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Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

A Vibrant Past: Colorizing the Archives of History

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 26, 2012

Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME / Original image by Alexander Gardner / Library of Congress 1862. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand at Antietam.

Technology has given us an incredibly wide-ranging view of modern presidents; chief White House photographer Pete Souza’s images of Barack Obama show him in countless locations and situations, from meetings in the Oval Office to candid shots of the president eating ice cream with his daughters on vacation.

The photo archive of Abraham Lincoln, the subject of this week’s cover story, is a much smaller set due to the technological limitations of the time; most of the existing photographs of the 16th president are posed portraits, the majority of which only show Lincoln from the chest up—and all are black-and-white. Read the rest of this entry »

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6 UFO Hot Spots Around the World

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 13, 2012

As Annie Jacobson’s new book, AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, hits shelves, TIME takes a look at other alien-inhabited sites worldwide.

Wiltshire, England top 7 UFO hot spots

The vast field of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, southern England, is a stretch of verdant land steeped in history. It’s here where the ancient neolithic site of Stonehenge sits, an inscrutable pile of rocks wrapped in mystery. And it’s here, or at least in the town of Warminster, where some of the U.K.’s most impassioned UFO watchers gather atop nearby Cradle Hill in the belief that they can signal extraterrestrial spaceships. In the 60s and 70s, local journalist Arthur Shuttlewood popularized The Warminster Mystery, leading to hundreds, perhaps thousands of independent claims of UFO sightings all coming from this small town. It’s clearly led to many hoaxes, including the recent drawing of elaborate geometric crop circles in fields surrounding the old town.

Wycliffe Well, Australia

Wycliffe Well, Northern Territory, Australia top 7 UFO hot spots

You really don’t want to go to Wycliffe Well in Australia’s Northern Territory and not see a UFO: “Sightings are so common,” the website of the Wycliffe Well Holiday Park states, “that if you stayed up all night looking you would be considered unlucky not to see anything.” Supposedly, earthlings have been witnessing UFOs in this part of the Outback since World War II. But hey, if you turn out to be one of those “unlucky” sightseers, at least you get to lay eyes on Elvis! (In statue form). And wouldn’t you know? This very same place apparently has a vast beer selection. Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter To Hitler: A German Woman’s Haunting Correspondence

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 25, 2012

Letters To Hitler

The following is an excerpt from “Letters to Hitler” [Polity, $25.00]:

For Christmas 1930, thirty-two-year-old Elsa Walter, from Karlsruhe in Baden, southwest Germany, sent Hitler a book. She had written and illustrated this clothbound book by hand. She had joined the Party on 1 November and was member number 358,061.

Elsa Walter was unmarried, her family belonged to the lower middle class and had lost its savings during the period of extreme inflation in the early 1920s. Walter had attended a grammar school for girls, was interested in politics, and apparently had extensive experience in housekeeping.

In this eighty-page text entitled “The German Woman,” she sought to tell Hitler what motivated her. At the same time she assumed that many women thought the way she did. Her letter is written in fluent and clear handwriting, and points to an energetic woman with strong feelings. Sometimes the depth of these feelings clearly interfered with her punctuation. In the interest of clarity some of these grammatical mistakes have been corrected in the following extracts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II Video Review

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 12, 2012

by John F. McGowan, Ph.D. in Applied Math

We Can Do It! World War II Poster

We Can Do It! World War II Poster

Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of World War II is a documentary produced, directed, and narrated by LeAnn Erickson, a professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During World War II, hundreds, possibly thousands of young, mostly single women were employed as human “computers” in the United States and Great Britain performing lengthy mathematical calculations of ballistic trajectories for bombs and gun shells, breaking codes, and simulations of the first atomic weapons. They are mentioned very briefly, if at all, in most historical accounts of the war and military research and development during the war. Top Secret Rosies tells their story, focusing on a group of women who worked for the U.S. Army at the Moore School of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia calculating ballistic firing tables for bombs and gun shells, several of whom became the first “programmers” of ENIAC, often described, probably incorrectly, as the first electronic computer, which was developed at the University of Pennsylvania.

Top Secret Rosies is a fascinating account of a little known episode in history. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the documentary and watched it a couple times. The documentary is not very technical, spending only a few minutes on the numerical solution of differential equations that formed the actual work performed by the women — by hand, often using only pencil and paper and the bulky Monroe and Marchant mechanical calculators of the time. It is mostly history and human interest, using newspaper headlines and film footage from the time, interspersed with interviews with the women, most in their eighties when interviewed, to recreate the feel of the war years. Although the documentary has a feminist message, it does not beat the viewer over the head with the message and can be enjoyed by those who may disagree with the message. Read the rest of this entry »

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Left Out of D-Day Events, Queen Elizabeth Is Fuming

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

The queen, who is 83, is the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War II. As Elizabeth Windsor, service number 230873, she volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth is not amused.

