“And since you know you cannot see yourself, so well as by reflection, I, your glass, will modestly discover to yourself, that of which you yet not know of.”

William Shakespeare; Julius Caesar, Act One, Scene Two

About this blog

In wartime, we often depersonalize our enemy and see him entirely as the “other.” Fear, resentment, racism, outraged vengeance and the belief by each side that its cause is righteous often result in vicious fighting and terrible atrocities.

• What events and social currents lead up to war?

• How are the conscious experiences of ordinary citizens shaped during wartime?

• How do the citizens of each country differ and what are the similarities?

• How might we better understand the lessons of war so as not to repeat them?

About Mark Scott Smith

Mark Smith Author Bio PhotoI am a retired academic pediatrician born in 1942. I became intrigued by WWII in the Pacific when I looked down from a Seattle hillside overlooking the Puget Sound and saw thousands of Toyota trucks being unloaded onto piers that had served as American troop embarkation points during the war.

When I retired to Oregon, I learned of long-range Japanese submarine attacks on the coast and the death of a minister’s wife and five teenagers caused by a balloon bomb lodged in the forest. I fictionalized the individuals involved in these events, both American and Japanese, and wrote a historical fiction novel entitled: Enemy in the Mirror – Love and Fury in the Pacific War.

I am currently researching and writing a second novel about a Mexican-American B-25 pilot and a German U-Boat captain engaged in warfare off the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean in 1942.

Over the past few years researching these topics, I have encountered many fascinating facts, images and viewpoints. These pages are an attempt to share them with a wider public and generate discussion.


The header for this blog was painted by Henry Carr while he was an official artist for the British War Artists Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Information. The work is intended to be a universal representation of war and is available to share and reuse under the terms of the IWM Non Commercial Licence.