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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)

31 Images of Rommel & Some You Wouldn`t Have Seen Before?
31 photographs of Rommel & Some You Wouldn`t Have Seen Before?.

Re-Educating The Hitler Youth (What To Do With The German Boy Soldiers?) – From Yank Magazine, 1945
Re-Educating The Hitler Youth (What To Do With The German Boy Soldiers?) – From Yank Magazine, 1945.

UK World War II POW records now available to read online
The records of a million World War II POWs will be published online. From the inmates of Colditz to the men who took part in the ‘Great Escape` details will be available to relatives and researchers. The publication, in association with The National Archives, marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII on all fronts on September 2. The records cover the period 1939-1945 and contain the names, ranks and locations of Prisoners of War, along with the length of time spent in camps, the number of survivors, details of escapees and the nationalities of prisoners. Britons represent the largest number in the collection, followed by Dutch, Americans and Australians.

Hitler at home: How PR made the Fuehrer more likeable
Although he is one of history`s most infamous figure, Adolf Hitler is not someone with who the word "celebrity" can be easily associated. Yet a PR campaign, which was accepted by the international media, meant that even as late as 1939, lifestyle pieces portrayed him as a likable chap who had a refined and cozy home life and took care of his garden. Even The New York Times presented him as a country gent who played catch with his dogs and took after-dinner strolls around his mountain estate. University at Buffalo historian Despina Stratigakos describes, in a new book entitled Hitler at Home, how those who worked closely with him managed to change his image from one of an oddball loner to that of an admirable gentleman.

Erosion reveals England`s World War Two coastal defences
A three mile stretch of the British coastline in the New Forest region, from the town of Barton on Sea to Milford on Sea has been exposed. The exposure comes as natural erosion occurs and it has revealed the vast expanse of World War Two defense lines put in place by the British military in anticipation of a possible land invasion by the Germans. The defenses include a large field of metal poles and concrete posts intertwined with rolls of barbed wire, alongside pill boxes, all emerging from the bottom of the seabed.

The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-45, by Nicholas Stargardt
In this ambitious study, Nicholas Stargardt shows how people on the home front, as well as those in uniform, adapted to the course of the war. He `traces the changing expectations, oscillating hopes and fears of individuals` through their diaries and letters, and situates that evidence in the broader context of national popular opinion as reported by Nazi authorities. As Stargardt shows, the German home front suffered terrible losses from Allied bombings. Some 420,000 people would lose their lives, more than half of them after August 1944 when hope of victory had all but completely evaporated. On top of that, the author estimates, in 1945 each day of fighting `cost the lives of 10,000 German soldiers`.

Daring Escape of Two German POWs Down The Mississippi River During WWII
The story of two World War Two German POW escaping in Minnesota has been uncovered more than 70 years later. Prison camps had been established across the US to house German and Axis POWs during World War Two. In Minnesota a prison work camp had been established as a lumber camp on the banks of Lake Winnibigoshish, holding just over 200 prisoners. It was during the night of Sunday, 29th October 1944, when a regular evening bed check was being conducted, that prison guards realized two German prisoners were missing. German prisoners Corporal Heinz Schymalla, 22, and Walter Mai, 21 had escaped.

Holocaust versus Wehrmacht: How Hitler`s Final Solution Undermined the German War Effort
Did the Holocaust Undermine the German War Effort? One of the great paradoxes of the Second World War is that while German troops on the Eastern Front were starving and freezing to death for lack of supplies, the rail transport of Jews to the death camps proceeded with uninterrupted Teutonic efficiency. The explanation is found in a profound insight by the historian Gerhard Weinberg - that for the Nazis the extermination of Europe`s Jews was the purpose of the war, not a distraction or a side show.

Hitler`s Brandenburgers: secret multilingual warrior spies of Nazi Germany
The pre-war German Army rejected Captain Theodore von Hippel`s idea of using small units of highly trained men to penetrate enemy defenses before main actions began. They felt it was beneath the dignity of true soldiers to engage in such renegade conduct and so sent the young Captain packing. Down but not out, he ended up joining the German intelligence agency known as the Abwehr, in whom he found its commander, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, a willing listener. His ideas, much of which were learned from studying World War 1 guerilla leaders, were approved and forwarded to the German High Command (OKW), who agreed to the formation of a battalion of men trained in the arts of combat and espionage.

