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A tribute to fallen heros

“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 - 9 comments

These bastards let your brother die

Robert Heinlein really, really didn't like early Science Fiction fandom.
posted by Artw on May 28, 2010 - 129 comments

Teaching Our Soldiers to Die Instead of Kill?

During WWII Allied soldiers were taught how to smash jawbones while gouging eyes, crush windpipes and snap necks, and generally apply deadly force to the weakest, most vulnerable parts of the human anatomy in order to kill or disable the enemy quickly and efficiently. Current American military unarmed combat is heavily influenced by the popularity of mixed martial-arts and puts great emphasis on grappling with/controlling the enemy. Not a single neck-snapping technique is taught. Some current members of the military think that this is teaching our soldiers to die rather than kill the enemy, and that it would be better if our soldiers were taught to straight up kill the enemy rather than try to wrestle him to the ground while wearing 70+ pounds of gear. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on May 10, 2010 - 121 comments

Faces of war. 1941-1945

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 and people
posted by hortense on Apr 13, 2010 - 19 comments

WWII Infographics

Max Gadney works at the BBC in London, but he also creates graphics and infographics for WWII Magazine in the US. (Flickr Photostream).
posted by zarq on Apr 11, 2010 - 11 comments

Sit down to a familiar face.

Operation Cornflakes was an action by the United States OSS in World War Two to distribute propaganda in Germany, using the Germany's own mail system with forged stamps and bombed mail trains.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 24, 2010 - 10 comments

Marwencol is a fantasy world created by Mark Hogancamp.

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 - 40 comments

Hero of WWI. Traitor of WWII. Honored in Milltown, NJ.

A Local Street and a Lesson in History [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2010 - 20 comments

How come I never saw this before?

The iconic photograph of the Soviets hoisting the hammer and sickle over the Reichstag in April 1945 by Yevgeny Khaldei is awe inspiring and makes one wonder how this could be missed by anyone over the age of thirty. Staged? Oh yeah! But it still ranks up there with Joe Rosenthal's Iwo Jima shot and Robert Capa's Falling Soldier during the Spanish Civil War. And it's loads cooler than our most recent entry.
posted by jake1 on Feb 11, 2010 - 22 comments

Scalp the Zazous

"Imagine, 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 - 15 comments

Eng: F WES-NAF

In Toulon, France, there stands a memorial for 1,297 French sailors, who were killed in July of 1940 when their ships were shelled and sunk in one of the earliest sea battles of World War II. The ships were fired upon by a British task force led by the HMS Hood, and it was no accident: Churchill himself sent the order: Send the French to the ocean floor. [more inside]
posted by John Kenneth Fisher on Feb 6, 2010 - 49 comments

Lord Haw Haw returns to the British Airwaves

"Then the prisoner came into the dock. A little man. Pale now, and looking insignficant as he stood there with four warders grouped around him. It seemed hard at that moment to associate with that figure the sardonic venom that once sneered from stations Hamburg and Bremen." [more inside]
posted by tiny crocodile on Feb 4, 2010 - 28 comments

"Mad Jack" Churchill

In May of 1940, "Mad Jack" Churchill became the only man in WWII to record a kill with a longbow. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Jan 31, 2010 - 41 comments

Top Aces of WWII

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 60 fighter 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 - 52 comments

Satan Satan Satan Satan

The devil rides out - How Dennis Wheatley sold black magic to Britain.
posted by Artw on Jan 30, 2010 - 23 comments

Naughty Cathy

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 - 26 comments

Guardian of the Secret Annex passes away

“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.”
Miep Gies, protector of Anne Frank and her family, passes away at age 100.
posted by dnash on Jan 11, 2010 - 142 comments

Photographs of Korea: October 1945 to January 1946.

Photographs of Korea: October 1945 to January 1946. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Jan 9, 2010 - 8 comments

Tsutomu Yamaguchi dies at age 93.

Japan's only officially known survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings dies. In his later years, Yamaguchi gave talks about his experiences as an atomic bomb survivor and often expressed his hope that such weapons would be abolished.
posted by Lobster Garden on Jan 6, 2010 - 49 comments

Operation Mincemeat

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

Losing the War

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 - 151 comments

WWII American St. Nick

Sometimes, the full meaning of a moment isn't realized until years later. Dick Brookins certainly had no idea what would come of that December day, back in 1944. Brookins and other members of the U.S. Army's 28th Infantry Division Signal Corps were in Wiltz, a small town in Luxembourg, just days before what would turn into the Battle of the Bulge. This U.S. soldier stood in for an absent Saint Nicholas... it was to change his life and help him find some meaning for the war in Europe. As it turns out, someone was filming that day when an Army jeep carried the American St. Nick through the streets giving treats to the local children. It brought him back 65 years later.
posted by netbros on Dec 25, 2009 - 13 comments

Lt. Brad Pitt and his Howling Commandos

Jack Kirby's Inglorious Basterds
posted by Artw on Nov 18, 2009 - 33 comments

Maybe not getting out of jail for free, but certainly a big help.

