World War II in the News
is an edited review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.


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Canada in WWII

World War II and Canada - War heroes and homefront.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: WW2 Tours, Military & Nazi Uniforms, D-Day Invasion, World War II Weapons, Guns.

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Compelling account of Canada`s treatment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II
Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story` is a compelling account of how Canada`s shameful treatment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II impacted one man: the rebellious Dr Harry Nikaido.
(japantoday.com)

War Through the Lens: The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit 1941-1945
Q&A with historian Dan Conlin, author of War Through the Lens: The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit 1941-1945. The Canadian Army recruited about 75 men and one woman to form a Film and Photo Unit for the purpose of documenting the war from a Canadian perspective. Dan Conlin has just published a book about the unit, called War Through the Lens: The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit 1941-1945. He`s an historian and a curator with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax.
(cbc.ca)

Suspected Nazi war criminal Vladimir Katriuk works as beekeeper in Canada
Propped up by a shovel that acts as his cane, Vladimir Katriuk putters about his wooded lot in rural Quebec, lovingly caring for his bees and appearing to have few worries other than this season`s honey yield. But Simon Wiesenthal Center insists there`s much more to the 91-year-old beekeeper - whom they allege is one of the world`s most-wanted Nazi war criminals. In 1943, a man with his name lay in wait outside a barn that had been set ablaze, operating a machine gun and firing on civilians as they tried to escape. The same article said the man took a watch, bracelet and gun from the body of a woman found nearby.
(theyeshivaworld.com)

The Fog of War: Censorship of Canada`s Media in World War Two By Mark Bourrie
As Nazi troops marched across Poland in the fall of 1939, the soldiers of a newly at-war Canada began shipping east. With U-boats massing off the East Coast, military commanders began to fear that the German navy would try to sink one of the troop transports scheduled to pull out from Halifax harbour for England. To hide the fact that soldiers were leaving the country, news editors were ordered to airbrush tears off the faces of wives at send-off ceremonies. The Fog of War is the first comprehensive look at Canada`s WWII efforts to manage a free press while keeping intelligence out of the hands of enemy spies - and opportunistic Canadian politicians out of the nation`s newsrooms.
(nationalpost.com)

Survey: Young Canadians and military history - 37% knew very little, 9% nothing at all about WWII   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Most young Canadians know little or nothing about most of the wars their countrymen have served in. 67% admitted they knew very little or nothing at all about the First World War, and, not surprisingly, the ignorance peaked with the Korean War (82% knew nothing or very little). Even for the best-known conflict, the Second World War, 37% knew very little and 9% knew nothing at all.

But there is some hope, since 80% expressed at least some interest in learning more about Canada`s veterans, though their interest was likelier to be moderate than strong. In addition, 80% said websites were a good way for them to get information about Canada`s military history.

(montrealgazette.com)

Documentary film Paper Nazis explores prewar anti-Semitism in Winnipeg, Canada, in the 1930s
Filmmaker Andrew Wall wanted to know the answer to the question "were Jews discriminated against at Victoria Beach in the 1940s"? The result: "Paper Nazis", a documentary film that explores the rise and fall of two anti-Semitic extremist groups in Winnipeg in the 1930s: the Nazi movement and the Canadian Nationalist Party.

"The anti-Semitism of that time struck me as unbelievable. I couldn`t believe it happened in Canada."

And what about that rumor about Victoria Beach? In 1943, when a Jewish family tried to buy a cottage, a local newspaper published an article: "Unwanted people: A Reminder to Property Owners and Agents".

Unfortunately, not many people realize how much there was anti-Semitism in the North America in the 1930s. For example in the United States Jews, like the Black, were the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Anti-Jewish restrictions in ads reached their highest level in history in the US in the 1930s. The subject is rarely brought up, since it reveals the nasty fact that while the Nazi Party was just trying to gain power, the freedom loving democracies were fully engaged in racist practices.

