Posts Tagged ‘World’

Incredible World War Two colour footage shows wounded marines being evacuated from the beaches of Iwo Jima

January 23rd, 2016

The vast, silent collection was shot with hand-held cameras, giving the images an eerie and life-like feel, providing a fascinating insight into army life during some of the bloodiest periods in American military history.

American marines overcame more than 20,000 Japanese Imperial Army troops in heavily fortified positions on the island of Iwo Jima in five weeks of bloody fighting in February 1945.

Only a handful of defenders survived the American capture of the island, which was a major US objective in the Pacific war given its proximity to the Japanese mainland.

But American forces suffered heavy losses at the hands of the desperate Japanese soldiers.

A tank drives onto the beach (University of South Carolina)

The video shows in fascinating detail military vehicles transporting badly injured Marines on stretchers to waiting vessels on a beach.

Jeeps carrying dozens of troops and amphibious vehicles are also shown driving through the dark sand of the volcanic island.

The never-before-seen images also show Marines at the 1968 siege of Khe Sanh in Vietnam, at Guadalcanal – the scene of another bloody Second World War battle – and in 1950 at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.


World War Two

World War Two coastal fort on sale to anyone willing to splash out £2m

December 22nd, 2015

The end result should see the unique property that has stunning sea views double in value.

“The new home will have a dramatic coastal view couple with the peace and serenity of living in such a private location.”

Estate agent

The fort was built as a gun battery for the Guernsey Militia to defend the Channel Island against an invasion threatened by Emperor Napoleon in the 18th century but thankfully wasn’t deployed.

Fort Richmond, a former gun battery on Guernsey, is up for sale after laying empty for more than 30 years

Ironically, the only time guns were fired in anger was in the Second World War when the Germans occupied the Islands and used the fort to defend themselves against the British.

After the war it was leased to a surf club and then to a Christian youth group for its headquarters before being left empty and neglected.

Seven years ago the site was identified by the government as one of its vacant properties that could now be sold off.

War and peace on Guernsey

Since then plans have been drawn up and submitted to the States of Guernsey planning authority to convert it into a luxury home.

And after securing consent the value of the property shot up and is now being offered for sale for the first time.

The coastal site that overlooks picturesque Vazon Bay covers two acres.

Fort Richmond, a former gun battery on Guernsey, is up for sale after laying empty for more than 30 years

The new home will be spread over three floors and have a master bedroom with two en-suites, a sitting room and a dressing room as well as four more en-suite bedrooms.

There will be a wine cellar, office and a huge atrium in the middle of it.

Ross Le Marquand, of estate agents Cooper Brouard, said: “This is the first time Fort Richmond has been given consent to transform it from military to domestic use.

“It was built when England was worried about a Napoleon invasion from France but was not put into significant use.

• Adolf Hitler really did have only one ball, according to new medical report

“In the Second World War Winston Churchill took a decision not to defend the Channel Islands from the Germans and as a result the fort became part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall defence.

“It can now be offered for sale with planning permission in place which means that whoever buys it can do so in the certainty that they will be allowed to begin the conversion.

“The new home will have a dramatic coastal view couple with the peace and serenity of living in such a private location.”


World War Two

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Appeal for public to attend World War Two veteran’s funeral

December 7th, 2015

Eric Gill died aged 99 at his home in Edlington, Doncaster, on November 30, and his carer and friend Gwen has launched a Facebook appeal for members of the public to attend his funeral.

Mr Gill was part of the 49th West Riding Infantry and was one of six D-Day veterans from Yorkshire to receive France’s highest military honour, Legion d’Honneur, in April.

The award was given to all surviving British veterans of the 1944 Normandy landings for their efforts in the liberation of France.

“Eric served in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry … he took part in the D-Day and Operation Market Garden and was recently awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French,” says the Facebook appeal.

