This Weeks 80 Year Commemoration of the Start of WW2

World War Two was the most devastating tragic and desperate fight for freedom in world history ever. The start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland; the United Kingdom of Great Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later.

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill

By Autumn of 1945 the Western democracies and communist East fought and defeated the Axis Triple Alliance of Germany Italy and Japan. A triumphant victory for the Anglo-American English speaking nations as well as the communist Eastern nations against the purely evil armies of the Triple Alliance of the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) in Europe, the Atlantic, North Africa, the Pacific Ocean and Asian territories in a huge and tremendously violent and destructive truly world wide conflict. This week world leaders gather in Poland’s capital, Warsaw to commemorate the start of this extremely bloody conflict on the 1st. of September, 1939. When Great Britain and France declared war on the evil dictator Adolf Hitler and his German Nazi controlled super power war-machine after he invaded Poland 80 years ago this week.
An immense struggle ensued with Britain the only combatant who stood alone against Hitler and Mussolini, the Italian Fascist dictator. After the fall of France in the summer of 1940, Winston Churchill, the British war leader made it his sole aim to defeat the Nazi war machine and Hitler with the defence of our nation in tenacious and defiant British bull dog King Henry Fifths longbows-men Battle of Agincourt Two Fingers taunt to the German bully boy fascist Nazi party and completely racist henchmen pigs and it’s purely evil mastermind; Adolf Hitler who reigned supreme in all Europe at the time, with only Britain and her Empire to stop him.

'The Big Three' - left to right: Churchill - Roosevelt - Stalin at The Yalta Conference circa February, 1945,
‘The Big Three’ – left to right: Churchill – Roosevelt – Stalin at The Yalta Conference circa February, 1945

Churchill’s refusal to capitulate and give in with all around him calling for Appeasement, this tremendously brave Anglo-American British aristocrat and world-class statesman of the highest calibre helped saved Western democracy more than any man back then in the early years of World War Two.

What ensued with American and Russian intervention later in the war with huge economic industrial and military Allied superiority was Total Victory in Europe over Italy and Hitlers Germany. And, Victory over Japan in the Pacific and Asia by August 1945. It remains history’s bloodiest ever conflict and a truly World War which witnessed  the estimated deaths of 70–85 million people largely innocent civilians.

talkes-reginald-mitchell-fighter-airctraft-of-world-war-two-ww2-the-supermarine-spitfire
The legendary British Battle of Britain RAF fighter plane The Supermarine Spitfire summer 1940 in WW2

Total War ~ WWII in the Pacific ~ 1942 ~ 45

American supplies being landed at Iwo Jima
Pacific February 1942 – July 1945
Episode 23 – The World At War
American supplies being landed at Iwo Jima
American supplies being landed at Iwo Jima
37mm Gun fires against cave positions at Iwo Jima
37mm Gun fires against cave positions at Iwo Jima
 Injured US Marines being treated on the sand, at an aid station on Iwo Jima (Iwo To), one of the Japanese volcanic islands, in 1945
Injured US Marines being treated on the sand, at an aid station on Iwo Jima (Iwo To), one of the Japanese volcanic islands, in 1945
US Marines capture Japanese flags on Pacific Island of Iwo Jima in the War in the Pacific in February 1945
US Marines capture Japanese flags on Pacific Island of Iwo Jima in the War in the Pacific in February 1945
U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima circa 23 February 1945 (Joe Rosenthal)
U.S. Marines  raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima February 1945

 

