Tag Archives: WWII

WWII Aviation: The ‘P-51 Mustang’ Fighter Plane

The P-51 was the darling of the Army Air Forces. Aerodynamically agile and acrobatic, the Mustang was fast and furious in its effectiveness in downing enemy aircraft. A latecomer to World War II, it first saw combat over Europe near the end of 1943. The long-range fighter proved to be just what the Allies needed to escort bombers to and from Germany as they hammered enemy targets.

Aug. 2, 2021, 6 a.m.

“In terms of the air war over Europe with the strategic bombing campaign, the P-51 was a war-winning weapon,” says Jeremy Kinney, associate director of research and curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. “As a fighter escort, it enabled the successful bombing of targets deep in Nazi Germany from bases in England and Italy. That was a crucial component in the destruction of strategic sites such as factories and munition plants.”

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California Views: ‘Palm Springs Air Museum’

The Palm Springs Air Museum, is a non-profit educational institution in Palm Springs, Riverside County, California. The Museum’s mission is to exhibit, educate and eternalize the role of the World War II combat aircraft and the role the pilots and American citizens had in winning the war. 

World History: ‘The Decline And Fall Of The League Of Nations’ (Video)

Click here to watch on YouTube

This film is the history of the League of Nations from 1930 to the onset of the Second world War: that 10-year span ending when Geneva, surrounded by Axis Powers, almost faded into memory.

Great Train Journeys: ‘Palermo To Mount Etna’ In Sicily, Italy (BBC Video)

Michael Portillo’s 1936 Bradshaw’s Guide brings him to the Italian ‘treasure island’ of Sicily, full of natural beauty and ‘scenery of the greatest charm’. But the interwar guide book also tells Michael that the head of government in Italy is the fascist leader Signor Benito Mussolini.

On a railway journey from the capital, Palermo, through the ancient town of Agrigento and the port of Siracusa, to Europe’s largest volcano, Mount Etna, Michael explores Sicilian life under the dictatorship. Michael finds out how the dictator took on the mafia and asks whether it is true that under Mussolini, the trains ran on time. In Palermo, Michael takes in the art and architecture of the futurists and feasts on a Sicilian speciality – spaghetti and sardines – in the city’s Ballaro street market. In the Capo district, Michael learns how the island’s distinctive puppets are made and is enchanted to see them in action.

Among the spectacular ancient Greek and Roman temples of Agrigento, Michael hears of the passionate ten-year search by a British archaeologist at the time of his guide for a long-lost ancient Greek theatre. The drama of the interwar period comes to life in front of Michael’s eyes as he joins six characters in search of an author at the Teatro Pirandello.

Michael takes the helm to explore the port of Siracusa by boat before visiting a controversial monument, which depicts a dark chapter in Italian history. He concludes his Sicilian journey on the circular railway around Mount Etna, aboard the sleek, futurist-inspired train inaugurated by Mussolini in 1937 – La Littorina.

Interviews: 66-Year Old American Author Erik Larson On Writing “The Splendid And The Vile”

Erik Larson, #1 New York Times bestselling author, shares his writing process.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. 

Erik Larson Books

Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.

Erik Larson is the author of eight books, six of which became New York Times bestsellers. His latest books, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz and Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, both hit no. 1 on the list soon after launch. His saga of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, The Devil in the White City, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and won an Edgar Award for fact-crime writing; it lingered on various Times bestseller lists for the better part of a decade.

World War II: “Raising The Flag On Iwo Jima” Taken 75 Years Ago (Feb 23, 1945)

“Sunday Morning” looks to an iconic image of World War II, taken 75 years ago today.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is an iconic photograph of six United States Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in the final stages of the Pacific War. The photograph, taken by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press on February 23, 1945, was first published in Sunday newspapers two days later and reprinted in thousands of publications. It was the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and was later used for the construction of the Marine Corps War Memorial in 1954, which was dedicated to honor all Marines who died for their country since 1775. The memorial, sculpted by Felix de Weldon, is located in Arlington Ridge Park, near the Ord-Weitzel Gate to Arlington National Cemetery and the Netherlands Carillon. The photograph has come to be regarded in the United States as one of the most significant and recognizable images of World War II.

Marine_Corps_War_Memorial_in_Arlington_County,_Virginia

The flag raising occurred in the early afternoon, after the mountaintop was captured and a smaller flag was raised on top that morning. Three of the six Marines in the photograph – Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block, and Private First Class Franklin Sousley – were killed in action during the battle. The other three Marines in the photograph were Corporals (then Private First Class) Ira Hayes, Harold Schultz, and Harold Keller; Block was identified as Sergeant Hank Hansen (helped raise the first flag and was present at the second flag raising) until January 1947, Schultz (was at both flag raisings) was identified as Sousley who was identified as PhM2c. John Bradley (was at both flag raisings) until June 2016, and Keller was identified as Rene Gagnon (carried the second flag up Mount Suribachi) until October 2019. All of the men served in the 5th Marine Division on Iwo Jima.

The Associated Press has relinquished its copyright to the photograph, placing it in the public domain.

Video Profiles: 66-Year Old Author & Director Jan Eliasberg (“Hannah’s War”)

Hannah's War by Jan Eliasberg March 3 2020 releaseA “mesmerizing” re-imagination of the final months of World War II (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network), Hannah’s War is an unforgettable love story about an exceptional woman and the dangerous power of her greatest discovery.
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Berlin, 1938.  Groundbreaking physicist Dr. Hannah Weiss is on the verge of the greatest discovery of the 20th century: splitting the atom. She understands that the energy released by her discovery can power entire cities or destroy them. Hannah believes the weapon’s creation will secure an end to future wars, but as a Jewish woman living under the harsh rule of the Third Reich, her research is belittled, overlooked, and eventually stolen by her German colleagues. Faced with an impossible choice, Hannah must decide what she is willing to sacrifice in pursuit of science’s greatest achievement.

New Mexico, 1945. Returning wounded and battered from the liberation of Paris, Major Jack Delaney arrives in the New Mexican desert with a mission: to catch a spy. Someone in the top-secret nuclear lab at Los Alamos has been leaking encoded equations to Hitler’s scientists. Chief among Jack’s suspects is the brilliant and mysterious Hannah Weiss, an exiled physicist lending her talent to J. Robert Oppenheimer’s mission. All signs point to Hannah as the traitor, but over three days of interrogation that separate her lies from the truth, Jack will realize they have more in common than either one bargained for.
Hannah’s War is a thrilling wartime story of loyalty, truth, and the unforeseeable fallout of a single choice.

Art: “Bassins de Lumières” Opens As Largest Digital Art Center In World, Bordeaux (April 17, 2020)

Bassins de Lumières Digital Art Center Bordeaux France April 2020 OpeningLocated in Bordeaux’s former submarine base, the BASSINS DE LUMIÈRES will present monumental immersive digital exhibitions devoted to the major artists in the history of art and contemporary art. The submarine base’s surface area is three times the size of that of the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence and five times that of the Atelier des Lumières in Paris.

The digital exhibitions will be perfectly adapted to the monumental architecture of the submarine base and will be reflected in the water of the four enormous basins, thereby adding a new dimension to the immersive experience. Visits will be conducted on gangways above the water and along the quays of the enormous basins.

On 17 April 2020, Culturespaces will open the largest digital art centre in the world: the Bassins de Lumières. France’s leading private operator in the management and promotion of monuments, museums, and art centres, Culturespaces is pursuing the creation of digital art centres and immersive exhibitions.

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