german railways


Atomic Annie — The M65 Atomic Cannon,

Designed in 1949 by the American Engineer Robert Schwarz, the M65 “Atomic Annie” was inspired by German railway guns used during World War II.  The M65 however, was designed to deliver a nuclear payload to its target.  The gun and carriage itself weighed around 85 tons, was manned by a crew of 5-7, and was transported by two specially designed towing tractors.  At 280mm in caliber and capable of firing a projectile over 20 miles, the gun was certainly powerful enough as a conventional weapon, but the Atomic Annie was certainly no conventional weapon.  In 1953 it was tested for the first time at the Nevada Test Site, where it fired a 15 kiloton nuclear warhead, creating a blast similar in size to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  

After the successful test, 20 M65 cannons were produced for the US Army and deployed in Europe and Korea.  They were almost always in constant motion so the Soviets never knew where they were and could not target them.  While an interesting weapon, the Atomic Annie suffered from limited range, especially after the development of ballistic missiles which could strike a target from thousands of miles away.  The last M65 Atomic Cannon was retired in 1963.  Today only 8 survive, and are displayed in museums across the country.

Another pic from the photoshoot 2014 and another stage costume. I truly like the color of the ‘skirt’ as it’s truly close to the original.Though I’m still convinced this costume let you look like you’re about 10kg heavier, I honestly like the photos.

Ceharacter: Soryu Asuka Langley
Anime/Manga: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Photo by: Rote Mamba/ Lichtermeerfotografie (Facebook)
Reworked by me

Armenian genocide: Turkey's day of denial amid remembrance for a genocide in all but name

They were brave Turks and they were brave Armenians, the descendants of the murderers of 1915 and the descendants of their victims.

They stood together outside the old Istanbul prison where the first 250 Armenians – intellectuals, lawyers, teachers, journalists – were imprisoned by the Ottoman Turks exactly 100 years ago, and they travelled across the Bosphorus to sit next to each other outside the gaunt pseudo-Gothic hulk of what was once the Anatolia Station.

From here, those 250 men were sent to their fate. Yesterday, the Turks and the Armenians held a sign in their hands and repeated one word in Turkish: “Soykirim”.  It means “genocide”.

How they humbled the great and the good of our Western world, as they commemorated together the planned slaughter of one and a half million Armenian men, women and children.

For despite his first pre-election pledge to the contrary, Barack Obama once more refused to use the word “genocide” on Thursday. The Brits ducked the word again. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stubbornly maintaining his country’s ossified policy of denial – once more both Armenians and Turks had to listen to the usual “fog of war” explanation for the 20th century’s first holocaust – was sitting 180 miles away, next to Prince Charles, to honour the dead of the 1915 battle of Gallipoli.

It is a century since the first 250 Armenians were killed (AFP/Getty)
But Professor Ayhan Aktar, a proud Turk whose family emigrated from the Balkans in 1912, understood the cynical history of the Gallipoli ceremony. For on 24 April, as the first Armenians were being rounded up, absolutely nothing happened at Gallipoli. The battle began the next day, when the Irish and the Lancashire soldiers landed on the peninsula. The Erdogan government in Ankara was using Gallipoli  as a smoke screen. “We all know why Erdogan chose 24 April, and of course it was a genocide,” Ayhan Aktar said, his voice booming with indignation. “Ankara will NEVER use the word ‘genocide’.  Sixty per cent of Turks will one day use the word – and still Ankara will say ‘no’. Yes, I have made enemies, but also some very interesting friends. It was all worth it.”

The professor’s scorn came from deep historical soil. “When my Armenian journalist friend Hrant Dink was assassinated by a Turkish nationalist outside his newspaper office in February 2007, I was shocked and deeply depressed,” he said.

“I promised myself that because of Hrant’s death, I would write about 1915. With a colleague of mine, we went through documents – and we wrote about the Turkish bureaucrats who resisted the Armenian deportations. I read more and more and I started to use the word ‘genocide’. It was the truth.”

