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


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Metal detector finds

Myths of World War II

Uncovering World War II Myths -- Or well kept secrets.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.

WW2 Myths - 5 Bizarre Ways Everyone Gets World War II Wrong
#5. Hitler Was In Undisputed Control Of The German Military #4. Nazi War Prisoners Got What They Deserved #3. World War II Was A ... Well, A Big, Worldwide War #2. The Axis Were The Ones Committing War Crimes, While The Allies Tried To Stop Them #1. The Atomic Bomb Was The End Of The War
(cracked.com)

Russian State Archive Head Removed from Post After Debunking Soviet WWII Legend
Sergei Mironenko, who had held the post of director of the Russian State Archive since 1992, was removed from his post less than a year after exposing the popular Soviet WW2 Panfilov legend as `fiction` and pointing out Soviet `myths` in front of government bigwigs. The communications undermined the legend of Panfilov`s 28 Guardsmen, that a group of Soviet soldiers led by died battling German tanks on the outskirts of Moscow in the winter of 1941-1942. The soldiers were decorated posthumously. According to the document released by the Archive, Soviet officials recognized the legend as being untrue when some of the supposedly deceased soldiers turned up alive.
(warhistoryonline.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)

6 Battle of Britain myths
Myth 1: the Luftwaffe commander Göring was incompetent. At the beginning of the Second World War, the Luftwaffe, the most effective air force in the world, was, after all, Göring`s very personal creation. --- Myth 6: the German Bf 109 pilots were absolutely superior to the RAF`s fighter pilots. What is clear when one compares RAF fighter pilots with German airmen during the Battle of Britain is that the RAF pilots fought with a greater stamina than many of their opponents. It was not uncommon to see a dozen RAF pilots climb to intercept a many times larger German formation in their relatively obsolete Hurricanes. There also were several cases when RAF pilots deliberately rammed an enemy aircraft.
(historyextra.com)

World War II Myths - T-34 Best Tank of the war (long analysis)
T-34, a poorly designed and built combat system, that suffered horrific losses against ‘inferior` German tanks.
(chris-intel-corner)

World War II Myths: The Me262 jet fighter and the dumb Fuehrer
One WWII myth that still endures is that the production of the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter was fatally delayed by Hitler`s insistence that it be modified to carry bombs. "In fact Hitler`s edict was not the main reason, or even a major reason, for the failure to deploy the fighter in the hoped-for numbers. Not until August 1944 was the average running life of the 004 jet engine raised to 25hr (still a very low figure), so that mass production could begin. In September Hitler rescinded his order that all new Me 262s be delivered as fighter-bombers. By then more than a hundred fighter airframes were sitting around without engines, and as soon as 004s became available these aircraft were delivered to the Luftwaffe. In fact Hitler`s order delayed the introduction of the Me 262 into service in the fighter role by only 3 weeks."
(chris-intel-corner)

WWII Myths - The German war economy was mismanaged
The idea that the Germans mismanaged their war economy is one of the most enduring myths of WWII. This idea is strange considering that everyone acknowledges the ‘economic miracles` of the period 1933-39 and of the postwar recovery. Why would the Germans do things right up to 1939 and after 1945 but mess things up in between?
(chris-intel-corner)

Five myths about Pearl Harbor dispelled in detail
(3) The U.S. military responded quickly and decisively. (A) For months after Pearl Harbor, the United States suffered defeat after defeat in the Pacific theater. General Douglas MacArthur, in command of the Army garrison in the Philippines, sent Roosevelt a telegram pleading for naval assistance, including for U.S. subs to target the Japanese vessels delivering troops, but the requests went unanswered. There was little assistance to offer the beleaguered general, and the Philippines fell.
(washingtonpost.com)

WWII Myth: The Polish cavalry charge against German tanks
f you want to wind up a Pole of a certain age, there is no better way than quoting the old WW2 myth about Polish lancers charging at German panzer divisions. The story feeds a stereotype about Polish men being hopelessly romantic idiots who would ride their horses at big steel tanks. The most likely origin of the myth is a skirmish at the village of Krojanty on the first day of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Polish lancers, whose units had still not been motorised, did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry battalion but were forced to retreat under heavy machine gun fire. By the time war correspondents got there, some tanks had arrived and they joined the dots themselves.
(guardian.co.uk)

