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

Hiroshima Maidens: a group of schoolgirls who survived the atomic blast and underwent reconstruction surgery in the US
In Japan, the word `hibakusha` describes the people who survived the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The word is translated as `explosion-affected people`. Among the people who survived the explosion, was a group of 30 schoolgirls, known as the `Hiroshima Maidens`. After the blast, the girls were severely injured; their faces were scarred by the burns and their limbs were so damaged that they never healed. In the early 1950`s, hibakusha had numerous problems, as they were perceived as contagious and dangerous to their surroundings. The schoolgirls who survived the blast were growing up and couldn`t find partners or work, so they decided to undergo reconstructive surgeries.
(thevintagenews.com)

The Secret War Off a US Coast: We`d hear these explosions most any time of the day or night
Less than six weeks after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the hostilities of the Second World War had arrived on America`s East Coast and North Carolina`s beaches. `We`d hear these explosions most any time of the day or night and it would shake the houses and sometimes crack the walls,` remembered Blanche Jolliff, of Ocracoke village. Even though ships were being torpedoed by enemy U-boats almost every day, just a few miles away, coastal residents had no choice but to live as normally as possible.
(scout.com)

During World War II, the U.S. Saw Italian-Americans as a Threat to Homeland
The incarceration of Japanese-Americans is the best-known effect of Executive Order 9066, the rule signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. And for good reason. The suffering and punishment placed upon innocent Japanese-Americans was a dark chapter in American history. But the full extent of the government order is largely unknown. In addition to forcibly evacuating 120,000 Americans of Japanese background from their homes on the West Coast to barbed-wire-encircled camps, EO 9066 called for the relocation of more than 50,000 Italian-Americans and restricted the movements of more than 600,000 Italian-Americans nationwide. Now, the order has resurfaced in the public conversation about immigration.
(smithsonianmag.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)

Condemned by Evidence: Minutes of the Wannsee Conference
In March 1947, while German foreign ministry officials were defending their actions at the Nuremberg Trials, assistant US chief counsel made a discovery. Amid the pile of documents abandoned by the Nazis, a cover page caught his attention. A stamp in red ink is readable on the page: ‘Secret Reich Matter.` It`s followed by 15 pages under the title: ‘Minutes of Meetings` and is evidence of the planned execution of European Jews and is a record of the Wannsee Conference. It`s the only remaining one of the complete set of 30. The discussion and the sheer cold-heartedness of the measures examined to exterminate Jews in Europe detailed at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942. At noon, 15 men who had accepted an invitation from Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), met in an industrialist`s villa in the posh suburb of Wannsee, Berlin.
(warhistoryonline.com)

Invasion of Japan 1945 - The latest strategy game campaign from Conflict-Series out now
Invasion of Japan 1945 is a turn based strategy game set on the WWII Pacific theater. This scenario covers Operation Olympic (landing on Kyushu), which was the first part of Operation Downfall (Invasion of Japan). In this Conflict-Series campaign you are in command of the US amphibious force tasked with seizing Kyushu - the southernmost of the Japanese home islands - to set the stage for the second stage of the Operation Downfall. The geography of Japan has forced the Allies to choose a predictable strategy, and the Japanese have set up their fanatical forces very well to take on the American onslaught. To defend Kyushu Japan is planning to throw in most of their troops, as well as huge number of civilian fighting units and what`s left of their naval might. The fact that Japan is starting to run low on supplies is counterbalanced by the long supply distances Allies has to deal with, not forgetting kamikaze planes and midget submarines.
(Play Store)

