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Posted on Jul 29, 2005 in Front Page Features

WebOps (July 2005)

Jim H. Moreno

Welcome to WebOps, Armchair General’s first original content website column! I am the WebWarrior, Jim H. Moreno, and my mission here is to bring you links, profiles, and interviews on the best military history and related websites that the Internet has to offer. This month’s column ties in with Armchair General’s Best of WWII issue (September 2005, vol. 2, no. 4).


Tell me, what other magazine will you see Patton, Zhukov and Betty Grable on the same cover? Just goes to show you the quality of our magazine staff in bringing our readers the very best coverage from the annals of military history. And, from what I’ve read in our Forum, many are saying the September 2005 Best of WWII issue is the best issue of ACG to date!


So, as I got to thinking of ideas for the WebOps column, it was obvious to write along the same ‘best of’ theme, but with the Internet and World Wide Web in mind. Wait a tic, that’s what I do anyway! The Best of World War II article (pgs. 54-59) covers twenty-five categories of WWII commanders, weapons, aircraft, movies, photographs, technology, music, reporters, books, artists, and the ever-popular pin-ups.

Do you know how long it would take me to scour the Internet to get the best sites on all those categories?!

I quickly realized I’d have to improvise and adapt a new tactic. I settled on finding the best sites that encompass all of WWII, sites that display a very broad knowledge of the entire war, and not simply a single aspect of it. Easily done, there are probably a few hundred sites like this, at least. Or, so I thought.

When was the last time you typed in ‘WWII’, ‘World War II’, ‘World War 2’, or ‘World War Two’ into your favorite search engine? Did you happen to take a glance at how many returns you received? Go ahead, try it. Astounding, isn’t it? That’s why I write this column. But, take a closer look at those returns, and you may see that the vast majority deal with just one or a couple of topics related to WWII. In fact, I was very surpised to find a very small number of sites that cover WWII in general. Forget about trying to go through all those sites now; I’ve done it for you!

Following is a listing of the searches for ‘World War Two’ conducted on 24 July 2005, with the top five returns from each search engine shown:

Google BBC – History – World War Two The History Place – World War Two in Europe Timeline The Second World War The National World War II Memorial The World at War, history of WW 1939-1945 Yahoo! BBC Online: World War II WW2 Timeline World War II in Europe GI — World War II Commemoration The Second World War MSN EyeWitness To World War Two The History Place – World War Two in Europe Timeline BBC – History – World War Two World War II — Truman Library World War II AltaVista World War 2 Timeline 1939-1945 World War II in Europe GI — World War II Commemoration The Second World War The History Place – World War Two in Europe

As you can see, this is a great example of what I wrote of above. Every search engine has certain ‘tags’ they look for when matching what you type into their search window with a website, which is why each engine returns back various sites. Some sites, however, are just popular the World Wide Web over, and those will almost always be among the top ten sites returned no matter which search engine you use.

So, after maneuvering my way through about a hundred WWII sites from my returns, I targeted only five that I think bring the best overall look at those war years to the online populace. Here are the WebWarrior’s Best of WWII Websites!

BBC – History – World War Two

This is a superb website, so I’m puzzled why it did not show up on AltaVista’s top five returns. Nonetheless, the BBC site covers a myriad of WWII topics, from pre-war society and culture to reconstruction well after the war was over, all done in top drawer multimedia presentations. A definite addition to your Favorites folder.

The World at War, history of WW 1939-1945

As I’m looking at the site while writing this line, this site’s counter says I am visitor #2,598,922 since 1 Jan 1998. There’s good reason this website by Wilfried Braakhuis has had that many visitors, clearly evident once you get to looking through it. The Main Menu along the left side of the page leads into well-designed timeline format pages full of explanations, hyperlinks and some great pics pertaining to the war years. I’m not sure when the last time the website was updated, but all-in-all, there’s more than enough information here to keep the website well above others in the genre. Kudos to Mr. Braakhuis! HyperWar: World War II on the World Wide Web

If you’re not familiar with the HyperWar Foundation and their HyperWar Project by now, you should be. One of the newest and most updated military history websites online, Patrick Clancy is doing a great work in providing us military history buffs with this academic resource. While there’s not much flash going on here, what you will find are primary reference manuals, source documents, OOB’s, first-hand general and specific historical accounts, and on and on. Main category headings include the Pacific Theater and European Theater of operations, and the C-B-I and American theaters. Documents, speeches, logs and diaries, hundreds of hyperlinks, you get the picture, right? A most valuable resource, ever how you look at it, I think.

World War II Multimedia Database

Similar in look to Mr. Braakhuis’ website, this one definitely has it’s own feel. Started and completed as the 2000-2001 thesis project of Jason McDonald, the website "has 1850 photos, 93 video clips, and a virtual radio". Like the other websites here, this one covers WWII from prelude to postwar, but rather than merely reading lines of text, extra flair is injected by the quality and quantity of photographs and short newsreel footage, which allow unique perspectives on the war. I sure hope he received an A+ for this!

World War II Resources

This is another ibiblio hosted website, and another website that should go into your Favorites folder. Again, nothing in the way of flash here, but if you’re looking for hardcore information from primary and original source documents, you just may find it here.


Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

Jim H. Moreno

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