Theodore Van Kirk, last surviving member of Enola Gay crew, dies at 93
The lone remaining crewman of the Enola Gay — which dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan near the end of WWII — has died in Georgia. Twenty-four years old at the time, Van Kirk was the navigator on the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress. The plane dropped `Little Boy` on Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. August 6, 1945, killing 140,000 people.
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.
In 1941 a Group of Americans Arranged a Hex Party to Kill Adolf Hitler by a Voodoo Spell
On January 22, 1941 a group of young idealists went to a cabin in the Maryland woods to put a voodoo spell on Hitler. Black magic or not, these Nazi-haters knew how to party. The party featured `a dressmaker`s dummy, a Nazi uniform, nails, axes, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum,` and was inspired by a book by occultist and writer William Seabrook that was popular at the time: Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today.
18 Color Photos Of Female World War II Workers
18 Color Photos Of Female World War II Workers
Double agent Juan Pujol Garcia got Iron Cross from Germans and Brtish named him a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
In 1941, Juan Pujol Garcia approached intelligence officers at the British embassy in Madrid to `offer his services` in the war against the Nazis. To the men and women of Britain`s security services, it was not a particularly compelling offer. In the words of Amyas Godfrey, a British expert on military history, [Pujol] `was no James Bond -- he was a balding, boring, unsmiling little man.` British intelligence rebuffed the former chicken farmer's offer. This did not deter Pujol's aspirations; instead he decided to establish himself as a false German spy in order to offer his services as a double agent to the British.
SOE agent Margaret Spencer, who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe dressed as a NUN to spy for the Allies, dies at 94
The incredible story of a spy who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe disguised as a nun has been revealed after she died aged 94. Just before her death Margaret Spencer wrote of her days as a Second World War spy, being shot in the back by a German sniper and caught by the Gestapo. She had been silent for 50 years after signing the Official Secrets Act - and her account was a shock to all but her closest friends and family in her village near Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Aleut people were sent to internment camps which had up to 18% fatality rate
When World War II threatened a remote chain of islands off the Alaskan coast, the indigenous Aleut people were displaced from their homes. Hastily set up internment camps had horrible conditions: Meals were basic, medical supplies were limited and medical staff largely absent, sanitation was nonexistent. Tuberculosis, the flu, measles and pneumonia thrived. One site, Ward Lake, would see an 18% rate of fatality among its internees. Of the 831 Aleuts relocated to Southeast Alaska, eighty-five would die in the camps.
How a Jewish Doctor gave Wehrmacht soldier fake vaccine while inmates got the real thing
In late 1942, German troops were dying of typhus at the Eastern Front, and the SS medical chief Ernst-Robert Grawitz was impatient for vaccine—as was Heinrich Himmler himself. But the vaccine production plans of Joachim Mrugowsky, the head of the SS Hygiene Institute in Berlin, kept getting delayed. When British bombers destroyed Mrugowsky`s headquarters in 1942, he decided to produce the vaccine at Buchenwald. Dr. Erwin Ding-Schuler, a callow Nazi officer and Mrugowsky`s deputy, was chosen to lead production, and began assembling captive scientists with the help of his new clerk, an imprisoned German intellectual named Eugen Kogon. Among those drafted was a gentle Jewish biologist named Ludwik Fleck.
Suspected Auschwitz guard Johann Breyer dies in US
An elderly man in the US accused of Nazi war crimes has died while awaiting extradition to Germany. Johann Breyer, 89, passed away in a Philadelphia. His death followed an order by a US judge granting a request for Mr Breyer to be sent to Germany to stand trial. German prosecutors were hoping to put him on trial on charges of aiding in the murder of more than 200,000 Jews at Auschwitz during World War Two.
