Phoenixes: D-Day`s winning engineering: making concrete float
Without artificial port, D-Day could not have succeeded. The concrete floating caissons, known as Phoenixes, were towed across the Channel from England the next day, to form the walls and piers of what was called a Mulberry harbour. Frédéric Sommier, the head of the Arromanches Museum, said: `All the main ports, Cherbourg and le Havre, were in German hands, and well-defended. There had to be a logistical solution, and Churchill came up with this fabulous idea: to create an artificial port in Britain and then haul it over and set it up here.` Arromanches first saw obsolete ships sunk to lay outer foundations. Phoenixes followed swiftly, and by 14 June, cargo could start to be unloaded and rolled ashore.
Göring's 1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K to be auctioned on eBay
A Mercedes once belonging to Hitler's deputy, Hermann Göring, the head of the German Luftwaffe during the Third Reich, will be auctioned on eBay by a car dealership in Florida. The 1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K was unearthed last year in a North Carolina garage. Commissioned by Göring in 1940, the car was ordered with special features including a parade stand, a supercharged V-8 engine which can power the car to speeds of over 160 km/h, a short wave radio for long-distance communications and sirens. The Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B, the last of its kind to be built, was delivered to Göring in 1941.
Few know about Nazi weather station code named Kurt in Martin Bay, northern Labrador
When you think of Northern Labrador, the images that come to mind for most people are of snow and ice covered rugged mountains, or Caribou or perhaps Polar Bears. Few people would equate this place with WWII Nazis. And yet in 1943 a U-Boat installed a German weather station code named `Kurt` in Martin Bay, northern Labrador. On September 18, 1943, U-537, commanded by Peter Schrewe, left Germany carrying a Wetter-Funkgerät Land weather station or WFL, codenamed `Kurt`. Also on board were meteorologist Dr. Kurt Sommermeyer, and his assistant, Walter Hildebrant. Nearly a month later on October 22 the U-boat glided into Martin Bay, Labrador. Shortly after arriving some of the crew and Dr. Sommermeyer were assembling the station 1/4 mile inland.
Two rare copies of "Mein Kampf" signed by Hitler sell for €47,000 in Las Angeles
Two rare copies of "Mein Kampf" signed by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler went under the hammer for €47,000 in Los Angeles. A leather jacket worn by his chief architect Albert Speer also went for €7,300. The two-volume set - a first edition and a second edition - of the future German Führer's political manifesto had been estimated to go for €18,000 in a sale organized by Nate D. Sanders Auctions. Eleven people bid for the volumes, both signed by Hitler and dedicated to Josef Bauer, an early Nazi party member and a leader of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch bid to overthrow the Bavarian government.
D-Day Weather Map Is Most Important in History
The forecast for northwest France on June 6, 1944 stands as history's most important weather forecast. Conditions at Omaha Beach and the other landing zones within 50 miles of Normandy had to be just right so as to allow troops to parachute to their landing zones, as well as maneuver their way onshore via amphibious vehicles. With so many military assets being deployed — more than 5,000 ships, 13,000 aircraft and 160,000 Allied troops — the weather forecast, at a time when modern meteorology was still in its infancy, was crucial to the success of the mission.
France's forgotten Blitz: Allied bombardments killed almost as many French people as German bombs killed Britons during the Blitz
It has been a taboo subject in France for 70 years: the terrible civilian casualties suffered by the French due to Allied bombing up to and during the liberation of France. According to research carried out by history professor Andrew Knapp, British, American and Canadian air raids resulted in 57,000 French civilian losses. "That's a figure slightly below, but comparable to, the 60,500 the British lost as a result of Luftwaffe bombing over the same period," says Knapp who is the co-author of Forgotten Blitzes and a book just published in France called Les francais sous les bombes alliees 1940-1945 (The French Under Allied Bombardment).
