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Invitation to the opening of the special exhibition: FUSSBALL BILD MACHT FUSSBALL-GESCHICHTE LEBENDIG

We heartily invite you to the opening of the special exhibition FUSSBALL BILD MACHT FUSSBALL-GESCHICHTE LEBENDIG (FUSSBALL BILD brings football history to life). 10 historically important moments of German football history will be exhibited. FUSSBALL BILD MACHT FUSSBALL-GESCHICHTE LEBENDIG shows the black and white photos for the first time in color. Artist Marina Amaral has painstakingly colored the original photos pixel by pixel.

4 November 2017 at the German Football Museum (Deutschen Fußballmuseum)\
BEGINNING: 1 pm Please register by 27.10.2017 at the invitation@fussballmuseum.de and let us know if you will be accompanied.

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  • Welcoming by Manuel Neukirchner, Director of the German Football Museum.
  • Talk before the Bundesliga game Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich, with BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke. Moderation: Matthias Brügelmann, Editor in Chief Sport of the BILD Group.
  • Get-together with a small drink in the Mercedes-Benz lounge.

    For the opening, the photos will be displayed in the arena of the museum. The special exhibition will take place from 5.11.2017 in the German Football Museum.

    Deutsches Fußballmuseum | Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1 | 44137 Dortmund

Hitler with some of his SS-Begleitkommando guards at the Wolf’s Lair, World War II

SS-Begleitkommando des Führers ("SS Escort Command of the Führer"), later known as the Führerbegleitkommando (Führer Escort Command; FBK) was originally an eight-man SS squad formed from a twelve-man security squad (known as the SS-Begleitkommando) tasked with protecting the life of Adolf Hitler during the early 1930s. It was expanded and remained responsible for Hitler's personal protection until 30 April 1945.

The last FBK commander was SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Schädle, who was appointed on 5 January 1945, after the dismissal of Bruno Gesche. Thereafter, Schädle and the FBK accompanied Hitler (and his entourage) into the Führerbunker complex under the Reich Chancellery garden in the central government sector of Berlin. By 23 April 1945, Schädle commanded approximately 30 members of the unit who stood guard for Hitler until his suicide on 30 April 1945.

Westminster Bridge with trams, London, 1918-1919

Westminster Bridge is a road-and-foot-traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, linking Westminster on the west side and Lambeth on the east side.

The bridge is painted predominantly green, the same color as the leather seats in the House of Commons which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster nearest to the bridge. This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge, which is red, the same color as the seats in the House of Lords and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament.
The first generation of trams in London started in 1860 when a horse tramway began operating along Victoria Street in Westminster.

After the slow start, electric trams rapidly became very popular; by 1903, there were 300 electric tramcars in London, which carried 800,000 passengers over Whitsun weekend in 1903. The London County Council Tramways first electric line opened in May 1903 between Westminster Bridge and Tooting and the LCC sold 3.3 million tickets in its third year of business or five times the traffic carried by its horse trams.

By 1914, the London tram operators formed the largest tram network in Europe but the onset of the Great War saw a halt in the expansion of the trams and thousands of staff left to join the armed forces to be replaced by "substitute" women conductors and drivers.

Dom Pedro II, last Emperor of Brazil

Today is celebrated Brazil's Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves on September 7, 1822. Dom Pedro II (photo), the last Emperor of Brazil, is the son of Dom Pedro I, the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil.

Dom Pedro II 1.jpg

In 1808, French troops commanded by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Portugal as a retaliation for the Iberian country's refusal to participate in the trade embargo against the United Kingdom. Fleeing persecution, the Portuguese monarchs transferred the Portuguese Court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, then capital of Colonial Brazil. In 1815, Prince Regent John VI created the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, elevating Brazil to the rank of kingdom and increasing its administrative independence. With the defeat of Napoleon, it was safe for the Portuguese crown to return to Portugal. However, John VI opted to stay in Brazil. With an increasingly irritated nobility in Portugal threatening to remove him from the throne, he returned only in 1821. His son, Pedro I (photo), remained as regent in Brazil, but after years of being Portugal’s equal, its status was reduced as the Portuguese elites tried to reassert imperial authority over the former colony. This change did not sit well with Brazilian elites who had been at the political center of the empire for thirteen years. With pressure mounting within Brazil, and with a wave of independence movements finding success throughout Spanish America, Brazil followed its own peculiar path, and on September 7, 1822, Pedro I formally broke with Portugal, allegedly proclaiming “Independence or Death!”.