New images captured of WWII Nazi U-boat in Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico continues to hold historic World War II treasures, from sunken ships to one of Hitler's U-boats. This week a diving expedition captured new images of the German wreckage. Historians say it serves as a reminder of how close the Nazis came to American soil. "It is a static time capsule and all of these ship wrecks in deep water are just that. There moments frozen in time, in history," said Richie Kohler, a shipwreck historian helping with the expedition. Submerged in the Gulf of Mexico just south of the mouth of the Mississippi River sits a barnacle encrusted U-boat tomb.
The Nazi Interrogator Who Revealed the Value of Kindness
Thanks in part to the work of Nazi interrogator Hanns Scharff and a slew of studies on interrogation techniques, we know it`s best to be genuinely friendly no matter who you`re trying to get information out of.
Charles Carpenter attached 3 bazooka rocket launchers to observation plane to known out Tiger tanks
In 1944, Charles Carpenter was a Major attached to the 1st Bombardment Division in which he flew an unarmed L-4 "Grasshopper" and L-5 "Sentinel" observation plane performing recon missions and acting as an airborne artillery observer. Not being the kinda guy to overlook a juicy enemy target, even in an unarmed and slow as hell kite with propeller, he had 3 bazooka rocket launchers fitted to each wing. Now having a bit of offensive capability, the "Mad Major" started to strafe enemy armor whenever he encountered it. By war's end he would be officially credited with destroying several armored cars and 6 tanks with 2 being Tiger Is!
Fuhrer claimed that he was a man of modest means - but he was amassing billions in property, art, and cash
The Fuhrer claimed in his will that he was a man of modest means—but he was amassing billions in property, art, and cash. After WWII, when Adolf Hitler was officially declared dead, the Allied Forces concluded that his estate was pretty modest by dictatorial standards—worth $800,000 in today`s money. He had always claimed to have no interest in money, and in his will, declared: `What I own belongs, as so far as it is of any value at all, to the party.` The truth could hardly have been more different; it is now claimed that he had amassed a personal fortune in property, art and cash worth in excess of $6 billion.
Auction site eBay will not sell a 1941 Mercedes custom-built for Hermann Goering
eBay, the online auction site, has refused to sell a Florida car restoration company`s bid to sell a 1941 Mercedes Benz 540K Cabriolet that was custom-built for Hermann Goering. "eBay has policies that prohibit the sale of offensive materials and content, including Nazi-related items," eBay spokesman Ryan Moore explained. The car in question features a raised back to accommodate a parade platform, sirens, and a short-wave radio. Goering took possession of it in 1941 and used it during such parades and for travel. Now, the one-of-a-kind Benz is being restored by High Velocity Classics, of Pompano Beach, and European Cars of Boca, in Boca Raton.
Bletchley Park secret codebreakers: Hundreds more named
The Bletchley Park Trust set up a "roll of honour" in October 2013, including details of about 10,000 veterans, but asked for more to come forward. The trust said some former Government Code and Cypher School workers had been "apprehensive" but most were "delighted" to talk. Nearly 500 more names have been added to the roll since October's appeal.
600 World War II veterans are dying every day, historian Rick Atkinson says
Interview of Rick Atkinson, the son of U.S. Army officer and a 25-year veteran at The Washington Post, who recently completed a three-volume history of World War II in Europe. The Liberation Trilogy started with "An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-43," continued with "The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44" and concluded with "The Guns at Last Light: The War in Europe, 1944-45."
Hitler's secret millions: Nazi leader dodged £1.75m in tax and charged a royalty for his image to be used on stamps
Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler squirrelled away a massive fortune using cash he had 'arned from his image rights and personal appearances as well as his refusal to pay £1.75 million in income tax. The Fuhrer even levied a royalty on German stamps featuring his image, with the cash hidden in his secret bank accounts. Herman Rothman, a German Jew who operated with British intelligence during the Second World War, has told for the first time how he discovered Hitler's secret will which left intriguing clues to his secret wealth. The former intelligence officer provided an insight to documentary makers behind Channel 5's The Hunt For Hitler's Missing Millions.
