For most of us, Anne Frank’s diary was a required reading in school as we learned about literature or journal writing. But for those whose families were greatly affected by the Holocaust, this young girl’s diary serves as an enlightenment to the sufferings of the Jews.
Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany on 12 June 1929. Her family moved to Amsterdam in the 30’s because of the rising anti-Semitism move (eventually called the Holocaust) in her home country. Adolf Hitler initiated the move, as he intended to kill anyone considered Jewish. She spent her formative years in Amsterdam, but the move against Jews rose there as well. For her 13th birthday, Anne received a diary. In her journal, she wrote about her family’s daily activities as they struggled to get away from deportation to Nazi concentration camps.
When her older sister Margot was sent to a Nazi work camp, Anne’s family members and some friends hid in an annex located above her father’s business for two years. To keep herself occupied, she spent time writing her daily musings on her diary.
The Holocaust, which overlapped with World War II, saw the deaths of millions of Jews including Anne and some members of her family. Anne was only 15 when she of typhus in 1945 at a concentration camp. Her father found her diary after the war, and had it published in 1947.
World War II was a very dark time that found the Allied powers and the Axis powers going muscle against muscle at the expense of the rest of the world. As this period is looked at from our vantage point today, there is but bittersweet sentiment. Beyond the obvious horrors, World War II also became the canvas for the most awesome battles in the sky. Here are some of the most famous planes in World War II.
The North American P-51 Mustang is tabbed as the greatest fighter of the war, in a time when the Allied armies were able to penetrate Europe. With its piston engine, which was the height of the technology at the time, the plane could go faster and higher than any other challenger. The P-51 Mustang allowed for most number of “Aces,” a term used for having five kills, for its pilots.
The Vought F4U Corsair earned a reputation as quite the shock trooper of the war. While other forces in the air and on the ground wrested control of the Pacific, it was this fighter plane that reigned supreme in the Pacific Islands. It was a very able ground attack plane that shadowed friendly troops that did their work on the plains and fields. The Corsair paved the way for the final battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
The Messerschmitt 262 had a huge impact during and after the war. Some variants of this aircraft were designed as rocket-loaded prototypes that reached the speed of sound. This was quite unthinkable back in the day. They say that if only Germany produced more of the prototypes in the war, the story of World War II might have had a different ending.
John Eillerman is knowledgeable on facts about World War II. His interest for the war stems from his admiration for his father, who joined the U.S. Army when he migrated from Hannover in the early stages of World War II. For more interesting WWII facts, follow him on Facebook.
When it comes to world football, only a handful of teams can compare to the juggernaut that is Germany. Only Brazil has more World Cups (5), and Italy as many (4). In Europe, however, Germany has more European titles, making the country the most successful European country in major footballing tournaments. They are always formidable. They are always focused. And they are, more often, but not always, impenetrable. Here are two of the greatest footballers this magnificent footballing nation has ever produced.
The greatest German player ever, he was part of the team that won the Cup in 1974, and managed the one that won in 1990. He was only the second person in history to win the Cup as both a player and a manager. But that wasn’t his legacy. He revolutionized and perfected the sweeper position, before the position became popular. He was a general on the pitch, and is arguably the greatest defender in the history of football.
Before he had his record eclipsed by Miroslav Klose in Brazil 2014, Gerd Muller had almost all but claimed the title of Greatest German Goal Scorer in history. He is Bayern Munich’s greatest scorer. He has the highest goals-to-games ratio. And in 1970, he scored ten times in the World Cup, with two hat-tricks. He along with Beckenbauer helped the Germans win Euro 72 and the World Cup in 1974.
John Eilermann is a big fan of German football, having roots in Germany. For more on Eilermann and Die Mannschaft, subscribe to this Twitter page.
The military tactic, blitzkrieg, was the German’s way of creating havoc within the battlefield and ensuring success. The term roughly translates to “lightning war” and succinctly describes exactly what is done in the enemy’s field. The idea of a blitzkrieg attack is speed and precision. Enemies are not given time to prepare for a counterattack because no warning is given. It was also typical for such attacks to be localized in a specific area, with mobile forces and concentrated firepower being targeted into one environment.
This type of attack became so successful that it eventually became the German’s signature form of attack. The Allied Powers were reportedly fearful of unguarded territories and tried countermeasures such as better spying capabilities. This lead to more funds being allocated to spy technology, which has been researched to have profound effects in today’s society. For example, the radar and sonar were initially used by the Allies to improve communications between themselves and to pick up the Axis’ plans. These technologies are still being used today, although for very different reasons. While there are a variety of reasons for the development of such technologies, it is hypothesized that the German’s superb military strategy was a big factor.