“Eric only had a small circle of friends and family, some of which are unable to attend his funeral, either due to illness or location.

a great man always talked about his medals and the royal family on the 15 bus when he used to get on, i was thinking…

Posted by Darren Paul Sables on  Monday, 7 December 2015

What a gentleman, will miss all the stories from you, RIP eric,,xx

Posted by Anne Mccormick-green on  Monday, 7 December 2015

“We call upon the entire nation to consider attending his funeral in Doncaster.

“Let us show the world how much respect we have for Eric and the men who helped keep this great nation of ours free!”

His funeral will take place at the Rosehill Crematorium in Doncaster but a date has yet to be set.


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How Care packages sent by ordinary people helped save British lives after World War Two

November 16th, 2015

The shortages were so severe that to assist their allies over the Atlantic, the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE) programme was established to allow US citizens to dispatch food and basic supplies to relatives – and strangers – living amid the rubble of Europe.

The programme was designed not merely to distribute luxuries, but life-saving necessities. During the first two years of operations more than 6.6 million packages were posted from America, 400,000 of which arrived in England – including several sent to the Anstis family by an uncle living in New York. The recipients say they have never forgotten those who reached out during their time of desperate need.

Seventy years on, Europe finds itself in the grip of the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War and once more CARE is working to save lives amid the chaos. The programme has grown into the charity CARE International UK which is supported in this year’s Telegraph Christmas Appeal.

Since the Syria crisis started, CARE has been working to distribute emergency food and hygiene parcels to the millions of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes.They are the victims of a very modern conflict, of course, but those British recipients of 70 years ago say they see close parallels between the plight of today’s refugees and that of their own generation.

“The refugees today are equally desperate to those poor souls who crossed Europe at the end of the Second World War,” says Mr Anstis. “Our job today is to accommodate them in all sorts of ways.”

Anstis, a retired architect and lecturer, grew up in Greenford in the West London suburbs and was six-years-old when hostilities erupted in 1939. His father, Herbert, a teacher and veteran of the First World War, remained in Britain working on the Home Front, but still the family found themselves constantly uprooted. In total, Anstis attended 13 different schools throughout the war.

“Our family was repeatedly evacuated,” he recalls. “Not in that picturesque situation of poor little toddlers with their gasmasks at railway stations. People were moved around with such rapidity.”

It was during a stay in one such temporary abode in Banstead, Surrey, in April 1942 that a bomb was dropped on an adjoining house during a Luftwaffe raid. “I woke to find myself covered in plaster and glass,” he says. “All the doors were gone and tiles and windows and ceilings. The rest of that night was spent cowering.”

It was not just food and safe accommodation in short supply but every basic necessity, including fuel. “Every winter during the war was very cold. We became used to chilblains and having frozen feet. When we got into bed we would put every available blanket and coat over us to make a sort of warm tunnel.”

The family only ate chicken once a year, for Christmas dinner, and even then it was an old broiler deemed long past its use. It is no surprise that Mr Anstis can still taste that tinned turkey today.

But the contents alone were not what made the packages so exotic. Similar to the modern refugees dreaming of a new life in Europe, America appeared to war-weary British eyes as a land of unimaginable plenty.

“It was very exciting to have these travel-stained parcels that had come all the way from New York,” he says. “At that time America was a great place of glamour and promise that was unrealisable.”

Tim Thomas, a now 73-year-old who was evacuated from Swansea to Wiltshire during the Blitz, can also still remember the excitement of receiving the CARE food parcels which were sent by a stranger in Boston called F. Prescott Fay. For his family, the steak and kidney pie, coffee, tea, powdered milk, tinned vegetables and peaches that came through the post several times a year were the pinnacle of luxury compared to the tapioca and corned beef they ate during rationing.

“We were very poor and very skinny,” Thomas says. “If that whole period has left me with anything it’s that feeling that a total stranger held out his hand in generosity when we needed help.”

Migrants and refugees prepare to board a train heading to Serbia from the Macedonian-Greek border near Gevgelija

Nowadays, the CARE packages being distributed to the never-ending lines of refugees snaking through the Balkans are rather more regimented in their contents. Each adult emergency package boasts 2,240 calories worth of non-perishable food items and high-energy sweet and savoury biscuits, as well as sanitary towels and basic first aid; with baby food, nappies, wipes and disinfectant distributed to young families.

