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

Posts tagged “World War two

Hitler asking a frostbitten and snow ravaged soldier not to salute him, but to instead rest and recover; ca. 1941- 42

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Most likely taken sometime between November 1941 and March 1942. During the Winter Crisis, the majority of the Wehrmacht were still equipped with their worn out summer uniforms and summer boots (often stuffed with newspapers to try to make them warmer). This was a direct failure of the German High Command to properly equip their soldiers for winter combat in the inhospitable Russian terrain.

Additionally, across large portions of the front, the Germans were not able to successfully enter prepared defensive positions until late in the winter. As a result, the soldiers were literally lying in the snow in their summer uniforms while the temperature was regularly -40 degrees. For a German General’s view on this see Gotthard Heinrici’s recently published letters and diaries.


I don’t think this is a PR photo. At this point in time the German senior leadership was still trying to present events in the East in the most favorable light possible. Obviously, a photograph of this man’s injuries would shock anyone who saw it in a newspaper.

Also, this man’s injuries are directly attributable to Hitler himself. During the early autumn of 1941, he refused to ship adequate cold weather clothing to the front line as he perpetually believed that the Soviets would collapse in only a few weeks. Needless to say, this did not come to pass.


Three men of the 7th Armored Division, known as the “Lucky Seventh”, man a 3-inch Gun M5 (anti-tank gun) covering the approach on a road near Vielsalm, Belgium; December 23rd, 1944

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Adolf Hitler salutes a parade of his personal bodyguard regiment, the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler; January 30th,1937

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Mechanized Column of the 7th Panzer-Division in France; ca. 1940

Shown here is a mechanized column of the 7th Panzer-Division, commanded by General major Erwin Rommel, on the move during the Blitzkrieg through France in the last days of May 1940. The photo was taken by General Rommel himself.

 



Execution of the women SS Guards of Stutthof concentration camp for “sadistic abuse of prisoners” after on trial by the Polish Special Law Court at Danzig. The women did not seem to take the trial seriously until the end; July 4th, 1946

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It was one of the few public executions in Poland after the war. This one was witnessed by about 100 000 people. They had been standing on trucks which drove off (which is why they swing a bit). Among the witnesses were former prisoners of Stutthof.


Journalist Ernie Pyle after being killed during the battle of Okinawa; April 18, 1945

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This photo apparently only surfaced in 2008. And technically this is apparently on Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa.


Hungarian Jewish children and an elderly woman on the way to the death barracks of Auschwitz-Birkenau, ca. May 1944

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“From the chimneys of the Vatican, white smoke rises,
a sign the Cardinals have chosen themselves a Pope.
From the crematoria of Auschwitz, black smoke rises,
a sign the conclave of Gods hasn’t yet chosen,
the Chosen People.
After Auschwitz, no theology:
the inmates of extermination bear on their forearms
the telephone numbers of God,
numbers that do not answer
and now are disconnected, one by one.
After Auschwitz, a new theology:
the Jews who died in the Shoah
have now come to be like their God,
who has no likeness of a body and has no body.
They have no likeness of a body and they have no body.”
– Smoke by Jacob Glatstein


German soldier with Panzerkampfwagen VI “Tiger” in the background. Somewhere in the USSR; ca. 1943

He's just looked at the receipt for refueling.

He’s just looked at the receipt for refueling.


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Austro-Hungarian machine gun nest in the Alps; ca. 1915-18

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German infantry resting during street fighting in Rostov-on-Don; ca. July 1942.

That a LOT of grenades.

That a LOT of grenades.


Sailors frantically jump overboard a sinking HMS Prince of Wales minutes after it was struck by Japanese bombers during the Battle off Malaya; December 10th, 1941.

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835 sailors were lost and these were the first 2 battleships ever lost on the open sea solely through the use of air power.

The sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse was a Second World Warnaval engagement that took place north of Singapore, off the east coast of Malaya, nearKuantan, Pahang, where the British Royal NavybattleshipHMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiserHMS Repulse were sunk by land-based bombers and torpedo bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy on 10 December 1941. In Japanese, the engagement was referred to as the Naval Battle off Malaya.

The objective of Force Z, which consisted of one battleship, one battlecruiser and four destroyers, was to intercept the Japanese invasion fleet north of Malaya. However, the task force sailed without any air support, which had been declined by Admiral Sir Tom Phillips, the commander of Force Z, in favour of maintaining radio silence. Although the British had a close encounter with Japanese heavy surface units, the force failed to find and destroy the main convoy. On their return to Singapore they were attacked in open waters and sunk by long-range medium bombers.

Along with the attack on Pearl Harbor only a few days earlier, the Malaya engagement illustrated the effectiveness of aerial attacks against even the heaviest of naval assets if they were not protected by air cover, and led the Allies to place importance on their aircraft carriers over battleships. The sinking of the two ships severely weakened the Eastern Fleet in Singapore, and the Japanese invasion fleet was only engaged by submarines until the Battle off Endau on 27 January 1942. (Source)

After the battle a Japanese pilot flew over where the ships had been sunk and dropped two wreaths. One was for the Japanese pilots who died and the other was, according to the pilot, a mark of respect from his Air Corps to all ratings from Repulse and Prince of Wales that had perished in defence of their ships


An American soldier gazes out in company with a dead German soldier and a Moaning Minnie.

Every war picture I see I always wonder what is going through their minds at the moment it's captured.

Every war picture I see I always wonder what is going through their minds at the moment it’s captured.

