Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “London

Winston Churchill with his chiefs of staff in the garden of No. 10 Downing Street, on the day Germany surrendered to the Allies; May 7th, 1945

Original caption: 10 Downing Street garden, London, England 7th May 1945, Chiefs of Staff at Downing Street, Back Row, L-R; Major General Hollis, General Sir Hastings Ismay (1887-1965), Front Row, L-R; Sir Charles Portal, Marshal of the RAF, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Andrew Cunningham

Original caption: 10 Downing Street garden, London, England 7th May 1945, Chiefs of Staff at Downing Street, Back Row, L-R; Major General Hollis, General Sir Hastings Ismay (1887-1965), Front Row, L-R; Sir Charles Portal, Marshal of the RAF, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Andrew Cunningham


An English girl comforts her doll in the rubble of her bomb-damaged home; ca. 1940

This photo and other fantastic images can also be found in Anthony Beevor's Second World War. A great read that gives a fantastic overview of the whole war from Europe to Africa to the Pacific.

These reminders are important for future generations (like us) to not take peace for granted, and to remember that it’s easy to clamor for war if it’s someone else’s house and nation that’s about to get bombed, but when the tables are turned and the bomb whizz over your head, this mechanized mass murder, or whatever watered down PC name war-hungry politicians may give it, is a whole ‘nother beast.


“Firemen at work in bomb damaged street in London, after Saturday night raid”; ca 1941

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New York Times Paris Bureau Collection. National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 541902


Drury Lane, London; ca.1876

When I was a child, I always thought it was dreary lane. From the looks of this I might not have been that wrong.

Second apartment on the right must be where the muffin man lives.


“People shelter and sleep on the platform and on the train tracks, in Aldwych Underground Station, London, after sirens sounded to warn of German bombing raids, on October 8, 1940.”

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October 8th would have been at the height of the Blitz, which is considered to have started just over a month prior, so this is day 31 of nightly raids on London. A total of 71 raids on the city would happen over the 8 month period considered to be “The Blitz”, with about 20,000 killed in the city – about half of the total 40,000 civilians killed in the UK during the period.

Although Germany had shown no inherent compulsion against bombing civilian population centers, not only in their bombing of Warsaw the year prior, and Rotterdam earlier in the year, but also with the Condor Legion in Spain in the 1930s, it is thought that the beginning of the bombing of London started by accident when a flight of He 111s dropped their load over the city by accident on August 24th, having limited visibility in the night and screwed up navigation. The RAF returned the favor over Berlin the next night, leading Hitler and Goering to retaliate against London. Although the bombings of London began that August, it wasn’t until September 7th, when the first of 57 consecutive night raids on London commenced, that “the Blitz” is considered to have started.

The beginning of the Blitz coincided with the Battle of Britain, and the shift by the Luftwaffe from the bombing of military installations to population centers is considered by some to be an important factor in the RAF’s triumph over the Germans in the fall of ’40.


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Gas Mask Girls: Dancers at the Windmill Theatre in London, practice a routine wearing gas masks and hard-hats with their costumes; Jan 1940.

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Kids collecting shrapnel on a London street, 1940

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There’s actually an academic article written on this topic.

PDF: 2008 A Hard Rain: Children’s Shrapnel Collections in the Second World War. Journal of Material Culture 13(1):107-125.

 


A woman bids farewell at Paddington Station in 1942 as her child is evacuated during the Blitz.

I love pictures like this. They leave so much to the imagination i.e. What happened to her? What happened to her child? Did they meet again?

I love pictures like this. They leave so much to the imagination i.e. What happened to her? What happened to her child? Did they meet again?


Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, ca. 1506-07

salome-with-the-head-of-st-john-the-baptist-1507I have got a bright and shiny platter… and I am gonna get your heavy head.

“Andrea Solario painted a number of variants on the present composition, of which this is one of the most notable. Its figure style is influenced by Leonardo da Vinci as well as by Northern artists, especially Joos van Cleve and Lucas Cranach.

The subject itself, the rather gruesome one of the executioner placing the Baptist’s head in a salver for the waiting Salome, was popular among Leonardo’s followers, and many of the Milanese paintings of Salome probably derive from a lost composition by the master. These paintings depict the moment in the Gospel of Mark (6:21–28) when the young Salome, daughter of Herod’s wife Herodias, is granted her wish to have John the Baptist executed. Although this theme has been painted by numerous artists—with both full- and half-length figures—it is rare for the executioner to be so severely cropped that we see only his outstretched arm. This arm, with its clenched fist and rough drapery, is an unsettling synecdoche for the man as a whole.

Conspicuously signed in the lower right corner, the Salome is one of Solario’s finest paintings and is completely characteristic of his style. It is worked up to a high finish, with some astonishing effects: the reflections and sheen of the silver basin, the transparent bodice of Salome’s dress, the delicacy of description of the Baptist’s head, and the marbling of the parapet. Above all, Salome’s jewelry and the ornamentation of her dress are imagined and painted with the utmost precision and care.” (Source)


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Punks at Sid Vicious (of the Sex Pistols) memorial in London; ca. March 1979

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