26 January 2014

Messerschmitt Bf 109 is “Blaue 15” of Leutnant Lehmann

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Date: Wednesday, 27 December 1944
Place: Niedermendig/Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

The camouflage pattern already indicates it: this picture was taken in Germany during the final months of 1944. This Messerschmitt Bf 109 is “blaue 15” of Leutnant Lehmann of the 2.Staffel/NAG 1 (formed out of 4.(F)/123 on November 1st 1944). Picture taken at Niedermendig/Eifel airfield on December 27th 1944. A picture which may encourage modellers to build a diorama! Please note how close the aircraft is parked to the building.

Luftwaffe im Focus - Edition No.1 2002

24 January 2014

Coning Tower Test Using U-2330

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Date: Friday, 16 March 1945
Place: Germaniawerft, Hamburg, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

Beginning of March 1945, after the completion of construction, type XXIII submarine U-2330 was lowered by crane onto Slipway 8 of the Germania Shipyard. U-2330 was one of two boats used to test a conning tower variant with an inwards-facing mantle. This variant is easily recognizable by original style of balkon hydrophone array without the later sloped sides. Also clearly visible is the depth sounder opening in the keel. Commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans Beckmann, the submarine was attached to the 32. U-Flotille as a training boat from September 1944 until February 1945. It was subsequently assigned to the 11. U-Flotille (Bergen) as an operational boat. The U-2330 did not undertake any sorties, however, and it was scuttled by its crew in Kiel on 3 May 1945. The second Type XXIII boat seen in dock is the U-2323. Noteworthy on this boat are the many handgrip and step recesses on the side of the conning tower and the additional handgrip recesses farther up the rescue float container. The badly-bent starboard forward deflector in front of the forward dive plane may have been caused by a collision with an underwater obstacle or another submarine, or by a too-fast docking maneuver!

"U-Boot im Focus" magazine 2nd edition - 2007

U-861 at Trondheim Submarine Base

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Date: Thursday, 19 April 1945
Place: Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway
Photographer: Unknown

Monsoon boat U-861 was in rather battered condition when it sailed into the submarine base in Trondheim, Norway, on 19 April 1945. Behind the boat lay a 13 ½ week trip home following its departure from the base in Surabaya (Java, Indonesia) on 15 January the same year. The big Type IX D2 boat had departed Kiel on its first sortie on 20 April 1944 under the command of Ritterkreuzträger (Knight’s Cross wearer) Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten. Initially assign to an area of operations off the Brazilian coast and then the east coast of Africa, U-861 sank four ships totaling 22,040 GRT and damaged the 8,139 ton tanker “Daronia” before arriving at the island base of Penang (Malaysia) on 23 September 1944. By then the boat had been at sea for five months! The U-boat stayed in Penang until 1 November 1944, undergoing necessary maintenance and allowing the crew time to rest. On 1 November U-861 left Penang for Surabaya, arriving there on 5 November after a stop in Singapore. The boat remained there until it left for Germany on 15 January 1945. It carried a load of vital war materials, for example molybdenum ore, which was stowed in zinc containers in the ballast keel, and raw rubber. Armament was limited to two torpedoes for self defense. The safe return of the boat was the first priority, not the destruction of enemy shipping. This was jeopardized during the final phase of the journey when U-861 ran into pack ice south of Greenland. The resulting “sheet metal damage” was minimal, however, and thanks to the experience of the captain and crew the boat reached its destination albeit with just 800 liters of diesel in its fuel bunkers! Note the repainted area around the Panther emblem. Georg Högel’s book “Embleme, Wappen, Malings” depicts the emblem as a panther climbing a globe. According to Jürgen Oesten, the globe was never part of the emblem. Part of the word “Lekas” is visible on the conning tower. The word is Malay in origin and means “fast”.

"U-Boot im Focus" magazine 2nd edition - 2007

General Kurt von Briesen Reviewing His Troops in Paris Parade

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Date: Friday, 14 June 1940
Place: Avenue Foch, Champs-Élysées, Paris, France
Photographer: Kriegsberichter Folkerts

Generalleutnant Kurt von Briesen (Kommandeur 30. Infanterie-Division) reviewing his troops in a parade at Avenue Foch, Paris, 14 June 1940. The German 30. Infanterie-Division was approaching Paris from the north, but its original intention was to by-pass the city and continue its pursuit of the French forces retreating southward. When the commander of the division, Kurt von Briesen, heard that Paris had been declared an "open city", he decided to send units into the city outskirts to test whether the declaration was genuine. Those units reported back that there was no French resistance, and that all French forces had left the city. At that point, von Briesen decided to change the 6th Army's line of advance, and route through the city centre.When the advancing German units had reached the Champs Elysees, von Briesen decided to hold an extempore parade, so the 6th Army marched down the Champs Eysees accompanied by a band, with von Briesen taking the salute. The film footage of that parade is well known, but is usually mistakenly presented as the German victory march after the French surrender. In fact, after the parade the 6th Army kept on moving, exiting Paris from the south and continuing its pursuit of French forces. The case of Paris in 1940 is an example of a genuine "open city". The French Government and military forces had left the city, and no resistance was presented to the approaching German forces. The German response to the French declaration was appropriate. By contrast, regardless of any declaration that the Yugoslav Government may have made, that Government was still located in the city, and at least part of its war effort was still being directed from there. That made it a military target.