Imperial Family

Imperial Family

Dom Pedro II (English: Peter II; 2 December 1825 – 5 December 1891), nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza. His father's abrupt abdication and departure to Europe in 1831 left a five-year-old Pedro II as Emperor and led to a grim and lonely childhood and adolescence. Obliged to spend his time studying in preparation for rule, he knew only brief moments of happiness and encountered few friends of his age. His experiences with court intrigues and political disputes during this period greatly affected his later character; he grew into a man with a strong sense of duty and devotion toward his country and his people, yet increasingly resentful of his role as monarch.

Inheriting an Empire on the verge of disintegration, Pedro II turned Portuguese-speaking Brazil into an emerging power in the international arena. The nation grew to be distinguished from its Hispanic neighbors on account of its political stability, zealously guarded freedom of speech, respect for civil rights, vibrant economic growth and especially for its form of government: a functional, representative parliamentary monarchy. Brazil was also victorious in three international conflicts (the Platine War, the Uruguayan War and the Paraguayan War) under his rule, as well as prevailing in several other international disputes and domestic tensions. Pedro II steadfastly pushed through the abolition of slavery despite opposition from powerful political and economic interests. A savant in his own right, the Emperor established a reputation as a vigorous sponsor of learning, culture and the sciences. He won the respect and admiration of scholars such as Charles Darwin, Victor Hugo and Friedrich Nietzsche, and was a friend to Richard Wagner, Louis Pasteur and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, among others.

Although there was no desire for a change in the form of government among most Brazilians, the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup that had almost no support besides from a couple of military leaders who desired a form of republic headed by a dictator. Pedro II had become weary of emperorship and despaired over the monarchy's future prospects, despite its overwhelming popular support. He did not allow his ouster to be opposed and did not support any attempt to restore the monarchy. He spent the last two years of his life in exile in Europe, living alone on very little money.

D. Pedro II morto.jpg

The reign of Pedro II thus came to an unusual end—he was overthrown while highly regarded by the people and at the pinnacle of his popularity, and some of his accomplishments were soon brought to naught as Brazil slipped into a long period of weak governments, dictatorships, and constitutional and economic crisis. The men who had exiled him soon began to see in him a model for the Brazilian republic. A few decades after his death, his reputation was restored and his remains were returned to Brazil with celebrations nationwide. Historians have regarded the Emperor in an extremely positive light.

He died in Paris in December 1891.

Okinawa, "Death Valley". Photograph showing marine PFC Paul E. Ison running over open ground. He had already run across two times. May 1945.

One of the most famous Marine pictures of WWII, showing Ison (1916-2001) running over bare ground in Death Valley, Okinawa, the photographer, Bob Bailey, was lying flat in the dirt snapping the shot as he ran past, dodging marine gun fire from many sides. The Marine Corps took up the shot and it was widely used in the Press to illustrate the doggedness, fortitude, and tenacity of the front-line Marine.

Ison, 1st Division, 3rd Battalion, Lima company was a demolitions man in a group of 4 who were sent ahead to knock out defensive pillboxes and positions. In this episode in Death Valley he had already run across two times and somehow remained unscathed. The first was in the morning, to reach the demo position. The second was to return to HQ to pick up the explosives which they had previously been told were already at the demo site. The third was to return to the demo site with the explosives. This is Ison's own copy of the image, the original image having the figure slightly to the left of center. 

He was 28 when the photo was taken and had four kids when he joined the Marine Corps to defend his country. On this day, in an eight-hour period, the Marines sustained 125 casualties crossing this particular valley. The Marine Corps Historical Centre (1998) notes that: overall American losses in the land battle (on Okinawa) amounted to 7,374 killed, 31,807 wounded and 239 missing in action. At sea and in the air, the Navy reported 36 US ships sunk, 368 damaged, 763 aircraft lost to all causes, 4,907 seamen killed or missing in action and 4,824 wounded.

Despite the magnitude of these losses by the Americans, the Japanese sustained even greater casualties at Okinawa than in any previous Pacific battle.

The US military estimates that 110,071 Japanese soldiers were killed during the battle. This total includes conscripted Okinawan civilians.A total of 7,401 Japanese regulars and 3,400 Okinawan conscripts surrendered or were captured during the battle. Additional Japanese and renegade Okinawans were captured or surrendered over the next few months, bringing the total to 16,346. This was the first battle in the Pacific War in which thousands of Japanese soldiers surrendered or were captured. Many of the prisoners were native Okinawans who had been pressed into service shortly before the battle, and were less imbued with the Imperial Japanese Army's no-surrender doctrine. When the American forces occupied the island, many Japanese soldiers put on Okinawan clothing to avoid capture, and some Okinawans would come to the Americans' aid by offering to identify these mainland Japanese.

