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

Excerpted from Hitler`s Shadow Empire: Nazi Economics and the Spanish Civil War
Excerpted from Hitler`s Shadow Empire: Nazi Economics and the Spanish Civil War.

$50m million hoard of silver coins sank by the Nazis is discovered
A hoard of silver coins worth £34million that was sunk by the Nazis on board a steamship has been salvaged by a British-led team at a record depth of 5,150m (17,000ft). The SS City of Cairo was travelling from Bombay to England in 1942 when it was torpedoed by a U-boat, taking 100 tons of rupees with it to the bottom of the ocean. It was long assumed that the vessel`s cargo, belonging to the UK Treasury, would be lost forever. That was until a team led by British expert John Kingsford used pioneering techniques to track down the ship with powerful sonar and robotics.

Rare German Kettenkrad motorcycle half-track restored
A rare German army vehicle has sprung back to life at the hands of Hamilton military vehicle enthusiast Ross Hopkins. The Kettenkrad motorcycle half-track was used for a variety of purposes in all theatres. It could be a personnel carrier and field telephone cable layer, a gun tractor and general tow vehicle. The Hopkins bought their example in Australia in the mid-1980s. But as Hopkins has 38 military vehicles of wide description and years of work packed into barns, it was only a few months ago that he got serious on bringing the vehicle back to working order. Going by the serial numbers, and the best advice available, the vehicle is believed to be the 73rd built and is stamped with the authentic Wehrmacht eagle. It was built by NSU and powered by an Opel four-cylinder petrol engine. It has three forward, one reverse gear and high and low ratios. It can top 70kmh on the open road.

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)

Desert Fox Erwin Rommel was given his legendary goggles by a British PoW
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel gained respect from his foes for his tactical acumen and sense of fairness during the battle for North Africa. Rommel, nicknamed the Desert Fox, also became an iconic wartime figure – and the stylish goggles he famously wore across his peak cap became part of the myth. Now the story of how the German came to be in possession of the goggles can be told for the first time. They were given to him by a British prisoner as a gift to thank him for retrieving a stolen hat.

Hitler`s Last Day: Minute By Minute, by Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie
Nearly 30ft underground, Eva Braun is preparing for her wedding. Right now, she`s in her bedroom in the Fuhrerbunker, having her peroxided hair styled by her maid. Soon, her long fringe has been pinned up on the right, just the way she likes it. In deference to her fiance, Adolf Hitler, who dislikes make-up, she has made herself up to look natural. Of course, she never imagined her wedding would take place in the Fuhrerbunker, which lies under the garden of the old Reich Chancellery in Berlin. But Russian army tanks are now pouring into the centre, so it`s no longer safe to be above ground. --- 12.10am. Adolf Hitler is standing in the conference room of the Fuhrerbunker, leaning on the empty map table. He is dictating his ‘political testament` to Traudl Junge, one of his two remaining secretaries, who is taking his words down in shorthand.

Rare footage of the Muslims who fought with the Nazis
The Nazis recruited Muslim soldiers to the Wehrmacht during World War II, but did not trust the Free Arab Legion with any major tasks, according to Stefan Petke of the Technical University of Berlin, who says the Arab units did not participate in the extermination of Jews. Petke uncovered rare footage which documents the Nazi army`s Arab units, which, he says, were a complete failure in the battlefields of Tunisia in 1943, leading the Nazis to take their weapons and using them as "working soldiers," away from the frontlines.

A recently completed Bergen-Belsen documentary shows the Nazis` paths to persecution
Near the end of the World War II, troops from the British 11th Armored Division, along with journalists and cameramen, entered a sprawling fenced-off complex of buildings near Bergen in Germany. They had walked into the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. What they discovered were some of the most horrific scenes of the 20th century. Historian Toby Haggith has been trying to complete a project the British government started near the end of the war that used the footage shot by those cameramen. The government went so far as to make a rough cut of a film titled Memory of the Camps, but the movie was never completed. But that documentary has finally been completed. German Concentration Camps Factual Survey — its original title — is being shown in cinemas in the UK.

A uniform claimed to have belonged to Goering sale for £85,000 at Parade Antiques in Plymouth
John Cabello, owner of Devon-Parade Antiques, where the Nazi uniform is being sold, said the wear and tear on the uniform helped them identify Goering as its original owner. "He also had a habit ... of putting his left hand into his left pocket. Because of this the wear on the left pocket is substantially more than the right." The outfit was made by the Viennese tailor, Tiller, who was known to have made uniforms for the Nazis during the war. Although the tailoring of dove grey blue ensemble is very good, the materials used are of lower quality when compared to the uniforms worn by Nazi officers at the beginning of the war. Cabello said: "As the war progressed, it got harder to get materials and quality everywhere went down."

