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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Recent hand-picked WWII news and articles

I am truly sorry: Former SS Auschwitz guard breaks his silence 70 years after end of war
A 94-year-old SS guard on trial for complicity in 170,000 murders at Auschwitz broke his silence on Friday for the first time since the war, telling victims: `I am truly sorry.` More than 70 years after the end of the second world war, Reinhold Hanning admitted to a German court that he knew prisoners were being shot, gassed and cremated at the death camp in occupied Poland. "I could see how the bodies were being transported here and there and then away. I could smell the burning. I knew that people were burning bodies."
(scmp.com)

Photos Show How An Abandoned US Air Force Base Is Polluting Greenland
The United States government has a habit of abandoning military bases after it`s done with them, but Greenland`s Bluie East Two is arguably one of the craziest camps that`s ever been left behind. The US established `Bluie` (the codename for Greenland) East Two as an airbase in 1941, during World War II, to defend Greenland from a possible German invasion. By 1947, it was discarded, leaving behind thousands of fuel-filled barrels and asbestos-laced buildings.
(motherboard.vice.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)

India`s War: The making of modern south asia 1939-1945
"History will be kind to me", famously declared Winston Churchill, "for I intend to write it myself." Churchill, it turns out, meant what he said. An entire post-WW-II generation in the Anglophone world grew up with the wartime narrative of a heroic, embattled Britain thwarting a rapacious Germany, until a reluctant US entered the conflict and delivered the coup de grace. This entirely fictional account was first revised by the realisation that Russia, not the western allies, suffered the heaviest casualties by far, fought the most horrific battles and won the most crucial victories. Without Stalin, historians realised, Hitler would have handily prevailed in Europe. A more contemporary wave of revisionism has centred on India`s role.
(business-standard.com)

Documentary `The Apology` profiles comfort women
Director Tiffany Hsiung tears up when discussing her new documentary "The Apology," about the 200,000 so-called "comfort women" who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War. In spending six years with the film`s subjects — three grandmothers who were among the victims and are now fighting to have their voices heard — she gained the strength to talk about her own experience with sexual violence.
(insidetoronto.com)

Hitler`s 3-mile-long abandoned Nazi resort is transforming into a luxury getaway (video)
In 1939, Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of a massive 3-mile-long row of buildings, destined to be an enormous beach resort for Nazi Germany. It was abandoned three years later, when World War II broke out. It would sit empty for the next 75 years. Today, German real estate company Metropole Marketing plans to convert several blocks into luxury homes and hotels.
(techinsider.io)

Retracing a 1,300-Mile Escape From a Soviet Gulag in WWII
One day in 1945, in the waning days of World War II, Anton Iwanowski and his brother Wiktor escaped from a Russian gulag and set off across an unforgiving landscape, desperate to return home to Poland. They dodged gunfire, slept outdoors, and hopped trains. It took three months, but they made it. Nearly 70 years later, Anton Iwanowski`s grandson Michal made the same 1,360-mile trip, following a map Wiktor had drawn years before. His expansive, lonely photos of the frigid terrain they crossed fill the pages of his photo book Clear of People.
(wired.com)

Historian says he found evidence in FBI files that Jewish gangsters plotted to kill Hitler in 1933
`In 1933, I was approached by someone respectable, a Jew not involved in any criminal activity, and asked for my help. He wanted me to contact some of my underworld pals in a plan to kill Hitler.` I stared at the man sitting across from me. I was incredulous. A plan to kill Hitler in 1933? Involving Jewish American mobsters? Was he serious? The story seemed far-fetched. I was skeptical. Still, I wrote down what he told me. He said the `respectable Jew` told him, `There are people in Germany ready to assist us.` This is how he remembered the scheme to kill Hitler. My source`s nickname was `Dutch.` He was one of the elderly `retired` mobsters I interviewed for my book, "But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters".
(historynewsnetwork.org)

The Quest to Sabotage Nazi Germany`s Atomic Bomb
While the Americans were pursuing an atomic bomb via the Manhattan Project, Nazi Germany had a competing effort of its own dubbed the Uranium Club. The project, led by nuclear physicist Kurt Deibner, and the Allies` mission to foil it, take center stage in Neal Bascomb`s new book The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler`s Superbomb. The German bomb design relied on the rare substance heavy water, which has an atypically high amount of the hydrogen isotope deuterium in it, to slow down the neutrons released by nuclear fission in order to create a chain reaction. The Nazi effort got a boost when Germany occupied Norway, which hosted a hydroelectric plant called Vemork that was the world`s only supplier of this substance.
(scientificamerican.com)

