In The Hidden Places of WWII, the author takes readers to overlooked places where WWII history was made. These are sites that were thought to be closed or locked away forever or, in some cases, thought never to exist at all, or were ignored by military historians for decades. With historical photos, contemporary photos, and written in a conversational style, the book opens the eyes of a new generation of readers, as well as an older generation, and takes them to the actual locations that changed history.
Many military history readers don’t know that you can still visit Nazi U-boat pens in Lorient and La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast (they were used in the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark) and even pieces of the Atlantic Wall Hitler had built along the French coast in ’43 and ’44 to thwart the invasion he knew was coming. These are only two of the many hidden places the author introduces the reader to.
Jerry O’Connor has been a college instructor, journalist, historian, tour guide, and lecturer. A passion for realism and authenticity has characterized O’Connor’s journalism career, beginning with a four-page centerfold feature for the Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine in 1965. He’s also written for Chicago Tribune section one; Chicago Tribune Perspective and Flashback sections; Finest Hour, British Heritage, Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute), Naval History (U.S. Naval Institute, multiple, lead,) and World War II (multiple, lead). He’s been instructor, Harper College, Palatine, IL (8 years), Oakton College, Skokie, IL (12 years), lecturer, Cunard Queen Mary 2 (four trans-Atlantic voyages, 16 lectures, averaging 325 passengers per lecture). He’s been on the NBC Today Show, and he was named Author of the Year by the U.S. Naval Institute in 2000 for his body of work. Jerry began writing about World War II in 1978 by disclosing the intact but unknown existence of Winston Churchill’s mythic war headquarters in central London. The four-page feature directly contributed to opening the site to the public in 1985.