Photo of the Day

Brave: Eileen ?Didi Nearne operated as an undercover agent called ?Rose? in Occupied France and was caught and tortured by the Nazis.

Eileen Mary “Didi” Nearne

The Spy Who Took Her Secret With Her To The Grave?Almost

Eileen Nearne ? known as Didi ? was, in fact, one of the bravest secret agents of World War II. When caught, she showed exceptional courage, withstanding torture and incarceration in concentration camps. Didi was a modest woman who seldom spoke about her wartime exploits. Her latter years were solitary and reclusive.?Keeping quiet was one of Nearne?s great strengths, and she saved many lives (including her own) through silence, bluff and determination in the face of what must have seemed a hopeless situation.?Buried deep in Eileen Nearne’s secret World War II file, released by the National Archives, is the secrecy agreement she signed on Sept. 4, 1942. It was a commitment she honoured until her death.

The death of an eccentric recluse is rarely an event to be given more than a few lines in a local newspaper. But when, in September 2010, police were called to a tiny, cluttered flat in Torquay and discovered the body of local ?cat lady? Eileen Nearne, they also found a small bundle of possessions that told an amazing story.

It transpired that the eccentric old lady who fed stray cats had once been one of the most successful agents of Special Operations Executive (SOE), as had her sister, Jacqueline, who had died many years before.

After Eileen Mary “Didi” Nearne died in 2 September?2010 (date body found) a frail 89-year-old alone in a flat in the British seaside town of Torquay, Eileen Nearne, her body undiscovered for several days, was listed by local officials as a candidate for what is known in?Britain?as a council burial, or what in the past was called a pauper?s grave.

But after the police looked through her possessions, including a Croix de Guerre medal awarded to her by the French government after World War II, the obscurity Ms. Nearne had cultivated for decades began to slip away.

Known to her neighbours as an insistently private woman who loved cats and revealed almost nothing about her past, she has emerged as a heroine in the tortured story of Nazi-occupied France, one of the secret agents who helped prepare the French resistance for the D-Day landings in June 1944.

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Photo of the Day

Norwegian Officer Jan Baalsrud Escapes from Nazis in the Arctic

Even during those long months when the sun peers over the horizon night and day, the Arctic wastelands in northern Norway remain among the darkest places on earth.

A vast expanse of inscrutable crags, battered by biting winds and white walls of snow, it is a place where life of any kind receives a less than warm welcome. Yet in the spring of 1943, one man flirted with death there for more than two months, forced to contend not only with the elements, but an occupying Nazi force intent on killing him.
Jan Baalsrud?was a young instrument maker who was asked to help the anti-Nazi resistance in Norway during WWII. During his trip on board a ship in the icy Norwegian waters, German soldiers showered his boat with bullets, killing everyone on board except him. He managed to dive into the water, with only one boot and sock, minus his big toe that had been shot off.

On the run, Jan Baalsrud was dependent on the strangers prepared to help, even though they knew they would be killed should anyone find out. Blinded by the snow and severely crippled by frostbite, he was even forced to amputate all but one of his toes. But somehow he survived.
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Photo of the Day

The execution of Miss Edith Cavell, the English nurse, on a charge of harbouring in Brussels, greatly shocked the Belgian community in that unhappy land, and they call it the bloodiest act of the whole war.

The Saintly Nurse Executed for Being a Spy

?Nothing but physical impossibility, lack of space and money would make me close my doors to Allied refugees.??

? Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell was a nurse, humanitarian and spy. During the First World War, she helped allied servicemen escape German occupied Belgium; she was eventually captured and executed for treason. Her death by firing squad made her internationally known and she became an iconic symbol for the Allied cause.

In particular, she is remembered for her courage in facing execution with equanimity. This included her famous last words that ?Patriotism is not enough.?

The incident and disgust at her treatment by Germany, played an important role in shaping American public opinion and easing America?s entry into the war, later in 1917.

Edith Louisa Cavell was born on 4 December 1865 in the vicarage at Swardeston, a village located approximately 5 miles south of Norwich, Norfolk. She was the eldest of 4 children, their Father being the local vicar. All his children were taught the principles which their Father held dear: thought for others, self-sacrifice and prayer. Edith was taught by her Father at home, as he was unable to afford either a Governess or a private tutor.

During her teenage years, Edith went to a school called Laurel Court, operated by a Miss Margaret Gibson. During her time at the school, Edith became so proficient in French, that Miss Gibson recommended Edith to the Francois family in Brussels, as a governess to their family. Edith enjoyed her new position, but she felt that as the children were now grown up she required a greater challenge.

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Photo Of The Day

Death of a Danish hero ? Anders Lassen VC.

Death of a Danish Hero ? Anders Lassen VC.

Kill Without Mercy

Party Like There?s No Tomorrow

As the British Expeditionary Force retreated from the French beaches in 1939, Winston Churchill issued an extraordinary order to his chiefs of staff: ?Prepare hunter troops for a butcher-and-bolt reign of terror.?

Under Churchill?s orders the British military was tasked with recruiting forces to strike the enemy in hit-and-run attacks, using all possible measures and with no holds barred. Churchill knew that Britain had to strike back hard. So Britain’s wartime leader called for the lightning development of a completely new kind of warfare.

He tasked his Special Operations Executive (SOE) to recruit a band of eccentrics: free-thinkers, misfits, cutthroats, gaol-breakers and buccaneers ? those who had the special character to operate on their own initiative deep behind enemy lines, with no holds barred, and offering these volunteers nothing but the potential for glory and all-but-certain death. Incredibly, there was no shortage of volunteers flocking to his call.