The Walther P38 Was Germany`s Most Popular Wartime Pistol
In 1929, German gun-maker Waffenfabrik Walther began developing a new 9mm pistol for military use. The development violated the Treaty of Versailles that ended WW1, so Walther kept it secret. Early Walther attempts focused on scaling up its `PP` line of pistols to chamber the larger nine-mil round. This pistol, the Militarpistole, wasn`t strong enough to withstand the pressures and recoil of the 9-by-19-mm round. Walther began work on a new design in 1935 following a request from the Heereswaffenamt, the German army`s weapons-technology agency. The Heereswaffenamt wanted a pistol to replace the Luger P08 — one that would be cheaper and easier to manufacture and wouldn`t require specialized tooling.
(warisboring.com)

Frederick Mayer - Jew Who Spied on Nazis After Fleeing Germany
Frederick Mayer, who as a German Jew fled Nazi Germany for Brooklyn in 1938, only to parachute back into Nazi-controlled Austria 7 years later as an American spy on a secret mission, died at 94. As the leader of an elite operation code-named Greenup, Mr. Mayer dropped behind enemy lines in February 1945 and posed as a German soldier for more than two months in the Tyrol region of western Austria, gathering intelligence on Nazi troop movements. Just weeks before the end of the war, however, the Gestapo imprisoned Mayer. His German captors tortured him for days, waterboarding and pistol-whipping him repeatedly to try to get him to reveal the locations of his American colleagues.
(nytimes.com)

Digital World War II records launched in Philippines
The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, in collaboration with the Filipino War Veterans Foundation Inc., officially launched to the general public the digitized surviving records of Filipino soldiers and guerillas during World War II that were retrieved from the Philippine Collection of the US National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland, USA.
(update.ph)

The Nazis nearly completed a super-cannon capable of hitting London from France
Today we`ll be looking at the V-3 cannon: a piece of artillery capable of hitting a target more than 100 miles (165 km) away, shooting its projectiles at around 3,400 mph (5500 km/h)! Technically defined as a `supergun`, a term given to guns of such comically large size they need to be categorised separately, the V-3 was 430 feet long (131 metres). This massive size meant that the gun had to be built already aiming at its target and could only reliably hit a target the size of a city, a fairly minor trade-off considering the weapon`s nigh-unparalleled range for a non-rocket based weapon.
(todayifoundout.com)

Blonde Bond helped British obtain an Enigma code-breaking machine and secured successful invasion of North Africa
In a new biography, Howard Blum chronicles the socialite Betty Pack`s career as a spy and what today`s intelligence community can learn from her career. "Pack was a glamorous American socialite, born in Minneapolis, raised in Washington, DC, who had helped the Allies win World War II. She had lots of derring-do exploits, helping the British obtain an Enigma code-breaking machine, ingeniously stealing ciphers from an embassy safe that were crucial to the successful invasion of North Africa."
(townandcountrymag.com)

Winston Churchill`s Blitz bunker among London Tube sites to be opened to public
A disused Tube station where Winston Churchill secretly took refuge during the Blitz is one of a number of hidden London Underground sites set to be opened to the public.
(home.bt.com)

How Hitler`s plans for Germania would have torn Berlin apart
Hitler`s megalomaniacal project to raze much of Berlin and transform it into his global Nazi capital killed thousands. Today, its few remnants are chilling, mundane, even graceful – and inseparable from a barbaric chapter in history
(theguardian.com)

Unique document on Rotterdam`s WWII surrender found at auction
A unique document relating to the capitulation of Rotterdam during WWII has been found at a German auction house. The hand-written document details the second ultimatum made by the German occupiers ahead of the bombardment of Rotterdam, which led to the city`s surrender. The bombardment took place on May 14 as the Dutch negotiator was heading back to his chiefs with information about the second ultimatum. It destroyed almost the entire city centre, killing nearly 900 people and making 85,000 homeless. The papers were found by researcher Gerard Groeneveld and are included his new book about Rotterdam`s role during the war.
(dutchnews.nl)

