T/5 William Flemming of Austin, Minnesota, enjoys a turkey leg on a hillside in the San Benedetto area, Italy, November 17th, 1944. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In November of 1944, Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower demanded that every soldier needed a hearty turkey dinner. At this time the whole Allied advance in Western Europe had come to almost a complete halt. Most of the major Allied ports were a hundreds of miles away from the frontlines and the terrible weather was slowing the supply convoys down. In the Hürtgen Forest thousands of American soldiers were already being killed. The Battle would deplete several divisions to almost nothing and in the end the forest had no strategic importance. The whole German army had retreated to the formidable Siegfried line. Everyday Allied forces would come under hundreds of German shells while they awaited the order to cross the Rhine. M1937 stoves were sent to the frontlines, some commanders in the particularly hot zones like the Hürtgen pleaded with their superiors not to have this dinner for the smoke would make them very easy targets. One of these officers in particular never could have a turkey dinner ever again in the entirety of his life. His unit had been decimated by German artillery while making their turkey. That was the reality of the situation on the Western Front at the time. Nonetheless I wish all of you a very happy and plentiful Thanksgiving! Feedback is encouraged and appreciated!
This is the picture of Finnish troops passing a destroyed T-34 tank that was destroyed by StuG III on the Imatra road, June 30, 1944 during the Battle of Tali-Ihantala.
The Battle of Tali-Ihantala (1944).
Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the battle that decided the fate of independence of Finland. The battle was part of the Continuation War, and the largest battle in the history of Nordic countries. It took place on June 25-July 9, 1944.
The Soviets started new offensive at Tali on June 25, 1944, starting new offensive line, VKT-line (Viipuri-Kuparsaari-Taipale line) which spanning from Viipuri through Tali and Kuparsaari where it was rocky area and full with lakes and streams where it would be hard to mobilize armored forces. The Soviets almost broke through the Finn's defense line several times. Many soldiers fought in heavy struggle in 10 x 10 km area.
Later, the Finns slowly retreated to Ihantala and received reinforcements from the Finnish forces from the eastern Karelia and the Germans.
Finnish Air Force and Luftwaffe attacked Soviet supply routes, the bridges and Soviet positions so it was hard for the Soviets to bring the supplies or reinforcements forward. The Soviet attacks were concentrated on area in the east of Viipuri, from south of Tali to north towards Ihantala where it was the only area with the suitable terrain for armored forces' mobilization.
By that time, the Finns concentrated half of their artillery in the area, along with only one armored division with StuG IIIs and German 303 assault gun brigade.
By July 7, the Soviets started transferring troops to battle against the Germans in Estonia and by July 9, 1944, Soviet forces had stopped their attempts to breakthrough the Finns' defense line. During the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the Finns suffered over 8,500 casualties while the Soviets lost up to 20,000 men during the battle. About 600 Soviet tanks and 569 Soviet aircrafts were destroyed.
Original source : SA-kuva
Colorized by Marina Amaral.
A hundred years on from the Battle of Cambrai, discover how the the British Army utilised the first large tank attack in history and changed fighting tactics on the Western Front. Head to our website and search for "Cambrai".
This is the picture of Napalm strike erupted near position of U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam in 1966.
You may see Napalm as some cool fireball explosion in the movie but it was actually one of the most terrifying weapons that had ever invented. With all new stuff that came in WW1, planes were bought into combat, fortress on tracks to break through the trenches and we got flamethrower with the idea of igniting flying fuels. The U.S. took it into another level by adding rubber to the gasoline which would have the gel-like substance and would be sticky and really hard to get off when it sticks to the target. The Napalm bomb's outer shell would be made off thin shell that easily to explode on impact on target. When it was ignited it could burn to 2,760 degrees Celsius (5,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Napalm was effective against fortified positions ; bunkers, tunnels, caves, as well as vehicles or convoys. Napalm was first used in European theater during World War 2 and used widely in attacks on Japanese cities, as well as clearing enemy positions, caves and tunnels during Korean War and Vietnam War.
Source : theatlantic.com
Source of info : scienece.howstuffworks.com, wikipedia.com, warhistoryonline.com
Technical Sergeant Earl J. King, a ball-turret gunner, sits in his position on a B-17 "Flying Fortress" shortly before take off for a mission into Germany, 1943. The ball-turrer gunner was one of the most dangerous positions to have on a B-17. It was cramped and very loud when the guns began to fire. This is why ball-turret gunners were shorter in height compaired to other memebers of the crew. It was also very exposed to flak and had a tendency to jam. Their movement depended on the aircraft's hydraulic system and when the aircraft's hydraulic system was malfunctioning or shot up so bad it wasn't working the ball-turret couldn't move. To exit the ball-turret the gunner would have to point it to the ground so the hatch was inside the aircraft. If the hydraulics weren't working the ball-turret gunner couldn't get out. In most cases this meant the landing gear couldn't be lowered. Unless the crew manually lowered the gear which took a lot of time and effort, they would have to belly land. The majority of crews would choose to belly land, condemning the ball-turret gunner to his fate. As the aircraft hit the tarmac the ball-turret would be instantly crushed and the gunner would go with it. It would of been a very grim and grotesque thing to witness. A famous American soldier/poet, Randall Jarell, wrote "The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner" which captures the brutally and dangers of flying in that position. I highly recommend you check it out. Orignal B/W Photo taken by Roger Freeman, IWM Archives.
After a forty five minute walk, including a twenty minute stretch without a shadow on the street, I made it to the Turo de la Rovira. This is where the Spanish Army defended this bright city from during the civil war. And me, standing on the very ground where history was written, canons were fired and thousands were gunned down, I’m just glad I got a good shot. #Barcelona#Spain#Europe#solotravel#worldtravel#instatravel#wartime#history
This picture shows you members of Maquis (French resistors) at La Tresorerie (near Boulogne-sur-Mer, France), on September 14, 1944.
The French Resistance.
After France surrendered to the Nazi Germany in 1940, it was shock for the French people and they were assured that the Maginot Line would be able to protect France from German invasion. The French Resistance had played huge part in aiding the Allies, providing intelligence, sabotaging German supply and communication and line within France.
On June 18, 1940, Charles De Gaulle, the leader of Free France encouraged French to continue fighting with the Germans. There were many resistance groups, groups that took orders from SOE (Special Operations Executive), groups that were loyal to de Gaulle and communist groups. The British supplied the French Resistance with the supplies and equipments and the French would provide intelligence reports.
After the Operation Barbarossa had begun many French communist had joined the resistance movements. By 1944, the numbers of French resistors raised to 100,000 members. Just one year before that there were only 40,000 members. In 1944, the French Resistance had sent many intelligence reports which also led up to be the intel for D-Day on June 6, 1944. The French Resistance also had sabotaged many railways and trains which explains why the Germans were having hard time transporting supplies across France.
Source : all-that-is-interesting.com
Source of info : historylearningsite.co.uk, ww2db.com