Escaping the Noose


This is an amazing photograph of German vehicles attempting to escape from the closing noose of the Allied armies. They are attempting to cross one of the remaining bridges outside of Aachen in 1945. This photo was taken by an American recon plane.

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UPDATE: Ghost Army of WWII


I guess it’s easy to fool a fool, (NOT that this was easy).

UPDATE: here is the link to the Ghost Army’s official website. Anything you want to know can be found here. The original article follows the latest news concerning the men of the Ghost Army.

We have begun a campaign to have a Congressional Gold Medal awarded to The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops.

Today, the Army includes the exploits of the 23rd in training for new deception troops. Yet these deceivers never received a unit citation, or any other official recognition for their efforts, (aside from one letter of commendation) most likely because of the blanket of secrecy that kept their story under wraps for more than forty years, and the personal commitment by many of the soldiers to keep the secrets with which they were entrusted

Fewer than 50 of the citizen-soldiers who served in this unit are left. They and the families of their fallen comrades richly deserve recognition. They were not textbook heroes, yet they served with ingenuity, courage and honor. Putting themselves in the line of fire to fool the enemy, they bought other soldiers a chance to live. Veteran Stanley Nance summed it up this way: “If one mother, or one new bride, was spared the agony of putting a gold star in their front window. That’s what the 23rd Headquarters was all about.

In recent years the Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to other under-recognized WWII units including The Doolittle Raiders (2015) The Monuments Men (2013), Women Air Service Pilots (2010) and the Native American Code talkers (2008). The dangerous, life-saving, top-secret work of The Ghost Army is well deserving of similar recognition.

We expect to have a bill introduced in late April 2015 with bi-partisan support. Once the bill is introduced, we will encourage people to write their Senators and representatives asking them to support the bill.

***

The Ghost Army was a United States Army tactical deception unit during World War II imitating earlier British operations, officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. The 1,100-man unit was given a unique mission within the U.S Army: to impersonate other U.S. Army units to deceive the enemy. From a few weeks after D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a “traveling road show” utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions and pretence. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines. Their mission was kept secret until 1996, and elements of it remain classified. 

Read more

The Approaching Thunder: A Tribute to Anne Frank


“The weak die out and the strong will survive, and will live on forever”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

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Anne Frank [was] (born Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank) on 12 June 1929 and died in early March of 1945, just weeks before allied forces liberated the camp that her and her sister Margo were kept.  I’ve included links to the interactive tour of the secret hide out in the annex, which I found on her official page. (I’ve left the link below), as well as a few quotes from her diary.

Here is a brief summary of the movements of the Frank family. You can  read it in full here Read more

Operation Indigo: America’s First Officially Named Military Operation


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© Hannibal Hanschke/dpa/Corbis

Last month the world watched rebel forces pour into Tripoli under the banner of Operation Mermaid Dawn. While watching the news, I was struck by a curiosity many of you might have shared: just where exactly do these names come from? Read more

Oradour-sur-Glane: The Village Massacred in WW2 and Preserved Since Then


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The vivid reminder of what pure evil is capable of doing, lest we forget.   The end of WWII came in the Spring 1945;  60 years ago.

On 10 June 1944, at around 2 PM, four days after the Allied invasion of Normandy, approximately 150 Waffen-SS soldiers entered the tranquil village of Oradour-sur-Glane in the Limosin region of south central France. For no apparent reason, Hitler’s elite troops destroyed every building in this peaceful village and brutally murdered a total of 642 innocent men, women and children, a tragedy which has gone down in history as one of the worst war crimes committed by the German army in World War II.

A new village of Oradour-sur-Glane was built after the war, at the northwest of the site of the massacre, where ruined remnants of the former village still stand as a memorial to the dead and a representative of similar sites and events. Its museum includes items recovered from the burned-out buildings: watches stopped at the time their owners were burned alive, glasses melted from the intense heat, and various personal items and money. Read more

U.S. flag raised on Iwo Jima: 1945


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This Day in History

During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi’s slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman. Read more

Always Treat Your Girlfriend Right: A WWII Case Study


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The Art of Manliness

Sid Phillips, age 18, and his company of Marines had lived on maggot-filled rice for months.

