Another WWII diary is in the news: What's described as "the most authoritative source on the Pacific War available anywhere," one formerly seen by only a handful of historians, is now available online to everyone—all 4,000-plus pages of it. Well, everyone who can get it online: The AP reports that traffic to the operational diary kept by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz and his staff during the war against Japan has been so heavy that many found themselves unable to access the site. The release comes thanks to the US Naval War College in Newport, RI, of which Nimitz, who served as the commander-in-chief of the Pacific fleet during the war, was a graduate.
The diary, known as the "Graybook" due to its original cover's color, charts the Pacific war effort from the day Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 (Nimitz took over the diary almost three weeks later, on Dec. 25 of that year) through August 1945, just days in advance of Japan signing the surrender document, reports the Providence Journal. Nimitz signed that document on behalf of the US. "You’re getting a fly-on-the-wall approach to how decisions were made and how the war was fought," says a historian at Washington's Naval History and Heritage Command, where the diary is stored in 28 banker's boxes. And a one-of-a-kind look at that, maintains the War College Museum's director: "There is an entry for every day during the war. It’s rare to have something like this." Nimitz died in 1966, and would have turned 129 today. (Read more World War II stories.)