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As the Second World War loomed, everyone expected it would bring a new kind of conflict to Britain. Raids by airships in the First World War and the attack on Guernica in the Spanish Civil War had given a terrifying taste of what was to come. So when war was declared in September 1939 massive air raids against civilians were anticipated. Cities and strategic ports were the first to be hit. London was a major target throughout the war. But it was not only the capital that suffered: on 8 November 1940, 30,000 incendiary bombs rained down on Coventry, laying waste to the city, including, famously, its cathedral. Port cities such as Plymouth, Bristol and Liverpool also suffered especially badly. In "Blitz Diary" historian Carol Harris has collected together a remarkable series of accounts from the war's darkest days, with heart-warming stories of survival, perseverance, solidarity and bravery, the preservation of which becomes increasingly important as the Blitz fades from living memory.
When Christine Cuss (nee Pierce) was born in 1934, her doting father began a journal addressed to her. At first, he recorded everyday details such as first teeth and family holidays, but as the 1930s progressed his words took on a more sinister tone, as Europe and the world prepared for war. As well as being a rare historical document, "Notes to my Daughter" shows another side to the Second World War. It was written by a man who was torn between his duty to his country and his to his family. In a poignant and heart-warming turn of events, at every crossroads Alexander Pierce chose his family, not least his only daughter, Christine. This little family is an example of the spirit and determination of the British people through difficult times. Old or young, the sentiments expressed in these loving entries to a cherished child will not fail to touch and move all who read them, and open a window into the extraordinary life of an ordinary family.
USS Boise (CL-47)
USS Boise (CL-47) was a Brooklyn class light cruiser that fought at Guadalcanal then took part in the invasion of Sicily and the landings at Salerno on the mainland of Italy before returning to the Pacific to take part in the campaigns on New Guinea, the Philippines and Borneo. Boise received eleven battle stars for her service in World War II.
The Boise was launched on 3 December 1936 and commissioned on 12 August 1938. Her shakedown cruise took her to Africa, and she then joined Cruiser Division 9 of the Battle Force, and was based at San Pedro, California.
In November 1941 she left Pearl Harbor to escort a convoy to Manila, in the Philippines. She arrived on 4 December, four days before the Japanese entry into the war. On 8 December the Boise was off Cebu. She joined Task Force 5, operating the Dutch East Indies, at the start of one of the more disastrous naval campaigns of the Second World War, but on 21 January 1942 she grounded on an uncharted shoal in Sape Strait and had to return to the US for repairs.
The Boise returned to service in June 1942 when she escorted a convoy from the United States to New Zealand. Next she carried out a raid into Japanese-held waters (31 July-1 August 1942), a deception operation designed to pull attention away from Guadalcanal. In August she escorted a convoy to Fiji and the New Hebrides.
On 14-18 September she escorted Marine Corps reinforcements as they landed on Guadalcanal. She fought at the battle of Cape Esperance (11 October 1942), where she was hit by Japanese gunfire. She also helped sink the Japanese destroyer Fubuki. After the battle she had to return to Philadelphia for repairs that lasted until 20 March 1943.
Next came a spell in the Mediterranean theatre. From 10 July to 18 August she supported the invasion of Sicily. In September she supported the invasion of mainland Italy, taking part in the landings at Taranto (9-10 September) and Salerno (12-19 September). After this she returned to the United States and then sailed on to the Pacific.
The Boise joined the Seventh Fleet at Milne Bay on New Guinea. She formed part of the fleet that supported MacArthur during his advance west across New Guinea and the return to the Philippines.
In 1944 the main focus was on New Guinea. In January she bombarded Madang and Alexishafen. In April she supported the landings at Humboldt Bay and bombarded Wakde and Sawar. In May she supported landings at Wakde-Toem and Biak. In July she supporting the landings at Noemfoor, and then from late July to the end of August took part in the invasion of Morotai.
