11 March 2014

Emblem of U-93

Image size: 1049 x 1600 pixel. 423 KB
Date: December 1940
Place: Lorient, Brittany, France
Photographer: Unknown

This photo of U-93 was taken in December 1940 shortly before the “Hallo, wie geht’s?” (Hello, how’s it going?) emblem was replaced by the new “Devil” emblem. Both the submarine’s paint and the emblem are heavily weathered, and the emblem has even been partly overpainted. Parts of the black and white hand and the word “Hallo” have disappeared. If one speaks of the “Red Devil” emblem to submarine enthusiasts, most automatically think of U-552, the boat in which Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp made a name for himself from 1941 to 1943. But there were many other boats whose commanders selected a “Teufel” (Devil) emblem for their vessels. One of these was the U-93, but prior to this the boat wore another, no less striking emblem. Commissioned by Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth at Krupp’s Germania Shipyard in Kiel on 30 July 1940, after acceptance trials the type VII C joined the 7. U-Flotille (7th Submarine Flotilla) in St. Nazaire. Korth had previously commanded the U-57, a type II C, from December 1938 until May 1940 with the 5th and later the 1st Submarine Flotillas. During that time he completed 11 patrols and his submarine wore an eye-catching “Fackelschwingenden Teufel” (Torch-Swinging Devil) emblem. His new boat would also carry an unusual emblem. And it wasn’t long before a suitable design was on the table. It consisted of a large smiling sun rising behind a black and white wavy band, and beneath this were the words “Hallo, wie geht’s?”. The design was inspired by the Number 1 of the tender Lech, once the mother ship of Korth’s first boat, the U-57. Whenever the U-57 docked, this senior boatswain would greet the crew with “Hello, how’s it going?”. As Kapitänleutnant Korth brought most of U-57’s crew with him to the U-93, the majority of his new boat’s crew was familiar with this hail which now formed part of the boat’s emblem. As well, to the submariners the rising sun of course meant return and survival, following the motto: “Uns geht die Sonne nicht unter” (The sun doesn’t set on us). The “Hallo, wie geht’s?” emblem was worn by U-93 on its first three patrols in autumn 1940. In the weeks following the end of the third patrol on 29 November 1940, however, Kapitänleutnant Korth began to miss his “Roten Teufel” (Red Devil) emblem from the early days. He therefore gave Oberleutnant zur See Götz von Hartmann, assigned to the crew as 1st Watch Officer (1. Wachtsoffizier) in December 1940 and a skilled artist, the task of designing a new devil emblem for U-93. Hartmann’s design depicted a devil with a dip net catching a steamer in which Churchill, the British First Sea Lord, sits smoking a cigarette. Accepted by the captain, in January 1941 this equally striking design replaced the “Hallo, wie geht’s?” emblem on the front of U-93’s conning tower. The boat completed three patrols while wearing this emblem in the spring and summer of 1941. After his sixth patrol Kapitänleutnant Korth stood down and in autumn 1941 transferred command to Oberleutnant zur See Horst Elfe. It is not known if this captain, who had previously commanded U-139, allowed the “Devil” emblem to remain on U-93. It is, however, to be assumed that the new captain was conscious of crews’ sensibilities with regard to the “glücksbringer” (good luck) emblems on their boats. If Oberleutnant zur See Elfe did retain the emblem, it certainly did not have the desired effect for commander or crew. After departing on its second patrol under its new captain the day before Christmas 1941, on 15 January 1942 it was depth-charged and sunk by the British destroyer HMS Hesperus in the North Atlantic north of Madeira at position 36º40’N/15º52’W. Part of the “Gruppe Seydlitz” with U-71 and U-571, it attempted to attack convoy HG 78 between Gibraltar and the Azores but was located and destroyed by the escort. Most of the crew was saved, just six men losing their lives. Concerning the famous “Roten Teufel” emblem of Erich Topp’s U-552, it should be stated here that the devil was no new idea by Topp or a member of his crew. Instead Topp first encountered this devil when he succeeded Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth as captain of U-57, which was wearing the above-described “Torch-Swinging Devil” as boat emblem. In December 1940 Topp adopted the devil for his new boat, the U-552.