(winnipegfreepress.com)

First in... Last out, Stories about The RCAF Women`s Division and Nursing Sisters in World War Two
"The title of my book is based on a phrase the WDs (Women`s Division) used: `Well we were the first ones in.` The air force was the first to allow women in during the war and then came the army and navy. And the air force women stayed in the war the longest. They did not disband until after the navy and army women had gone out. So `first in, last out` is a phrase they`re quite proud of," explained author Glad Bryce. Her 300-page book explores the role women had in Canada`s air force during the Second World War. "They actually started out with 8 trades... By the end of the war there was something like 55 trades."
(simcoe.com)

Documentary film Canada Remembers: Women Who Have Served and Sacrificed
The documentary film, "Canada Remembers: Women Who Have Served and Sacrificed" will air on VisionTV November 11, 2010, followed by "Canada Remembers: Their Achievements and Sacrifices." During the Second World War, Canadian women served in non-combat support roles in the Royal Navy as WRENS, the air force women`s division, the Canadian Women`s Army Corps, and many also served near the frontlines as medical support. Some women took over significant jobs and others helped the military to keep supplies moving. In addition WWII War Brides had their lives entirely changed.
(channelcanada.com)

Memory Project travels nationwide collecting first-hand Canadian WWII stories and memorabilia
Led by the Historica Dominion Institute, "The Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War" is a growing collection of memories and militaria from Canadian veterans. The stories and digital versions of the memorabilia are available online. The Memory Project has been carrying out interviews across Canada in summer 2010. Norman Purcell was one of the veterans who shared his experiences: "Nowadays, the way the world is, a lot of young people don`t realize what`s going on in the world. We had a rough day on D-Day, but we made it. There were only about t of us left. I still say I`m no hero, I`m a survivor."
(metronews.ca)

Canadian radio and television clips about WWII, the Nazis and war crimes
CBC online archive of Canadian radio and TV clips about the Second World War, the Nazis, German scientists, and war crimes.
(archives.cbc.ca)

The Kangaroos: 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
Jim is a gentleman who doesn`t speak much about what took place over half a century ago when he was sent into a strange and harsh world 4,000 miles from his home, a world at war. Jim and his comrades in the 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment (1CACR, a specialised armoured unit equipped with Kangaroo armoured personnel carriers) are the last living element of a noteworthy chapter in Canada`s military history. Jim is a Canadian Kangaroo, a WWII veteran who served in the only fighting regiment in Canada`s history that was formed, went into battle and was disbanded, without ever setting foot on Canadian soil.
(canadafreepress.com)

Johnny: A Spy`s Life by Gordon D. Scot, R.S. Rose (book review)   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A new book about Canada`s Secret Agent 235 reveals why Germanborn Johann Heinrich Amadeus de Graaf - known all his life as "Johnny" - become a double agent for several countries. Posing as a pro-Nazi for MI6 among interned German citizens during the Second World War, de Graaf rooted out out real pro-Nazi and Gestapo agents in Britain. Lent to Canada to penetrate its Nazi spy and sympathizer movement, he prevented an engineer from possibly blowing up major Hydro-Quebec facilities and a working-class group from doing damage to railroad tunnels.
(vancouversun.com)

Pat Murphy built scale model of every Spitfire flown by a Canadian pilot   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Pat Murphy first saw a Spitfire at an air show in Ontario in 1968. His passion for the aircraft and model building led Murphy to an effort that preserves a part of Canada`s aviation history. In 2009 he donated almost 3 dozen, 1:48 scale Spitfire models to the Vancouver Island Military Museum. Every model is a scale replica of a Spitfire flown by a Canadian pilot. Each plane has the squadron and pilot id markings, and modifications specific to each aircraft, includng details like camera ports on reconnaissance versions of the planes, pilot uniforms and flight jackets painted to match original colours and insignia.
(bclocalnews.com)

Holidays at War: Canadian recollections from the WWII frontlines
1939-1945 over 1 million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served either on the home front or overseas, fighting for king and country. During that time, most would spend the holidays on the frontlines rather than at home. Here 7 veterans share their recollections of the holidays during the World War II.
(thememoryproject.com)

