Posts Tagged ‘first’

Familes of WWII veterans to hear messages home for first time in 70 years

December 24th, 2015

Designed partly as propaganda to show cheery soldiers having the time of their lives, they were carefully choreographed to send personal messages back to their home towns.

More than 600 examples of the films, lost for decades, were rediscovered in the basement of Manchester Town Hall during a refurbishment of the building years ago.

They will now be broadcast for the first time since the Second World War in a new Channel 4 programme, entitled Calling Blighty.

Channel 4 and the North West Film Archive have already put out on appeal seeking veterans who served in India, Burma and Sri Lanka and their families, with the hopes of including their reaction in a final broadcast.

Mr H Drinkwater, a Leading Aircraftsman in the RAF asks his wife to keep his bed warm for him The reels include footage from Mr H Drinkwater, a Leading Aircraftsman in the RAF, who tells his family: “I hope you are all right at home. I’m not doing so bad out here. It’s a bit warm. Getting decent grub, but missing the old fish and chips and a pint now and then, you know.”

With a cheeky look to camera, he tells his wife: “Anyway, keep the bed warm until I get home and we’ll get up them stairs. Cheerio”

Sam Marshall, a Gunner from the 21/8 Rajput HAA Regiment, told his family back in Manchester: “Well mother, Sam calling. I hope you’re quite well and in the pink.”

Other men are seen playing darts, polishing their specs and larking around in the background.

The messages are just two of hundreds recorded between 1944 and 1946 by the Directorate of Army Welfare in India.

At the time, British troops were stationed in India, Burma and Sri Lanka, fighting on even as Europe celebrated the end of war in what has become known as The Forgotten Army.

Without the possibility of home leave, and in an atmosphere where disease was rife and morale low, the Ministry of Defence embarked on a scheme to boost them with filmed messages to home.

Taking up to three months to arrive, with some servicemen dying before the messages got home, families and friends were invited to local cinemas to catch a glimpse of them.

These particular films were found on 25 reels in rusting film canisters in the basement of Manchester Town Hall, with paperwork detailing the names, ranks, regiments and serial numbers of participants surviving alongside it.

Steve Hawley, professor at the Manchester School of Art, said: “I saw an amazing film of servicemen in the second World War speaking to their loved ones, and mentioned this to Marion Hewitt, the Director of the North West Film Archive.

“To my delight, she told me that three decades previously, a pile of rusting film canisters had been discovered in the basement of Manchester Town Hall during refurbishment, and these were about to be thrown out when they were rescued by the Archive.”

Calling Blighty will air in early 2016 on Channel 4. The film is produced by Oxford Scientific Films.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Germany’s first new copies of Mein Kampf in 70 years aim to shatter myth of book

December 2nd, 2015

The first run of Hitler, Mein Kampf. A Critical Edition would be limited to between 3,500 and 4,000 copies, he said.

Plans to publish the new version have been controversial and drawn fire especially from Jewish groups, who have argued the book is dangerous and should never be printed again.

“We have to strip away the allure of this book and show the reality,” said Mr Wirsching

One of two rare copies of 'Mein Kampf' signed by the young Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and due for auction, photographed in Los Angeles, California on February 25, 2014

Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was written by Hitler in 1924 while languishing in prison after a failed coup.

Authorities in the southern state of Bavaria were handed the copyright by Allied forces after the Second World War.

For seven decades, they have refused to allow it to be republished out of respect for victims of the Nazis and to prevent incitement of hatred.

But at the end of the year the copyright runs out so that Mein Kampf falls into the public domain on January 1.

“This is not just a source” for the study of Nazi ideology, said the historian responsible for the project, Christian Hartmann. “It is also a symbol and it is one of the last relics of the Third Reich.”


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Germany could send troops into streets for first time since war

November 20th, 2015

20.20

The first explosion went off near the Stade de France, where president Francois Hollande was at a football match between France and Germany. One person was killed in the blast. The body of a terrorist was found at the scene wearing a suicide belt filled with shrapnel.

20.25

Shortly after the first explosion at the Stade de France, gunmen with Kalashnikovs launched an attack at Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant on Rue Bichat, in the city’s 10th arrondissement, killing 15 people and injuring 10.

20.30

The attackers drove about 500 yards to the Casa Nostra pizzeria in Rue de la Fontaine au Roi and opened fire on diners on the terrace of the restaurant, killing at least five people and injuring eight.

20.30

Another explosion went off outside the Stade de France when a second suicide bomber blew himself up.