Book "Uniforms of the German Soldier; an Illustrated History from 1870 to the Present Day" by Alejandro M. De Quesada

23 January 2014

Oberleutnant Friedrich Winkler Gives Order Near the Barrikady Factory Stalingrad

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Date: Wednesday, 11 November 1942
Place: Stalingrad, Stalingrad Oblast, Soviet Union
Photographer: Kriegsberichter Kurt Heine

"So machen wir's: 1. Zug link, 2. Zug rechts!" Oberleutnant Friedrich Winkler (last rank Hauptmann) from 6.Kompanie / Infanterie-Regiment 577 / 305.Infanterie-Division gives orders to his men near the "Barrikady" Gun Factory, in the north sector of Stalingrad, Russia, 11 November 1942. Friedrich Konrad Winkler was born on the 22nd of August, 1909 in Worms (one of the oldest cities in Germany situated on the Rheine river). He was a professional soldier with 12 years of service known in the German Army as a "Zwölfender". He was promoted to Oberleutnant on the 1st of November 1941 and later promoted to Hauptmann on the 1st December 1942. He transferred to the 305. Infanterie-Division in mid 1942 from his previous unit Infanterie-Regiment 56. He initially served in the Stabskompanie of Infanterie-Regiment 577 (from the 15th of October Grenadier-Regiment 577) but later he took command of 6th company in the Regiment during the fighting in Barrikady Gun Factory in northern Stalingrad. The Grenadier-Regiment 577 was destroyed in January 1943 in Stalingrad. Friedrich Konrad Winkler was captured in Stalingrad in Febuary and died soon after, in the age of 34. He was awarded the: Infantry Assault Badge in Silver, Iron Cross 2nd Class (although it is not seen on his uniform but to award the 1st Class the soldier must have the 2nd), 1st Class, Wound Badge in Silver, Medal for the Winter Campaign in Russia 1941 / 1942, and the War Merit Cross 2nd Class (the last 2 can be seen on the the soldier’s right side, above his pocket). As you can see, the Infantry Assault Badge is broken. Breaking the assault badge was commonly done by the Stalingrad veterans as a indication that earning the assault badge in Stalingrad was a different level of achievement than earning it somewhere else. Operation Hubertus - The Assault on the “Red House” 11th November 1942. Historical Overview: The German Sixth Army had driven the Soviet 62nd Army back through the streets of Stalingrad, and by the start of November 1942 was in sight of the Volga. One more push in the factory area would see the end of the Russian resistance in the city. Unfortunately, German casualties in reaching this point had been heavy, with many units reduced to 25% of their summer strength. Von Paulus asked for another Infantry Division to finish the job, what he got was five battalions of Pioneers and some non too subtle pressure from Hitler to get on with it. On the Russian side things are even worse, with the defending regiments in reality having the strength of companies, holding on to a thin strip of land on the West bank of the Volga. The new German plan of attack was designated Operation Hubertus, and called for the Pioneer to assault a series of Soviet strong points and then push on to the Volga. The first stage objective for the 50th Panzer Pioneer Battalion was the Administration Building of the Barrikady gun factory, known to the Germans as “The Red House”. For more information about other picture from this scene: http://ww2images.blogspot.com/2013/01/german-soldier-at-ruins-of-stalingrad.html

Book "Island Of Fire: The Battle For the Barrikady Gun Factory In Stalingrad November 1942 - February 1943" by Jason D. Mark

17 January 2014

Baby Gets Burns Treated In Hiroshima

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Date: Thursday, 6 September 1945
Place: Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Photographer: Unknown

Doctors treat a baby with severe burns after the atomic attack in a still from an Education Ministry film. Most casualties received little, if any, treatment. Food, medicine and clean water were scarce. Because of the devastation, many were left in the open and died. Photographic and film evidence, as well as written reports, were confiscated by the United States government, who feared the reaction of the public just as the Cold War required atomic testing and increased funding. This film was saved by a Japanese technician who hid it in Nippon Eiga Shinsha studio, where it was discovered in 1993. A similar written account by the first American reporter to enter the city, George Weller of the Chicago Daily News, was suppressed. Wilfred Burchett defied the ban on reporters visiting Hiroshima, traveling thirty miles by train the visit the destroyed city. Burchett's article, headlined "The Atomic Plague," was published on September 5, 1945, in the London Daily Express. Other reporters, like William L. Laurence, the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for The New York Times, worked with or for the War Department and published articles refuting the idea that radiation caused large numbers of casualties. 