Wreckage of Soviet fighter plane shot down during World War II discovered after drought in Poland
A prolonged drought which has caused rivers in Poland to reach record low levels has led to the discovery of important Second World War artefacts - including a Soviet fighter plane and several Jewish tombstones. The Vistula River is now at its lowest level since measurements started in the late 18th century and has unveiled a number of treasures. The discoveries were made just days after stone fragments from the early 20th-century Poniatowski Bridge - which crossed the Vistula River in Warsaw, and which the Germans blew up in 1944 as they crushed the Warsaw Uprising - were found.

Rare Italian tankette Carro Veloce L.3/33 finds new home at Australian War Memorial in Canberra
A rare Italian tankette used during World War II has arrived at its new home - The Australian War Memorial (AWM). It is thought the Carro Veloce L.3/33 was captured in North Africa between 1940 and 1941 by British and Commonwealth troops, where it would have been used for reconnaissance work and towing cargo. Developed in 1933, the Italian army used the tankette during campaigns in Ethiopia, Spain, North and East Africa, Albania and Greece prior to and during the early parts of World War II.

How the Nazis Robbed Their Country of Its Scientific Legacy (And Gave it to the World)
The gutting of Germany`s intellectual heritage is far from the worst crime committed by the Nazis, but it was a crime nonetheless. The irony is it was a crime that contributed to their loss of the war. But it also robbed the country of its intellectual riches decades after the war was over.

RAF`s most secret WWII base watch tower in Devon goes up for sale
A former aircraft watch tower at one of the RAF`s most secret Second World War bases has been put up for sale. The two-storey building at Winkleigh Airfield, Devon, along with 9.5 acres of land and disused outbuildings will go under the hammer. The airbase was built in 1940 on remote moorland to defend Britain`s western approaches from the Luftwaffe and was so strategically important that its existence was officially denied. The tower is listed by English Heritage as a Scheduled Monument.

Britain`s Two World Wars against Germany: Myth, Memory and the Distortions of Hindsight
Prof. Brian Bond takes a look at perceptions of the world wars in British memory and culture, and finds them both deeply embedded and highly ahistorical. After an introduction to outline his theme, Bond addresses the shaping of the popular, and even academic, images of the world wars in the aftermath of the second. He then devotes a chapter to British policy and strategy in the two wars, in which he makes a good case that despite its image as `unnecessary` the 1914-1918 war was more vital to British interests than that of 1939-1945.

Kiwis in combating German Tiger I tanks in Northern Italy in 10 images
In the battle for Florence contact was made by 2nd New Zealand Division for the first time with Tiger tanks in any number. The following are several of the New Zealand antitank gunners` experiences in combating Tiger tanks of special interest during the Battle of Florence.

6 of the wildest top secret spy missions of World War II
(1) Polish spy Christine Granville bluffed her way into a Gestapo prison while surrounded by her own wanted posters. (3) Famed jazz singer Josephine Baker smuggled information through sheet music and her underwear. (5) Agent Fifi - Marie Chilver - tested new British agents by being hot and charming. (6) Virginia Hall led a resistance group despite having only one foot.

Elena Rzhevskaya: The Woman Who Held Hitler`s Teeth
In the days following the end of WWII, translator Elena Rzhevskaya was tasked with a bizarre job: protecting a jewelry box containing the only irrefutable proof of Hitler`s death. During the spring of 1945, Elena Kagan was a 25-year-old war widow working as a German translator with the Soviet Red Army. Her knowledge of German proved essential for interrogating prisoners, but her most memorable task began on April 29, 1945, when she was assigned to a team of three charged with finding Hitler, dead or alive. Her memoir of her war days, first published as "Berlin Notes" in a Soviet magazine in 1965, provided the world with the first details about how Hitler`s body had been found and identified.

