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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Guerrilla Warfare - Partisans

World War II Guerrilla Warfare and Partisans - Stories and controversies.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: U.S. Army Rangers, American Paratroopers, Special Forces, SAS, Nazi Helmets.

Churchill`s secret guerillas were poised to execute senior British figures who were potential Nazi collaborators
They were Britain`s "secret army", volunteers prepared to sacrifice their lives to fight against a Nazi invasion of the UK. Issued with top-secret orders, their role has remained unsung for decades. Now, the Royal British Legion has agreed to officially recognise the 4,000 volunteers who once formed the secret guerrilla cells created to resist the Nazis. If wartime church bells rang to warn of enemy invasion, the orders for the Auxiliary Unit volunteers were to disappear without telling anyone and to report to hidden bases in the countryside. Each was issued with sealed orders giving a list of potential collaborators, who might have to be executed if there was a risk of them helping the Germans.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Jewish World War II partisan fighter Vitka Kovner dies at 92
Vitka Kovner, a Jewish partisan fighter during the Second World War, passed away at 92. Kovner, who grew up in Kalisz, Poland, was the widow of poet and partisan Abba Kovner, and participated in operations against German military targets with the United Partisan Organization (FPO - Fareynigte Partizaner Organizatsye in Yiddish), which was formed in January 1942.
(jpost.com)

45-min documentary film about Werewolves (post-war Nazi Guerrillas) on Youtube
This 45-minute documentary film explores Werewolves, post-war underground Nazi Guerrilla movement which killed collaborators and carried out sabotage raids to prevent the Allied reconstruction of Germany. Available on Youtube.
(youtube.com)

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)

Yugoslav partisans saved 795 and Serbians 365 Allied airmen in the Second World War
Operation Halyard was one of the biggest Allied airlift operations behind enemy lines. The Yugoslav Partisans had a key role in saving downed Allied airmen. Serbians often claim that Chetniks rescued over 500 downed airmed, but statistics by the U.S. Air Force Air Crew Rescue Unit (1 Jan - 15 Oct 1944) reveal that a total of 1,152 American airmen were airlifted: 795 with the help of the Yugoslav Partisans and 356 with the Serbian Chetniks. The Yugoslav Partisans were a multi-ethnic resistance group led by Josip Broz Tito (Josef Tito), consisting of Croats, Bosniaks, Jews, Roma, Slovenes, Albanians and Serbs.
(thecommentfactory.com)

Soviet partisan Vasily Kononov accused of war crimes - Legitimising the USSR`s status as an occupying force
In June 1943 Vasily Kononov, a member of the 1st Latvian Partisan Brigade, was parachuted into Nazi-occupied Latvia. By 1944 he was in charge of an entire unit, destroying 14 German echelons carrying equipment. Kononov was highly decorated, joining the Latvian police force after the world war 2. He lived quietly until 1998 when, after the fall of the Soviet Union, he was indicted by Latvian prosecutors for killing 9 villagers in 1944. Kononov`s conviction as a war criminal could provide an opportunity to legitimise the USSR`s status as an occupying force and allow countries to demand monetary compensation.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Eva Konopacki, Polish underground member and Order of Virtuti Militari winner, travels back to Warsaw
Eva Konopacki`s voice breaks as she speaks by phone from a luxury hotel in Warsaw - recalling fighting the Nazis in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. As an 18yo soldier she fixed army telephone lines. Shrapnel tore the lines and repair workers were sitting ducks, so Konopacki became a courier instead, earning the highest military honour in Poland, the Order of Virtuti Militari. Polish soldiers defending a convent had lost contact with those inside as German panzers and flame-throwers advanced. Konopacki could see a hole in the convent wall, but the largest of the German tanks, a Tiger, faced the hole, but the heavy cannon couldn`t fire as rapidly as a machine gun.
(thestar.com)

American Commando: Evans Carlson, his WWII marine raiders and America`s first special forces mission   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Evans Carlson was not an ordinary American Marine officer. He learned guerrilla warfare from Chinese communist forces in the 1930s. He shared difficulties with enlisted men. He exchanged letters with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose son was Carlson`s executive officer. Carlson led the Marines` first WWII special forces raids. The 2nd Raider Battalion was set up and trained by Carlson. In August 1942, he led the first long-range strike against Japanese-held Makin Island. In 1942 he led the unit`s Long Patrol, travelling 30 days behind Japanese lines on Guadalcanal. Historian John Wukovits explores Carlson`s life and career in "American Commando".
(mysanantonio.com)

Unsurrendered 100 Voices - Documentary explores the WWII Filipino Guerillas and Bolomen
Documentary film Unsurrendered 100 Voices - by Peter Parsons and Lucky Guillermo - explores the spontaneous movement that emerged all over the Philippines when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippines in 1941. This resistance did not wait for defeat and surrender. There were both Filipinos and Americans who went to the hills as early as December of 1941, when MacArthur declared Manila open city. Because Parsons is the son of Cmdr. Chick Parsons, who organized the submarines that supplied the guerrillas, this film also covers the importance of these submarines - but from the point of view and in the voices of the guerrilla speakers.
(battlingbastardsbataan.com)