Crowds in Times Square Celebrate V-J Day

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Date: Tuesday, 14 August 1945
Place: New York, USA
Photographer: Unknown

Crowds in Times Square Celebrate V-J Day on August 14, 1945 following announcement of Japan's acceptance of Postdam Declaration of unconditional surrender. A crowd of 750,000 people, buzzing with hope and excitement, had gathered in Times Square, eyes fixed on the Times Tower. At 7:03pm, the words finally blazed across the news zipper: “OFFICIAL – TRUMAN ANNOUNCES JAPANESE SURRENDER.” Times Square exploded in a collective cry of joy and relief. By 10pm, the crowd had swelled to more than 2 million, as New Yorkers flooded the Square. Dancing and celebrations went on into the night. Note mockup of Statue of Liberty and below that an effigy of the Iwo Jima Flag raising. 


"Fat Man" Atomic Bomb Explodes Over Nagasaki

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Date: Thursday, 9 August 1945
Place: Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Photographer: Charles Levy

Mark 3 "Fat Man" nuclear bomb exploded over Nagasaki at 1102 Hours at an altitude of 1,650 feet, dropped by Bockscar, B-29-36-MO serial number 44-27297, victor number 77, 393rd Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group. The primary target, Kokura, was obscured by clouds and haze from conventional B-29 raids. The yield of the explosion was later estimated at 21 kilotons, 40 percent greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb. Nagasaki was an industrial center and major port on the western coast of Kyushu. As had happened at Hiroshima, the "all-clear" from an early morning air raid alert had just been sounded. There were 200,000 people in the city below the bomb when it exploded. The hurriedly-targeted weapon ended up detonating almost exactly between two of the principal targets in the city, the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works to the south, and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Torpedo Works to the north. Had the bomb exploded farther south the residential and commercial heart of the city would have suffered much greater damage. Bockscar, virtually out of fuel, landed on Okinawa. The picture was taken by Charles Levy from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack.


16 January 2014

Hitler Assembles The Reichsleiter and Gauleiter After July 1944 Attempt

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Date: Friday, 4 August 1944
Place: Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschanze, Rastenburg, Ostpreußen/East Prussia
Photographer: Unknown

4 August 1944: After the assassination attempt of 20 July 1944 Adolf Hitler assembles the Reich (Reichsleiter) and Gau (Gauleiter) Leadership at the Wolfschanze to render homage to him. A demonstration of the unity of the NSDAP political leadership. Reichsleiter (national leader or Reich leader) was the second highest political rank of the NSDAP, next only to the office of Führer. Reichsleiter also served as a paramilitary rank in the Nazi Party and was the highest position attainable in any Nazi organisation. A Gauleiter was the party leader of a regional branch of the NSDAP (more commonly known as the Nazi Party) or the head of a Gau or of a Reichsgau. Gauleiter was the second highest Nazi Party paramilitary rank, subordinate only to the higher rank Reichsleiter and to the position of Führer. During World War II, the rank of Gauleiter was obtained only by direct appointment from Adolf Hitler.

Fotos aus dem Führerhauptquartier - Hermann Historica München

Spectators and photographers crowd USS Missouri (BB-63)

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Date: Sunday, 2 September 1945
Place: Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Photographer: Unknown

Spectators and photographers crowd USS Missouri (BB-63) superstructure to witness the formal ceremonies marking Japan's surrender, September 2, 1945. The framed flag in lower right is that hoisted by Commodore Matthew C. Perry on July 14, 1853, in Yedo (later Tokyo) Bay, on his first expedition to negotiate the opening of Japan. It had been brought from its permanent home in Memorial Hall at the United States Naval Academy for use during the surrender ceremonies. Soon after 0900 Hours, the Japanese delegates had taken their places on Missouri's veranda deck, alongside her second sixteen-inch gun turret. At 0902, US Army General Douglas MacArthur opened the ceremonies with an statement calling for "a better world...a world founded upon faith and understanding - a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish - for freedom, tolerance, and justice." 