Nazi Olympics exhibit in Vancouver
An exhibit in Vancouver explores the Canadian team of the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, staged by Adolf Hitler`s Nazi Germany. The exhibit of photographs, documents and artifacts, at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, shows how Hitler`s Third Reich turned the Games into a showcase for Nazi propaganda, and how Canadians became part of the spectacle. Pictures show swastikas and Nazi banners flying alongside the 5 Olympic rings. A display case features the sash worn by Canadian athletes during the opening and closing ceremonies, decorated with a black swastika. One photo features Canadian athletes clamouring for Hitler`s autograph.
(cbc.ca)

WWII correspondence of a member of the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) discovered
Pat Hennessy did not saw combat on the beaches of Normandy. Yet he is one of the real World War II heroes. He was a Sawdust Fusilier, one of 7000 Canadian lumberjacks who came to Scotland to help provide the timber needed for the war effort. Little was known about the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) until Pat`s grand-daughter Melynda Jarratt discovered his wartime correspondence in the attic. Now, 70 years after he left Canada for Inverness-shire hundreds of Pat`s letters, postcards and telegrams are being made into a book. To read Pat`s WWII letters or to contact Melynda, visit lettersfrombeauly.com.
(sundaymail.co.uk)

Canadian homefront explored in Snapshots of the Home Front 1939-1941
The homefront in Niagara during World War 2 is showcased in a new book. Snapshots of the Home Front 1939-1941 features 160 pictures which appeared in The St. Catharines Standard during the early stages of the war. Topics covered include recruiting and training local units (10th Field Battery, The Lincoln and Welland Regiment, 2/10 Dragoons), flying operations at the airport, Victory Bond drives, morale-building parades, Farmerettes in rural Niagara, British War Child Evacuees, community fundraising efforts, services of remembrance, industrial expansion, and much more.
(stcatharinesstandard.ca)

Outbreak of war with Japan meant `relocation` for many in British Columbia
They began assembling at Hastings Park in east Vancouver on March 16, 1942. They arrived by car, street railway and truck, dragging their few belongings with them, holding their scared kids by the hand. They filed into the cattle stalls to wait for the trains that would transport them away from their homes. These bewildered refugees were the first victims of the most harsh public safety measure in British Columbia`s history. In the wake of Japan`s attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Canadian government panicked at the possibility of an invasion and ordered that all residents of Japanese ancestry leave the coast.
(vancouversun)

Hitler`s Tree - Where is Canada`s only Olympic oak?
They`ve been described as the most bizarre prizes in the history of the Games: oak seedlings, potted and presented as a "gift of the German people" to each of the 130 gold-medal winners at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. These "Olympic Oaks" - called "Hitler Trees" - were proudly accepted by champions and taken to their home countries and planted as living symbols of the Olympic spirit. A rare few still grow at sites as widespread as the Netherlands, NZ, Argentina and Jesse Owens` high school practice field in Cleveland. But what happened to Canada`s only Olympic oak - won by Frank Amyot - is a mystery.
(canada.com)

D-Day collectors` cards makers seek D-Day faces
Makers of a new line of D-Day collectors` cards are hoping to enlist some war heroes to immortalize. Graphic Communications Group is commemorating Canada`s role in the June 6, 1944, Normandy landings with a set of 112 cards ranging from the units to weapons to uniforms and events of D-Day. It also features the pics of 7 Canadian veterans who`ve autographed a bunch of the cards. The cards even focus on Canada`s German foes, one of them showing Waffen-SS Panzer officer Kurt Meyer. Colin MacDonald explained cards are just chronicling the history of a violent time by including the commanders of both armies.
(calsun)

