"Dear Miss Breed..."
the letters begin. Clara Estelle Breed
was the children's librarian at the San Diego Public Library from 1929 to 1945. When her young Japanese American patrons and their families were forced into relocation camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, Miss Breed became their penpal and their lifeline, sending them books and supplies, assisting with various requests, and "serving as a reminder of the possibility for decency and justice in a troubled world." [more inside]
posted by amyms
on Dec 1, 2007 -
. Of all the wrecks on Papua New Guinea (PNG), none is as fabled as the "Swamp Ghost," a B-17E Flying Fortress that ran out of fuel on an ill-fated bombing mission in early 1942 and was ditched in the Agaiambo Swamp about eight miles inland on the northern coast. There the plane rested, intact and more or less unmolested, in soggy splendor for 64 years—that is, until May 2006, when an American salvager took it apart and removed it. This caused such a controversy that the plane was stopped from leaving the country.
The story of the Swamp Ghost illustrates the international debate over ownership of salvaged wrecks and war surplus, told from a personal perspective by a journalist whose war-correspondent father died in PNG during WWII.
posted by amyms
on Oct 7, 2007 -
Ellsworth Kelley, Bill Blass, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and a host of lesser known but equally talented painters
, designers, sound engineers
and actors served together during World War II in the Ghost Army
– the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a unit whose existence remained an official secret
until 1996. German soldiers referred to them as the "Phantom Army," because one moment they were in one place, and the next, they were attacking their flanks or from the rear.
Together, they made rubber tanks and fake Jeeps; their changing unit insignia
were designed to fool spies and allied units alike. They recorded the sounds of Allied units building bridges or moving troops and broadcast them from special sound trucks
, leading the Germans to conclude that the U.S. Army had more troops in more places than it did. "Guys drew, or painted, all the time
," documenting their lives, the lives of their fellow soldiers, and that of the local populations in wartime Europe.
posted by rtha
on Oct 5, 2007 -
63 years ago today, 20-year old German lance-corporal Hein Severloh was armed with a rifle, a machine gun and 16,000 rounds of ammo when American forces landed in the early morning hours off Omaha Beach on D-Day. During the next nine-hour "Longest Day", Severloh gunned down up to 3,000 Americans before running out of ammo, making him personally responsible for about three-quarters of all casualties at Omaha Beach, comparable in scale to 9/11 or the Iraq War. Nicknamed The Beast of Omaha
, today he says "I never wanted to be in the war. I never wanted to be in France. I never wanted to be in that bunker firing a machine gun. Thinking about it makes me want to throw up."
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 6, 2007 -
Huge gently floating bombs
made their way across the pacific below balloons
using the high altitude jet streams floated to the Americas during WWII. Kept secret for most of the war, you can read about their amazing history here.
posted by lee
on May 6, 2007 -
WANTED: The Limping Lady.
The Gestapo's poster read "She is one of the most valuable Allied agents in France and we must find and destroy her"
but Virginia Hall, who used a prosthetic limb after losing a leg years before in a hunting accident, eluded them and saved countless Allied lives while working as a spy during WWII. Additional biographical information, as well as the biographies of other famous female spies, at WWII Female Spies
(which has many outgoing links to other great informational resources about female spies in WWII).
posted by amyms
on Feb 21, 2007 -
'Films from the Homefront'
is a (new) collection of amateur documentaries, newsreels, government films, and home movies documenting life for the ordinary people in Britain during World War II, with background text descriptions/explication. Browse the themes
. The films are QT and wmv format. I found it both poignant and funny, for instance, seeing kids don gasmasks during air raid drills then attempt to continue writing in their lessons. [via Glasgow School of Art Library]
posted by peacay
on Feb 16, 2007 -
It will always be known as the "date which will live in infamy
," but this year - the 65th Anniversary - may mark the last time survivors can/will come together at the site
to pay their respects to the fallen and to shake hands with their former adversaries. Hawaii affiliate KHNL News 8 has already started
its 5-day long coverage
of the ceremonies, which culminate on the morning of the 7th and will feature a live web feed and a keynote adress given by Tom Brokaw
(@ 7:30am HST).
Some consequences of the attack inside...
posted by krippledkonscious
on Dec 4, 2006 -
On 14 April 1988, the missile frigate Samuel B. Roberts
was damaged by a mine in the Persian Gulf. Some 45 years before, Coxswain Samuel B. Roberts
was killed when he guided his boat in front of Japanese lines on Guadalcanal in an effort to distract their fire from a rescue party evacuating wounded marines. In between was the destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts, which on 25 October 1944 sailed into history in the Battle off Samar
. (Long post inside for history buffs.)
posted by forrest
on Oct 25, 2006 -
Not sure how many people saw the post about the T34
pulled out of a peat bog a couple of weekends ago, but here is another story about German tank this time. Pulled out of the mud in the Czeck Republic.
Decent amount of pictures with this one too.
posted by a3matrix
on Sep 23, 2006 -
Save the Girls!
of WWII era fighter & bomber nosecone art is the highlight of this site dedicated to the history and preservation of such works.
posted by jonson
on Sep 6, 2006 -
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 -
Back in the dark days of World War II, the man
who would become Dr. Seuss
was in the business of military propaganda . One of the characters he created was Private Snafu
Private Snafu was an animated depiction of a bumbling soldier in military training films, whose voice sounded suspiciously close to Bugs Bunny
. Warner Bros. animation studios produced the cartoons with the talents of Mel Blanc
, Chuck Jones
, and Bob Clampett
Private Snafu has been discussed here previously
but now you can watch some of the original cartoons on youtube
and download them here
! (unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the awesomely-titled "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike"
posted by elr
on Aug 23, 2006 -
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 -
August 6, 1945 Hiroshima, Japan
"... Father Siemes' account is now given below without any editing or modification. His eyewitness account is a priceless insight into this event, as are his thoughts on the implications of total war and its application."
posted by paulsc
on Aug 5, 2006 -
In 1945-46, some of the (very few) Polish Jews who had survived the Final Solution returned -- sick, poor, wounded -- to Poland. In Elie Wiesel's words, "they had thought all too naively that antisemitism, discredited 6 million times over, had died at Auschwitz with its victims. They were wrong
." In 2001 Princeton professor Jan
published the story of the 1941 destruction of the Jewish community
at Jedwabne, Poland
, and proved how Jews were rounded up, clubbed, drowned, gutted or burned to death not by German forces as previously believed but by mobs of their own non-Jewish neighbors
. Now professor Gross tells the story of the Kielce pogrom
in his new book, "Fear
". Of course, the Kielce butchery took place in 1946 -- more than a year after
the end of WWII and defeat of Nazism. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Jun 25, 2006 -