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The Nimitz Graybook: The WWII Operational Diary of Chester W. Nimitz

December 7--The war opened with the attack of Japanese aircraft on Oahu. So begins the Command Summary of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, now available online as part of the U.S. Naval War College's Naval Historical Collection, in eight pdf volumes. Downloading is currently a little slow, as demand for site access has been high.
posted by MoonOrb on Feb 24, 2014 - 7 comments

The Last Stand

Marc Wilson’s series The Last Stand documents the remains of coastal fortifications that lined Northern Europe during the Second World War — bunkers swallowed by the sea, pillboxes barely clinging to land, buildings ripped from their foundations and wrecked on the rocks — from Allied positions on England’s east coast and the far tip of the Northern Isles, to the once German-occupied archipelago of the Channel Islands and the remains of the Atlantikwall, the colossal Nazi defense network which stretched from Norway to Spain.
Slideshow
posted by infini on Feb 4, 2014 - 8 comments

Richard Prendergast Rode on the Prisoner Train with Kurt Vonnegutt.

"Just to describe you: You're a large man, a big boned man." ..The most fascinating oral history you'll hear this week. Prendergast endured a German labor camp after being captured during the battle of the bulge, and witnessed the fire bombing of Dresden from 15 miles away. Interviews were recorded as source material for Studs Terkel's book: The Good War.
posted by thisisdrew on Aug 6, 2013 - 4 comments

The following notes were written at odd hours and strange places...

The War Diaries of Lt. George Lester Cushman
posted by curious nu on Jul 28, 2013 - 4 comments

FOOD FLASH - There's spud in your eye!

The Ministry Of Food was a British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II. They made many newsreels and PSAs to inform the citizenry how to use the food rationing system: Rationing is introduced in 1939 The new ration books are coming! Cod Liver Oil Here's spud in your eye Don't cut that bread! DON'T WASTE FOOD! Dig For Victory! Milk is here! In addition, some short films instructed people in how to best use the new rationing system : Two Cooks And A Cabbage How To Make Tea Rabbit Pie Buying black market meat: a Partner in CRIME A US view explaining UK rationing to the States.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 30, 2013 - 15 comments

History Cookbook!

Welcome to the history cookbook. Do you know what the Vikings ate for dinner? What a typical meal of a wealthy family in Roman Britain consisted of, or what food was like in a Victorian Workhouse? Why not drop into history cookbook and find out? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jun 26, 2011 - 45 comments

U-853

"ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS. CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING. DÖNITZ." [more inside]
posted by AugieAugustus on May 6, 2011 - 42 comments

“A little white house… lingers in my memory…”

Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 film about the Holocaust, can be seen on YouTube, in 59 parts and lasting more than 9 hours. This is not for the faint of heart or for folks with short attention spans. Reminded of it through Ebert’s latest post. On Wikipedia. (Previously here)
posted by growabrain on Jan 2, 2011 - 42 comments

'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers

In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
posted by mek on Aug 9, 2010 - 40 comments

Orwell's War-Time Diary

“People talk a little more of the war, but very little. As always hitherto, it is impossible to overhear any comments on it in the pubs, etc. Last night, E[ileen] and I went to the pub to hear the 9 o’c news. The barmaid was not going to have it on if we had not asked her, and to all appearances nobody listened.”
On May 28, 1940, George Orwell began keeping a war time diary. Printed in “full and in chronological order” by the Orwell Trust, 70 years after he wrote them, with selected historian’s notes. Pre-war entries are a little duller, focusing on topics like recipes (macon!), the weather, gardening and farming. (Previously)
posted by stratastar on Jun 18, 2010 - 21 comments

Advertising in the public interest

"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library - Diner - Church. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom and I Am an American, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history, including Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective PSAs on everything from student invention to global warming to arts education to community service.

Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns - Campaigns organized by category - Award-winning campaigns - PSA Central: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd) - An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF] - YouTube channel - Vimeo channel - Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 11, 2009 - 69 comments

On Paper Wings

Japanese Balloon Bombs — "In 1944, during World War II, Japan launched a top secret project, nearly two years in the making, to send thousands of "balloon bombs" (called Fu-Go Weapons) to the United States. The goal of the attack was to create panic, forest fires, and show the United States that it could be attacked from afar. Each of the more than 9,000 balloon bombs launched towards the United States, over the course of several months, carried a 15 kilogram bomb that would detach from the balloon and explode on impact with the ground." On a Wind and a Prayer. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 2, 2009 - 39 comments

World War II History Reference

"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?" ― Winston Churchill, 1935. The World War II Database connects people, events, photographs, and other elements of history in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
posted by netbros on Mar 13, 2009 - 13 comments

WWII in Color

World War II pictures in color. Some favorites: Soldiers at the Coliseum. A WAC discusses sailing with an old hand. A canine "soldier" dons a gas mask during training. African-American MPs on Motorbike Patrol. Other galleries: WWII in Color. | A searchable database of color slides.| Library of Congress collection (also includes Depression-era photographs) | WWII in pictures (mostly Germans; one graphic photo halfway down)
posted by desjardins on Feb 11, 2009 - 17 comments

Romano Archives

ROMANO-Archives has a YouTube channel with over 270 color film clips, called Unknown WWII In Color. "World War ll has usually been seen in black and white, but our recent research has unearthed an abundance of superb color film that shows what it really looked like to those who were there. The Author presents mainly WW2 recently declassified and other previously unavailable material, exclusively filmed in color." They also have over 900 videos of Automobile History USA l lots of pages of images with history, like Jammin' with Betty Boop. [In English and Italian] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 24, 2008 - 18 comments

Keep it under your Stetson.

