Shrabani Basu in conversation with James Vaux [YouTube]

Bembridge Ramshackle Cinema & Events presents Shrabani Basu in conversation with James Vaux. Historian & journalist Shrabani Basu is the author of ‘Victoria & Abdul’, upon which the feature film starring Dame Judi Dench & Eddie Izard is based, as well as ‘Spy Princess’, the story of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of an Indian prince who became a secret agent for SOE in World War II. She is also the author of ‘Curry’ The Story of the Nation’s Favourite Dish and ‘For King and Another Country’, Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18. The video recording of the conversation at Bembridge Village Hall, Isle of Wight on Sunday 8th April 2018 is produced by Christopher Offer.

V.E. Day — Benedicta Leigh | First Night History

Re-blog from 8 May 2015

Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000 [photo: David Sim]

My mother, Benedicta Leigh, was in her late teens when the Second World War broke out. She signed up to be a VAD [Voluntary Aid Detachment] nurse and was working at a hospital in London when German…

Source: V.E. Day — Benedicta Leigh | First Night History

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

Lost to the Night: The Lancaster Crew | The Rant Foundry

Filed in: War History  –  Author: JF Dowsett

At the Binbrook RAF flying base in Lincolnshire, Britain during April 1944, the crew of a Lancaster bomber were posing – in their spare t…

Source: Lost to the Night: The Lancaster Crew | The Rant Foundry

A Nazi in housewife’s clothing – Jefferson St. Clair

The Stomping Mare, a female guard at several Nazi concentration camps, was known for her exceptional cruelty, even by Nazi standards. She served as an Aufseherin, the German title for a female guar…

Source: A Nazi in housewife’s clothing – Jefferson St. Clair

Making Maps Under Fire: Surveying New Guinea in World War II | The Rant Foundry

HMAS Whyalla in camouflage in New Guinea

The part played by the Hydrographic Surveying Services of the Royal Australian Navy was acknowledged by the Allied leaders of the Southwest Pacific Area as an integral factor contributing to the su…

Source: Making Maps Under Fire: Surveying New Guinea in World War II | The Rant Foundry

Shot down over Germany – Ed Dostie of Englewood survived 690 days, mostly in Stalag-17 | War Tales

The crew of “Sky Wolf,” a B-17 bomber shot down over Germany on July 13, 1943, is pictured in front of their ill-fated “Flying Fortress” shortly after arriving in England. Thy were part of the American 8th Air Force that pulverized the Reich in daily raids over Nazi-occupied Europe. Photo provided

He was on his fourth mission over Germany in a B-17 bomber called “Sky Wolf” when his luck ran out. It was June 13, 1943, their target: the submarine pens at Wilhelmshaven, a major Nort…

Source: Shot down over Germany – Ed Dostie of Englewood survived 690 days, mostly in Stalag-17 | War Tales

Local WWII veteran to get France’s highest award: ‘Legion of Honor’ | War Tales

Art Nicholas, of the Oak Forrest subdivision in Englewood, Fla., has been selected as a recipient of France’s highest distinction. He will be named a “Knight of the Legion of Honor” for the part he played in the Normandy Invasion of France during World War II.

French Consul General Philippe Létrilliart, who is based in Miami, wrote to Nicholas: “Your decision to fight for freedom during World War II was an admirable act, demonstrating your courage and selflessness. Without you, and those who fought alongside you, France and Europe may have never…

Source: Local WWII veteran to get France’s highest award: ‘Legion of Honor’ | War Tales

John Barrow saw Japanese women at Saipan throw babies off cliff then jump themselves | War Tales

John Henry Barrow II of Royal Palm Retirement Centre in Port Charlotte, Fla. served aboard a destroyer and a sub chaser in the Pacific during World War II. He took part in some of the major battles—Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa to name three. Saipan is the one the 90-year-old former local sailor remembers best.

“At Saipan Adm. Nimitz ordered our sub chasers close to shore. We were to fire at Japanese position and when they fired back at us it was our job to report their locations,” Barrow said. “Then we’d knock out the enemy with the 16-inch guns from our battleships off shore.“We could see the shells from our big guns coming right over us and…

Source: John Barrow saw Japanese women at Saipan throw babies off cliff then jump themselves | War Tales

World War II bomb found in a Kenyan farm – YouTube – sentinelblog

Bomb experts in Kenya detonated a bomb found by a herder in a grazing field in Kajiado County of Eastern Kenya.The bomb is suspected to have been abandoned during the Second World War or by local soldiers during training sessions in the area in the 1990s.

