World War II in the News
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Latest hand-picked World War II news and articles

German WWII PoW leaves 384,000 Pounds to Perthshire village
A German soldier has left £384,000 in his will to the Perthshire village where he was held as a WWII POW. Heinrich Steinmeyer was 19 when he was captured in France and held in the PoW camp at Cultybraggan by Comrie. Steinmeyer left the money in return for the kindness he was shown there. His will reads: "Herewith, I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Scotland for the kindness and generosity that I have experienced in Scotland during my imprisonment of war and hereafter." Comrie Development Trust has launched a consultation on how the money should be used. Andrew Reid said: "Throughout his captivity, Heinrich Steinmeyer was very struck by the kindness shown to him Scottish people, which he had not expected. After the war, he visited Comrie and made lasting friendships in the village."
(bbc.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)

Never before seen photos show Hitler attending wedding of Hermann Fegelein and Gretl Braun who he had executed a year later
A previously unseen photo has emerged showing Hitler celebrating the wedding of his future `brother-in-law` - who he had executed a year later. The picture shows the Nazi dictator congratulating SS officer Hermann Fegelein and bride Gretl Braun at a reception in Salzburg, Austria. 11 months later, Hitler ordered the execution of the groom for the crime of deserting his post. The photo was found in an album of 12 black and white snaps of the wedding reception that lasted for three days and was organised by Eva Braun, the elder sister of Gretl and Hitler`s mistress. The fuhrer was one of the witnesses to the marriage along with SS chief Heinrich Himmler and Martin Bormann.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Every member of Tiger Tank family to come together at Bovington
Every member of the Tiger Tank family will be coming together for a unique display at Bovington`s Tank Museum. In what is billed as a world`s first, the Dorset museum will be displaying its Tiger 1, two King Tigers, a Jagtiger and at least one other vehicle on international loan. Currently, the US Army Ordnance Training and Heritage Center has confirmed it will loan the museum their Elefant, based on the rejected Porsche Tiger chassis. Museum staff remain hopeful this will be joined by a Sturmtiger from overseas. A museum spokesman confirmed the new exhibition, to be unveiled in April 2017, is aimed at enthusiasts of German armour and will feature previously unseen crew interviews and testimonies from those who faced them in combat.
(bournemouthecho.co.uk)

Peenemünde Army Research Center - abandoned German rocket factory
The Heeresversuchsanstalt Peenemünde (Peenemünde Army Research Center), was built starting in 1936 and finished within a year using slave workers from concentration camps. In 1942 an A-4 (later called V-2) from Peenemünde was the first object built by humans to reach outer space, and the rocket factory became known as the `Cradle of Spaceflight.` But starting in 1944, the V-2 rockets assembled at Peenemünde were shipped out to be used in attacks against Great Britain, France, Belgium, and others. As demand grew and more workers were needed to assemble the rockets, Peenemünde was given its own concentration camp of slave workers for production.
(atlasobscura.com)

US returning land in Okinawa to Japan it`s controlled since World War II
The US military will return to Japan`s government more than 9,800 acres of land it has held since World War II, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said. The 9,852 acres of land on the island of Okinawa, part of a territory officially referred to as the Northern Training Area, is in a large US military base complex on the Pacific island more than 960 miles (1,550 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo. The US had turned most of Okinawa over to Japan in 1972 after controlling it from the end of World War II in 1945. This is the largest return of US-occupied land since then.
(cnn.com)

Reich`s Women`s Führerin Gertrud Scholtz-Klink: When Hitler`s Perfect Woman Came To London
75 years ago in 1939, as war clouds gathered over Europe, a German woman Hitler had described as the "perfect nazi female" arrived in London. When Hitler came to power in 1933 he appointed nazi supporter Gertrud Scholtz-Klink as Reich`s Women`s Führerin and head of the Nazi Women`s League. Ironically, Scholtz-Klink argued against the participation of women in politics. By July 1936 Scholtz-Klink was appointed head of the Womaen`s Bureau in the German Labour Front. Her job was to encourage women to work for the nazi government. On the face of it the Führerin`s visit to London was at the invitation of Prunella Stack, leader of the Women`s League of Health and Beauty, an early women`s keep-fit organisation with 200,000 members all across Britain and the empire.
(morningstaronline.co.uk)

Rare Photos Show World War II From the Soviet Side
Most of the best-known Soviet images from the war were used as propaganda, to glorify the victories of the Red Army. Often they were staged. Mr. Faminsky`s images are for the most part unvarnished and do not glorify war, Arthur Bondar, 33, said, but focused on the human cost and `the real life of ordinary soldiers and people.`
(nytimes.com)

