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Recent hand-picked WWII news and articles

Photo gallery: 10 Surviving Military Relics of World War Two
Photo gallery: 10 Surviving Military Relics of World War Two

The Grosser 770 K Model 150, a hand-built, bulletproof limousine produced by Mercedes-Benz in Germany before World War II, is the subject of a new book
It was a machine of frightening power and sinister beauty - twenty feet long, seven feet wide and weighing more than five tons. The Grosser 770 K Model 150, a hand-built, bulletproof limousine produced by Mercedes-Benz in Germany before WWII, was used primarily for propaganda purposes. Standing in the front seat of the Grosser, Hitler rode through parades, rallies, and appeared in newsreels ‘giving the Roman salute to delirious crowds`. A new book `The Devil`s Mercedes: The Bizarre and Disturbing Adventures of Hitler`s Limousine in America,` is written by author Robert Klara. The work gives an inside look into the Mercedes masquerading as Hitler`s personal car - when in reality the dictator`s true limo sat in a Canadian museum collecting dust for years before anyone realized its sinister origin.

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 Reichstag Fire: a pivotal event in the history of Nazi Germany
It was the evening of 27 February 1933, and shortly after 9 PM, the Berlin Fire Department received a message that the Reichstag was on fire. The building was engulfed by a huge blaze, and the firemen needed more than two hours to put it out. After inspecting the remains, the firemen and the police found 20 bundles of flammable material unburned and lying around. Allegedly, during this time, the freshly sworn Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, was having dinner with Joseph Goebbels Goebbels had received the call telling that the German parliament was on fire, but at first, he regarded it as fake news and hung up. As the phone rung for the second time, he shared the news with Hitler.

KV-1 and KV-2: Russian tank so hard to destroy it could just run over anti-tank guns
The KV-1 and KV-2 are recognised as being amongst the most heavily armoured tanks deployed during WW2. At least initially largely impervious to anything less than a direct, point-blank hit from an anti-tank weapon, the KV series was so formidable that the first time the Wehrmacht encountered them, Soviet soldiers destroyed dozens of anti-tank guns by driving towards them in a straight line and running them over. Introduced in 1939 and named for famed Soviet officer Kliment Voroshilov- a man who once tried to attack a German tank division with a pistol- the KV series was designed to replace the T-35 heavy tank, which was mechanically unreliable and costly to produce. The heavily armoured KV series was first deployed during the Soviet Union`s 1939 war with the Finnish and then used throughout WW2.

British Resistance in the Occupied Channel Islands in World War Two
The Channel Islands were occupied by Germany for 5 years from 1940. German officials in Guernsey and Jersey ordered British policemen to work as normal as Jews sought refuge by hiding, curfews were mandated, identity cards were introduced and locals compelled at gunpoint to collaborate. However, there was resistance. Sgt. Fred Duquemin of Guernsey Police was horror-stricken. His defiance almost placed him in Belsen death camp. They started by irritating the invaders with flashing torches at their positions and relocating military vehicles. Later they applied Victory symbols and stole German food, giving it to deprived islanders.

Spitfire to take to the skies 73 years after it crashed following a 3 million restoration project
A Spitfire that was shot down in a dogfight during World War II is set to fly again after undergoing a £3 million restoration. The Spitfire NH341, which flew 27 combat missions between June and July 1944 before being taken out near Caen in France, was paraded up and down a hangar at the Imperial War Museum`s Duxford Aerodrome in front of a crowd of war veterans and aircraft aficionados. It was due to take off from the Aerodrome in Cambridgeshire but a carburettor issue meant its maiden voyage will be pushed back to a later date.

Hitler`s tipping point: When extermination of the Jews became official Nazi policy
ritish historian and documentary maker Laurence Rees claims he never set out to have a career where thinking about the horrors of mass genocide and the Nazi murder machine was part of his daily work criteria. But a curiosity about history, as well as a penchant for truth and justice got the better of him. And so, for the past 25 years, Rees has spent much of his working life personally interviewing both victims and perpetrators of one of the most horrific crimes the world has ever witnessed. His newest book, `The Holocaust,` published last month, asks many pertinent questions.

Hitler`s Berlin: Abused City by Thomas Friedrich
The late Thomas Friedrich, formerly history director of the city`s Museum Education Service, himself a lifelong Berliner, examines Hitler`s relationship with Berlin from his first visits to the capital during the Great War, through the formative years of the Nazi movement to his rise to the Chancellorship of Germany. Friedrich sees Hitler as having something of a love/hate relationship with the German capital. Hitler greatly admired the city for its historic importance as a symbol of the unity and power of the Reich, but he despised its for its multiculturalism and progressive social and political environment.