This last survivor of his WWII battle group iI cries as he marches alone in parade
The photo of a weeping war hero marching alone at a victory parade has gained more than one million likes on social media, after a viral meme claims he is the last survivor of his WWII battle group. The caption reads: `Last veteran of his World War Two battle group marching alone in Victory Day Parade. How many people will ‘share` this hero?` In fact, many have shared the photo, showed their appreciation toward the veteran and paid their respects, but no one actually knows the identity of the mysterious crying man. Tracking down the photographer who was responsible of capturing the shot, Alexander Petrosyan, revealed the real story behind it.
(malaysiandigest.com)

World War II US airmen remains found in Indian jungle flown home
It has become something of a cliche, but the US military prides itself on never leaving anyone behind. Recently, tiny bone fragments that may represent the last remains from one or two crew members of a B-24 bomber that crashed on a supply run from India to China over the Himalayan Mountains 76 years ago, were put on a plane bound for the US. While the Pentagon`s Prisoner of war/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), has recovered the remains of US soldiers from locations around the world, this was the first time they had done so with remains found in India.
(independent.co.uk)

Austria plans to seize house where Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn
The Austrian government says it plans to seize the house where Adolf Hitler was born to stop it being a focal point for Nazi sympathisers. Officials say the decision was taken after several years of discussion about how to prevent neo-Nazi interest. Hitler was born in the house in the town of Braunau am Inn in April, 1889. The property has been leased from its owner by the government since 1972, and it was used for many years as a centre for people with disabilities. But it fell empty in 2011 following a dispute between the government and the owner, Gerlinde Pommer, who refused to grant permission for renovation.
(bbc.com)

San Francisco Bay and its Historic Coastal Defence Systems
Sitting atop Devil`s Peak, just off Highway 1 in Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay area, Little Devil`s side bunker is a lonely reminder of the preparations made to defend the Port of San Francisco against a Japanese invasion. San Francisco`s port was once considered to be second only to that of New York in importance, and the bay area has been the scene of several eras of fortification. It all started in the late 1700s when five cannons were installed at La Batteria San Jose. Then, almost a century later, emplacements for 126 guns were constructed at Fort Point. Battery Townsley was a casemated battery that mounted two 16-inch caliber guns, each capable of shooting a 2,100 pound, armor-piercing projectile 25 miles out to sea. By 1940, Battery Townsley was completed and its two guns installed.
(warhistoryonline.com)

1940s Lorenz SZ42 has arrived at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park
Hitler`s most secret cipher machine has arrived at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The 1940s Lorenz SZ42 was cutting edge technology in its time and is extremely rare today. It will join the other code-breaking machines, including the famous Enigma, at the museum. Much more complex than the enigma, the Lorenz cipher could only be broken by clever deduction from Bill Tutte who worked out the machine`s architecture without ever having set eyes on it.
(miltonkeynes.co.uk)

German World War Two bunker in Jersey excavated
A WW2 bunker in Jersey will be opened up to the public for the first time since it was filled in more than half a century ago. Tonnes of earth and rubble have been excavated by hand from the bunker at Les Landes Common by the Channel Islands Occupation Society (CIOS). The former anti-aircraft gun station still has German artwork inside. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied during the war, remaining under German control for five years until they were liberated in May 1945.
(bbc.com)

Oldest Enigma machine discovered in Denmark
The Post og Tele Museum in Copenhagen has discovered that a rough-looking machine that it has been in possession of since the turn of the century is the world`s oldest existing marine Enigma machine. Of the 611 M1 Enigma electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines produced for the Germany navy in 1934, only three remain. The one at the Post og Tele Museum has the serial number ‘M522′, which is the lowest of the three and thus makes it the oldest. `We got it x-rayed and experts from around the world looked at it. We found the serial number, which was well hidden due to the machine`s poor condition, and we could then observe it had a lower number than the other two machines,` told Andreas Marklund a researcher at the museum.
(cphpost.dk)

China and Japan at War, 1937-1945, rare photographs from wartime archives
China and Japan at War, 1937-1945 by Philip Jowett (Pen and Sword Books) is split into 8 chapters. These cover `The Outbreak of War, July-October 1937`; `The Destruction of Chiang Kai-shek`s Armies, Aug-Dec 1937`; `The Decisive Year, January-June 1938: then `Delayed Defeat, July-December 1938`; chapter 5 is `Japan Triumphant, 1939-42`; `China`s Guerilla War 1937-45`; `The Chinese Army in Burma, 1942-45`: and finally chapter 8, `China`s Final Victory, 1943-45`. Each chapter has a couple of pages on text to set the scene for each one, and then followed by a selection of archive photos, all of which are well captioned that adds more information to the story.
(militarymodelling.com)