Fawcett Publications was having some success with their slick magazine True whose stories developed more of a war focus after the U.S. entered World War II in 1941. Pulp magazine Argosy opted to switch to slick paper in 1943, and mix in more 'true' stories amidst the fiction. The other major pulps Adventure, Blue Book and Short Stories eventually followed suit. Soon new magazines joined in - Fawcett's Cavalier, Stag and Swank. During their peak in the late 1950s, approximately 130 men's adventure magazines were being published simultaneously.
The interior tales usually claimed to be true stories. Women in distress were commonly featured in the painted covers or interior art, often being menaced or tortured by Nazis or, in later years, Communists. Typical titles which relied on especially lurid and salacious cover illustrations include Man's Story, Men Today, World of Men, and Man's Epic.
Many of the stories were actual historical accounts of battles and the biographies and exploits of highly decorated soldiers. Several of the stories were combined and issued under various titles in paperback editions by Pyramid Books with the credit "edited by Phil Hirsch". Phil Hirsch was vice president of Pyramid Books from 1955 to 1975.
In the 1970s, many of the men's adventure magazines dropped the fiction and "true action" stories, and started focusing on pictorials of nude women and non-fiction articles related to sex or current events.