The Moaning Minnie  is the 10-tube rocket launcher on top of the vehicle. The vehicle itself is a German Maultier (Mule). When the rocket projectiles were launched they made a distinctive sound and were known among Western forces as “Screaming Mimis” or “Moaning Minnies.”

The Russian rocket launchers mounted on trucks (such as the BM-13) and known as Katyushas or Stalin’s Organs and the American application of the idea atop Sherman tanks known as the Calliope were named for the resemblance of the multiple launch tubes to church organs or similar instruments and not for the sound they made when firing.

 


Soviet tank crewmen washing up with snow; ca. 1943.

 In the west, Russians are often stereotyped as being dour and pessimistic, but I disagree. Anyone who can sunbathe during springtime in Siberia or wash using snow and still have a smile on their face is a true optimist.

In the west, Russians are often stereotyped as being dour and pessimistic, but I disagree. Anyone who can sunbathe during springtime in Siberia or wash using snow and still have a smile on their face is a true optimist.


Russian slave laborer among prisoners liberated by 3rd Armored Division points out former Nazi guard who brutally beat prisoners, Germany; May 14, 1945.

And then when he tried to get home to Russia after the war, it was straight to the gulag. Classic Stalin.

Oh man I bet that’s the worst when you are a Nazi guard trying to tip toe away from the Americans and the Russian guy is like “Him! That’s the guy!”


A dog and a US Marine who is comfortably occupying a “fighting hole” in Guam, during World War II; 1944

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This happened next:

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While the Army had put war dogs to good use already, mainly for sentry and guard duties, World War II was the first organized deployment of canine warriors by the Marine Corps, and the Marines intended to bring the dogs into the field, sniffing out enemy positions to warn of ambushes and ferrying messages back and forth.

Only a select few were accepted into service, and even then they would undergo rigorous training to prepare them for life in the combat zone. In total, 1,074 dogs were ‘enlisted’ in the Marine Corps, and 29 would die in combat, along with just under 200 fatalities from disease or accidents. After a year of organization and training, the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon entered action on Bougainville on November 1st, 1943. During the long ride through the Pacific, the handlers were considered to be pretty strange, and their mission was questioned by many, but once they entered combat, the value of the “Devil Dogs” was pretty quickly apparent, and Marine War Dogs would serve through the end of the war.

After the war, an outcry ended plans to euthanize the remaining veteran animals, and instead they were put through demilitarization training, with almost universal success. Many were returned to their families, although in more than a few cases, the Marine handler would bring the dog back to civilian life with him.


 

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love:


Germans who were tried and convicted as spies during the Battle of the Bulge executed; December 23, 1944

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After the Malmedy Massacre (which took place just 5 days before this execution), there wasn’t much quarter given to SS infiltrators who were caught wearing stolen U.S. uniforms.  Any captured SS soldier was shot, not just spies.

Knowledge of the massacre “led to considerable retaliation against German prisoners of war during and after that battle.” Few Waffen-SS soldiers came to be taken prisoner by units such as the 3rd Armored Division. An example of the aftermath of the massacre is the written order from the HQ of the 328th US Army Infantry Regiment, dated December 21, 1944: “No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoner but will be shot on sight.” A possible example of a related large massacre against Germans is the Chenogne massacre.

At the Saar river the 90th Infantry Division “executed Waffen-SS prisoners in such a systematic manner late in December 1944 that headquarters had to issue express orders to take Waffen-SS soldiers alive so as to be able to obtain information from them.”

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The prisoners refused the ministrations of a U.S. chaplain. They kept their nerve by singing patriotic German songs. Prisoners are blinfolded and a large white paper target is pinned over their heart. After they were officially pronounced dead, the spies were cut down by MP’s, carried away and buried.  (Source)

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Wrecked military vehicles in front of Brandenburg Gate during the Battle of Berlin; ca. 1945

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Viktor Bulla’s Pioneers in Defense Drill; ca. 1937

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“Viktor Bulla’s photograph of hundreds of children wearing gas masks was not meant to be ghoulish, a commentary on war or lost innocence, but rather exemplified a reason for pride—the country was blessed with well-trained, well-equipped and obviously courageous young fighters.”

(From “Propaganda and Dreams: Photographing the 1930s in the USSR and the US” by Leah Bendavid-Val)


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Opening ceremony of Bromma Airport in Sweden with the flags of Denmark, Great Britain and Nazi Germany in the foreground and a Junkers G-38 (which was the largest land-based airplane when it was first built) in the background – Bromma, Sweden; ca. 1936

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Dog with German soldier equipment; ca. 1939

How bored were soldiers on the front lines in WWI and WWII that they had time to take cute pics of dogs?

I love that who ever did this placed the grenades in the boots with the tops sticking out in order to hold the rifle, German ingenuity!!!


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With all the men fighting at the front, women of Moscow dig anti-tank trenches around Moscow, Battle of Moscow, Operation Barbarossa, World War II; ca. 1941

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German soldiers crossing USSR border; June 22, 1941.

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A dog being posed by a German soldier; ca. 1940

He actually looks like the gestapo man from raiders of the lost ark.

He actually looks like the gestapo man from raiders of the lost ark.

It’s funny to think about how much things have changed in the world, in just about every single way possible, from 1940 to 2014. Think about it… and yet, we all still do stuff like posing our dogs wearing human things.

Because that stuff is always hilarious, regardless of what else is going on.

Pretty beautiful if you think about it.


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Russian Soldiers playing a Piano in the ruins of a building during WWII

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