Last Flying Tiger in Southeast Asia to release memoirs
It has been 70 years since the end of the Second World War and the last surviving bomber pilot in Southeast Asia from the group known as the Flying Tigers will release his memoirs. It is the life story of a Malaysian student who fought for China during the Japanese Occupation, then settled in Singapore to train its core group of Singapore Airlines pilots. Captain Ho Weng Toh is the last surviving Flying Tiger in Southeast Asia. The term Flying Tigers refers to the American Volunteer Group pilots who helped China fight the Japanese. It also includes the fighters, freighters and bombers from China`s 14th Air Force`s Chinese-American Composite Wing which was established in 1943.

Fritz Payne, at 104; WWII fighter ace, hero at Guadalcanal
Frederick R. ‘‘Fritz`` Payne, a World War II fighter ace who left his mark on aviation and wartime history by shooting down six Japanese warplanes during the Battle of Guadalcanal, a bloody, monthslong confrontation that helped change the course of the war, has died. The retired Marine Corps brigadier general, who was believed to be the oldest surviving US fighter ace, passed away at Aug. 6. What Mr. Payne did between September and October 1942 was take to the skies in an F4F Wildcat and shoot down four Japanese bombers and two fighter planes during a crucial battle for control of the Pacific Ocean that Allied forces had launched with no clear indication they could win.

Britain failed to prosecute a member of the intelligence services who passed WW2 secrets to Russia out of fear of embarrassmen
Britain failed to prosecute a member of the intelligence services who passed secrets to Russia in World War Two out of fear of embarrassment, files in the National Archives have revealed. MI5 also appeared to have failed to grasp the significance of former film critic Cedric Belfrage`s activities. The Briton worked for an arm of MI6 in New York after a career in Hollywood. But his colleagues were unaware he had become increasingly left wing, probably after a trip to the Soviet Union. Historians say his espionage could be ranked alongside that conducted by members of the Cambridge spy ring during the Cold War.

WWII wreckage of Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express recovered in Tibet
The wreckage of a Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express air freighter that crashed into a glacier in Tibet during World War II has been excavated and moved to Sichuan province on Aug. 11. The pieces reached their final destination at China`s largest private museum, Jianchuan Museum in Chengdu, Sichuan. The remains will be displayed as an example of Sino-US cooperation during World War II. The plane was lost while navigating `the Hump,` a difficult, costly route over the eastern Himalayan Mountains which was used to transport supplies from Allied forces further west into China. About 1,500 American planes crashed in southwest China while traveling along this route.

The story of the last American to die in World War II
The last American to die in WWII was killed 3 days after the war was over. After Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945 the war in the Pacific ended just like it had started in 1941: with `a surprise attack by Japanese war planes.` With just one other bomber alongside and no fighter escort, Army photographer Sgt. Anthony Marchione was flying in an Army Air Force B-32 Dominator bomber aircraft on Aug. 18 with a mission to take reconnaissance photos. But some in the Japanese military had other plans that day. The two B-32`s were shot at by anti-aircraft and enemy aircraft fire soon after they got over Tokyo, and three airmen were wounded, including Marchione. Japanese Emperor Hirohito had announced over the radio that his country had surrendered, but there were a number of military diehards who vowed to fight on until a formal document was signed.

Five Improvised Gadgets That Helped Allied POWs Escape the Nazis
(1) Glow in the Dark Compasses: Maps were all well and good, but without a reliable compass they would be useless. An ingenious solution was soon found to overcome this problem. Compasses were manufactured consisting of a magnetized needle set on a cork swivel. A small speck of luminous paint from a broken watch face was glued to the tip of the needle to indicate north at night. That`s when the escapers would do most of their travelling to avoid German patrols. (4) Backpacks: With their army haversacks confiscated after capture, the escaping inmates of Oflag VI B needed to make their own backpacks to hold all the gear

The Japanese women who married the enemy
70 years ago many Japanese people in occupied Tokyo after WW2 saw US troops as the enemy. But tens of thousands of young Japanese women married GIs nonetheless - and then faced a big struggle to find their place in the US. For 21-year-old Hiroko Tolbert, meeting her husband`s parents for the first time after she had travelled to America in 1951 was a chance to make a good impression. She picked her favourite kimono for the train journey to upstate New York. But rather than being impressed, the family was horrified. "My in-laws wanted me to change. They wanted me in Western clothes. So did my husband. So I went upstairs and put on something else, and the kimono was put away for many years."

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