Real Schindler`s list expected to make $2.4m in sale
One of the original `Schindler`s lists`, the documents used by the German industrialist Oskar Schindler to save more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, has been put up for sale. The document, commemorated in Thomas Keneally`s Booker prize-winning novel, was among those drawn up to protect Jewish workers from deportation and death. It is expected to make more than $2.4m.

Asia`s disturbing embrace of Nazi chic is prompting a nonprofit to teach Holocaust history
It`s a dismaying yet recurring phenomenon that takes place in Asian countries: young people, not known for sympathizing with far-right groups, playing with Nazi imagery in highly public settings. Examples abound. Last December a school in Taiwan staged a Hitler-themed parade for its anniversary celebration, leading to the principal`s resignation. A few weeks earlier, Sony Music apologized after one of its girl bands performed in Nazi-looking outfits. Two years before that a girl group in South Korea showed up in similar fashion. Thailand, India, and Indonesia have had their share of Nazi-themed bars, parades, and performances. The list is long and repetitive—and disconcerting.

Third Battle of Kharkov 1943 - The latest strategy game campaign from Conflict-Series
After destroying the German 6th Army in Stalingrad, the Soviet high command hopes to end the entire WWII in one decisive strike. Russian plan, called Operation Star, aims to break through the thinly manned Axis lines towards Dnepropetrovsk via Kharkov to cut off over 1 million German soldiers on the southern part of the Eastern Front. Panicking German Generalsdesperately try to find men to throw in front of the Soviet offensive to stop it. However, in a masterclass of strategy forever known in military history as Backhand Blow, Erich von Manstein shockingly removes all Panzer and Waffen-SS divisions from the crumpling battleground and wishes the attacking Red Army ‘bon voyage`. While Stalin keeps phoning the Soviet commanders daily about the success of the attack, the looming encirclement of epic proportions, and the imminent end of the war, Manstein is gathering Panzer groups on both flanks of the Red Army offensive. When those Panzers Corps are finally unleashed, they wipe out the overstretched attacking Soviet armies, swiftly retake Kharkov, and turn the whole situation upside down. Do you have what it takes to switch the situation from the looming collapse to stunning victory?
(Google Play Store)

Hitler phone a fake: German phone expert
The unnamed bidder who last week bought was what was said to have been Adolf Hitler`s phone for $243,000 (230,000 euros) may have been sold a fake. "This is clearly a fake," the Head of Collections at the Frankfurt Museum for Communication told. "The actual telephone was manufactured by Siemens & Halske, but the handset comes from an English telephone. It was never produced this way," Frank Gnegel said. "It must have been assembled later in England." Gnegel presides over one of the most important collections of telephonic history in Europe. "Siemens would have built a proper example from dyed plastic, instead of unprofessionally painting over a black telephone."

Mushroom cloud sighting in declassified US documents suggests the Nazis successfully tested a nuke before the end of WWII
Documents unearthed in an American archive suggest that Nazi Germany may have tested an operational nuclear bomb before the end of the Second World War. Recently declassified file APO 696 from the National Archives in Washington is a detailed survey of how far Third Reich scientists got in the development of an atomic bomb - something Hitler craved. In the file the task of the academics who prepared the paper between 1944 and 1947 was the `investigations, research, developments and practical use of the German atomic bomb.`

Germany`s Nazi-era film star Marika Rokk suspected of spying for Soviets
Declassified intelligence documents have revealed that Marika Rökk, Germany`s famed film star of the Nazi and postwar periods, was a spy for the Soviet Union. Hungarian-born Rokk, who rose to fame in 1930s, was suspected of being a spy for Soviets` intelligence agency KGB for about 50 years. Gehlen Organisation, predecessor of Germany`s Federal Intelligence Service, was the first to identify her as a possible KGB agent. The Gehlen Organisation was worried about Rökk`s `connections with Soviet authorities` which it believed `suggested intelligence work`. Rökk`s husband Georg Jacoby, a film director at the time, was also suspected to be working for the KGB.

Storming the Reichstag through the eyes of a Red Army soldier: Fascinating pictures illustrate Soviet fighter`s personal account
Fascinating pictures have emerged illustrating a Red Army soldier`s personal account of how Soviet troops stormed the Reichstag in Berlin. Striking images from the final days of the Second World War in 1945 show cheering Russian fighters in the German capital and tanks rumbling through the streets. An aerial picture shows the Reichstag lying in ruins while another photo shows the Soviet red flag being raised above the parliament building in an image that has become the enduring symbol of the final defeat of Nazi Germany.