 Lt Walter Chewning, a catapult officer, is shown climbing up the side of a F6F to help the pilot, Ens. Byron Johnson, out of the flaming cockpit, after a crash landing on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise. The vessel was en route to attack Makin Island in the Pacific, November 1943
Lt Walter Chewning, a catapult officer, is shown climbing up the side of a F6F to help the pilot, Ens. Byron Johnson, out of the flaming cockpit, after a crash landing on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise. The vessel was en route to attack Makin Island in the Pacific, November 1943 
 American soldiers pictured alongside a rescued Japanese child in Saipan, July 1944
American soldiers pictured alongside a rescued Japanese child in Saipan, July 1944
 Working cautiously near heavily damaged tanks, a California National Guardsman methodically sweeps for mines
Working cautiously near heavily damaged tanks, a California National Guardsman methodically sweeps for mines
 Emerging with his hands held in the air, this man was the first of 20 Japanese to come out of a cave on Iwo Jima, on April 5, 1945. The group had been hiding for several days
Emerging with his hands held in the air, this man was the first of 20 Japanese to come out of a cave on Iwo Jima, on April 5, 1945. The group had been hiding for several days
 Pictured in July 1944, troops and vehicles en route for the invasion of Cape Sansapor, New Guinea
Pictured in July 1944, troops and vehicles en route for the invasion of Cape Sansapor, New Guinea
 The Battle of Okinawa in April-June 1945: US Marines take cover while a Bazooka operator looks for a target
The Battle of Okinawa in April-June 1945: US Marines take cover while a Bazooka operator looks for a target
 Flamethrower troops engulf a barren hillside with fire
Flamethrower troops engulf a barren hillside with fire
 Battle-weary Marine: Relieved from the front lines after 12 days of fighting the enemy in Okinawa is Marine Private First Class Harry Kizierian, June 2, 1945
Battle-weary Marine: Relieved from the front lines after 12 days of fighting the enemy in Okinawa is Marine Private First Class Harry Kizierian, June 2, 1945

Before the start of the war in the Pacific, Japan attacked Peal Harbor, the American military base located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, because America had stopped trade of oil and other materials to Japan. After this surprise attack, the US declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941 – one day after the attack – and joined the conflict. This marked the beginning of World War II in the Pacific Theatre.

A demolition crew from the 6th Marine Division watches dynamite charges explode and destroy a Japanese cave. Okinawa, May 1945
A demolition crew from the 6th Marine Division watches dynamite charges explode and destroy a Japanese cave. Okinawa, May 1945

In 1942, the Japanese Empire was operating at the peak of its powers, attacking and occupying positions throughout the Pacific Ocean, ranging from Alaska to India. In a bid to stem the Japanese advance, the US military decided on a strategy of ‘island-hopping’ – fighting for control of strategic islands along a path toward the Japanese home islands, bringing American bombers within range and preparing for a possible invasion. The battles were bloody and conditions for prisoners-of-war were woeful. Japanese soldiers fought the island landings fiercely, killing many Allied soldiers and sometimes making desperate, last-ditch suicidal attacks. By early 1945, leapfrogging US forces had advanced as far as Iwo Jima and Okinawa, within 340 miles of mainland Japan, at a great cost to both sides. On Okinawa alone, during 82 days of fighting, about 100,000 Japanese troops and 12,510 Americans were killed, and somewhere between 42,000 and 150,000 Okinawan civilians died as well. Eventually the war would cease after the US detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. It was the first time atomic weapons were used in warfare and resulted in the death of about 200,000 people (although estimates vary widely).

 African American Marines, attached to the Third Ammunition Company, in Saipan. Riding the captured bicycle is Pfc. Horace Boykin with, from left, Cpl. Willis T. Anthony, Pfc. Emmitt Shackelford, and Pfc. Eugene Purdy in June 1944. The Battle of Saipan was the first time black US Marines saw action in World War II
African American Marines, attached to the Third Ammunition Company, in Saipan. Riding the captured bicycle is Pfc. Horace Boykin with, from left, Cpl. Willis T. Anthony, Pfc. Emmitt Shackelford, and Pfc. Eugene Purdy in June 1944. The Battle of Saipan was the first time black US Marines saw action in World War II
 Injured prisoners shown surrounded by American troops
Injured prisoners shown surrounded by American troops
 A Japanese tank and soldiers. Honour-bound, many Japanese soldiers fought to the death rather than surrender
A Japanese tank and soldiers. Honour-bound, many Japanese soldiers fought to the death rather than surrender
 Heads bowed at the burial of Private First Class Mike Fenton, Okinawa, in May 1945. Fenton was killed in a Japanese counterattack
Heads bowed at the burial of Private First Class Mike Fenton, Okinawa, in May 1945. Fenton was killed in a Japanese counterattack
 A ruined Japanese tank smoulders in the background
A ruined Japanese tank smoulders in the background
 US troops hold a Japanese flag captured in July 1944 during the Battle of Saipan
US troops hold a Japanese flag captured in July 1944 during the Battle of Saipan
 USS Tennessee bombards Okinawa with her enormous guns, as troops are carried to the invasion beaches
USS Tennessee bombards Okinawa with her enormous guns, as troops are carried to the invasion beaches
 Tanks on Okinawa work with the 96th Infantry Division on April 1, 1945. The battle was gruesome but paved the way for an allied victory in the region
Tanks on Okinawa work with the 96th Infantry Division on April 1, 1945. The battle was gruesome but paved the way for an allied victory in the region
U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima circa 23 February 1945 (Joe Rosenthal)
U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima circa 23 February 1945 (Joe Rosenthal)