Free Speech Doesn't Mean Careless Talk! World War II posters from the US Merchant Marine at War. More posters (Rivets are Bayonets, Drive them Home). There's lots of other cool stuff, like this brief history of privateers during the Revolutionary War.
posted by OmieWise on Feb 12, 2008 - 26 comments

Bloody Omaha

How many men does it take it recreate the massive 1944 allied assault on Omaha Beach? Three. [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by LarryC on Jan 15, 2008 - 47 comments

The Little Boats that Could

Operation Dynamo, aka The Miracle of Dunkirk, began on this day in 1940. Before it ended, nearly 340,000 British and Allied troops would make it to safety and fight another day. Why would the Germans allow them to escape? Was it fear? Hubris? Or was it, as historian B.H. Liddell Hart wrote after the war, Hitler's appreciation for the British Empire?
posted by SaintCynr on May 26, 2007 - 25 comments

Can you hear me now?

LA6NCA's WW2 German Radio Collection Pictures and a little history on many WW2 German radios including a cute as a button spy radio and the Lichtsprechgerät 80, an incoherent light audio transceiver. Also featured are a few photo essays of the equipment in use (Enigma, Luftwaffe Signals unit redeploying). [dorian
posted by Mitheral on Feb 8, 2007 - 20 comments

~~~~==FLY NAVY==~~~~

Cruiser Scout WW2 veteran's account of fighting in the Guadalcanal campaign.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Jan 17, 2006 - 11 comments

concrete ships

Concrete Ships Toward the end of the First World War, and during the Second World War, the United States commisioned the construction of experimental concrete ships.
posted by dhruva on Oct 13, 2005 - 25 comments

sea forts

The Maunsell Sea Forts: During the Second World War, three anti-aircraft forts were built in 1941-42 to protect the Thames Estuary, designed by Mr. G. A. Maunsell.
posted by dhruva on Aug 1, 2005 - 11 comments

Our Victory, Day by Day - a project of RIA Novosti

Our Victory, Day by Day. Russian news agency RIA Novosti counts down to the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with songs, posters, photos, and stories. Be sure not to miss the first-person accounts in English (under "Frontline Album").
posted by gimonca on Apr 9, 2005 - 19 comments

"Vote for Lindbergh or Vote for War"

"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear." He is one of America's great novelists, but you don't expect Philip Roth to be barreling up the best-seller list with a book that hasn't even been published yet. And yet "The Plot Against America" is in the top 3 at amazon.com. It spins a what-if scenario in which the isolationist and anti-Semitic hero Charles Lindbergh runs for president as a Republican in 1940 and defeats F.D.R. "Keep America Out of the Jewish War", reads a button worn by Lindbergh supporters rallying at Madison Square Garden. And so he does: he signs nonaggression pacts with Germany and Japan that will keep America at peace while the rest of the world burns. The Lindbergh administration hatches a nice plan to prod assimilation of the Jews. Innocuously called Just Folks, it's a relocation program for urban Jews, administered by an Office of American Absorption fronted by an obliging and pompous rabbi of radio celebrity. The teenage Roth character is shipped off to a Kentucky tobacco farm, to finally live among Christians. The book is about American Fascism, but while Roth is no fan of President Bush ("a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one"), he points out that he conceived this book (LATimes registration: sparklebottom/sparklebottom) in December 2000, and that it would be "a mistake" to read it "as a roman à clef to the present moment in America." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 28, 2004 - 10 comments

German Helmets

The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945.
posted by starscream on Jun 15, 2004 - 31 comments

The day the sky exploded

The day the sky exploded. Ever wondered exactly what happened when the H-bomb hit Hiroshima? So did lots of scientists.. It's not pointless curiosity - these discoveries should help us all in the future. Of course, those in charge had other things in mind at the time. Hiroshima previously well examined here.
posted by ascullion on Jul 31, 2003 - 17 comments

Hemp for Victory!

"Hemp for Victory!" A USDA educational film from 1942 extolling the patriotic virtues of growing the crop that, a half-century later, over 600,000 people would be arrested for possessing. (Gotta love the official "Producer of Marihuana" license.) How times have changed.
posted by digaman on May 4, 2003 - 7 comments

Almost sixty years after the end of the Second World War, the battlefields of Western Europe, Scandanavia, Russia and the Pacific continue to reveal poignant relics of the men who fought and died. These links may be of interest to anyone with even a passing interest in military history.
posted by Doozer on Oct 25, 2002 - 7 comments

One Hell of a Big Bang

One Hell of a Big Bang -- Studs Turkel meets Paul Tibbets the pilot of the Enola Gay. It's a great, though-provoking and disturbing interview to read on Hiroshima Day.
posted by LMG on Aug 6, 2002 - 40 comments

"Julia Child and a few of her male compatriots got together and literally cooked up a shark repellent"

"Julia Child and a few of her male compatriots got together and literally cooked up a shark repellent" The "Clandestine Women" exhibit at the Women in Military Service to America Memorial (Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC) tells how the French Chef, as well as Josephine Baker and many others, used to work for American intelligence.
posted by Allen Varney on Apr 4, 2002 - 2 comments

And you thought Microsoft was evil.

And you thought Microsoft was evil. There appears to be pretty significant evidence that IBM was involved in automating the persecution of Jews by the Nazis. Read more about it here, here and here.

And since we haven't even settled the question of when a nation has atoned for its sins, what exactly is the statute of limitations for a company's sins?
posted by anildash on Feb 11, 2001 - 20 comments

You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre.

You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre. A very graphic account of the massacre of Chinese citizens by Japanese soldiers in World War 2. I found this tale to be far more sickening than that of the Holocaust.

Don't read it if you don't wish to read and see accounts of how Japanese soldiers sliced up pregnant women and beheaded children in the streets. It is truly awful.
posted by wackybrit on Jan 29, 2001 - 47 comments

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