The blitzkrieg also pushed German war advances as well. The level of their success was also dependent on how well their machines and firepower worked. Some historians believe that mobile warfare technology became much more sophisticated and powerful during the blitzkrieg period.
John Eilermann is interested in any and all topics related to World War II. He posts a lot of his insights on this Twitter page.
A lot of people assume that the World War II mainly took place in Europe and Asia. But just like the two big continents, Africa was greatly affected too. Military campaigns in North Africa during World War II took place between 13 September 1940 to 13 May 1943. The continent was important for both the Axis and the Allies, since both factions wanted control and access to North Africa’s abundant oil supply.
The campaign had three phases: Western Desert campaign in eastern Libya and western Egypt; Tunisia campaign; and Operation Torch in Algeria and Morocco. During the campaign, the Italians and Germans lost 620,000 men, while the British lost 220,000. The victory of the Allies in North Africa neutralized 900,000 German and Italian troops.
The five territories of the North African coast—Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt—were all under a European power. In 1914, Britain established a colony over Egypt. Even if Egypt declared nominal independence in 1922, the Brits took over Egypt’s foreign policy and military defense. The Brits soon reconfirmed their control over Egypt in 1936 after both parties signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty. Italy also conquered different provinces from the Turks in 1911, and eventually took control of Libya in 1934. France had Tunisia in 1881, and Morocco also became a French colony under the Treaty of Fez. Algeria also became a formal part of France in 1940.
It was in 1942 when North Africa saw the most bloodshed during the war. Because British supply lines were overextended, General Rommel led German forces in a fierce counterattack. The British were forced to retreat to the Gazala Line. The Battle of Gazala was the biggest of the Desert War. It resulted in the retreat of the British troops (led by General Auchinleck) to Alam Halfa.
In November 1942, the Axis faction saw the start of its downfall with Operation Torch. After fighting against Vichy French forces, the Allied forces controlled the Algerian and Moroccan coasts. By May 1943, around 230,000 Axis soldiers surrendered to the Allied forces in Tunisia, which ended the war in North Africa.
Hi there, it’s John Eilermann. Visit this blog for more interesting reads on World War II.
What most people know about World War II comes from popular media. For the most part, movies and TV series try to portray accurately the way the war was. However, it cannot be helped that a few things get lost in translation. Five of the less-known facts about the war are listed below:
Most U.S. servicemen died in the Air Corps than in the Marine Corps: Surprisingly, air servicemen had a higher chance of dying compared to their sea counterparts. It was estimated that an airman’s chance of being killed was around 71 percent in a series of completing 30 missions.
The Allied army peed in the Rhine: This was not the most respectful thing to do, but records do show that the first thing the Allied army did when they reached the Rhine was to pee in it. In fact, there are several photos of Winston Churchill and General Patton participating in the activity.
Americans had more toilet rations: During the height of the war, American soldiers received a toilet ration of 22 sheets a day. British soldiers only got three sheets.
Only 20 percent of Soviet Union males born in 1923 survived: This is not to be surprised considering the devastation the country received during the entire duration of the war. However, even historians lament the fact that such a small amount of males were able to live their lives above the age of young adulthood.
Total casualties for WWII are between 50 to 70 million: The actual number cannot be determined since accurate data gathering was not available at the time. Regardless, estimations suggest that 80 percent of this number came from only four countries, Russia, China, Germany, and Poland. Fifty percent of the casualties were civilians.
It is virtually impossible to list down every single incident that occurred during the war, but it is important that as much information be given to create a balanced account.
I can’t help but cringe when I remember the last game, when the Cardinals lost against the Brewers, 3-1. It was at the end of the game, after commiserating with my fellow fans, that I began to think about why my team seemed to have no luck at all. I thought about Zach Davies – bless his heart – who pitched eight scoreless innings despite his 6.05 ERA (earned run average). Regardless of his impressive run, the Cardinals never had a runner advance safely to second base. And then there was Brandon Moss who spent most of the game on the bench before suddenly hitting a home run, causing everyone to stand and scream. In the midst of all these incongruities, the rest of the team performed at such a lackluster pace, I couldn’t help but feel that for any lay person, this would be boring.
As I was thinking about this, I realized that maybe this is a contributing factor. The Cardinals is a good team – I still maintain that – yet they are not a consistent one. Looking at their last few games objectively, all the “exciting” moments, as it were, seemed more out of luck than actual skill. Or if there was skill involved, it seemed to manifest itself sporadically.
I shared this insight with my fellow fans and they seemed to agree, although added the caveat that the Cardinals could also be going through a harsh speedbump. The team itself is a good solid team and just hasn’t been performing well these last games.
I am John F. Eilermann, a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan. You can count on it that I’ve watched every single game of theirs and know every fact, figure, and trivia. I post most of my insights on this Twitter account.