Rare Panther tank a step closer to becoming the UK's first running example
Donington Park race circuit owner Kevin Wheatcroft opened the doors to his world-renowned private collection of military vehicles in March to perform the first public firing of his 1943 Panther tank engine – a major milestone in the restoration of the infamous German machine. The Wheatcroft Collection, one of the world`s largest collections of WW2 military vehicles, researches, restores and maintains rare tanks, armoured cars, boats, cars and motorcycles – and the Panther is its biggest project so far, now nearing completion.
Why Hitler Stole Art: Monuments Men, Quests for Power, and the Market for Stolen Antiquities
A clue lies in the Nazis` actions at the end of the war. Ominously, art and antiquities were included in Hitler`s Nero Decree, ordering their destruction; if the art would not be seen in the Führermuseum then it would never be seen again. Art is culture manifested, a physical representation of a society`s historical narrative and ideals. Hitler wished to gain legitimacy and prestige through a show of power over the cultures that created these masterpieces. For imperial museums like Louis XIV`s Louvre, the Popes` Vatican Museum, and the British Museum, displaying another`s greatest works in the empire`s capital was the ultimate demonstration of dominance.
WWII veteran Nicholas Alicino discovered gold, works of art in German mine in 1945
Based on a true story, George Clooney`s recent movie, "The Monuments Men," tells the tale of a World War II platoon going into to Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. World War II veteran Nicholas Alicino is one of the actual soldiers who recovered vast fortunes from a salt mine in Germany in 1945.
Discussion: The right approach to Nazi memorabilia
Trading and owning Nazi objects is legal almost everywhere in the world, but a scheduled auction in Paris has stirred up controversy and has brought back the discussion how to best deal with Nazi memorabilia.
It was like walking into hell: Monte Cassino veteran remembers battle on eve of return
Jim Knox was still a teenager when his regiment, 4th Parachute Battalion, landed in Italy at Taranto in September 1943 and moved up the west coast to the Sangro river to join forces with a New Zealand Division patrolling the Gustav Line. "The most frightening time of the war for me was going into Monte Cassino for the first time. There was a tremendous noise from the mortars and this hideous yellow smog. The sky was lit up red and yellow and we could see flames. It wasn`t until we got closer that we realised that was Vesuvius erupting. It was like walking into hell. The stench was horrible from dead mules and dead soldiers. It was terrifying."
DNA analysis shows Eva Braun could have been from a Jewish family
When they committed suicide in his bunker at the end of WW2, Eva Braun had been Adolf Hitler`s mistress for more than 12 years and his wife for a mere 40 hours. It seems, however, that despite their time together, she may have kept a crucial family secret from the Fuhrer. DNA analysis of hair found on a brush that belonged to her shows a link through her maternal line. Scientists found a particular sequence within the DNA, which had been passed down the maternal line – the haplogroup N1b1 – which it is claimed is ‘strongly associated` with Ashkenazi Jews.
Soviet tank reliability in WWII: Greater losses from mechanical breakdowns than from battles
From ‘Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East` by Earl F. Ziemke, in page 363: Active as it was, the Soviet armor was apparently not giving fully satisfactory performance at this stage, and in early August, it became the subject of the following Stalin order: "Our armored forces and their units frequently suffer greater losses through mechanical breakdowns than they do in battle. For example, at Stalingrad Front in six days twelve of our tank brigades lost 326 out of their 400 tanks. Of those about 260 owed to mechanical problems. Many of the tanks were abandoned on the battlefield. "
Nazi defence line in western Poland now home to tens of thousands of bats
ANazi defence line in western Poland has taken on a new role in peacetime as home to tens of thousands of bats in what is Europe's largest artificial roost. The 37 000 winged mammals sleep elbow-to-elbow in the well-sheltered tunnels of the Ostwall fortification, a largely forgotten war site near the town of Miedzyrzecz. Hitler had it built on the eve of WWII in what was then German land to protect the Third Reich from an attack by Poland or the Soviets. Today, it doubles as a tourist site and massive bat reserve, and since 2011 has been home to what is likely the world's only combined fortification and bat museum.
Rüdiger Heim - Being the Son of a Nazi
In 1975, Rüdiger Heim landed in Egypt with one question on his mind: Was his father - Aribert Heim - a Nazi? Over the next two decades, he found out.
Treblinka: Hitler's Killing Machine (A review of the Smithsonian channel's new video)
On March 29th, 2014, the Smithsonian channel will air a new documentary video on archaeological investigations at Treblinka, Poland. Treblinka was one of the death camps created by Adolf Hitler during the lead up to World War II as part of his "final solution", an attempt to lay the blame for Germany's failures as an economic, political and military power on the shoulders of repressed minorities, by killing 6 million men, women and children in the space of five years.
Britain's last surviving Second World War-era submarine HMS Alliance reopens its hatches after £7m makeover
HMS Alliance – the only British surviving WW2 era submarine – has reopened its hatches following a major £7m restoration project. The 281ft sub, based at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, has been completely restored with new interpretation, lighting and soundscapes to form one of three major exhibitions marking 100 years of untold stories at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Tours on board now begin with a new film narrated by British Hollywood star Ian McShane, highlighting life on HMS Alliance from WWII through the Cold War until the 1970s.
7 die in Bangkok explosion after scrap metal dealers try to dismantle WWII bomb with a blowtorch
Seven Thai workers were killed and 19 injured when they tried to dismantle a Second World War bomb with a blowtorch. The device was discovered by builders on a construction site in northern Bangkok`s Lad Plakao neighbourhood, Thailand. Believing that it had lost its charge, they sold it to men working in a scrap metal warehouse.