The Japanese lost 16 combat vessels, including the super battleship Yamato. Postwar examination of Japanese records revealed that Japanese aircraft losses at Okinawa were far below often-repeated US estimates for the campaign. The number of conventional and kamikaze aircraft actually lost or expended by the 3rd, 5th, and 10th Air Fleets, combined with about 500 lost or expended by the Imperial Army at Okinawa, was roughly 1,430. The Allies destroyed 27 Japanese tanks and 743 artillery pieces (including mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns), some of them eliminated by the naval and air bombardments but most knocked out by American counter-battery fire.

Some of the other islands that saw major battles in World War II, such as Iwo Jima, were uninhabited or had been evacuated. Okinawa, by contrast, had a large indigenous civilian population; US Army records from the planning phase of the operation make the assumption that Okinawa was home to about 300,000 civilians. According to various estimates, between a tenth and a third of them died during the battle, between 30,000 and 100,000. Okinawa Prefecture's estimate is over 100,000 losses, while the official US Army count for the 82-day campaign is a total of 142,058 civilian casualties, including those killed by artillery fire, air attacks, and those pressed into service by the Imperial Japanese Army.

During the battle, American soldiers found it difficult to distinguish civilians from soldiers. It became common for them to shoot at Okinawan houses

In its history of the war, the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum presents Okinawa as being caught between the United States and the Empire of Japan. During the 1945 battle, the Japanese Army showed indifference to Okinawans' safety, and its soldiers even used civilians as human shields or just outright murdered them. The Japanese military confiscated food from the Okinawans and executed those who hid it, leading to mass starvation, and forced civilians out of their shelters. Japanese soldiers also killed about 1,000 people who spoke in the Okinawan language to suppress spying. The museum writes that "some were blown apart by [artillery] shells, some finding themselves in a hopeless situation were driven to suicide, some died of starvation, some succumbed to malaria, while others fell victim to the retreating Japanese troops."

With the impending Japanese defeat, civilians often committed mass suicide, urged on by the Japanese soldiers who told locals that victorious American soldiers would go on a rampage of killing and raping. Ryūkyū Shimpō, one of the two major Okinawan newspapers, wrote in 2007: "There are many Okinawans who have testified that the Japanese Army directed them to commit suicide. There are also people who have testified that they were handed grenades by Japanese soldiers" to blow themselves up. Thousands of civilians, having been induced by Japanese propaganda to believe that American soldiers were barbarians who committed horrible atrocities, killed their families and themselves to avoid capture. Some of them threw themselves and their family members from the southern cliffs where the Peace Museum now resides. Okinawans "were often surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they received from the American enemy". Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power by Mark Selden notes that the Americans "did not pursue a policy of torture, rape, and murder of civilians as Japanese military officials had warned". American Military Intelligence Corps combat translators such as Teruto Tsubota managed to convince many civilians not to kill themselves. Survivors of the mass suicides blamed also the indoctrination of their education system of the time, in which the Okinawans were taught to become "more Japanese than the Japanese", and were expected to prove it.

Witnesses and historians reported that soldiers, mainly Japanese troops, raped Okinawan women during the battle. Rape by Japanese troops "became common" in June, after it became clear that the Japanese Army had been defeated. Marine Corps officials in Okinawa and Washington have said that they knew of no rapes by American personnel in Okinawa at the end of the war. There are, however, numerous credible testimony accounts which allege that a large number of rapes were committed by American forces during the battle. This includes claimed rape after trading sexual favors or even marrying Americans, such as the alleged incident in the village of Katsuyama, where civilians said they had formed a vigilante group to ambush and kill three black American soldiers whom they claimed would frequently rape the local girls there.

Source: Wikipedia

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870  – 21 January 1924), was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of the Russian Republic from 1917 to 1918, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918 to 1924, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, he developed political theories known as Leninism.

Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's execution in 1887. Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist government, he devoted the following years to a law degree. He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893 and became a senior figure in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent party theorist through his publications. In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP ideological split, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Encouraging insurrection during Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he later campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would cause the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to play a leading role in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime.

1917 February Revolution

1917 February Revolution

Lenin's Bolshevik government initially shared power with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, elected soviets, and a multi-party Constituent Assembly, although by 1918 it had centralised power in the new Communist Party. Lenin's administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry. It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty with the Central Powers and promoted world revolution through the Communist International. Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign administered by the state security services; tens of thousands were killed or interned in concentration camps. His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921. Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-orientated New Economic Policy. Several non-Russian nations secured independence after 1917, but three re-united with Russia through the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922. In increasingly poor health, Lenin expressed opposition to the growing power of his successor, Joseph Stalin, before dying at his dacha in Gorki.