May 13, 1936: Nazi cruiser Emden came into the port of Montreal
"Out of a grey morning mist, the Reich cruiser Emden - first German warship to dock here in 22 years - came into the port of Montreal." -Gazette, May 13, 1936. --- The ship, with its eight 152-mm guns, was the first German warship built after the WWI. For Montreal`s Germans it was a proud day, many of them were German nationals rather than Canadian-born and their links to the Fatherland were strong. Local Mohawks initiated Captain Johannes Bachmann into their tribe as Chief Big River. Yet there was a darker side: Among those greeting the Emden`s arrival were 200 persons with "The Emden is a symbol of persecution" -banners.
(montrealgazette)

Body of Canadian soldier who died in the battle of the Falaise gap in 1944 found
64 years after he perished in a battle with Wehrmacht in France, a Canadian soldier’s body has been discovered and identified. The young private died in the battle of the Falaise gap in August 1944, two months after Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. His body was discovered in a quarry in Haut Mesnil, 18km north of Falaise. The soldier`s name won`t be issued until family members are consulted. Haut Mesnil residents who discovered the body also found a badge identifying the soldier as a Canadian. There are 27,000 Canadian soldiers with unknown graves around the world.
(thestar.com)

Last survivor of U-boat U-69 attack off Newfoundland coast in 1942 dead
John Matthews, thought to be the last living crew member and one of the last known survivors of a German U-boat attack on the S.S. Caribou off Newfoundland in 1942, has died at 84. At 19 he was a deck-watch hand aboard the passenger ferry that operated between Port aux Basques, Nfld., and North Sydney, N.S. In the morning hours of Oct. 14, 1942, it was attacked by the German submarine U-69. A torpedo made a hole in the vessel, sinking it. There were 137 casualties in one of the most devastating sea disasters off the coast of Newfoundland. The sinking wiped out the illusion of security that Newfoundlanders felt in spite of the war raging around the world.
(theglobeandmail)

10 best Canadian military memorials, museums
(2) Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France: The only Canadian museum in Normandy, the Juno Beach Centre has documents, photos, maps, artifacts, audio/visual and audio accounts of the D-Day landings of June, 1944. --- (4) Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ont, features the aircraft used by Canadians from World War II to the present, including a restored and operational Lancaster bomber dedicated to the memory of Victoria Cross winner Andrew Mynarski. --- (9) D-Day Museum and Overlord Embroidery, Portsmouth, England, tells the story of Operation Overlord from its origins in the dark days of 1940 to victory.
(ottawacitizen)

Lost Canadian - Son of a Canadian world war II soldier
"I`m the son of a Canadian soldier who risked his life fighting for the country in World War II. And for Canada to not welcome the wives and children of those soldiers as citizens is disgusting," says Joe Taylor, who was born out of wedlock to an English mother whose father did not have time to marry because he was sent to take part in the D-Day invasion in 1944. His parents married several months later and, after WWII, he and his mother moved to Canada to join his father and declared citizens. The marriage didn`t last, and later they traveled back to England. Years later, when he tried to move to Canada he found out he was no more a citizen.
(canada)

Canadian War brides` children may not be citizens
Tens of thousands who assumed they were Canadians have had their citizenship thrown into question by a court ruling on the status of WWII brides and their children. The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the decision that ordered Ottawa to grant citizenship to the British son of a Canadian war veteran. Judgment says brides and kids born overseas (granted citizenship by a special wartime order in 1945) lost that status if they left Canada after 1947 and did not sign a form to have their citizenship reinstated. "The wartime order, giving the families of returning war veterans the same citizenship rights as the soldiers themselves is meaningless," said Rory Morahan.
(montrealgazette)

Canadian War Museum to rephrase the wording of WWII War display
The Canadian War Museum has agreed to rephrase the wording of World War II display that has outraged Air-force veterans, who have complained that the small panel paints them as war criminals. The issue has pitted the veterans and the Royal Canadian Legion against the museum. The 18-month fight ended with the latter agreeing to change description of the bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. "...the strategic bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested... Although Bomber Command and American attacks left 600,000 Germans dead and more than 5 million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions in German war production until late in the war."
(ctv)

