24 December 2014

Hermann Göring Wife and Daughter in Nürnberg

Image size: 1600 x 1338 pixel. 671 KB
Date: Tuesday, 26 September 1946
Place: Nürnberg, Bayern, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

Edda Göring and her mother, Emmy Göring, receive a handwritten letter from Hermann Göring in his death cell at Nürnberg. An illustration from David Irving book "Nuremberg, the Last Battle". Edda is the only daughter of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and Emmy Göring. Before married, Emmy (birth name Emma Johanna Henny Sonnemann) had been an actress. After marrying Göring in 10 April 1935, she became Germany’s first lady, since Hitler had no wife at the time. Emmy Göring was a genuinely gracious woman with a naive charm. Edda was born in 2 June 1938 and grew up in Berlin. This photograph of Edda and Emmy (and Mr. postman!) was taken in Nürnberg on 26 September 1946, during the war crimes trial. Nineteen days later, Hermann Göring took his own life a day before his scheduled execution. At that time Edda was eight years old. After the trial Edda and her mother spent four years in an Allied prison camp. Years later, her mother would say it was the hardest time of their lives. After being released they lived in Münich. Emmy died in 1973. In 1991 Gerald Posner published some quotes from Edda in his book "Hitler’s Children". Edda complained that after the war "the government was terrible. They didn’t even let me keep [my father’s] wartime medals. The Americans stole his special baton." Edda was very much anti-America and probably blamed America in particular for her father’s death. She rejected the overwhelming evidence that her father was involved with the war crimes. In Posner’s book Edda was quoted as saying, "My only memories of him are such loving ones, I cannot see him any other way. I actually expect that most everybody has a favorable opinion of my father, except maybe in America. He was a good father to me."


American Armada at Ulithi Atoll

Image size: 1600 x 1215 pixel. 460 KB
Date: Monday, 1 January 1945
Place: Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, Western Pacific Ocean
Photographer: Unknown

Vast array of American warships just offshore of naval base on Mogmog Island in the Ulithi Atoll, part of the Caroline Islands, 1 January 1945. Ulithi Atoll itself are home to the 3rd Fleet in late 1944. The land in the foreground is one of several depot islands surrounding the anchorage. After World War II many battleships were intentionally sunk rather than taken elsewhere to disassemble. These iron bohemoths lie at the bottom of the Atoll and as they rust their iron content leaks into the seawater changing the very chemistry of the nutrient-poor tropical waters. The occupation of Ulithi by US Naval Fleets during the war changed the Islanders’ way of life dramatically. Entire islands were razed to the ground to make room for Allied Troops. Imported food, culture and language changed the traditional ways of these remote islands. After the war a surplus of boats, fuel, and new technologies like spear-guns radically altered the effectiveness of the Islanders’ fishing techniques.


10 December 2014

Canadian AA Crew with Bofors Gun in Normandy on D-Day

Image size: 1562 x 1600 pixel. 857 KB
Date: Tuesday, 6 June 1944
Place: Bernières-sur-Mer, Juno Beach, Normandy
Photographer: Unknown

Photograph of four soldiers from 3rd Canadian Infantry Division Sergeant Traplin, Bombardier Heldon, Bombardier Blank and Sergent Kennedy with their Swedish-made 40mm/L60 Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun after shooting down a Luftwaffe aircraft over the beachhead near their emplacement at Bernières-sur-Mer near Juno Beach (Normandy), 6 June 1944. At the time of the photo German Luftwaffe war planes were still active in the area. 30,000 Canadians had been landed, and 340 lost their live in the battles for the beachhead. The person to the rear of the position facing left is using the British-designed Stiffkey Sight, a mechanical computer that moved the gunners sights to account for leading a fast moving target. The Bofors gun in mobile form was commonly towed by either a GMC or Dodge 6x6 truck, and had a total crew of 8 including truck crew to include truck driver, gunner, two loaders, direction setting, elevation setter, radio operator and the gun commander.


