US 32nd Infantry Division soldier in Buna, New Guinea with a captured Japanese Lewis Type 92 light machine gun.
ca. November-December 1942
The Japanese manufactured the Lewis M/G for their Special Naval Landing Forces as the type 92 in 7.7X57SR and were used in the Pacific theatre.
The Battle of Buna, 19 November 1942 - 2 January 1943, was one part of the Allied attack on the Japanese beach-head on the northern coast of Papua (along with the battles of Gona and Sanananda). This beach-head had been established to allow the Japanese to launch an overland assault over the Kokoda Trail to Port Moresby, the Capital of Papua New Guinea.
This attack came within thirty miles of Port Moresby, before an Australian counterattack forced the Japanese back along the trail.
Photo by George Strock for the February 1943 ‘Life’ magazine.
It’s a common story – lots of women enter the workforce during World War II, doing all the jobs normally restricted only to men, before millions had to go off to fight Fascism. Then the war was won, the soldiers came back, the women were forced back out.
But, at least, it was acknowledged, and, at least, some credit was given.
But not at Gibson Guitar. They officially say that they shipped no instruments during World War II at all – not a one. But that’s simply not true. They did – they made and shipped thousands of instruments, with a wartime workforce of women. Some even went with GIs overseas.
Apparently, management decided that people wouldn’t want instruments made by women, so they erased the Kalamazoo Gals from history. When law professor and music journalist John Thomas got a hint there had actually been wartime production, and found out the story, the acoustic department was initially very interested – and then corporate found out he had been digging, and started threatening him for revealing it. It’s fascinating:
this day in 1944, the D-Day landings began on the beaches of Normandy as
part of the Allied ‘Operation Overlord’. The largest amphibious
military operation in history, the operation involved thousands of
Allied troops landing in France. For those landing on the beaches of
Normandy, they faced heavy fire, mines and other obstacles on the beach,
but managed to push inland. In charge of the operation was future U.S.
President, General Dwight Eisenhower, and leading the ground forces was
British General Bernard Montgomery. The landings proved a decisive
Allied victory, as they secured a foothold in France, which had been
defeated by Nazi Germany in 1940. D-Day was a key moment in the Second
World War, and helped turn the tide of the war in favour of the Allies. Today we remember not just the strategic victory that was D-Day,
but also the ultimate sacrifice paid by thousands of soldiers on both
sides of the fighting.
“You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.” - Eisenhower’s message to the Allied Expeditionary Force
German Soldier armed with a Panzerbüchse 39 Anti-Tank Rifle.
Notice the Ammunition cases on the sides. thePzb 39 was a single-shot weapon, each bullet had to be loaded manually before firing: The cases helped improving the practical rate of fire, so that a well-trained soldier could operate the gun at maximum effieciency by quickly replacing spent cartridges..
Rufino Tamayo, Animals, 1941, oil on canvas, 76.5 x 101.6 cm, MoMA, New York. Source
According to the MoMA, Animals was painted by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo on the evening that the United States joined the Second World War. The work is believed to be inspired by these events, as well as by Aztec and Mayan burial sculptures, which were often shaped like dogs.
this day in 1942, Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday.
She had seen the book, bound with red and white checkered cloth, a few
days earlier, and her father gave it to her for her birthday. Frank, a
Jewish German national, lived in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in the
Netherlands. Her family went into hiding in 1942 to escape the
persecution of the Jewish population, and Frank documented her
experiences. Her group was eventually betrayed after two years in hiding
and Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from typhus in
March 1945. Her father survived, and upon his return to Amsterdam found
his daughter’s diary, which documented her life from 14th June 1942 to
1st August 1944, and had it translated and published. Today, the diary of Anne Frank stands as one of the most famous depictions of Jewish persecution under Nazi rule, remarkable for its honesty and eloquence.
this day in 1945, at the end of the Second World War, combat ended in
Europe with the Germans accepting unconditional surrender in Rheims,
France. The German surrender marked the end of Hitler’s Third Reich,
following the dictator’s suicide on April 30th. Germany’s surrender was
by German President Karl Dönitz, and was signed on May 7th and ratified
on May 8th. The Western world celebrated the end of the bloody conflict,
with huge festivities in Trafalgar
Square and outside Buckingham Palace in London, and in New York’s Time
Square. British King George VI and Prime Minister Winston Churchill led
the celebrations in their country, and U.S. President Harry Truman
dedicated the victory to his recently deceased predecessor, remarking
only wish was that “Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day”.
“This is your hour. This is your Victory” - Winston Churchill to crowds on VE Day