WWII

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REVIEW – The hidden places of WWII

Like a sort of Second World War smorgasbord, you can take a look and pull tasty morsels out of Hidden Places of World War II. After digesting these, you look for some more titbits. The wartime stories are all linked to places that can be visited.

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Willing executioners

Historian Christopher Browning labelled members of Reserve Police Battalion 101 ‘ordinary men’. Neither of the SS or the Wehrmacht, they were mostly middle-aged, unskilled workers. So what drove them to murder 38,000 civilians in Poland at the height of the war? In our special this time, we drill down to the level of the individual perpetrator, to ask to what degree ordinary people were responsible.

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Collaboration under way to recover missing WWII casualties

The victims of World War II are remembered in regular commemorations, but many of the fatalities have never been recovered. Now academics at Bedford’s Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI) are collaborating with the US Department of Defense in a new initiative to recover and identify those who remain missing.

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REVIEW – Waiting for War: Britain, 1939 – 1940

Most Britons are proud of their country’s role in helping to bring about victory in the Second World War. There is nothing to be proud of, however, in the way the government and its agencies ran the first nine months of war, from September 1939 to May 1940 – the period known as ‘the Phoney War’.

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The YB-40 Gunship

When the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force arrived in Britain in mid-1942, it was confident that unescorted formations of B-17 Flying Fortresses could make precision daylight bombing raids without suffering serious losses.

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Midway on film

The Battle of Midway is the subject of a new blockbuster, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, and Luke Evans. But this is by no means the first time that the event has caught the eye of film-makers.

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Remembering the dead in the wildest of crash sites

The Brecon Beacons National Park is an unusual place for a commemoration. But in early November, it played host to a ceremony on the site where, in 1944, a Vickers Wellington bomber crashed, killing everyone on board.

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The Battle of Midway

Coming just months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway – in which the outcome of World War II was supposedly decided in the space of a ‘fatal five minutes’ – is the subject of a new film released earlier this month. The clash between the American and Japanese fleets will never be forgotten, but does Midway really deserve the hype? Was it truly the greatest battle of the war?

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