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

Forgotten Weapons: Japan`s WWII Paratrooping Rifle Was Not the Best Idea
Did you know that Japan had a paratroop corps during WWII? They trained and equipped this group in the late 1930s - with technical assistance from Germany. During their first combat drop onto Sumatra, the troops followed the German technique of dropping armed with handguns and grenades only, with their rifles and machine guns dropped alongside in parachute weapons containers. This resulted in the same problem the Germans had: the weapons containers often landed far from the troops. In the aftermath of this attack, the Japanese military began looking into alternatives - compact guns that could be carried by paratroops right out the door of the airplane. This would result in a take-down version of the Type 99 Arisaka rifle and a folding-stock version of the the Type 99 Nambu light machine gun. However, the first proposed solution was…not quite so good.

Radio Documentary Tells Story Of 10th Mountain Division In WWII
There`s a new public radio documentary of special interest to the north country. It takes you back to World War II and the roots of the 10th Mountain Division. The new documentary is called "The Ski Troops of World War II." It`s the story of how the 10th Mountain Division came to be, as told by the men who were there. It tells how they were trained to ski and fight, and the role they played in helping to win the war.

German publisher can`t keep up with demand for Hitler`s Mein Kampf
Heavy demand for the first edition of Adolf Hitler`s Mein Kampf to be printed in Germany since his death is taking its publisher by surprise, with orders received for almost four times the print run. The two-volume political treatise, which was written between 1924 and 1926 is regarded as one of the Nazis` main propaganda tools. It has been reissued as a 2,000-page annotated version after its 70-year copyright expired. The head of the Munich Institute for Contemporary History, which published the work, said it had received orders for some 15,000 copies against a print run of just 4,000.

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)

From Nazi Test Pilot to Hitler`s Bunker: the Fantastic Flights of Hanna Reitsch
Dennis Piszkiewicz`s book on highly accomplished pilot Hanna Reitsch mostly focuses on the war years as well as those surrounding WWII. Reitsch, like most Germans in her time, began flying gliders and stood out as a pilot from early on. Her skill and fame brought her close to those in power in the Luftwaffe and the Nazi party. This gave her opportunity to fly Germany`s advanced aircraft designs like the Me 163 Komet, piloted V-1 `Buzz Bomb` and the early helicopter Focke-Wulf Fw 61. Not mentioned is her yeoman work was with the Ju 87 Stuka, military gliders and bomber modifications. Perhaps her most spectacular work was in flying Luftwaffe commanders into as well as out of harm`s way in Russia as well as besieged Berlin using the Fiesler Fi 156 Storch - including her time in the Führerbunker in the last days of Hitler.

First Man To Storm Nazi U-Boat And Seize Enigma Machine Dies
At the age of 95 Lieutenant Commander David Balme died a hero. Credited with capturing the top-secret Enigma machine that turned the tide of the deadliest war ever fought and thus shortening it by two years, he helped save hundreds of thousands of lives across the world. As a sub-lieutenant on HMS Bulldog in 1941, Mr Balme led a boarding party on to the captured German submarine U-110, tasked with getting `whatever you can out of her – documents, books, charts, the wireless settings, anything like that."

War at the End of the World recounts the battle for New Guinea
Even comprehensive single-volume histories of World War II tend to spare only a page or two, sometimes only a paragraph or two, for the fighting that happened 8,300 miles from London on the beaches and in the steamy jungles of New Guinea. The Japanese landed thousands men there in January of 1942, and the Allies responded by sending thousands of troops (shored up by additional thousands of Dutch, Australian, and New Guinea forces) under the command of one of the best-known American generals of the entire war. The fighting lasted for almost four years, and all of its commanders considered it a crucial turning point in the war, and yet the entire operation is often relegated to also-ran status in broader historical accounts.

Inside Paul Allen`s Multi-Million Dollar WWII Airplane Collection
Paul Allen has been slowly building his 31-piece warbird collection since the 1990s. In 2004, he opened it up for public viewing and four years later moved it to Paine Field in the tech-rich Seattle suburb of Everett,Washington. This spring he opened a second hangar, adding 19 new machines. Each is in full working order, the result of reconstruction efforts that can cost millions per plane and take years to complete. His aim, he says, is to make these artifacts come to life.

