By: Jim Sanders June 7, 2019

The other day, I realized my recent reading had included an inordinate number of books about World War II. So I took a quick inventory and it confirmed my suspicion:

  • The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
  • Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
  • D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of WW II
  • Flags of Our Fathers
  • Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan
  • Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings
  • Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory
  • Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption (Maybe my favorite, being a Louis Zamperini fanboy)
  • With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa

On top of that, I realized I’d read four biographies in which World War II loomed large. They were works on the lives of John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Let me be quick to add, I share the list not to boast about my reading ability. I’m a horrible reader. I hated reading when I was younger. And some would argue whether I’ve actually “read” those books since I consume them from Audible and listen in my spare moments.

No, I share the list because I would recommend every one of these works. I wasn’t bored by a single sentence. They each contained rich detail which filled in missing pieces about that time in our history and the battle which the greatest generation waged on our behalf.

Normally, my literary dynamic range is broader than this list would indicate. I do like to read an array of fiction and non-fiction, spy thrillers and science fiction, true crime and satire. But for some reason, in the last year, I’ve landed on more than my fair share of books on the Second World War. I never thought I was so obsessed with this period in American history, but my reading list would seem to indicate otherwise.

I suppose one reason for this recent reading emphasis might be that we’re celebrating 75 years since our “boys” (many of them weren’t 20 years old yet) landed on the beaches of France. I’ve had a bucket list dream to visit the beaches of Normandy and the adjacent cemeteries which remain sovereign U.S. property. I’d love to see the vestiges of WWII and German attempts to slow the Allied landing at Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha and Utah beaches.

I hope you had a chance to hear Charles Morris cover that event in the context of Haven Today. In fact, Charles has been including references to World War II in for the past couple of weeks. And that’s because the D-Day invasion was filled with metaphors about our great Rescuer. The one who, in full knowledge and wisdom, gave his life to rescue the lives of those who were to come.

Jesus willingly landed on the beach of history to battle the great enemy who was, and is, aiming his fiery weapons directly at us. We were born into a hostile world filled with crossfire intended on bringing us down. But the One who made us came to our rescue. He came to live and die, so that we might die and live. Yes, as you hear Charles say, it IS all about Jesus!

What Stations are Saying
  • Kurt Neuswanger

    The photo of the planes with the black and white stripes aroused my curiosity. At first, I thought, “Are those German planes?”

    So I googled it and learned something: those are “INVASION STRIPES” painted on all the Allied planes so that the ships and ground forces could easily tell them apart from the German planes (and avoid shooting down their own planes)!

    The stripes were added just days before D-Day so the Germans wouldn’t know, and the stripes on the top of the wings were removed a month later so the Germans couldn’t see them sitting on the ground. By the end of 1944, all the stripes were removed because the Allies now controlled France.

    I am further impressed that the military could acquire that much black and white paint on short notice, and get all those planes painted in a matter of hours!


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