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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The attack on Norway in 1940 (in German referred to by the code name Weserübung-North) was the German attack on Norway April 9th 1940 during World War II. The attack was the first ever integrated air, sea and land attacks under one command, General Nikolaus von Falk Horst.


The Norwegian fortification Oscar fortress sunk the German battleship "Blücher" in Drøbaksundet. This delayed disembarkation in Oslo and gave the king and the government and Parliament time to escape.

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Did you know Queen Elizabeth served as a car mechanics during WW II – Ted


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356_snipers_01Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Soviet sniper during WWII. A student at the time, Pavlichenko was among the first to volunteer for the armed forced when the Soviet Union was invaded and declined the opportunity to serve as a nurse instead of a soldier so as to put her badass shooting talents to good use. She went on to record 309 kills, making her the most successful female sniper in history. After she was wounded in battle, Pavlichenko traveled to the United States.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

The Red Army had over 2,000 woman snipers during WWII

367_Nina Lobkovskaya.The Soviet Union deployed women snipers extensively, and to great effect, including Nina Alexeyevna Lobkovskaya and Ukrainian Lyudmila Pavlichenko (who killed over 300 German soldiers). The Soviets found that sniper duties fit women well, since good snipers are patient, deliberate, have a high level of aerobic conditioning, and normally avoid hand-to-hand combat.

Nina Alexeyevna Lobkovskaya

Nina Alexeyevna Lobkovskaya (Russian: Ни́на Алексе́евна Лобко́вская; born c. 1925) served as a sniper for the Red Army of the Soviet Union during World War II attaining the rank of Lieutenant.

Lobkovskaya was one of 300 women sent to Veshnyaki to train as snipers. From February 1945 until the end of the war, Lobkovskaya commanded a company of female snipers who eventually participated in the Battle of Berlin.

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A tree has been given every year to Britain since 1947 by Norway in gratitude for Britain’s support for the country during the Second World War. Norway’s Government-in-Exile was based in Kensington while the country was under German occupation.

Text and image from The National Archives UK’s photostream on Flickr

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Rose Antonia Maria Valland (1 November 1898 – 18 September 1980) was a French art historian, a member of the French Resistance, a captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history. She secretly recorded details of the Nazi plundering of National French and private Jewish-owned art from France.

World War II
150_rose_valland_02Born in Saint-Étienne-de-Saint-Geoirs, Isère, she was the overseer of the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris at the time of the German occupation of France during World War II. Through the "Special Staff for Pictorial Art" (Sonderstab Bildende Kunst) of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg für die Besetzen Gebiete (The Reich Leader Rosenberg Institute for the Occupied Territories), or ERR, the Germans began the systematic looting of artworks from museums and private art collections throughout France. They used the Jeu de Paume Museum as to their central storage and sorting depot pending distribution to various persons and places in Germany.

While the Nazi plundering was being carried out, Rose Valland began secretly recording as much as possible of the more than 20,000 pieces of art brought to the Jeu de Paume Museum. Valland kept it secret from the Germans that she understood German. For four years she kept track of where and to whom in Germany the artworks were shipped and risked her life to provide information to the French Resistance and about railroad shipments of art so that they would not mistakenly blow up the trains loaded with France’s priceless treasures. The museum was visited by high-ranking Nazi officials and Valland was there when Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring came on 3 May 1941 to personally select some of the priceless stolen paintings for his own private collection.

A few weeks before the Liberation of Paris, on 1 August 1944, Valland learned that the Germans were planning to ship out five last boxcars full of art, including many of the modern paintings which they had hitherto neglected. She notified her contacts in the Resistance, who prevented the train from leaving Paris. The train was subsequently liberated by the French Army.

Post World War II
150_rose_valland_03Following the liberation of Paris by the Allied Forces, Rose Valland worked as a member of the "Commission for the Recovery of Works of Art" (Commission de Récupération Artistique). Valland was appointed a conservator of the French Musées Nationaux and in 1954 was named Chair of the "Commission for the Protection of Works of Art" (Chef du Service de protection des oeuvres d’art). In 1961, she wrote about her wartime experiences in a book published under the title, Le front de l’art (republished in 1997).