The next step was the return to the Philippines. From 20-24 October 1944 she supported the landings on Leyte and was thus caught up in the battle of Leyte Gulf. She fought in the battle of the Surigao Strait (25 October 1944), the last clash between battleships. As the Japanese battleships advanced the American cruisers attacked from the flanks, before the American battleships opened fire, crushing the Japanese fleet.
From 12-17 December she covered the landings on Mindoro. On 9-13 January 1945 she carried General MacArthur during the landings in Lingayen Gulf. In February she supported the return to Bataan and Corregidor and in March the landings at Zamboanga.
Between 27 April and 3 May she took part in the landings at Tarakan on Borneo.
In June she carried General MacArthur as he conducted a tour of the central and southern Philippines and Borneo. After that she returned to California where she remained until October. She then moved to the US East Coast, where she was decommissioned on 1 July 1946.
On 11 January 1951 the Bloise was sold to Argentina, where she was renamed as the Neuve de Julio (Ninth of July). She remained in service until 1979 when she was finally decommissioned.
9. Junkers Ju-88 – 15,000 UnitsBundesarchiv – CC-BY SA 3.0
The Junkers Ju 88, was one of the fastest bombers that saw service in the Second World War. With a top speed of over 300 MPH, it designed to fly faster than the fighters which were then able to intercept it.
It became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war, being used as a bomber, dive bomber, torpedo bomber and even a night fighter. It was in service with the Luftwaffe all through the war.
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A narrative history, cinematic in scope, of a process that was taking shape in the winter of 1933 as domestic passions around the world colluded to drive governments towards a war few of them wanted and none of them could control.
All Against All is the story of the season our world changed from postwar to prewar again. It is a book about the power of bad ideas—exploring why, during a single winter, between November 1932 and April 1933, so much went so wrong. Historian Paul Jankowski reveals that it was collective mentalities and popular beliefs that drove this crucial period that sent nations on the path to war, as much as any rational calculus called “national interest.”
Over these six months, collective delusions filled the air. Whether in liberal or authoritarian regimes, mass participation and the crowd mentality ascended. Hitler came to power Japan invaded Jehol and left the League of Nations Mussolini looked towards Africa Roosevelt was elected France changed governments three times and the victors of 1918 fell out acrimoniously over war debts, arms, currency, tariffs, and Germany. New hopes flickered but not for long: a world economic conference was planned, only to collapse when the US went its own way.
All Against All reconstructs a series of seemingly disparate happenings whose connections can only be appraised in retrospect. As he weaves together the stories of the influences that conspired to lead the world to war, Jankowski offers a cautionary tale relevant for western democracies today. The rising threat from dictatorial regimes and the ideological challenge presented by communism and fascism gave the 1930s a unique face, just as global environmental and demographic crises are coloring our own. While we do not know for certain where these crises will take us, we do know that those of the 1930s culminated in the Second World War.
The Success Story of LDL Cholesterol Lowering
We can look back at >100 years of cholesterol research that has brought medicine to a stage where people at risk of severe or fatal coronary heart disease have a much better prognosis than before. This progress has not come about without resistance. Perhaps one of the most debated topics in medicine, the cholesterol controversy, could only be brought to rest through the development of new clinical research methods that were capable of taking advantage of the amazing achievements in basic and pharmacological science after the second World War. It was only after understanding the biochemistry and physiology of cholesterol synthesis, transport and clearance from the blood that medicine could take advantage of drugs and diets to reduce the risk of atherosclerotic diseases. This review points to the highlights of the history of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol lowering, with the discovery of the low-density lipoprotein receptor and its physiology and not only the development of statins as the stellar moments but also the development of clinical trial methodology as an effective tool to provide scientifically convincing evidence.
Keywords: atherosclerosis cholesterol, LDL coronary artery disease primary prevention secondary prevention.
Government policy and strategy, international relations and the aftermath of the war
For guidance on finding records of government policy, the conduct of the war and international relations, see our guides to Cabinet Papers, records of the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Office and Colonial Office as well as Sir Anthony Eden’s private office papers.
