The War Rubble of Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach, about five miles North of Liverpool, is basically a stark reminder of World War II. What remains of the city before the conflict that destroyed the world in the middle of the 20th century is literally strewn across these two miles of coastline: from pebble-sized remnants of bricks eroded by the adjacent Irish Sea, to graves, or large keystones of major civic buildings. Historically, Liverpool was one of the most heavily hit British cities by the German Luftwaffe, the Nazi air force. It was the second most bombed…

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How Blacksod lighthouse changed the course of the World War II

Blacksod Lighthouse, Fód Dubh in Gaelic, is a lighthouse at the southern end of the Mullet Peninsula, Erris, County Mayo, at the entrance to Blacksod Bay, Ireland, where the catch of the day will always include wild Atlantic lobster. The area also boasts jaw dropping scenery and offers sanctuary for Irish whales & dolphins under supervision of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group. The 150-year-old structure is made of local granite blocks, which are believed to have come from Termon Hill, a nearby isolated outcrop of high quality granite in…

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Moose Milk: the Winter Cocktail of the Canadian military

On chilly nights during World War II, there was a potent elixir known as Moose Milk that filled the stomachs (and soothed the souls) of Canadian soldiers. This rich cocktail usually leaved drinkers full, warm, and quite tipsy. Despite there are many variants, historic recipes typically involved ingredients as liquor, cream, and egg yolks beaten with sugar. In any case, which division made it first is uncertain as the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Army all claim as the originator of the drink, and each made…

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St. Dunstan-in-the-East: one of the few remaining casualties of the London Blitz, this destroyed church has become an enchanting public garden.

We are on St Dunstan’s Hill, halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London.The church of St.Dunstan-in-the-East built here has survived a lot during its 900-year history, including the Great Fire of London in 1666.It was originally built during Saxon times, in about 1100. Although the Great Fire caused terrible damage to the church it was faithfully rebuilt, and topped with a steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. However in 1941 the church was…

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Kejonuma Leisure Land: a quaint amusement park that now lays rusting and forgotten among the foliage.

We are in Ōsaki, in Japan’s remote Tohoku region, where an abandoned amusement park rests upon the banks of the Kejonuma Dam. Once known as Kejonuma Leisure Land, the park was originally built in 1979 in an effort to bring joy back to the community after the ravages of World War II. In its heyday the amusement park, with a campsite and driving range, boasted up to 200,000 visitors and offered an assortment of rides, including a Ferris wheel, tea cup ride, miniature train ride and carousel. In addition, the…

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The mystery of WWII bomber plane that still lies in North Carolina’s Badin Lake

Apparently some North Carolina lakes of considerable depth generate as many legendary tales, expecially fish tales, but not only. Badin Lake, just outside the town of Albemarle, is not an exception. Created in 1917 by the damming of the Yadkin river, the 5300-acre lake reaches depths of over 60 meters and holds in its belly the remains of farmhouses and entire forests, as well as, according to a legend, the mysterious wreckage of a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber. As story goes, Mary Elizabeth McDaniel hurried through an early…

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D-Day: the day that changed Europe’s history

The biggest land, air and seaborne invasion the world has ever known was launched on this day, June 6 1944. Codenamed Operation Overlord, everybody now knows it simply as D-Day. One hundred and fifty six thousand American, British and Canadian troops sailed to France from England and stormed the beaches of Normandy. They then began a relentless, dogged and bloody journey all the way to Berlin, pushing back the fearsome German military machine and, eventually, bringing an end to the Second World War. It was no a nice walk: the…

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11 historic dishes born from tough times that you easily can make at home!

To limit supermarket trips during social distancing, and while restaurants in lot of coutries are still closed, many home chefs are looking for ways to use every last bit of what’s in their cupboard or refrigerator. Even though COVID-19 pandemic may feel like an uncharted experience, actually history is filled with examples of cooks more or less expert getting creative in times of hardship. Like this. From the crispy burger born during the Great Depression to the simple delights of “desperation pies,” but also an apple pie that tastes just…

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#April 25, 1983: Konrad Kujau and his faked Hitler diaries

“Hitler’s Diaries Discovered!” screamed enthusiast the front page of the German magazine Stern on this day while, more conservatively, the Sunday Times in London, which had agreed to pay paid Stern £600,000 to share in the glory of this stunning story, offered its readers a “world exclusive” on “The Secrets of Hitler’s War.” But, in order: German journalist Gerd Heinemann had told Stern that 62 volumes of diaries written by the Führer between 1932 and 1945 had been recovered from a plane crash in East Germany at the end of…

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#March 9, 1974: the incredible Hiroo Onoda’s One-Man war finally ends