Turkish soldiers at the Helles memorial in Gallipoli (AFP/Getty)
And so two sets of names – all dead – dominated those few hundred courageous souls who, in what was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, turned their back on the hypocrisy of those diplomats and prime ministers 200 miles away in Gallipoli. There was Faik Ali, Turkish governor of Kutahya in 1915 and his contemporary Mehmet Celal in Konya and there was Huseyin Nesimi, the deputy Turkish governor in Lice. “All fed the persecuted Armenians, all refused to kill them,” the professor said. “Faik Ali and Huseyin Nesimi were both dismissed. Nesimi was murdered on the orders of his senior governor, Dr Reshid.”

These were the good Turks who tried to maintain their country’s honour in its hour of shame. The few hundred equally honourable Turks and Armenians who crossed the Bosphorus to the German-built railway station on Friday then sat down on the sunny steps and held up photographs of the 250 Armenians who were put aboard the cattle wagons inside.

There was Ardashes Harutunian, Dr Garabed Pasayian Han, Karekin Cakalian, Atom Yercanjian and Siamonto, the pen name of Atom Yarjanian, a landmark figure of Armenia’s golden age of poetry.

Siamonto’s great nephew had arrived from Paris for his first visit – ever – to the land in which his people were destroyed. “You must understand the significance of Gallipoli in all this,” Manouk Atomyan explained. “At first, the Turks didn’t kill them (the Armenians) – because they thought the Allies would win at Gallipoli and rescue them all. But by July, it was obvious the Allies were losing. So the Turks set about the killing.”

The 250 men, the cream of Armenian Istanbul society, were put on a train which stopped before Ankara. The first carriages were sent on to Ankara, where most of the passengers were executed.  Of the 250, 175 were killed, shot in the head beside prepared graves.

Narin Kurumlu bears a Turkish name and is indeed a Turk, but she is also Armenian, one of the few people of her race whose family clung onto their land – Turkish land – amid their people’s persecution.

“I am a Turk but I call this a genocide,” she said.  “It is the truth. I am a tour guide and I was trained by the Turkish tourist people. Yes, I go to Van and the old Armenian areas. I don’t go into details and when I’m asked about the genocide, I say the figures are disputed. I say that some think it was a million and a half Armenians killed, but that it was at least a million.” I ask her to write down her original Armenian family name. “I’d rather not,” she says. “There are good reasons for this… they listen to my phone and they read my e-mails.”

These were perhaps the most deeply moving – and distressing – words uttered among the small crowd of truth-tellers outside the Anatolia station yesterday. All were escorted – at a distance, of course – by a small posse of Turkish state police, some in uniform. They were not there to threaten the brave Turks or the brave Armenians. They were present to ensure that no-one else threatened them, the sort of people, for instance, who murdered Hrant Dink eight years ago. For that would take the headlines away from another ceremony, wouldn’t it? And remind the world that the 130,000 Allied and Turkish dead of Gallipoli were outnumbered by one and a half million civilian dead whose genocide we must still obediently deny.


World War 2 Facts

World War 2 Facts

  • The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937)
  • The first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940).
  • 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War 2
  • The highest ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps.
  • Between 1939 and 1945 the Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of bombs, An average of about 27,700 tons of bombs each month.
  • 12,000 heavy bombers were shot down in World War 2
  • 2/3 of Allied bomber crews were lost for each plane destroyed
  • 3 or 4 ground men were wounded for each killed
  • 6 bomber crewmen were killed for each one wounded
  • Over 100,000 Allied bomber crewmen were killed over Europe
  • There were 433 Medals of Honor awarded during World War 2, 219 of them were given after the receipiant’s death
  • From 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945 in Europe the Allies had 200,000 dead and 550,000 wounded
  • The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress).
  • At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced “sink us”), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the swastika, and Hitler’s private train was named “Amerika”. All three were soon changed for PR purposes.
  • Germany lost 110 Division Commanders in combat
  • 40,000 men served on U-Boats during World War 2; 30,000 never returned
  • More US servicemen died in the Air Corps that the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%. Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.
  • Germany’s power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped on power plants, German industry would have collapsed.
  • Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
  • It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th found with a tracer round to aid in aiming. That was a mistake. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. That was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
  • When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
  • German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn’t worth the effort.
  • A number of air crewmen died of farts. (ascending to 20,000 ft. in an un-pressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%!)
  • Germany lost 40-45% of their aircraft during World War 2 to accidents
  • The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in midair (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). “It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army”. - Joseph Stalin
  • The average German officer slot had to be refilled 9.2 times
  • The US Army had more ships that the US Navy.
  • The German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions, and 11 paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The German Army had paratroops who WERE capable of airborne operations.
  • When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore were 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.
  • 84 German Generals were executed by Hitler
  • Among the first “Germans” captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were capture by the US Army.
  • The Graf Spee never sank, The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought by the British. On board was Germany’s newest radar system.
  • One of Japan’s methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large artillery shell with on ly the nose exposed. When a tank came near the enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. “Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat.” - Lt. Gen. Mataguchi
  • Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the fire-fight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.
  • The MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for US artillery her pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dove on the German plane and he and his co-pilot fired their pistols damaging the German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon they landed and took the Germans prisoner. It is unknown where they put them since the MISS ME only had two seats.
  • Most members of the Waffen SS were not German.
  • Air attacks caused 1/3 of German Generals’ deaths
  • By D-Day, the Germans had 1.5 million railway workers operating 988,000 freight cars and used 29,000 per day
  • The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.
  • During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong, British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer’s mess. No enlisted men allowed!
  • By D-Day, 35% of all German soldiers had been wounded at least once, 11% twice, 6% three times, 2% four times and 2% more than 4 times
  • Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious “heavy water”. He finally reached England still clutching the bottle, which contained beer. Perhaps some German drank the heavy water…
  • Germany lost 136 Generals, which averages out to be 1 dead General every 2 weeks
The Good Son

