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Latest hand-picked World War II news and articles

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)

Inside the secret tunnels of the White Cliffs of Dover: Network built to help stop Nazi ships
An incredible labyrinth of forgotten Second World War tunnels built beneath the White Cliffs of Dover will reopen to the public today for the first time in 40 years. The Fan Bay Deep Shelter was carved out of chalk in just 100 days in the 1940s as part of Dover`s connected gun battery armaments aimed at foiling Nazi shipping movements in the Channel. The shelter was carved out of the chalk by Royal Engineers from the 172nd Tunnelling Company and had a hospital, secure store and five large chambers providing bomb-proof accommodation.

Ghost Army: Pictures show how inflatable tanks and huge speakers fooled Germany into thinking 30,000 troops were massing on front line
During the Second World War the Allies employed dozens of tricks to confuse, mislead and intimidate the enemy. One such example was the Ghost Army - a team of 1,100 artists and illustrators whose job was to fool the Nazis into believing U.S. Army units were operating in areas they were not, or to trick them into thinking massive Allied forces were gathering nearby. To this day, many details of the team`s role in the war following D-Day remain classified and are a closely guarded secret.

Radioactive Wreck of WWII Aircraft Carrier Discovered Near San Francisco Bay
After more than 60 years — and some of the most intense action that a military vessel has ever seen — a World War II-era aircraft carrier has been re-discovered off the coast of San Francisco, still larded with its final cargo: hundreds of barrels of radioactive waste. The U.S.S. Independence was found in April by archaeologists using sonar-equipped submersible vehicles near the Farallon Islands, some 65 kilometers from San Francisco, California, not far from where it was sunk by the U.S. Navy 64 years ago.

WWII resistance heroine Violette Szabo`s George Cross could fetch £250,000
A George Cross awarded to an Anglo-French World War Two resistance heroine is to be auctioned off. The medal, the highest honour awarded for bravery to civilians and military personnel in non-combat roles, could fetch up to £250,000. Violette Szabo was just one of four women to be awarded the George Cross. As a member of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Violette Szabo twice parachuted into occupied France to aid the Resistance movement. On her second mission shortly after D-Day, she was captured, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. In early 1945, she was executed.

The German POWs Who Lived, Worked, and Loved in Texas
Some went to work as hospital orderlies. Others picked cotton, baled hay, or tilled soil, living in accommodations near farmland. They ate dinner with families and caught the eyes of single women, running off with them whenever and however they could. The only thing separating the visitors from the locals of Hearne, Texas was the `PW` insignia stitched into their clothing—that, and the fact many couldn`t speak English. The men were Germans who had been captured by Allied forces, and from 1943 through 1945, more than 400,000 of them were sent to the US for detention in barracks. Between 500 and 600 centers were set up across the country, but many of the prisoners wound up in Texas because of the available space and warm climate. Almost overnight, the people experienced a kind of cruel magic trick. Their loved ones had disappeared while captured Germans materialized in their place, taking on the role of laborer.

Mitsubishi to apologize for American POWs` forced labor in second world war
A major Japanese corporation planned to offer a landmark apology on Sunday for using US prisoners of war for forced labor during the second world war. A senior Mitsubishi Materials executive was to offer the apology to POWs during a ceremony at the Simon Wiesenthal Center`s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Japan`s government issued a formal apology to American POWs in 2009 and again in 2010. But the dwindling ranks of POWs who were used as slaves at mines and industrial plants have so far had little luck in getting apologies from the corporations who used them, sometimes in brutal conditions.

Remains of 86 Jewish Holocaust victims used for human experiments by Nazis found hidden in Strasbourg lab
The remains of 86 Jewish people sent to Nazi gas chambers in 1943 have been discovered at a forensic medicine institute in eastern France. The bodies of the victims were brought from German holocaust camps to the then Nazi occupied city of Strasbourg in eastern France where they were used by Nazi anatomy professor August Hirt for experiments.

Secret 1933 film shows Edward VIII teaching this Nazi salute to the Queen
The Queen and Queen Mum raise a Nazi salute in an astonishing home movie shot at Balmoral and seen today for the first time. The film shows the then Princess Elizabeth, just seven, larking about in 1933. Egging on her sister Princess Margaret, three, is their uncle Prince Edward, Prince of Wales. He was a sympathiser towards Hitler`s Nazi Germany and became King Edward VIII. The stunning film footage of the Queen performing a Nazi salute is revealed by The Sun. The clip lay hidden for eight decades. The grainy home movie is thought to have been shot in 1933 or 1934, as Hitler rose to supreme power in Germany.