The Third Reich`s nuclear programme: Churchill`s greatest wartime fear
In the spring of 1940, as Britain reeled from defeats on all fronts and America seemed frozen in isolation, one fear, says writer Damien Lewis, united the British and American leaders like no other: that Hitler`s Germany might win the race to build the world`s first atom bomb. So began the secret hunt for the führer`s nuclear weapons.
(hardwarezone.com.sg)

6 Unsettling Mysteries of the Spanish Civil War
Outside of Spain, the Spanish Civil War exists in a strange pocket of history. Fought between the left-leaning Republicans and the falangist Nationalists from 1936 to 1939, it`s often overshadowed by the rise of the Third Reich and the events leading up to World War Two. Before the end of the war and the establishment of a Nationalist government (supported by both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), an estimated 500,000 people died and thousands fled into exile. The Spanish Civil War left its share of mysteries, too, buried in the annals of a dark period in 20th century history.
(urbanghostsmedia.com)

The Forgotten Horror of Ravensbrück, the Nazi Concentration Camp for Women
On December 5, 1946, the Hamburg Ravensbrück war crimes trials began in Germany. 56 miles north of Berlin and opened in 1939, Ravensbrück was the largest and most notorious of Nazi camps for women. Of the sixteen people on the stand that day, seven were female. Among them was 26-year-old Dorothea Binz, who, despite her gender, had risen to the rank of Assistant Chief warden or Oberaufseherin. Binz`s crimes included shooting, whipping and setting dogs on prisoners. By the end of the trials in July 1948, 21 out of the 38 individuals charged were women. Seventy years on, why does Ravensbrück remain a footnote in history?
(broadly.vice.com)

After Pearl Harbor: The Secret Plan to Hide America`s Iconic Documents
In the tense days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, a train left Washington, D.C., under the cover of night carrying the most precious cargo ever transported in American history. This is the story of the secret operation to save the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other treasured American artifacts during World War II.
(history.com)

Divers looted wrecks of sunken ships in Scapa Flow: Men fined in first of its kind case
Two divers who looted the wrecks of the scuttled German fleet in Scapa Flow have been fined £18,000 each in a `unique` Scottish court case. Glasgow dentist Gordon Meek and American businessman Robert Infante systematically removed equipment including telephone units, lanterns and lamps and a ship`s bell from seven battleships and cruisers that lie off Orkney. The spree was detected when people on another charter boat in the popular diving area spotted a diver with a bag full of rusty items.
(pressandjournal.co.uk)

Why Stalingrad Was the Bloodiest Battle of World War II (and Perhaps of All Time)
In August 1942 the German VI Army had pushed all the way to the banks of the Volga River, near the industrial heartland of the USSR. Once captured, the Nazis could sever the Volga. All they had to do was take one more city. Stalingrad. The prewar population of Stalingrad was four hundred thousand. It was home to a key river port as well as numerous important war and civilian industries. Though Stalingrad carried significant military importance, the psychological importance both leaders placed on the city elevated it to a level of importance above perhaps even the capital city of Moscow. The price both armies were willing to pay to possess it transcended military utility and entered fully into the category of obsession.
(nationalinterest.org)

Holocaust survivor condemns German court for jailing the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz
A Holocaust survivor who adopted the grandson of an SS commander blamed for the murder of one million people including her parents has condemned the German court for jailing a Nazi concentration camp guard. Oscar Groening, 95, known as `the bookkeeper of Auschwitz`, was convicted to four years in prison for being an accessory to murder by cataloguing valuables of the concentration camp`s victims. But Eva Mozes Kor, 82, who was subjected to twisted experiments in Auschwitz, has said she is sorry the court did not comply with her request to set him free.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Stolen Dachau concentration camp gate believed found in Norway
The wrought iron gate to the Nazis` Dachau concentration camp that was stolen two years ago, prompting an outcry, appears to have been found in western Norway. The gate, bearing the slogan "Arbeit macht frei," or "Work sets you free," was located in the Bergen area of Norway after authorities got an anonymous tip, German police said in a statement. Authorities said they were trying to determine if the recovered gate is authentic, but there was a "high probability it is the iron gate stolen in Dachau," Bavarian police said. The gate seemed to be good condition, and will be handed over to German authorities "as soon as it is feasible."
(timescolonist.com)

Comfort women documentary highlights the human spirit and their resilience
During the Second World War, tens of thousands of women in occupied Asian countries were forced to become sex slaves for Japanese soldiers. A new Canadian documentary called The Apology follows the journeys of three former "comfort women," as they were known, and will screen in Vancouver. "The film really highlights and focuses on the human spirit and their resilience and strength through all these years after surviving such atrocities," filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.
(cbc.ca)

