May 8, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of VE Day, also known as
Victory in Europe Day, and the end of WWII in Europe. On May 8, 1945,
German soldiers laid down their arms throughout Europe surrendering to
the Allied powers. Thousands of people marched on the streets
celebrating this tremendous victory in both the United States and United
Top (Grelicks): Μέγαρο Γιαννουλάτου (2). A second photo of the Giannoulatos building (see previous post), Karaiskaki square, Piraeus, Greece, April 2015. (Check also this Wiki panoramic photo for “the bigger picture”.)
Photos 2 & 3 (NOT Grelicks [obviously] - Source: Apparently both are press agency photos - the first one is
scanned from a now defunct Greek magazine Grelicks used to collaborate
with, while the other comes from an eBay auction):
British troops, surrounded by a Greek crowd, set up 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in Karaiskaki square, just in front of the Giannoulatos building, most probably in November or December 1940, during the Greco-Italian War. (An interesting detail in the lower photo are the strips of tape used on the window glass panes of the Giannoulatos building, to prevent them from being shattered in case of bombing.)
Well… neither the tape… nor the Bofors guns did any good when, on the night of 6/7 April 1941, i.e. the very first night of the German invasion of Greece, a number of Luftwaffe Junkers Ju88 bombers, operating from Sicily and led by “Hajo” Herrmann, attacked the port of Piraeus. A number of bombs, or, allegedly, just a single bomb launched from Herrmann’s aircraft, hit the British carco steamshipSS Clan Fraser, which caught fire… The thing is… that she was still partially unloaded… carrying still some 200-250 tons of TNT, intended for delivery to the Greek Powder and Cartridge Company (PYRKAL). The ensuing explosion had devastating effects (wiki photo)… the shock of the blast was even felt dozens of miles away in Athens…
When Grelicks was a child growing up in Piraeus, he still heard stories about the German bombing of Piraeus in 1941 and the infamous Clan Fraser was still a household name - in fact, my great-grand-father’s bakery/pastry-shop (στου Βρυώνη, απ’ την άλλη δηλαδή μεριά του λιμανιού, ενώ το Clan Fraser πρέπει να ήταν δεμένο στη Δραπετσώνα) was totally demolished by débris of the Clan Fraser…
Nevertheless, before the end of WWII, Piraeus had yet to suffer a far worse bombing, this time by Allied bombers (USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 15th Air Force, operating from Italy), on 11 January 1944 - but that’s another story…
Gas Identification officer wearing helmet with two diamonds identifying
him, as he holds gas detection paper during gas attack preparations,
WWII. London, UK, 1941. - Photographer: Hans Wild for LIFE magazine
The Motherland Monument in Kiev is seen decorated with a braid of giant artificial poppies around the head. A climber today scaled the 102-metre Motherland Monument in Kiev to attach a braid to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.
Although my father, Albert Francis Topaz survived WWII, there was a devastating loss of his buddies. He served as a tail gunner, European theater. I miss him so. Remembering all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country.
In early 1945, the federal government started to open the internment
camps where it had held 120,000 Japanese Americans for much of World War
II. Seven decades later, photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr.
has been tracking down the internees pictured in wartime images by
photographers like Dorothea Lange.
So far, he’s identified more than 50 survivors, often reshooting them in the locations where they were originally photographed.
Army cadet poses for picture near the Dnipro river-crossing operation sculpture panel picture. A lot of people visit the Great Patriotic War museum in Kiev during the celebration of the 70th anniversary of victory over the Nazi Germany.