Thursday, October 30, 2008

Navy Pilots Relax in Alaska

U.S. Navy pilots relax between missions with a game of cribbage in their quarters at an advance base in the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific in mid-1943.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beached U.S. Marines

November 22, 1943: A view along the beach on Tarawa, in the Gilbert Islands, following a landing by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Marine Artillery on Bougainville

A U.S. Marines howitzer artillery emplacement on Bougainville in mid-December 1943 fires on Japanese positions on the Pacific island.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Aircraft on the Yorktown

Naval aircraft warm up on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, during the campaign to recapture the Marshall Islands and Gilbert Islands. This photo was taken in November or December 1943 by a photographer of a U.S. Navy Photographic Unit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Early Presence in England

U.S. Army soldiers stand at attention as they prepare for inspection in London — Spring 1942.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Basic Training The Hard Way

New U.S. Army recruits practice difficult sit-ups while perched on a training scaffold in 1942. The location may possibly be at Fort Knox, Kentucky, but cannot be determined exactly from the information given with the original photo. The U.S. Army soldier was going to be physically fit when he met either the German or Japanese soldier on a foreign battlefield.

Friday, October 24, 2008

High-Level Lunch Meeting

A meeting of the American Combined Chiefs of Staff continues over lunch, circa 1943. Left to right: Admiral William D. Leahy, U.S. Navy; General Henry “Hap” Arnold, U.S. Army; Admiral Ernest J. King, U.S. Navy; and General George C. Marshall, U.S. Army.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

General Eisenhower — 1943

A formal portrait of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, taken in late 1943, at the time of his appointment as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Western Europe.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

B-17G Flying Fortress Crew Heads Out

The crew of a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress is shown somewhere in England being shuttled out to their aircraft for a mission. Generally considered the defining B-17 design, all changes made in the B-17F production run were incorporated into the final B-17G version. It also included a Bendix chin-turret, an innovation derived from the unsuccessful YB-40 escort version, bringing defensive armament to thirteen .50-calibre machine guns. Some 8,680 were built.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

America Gets Closer to War

In the Fall of 1941, with Europe already at war, United States Army draftees are drilled at Fort Lewis, Washington. Fort Lewis, named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is one of the largest and most modern military reservations in the United States.

As World War II loomed in the future, Fort Lewis became more active. Between May 1939 and March 1941, the post population grew from 5,000 to 37,000 troops. To house the new soldiers, a 2000-acre North Fort Lewis complex was completed by August 1941. The bombing of Pearl Harbor sent a tremor of fear through the West Coast. Troops from Fort Lewis helped secure McChord Field, Camp Murray, and Fort Lewis itself. As time went on, the nervousness eased, and the post got down to wartime business. Before the end of World War II the post had trained the 3rd, 33rd, 40th, 41st, 44th and 96th Infantry Divisions, plus many brigades and smaller size units. A camp for prisoners of war was established in July 1943 and was continued for 3 years.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Patriotic Children

Children stage a patriotic demonstration in Southhampton, Connecticut. The events that had propelled the U.S.A. into the war stirred not only the nation’s leaders — but also its population — out of their isolationism. The United States was to regard itself as the bastion of freedom for many decades to come.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Statue of Liberty — 1940

The Statue of Liberty is seen in this aerial photo of Liberty Island from 1940 — when everything that she stood for was under attack in Asia and in Europe. And soon America would be called upon to save those peoples from a new Dark Age.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The American Infantryman

Technical Sergeant Richard S. Westhoven of Lancaster, Ohio, poses in full field equipment as issued to an infantryman with a U.S. Rifle Platoon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Basic Army Training

German soldiers proceed with their basic training near Munich in the late Thirties. Every infantry soldier was armed with a rifle (usually the 7.92mm Karabiner 98k) and had to become proficient at using it, so plenty of time was spent on the firing range.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hitler at the Reich Chancellery

Adolf Hitler is seen at the Reich Chancellery on June 1, 1939, during a ceremony to award banners to outstanding industrial plants. He had long wooed leading industrialists, and arms giants such as Krupp — realizing where their future lay — were not slow in putting their finances and support firmly behind the Nazis.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The People’s Car

Adolf Hitler is seen here at the Auto Exhibition in Berlin on February 17, 1939. He took an interest in cars and made sure that the Volkswagen “Beetle” was dangled like a carrot in front of the people, and that they were encouraged to save up for “the People’s Car.” Money was soon diverted to the war effort, however, along with the car factories’ capacities.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


“Kristallnacht,” or “Night of the Broken Glass,” took place on the night of November 9, 1938. Terror attacks were made on Jewish businesses and property as bands of Nazis looted and destroyed seven and a half thousand Jewish shops, claiming the attacks were the public’s reaction to the murder of Ernst von Rath, Third Secretary of the German Embassy of Paris, by a Polish Jew.

