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

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)

The Man who allegedly broke in and out of Auschwitz, twice, passes away
A WWII POW has died aged 96. Denis Avey controversially broke in out of Auschwitz, twice! Denis was captured and held as a POW in Poland. By swapping uniforms with other prisoners he got access to enter Auschwitz, so that he could review conditions and send back intelligence about the camp. Denis was used by the Nazis in a labor camp next door to Auschwitz making synthetic rubber. Denis wrote about Auschwitz in his memoirs and told how he would swap uniforms with Auschwitz prisoner and Dutch Jew, Hans. Some historians disparage Denis`s claims and say that it would have been impossible, but Denis always maintained that he wanted to get access so that he could prove to the wider world that the Nazis were exterminating Jews in their thousands.

Battle of the Brushes – Comparing the Paintings of Churchill and Hitler
Dispite their manifold differences (not to mention their burning mutual hatred), Britain`s wartime prime minister Winston Churchill and the Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler shared at least one thing in common: Both were painters.

Operation Sealion - Summary of an exercise held at the Staff College, Sandhurst in 1974
The full text is in ‘Sealion` by Richard Cox. The scenario is based on the known plans of each side, plus previously unpublished Admiralty weather records for September 1940. Each side (played by British and German officers respectively) was based in a command room, and the actual moves plotted on a scale model of SE England constructed at the School of Infantry. The panel of umpires included Adolf Galland, Admiral Friedrich Ruge, Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris, Rear Admiral Edward Gueritz, General Heinz Trettner and Major General Glyn Gilbert.

A new book shines fresh light on the Nazis` wartime drug addiction
The title "Der totale Rausch" (The Total Rush) by Norman Ohler is a play on words using the Nazis` references to "total war." Ohler has spent recent years researching the Nazi leadership`s own appetite for a total rush, for themselves and their soldiers. The Wehrmacht realized there is a drug out there that might be of interest to soldiers because Pervitin keeps you awake for a long time - and for the first couple of days, you don`t need to sleep. It was used for the first time when Germany invaded Sudetenland and then Poland, and then when Germany attacked France in 1940, a Blitzkrieg strategy. Before that attack, the German army ordered 35 million tablets of Pervitin for the soldiers advancing on France.

Hitler secretly made the weapons of the future during the Second World War
Hitler`s Nazi engineers made technological developments which were innovative and far ahead of their time, manufacturing weapons such as sonic cannons, x-ray guns and land cruisers. The magazine Weapons of WWII has exhibited some of Hitler`s secret Nazi weapons in its Autumn 2015 issue. --- The Fritz X, one of Hitler`s most secret bombs, is the grandfather of today`s smart bomb. The glide bomb was radio guided and carried over 700lbs of explosives. It was capable of hitting strongly protected targets such as battleships and heavy cruisers. ---- The "flying wing" bomber (Horten Ho 229 bomber) was designed to carry 2,000lbs of armaments while flying at 49,000ft above ground level and travelling at speeds north of 600mph.

500 aircraft crashed in Malaya during World War II
Some 500 aircraft crashed in the country during World War II, says Armed Forces Museum head analyst Kapt Muhammad Zuraiman Abdul Ghani. He said these would be British, Japanese and American warplanes, with most of them from the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The second world war - according to Stalin`s ambassador to London
Ivan Maisky`s diaries contain sharp insights on Chamberlain, Churchill — and the ‘blind moles` in the House of Lords who in 1938 still proclaimed Hitler Europe`s saviour

Amsterdam to repay Jews fined for late rents in WWII
Amsterdam will refund relatives of hundreds of Jews who were fined for being late with their rent during their incarceration in World War II concentration camps. The issue came to light in April 2013 when a student published archive documents in which Jews who had escaped from the concentration camps were billed for arrears on properties belonging to the city of Amsterdam. The city even imposed fines for late rents on houses which had been confiscated by the Nazis and occupied by Germans or members of the Dutch National Socialist Movement, the NSB.