Nearly 30 years after the end of the Second World War Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda finally surrendered on this day, March 9 1974. His story is curious: he had been waging his own war from a jungle and the mountains. All began in December 1944, when, towards the end of the global conflict, Onoda, an intelligence officer, was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines. His task was simple: destroy infrastructure on the island and do all he could to thwart enemy attacks. However, when US and Philippine Commonwealth forces…

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#February 13, 1945: Ancient Dresden reduced to rubble

February 13, 1945. On this day, waves of British bombers began reducing one of the Germany’s (and world) most beautiful cities to rubble. Thousands were to die in the ensuing firestorm as war against Nazi Germany was intensified. The bombing of Dresden in East Germany, a splendid medieval city formerly renowned for its rich artistic, cultural and architectural treasures, remains controversial: the war was coming to an end with Hitler holed up in his Berlin bunker, the Russian Red Army racing towards the German capital from the east and the…

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Fort de la Chartreuse: the fort that was never used…as a fort!

The Fort de la Chartreuse is an about 150-year-old fortification that once should have been defend the Amercœur neighborhood of Liège in Belgium, but is now an abandoned big ruin that is slowly being overtaken by foliage and graffiti. Built between 1817 and 1823, the fortress rests on the grounds of a former Carthusian (Ordre des Chartreux) monastery in operation until the French Revolution, on an elevated hill in Liège, and it is part of the fortification line along the river Meuse which crosses Belgium. It was originally built by…

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Paris through a Nazi’s lens: Propaganda pictures of Occupied France in 1940’s

André Zucca (1897-1973) was a French photographer and Nazi collaborator, popular thanks to his work with the German propaganda magazine Signal. Born in 1897 in Paris, son of an Italian tailor, André spent part of his youth in the United States before returning to France in 1915. After the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the French army, where he was wounded and decorated with the Croix de Guerre, and after the conflict he became a photographer. Much later, during the 1930s, he made several reports in countries…

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12 rare Color Photographs show the First Nazi Concentration Camps in 1933

Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled before and during the Second World War. Killed in gas chambers, starved to death, killed during experiments or shot by the SS: the victims of the concentration camps were murdered in the most disparate ways, and the horror that swept across Europe began in 1933, immediately after Hitler became Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control over the police through Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and Prussian Acting Interior Minister Hermann Göring. The first concentration camps, of which the…

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The massacre of Gorla and the sad story of its little martyrs

Not many know that today is a sad day for the metropolis of Milan, Italy: October 20, 1944 is sadly remembered as the day of the Gorla massacre, an event that not everyone, not even the Milanese, knows. From Castelluccio Sauri, Foggia (a city previously destroyed during the Bombing of Foggia), in central-southern Italy, 103 American bombers left the airport and take off with the aim of targeting the Lambrate area, one of the city’s main railway hubs, but also industrial giants such as Breda, Isotta Fraschini and Alfa Romeo,…

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1950s Berlin: Photographs of a destroyed city

Berlin, 1956. About ten years have passed since the end of the Second World War, and Germany was at the beginning of a reconstruction, first architectural and then political, which would have lasted decades. Berlin was the capital of the German Democratic Republic (DDR), a city divided into two blocs between the West and the East, which from August 13, 1961, will also be physically divided by the Berlin Wall. While in the West began what was called the “Wirtschaftswunder”, the German economic miracle at the base of the flourishing…

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Malinta tunnel: war and ghosts in the Philippines

We are off the coast of the Philippines. Corregidor Island was a strategic place to hold during WWII, in fact the island was seen as the key to Manila, sitting just within its bay. As a result it was fought over by both the US and Japanese military, who both managed to secure the island at differing times. Being a place that was so brutally ravaged by war, Corregidor Island saw mass amounts of bloodshed and death, and it is thought to be one of the most haunted places in…

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Shoes on the Danube Promenade: the Holocaust Memorial of the Jews of Budapest

On the banks of the Danube, in Budapest, not far from the Hungarian Parliament building, 60 pairs of 1940s-style worn-out shoes pairs of shoes are lined up. There are women’s, men’s and children’s shoes, left there, close to the water, abandoned in a disorderly fashion, as if their owners had just taken them off. However, If you look closer, you see that the shoes are rusty, made of iron, and fixed in the concrete of the pier. It is the sad memorial in honor of the Hungarian Jews who, in…

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Ortona, Italy: Moro River Canadian War Cemetery

