World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series (link)
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If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series.

Latest hand-picked World War II news and articles

After Germans broke a US Navy coded message they knew where they could kill all 3 Allied leaders
In mid-October 1943, after the Germans broke a U.S. Navy coded message, German intelligence learned the date and place of the Tehran conference. Exactly who first came up with the idea of assassinating the Big Three during the conference is unknown (Kaltenbrunner can’t be ruled out), but the plan was approved by Hitler and Kaltenbrunner was told to carry it out. Because of Skorzeny’s recent rescue of Mussolini, he was the logical choice to head the mission.

Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based 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 Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)

Meet Hermann Balck – The Trailblazing Panzer General That History Forgot
Balck commanded the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment during the French campaign and led his troops from the front. After his unit crossed the Meuse River, he orchestrated the decisive breakthrough at Sedan, which allowed Guderian’s panzers to surround the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk. Despite this victory, Balck analyzed German tactical shortcomings and theorized a new way in which infantry and tanks would cooperate in kampfgruppen (battlegroups), revolutionizing the way panzer divisions fought. During the Greek campaign, Balck commanded the 3rd Panzer Regiment and put his kampfgruppe ideas into practice while again leading his soldiers from the front. Despite operating in unfavorable mountainous terrain, the panzers of Kampfgruppe Balck defeated Allied troops at Platamon Ridge on the Aegean coast and at Tempe Gorge, opening the road to Athens.

Japan Strikes North: How the Battle of Khalkhin Gol Transformed WWII
80 years ago Soviet and Japanese forces clashed on an obscure river along the border between Mongolia and Manchuria (Manchukuo) called Khalkhin Gol. The battle was the climax of a 6-year-long conflict between Japan and the Soviet Union. The Soviet-Japanese war, 1932-1939, gets scant mention in accounts of WWII. Yet it had a profound effect on Japan`s strategic doctrine and paved the way for Tokyo`s decision to attack UK/US. Had Japan continued its war with the Soviet Union, the war in the Pacific probably would never have happened. Ever since Japan emerged as an East Asian power in the late 19th century, its strategic doctrine revolved around two views. One group, centered around the Japanese Imperial Army, proposed a Northern Expansion Doctrine or Northern Road (Hokushin-ron). A second group, based in the Imperial Navy, advocated for a Southern Expansion Doctrine or Southern Road (Nanshin-ron).

How Italy Used Human Torpedoes To Terrorize British Battleships During WWII
In order to redress the Naval imbalance during WWII, the Italians conceived a daring operation to attack British ships directly. They borrowed a page from their own history in World War I, and managed to knock two British battleships out of the war. In 1918 a team of Italian divers entered Pula Harbor and attached a mine to the bottom of the battleship SMS Viribus Unitis. Divers were captured, and confessed to attaching the weapon without indicating the exact spot of its placement. But the Austrians couldn’t find the mine, which exploded and sank the battleship.

World War Two gun battery hidden on a Yorkshire farm for more than 70 years
Four years ago, an East Yorkshire farmer uncovered a valuable piece of World War Two history that had lain hidden on his land for more than 70 years. Oliver White discovered the remains of a four-gun anti-aircraft battery that had once targeted Nazi bombers when he took on the tenancy for Butt Farm, near Beverley.

When U.S. Navy Destroyer Porter fired torpedoes at the battleship USS Iowa carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt
During World War II, A U.S. Navy Destroyer Nearly Sank America`s Best Battleship. Patriotic action movies would have you believe military units regularly perform like well-oiled fighting machines. But sometimes reality is closer to Bill Murray’s Stripes. Such at least was the case of the William D. Porter, whose mishaps were famously immortalized in an article by Kit Bonner.

The Colossus of Prora: from Nazi ruin to holiday resort
Planned for 20,000 guests, Hitler`s monumental holiday camp complex on Rügen is a bizarre remnant. DW reporter Maike Grunwald wandered through its ruins in 2005, returned in the summer of 2019 — and was amazed.

