150 posts tagged with WW2.
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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

Confidential!

Derailing a train isn't as easy as you might think. [1944] (Declassified WW2 OSS training video.) [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 11, 2011 - 55 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

A portal into the past

This is what it looked like then... Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov takes old WWII photos and go to exactly the same place it was taken, then combines the two. Some of my favorites
posted by ShawnString on Jul 30, 2010 - 53 comments

Tallie ban

70 years ago today, the Arandora Star was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland by Commander Günther Prien, famous for sinking the HMS Royal Oak at Scapa Flow. Prien had taken its grey livery to mean the Arandora Star was an armed merchant ship. Instead, it was carrying Italian and German internees to be held in Canada for the duration of the war. [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns on Jul 2, 2010 - 25 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

Fascists in color

Nazi's propaganda. My Granddad once told me that I didn't understand Nazi's, because the black and white film always made it look unreal. He said if the films were color, I'd see.
posted by Mblue on Mar 5, 2010 - 74 comments

The Battle of Brisbane

The United States and Australia have long shared a peaceful alliance, but it was not always so. In 1942, U.S servicemen and Australian soldiers fought openly and violently in what is known today as The Battle of Brisbane. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 8, 2010 - 51 comments

Knut Magne Haugland - a real life adventure story

Knut Haugland, the last surviving member of the Kon Tiki expedition, and possibly the quietest hero you’ve never heard of, died on Christmas Day. [more inside]
posted by girlgenius on Jan 7, 2010 - 21 comments

Operation Mincemeat

Historian claims to have finally identified wartime 'Man Who Never Was'.
posted by veedubya on Jan 4, 2010 - 29 comments

Horrie the Wog Dog

Army Pack: Horrie the Wog Dog, 2/1Australian Machine Gun Battalion. An Australian soldier in WW2 befriended a puppy, and he went to great lengths to save him after the War. I saw it this morning on Letters of Note and thought it was great. Be sure to read to the end.
posted by web-goddess on Nov 4, 2009 - 9 comments

Violence, death, mud, insanity.

Photos from the war. A slideshow of photos taken by German soldier Werner Wiehe... vermisst in Russland, 1944. (While viewing the slideshow, might I suggest playing some appropriate musical accompaniment, arranged in sequential order?!)
posted by markkraft on Oct 17, 2009 - 18 comments

Beating Swords into Plowshares, Micronesian-Style

The Pacific theatre of World War 2 left many traces behind. The shipwrecks of Chuuk Lagoon are probably the most famous, but they're hardly the primary reminders of former military action present in the day-to-day lives of many Micronesians. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Oct 10, 2009 - 12 comments

An amazing woman

The only woman in the French Foreign Legion. A little about the fantastic life of a brave woman.
posted by Idcoytco on Sep 24, 2009 - 17 comments

Twice a Phantom

David Niven was best known for his acting work in roles such as The Pink Panther's Sir Charles Lytton, aka the Phantom, a suave playboy burglar with, as calling card, a white glove embroidered with a "P". Niven is also remembered as a generous, if not always entirely truthful, fountain of (mostly saucy) anecdotes, as well as a famous wit. However, there was one part of his life about which he was always notoriously serious and tight-lipped: his military service in the Second World War. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Sep 17, 2009 - 39 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

" They that die by famine die by inches." -- Matthew Henry

The winter of 1944–45 is known as the ‘Hunger Winter’ in The Netherlands, which was occupied by the Germans in May 1940. Beginning in September 1944, Allied troops had liberated most of the South of the country, but their advance towards the North came to a stop at the Waal and Rhine rivers and the battle of Arnhem. In support of the Allied war effort, the Dutch government in exile in London called for a national railway strike to hinder German military initiatives. In retaliation, in October 1944, the German authorities blocked all food supplies to the occupied West of the country. Despite the war, nutrition in The Netherlands had generally been adequate up to October 1944. Thereafter, food supplies became increasingly scarce. By November 26, 1944, official rations, which eventually consisted of little more than bread and potatoes, had fallen below 1000 kcal per day, and by April 1945, they were as low as 500 kcal per day. Widespread starvation was seen especially in the cities of the western Netherlands. Food supplies were restored immediately after liberation on May 5, 1945.
But for many, who weren't even born when it started, the hongerwinter continues. Why? In part because "certain environmental conditions early in human development can result in persistent changes in epigenetic information" via DNA methylation. Epigenetics seems like a little bit of Lamarckism: environmental effects on a parent -- or even a grandparent -- can be passed to offspring, even without permanent changes to DNA. (previously)
posted by orthogonality on Sep 7, 2009 - 26 comments

"a real-life James Bond. His boozy amours, his tough postures, his intelligence expertise..."