Widely considered one of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century, Lenin was the posthumous subject of a pervasive personality cult within the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. He became an ideological figurehead behind Marxism-Leninism and thus a prominent influence over the international communist movement. A controversial and highly divisive individual, Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class, while critics on both the left and right emphasize his role as founder of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and mass killings.

A MAJOR NEW HISTORY OF THE WORLD - THE COLOUR OF TIME

After over a year of intense work, I am extremely proud and excited to announce my first book: THE COLOUR OF TIME. Spanning more than a hundred years of world history from the reign of Queen Victoria and the American Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the beginning of the Space Age, The Colour of Time will chart the rise and fall of empires, the achievements of science, industry and the arts, the tragedies of war and the politics of peace, and the lives of the men and women who made history. We will tell you this fascinating story through 200 stunning colorized photographs - the majority of them will be seen in color for the first time ever.

The Colour of Time is the first in a planned series of books, which offer a new and exciting way of bringing the past to life in the present.

This project is a collaboration between me and bestselling historian Dan Jones, who is an author with an incredible and unique talent to tell stories. His narrative anchors each image in its chronological context, and weaves them into a compelling account of the events that made the world we live in today. Having the opportunity to work with him has been one of the best and greatest experiences of my life. We are both very excited and eager to share more details soon!

You can follow us on Twitter to keep yourself up to date with anything related to this amazing project:

Marina Amaral
Dan Jones

The Colour of Time will be published by Head of Zeus and our international partners in September 2018.

Immigrants arrive at Ellis Island, 1916.

Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station for over sixty years from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990.

In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, more than eight million immigrants arriving in New York City had been processed by New York State officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot in Lower Manhattan, just across the bay. The federal government assumed control of immigration on April 18, 1890, and Congress appropriated $75,000 to construct America's first federal immigration station on Ellis Island. Artesian wells were dug, and landfill was hauled in from incoming ships' ballast and from construction of New York City's subway tunnels, which doubled the size of Ellis Island to over six acres. While the building was under construction, the Barge Office nearby at the Battery was used for immigrant processing.

The first station was an enormous three-story-tall structure, with outbuildings, built of Georgia pine, containing all of the amenities that were thought to be necessary. It opened with celebration on January 1, 1892. Three large ships landed on the first day and 700 immigrants passed over the docks. Almost 450,000 immigrants were processed at the station during its first year. On June 15, 1897, a fire of unknown origin, possibly caused by faulty wiring, turned the wooden structures on Ellis Island into ashes. No loss of life was reported, but most of the immigration records dating back to 1855 were destroyed. About 1.5 million immigrants had been processed at the first building during its five years of use. Plans were immediately made to build a new, fireproof immigration station on Ellis Island. During the construction period, passenger arrivals were again processed at the Barge Office.

Edward Lippincott Tilton and William A. Boring won the 1897 competition to design the first phase, including the Main Building (1897–1900), Kitchen and Laundry Building (1900–01), Main Powerhouse (1900–01), and the Main Hospital Building (1900–01).

The present main structure was designed in French Renaissance Revival style and built of red brick with limestone trim. After it opened on December 17, 1900, the facilities proved to be able to barely handle the flood of immigrants that arrived in the years before World War I. Writer Louis Adamic came to America from Slovenia , then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1913 and described the night he and many other immigrants slept on bunk beds in a huge hall. Lacking a warm blanket, the young man "shivered, sleepless, all night, listening to snores" and dreams "in perhaps a dozen different languages". The facility was so large that the dining room could seat 1,000 people. It is reported that the island’s first immigrant to be processed through was a teenager named Annie Moore from County Cork in Ireland.

After its opening, Ellis Island was again expanded with landfill and additional structures were built. By the time it closed on November 12, 1954, twelve million immigrants had been processed by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration. It is estimated that 10.5 million immigrants departed for points across the United States from the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, located just across a narrow strait. Others would have used one of the other terminals along the North River (Hudson River) at that time. At first, the majority of immigrants arriving through the station were Northern and Western Europeans (Germany, Ireland, Britain and the Scandinavian countries). Eventually, these groups of peoples slowed in the rates that they were coming in, and immigrants came in from Southern and Eastern Europe, including Jews. Many reasons these immigrants came to the United States included escaping political and economic oppression, as well as persecution, destitution, and violence. Other groups of peoples being processed through the station were Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Serbs, Slovaks, Greeks, Syrians, Turks, and Armenians.

