Tag Archives: World War II

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge – and pray God we have not lost it – that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt… Ronald Reagan

Photo shows General Eisenhower talking with American paratroopers on the evening of June 5, 1944, as they prepared for the Battle of Normandy. The men are part of Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, at the 101st Airborne Division's camp in Greenham Common, England.

Photo shows General Eisenhower talking with American paratroopers on the evening of June 5, 1944, as they prepared for the Battle of Normandy. The men are part of Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, at the 101st Airborne Division’s camp in Greenham Common, England.

Normandy crucible : the decisive battle that shaped World War II in Europe  John Prados  New York : NAL Caliber, c 2011  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xiii, 320 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p. 297-307) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Assault landing. One of the first waves at Omaha. The Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

The Battle of Normandy was the greatest offensive campaign the world had ever seen. Millions of soldiers struggling for the control of Europe were thrust onto the front lines of a massive war unlike any experienced in history. But this greatest of clashes would prove to be the crucible in which the outcome of World War II would be decided.

FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA: THE ORDEAL OF THE BLUE AND GRAY Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944 Behind them was a great invasion armada and the powerful sinews of war. But in the first wave of assault troops of the 29th (Blue and Gray) Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day - 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944. The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse which became its first Command Post in France. The 116th suffered monre than 800 casualties this day - a day which will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies' "Great Crusade" to rekindle the lamp of liberty and freedom on the continent of Europe.

FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA: THE ORDEAL OF THE BLUE AND GRAY
Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944 Behind them was a great invasion armada and the powerful sinews of war. But in the first wave of assault troops of the 29th (Blue and Gray) Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day – 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944. The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse which became its first Command Post in France. The 116th suffered monre than 800 casualties this day – a day which will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies’ “Great Crusade” to rekindle the lamp of liberty and freedom on the continent of Europe.

It began on D-Day. June 6, 1944 – the day that the Allied Forces launched Operation Overlord: the great crusade to free Europe from the iron grip of Nazi Germany. But only when the troops were ashore did the real battle begin.

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Photo taken on D+2, after relief forces reached the Rangers at Point Du Hoc. The American flag had been spread out to stop fire of friendly tanks coming from inland. Some German prisoners are being moved in after capture by the relieving forces.

With Nazi defenders marshaling to stop the invaders, Hitler and his generals schemed to counterattack. Tightly constricted hedgerow country and bitter German resistance held the Allied advance to a crawl. Suddenly the Allies broke through and trapped the Nazi armies. Yet within weeks of this stunning disaster, the Germans smashed the most dangerous Allied offensive yet.

A group of paratroopers in a French village at St. Marcouf, Utah Beach, France. From here they will move on into the continent, accomplishing their assigned objectives. 8 June 1944.

A group of paratroopers in a French village at St. Marcouf, Utah Beach, France. From here they will move on into the continent, accomplishing their assigned objectives. 8 June 1944.

How was this possible? In Normandy Crucible, noted author John Prados offers a penetrating account that reframes the Normandy breakout to answer that question. For the first time he melds intelligence into the combat narrative. Shifting between battle action and command decisions on both sides, Normandy Crucible shows in fascinating detail how this campaign molded the climactic battle for Europe.

Evacuating Wounded Soldiers England, World War II Harrison Standley, 1944 Stretcher bearers of a medical battalion carry a casualty from the hold of an LST to a waiting ambulance which will take them to a nearby field hospital. The LST had just returned from Normandy bringing about 300 ambulatory casualties and about 30 stretcher cases. Seamen from the LST's and soldiers about to embark for France watch with interest. On board the evacuating LST's the cases are cared for by Navy medical personnel, June 1944.

Evacuating Wounded Soldiers England, World War II Harrison Standley, 1944 Stretcher bearers of a medical battalion carry a casualty from the hold of an LST to a waiting ambulance which will take them to a nearby field hospital. The LST had just returned from Normandy bringing about 300 ambulatory casualties and about 30 stretcher cases. Seamen from the LST’s and soldiers about to embark for France watch with interest. On board the evacuating LST’s the cases are cared for by Navy medical personnel, June 1944.

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Comments Off on The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge – and pray God we have not lost it – that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt… Ronald Reagan

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I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery… Aeschylus

They look commonplace like pictures of your father or grandfather. They are for the most part in business suits and while a few may have pretensions to an elegance that belies their treachery most have an off the rack, if not rumpled, appearance. There are no horns growing out of their foreheads and no red stars or armbands decrying their comradeship with Stalin. Like black adders posing as garden snakes they are all the more deadly for it. The harm they have done to this nation – and that their successors continue to do – is like the worm in wood and Ann Coulter may have put it best when she said, Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, [leftists] are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.

Alger Hiss : why he chose treason  Christina Shelton ; an introduction by Richard Pipes  New York : Threshold Editions, 2012  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xvii, 330 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

In 1948, former U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss was accused of being a Soviet spy. Because the statute of limitations on espionage had run out, he was convicted only of perjury. Decades later archival evidence surfaced confirming the accusations: a public servant with access to classified documents had indeed passed crucial information to the Soviets for more than a decade.