Indeed, she is decidedly displeased, angry even, that she was not invited to join President Obama and France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, next week at commemorations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, according to reports published in Britain’s mass-circulation tabloid newspapers on Wednesday. Pointedly, Buckingham Palace did not deny the reports.

The queen, who is 83, is the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War II. As Elizabeth Windsor, service number 230873, she volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.

While serving, she met the supreme Allied commander for the D-Day landings, Gen.Dwight D. Eisenhower, and developed a fondness for him, according to several biographies. This prompted Queen Elizabeth, who was crowned in June 1953, to say in later years that he was the American president with whom she felt most at ease.

But on June 6, when Mr. Obama and Mr. Sarkozy attend commemorations at the iconic locations associated with the American D-Day assault — Utah Beach, the town of Ste.-Mère-Église, where the first United States paratroopers landed, and the American war cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer — the highest-ranking British representative will be Prime Minister Gordon Brown. His main role will be at ceremonies at the town of Arromanches, near the beaches where British troops landed. Read the rest of this entry »

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World War II Airplane, Kittyhawk P-40, Found In Egyptian Desert 70 Years After Crashing

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 14, 2012

A World War II airplane belonging to Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has been found in the Sahara Desert nearly 70 years after it crash landed, Metro reports.

been found.

WWII Plane Discovered Preserved In Sahara Desert

WWII Plane Discovered Preserved In Sahara Desert
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According to Vintage Wings, a Canadian aviation news website, Jakub Perka, who works for an oil company, came across the Kittyhawk P-40 in March when his team was on an expedition in the Egyptian desert.

As the photos below show, the plane is in remarkably good condition, with the cockpit’s instrument panel and plane’s body nearly unharmed despite almost seven decades in the Sahara.

“It is a quite incredible time capsule, the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun’s Tomb,” said Andy Saunders, a UK-based historian, according to the Daily Mail. Read the rest of this entry »

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Buried Treasure: World War II Spitfires to Be Unearthed in Burma

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 23, 2012

Paging Indiana Jones: a British farmer’s 15-year quest to find a squadron of legendary fighter planes buried in a far-off land has finally paid off
Michael Dunning/Getty Images

Spitfire aircraft in flight

It’s like something out of an Indiana Jones film, if you take away the religious overtones and ophidiophobic adventurer. After 15 years, a British farmer’s quest to find a squadron of legendary fighter planes lost in Burma during World War II has finally paid off.

Lincolnshire farmer David Cundall, 62, has spent about $207,000, traveled to Burma a dozen times and negotiated with the cagey Burmese government, all in the hopes of finding a stash of iconic British Spitfires buried somewhere in the Southeast Asian country.

(PHOTOS: Burma’s Landmark Elections and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Path to Victory)

Buried planes? It sounds odd, but in fact this was fairly common toward the end of the war; as the conflict wound down and jet aircraft promised to make propeller-driven fighters obsolete, many aircraft were scrapped, buried or sunk by Allied Forces in order to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.

(PHOTOS: Europe Then and Now)

Cundall started his search after his friend heard from a group of U.S. veterans that they had stashed Spitfires in the region. “We’ve done some pretty silly things in our time, but the silliest was burying Spitfires,” the veterans said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary: Veteran Recalls Attack

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 7, 2011

(Reuters) – Seventy years ago this week, Navy veteran Lou Gore was startled by the muffled thuds of explosions and a burst of commotion while cleaning up from breakfast below deck on the USS Phoenix, a cruiser docked at Pearl Harbor.

Hurrying topside, the 18-year-old seaman second-class was confronted by pandemonium he was unable to immediately comprehend — flames shooting skyward, roiling clouds of dark, acrid smoke, swarms of fighter-bombers buzzing low overhead.

Within moments that Sunday morning, it became clear that the U.S. Pacific fleet was under attack. As reflexes from training took over, Gore and others aboard the Phoenix jumped into action and began firing back with anti-aircraft guns.

“We didn’t know (at first) those were Japanese planes,” Gore, now 88 and visiting the islands with nine members of his family, recalled in a recent interview. “We didn’t know what was happening. I just did my job.”

Gore is one of 100 aging Pearl Harbor Survivors who will attend ceremonies on Wednesday on Oahu marking the 70th anniversary of the Japanese air and naval assault that claimed 2,390 American lives and drew the United States into World War Two.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Does Germany Owe Greece $95 Billion from WW II?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 20, 2011

By Sven Felix Kellerhoff / Die Welt / Worldcrunch

Die Welt

Nazi officers at the Acropolis of Athens in May 1941, one month after their troops seized the Greek capital Getty Images

BERLIN — In the current debate about the possible bankruptcy of the Greek state, one largely dormant argument has recently resurfaced with increasing frequency: the widespread damage inflicted by the Nazi regime during World War II means that Germany still owes Greece major outstanding wartime reparations.