Between 1905 and 1914, an average of one million immigrants per year arrived in the United States. Immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day during peak times at Ellis Island. Two-thirds of those individuals emigrated from eastern, southern and central Europe. The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high occurred on April 17, 1907, when 11,747 immigrants arrived. After the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, which greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were those who had problems with their immigration paperwork, displaced persons, and war refugees. Today, over 100 million Americans—about one-third to forty percent of the population of the United States—can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island before dispersing to points all over the country.

Generally, those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. It was important to the American government that the new arrivals could support themselves and have money to get started. The average the government wanted the immigrants to have was between 18 and 25 dollars ($600 in 2015 adjusted for inflation). Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island's hospital facilities for long periods of time. More than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered "likely to become a public charge." About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity. Ellis Island was sometimes known as "The Island of Tears" or "Heartbreak Island" because of those 2% who were not admitted after the long transatlantic voyage. The Kissing Post is a wooden column outside the Registry Room, where new arrivals were greeted by their relatives and friends, typically with tears, hugs and kisses.

The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 17-year-old girl from Cork, Ireland, who arrived on the ship Nevada on January 1, 1892. She and her two brothers were coming to America to meet their parents, who had moved to New York two years prior. She received a greeting from officials and a $10 gold coin. It was the largest sum of money she had ever owned.

The last person to pass through Ellis Island was a Norwegian merchant seaman by the name of Arne Peterssen in 1954.

German soldier, World War One

A German soldier with a saw tooth bayonet stands in a dugout wearing his brow plate slid down to his neck. Presumably, this would allow him to keep the weight off his head until he raised it to place it over his helmet lugs, World War One.

Courtesy of Michael Welch

Carnage in Color - 73rd D-Day anniversary 2017

Prints, cases & more: https://www.redbubble.com/people/marinamaral

On June 6, 1944, the Allies invade Western Europe in the largest amphibious attack in history. During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control.

As soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division leaped from their landing craft into the choppy waters off Omaha Beach, many cursed the landing-craft pilots who had deposited them too far away from the invasion beach. German small-arms fire from the bluffs overlooking the approaches raked the surface of the water, while indirect artillery fire splashed amid the landing craft in the English Channel. (source: historynet)

The long-awaited assault on “Fortress Europe” began in the early hours of 6 June 1944 as the 16th Infantry Regiment moved toward Omaha Beach. As landing craft dropped their ramps, men were killed and wounded as they attempted to get out of the boats. Others were hit as they struggled through the surf or tried to run across the sand weighted down with water-logged equipment. Many were shot down, but others made it in close to the base of the bluff where they found the area mined and criss-crossed with concertina wire. 

Eventually, an assault section of E Company under First Lieutenant John Spalding and Staff Sergeant Philip Streczyk managed to cross a minefield, breach the enemy wire, and struggle their way to the bluff. Colonel George A. Taylor, the regimental commander, noting the small breakthrough stood to his feet and yelled at his troops, “The only men who remain on this beach are the dead and those who are about to die! Let’s get moving!” 

Soon other troops began making their way up the bluffs along Spaulding’s route while other gaps were blown through the wire and mines. By vicious fighting, some hand-to-hand, other sections, platoons, and eventually companies made it to the top and began pushing toward Colleville-Sur-Mer. By noon of that bloody day, the 16th Infantry had broken through the beach defenses and established a foothold that allowed follow-on units to land and move through.
 

The Normandy landings (codenamed Operation Neptune) were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front. Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armored divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled, using specialized tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold which the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.

Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year.

Filthy Thirteen member Clarence Ware applies war paint to Charles Plaudo, 5 June 1944. The idea was McNiece's, to honor his Native American heritage and to energize the men for the danger ahead.

Captain J M Stagg, a British Royal Air Force meteorologist who helped choose the date of the infamous landings. Stagg is famed for persuading General Dwight D. Eisenhower to postpone the date of the landings for an extra day

Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, a senior commander in the Royal Air Force. Leigh-Mallory was appointed head of Fighter Command during the D-Day landings

Preparations for D-Day: Infantry of 50th Division moving forward near St Gabriel, Normandy.

On this day in 1944, more than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries placed at the Normandy assault area, while 3,000 Allied ships cross the English Channel in preparation for the invasion of Normandy—D-Day.