Near Ortona, in the region of Abruzzo, Italy, there is a place that links Italians and Canadians: the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery. The Battle of Ortona was Canada’s bloodiest battle in the World War II Italian Campaign. A deep water port on Italy’s east coast, the town of Ortona’s capture by the Canadians was strategically important but also very dangerous. It was a key German command centre and Hitler ordered troops, seasoned from years of war, to defend Ortona at all costs. For eight days, soldiers clashed in hand-to-hand…

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England’s (almost) forgotten pet massacre of 1939

In the first week of September, 1939, London’s animal shelters were overflowing with guests. The queues of people and their pets meandered down the streets in a typically British manner, calm, dignified and orderly. However, the owners of dogs, cats, rabbits and even parrots and other birds who were waiting to visit vets and animal charities were harbouring a terrible secret. All pet-owners were waiting to euthanize their pets, even if none of the animals were dying, and none of them were even sick. The distraught Londoners had brought them…

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Konstanz: the German city that avoided WWII bombing by pretending to be Switzerland

Europe, the old continent so rich in artistic, historical and architectural treasures, suffered incurable wounds especially during the World War II, in which centuries of history were swept away by bombing. Cities and communities in England, Germany and around the world feared death from above in the shape of bombing raids. Germany in particular suffered devastating air strikes which reduced most of its wonderful cities to a pile of rubble, like Dresden, or Munich (in Image below). An incredible exception is represented by the beautiful city of Konstanz, in south…

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5 Photos of People Laughing in the Face of Death

How would you feel when you are just inches away from a possible death? There are some brave soldiers who have laughed at death during the World War II. These soldiers are martyrs and they have sacrificed their lives for their motherland, and even death could not kill their virtue and honor. All wars cause death and destruction, and the images of the devastation caused by many past conflicts are often terrible. Some photographs, however, cause a special emotion, because are taken in a few moments, or a few hours,…

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Italian Alpine Wall~

Did you know that a line of abandoned fortresses dot the mountains of North Italy? Similar to the Maginot line in France, the Siegfried Line of Germany, or the National Redoubt of Switzerland, the Alpine Wall was built as a defense in preparation for World War II at the direction of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. In Italy there was concern that the natural defense of North Italy’s mountainous terrain was not enough while tensions rose with its neighbors along the top of the “boot”: France, Switzerland, Austria and the former…

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The Third Wave: a curious Experiment about Nazism

The images of Berlin, devastated by the Second World War, can induce what was the recurring question in the years following the end of the conflict: how did the Germans not to realize the Holocaust, planned and accomplished by the Nazi regime? Nobody knows, let alone the Germans themselves, who in the immediate post-war period preferred to do a work of removal rather than a critical analysis. How can a person, even in a very short time, create from nothing a movement based only on his ability to fascinate and…

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Uravan, Colorado: a buried uranium mining town ~

The story of this Old Mining Town: From the A Bomb to abandonment – the whole town was torn apart and buried in order to prevent an environmental hazard. Only a simple caution sign remains of this old mining town, that warning all those who dare to venture close enough of the dangerous radiation levels beyond the barbed wire, and a story about an event which had change the world. On this remote site in Montrose County, Colorado, was once a company town of U.S.Vanadium, that had only one objective:…

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Wojtek: The unusual polish soldier that drank beer and went to war.

When at the port of Naples the british official Archibald Brown, looking at the roster in his hand, called out the name—“Corporal Wojtek”, nobody came forward. It was mid-February 1944, and the official was at Naples to help process a unit of Polish soldiers that had just arrived by ship from Alexandria in Egypt, to join forces with the Allies in their fight against Germans and Italians. One of his tasks was to check crew manifests and speak with new arrived soldiers. The official Brown consulted once again the document.…

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Mauthausen concentration camp and the Stairs of Death.

The Mauthausen concentration camp, located about 20 kilometers east of the city of Linz in Upper Austria, was one of the largest labor camp in the German-controlled part of Europe, and between 1938 and 1945 had a central camp near the village of Mauthausen, and nearly one hundred other subcamps located throughout Austria (and southern Germany). It had the most brutal detention conditions, and was classified “Grade III”, where the most political enemies of the Reich were sent to be exterminated, often after a terrible forced labor. The SS called…

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Schwellenpflug: the “Rail Wolf” used by Germans in retreat.

The bitter-sweet relationship of Stalin’s Russia and Third Reich had shaped the European theatre of the Second World War, and Adolf Hitler was undoubtedly the most ambitious dictator since Napoleon, a bit more ambitious and surely more ruthless. If Hitler hadn’t been so greedy and didn’t start the assault on Russia, the things probably would have turned out to be pretty different, at least for the Europe of the Second World War. Underestimating Russian resilience and over-estimating the military might of German Army, Hitler decided to faced the grim consequences,…

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