Haiphong Incident

On November 23, 1946 the French navy bombarded the Vietnamese coastal city of Haiphong, killing 6,000 Vietnamese people overnight. The Haiphong shelling was the first in a series of armed clashes leading to the December Battle of Hanoi and the outbreak of the First...

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Bikini Bathing Suit

  In the 1930s, European women wore two-piece bathing suits consisting of a halter top and shorts with some midriff visible -- the navel was always hidden.   On Jul 5,1946  the bikini bathing suit, created by former civil engineer Louis Reard, made its debut during a...

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Cannes Film Festival

  Although originally scheduled to be held in Cannes in 1939, the outbreak of WWII delayed the opening of the first International Film Festival until September 1946 when twenty-one countries presented their films. Held on the French Riviera, the festival was designed...

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 Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh, born in 1880 into the family of a poor country scholar as Nguyen Sinh Cung (also called Nguyen Tat Thanh or Nguyen Ai Quoc) attended grammar school in Hue, taught school in Phan Thiet, and was apprenticed at a technical institute in Saigon.   In 1911 Ho...

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Vietnam After WWII

French Indochina was formed in the late 19th century by combining three Vietnamese regions (Tonkin, Annam and Cochinchina) with Cambodia, Laos and Guangzhouwan. With the fall of France in 1940, the control of the colony shifted to the Vichy French who allowed military...

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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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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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Liberation of Paris

After a one month blitzkrieg by the Wehrmacht, Paris fell to Nazi Germany on June 14, 1940. An armistice with Germany subsequently established a French puppet government with its capital at Vichy. The Nazi occupation of Paris lasted four years until the city was...

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D-Day

On June 6, 1944, >5,000 Allied ships, supported by 13,000 airplanes performed the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare. Code-named Operation Overlord, the invasion of ~50 miles of beach in Normandy France signaled the beginning of the tough campaign...

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Vichy France

Vichy France propaganda cartoon about the allied bombings of France. A Jewish radio announcer in London broadcasts the imminent arrival over France of Allied Liberator aircraft. US planes, flown by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Popeye, Goofy and Felix the Cat, drop bombs...

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Casablanca Conference

In January 1943, two months after the Anglo-American landings in French North Africa in November 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in Casablanca, Morocco. Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, engaged in the decisive...

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All the Light We Cannot See

This superbly written, often lyrical, WWII novel about a blind French girl and a young German soldier is excellent reading. “I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green...

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INFERNO

I am currently reading this excellent book by Max Hastings. Not only is it detailed, balanced and well-referenced; it is superb writing. Before dawn next morning, "a warm, damp, rather hazy day," American and Japanese pilots breakfasted. The Yorktown's men favoured...

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Virulent Anti-Semitism Redux

The current eruption of virulent anti-semitism and violence against Jews in France, makes it imperative that we recall the progressive Nazi legislation from 1933-1945 that resulted in the institution of draconian measures against the Jewish community and ultimately...

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Occupied Paris

German victory and occupation in June 1940 "entangled France and the French in a web of cooperation, resistance, accommodation, and, later, of defensiveness, forgetfulness, and guilt from which they are still trying to escape.” - Ronald Rosbottom, professor of French...

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Casablanca

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLQwphwP0ys Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid  had its world premiere in November 1942. In a love triangle in Vichy-controlled Casablanca, an American expatriate must choose between his love for a...

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Operation Torch

Operation Torch was the first joint military operation planned by Great Britain and the USA. In November 1942 ~ 850 U.S., British, and Allied warships (the largest invasion force in the war up to that date), commanded by General Dwight Eisenhower, landed at...

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Dieppe Raid

In the summer of 1942, with Russia suffering the brunt of the European war, there was immense pressure on Great Britain to mount an offensive operation on the Western front.  A plan (Operation Jubilee) was developed to raid the German held French port of Dieppe on the...

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D-Day

  Click on each image below to switch back and forth between 1944 and today....

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WWII Participants

Most countries in the world participated in WWII.   The leading Axis powers were Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, and the Empire of Japan. The major Allied Powers were the United Kingdom and France and their colonies, China, the Soviet Union and the United States....

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Holocaust – Occupied France

When  Nazi Germany occupied the country in June 1940, there were ~ 350,000 Jews living in France, ~ 200,000, resided in and around Paris. Several ordinances published by the occupation force during 1940-41 defined who was a Jew, what business activities they were...

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Allied Powers

    Allied Powers of WWII On January 1, 1942, 26 countries signed the Declaration by United Nations, which set forth the war aims of the Allied powers. Australia Belgium Canada China Costa Rica Cuba Czechoslovakia Dominican Republic Great Britain Greece Guatemala...

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V for Victory

Following a BBC broadcast in January 1941 that suggested the use of a V for victoire (French: “victory”) and vrijheid (Dutch: "freedom") sign during German occupation, Vs appeared on walls throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern France. Throughout the war in...

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