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The Power of Music

A 90-year-old WWII vet recounts a remarkable experience. (SLYT)
posted by gman on Sep 5, 2010 - 27 comments

Kissing Edith Goodbye

Edith Shain has died. She was 92. She worked at Doctor's Hospital in New York City during World War II, but you probably only knew her as an anonymous nurse. [more inside]
posted by mattdidthat on Jun 22, 2010 - 65 comments

Advanced Squad Leader

Advanced Squad Leader is a tactical-level board wargame, originally marketed by Avalon Hill Games, that simulates actions of approximately company or battalion size in World War II. ... Despite the price tag and the expensive lists of prerequisites for each new module, the game system caught on and new modules continued to be produced twenty years after the original release - a feat unheard of in the board wargaming industry, especially with the decline in sales due to rising popularity of console and PC games. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 22, 2010 - 75 comments

1942 maps of the invasion of the United States

Metafilter's own JF Ptak has an interesting post on the Life magazine issue of March 2nd, 1942, readers of which were confronted by some startling maps detailing possible Axis invasion strategies for North America. There was invasion down the St. Lawrence valley, there was invasion via Trinidad, via Bermuda, full frontal west coast, and down the west coast as well - note the mapping of the large "fifth columns". As Ptak notes, maps such as these with huge arrows pointed menancingly at the American homeland were very much not the norm of the day. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 3, 2010 - 44 comments

The Allied Merchant Navy

The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy (one-fifth of its pre-war strength) who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea*, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian, or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. They stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world. - John Keegan
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 20, 2009 - 23 comments

Normandy: Then and Now

Normandy: Then and Now Photographs of Normandy in 1944 meticulously juxtaposed with how the area looks today by French historian Patrick Elie.
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 16, 2009 - 27 comments

Viktor Suvorov on the beginnings of World War II

Suvorov’s argument is simple. Stalin cleverly lured Hitler into war by offering to divide Poland. This act, Stalin knew, would prompt Britain and France to declare war on Germany. Stalin expected to pick up the pieces. - Eric Margolis [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 14, 2009 - 30 comments

Captains Courageous

Have you ever wondered what you would look like dressed as a captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II? This guy did and then recreated it. [more inside]
posted by doctoryes on Jun 23, 2009 - 66 comments

Deaf People and World War II

Deaf People and World War II is an NTID project collecting videos, books, articles, links, etc., about the experiences of deaf Europeans, Asians, and North Americans during the war. [more inside]
posted by lullaby on Jun 7, 2009 - 4 comments

Brazil - a good neighbor

If you've ever heard the song Aquarela do Brasil (often called simply "Brazil" -- here's my favourite cover), then you'll probably enjoy this classic 1942 animation which first made it famous. The clip is the finale from the feature Saludos Amigos (hello friends), created during a US government-funded goodwill tour of South America aimed at strengthening Pan-American relations, which some argue may have helped bring South America onto the side of the Allies in World War II. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul on May 14, 2009 - 25 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

Under the sky and over the whole Earth, the Human race is only one!

When her Japanese-American husband was sent to internment camps in California and Wyoming, Estelle Peck Ishigo chose to accompany him. An art-school teacher fired for her interracial marriage, she documented the three-and-a-half-year ordeal in a short memoir and hundreds of sketches and paintings. [more inside]
posted by Knappster on Dec 30, 2008 - 6 comments

The Lure of the Open Road

Wartime wandering through the Eastern states by bicycle, truck, and riverboat. 1944.

In 1944, a dear friend, Doris Roy, and I undertook an adventurous journey that we dreamed of during countless hikes together over our college holidays. We had been Camp Fire Girls together, loving the out-of-doors, camping and hiking the open road. Our dreams finally developed into a plan to ride bicycles from our home in Buffalo, New York, to Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River met the Mississippi. We admired Mark Twain’s adventures, had read his Life on the Mississippi, and sought to follow his path to the Midwest. We were 21 years old...
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Dec 28, 2008 - 9 comments

They are fighting for a new world of freedom and peace.

