Much has been made of the reportage, and the uniqueness of this war's embeddingof reporters. Rumsfeld is right to point out that the last case of embedding was on a weekly, rather than instantaneous, new cycle. But I still thought it might be instructive to look at the Library of America Reporting World War II
, which includes eyewitness reporting from that era's best. When I come across good passages, I'll wrote them.
The first is from the New Yorker's A. J. Leibling, who later wrote an entire book about his reutrn to Paris after the liberation. From a piece written as the darkness was about to descend:
Holland, with one-tenth the population of Germany but with several times the wealth per capita, had presented fifty bombers against five thousand. It had been comfortable to believe in neutrality, and cheap. Norway, with the fourth largest merchant marine in the world, had not built the few good light cruisers and destroyers which might have barred the weak German navy from its ports. France herself had economized on the Maginot line....The democracies had all been comfortable and fond of money. Thinking of the United States, I was uneasy.
I guess some people never learn.