Source: Media Drum Images/ Royston Leonard

 

The End of the War in Europe – 1944 ~ 45

Things got pretty nasty towards the end of nazi Germany. here Polish pows are murdered by firing squad as the nazis pull-out in Poland and all eastern front countries - 1944-1945
Things got pretty nasty towards the end of nazi Germany. Here Polish pows are murdered by firing squad as the nazis pull-out in Poland and all eastern front countries – 1944-1945
24 January 1945: The Red Army races across Poland to the German border. The troops of the 10th Tank Corps 5th Guards Tank Army 2nd Belorussian Front occupied city
24 January 1945: The Red Army races across Poland to the German border. The troops of the 10th Tank Corps 5th Guards Tank Army 2nd Belorussian Front



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Dam Busters


The men from many anti-nazi nations of  ‘The Dam Busters’ – RAF 617 Squadron led by 24-year old Wing Commander Guy Gibson were lauded as heroes after the infamous raid in 1944. and Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Dam Buster raid.
Guy Gibson’s men needed to fly specially modified Lancaster bombers  of 617 squadron which would carry the ‘bouncing bomb’ needed to be dropped from a height of 60 feet (18m), and at a ground speed of 232mph. The bomb would spin backwards across the surface of the water before reaching the dam.
The raid also established 617 Squadron as a specialist precision bombing unit, experimenting with new bomb sights, target marking techniques and colossal new ‘earthquake’ bombs developed by Barnes Wallis .On the night of 16-17 May 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, the industrial heartland of Germany. The mission was code-named Operation ‘Chastise’.The dams were fiercely protected. Torpedo nets in the water stopped underwater attacks and anti-aircraft guns defended them against enemy bombers. But 617 Squadron had a secret weapon: the ‘bouncing bomb’.

The RAF 617 Dam Busters Squadron was led by 24-year old Wing Commander Guy Gibson was made up of aircrew from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA
The RAF 617 Dam Busters Squadron was led by 24-year old Wing Commander Guy Gibson was made up of aircrew from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA

In late March 1943, a new squadron was formed to carry out the raid. 617 Squadron was led by 24-year old Wing Commander Guy Gibson was made up of aircrew from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. With one month to go before the raid, and with only Gibson knowing the full details of the operation, the squadron began intensive training in low-level night flying and navigation. They were ready for Operation ‘Chastise’.e dams. Initially code named Squadron X,

First Dam Successfully Busted 'The Möhne' in the Indus trail Ruhr in western Germany at precisely 12.28 am on May 16th., 1944.
First Dam Successfully Busted ‘The Möhne’ in the Industrial Ruhr heartland of the Nazi-War machine in western Germany at precisely 12.28 am on May 16th., 1944.

Dam Busters Lancaster Bombers Night Raid
From 9.28pm on 16 May, 133 aircrew in 19 Lancasters took off in three waves to bomb the dams. Gibson was flying in the first wave and his aircraft was first to attack the Möhne (pictured below) at 12.28am, but five aircraft had to drop their bombs before it was breached. The remaining aircraft still to drop their bombs then attacked the Eder, which finally collapsed at 1.52am. Meanwhile, aircraft from the two other waves bombed the Sorpe but it remained intact.
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Wolfe, Washington & The French and Indian War

Last of the Mohicans Movie still image set during the North American colonies French and Indian War of 1763

Montcalm attempts to stop native warriors from attacking the British. A number of British soldiers were killed after the Siege of Fort William Henry.
Montcalm attempts to stop native warriors from attacking the British. A number of British soldiers were killed after the Siege of Fort William Henry.

The French and Indian War of 1754 – 1763 pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies.

