Photo of the Day

The Sullivan Brothers on the USS Juneau. Among the losses on Juneau were the five brothers from Iowa, the Sullivans: George, 27; Francis, or “Frank,” 26; Joseph, known as “Red,” 24; Madison, or “Matt,” 23; and Albert, or “Al,” 20. It was—and remains—the single greatest wartime sacrifice of any American family.

“We Stick Together”

The death of the five Sullivan brothers was impossible to imagine. So horrible it forced the U.S. War department to adopt “The Sole Survivor Policy” so it would never happen again. Can anyone even think of the heartache that the Sullivan family suffered? How much sorrow can a family take?

Des Moines “Register”, January 4, 1942:

“Five husky Waterloo brothers who lost a “pal” at Pearl Harbour were accepted as Navy recruits at Des Moines.  All passed their physical exams “with flying colours” and left by train for the Great Lakes (Ill.) naval training station.
“You see,” explained George Sullivan, “a buddy of ours was killed in the Pearl Harbour attack, Bill Ball of Fredericksburg, Iowa.”
“That’s where we want to go now, to Pearl Harbour,” put in Francis, and the others nodded.”

When Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison, and George Sullivan heard about their friend Bill Ball’s death, they marched into the Naval recruiting office together. They wanted to avenge their friend if they could do it together, they told the recruiter. Their motto had always been, “We Stick Together,” and they intended to stick together. The Sullivan’s hometown paper, The Waterloo Iowa Courier featured a series of stories of about soldiers getting ready to go to war and asked Aletta Sullivan how she felt about all five of her sons going to war together. “I remember I was crying a little,” she said. George Thomas Sullivan summed up the feelings of all of the brothers when he said, “Well I guess our minds are made up, aren’t they fellows? And, when we go in we want to go in together. If the worst comes to the worst, why we’ll all have gone down together.”

Read more »

Photo of the Day

Mannequin helps an MP direct traffic to the front in Viersen, Germany.

After the War...

At the end of World War II, huge swaths of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins. Borders were redrawn and homecomings, expulsions, and burials were under way. But the massive efforts to rebuild had just begun.

When the war began in the late 1930s, the world’s population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the Axis the Allied powers had resulted in 80 million deaths — killing off about 4 percent of the whole world. Allied forces now became occupiers, taking control of Germany, Japan, and much of the territory they had formerly ruled. Efforts were made to permanently dismantle the war-making abilities of those nations, as factories were destroyed and former leadership was removed or prosecuted. War crimes trials took place in Europe and Asia, leading to many executions and prison sentences.

Soon after the Truman Doctrine promised to ‘support free peoples’ (March 1947), General George Marshall went to Europe.   He was shocked by what he saw.   Europe was ruined and – after the coldest winter in record – starving.   Marshall told Truman that all Europe would turn Communist unless the US helped.

Marshall announced his Plan to students at Harvard University on 5th June 1947.   He promised that America would do ‘whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world.’

He challenged the countries of Europe to produce a plan, which the US would fund.   By 12 July, the British politician Ernest Bevin (who called the Plan ‘a lifeline to sinking men’) had organised a meeting of European nations in Paris, which asked for $22 billion of aid.   Stalin forbade Cominform countries to take part.    Truman asked Congress for $17 bn, and Congress (after the collapse of Czechoslovakia, March 1948) gave $13 bn.

Marshall Aid took the form of fuel, raw materials, goods, loans and food, machinery and advisers.   It jump-started rapid European economic growth, and stopped the spread of Communism.

Read more »

The only way to stop the Muslim refugee crisis becoming our crisis is to shut the door

It is time for a pragmatic solution to what is, in reality, an unsolvable problem affecting most of the world. Daniel Greenfield who is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Centre provides a pragmatic solution. It may not make people feel good as it involves putting our country and our country’s citizens first but it is as essential as this memorable scene in Game of Thrones where Hodor gave his life, holding the door shut so that his friends could survive.

…Even without the Sunnis and Shiites competing to give each other machete haircuts every sunny morning, there would still be a permanent Muslim refugee crisis.

The vast majority of civil wars over the last ten years have taken place in Muslim countries. Muslim countries are also some of the poorest in the world. And Muslim countries also have high birth rates.

Combine violence and poverty with a population boom and you get a permanent migration crisis.

No matter what happens in Syria or Libya next year, that permanent migration crisis isn’t going away.

The Muslim world is expanding unsustainably. In the Middle East and Asia, Muslims tend to underperform their non-Muslim neighbors both educationally and economically. Oil is the only asset that gave Muslims any advantage and in the age of fracking, its value is a lot shakier than it used to be.

The Muslim world had lost its old role as the intermediary between Asia and the West. And it has no economic function in the new world except to blackmail it by spreading violence and instability.

Muslim countries with lower literacy rates, especially for women, are never going to be economic winners at any trade that doesn’t come gushing out of the ground. Nor will unstable dictatorships ever be able to provide social mobility or access to the good life…

The Muslim world has no prospects for getting any better. The Arab Spring was a Western delusion.

