In World War Two’s waning days, during the fall of 1944, Adolf Hitler ordered up one last role of the dice designed to stave off final defeat. This plan sought to punch through the densely forested, hilly, but lightly guarded Ardennes and reach Antwerp – thereby cutting off numerous Allied armies in a massive pocket similar to what his armies had accomplished four years prior.
German plans called for Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth SS Panzer Army to lead the assault through the Ardennes; as the northern army of the three German assault army’s.
Precisely seventy years ago, on December 11, 1941, Adolf Hitler declared war upon the United States. Today, this declaration of war is remembered as one of history’s great strategic blunders, and rightly so, nonetheless the reasons underpinning this remembrance have little to do with how and why war against the United States led to the Third Reich’s defeat. Conventional wisdom today explains German defeat during World War II as almost inevitable following Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, and its subsequent declaration of war upon the United States.
On December 7, 1941 over 350 Japanese aircraft launched from six aircraft carriers hammered US military installations across Oahu, Hawaii. The focal point for their attack was the elements of the US Pacific Fleet then at anchor at the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. This attack killed over 2,400 Americans and sank or damaged eight battleships (with two total losses), three cruisers, three destroyers, some auxiliary ships, and destroyed 183 aircraft. In turn, the Japanese lost 29 aircraft and five midget submarines.
Tomorrow is the 70th Anniversary of the Soviet counterattack before Moscow that put the final nail in Barbarossa' s coffin. Though the grossly overextended German army in the Soviet Union had long since been ground down to a fraction of its strength from six months prior; this counterstroke would do tremendous damage to a Wehrmacht badly positioned for defending against a strategic level counter offensive.
A large unexploded WWII era bomb dropped by the RAF (Royal Air Force) has been discovered in the mud along the Rhine River near Koblenz, Germany. This discovery, along with two smaller bombs found nearby, is forcing the temporary evacuation of 45,000 people while the ordnance is defused and removed. As many now know Germany took a fearful pounding during WWII. However, what many don't know is that the worst of the destruction meted out from above Germany was delivered by the RAF and USAAF (United States Army Air Force) during the war's final year.
On November 22, 2011 Josef Stalin's sole surviving child, Lana (formerly Svetlana) Peters (her married name following her 1967 defection from the Soviet Union and marriage to her third husband - an American) died of cancer. Born on February 28, 1926 she was 85 years old.
The house where Anne Frank famously hid from the Nazi's during their Second World War occupation of the Netherlands is being opened to the public for a single day in December, 2011. Though able to escape Nazi capture for two years ultimately Anne Frank and her family were found - resulting in Anne Frank's death in a concentration camp in 1945. Anne Frank was one of over one hundred thousand Jews from the Netherlands killed by Germany during WWII.
The remains of six former soldiers from the Red Army are to be reinterred from their current burial location in Finland. Currently located in South Karelia the remains were discovered outside the city of Lappeenranta and will be moved to an official cemetary for Soviet prisoners of war who died during the 1941-1944 war fought between the Soviet Union and Germany and its Axis allies - including Finland.
Russian soldiers of the 90th Special Search Battalion of the Western Military District, along with staff from the Museum of the Battle for Leningrad, have recovered a KV-1 tank from the Neva River near Leningrad. Thankfully no crew remains were found, thus meaning they likely escaped, and the tank itself is in relatively good condition. It is expected the tank will be able to be fully restored and be used in parades as a living historical artifact.
The KV-1 was the primary heavy tank in the Soviet arsenal when Hitler launched his attack on the Soviet Union in June of 1941. No German tank,
A slew of new pictures of the often forgotten dark side of the Dunkirk rescue operation, taken by a German soldier after the battle, provide chilling evidence of the scope of the disaster suffered by Allied forces following the German invasion of Western Europe in May, 1940.
Within ten day of the German invasion, tanks from the 2nd Panzer Division had crossed the Somme River and reached the English Channel at Abbeville, completing the encirclement of approximately 1.7 million British, French, Dutch, and Belgian soldiers in an enormous pocket 120 miles long and 72 miles wide.