Special winter CARE packages containing emergency shelter material such as sleeping bags and plastic groundsheets, warm clothes and waterproofs are also now being handed out as the cold starts to bite.

“I despair at the current refugee crisis,” says 79-year-old Janet Stevenson, a mother-of-two and grandmother-of-five who clearly recalls her own CARE packages which arrived at the school near Reading she attended as a child.

“It needs tackling at source but how you do it I don’t know. I just think it’s so tragic. I just want to help.

As Mrs Stevenson knows, it is not just the provision of basic items which makes the packages so important. The CARE parcel received by Mrs Stevenson ended up beginning a 60-year-long friendship with the US schoolgirl Shirley Meissner who helped send it over. The pair even met face to face in Virginia in 1986, before Shirley died five years ago.

Even during the greatest time of need, Mrs Stevenson – who nowadays donates to CARE through a seperate entrepreneurship scheme the charity runs – was never starving. Her father, a Gallipoli veteran tended an allotment throughout the war and could even on occasion venture to the end of the garden and wring a chicken’s neck – something the battle-scarred soldier loathed doing.

But she says her memories of such straitened times still stay with her today. “Even now I hate waste; I don’t waste anything – certainly food. Those are the values you learnt and they never leave you.”

There are other values, too, which those who experienced the kindness of strangers 70 years ago hold dear to this day.

“You can’t do much to help other people,” Mrs Stevenson says. “But you do what you can.”

To make a credit/debit-card donation call 0151-284 1927; go to telegraph.co.uk/charity; or send cheques/postal orders to Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal, Charities Trust, Suite 20–22, Century Building, Tower Street, Liverpool L3 4BJ


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British and Japanese veterans shake hands in Second World War reconciliation event

November 12th, 2015

Mr Welland presented Mr Urayama and Mr Mikio Kinoshita, who served as a sergeant in the Japanese Railway Construction Army on the infamous Burma Railway, with photos of the Battle of Kohima memorial.

In return, Mr Urayama gave the British veteran a specially made tie, while Mr Kinoshita presented him with a traditional wooden doll made by his daughter.

Mr Welland, from Colchester, served in a special forces unit in Norway before being transferred to the Far East with the Royal Berkshire Regiment and sent to halt the Japanese advance into India.

The twin clashes of Imphal and Kohima were fought between early April and late June 1944 and involved heavily outnumbered British and Indian troops desperately fighting to deny the Japanese attackers the high ground.

The Japanese were forced to retreat south and the battle is considered the turning point in the land war in south-east Asia because it demonstrated that the Japanese were not invincible.

Mr Welland admitted that he suffered nightmares for many years after the war and recalled stepping over countless bodies on the battlefield. He travelled to Japan for the first time last year after meeting the daughter of a Japanese veteran at a meeting of the Burma Star Association.

The year, he attended a Remembrance Day memorial service on Wednesday at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in the Hodogaya district of Yokohama, and said he intended to return to build bridges with more Japanese veterans in the future.

“I want to keep doing things like this for a few more years, if I can,” he said. “It just keeps getting better.”


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Armistice Day 2015 is observed around the world, in pictures

November 11th, 2015

Tributes will be paid today to the millions of British servicemen who have died in conflict since the start of the First World War. Here is a selection of photographs from around the world of this year’s Armistice Day commemorations.

Above: Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall attend the Remembrance Day National Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

Picture: Tim Rooke/Rex


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Voices of Remembrance: Veterans of World War Two describe their experiences

November 7th, 2015

Ammunition was limited though and pilots like Mr Farnes could only fire for around fifteen seconds in total before they ran out of bullets. “You would come down (on an enemy plane) have a quick burst of four or five seconds and then possibly break away and have a look round,” said Mr Farnes, “and if it was clear you’d go back and have another go.”

