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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)

SS leader Heinrich Himmler`s daughter Gudrun Burwitz remains a committed Nazi
Seventy years ago Heinrich Himmler, one of the most evil men who ever lived, bit into a poison capsule and ended his life. There is one person who will be mourning the anniversary: his daughter Gudrun Burwitz, the so-called Princess of Nazism, still believes he was a good man. And more than seven decades after she wrote of the `marvelous` time she had visiting her father at notorious death camp Daschau, she is still a supporter of the Nazi ideology. She has dedicated her life to `helping` surviving Nazis evade justice, and even now, in her 80s, is considered the `godmother` of far-right women`s groups. She still holds on to her cherished memories of the years the Nazis were in power.

Remarkably Preserved Messerschmitt Bf 109 recovered from an Icy Russian Lake
In this post, Urban Ghosts take a closer look at the Luftwaffe`s Messerschmitt Bf 109, the formidable fighter which proved a deadly adversary for allied aircrew. But this isn`t just any Bf 109, either. The aircraft was the personal mount of German fighter ace Wulf-Dietrich Widowitz. What`s more, when it was pulled from a Russian lake in 2003, it became one of the most remarkable examples of its kind ever to be recovered. This Bf 109E-7, werk number 3523, was built in 1939 by Arado GmbH at Warnemunde on the Baltic Sea. Originally launched as an E-1 variant, the aircraft was pressed into service during the Battle of France. After serving in the Battle of Britain, Bf 109 3523 was upgraded to E-7 standard in August 1940. By the end of winter 1942, the aircraft had been posted to the Eastern Front.

Antony Beevor: the United States` second World War crimes
‘I hope we can conceal this,` George Patton wrote about murders of German POWs that have been airbrushed out of US accounts of the ‘Battle of the Bulge`. We have to ask whether we might have murdered them, too, says the bestselling historian Antony Beevor. Scores of soldiers were executed. In Chenogne on January 1st, 1945, 60 German prisoners were shot after bitter fighting. For his latest book, Ardennes 1944: Hitler`s Last Gamble, Beevor trawled the combat reports put together by American historians who interviewed soldiers shortly after battle. `With those you get quite straightforward stuff about the killings. They were not trying to hide anything at that stage. It was the official historians later who left out what happened. The Americans do have a real problem, it seems to me, about the way in which the second World War is slightly sacred – the Greatest Generation and all the rest of it – which I think is a pity. It was the good war for American historians.`

An exhibition challenges Austria`s long history of claiming victimhood and denying its collaboration with the Third Reich
In May 1938, shortly after the Nazi annexation of Austria, Hitler made the following pronouncement: `In my eyes Vienna is a pearl to which I will give a proper setting.` That quote, with its ominous overtones, is the starting point of `Vienna: Pearl of the Reich. Planning for Hitler,` at the Architekturzentrum Wien, the National Architecture Museum of Austria, which is housed in Vienna`s MuseumsQuartier. This exhibition reveals the Third Reich`s plans for the Austrian capital. In this untold chapter of World War II, the perpetrators are not storm troopers or concentration camp Kommandants, but architects and urban planners.

Bronze horses stolen from outside Hitler`s centre of power in Berlin recovered
A pair of horses which once stood outside Hitler`s Reich Chancellery in Berlin has been recovered by police raiding a Nazi black market art ring. One of them was a 16ft by 33ft mammoth granite relief by favoured Nazi artist Arno Breker. The horses once stood on either side of the stairs into the chancellery that Hitler had built in Berlin as the centre of Third Reich power. It was reduced to rubble by Allied bombing and the shells of the invading Red Army. What remained of its collapsing walls was looted by the Soviets to make a war memorial to its fallen soldiers in Berlin before they blew it up. The horses, constructed by artist Josef Thorak, were seized by the Red Army and it was assumed they had long ago been melted down.

Germany to pay 10 million euros to surviving WWII prisoners in the former Soviet Union
German lawmakers intend to pay 10 million euros to surviving WWII prisoners in the former Soviet Union, as a "symbolic financial recognition" for their suffering. Millions of Soviet POWs died before the war`s end. "The former Soviet prisoners of war are the second largest group of victims of the Nazis, after the Jews," German lawmaker Hans-Ulrich Krüger said.

Poland to publish new, comprehensive list of Auschwitz staff (8700 persons)
Poland is preparing an extensive list of the personnel who served in the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, where according to new data, more than 8,700 people worked, nearly double the previous figure. The initiative could lead to new war crime charges being brought up against the few dozens of the workers still living. An investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance, or IPN, a public body which is responsible for investigating Nazi and communist war crimes against Polish citizens brought the new information to light. The updated list of people who served in the camp includes more than 8,700 names, including 186 women.