Consult our guide to Propaganda for advice on finding records of the Ministry of Information and of the Foreign Office concerning news, press censorship and publicity and propaganda at home and overseas.
To locate copies of captured German and Italian documents follow the advice in our guide to German Foreign Ministry records.
Our guide to war crimes includes advice on finding records of investigations and trials of war criminals in Europe and the Far East as well as of the tracing of ex-enemy nationals suspected of committing war crimes. There is a separate guide to records of Nazi persecution.
Records of the looting of works of art and cultural property throughout Europe by Nazi Germany are covered in our looted art guide.
The M1 Helmet of World War Two – the “steel pot”
The US M1 helmet is perhaps one of the most iconic items of military equipment, made famous not only in period photographs from the Second World War and Vietnam, but also from numerous war films such as the D-Day epic, The Longest Day, or Audie Murphy’s story, To Hell and Back.
It was during the First World War that the need for a modern combat helmet was first recognised. The United States came somewhat late to the helmet game initially issuing their troops with a batch of British Mk.1 helmets in 1917, before production began on their own variant, designated the M1917. The primitive M1917 was to undergo a slight upgrade during the 1930s, becoming the M1917A1, which remained standard issue for the US military, until 1941 when the M1 helmet was introduced.
The M1 can boast of being the most successful combat helmet of all time, with a service history spanning forty years, from the early 1940s until the mid-1980s, when it was replaced in favour of the PASGT composite helmet, In fact the M1 was so successful as a helmet system that many countries chose to adopted it and even produce their own “clones”, such as those from Austria, Germany and Belgium.
During its lifetime minor changes and updates were implemented in order to improve the helmet’s protection and user experience, such as paint texture and colour, helmet covers, rim material and positioning, chinstrap bales, chinstraps and, of course, the liners. However in general terms the actual helmet design changed very little, and so identifying an example as being original World War Two may seem like a fairly challenging prospect. However this does not have to be the case and the tips you will read should give you a fairly sound starting point and hopefully boost your confidence.
When you have zeroed in on a helmet, either from an online source, or better still, from somewhere where you can actually get your hands on the helmet, the first thing you should do is give the shell a good once over. You can tell a lot about the helmet’s age and usage from examining it longer than a passing glance. A passing glance combined with your poker face may be a good tactic when dealing with a hard seller but remember you don’t want to come home with a dud.
Firstly, focus on the most obvious part of the shell, its colour. The colour of Second World War helmets was a dark olive green. Those used later during the Korean War, in 1950s, were a much lighter shade of green. The shell texture is also very important. Wartime shells used crushed cork to diminish glare, creating a dimpled or goose pimpled appearance. Over the last seventy odd years many such shells appear softened and smooth. Later period shells used sand as opposed to cork. It is worth noting that some WW2 period shells were used in Korea and even Vietnam, and so do not rely on the shell’s colour alone.
A Korean War era helmet – Although the overall colour for this conflict was generally different from WW2, collectors should take nothing for granted.
As the M1 was used across the military spectrum, it is near impossible to identify a helmet to a particular branch, unless unit marked, however concerning the US Navy, personnel tended to over paint the standard olive drab shell with shades of blue, grey, yellow, orange, white or red, etc., depending on the various functions performed by crew stations in the vessel. It must be noted that there appears to be no standard, which is why you often encounter many varied shades of “Battleship” grey USN helmets.
A good example of a US Navy helmet.
The shell’s rim or seam is also a key area to address. What metal is it made from and does it join at the front or the rear? It is fairly safe to say that all shells exhibiting a stainless steel rim with a frontal joint are wartime. The paint tended not to stick to these rims and chips away easily, which is why so many Second World War M1s show a metal “shiny” edge. Mid war the rim material became the same as that used for the shell and the join was changed to the rear. A cork textured shell featuring a rear joining rim would also point to wartime, but such examples are less desirable for collectors as their front seamed counterparts. It is worth noting that the Austrian clone in particular used a stainless rim with the join positioned at the rear, however the shell texture and rim width are notably different.
