The latest edition of the Journal of Military History contains several interesting articles related to the Second World War.
Alex Souchen, ‘The Culture of Morale: Battalion Newspapers in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, June–August 1944′
This article explores the collective impact of information sharing, social interaction, and cultural expression on the morale of Canadian soldiers in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during the Battle of Normandy in France during World War II. It finds that battalion newspapers played an important role in supporting unit morale in three ways. First, they stimulated interest in unit traditions and folklore. Second, they defended unit morale against German psychological warfare tactics. Finally, they provided soldiers with a coping mechanism, as the songs, poetry, and humorous anecdotes helped them to express a cultural identity and construct meaning from the traumatic experience of war.
Ken Young, ‘Special Weapon, Special Relationship: The Atomic Bomb Comes to Britain’
Post-1945 U.S. war planning assumed that a strike on the Soviet Union would be prosecuted by B-29s flying the atomic bomb from forward bases in East Anglia, England, where in 1946 bomb preparation and loading facilities were established at disused airfields. In 1950, atomic-capable aircraft, complete with bomb components, were first deployed to England, amidst anxieties about sabotage and a pre-emptive Soviet air strike. This establishment of a U.S. atomic strike capability in England arose from an entirely informal arrangement based on mutual trust. That informality would soon engender concern in Britain as the lack of symmetry in Anglo-American atomic relations became more apparent.