1755- The Territory of the US During the French-Indian Wars
1755- The Territory of the US During the French-Indian Wars

In the 1700s the British and the French began to show interest in the Ohio River Valley.  Both countries viewed the valley as theirs. The French had a fur trade with Native Americans in the region, and had no interest in sharing their business with the British settlers.
The french built a chain of forts from Lake Ontario south to the Ohio River in order to protect their claims in the valley. The British responded by starting to build a fort in what is now Western Pennsylvania. The French seized the site before they could finish. They later built their own fort on it naming it Fort Duquesne.
The Ohio River Valley
In 1754 the governor of Virginia sent a Militia, lead by George Washington, to drive out the French. After Marching to Fort Duquesne  Washington made a fort of his own called Fort  Necessity.The fort was soon attacked by the French and their Native American Allies. The combined army won the battle and forced Washington’s soldiers to surrender. They were later released by the French and returned to Virginia.
Early French Success
The first four years saw nothing but severe reverses for the British regulars and American colonials, primarily because of superior French land forces in the New World. Braddock was killed and his army scattered in July 1755 when the force was ambushed while approaching Fort Duquesne. In 1756 the defenders of Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario were obliged to surrender, as were the defenders of Fort William Henry near Lake Champlain in 1757. Lord Loudoun’s amphibious expedition from New York City against the great French fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island ended in dismal failure that year. In July 1758 Gen. James Abercrombie attacked the French stronghold at the northern end of Lake George, Fort-Carillon (later renamed Fort Ticonderoga). Despite outnumbering the French defenders under Gen. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Grozon, marquis de Montcalm, almost four to one, Abercrombie’s army was almost destroyed. Moreover, the frontier settlements in what are now central New York, central Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and western Virginia were deserted while thousands of families fled eastward in panic to escape the hostilities.

The Redcoats - The Soldiers of the British Army
The Redcoats – The Soldiers of the British Army

British Advantages And Victory
Under these circumstances, the French tide in North America reached its crest by the end of 1757. In 1758 Amherst captured Louisbourg. Soon afterwards, John Bradstreet compelled the garrison of Fort Frontenac to capitulate, and that same year Forbes and Henry Bouquet brought about the fall of Fort Duquesne. The following year Sir William Johnson forced the surrender of Fort Niagara. Amherst pushed the French out of Fort-Carillon and Crown Point. The climax came with the British victory at the Battle of Quebec (September 13, 1759). Montcalm, were fatally wounded. Faced with hopeless odds, on September 8, 1760, the governor-general, the Marquis de Vaudreuilt was obliged to surrender not only his last stronghold, Montreal, but all of Canada. Thus, the North American phase of the Seven Years’ War came to a close.
British Advantages And Victory
Under these circumstances, the French tide in North America reached its crest by the end of 1757. In 1758 Amherst captured Louisbourg. Soon afterwards, John Bradstreet compelled the garrison of Fort Frontenac to capitulate, and that same year Forbes and Henry Bouquet brought about the fall of Fort Duquesne. The following year Sir William Johnson forced the surrender of Fort Niagara. Amherst pushed the French out of Fort-Carillon and Crown Point. The climax came with the British victory at the Battle of Quebec (September 13, 1759). Montcalm attempts to stop native warriors from attacking the British. A number of British soldiers were killed after the Siege of Fort William Henry. Montcalm, were fatally wounded. Faced with hopeless odds, on September 8, 1760, the governor-general, the Marquis de Vaudreuilt was obliged to surrender not only his last stronghold, Montreal, but all of Canada. Thus, the North American phase of the Seven Years’ War came to a close.
Wolfe and The Battle of Quebec
General James Wolfe, (born Jan. 2, 1727, Westerham, Kent, Eng.—died Sept. 13, 1759, Quebec), Ccommander of the British army at the capture of Quebec from the French in 1759, a victory that led to British supremacy in Canada.

Battle of the Plains of Abraham Part of the French and Indian War The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West. Oil on canvas, 1770
The Battle of Quebec and the Plains of Abraham  Part of the French and Indian War The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West. Oil on canvas, 1770

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Rommel, Monty and the Battle of El Alamein ~ November, 1942

Erwin-Rommel and staff - Western-Desert 1941

British 8th Army infantry soldiers attack the the German defences in the infamous Battle of El Alamein in the Egyptian Western Desert circa December, 1942
British 8th Army infantry soldiers attack German defences in the infamous Battle of El Alamein in the Egyptian Western Desert circa November, 1942

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Sir Winston Churchill ~ November, a 
very famous WW2 quote after victory for the British in The Second battle of El Alamein in Egypt during the North African campaign. The British General Montgomery led 8th. British Army ‘Desert Rats’ won the British armies first ever victory over German army in WW2.  The Ace Tank Commander German General Erwin Rommel’s led Axis army and  his beloved and infamous Africa Corps elite soldiers lost the Second Battle of El Alamein ~ November, 1942. Defeating the pride of Germany’s Wehrmacht Army Rommel’s Afrika Korps in an historic British Military victory over the German Nazis in WW2. During in the latter stages of the North African Campaign in November, 1942.

