Category Archives: History

November 18, 2021

WWII deserters the US Army tried to hide: the 2013 book revealed how gangs of AWOL GIs terrorized Paris with a reign of mob-style violence

In the weeks following liberation from the Nazis, Paris was struck by a wave of such violent crimes that rivaled the effects of the war itself. These were men that took up the opportunity for self-gain during a time of global chaos. Paris was especially appealing to these men, with the city’s famous cafés and brothels to entertain them. 

The book The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II, by Charles Glass, tells an interesting WWII story that not many have heard – the story of the deserters.

A deserter is a military term used for soldiers who have left their posts without permission. Unlike the term Absence Without Leave (AWOL) used for soldiers who leave their posts temporarily, “deserters” refers to those who have no intention of ever returning to the line of duty. With his book, Glass sheds light on this long-neglected phenomena.

Glass interviewed and surveyed 150,000 American and British soldiers that deserted their posts for good during WWII. He also used army archives, personal diaries, memoirs, and court-martial records to get a clearer picture of the lives of ordinary soldiers fighting in the front lines, and why they abandoned their posts. The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II tells the story of three deserters in France, Italy and Africa.

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November 15, 2021

The Lost Franklin Expedition (Video)

In May of 1845, two vessels of the Royal Navy, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, set out from England. En route to the Canadian Arctic, their mission was to find the Northwest Passage, a trade route from the Atlantic to the Pacific over Canada. But the men were never seen again. This mystery last almost 170 years before the ships were once again found. But these ships were some of the most technologically advanced and well prepared ships for the job. So just what happened? Check it out and find out just what might have happened to the Doomed Franklin Expedition.

November 10, 2021

The Custer Conundrum by T. J. Stiles (Video)

George Armstrong Custer proved himself a highly capable commander from the battlefields of the American Civil War through the hills of Texas, to his final moments on the Great Plains. On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) hosted Mr. T.J. Stiles, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, as he presented a lecture entitled, “The Custer Conundrum.” The lecture examined the complicated nature of leadership principles in the U.S. Army through the lens of the peculiar combination of Custer’s skills as a combat leader and failings as a regimental field commander.

November 8, 2021

Black slave owners in the southern states of America before the Civil War (Video)

There is a popular misconception that all black people in the south of the United States were slaves before the American Civil War and also that only white people owned slaves. Neither of these ideas is true.

November 6, 2021

November 22nd and The Warren Report (Video)

This Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) special news report features Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather as they presented taped interviews with individuals associated with the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, along with the Warren Commission report findings that had just that day been released. Interviews include eyewitness accounts of the shooting, as well as taped interviews with Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife, mother, and best friend.

November 3, 2021

Yuri Gagarin and The First Human Mission Into Space…. Or Was It? (Video)

Megaprojects

November 1, 2021

Anne Applebaum, “Red Famine” (Video)

A columnist for The Washington Post and author of the Pulitzer-winning Gulag, Applebaum has been writing about Russia since the 1990s. Her fifth book is a detailed study of Stalin’s 1929 policy of agricultural collectivization, which set off the worst famine in European history. Some five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. Of these, roughly three million were Ukrainians, and Applebaum definitively shows that they died due to deliberate government policy. Drawing on newly opened archives and personal accounts not previously translated, Applebaum substantiates the stories that Stalin suppressed Ukrainian uprisings by closing the borders, stopping food shipments, and letting the rebellious peasants starve.

The Blitz: Why the British Shelled their Own Cities During World War II (Video)

This video discusses the use of heavy artillery in Britain between 1940 and 1944.

October 31, 2021

Britain’s Favourite Myth (Video)

The events following the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 provide the British with their most potent myth – that of the plucky little country facing a mighty foe

October 30, 2021

The Spy Who Stole the Atom Bomb | Free Documentary History

Newly declassified MI5 files reveal the story of the female spy who stole Britain’s atomic secrets and gave them to the Soviets. In January 1941, Ursula Kuczynski, a Jewish German refugee, arrives in Oxford with her children, on a British passport. She has no possessions, no accommodation and seemingly no connections in the area. But this woman has a secret – she is a Soviet spy.