U.S. Military History Group

Founded in 2012, the U.S. Military History Group (USMHG) is a not-for-profit organization supporting the U.S. Military History Review, a peer-reviewed e-journal devoted to the military history of the United States. The USMHG also recognizes exceptional scholarship in this field through three annual book awards.


The U.S. Military History Group is pleased to announce John F. Shortal’s Code Name Arcadia: The First Wartime Conference of Churchill and Roosevelt as the winner of the 2021 Master Corporal Jan Stanislaw Jakobczak Memorial Book Award.


This book prize is named for Polish-born Jan Stanislaw Jakobczak (1914-2004), an Allied soldier of World War II.  Arrested by the Soviets in 1939, Jakobczak spent three years in the Siberian Gulag before his release into General Władysław Anders’ Polish II Corps.  After training in Persia and Palestine, Jakobczak and his compatriots fought alongside Allied forces in the Italian Campaign.  He received a head wound during the recapture of the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino.  After the war, Jakobczak emigrated first to London and later to Chicago, where he became a U.S. citizen.  This book award memorializes his odyssey and that of other Allied soldier-refugees who made their homes in the United States.


Code Name Arcadia was published by Texas A&M University Press.


John F. Shortal is also the author of Forged by Fire: Robert L. Eichelberger and the Pacific War. He retired from the U.S. Army as a brigadier general and subsequently served as Director for Joint History for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


A selection committee of award-winning historians -- Robert Burrell, Jörg Muth, and David Ulbrich --selected Code Name Arcadia for the 2021 Jakobczak Award, which recognizes the outstanding book published in 2021 that covers any topic in U.S. Military History from 1898 to 1945.


The selection committee offered the following words of praise for the award-winning book:


"In Code Name Arcadia, John Shortal examines the Washington Conference running from December 22, 1941, to January 14, 1942, between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt.  The conference marked the first wartime meeting of the two Allied leaders and their senior military staffs.  Shortal ably dissects the personalities and debates as the Allies started hammering out strategic priorities in the European and Pacific theaters of operations.  The decision to fight "Germany First" ranks as the most significant outgrowth at the conference.  Shortal should be commended for his thorough research and for adding to our understanding of British and American perspectives during the early months of the Second World War." 


Please note: The two other selection committees for the 2021 Captain Richard Lukaszewicz Memorial Book and the 2021 Colonel Richard Ulbrich Memorial Book Award Award did not determine that any of the nominated volumes merited selection as winners.