Polish investigators say partizan leader Tuvia Bielski may have massacred civilians
As Paramount Pictures gears up its ad campaign for movie "Defiance" - about a band of Jewish partizans who fought the Nazis - the Polish government report indicates that Tuvia Bielski and Bielski partizans may have took part in a massacre of civilians in the Polish town of Naliboki. The defaming of the Bielski partisans has angered people close to the group, of which some have also been involved with the production of the movie. Nechama Tec, author of the historical account of the Bielski partizans on which the film is based, said that accusations linking the partizans to the massacre were "total lies."
(haaretz.com)

Soviet partizan, who wearing German uniforms killed civilians, acquitted
In the case of Vassili Makarovich Kononov v. Latvia, the European Court of Human Rights acquitted the defendant, who complained that at the time of his war crimes, they did not amount to war crimes either under any law. --- In 1942 Kononov was called up into the Red Army, and trained to set up sabotage and partisan action. In Feb. 1944, near the village of Mazie Bati, the German army eliminated a unit of Red Partisans. Thinking that the villagers had betrayed them, Kononov`s partisan unit did a "reprisal action". On 27 May 1944 the Red Partisans wearing German uniforms entered the village and killed 9 villagers (including two women, one in the last month of pregnancy).
(baltictimes.com)

Latvian seeks 4M compensation after being jailed for killing 2 Nazi sympathisers
A man is to be judged by European Court of Human Rights on whether he was right or wrong to kill Nazi sympathisers in 1944. Latvian Vasiliy Kononov - a specialist mine layer who destroyed 14 German troop trains - claims compensation of £4 million for being sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in 2001 for the killing of civilians who had betrayed a partisan group to the Germans. Kononov, a guerrilla tied to the Soviet Red Army, helped kill the collaborators. Kononov says he acted properly by killing the 9 civilians in a Latvian village, because at the time he was legally fighting with the Red Army, and on the side of the Allies.
(dailymail.co.uk)

WWII airman Carl Walpusk recalls being saved by Chetniks - Serbian guerilla fighters
Carl Walpusk has a soft spot in his heart for Serbia - he owes his life to the Serbs. In 1944 he jumped out of a B-24 bomber into Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and the hands of a rag-tag band of Serbian guerilla fighters. For 33 days, the Chetniks escorted Walpusk and 9 other from one Serbian village to another — risking their lives and those of villagers - to keep the airmen safe from the German army. "The people there were poor. They were mighty poor ... but they’d give you anything they had." Led by General Draza Mihailovich they saved hundreds of knocked down American fliers.
(timesonline)

Giovanni Pesce: leading Italian partisan, who kept fighting for freedom
Working class hero Giovanni Pesce was buried in Milan. When his coffin was brought out, a thousand people saluted with red flags, trade union banners, choruses of "The Internationale" and Italian partisan song "Bella Ciao". Among the many things he did in his life, Pesce signed up to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War - and inside his body was shrapnel from the wounds he received on the Saragozza front in 1936. He was one of only 5 people to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Resistance. As he explained, "You need to understand that the vast majority of Italians were passive, they were frightened. But deep down they hated the Germans."
(socialistworker)

Book Reveals the Great Partisan Efforts Against Germans in WW II
On Dec 10, 1944, W.B. Berry is shot down over the Brenner Pass. "No Time For Fear" follows his account as he becomes involved in the underground exploits and sabotage against the German occupation troops in the Italian Alps. This story chronicles the events that encompassed the author and his Partisan and Special Forces counterparts while undertaking sabotage, espionage and combat aggressions against the German occupation armies. He became attached to the British Number 1 Special Forces and became commander of a 44 man Partisan outpost.
(primenewswire)

The only documented case of resistance stopping a train to save lives   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the dark amid the steam engine`s hisses, Simon Gronowski snuggled against his mother on a cattle train bound for Auschwitz. Suddenly there were shrieks of brakes, and gunfire. Outside, Robert Maistriau`s fake stoplight had done its work and the Belgian resistance fighter forced open a car. It was April 19, 1943, the only documented case of resistance fighters stopping a train bound for Auschwitz. Simon had practiced jumping for freedom from the top beds ever since the Gestapo had locked up his family. And when the train lost speed, he took the leap of his life, a 100 franc bill tucked in his sock. "Then I waited for my mother." She never came.
(iht)

Film recounts Nazi resistance - Tuvia Bielski   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The dramatic "David and Goliath" World War II story of Tuvia Bielski will be told for the first time on the History Channel. Tuvia Sielski`s heroics rival those of Oskar Schindler, who saved 1,200 persons. In 1941 as the Nazis were mounting their campaign across Europe, and the Bielski brothers went into hiding in forests near their homes and began putting together a guerrilla army of 200 fighters. "They would get their weapons and ammunition from the Nazis they killed. They caused so much damage to the Nazis that a 100,000-mark bounty was put on his head."
(news-press)

