In the years that followed 1940 most of mainland Europe was occupying by German forces. Many of the German soldiers forming part of this occupying force stayed for years. On the battlefields of the old Western Front, German serviceman whose fathers had no doubt been veterans of the Great War often toured sites and with a pocket camera recorded their journeys in the same pilgrims past and present did.
This photograph was taken by a German soldier in 1943 and shows Caterpillar Valley Cemetery near Longueval on the Somme. Many wonder what the cemeteries looked like during the occupation and it is clear from this image that this was a site being well maintained; many Imperial War Graves Commission gardeners had stayed behind in 1940 and were still doing their pre-war work. In some cases local French people were carrying on with the task. The Germans appear to have let the work…
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It was the night of Sept. 23, 1942. A flight of RAF Halifax bombers from No. 76 squadron had just raided a German harbour facility on the Baltic Sea. Sometime during the mission one of the British bombers was struck by a burst of enemy flak. Critically damaged and losing altitude, the four-engine aircraft skidded into the North Sea. Only three of the plane’s crew survived the crash. The dazed fliers were plucked from the drink by the Germans and sent to a POW camp in Selesia where they would spend the rest of the war. One of the crew from the doomed Halifax, a 20-year-old radio operator, passed the many months in Stalag VIII B performing Shakespeare plays for his fellow inmates. In fact, the young sergeant discovered he had a flare for the dramatics. He continued acting in the camp and even pursued his new found passion after…
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War, the gift that keeps on giving. . .
Construction workers in Munich’s Schwabing district [where Hitler hung out as a street artist after his arrival in Germany] uncovered a fat World War II souvenir, an unexploded bomb dropped by the Allies during one of the massive air raids on the Bavarian capital.
Unable to defuse it, officials took the only way out: They blew it up last night, resulting in some spectacular pyrotechnics and lots of broken windows.
From the London Telegraph:
A closer view from Bild:
Another view from OmniaVideo, featuring a lot of cheering at the end.
For our German speaking readers, this video has views of some of the resulting damage and interviews with residents and business owners.
The story from Spiegel, which also has a photo gallery:
Unable to defuse a 250 kilogram (550 pound) bomb found buried one meter (three…
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