Ben Kuroki become the only Japanese American to fly over Japan during World War II
Ben Kuroki, who overcame the American military`s discriminatory policies to become the only Japanese American to fly over Japan during World War II, has passed away at 98. The son of Japanese immigrants who was raised on a Hershey, Nebraska, farm, Kuroki and his brother, Fred, volunteered for service after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. They were initially rejected by recruiters who questioned the loyalty of the children of Japanese immigrants. Undeterred, the brothers drove 150 miles to another recruiter, who allowed them to sign up.

10 Things That Went Badly Wrong on Omaha Beach
(2) Germans were on Omaha beach in strength: The Germans under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had built formidable defenses to protect this enclosed battlefield. The waters and beach were heavily mined, and there were 13 strongpoints called Widerstandsnester (`resistance nests`). The defending forces consisted of three battalions of the veteran 352nd Infantry Division. ---- (3) Air force bombardment failed completely. The great expectations for victory with air power, on which a big part of the success of Omaha Beach hinged, were not met at Omaha Beach. The heavy bombers flew in straight from the sea as opposed to parallel to the coast and, to avoid bombing the assault forces, delayed the release of the bombs missing Omaha beach completely. The defenses were left intact, there were no craters on the beach for cover and some of the bombs hit inland as far as 3 miles from the beach.

31 Images of Rommel & Some You Wouldn`t Have Seen Before?
31 photographs of Rommel & Some You Wouldn`t Have Seen Before?.

Re-Educating The Hitler Youth (What To Do With The German Boy Soldiers?) – From Yank Magazine, 1945
Re-Educating The Hitler Youth (What To Do With The German Boy Soldiers?) – From Yank Magazine, 1945.

UK World War II POW records now available to read online
The records of a million World War II POWs will be published online. From the inmates of Colditz to the men who took part in the ‘Great Escape` details will be available to relatives and researchers. The publication, in association with The National Archives, marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII on all fronts on September 2. The records cover the period 1939-1945 and contain the names, ranks and locations of Prisoners of War, along with the length of time spent in camps, the number of survivors, details of escapees and the nationalities of prisoners. Britons represent the largest number in the collection, followed by Dutch, Americans and Australians.

Hitler at home: How PR made the Fuehrer more likeable
Although he is one of history`s most infamous figure, Adolf Hitler is not someone with who the word "celebrity" can be easily associated. Yet a PR campaign, which was accepted by the international media, meant that even as late as 1939, lifestyle pieces portrayed him as a likable chap who had a refined and cozy home life and took care of his garden. Even The New York Times presented him as a country gent who played catch with his dogs and took after-dinner strolls around his mountain estate. University at Buffalo historian Despina Stratigakos describes, in a new book entitled Hitler at Home, how those who worked closely with him managed to change his image from one of an oddball loner to that of an admirable gentleman.

Erosion reveals England`s World War Two coastal defences
A three mile stretch of the British coastline in the New Forest region, from the town of Barton on Sea to Milford on Sea has been exposed. The exposure comes as natural erosion occurs and it has revealed the vast expanse of World War Two defense lines put in place by the British military in anticipation of a possible land invasion by the Germans. The defenses include a large field of metal poles and concrete posts intertwined with rolls of barbed wire, alongside pill boxes, all emerging from the bottom of the seabed.

The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-45, by Nicholas Stargardt
In this ambitious study, Nicholas Stargardt shows how people on the home front, as well as those in uniform, adapted to the course of the war. He `traces the changing expectations, oscillating hopes and fears of individuals` through their diaries and letters, and situates that evidence in the broader context of national popular opinion as reported by Nazi authorities. As Stargardt shows, the German home front suffered terrible losses from Allied bombings. Some 420,000 people would lose their lives, more than half of them after August 1944 when hope of victory had all but completely evaporated. On top of that, the author estimates, in 1945 each day of fighting `cost the lives of 10,000 German soldiers`.

