soldiers

Photo of the Day

A French woman collaborator and her baby, whose father is German, tries to return to her home followed by a throng of taunting townspeople after having her head shaven following the capture of Chartres by the Allies, August 1944. It appears that she is passing some women who suffered a similar fate. Photo by Robert Capa.

?Collaboration Horizontale?

French women who befriended the Nazis, through coerced, forced, or voluntary relationships, were singled out for shameful retribution following the liberation of France

It’s called surviving in an enemy territory. You had to play nice in order to live.

At the end of World War II, many French people accused of collaboration with Germany endured a particularly humiliating act of revenge: their heads were shaved in public.

What do you get when you put mental trauma, mob mentality, and female sexuality in a room and shake them up? You get the Shorn Women of France, who were forcibly shaved and paraded around towns as punishment for mixing with the Nazis.

The parades were known as ugly carnivals, which is a pretty good name if you’re looking at the jeering, maniacal faces in the crowds.?It is impossible to forget Robert Capa?s fallen-Madonna image of a shaven-headed young woman, cradling her baby, implicitly the result of a relationship with a German soldier.

After the war many thousands of European girls were arrested, beaten, raped, or murdered for having relationships with Germans. The insane ‘crime’ was called ‘denunciation. Women were not the only ones charged with this erroneous ‘crime’, men also were charged in great numbers.

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Photo of the Day

Images of the protest on the Internet have been censored in China. A wider shot by Stuart Franklin showing column of tanks approaching Tank Man, who is shown near the lower-left corner. A column of T59 People’s Liberation Army tanks makes its way from Tiananmen Square over Chang’an Avenue, Beijing. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Magnum

Tank Man

The Unknown Rebel

Twenty-eight years ago today, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) violently cleared Beijing’s Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen means “gate of heavenly peace”) of protesters, ending a six-week demonstration that had called for democracy and widespread political reform. The protests began in April of 1989, gaining support as initial government reactions included concessions. Martial law was declared on May 20, troops were mobilised, and from the night of June 3 through the early morning of June 4, the PLA pushed into Tiananmen Square, crushing some protesters and firing on many others. The exact number killed may never be known.

A day after Chinese military killed at least hundreds, if not thousands of demonstrators, a wiry man in a white shirt stepped in front of a line of moving tanks near Tiananmen Square and become one of the most famous protesters of the 20th century. The man blocked the path of the tanks, even as they gunned their engines. He climbed onto the first tank, pounded on the hatchet, and appeared to speak to the soldiers inside.?When he stepped back down in front of the tank, two men ran into the street and pulled him away. The confrontation became one of the most enduring images of the pro-democracy, anti-corruption protests that swept China that spring and summer.

All these years later, his identity is still a mystery. He is called simply Tank Man.

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Photo of the Day

Sgt. Kenneth Decker (from left), Cpl. Margaret Hastings and Lt. John McCollom were the only three survivors of the Gremlin Special crash. They are pictured above at the U.S. Army station in Hollandia, New Guinea, shortly after their rescue. B.B. McCollom.

The Gremlin Special

The Gremlin Special was a Douglas C-47 Skytrain that crashed during a sightseeing flight for U.S. service members over the Baliem Valley (?Shangri-La Valley?) in New Guinea in 1945.

There was a terrible accident in a harsh landscape, three survivors, a hidden world with a Stone Age existence, and a heroic rescue mission. They soon ended up amidst a cutting edge culture still untouched by the outside world. The locals were known man-eaters, however fortunately for the crash survivors, they chiefly ate their adversary tribe.

On May 13, 1945, twenty-four officers, enlisted men, and women stationed on what was then Dutch New Guinea boarded a transport plane named the Gremlin Special for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley surrounded by steep, jagged mountain peaks deep within the island’s uncharted jungle.
But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers survived ? WAC Corporal Margaret Hastings, Lieutenant John McCollom, and Sergeant Kenneth Decker.

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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

Halifax Explosion. Tall cloud of smoke rising over the water. This is one of the few photographs of the blast, reportedly taken 15-20 seconds after the explosion.

Halifax Explosion. Tall cloud of smoke rising over the water. This is one of the few photographs of the blast, reportedly taken 15-20 seconds after the explosion.

?The Explosion

A Second of Silence, Then in the Blink of an Eye?

On December 6, 1917, the town of Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) was destroyed by the explosion of a cargo ship loaded with military explosives. About two thousand people were killed and almost ten thousands were injured. Until the first nuclear blast, it was the largest man-made explosion in recorded history with an equivalent force of 2.9 kilotons of TNT.

??Hold up the train. Ammunition Ship Afire in Harbour Making for Pier 6 and will Explode. Guess this will be My Last Message. Goodbye Boys.?