While the claims for payment of damages are based on very real facts, one could likewise argue that over the course of 60 years or so, those claims have already been satisfied under international law.(See photos of protesters in Athens.)

What is at stake? Without having been provoked, the Wehrmacht — the Third Reich’s armed forces — took over both Greece and Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. In both countries, German soldiers set up a brutal occupation regime. As was usually the case in European nations invaded by the Germans, the high cost of the occupation was borne by the occupied country — and the Greek economy was plundered through forced exports.

This resulted in galloping inflation and a radically lower standard of living for Greeks. Additionally, the Third Reich forced the Greek National Bank to lend Hitler’s Germany 476 million reichsmarks interest-free.

After Germany’s surrender, the Allied powers organized the Paris Conference on Reparations in the fall of 1945. Greece laid claim to $10 billion, or half the total amount of $20 billion the Soviets suggested that Germany pay.

The suffering caused to Greece by the Nazis is undeniable. Yet at the same time, human suffering cannot really be measured. Independent historians unanimously agree that the total economically measurable damages suffered by Greece as a result of the German occupation, in both absolute numbers as well as proportionate to the population, put Greece in fourth place after Poland, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.(Read about whether the Greek bailout is falling apart.)

At the Paris Conference on Reparations, Greece was finally accorded 4.5% in material German reparation and 2.7% in other forms of reparations. Practically, this meant that Greece received mainly material goods — like machines made in West Germany — worth approximately $25 million, which in today’s money amounts to as much as $2.7 billion.

However, the stipulations made at the Paris conference were all but irrelevant given that the U.S. opposed heavy economic penalties. U.S. leaders recalled what happened after World War I, when Germany’s first democracy, the Weimar Republic, was massively weakened economically by having to pay off reparations. Indeed, one of the consequences of this policy was the rise of Hitler. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Hindu : News / International : Japan remembers Hiroshima bombing

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 6, 2011

The Japanese city of Hiroshima is commemorating the 66th



anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology — a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami.

The site of the world’s first A-bomb attack observed a moment of silence at 8-15 a.m. Saturday (2315 GMT Friday) — the time the bomb was dropped on Aug. 6, 1945, by the United States in the last stages of World War II. The bomb destroyed most of the city and killed as many as 140,000 people.

A second atomic bombing Aug. 9 in Nagasaki killed tens of thousands more and prompted the Japanese to surrender.

The Hindu : News / International : Japan remembers Hiroshima bombing.

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Rudolf Hess Exhumed: A Look At World Figures Who Were Dug Up Post-Mortem from (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 26, 2011

Russia wanted to sell Lenin’s body to Germany. To follow “ism” or not that is another thing, but this kind of person’s body always with historic importance­.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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World War II Bombers: Amazing Shots Of Allied Crews At Work From

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 15, 2011

A freak U.S. accident stirred the wartime memories of many this week, when a B-17 bomber made an emergency landing in a cornfield outside Chicago before being consumed by flames, the Associated Press reports.

Fortunately, all aboard escaped unharmed, and if nothing else, the brief flight served as a reminder of who the now-iconic planes were an integral part of life on the frontlines during World War II. is celebrating the technology and spirit of WWII-era Allied bombers and their crews with a new vintage gallery, much of which is presented in vivid color.

Check out a selection of photos below. Be sure to check out the full gallery from

Photos and captions courtesy of

Flight and ground crews of a B-17 bomber make adjustments to their plane prior to a mission in England, fall 1942.

Crew of a U.S. B-26 Marauder nicknamed “Ginger” discusses an upcoming run in England in 1944. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hitler-Gemlich Letter, First Official Anti-Semitic Writing, To Be Displayed In Los Angeles

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 4, 2011

Is that the real one?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Ratko Mladic Arrested: World’s Most Wanted Criminals (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 27, 2011

Osama killed, Ratko arrested. What about World Peace?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Russia tightens security ahead of nationwide VE Day celebrations

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 8, 2011

More than 200,000 police officers and over 13,000 servicemen will be involved in maintaining security during

Almost 6,000 servicemen will be deployed in cities around Moscow, where some 70 large-scale public events are to take place.

nationwide Victory Day celebrations in Russia.

Victory Day that Russia celebrates on May 9 marks the final defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union in World War II. This year, almost 14 million people are expected to attend festive events, including over 100 military parades, in more than 5,300 Russian cities and towns.

“We plan to involve more than 200,000 police and over 13,000 servicemen in maintaining order and public security during the festivities,” first deputy interior minister Mikhail Sukhodolsky said, adding that they would be supported by 12,000 civilian volunteers and almost 5,500 Cossacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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