Ontario men lose citizenship for lying about alleged Nazi pasts
Canada stripped two Ontario men, Helmut Oberlander and Jacob Fast, of their citizenship, saying they lied about their Nazi past when they came to Canada after WWII. "These cases have been under consideration for a very long time. It`s time to move forward.," Justice Minister said. The decision puts them at risk for deportation. In 2000, the Federal Court ruled that Oberlander didn`t reveal his involvement with a mobile Nazi police unit when he immigrated to Canada. The mobile unit, the Einsatzkommando, killed more than a million people in the former Soviet Union. Oberlander was not involved in the executions but worked as a translator for the Einsatzkommando.
(cbc)

Canadian soldiers killing Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht prisoners   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Editorial states that "The humane treatment of prisoners is a core value in Canada ..." A check of the history books might be in order. During World War II, Canadian soldiers executed German prisoners during the battle of Caen. "Caen: Anvil of Victory" by Alexander McKee, cites a Canadian soldier as saying "The Germans weren`t too eager to surrender. We never took any SS prisoners now and sometimes dealt with Wehrmacht formations in the same way." This is the dark reality of war.
(hamiltonspectator)

Documentary Hitler`s Canadians: Nazi escape from Canada to U.S.
Escape from Canada to the neutral ground of the US was the goal of many imprisoned Nazis during the early years of World War II. A total of 40,000 captured Nazis were dumped into Canadian POW camps, where it was hoped they would be too far away from Europe to cause any real trouble. The presence of Nazis on Canadian soil didn`t get a lot of publicity, since the govt didn`t want to cause a panic. "But once they started escaping, that became a real scandal. ... All the prisoners were perceived as Nazis, and not all of them were, necessarily. But there were some pretty tough characters running around loose. In war time that was a real fear."
(canoe)

Canada Under Attack: The Battle of the St. Lawrence 1942-1944   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Like many Canadians, I learned about World War 2 from the point of view of the English. We learned how brave Canadian soldiers liberated Europe from the Nazis. What we weren`t taught was how boldly Canadians defended their own country when the Germans targeted the St. Lawrence River. That historic chapter of Canadian history gets its due in an exhibition called Canada Under Attack: The Battle of the St. Lawrence 1942-1944, at the Canadian War Museum, featuring samples of homes under siege, with samples of daily radio broadcasts, propaganda films and anecdotes that give the displays real humanity.
(ottawasun)

DVD, book commemorate Canada`s women in WW2
Margaret Haliburton was among the first people to learn that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was dead. It was 1945 and she was a high-frequency direction finder at a Canadian military radio station monitoring German U-boat traffic. The stories of the Women`s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force (WRENS) and the Canadian Women`s Army Corps (CWAC) are featured in a DVD and book launched to commemorate their nearly forgotten role in wartime history. Proudly She Marched, Training Canada`s World War II Women documents the story of the 21,634 women who enlisted in the military. The first time in Canadian history that women served in uniform.
(canada)

Holding Juno - The Canadian army during the Second World War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Mark Zuehlke is passionate about the subject of the Canadian army during World War II. He has written five books on the topic. And he won the third annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for his latest effort, Holding Juno, which details the actions of Canadian soldiers in the six days that followed the Normandy D-Day invasion. Holding Juno focuses on the actions of the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division. The division was up against the Panzer Lehr Division and the Waffen SS`s 12th (Hitler Youth) SS Division, which consisted of fanatical Hitler Youth members led by battle-hardened veterans of the Eastern Front.
(vicnews)

Controversy: The performance of Canada`s army in WWII   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The performance of Canada`s army in the World War II is sparkled with controversy. To read the bloody history of impressively named infantry and armoured battalions (the Manitoba Dragoons, the Regina Rifles, les Fusiliers de Mont Royal, the Black Watch, etc) is, apparently, to scan the tea leaves of national identity. In a previous work, Fields of Fire, Terry Copp evaluated Canadian operations in 1944 Normandy, a performance that had been called incompetent by historians. Were the Canadian battalions "a weak and flawed instrument," as Max Hastings has claimed, and no match for the Germans?
(theglobeandmail)