20.35

Militants launch an attack on La Belle Equipe in Rue de Charonne, spraying the terrace bar with bullets and killing 19 people in gunfire which witnesses say lasted “two, three minutes”.

20.50

Three black-clad gunmen wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide vests stormed Le Bataclan during a concert by American rock band Eagles Of Death Metal. At least 89 were killed and more than 100 others injured during the shooting. The attackers were heard mentioning Syria and Iraq during the massacre.

20.53

A third suicide bomber blew himself up on Rue de la Coquerie, near the Stade de France.

21.00

The first reports came in of the Bataclan massacre and within 10 minutes there was confirmation that a hostage crisis had developed at the theatre.

21.57

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter: “I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”

22.00

An emotional French president Francois Hollande, who was earlier evacuated from the Stade de France, closed the borders and declared a state of national emergency. The French military were called into the centre of Paris.

22.16

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter: “My thoughts are with the people of Paris tonight. We stand in solidarity with the French. Such acts are heinous and immoral.”

22.28

French emergency services activate Plan Rouge to tackle the large numbers of casualties.

22.30

Parisians used the #PorteOuverte hashtag to search for or offer safe places for those fleeing the violence. The hashtag was soon trending.

22.43

A new toll of at least 35 dead.

22.46

President Obama delivered a speech at the White House, expressing solidarity with the people of Paris and calling the attacks terrorist acts. “Those who think that they can terrorise the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong.”We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte, egalite, fraternite, are not just the values French people share, but we share.”Those go far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.”

23.30

Reports emerge of French taxi drivers turning off their meters and offering passengers free rides home. A citywide curfew was put in place, the first since 1944.

23.30

Police storm the Bataclan, ending the siege. Two terrorists die after activating their suicide vests and a third is shot dead by officers.

Midnight

The death toll reached at least 120.

Saturday, November 14

00.46

At least 1,500 soldiers have been called upon to patrol the streets of Paris.

03.30

Schools, markets, museums and major tourist sites in the Paris area are closed and sporting fixtures cancelled.

09.50

Hollande calls the attacks “an act of war… committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State, against France, against… what we are, a free country”. He declares three days of national mourning.

09.50

Isil claimed responsibility, saying in a statement issued in Arabic and French that the attackers had targeted “the capital of abominations and perversions and those who carry the crusader banner in Europe”.

10.30

Gatwick Airport north terminal was evacuated after a suspected firearm was discovered. A 41-year-old French national was taken into custody for questioning. He was later charged with possession of an air rifle and a knife.

11.00

David Cameron warned the UK “must be prepared for a number of British casualties”, and condemned the “brutal and callous murderers. The Queen also sent a message of condolence to Mr Hollande, saying she and the Duke of Edinburgh had been “deeply shocked and saddened by the terrible loss of life in Paris”.

12.00

By noon on Saturday French officials had put the provisional death toll at 127 people from the combined attacks, with 180 injured and 99 people in hospital in critical condition.

13.30

One of the bombers was identified by his fingerprints as a young Frenchman flagged for links with Islamic extremism. He is later named as Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, 29.

17.00

A number of people are arrested in Brussels in relation to the Paris attack. Belgian prosecutors later confirmed they have opened an anti-terrorist investigation based on a car that was hired in Belgium and was found near the Bataclan concert hall.

18.00

One Briton is confirmed to have died and “a handful” of others are feared to have been killed. The British victim was later named as Nick Alexander, who was selling band merchandise at the Bataclan.

18.23

Francois Molins, the Paris prosecutor, said 129 people were confirmed dead and 352 people were injured, with 99 in a critical condition.

Sunday, November 15

10.30

Home Secretary Theresa May indicated the British death toll in the Paris attacks may rise as she said the government has concerns about a “handful” of UK citizens. She said that British police and intelligence agencies were “working day and night to keep people secure”.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Two Lancaster bomber planes fly together for first time in 50 years

August 14th, 2014

Flying in the skies above RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, plane enthusiasts were treated on Wednesday to a display not seen since the filming of The Dambusters in the 1950s.

Two Lancaster bombers flew around together one behind the other for the first time in more that five decades.

Their reunion had been difficult because Lancaster Thumper is based in Britain as part of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial flight and the Lancaster Vera is based in a museum in Ontario in Canada.

But now the aircraft have been brought together for a series of air shows and events around the UK over the next few weeks.