Guy Walters provides facts about Odessa: The mythical Nazi escape organization for SS men
After the war, there were several groups that assisted escaping Nazis - they operated like an old-boy network - and some of them had names (such as Konsul, Scharnhorst, Sechsgestirn, Leibwache, Lustige Brüder) and some did not. One of the first recorded mentions of "Odessa" is in a US Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) memo dated 3 July 1946, which reveals that "Odessa" was a codeword for getting better food.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Crushing the myth that T-34 was an effective tank: In 1942 it took up to 6 T-34s to destroy 1 German Pz III or Pz IV
The 1942 combat results reveal the Red Army lost an average of 6 tanks for every German panzer destroyed. T-34 had countless design flaws: Tank commander was also a gun aimer and a gun firer; quality of the gun`s optics were poor; lack of radios meant there was no coordination; to mention a few.
(operationbarbarossa.net)

Nazi National Redoubt myth: Allied Intelligence believed Hitler planned to hold out in Austrian Alps
Allied military intelligence suggested Hitler had an underground Alpine fortress to house "the elite of Nazi Germany" in a final stand. Allied reports (1944-1945) were afraid that Nazi leaders would seek refuge in a vast network of tunnels in a "Nazi National Redoubt" hidden within the Austrian Alps, reveal the files released by the British National Archives. From their hideout - believed to have enough munitions to supply 60,000 SS men for 2 years - the Nazis would coordinate resistance groups using propaganda, sabotage and bribery. Fortunately, history proved the intelligence wrong.
(bloomberg.com)

Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin - The Eastern Front, 1941-1945 by John Mosier (WWII book review)
One of the big WWII myths has Josef Stalin motivating the Soviet Red army to hold a unstoppable German army at bay for years and prevailing in spite of the refusal of his Western allies to open a second front. Rapeating Stalin`s propaganda, many historians credit the "heroic Soviet soldier" with keeping the Germans at bay, shedding their blood to stop Hitler, and then driving the Wehrmacht back to Berlin. Stalin`s version was set forth in a series of speeches incorporated into a 1945 book, "The Great Patriotic War." Mosier crushes these myths and more in a groundbreaking book about the Eastern front.
(washingtontimes.com)

5 widespread World War II myths: America played a big part, Churchill was popular
(5) After 60 years of WW2 movies it seems that America won the war alone. (reality) World War II wasn`t just a clever name. It was a global conflict with most of the epic acts of heroism done by non-Americans. Americans never learn of those, unless, like in the film U 571, the heroes are switched to be Americans. Oh, and the Eastern front was 4 times the scale of the Western front. (4) Winston Churchill was beloved leader. (reality) His popularity was mostly based on the "rally round the flag" effect, which kills criticisms. Churchill was booted from office after Nazi Germany surrendered.
(cracked.com)

10 Absurd Holocaust remarks with informative and educative comments
(1) The only meaningful way to save the intended victims of Adolf Hitler`s murder machine was to win the war as quickly as possible. (Answer) Ways to help: Use empty troop supply ships returning from Europe to bring refugees to the US. Bomb the Nazi death camps or the railway lines leading to them. Pressing the British to open Palestine to Jewish refugees. (2) The German army controlled everything after 1940. Nobody could get out. (Answer) 26,000 Jews escaped to Palestine 1941-1944. 8,000 escaped from Denmark to Sweden in 1943. Thousands were smuggled out of Vichy Francy in 1940-1941 by Varian Fry`s network.
(israelnationalnews.com)

World War II myth: Polish cavalry versus German tanks
Polish cavalrymen saddle up with lances and sabres, and charge into the Nazi tanks... Hapless Poles facing the invincible Wehtmacht at the start of World War II. It`s a Nazi propaganda myth. Like many WW2 legends, it has basis on a real event, says Christoph Mick. On Sept 1, 1939, 250 Polish cavalrymen charged a German infantry unit at Krojanty. After beating the infantry, they were surprised by German panzers. "When... journalists arrived on the battlefield they were shown the dead horses and cavalrymen and 2 German tanks. The story was made up by Nazi propaganda to show the backwardness of the Polish army."
(mb.com.ph)

