Discover World War II across the Whole World

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Here is a map and a list of places I have reviewed or written about in the blog that are worth visiting. Each place is a link to the article. Enjoy!

 

Great Britain

Germany

United States

Please comment under the article if you have visited, and what you thought of the area or a specific Museum. More places will come soon.

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Personal Stories

36 08.03.1942 Ленинградцы расчищают улицы родного города после первой блокадной зимы. Всеволод Тарасевич/РИА Новости

36 08.03.1942 Citizens of Leningrad help clean the streets. They all have first hand accounts of the war.

Personal Stories are the foundation of history.

Millions of people encountered and dealt with World War 2 in different ways. Soldiers have a battleground perspective, the civilians at home have another view. Similarly, the cities that where bombed and those that werent all lived the war in a different way.

Daily these stories are lost as more people pass away without sharing their experiences during the war.

I will post here stories from people I spoke with who were alive during the war, and their different circumstances.

If you know someone who was alive during the time, please talk to them and record it. Help keep their memories alive! I would love to hear from the stories, and I can post any that you have recorded. Just send me an email.

For Reference: A 90 year old person in 2016, was 14 years old in 1940.

Let’s keep the true First Hand Stories Alive!

Japanese WWII Vet Sees Trouble on the Horizon

Pacific Paratrooper

04zero1-master1050 Kaname Harada, 98, holding a picture of himself when he was a fighter pilot

NAGANO, Japan — Kaname Harada was once a feared samurai of the sky, shooting down 19 Allied aircraft as a pilot of Japan’s legendary Zero fighter plane during World War II. Now 98 years old and in failing health, the former ace is on what he calls his final mission: using his wartime experiences to warn Japan against ever going to war again.
This has become a timely issue in Japan, as the conservative Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has called for revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution. On a recent afternoon in this alpine city near his home, Mr. Harada was invited to address a ballroom filled with some 200 tax accountants and their business clients.
After slowly ascending the stage with the help of his daughter, he stopped to hang up hand-drawn war maps and a sepia-toned photo of himself…

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#Declassified: Vatican Documents from World War II

*This is a continuation on the declassified documents series

Sitting in the WikiLeaks declassified database is a document on the Vatican World War II documents. It is a cable from the Vatican from 2002, stating that “POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS ORDERED THE PARTIAL OPENING OF THE VATICAN ARCHIVES FOR MATERIAL RELATING TO THE PERIOD LEADING TO AND DURING WORLD WAR II.” (The cable can be found, here: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/02VATICAN819_a.html)

The decision seems to have come about to help clear up the Vatican’s image on their actions during the war time period. Unfortunately, I have had a hard time finding these documents. The closest archive I have found, is at http://www.vatican.va, however, they are huge documents and all in Italian. It is divided into about eight different volumes. To view it, visit this link: http://www.vatican.va/archive/actes/index_en.htm

If you have any more information on the topic or the whereabouts of the documents please comment and let us know!

Was Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki Necessary?

Now more than 70 years since the end of World War II and the United States’ bombing of two major Japanese cities the questions is again whether the bombing was necessary.

A few years back, Foreign Policy and CounterSpin, wrote great pieces on this matter especially looking at the broader picture of the war and how the events were unfolding.
Check it out, here:
Foreign Policy: http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/
CounterPunch: http://fair.org/home/the-japanese-were-already-defeated-and-were-seeking-peace/

What are your thoughts on this matter?

#Declassified: All of fold3’s WWII Data Archive for FREE

Fold3 is a database created by Ancestry.com. They have a promotion where all their World War II data on people, places and military units are available to download and search for free.

It will only be free till May 15th. Spread the Word!

To visit it, go to this link: https://go.fold3.com/wwii/?iid=ResearchBuzz

Also, for more World War II archives and documents, check out my other post here.

Comment below how the searching goes, good luck!

US Company worked with Nazi Germany during WWII

Hi,

Today I bring you a news update on the continued research and discoveries on World War II. A new book was released that deals with the Koch Brother’s father business adventures in Nazi Germany.

For more information, read a news articles about it on The New York Times
and watch an interview on Democracy Now!, here.

I hope you enjoy the update! Comment about whether or not you think this is crucial to understanding the war and the United States’ role.

Aircraft, Tanks and Battleships from World War II

The Jane’s Gem Series, 1st Edition (1990s) includes an impressive set of three books with a comprehensive guide to all the Air Force planes, the Navy ships and the Army tanks involved in World War II.

For me the books helped as a guide for all the other books I read. I could constantly refer back to them as I read, and since they are very small (3.5 x 4.5 inches) they are easy to carry.

Battleships of World War II
Details Provides the different types of ships and all the examples from the war of this ship, including Aircraft Carriers, Battleships, Cruisers, Submarines, and much more.
To buy from amazon, go here.

Airplanes of World War II
Details It an exhaustive list of all the Allies and Axis planes including the different models and variations. It is also just a lot of fun to look through. It contains specifics such as the dimentions, the gun sizes, the crew size, durability, company, and much more.
To buy from amazon, go here.