The rear seam on a World War II helmet.
The construction of the M1 was not only challenging, considering its high dome profile, which incidentally caused early helmets to exhibit stress cracks, but the design itself was revolutionary. Whilst all other nations chose to adopt a lining system that could only be removed at a refit or by the quartermaster, the M1 consisted of a steel shell, which was inserted with a separate fibre liner matching the shell in colour and form. The advantages of such a concept for everyday duties and indeed during battlefield conditions, as a washing bowl or cooking pot, were obvious. A feature later used on the British Mk.III and French M51 helmets.
The main shell producer during the war was the McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company, with the Schlueter Manufacturing producing shells on a lesser scale. Schlueter helmets were stamped with an S inside the inner rim with a heat stamp comprising of numbers and letters. McCord shells are identifiable by the heat stamp alone. Due to the smaller contract Schlueter helmets are quite sought after.
A close up of the heat stamps.
The last two important components of the shell, together with what has been mentioned above, should decide whether a shell is complete and wartime. All Second World War helmets featured a webbed chinstrap, which was sewn with a bar tack around the helmet’s chinstrap bales. The strap’s colour was sand khaki and used a buckle and prong attachment made from brass.
Chinstrap fittings in close up
In late 1944 the chinstrap colour changed to a dark olive drab, much like the shell, and the strap’s metalwork was changed to blackened steel. After the war and during the Korean War in particular, the method of attaching the strap to the helmet bales was changed, with the introduction of a new metal component, which clipped to the bale with the chinstrap snapped inside, thus making the helmet safer for the wearer in shell blasts.
The bales on very early M1 helmets were welded or “fixed” onto the shell and were initially a large D shape, before being replaced by a rectangle. D bale helmets are very rare indeed and are often the object of forgery. Most early helmets that are encountered are thus the rectangle fix bale variant, circa 1941/42. The fixed bales were soon realised to be too fragile and so were replaced in favour of the swivel bale, which remained standard until the helmet’s withdrawal in the 1980s.
A composite image showing the bales.
The M1 helmet is indeed a complex topic well documented in a vast array of collector’s books, but I hope this article can serve to give you a good starting point. Please read my companion article providing an overview of the fibre helmet liners used in the M1 helmet of WWII that will appear soon.
South African War
The First World War
MOUNT SORREL SOMME, 1916, '18 Flers-Courcelette Thiepval Ancre Heights ARRAS, 1917, '18 Vimy, 1917 HILL 70 YPRES, 1917 Passchendaele AMIENS Scarpe, 1918 Drocourt-Quéant HINDENBURG LINE Canal du Nord Cambrai, 1918 PURSUIT TO MONS FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1915-18.
The Second World War
FALAISE Falaise Road St. Lambert-sur-Dives The Seine, 1944 Moerbrugge THE SCHELDT Breskens Pocket The Lower Maas Kapelsche Veer THE RHINELAND The Hochwald Veen Friesoythe Küsten Canal Bad Zwischenahn NORTH-WEST EUROPE, 1944-1945.
International Association of Time Travelers: Members’ Forum
Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War
At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl’s cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice!
At 14:57:44, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1936 Berlin incapacitated FreedomFighter69 before he could pull his little stunt. Freedomfighter69, as you are a new member, please read IATT Bulletin 1147 regarding the killing of Hitler before your next excursion. Failure to do so may result in your expulsion per Bylaw 223.
At 18:06:59, BigChill wrote:
Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316 everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. I did. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what’s the harm?
At 18:33:10, SilverFox316 wrote:
Easy for you to say, BigChill, since to my recollection you’ve never volunteered to go back and fix it. You think I’ve got nothing better to do?