The most famous of Churchill?s commandos ? who would go on to form part of the SAS ? was arguably the Anders Lassen. Lassen epitomized the spirit of these warriors, whose actions were defined by extraordinary ? some might argue, suicidal ? bravery, and a blatant disregard for the traditional military hierarchy.

Men and officers alike had to earn respect ? merit was prized above and regardless of rank ? and the only way to do so was in battle. Lassen became the only member of the British SAS ever to win the Victoria Cross (among numerous other decorations).

His VC was granted posthumously, as a result of a raid on Italy in the closing stages of the war that also claimed the lives of many of his men. Prior to that, he and his small force had liberated the entirety of Greece pretty much single-handedly.

These men were the SOE?s first ?deniable? operatives. Falling under the SOE?s command as opposed to that of the military, they were empowered to use all necessary measures to achieve Churchill?s aims, and they were to be disowned by the British Government if captured.

Each SOE warrior-agent was issued with a ?0? codename, meaning that he was a ?zero?-rated agent ? one trained and licensed to use all means to liquidate the enemy, especially the arts of silent killing. Indeed, these SOE 0-rated operatives are believed to be the inspiration behind Ian Fleming?s ?00? agents in his James Bond novels.

The Special Operations Executive also came to be known as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. And perhaps the least gentlemanly of the SSRF butcher-and-bolt specialists was Dane, Anders ? known as Andy ? Lassen, who was not averse to bellowing orders in German to confuse the enemy. His father, visiting London before the war, liked to summon his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce with a blast of his hunting horn from the steps of the Hyde Park Hotel.

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Remarkable: Captain Robert Campbell returned to a German PoW camp after being given permission to leave to visit his dying mother in Britain by the Kaiser.

Remarkable: Captain Robert Campbell returned to a German PoW camp after being given permission to leave to visit his dying mother in Britain by the Kaiser.

Prisoner of Honour

A British Army officer captured by the Germans during World War One was granted temporary leave from a prisoner of war camp to visit his dying mother on one condition ? that he returns.

Robert Campbell, pictured above, served as a captain in the British military in World War I. As the conflict went on, so did the number of prisoners of war held by both sides, and by the summer of 1916, Germany held more than 1.6 million such POWs. In December of that year, Captain Campbell became one of those POWs for the second time.

Captain Campbell was captured early in the war; the UK declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, Campbell became a POW before the month was out. He spent more than two years at a German prison camp in the town of Magdeburg and, like many POWs, was allowed to write letters to friends and family back home.

But after two years in Magdeburg Prisoner of War Camp the British officer received word from home his mother Louise Campbell was close to death.

He speculatively wrote to Kaiser Wilhelm II begging to be allowed home to visit his mother one final time. He was astonished to be given permission ? on condition that he promised to return.

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Photo Of The Day

A British army bus-mounted mobile pigeon loft on active service during the First World War. By mounting pigeon lofts on top of converted buses; these could be moved from place to place a mile or two behind the lines and held in reserve for times when normal communications became impossible. 95% of the messages delivered by the 100,000 carrier pigeons were done so successfully.

A British army bus-mounted mobile pigeon loft on active service during the First World War. By mounting pigeon lofts on top of converted buses; these could be moved from place to place a mile or two behind the lines and held in reserve for times when normal communications became impossible. 95% of the messages delivered by the 100,000 carrier pigeons were done so successfully.

Pigeons and World War One

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Those silly Germans…..


I have found the German’s weakness!

The perfect weapon for a witch-hunt?



? The Local

Deutsch: Designvibratoren in einem Erotikshop ...

?Designer vibrators in an erotic shop for women (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Germans are the kinkiest rooters in Europe according to latest league tables:

Germans top the unofficial kinky league table, a new survey on between-the-sheets behaviour revealed Tuesday. It demonstrated that nearly half of Germans like “tools and gadgets” – more than any other country.

But while 44 percent of Germans like “tools and gadgets that make it more fun” the interest in electric sex aids ends there, since only 16 percent are aroused by “sexy illuminating underwear.” This was the joint lowest score, well below the international average of 23 percent.

By contrast, one in three Chinese people said lingerie that lights up does it for them every time.

Before they get the tools and gadgets out, Germans are not averse to a bit of mood-setting ? 40 percent said they liked romantic music. But don’t bother with your Beyonc? CDs if you want to seduce a German ? only four percent like to bonk to R ‘n’ B.

What separates Germans from other countries, though, is the preference for keeping the lights on. As many as 53 percent of Germans like to see clearly what’s going on, a figure topped only by the Spanish with 56 percent.

That figure is in stark contrast to the Brits, 65 percent of whom lived up to their nation’s repressed stereotype and said they preferred to have sex in the dark ? the largest proportion of all countries surveyed.

More illuminating than Germans’ favourite underpants were the various answers to the question, “Why would you turn the light off when you are ready for fun?”

While the vast majority of people across the world answered either, “because it’s sexier that way,” or “I dare to do the naughty stuff,” but some, including 19 percent of Germans, said, “I don’t find myself that attractive.”

The less charming responses “I don’t find my partner that attractive” or “I prefer thinking about someone else” were given by five percent of brutally honest Germans.

The survey, carried out by Swedish tennis legend Bj?rn Borg’s underwear chain, surveyed over 1,700 18-30-year-olds in nine different countries across the globe.

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