NARA (National Archives)

US Army General Douglas MacArthur at Manila Philippines

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Date: Friday, 24 August 1945
Place: Manila, Luzon, Philippines
Photographer: Unknown

US Army General Douglas MacArthur photographed just after sixteen Japanese envoys were flown from Ie Shima to Manila to discuss surrender terms. After a number of false starts as no Japanese officer would willingly serve on the delegation, they flew in two G4M-1 (Allied code name "Betty") bombers with the call sign "Bataan" to Ie Shima, and then a C-54 flew them to Manila. MacArthur, seeking to enhance his status in the eyes of the Japanese, refused to meet with them. US Army Major General Charles Willoughby, born in Germany and MacArthur's Chief of Intelligence, was detailed to meet with them. He conversed in German with Imperial Japanese Army General Toroshiro Kawabe. At the Rosario Apartments, Willoughby set the date for the first American landings at Atsugi Airfield, and worked out the first draft for the Instrument of Surrender. The Japanese worried that right-wing elements of the military would try to attack the first Americans to land, and admitted that the government may not have control of the situation. However, both the first landing by Colonel Charles Tench on August 28 and MacArthur's landing on August 30 were unmolested. Willoughby went on to support extreme right-wing organizations in the United States. MacArthur referred to him as "my little fascist." 

Library of Congress

15 January 2014

US Army General Douglas MacArthur Inspects Damage to Stotsenburg Station Hospital

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Date: Friday, 9 February 1945
Place: Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines
Photographer: Unknown

US Army General Douglas MacArthur inspects damage to Stotsenburg Station Hospital at Clark Field. The original 217-bed Post Hospital dated back to September 1903, and MacArthur's men had brought hundreds of casualties there in 1941-1942. Clark Field was in operation throughout the war, and many Japanese kamikazes were launched there. Occupied by the 30,000 Japanese soldiers of the Kembu Group, under the command Imperial Japanese Army Major General Rikichi Tsukada, fortified the area around Clark Field. The US Army's 37th and 40th Infantry Divisions attacked Clark Field on January 24, 1945. Within a week, Kembu Group lost all their heavy weapons and tanks, and the survivors took up harassing positions in the Zambales Mountains, where they would infiltrate into Clark Field and destroy aircraft and equipment in night raids. Exhausted, the 40th Division garrisoned Clark Field while the unit refit. XIV Corps had secured the Clark Field air center for the Allied Air Forces - construction work had already begun and the Fifth Air Force planes would soon be flying from repaired strips. Next, the corps, pushing the Kembu Group westward, had assured for itself the uninterrupted flow of supplies down Route 3 and the Manila Railroad, securing a line of communications along which future advances toward Manila could be supported. At the time of the photo, MacArthur was preoccupied by the emerging destruction of Manila and the massacre of Filipino civilians by surrounded Japanese Forces. 


Emperor Hirohito Paid a Visit to US Army General Douglas MacArthur

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Date: Thursday, 27 September 1945
Place: Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Photographer: Lieutenant Gaetano Faillance

On September 27, 1945, Emperor Hirohito paid a visit to US Army General Douglas MacArthur at the United States Embassy in Tokyo. Except for the Emperor's personal translator (he spoke the Imperial Dialect of Japanese, which was difficult for native Japanese to understand) his entourage was politely, but effectively, shut out of the meeting. The two met for minutes and one photo was taken. Hirohito accepted responsibility for the conduct of the war, unaware that MacArthur, over the objections of Stalin and the British, has removed his name from the list of war criminals, fearing guerrilla actions if he were to stand trial. The next day, the photo was run in newspapers in Japan and the United States. General Douglas MacArthur had landed at Atsugi airbase two days before; since the VJ day, he had been asked by President Truman to oversee the occupation of Japan. It was a daunting task. On his drive to Yokohama from Atsugi, tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers greeted him with their bayonets out in one final act of symbolic defiance. Seventy percent of Americans thought Emperor Hirohito should be persecuted; there were protests outside MacArthur’s headquarters by American servicemen and calls in Australian and Russian press to that effect. However, MacArthur understood that for the transition to be smooth, the imperial rule must persist. Yet, he didn’t make the customary call to the palace; instead, he waited for the emperor to make the first contact. On 27th September, Hirohito finally crossed the palace moat to reach MacArthur’s headquarters at the Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company – requisitioned for its relative intactness and its proximity to both the palace and the American embassy. In The Man Who Saved Kabuki, Shin Okamoto wrote: MacArthur greeted the emperor at the entrance to the reception room, shaking his hand and saying, ‘You are very, very welcome sir.’ The emperor kept bowing lower and lower until MacArthur found himself shaking hands with him over the emperor’s head. Only the emperor, MacArthur and Okamura, the interpreter went into the reception room. Then the door to the reception room was opened and Lt. Gaetano Faillace, of the military camera corps, took a now famous photograph of the emperor and MacArthur from outside the room.” Faillace was given one shot, but he spoke up and asked for three. Faillace also adviced MacArthur against a seated picture on a soft couch. First two photos were less than ideal — their eyes were closed in one, and the Emperor’s mouth was gaping open in the other. But even the perfect, final shot posed its own problems: at this juncture, Hirohito was still  akitsumikami or manifest deity (he would not renounce his divinity before the coming New Year’s Day), and everyone was supposed to avert eyes from the veiled imperial portraits in government buildings.Thus, printing the photo was deemed sacrilegious, not least because of the general’s extremely casual attire and his even more pointed body language. MacArthur’s office itself had to intervene to Japanese censors to have it printed. It ran on 29th September. He had to intervene again when the photo appeared in the New York Times alongside an unprecedented interview with the Emperor — where he criticized his government on failing to declare war on US before Pearl Harbour — and police tried to confiscate the papers. Outside Japan, too, the general’s informal appearance shocked many. Even Life clutched its pearls and wrote, “MacArthur did not trouble to put on a tie for the occasion”. As for the contents of their 40-minute tete-a-tete, nothing was made public; the two men would meet 10 more times during MacArthur’s sojourn as the American Proconsul. The general never paid a return call to the palace.A faction of the Japanese people believed Hirohito was forced into the meeting, but the Tenno Emperor asked MacArthur for the meeting. Hirohito was key to the smooth transition from militaristic autocratic government into a Western-style democracy. MacArthur said after the meeting that Hirohito was "a sincere man and a genuine liberal," high praise from the General. Hirohito's evaluation of MacArthur remain unclear, but he published poems in newspapers subtly encouraging the Japanese public to cooperate with the occupation. Hirohito visited MacArthur twice per year until MacArthur's retirement. His endorsement of Supreme Command Allied Powers (SCAP) directives afforded the Americans the stamp of legitimacy in a country conditioned to Imperial deference. 