At 10:15:44, JudgeDoom wrote:
Good news! I just left a French battlefield in October 1916, where I shot dead a young Bavarian Army messenger named Adolf Hitler! Not bad for my first time, no? Sic semper tyrannis!
At 10:22:53, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1916 France I come, having at the last possible second prevented Hitler’s early demise at the hands of JudgeDoom and, incredibly, restrained myself from shooting JudgeDoom and sparing us all years of correcting his misguided antics. READ BULLETIN 1147, PEOPLE!
At 15:41:18, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Point of order: issues related to Hitler’s service in the Bavarian Army ought to go in the World War I forum.
At 02:21:30, SneakyPete wrote:
Vienna, 1907: after numerous attempts, have infiltrated the Academy of Fine Arts and facilitated Adolf Hitler’s admission to that institution. Goodbye, Hitler the dictator hello, Hitler the modestly successful landscape artist! Brought back a few of his paintings as well, any buyers?
At 02:29:17, SilverFox316 wrote:
All right that’s it. Having just returned from 1907 Vienna where I secured the expulsion of Hitler from the Academy by means of an elaborate prank involving the Prefect, a goat, and a substantial quantity of olive oil, I now turn my attention to our newer brethren, who, despite rules to the contrary, seem to have no intention of reading Bulletin 1147 (nor its Addendum, Alternate Means of Subverting the Hitlerian Destiny, and here I’m looking at you, SneakyPete). Permit me to sum it up and save you the trouble: no Hitler means no Third Reich, no World War II, no rocketry programs, no electronics, no computers, no time travel. Get the picture?
At 02:29:49, SilverFox316 wrote:
PS to SneakyPete: your Hitler paintings aren’t worth anything, schmuck, since you probably brought them directly here from 1907, which means the paint’s still fresh. Freaking n00b.
At 07:55:03, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Amen, SilverFox316. Although, point of order, issues relating to early 1900s Vienna should really go in that forum, not here. This has been a recurring problem on this forum.
At 18:26:18, Jason440953 wrote:
SilverFox316, you seem to know a lot about the rules what are your thoughts on traveling to, say, Braunau, Austria, in 1875 and killing Alois Hitler before he has a chance to father Adolf? Mind you, I’m asking out of curiosity alone, since I already went and did it.
At 18:42:55, SilverFox316 wrote:
Jason440953, see Bylaw 7, which states that all IATT rulings regarding historical persons apply to ancestors as well. I post this for the benefit of others, as I already made this clear to young Jason in person as I was dragging him back from 1875 by his hair. Got that? No ancestors. (Though if anyone were to go back to, say, Moline, Illinois, in, say, 2080 or so, and intercede to prevent Jason440953’s conception, I could be persuaded to look the other way.)
At 21:19:17, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Point of order: discussions of nineteenth–century Austria and twenty–first–century Illinois should be confined to their respective forums.
At 15:56:41, AsianAvenger wrote:
FreedomFighter69, JudgeDoom, SneakyPete, Jason440953, you’re nothing but a pack of racists. Let the light of righteousness shine upon your squalid little viper’s nest!
At 16:40:17, BigTom44 wrote:
Well, here we frickin’ go.
At 16:58:42, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Racist? For killing Hitler? WTF?
At 17:12:52, SaucyAussie wrote:
AsianAvenger, you’re not rehashing that whole Nagasaki issue again, are you? We just got everyone calmed down from last time.
At 17:22:37, LadyJustice wrote:
I’m with SaucyAussie. AsianAvenger, you’re making even less sense than usual. What gives?
At 18:56:09, AsianAvenger wrote:
What gives is everyone’s repeated insistence on a course of action which, even if successful, would only save a few million Europeans. It would be no more trouble to travel to Fuyuanshui, China, in 1814 and kill Hong Xiuquan, thus preventing the Taiping Rebellion of the mid–nineteenth century and saving fifty million lives in the process. But, hey, what are fifty million yellow devils more or less, right, guys? We’ve got Poles and Frenchmen to worry about.