In 1948, when John was five, Guy Burgess came to stay for a holiday. John's mother resented Burgess and his close relationship with her husband, and began staging accidents to claim attention; she once reported being mugged in her car, and on another occasion set fire to the living room, suffering serious burns. She was later sent to a Swiss clinic for treatment. Philby was posted to the United States the following year. The strange life of John Philby, the son of "the most hated man in England", Kim Philby, a member of the notorious Cambridge Five spying ring. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 23, 2009 - 16 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

Lost London, in photographs

User El_Greco of the SkyscaperCity Forum presents "Lost London", an absolutely stunning photographic thread of old London architecture.
posted by 6am on Feb 25, 2009 - 21 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

Osama bin Lego, apparently

So, for about two years now, Will Chapman of BrickArms has been creating a wide variety of custom Lego minifigures, ranging from World War II soldiers (both Axis and Allies) to a certain copyrighted British Secret Service agent. One of Chapman's more popular creations is "Mr. White," a "bandit" brimming with weapons (including an AK-47 and RPG) and grenades. This week, the Sun ran a story. Then Fox News ran another. [more inside]
posted by hifiparasol on Dec 11, 2008 - 30 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 Calm and Carry On

In 1939, King George VI commissioned the Ministry of Information to produce three posters designed to reassure and prepare the British nation for an inevitable war. The posters were designed not so much to deliver any specific instruction, but rather to suggest an attitude - from King to country - towards the unknown. Stiff upper lip, old boy. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. [more inside]
posted by 6am on Nov 19, 2008 - 38 comments

The last ones leave us now.

Fewer than 100 survived Treblinka. I am the last one.
posted by allkindsoftime on Oct 31, 2008 - 30 comments

SNAFU

FUBAR
posted by Mblue on Jun 28, 2008 - 16 comments

15 Vintage Warplanes in Flying Condition

As the Seattle PI notes "Paul Allen's 'Flying Heritage Collection' of 15 planes, mostly dating from the 1930s and '40s, is noteworthy both because of its rarity -- several are the only models of their kind remaining -- and its condition -- almost all of them have been refurbished so that they can be flown." [more inside]
posted by maxwelton on Jun 6, 2008 - 30 comments

An introduction to Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park: A WWII juggernaut. It decrypted German Enigma (try one!) and Japanese messages on an industrial scale in huts and blocks, had an outpost in Mombasa, and built one of the first modern computers (it helped that Alan Turing was on staff). Now a diverse museum with or without a funding problem, it generated yet more intrigue in 2000 when an Enigma was stolen, and hosts a rebuilt, working Colossus that launched a cipher challenge. Beating it wasn't easy! [more inside]
posted by jwells on Jun 5, 2008 - 36 comments

See? Forts!

Britain's Maunsell Sea Forts [wiki] were built during WWII as part of the coastal defense system. They were decommissioned in the 1950's, but many of them remain in use for non-military purposes (this is arguably the most famous). Some great photos here. [previously on metafilter]
posted by dersins on Apr 25, 2008 - 13 comments

Insignia of Armed Forces in WW2

The Armed Forces of World War II, a flash presentation of rank insignia. The creator implies that it's a work in progress, but what I've clicked through seems pretty complete to me. Bonus Babylon 5 link on the left.
posted by adamdschneider on Mar 26, 2008 - 11 comments

HMAS Sydney and Kormeran found

Sailing from Sumatra back to Fremantle in November 1941, the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney encountered a Dutch freighter off the West Australian coast. The freighter turned out to be the disguised German mercantile raider Kormoran. After an ensuing fight, the Sydney went down with all hands, the reasons for which have been debated ever since. First the Kormoran, then over night the Sydney have been found by research organisation, Finding Sydney Foundation.
posted by mattoxic on Mar 16, 2008 - 21 comments

The Astrologist who Foretold Hitler's Downfall.