US Army General MacArthur Speaks to American and Japanese Reporters

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Date: Thursday, 30 August 1945
Place: Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Photographer: Unknown

US Army General MacArthur Arrives at Atsugi Airfield, August 30, 1945, and speaks to American and Japanese reporters. Standing behind General MacArthur, at right, is General Robert L. Eichelberger. When President Truman announced Japan's capitulation, he placed General of the Army Douglas MacArthur in charge of the surrender and occupation of Japan, under the title Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP). Though the first two weeks of this mission were directed from Manila, on August 30 MacArthur flew to Japan. Without escort and only armed with sidearms, his small party wondered if they would be killed or captured upon landing, but MacArthur was confident the Japanese were genuine in their surrender and the mission would be welcomed. Arriving at Atsugi airfield, he established temporary headquarters some twenty miles away, at the Tokyo Bay city of Yokohama. Arrangements for the formal surrender ceremonies were made there. SCAP headquarters moved to Tokyo on September 8, beginning six years of occupation government from the Japanese capital city. 


14 January 2014

Pulling the Dead SS Soldier from Dachau Canal

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Date: Sunday, 29 April 1945
Place: Dachau, Oberbayern, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

The photograph above shows two soldiers from the 42nd "Rainbow" Infantry Division and one of the released prisoners from Dachau concentration camp (Konzentrationslager) pulling the body of a dead Waffen-SS soldier from the Würm river which flows in a concrete-lined canal along the west side of the camp. The American soldier on the far right is 19-year-old Richard F. Dutro of 232 Infantry, E Company from Zanesville, Ohio. After liberated the camp in 29 April 1945, personnel of the 42nd Division discovered the presence of guards, presumed to be SS men, in a tower to the left of the main gate of the inmate stockade. This tower was attacked by Tec 3 Henry J. Wells 39271327, Headquarters Military Intelligence Service, ETO, covered and aided by a party under Lt. Col. Walter J. Fellenz, 0-23055, 222 Infantry. No fire was delivered against them by the guards in the tower. A number of Germans were taken prisoner; after they were taken, and within a few feet of the tower, from which they were taken, they were shot and killed. Quoted from the IG Report of the U.S. Seventh Army. The bodies of two other SS men from Tower B had fallen into the Würm canal beside the tower.


USS Columbia (CL-56) Hit by Kamikaze Attack

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Date: Saturday, 6 January 1945
Place: Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines
Photographer: Unknown

Before and after views of USS Columbia (CL-56) hit by a Japanese A6M Zero-Sen Kamikaze aircraft diving on the ship at 1729 Hours on January 6, 1945, during the Lingayen Gulf operation. Columbia was first crashed close aboard by one of the kamikaze planes, then was struck on her port quarter by a second. The plane and its bomb penetrated two decks before exploding with tremendously damaging effect, killing thirteen and wounding 44 of the crew, putting her after turrets out of action, and setting the ship afire. Prompt flooding of two magazines prevented further explosions, and damage control measures enabled Columbia to complete her bombardment with her two operative turrets, and remain in action to give close support to underwater demolition teams. On the morning of the landings, January 9, as Columbia lay close inshore and surrounded by landing craft unable to maneuver, she was again crashed by a kamikaze. Knocking out six gun directors and a gun mount. Twenty-four men were killed and 97 wounded. Drastically shorthanded as she was, Columbia again put out fires, repaired damage, and continued her bombardment and fire support. Columbia sailed for Leyte that night, guarding a group of unloaded transports, and made emergency repairs. Her crew's accomplishments in saving their ship and carrying out their mission without interruption were recognized with the Navy Unit Commendation for this operation. The cruiser was under repair in the United States and in transit until June 16, 1945, when she arrived in the Western Pacific to participate in the operations to liberate Borneo. 


