantic Nazi U-boat bunker bases not only exist in nearly their original appearance but can also be visited. Many of the one-time Army Air Force bases in England, contain parts of runways, crew quarters, chapels, and hangars. In Nuremberg, Hitler’s vast parade grounds with intact grandstands, half-finished 50,000 capacity congress hall, and even his reviewing podium projecting into the grounds, remain three quarters of a century later. In London, enter a grand mansion where fifty-nine captured Nazi generals had generous privileges and nearly open access to the house, with every word they spoke being secretly recorded from hidden microphones inside and out. These are among the many places revealed that were overlooked by history.
O’Connor says: “Secret missions, hidden war rooms, code breakers, and top secret orders. This book has it all. If you are a history buff, a war veteran, or just a curious student of the most significant time in this nation’s modern history, you will find many items to explore here.”