"U-Boot im Focus" magazine 2nd edition - 2007

American Prisoners of War Celebrate the Fourth of July at Camp Casisang

Image size: 1600 x 1067 pixel. 576 KB
Date: Saturday, 4 July 1942
Place: Camp Casisang, Malaybalay, Philippines
Photographer: Unknown

American prisoners of war celebrate the 4th of July in the Japanese prison camp of Casisange in Malaybalay, on Mindanao, P.I. It was against Japanese regulations and discover would have meant death, but the men celebrated the occasion anyway. The Visayan-Mindanao Force under US Army Brigadier General William F. Sharp was composed of the 61st, 81st, and 101st Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army. Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright, in nominal command of all the Allied Forces in the Philippines, ordered Sharp to surrender on May 9. Sharp complied and most of his men entered captivity at Camp Casisang, Malaybalay, on May 10. Camp Casisang had been a training ground for the Philippine Constabulary. The barracks were of crude construction, some with corrugated steel roofs but most were made of either thatched wood or nipa palm fronds. Water was a scarce commodity and the prisoners were limited to one canteen of water per day for all purposes. One pump was the sole source of water for about 1,000 Americans and 11,000 Filipinos. On August 15, 1942, All Generals, Full Colonels and their orderlies left Camp Casisang. There had been a large number of full Colonels plus five Generals at the camp. One of them was Philippine General Manuel Roxas, who after the war became the President of the Philippines in 1946. The Japanese gathered 268 men and marched them to Bugo where they boarded the Tamahoko Maru on October 3, 1942 for a 3-day voyage to Manila. At Manila they were marched to Bilibid Prison to wait for transportation to Japan. Many did not survive the war. On October 15, 1942 Camp Casisang was closed. All remaining prisoners were moved on the Japanese frieghter Maru 760 to Davao. 

NARA (National Archives)  #: 111-SC-333290

Frostbite Experiments of Unit 1855

Image size: 1600 x 1133 pixel. 300 KB
Date: Friday, 31 January 1941
Place: Hailar, Inner Mongolia, China
Photographer: Unknown

Three Japanese Kempeitai of Unit 1855 guard eight Chinese prisoners during their forced exposure to frostbite. Unit 1855 was a secret Imperial Japanese Army facility that focused on the development of biological weapons during World War II. It was operated by the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police, with the the headquarters in Beijing. Unit 1855 also operated an experimental branch unit based at Chinan, Hopei. The North China Army established Unit 1855 on February 9 1938. The 2,000 soldiers were housed near Bejing's Temple of Heaven. Headed by Imperial Japanese Army Colonel Yeni Nishimura, he reported directly to Major General Dr. Shiro Ishii of the infamous Unit 731. Unit 1855 killed 1,000 people between 1938 and 1945. Eight male Chinese, aging from 15 to 49, were victims of the experiments carried out from January 31 - February 11, 1941 in Inner Mongolia. The men were exposed outdoors to temperatures of about 27 degrees Celsius below zero with some being deliberately wounded or forced to wear wet shoes and clothing. Unit 1855 recorded the victim's reactions. One teenager became "furious" four minutes after the experiment began, wailed 30 minutes later and could no longer feel his feet after one and half hours. Unit 1855's records claimed the experiments were done to learn how to deal with frostbite afflicting Japanese soldiers during the war. The photo was part of unclassified records titled "Results of Japanese Imperial Army Winter Hygienic Research" discovered in Tokyo in 1995. 


10 March 2014

German Glider at Operation Rösselsprung

Image size: 1600 x 1113 pixel. 586 KB
Date: Thursday, 25 May 1944
Place: Near Drvar, south-west Banja-Luka, Yugoslavia
Photographer: Unknown

On 25 May 1944, “Unternehmen Rösselsprung” was started. The target of this operation was Josif Broz Tito’s communist Partisans. During this operation some 850 men of the reinforced SS-Fallschirmjäger-Bataillon 500 were dropped from 40 Junkers Ju 52 of II./TG 4, or landed with 33 DFS 230 gliders near the Bosnian town of Drvar, south-west of Banja-Luka to attack the headquarters of the Partisans. The DFS 230 gliders belonged to II. and III./LLG 2 and 1. and 2.(DFS)/Schlepgruppe 1. The German paratroopers suffered heavy casualties and during the initial 24 hours of the operation were even threatened to be annihilated! Only the support of ground-attack aircraft and further reinforcements brought relief. On the picture you see DFS 230 “H4+3-6” of II. or III./LLG 1. This aircraft was lost on the morning of May 25th when it crash-landed near Drvar. DFS 230 gliders had basically no Swastika on the rudder.