Sir Winston Churchill posses for the press in a British Empire Kangol hate in the prelude to the Second Battle of El Alamein in Egypt, circa December, 1942 during North African Campaign
Sir Winston Churchill posses for the press in a British Empire Kangol hat in the prelude to the Second Battle of El Alamein in the Western Desert in Egypt, circa November, 1942 during the North African Campaign

Churchill was so relieved  at Montgomery’s victory over Rommel’s Africa Corps in North Africa he ordered the church bells to be rung all over Britain. The prime minister had been under intense political and personal pressure to secure a decisive victory over the “Desert Fox” who, for 18 months, had persistently outsmarted the British Eighth Army on a desolate and blood-soaked battlefield.
The second battle of El Alamein in western Egypt desert saw the Eighth Army under Montgomery punching holes Axis defences and defeat for Rommel led Axis forces and the infamous elite Africa Corps.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel -Ace Tank commander in the North Africa campaign and commander-in-chief of the well respected elite German army Africa Corps in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia during the North Africa campaign from 1940 until 1943
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel -Ace Tank commander in the North African campaign and commander-in-chief of the well respected  elite Afrika Korps of the German Wehrmacht  army in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia during the North African Campaign ~ 1940 -’43

Following the fall of Tobruk in June 1942 – a humiliation that prompted a surge of national resentment – Churchill’s critics inspired a no-confidence debate in the House of Commons. Although their target emerged virtually unscathed, the formidable Aneurin Bevan reflected a widespread feeling when he declared waspishly, “The prime minister wins debate after debate and loses battle after battle.” The jibe cut deep.

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Sir Winston Churchill

Churchill on America Britains World War Two Victorious Leader

Portrait of Sir Winston Churchill: Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed to so Few - The embodiment, incarnate.of that indomitable British Bull-dog spirit Which was clearly demonstrated during World War Two
Portrait of Sir Winston Churchill: Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed to so Few – The embodiment, incarnate.of that indomitable British Bull-dog spirit Which was clearly demonstrated during World War Two


Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British statesman, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955.
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The World at War

The World at War is probably, in my modest yet quite well informed opinion on the subject, the best documentary on WW2 ever made.
Produced by Jeremy Isaacs and narrated by Laurence Olivier; The World at War was commissioned by Thames Television first shown in the early 1970s on the UK TV station: ITV. Voted by industry professionals at the time and still thought of as one of the best ever documentaries on World War Two ever made.
‘The World at War’ – Thames Television 1973 Episode 21 – ‘Nemesis: Germany’ (February – May 1945) :-

Nemesis: Germany – February-May 1945. The closing weeks of the European war bring retribution for Germany in the form of carpet bombing cities like Dresden, the collapse of the Whermacht, atrocities by Soviet forces, and finally the fall of Berlin and suicide of Hitler. 
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Fourth of July

United States of America - The Stars & Stripes - Flag

Well,  well! The Fourth of July!
‘Have a Nice Day’ Everyone in the United States! We all hope ‘Ya’ll’ have fun today and you enjoy your mom’s apple pie with your Budweiser beer and a couple of Jack Daniel’s & Coca Colas whilst you guys watch the fireworks.

Flag of the English - Americas - Colonies - Confederate ~1750s
Flag of the English North American colonies – The Confederation of America -13 Atlantic Coast States – circa mid-1700s

America is celebrated its Independence from Britain in the 18th. Century today. I think it was the late 1770s, or the early 1780s. Well, 1776 to be exact, when George Washington declared the American colony’s independence from their English colonial masters.  After fighting the Brits extremely bravely with some assistance from those little tossers the French, won overall victory in the War of Independence or, The American Revolution. And, deservedly gained independence as a nation state in its own right. Freed from the evil, tight grip of its colonist masters, some say half-insane English King George III Who reluctantly agreed to sign the Paris Peace Treaty in September, 1783. International recognition of the colony’s political and New-World status as a fully independent, Land-of-the-Free, federalist-republican & democratically based nation or United State. What’s now known as:
The United States of America.’