Final Communication from Railway Dispatcher Patrick Vincent Coleman

At 9:04:35?Mont-Blanc?exploded with a force stronger than any manmade explosion before it.

The steel hull burst sky-high, falling in a blizzard of red-hot, twisted projectiles on Dartmouth and Halifax.

Some pieces were tiny; others were huge. Part of the anchor hit the ground more than 4 kilometers away on the far side of Northwest Arm. A gun barrel landed in Dartmouth more than 5 kilometers from the harbour.

The explosion sent a white cloud billowing 20,000 feet above the city.

For almost two square kilometers around Pier 6, nothing was left standing. The blast obliterated most of Richmond: its homes, apartments and even the towering sugar refinery. On the Dartmouth side, Tuft’s Cove took the brunt of the blast. The small settlement of Turtle Grove was obliterated.

More than 1600 people were killed outright; hundreds more would die in the hours and days to come. Nine thousand people, many of whom might have been safe if they hadn’t come to watch the fire, were injured by the blast, falling buildings and flying shards of glass.

And it wasn’t over yet.

Within minutes the dazed survivors were awash in water. The blast provoked a tsunami?that washed up as high as 20?meters above the harbour’s high-water mark on the Halifax side.

People who were blown off their feet by the explosion, now hung on for their lives as water rushed over the shoreline, through the dockyard and beyond Campbell Road (now Barrington Street).

The tsunami lifted?Imo?onto the Dartmouth shore. The ship stayed there until spring.

The tsunami created by the explosion swept through the damaged areas, scouring the land and leaving bare mud piled with debris. Fireplaces and furnaces caused fires in other areas, leaving acres of charred wreckage.

By 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, December 6, 1917, a major Canadian city lay in rubble, and most of the undamaged area had no water or heat. All communication was lost with the outside world; the city had no telephone service.

That night, a blizzard hit the region, bringing gale force winds and temperatures of 10-15 F. Thick, wet snow soon hid the victims, hindered the rescuers, and halted relief trains; by morning, ice coated the streets and hills.

The Halifax Explosion was the largest man-made explosion until the first atomic bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

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Photo of the Day

Fri, 10 Apr 2015, Fort Hood Victims Awarded Purple Hearts After Long, Controversial Battle. Today the military awarded the victims and survivors of the 2009 Fort Hood attack with Purple Hearts and other medals, after a more than five-year-long bureaucratic struggle over whether the awards were deserved.

Fri, 10 Apr 2015, Fort Hood Victims Awarded Purple Hearts After Long, Controversial Battle. Today the military awarded the victims and survivours of the 2009 Fort Hood attack with Purple Hearts and other medals, after a more than five-year-long bureaucratic struggle over whether the awards were deserved.

In Aftermath of Fort Hood, Community Haunted by Clues that went Unheeded

According to witnesses at the Fort Hood shooting, Nidal Hasan, a Muslim of Palestinian descent, entered the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood at about 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2009, took a seat at a table, bowed his head for a few seconds, then stood up and started shooting.

Witnesses say the devout Muslim officer jumped up on a desk and shouted, ?Allahu akbar!? ? Allah is greatest ? before opening fire and spraying more than 100 bullets inside a crowded building where troops were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Before he was shot and handcuffed by a civilian police officer, Hasan had killed 13 people and wounded 32 more. All but one of the dead were soldiers, including a pregnant private who curled on the floor and pleaded for her baby?s life.

Prior to the shooting, Hasan reportedly was disciplined for pushing his beliefs on others, routinely wore Islamic dress and the morning of the massacre gave away his furniture and Qurans. His business card carried an abbreviation for ?Soldier of Allah.? U.S. intelligence had been aware of e-mail communications between Hasan and the Yemen-based terror organizer Anwar al-Awlaki, and Hasan?s colleagues had been aware of his increasing radicalization for several years. Hasan himself later wrote of al-Awlaki as his ?mentor? and spoke out against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yet the U.S. government has staunchly refused to label Hasan?s attack as an act of terrorism.

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” Moderate ” Turkey controlled by brutal dictator

If you were in any doubt about the status of Turkey this article will remove it as it tells you about the thousands of Turkish soldiers who are being raped and starved as punishment for the failed coup against?President?Dictator Erdogan. According?to Amnesty International they are also being left without water in terrible cramped conditions.