Cross of Iron - Key Facts About Germany`s Best-Known Military Medal
To this day, the Iron Cross remains one of the most recognizable medals in military history. Prussia`s King Frederick William III established the Iron Cross or Eiserne Kreuz on March 10, 1813 to reward soldiers who fought heroically to break the French occupation, also known as the War of Liberation. • The unmistakable black and silver cross-shaped medal was designed by the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

Triumph Of The Will (Blu-ray)
The Synapse Films Blu-ray edition of Triumph of the Will uses an all-new high-def 2K digital remaster of the film, in pillarboxed 1.19:1 aspect ratio. Derived from a duplicate 35mm fine grain master, the film stock has a few instances of flashing but looks terrific for the most part, conveying an appealing texture without appearing too cleaned-up. The disc includes a feature-length Audio Commentary with Dr. Anthony R. Santoro, a specialist on National Socialist German history. Throughout the track, Dr. Santoro provides background on each ceremony, pointing out their purposes and the various duties of Hitler`s associates. A valuable addition is Day of Freedom (1935), a 17-minute short commissioned by the Nazi Party to show maneuvers and daily vignettes from the Party`s armed forces unit.

Compromise of US cipher teleprinter in 1944
Was the US cipher teleprinter broken in 1944.

Battle for Stalingrad – Russian Archive Pictures You May Not Have Seen Before
Battle for Stalingrad – Russian Archive Pictures You May Not Have Seen Before!

Vincent Melillo, the last original member of Merrill`s Marauders from Georgia, dies at 97
Retired Master Sgt. Vincent Melillo, a member of the Georgia Military Hall of Fame and the last original member of Merrill`s Marauders from Georgia, passed away at 97. As a member of Merrill`s Marauders, Melillo served with the first American troops to fight the Japanese on land in Asia during World War II. Traveling almost 1,000 miles, the soldiers marched farther on foot than any other fighting unit. One of the highlights of the volunteer unit was capturing the airstrip at Myitkyina, Burma, and opening

Tanks, turrets, airplanes, and Power Wagons - Chrysler revisits its involvement in World War II
A video posted on FCA`s YouTube page recounts Chrysler`s involvement in World War II, when the U.S. government commissioned the automaker to contribute to the war effort by building military vehicles. As part of a short documentary called `Automakers and the Arsenal of Democracy,` FCA looks back in time and takes a look at Chrysler`s wartime activities. Narrator and FCA US historian Brandt Rosenbusch explains that the U.S. government initially approached Chrysler with a tank and asked if the corporation could build it in mass production, which it eventually did after winning a contract.

France opens access to archives drawn from Nazi-collaboration Vichy era
France will throw open access to police and legal archives drawn from one of the country`s darkest hours, when the Vichy regime collaborated with Nazi occupiers. The archives can be `freely consulted` by the civil service, citizens and researchers `subject to the declassification of documents covered by national defence secrecy rules`, it has been decreed. The Vichy regime, led by the first world war hero Philippe Pétain, collaborated with the invading German army from 1940-44. France has a painful relationship with this portion of its past, when the government helped the Nazis deport 76,000 Jews during the war. The archives include documents from the foreign, justice and interior ministries as well as from France`s provisional government after liberation.

Photos show damage to London by German Blitz of 75 years ago
On December 29, 1940, more than 160 people lost their lives after 24,000 high-explosives bombs and 100,000 incendiary devices were dropped by the planes of Nazi Germany. As the bombing started more than 1,500 fires broke out across the city, in an evening which became known as The Second Great Fire of London.

Will America`s 100-Year-Old Female Spy Finally Be Recognized for the Hero She Is?
She worked behind enemy lines—and was captured by the Soviets. But the U.S. never properly gave her full credit for her heroism. After seven decades, that may be about to change. Capt. Stephanie Czech arrived at the U.S. embassy in Berlin wearing civilian clothes and delivered the report she`d been carrying to the intelligence section. The war may have ended, but Czech was still working, undercover. Berlin was not her home base. Czech had arrived in Poland in October 1945, and spent the next four months driving around the countryside. She claimed to be a clerk at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, searching for distant relatives in her spare time. In fact, Czech was an officer in the Women`s Army Corps and one of only two members of the Office of Strategic Services stationed in the country.