06 December 2014

Small Briefing of German Officers Before Stalingrad

Image size: 1600 x 1030 pixel. 384 KB
Date: Sunday, 21 June 1942
Place: Kalmuck Steppe, Northwest Caspian Sea, Soviet Union
Photographer: Unknown

 Small briefing in the Kalmuck/Kalmyk Steppe of a German Army company commander (Kompaniechef) with the rank of Oberleutnant (left) and his platoon commander (Zugführer) with the rank of Leutnant on their drive to Stalingrad, Russia, 21 June 1942. The 6. Armee began its involvement in the Russian Campaign as the spearhead of Heeresgruppe Süd (Army Group South). Shortly after being promoted to Field Marshal, Walther von Reichenau (Oberbefehlshaber 6. Armee) died in an aircraft accident while being transported to a hospital after a heart attack in January 1942. He was succeeded by his former chief of staff, General der Panzertruppe Friedrich Paulus. Paulus led the 6. Armee to a major victory at the Second Battle of Kharkov during the spring of 1942. This victory also sealed the 6. Armee's destiny because it was selected by the OKH for the attack on Stalingrad. On 28 June 1942, Heeresgruppe Süd began Operation Blau; the German Army's summer offensive into southern Russia. The goals of the operation were to secure both the oil fields at Baku, Azerbaijan, and the city of Stalingrad on the river Volga to protect the forces advancing into the Caucasus. After two months, the 6. Armee reached the outskirts of Stalingrad on 23 August 1942. On the same day, over 1,000 aircraft of the Luftwaffe's Luftflotte 4 bombed the city, turning it into a massive inferno. Destroyed in a matter of hours, Stalingrad was now a charnel house; defended by the weak Soviet 62nd Army under the command of General Vasily Chuikov. Despite having the initiative, the 6. Armee failed to obtain a quick victory. The Red Army put up determined resistance, taking the fight to the rubble-clogged city streets. Though having almost complete air superiority over Stalingrad, and with more artillery pieces than the Soviets, progress was reduced to no more than several meters a day. Soviet casualties in the ghastly urban fighting were horrendous, while German casualties were just as appalling. Eventually, by mid November, the 62nd Army had been pushed to the banks of the Volga; holding only three small bridgeheads along the riverfront. However, despite continued fighting, the 6. Armee was unable to eliminate the remaining Soviet troops holding out in Stalingrad.


05 December 2014

SS Division Wiking Award Ceremony for Panzertruppen

Image size: 1600 x 1009 pixel. 350 KB
Date: Friday, 19 May 1944
Place: Kholm, Kholmsky District, Novgorod Oblast, Soviet Union
Photographer: Unknown

The photo is taken on May 19, 1944 at Cholm from an awards ceremony for the SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 of 5. SS-Panzer-Division "Wiking". From left to right: SS-Sturmbannführer Paul Kümmel (Kommandeur I.Abteilung / SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 "Wiking"), SS-Standartenführer Johannes Mühlenkamp (Kommandeur SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 "Wiking"), SS-Obersturmführer Kurt Schumacher (Führer 3.Kompanie / I.Abteilung / SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 "Wiking"), SS-Untersturmführer der Reserve Paul Senghas (Zugführer in 1.Kompanie / I.Abteilung / SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 "Wiking"), and unidentified SS-Oberscharführer (possibly also from I.Abteilung / SS-Panzer-Regiment 5 "Wiking"). The 5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking´s Panzer Commander Johannes "Hannes" Rudolf Mühlenkamp (1910 – 1986) was promoted SS-Standartenführer on April 20 1944. On August the same year, he was given the command of the division. He always led from the front and commanded Wiking until October 1944. Then, Mühlenkamp was promoted Inspector of Waffen-SS Panzer troops in the SS-Führungshauptamt. Johannes Mühlenkamp held the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves that reflected not only his achievements but also those of his men. To the European volunteers under his command he was a figurehead who was often to be found standing over his panzer, his face covered in dust, leading them into battle.


Benito Mussolini Speaks with Wilhelm Keitel at Feltre Airfield

Image size: 1028 x 1600 pixel. 409 KB
Date: Monday, 19 July 1943
Place: Feltre, Belluno, Veneto, Italy
Photographer: Walter Frentz

Il Duce Benito Mussolini speaking with Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel (Chef des Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) at Feltre airfield (Northern Italy) before Keitel leaves for Berlin. The picture was made by Walter Frentz in the evening of 19 July 1943. Only a couple of days later (24 July 1943), the Italian dictator would be defeated in the vote at the Grand Council of Fascism, and the King Victor Emmanuel had him arrested the following day. On 12 September 1943, Mussolini was rescued from prison in the Gran Sasso raid by German special forces led by the daring Otto Skorzeny. In late April 1945, with total defeat looming, Mussolini attempted to escape north, only to be quickly captured and summarily executed near Lake Como by Italian partisans. His body was then taken to Milan where it was hung upside down at a service station for public viewing and to provide confirmation of his demise. In this picture Keitel holding his Interimstab (baton), while in his uniform we can see his Italian Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savoy, awarded to him by King Victor Emmanuel on 24 April 1942, along with Großadmiral Erich Raeder