Emanuel Leutzes Iconic historical Image of George Washington Crossing The River Delaware to Bravely Fight The British Continental Army and Win Independence for America.
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze

There then followed a dramatic political and social event in the English speaking and in world history; the very ‘raison d’être’ of the American Dream. – ‘Sacrosanct’ in the US, untouchable by any future corrupt political party or tyrannical party politician – even today.
‘No Taxation Without Representation’ was the basis of why the American English colonists under Washington fought the war and won. Ensuring the birth of a nation: ~ The United States of America as fully independent-federalist-republican and a freely-democratic nation in its own rights.
Confirmed soon after with an immensely important declaration of its citizens  ‘Inalienable Rights’ in the historical & legendary signing of The American Constitution.

In battles such as Bunker Hill in Boston (which I have visited) and on the River Delaware ensured that Britain’s most prized colony, namely: the United States of America, now the richest most powerful nation in the world, was freed from the tight, evil grip of the crazy King George III of England.

BThe Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775, during the Siege of Boston in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. The battle is named after Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Massachusetts, which was peripherally involved in the battle
Battle of Bunker Hill – June 17, 1775 ~ Charlestown in present day city of Boston, Massachusetts ~ USA

I’ve visited some of the old battlefields, watched most of the movies and read some of the books on that, one of the most interesting and pivotal times in history. One of the few times the British army has ever been defeated in battle. One other occasion was in the Suez Crisis in the 1950’s. When it sadly became apparent that Britain was no longer a world power. After hundreds of years of world dominance, Britain and England were no longer a superpower. Why was this the case ? You may ask yourself … Well its mostly to do with the USA and the two world wars of the 20th. Century. War is an essential part of history, economics, social order, politics, race relations and religion. Not to mention world power and geopolitics.

Two world wars within the last century have crippled England and the old, now dead, British Empire. Which was the most powerful nation and Empire on the planet at the turn of the last Century. The sun never set on the Great British Empire and most of the world map was coloured purple.
From the whole of North America in the west. South Africa and Rhodesia in southern Africa. In the middle east: Palestine and Egypt. In Asia, India: “The Star in The Crown of The British Empire” (and now the world’s largest democracy) and in the far east: Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. To name but a few.
(Oh, I forget our massive colony of Australia! [and New Zealand] Well it’s miles away from anywhere and full of x-criminals!).It was these nations of ‘The Commonwealth’ who helped save the British Empire on several occasions during the 20th. Century.North America (USA & Canada) and a few other ‘English Speaking’ countries, who were still part of the Great British Empire or Commonwealth, helped save the British and it’s Empire in both world wars. Or, did they?
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America & the WW2 Air-war over Europe

The USAAF WW2 'Airwar over Europe' Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber
The USAAF WW2 ‘Air-war over Europe’ The Boeing B17 Flying Fortress American bomber

The English speaking Allied air-raid bombing of Germany by ’44 reached in excess of 1000 bombers per raid in endless and successive waves, both day and night, in a-all-out total land and air war in Europe post-44. With 1000s and 1000s, both military and non-military, Axis targets attacked and destroyed-a-day in all the occupied territories of Europe and, most destructively in Germany itself. In huge air raids – 1000s of bombers and 1000s of fighters at a time.
The Americans in their Boeing B17 Flying-Fortress and P51 Mustang fighter escorts by day – and the British RAF pilots in their Lancaster and Halifax bombers with night fighter escorts during night air raid missions.
These missions, however, carried a high price, especially for the American USAAF Eighth Air Force stationed in southeastern England.
Half of the U.S. Army Air Force’s casualties in World War II were suffered by Eighth Air Force (more than 47,000 casualties, with more than 26,000 dead). Seventeen Medals of Honor went to Eighth Air Force personnel during the war. By war’s end, they had been awarded a number of other medals to include 220 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 442,000 Air Medals. Many more awards were made to Eighth Air Force veterans after the war that remain uncounted. There were 261 fighter aces in the Eighth Air Force during World War II. Thirty-one of these aces had 15 or more aircraft kills apiece. Another 305 enlisted gunners were also recognised as aces.