US Army General Douglas MacArthur's Second Landing on Leyte

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Date: Saturday, 21 October 1944
Place: Dulag, Leyte, Philippines
Photographer: Carl Mydans

US Army General Douglas MacArthur restages his landing from an LVCP on Leyte, Philippine Islands, for the press on White Beach in the 1st Calvary Division sector. At left is Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland, MacArthur's chief of staff, and directly behind MacArthur, in glasses, is Colonel Lloyd Lehrbas, the general's aide. LST-740 and LST-814 are behind him. He originally landed on October 20, 1944, under marginal enemy fire on Red Beach in the 24th Infantry Division sector. Both the Japanese and the Americans were shocked to see him wade ashore on A-Day, the first day of the invasion. The Japanese taunted him verbally and opened fire with a Nambu machine gun, but he was not hurt and reportedly did not duck. Philippine President in exile, Sergio Osmena, accompanied the first landing. The Higgins Boat (LCVP) ran aground, and the party had to walk to shore. MacArthur was upset that his carefully prepared uniform was wet, but the shot was iconic. This view, taken the next day for newsreel cameras, was made on a shallower beach, with less tide. 1st Calvary Division soldiers who saw the photo of the first landing questioned its authenticity, and the controversy over the staged landings began. The picture was not posed but it was actually taken three months later, at a different beach than that of the original landing side at Leyte. LIFE photographer Carl Mydans was on the landing craft with MacArthur, and he rushed ashore on the pontoons army engineers put out so that MacArthur would not get his feet wet. But then he saw MacArthur’s landing craft turn away parallel to the shore. Mydans ran along the sand until the craft headed inwards, and as he had expected: “I was standing in my dry shoes waiting.” His photograph showed MacArthur sloshing towards the camera in his open-necked uniform and signature dark glasses, accompanied by staff officers and helmeted troops.


10 January 2014

USS West Virginia (BB-48) Shoots Down a Japanese Kamikaze Plane

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Date: Tuesday, 27 March 1945
Place: Okinawa, East China Sea, Japan
Photographer: Unknown

Joining Task Force 64 for the invasion of the Okinawa Gunto area on March 25, 1945, USS West Virginia (BB-48) was assigned to fire support section one. West Virginia spent the ensuing days softening up Okinawa for the forthcoming American landings. At 1029 Hours on March 26, lookouts reported a gun flash from shore, followed by a splash in the water some 6,000 yards off the port bow. Firing her first salvoes of the operation, West Virginia let fly 28 rounds of 16- inch gunfire against the pugnacious Japanese batteries. The following day, the "Wee Vee," as her crew called her, fought against enemy air opposition, taking a Yokosuka P1Y Ginga (Galaxy) "Frances" bomber under fire at 0520. The twin-engined bomber crashed off the battleship's port quarter, the victim of West Virginia's anti-aircraft guns. Over the days that followed, enemy suicide attacks by Japanese planes continued. From the American landing on April 1 to May 25, seven major kamikaze attacks had been attempted, involving more than 1,500 planes. Almost a score of American ships were sunk, and twenty-five others damaged. The total strength of the Allied fleet at Okinawa was 1300 ships, including 40 carriers, 18 battleships, and 200 destroyers. The U.S. Navy sustained greater casualties in this operation than in any other battle of the war!


Flakpanzer IV (3.7cm FlaK) Ostwind

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Date: Saturday, 1 July 1944
Place: Sagan, Silesia, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

Flakpanzer IV (3.7cm FlaK) Ostwind (Eastwind). With the destruction of the Luftwaffe and the withdrawal of surviving units to Germany for home defense against the air war, the Wehrmacht was at the mercy of Allied air superiority. To protect mobile armored columns, they developed purpose-built anti-aircraft tanks. Retired or battle-damaged Panzerkampfwagen IV chassis at Ostbau Works in Sagan, Silesia. When that factory was going to be overrun, production moved to facilities of Deutsche Eisenwerke in Teplitz and Duisburg. Only 44 Ostwinds were made, but they were very effective against ground attack aircraft. All of them were issued to Panzer Divisions, making their combat debut during the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944 by 1st Waffen SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler." The vehicle mounted a 37mm Flak 43 cannon, which could be depressed to fire against ground troops. 