The day of the invasion of occupied France had been postponed repeatedly since May, mostly because of bad weather and the enormous tactical obstacles involved. Finally, despite less than ideal weather conditions—or perhaps because of them—General Eisenhower decided on June 5 to set the next day as D-Day, the launch of the largest amphibious operation in history. Ike knew that the Germans would be expecting postponements beyond the sixth, precisely because weather conditions were still poor.

Among those Germans confident that an Allied invasion could not be pulled off in the sixth was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was still debating tactics with Field Marshal Karl Rundstedt. Runstedt was convinced that the Allies would come in at the narrowest point of the Channel, between Calais and Dieppe; Rommel, following Hitler’s intuition, believed it would be Normandy. Rommel’s greatest fear was that German air inferiority would prevent an adequate defense on the ground; it was his plan to meet the Allies on the coast—before the Allies had a chance to come ashore. Rommel began constructing underwater obstacles and minefields and set off for Germany to demand from Hitler personally more panzer divisions in the area.

Bad weather and an order to conserve fuel grounded much of the German air force on June 5; consequently, its reconnaissance flights were spotty. That night, more than 1,000 British bombers unleashed a massive assault on German gun batteries on the coast. At the same time, an Allied armada headed for the Normandy beaches in Operation Neptune, an attempt to capture the port at Cherbourg. But that was not all. In order to deceive the Germans, phony operations were run; dummy parachutists and radar-jamming devices were dropped into strategically key areas so as to make German radar screens believe there was an Allied convoy already on the move. One dummy parachute drop succeeded in drawing an entire German infantry regiment away from its position just six miles from the actual Normandy landing beaches. All this effort was to scatter the German defenses and make way for Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Source: history.com

King George V at Buckingham Palace in 1914, shortly before the outbreak of war.

George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.

He was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and grandson of the then reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. From the time of his birth, he was third in the line of succession behind his father and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father became King-Emperor of the British Empire, and George was created Prince of Wales. He succeeded his father in 1910. He was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.

His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War (1914–1918), the empires of his first cousins Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent. In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations. He had health problems throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.

Happy #LondonHistoryDay! A rare look behind the clock-face of the Big Ben, ca. 1920

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower as well. The tower is officially known as Elizabeth Tower, renamed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012; previously, it was known simply as the Clock Tower.

The Elizabeth Tower was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster was largely destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834. The new parliament was built in a neo-gothic style. Although Barry was the chief architect of the palace, he turned to Augustus Pugin for the design of the clock tower, which resembles earlier Pugin designs, including one for Scarisbrick Hall in Lancashire. The design for the tower was Pugin's last design before his final descent into madness and death, and Pugin himself wrote, at the time of Barry's last visit to him to collect the drawings: "I never worked so hard in my life for Mr Barry for tomorrow I render all the designs for finishing his bell tower & it is beautiful." The tower is designed in Pugin's celebrated Gothic Revival style, and is 315 feet (96.0 m) high.

Despite being one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to overseas visitors, though United Kingdom residents are able to arrange tours (well in advance) through their Member of Parliament. However, the tower currently has no lift, though one is planned, so those escorted must climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top.

Due to changes in ground conditions since construction, the tower leans slightly to the northwest, by roughly 230 millimeters (9.1 in) over 55 m height, giving an inclination of approximately 1/240. This includes a planned maximum of 22 mm increased tilt due to tunneling for the Jubilee line extension. Due to thermal effects, it oscillates annually by a few millimeters east and west.

Journalists during Queen Victoria's reign called it St Stephen's Tower. As MPs originally sat at St Stephen's Hall, these journalists referred to anything related to the House of Commons as news from "St. Stephens" (the Palace of Westminster contains a feature called St Stephen's Tower, a smaller tower over the public entrance). The usage persists in Welsh, where the Westminster district, and Parliament by extension, is known as San Steffan.

On 2 June 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that 331 Members of Parliament, including senior members of all three main parties, supported a proposal to change the name from Clock Tower to Elizabeth Tower in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in her Diamond Jubilee year. This was thought to be appropriate because the large west tower now known as Victoria Tower was renamed in tribute to Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee. On 26 June 2012, the House of Commons confirmed that the name change could go ahead. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the change of name on 12 September 2012 at the start of Prime Minister's Questions. The change was marked by a naming ceremony in which the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, unveiled a name plaque attached to the tower on the adjoining Speaker's Green.

A 1st Royal Ulster Rifles, 6th Airborne Division (UK) sniper, on patrol in the Ardennes, wearing a snow camouflage suit, 14 January 1945.