Canadian World War II spy finally comes clean in death
A central figure in the wartime Ottawa spy network exposed by Russian cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko has reached from beyond the grave to provide for the full details. Gordon Lunan, who died last fall provides the new account in Redhanded, which is an updated version of The Making of a Spy. In it he comes clean, admitting he funnelled information to Russian agents in the Second World War. But he denies he ever intended to betray his country. But often "the scientists would simply say no, they wouldn`t or couldn`t pass on the information which was fine with me. There was one request for a sample of U-235 uranium. That request fell on deaf ears."
(canada)

The youngest Canadian to get the Distinguished Service Cross
War hero Robert Timbrell was commander of Canada`s last aircraft carrier, HMCS Bonaventure, rescued hundreds of British troops on the beaches of Dunkirk, and became a rear admiral and the head of Canada`s navy. On his first trip across the Channel, his boat was strafed by Luftwaffe fighters. He was able to repair the boat, make two more trips and carry more than 300 men to safety. At one point, he was shipwrecked on the Dunkirk beach, and pulled to safety with the help of an army tank that drove as far into the water as it could before the engine quit. He later helped sink two German submarines.
(cbc)

Two Canadians accused of being Third Reich Nazi guards
Josef Furman of Edmonton and Jura Skomatchuk of St. Catharines, Ontario, could both have their Canadian citizenship revoked and be deported if they lose their cases. Historian told court Skomatchuk`s name appeared on transfer lists several times, suggesting he was trained as an armed guard at the Nazi Trawniki camp before being transferred to serve at a number of camps. No evidence connects Skomatchuk directly to any war crimes, but he noted the guards were known for "brutality you can`t possibly describe."
(ctv)

Burma campaign ignored: The rarest service medal for Canadians   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Of all the WWII service medals, The Burma Star is arguably the rarest for Canadians. Of nearly one million Canadians who wore their country`s uniform, only some 7,000 served in the Burma theatre. Burma vets have always been forgotten, not only by the public, but by the media, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), and now by the new Canadian War Museum. Most people haven`t a clue what The Burma Star looks like. They know about medals awarded for service in Italy, the Africa Star, Atlantic Star, even the Pacific star. But The Burma Star with its red core flanked by dark blue and gold stripes is largely unknown.
(torontosun)

Chemicals weapons, believed from WWII, found off West Coast
A Canadian Forces team found the chemicals last June. It`s believed the weapons were dumped at the end of the Second World War. Until recently Canada and the United States kept quiet about their wartime sinking of explosives, mustard gas and other chemicals off the East and West Coasts.
(cbc.ca)

Treatment of Italian Canadians - dark chapter in Canadian history
Prime Minister Paul Martin is trying to make amends to the country`s Italian community for interning hundreds of Italian Canadians during World War II by funding education projects to commemorate the incident. Martin called it a dark chapter in Canadian history. Italian Canadians were "treated in a manner we know to be offensive," Martin told. He said those actions "were motivated by fear and suspicion."
(NewsFromRussia)

Canadian soldier taking on three Panther tanks in Italy
Oct 22 1944, the right flank of Seaforth Highlanders company came under attack from three Panther tanks of the German 26th Panzer Division. Ernest Alvia "Smokey" Smith, armed with a PIAT anti-tank weapon, gathered up his team and took up a position alongside the road. The PIAT was a highly effective "tank-stopper", but only at close range. As the Panther advanced, its machine guns raking the position with fire, Smith`s companion was badly wounded. Smith stood up and fired his PIAT, stopping the Panther in its tracks. A group of 10 German soldiers leapt from the tank and attacked Smith`s position with machinegun fire and grenades.
(guardian)


See also:
WW2 Tours
Military & Nazi Uniforms
D-Day Invasion
World War II Weapons, Guns.