First Flag Raising on Iwo Jima

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Date: Friday, 23 February 1945
Place: Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands, Japan
Photographer: Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery, USMC, staff photographer for "Leatherneck" magazine

The 1st flagraising atop Mount Suribachi by E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division. Visible are 1st Lieutenant Harold G. Shrier (sitting behind Jacobs), Private 1st Class Raymond Jacobs, Sergeant Henry Hansen (cloth cap), Unknown (lower hand on pole), Sergeant Ernest "Boots" Thomas (back to camera), Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class John Bradley (helmet above Thomas), Private 1st Class James Michels (with M1 carbine), and Corporal Charles Lindberg (above Michels). On the morning of February 23, 1945, Lieutenant Schrier was ordered to take a reinforced platoon of 40 men to the top of Mount Suribachi, the extinct volcano that dominated Iwo Jima, and if he made it to the top, to raise an American flag. Significant Japanese elements were still occupying the area, but after sustained bombardment from aircraft and battleships, they remained inside their caves and tunnels. The patrol was unmolested as they reached the top at 1020 Hours. Charles Lindberg said, "Two of our men found a great big long pole up there, about 20-feet long. We tied the flag to it, carried it to the highest spot we could find, and raised it. Boy, then the island came alive down below. The troops started to cheer, the ships' whistles went off, it was quite a proud moment." Scattered Japanese resisters threw grenades and opened rifle fire when the flag went up. The flag, 54 by 28 inches from the transport USS Missoula (APA-211), was deemed to be too small, and a larger flag from LST-779 was brought to the top and replaced the 1st one. Little fanfare from the ships and men below accompanied the second flag raising. 


05 January 2014

San Petro Internees Arrive at Santa Anita Assembly Center

Image size: 1600 x 1145 pixel. 609 KB
Date: Sunday, 5 April 1942
Place: Santa Anita Assembly Center, California, USA
Photographer: Clem Albers

Japanese American internees, residents of San Pedro, arrive at Santa Anita Assembly Center. Milton Eisenhower, brother of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, head of War Relocation Authority (WRA), said in 1942, "In San Pedro, houses and hotels, occupied almost exclusively by Japanese, were within a stone’s throw of a naval air base, shipyards, oil wells. Japanese fishermen had every opportunity to watch the movement of our ships. Japanese farmers were living close to vital aircraft plants. So, as a first step, all Japanese were required to move from critical areas such as these." San Pedro's Terminal Island was selected as a test to see how Japanese Americans would react to relocation. On February 26, 1942, the US Navy gave residents 48 hours to leave. Home to a Japanese immigrant fishing community of about 3,000 people, half had American or Canadian citizenship. Dr. Yoshihiko Fujikawa, a resident, said "It was during these 48 hours that I witnessed unscrupulous vultures in the form of human beings taking advantage of bewildered housewives whose husbands had been rounded up by the FBI within 48 hours after Pearl Harbor. They were offered pittances for practically new furniture and applicances: refrigerators, radio consoles, et-cetera, as well as cars, and many were falling prey to these people." The day after "evacuation," Terminal Island was littered with abandoned possessions. Today, there is little trace of the Japanese community except one small monument. The rest of San Pedro's Japanese American community was interned in April 1942. Terminal Island became a Navy airfield.


Japanese-Americans at Manzanar War Relocation Center

Image size: 1600 x 1227 pixel. 486 KB
Date: Friday, 24 April 1942
Place: Manzanar War Relocation Center, California, USA
Photographer: Unknown

 Recently arrived interned Japanese-Americans queue for housing assignments. Begun in March of 1942, the Manzanar War Relocation Center was built by Los Angeles contractor Griffith and Company. Construction proceeded 10 hours a day 7 days a week; major construction was completed within six weeks. On March 21 the first 82 Japanese Americans made the 220-mile trip by bus from Los Angeles. More volunteers soon followed to help build the relocation center. Over the next few days 146 more Japanese Americans arrived in 140 cars and trucks under military escort. Another 500 Japanese Americans, mostly older men, arrived from Los Angeles by train. By mid April, up to 1,000 Japanese Americans were arriving at Manzanar a day and by mid May Manzanar had a population of over 7,000. By July Manzanar's population was nearly 10,000. Over 90 percent of the evacuees were from the Los Angeles area; others were from Stockton, California, and Bainbridge Island, Washington. Manzanar incarcerated 10,046 internees at its peak. A total of 11,070 people would be imprisoned there. The War Relocation Authority closed Manzanar On November 21, 1945. 