The Avro Lancaster bomber is one of the most recognisable aircraft from the Second World War and was made famous in the Dambuster raids in 1943.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Watch: the first trailer for The Imitation Game, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing

July 21st, 2014

The first trailer for the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Second World War code-breaker, has been released. Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s film, based on Andrew Hodges’s book Alan Turing: The Enigma, has been selected to open this year’s London Film Festival on October 8.

Turing was a pioneer of modern computing whose work at Bletchley Park’s Government Code and Cypher School involved deciphering coded communications sent through the Nazis’ Enigma machine. Winston Churchill credited Turing with helping the Allies to win several significant battles and saving thousands of lives. He was nonetheless prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952 and chemically castrated; he died two years later from cyanide poisoning, aged 41. After a lengthy campaign Turing was given a royal pardon in 2013.

Joining Cumberbatch in the cast are Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Rory Kinnear and Keira Knightley, as Turing’s colleague and former fiancée Joan Clarke. At one point Leonardo DiCaprio was due to play Turing, but he pulled out shortly before production began.

The Imitation Game is released in the UK on November 14, and in the US on November 21


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Fury: see the first poster for Brad Pitt’s WW2 thriller

June 24th, 2014

A battle-weary Brad Pitt is seen with his Sherman tank co-star in the first poster for his new film Fury.

Writer/director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) screened footage from Fury – describing it as a Second World War film “the likes of which we haven’t seen before” – at the E3 gaming convention in June, and received a rapturous response.

Fury follows a five man Sherman tank crew, led by Brad Pitt’s Sgt. Wardaddy, sent behind enemy lines in the last months of the Second World War. Ayer has shot the film on traditional film stock for a more realistic feel, and wherever possible used practical special effects instead of CGI. The cast also includes Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal.

Fury is released in the UK on October 24, and in the US on November 14.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

D-Day veterans meet for the first time in 70 years

June 3rd, 2014

They may be a little frailer, but their wartime memories are still razor sharp.

British Normandy Veterans Joe Cattini and Denys Hunter met on Tuesday for the first time in 70 years since they took part in the D-Day landings on the Normandy Beaches.

Mr Cattini, 91, and Mr Hunter, 90, were both in the same unit of Herefordshire Yeomanry on Gold Beach on D-Day and attended a special ceremony at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard before setting off for France for the anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Friday 6th June is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings which saw 156,000 troops from the allied countries including the United Kingdom and the United States join forces to launch the historic attack on the beaches of Normandy, credited with the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.

A series of events commemorating the anniversary are planned for the week with many heads of state travelling to the famous beaches to pay their respects to those who lost their lives.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Record of largest-ever Nazi art hoard made public for first time

May 29th, 2014

And this week it has made the information from those catalogues freely available on the Internet – the first time any German art dealer has publicly released its records from the Nazi era.

Their publication is the initiative of Katrin Stoll, who took over the auction house in 2008, and has no connection to Mr Weinmüller.

“I feel very fortunate to have this difficult task,” she told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Names and images of artworks that were sold can be freely browsed on lostart.de, the German government website for recovering looted art. The website does not list who bought the artworks, but anyone with a serious claim to legal ownership can apply for that information.

The website does list where Mr Weinmüller obtained the artworks, and the entry “seizure by the Gestapo” frequently crops up. Where some dealers traded in art sold at knock-down prices by Jewish owners fleeing the Nazis, Mr Weinmüller was dealing directly in looted art.

Despite his significance, Mr Weinmüller has remained a shadowy figure. For years no one even knew what he looked like, until a photo emerged a few months ago of a bespectacled, unobtrusive man at an auction.

He successfully lied to the “Monuments Men” about his role during the war, and hid his connections to the Nazi high command. In fact he had risen to wealth and prominence by his loyalty to the party, and counted Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary, amongst his clients.

A previously small-time dealer, he chaired a pro-Nazi trade organisation and took over the Munich arts scene as Jewish dealers were forced out.

Despite investigating him as a high priority, the “Monuments Men” were unable to prove anything against him, or prevent him from reopening his auction house. He held a further 35 auctions before his death in 1958.

After his death the Weinmüller auction house, as it was then known, was sold to Ms Stoll’s father, Rudolf Neumeister, who changed its name.

Experts say the real test of the new initiative will come when legal owners come forward to claim looted artworks. Some of the details of the buyers in the auction house’s records are sketchy, and list no more than a common surname. But others may be traceable, and artworks long given up as lost may finally be found again.


World War Two

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in WWII News | Comments Off

Archives

Categories