In this June 6, 1944 file picture, some of the first assault troops to hit the Normandy, France beachhead take cover behind enemy obstacles to fire on German forces as others follow the first tanks plunging through the water towards the German-held shore during World War II.
Thousands of WWII soldiers’ opinions released to the public
Troops don't hold back on surveys administered during the war
Airdate: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Most Americans probably believe we have learned everything there is to know about World War II since it ended more than 76 years ago. But the public release two weeks ago of what is known as The American Soldier in World War II has provided hundreds of thousands of viewpoints from American troops on their combat experiences, race, and mental and physical health.
During the war, the U.S. Army administered surveys to more than half a million American troops.
The results were closely guarded until now. Sixty-five thousand pages of uncensored opinions have been released.
Some of the unvarnished opinions have raised eyebrows as soldiers complained about or criticized the military, the press and racial, ethnic and religious groups.
Muhlenberg College professor of media and communications Jefferson Pooley is on the project’s advisory board and is with us on Wednesday’s Smart Talk.