World War II Discussion Group

World War II Discussion Group
Next session: Thursday, July 11, 2024 | 12:00pm-1:30pm


Meets the 2nd Thursday of every month

Come and join the World War II discussion group. Join us as we explore a wide variety of topics from particular battles, military training, the psychological effects on veterans, and life on the home front. Every month a club member or outside speaker will present their research on some aspect of World War II. This could be a formal or informal presentation on a WWII book or personal research. A discussion period and time to socialize will follow. Share stories and learn together with people that share an interest in all things related to World War II. Warren Laws and Susan Howe are the facilitators.

August 8 - Richard Ranellone will talk about his book, The Aüslander (The Outsider), the story of a WW2 German corporal, Erich Keppler, who was captured and held as a POW in Texas during WW2.  Being a POW presented challenges in dealing with the pro-Nazi, anti-Nazi and neutral groups. Returning home, Keppler’s family considered him an outsider. Could he pursue his dream career as a rocket engineer in post-war Germany?  Or would he need to leave his fatherland to achieve success? It will be interesting to compare this story to that of the sailor, Karl Baumann, presented by Greg Owen in April.

September 12 - Eli Kocotas and Warren Laws will give "book reports" on the following: Hitler's American Gamble, Pearl Harbor and Germany's March to Global War, by Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman

Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, by Arthur Herman, and The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II, by Gregory A. Freeman

October 10 - Codebreakers Part 1  Chuck Gross will discuss the general mindset & overall state of code breaking leading up to WWII. Who were the critical movers and shakers between WWI and WWII - which countries kept code breaking fires burning, and which did not?  Abilities of Allies and Axis code breakers during WWII. How did the German enigma really work?  Plus, a look at recently declassified information of a prominent U.S. company's critical role to the Allies code breaking efforts (not IBM).

November 14 - Codebreakers Part 2   Chuck Gross will give a more in depth look at the codebreakers:  Women contributors, American Indians, famous mathematicians and engineers, and some who nearly derailed Allied abilities. He will talk about the Japanese abilities, along with critical decryption achievements in the Pacific war.  What did a tiny town in rural Indiana have to do with all this?

Open to all.

The Center

Seats available: 12

RSVP: World War II Discussion Group (July)