At 19:01:38, LadyJustice wrote:
Well, what’s stopping you from killing him, AsianAvenger?
At 19:11:43, AsianAvenger wrote:
Only to have SilverFox316 undo my work? What’s the point?
At 19:59:23, SilverFox316 wrote:
Actually, it seems like a pretty good idea to me, AsianAvenger. No complications that I can see.
At 20:07:25, Big Chill wrote:
Go for it, man.
At 20:11:31, AsianAvenger wrote:
Very well. I shall return in mere moments, the savior of millions!
At 20:14:17, LadyJustice wrote:
Just checked the timeline congrats on your success, AsianAvenger!
At 10:52:53, LadyJustice wrote:
At 11:41:40, SilverFox316 wrote:
AsianAvenger, we need your report, buddy.
At 17:15:32, SilverFox316 wrote:
Okay, apparently AsianAvenger was descended from Hong Xiuquan. Any volunteers to go back and stop him from negating his own existence?
At 09:14:44, SilverFox316 wrote:
At 09:47:13, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Point of order: this discussion belongs in the Qing Dynasty forum. We’re adults can we keep sight of what’s important around here?
I joined the University of Strathclyde and the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) in 2011, after completing a PhD and post-doctoral work at the University of Exeter's Centre for Medical History. My research and teaching have focussed on three primary areas within the history of health and medicine: mental health and psychiatry allergy and immunology and food and nutrition. Thanks to generous funding from the Wellcome Trust, this research has resulted in three monographs: An Alternative History of Hyperactivity: Food Additives and the Feingold Diet (Rutgers University Press, 2011) Hyperactive: The Controversial History of ADHD (Reaktion, 2012) and Another Person's Poison: A History of Food Allergy (Columbia University Press, 2015), which was reviewed in the New York Times and recently given honourable mention in the Association of American Publishers' Prose Awards for 2016.
I am working on two projects at present. The first, funded by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship, is on the history of social psychiatry in the United States. I investigate how American psychiatrists and social scientists viewed the connection between mental illness and social deprivation during the decades that followed the Second World War. This funding has contributed to the edited volume, Deinstitutionalisation and After: Post-War Psychiatry in the Western World, which I co-edited with Dr Despo Kritsotaki and Dr Vicky Long, and will be published in the Palgrave series I co-edit with Catharine Coleborne, Mental Health in Historical Perspective. The three of us, along with Prof Oonagh Walsh are working on a second edited volume, Preventing Mental Illness: Past Present and Future for the same series. I am also in the process of developing a monograph on the history of social psychiatry.
My second project, 'Out on the Pitch: Sexuality and Mental Health in Men's and Women's Sport, 1970-Present' is funded by a Wellcome Trust Seed Award. I hope to develop this project into a larger project on sport on mental health with historian Dr Ali Haggett, sociologist Dr Mark Doidge and Dr Daniel Callwood, who is the researcher for the Seed Award project.
I believe strongly that historical research can have a significant impact on public policy and decision making. As such, I have tried to engage with the public as much as I can through broadcasting, public lecturing, blogging and speaking to health and education professionals. My efforts in these areas were enhanced in 2012 when I was named an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker. I have written for medical publications, such as The Lancet and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), presented my research to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and work closely with a range of medical and educational professionals. Recently, my book Hyperactive was used by novelist William Sutcliffe as inspiration and research for his novel Concentr8 (Bloomsbury, 2015).
Currently, I serve as the Vice-Dean of Research for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS). Previously, I served as Co-Director of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare, the Director of Research for History and Deputy Head of the School of Humanities. I edit book reviews for History of Psychiatry, have sat on Wellcome Trust funding panels and serve on the Peer Review College of the AHRC, for whom I am a Leadership Fellow. I am also a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland and a Fellow of the RSA and the Royal Historical Society.