Laurie Weeden was also a pilot but his plane was a glider, flown into occupied France on D-Day. In the back of his Horsa glider he carried a jeep and an anti tank gun to be used by the Allies to recapture Northern France. “Ahead of us we could see the bombing of the Merville Battery,” he says, describing the coastal fortifications the Germans had set up to defend the coast, “ a line of tracer went up in front of us and as it hadn’t hit me I presumed it was (aimed for) the chap ahead of me. Or perhaps it was a German aiming at me and was not a very good shot.”

David Burke

Having trained with the Post Office before the war, David Burke arrived in Normandy as a signals sergeant on ‘D-Day + 2’, attached to Canadian forces.

In the subsequent advance through northern Germany, he witnessed Bergen-Belsen.

‘I’ll tell you about concentration camps: if you’re downwind of it, it can sicken you. You never forget the smell.’

Servicemen and women from the two World Wars and later conflicts will be remembered on Sunday at memorial services across the country, with the main service taking place at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.


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Germany still paying pensions to Spain’s Nazi volunteers during Second World War

November 5th, 2015

The German government has continued to pay pensions to Spaniards who volunteered to fight for the Nazis in the Second World War.

Berlin is still honouring an agreement made with the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, whose regime encouraged volunteers to sign up to fight for Hitler against Communist Russia between 1941 and 1943.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question by Left-wing MP Andrej Hunko, Angela Merkel’s government admitted that it was still paying out over €100,000 (£71,000) a year in pensions to survivors and relatives of troops from the so-called Blue Division, in whose ranks Spanish volunteers fought on the Eastern Front.

The current annual bill to German taxpayers stands at €107,352, which is granted to 41 veterans who were wounded while fighting for the Nazis, eight widows of former fighters, and one orphan of a Blue Division volunteer.

Mr Hunko, of The Left (Die Linke) party, said it was “a scandal that 70 years after the war, Germany is still paying more than €100,000 a year to Nazi collaborators”.

He added: “At that time, those people volunteered to join the German fascists to fight on their side in the war of extermination in eastern Europe. For me it is incomprehensible that the German government should stick to those payments when so many victims of the war are still waiting today for their rightful compensation.”

The agreement to pay pensions to Blue Division veterans was made between Franco’s government and the Federal Republic of Germany in 1962.

The German government said that 47,000 Spanish volunteers had fought for Nazi Germany under an agreement between Hitler and Franco, part of a deal which prevented Spain from entering the war too quickly after the three-year civil war won by Franco’s fascist forces in 1939 with help from Nazi Germany and Benito Mussolini’s Italy.

The written answer also said that 22,000 Blue Division members were either killed, wounded or declared missing in action during the war, without dividing the different groups of casualties. Other estimates put Spanish dead on the Eastern Front at around 5,000.


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A history of the world in funny puns

November 4th, 2015

big bang

dinosaurs

Ancient Egypt

noah's ark

Stonehenge

Socrates

Julius Caesar

Jesus

Vesuvius

hadrian's wall

King Arthur

Battle of Hastings

The Black Death

Gutenberg

Columbus

Renaissance

Spanish Armada

Gunpowder Plot

Great Fire of London

Acts of Union

Boston Tea Party

French revolution

Waterloo

Stephenson

the gold rush

Darwin

Abraham Lincoln

Marx

Vincent van Gogh

Olympics

Freud

Queen Victoria

Ford Model T

WW1

Russian Revolution

Wall Street Crash

WW2

Einstein

Cuban Missile Crisis

James Bond

Moon landings

Nixon

Mao

berlin wall

Dolly the Sheep

Google

Football

Harry Potter

Obama

YouTube


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The Last Stand: Abandoned World War II structures, in pictures

November 2nd, 2015
Wissant I, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France

A photographer has captured a series of striking photos of abandoned World War Two military buildings and the surrounding landscapes. British photographer Marc Wilson has been travelling around Northern Europe’s coastlines for the past few years, capturing stunning photos of the eerie, abandoned structures built by Hitler during the Second world War.

Above: Wissant I, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France

Picture: Marc Wilson/REX


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