A 1st Royal Ulster Rifles, 6th Airborne Division (UK) sniper, on patrol in the Ardennes, wearing a snow camouflage suit, 14 January 1945. The 6th Airborne Division was an airborne infantry division of the British Army during the Second World War. Despite its name, the 6th was actually the second of two airborne divisions raised by the British Army during the war, the other being the 1st Airborne Division. The 6th Airborne Division was formed in World War II, in mid-1943, and was commanded by Major-General Richard N. Gale. The division consisted of the 3rd and 5th Parachute Brigades along with the 6th Airlanding Brigade and supporting units.

The division's first mission was Operation Tonga on 6 June 1944, D-Day, part of the Normandy landings, where it was responsible for securing the left flank of the Allied invasion during Operation Overlord. The division remained in Normandy for three months before being withdrawn in September. While still recruiting and reforming in England, it was mobilized again and sent to Belgium in December 1944, to help counter the surprise German offensive in the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge. Their final airborne mission followed in March 1945, Operation Varsity, the second Allied airborne assault over the River Rhine.

After the war, the division was identified as the Imperial Strategic Reserve and moved to the Middle East. Initially sent to Palestine for parachute training, the division became involved in an internal security role. In Palestine, the division went through several changes in formation and had been reduced in size to only two parachute brigades by the time it was disbanded in 1948.

Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader

Hồ Chí Minh. also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành and Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was Chairman and First secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam. Hồ was also prime minister (1945–55) and president (1945–69) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the Việt Cộng (NLF or VC) during the Vietnam War.

Ho Chi Minh (originally Nguyen That Thanh) was born on 19 May 1890 in Hoang Tru in central Vietnam. Vietnam was then a French colony, known as French Indo-China, but under the nominal rule of an emperor. Ho's father worked at the imperial court but was dismissed for criticising the French colonial power.

In 1911, Ho took a job on a French ship and travelled widely. He lived in London and Paris, and was a founding member of the French communist party. In 1923, he visited Moscow for training at Comintern, an organisation created by Lenin to promote worldwide revolution. He travelled to southern China to organise a revolutionary movement among Vietnamese exiles, and in 1930 founded the Indo-Chinese Communist Party (ICP). He spent the 1930s in the Soviet Union and China.

After the Japanese invasion of Indo-China in 1941, Ho returned home and founded the Viet Minh, a communist-dominated independence movement, to fight the Japanese. He adopted the name Ho Chi Minh, meaning 'Bringer of Light'.

At the end of World War Two the Viet Minh announced Vietnamese independence. The French refused to relinquish their colony and in 1946, war broke out. After eight years of war, the French were forced to agree to peace talks in Geneva. The country was split into a communist north and non-communist south and Ho became president of North Vietnam. He was determined to reunite Vietnam under communist rule.

By the early 1960s, North Vietnamese-backed guerrillas, the Vietcong, were attacking the South Vietnamese government. Fearing the spread of communism, the United States provided increasing levels of support to South Vietnam. By 1965, large numbers of American troops were arriving and the fighting escalated into a major conflict.

Ho Chi Minh was in poor health from the mid-1960s and died on 2 September 1969. When the Communists took the South Vietnamese capital Saigon in 1975 they renamed it Ho Chi Minh City in his honour.

#VEDay US military policemen read about the German surrender in the newspaper Stars and Stripes on the 8th of May 1945.

Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V-Day, is the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

The term VE Day existed as early as September 1944, in anticipation of victory. On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler, the Nazi leader, committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. Germany's surrender, therefore, was authorized by his successor, Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg Government. The act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.

Upon the defeat of Germany, celebrations erupted throughout the world. From Moscow to Los Angeles, people celebrated.

In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the palace before the cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander incognito among the crowds and take part in the celebrations.

In the United States, the victory happened on President Harry Truman's 61st birthday. He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier, on the 12th of April. Flags remained at half-staff for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period. Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt's memory and keeping the flags at half-staff that his only wish was "that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day." Later that day, Truman said that the victory made it his most enjoyable birthday.

Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and especially in New York's Times Square.

Nazi General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad, 1945

General Anton Dostler was a general of the infantry in the regular German Army during World War II. In the first Allied war trial after the war, Dostler was found guilty of war crimes and executed by firing squad.

He ordered and oversaw the unlawful execution of fifteen captured U.S. soldiers. The soldiers were sent behind the German lines with orders to demolish a tunnel that was being used by the German army as a supply route to the front lines. They were captured and upon learning of their mission, Dostler ordered their execution without trial. The U.S. soldiers were wearing proper military uniforms and carried no civilian or enemy clothing and were in compliance with Hague Convention to be considered non-combatants after their surrender. Under the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, it was legal to execute “spies and saboteurs” disguised in civilian clothes or enemy uniforms but excluded those who were captured in proper uniforms. Since fifteen U.S. soldiers were properly dressed in U.S. uniforms behind enemy lines and not disguised in civilian clothes or enemy uniforms, they were not to be treated as spies but prisoners of war, which Dostler violated. This order was an implementation of Hitler’s secret Commando Order of 1942, which required the immediate execution without trial of commandos and saboteurs.