Daring Escape of Two German POWs Down The Mississippi River During WWII
The story of two World War Two German POW escaping in Minnesota has been uncovered more than 70 years later. Prison camps had been established across the US to house German and Axis POWs during World War Two. In Minnesota a prison work camp had been established as a lumber camp on the banks of Lake Winnibigoshish, holding just over 200 prisoners. It was during the night of Sunday, 29th October 1944, when a regular evening bed check was being conducted, that prison guards realized two German prisoners were missing. German prisoners Corporal Heinz Schymalla, 22, and Walter Mai, 21 had escaped.

Holocaust versus Wehrmacht: How Hitler`s Final Solution Undermined the German War Effort
Did the Holocaust Undermine the German War Effort? One of the great paradoxes of the Second World War is that while German troops on the Eastern Front were starving and freezing to death for lack of supplies, the rail transport of Jews to the death camps proceeded with uninterrupted Teutonic efficiency. The explanation is found in a profound insight by the historian Gerhard Weinberg - that for the Nazis the extermination of Europe`s Jews was the purpose of the war, not a distraction or a side show.

Hitler`s Brandenburgers: secret multilingual warrior spies of Nazi Germany
The pre-war German Army rejected Captain Theodore von Hippel`s idea of using small units of highly trained men to penetrate enemy defenses before main actions began. They felt it was beneath the dignity of true soldiers to engage in such renegade conduct and so sent the young Captain packing. Down but not out, he ended up joining the German intelligence agency known as the Abwehr, in whom he found its commander, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, a willing listener. His ideas, much of which were learned from studying World War 1 guerilla leaders, were approved and forwarded to the German High Command (OKW), who agreed to the formation of a battalion of men trained in the arts of combat and espionage.

Wreckage of Soviet fighter plane shot down during World War II discovered after drought in Poland
A prolonged drought which has caused rivers in Poland to reach record low levels has led to the discovery of important Second World War artefacts - including a Soviet fighter plane and several Jewish tombstones. The Vistula River is now at its lowest level since measurements started in the late 18th century and has unveiled a number of treasures. The discoveries were made just days after stone fragments from the early 20th-century Poniatowski Bridge - which crossed the Vistula River in Warsaw, and which the Germans blew up in 1944 as they crushed the Warsaw Uprising - were found.

Rare Italian tankette Carro Veloce L.3/33 finds new home at Australian War Memorial in Canberra
A rare Italian tankette used during World War II has arrived at its new home - The Australian War Memorial (AWM). It is thought the Carro Veloce L.3/33 was captured in North Africa between 1940 and 1941 by British and Commonwealth troops, where it would have been used for reconnaissance work and towing cargo. Developed in 1933, the Italian army used the tankette during campaigns in Ethiopia, Spain, North and East Africa, Albania and Greece prior to and during the early parts of World War II.

How the Nazis Robbed Their Country of Its Scientific Legacy (And Gave it to the World)
The gutting of Germany`s intellectual heritage is far from the worst crime committed by the Nazis, but it was a crime nonetheless. The irony is it was a crime that contributed to their loss of the war. But it also robbed the country of its intellectual riches decades after the war was over.

RAF`s most secret WWII base watch tower in Devon goes up for sale
A former aircraft watch tower at one of the RAF`s most secret Second World War bases has been put up for sale. The two-storey building at Winkleigh Airfield, Devon, along with 9.5 acres of land and disused outbuildings will go under the hammer. The airbase was built in 1940 on remote moorland to defend Britain`s western approaches from the Luftwaffe and was so strategically important that its existence was officially denied. The tower is listed by English Heritage as a Scheduled Monument.

Britain`s Two World Wars against Germany: Myth, Memory and the Distortions of Hindsight
Prof. Brian Bond takes a look at perceptions of the world wars in British memory and culture, and finds them both deeply embedded and highly ahistorical. After an introduction to outline his theme, Bond addresses the shaping of the popular, and even academic, images of the world wars in the aftermath of the second. He then devotes a chapter to British policy and strategy in the two wars, in which he makes a good case that despite its image as `unnecessary` the 1914-1918 war was more vital to British interests than that of 1939-1945.