Losing the War "From the beginning, the actual circumstances of World War II were smothered in countless lies...People all along have preferred the movie version: the tense border crossing where the flint-eyed SS guards check the forged papers; the despondent high-level briefing where the junior staff officer pipes up with the crazy plan that just might work...The truth behind these cliches was never forgotten -- because nobody except the soldiers ever learned it in the first place."
posted by deern the headlice
on Jan 3, 2010 -
"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
. 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 -
Relying on depth to avoid detection is a submarine's greatest ability, so the shallow water of our nation's rivers doesn't seem to work within a sub's advantages (just don't tell Kentucky
). During WWII, however, the waterways of North America were exactly what U.S. submarines needed in order to avoid detection. The shipyards of Manitowoc, Wisconsin produced submarines
for the war effort, but getting them to the sea proved difficult. German U-Boats waited outside the St Lawrence
to torpedo any ships leaving the Great Lakes for the Atlantic. The submarines, instead, went cross-country
- over two dozen subs were towed through the Heartland during WWII over several years, making their way from the Great Lakes, through Illinois and passing Peoria
via the Illinois River, then entering the Mississippi River and past Cape Girardeau
, where they entered the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans. Four of the subs were lost in battle, the rest scrapped over the next fifty years, and none ever saw St Louis again.
posted by AzraelBrown
on Jul 23, 2009 -
Though the B-2 Spirit
is perhaps the best-known of the flying wing
designs, its creation came almost 50 years after the earliest attempts at creating fixed-wing aircraft with no definite fuselage. The first prototypes of Frenchman Charles Fauvel's flying wings
followed the patent on his formula for the flying wing in 1929. Jack Northrop's newly formed Northrop Aircraft Co. created the first flying wing for the United States in 1940, dubbed Northrom N-1M "Jeep"
. But it was the Horten Brothers
, German aircraft pilots and enthusiasts, who created the first fully-functional stealth flying wing: the Horten Ho IX
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 24, 2009 -
Hiding in "plane" sight.
Images and details of the significant efforts made by the United States to prevent the Japanese from bombing our west coast aircraft factories. I wonder what this effort would take today to "fool" Google Maps/Earth. [more inside]
posted by hrbrmstr
on Jun 8, 2009 -
On March 3rd 1943, the worst civilian disaster
of the Second World War killed 173 people, including 62 children. During an air-raid alert, the noise of a new anti-aircraft battery panicked the crowd trying to get into the shelter at Bethnal Green tube station
. In the dark
, wet conditions, someone tripped and fell at the foot of the stairs, blocking the pathway and knocking others over in a domino effect. More and more people continued to pile in at the top leading to a massive and deadly crush. [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon
on Mar 3, 2009 -
Every day we go on to the streets, dying at his defenders who thought about us. About us, that they were not destined to see. But we can remember!
And imagine that the horror that the people was to survive.
WWII era Photographs, I assume, of Leningrad
combined with current photographs. This era has also recently been portrayed effectively by David Benioff in his novel City of Thieves
. Found the pictures via Warren Ellis
who thinks the photographer may be Sergei Larenkov.
posted by zzazazz
on Jan 29, 2009 -
Autumn 1944, and London was under attack from space. Hitler's 'vengeance' rocket, the V-2, was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first man-made object to make a sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 1400 were launched at Britain, with more than 500 striking London. Each hit
caused devastation. The 13 tonne rocket impacted at over 3000 miles per hour. There was no warning; the missile descended faster than the speed of sound and survivors would only hear the approach and sonic booms after the blast. via Londonist.
posted by swift
on Jan 13, 2009 -
, two-time recipient of the Distinguished Cross, died on October 18th in a car accident. Another WWII veteran gone, and as with many, an interesting tale
exists in his past. Credited with injuring Rommel
(although he didn't know it at the time
and it was denied by Germany), it's often thought that the loss of Rommel from Hitler's strategy team helped sway the war for the Allies (though it's wondered if has Rommel lived the July 20 plot
against Hitler might have succeeded). After the war, Charley was an advocate for veterans and trained many. He died wearing his uniform
posted by Kickstart70
on Nov 11, 2008 -
This is my rifle.
There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life.
I must master it as I master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.
I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than any enemy who is trying to kill me.
I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will... My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.
.. My rifle
is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel
. I will keep my rifle clean
and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will.... Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but Peace
. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher
on Nov 11, 2008 -
I first heard of a 'Paraset'
when I saw a message on the QRP-L
reflector announcing an upcoming 'June 6th Paraset D-Day
' activity. A search for more information soon revealed that the Paraset was a small vacuum-tube transmitter-receiver unit built during WWII in the UK at the Whaddon Hall
headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service Communications Unit. Known officially as the 'Whaddon Mark VII
', the units were either air-dropped by parachute or carried, by the jumpers themselves, into many of the occupied countries of western Europe. . .
posted by jackspace
on Nov 5, 2008 -
"When you’re on your own in that pit with the bomb in the middle of a city, it’s strange how everything suddenly goes totally quiet..." Interview
with one of Germany's most experienced bomb disposal experts as he retires. Photogallery
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Oct 17, 2008 -
Baseball behind barbed wire.
Japanese-Americans brought baseball with them when they emigrated to America. The game had been introduced to Japan, so the story goes
, by American Professor Horace Wilson in the 1870s. When Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps during World War II, playing baseball was one of the few freedoms allowed them by camp directors. [more inside]
posted by nanojath
on Aug 19, 2008 -
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 -
In November 1943, the village of Tyneham
in Dorset, England, received an unexpected letter
from the War Department, informing residents that the area would soon be "cleared of all civilians" to make way for Army weapons training. A month later, the displaced villagers left a note on their church door: Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.
Residents were told they would be allowed to reclaim their homes after the war, but that didn't happen, and Tyneham became a ghost village
. Though most of the cottages have been damaged or fallen into disrepair, the church and school have been preserved and restored. Photo galleries 1
. Panoramic tour [Java required]
. Video: Death of a Village [YouTube, 9 mins.]
posted by amyms
on Jul 10, 2008 -
‘Even to this day the diary has a slight aroma of cocoa,’ says Steve Dickinson about a diary kept by his uncle Robert Dickinson
while a prisoner at Servigliano
, an Italian war camp, in the 1940s. The diary has a cover made of old cocoa tins (hence the smell) with a broadcast aerial design incorporating the title 'Servigliano Calling.' It begins with his capture by the Germans in November 1941, and finishes, about six months before his death, in September 1944. Via The Diary Junction
posted by amyms
on Jul 2, 2008 -