Rare German Enigma Code Machine Sells at Auction for $232,000
An Enigma machine, used by the German military to send secret codes during World War II, beat expectations at auction by selling for more than $232,000. The codes sent by these machines were broken by Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park, as dramatized in "The Imitation Game." This particular machine, built in 1943, was expected to sell for between £50,000 and £70,000 at Sotheby`s in London. It was instead purchased by an unnamed buyer for £149,000 ($232,015).

Amateur archaeologist finds €45,000 Nazi gold hoard
The dream of every treasure-hunter came true for Florian Bautsch last October when he found 217 Nazi-era gold coins in Lüneburg. Bausch – a certified metal detectorist – was exploring old burial mounds in the town south of Hamburg when he stumbled across the first gold piece. After a further search under the foliage uncovered 9 more coins, Bautsch did a survey of the area and got in touch with local archaeologists. A two-week long excavation followed, unearthing a further 207 gold coins – with a material worth estimated at around €45,000. Archaeologists also found remnants of pasteboard with two seals bearing the swastika, imperial eagle and the stamp: "Reichsbank Berlin 244".

Master recording of Emperor`s WWII surrender speech to be released
The Imperial Household Agency plans to make public for the first time the original vinyl master recordings of Emperor Hirohito`s historic speech in which he declared Japan`s surrender in World War II. The exhibition of the original discs as well as a new digitally remastered version of the recording will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, recorded the address on Aug. 14, 1945, at a building of the agency`s predecessor. It was broadcast at noon on the radio the following day. Five vinyl records of the speech are in the Imperial family`s archives.

How typhoons at the end of World War II swamped U.S. ships and nearly saved Japan from defeat
Seventy years ago, two typhoons hit and seriously damaged scores of U.S. Navy ships engaged in the last WWII battles, killing more than 800 Americans. The typhoons arrived as pilots of Japanese suicide airplanes, called Kamikazes, were crashing into allied ships in the western Pacific, damaging many and sinking some. `Kamikaze` means `divine winds` and originally referred to typhoons in 1274 and 1281 that scattered and sunk many of the ships in Mongolian invasion fleets under the command of Kublai Khan. Unlike the 13th century storms, the 1944 and 1945 typhoons didn`t save Japan from defeat. But an October 1945 typhoon showed what could have happened if Japan hadn`t agreed to surrender on August 15, 1945.

Auschwitz book-keeper Oskar Groening sentenced to four years
A German court has convicted a 94-year-old former guard at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz of being an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews. Oskar Groening, known as the "book-keeper of Auschwitz", was sentenced to four years in prison. He was responsible for counting the belongings confiscated from prisoners and had admitted "moral guilt".

Pearl Harbor jeep stolen from Imperial War Museum Duxford
A Jeep used by an American Marine stationed in Pearl Harbor during World War Two has been stolen while on display at a Cambridgeshire museum. The 1944 Willys Jeep, belonging to a 73-year-old from Surrey, was taken from a car park during a show at Imperial War Museum Duxford. Officers described the stolen vehicle as a "rare military jeep" of "great sentimental value" to its owner. Its registration is AMB644 and "USA 20497753-S" is painted in white on the bonnet.

Kyujo Incident - How a Group of Japanese Officers Planned to Overthrow the Emperor and Continue WW2
After three and a half years of total war against the United States, the once-mighty empire had been reduced to ruins. The fighting in the Pacific cost Japan 50,000 aircraft, 3,000 tanks and more than 300 warships, including 19 carriers and eight battleships. Worse, at least 2 million Japanese troops perished in the savage fighting. Even Emperor Hirohito was calling on the leadership to seek terms. Japan`s PM, Kantarō Suzuki, and his hawkish military cabinet, known as the `Big Six`, finally conceded defeat. Yet amazingly, despite Japan`s downfall, not all were committed to ending hostilities. In fact, many nationalists sought to fight on.

Telegram Goering sent Hitler asking him if he could take over the Nazi party in last days sold for $55,000
A telegram sent to Hitler on the eve of his downfall has been sold for $55,000. The document was sent by Hermann Göring in the final days of the war when he got word that Hitler was in hiding in a bunker in Berlin and wanted to turn the country over to him. Göring then sent Hitler a telegram on April 23, 1945, asking to take charge. If he didn`t receive a reply by 22:00 that evening, he would assume that Hitler had lost his freedom of action and take up the reigns of the falling regime. With the message, the Nazi leader risked treason, but was concerned that if he waited, his chance at power would pass him by. The telegram threw the Führer into rage. In Hitler`s testament, written on April 29, 1945, Göring was dismissed of all authority.