German officers at the 135th Fortress Brigade contacted Dostler in an attempt to achieve a delay of their execution. Dostler sent another telegram ordering Almers to carry out the execution. Two last attempts were made by the officers at the 135th to stop the execution, including some by telephone, because they knew that executing uniformed prisoners of war was a direct violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War. These efforts were unsuccessful and the 15 Americans were executed on the morning of March 26, 1944, at Punta Bianca south of La Spezia, in the municipality of Ameglia. Their bodies were buried in a mass grave that was then camouflaged.

In the first Allied War crimes trial, Anton Dostler was accused of carrying out an illegal order. In his defense, Dostler maintained that he had not issued the order, but had only passed along an order to Colonel Almers from supreme command, and that the execution of the OSS men was a lawful reprisal. Dostler’s plea of superior orders failed because by ordering the execution, he had acted on his own outside the Führer’s order.

The general was convicted and sentenced to death by the American Military Tribunal. He was executed by a 12-man firing squad on December 1, 1945 in Aversa. The execution was photographed on black and white still and movie cameras (video from the execution). Immediately after the execution Dostler’s body was lifted onto a stretcher, shrouded inside a white cotton mattress cover and driven away in an army truck. His remains were buried in Grave 93/95 of Section H at Pomezia German War Cemetery.

Emiliano Zapata, leading figure in the Mexican Revolution

Emiliano Zapata Salazar (8 August 1879 – 10 April 1919) was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in the state of Morelos, and the inspiration of the agrarian movement called Zapatismo.

Zapata was born in the rural village of Anenecuilco in Morelos State, where peasant communities were under increasing pressure from the small landowning class who monopolized land and water resources for sugar cane production with the support of dictator Porfirio Díaz. Zapata early on participated in political movements against Diaz and the landowning hacendados, and when the Revolution broke out in 1910 he was positioned as a central leader of the peasant revolt in Morelos. 

Cooperating with a number of other peasant leaders he formed the Liberation Army of the South of which he soon became the undisputed leader. Zapata's forces contributed to the fall of Díaz, defeating the Federal Army in the Battle of Cuautla, but when the revolutionary leader Francisco I. Madero became president he disavowed the role of the Zapatistas, denouncing them as simple bandits. In November 1911, Zapata promulgated the Plan de Ayala which called for substantial land reforms, redistributing lands to the peasants. Madero sent the Federal Army to root out the Zapatistas in Morelos. Madero's generals employed a scorched earth policy, burning villages and forcibly removing their inhabitants, and drafting many men into the Army or sending them to forced labor camps in Southern Mexico. This strengthened Zapata's standing among the peasants and Zapata was able to drive the forces of Madero led by Victoriano Huerta out of Morelos. In a coup against Madero in February 1913, Huerta took power in Mexico, but a coalition of Constitutionalist forces in Northern Mexico led by Venustiano Carranza, Álvaro Obregón and Francisco Villa ousted him in July 1914 with the support of Zapata's troops. Zapata did not recognize the authority that Carranza asserted as leader of the revolutionary movement, continuing his adherence to the Plan of Ayala.

In the aftermath of the revolutionaries' victory over Huerta, they attempted to sort out power relations in the Convention of Aguascalientes. Zapata and Villa broke with Carranza; and Mexico descended into civil war among the winners. Dismayed with the alliance with Villa, Zapata focused his energies on rebuilding society in Morelos which he now controlled, instituting the land reforms of the Plan de Ayala. As Carranza consolidated his power and defeated Villa in 1915, Zapata initiated guerrilla warfare against the Carrancistas, who in turn invaded Morelos, employing once again scorched earth tactics to oust the Zapatista rebels. Zapata once again retook Morelos in 1917 and held most of the state against Carranza's troops until he was killed in an ambush in April 1919.

After his death, Zapatista generals aligned with Obregón against Carranza and helped drive Carranza from power. In 1920, Zapatistas managed to obtain powerful posts in the governance of Morelos after Carranza's fall. They instituted many of the land reforms envisioned by Zapata in Morelos.

Zapata remains an iconic figure in Mexico, used both as a nationalist symbol as well as a symbol of the neo-Zapatista movement.