Luftwaffe im Focus - Edition No.1 2002

International Military Tribunal for the Far East

Image size: 1600 x 1265 pixel. 421 KB
Date: Friday, 3 May 1946
Place: Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Photographer: Unknown

Judges of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. Sir William Webb, Australia, President of the Tribunal; Edward Stuart McDougall, Canada; Major-General Mei Ju-ao, Republic of China; Henri Bernard, Provisional Government of the French Republic; Radhabinod Pal, India; Professor Bert Röling, Netherlands; Harvey Northcroft, New Zealand; Colonel Delfin Jaranilla, Philippines; Lord Patrick, United Kingdom; John P. Higgins, United States (until July 1946); US Army Major General Myron C. Cramer (after July 1946); Red Army Major General I.M. Zarayanov, Soviet Union. The prosecutors were Chief Prosecutor Joseph Keenan. United States; Justice Alan Mansfield, Australia; Brigadier Henry Nolan, Canada; Hsiang Che-Chun, Republic of China; Robert L. Oneto, Provisional Government of the French Republic; P. Govinda Menon, India; W.G. Frederick Borgerhoff-Mulder, Netherlands; Brigadier Ronald Quilliam, New Zealand; Pedro Lopez, Philippines; Arthur Comyns-Carr, United Kingdom; Minister S.A. Golunsky, Soviet Union. 

Truman Library

Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay" landing after the atomic bombing mission on Hiroshima, Japan

Image size: 1600 x 1099 pixel. 486 KB
Date: 2:58 PM, Monday, 6 August 1945
Place: North Field, Tinian Island, Marianas
Photographer: Unknown

After dropping the "Little Boy" atomic bomb on Hiroshima, "Enola Gay" B-29-45-MO serial number 44-86292 encountered a single Japanese fighter that did not engage. The mushroom cloud could still be seen an hour later when Enola Gay was 360 miles (579 kilometers) from Hiroshima. The Enola Gay landed at North Field, Tinian, at 1458 Hours. The Great Artiste (B-29-40-MO 44-27353, victor number "Dimples" 89) the scientific plane, and Necessary Evil (B-29-45-MO 44-86291, victor number "Dimples" 91), the photographic plane, landed a few minutes later. The Enola Gay was airborne for twelve hours and thirteen minutes. 

U.S. Air Force photo

09 March 2014

Ion Antonescu and Adolf Hitler Met for the Last Time

Image size: 1600 x 1074 pixel. 337 KB
Date: Saturday, 5 August 1944
Place: Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschanze, Rastenburg, Ostpreußen/East Prussia
Photographer: Unknown