Hawker Hurricane Z2389: Restoration of Historic Wartime Fighter
Featured among our recent guide to the world`s last remaining airworthy Hawker Hurricanes – and those potentially capable of flight – Hurricane Mk IIa Z2389 is currently under restoration to taxiing condition at Brooklands Museum near Weybridge, in South East England. The fighter, which saw extensive use with Soviet Russia`s Red Air Force during World War Two, boasts a varied and compelling wartime history.

Leni Riefenstahl`s Impossible Dream: Tiefland, Fantasy and the Fuhrer`s Shadow
April 20th, 1938 marked Adolf Hitler`s 49th birthday. In the past five years, he`d rebuilt Germany from destitute anarchy into a burgeoning war machine, repudiated the Versailles Treaty and, that March, incorporated Austria into his Thousand-Year Reich. In Nazi Germany, fantasy co-mingled with ideology, expressing an obsession with Germany`s mythical past through propaganda and art. Hitler celebrated at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin, Germany`s most prestigious cinema. There, Nazi officials and foreign diplomats joined dignitaries of German kultur. The evening`s star, however, wasn`t Goebbels or even Hitler, but a filmmaker premiering her documentary about the 1936 Berlin Olympics. She found the Palast adorned in swastikas and Olympic rings, with Germany`s Olympic team greeting her. Most gratifyingly, her name glowed from the marquee: LENI RIEFENSTAHL.

Teens arrested for pocketing Auschwitz artifacts
Polish police have arrested two British teenagers on suspicion of stealing artifacts from the Auschwitz concentration camp. The teens were part of a school group visiting from Cambridge.

WWII Panther tank and anti-aircraft gun found hidden in basement of villa in Germany
German soldiers grappled for 9 hours with an unusual task: trying to remove a WWII tank found in the cellar of a villa. 20 soldiers struggled to remove the tank from a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel in Germany, after police searching the property discovered the tank, a torpedo, an anti-aircraft gun and other weapons in the cellar. Authorities raided the home in the town of Heikendorf under instructions from prosecutors, who suspected that the villa`s 78-year-old owner held the weaponry illegally. The army was called in to try to remove the 1943-vintage Panther tank, and struggled for 9 hours to tow it out using two modern recovery tanks designed to haul damaged battle tanks off the field. The soldiers ended up having to build their own wooden ramp in order to free to tank.

The tragic story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute
Adopted by the Nazi Party in the 1930s, Hitler`s infamous `sieg heil` salute was mandatory for all German citizens as a demonstration of loyalty to the Führer, his party, and his nation. August Landmesser, the lone German refusing to raise a stiff right arm amid Hitler`s presence at a 1936 rally, had been a loyal Nazi. Landmesser joined the Nazi Party in 1931 and began to work his way up the ranks. Two years later, Landmesser fell in love with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman, and proposed marriage to her in 1935. After his engagement to a Jewish woman was discovered, Landmesser was expelled from the Nazi Party.

WWII through Famed German military leader Erwin Rommel`s Private Photo Collection
Witness the Panzers of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel`s famed "Ghost Division" sweeping into France and see raging African sandstorms in a never-before-seen collection of Rommel`s personal photos confiscated by the U.S. military in WWII. Published together for the first time in "Erwin Rommel: Photographer--Volume 1: A Survey," this collection features hundreds of photos Rommel took amid the heat of battle and in quiet times. Author/illustrator Zita Steele digitally restored and enhanced 340+ photos, bringing out details such as faces of ordinary German soldiers placing wreaths around makeshift graves of fallen comrades.

Catching one Nazi became his life
As a lawyer in the Justice Department`s National Security Division, McKay Smith oversees many of America`s most-highly classified intelligence programs. In the debate over government surveillance, people often ask, `Who`s watching the watchers?` Smith is. That`s his job. But on his own time, Smith has been hunting for ex-Nazis who may have taken part in some of the most heinous war crimes in World War II.

Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening admits role at camp
The SS guard being tried for accessory to murder has admitted that he helped Auschwitz function by sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews. But Oskar Groening, known as the bookkeeper of Auschwitz, denied helping to facilitate the murders of 300,000 people at the death camp. The court heard of his "indoctrinated obedience" which he said prevented him from "registering the atrocities". He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. The charges against the former guard relate to a period between May and July 1944, when 425,000 Jews from Hungary were taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex in Nazi-occupied Poland.

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