Churchill Tank: One the Best Weapons of World War II
Some of the pillboxes on the Goch’s defense line continued to be occupied by German troops still willing to fight. First, Churchill tanks armed with either 75mm cannon or 95mm howitzers would shell the bunker in question. If the Germans inside still held out, then Churchill AVREs, an engineer version armed with a large mortar called a Petard and capable of lobbing 40 pounds of explosives, would move in, protected by the gun-armed tanks. The AVRE would hit the bunker, the massive charge doing damage to the emplacement’s interior and inducing surrender. If that also failed, the Churchill Crocodiles would come in, flamethrowers mounted in their hulls. A stream of flame would be fired, and one last chance for surrender given. If the soldiers in the pillbox still refused to give up, the structure would be doused in fire.

Was killing a monster like Heydrich worth the lives of several thousand people?
On the morning of May 27, 1942, the most dangerous man in Nazi Germany went for his last ride. Reinhard Heydrich was tall, slender, blue-eyed and blond, a perfect specimen of the ideal Nazi man. In his green Mercedes 320 Convertible B he might have been mistaken for a playboy, or a spoiled aristocrat. But SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich was no more romantic than a hangman’s noose or a gas chamber. Ruthless and ambitious, he had risen to become chief of the Reich Main Security Office—second only to Heinrich Himmler in the Nazi security apparatus—and controlled such infamous agencies as the Gestapo.

How BBC fought Hitler with humour, including several satire series
The BBC’s German Service used satire to reach ordinary Germans in World War Two. Its aim was to break the Nazi monopoly on news within the Third Reich. When Robert Lucas began writing Die Briefe des Gefreiten Adolf Hirnschal he had “no idea whether there would be at least 50 people in Germany listening”. He spoke “into the dark without any echo”, as he later described it. That his programme – along with two other satire series called Frau Wernicke and Kurt und Willi – was commissioned in 1940 reveals the bold, experimental approach adopted by the German Service in its infancy.

Wheatcroft Collection Update: 10 Shermans Go Into Restoration
Wheatcroft Collection Update: 10 Shermans Go Into Restoration.

Why Nazi Germany`s Aircraft Carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, Never Saw Battle
At the onset of war the Germans decided, probably correctly, that the Graf Zeppelins represented too much of an investment, given other priorities. The second ship of the class was broken up before launching, and work on Graf Zeppelin continued spasmodically across the war. Eventually, Allied naval dominance made the construction of further surface vessels pointless. Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in 1945, raised by the Soviets, and sunk as a target in 1947.

The forgotten Spanish soldiers behind France`s liberation from Nazi Germany
Many of the brave soldiers of La Nueve, or the 9th Company that were part of General Leclerc`s division have been misidentified as American.

John Hart: One of the last remaining Battle of Britain pilots has died aged 102
Squadron Leader John Hart, who served in 602 Squadron and shot down a German Messerschmitt 109, has died aged 102. The Spitfire pilot served in 602 Squadron and he shot down a German Messerschmitt 109 and shared in two kills on Junkers Ju88 bombers, earning the ­Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry. His death means the number of Battle of Britain heroes left is just four: Lieutenant William Clark, 98, Wing Commander Paul Farnes, 100, Flying Officer John Hemmingway, 99 and Flight Lieutenant Maurice Moundson, 100.

Exhibition of souvenirs from the U.S.S.R. showed how one totalitarian regime sought to discredit the other
In German-occupied Prague, a disturbing exhibition of “souvenirs” captured during the Nazi invasion of the U.S.S.R. shows how one totalitarian regime sought to discredit the other.

Germany eases citizen rules for WW2 refugee descendants
Germany has enforced two decrees to help families of people who fled the Nazis to take up German citizenship, after a challenge by British descendants of Jewish refugees.