Growing populations divided along tribal and religious lines are competing for a limited amount of land, power and wealth. Countries without a future are set to double in size.

There are only two solutions; war or migration.

Read more »

Photo of the Day

Eugene Deatrick and Dieter Dengler, NAS Miramar, 1968. His inmates included Air Force Lieutenant Duane Martin, and Eugene DeBruin an Air American crewman who bailed out of a burning cargo plane, and others from the Air American crew. They were far from the first American men to be imprisoned in a camp in Vietnam; Ban Houei Het was one of a dozen camps in North Vietnam alone. USN Photo.

Escape from Laos

On February 2nd of 1966, US Navy Lieutenant Dieter Dengler was flying his first combat mission over North Vietnam from the carrier U.S.S. Ranger. The Ranger and its warplanes, including the Skyraiders of VA-145, had just repositioned from Dixie to Yankee Station following a short workup off the waters of South Vietnam in the South China Sea. Missions from Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf would be much more demanding and dangerous than those flown in the relatively benign South Vietnamese environment.

The USS Ranger was a seasoned combat veteran, having been deployed to Vietnam for Flaming Dart I operations. The carrier played a steady role for the remainder of American involvement in the war. The first fighter jets to bomb Haiphong in Operation Rolling Thunder came from her decks.

LT Dieter Dengler was a German-born American citizen who advanced from VT30 to Attack Squadron 122 in late 1964 and then to Attack Squadron 145 onboard the Ranger. Dengler was known to his shipmates as something of a renegade; the ops officer was always after him to get a haircut and Dengler was forever in trouble over his uniform or lack of military manner. In his German accent, he would protest, “I don’t understand.” But Dengler was a good pilot, although his flying career was brief.

U.S. Navy Lt. Dieter Dengler launched from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger in an A1H Skyraider as part of a four-aircraft interdiction mission near the border of Laos. Dieter was the last man to roll in on a target when he was observed by the pilot of one of the other aircraft to start a normal recover. Due to limited visibility, the flight lost sight of him.

The other aircraft in the flight could not determine what had happened. They only knew Dengler disappeared. Dengler later stated that ground fire had severely damaged his aircraft, and he was forced to crash land in Laos. Search continued all that day and part of the night without success. The following morning, squadron members again went to search the area where Dengler disappeared and located the aircraft wreckage. Helicopters were called in. From the air, it appeared that no one was in the cockpit of the aircraft. The helicopter crew photographed the area and noted his donut (a round seat cushion) on the ground by the wing. They hoped he was still alive in the jungle somewhere.

Read more »

Photo of the Day

The diary of Tanya Savicheva, a girl of 11, her notes about starvation and deaths of her sister, then grandmother, then brother, then uncle, then another uncle, then mother. The last three notes say “Savichevs died”, “Everyone died” and “Only Tanya is left.” She died of progressive dystrophy shortly after the siege. Her diary was shown at the Nuremberg trials.

The Siege of Leningrad

When Germans encircled Leningrad they planned to quickly freeze and starve the city. They had no idea the devastation and horror that the people of Leningrad would be willing to endure without ever giving in. The siege is one of the longest in history and one of the deadliest as well.

Leningrad, the old imperial capital, was the most beautiful city in Russia and had for centuries been her cultural heartland. Founded as Czar Peter the Great’s window on the West, it had known many agonies throughout its turbulent history, but in 1941 geography and pragmatic military strategy would see Leningrad engulfed in a tragedy unparalleled in modern history.

With most of Europe already under the heel of Nazi Germany, Hitler turned his attention eastward toward the vast expanse of the Soviet Union and on the morning of June 22, 1941, launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. Spearheaded by three Army groups, German forces stormed across the Russian frontier and completely overwhelmed the Red Army units in their path. With clinical precision, the world’s largest army was being systematically annihilated and, after just 18 days of fighting, the Russians had lost over three million men, 6,000 tanks, and most of their aircraft.

Germany and her allies attempted to strangle the life out of the historic Soviet city of Leningrad – the heart of the Russian Revolution

It would be no exaggeration to say that the family of every native citizen of St. Petersburg was touched by the blockade, which lasted almost 900 days, from September, 1941 to January, 1944. During that time nearly a third of the population at the siege’s beginning, starved to death. Roughly one in three. Many of them in the streets.

Few people outside realised what the siege was like. For years afterwards Stalin kept people in the dark. Deaths were underestimated. Its party leaders were purged. For decades, details of the blockade have been little known in the West. Stalin suppressed the facts of the siege and twisted its history.

Read more »

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.
Read more »

Photo of the Day




The Briefcase

When a Wayland history teacher stumbled onto the papers of a deceased West Roxbury war veteran, he assigned his students to write the mystery man’s biography. What they found was Boston’s version of Forrest Gump.

Kevin Delaney had seen the old, gray briefcase in the Wayland High School history department’s storage room before. The case, one of those sturdy plastic Samsonite types from the ’70s, had been around so long, neither Delaney nor any of his colleagues knew how it had arrived there.