Here's A Nazi Propaganda Video Saying The D-Day Invasion Failed
The success of the Allied D-Day Invasion caught the Nazis off guard and threw their war strategy to the dogs. Suddenly, Nazi Germany found itself fighting a two front war against foes that were making increasingly fast strides towards Berlin. Of course, the Nazis could not admit to as strategic defeat as what had occurred in Normandy. Within eight days of the invasion, Germany had put out Der Deutsche Wochenschau. This propaganda video highlighted the bravery and skill of the Nazi forces, as well as insisting that the Allied invasions had failed.
Women of the French Resistance are finally being recognised
Women`s low visibility in French society paradoxically played to their advantage under Nazi-occupation; it meant they could act as ideal couriers, with no-one, least of all the Germans, suspecting them of carrying important messages, concealing arms and papers in children`s prams, or conveying vital supplies to Resistance members in hiding. But that same inconspicuousness meant the women of the Resistance were overlooked after the war.
The last of the 29 Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez dies at 93
The last of the 29 Navajo Americans who developed a code with their native language to encrypt military messages in WWII has died. Chester Nez, 93, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, had told he was "very proud" of his part developing the cipher the Japanese never broke. It was credited with saving the lives of thousands of US troops in the Pacific. "It saddens me to hear the last of the original code talkers has died," Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly told Reuters, adding he was ordering flags to be flown at half-mast in Nez's honour.
The only known Allied colour footage of WWII uncovered in the attic of a Hollywood director by his son
When the warship HMS Belfast fired the shot that launched the D-Day landings, it was carrying an unlikely passenger - Hollywood film director George Stevens. With Allied forces set to storm the Normandy beaches of Nazi-occupied France, Stevens was on-board making a unique 16 millimetre colour film journal. General Dwight Eisenhower assigned him to head up the combat motion-picture coverage, a unit covering the war in black-and-white 35 millimetre film for newsreels and military archives. But while documenting the Allied forces' advance towards Berlin, he took with him a 16 millimetre camera and boxes of Kodachrome film on which he would shoot a personal visual diary of the war.
D-Day Infographic - Brittany Ferries` Guide to Historic Normandy
D-Day Infographic - Brittany Ferries` Guide to Historic Normandy
Hitler's drawing called Vienna Cathedral on sale for 1,650 EUR
A drawing by Adolf Hitler has gone on sale at an auction in Slovakia. The artwork in Indian ink is entitled 'Vienna Cathedral' and was painted in 1910 when the future Nazi leader was just 21, and struggling as a budding artist in the Austrian capital. The piece, now up for auction at a starting price of 1,350 GBP (1,650 EUR), has the Nazi leader`s signature in the bottom right hand corner.
8 Things You Should Know About WWII`s Eastern Front
(1) Joseph Stalin disregarded early warnings of the German attack. Germany`s invasion of Russia was the largest surprise attack in military history, but according to most sources, it shouldn't have come as a surprise at all. In the months before the German advance, Stalin brushed off dozens of reports from Soviet spies warning that an invasion was imminent. He also accepted Hitler`s cover story that the sudden presence of German troops on the Soviet border was just a move to keep them out of range of British bomb strikes, and even ordered his troops to not fire on German spy planes despite numerous invasions of Soviet airspace.
Audi employed thousands of concentration camp inmates during WWII
Car giant Audi employed thousands of concentration camp inmates during the Second World War and was 'firmly ensnared' in the Nazi regime, an investigation has found. During the war years Audi was known as Group Auto Union and, in a deal brokered by the SS, hired 3,700 concentration camp inmates to work in what was then Germany`s second biggest car firm. The academic study also revealed another 16,500 forced laborers, who were not imprisoned in concentration camps, were working in Auto Union plants.
WWII veterans recall the terror and chaos of D-Day
Scared stiff but with nowhere to hide, Ken Scott tried to block out the sight of his comrades being gunned down as he pushed up the Normandy beach on D-Day. "Soldiers were falling all around, and they were hollering and shouting and calling for their mothers. We just had to brush it aside and just keep going, we couldn`t stop and help them. It was just impossible. We would have been dead ourselves. We had to get ashore and stop those machine guns."