Source: World War II bomb found in a Kenyan farm – YouTube – sentinelblog

FBI files: Military questioned Pete Seeger’s wartime loyalty

As Army Pvt. Pete Seeger eagerly waited for a chance to fight for his country during World War II, military investigators quietly built a case that the young folk singer was “potentially subversive.

“In a security investigation triggered by a wartime letter he wrote denouncing a proposal to deport all Japanese-Americans, the Army intercepted Seeger’s mail to his fiancee, scoured his school records, talked to his father, interviewed an ex-landlord and questioned his pal Woody Guthrie, according to FBI files obtained by The Associated Press.

Investigators concluded that Seeger’s association with known communists and his Japanese-American fiancee pointed to a risk of divided loyalty.

Seeger’s “Communistic sympathies, his unsatisfactory relations with landlords and his numerous Communist and otherwise undesirable friends, make him unfit for a position of trust or responsibility,” according to a military intelligence report.

The investigation, forwarded to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, is detailed in more than 1,700 pages from Seeger’s FBI file, released by the…

Source: FBI files: Military questioned Pete Seeger’s wartime loyalty

The Jewish Fascist



Ettore Ovazza and Benito Mussolini

Ettore Ovazza was one of three brothers born into a wealthy and influential  family in Turin. The Ovazza were one of Italy’s leading banking families with all the privilege and power that comes with it.

Ettore was born in 1892 and grew up with everything early 20th century Italy had to give. He wanted for nothing.

The Ovazza were Jewish. At the time Jews living in Italy were the most assimilated in Europe. Of course there were few of them – perhaps 0.01% of the population in this predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Italian Jews benefitted from the absence of legal and social disadvantages that existed elsewhere. They spoke Italian or the local dialect rather than the Yiddish or Ladino that many of their European coreligionists spoke. They were engaged in politics, served at high rates in the military, and found success in every skilled…

View original post 1,025 more words

You Can Blame the Italians


Ask any moderately intelligent person to name the bane of the 20th century and nine out of ten will probably answer “Adolph Hitler”.  A few might answer Joe Stalin or Chairman Mao but Hitler is the lens through which we view the carnage of mid-century.

On the other hand, a young millenial might answer “Madonna”.  So much for public education.

Our understanding of the Second World War and the preceding years are refracted through our comprehension of the “mad Fuhrer”.  It is the ghost of Adolph Hitler who carried the world to total war and with pseudo-scientific fanaticism exterminated millions.

It is the ghost of Adolph Hitler who shapes our understanding of the world; that persuades us that our opponents comprise “The Other” – the imponderable, fundamentalist crazies.  The ghost of Adolph Hitler shapes what we think about all dictators and the societies they rule; that each is a replica…

View original post 833 more words

World War II in Four Paragraphs | Theory Of Irony

250px-Fotothek_df_ps_0000010_Blick_vom_RathausturmWorld War II started out, if you believed the Fascist propaganda (and nobody did),  as a limited Polish border dispute.  But soon Germany and its vassal States overran most of Europe and Northern Africa, plus a big chunk of Asia – as they liked to brag, from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic Circle.  A very lonely Britain sent up a few hundred pilots who faced odds approaching absolute zero, but against all expectation they started to win the battle for the skies.  During this airborne mayhem one particularly bad German pilot accidentally bombed residential London and Britain retaliated by unloading on municipal Berlin.  In knee-jerk response, an enraged Hitler switched to civilian targets – just when the British military was reaching the verge of exhaustion.  While this went on, Germany made the most catastrophic blunder in recorded history and attacked its nominal eastern ally, the Soviet Union.

The tide turned in ways that could never have been predicted.  The Germans got so far as to occupy nine-tenths of Stalingrad, really a second-tier military goal, but one of immense psychological importance to the The Soviet Union rebounded with the same tenacity it showed at Stalingrad, grimly took back Eastern Europe and started pounding on the gates of Berlin.  A brief digression is needed here to explain that, 200 years before, a Russian Czarina…

Source: World War II in Four Paragraphs | Theory Of Irony