Romanian Head of State general Ion Antonescu (left) visits Adolf Hitler for the last time at the Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschanze, Rastenburg, 5 August 1944. In the middle is the interpreter, Gesandter SS-Standartenführer Paul Otto Schmidt, while standing in the left background (wearing glasses) is SS-Obergruppenführer Julius Schaub (Chefadjutant des Führers Adolf Hitler). Only three weeks later Antonescu is deposed and Romania declares war on Germany! Ion Victor Antonescu (June 15, 1882 – June 1, 1946) was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician, and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships. A Romanian Army career officer who made his name during the 1907 peasants' revolt and the World War I Romanian Campaign, the antisemitic Antonescu sympathized with the far right and fascist National Christian and Iron Guard groups for much of the interwar period. He was a military attaché to France and later Chief of the General Staff, briefly serving as Defense Minister in the National Christian cabinet of Octavian Goga. During the late 1930s, his political stance brought him into conflict with King Carol II and led to his detainment. Antonescu nevertheless rose to political prominence during the political crisis of 1940, and established the National Legionary State, an uneasy partnership with the Iron Guard's leader Horia Sima. After entering Romania into an alliance with Nazi Germany and the Axis and ensuring Adolf Hitler's confidence, he eliminated the Guard during the Legionary Rebellion of 1941. In addition to leadership of the executive, he assumed the offices of Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister. Soon after Romania joined the Axis in Operation Barbarossa, recovering Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, Antonescu also became Marshal of Romania. An atypical figure among Holocaust perpetrators, Antonescu enforced policies independently responsible for the deaths of as many as 400,000 people, most of them Bessarabian, Ukrainian and Romanian Jews, as well as Romanian Romani. The regime's complicity in the Holocaust combined pogroms and mass murders such as the Odessa massacre with ethnic cleansing, systematic deportations to occupied Transnistria and widespread criminal negligence. The system in place was nevertheless characterized by singular inconsistencies, prioritizing plunder over killing, showing leniency toward most Jews in the Old Kingdom, and ultimately refusing to adopt the Final Solution as applied throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. Confronted with heavy losses on the Eastern Front, Antonescu embarked on inconclusive negotiations with the Allies, just before a political coalition, formed around the young monarch Michael I, toppled him during the August 23, 1944 Coup. After a brief detention in the Soviet Union, the deposed Conducător was handed back to Romania, where he was tried by a special People's Tribunal and executed. This was part of a series of trials that also passed sentences on his various associates, as well as his wife Maria. The judicial procedures earned much criticism for responding to the Romanian Communist Party's ideological priorities, a matter that fueled nationalist and far right attempts to have Antonescu posthumously exonerated. While these groups elevated Antonescu to the status of hero, his involvement in the Holocaust was officially reasserted and condemned following the 2003 Wiesel Commission report.

Fotos aus dem Führerhauptquartier - Hermann Historica München

US Army Air Force Colonel Paul Tibbets in front of the Enola Gay

Image size: 1248 x 1600 pixel. 1.57 MB
Date: Thursday, 8 November 1945
Place: Roswell, New Mexico, United States of America
Photographer: Unknown

US Army Air Force Colonel Paul Tibbets stands in front of "Enola Gay" B-29-45-MO serial number 44-86292 after flying the aircraft from Tinian on November 4, 1945 to Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico, arriving on November 8, 1945. The flight, which is 6,727 miles (10,827 kilometers) on a direct line, was part of the operations that returned the 509th Composite Group to the United States. The aircraft's markings, its Victor 82 number and name, have been repainted since the attack on Hiroshima. "Enola Gay" was called up as part of the Operation Crossroads testing of the atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll in July 1946. It was then placed in several storage facilities around the United States until it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum in 1960. The fuselage was placed on display in 1995 and after restoration the entire aircraft was placed on display in 1998. Tibbets retired as a Brigadier General from the Air Force in 1966. 

USAF (United States Air Force)

Indian Sailor Begs for Water After his Ship was Sunk

Image size: 1600 x 1442 pixel. 496 KB
Date: Friday, 16 January 1942
Place: Off the Sumatra coast, Indian Ocean
Photographer: Frank Noel

Indian sailor begs for water after his ship was sunk in the Indian Ocean. This photo was taken by photographer Frank "Pappy" Noel. Noel was in Singapore at the time of the Japanese attack and is able to board a British vessel, S. S. Jalarajan (5,102 tons displacement) of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company which leaves for Calcutta, India. About 270 miles (434.5 kilometers) west of Sumatra, the ship was attacked by Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-65 (later I-165). Five crewmembers were killed. Noel and the others take to lifeboats, where they drift for five days. Two days after the sinking his lifeboat encountered another lifeboat, also victims of the Japanese. The men asked for water but Noel's boat had none. The men were rescued and taken to Sumatra and Noel was able to get out before the Japanese captured the island. He won the Pulitzer Prize for photography in 1943 for this image. Thousands of men, women and children in hundreds of cargo ships and small craft sought to escape the advancing Japanese, fleeing from Java, Sumatra and Singapore. Japanese submarines, surface ships and aircraft sank many of them. Historical research reconstructing the transits and losses of these vessels is ongoing; many of the ships were lost with no record of their transit. Bodies washed up, one as far away as Christmas Island. Other Allied soldiers and civilians who survived being sunk were captured as prisoners of war or executed by the Japanese.