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Unwilling to acknowledge the inconvenient truth many American leftists still consider Hiss an iconic figure — an innocent victim accused of unsubstantiated crimes. They prefer to focus on the bankrupt collectivist ideals Hiss stood for, rather than confront the reality of a man who systemically and methodically betrayed his country in a life that displayed equal parts of cunning and cowardice.

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Former U.S. Intelligence analyst Christina Shelton employs an in-depth knowledge of Soviet intelligence affairs as well as recently released Hungarian and KGB archival material to shine a fresh light on one of the most famous U.S. espionage cases. The story is dramatic, but Shelton’s analysis goes beyond sensationalism as she explores both the ideological motivation behind Hiss’s behavior and the lasting influence it has had on U.S. foreign policy.

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Hollywood party : how communism seduced the American film industry in the 1930s and 1940s  Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley  Rocklin, CA : Forum, c 1998  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xvii, : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 320-342) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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In the fall of 1997 some of the biggest names in show business filled the Motion Picture Academy theater in Beverly Hills for Hollywood Remembers the Blacklist, a lavish production worthy of an Oscar telecast. In song, film, and live performances by stars such as Billy Crystal, Kevin Spacey, and John Lithgow, the audience relived a time some fifty years before, when, as the story has always been told, courageous writers and actors stood firm against a witch-hunt and blacklist that wrecked lives and destroyed careers. Left untold that night, and ignored in books and films for more than half a century, was a story not so politically correct but vastly more complex and dramatic.

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In Hollywood Party the complete story finally emerges, backdropped by the great upheavals of our time and with all the elements of a thriller—wrenching plot twists, intrigue, betrayal, violence, corruption, misguided passion, and lost idealism.

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Using long neglected information from public records, the personal files of key players, and recent revelations from Soviet archives, Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley uncovers the Communist Party’s strategic plan for taking control of the movie industry during its golden age, a plan that came perilously close to success. He shows how the Party dominated the politics of the movie industry during the 1930s and 1940s, raising vast sums of money from unwitting liberals and conscripting industry luminaries into supporting Stalinist causes.

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In riveting detail, the shameful truth unfolds: Communist writers, actors, and directors, wealthy beyond the dreams of most Americans, posture as proletarian wage slaves as they try to influence the content of movies.

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From the days of the Popular Front through the Nazi-Soviet Pact and beyond World War II, they remain faithful to a regime whose brutality rivaled that of Hitler’s Nazis. Their plans for control of the industry a shambles by the mid-1950s, the Party nonetheless succeeded in shaping the popular memory of those days.

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By chronicling what has been left on the cutting-room floor, from “back story” to aftermath, Hollywood Party changes those perceptions forever.

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Comments Off on I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery… Aeschylus

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Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love… William Butler Yeats

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Condor : the Luftwaffe in Spain, 1936-39  Patrick Laureau  Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 2010  Softcover. Originally published as: Legion Condor. Ottringham : Hikoki, 2000. viii, 383 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), map ; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG 

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In 1936, civil war broke out in Spain, a violent prelude to World War II. Germany and the Soviet Union clashed there by proxy, with Hitler supporting Franco’s Nationalists and Stalin aligning with the Republicans.

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The Third Reich sent the Condor Legion, a unit composed primarily of Luftwaffe forces, and the conflict became a proving ground for concepts like blitzkrieg, for officers like Adolf Galland and Werner Mölders, and for aircraft like the Bf 109, He 111, and Ju 97.

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Hitler’s rockets : the story of the V-2s  Norman Longmate  New York : Skyhorse Pub., c 2009  Softcover. Previously published: London : Hutchinson, 1985. 422 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 21 cm. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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In Hitler’s Rockets Longmate tells the story of the V-2, the technically brilliant but hated weapon, the ancestor and forerunner of all subsequent ballistic missiles. He reveals the devious power-play within the German armed forces and the Nazi establishment that so influenced the creation of the rockets.

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He shows through contemporary documents and protagonists’ accounts how the  intelligence pieced together often contradictory evidence as it sought to establish the true nature of the threat. Finally he recalls in detail the feel and fears of the time from the viewpoint of those who suffered, and those who were all too conscious that they were the target.

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Comments Off on Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love… William Butler Yeats

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Hitherto, the rights and wrongs had seemed so beautifully simple… George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

The ability of communism, its allies and associated opportunists to appear as chic and intellectually fashionable – at least among the feeble-minded and the easily impressionable – has always been one of its strong suits especially since the advent of mass media and its ability to deceive. While the morally and intellectually crippled like Norman Bethune and Ernest Hemingway would forever by swayed to the left by the war the brighter and more able thinkers like George Orwell and John Dos Passos would come to realize that if the right did not have the answers the left wasn’t even asking the right questions. We have just gone through our most recent orgy of this kind of nonsense where an avowed communist and practising terrorist has been buried with all the pomp and circumstance of a great statesman. When – or for that matter if – the masses will ever learn discernment are questions that turn the hair grey of those who have.