Tanks or World War II
Details Contains all the tanks used in the war, and those that were designed and that did not participate directly in combat.
To buy from amazon, go here.

Southwest USA – San Diego (Part 2)

In this second post on San Diego, I am expanding upon the already previous San Diego areas (USS Midway, Air & Space Museum and Unconditional Surrender Statue), and now including the Point Loma – Cabrillo World War II Museum and the Tuna Harbor.

Visitor Centre of Cabrillo National Monument

Visitor Centre of Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo World War II Museum
It has a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean from Point Loma, San Diego. It is also the sight of a Southern California World War II museum. During the war, the cliff was a navy defense bunker and defense post. The museum is inside an old radio station, contains maps of all the US defense posts, as well as an underground bunker and viewpoint. Furthermore, it shares great specifics on how the United States prepared for any attack from Imperial Japan. Below are several photos of the museum and the sight. Enjoy!

Cost: $10 Parking
Location: Cabrillo Monument, Point Loma, San Diego, CA.
For more information: https://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

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The San Diego Tuna Harbor
Though I have not been, it is on the San Diego Harbor overlooking modern Tuna fish boats. It also contains, however, a placard detailing how the Tuna Fish boat harbor contributed to the war effort on this side of the Pacific.
The location can be found on this map.

Both of these areas present the way in which cities that did not have direct combat were still affected by the war. San Diego being on the coast had a Navy base, and therefore, set up defenses (Cabrillo) and at the same time used all the resources it had available including Tuna boats in its operations. Both of these sites are very interesting to visit and I recommend them.

Have any of you visited these areas?

The Big Red One – Movie Review

The movie, “The Big Red One” is a film made in 1980 featuring the Squadron of the Red One, the 1st Infantry. The movie follows their assignments from a landing in North Africa, to the landing in Sicily, to the landing in Normandy and beyond. It is an extensive account of frontline soldiers’ experiences.
For me, the movie was very well made, especially in the way that it portrays the feelings and emotions that the soldiers deal with. Furthermore, it does a good job at intertwining the soldiers duties, the civilians experience, and also the experiences of the racial minorities that were oppressed.

To view the trailer, visit this site.

What did you think of the movie?

On The News: Japanese Internment in the USA

Hello fellow subscribers,

World War II is a recurring theme in our news. In this section of the website, I will bring you different news artices and videos of current interest that relates back to the war.

Today, the independent news show Democracy Now! spoke about the internment camps Japanese were sent to in the United States as part of the war effort.

Check it out, here: Seven Decades Ago the U.S. Detained 120,000 Japanese Americans, Could It Happen Again?

 

 

Southwest USA – Planes of Fame Museum at Chino Airport

At the Chino airport in Southern California there are two airplane museums: One – the Yanks Air Museum; secondly, the Planes of Fame museum.

Planes of Fame - Air Museum

Planes of Fame – Air Museum

Planes of Fame Museum
I just visited the Planes of Fame museum in early April 2016 they have a huge set of amazing planes that are still in flying condition. It is set up in six hangar, and a couple outdoor exhibitions. Also, most of these planes are flown in yearly air shows.
For ticket prices, go here.

World War II Planes
:
Allied Planes:The museum has a ton of World War II airplanes including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, as well as the three US Air Force Fighter Planes: the North American P-51A Mustang, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, and the Republic P-47G Thunderbolt.
Axis Planes: The museum also has planes from Nazi Germany, including the Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet, the Heinkel He-162 and the He-100. They also have several planes from Imperial Japan such as the Mitsubishi Zero.

Walking through the Museum

Boeing B-17 Bomber - Planes of Fame Museum

1. B-17 Bomber Display: It is on display next to the entrance of the museum entrance. It is in flying condition! Furthermore, during the weekends it is open to view the inside and many times they have veterans you can talk to.

2. Edward T. Maloney and Pond Hangar: Both hangars have flyable planes parked on display. In this area you have the airplanes from the United States of America from World War I, World War II, Vietnam and beyond. In this hangar are the P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt.

3. The USS Enterprise CV-6 Hangar: This is a recreation of the USS EnterpriseUSS Enterprise
aircraft carrier flight deck including
several of the planes that would have been on it. Furthermore, they also have artifacts from people who worked and lived on the carrier.

4. Outside Displays: The outside display is full of non-repaired and non-restored airplanes. It includes tanks, medical vehicles, helicopters and airplanes.

5. P-38 Lightning & 475th Display: They have a single hangar to display the P-38 Lightning plane and the 475th Fighter Group, displaying a lot of artifacts and personal stories from the veterans themselves.

6. Jet Hangar & Air Racers Display: This hangar displays dozens of jet engine planes some of which are in the photo slideshow below.

7. Foreign Hangar: The foreign hangar was one of the more interesting hangars for me to see. It had planes from WWI and WWII, including planes as a replica of the Red Baron’s, a V-1 Rocket, as well as other Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan planes. Photos are below.

Air Shows: The museum is known for its are shows, so if you are planning a visit check their website. They will have all their future shows advertised.

The museum is definitely worth visiting! You do need to be careful though, because the planes are very close together and you need to be careful as you walk through them.