Archive for the ‘WW II’ Category

a12123_land army

Women from the Land Army collecting the crop at Rhosmardy, Llandrillo sometimes during WWII -  And one local at least seem to enjoy the visit – Ted

Image (doctored) found on The National Library of Wales on Flickr

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Image found on vintagraph.com

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Is any vehicle better known than the military Jeep? Not likely, unless it’s the Ford Model T or Volkswagen Beetle. Not surprisingly, they’re similar in several ways. All were known for rugged construction, no-frills simplicity, and all-purpose dependability. And in the minds of their owners-or uniformed driversall had near-human personalities. These were more than just vehicles: they were friends.


The Jeep served beyond the call of duty during World War II on eastern and western front alike. Whether at Anzio or along the Burma Road, from South Pacific jungles to the shifting sands of North Africa, the Jeep was sure to be there, doing whatever was required-and more. It was conceived mainly for reconnaissance, but its service record was far more varied. Jeeps carried troops, both well and wounded, mounted guns, hauled supplies, guarded lines, delivered messages, and transported everyone from commanding generals and VIPs to rank-and-file GIs. Even President Roosevelt used one when reviewing the troops. Army chief of staff General George Marshall called it "America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare." Few who knew it disagreed.


Credit for the Jeep concept goes to American Bantam, the pioneering compact-car maker of 1936-41, which also developed the initial prototype and participated in wartime production. But the name is forever tied to Willys-Overland, which submitted a competing proposal and turned out the military version in huge numbers in 1941-45. Willys made only the chassis, however. Bodies came from outside suppliers. ‘


Willys’ first Jeep was the "Quad" prototype, delivered to Camp Holabird, Maryland, on Novevember 11, 1940. Finalized under company engineering vice-president Delmar G. "Barney" Roos, it was, per Army specifications, a lightweight, quarterton utility vehicle with four-wheel drive, and had a curved, snout-like front. After extensive testing, the basic design was accepted, and fullscale development began at the Willys plant in Toledo. The "Quad" was followed by a second prototype in 1941, the MA, created to counter alternatives from Bantam and Ford. Wearing a flat, vertical-bar grille and headlamps perched atop the front fenders, it rode an 80-inch wheelbase and measured 130 inches long. Power was supplied by the 134.2-cubic-inch L-head four from the 1941-42 Americar passenger models, churning out 63 horsepower. Willys built exactly 1577 of the MAs. Some time later, it turned to the eventual military version, designated MB. It was identical with the MA except for being two inches longer, weighing 2450 pounds, and having a fold-down windshield and headlights built into the front grille area. There were no doors, of course. By war’s end, Willys had turned out . 359,489 of them. Ford built another 227,000 under license.


The Jeep’s reputation as mainly a Willys creation is owed to company president Joseph Frazer. Though he had little to do with its design, he had plenty to do with its publicity, and helped the public forget that Ford was making them too. He even claimed to have coined the name-from G.P., "general purpose," the Army’s original description-though some insist it was borrowed from the "Popeye" cartoon character.


In all, wartime Jeep production was over 585,000 units. Military production would continue after the war, of course, but Willys wasted no time putting the concept in "civvies." First came a modified version dubbed CJ, for "civilian Jeep," followed in 1946 by an all-steel station wagon loosely based on the original design.


The military Jeeps were tough, versatile, and highly adaptable. But most of all they were loved. Bill Mauldin’s famous 1944 cartoon said it best, without words. Agrizzled, sadfaced sergeant, eyes covered with one hand, is aiming a pistol at his Jeep to put it out of its misery. Every military man and woman understood. But some may have wondered whether any Jeep was ever beyond repair. Surely it could be mended just one more time.

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From the ad:

The Nazis look upon us as a degenerate nation. But they have a great respect for our accomplishments. And, if they win, they may decide that we have something in our blood which can use in building their master race.

For they’re great believers in eugenics, these Nazis. They’re strong for selective breeding. You they may cast aside and put to some ignominious task, such as scrubbing the sidewalks or sweeping the streets. But your daughter…well, if she’s young and healthy and  strong, a Gauleiter with an eye for beauty may decide she’s a perfect specimen for one of their experimental camps.

A high honour for your daughter….

Does this seem a story spun the realm of fantasy? It isn’t. It is now happening, all through Europe. The latest experiment of the victorious Nazis has been to ship Austrian and Hungarian girls to  the Northern countries. The result of these unions…unblessed, of course, by matrimony…will not be know for some time. But the Nazis, you must admit, are not above innovation.

Two, three, four, five years from now they may ship American girls to some far corner of the earth…may select your daughter…if you relax, if you fail to do your part now. If you say, hopefully, “It can’t happen here. We can’t loose.”