The Biggest Bombing Raid of World War II: USAAF 8th Air Force Sent 1000 B17 Bombers to Destroy Berlin
The Biggest Bombing Raid of World War II: USAAF 8th Air Force Sent 1000 B17 Bombers to Destroy Berlin

Some say, controversially..,  that the losses hitting civilian targets next to the German Nazi war machine industrial targets were far too great. Yet, as crucial to the defeat of Hitler and the evil Nazis as the land war in the East. The English speaking Allied land war as seen soon after D-Day June, 1944 often faltered. In Normandy, northern France and in the Low countries especially on their home soil of the Fatherland, it was so bitterly fought over by the German Eastern Front battle hardened fanatical SS soldiers and co. it often thwarted, advanced no more than a mile or two a day.., or ended in retreat – or, even defeat. In the Rhineland for example in enemy held territories it ended in defeat and forced the British at least into a humiliating retreat. British Field Marshal Monty’s Operation: ‘Market Garden’ Arnhem, Holland in September ’44 .., regardless of the brave actions by the men of the British Parachute Regiment, the British army went a Bridge-too-Far  and it remains one of the worst military ‘British Blunders’ of WW2. Failing to capture an intact bridgehead over the River Rhine into Germany and an open road to Berlin.
The ongoing ariel bombardment of Berlin and industrial heartlands of the Nazi Fatherland, such as the Ruhr by the USAAF 8th Air Force and the RAF British Bomber Command under Harris ensured the English speaking Allies appeased and paid their very considerable burdens in men and materials in the inevitable destruction of Hitler and the Nazi war machine as well as the American and British armies commitments & considerable sacrifices on the Post-D-Day Second Front land war.
Ensuring Roosevelt and Churchill avoided the venomous wraith and ever worsening threat of continued hostilities after V. E. Day by Russia. The enormous threat of violence of the oldest enemy of the west: The Russian – ‘Great Bear.’ Then under the full control of that evil tyrant, leader of the Communist party, Hitler’s old foe: Josef Stalin. Whom we pacified by the combination of the English speaking Allied land War. And, crucially by America’s ‘Air-war over Europe’ and some say brutal bombing of Nazi Germany in WW2.

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The 1941 siege of Tobruk

AUSTRALIAN FORCES IN NORTH AFRICA This photograph taken in August 1941 shows 'The Rats of Tobruk' - some of the 15,000 men of the 9th Australian Division taking shelter in caves during an air raid in the siege of Tobruk.
The Rats of Tobruk ~15,000 men of the 9th Australian Division taking shelter in caves during an air raid in the siege August 1941

The Australian and British troops under extremely heavy bombardment, dug in and went underground. They were pounded by successive waves of artillery and Stuka dive bombing in what was Britain and her remaining Commonwealth allies Australia, only defiant and very tenacious defence against Rommel and Hitlers campaigns in Europe and North Africa. As London almost succumbed to Herman Goring’s Luftwaffe in the first aerial destruction of London during the 1940 Battle of Britain; Blitz, the Australian led forces in the Libyan garrison held on for dear life against astounding odds in the North African port.

Tobruk was the only deep water port in Eastern Libya and as a consequence it had been heavily fortified by its former Italian garrison. The capture of Tobruk was essential for an advance on Alexandria and Suez.
In April 1941, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel made its capture the main objective of his first offensive in North Africa. British forces in Libya’s eastern coastal region of Cyrenaica were caught completely by surprise and retreated several hundred miles across the desert towards Tobruk.

The Desert Fox - German General Erwin Rommel seen here at Tobruk, Libya, in North Africa during the August, 1942 siege
‘The Desert Fox’ ~ Erwin Rommel

Rommel and his brilliant Africa Corps, who were very much well respected by all; including the amazingly tough Australians accompanying the British 8th. Army so called ‘Desert Rats’ – Rommel’s Africa Corps, whom as a consequence of the American intervention, such as ‘Operation Torch’ the invasion of Vichy France held northwest Africa, the invasion in Morocco etc.,  and so, after Pearl Harbour in December, 1941, and declaring war on Japan and her Axis allies: Italy and Germany, as a direct consequence of the USA forces and huge military superiority in numbers in Libya and Tunisia from the very outset and beginning of 1942 –  ‘The Desert Fox’- Rommel, Hitler’s most favoured and Germany’s best ever tank commander strategist general and his battle hardened highly rated Africa Corps fates were soon sealed.
Realising that he had a chance to capture Tobruk before the Allies had time to organise a defence, Rommel pushed forward. The 9th Australian Division, supported by British tanks and artillery, repulsed initial German assaults on 10-14 April 1941, and even when the fresh 15th Panzer Division was committed to the attack on 30 April, the defenders held on.
Continue reading “The 1941 siege of Tobruk”