Photo album found in Eva Braun`s bedroom drawer reveals never-before-seen shots of Adolf Hitler relaxing
A photo album containing never-before-seen shots of Adolf Hitler relaxing during WWII has been unearthed 72 years after a journalist took it from Eva Braun`s bedroom drawer. The remarkable images show the Nazi dictator and his henchmen during the Second World War. There is one snap of a grinning Hitler offering a salute outside his Berghof headquarters. Two more show him smiling in front of a crowd of children who are saluting him. Other images depict evil SS chief Heinrich Himmler smiling at the camera, Joseph Goebbels - the architect of the Holocaust - being wildly cheered by a crowd of Germans and portly Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering climbing into a car.

Five things Japan could have done differently, for a better chance of Winning in WWII
It`s probably true to say that that there was no single course of action that was going to lead to a Japanese victory. Their military leaders needed to act more strategically and less tactically. What follows are five possible ways Japan could have won World War II. They are not exclusive. Actually, Japan`s best chances lay in adopting all five strategies. True, some of them are a lot more obvious in hindsight than they would have been to Japan`s leaders at the time, but we can debate their plausibility later.

Kasserine Pass: America`s Most Humiliating Defeat of World War II
It was North Africa, in the winter of 1943, and American soldiers were feeling cocky as they prepared for their first ground battle against the Germans. So far, it hadn`t been a bad war for the U.S. Army. The GIs were well fed, well paid and well equipped. Even better, their baptism by fire had been to splash ashore in Algeria and Morocco in November 1942, where the defenders had been Vichy French soldiers who soon capitulated. Maybe defeating Hitler wouldn`t be so hard, after all. Soon Field Marshal Erwin Rommel would teach the rookie Americans a lesson on the art of war at a dusty defile called Kasserine Pass.

British propaganda effort: The Fake British Radio Show That Helped Defeat the Nazis
In August 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill consolidated previously disparate black propaganda operations under the 37-year-old English journalist, Denis Sefton Delmer, a German-language newscaster for the multilingual BBC European Service who knew Hitler personally and the German people intimately – and fiercely opposed Nazism. Known to his friends as `Tom,` the pudgy, affable, six-foot-tall Delmer enjoyed a good joke. He had been tasked by Churchill with deploying what Delmer called `psychological judo,` turning the enemy`s own strength against him.

The day Hitler was hailed the greatest living German - by an English Prime Minister
This remarkable footage captures the day David Lloyd George cosied up to Hitler during a pre-war trip to Germany before hailing him as the greatest living German. The black and white film shows the politician and his entourage travelling around Germany in 1936, where they dined with the Nazi ruler and rode together on new autobahns. The 16mm propaganda film also captures Lloyd George schmoozing and laughing with the dictator as he tours a Bavarian town. In another clip, the British PM lays a wreath at a war memorial in Munich, while the flags of the Nazi Party and the UK hang side by side in the background.

The Ghost Raiders: How the Threat of Nazi Auxiliary Cruisers Caused Panic in the Far East
The moment the Second World War broke out in September of 1939, German merchant vessels at sea sought refuge in neutral ports across the globe. Many of them in the Far East made for ports in Japan and the Dutch East Indies. The Allies logically feared that German freighters harbouring in Japan and elsewhere might be converted into armed auxiliary cruisers, ushering in a war against merchant shipping in all oceans. After all, Germany had done as much in 1914. Auxiliary cruisers are civilian cargo vessels that have been converted into warships.

Naval officer who helped save John F. Kennedy during WWII dies at age 97
William `Bud` Liebenow, the Navy officer who rescued future President John F. Kennedy and his crew during World War II, died at 97. Liebenow and Kennedy were serving in the South Pacific in 1943 as captains of PT boats. Kennedy`s boat, PT-109, was attacked by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy was among the 11 surviving crew members who were able to swim to a small island. Kennedy etched a note into a coconut that natives of the Solomon Islands then delivered to an American base. Liebenow tracked down the survivors of PT-109 by guiding his boat behind enemy lines.

Charles Upham: WWII New Zealander awarded two Victoria Crosses
Some heroes seek the spotlight; others don`t. New Zealander Charles Upham falls in the latter category even though he is the only combat soldier to win the Victoria Cross twice. It is all the more remarkable since he was on active duty for only two years, spending 1942 to 1945 as a prisoner of war in the infamous Colditz Castle.

T-34: The Fierce Russian Tank That Crushed Hitler and Won World War II?
The final verdict on the T-34 perhaps is less glowing than the legend that the Soviets weaved around the tank—but is still complimentary. The T-34 tipped the balance in favor of the USSR when it came to armored battle; mass production of the tank outmatched anything the Germans could do when it came to manufacturing.