It was the spring of 2011, and Wayland High was preparing to relocate to a newly constructed facility. It fell to Delaney, Wayland’s history chair, to decide which of his department’s materials would make the move. And so he unfastened the lid and began to page through the yellowing papers contained inside.

“I had actually seen it before and given it a peek, and I knew there was something intriguing. But I’d never dumped the contents out and given it a scrub down,” Delaney remembers. “So I put them on the table, started to pore through them, and didn’t take long to figure out that they were all linked.”

Inside were the assorted papers—letters, military records, photos—left behind by a man named Martin W. Joyce, a long-since deceased West Roxbury resident who began his military career as an infantryman in World War I and ended it as commanding officer of the liberated Dachau concentration camp. Delaney could have contacted a university or a librarian and handed the trove of primary sources over to a researcher skilled in sorting through this kind of thing. Instead, he applied for a grant, and asked an archivist to come teach his students how to handle fragile historical materials. Then, for the next two years, he and his 11th grade American history students read through the documents, organized and uploaded them to the web, and wrote the biography of a man whom history nearly forgot, but who nonetheless witnessed a great deal of it.

Read more »

Germany’s government is in denial but its actions speak louder than words

The German government will not admit that they are at war with Islamic terrorism and face civil war between their native German population and the millions of Muslim migrants that continue to pour unchecked into their country. Unlike traditional war they do not know how to declare war on the enemy when the enemy is already part of their population. Traditional war is nice and tidy. That country over there is the threat and our guys will fight them. Germany is in the terrible position of not knowing which German citizens are loyal to Germany and which are not. Not all Muslims are terrorists but for every single Muslim terrorist, there is a family and a community that chose to help them or to look the other way and not alert the authorities.

Despite the denial that Germany is at war, the below article contains several references to war which I have highlighted in bold. They avoid using the word war just as the MSM call terrorists lone wolves or mentally unstable. In the article, war is instead referred to as an attack or a catastrophe and they avoid saying army or soldiers preferring the terms, security forces, and special unit.

Read more »

Photo of the Day

Witold Pilecki got into Auschwitz before almost anyone in the outside world knew what was really going on there.

Witold Pilecki got into Auschwitz before almost anyone in the outside world knew what was really going on there.

Witold Pilecki

Unsung Hero of World War II

Meet the Man Who Sneaked Into Auschwitz

One of the great heroes of the 20th century was Auschwitz prisoner No. 4859, who volunteered to be there.

In 1940, the Polish Underground wanted to know what was happening inside the recently opened Auschwitz concentration camp. Polish army officer Witold Pilecki volunteered to be arrested by the Germans and reported from inside the camp. His intelligence reports, smuggled out in 1941, were among the first eyewitness accounts of Auschwitz atrocities: the extermination of Soviet POWs, its function as a camp for Polish political prisoners, and the “final solution” for Jews. Pilecki received brutal treatment until he escaped; soon after, he wrote a brief report. Poland’s chief rabbi states, “If heeded, Pilecki’s early warnings might have changed the course of history.” Pilecki’s story was suppressed for half a century after his 1948 arrest by the Polish Communist regime as a “Western spy.”

There are very few places that can accurately be described as hell on Earth. One of these is the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, where as many as 1.5 million people died during the five years the camp was in operation.

The Polish resistance had been hearing horrific first- or second-hand accounts about the conditions inside Auschwitz. These early accounts came primarily from released prisoners, but also from casual observers like railway employees and residents of the nearby village of Oswiecim. The resistance decided they needed someone on the inside.

It is into this environment that Witold Pilecki, a 39-year old veteran of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921 who fought against the initial Nazi invasion and a member of the Polish resistance, volunteered himself in 1940. Pilecki’s mission was to allow himself to be arrested and, once inside Auschwitz, to collect intelligence for the Polish resistance in the country and the government-in-exile in London, and to organize a resistance from inside the camp.

Read more »

For the first time since WWII troops patrol the streets of Germany


Ursula von der Leyen, the German defence minister

Germany will deploy troops to patrol the streets for the first time since World War Two. These extreme measures are in response to ongoing terrorist attacks inside Europe. Joint exercises of regional police forces and  the Bundeswehr have been announced. The German constitution sets tight limits on the use of troops on German soil since the end of Nazi militarization so this announcement is controversial.

Germany is not alone in taking action. France has cancelled it’s summer festivals because of safety concerns that they will become terrorism targets as well as attract sexual assaults and rape of women as has happened previously.

Despite all these measures the media has not criticised or held accountable even one open-border advocate. Their actions have brought Europe to it’s knees. Open borders have let rape, sexual assault and terrorism into their communities and once again caused the militarisation of Germany.

The announcements coincided with the funeral in Normandy of Father Jacques Hamel, 85, whose throat was slit at the altar of his church by two 19-year-old Islamists last week.

Ursula von der Leyen, the German defence minister, said that the series of terrorist attacks in neighbouring France had forced the government in Berlin to allow soldiers on to the streets, breaking a taboo that followed Nazi militarism. “Paris has opened all our eyes. I’d rather have the scepticism now than the accusation later that we weren’t prepared,” she said.

Read more »