The history of Monopoly has been a long one, but the game also helped change history through its participation in providing hidden maps and tools to help British POWs during WWII.
posted by NoraCharles on Sep 19, 2009 - 36 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

Their bitter beer tastes lousy. Their ale is good

Finally got around to sending this log, it scares me to read it, I don’t understand how we got out alive... [PDF] Joel Punches' first-person account of a B-17F Navigator assigned to the 8AF, 385 BW, Great Ashfield England during 1943-1944. The diary chronicles his missions during that time - including his Escape and Evasion after being shot down over Hamburg. His fifth mission was Schweinfurt Ball Bearing Factory on 10/14/43.
posted by mattoxic on Sep 6, 2009 - 40 comments

Remembering the Beginning

At dawn on September 1, 1939, the German Luftwaffe began the indiscriminate bombing of the Polish town of Wieluń and a German battleship, the SMS Schleswig-Holstein, shattered the dawn breaking over the Westerplatte by unleashing a barrage of 280mm and 170mm shells at a Polish fort. At Mokra, the Polish Calvary staved off two Panzer Divisions. A day of commemorations has begun in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Aug 31, 2009 - 61 comments

Panzers and air raids and artillery, oh my

World Wars 2, sequel to the hex-wargame-inspired World Wars, has been released. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Aug 9, 2009 - 24 comments

Midwestern Submarines

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 - 40 comments

Аста ла виста, беби

Stalin's Secret Weapon - a Russian hobbyist's terminator-esque diorama painstakingly constructed from military action figures. (Via buzz
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 19, 2009 - 22 comments

Kodename: Wolfenstein

Wolfenstein 3D, the animated graphic novel.
posted by Artw on Jul 8, 2009 - 42 comments

Storytelling in sand.

Drawing and storytelling in sand.
posted by dmd on Jul 3, 2009 - 26 comments

"I was up in those clouds all night."

"We were having dinner about four months ago and I was showing Clelia some pictures I'd taken in the air, and she said, 'Oh, that's so beautiful. I want to do that,'" Ben said. Easier said than done when you're 95. [more inside]
posted by emelenjr on Jun 30, 2009 - 9 comments

The First Stealth Flying Wing

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 - 32 comments

Now, where did I put that plane factory?

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 - 15 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

The Campaign for North Africa

Even among "monster games", it stands alone. A 7-foot mapsheet. 1,800 counters. 1,500 hours to play. It is SPI's The Campaign for North Africa.
posted by Joe Beese on May 11, 2009 - 89 comments

NIOBY

In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda In Southern California 1933 - 1945, a digital exhibition from the Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge. "The Nazi Propaganda period, 1933 to 1945, chronicles a crucial twelve years in American history. This exhibit's story about the local threat to American ideals demonstrates how European events reached across the ocean and affected people in Southern California -- in our own backyard." Magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, stickers and more. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Apr 10, 2009 - 33 comments

All The Best People.

Indeed, all three of Hitler’s prized leather whips were presents from high society ladies. : Christopher Clark reviews High Society in the Third Reich by Fabrice d’Almeida in the London Review Of Books.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 7, 2009 - 24 comments

The unluckiest man alive

Bad luck: some people seem to treat the subject rather lightly and consider themselves the unluckiest person ever if they lose a long game of Pokemon, or because of some rather benign school occurrences. Sometimes people fall victim to such unlikely and improbable events that they may be tempted to declare themselves cursed. But it would be hard to beat the hard-luck of a Japanese man named Tsutomu Yamaguchi. On August 6th, 1945, he was in Hiroshima on a business trip when the first A-bomb dropped on Japan exploded. He suffered some burns, but was considered well enough that he could leave Hiroshima the next day and go home. To Nagasaki.
posted by clevershark on Mar 24, 2009 - 63 comments

The Big Ol' Picture

14 large color photos from the Farm Security Administration. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Mar 13, 2009 - 32 comments

The Bethnal Green Disaster

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 - 27 comments

Neutral Power FTW

World War II: Simple Version. (SLJPG)
posted by swift on Mar 3, 2009 - 54 comments

Hero, scoundrel, or both?

Among the body of conspirators in the July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler and seize the German government, few were as ambivalent as Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, head of the Berlin police. Although sympathetically (if briefly) portrayed in a recent film about the plot, von Helldorf was a definitely more enigmatic figure. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Feb 16, 2009 - 12 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

Bunkers

The Frightening Beauty of Bunkers.
posted by homunculus on Feb 9, 2009 - 24 comments

65 years ago, was to lift the blockade of Leningrad

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 - 16 comments

London V2 Rocket sites ... mapped

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 - 84 comments

Do you know these children?

Do you, or an older relative of yours, recognize any of these children? More than 70 children separated from their families during WWII, now all elderly men and women, are using the Internet to try to find some answers about their pasts, their families, and sometimes even their own names. They are soliciting help and suggestions in the comments sections on each story. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Dec 19, 2008 - 21 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

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