Collecting funds for vintage aeroplanes: Fly as a passenger
Everyone loves watching vintage aeroplanes fly, but owning, maintaining and keeping them flying is a costly affair that requires tenacity, dedication and, to put it bluntly, money. One way of funding these preservation projects to keep these classic and vintage machines airworthy is to operate pleasure flight experiences to those who are passionate about historic aviation and that`s exactly what many flying schools, clubs and historic aircraft associations now do.
Completely renewed Bastogne War Museum will open its doors again
The completely renewed Bastogne War Museum has opened its doors again. The museum is probably better known under its former name: Bastogne Historical Center. Closed since 2011, the museum was planned to reopen in 2013; amongst others this was finally postponed by a fire until March 22nd, 2014.
Marie Jalowicz Simon - One of 1700 Jews who hid from Nazis in Berlin
On 22 June 1942, Marie Jalowicz Simon woke to find a Gestapo officer standing by her bedside. "Get dressed. We need to interrogate you." In a moment of inspired improvisation, the 20-year-old Berliner managed to distract first the Nazi official in her bedroom, then his colleague waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and escaped back into "submerged" illegality as a Jew in Nazi Germany. Now a new book tells the extraordinary story of her fate as one of around 1,700 "U-boats" – Jews who managed to survive the Nazi period submerged beneath the surface of everyday life.
93-year-old Auschwitz medic held on charges of aiding and abetting mass murder of prisoners
German police have arrested a former Nazi medic who served at the Auschwitz death camp on multiple charges of aiding and abetting murder. The 93-year-old, who was arrested at his home near Neubrandenburg, underwent a medical checkup before he faced a judge and was then taken into pre-trial detention. The former SS member allegedly assisted in the mass murder of prisoners who arrived on eight transports from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia in September 1944.
Nazi ghetto workers to get pensions at last
Many workers from the ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe have fought for their entitlement to full pension payments for years. The German government has now promised a quick and uncomplicated solution.
China to preserve Japan's WWII military brothel as war crime evidence
China is taking steps to preserve buildings once used by Japan's Imperial Army as a notorious military brothel during World War II as "war crime evidence,". The southern city of Nanjing is drafting plans to preserve the seven buildings in Liji Alley of Nanjing City, describing the Japanese wartime military brothel as "the largest of its kind in Asia." "It's of great historical importance to have these buildings protected for the whole world to remember the crimes of war," Jing Shenghong, a history professor with Nanjing Normal University.
In his will - suppressed by the Nazis - Hindenburg disavowed the Nazi leader he`d appointed
Declassified British intelligence papers have shed new light on the testimony of a pre-WWII German diplomat who claimed that a single document, that was once in his possession, could have changed the course of history by preventing Hitler`s consolidation of power. Baron Fritz Günther von Tschirschky und Bögendorff, a confidant of Weimar-era president Paul von Hindenburg, helped to draft Hindenburg`s last will and testament, a document which he said blasted Hitler and called on the German people to embrace democracy. But Hitler got wind of the document upon the president`s death and gave orders to "ensure that this document comes into my possession as soon as possible".
Survivor of medical experiments performed on twin children at Auschwitz answers questions on Reddit
Eva Mozes Kor, a survivor of medical experiments performed on twin children at Auschwitz, answers questions on Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).
The Incredible Flying Tanks of World War II
Given how effective both newly-invented tank and airplane technologies proved during World War II, it was only a matter of time before military designers on both sides of the Atlantic thought to combine them. And they almost succeeded. Well, at least the Soviets did. In the 1930s, both the Americans and the Soviets realized the tactical advantages of being able to drop an armored division behind enemy lines where it could wreak havok on the enemy's soft spots like supply lines and command posts. In America, tank developer Walter Christie designed a self propelled flying tank that employed a pair of biplane wings and rudder with a propeller driven by the tank's engine.
Secret files reveal successful MI5 plot to identify Nazi sympathisers in Britain
A MI5 plot to set up a "fifth column" of rightwing extremists succeeded in attracting "probably hundreds" of Nazi and fascist sympathisers in Britain, according to secret files. The plan was prompted by MI5's concern that the British branch of the German firm Siemens ran what it described as a "vast espionage organisation" before the outbreak of the second world war. MI5 first attempted to infiltrate the company through a "correspondents' club" to attract single female employees. But it proved too successful – one employee became too emotionally attached to the undercover MI5 agent.
The Battle of Nauru - Nazi Germany`s Forgotten Foray into the Pacific
In late 1940, the tiny tropical island of Nauru seemed about as far from the bloody battlefields of the Second World War as one could get. Also known as Pleasant Island, the 21 sq. km paradise sits 3,000 km due east of New Guinea and 5,000 km southwest of Hawaii – a long way from Europe and North Africa indeed. Yet by December of that year, German warships would carry to the fight against the Allies to the very shores of Nauru. The ensuing battle would represent the only Nazi military action of World War Two to take place in the South Pacific.
Who's Who' book of 30,000 SS members expected to fetch £2,000 at auction
A chilling `Who`s who` book which names 30,000 members of SS is to go up for auction next month. The 425-page `seniority list` – which includes some of the most feared men in the Nazi regime – was stolen by a British spy during World War II. Listed at number one is Heinrich Himmler. The book, which is expected to fetch £2,000, lists the name of each member, their decorations and awards, their division, party number, SS number, date of birth and promotion details. It came to light when the son of the spy, who has not been identified, was sorting through his estate after his death.