No, we can’t lose. We can’t afford to. We must not. Else all the terrors , all the degradation, all the misery  and suffering that have been loosed upon Europe will be loosed upon us. We of all people will not escape it. We shall be the chosen… we shall be the select…in the Nazi scheme of things.

We who have only just begun to win. We who risk the danger of resting on our new-won laurels and considering the job done.

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Fanta – The Humble Beginnings Of  A Worldwide Phenomenon

456_fanta_03There have been all kinds of stories about Fanta’s creation in Nazi Germany during WWII. Some of what has been said is true— a great deal is fiction.

Prior to the breakout of the war, Germany was the location of The Coca-Cola Company’s greatest overseas success. Records for sales were set year after year. By 1939, there were 43 bottling plants and more than 600 local distributors.

The German branch of The Coca-Cola Company had been run by an American-born man by the name of Ray Powers. He was killed in a car accident in 1938 and was replaced by the German-born Max Keith. As the new CEO, Keith was entrusted with all the operations for The Coca-Cola Company in all the occupied countries.

During the war, Keith was able to maintain a degree of contact with the Atlanta-based headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company via Switzerland. But by 1941 he was no longer able to receive Coca-Cola syrup, and was therefore unable to continue to manufacture Coca-Cola.

456_fanta_01Keith’s solution to the ingredient shortage was to invent a new drink. It was made from what was available at the time, namely things left over from other food industries. There was whey, which was a byproduct of cheese production and apple fiber left over from cider presses. A variety of other fruit byproducts were added depending on what was available at the time. This led to the many variations in flavor that later became the different marketed flavors of Fanta. This new soft drink was sweetened with beet sugar. As CEO, Keith held a contest to name his new creation. He instructed his employees to let their “Fantasie”—German for “imaginations”—run wild. A salesman, Joe Knipp immediately blurted out “Fanta”!

456_fanta_06The new soft drink was not only successful enough to keep the bottling plants open and the people employed for the duration of the war, but enabled Fanta to become a soft drink favorite in Europe. In 1943 there were 3 million cases of Fanta sold in Germany and the occupied countries. Evidently, not all of that quantity was purchased to drink as a refreshing soft drink, but may have been used to flavor soups and stews, due to sugar rationing.

456_fanta_04Max Keith was not a Nazi, and never became one, as has been rumored. Although he suffered hardships as a result of his decision, he never gave into pressure to join the Nazi Party. With the success of Fanta, Keith was able to safeguard The Coca-Cola Company’s interests in Europe until after the war, when they were able to re-establish drink production almost immediately.

The Coca-Cola Company acquired the rights to Fanta in 1960. Today, Fanta is sold in the highest volume in Brazil, Germany, Spain, Japan, Italy and Argentina. Fanta was originally created in an orange flavor that now accounts for 70% of all Fanta sales.


Fanta is sold in 188 countries and is available in 70 flavors, although some flavors are only available in the country where they are manufactured. Fanta is the number one soft drink in Thailand, and a new flavor was just launched in Japan—Fanta Japanese Melon.


Text from RetroPlanet

Help Needed
I need your help visitors, both in suggesting sodas and soft drinks from around the world and in giving your opinion on the ones presented if you know the product. And you can start with giving your opinion on the ones posted already or reading what other visitors have written  – Ted

List of Soft drinks and sodas posted already
Visitors soft drinks and sodas suggestions and comments

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This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2012

For more than two decades, Chester Nez kept silent about his role as one of the original Navajo code talkers responsible for developing an unbreakable code during World War II. His death Wednesday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at age 93 was lamented by the Marine Corps as the end of an era — for both the country and its armed forces.

"We mourn his passing but honor and celebrate the indomitable spirit and dedication of those Marines who became known as the Navajo code talkers," the Marines said in a statement.

Nez was the last remaining of the original 29 Navajos recruited by the Marine Corps to develop the legendary code that was used for vital communications during battle.

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I must admit that it’s hardly the top guns among the mad men, neither among the image people nor the text people who have made the ad above. On the other hand they have zeroed down on two of the surest subjects when it comes to catching peoples interest. SEX and WW II. And combined these two are always a winner.

Who wouldn’t want to read Mussolini and Hitler’s love  letters to Claretta Petacci and Eva Braun. Although the teaser text from Benito’s letter there is disappointingly tame. I’ve seen his speeches on TV and they are definitely full of piss and vinegar so one should be able to expect more from his love letters. Anyhow, I bet the Police Gazette’s sales hit the roof for that next issue.

By the way, the way the two of them look at each other on the ad one would think the love letters they wrote were to each other, and who knows, maybe that was the sensation of the century – Ted

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