Toons at War [more inside]
posted by anastasiav on Dec 9, 2008 - 5 comments

Voices and Music of Both World Wars

Voices and Music of World War I and Voices of World War II: Experiences From the Front and at Home both feature spoken word, sheet music and songs galore (all audio RealPlayer). The Great War site has plenty of stuff, but the core is the collection of songs, anti-war, patriotic, France-themed, Kaiser-knocking and so forth. The WWII site also has a whole bunch of music, demonstrating the changing mood of the US, from conflicted feelings about the start of the war to conflicted feelings about the atomic bomb. Among the artists are Nat King Cole, Leadbelly, Benny Goodman and Fats Waller. But in addition the wonderful songs there are newscasts, speeches, propaganda and other radio broadcasting of all kinds.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 17, 2008 - 10 comments

wartime paratrooper dummies and decoys

Burlap paradummies called Ruperts were dropped during D-Day, later depicted in the film The Longest Day. But prior to D-Day, both the British and the Germans had used straw-filled decoys in various locations. Later in the war, the U.S. tested "Oscar" but found him lacking, adopting instead the PD Dummy. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 5, 2008 - 11 comments

Was there a Battle for Australia?

Australia now commemorates Battle for Australia Day on the first Wednesday in September. But what is 'the Battle for Australia'? Did such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by Megami on Sep 16, 2008 - 51 comments

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives

JARDA: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives is a collection of photographs, diaries, letters, camp newsletters, personal histories and a wealth of other material relating to the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The site is divided into four categories: People, the men, women, and children who were incarcerated. Places, prewar neighborhoods and wartime camps. Daily Life, eating, sleeping, working, playing, and going to school. Personal Experiences, letters, diaries, art and other writing by internees. Among the photographers hired by the War Relocation Authority was famed dust bowl photographer Dorothea Lange. 855 of her photos are on the site. Even though she was working as a propagandist many of her images captures a starker reality, for instance this picture of a glum little girl.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 3, 2008 - 10 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

The Last Battlefield

It has been called the Last Battlefield of World War II in Europe. [more inside]
posted by beagle on Dec 10, 2007 - 31 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

"Japanese Relocation"

"Japanese Relocation" - A short propaganda film created by the US government & the "Office of War Information - Bureau of Motion Pictures." The subject has been much discussed previously on MetaFilter. Here and here, among other threads.
posted by The Deej on Jul 25, 2007 - 21 comments

"A triumph of audacity and bad taste."

All This and World War II [trailer; IMDB] is a 1976 musical documentary that mixes World War II newsreels and movie clips with Beatles covers. Looks like Hitler disapproved. [lots more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 29, 2007 - 6 comments

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

A Nazi Christmas Since its most ancient days, the Christmas holiday has been continually reshaped to serve commercial, social, and political ends. These Nazi-era Christmas materials, including an Advent calendar and an essay on how to turn Christian holidays into National Socialist ones, come from the German Propaganda Archive of the Calvin College library. Of course, the Allies also enlisted Christmas in both pop culture and propaganda with cards, V-Mails, and posters.
posted by Miko on Nov 29, 2006 - 21 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

Onwards Falcons!

Johnny Red was a story appearing in Battle and Battle Action magazine back in the late 70's and early 80's. Telling the story of a young British fighter pilot serving with the Falcons; a Russian squadron in World War II; Johnny Red was remarkable for it's time (in the midst of the Cold War) giving a positive image of Soviet Russian heroism in the fight against Nazi Germany. Scans of almost every issue are contained within - enjoy!
posted by longbaugh on Sep 2, 2006 - 12 comments

Larger Than Life: Christine Granville

The Real-Life Vesper Lynde. Known to history as Christine Granville, Krystyna Skarbek was first Polish nobility and later Churchill's favorite spy. Undaunted by weather, Christine skied over the Tatras from Hungary to Poland to gather intelligence and participated in the liberation of France. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, but found herself ill-suited to normal employment, and worked as a saleswoman at Harrods and as a telephonist before becoming an oceanliner stewardess. Along the way, Christine met Ian Fleming, who may have based his first "Bond Girl" on the intrepid spy. Want to know more? Read her recently republished biography or order her file from the Briish National Archives.
posted by Medieval Maven on Aug 6, 2006 - 6 comments

Englandspiel - or 'Germany Game'

Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 6, 2006 - 16 comments

Football is war.