Recently released documents from the British National Archives have unearthed the role of an astrologist called Louis de Wohl. His claim was that, since Hitler consulted an astrologer to determine what to do, he could look at the same star signs and predict what Hitler's actions would be. The Intelligence services apparently did not believe this - but British Security Coordination, a secret propaganda organisation designed to influence Americans to join the war, did see a possibility in this and sent him on a US tour where he foretold Hitler's imminent downfall. He may also have been asked to leak some information which had previously been decrypted from Enigma messages. A BBC Radio 4 interview with historian Christopher Andrew and writer William Boyd (starting 18min 50 sec in) provides more details.
posted by rongorongo on Mar 4, 2008 - 8 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

Bacterial marketing: the other Oskar Schindler

Upon the Nazi invasion of Poland, pediatrician Eugeniusz Łazowski and his friend Stanisław Matulewicz fabricated a fake typhus epidemic to save Polish Jews from the Nazis. Knowing that typhus-infected Jews would be summarily executed, non-Jews were injected with the harmless Proteus OX19, which would generate false positives for typhus. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 19, 2007 - 23 comments

Your random audio links of the day.

Today's post of tenuously related audio brings you ten historic radio broadcasts, 529 eternal questions in popular music, and one mildly amusing black metal band prank call.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2007 - 11 comments

Concentration Camp Tarot Cards

Hand drawn Tarot Cards created by a Boris Kobe, a prisoner at Allach Concentration Camp, a sub-camp of Dachau. Each card depcits an aspect of life in the camp - click each image for high-res versions.
posted by jonson on Aug 25, 2007 - 34 comments

"They gave me a uniform, a little gun and little pistol"

"Before you kill me, can you give me a bit of bread?" How a Jew, orphaned by Nazi atrocity, became a mascot -- to the Schutzstaffel.
posted by orthogonality on Aug 22, 2007 - 33 comments

Dutch East Indies

Dutch East Indies. "After a wonderful youth in the Dutch East Indies, today Indonesia, my family and I went through three and a half years Japanese occupation. I lost my father, I lost the country I loved, I lost everything, but I kept my memories. ... So here I am, 79 years old, sitting behind my computer, going back to the Dutch East Indies."
posted by No-sword on Aug 16, 2007 - 31 comments

Huge Collection of WWII Propaganda Posters

Huge Collection of WWII Propaganda Posters (Axis & Allied powers represented). Via.
posted by jonson on Aug 1, 2007 - 27 comments

D-Day +63

All patriots, men and women, young and old, have a part to play in the achievement of final victory.”
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jun 6, 2007 - 16 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

The real Great Escape

One man: one plan, one stove, hundreds of accomplices, 200 tonnes of sand, 4,000 bed boards, 600 feet of rope.

76 men: 50 murdered, 23 recaptured, only three got away.

The real story behind the Great Escape.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 26, 2006 - 24 comments

Controversial/popular German Hitler satire cartoon

Who knew Hitler sang reggae? View (YouTube, in German but with moustached rubber ducks).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 20, 2006 - 38 comments

WW2 Tank Recovered

Estonian hobbyists find WW2 Russian tank in a bog. And it runs. (via Linkfilter)
posted by LarryC on Sep 15, 2006 - 50 comments

A Hitler Speaks.

Paula Hitler: "He was still my brother."
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments on Aug 25, 2006 - 53 comments

whatever you do, don't mention the war

Winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature, a peace activist who opposed reunification for fear Germany might once again war against its neighbors, ghost-writer of Willy Brandt's speeches, author of the great fabulist history of World War II and postwar Germany, The Tin Drum, and of My Century, a novel of one hundred chapters, one for each year of the last century, a man considered part of the artistic movement known in German as "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" or "coming to terms with the past", Günter Grass belatedly admits the history he expunged from his personal narrative: his service as a member of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg of the Waffen-SS. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Grass explained his service would stain him forever, but that only after the war did he feel ashamed of having been in the Waffen-SS:
for me, because I am sure of my recollection, the Waffen SS was nothing frightful, but rather an elite unit that they sent where things were hot, and which, as people said about it, had the heaviest losses.

posted by orthogonality on Aug 12, 2006 - 46 comments

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