Secret Special Operations Australia WWII commando training captured in rare, colour footage
The Australian Story episode Into the Lion`s Den showcases some rare, colour footage of Special Operations Australia commandos training in secret during WW2. Shot in the remote bush of Fraser Island in Queensland, it is a glimpse into the world of espionage and the art of killing as taught more than 70 years ago. The commandos were being trained for operations behind the Japanese lines throughout South-East Asia. The vision shows the men learning how to use weapons, setting limpet mines to blow up shipping, practising bush survival skills and fighting in unarmed combat. It is entertaining, yet chilling.

Rare Alan Turing manuscript, Enigma machine up for auction
"The Imitation Game" helped make WWII code breaker Alan Turing a household name. But for all the attention he has gotten for breaking Nazi Germany`s Enigma code, the British mathematician still remains a bit of mystery. He left behind no diaries after he committed suicide in 1954 and few documents offering insight into his scientific thinking. That is why a recently discovered manuscript from the man known as the father of computer science is garnering so much attention. Filled with formulas and scientific musings jotted down between 1942 and 1944, it is believed to be only one in existence and will be auctioned by Bonhams in New York. Never before seen by the public, it could fetch a price in the seven figures.

A new film tells the story of Georg Elser who came very close to assassinating Hitler
On 8 November 1939, Hitler was making his annual speech at a Munich beer hall. The event commemorated early Nazi struggles in the 1920s. This time Hitler used it to mock his international enemies, and boast about Germany`s successful start to the war. But what neither Hitler nor the Nazi top brass and loyal audience realised was that, a few feet away from where the Fuehrer was standing, a bomb was about to go off. Its ticking timers carefully muffled in cork casing, it had been assembled and planted secretly over many weeks by Georg Elser.

Stalin`s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
Svetlana Alliluyeva (1926–2011), Stalin`s only daughter, lived an almost impossible life at the edges of 20th-century history. Poet and biographer Sullivan employs interviews, Alliluyeva`s own letters, and the contents of CIA, KGB, and Soviet archives to stitch together a coherent narrative of her fractured life. Its first act—Sullivan depicts her lonely existence as the motherless `princess in the Kremlin`—is remarkable enough, but as Alliluyeva slowly came to understand the extent of her father`s cruelty, she began to resent the U.S.S.R. and her role in its mythology, abandoning her two children and defecting to America in 1967.

New book called Fu-Go explores WWII Japanese balloon attacks on US
Ross Coen, the author of `Fu-Go: The Curious History of Japan`s Balloon Bomb Attack on America,` answered a few questions. "When we think about the history of WWII we often picture the U.S. as being protected by the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other. And that`s largely true; the U.S. escaped the devastation that was visited upon cities and people around the world. But this weapon, the Japanese balloon bomb, represented the first time in history that an army on one continent attacked its enemy on another continent by means of a free-traveling unmanned vehicle. It was ineffective as a weapon, a total failure, but it ushered in a new era of warfare that within just a couple decades would be refined by the Cold War superpowers to include nuclear-armed rockets."

The Nazis` 10 Control-Freak Rules for Jazz Performers: A Strange List from World War II
While it`s no great surprise that Nazis hated jazz, it seems they expressed their disapproval in a very oddly specific way, at least in the recollection of Czech writer Josef Skvorecky. He recounts from memory a set of ten bizarre regulations issued by a Gauleiter, a regional Nazi official, that bound local dance orchestras during the Czech occupation. (1) Pieces in foxtrot rhythm (so-called swing) are not to exceed 20% of the repertoires of light orchestras and dance bands. (4) o-called jazz compositions may contain at most 10% syncopation; the remainder must consist of a natural legato movement devoid of the hysterical rhythmic reverses characteristic of the barbarian races and conductive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called riffs).

Study: 15,000 Koreans drafted by Soviets during World War II
15,000 ethnic Koreans who lived in Central Asia were conscripted by the Soviet Union during World War II (1941-1945), a new study claims. Shim Heon-yong, a researcher from the Institute for Military History, said 372 of them volunteered to join the Soviet military; of that number, 195 were killed or disappeared during the war, 50 were undocumented and 127 returned home. A majority of the 372 people were soldiers in the ground war, but there was also a pilot and a spy.

