Partition of India

  The 1947  partition of India into Hindu and Muslim majorities divided three provinces: Assam, Bengal and the Punjab.     The division of >14 million people according to religious beliefs resulted in large-scale violence, with varying estimates between several...

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Animal Farm 

George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm, published in 1945, described his book as an allegorical account of events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. George Orwell was the nom de plum of Eric Blair, a...

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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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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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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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Buzz Bombs – Vergeltungswaffen

Carrying a ton of explosives, the V1 rocket flew at ~400 mph with a range of 200 miles. Launched from the occupied French coast, the first V-1 "Buzzbomb" (Vergeltungswaffen) attacked London on 13 June 1944, immediately after the Allied D-Day invasion. British...

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The Great Escape

Allied airmen captured during WWII were incarcerated in POW Camps run by the Luftwaffe called  Stammlager Luft (abrev., Stalag). Allied POWs reported that the Luftwaffe (unlike the Gestapo or SS) respected fellow flyers, and treated airmen POWs well, with the...

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Naming of the Parts

Henry Reed  (1914-1986) was a British poet, translator, radio dramatist and journalist.  Lessons of the War, published in 1942, was a collection of three poems parodying WWII British army basic training, which had a shortage of equipment at that time. The poem...

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High Flight

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (June 1922-December 1941), born to missionaries in China, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force  in WWII. He died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.   High Flight Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the...

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United Nations WWII

  A lot of people seem surprised to hear that the term "United Nations," coined by FDR, was used during WWII. President Franklin Roosevelt first coined the term "United Nations" to describe the Allied countries in WWII.  On New Year's Day 1942, FDR, Prime Minister...

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Bombing of Rome

Bombing Rome, the "Eternal City" and capitol of Catholicism, was a controversial WWII act for many Americans. Although both Allied and Axis bombers made an effort to avoid attacking the Vatican, Vatican City was bombed once by the British and once by the Germans. In...

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▶Food is Ammunition

This WWII government film, with very explicit recommendations, emphasizes good nutrition as a weapon of war. "Eventual victory in this war may depend on what we eat." Although rationing was imposed in the USA, food insecurity was never an issue for Americans during...

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Allied Victory in North Africa

From June 1940 until May 1943, major campaigns were fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The Allied North African war effort was dominated by the British Commonwealth with American assistance beginning in May 1942.   The North...

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Operation Gomorrah

On July 25 1943, following a 5-month air campaign against Germany’s industrial Ruhr district, the RAF began a 10-day series of air raids on Hamburg known as Operation Gomorrah. Due to unusually hot and dry weather, the July 27 raid on the city’s working class...

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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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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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Gee

Gee was the code name given to a hyperbolic navigation system  introduced by the RAF in 1942. Based on the difference in timing between the reception of two signals, Gee produced a "fix" on a target as far away as 350 miles, with accuracy > several hundred feet.  ...

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Flamethrower

The flamethrower has a long history of military use. - In the first century AD, the Greek navy developed a hand-pumped apparatus that shot bursts of fire at enemy ships. - In the 10th century AD, the Chinese employed a piston-driven weapon that sprayed “fierce fire...

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Hedgehog

In 1942 the British Royal Navy introduced a new forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon to supplement the depth charge. Nicknamed the hedgehog after its configuration of small spiked fittings mounted on a mortar bomb, the Hedgehog exploded on contact, rather than at a...

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U-Boats Off America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZL7-nclmO0 In January 1942 five German Type IX U-boats, essentially unmolested by U.S. air and naval forces who were unprepared for anti-submarine warfare, began hunting merchant ships off the east coast of North America. Many of their...

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WWII Combatants

Population of Major Combatants in 1942 USA 134,859,553 Great Britain 48,400,000                  Australia 7,137,000                  Canada 11,825,500 China 527,456,000 Russia 112,000,000 ---------------------------------- Germany 72,620,000 Italy 45,387,000 Imperial...

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2nd Battle of El Alamein

The First Battle of El Alamein  in July 1942 ended in a stalemate which halted the German advance in Egypt. The Second Battle of El Alamein resulted in a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of WWII. The British 8th Army, under the command of Lt. General...

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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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Battle of the Atlantic

  Named the "Battle of the Atlantic,” by Winston Churchill, the course of the WWII six-year U-boat campaign changed constantly, with one side or the other gaining advantage, as each side developed new weapons, tactics, counter-measures and equipment. By the end of...

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