Richard Sullivan has posted the 16mm color footage
his father shot of the "spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender" on Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki on August 14th, 1945.
posted by zzazazz
on Feb 11, 2011 -
Rediscovering WWII's female "computers"
. While researching a documentary in Philadelphia, filmmaker LeAnn Erickson came across two women with a story she'd never heard before: thousands of women with advanced mathematical skills employed as "computers", working day and night during WWII to supply soldiers in the field with precise ballistics algorithms. Some of those women also went on to program ENIAC
, the first general-purpose computer (previously
). Erickson turned their stories into Top Secret Rosies
, a documentary released to theaters last year and to DVD this month. One of those programmers, Betty Jean Jennings Bartik, spoke at length
to the Computing History Museum in 2008. [youtube, 1:07:19] [via
posted by Errant
on Feb 8, 2011 -
"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog." Introducing Jackie, the Finnish dog
that infuriated the Nazis.
posted by naju
on Jan 7, 2011 -
The House of Sharing is a place for the Halmoni to to live together and heal the wounds of the past while educating the future generations of the suffering they survived.The View From Over Here
details her visit to the House of Sharing, a therapeutic group home and museum for surviving "comfort women", who were systematically raped by the Japanese military during World War II. The museum displays art for and by the survivors. Via Ask a Korean
. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt
on Dec 17, 2010 -
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt,"
told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 23, 2010 -
Mr. Vonnegut talked about my dad a lot and put him into a lot of his books. Sometimes he was Dad, and sometimes he was just a character Mr. Vonnegut made up. So what I would say to any of you who are wondering is this: My dad was what people called a real character, which always made us laugh because it was so literally true owing to his association with a famous fiction writer. He could also get pretty obnoxious. But he was a good man. And he definitely wasn’t crazy. At least not until the brain tumor.
Kurt Vonnegut Didn't Know Doodly-Squat About Writing: Finally, Literary Analysis Worth Reading
by Bernard V. O'Hare, with an introduction by Meghan O'Hare.
posted by shakespeherian
on Nov 3, 2010 -
In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth.
- The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Oct 27, 2010 -
Color Photos of the Russian Front
Even though color photography was no longer entirely a novelty by the time of the Second World War, it is still uncommon and intriguing to see color photos from the war. Even moreso in this case, as the pictures in this EnglishRussia.com post are mainly of the German army fighting in Russia. The images include scenes of actual combat as well as behind the lines, though there was only one I noticed that featured a wounded soldier. There's even a picture of some GIs near the end of the series.
posted by briank
on Oct 7, 2010 -
This is all rooted in a vision I had, of William S. Burroughs as a CIA agent, and Philip K. Dick as his young henchman, going head-to-head with notorious gangster and pervert Adolf Hitler somewhere in Hamburg to find out where Hitler is shipping all the computers he can get his hands on.
- In another world Charles Stross wrote this sprawling work
of Alternate History
instead of the Merchant Princes
books. Fictional books are of course themselves a common them in Alternative History stories, from The Grasshopper Lies Heavy in The Man in the High Castle
to Adolf Hitlers pulp novel Lord of the Swastika
in The Iron Dream
. Stanisław Lem was particularly enamoured with the idea of the fictional book, and wrote two volumes of reviews and introductions for them, lovingly described here
by Bruce Sterling.
posted by Artw
on Sep 23, 2010 -
History and mystery wonderfully blended.
Although doubtless well-known to UK Mefites, I was only recently directed to this marvelous and engaging TV series featuring Michael Kitchen as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. It's a refreshing change from American fare, entirely adult, with crisp dialogue and meticulous attention to detail and historic accuracy. Speaking as a Yank weary of plasticity, it's also wonderful to see actors with real faces. The series can be seen on Youtube in pieces that can be viewed fairly seamlessly: Series One: The German Woman
, The White Feather
, Lesson in Murder
, Eagle Day
. Series Two: Fifty Ships
, Among the Few
, War Games
, The Funk Hole
. Series Three: The French Drop
, Enemy Fire
, They Fought in the Fields
, War of Nerves
. Series Four: Invasion
, Bad Blood
. Series Five: Bleak Midwinter
, Casualties of War
. Series Six: Plan of Attack
, Broken Souls
, All Clear
. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet
on Sep 19, 2010 -
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific.
Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 14, 2010 -
Poetry in Hell
contains a complete collection of poems recovered from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archives
. The project, which took ten years to complete, gives English translations of poems that are shown in their original Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 23, 2010 -
“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
!), the weather, gardening and farming.
posted by stratastar
on Jun 18, 2010 -
“Let us acknowledge the measure of their sacrifice by honoring them as brave women, and by honoring them as women who served without thought of glory which we accord to heroes of battle. The service pilot faces the risk of death without the emotional inspiration of combat. Men who battle in the sky have the grim, triumphant knowledge that their bombs and bullets are destroying the enemy, and their courage is sustained by the emotions of conflict.
These women have given their lives in the performance of arduous and exacting duties without being able to see and feel the final results of their work under the quickening influence of aerial action. They have demonstrated a courage which is sustained not by the fevers of combat, but the steady heartbeat of faith—a faith in the rightness of our cause, and a faith in the importance of their work to the men who do go into combat.
Let us pay tribute to these women by honoring their memory . . . Let us treasure their memory as women whose sacrifice has brought honor not only to their country, but also to their organization.
We shall not forget the accomplishments of our women fliers and their contributions to the fulfillment of our mission. And we shall always keep and remember the brave heritage of the women who gave their lives. It is the heritage of faith in victory and faith in the ultimate freedom of humanity.” [more inside]
posted by caddis
on May 31, 2010 -
On the eve of the 65rd anniversary of the end of World War II, RIA Novosti
presents images in memory of WWII heroes compiled from photographs taken by war correspondents in 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. Ships trains planes
posted by hortense
on Apr 13, 2010 -
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol
" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. [more inside]
posted by dobbs
on Mar 16, 2010 -
, amid the grey serge of wartime France, a tribe of youngsters with all the colourful decadence of punks or teddy boys. Wearing zoot suits cut off at the knee (the better to show off their brightly coloured socks), with hair sculpted into grand quiffs, and shoes with triple-height soles - looking like glam-rock footwear 30 years early - these were the kids who would lay the foundations of nightclubbing. Ladies and gentlemen, les Zazous.
" [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 8, 2010 -
This was going to be a post about japanese fighter ace Saburo Sakai
(around 60 kills) while also mentioning Hiroyoshi "the Devil" Nishizawa
, Japan's top WWII ace (around 110 kills). But while comparing them to aces of other countries I encountered something your average non-war buff american probably doesn't know. That is that about the top
aces of WWII (and all time consequently) were all german
. And where does the US rank on this list. You don't want to know
posted by jake1
on Jan 30, 2010 -
The Imperial Palaces of Tsarskoye Selo
(nowadays Pushkin), near St. Petersburg, contained many invaluable cultural treasures that were plundered or destroyed during the Second World War. Most famous among them was the fabled Amber Room
, whose disappearance has soured diplomatic relations between Germany and Russia ever since (the Germans can't find it back
). Some claim that another, much more secret room of the Catherine Palace
was also plundered. However, in this case, the Russian authorities deny that it ever existed. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic
on Jan 17, 2010 -
“I am not a hero...I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.”
, protector of Anne Frank and her family, passes away at age 100.
posted by dnash
on Jan 11, 2010 -