Soldiers' stories In the years since the Second World War, historians have described and analyzedmany of its battles, campaigns, and theaters. The Greatest War: Americans inCombat 1941-1945 offers a graphic timeline of the war from the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to the bombing of Nagasaki 45 months later. Historian Gerald Astor draws on the experiences and observations of more than 1,000 Americans who fought in the Pacific, Asia, and Europe in trenches, bombers, and landing craft. It is the story of many small and large unit actions some heroic victories, others sorry defeats. For the millions of Americans who fought overseas in World War II, the events recounted here defined the rest of their lives. The Greatest War is oral history at itsvery best and a reminder of the thin line that separates selfless heroism fromsenseless barbarism.