03 December 2014

Adolf Hitler on his Release from Landsberg Prison

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Date: Saturday, 20 December 1924
Place: Landsberg Prison, Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany
Photographer: Heinrich Hoffmann

Adolf Hitler, age 35, wearing trench coat posed beside a gray Marcedes-Benz 11/40 (model number RIO 4346) on his release from Landsberg Prison, on December 20, 1924, after serving only nine months. He had been charged and convicted for high treason for attempting to seize power in Germany in the failed Munich Putsch coup the previous year. He spent 264 days behind bars in total. It was in this period that Hitler wrote the book that would become the literary backbone to Nazi ideology: "Mein Kampf", or "My Struggle". It was written with the help of Rudolf Hess, his deputy, who had also been involved in the Putsch and sent to prison. A combination of Hitler’s personal story and political ideology, Mein Kampf set out Hitler’s vision for Germany’s future, including the extermination of the Jewish people. Eventually ran to two volumes. A Landsberg prison official reportedly said Hitler hoped the profits from the tract would enable him “to fulfill his financial obligations and to defray the expenses incurred at the time of his trial”. Eight years later, Hitler would be sworn in as Chancellor of Germany, in 1933.


US Rangers Aboard their Landing Craft Before Normandy Invasion

Image size: 1600 x 1091 pixel. 563 KB
Date: Saturday, 3 June 1944
Place: Weymouth Harbour, Dorset, England
Photographer: Unknown

U.S. Rangers from E Company, Fifth Ranger Battalion, aboard their landing craft on Weymouth Harbor, Dorset (England), waiting for the signal to sail to the coast of Normandy, 3 June 1944. In the foreground, they are, clockwise from far left, First Sergeant Sandy Martin, Technician Fifth Grade Joseph Markovich, Corporal John Loshiavo and Private First Class Frank Lockwood, with their Bazooka, Garand rifle, 60-mm mortar and Lucky Strikes. Before they boarded their vessel, these Rangers — four of perhaps 160,000 soldiers who would cross the English Channel — were penned up, away from public view, in camps policed by British officers in machine-gun towers. As they waited for their signal, soldiers of Operation Overlord hurled Army knives at playing cards nailed onto trees, played softball and, ducking into an entertainment tent, watched “Girl Crazy,” starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. But their nerves were strained; sometimes they fought one another with fists. They knew the lethal odds that faced them on the Normandy beaches. Then Martin, Markovich, Loshiavo and Lockwood were in their landing craft. One soldier insisted that these boats were designed to induce “a sense of physical discomfort, seasickness and physical degradation” so that the men would “land in such an angry condition as to bring destruction, devastation and death upon any person or thing in sight or hearing.” About 2,500 Americans were killed in the D-Day effort to make the world safe for freedom. One of them was Sandy Martin, who lies buried in the American cemetery on the bluff that looks down on Omaha Beach


02 December 2014

Adolf Hitler Laughing at a Vacation in Harz Mountains

Image size: 1600 x 1323 pixel. 733 KB
Date: 17-21 July 1935
Place: Harz mountains, Germany
Photographer: Heinrich Hoffmann

Original postcard caption "Eine lustige Erholungsstunde während der Fahrt" (A funny recreation hour in motion). Adolf Hitler (Führer und Reichskanzler) sitting on a bench and laughing while listening to a humorous accordeon plays performed by Arthur Kannenberg, Hitler's chief butler (Küchenchef). This picture was taken by Hitler personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann, during a trip to the Harz mountains (Northern Germany), 17-21 July 1935. The man sitting with Hitler (and also laughing with him) is Adolf Wagner (Gauleiter München-Oberbayern). The Führer was said to be particularly fond of a couple jokes and told the best ones over and over. One joke that Hitler liked to tell was at the expense of his pompous Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring, a man forever designing himself new uniforms and giving himself new orders and decorations. “One day,“ Hitler used to say, “Mrs. Göring came into the bedchamber and found her husband waving his Field Marshall‘s baton over his underwear. 'Hermann, darling, what are you doing?‘ she enquired. Göring answered, 'I am promoting my underpants to overpants!'"