world war ii two 2

“Experienced in desert weather flying, a British pilot lands an American made Kittyhawk fighter plane of the Sharknose Squadron in a Libyan Sandstorm, on April 2, 1942. A mechanic on the wing helps to guide the pilot as he taxis through the storm.”

(AP)

A Spitfire Vb of 412 Squadron RCAF based at Lasham, Hampshire, making a low level mock attack on ‘Eastland’ forces in the Thames Valley area during Exercise Spartan, a large training exercise conducted in southern England from the 4th - 12th of March 1943 in anticipation of the eventual invasion of mainland Europe.

Original photo © IWM (H 27934)

“This photograph was taken on Jan. 31, 1941, during a nigthtime air raid carried out by the Royal Air Force above Brest, France. It gives a graphic impression of what flak and anti-aircraft fire looks like from the air. In the period of three to four seconds during which the shutter remained open, the camera clearly captured the furious gunfire. The fine lines of light show the paths of tracer shells, and the broader lines are those of heavier guns. Factories and other buildings can be seen below.”

(Air Ministry)

4

Adolf Hitler with Bernile Nienau, a young girl who was introduced to him as they both shared the same birthday. Hitler referred to her as his “little sweetheart” and she was often invited, along with her mother, to spend time at his home, even after finding out that her mother was Jewish.

A picture of Freddie Oversteegen, a Dutch girl who was the unsuspecting killer of dozens of Nazis. Along with her friend Hannie and her sister Truus, the girls worked with a team from the Dutch Resistance to lure men into the woods for a promised kiss. Once they reached a remote location, the men got a bullet to the head instead.

“Women in the United States Forces in Britain: Hundreds of United States nurses underwent a toughening up course in preparation for the opening of the second front, where their job would be to follow the troops of liberation and establish hospital units. Lieutenant Louise Erman throwing her Ju-Jitsu instructor Major Strom during an unarmed combat class.”

(IWM)

8

Smart, beautiful and deadly, 19 year old Russian sniper Roza Shanina had 54 confirmed kills during World War II.

<<OK so I know for a fact I’ve blogged most of these photos before but I sincerely don’t give a rat’s ass.  I have no qualms about reblogging Ms. Shanina 100 times a day if it suits me…hell, no doubt I could devote a blog entirely to her remarkable accomplishments.  I am totally intrigued and mesmerized by her.  And not simply because she is amazingly beautiful and modest and bold, but also because of the unequivocal expertise she displayed in her “trade”.  Maybe it’s also because she has that certain look about her like she might be just a little too shy to come up and talk to you…and yet have zero reservations about calmly dispatching your ass from 1000 meters.>>

Shanina volunteered for the military after the death of her brother in 1941 and chose to be a marksman on the front line. Praised for her shooting accuracy, Shanina was capable of precisely hitting moving enemy personnel and making doublets (two target hits by two rounds fired in quick succession).


Allied newspapers described Shanina as “the unseen terror of East Prussia”. She became the first Soviet female sniper to be awarded the Order of Glory and was the first servicewoman of the 3rd Belorussian Front to receive it. Shanina was killed in action during the East Prussian Offensive while shielding the severely wounded commander of an artillery unit. Shanina’s bravery received praise already during her lifetime, but came at odds with the Soviet policy of sparing snipers from heavy fights. Her combat diary was first published in 1965.

The Soviets found that sniper duties fit women well, since good snipers are patient, deliberate, have a high level of aerobic conditioning, and normally avoid hand-to-hand combat. They found the same with women as bomber crews, very fine adjustments and intense technical expertise actually gave them a better reputation than most all male bomber squadrons.