The M-3 Grant: America`s Nazi Germany Tank-Killer: Why were Rommel`s tanks blowing up?
As the Desert Fox`s panzers churned through the Libyan desert in May 1942, they were confident of victory. For more than a year the German armor had time and again emerged victorious. Now the Afrika Korps was on the offensive against the British fortified line at Gazala. But on May 27, the Afrika Korps noticed its tanks were destroyed from long range. Until Gazala, the Afrika Korps had only faced the 2-pounder (40-mm) guns on British tanks and 37-mm cannon on American Lend-Lease Stuarts used by Britain, both of which bounced off the frontal armor of German tanks. Yet now the panzers were being picked off by 75-mm cannon that outranged their own 50-mm tank guns. Rommel soon discovered the cause: The M-3 Grant, an American-made tank sent to the British under Lend-Lease.
(nationalinterest.org)

The Personal Photograph Albums of Herman Goering by Blaine Taylor
Hermann Goering - From Secret Luftwaffe to Hossbach War Conference 1935-37 (The Personal Photograph Albums of Herman Goering) does what it says on tin! The vain Goering was not a camera shy man and this book does not have to work too hard to highlight this fact. Its 272 pages are broken down into three chapters topped and tailed by a useful timeline, good introduction and extensive bibliography. Sandwiched between, the three chapters, named ‘Emmy, 1935`, ‘Plan, 1936` and ‘Hossbach, 1937` leave the reader wanting more considering how many photographs have been crammed into this relatively tight period of time.
(militarymodelling.com)

The Third Reich`s Fifth Column: 12 Germans Who Stood Up to the Nazis
Today the Bendlerblock is an innocuous looking office building in the Berlin`s Tiergarten district. But in 1944, the site was a key army headquarters as well as ground zero for a plot by a handful of Wehrmacht officers to bring down the Third Reich. Codenamed Operation Valkyrie, the scheme quickly unraveled after the bomb, which was set off on July 20, 1944, failed to kill the Nazi dictator. Within hours of the blast, the SS swooped down on the Bendlerblock and shot von Stauffenberg and his compatriots right in the building`s courtyard. The facility is now a museum dedicated to Germans from all walks of life who committed themselves to the destruction of the Third Reich.
(militaryhistorynow.com)

FDR vs. Churchill: Just How Bad Did the Rift Between the Two Leaders Get?
BY 1943, the Allied war effort was at a crossroads. 16ac21f6-0346-474f-b3f0-80cd885d57ebIn January of that year, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill would meet face-to-face at the Casablanca Conference to map out the alliance`s grand strategy for defeating Hitler. And while the 10-day summit in French Morocco was widely heralded as a sign of unity between London and Washington, behind the scenes there was trouble. FDR wanted the Allies to follow up on their growing mastery of the battlefields of North Africa with an invasion of northern France; Churchill favoured an all-out attack on the Third Reich`s `soft underbelly` by way of Italy or the Balkans. This disagreement would simmer for months and at times become heated. Yet amazingly, until recently, we`ve really only heard one side of the story.
(militaryhistorynow.com)

Serving Aboard World War II Submarines Was Brutal
No one has ever claimed that life aboard a U.S. Navy ship was luxurious. Even on the most advanced warships on the planet life can still be cramped. Though today amenities are much improved, the sailors patrolling the oceans in WWII had a much different life than their modern counterparts. For one thing, the submarines of World War II were much smaller. Though only about 60 feet shorter than a modern submarine, the Gato and Balao-class submarines the U.S. Navy operated in WWII had a displacement of only about one third that of modern Virginia class submarines. In that small space, the submariners — some 60 to 80 in all — had to store themselves, their gear, and provisions for 75 days. Each crewmember had only about one cubic foot of personal storage space aboard the sub.
(scout.com)

Declassified report: Soviets massacred 10,000 Soviet citizens in northern Poland
A declassified report by a CIA spy contains so-far-unknown claims that Soviets carried out mass killings of their own citizens in Poland soon after the end of World War II. The report, dated 10 October 1952, contains shocking claims about the activities of Soviet forces occupying Poland following the end of the war. `A Polish eyewitness told me that in the forest of Witomin [near the Polish port city of Gdynia] over 10,000 Soviets are buried in mass graves. They were shot by the Soviets themselves just after World War II. They were Soviet workers who had been repatriated from Germany.`
(thenews.pl)