Communists get together. Washington, D.C., Feb. 12. Americans, all of whom fought and many wounded while fighting for the Loyalists in Spain, met today in Washington at the First National Conference of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, left to right: Francis J. Gorman, President of the United Textile Workers of America; Lieut. Robert Raven, wounded and blinded in the Spanish War; and Commander Paul Burns of Boston Commander of the Lincoln Brigade, 2/12/38

Communists get together. Washington, D.C., Feb. 12. Americans, all of whom fought and many wounded while fighting for the Loyalists in Spain, met today in Washington at the First National Conference of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, left to right: Francis J. Gorman, President of the United Textile Workers of America; Lieut. Robert Raven, wounded and blinded in the Spanish War; and Commander Paul Burns of Boston Commander of the Lincoln Brigade, 2/12/38

Facing fascism : New York and the Spanish Civil War  Peter N. Carroll & James D. Fernandez, editors  New York : Museum of the City of New York : NYU Press, c 2007  Softcover. vii, 223 p. : ill. ; 26 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 206-207) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

William G. Ryan, of Milwaukee today told the Dies Committee that Communist Party members regard it as a generally accepted fact that the American Youth Congress is controlled by the Communist Party. Ryan, a former member of the Communist Party, said that he served 17 months with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain and then 'escaped'

William G. Ryan, of Milwaukee today told the Dies Committee that Communist Party members regard it as a generally accepted fact that the American Youth Congress is controlled by the Communist Party. Ryan, a former member of the Communist Party, said that he served 17 months with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain and then ‘escaped’

When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, loosely affiliated groups of writers, artists, and other individuals sympathetic to the communist cause emerged in New York City to give voice to anti-fascist sentiment by supporting the Spanish Republic. Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War examines the participation of New Yorkers in the political struggles and armed conflict that many historians consider a critical precursor to World War II.

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Nearly half of the 2,800 Americans who volunteered to fight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade against Generalissimo Francisco Franco came from the New York area. Fundraising, propaganda, and deployment for anti-fascists everywhere in America were orchestrated through New York City. At the same time, powerful voices in New York expressed sympathy for the anti-communist side.

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The fighting in Spain brought to the surface the complex ideological and ethnic identities always present in New York politics. Facing Fascism examines the full range of this experience, including that of the New Yorkers who supported Franco. It addresses the role of doctors, nurses, and social workers who left New York hospitals to provide assistance to the defenders of the Spanish Republic, as well as those who remained active on the home front. The book also describes the involvement of students in the war, the key role of writers and the media, and the contributions made by members of New York’s art and theater communities.

Facing Fascism serves as the catalog to an exhibition of the same name appearing at the Museum of the City of New York. The book and exhibition both make use of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives’ extensive holdings, which range from historical documents to video recordings of oral histories. Numerous other libraries, archives, museums, and private collectors have also been consulted to make this the most complete exhibition of its kind ever mounted. The exhibition also appeared in Spain.

Franco's flag flies over Spanish Embassy in Washington for first time. Washington, D.C., April 4. The flag of the Nationalist government flying over the Spanish Embassy here for the first time since the Franco Regime was recognized by the United States. 4-4-39

Franco’s flag flies over Spanish Embassy in Washington for first time. Washington, D.C., April 4. The flag of the Nationalist government flying over the Spanish Embassy here for the first time since the Franco Regime was recognized by the United States. 4-4-39

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War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. History is bunk!

As the Second World War drew to a close three politicians with very different agendas gathered to discuss the peace. Churchill, dedicated to preserving the remnants of the British Empire, Roosevelt, dedicated to replacing the old empires with the United Nations and Stalin, dedicated to restoring the Russian Empire into a Soviet one. Of the three only Churchill failed entirely. Roosevelt’s continuation of Wilson’s dream never succeeded at its stated goals but is becoming a nightmare empire of dysfunction in the next century. Stalin’s success was immediate but never complete enough to be lasting and while it still exists, like a death star, it can only destroy – never create. While this book may be a record of the conference – albeit with strong predispositions – it is lacking in its explanations of both cause and effect and fails to show the horror of the consequences of imperialism regardless of its origins or intentions.
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Yalta : the price of peace  S.M. Plokhy  New York : Viking, 2010  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xxviii, 451 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 409-430) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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In February 1945 Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at Yalta, a resort town on the Black Sea, as their armies converged on Berlin. Each came with sharply different views of what the world should look like after the war. Over the course of eight fateful days they partitioned Germany, approved the most aggressive aerial bombing campaign in history, redrew the borders of Eastern Europe, and created a new international organization to settle future disputes.

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Two months later, Roosevelt was dead, Stalin was strengthening his grip on Poland, and Churchill was on the cusp of a humiliating electoral defeat.

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For sixty-five years, opinion has been bitterly divided on what they achieved. Did Yalta pave the way to the Cold War? Did an ailing FDR give too much to Stalin? While the accepted verdict on both questions has been, and remains, a resounding YES!, In this book Plokhy draws on newly declassified Soviet documents to sanitize the truth of Yalta and paint an original – if inaccurate – portrait of FDR and Churchill as a wartime leaders.

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