Please, do mention the war. Really, it's hard not to. After all, in a sense football is war, as the General famously joked. Sometimes it's peace. Same goes for that other football, by the way.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 3, 2006 - 11 comments

The National Archives on Google Video

The National Archives of the United States and Google have announced a pilot project to digitize historic films and make them available via Google Video for free. The project's initial offering of 101 films include NASA documentaries on the spaceflight program, samples of United Newsreels from World War II, and early films from the Department of the Interior highlighting public works such as the construction of the Hoover Dam and the work of the National Park Service. Also of note is the earliest film in the National Archives holdings, an odd compilation circa 1894 containing Carmencita's Spanish Dance, boats being pulled upstream, people crossing a bridge, and Japanese women playing stringed instruments (on silent film, of course...) last link is direct to video, 2 minutes 46 seconds in duration
posted by edverb on Feb 25, 2006 - 24 comments

Paging Wild Bill Kelso

The "Battle of Los Angeles" occurred on February 24/25, 1942, when a large object was picked up on radar approximately 120 miles off the southern California coastline. Fearing another Japanese attack, a general blackout was called and fighter planes were dispatched to combat the unknown assailant.

Three hours later, the planes were recalled. Witnesses reported furious fighting but no sightings of downed planes were noted. The Navy claimed there were no enemy planes; the Army put out the story (embedded sound) that Japanese spy planes were indeed present. Subsequent investigations revealed that the invasion was most likely a weather balloon. Other opinions were also expressed.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies on Jan 12, 2006 - 25 comments

Last of WWII Comanche Code Talkers Dies

Last of WWII Comanche Code Talkers Dies Charles Chibitty, the last survivor of the Comanche code talkers who used their native language to transmit messages for the Allies in Europe during World War II, has died. He was 83. More info on the Code Talkers
posted by edmcbride on Jul 22, 2005 - 9 comments

The People's War

The People's War
Read and share memories of World War II, courtesy of the BBC.
posted by Mwongozi on Nov 11, 2004 - 2 comments

Red Flag Over the Reichstag

Some very moving Soviet war photography, notably several shots of the famously doctored (not to mention staged) but nonetheless dramatic hoisting of the Red Flag over a burned out Reichstag (a scene which, by the way, recently appeared in a videogame).
posted by rafter on Apr 12, 2004 - 7 comments

Photographs of Allied Occupied Japan after WW2

360 photographs of Allied-occupied Japan after World War Two, taken by anthropologist John W. Bennett, arranged in portfolios with comments by Bennett and links to large images, such as hotel umbrellas drying in the sun. The exhibition includes selections from Bennett's journal and letters with his first impressions of Japan. Portfolios include views of Tokyo, children in the park, women of the night, traditional architecture, and Japanese resorts.
posted by carter on Apr 11, 2004 - 5 comments

German Propaganda Archive

German Propaganda Archive.
posted by hama7 on Mar 26, 2004 - 8 comments

Museum of World War II

Museum of World War II.
posted by hama7 on Feb 21, 2004 - 1 comment

The Aerial Reconnaissance Archive

The Aerial Reconnaissance Archive is a new online archive of World War II reconnaissance photos, which will eventually include 5 million photos. The BBC has some background information, including an interview with a former Photographic Reconnaissance Unit pilot.
posted by kirkaracha on Jan 23, 2004 - 3 comments

Search portal for Nazi-stolen art

The Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal "...to provide a searchable registry of objects in U.S. museum collections that were created before 1946, and changed hands in Continental Europe during the Nazi era (1933-1945)." Families who had art confiscated by the Nazis can search US collections for it here.
posted by liam on Sep 8, 2003 - 2 comments

Ollie ollie oxen free!

The last World War Two Japanese soldier surrendered in the Philippines in 1980, ending a stream of holdouts. This is their story.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 5, 2003 - 10 comments

It's official YOU are a SMACKTARD!

Battlefield 1942 Propaganda Posters are very handy for the times when you need to call someone a smacktard.
posted by riffola on Mar 26, 2003 - 18 comments

Manzanar War Relocation Center

Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II. Ansel Adams photographed the camp in 1943 and published a book the following year to publicize the loyalty of the internees. You can take a QuickTime VR virtual tour, tour the camp in 3D VRML (screenshots), or read the memoirs of a woman who was interned there.
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 19, 2002 - 22 comments

the grave of the unknown rapist.

the grave of the unknown rapist. does the brutality of war result in man sinking to the depths of depravity
posted by johnnyboy on May 9, 2002 - 25 comments

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