On November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year old German Jew enraged by his family's expulsion from Germany, walked into the German Embassy in Paris and fired five shots at the junior diplomat. Two days later, he died and Germany was in the grip of skillfully orchestrated anti-Jewish violence. In the early hours of November 10, coordinated destruction broke out in cities, towns and villages throughout the Third Reich.

The consequences of this violence were disastrous for the Jews of the Third Reich. In a single night, Kristallnacht saw the destruction of more than 200 Synagogues, and the ransacking of tens of thousands of Jewish businesses and homes. It marked the beginning of the systematic eradication of a people who could trace their ancestry in Germany to Roman times, and served as a prelude to the Holocaust that was to follow.

On a single night, 92 Jews were murdered, and 25,000–30,000 were arrested and deported to concentration camps.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reich Party Congress, 1938

An adoring crowd greets their beloved Führer at the opening of the Reich Party Congress in Nuremburg on September 6, 1938. After inspecting his personal bodyguard, Hitler drove through the beflagged city to the sound of church bells and cheering crowds.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The War is on Hold

There will be a cease-fire in this website through at least Sunday, due to travel.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hitler on May Day — 1939

Adolf Hitler speaks in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on May Day in 1939. The Nazis appropriated National Labour Day, May 1, as one of their holidays. Workers marched, waved banners, built bonfires, and danced around maypoles when they were not being addressed by Hitler and other leading Nazis.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hitler Youth — 1938

Hitler Youth are seen here in Graz Austria in 1938. The Hitler Jugend, or HJ, was the male branch of the Nazi’s youth movement. Established in 1933, the HJ numbered over seven million five years later, under the command of Reichsjugendfuhrer (Reich Youth Leader) Baldur von Schirach. Indoctrinating German youth in the practicalities of war was a top priority in the Third Reich. Indeed, many in this photo may have died on the battlefields just a few short years later.

Monday, October 6, 2008

SA Campers March — 1938

Today’s photo is of an SA Camp at Nuremburg, during the Reich Party Congress of 1938. The Sturmabteilung, or “Storm Troopers” of the Nazi Party, also called the “Brownshirts,” began as squads of roughnecks under Ernst Rohm, formed to protect Nazi mass meetings from rivals. In the “Night of the Long Knives” in June 1934 (which was undertaken to rid the Reich of Nazi enemies), the SA were purged by the SS and Rohm was murdered.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

1936 Nazi Party Rally at Nuremburg

Today’s image is from the Nazi Party rally in Nuremburg in 1936. The following is from the official Party report afterwards:

The Party Rally of Honor

by Dr. Walther Schmitt

“A clear tradition determines the course of the National Party Congress of the NSDAP. It begins with the ringing of every bell in Nuremberg. The party calls Germany to the great gathering of the Germans and announces simultaneously that the Führer has entered the city. Nuremberg then greets the Führer and the party in the old, splendid city hall. The congress gathers the next day to hear Adolf Hitler's yearly proclamation The Führer reviews what has been accomplished and outlines and gives orders for the future. This annual gathering is a powerful arena in which the energy of the entire people is gathered to set the next goals and receive new direction. The cultural session takes place that evening. Adolf Hitler gives a major speech that expounds on the cultural duties of the movement.”

Friday, October 3, 2008

Autumn 1944 Nazi Propaganda Color Newsreel

Today we present another film for your education. It is a color Nazi newsreel from Autumn 1944. Even though the Allies were closing in on the German borders, some care was taken to show the citizens of Germany that most was well within the Reich.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tripartite Pact Signed in Berlin

“On September 27, 1940, Japan, whose sympathies lay with Germany and Italy, signed a ten-year pact with these two countries. This provided for mutual aid in the event of any of the signatories being attacked by a power not so far involved in the war, and was interpreted as a warning to the United States. The picture above shows: left to right, seated, Ciano (Italy), Ribbentrop (Germany), and Saburo Kuruso (Japanese Ambassador to Germany) signing agreement.”

Source: Pictorial History of the Second World War