Enemy soldiers had destroyed supply lines at the start of the Guadalcanal campaign. Back then Sid had stood 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 175 pounds. Toward the end of the campaign in December 1942, Sid weighed just 145 pounds.

That’s when Sid was brought off the front line and put on a work detail on the beach. Navy ships had just been able to land, and supplies in quantity finally had begun to arrive. Sid was ordered to unload a shipment of canned food.

Picture it. A starving young man unloading stacks and stacks of food, as high as a man could reach. Sid did the only thing any hungry man would be tempted to do. He and his good buddy Tex opened cans of sliced pineapple and each slurped back an entire gallon. Read more

Image of the Day 14 February 2015


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A tender farewell at Penn Station, NYC – 1944 • by Alfred Eisenstaedt

In Love & War


It was the summer of 1940 in London, I was eighteen and doing a bit of dusting in our front parlour when I looked out of the window and saw the man of my dreams walk by, I watched him till he went round the corner out of sight, then about five minutes later he came back but this time he had a girl called ‘Angie’ on his arm. I knew her from school days and never liked her. The same thing happened several times but the Battle of Britain began and everything changed!
Mum and I had to run to a public air raid shelter when the warning went off. Sometimes we stayed all night but usually it was two or three hours till the all clear went, One night, we went to return home at about 2am but there was a barrier across our street due to an unexploded bomb so we were billeted in another house. Read more

Send Her My Love: Dearest AJ, October 6, 1944


Letters from War

“Darling I just received your Valentine…”

A VALENTINE
From One who Cares
You’ll never know how much I care –
How much I think about you –
Words cannot tell you how I feel,
So far away, without You –
But meanwhile, all my thoughts are in
This Valentine I’m sending –
A world of love, and wishes, too,
For happiness unending!

Originally posted on June 18th, 2014

Throughout the summer and the long fall of 1944, Mitch slogged through the bitter Italian campaign. On 10 Bullard Street, A.J. fought the battle on the home front of rations and deprivation for the war effort. But they both faced the timeless battle fought by lovers throughout the ages – uncertainty – born of time, distance, and doubt.    Read more

10 Stories of Chivalry and Compassion from the Battlefields of World War One (7)


War has changed a lot over the centuries, but one thing that hasn’t altered is its spirit. War is bloody and brutal, fought from the cold, muddy trenches, won and lost by men – and women – miles and miles away from their homes and their families. War is countless lives, extinguished in a heartbeat, buried in mass graves that are often forgotten. Many of those who die in war… their names and their faces are forgotten, too. But occasionally, there are moments on the darkest, bloodiest days that remind us even in war, there is still chivalry, there is still compassion. There is still humanity. Read more

The Battle of Berlin, 1945


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For the 60th anniversary of the end of Hitlers stronghold on Europe: The Fall of Berlin

EyeWittnessHistory.com

The final chapter in the destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich began on April 16, 1945 when Stalin unleashed the brutal power of 20 armies, 6,300 tanks and 8,500 aircraft with the objective of crushing German resistance and capturing Berlin. By prior agreement, the Allied armies (positioned approximately 60 miles to the west) halted their advance on the city in order to give the Soviets a free hand. The depleted German forces put up a stiff defense, initially repelling the attacking Russians, but ultimately succumbing to overwhelming force. By April 24 the Soviet army surrounded the city slowly tightening its stranglehold on the remaining Nazi defenders. Fighting street-to-street and house-to-house, Russian troops blasted their way towards Hitler’s chancellery in the city’s center. Read more

The Tuskegee Airmen & Red Tails of WWII


The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. Formally, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel for the pilots. Read more

S.W.A.K. 1940’s


 

Take a look back at the greatest generation sending off and welcoming their heroes home from war.

“The more things change, the more the stay the same.” Read more


Here’s episode 2 of World War II The complete history 

 Enjoy!