Controversy after Czech reality show recreates life under Nazi occupation
In a remote mountainside village, a Czech family struggles under the privations of Nazi occupation, with food rationed and Gestapo spies everywhere as German soldiers patrol the streets. The scene is not a costume drama but the first episode of a new Czech TV reality show that features a modern-day family living among actors who play Nazi soldiers and the hamlet`s other residents, in an attempt to recreate life under the Nazis. Three generations of the family eat meagre rations, dress in the style of the era and endure the daily hardship their predecessors would have experienced after Hitler`s 1939 invasion of the country.

Photos: Inside Mussolini`s secret bunker
In order to provide shelter to party leaders during World War II, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini built several secret bunkers under the city of Rome. Now, many of those bunkers open to the public for the first time. This bunker was a 55 m (180 ft) long converted wine cellar, deep beneath Mussolini`s residence, Villa Torlonia, which housed the dictator and his family from 1925 to 1943. Mussolini ordered its construction in 1940, fearing his house would become the target of an Allied bombardment. The bunker had 3 escape routes and was quipped with a double set of steel, gas-proof doors, and a sophisticated air filtering system that could provide oxygen for 15 people for 3-6 hours. Later, Mussolini decided to build another bunker, and then a third, which was still unfinished by the time he was arrested in 1943.

A biography reveals the unknown Goebbels: a man obsessed by the fear Hitler was sleeping with his wife
Now, thanks to a new landmark biography, we can see the unknown side of Goebbels — one that not only reveals how he was obsessed with Hitler to the point of madness, but also examines for the first time the details of his personal life and his unlikely role as a Nazi Casanova. The biography by historian Peter Longerich, which draws on the propaganda chief`s extensive private diaries, shows how Goebbels and Magda became part of an extraordinary menage a trois with their beloved Fuhrer, albeit one in which there was no consummation on Hitler`s part. The book makes clear that Goebbels` slavish devotion to his Nazi leader was one-sided. And it shows how it was this bizarre triangular relationship that would lead Goebbels and Magda to follow Hitler to their sordid doom in the heart of Berlin

Ravensbruck: Hitler`s all-female World War II concentration camp
The all-female concentration camp at Ravensbrück was the site of some of WW2`s most horrific acts, but its status as part of the Holocaust is questioned. After Auschwitz`s gas chambers were shut down, it is said some of its parts ended up in Ravensbrück. There, they built a relatively small gas chamber and proceeded to kill up to 6,000 women. "The camp became so overcrowded and the conditions so appalling, they decided to build a gas chamber to exterminate women, simply to make room," researcher and author Sarah Helm. In addition to those murdered in the chamber, up to 50,000 died at the camp. Helm, who wrote If This Is A Woman: Inside Ravensbrück, Hitler`s Concentration Camp for Women, said the atrocities of Ravensbrück needed to be out there with the rest of it.

Crash site of the plane carrying Japanese admiral Yamamoto opened to tourists
The World War II crash site of a military plane carrying Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who masterminded the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour, has been opened to visitors in Bougainville for the first time in more than five years. Yamamoto`s plane was gunned down by allied forces in 1943, sending the Mitsubishi G4M `Betty` crashing down into the thick jungle of Papua New Guinea`s autonomous Bougainville region. Access to the site at Kokopo village had been closed due to a land dispute between rival clans. But the area recently reopened, with local tourism operators hoping this year — the 70th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War — would result an increase in the number of international visitors.

Crete 1941 - The latest game in Conflict Series - released
The Battle of Crete -- the first mainly airborne invasion of military history -- is now available as a Conflict-Series game. In Operation Mercury German elite paratroopers jumped on several locations in Crete to take over airfields to fly in reinforcements. However, thanks to their code breaking efforts, British were well aware of the German plans. In spite of the huge losses, the German paratroopers managed to capture one of the airfields, which eventually led to their victory.

Word War II in colour: New video shows devastated Germany
New colour footage shows what Germany looked like in the aftermath of World War II. The Battle of Berlin ended in May 1945, 70 years ago this year, and now you can see what the city looked like in the months after the death of Adolf Hitler and the surrender of the Nazis. The unique, high-definition video was produced by Chronos Media, a German production company that documents contemporary history. The footage was filmed shortly after the end of the war and shows some of the damage caused in Berlin and Potsdam. Included in the 30-minute video are flyovers of damaged buildings in the German capital, shelled during the conflict. Also featured are the Berlin Reichstag, Olympic Stadium and the Berlin Victory Column.

Ardennes 1944: Hitler`s Last Gamble by Antony Beevor
On the night of December 12, 1944, Field Marshal Gerd Von Rundstedt launched a mighty German assault at what he perceived to be the weakest point in the American line — the Ardennes. The action, known in US military lore as the Battle of the Bulge, was to go on for some six weeks. It was the biggest action for US forces in Europe in the Second World War: 19,000 died in battle and some 70,000 were wounded, captured or missing. Between 70,000 and 100,000 Germans died. Prisoners were shot on both sides, some on the orders of American commanders, and at least 3,000 civilians were killed.