The Super Scary Legend of Nazi Germany`s Me-163 Rocket Fighters
Nazi Germany pursued numerous ambitious and impractical weapon programs over the course of World War II. One of the few that saw action was the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, the only rocket-powered fighter to enter operational service. The stubby rocket planes were blindingly fast by the standards of World War II fighters—but were in as much danger of blowing up from their volatile rocket fuel as they were of being shot down by enemy fire.
(nationalinterest.org)

The Air War Over the Eastern Front Gobbled Up Men and Machines
The Eastern Front was the decisive theater of WWII in Europe. Hitler`s 1941 order to invade the vast Soviet Union mired Nazi Germany in a bloody, grinding conflict. And as Germany bled itself pale in Russia`s rubble-heaped cities and endless plains, the western Allies gathered their strength for a counteroffensive that, by 1944, would see Germany under assault from three sides. At the peak of the fighting in 1943, the Germans deployed 3.9 million troops on the Eastern Front. The Soviets 6.7 million troops. The fighting in the air was no less awesome … and brutal. That`s the subject of historian E.R. Hooton`s new book War Over the Steppes. Taking advantage of primary sources from both sides, Hooton surveys the eastern air war in broad strokes, periodically zooming in to highlight individual pilots and commanders in order to put a human face on the titanic aerial struggle.
(warisboring.com)

The latest campaign on Conflict-Series: Battle of Saipan 1944 is out now!
If you like classic strategy board games check out Battle of Saipan from Conflict-Series. American troops continue their Pacific island hopping campaign with Operation Forager - Capture of Saipan. You are in command of the American Army and Marine forces, tasked with seizing the control of the island from which Japanese home island would be within the range of the new Boeing B-29 Superfortress long-range bomber. League of Nations gave Japan a mandate to rule Saipan after the First World War, and the huge Japanese population meant the island was considered to be part of Japan proper. The ensuing battle saw both the largest Japanese tank battle and the biggest banzai attack of the Pacific war.
(play.google.com)

The Castles of WWII - Nine Medieval Strongholds and the Amazing Roles They Played in Wartime
From its perch high atop the famous White Cliffs, the sprawling fortress of Dover Castle protected England`s shores from invasion for hundreds of years. Overlooking the 21-mile stretch of sea separating the British Isles from France, the mighty 12th Century citadel was long considered the `Key to England.` No foreign army could hope invade the island without passing beneath its formidable walls. Amazingly, when Britain went to war against Germany in 1939, the 800-year-old bastion was once again pressed into service.
(militaryhistorynow.com)

Five Badass Female Spies Who Deserve Their Own World War II Movie
Writer Steven Knight has said that his new film, Allied, is based on a story about World War II spies that he heard third-hand from an old girlfriend. It could well have been more than an urban legend, though: dozens of remarkable women played a key role in `the Resistance,` much as Marion Cotillard`s character does in the film. These women were especially prevalent in the Special Operations Executive, a cobbled-together network of spies and amateurs that wrought havoc on German-occupied Europe; President Eisenhower later credited the organization with reversing the fortunes of the Allies against Hitler.
(vanityfair.com)

Rare Anne Frank poem fetches euro 140,000 at Dutch auction
A very rare handwritten poem by Anne Frank was sold for €140,000 (NIS 575,000; $150,000) to an unnamed online bidder, fetching more than four times its reserve price. Frank wrote the eight-line poem, dated March 28, 1942, in a friendship book belonging to the older sister of her best friend only three months before she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam. A series of letters between Anne and her sister Margot with American penpals sold for $165,000 in 1988.
(timesofisrael.com)

Sonderkommando - Misunderstood Slaves of the SS
One of the most misunderstood of all the Holocaust victims were the Sonderkommando or special squad. These were the men selected from the incoming prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau who were forced as slave laborers to process and dispose of the bodies of their fellow Jews that had been gassed in the extermination chambers. These men were in turn marked for death and on the 7th October 1944, in response to the fear that they were to be deported and killed, they revolted. They used whatever weapons they had in hands such as tools and rocks and attacked their SS guards.
(warhistoryonline.com)

Oskar Groening Auschwitz conviction marks `dramatic change`
A German federal court has upheld the conviction of Auschwitz death camp guard Oskar Groening, who admitted witnessing murders but not taking part. The verdict overturns a 1969 ruling that being a staff member at Auschwitz was not enough to secure a conviction. Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said it was the biggest change in years. Groening, 95, who was known as "the bookkeeper of Auschwitz", had appealed against a 4-year jail term handed down for being accessory to murder. "This is a very dramatic and significant change in German prosecution policy," Mr Zuroff told.
(bbc.com)



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