04 January 2014

A Young SS Hitlerjugend Soldier Captured by the Canadian at Normandy

Image size: 1600 x 1530 pixel. 464 KB
Date: Wednesday, 9 August 1944
Place: Caen, Basse-Normandie, France
Photographer: Unknown

A captured Panzergrenadier of the SS-Panzer-regiment 25 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" taken by a Canadian Intelligence Unit during the fighting for Caen. The official Public Archives of Canada caption for this photo taken a month after the activities in question, contains no information about the prisoner other than his division. Note: both allied soldiers are wearing the British P-1944 "Turtle" Mk III steel helmet, which was introduced shortly before D-Day. The Mk III helmet was much superior to the conventional "Brodie" helmet normally worn by British & Commonwealth soldiers. The soldier nearest the camera is holding a .303" Lee Enfield rifle in his right hand.. Canadians have mistreated prisoners because: In June 7th (one day after D-Day), the 25th Panzer-Grenadier Regiment under the command of SS-Standartenführer Kurt Meyer (Kurt Adolf Wilhelm Meyer, “Panzermeyer”) in conjunction with the 12th SS Panzer Regiment managed to repel the Canadians, and destroyed 28 tanks, and infantry regiment “Highlanders Nova Scotia “(born Nova Scotia Highlanders) suffered heavy losses. In this case, the loss of the German divisions were only six people! During the operation, the soldiers of 12. SS-Panzer-Division executed 20 Canadian prisoners of war in the Abbaye d’Ardenne. The "Hitler Youth" Division itself had the lowest percentage of prisoners. Of the original 21,300 men, in Gosostava 1945 it survived only 455 officers and men! The average age of the member of the Division was 17 – 18 years old!

Public Archives of Canada image

02 January 2014

Junkers Ju 87 A of “Legion Condor”

Image size: 1600 x 891 pixel. 330 KB
Date: 1938
Place: Spain
Photographer: Unknown

Relatively rare picture of a Junkers Ju 87 A of “Legion Condor”, which, according to the German books on the Legion during the Spanish Civil War, never existed! Always only three Ju 87 A, based on the “Jolanthe-Schwein” (Jolanthe-Pig) emblem called the “Jolanthe-Kette”, are mentioned used for experiments as dive-bombers. These three aircraft arrived in Spain on January 15th, 1938. The following aircraft and crews are known: 29●2 Unteroffizier Bartels/Unteroffizier Fleisch, 29●3 Leutnant Gerhard Weyert /Unteroffizier Göller, and 29●4 Leutnant Hermann-Josef Haas (Kettenführer)/Feldwebel Kramer. All crews came from 11.Staffel/Lehrgeschwader 1 (LG 1) and had only flown the Ju 87 for a few months before arriving in Spain! In fact also the Ju 87 A 29●5, 29●6, and 29●7 flew operations, the last two from July 1938 onwards. Little is known about this Ju 87 A 29●5. Who knows more?

Luftwaffe im Focus - Edition No.1 2002

Messerschmitt Me 210 A-1 “2N+LT” Crash Landed at Gerbini

Image size: 1600 x 914 pixel. 479 KB
Date: Thursday, 4 March 1943
Place: Gerbini, Sicily, Italia
Photographer: Unknown

The low rigidity of this sandbag box prevented that this Messerschmitt Me 210 A-1 “2N+LT” werknummer 0205 (gelb L) of 9.Staffel / Zerstörergeschwader 1 (ZG 1) sustained more than 40% damage. The aircraft crashed due unknown reasons during take off on March 4th 1943 in Gerbini. If the box would have been made from more rigid material the crew may not have been so lucky! The Me 210 carries the white fuselage band for the Mediterranean. Its subsequent history is unknown. Gerbini airfield was located some 10 kilometers west of Catania/Sicily. These sandbag boxes were typical for Gerbini as this bare field had no other means of protection. Note the painted camouflage on the sandbags! III.Gruppe/ZG 1 used Gerbini as a forward field from February until March 1943.

Luftwaffe im Focus - Edition No.1 2002

A Messerschmitt Me 210 from Ergänzungsstaffel Zerstörergeschwader 1 (ZG 1)

Image size: 1600 x 754 pixel. 303 KB
Date: Between January - March 1942
Place: Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast, Soviet Union
Photographer: Unknown

A Messerschmitt Me 210 with unit marking “1 E + JC”, werknummer 120013. Prior to this the marking “1 E” was allocated to Ergänzungsstaffel Zerstörergeschwader 1 (ZG 1). In this case however the fourth letter should have been “E”. This aircraft carries the letter “C” which identifies this aircraft as belonging to Stab of a II. Gruppe. It might be that this aircraft was handed over from the Ergänzungsgruppe to II./ZG 1 and that only the last letter was changed. The yellow fuselage band supports this theory as II./ZG 1 was the only Me 210 unit to fly operations on the Eastern Front. They operated between January and March 1942 from Briansk. Note also the different size of the unit markings. The aircraft letter “J” is probably green.

Luftwaffe im Focus - Edition No.1 2002