For sale: the 70-room lakeside villa where Goebbels seduced his Nazi starlets
The lakeside villa was Berlin`s gift to Joseph Goebbels. The infamous Nazi propaganda minister used it as a secret `love nest` in which to consummate his countless affairs. The Nazi minister`s Haus am Bogensee villa survives intact, overgrown and empty in a lost corner of East Germany just 24 miles north of the capital. The Berlin city government, which owns the listed 70-room lakeside complex completed in 1939, has been trying in vain since Germany`s reunification to find a buyer for the Goebbels` villa. But its unsavoury past has deterred prospective investors and Berlin is concerned that neo-Nazis might bid for the complex in disguise.
Bletchley Park: No longer the world's best kept secret
Bletchley Park was once the world's best kept secret and a key part of the country's war effort against Germany. Every detail about the sprawling Buckinghamshire estate was shrouded in mystery as German Enigma codes were cracked using the Bombe machine. Until wartime information was declassified in the mid-1970s, no-one who worked at the home of the Government Code and Cypher School was allowed to talk about it.
China adds Japan`s WW2 comfort women house as protected historic site
A Japanese military brothel in China has been declared a protected historic site, as Beijing highlights old grievances amid modern-day tensions with its long-time rival. The seven-building complex in the eastern city of Nanjing housed more than 200 `comfort women` forced to serve Japanese soldiers during the second world war, and was the largest such facility in Asia. The former Chinese capital had 40 such stations run by Japanese troops.
Rising seas wash Japanese war dead from Marshall Islands graves
Rising sea levels have washed the remains of at least 26 Japanese second world war soldiers from their graves on a low-lying Pacific archipelago, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands has said. "There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves. It's that serious," Tony de Brum told reporters on the sidelines of United Nations climate change talks in Germany. Unexploded bombs and other military equipment had also washed up in recent months.
Phoenixes: D-Day`s winning engineering: making concrete float
Without artificial port, D-Day could not have succeeded. The concrete floating caissons, known as Phoenixes, were towed across the Channel from England the next day, to form the walls and piers of what was called a Mulberry harbour. Frédéric Sommier, the head of the Arromanches Museum, said: `All the main ports, Cherbourg and le Havre, were in German hands, and well-defended. There had to be a logistical solution, and Churchill came up with this fabulous idea: to create an artificial port in Britain and then haul it over and set it up here.` Arromanches first saw obsolete ships sunk to lay outer foundations. Phoenixes followed swiftly, and by 14 June, cargo could start to be unloaded and rolled ashore.
Göring's 1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K to be auctioned on eBay
A Mercedes once belonging to Hitler's deputy, Hermann Göring, the head of the German Luftwaffe during the Third Reich, will be auctioned on eBay by a car dealership in Florida. The 1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K was unearthed last year in a North Carolina garage. Commissioned by Göring in 1940, the car was ordered with special features including a parade stand, a supercharged V-8 engine which can power the car to speeds of over 160 km/h, a short wave radio for long-distance communications and sirens. The Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B, the last of its kind to be built, was delivered to Göring in 1941.
Few know about Nazi weather station code named Kurt in Martin Bay, northern Labrador
When you think of Northern Labrador, the images that come to mind for most people are of snow and ice covered rugged mountains, or Caribou or perhaps Polar Bears. Few people would equate this place with WWII Nazis. And yet in 1943 a U-Boat installed a German weather station code named `Kurt` in Martin Bay, northern Labrador. On September 18, 1943, U-537, commanded by Peter Schrewe, left Germany carrying a Wetter-Funkgerät Land weather station or WFL, codenamed `Kurt`. Also on board were meteorologist Dr. Kurt Sommermeyer, and his assistant, Walter Hildebrant. Nearly a month later on October 22 the U-boat glided into Martin Bay, Labrador. Shortly after arriving some of the crew and Dr. Sommermeyer were assembling the station 1/4 mile inland.