Look Who`s Back: Germans Reflect on the Success of a Satire About Hitler
`Look Who`s Back,` a satirical novel by the German author Timur Vermes, imagines Adolf Hitler waking up, Rip Van Winkle-style, on the streets of Berlin in 2011. He`s mistaken for an actor and becomes a talk-show host and a YouTube phenomenon. Since it first appeared in Germany in 2012, the book has sold two million copies in that country, where it topped best-seller lists for 20 weeks. It has been translated into 42 languages. A film version is scheduled for release in Germany this fall, and Mr. Vermes says fans are clamoring for a sequel. The book`s success — especially in Germany, where it received minimal attention and some unfavorable reviews from the mainstream media — has surprised even its author, a former political reporter for German tabloids and sometime ghostwriter for `minor celebrities,` as he put it.

Polish historians bid to dig up British Valentine Mk X tank
Military historians in Poland are struggling to salvage a rare British tank that has lain at the bottom of a Polish river since January 1945. The Valentine Mk X tank is believed to have fallen through ice covering a tributary of the River Warta in western Poland as it rolled towards Berlin as part of the Soviet Red Army`s massive assault on German defences in the east. Around 2,000 Valentines were delivered to the USSR as part of Western military aid to Moscow, of which there was only one survivor until the discovery of the tank in Poland.

The Austrian castle where Waffen SS lost to German-US force
Seventy years ago one of the most unlikely WWII battles took place, at Itter in the Austrian Alps. In early May 1945, American and German soldiers fought together against the Nazi SS to free prominent French POWs. It is believed to be the only battle in the war in which Americans and Germans fought as allies. Schloss Itter, which dates back to the Middle Ages, was a sub-unit of the Dachau concentration camp. It was used for VIP prisoners, prominent politicians and military figures that the Nazis wanted to use as bargaining chips.

8 most famous US military recruiting posters of World War II
8 most famous US military recruiting posters of World War II.

Dangerous WW2 bombs still litter Germany`s landscape
The danger of unexploded WW2 aerial bombs lurking in the soil still haunts Germany 70 years after the war ended on May 8, 1945, exploding without warning or surfacing after frost. More than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are found each year in Germany, even under buildings. They are defused or detonated in controlled blasts but not before causing disruption, evacuations or sometimes even death. "The older they are, the more dangerous they become," said Detlef Jaab, a Berlin police munitions expert who has defused thousands of the devices over 23 years.

Oscar Holderer, last known member of US` Nazi moon rocket design team, dies
The last known surviving member of the German engineering team that came to the United States after World War II and designed the rocket that took astronauts to the moon has died at 95. Born in Germany the year after World War I ended, Oscar Carl Holderer came to the United States in 1945 with a group of 120 rocket engineers led by Wernher von Braun. Their move was part of a project called "Operation Paperclip" that transferred technology for the German V-2 and other rockets to the United States.

Footage shows Nazi Summer Camps In 1930s America
To the unsuspecting observer, the 25-minute silent, black and white video from the vaults of the U.S. National Archives seems to showcase a quaint, carefree summer camp for boys in 1937. Healthy, happy, high-energy guys - against the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains in New York - pitch tents, get muddy, shoot rifles, box and wrestle one another, raise a Nazi swastika flag ... Wait, what? In the 1930s Nazi summer camps for youngsters — like the one near Windham, N.Y., featured in the clip — popped up around the US. The pro-Hitler retreats were sponsored by German loyalists, such as the German-American Bund led by Fritz Kuhn. The Bund, "which came to include more than 70 local chapters," according to a 2014 National Archives blog post, "was founded in 1936 to promote Germany and the Nazi party in America.

The rape of Berlin
The USSR`s role in the defeat of Nazi Germany is seen as the nation`s most glorious moment. But there is another story - of mass rapes by Soviet soldiers of German women in the dying days of the war. The Russian media dismiss talk of the rapes as a Western myth, though one of many sources that tells the story of what happened is a diary kept by a young Soviet officer. Vladimir Gelfand, a lieutenant, wrote with frankness from 1941 through to the end of the war. The unpublished manuscript paints a picture of disarray in the regular battalions - miserable rations, lice, routine anti-Semitism and theft, with men even stealing their comrades` boots.

Who let Nazi war criminals escape to South America after WW2?
Many top Nazis fled to South America as Soviet tanks rolled into Berlin, never to pay for the atrocities they wrought across Europe. So why did so many war criminals escape to the continent? Historians have claimed that in both Europe and South America, government officials, police and the courts were reluctant to search for Nazi war criminals. Some, including German historian Daniel Stahl, have said Josef Mengele was never caught because French police officers employed by Interpol had refused to carry out searches for war criminals because they were themselves Nazi collaborators.

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