"Haunebu" - Exhibition explores myths of secret Nazi UFOs
Haunebu, Vril discs, V-7s. Did Adolf Hitler develop top-secret flying saucers? One Polish artist is exploring myths of secret Nazi technology in an exhibition in Peenemünde - the site of V2 rocket engineering. The Nazis weren`t defeated at the end of WW2: they fled to Antarctica in a UFO built by Nazi scientists, where the SS continued their fight against Freemasons from a secret base in the German colony of New Swabia. In 1946 Americans launched an Antarctic expedition, Operation Highjump, to beat the Nazis. Such farfetched theories are explored in a new exhibition by Hubert Czerepok at Peenemünde Historical Technical Information Center.
(spiegel.de)

The `Myth` of the Would-Be Hitler Assassin Claus Graf von Stauffenberg
Claus Graf von Stauffenberg, who tried to kill Adolf Hitler with a bomb on July 20, 1944, is everywhere. But does he deserve all the attention? His assassination attempt, in the Führer`s HQ known as the "Wolf`s Lair," was "an act of liberation..." forming a model for today`s military: The men of July 20, 1944 obeyed "responsibility, honor and conscience," Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said. But not everybody is happy with the overblown idolization of Stauffenberg. Peter Steinbach, head of the German Resistance Memorial Center, warned against "myth formation" noting that Stauffenberg only gradually turned against the nazi regime 1942-1943.
(spiegel)

Hiroshima in History: The Myths of Revisionism
The use of atomic bombs against Japan in August 1945 is one of the most controversial issues in American history. The conventional view is that these weapons were used to end a bloody war that would have become far bloodier if the planned invasion of the Japanese islands had proven necessary. Individuals, known as "Hiroshima Revisionists," have dismissed this as a post-war myth by Harry S. Truman to cover up their real goal, which was political. They maintain that American officials knew by the spring of 1945 that the Japanese were trying to surrender, and would have done so if only an assurance had been given that they could retain their sacred emperor.
(hnn)

Guernica - 70 years later myths and misinformation surround bombing
Itziar Arzanegi can still hear the German warplane overhead, and see the old woman shaking her fists at the foreigners destroying her town. She remembers the look of horror on the woman`s face as the plane opened fire and cut her down. It has been 70 years since German and Italian fighter planes backing the fascist forces of General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War leveled historic Basque town on April 26, 1937. Myths have shrouded the bombing from the outset, starting with the death toll, which historians have been revising downward for decades. Guernica has come to be seen as a foretaste of the WWII aerial blitzes.
(post-gazette)

Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man - Debunking the myth of Dunkirk
The uniqueness of historian Hugh Sebag-Montefiore`s book lies in the attempt it makes to tease out the core of the Dunkirk myth. The book does not try to refute the claim that the evacuation was an important act. Adolf Hitler`s meddling in military matters, Sebag-Montefiore argues, may have compromised the fighting abilities of the German army; however, he does not believe that the decision to stop the battle tanks from storming Dunkirk offers any proof of this. The period of rest was imposed by the German generals. Hitler accepted their decision and issued the order, but only after the army had already halted without any such command from Berlin.
(haaretz)

Myth of Adolf Hitler`s Antarctic bunker and Nazi-resurgence debunked
Story of Adolf Hitler`s Antarctic ice bunker might have started with the claim of Admiral Karl Donitz, who said in 1943, "The German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Fuhrer, in another part of the world, a Shangri-La on land, an impregnable fortress." As far back as 1945, Toronto Daily Star reported that Hitler had not committed suicide in his bunker, but was "on ice in Antarctica," having escaped by u-boat. In 2005, a conspiracy magazine published the first eyewitness account of Hitler`s ice bunker. "It`s part of the Nazi mythology," said Colin Summerhayes, who has published the most complete debunking yet of a Nazi-resurgence myth.
(canada)

Holocaust was a myth - 28% of UK youngsters not sure
A survey has shown that nearly a third of UK youngsters are not sure if the Holocaust was a myth. Asked whether it was a "myth", "had happened but its scale had been exaggerated", or that "six million Jews had been killed", 28% of 18-29 years old responded that they did not know. And the overall percentage of people who answered that they did not know was 17%. Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller felt the results were "frightening". 4% believed that the extent of the atrocities had been deliberately exaggerated by pro-Israel groups.
(ejpress)