China says 2,500 wartime Japanese chemical weapons destroyed
More than 2,500 abandoned Japanese wartime chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, have been destroyed in a four-year disposal process. Japan and China have been working together on the biggest chemical weapon cleanup effort in history, a decades-long, diplomatically sensitive project that is seen in China as a reminder of the wartime atrocities it suffered during Japan`s 1937 invasion and subsequent occupation. Under the terms of a 1997 treaty, Tokyo is responsible for cleaning up hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons left behind by its occupation troops at the end of WWII. Thousands of Chinese have been killed or hurt since the end of the war in 1945 by accidents related to the buried weapons.
(seattletimes.com)

Eichmann`s Right-Hand Man Alois Brunner died in Syria in 2001
One of the world`s most wanted Nazi war criminals died in 2001 aged 89 after spending more than a decade incarcerated in a dilapidated Damascus basement, a magazine has said. The Revue XXI magazine reported that SS commander Alois Brunner spent his last years living in squalid conditions. It said he remained a fervent anti-Semite right up to his death. Brunner is accused of deporting more than 128,000 Jews to death camps. He was in charge of the Drancy internment camp outside Paris where Jews rounded up in France were held before being sent to the death camps. For many years there has been uncertainty as to whether Brunner is still alive, although the chief investigator pursuing him told in 2014 that he believed Brunner died in 2010 in Damascus.
(bbc.com)

The female reporter who discovered WWII thanks to a freak gust of wind has died
It was August 1939, and a 26-year-old British journalist on her first assignment for the Daily Telegraph was driving on a German highway near the Polish border. She saw a fleet of German motorcycle messengers speed past her car. And then, as she watched, a gust of wind lifted the flaps of massive canvas barriers erected along the road. Visible beyond were hundreds of tanks and weapons, ready to roll into Poland. That`s how Clare Hollingworth, who died Jan. 10 in Hong Kong at the age of 105, broke the story of World War II.
(qz.com)

Nazi Germany`s V-3 Super Gun: The Ultimate Terror Weapon?
Nazi Germany famously used V-1 cruise missile and V-2 ballistic missile `Vengeance Weapons` to bomb London in retaliation for the Allies` strategic bombing campaign of Germany. However, a third Vengeance weapon—the V-3 super cannon—was also developed and even briefly used in action, though not against its intended target. The concept behind the V-3 had its origin in the German Kaiser Wilhelm guns that entered action in March 1918, during World War I. The massive Krupp guns could shell the French capital from seventy-five miles away, and were the first weapons capable of shooting a projectile into the stratosphere.
(nationalinterest.org)

Six Amazing Female Agents Who Helped the Allies Win WW2
Despite having lost her left leg from the knee down after a 1932 hunting accident, Baltimore-born Virginia Hall carried out missions for both the highly secretive British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Fitted with an artificial limb, which she nicknamed `Cuthbert,` Hall worked early in the war for the SOE in occupied France. --- Gun-toting Nancy Wake is perhaps best known for planning and leading a raid on a Gestapo headquarters that left almost 30 Germans dead or wounded. -- Betty Pack, the 29-year old wife of an English diplomat, was already a British agent in Warsaw when war broke out. Prior to Hitler`s 1939 invasion of Poland, the native of Minneapolis, Minnesota supposedly slept with a Polish official there in order to learn what that government knew about the German Enigma code machine.
(militaryhistorynow.com)

China rewrites history books to extend Sino-Japanese war by six years
China`s government has ordered that all Chinese history textbooks be rewritten to extend the second Sino-Japanese war by 6 years. The conflict, which has been known in China as the `eight-year war of resistance against Japanese aggression`, is usually recorded as starting in 1937 and ending in 1945. However government renamed the conflict the `14-year war of resistance against Japanese aggression` and has ordered that textbooks be revised to record it as lasting from 1931 until 1945. The decision means China officially considers that the second Sino-Japanese war started in autumn of 1931, when the Imperial Japanese army invaded Manchuria, rather than six years later during the Marco Polo Bridge incident, when Japanese and Chinese troops fought along a rail line south-west of Beijing.
(theguardian.com)