Pictures have emerged on social media, reportedly of soldiers being held in Turkey

Pictures have emerged on social media, reportedly of soldiers being held in Turkey

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Photo of the Day

1917 18,000 officers and men form the Statue of Liberty at Camp Dodge in Iowa. IMAGE: MOLE & THOMAS/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

1917.?18,000 officers and men form the Statue of Liberty at Camp Dodge in Iowa. IMAGE: MOLE & THOMAS/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Living Photographs

Photographs Created By Assembling Sailors and Soldiers

On a stifling July day in 1918, 18,000 officers and soldiers posed as Lady Liberty on the parade [drill] grounds at Camp Dodge. According to a July 3, 1986, story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, many men fainted ? they were dressed in woollen uniforms ? as the temperature neared 105?F. The photo, taken from the top of a specially constructed tower by a Chicago photography studio, Mole & Thomas, was intended to help promote the sale of war bonds but was never used.

Born in England in 1889, photographer Arthur Mole became famous for his patriotic work as a naturalized American. But his work was far from traditional.

Accompanied by his partner, John Thomas, Mole visited military bases around the country during World War I.?There, he placed his 11×14-inch view camera atop an 80-foot tower and ordered thousands of officers, soldiers, reservists and nurses into colossal compositions.

Each photograph took at least a week of planning to visualize and map out. Mole would trace the outline of each composition on the ground glass of his camera, then use a megaphone and hand signals to direct assistants on the ground.

It took several more hours of wrangling thousands of participants into place before the shutter could be clicked.

In 1917, as the United States were entering World War I, Arthur Mole (1889-1983) created a new type of iconography, which proved useful to the promotion of American nationalism. With the help of his colleague, John D. Thomas, he created sprawling photographic compositions of American society?s symbols and emblems, by assembling and positioning thousands of men into the chosen shapes along the ground. The compositions included the American flag in the shape of a shield, the emblem of the Marines, the Statue of Liberty, and a profile portrait of Woodrow Wilson, among others.

Without the aid of any pixel-generating computer software, the itinerant?photographer?Mole, used his 11 x 14-inch view camera to stage a series of extraordinary mass photographic spectacles that choreographed living bodies into symbolic formations of religious and national community. In these mass ornaments, thousands of military troops and other groups were arranged artfully to form American patriotic symbols, emblems, and military insignia visible from a bird?s eye perspective. During World War I, these military formations came to serve as rallying points to support American involvement in the war and to ward off isolationist tendencies.

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Photo of the Day

Sir Harold Delf Gillies (17 June 1882 ? 10 September 1960) was a New Zealand-born, and later London-based, otolaryngologist who is widely considered the father of plastic surgery. The horrific new injuries that came with the First World War led to the pioneering work in plastic surgery by Harold Gillies, a special kind of war hero.

Sir Harold Delf Gillies (17 June 1882 ?- 10 September 1960) was a New Zealand-born, and later London-based, otolaryngologist who is widely considered the father of plastic surgery. The horrific new injuries that came with the First World War led to the pioneering work in plastic surgery by Harold Gillies, a special kind of war hero.

How do you Fix a Face That?s Been Blown Off by Shrapnel?

While the emotional repercussions of war aren’t easy to measure, photos of soldiers who went home injured after WWI tell a pretty unsettling story

Warning Some Images Maybe Disturbing.

Over a million soldiers died in World War One, and double that amount went home injured. For many of those lucky enough to return, the wounds they had suffered in Europe would leave them permanently disfigured.

The trenches protected the bodies of soldiers, but in doing so it left their heads vulnerable to enemy fire. Soldiers would frequently stick their heads up above the trenches, exposing them to all manner of weapons.

At the start of the war, little consideration was given to the trauma of facial injuries. It came as something of a surprise that so many victims survived to the point of treatment. Escaping the war with your life was seen as reward enough. The advent of plastic surgery would radically change that perception.

The biggest killer on the battlefield and the cause of many facial injuries was shrapnel. Unlike the straight-line wounds inflicted by bullets, the twisted metal shards produced from a shrapnel blast could rip a face off.

Not only that, but the shrapnel’s shape would often drag clothing and dirt into the wound. Improved medical care meant that more injured soldiers could be kept alive, but urgently dealing with such devastating injuries was a new challenge.

Harold Gillies was the man the British Army tasked with fixing these grisly wounds. Born in New Zealand, he studied medicine at Cambridge before joining the British Army Medical Corps at the outset of World War One.

Gillies was shocked by the injuries he saw in the field, and requested that the army set up their own plastic surgery unit.

Warning Some Images Maybe Disturbing.

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Gluten-intolerant soldiers not welcome

norge-pr1m-2

Fussy eaters are thought to make inferior soldiers.

The Australian Defence Force has routinely rejected applicants with severe gluten intolerance and coeliac disease because they would be malnourished and a risk in combat, training or sedentary deployments.

Close to half the?energy value in combat ration packs comes from wheat products with many unsuccessful applicants and family members frustrated by the army’s rigid guidelines. Read more »

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