Steven Boyett on Fata Morgana, his new WWII/alt-history mashup novel

Today on John Scalzi's Whatever blog, Steven R Boyett (author of the classic fantasy novel Ariel) writes about Fata Morgana, the new alternate history/WWII novel he's just published with Ken Mitchroney. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco this Sunday: Steven Boyett and Ken Mitchroney at SF in SF

The SF in SF reading series is back this Sunday at the American Bookbinders Museum, with Steven "Ariel" Boyett and Ken Mitchroney, authors of the outstanding new WWII/alternate history novel Fata Morgana. Read the rest

Russia's anti-Nazi women's sniper unit, colorized

These smiling assassins enlisted as snipers when Germany invaded Russia in 1941. "We mowed down Hitlerites like ripe grain," said Lyudmila Pavlichenko aka Lady Death, one of many elite snipers whose photos were colorized by Olga Shirnina aka Klimbim. Read the rest

"Why I Hate My Uncle," by William Hitler (Look magazine, 1939)

A copy of Look Magazine from July 4, 1939 will cost you $950, because it has a a six-page photo-illustrated feature by William P. Hitler, called "Why I Hate My Uncle."

William Patrick Hitler was born in Liverpool in the UK in 1911. His father was Adolf Hitler’s brother Alois Hitler. William moved to Germany in 1933 in an attempt to benefit from his uncle’s position of power. It appears William, who was familiar with Adolf’s family background, was an embarrassing thorn in Adolf’s side during the 1930s. Moving to the United States in 1939, William served in the US Navy in World War II. After the war, William Hitler changed his last name to Stuart-Houston.

Look’s article is written by William and reveals what it was like to be Adolf Hitler’s nephew. Here are some excerpts: “Being very close to my father at the time, he (Adolf Hitler) autographed this picture for me. We had cakes and whipped cream, Hitler’s favorite desert. I was struck by his intensity, his feminine gestures. There was dandruff on his coat.” “When I visited Berlin in 1931, the family was in trouble. Geli Raubal, the daughter of Hitler’s and my father’s sister, had committed suicide. Everyone knew that Hitler and she had long been intimate and that she had been expecting a child – a fact that enraged Hitler. His revolver was found by her body.” “I published some articles on my uncle when I returned to England and was forthwith summoned back to Berlin and taken with my father and aunt to Hitler’s hotel.

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Neo-fascist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says France was not complicit in rounding up Jews

Marine Le Pen says that she is not like her father, the notorious fascist political leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far-right National Front party (she excommunicated him from the party, but remained chummy enough to borrow millions from him for her presidential bid). Read the rest

Anne Frank Center wants Trump's in-house avowed Nazi to resign

Sebastian Gorka is one of the Brietbarters that Trump took with him to the White House, where he serves as "counter-terrorism adviser." He's also a non-metaphorical Nazi. Read the rest

America has spent more rebuilding Afghanistan than it spent rebuilding Europe under the Marshall Plan

After WWII, the US launched the Marshall Plan to help Europe rebuild, spending about $120B in inflation-adjusted dollars on the project, which lifted the war-stricken European nations out of disaster and launched them into post-war prosperity; the US has spent even more than that on rebuilding projects in Afghanistan since the official cessation of hostilities there, but Afghanistan remains a crumbling, corrupt, failed state where violence is rampant, opium exports are soaring, and soldiers and civilians alike are still dying. Read the rest

Meth, Hitler and the Reich: the true, untold story of the Nazis' dependence on coke, meth and oxy

Novelist Norman Ohler became fascinated with the Third Reich's reliance on opiods and methamphetamines when DJ Alexander Kramer mentioned it to him in passing; he set out to write a novel, but in Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich he produced what historian and authority on the Third Reich Ian Kershaw called "a serious piece of scholarship." Read the rest

That time London was nearly destroyed by Nazi paleo-drones

The Nazi V-1 "robot bomb" (AKA the "buzz bomb") was a kind of flying landmine that terrorized London during the Blitz, doing incredible damage to the city, sowing disarray and fear, as this Periscope newsreel makes clear. Read the rest

Copyfraud: Anne Frank Foundation claims father was "co-author," extends copyright by decades

The Anne Frank Foundation -- a Swiss nonprofit that supports children's charities and provides a stipend to gentiles who hid Jews during WWII -- has claimed that Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, is the legal co-author of her diaries, a move that will have the effect of extending copyright on the diaries to at least 2030. Read the rest

Train full of Nazi war spoils claimed found in Poland

"Joanna Lamparska, a historian who focuses on the Walbrzych area, told Radio Wroclaw the train was rumoured to have disappeared into a tunnel, and that it had gold and "hazardous materials" on board." (via BBC) Read the rest

Treasure hunters find coded WWII message, uncover hilarious story

Some Italian treasure hunters found a strange looking bullet in Tuscany. Inside was a dated, coded message.

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America's broken promise to veterans who survived race-based chemical weapons testing in WWII

"It took all the skin off your hands," says former Army soldier Rollins Edwards. "Your hands just rotted."

Watch a WWII plane pick up a man and a sheep while flying at full speed

People do weird things for war. Read the rest

Women Are Needed: WWII-era U.S. government poster art, 1943.

Women are needed in “hundreds of war jobs.”

Short documentary puts World War II fatalities into context

More people died in World War II than in any other conflict in history, yet it can be hard to conceptualize that massive loss of life. Read the rest

How a WWII unit deceived the enemy with audacious fakery

They jokingly called themselves Cecil B. DeMille Warriors. To others, they were the Ghost Army. To the Army itself, they were the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. To everyone, they were undoubtedly the most surreal soldiers of WWII.

Created in the summer of 1944, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was comprised mainly of artists, engineers, and movie effects technicians. Amongst the unit’s ranks were a young future fashion icon Bill Blass, Color Field painter Ellsworth Kelly, wildlife artist Arthur Singer, and photographer Art Kane. Their top-secret mission sounds like the punchline to some drunken soldier’s joke: to use an inflatable army of tanks, vehicles, sound effects, and other movie trickery to convince the Germany army that there were significant forces where there were none. Well, none other than DeMille’s finest. The unit plied their trade from Normandy to the Rhine.

So, what do you get when you send a lot of nervous artists and creative types off on a dangerous assignment? Lots and lots of art – made in boredom, in fear, and in celebration. The Ghost Army of World War II is a beautifully-produced print documentary of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and the role they played in WWII. The book is filled with countless paintings, sketches, cartoons, photos, hand-drawn maps, sketchbook pages, letters and post cards, and the military ephemera of the 23rd. All of these visuals are beautifully animated by the writing of authors Rick Beyer (who also produced a 2005 PBS documentary on the 23rd HST), Elizabeth Sayles (daughter of Ghost Army vet William Sayles), and the amazing stories recounted by the soldiers themselves. Read the rest

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