Alfred Naujocks: The man who started the Second World War
This week marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the WWII. The war was started by SS-Strumbannfuhrer Alfred Naujocks who led a raiding party dressed as Polish soldiers and attacked a German Radio station in Gliwice, a town a few miles from the Polish border. In 1958 Naujocks disclosed how he had been summoned to the Berlin office of Reinhardt Heydrich: “Heydrich told me ‘Within a month we shall be at war with Poland. The Fuhrer is determined. But first we have to have something to go to war about. We’ve organised incidents in Danzig, along the East Prussian border with Poland and along the German frontier. But there has to be something big and obvious.”

How captured Nazi generals were wined and dined so they would spill Hitler`s plans to hidden microphones
Newspapers and magazines are scattered over the coffee tables, while on the sofas the guests smoke cigarettes with their drinks as they await the dinner to come. The year is 1943, and although Britain and her allies are deep into a war with Germany, there are no signs of rationing here. With billiards, art classes, cigars and fine wines on tap, the guests – all of them male – appear to be revelling in the trappings of life in a classic English country house. So much so that nobody witnessing this scene could guess the truth behind it: that these pampered guests are, in fact, high-ranking German POWs responsible for countless deaths – and that their luxurious surroundings are the setting for one of Britain’s most audacious and successful spying operations.

How a young Quebec soldier found confidential D-Day invasion plans - and kept it a secret
In the summer of 1943, staff at Quebec City`s Château Frontenac were only given a few weeks notice they`d soon be hosting British PM Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Second World War had been dragging on for nearly four years — and the Allies were to meet to discuss how to push back the Axis powers in Europe. But despite the top-secret nature of the meetings, one young Quebec soldier walked out of the famed hotel with information that could have changed the outcome of the war.

Emperor Hirohito sought post-WWII political input, expression of war regret
A trove of documents detailing the private postwar views and statements of the late Emperor Showa -- known in life as Emperor Hirohito -- not included in the Imperial Household Agency`s official history of his reign has surfaced. The documents record exchanges between Emperor Hirohito and Michiji Tajima, the agency`s first postwar Grand Steward. Among the revelations found in the handwritten texts is that the Emperor wished to speak about his regret over World War II in a public address at a May 1952 ceremony marking the end of the Allied occupation of Japan.

Nakajima Kikka: Japan Built a Killer Kamikaze Jet Weapon: A World War II Winner?
While plans called for producing almost 500 Kikkas by the end of 1945, those plans were dashed by Japan`s surrender on August 15. Just one aircraft had been completed by war`s end.​

America Needed Spies During World War II. Many Missionaries Were Ready and Willing
William Eddy was one of the most effective intelligence officers in American history. During World War II, he was among the first to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the nation’s first permanent espionage agency. After the war, he helped found the CIA. He was also a decorated veteran of World War I and, in civilian life, an educator, devoted husband, and father. But none of those roles really captures the true William Eddy: Above all, he was a man of God.

Hitler’s Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich
In her new book Hitler’s Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich, Mary M. Lane examines the efforts that the German chancellor and onetime artist made to bend art to his will—and enlist aesthetics to further his agenda. One early, infamous component of that plan was planned weeks after Hitler took power in 1933 and deployed in Munich in 1937, when the Nazi government put on twin shows, the Great German Art Exhibition, which aimed to codify an “Aryan ideal,” and the Degenerate Art Exhibition. In the excerpt below, Lane delves deeply into those displays, describing how they were greeted by the public, their design, and their effects, which have lingered on into the present, as many works in the Degenerate show remain unaccounted for.

Nazi Germany vs. Russia: The World War II Front Where Tens of Millions Died
On June 22, 1941, the German Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe struck Soviet forces across a wide front along the German-Soviet frontier. Romanian forces attacked into Soviet-occupied Bessarabia on the same day. The Finnish armed forces joined the fight later that week, with Hungarian troops entering combat at the beginning of July. By that time, a contribution of Italian troops was on its way to the Eastern Front. A Spanish volunteer division would eventually join the fight, along with formations recruited from Soviet POWs. The Germans enjoyed overwhelming success for the first five months of the war, before weather and stiffening Red Army resistance led to a Soviet victory in the Battle of Moscow.

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