12 Top American Comics With Nazis
Here`s a look at some of the more unusual World War II stories from the comic book bin.
(tabletmag.com)

Rare glass penny made during World War II sells for £57,300
You might think that dropping it could cause a few issues but there was a time when the US looked at switching to glass coins. And now one of the rare pennies, which were made experimentally as an alternative to copper, has just sold for $70,500 (£57,300) at an auction in Fort Lauderdale. The coin was made during World War II when copper was needed for ammunition so the US Mint authorised uncirculated tests using other metals, but also, plastic, rubber and glass.
(metro.co.uk)

A replica of Hitler`s bunker in Berlin Reveals an Uneasy Phenomenon: Hitler Sells
Most landmarks of Nazi rule in Berlin were demolished long ago, but a commercial firm has now re-created one of them as a tourist attraction: the bunker where Hitler committed suicide in 1945. The new bunker was built about a mile from the original site by Historiale, which also runs the Berlin Story Museum next door. Like the museum — a mishmash of memorabilia — the bunker tour seems to appeal to a public appetite that several experts have recognized. Hitler sells.
(nytimes.com)

Germany sees overwhelming sales of annotated critical edition of Mein Kampf
The German publisher of a special annotated edition of Adolf Hitler`s Mein Kampf says sales have soared since its launch a year ago. 85,000 German-language copies of the anti-Semitic Nazi manifesto have been sold. Publisher Andreas Wirsching said "the figures overwhelmed us". He is director of the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich. But the sales are well below those of best-sellers in Germany. It is an academic edition, costing 58 euros. At the end of January the IfZ will launch a sixth print run. The book contains critical notes by scholars. Unlike the Nazi-era editions, the IfZ`s Mein Kampf (My Struggle) has a plain white cover - without a picture of Hitler. The swastika and other Nazi symbols are banned in Germany.
(bbc.com)

The Mail Plane That Hunted Japanese Planes After Pearl Harbor
On the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, there was a plane with a unique story to tell. It is one of the few planes to have flown against the Japanese on that day. With its silver and orange-yellow paint scheme with a bright green tail and red trim, it wasn`t the most likely combat aircraft. It was designed to be a small airliner for transporting troops, mail, and photographers around Hawaii. It had a boat hull for landing and take-off in the water and big tires for landing and taking off on a runway. The plane was piloted by Ensign Wesley Hoyt Ruth.
(warhistoryonline.com)

There are heaps of WWII junk rusting in Greenland: and the photos are eerily beautiful
Hey America, you forgot a huge pile of junk in the wilderness. Abandoned by the US Air Force in 1947, Bluie East Two is one of several World War II and Cold War installations left to crumble in Greenland after the military lost interest in maintaining them. "Bluie" was military code for Greenland during the war with Germany. Bluie East Two was one of three aircraft bases maintained on the Danish territory in North America as part of the US Atlantic defense scheme of the period. Landscape photographer Ken Bower traveled to Bluie East Two to shoot the hulks of rusted equipment, aviation-fuel barrels, and collapsed buildings still strewn across the earth at the lip of great fjord. He said he hopes his images bring attention to the problem, along with a petition to clean up the site he`s circulated in hopes of catching the White House`s attention. Here is what he saw.
(businessinsider.com)

4 captured Nazi U-boats you can actually get into
During the course of WWII, the Third Reich employed more than 1,200 submarines or U-boats. The Allies managed to capture only six of them in action. Out of that number, five remain – four of which wait for us in American, British and German museums. Here`s a quick run through their at times stirring histories.
(thevintagenews.com)