Naming of the Parts

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

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

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...

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Bombing of Rome

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

▶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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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D-Day

D-Day

  Click on each image below to switch back and forth between 1944 and today. http://interactive.guim.co.uk/embed/2014/apr/image-opacity-slider-master/index.html?ww2-dday

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Bombing Civilians

Bombing Civilians

During the Spanish Civil War, Luftwaffe and Italian Air Force "volunteers," allied with Spanish Fascists, bombed the undefended civilians of Guernica in 1937. During the invasion of Poland in 1939, the Luftwaffe engaged in massive air raids against Polish cities. In...

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WWII Participants

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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Bombing Civilians

Bombing Civilians

At the beginning of WWII there was widespread consensus that a deliberate attack on civilians was immoral and against international law. Initial Royal Air Force attempts to execute precision daylight bombing against German targets and minimize...

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First Battle of El Alamein

First Battle of El Alamein

  The war was not going well for the Allies in the summer of 1942. The German Operation Barbarossa had advanced well into Russia and U-boats in the Western Atlantic were highly successful in preventing war materials from America from reaching...

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Fire Bombing of Coventry

Fire Bombing of Coventry

As I learn more about the firebombing in WWII, I realize that I haven't given the November 1940 Luftwaffe Blitz of Coventry adequate attention. It is important because it seems to have been the first instance where a new type of tactic was used. As an industrial city,...

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Lübeck Marienkirche

Lübeck Marienkirche

I just returned from a  trip to northern Germany doing research for a historical fiction novel I am writing about anti-submarine warfare in 1942. I was seeking backstory information for one of my characters, a U-boat Kapitänleutnant from Lübeck in Schleswig Holstein....

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