Nazi Goebbels` Descendants Revealed as Secret Billionaires
The descendants of one of Nazi Germany`s most prominent figures, Joseph Goebbels, are now secret billionaires, living off the wealth forged during WW2. Joseph Goebbels was one of Hitler`s closest associates serving as a propaganda minister. When the Third Reich collapsed Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide. Later, Harald Quandt, the son of Goebbels` wife Magda, received a final goodbye letter from his mother, and he soon realised that his mother had taken her life. Harald and his half-brother Herbert, from father Guenther Quandt`s previous relationship, inherited the family`s industrial empire. Both Harald and Herbert died decades ago, but Harald`s four daughters are billionaires, but keep a very low profile.

Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler`s codes
Of the 10,000-plus staff at the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II, two-thirds were female. Three veteran servicewomen explain what life was like as part of the code-breaking operation. "I was given one sentence, `We are breaking German codes, end of story`." It was Ruth Bourne`s first job out of college, when, like thousands of other young British women during WWII, she was recruited to aid the Allied cipher-breaking efforts at Bletchley Park. Today, the mansion in the heart of the southeast English countryside is famous for being where the mathematician Alan Turing cracked the Nazi`s Enigma code. These servicewomen played a pivotal role in an operation that decrypted millions of German messages and which is credited with significantly shortening the war.

Between 1943 and 1945 the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting Private Snafu
Between 1943 and 1945, with the help of Warner Bros.` finest, the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting the calamitous adventures of Private Snafu. Mark David Kaufman explores their overarching theme of containment and how one film inadvertently let slip one of the war`s greatest secrets.

Soren Kam, an unrepentant Nazi who evaded Danish authorities, dies a free man in Germany
Former Nazi Soren Kam was wanted in Denmark on charges of kidnapping and murder since 1943. He avoided authorities for decades and died March 23 at age 93. Kam was convicted in in absentia by a Danish court for the murder newspaper editor Carl Henrik Clemmensen, but Germany refused to extradite him to Denmark. He was the fifth-most wanted war criminal by the the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Hundreds of Nazi toy figurines expected to raise thousands at Thornaby auction
As hundreds of Nazi figures go up for sale, an auctioneer tackles the moral dilemma of selling such controversial play pieces. They look much like any other military toys - camouflaged tanks, soldiers in fighting stances and armoured bunker play sets. But these were the toys given to children of the Third Reich - miniatures of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen, armies and vehicles bedecked in swastikas. They have all come from the collection of the late Richard Wilkinson, an American who spent his life buying German toys after his father first got him some on a business trip in the 1930s.

Third Nazi memorabilia auction in Canberra in six months
Medals, belt buckles and regalia from the Nazi regime will go on auction in the ACT for the third time in six months, angering a national Jewish group. Dozens of pieces of Nazi memorabilia were sold over two events at the Auction Barn in December, including arm bands, stamps featuring Adolf Hitler and a Hitler Youth knife. Auction Barn auction co-ordinator Stan Jordan said it was not the intention of the business to cause distress to members of the community: "This is a business and we auction items on behalf of our sellers. Items for auction at times include Japanese, German, Australian and British war memorabilia. While we respect people`s opinions, if we blocked accepting particular items for sale that would be discriminating to those items or people."

Hidden in the depths of the Argentine jungle, secret Nazi bolthole for fleeing war criminals
A secret Nazi bolthole for fleeing war criminals has been found in a jungle area of Argentina. The group of stone structures still hold piles of German coins from the late 1930s, porcelain bearing the `Made in Germany` stamp, and Nazi insignia is scrawled across the walls. Daniel Schavelzon, from the University of Buenos Aires, led a team which spent months exploring the site in the Teyu Cuare provincial park, in the Misiones region of northern Argentina. South America has had an unusual relationship with the Nazis who escaped there in droves after the War. Nazis fled to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia. Archaeologists suspect that the ruins in the Teyu Cuare park in the north of the country were part of a Nazi hideout built by supporters while the war still raged

The Great Escape Drove the Nazis Nuts
On March 24, 1944, 76 Allied prisoners of war crawled out of a tunnel during a moonless night and headed through the snow-covered woods of Poland. They were fleeing the German prison camp Stalag Luft III. What happened next confounded Nazi Germany`s security forces for weeks, infuriated Hitler and led to the murder of 50 of the escapees by the Gestapo. It`s known as `The Great Escape,` and it was World War II`s most daring and ingenious effort by Allied POWs to flee their German captors. But more than 70 years later, what many forget is that despite months of dangerous and backbreaking work, only three men made it all the way to freedom.

Video: 10 Evil Nazis That Escaped Justice
Video: 10 Evil Nazis That Escaped Justice