Rose Valland retired in 1968, but continued to work on restitution matters for the French archives. Her valor and dedication resulted in numerous awards from her own and other countries. From the French government she received the Légion d’honneur, was made a Commandeur of the Order of Arts and Letters and awarded the Médaille de la Résistance. Following its creation in 1951, she would receive the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The United States awarded Valland the Medal of Freedom in 1951.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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I come from a hiking family. Woods or mountains doesn’t matter as long as we get a bit of fresh air and sweat a little 😉 This is a picture of my parents at a time when my sister and I were merely a twinkle in our fathers eyes, it was taken the summer of 1945. The war was won and Norwegian could once again move freely where ever they wanted.

The paper copy got lost ages ago, so this is actually a scanned negative that I’ve inverted and adjusted – Ted

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Bomber’s Moon

The term “bomber‘s moon” refers to a bright full moon which illuminates the Earth almost like daylight. This idiom dates to the Second World War, referencing the idea that pilots used the light of a bomber’s moon to zero in on their targets. People who lived through the Second World War, especially veterans who flew in the war, still use this term to refer to an especially bright moon, although it is unfamiliar to many people born in the years after the war.

In the Second World War, targeting equipment for bombs was not very precise. Unlike modern aircraft and weapons, which can be programmed with very accurate geographic coordinates, World War Two-era planes had to be aimed directly at targets. The brighter the lighting conditions, the easier it was for pilots and crews to see potential targets, so the night of a bomber’s moon often involved a large number of bombing raids taking advantage of the great conditions.

Michael Harding’s Bomber’s Moon


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088_norcafNorwegians are among the most coffee drinking people in the world and has been throughout the 20th century. Temperance organisations and religion will have to take the blame for it. It’s easy to understand that a certain panic began to spread when coffee disappeared from the shops pretty early in WWII. Several substitutes began to turn up like the one on the poster above. Earlier this summer I had the chance to taste one of these substitutes on the Folk Museum in Oslo, it was made from roasted peas and tasted horribly, simply horribly – Ted 😉

From my own collections of printed matter

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In the small cottage by the road to the right in the picture I spent the summer and Easter holidays the first five years of my life. We were usually both our family and my uncle’s family. four children and four adults.

The cottage is 38 metric miles from Oslo and due to restrictions on new-car sales in Norway after  WWII we drove there in an Opel Kadet from 1938. It overheated frequently so it took most part of the day to get there, but my uncle’s family came in a 1932 Chevrolet so we usually arrived several hour before them.

These were the kind of cars available for most people back then so we never thought much about it. Mom had packed enough food and drinks to last us through all the stops on the way, and with the state of the roads back then the stops were actually rather welcome  – Ted

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It takes more than a world war to stop an Englishman from enjoying a game of golf – Ted

Image found at “Formicarius

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117396_af1The moving diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust, is now available in British book shops entitled The Diary of a Young Girl.

The book was first published in Dutch in 1947 under the title Het Achterhuis (The Secret House) by her father Otto Frank, who survived the concentration camps. It is a lively and at the same time disturbing account of a teenager living in hiding with seven others in fear of their lives in occupied Holland. Anne died just before her 16th birthday in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Faith in humanity
Her father survived and returned to Amsterdam where he, his family and friends had been in hiding for two years before the Nazis found them. There, his Dutch friends gave him papers left behind after the Gestapo raid. Among them was his daughter’s diary. It was some days before he could bring himself to read it and when he did he was astonished to find out about a side of his daughter he never knew – someone who was wise beyond her years and had a deep faith in humanity in spite of her suffering.

Her entry for 12 July 1944, three weeks before her arrest, read: "I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us … I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up into the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too will end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more."


The Franks had moved to Holland from Nazi Germany in 1933. In July 1942, after the Germans had occupied the country, the Franks and four other Jewish people went into hiding in an annex of a house in central Amsterdam. That year, Anne, who had an ambition to be a writer, was given a red and white check diary for her 13th birthday and immediately started writing about her experiences.

The annex was raided by the Gestapo on the 4 August 1944 after a tip-off from a Dutch informer and the eight occupants sent to Westerbork, a transit camp in Holland, and then on to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Anne died weeks before the liberation of Bergen-Belsen as did her mother, Edith, and sister, Margot.

In Context
Anne Frank became a symbol of Jewish suffering under the Nazis. Her diary, later entitled The Diary of Anne Frank, was translated into 50 languages and became one of the most popular books in the world. It was made into a play in 1956 that won the Pulitzer Prize and into a film three years later.

An unexpurgated edition was published in English in 1995 revealing both Anne’s awakening sexuality and her criticism of some of the adults in hiding with her.

The apartment in Amsterdam where the family hid, Number 263 Prinsengracht, is now the Anne Frank museum.

Article from BBC home’s “On This Day

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