Japan and South Korea agree WW2 comfort women deal
Japan and South Korea have agreed to settle the issue of "comfort women" forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two, in their first such deal since 1965. Japan has apologised and will pay 1bn yen ($8.3m, £5.6m) - the amount South Korea asked for - to fund victims. Only 46 former "comfort women" are still alive in South Korea. It is estimated that up to 200,000 women were forced to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WW2, many of them Korean. Other women came from China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Women pilots who served in WWII can`t have ashes laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery
The ashes of World War II veteran Elaine Harmon are sitting in a closet in her daughter`s home, where they will remain until they can go to what her family says is her rightful resting place: Arlington National Cemetery. Harmon piloted aircraft in World War II under a special program, Women Airforce Service Pilots, that flew noncombat missions to free up male pilots for combat. Granted veteran status in 1977, the WASPs have been eligible to have their ashes placed at Arlington with military honors since 2002. But earlier 2015, then-Secretary of the Army John McHugh reversed course and ruled WASPs ineligible.

Intact V2 Rocket Head Found in Poland
In Dobryninie in South East Poland a valuable discovery has been made, the remains of a V2 Rocket that crashed there in 1944 has been found! They were able to locate it thanks to Roman Rusin who, after keeping it quiet for years, decided to reveal the secret that his father, Colonel of the Home Army – Alexander Rusin, guarded for over 70 years. Rusin, being with the partisans in the surrounding forests, noted how the launched rocket broke into two parts. One part fell a kilometer away in so-called Węgliskach, while the front part of the crashed here. The first part of the rocket was hidden by partisans in the fall of 1944, the head of the V2 Rocket lay here for over 70 years.

Hitler received special treatment while in Landsberg Prison: Lot of visitors and beer
Hitler enjoyed special treatment during his time at Landsberg prison in Germany while serving a sentence for leading an unsuccessful coup. The Nazi Party attempted to seize power after the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, where Hitler and his followers took to the streets in Munich. While imprisoned, Hitler wrote much of the first volume of his book `Mein Kampf` - My Struggle - and received a stream of visitors — 330 to be precise, according to Peter Fleischmann, a German historian. Even though Hitler described himself as a `complete anti-alcoholic (teetotaler)` he purchased 62 half-litre bottles of beer in July 1924 — and similar amounts the following months.

Stukas Over the Mediterranean 1940-45 By Robin Buckland
This is a new edition from Pen and Sword from a book series which covers the history and the aircraft of the Luftwaffe during WW2, and one of a number in the series to tackle the Stuka. This one has a few pages of introductory text which outlines the history of the period and gives the background to the use of the Stuka in the Mediterranean area of operations. The Stuka had much success at the outbreak of war in Europe but was found to be vulnerable once it came up against the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Nevertheless, the Stuka did go on to prove a valuable asset to the Luftwaffe through to the end of the war. With a few pages of archive colour photos, the bulk of this photo collection are in black and white.

The ugly history of Japanese internment at Tule Lake
The story of the incarceration of some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast of the U.S. — nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens — is familiar, if not as broadly known as it should be. Most were imprisoned after the onset of World War II in 10 remote camps, the best-known of which today is Manzanar, which was designated a national historic site in 1992. In 2004, a visitor center was built at the site to memorialize people who lost their freedom simply because of their ethnicity. As emblematic as Manzanar might be, the story of the Tule Lake camp has its own resonance. It was there, beginning in 1943, that the government sent internees of Japanese descent whom it deemed `disloyal,` based primarily on their refusal to go along meekly with the government`s denial of their civil liberties.

A Nazi Guide to Christmas - leaflet instructs Party Members How Christmas Should be Celebrated
Unearthed from an archive in the German city of Dresden is a leaflet with the printed title stating A Nazi Guide to Christmas. The said pamphlet lists a number of instructions on how a Nazi party member should decorate and celebrate Christmas. What`s more, in this said leaflet, the Virgin Mary is turned German and the archangel Gabriel into an Aryan goddess. The leaflet A Nazi Guide to Christmas is composed of 20 pages filled with clear-cut instructions for Nazi Party members on how to celebrate their Christmas. It was printed way back in 1937 by the Nazi Party`s Saxony branch, the Heimatwerk organization -- formed as the `promoter of Saxon Germanic culture as a shining example of true Germanness`.

Warbird Factory: North American Aviation in World War II
John Fredrickson has written a biography of North American Aviation (NAA). In his book, Warbird Factory: North American Aviation in WWII, he has also describes working as well, as the workers, in World War II at NAA factories—in the way they would prefer to be remembered and in the way they would definitely not prefer. Frederickson presents an accurate depiction of the designing, times and events. Warbird Factory does not limit itself to the World War II period with the B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang—it begins with the founders, especially Dutch Kindleberger and John Leland Atwood and designs which predate WW II. Warbird Factory ends with Cold War aircraft, notably the B-45 Tornado and F-86 Sabre.