Historians dispute Tuskegee Airmen`s perfect record
The hallmark of the Tuskegee Airmen story has been that America`s first black fighter pilots never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft during World War 2 escort missions. Two historians say that`s a myth. Maniel Haulman and William Holton have released documents showing several U.S. bombers were downed by Luftwaffe aircrafts during some Tuskegee Airmen protective flights. The president of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. has altered his position: "I`m going to drop references to having no losses until we can get this thing clarified," retired Air Force lieutenant general Russell Davis said.
(usatoday)

A plaque marks popular but myth-filled site of Hitler`s bunker
For decades tourists interested in historical sightseeing have asked way to Adolf Hitler`s bunker which was part of New Chancellery complex. Now a plaque marks the site, giving details of the layout of the labyrinth. Rochus Misch was the Waffen-SS telephonist in the führerbunker. "Too many myths were allowed to grow up about it, that it was a multi-storey shelter" People even claimed bunker had a dozen levels and underground railway line may have enabled Hitler to escape. "The interest has never waned and I get hundreds of letters a month. I won`t be here much longer, but the plaque will help to tell the facts as they were."
(smh)

Wehrmacht: History, Myth, Reality - Military and Nazi ideology
"The Wehrmacht" seeks an answer to the question: Was Nazism an aberration in German history, a sickness that came upon civilized nation, or was it a natural outgrowth of traits well-entrenched in the national psyche? Wolfram Wette documents that the German military embraced the Nazi ideology with among first institutions; indeed its racial categorization predated the infamous Nuremberg Race Laws, which imposed them on German society as a whole. The Wehrmacht, the name for all of Germany`s armed forces, not only became aneffective instrument of Adolf Hitler`s desire for world domination but also an embodiment of his racist ideology.
(sfgate)

Myths and Realities of the Great Patriotic War and Red Army
Before rallying to defeat Hitler’s Wehrmacht in Berlin, Red Army suffered numerous devastating setbacks. It nearly collapsed within first weeks of the June 1941 invasion. By October, Red Army defeats caused Third Reich to control more than 90 million soviet citizens. Even during the victorious battle at Kursk, "defections increased from 2,555 in June to 6,574 in July." Tank fright and self-inflicted wounds were two forms of cowardice. Ivan loved to drink samogon (moonshine), which also served as currency. Rape was one form of "People’s justice" that his political officers exhorted Ivan to exact as he advanced into Germany.
(sptimes)

Blood, Sweat and Arrogance - The myths of Churchill`s war
Aggressively debunking volume by Gordon Corrigan. "Britain entered the Second World War to defeat dictatorship. The Germans had more tanks during the Battle of France. After initial setbacks, British leadership was well-nigh impeccable." Such claims are easy to knock down. The war was not a moral crusade; it was fought to protect British interests. The Blitzkrieg succeeded thanks to brilliant tactics rather than weight of metal. From the Norwegian fiasco to the disaster at Arnhem, the blunders of were legion. Churchill got things wrong during the 1930s, his rearmament campaign was flawed and inconsistent.
(independent.co.uk)

In Occupied France, Heroic Silence Amid the Fog of War
For six decades now, the French have cherished the myth of the Resistance, the insurgency that undermined, a little, the repressive authority of their Nazi occupiers and preserved — at least in memory — the honor of their otherwise humiliated nation. The apparatus of clandestine operations is imperishably cool: the false names, the passwords, the dead-of-night rendezvous. But, perhaps because in their national imagination the ethos of the Resistance slides so easily into the comfort zone of Musketeer-like fraternal gallantry.
(nytimes)

The Myth of US Prosperity During World War II
The main reason most people, including economists, think that the U.S. entry into WWII was good for the economy is that they compare the economy during the war with the economy during the Great Depression. On its face, this reasoning is plausible. But let`s look more carefully at those numbers, beginning with the unemployment rate. The U.S. government imposed military conscription in 1940 and got the draft machinery moving early in 1942. Of the 16 million people who were in uniform at some time during WWII, fully 10 million were conscripted.
(antiwar)

Villains or Victims - the myths about Sudeten Germans   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Two different messages about the Sudeten Germans confront Czechs: They are still taught about the German colonialists who turned Nazi and wanted to destroy the country. And yet one cannot escape reports of postwar death marches, expulsions and mass graves, where Sudeten Germans were victims not perpetrators. One myth: Sudeten Germans supposedly all voted for the Nazi puppet Sudeten German Party (SdP) of Konrad Henlein. In fact, the SdP is likely to have received 50% to 55% of the Sudeten German vote.
(praguepost)