Hitler’s early years.


Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) was born on April 20, 1889,  in the Upper Austrian border town Braunau am Inn,  located approximately 65 miles east of Munich and nearly 30 miles north of Salzburg. He was baptized a Catholic. His father, Alois Hitler (1837–1903),  was a mid-level customs official. Born out of wedlock to Maria Anna Schickelgruber   … Read more »

The Iron Cross.


The German Iron Cross is a former military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918)  and Nazi Germany (1933–1945).  It was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia  in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louiseon  10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars (EK 1813). Louise was the first person to receive this decoration (posthumous).[The recommissioned… Read more »

The Poland invasion: David against Goliath.


The Invasion of Poland, known in Poland as the September Campaign and in Germany as the Poland Campaign (Polenfeldzug) or Fall Weiss (“Case White”), was a joint invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, the Free City of Danzig, and a small Slovak contingent  that marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , while the Soviet… Read more »

SS Obergruppenführer Otto Hofman, a Wannsee Conference member, survived the war.


SS-Gruppenführer Otto Hofmann, born in Innsbruck, 16 maart 1896, of Nazi Germany’s “Race and Settlement Main Office,”  was present at the Wannsee Conference planning the Holocaust against the Jews. Sentenced to 25 years in prison at the RuSHA Trial in 1948,  Hofmann was released on 7 April 1954. In April 1923, Hofmann joined the Nazi Party (member: 145,729) and in April 1931 he joined… Read more »

The “funny” tanks of D-Day.


These unusual vehicles played an important role in the D-Day landings, the Battle of Normandy and the campaign in north-west Europe. The failed Allied raid at Dieppe in August 1942 exposed how difficult it was to land vehicles and men during an amphibious invasion and to break through German coastal defences – specialised armour was needed to… Read more »

Eisenhower and Montgomery’s battle.


In late 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt  selected Dwight Eisenhower , a soft-spoken, intelligent Kansan, as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe.  He picked Eisenhower over more experienced generals partly because of Ike’s ability to work with enormous egos. In Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery,  Ike got one of the largest. A brilliant, bombastic commander Winston… Read more »

Memphis Belle: 25 Trips to Hell and Back.


In the flak-filled sky over a German U-boat installation in occupied France on January 23, 1943, Memphis Belle was battling for her life. The U.S. Army Air Forces Boeing B-17F, destined to become the most famous Flying Fortress in history, had approached the submarine base at Lorient flying in formation, amid one of four groups of bombers that… Read more »

SS Standartenführer Karl Jäger, Einsatzkommando leader who perpetrated acts of genocide during the Holocaust.


Karl Jäger was born 20-September 1868 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. In World War joined the German army, where he received the Iron Cross (1st Class) and other awards. After World War I, Jäger, an orchestration  maker by profession, obtained a managerial position with the Weber orchestration factory in Waldkirch. He joined the Nazi Party in 1923  Nr. 359269) and founded the local party chapter, as… Read more »

The Waalcrossing, 20 September 1944.


One of the main objectives of Operation Market Garden was to capture the two bridges across the Waal river in Nijmegen. Under the command of General James Gavin , paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division  landed in the area around the village of Groesbeek on Sunday 17 September 1944. The Allied units secured the drop… Read more »

Bombing on Eindhoven, my hometown, 19 September 1944


The liberation comes for the Eindhoveners on September 18, 1944. Exuberantly they celebrate. The Americans and Britons are greeted with cheers and songs. People dance on the streets and the joy is unprecedented.   But the day after, this changes abruptly to the opposite. German bombers appear above Eindhoven and bomb the city. Many civilian casualties… Read more »

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