How news of D-Day reached the Nazi death camps
News of the Allied invasion of Normandy quickly spread across Europe, fueling hope even among those languishing in Nazi concentration camps. Jacques Moalic was one of the detainees in Buchenwald at the time. For the 50th anniversary of the landing, in June 1994, he wrote this first-hand account of how the news filtered through to Buchenwald and other camps: "We had barely passed through the forged iron gate when another French deportee came, his face ecstatic, and murmured to us: 'They have landed. It`s official. The Germans have confirmed it'."
Members of Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS formed a secret army in 1949
Newly discovered documents show that in the years after World War II, members of the Nazi Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS formed a secret army to protect the country from the Soviets. The illegal project could have sparked a major scandal at the time.
RAF ace who took part in first WWII dogfight by MISTAKE and was last survivor of the Battle of France dies at 93
An RAF fighter pilot who took part in the first dog fight of the Second World War and was the last survivor of the Battle of France has died at the age of 93. Wing Commander Peter Ayerst DFC survived combat operations in the Battle of France, Battle of Britain, El Alamein and D-Day. In October 1939 he became the first RAF pilot to come into combat with a German fighter plane - and that was by accident.
Hidden ruins of Monte Cassino monastery bombed in WWII (video)
The 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II battle for the monastery at Monte Cassino will taken place in southern Italy on Sunday. Tens of thousands of Allied troops, many of them British, died in the effort to drive the Germans out of the area and the monastery itself was destroyed. In the period after the war the abbey was restored on its mountaintop perch. But traces of its destruction can still be found. Hidden in a dark corner of the monastery is a room containing the last of the rubble from the bombing of Monte Cassino. It is not shown to the public, and it has never been filmed before, but Alan Johnston was given access.
Hitler house in Braunau am Inn to become integration centre
Austrian officials who are keen to end a growing row over the future of the house where Adolf Hitler was born in the town of Braunau am Inn are reportedly close to coming to a deal with the owner that will see it turned into an integration centre.
How a dead man's change of heart saw $1 billion in Nazi art returned home
Cornelius Gurlitt was an old man with a secret. Much of his art collection, estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, was comprised of paintings the Nazis stole from Jews during the Second World War. The Wall Street Journal reports on the chain of events that led Gurlitt from declaring he would not "freely give anything back" to their rightful owners to voluntarily agreeing to the deed. The intricate tale is built around Gurlitt's desire to clear his family name, move his art out of Germany, and to see his beloved paintings once again.
1000 letters sent from Nazi-occupied France discovered in the archives of the BBC
The remarkable discovery of a box of letters in the archives of the BBC is shedding new light on conditions and attitudes in France during WWII. The letters were sent to London from just after the French surrender to Germany in June 1940, through to the end of 1943. They were addressed to the French service of the BBC, otherwise known as Radio Londres, which during the German occupation was a vital source of information for millions of French men and women. Extracts from the letters were read out on a programme called The French Speak to the French. After the war, the letters were put in storage and forgotten. That was until historian Aurelie Luneau stumbled upon them while researching her thesis on Radio Londres.
Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich`s Enduring Mystery by Benjamin Carter Hett
Just over eighty years ago major violent event occurred in Berlin, then early in the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich, with Hitler installed as chancellor but not yet in possession of dictatorial power. Just after nine o`clock on the evening of 27 February 1933, passers-by heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the Reichstag and, shortly afterwards, saw flames beginning to light up the inside of the building. Fire engines were summoned and brought the blaze under control, but it was too late to save the debating chamber. Arriving on the scene, Hitler, Göring, Goebbels and the interior minister, Wilhelm Frick, declared that the arson attack was a Communist plot, designed, as Goebbels put it in his diary, ‘through fire and terror to sow confusion in order in the general panic to grasp power for themselves`.
Like it or not, Nuremberg's Nazi past is a tourist attraction
Nuremberg is connected with the crimes of National Socialism in various ways, and the city makes no attempt to conceal its dark historical legacy, like the grandstand at the Zeppelinfeld, the massive open-air space where the Nazis held their annual party rallies from 1933 to 1938. It's the only surviving, major, completed work by Speer, and it's pretty much a ruin.