Anti-Soviet fighters rally for recognition as vets in Ukraine
Nationalist fighters who battled both Soviet and Nazi forces during World War II rallied in Kiev, demanding the same recognition as Red Army vets. The issue of how to recognize the nationalists — as freedom fighters or traitors — has split Ukraine. The divisions were apparent at rally, as some of the 2,000 nationalists battled with counter-rally socialists. The "best sons of Ukraine gave up their lives for our Motherland. Unfortunately we have not been recognized yet. It is a shame," said ex-partisan Orest Vaskul. Since Yushchenko, whose father was a Red Army soldier, came to power he has been striving to recognize 100,000 partisans.
(seattletimes)

1941-1945: Andartiko - the Greek Resistance partisans
Andartiko - the Greek Resistance partisans who fought against Italian and German fascist occupation. Nowhere was resistance as simple as good guys in the hills with rusty rifles, and bad guys wearing swastikas and burning villages, but Greece was particularly complex. Even the Italian decision to invade seems bizarre, motivated by a desire to counter German influence in Rumania. After the Italians were humiliated by the Greek Army, the Wehrmacht stepped in and broke the resistance in April 1941. The Germans turned over most of the occupation to the Italians. At least in spirit much of the Greek population embraced resistance.
(libcom)

Collective punishment by Nazi Germany to stop resistance
As commander of a Nazi einsatzgruppen death squad Dr. Werner Best believed that the most effective response to resistance was collective punishment. "Active" resistance, the killing of a German in uniform, would be met by reprisal killings of civilians. He was trying to protect German troops. The guerillas killed more German troops. The cycle of violence was out of control. Finally Adolf Hitler himself got into the act. Convinced that measure was failing because it wasn`t severe enough, the führer issued an order to use "the harshest measures" in areas where the Resistance was active. Hitler ordered that 50 civilians be executed for each German soldier killed.
(commondreams)

Guerrilla operations against the Nazi occupiers
From 1943 Francis Cammaerts was one of the star performers of the "independent French" section of Special Operations Executive (SOE), which run guerrilla operations against the Nazi occupiers and Vichy regime during the second world war. His brother Pieter`s early death as an RAF pilot changed his mind about violent opposition to Nazism. Through his friend he secured an entry to SOE in 1942, where F, the independent French section, took him on and sent him on their paramilitary training courses. Training staff reported that he would make a competent sabotage instructor, but did not appear to have leadership qualities.
(guardian)

War heroine Nancy Wake honoured - Led an army of 7,000
The Australian WWII heroine dubbed the `White Mouse` by the Gestapo because they could not catch her has finally been honoured in the land of her birth, New Zealand. Nancy Wake has been awarded the NZ Returned Services Association`s highest honour, the RSA Badge in Gold, as well as life membership for her work with the French resistance during the war. She is the first woman to be awarded the Badge in Gold. The RSA said as a saboteur and resistance organiser and fighter, the feisty woman led an army of 7,000 Marquis troops in guerrilla warfare against the Nazis in France.
(aap)

17-year-old girl fighting with the partisans   (Article no longer available from the original source)
She dragged herself out of the heap of bodies that had once been her family, shot to death by Nazi soldiers. Alone among the dead in the dark forest of eastern Poland, it would have been easy for a sickly 17-year-old girl to give up, to sink to the ground and die. But she found the partisan fighters in that forest, and convinced them that a girl was strong enough to fight alongside the men. Fighting with the partisans was Gertrude Boyarski`s act of resistance. By the summer of 1940 the Nazis had already stolen her family and her childhood. She spent the next four years fighting them.
(palmbeachpost)

Red Army Veterans Clash With Partisans in Kiev
Thousands of aging Red Army veterans and their supporters clashed Saturday in downtown Kiev with partisans who fought the Soviets and Nazis during World War II and now want pensions and official recognition as veterans. Hostility toward the partisans runs deep in Ukraine because they initially sought support from the Nazis, believing the Germans would grant Ukraine independence.
(ua-reporter)

Caught between Stalin`s Red Army and Hitler`s elite SS
Caught between Stalin`s advancing Red Army and Hitler`s elite SS, a rag-tag army of partisans fought a last desperate battle for Polish independence. But 63 days later, 275,000 lay dead, and the capital was razed to the ground. 5pm, W-hour, Men are building a frontline barricade and the first shots are fired at the Nazis. The Uprising against the Third Reich has begun. Elite divisions of the SS plus special units of the Wehrmacht army were held in combat by ill-armed partisans fighting literally from underground, from sewers and cellars, for longer than it had taken the Nazis to invade entire countries earlier in the war.
(guardian)

Adolf Pilch - Heroic figure of the Polish underground army
Major Adolf Pilch was a blunt, ironic man, and a cool strategist much feared by the German and Soviet occupying forces. He came to England to train for the special operations executive (SOE). Parachuted back into Poland in Feb 1943, Pilch took charge of a 40-strong group of partisans, which within two months had became 400, and, by the end of the year, had grown to 1,000. Pilch fought in more than 200 engagements, never lost a battle, and was subsequently awarded four fighting crosses, the medal of Warsaw, the king`s medal for courage, and Poland`s highest military honour, the virtuti militari.
(guardian)


See also:
U.S. Army Rangers
American Paratroopers
Special Forces
SAS
Nazi Helmets.