German POWS

Unlike the treatment of German POWs in the USA, the Allied treatment of German military prisoners in Europe at the end of the war is quite controversial. With titles like Eisenhower's Death Camps, The Real Holocaust, The Last Dirty Secret of WWII and Eisenhower Mass...

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V-2 to Apollo – Wernher von Braun

The German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun was a complex character. Fascinated by astronomy since childhood, he studied at the Technische Hochschule Berlin and the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin, receiving a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and...

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Nazi Germany Surrenders

On 20 April 1945, as the Nazi regime collapsed around him, Hitler appointed Grössadmiral Karl Dönitz as his successor, President of the Reich, Minister of War and Supreme Commander of the armed forces. After Hitler's suicide on 30 April, Dönitz began negotiations for...

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Marriage & Death of Adolf Hitler

For ~12 years, Adolf Hitler tried to keep his relationship with his mistress Eva Braun a secret. His personal valet Heinz Linge reported that Hitler once said: "Fräulein Braun is ... too young to be the wife of one in my position. But she is the only girl for me. So...

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Götterdämmerung Deutschland

In Nordic Mythology Ragnarök  refers to a prophesied war among various beings and gods that ultimately results in the destruction and renewal of the world. In Richard Wagner's four opera adaptation of Nordic myth Ring des Nibelungen, the final opera was entitled...

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Elbe Day

On April 25, 1945, with great jubilation, American and Soviet armies met southwest of Berlin  at Torgau on the Elbe River. Torgau is on the banks of the Elbe in northwestern Saxony, Germany....

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Dunkirk

After seeing the new movie DUNKIRK directed by Christopher Nolan last night, I wanted to recommend it to you readers. Like the top film critics, I found this film technically flawless and emotionally extremely powerful. The film's soundtrack by Hans Zimmer kept me on...

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Buchenwald Liberated

WARNING: This post contains many graphic images. The motto "Jedem das Seine"  displayed over the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp, is an old German proverb derived from the Latin phrase "suum cuique"  meaning "to each his own" or  "to each what he...

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Nazi Child Soldiers

In 1936 participation of boys and girls in Nazi youth groups became mandatory. At the onset of WWII older Hitler Jugend (HJ) boys were conscripted into the armed forces while younger boys functioned as air raid wardens and anti-aircraft gun assistants. Also you......

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Mussolini Executed

After being freed from an Italian prison by German special forces in 1943, Benito Mussolini established the Italian Social Republic in northern Italy.   Although he claimed autonomy, the republic Mussolini ruled for 1 1/2 years as Head of State and Minister of Foreign...

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Dietrich Bonhöffer Executed

Together with theologians Karl Barth and Martin Niemöller, the German pastor Dietrich Bonhöffer was a founding member of the German Bekennende Kirche ( Confessing Church), a Protestant movement that opposed Nazi attempts to unify all Protestant churches into a single...

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Anne Frank Dies

Anne Frank was a teenage writer who hid in Amsterdam with her family for two years during the Nazi occupation of Holland. She chronicled her feelings and experiences in a diary that became renowned after the war. She was 15 years old when the location of the family...

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Das Volk Steht Auf

THE PEOPLE STAND UP In January 1945, as the Allies were closing in on the fatherland from the east and west, the director Veit Harlan released the historical film Kolberg to motivate Germans not to give in to the Allies. The film, based on the autobiography of Joachim...

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Yalta Conference

  In February 1945, the "Big Three" President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin met at Yalta in the Crimea to: demand the unconditional surrender of Germany discuss the security and self-determination of liberated...

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Dresden Firebombed

  From February 13-15 1945, British RAF and American USAAF heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive detonation bombs and incendiary devices on the city of Dresden. The bombing and resulting firestorm destroyed most of the city center and killed...

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Chenogne Massacre

The January 1945 massacre of ~60 German POWs near the Belgian village of Chenogne by American troops was one of the war crimes committed by both sides during the bitter Battle of the Bulge.  Carried out shortly after the German SS massacre of U.S. troops at Malmedy,...

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Execution of Pvt. Slovik

This haunting  scene from the 1963 film The Victors depicts the Christmas Eve execution of a GI deserter modeled after Private Eddie Slovik. Private Eddie Slovik was the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion. A draftee, Slovik was...

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Patton’s Weather Prayer

Midst bad weather in the Battle of the Bulge, General George S. Patton commissioned his chaplain to write a prayer for good weather and victory. Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with...

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R.I.P. Glenn Miller

Alton Glenn Miller (1904 – 1944) was a big band star in the American swing era whose recordings were best-sellers from 1939 to 1943. Traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France in December 1944, his single-engine UC-64 Norseman disappeared in bad weather over the...

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Was Hitler High?

A new book by Norman Ohler makes sensational claims that not only Adolf Hitler, but much of the civilian population of Nazi Germany, was high on drugs. While there is evidence that methamphetamines (e.g. Pervitin)  were extensively used by the armed forces, it is...

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Malmedy massacre

In December 1944, 84 American POWs were killed near Malmedy, Belgium by the SS Panzer division Kampfgruppe Peiper. The term "Malmedy massacre" was later applied  to a series of massacres committed by the same SS unit over several days during the Battle of the Bulge....

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Battle of the Bulge

In December 1944, under overcast skies that limited Allied aerial surveillance, >250,000 German troops and armored divisions launched a surprise attack in the weakly-defended, rugged forest of Ardennes. With a thrust toward Antwerp Belgium, the advance was intended...

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The German War

  Using German archival records and letters and diaries of both civilians and soldiers during WWII, The German War - A Nation Under Arms, 1939–1945  by Nicholas Stargardt is a fascinating book that illustrates the strong civilian support for Germany's armed forces...

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U.S. Pilot Defects

For years a devotee of the ultra-conservative radio ministry of Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a 23 year-old USAAF P-38 pilot named Martin James Monti defected to the Axis powers in October 1944. Why a young American might actually defect to the Axis is hard to...

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Volkssturm

As German military forces were beginning to suffer major losses, Adolf Hitler created a national militia called the Volkssturm ("people's storm") in October 1944. Under control of the Nazi party, rather than the Wehrmacht, the Volkssturm drafted nearly six million men...

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