National Team. Julian Draxler is the prototype of a new generation of players. He is fit, focussed and friendly. But do model pupils win titles? By Rafael Buschmann and Marc Hujer

He knows his father’s whistle out of all the din in a stadium, no matter how big the stadium is that he’s playing in, no matter how loudly the fans are singing. Julian Draxler knows the sound of this whistle from E-Jugend on [that’s the 2nd youngest playing class, I think]. Back then was the first time he played in front of more than 3000 people, when he was eight years old, in a sports hall in Ulm. Ever since then his father is convinced it’s a good thing that „Jule“ should know before every game where „Mama und Papa“ are sitting in the stadium.
It’s 15 minutes to go before the first game of Germany at the European Cup against the Ukraine in Lille when Julian Draxler finishes his warm-up and starts to make his way back to the changing rooms. He is in no hurry. He is waiting for his father’s whistle.
It is very loud in the stadium this evening but after the third whistle Draxler turns his head and quickly waves at his parents from down on the pitch. Now he knows they are sitting up there in row 33, next to the parents of Mario Götze.
Julian Draxler is 22 years old, „blutjung“ [I don’t think there’s a similar English expression. It just means very young.], his father says. At 17 he started playing in the Bundesliga, in his first year as a professional he won the DFB-cup with Schalke 04. The midfielder is still considered one of the biggest talents in Germany, one year ago VfL Wolfsburg payed 36 million Euros for him. Draxler counts 21 caps for Germany by now. And after Marco Reus’ injury he has more or less even become a regular starter at these Euros. At the 2:0 against Ukraine and the 0:0 against Poland he was in the starting eleven. The Euros could become a big tournament for him, at least his advisors hope so. The tournament when the eternal talent finally grows up and matures into a player with a real personality.
But how do you grow up if you have never been a proper youth?
Julian Draxler is part of a new generation of players who learnt football at footballing school, not on a „Bolzplatz“ [again, I don’t know what a proper translation would be. It’s a kind of football pitch that you’d find anywhere in a city in Germany, or in villages or somewhere in the country. There are usually no markings on the ground and the goals are very simple. But there are a lot of them, and they’re usually much loved and in use.] like for example Jérôme Boateng, five years his senior. There they are not just trained to become good footballers, with a brilliant technique, scoring and passing machines, but footballers who serve as good role models, who know etiquette, who stay polite even if somebody is impolite towards them. Even as children they are turned into little adults, into good sons. „Enduring“ is how Draxler calls what they are being taught there. Those who lose their nerve are thrown out.
It is a new generation who feel they are grown-ups even in their early twenties but who behave like model sons. The footballing schools also raise them to be dependent on others. They are being mothered in order to be able to focus exclusively on school and the sport. Their laundry is washed for them, the shoes cleaned, appointments at car dealerships [?!] or official authorities are taken care of for them by members of the club or their advisors. Draxler was still a minor and could not drive when Schalke 04 put a VW Touareg in front of his house.

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