Tag: WW2

For outstanding bravery: Civilian honours in the Second World War

Reading time: 7 minutes
The story of civilian honours starts in September 1940, when two new awards, the George Cross and the George Medal, were instituted to recognise the outstanding contribution made by civilians during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. These awards were primarily aimed at those involved in civil defence, such as Air Raid Precautions officers, rescue party workers, fire fighters and casualty and medical service workers. But they also recognised vital work carried out by the police service, gas workers, electricians, train drivers and dockyard workers to keep Britain going in what Winston Churchill described as ‘The Darkest Hour’.

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Traitors to King and Country: Inside the British Free Corps, Hitler’s British Legion

Reading time: 11 minutes
From the moment it took power, the Nazis ruled over a German state possessed of two armies. One was the inheritor of the imperial lineage of the First World War, and the second was the Waffen-SS, which grew from a tiny band of Hitler’s most hardened antisemites to a force of nearly a million men from over two dozen nations before its demise.

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The Blue Division: Franco’s Soldiers on the Eastern Front

Reading time: 12 minutes
From 1939 to 1945, scarcely one of the 99 countries on Earth went untouched. Just 14 nations remained neutral throughout the Second World War, and even those couldn’t completely escape the gravity well of war.
Nor did they all want to. A prelude to the European war – bloody, massive, and unspeakably destructive – had played out in Spain from 1936 until just a few months before Germany invaded Poland in the fall of 1939.

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Australia is still reckoning with a shameful legacy: the resettlement of suspected war criminals after WWII

Reading time: 6 minutes
Around one million Central and Eastern European “displaced persons” were resettled by the United Nations after the second world war in countries such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. This group included soldiers who had fought in German military units, as well as civilian collaborators. The Nazi-led Holocaust had relied on their firepower and administrative skills.

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Earning the Enemy’s Respect: Victoria Cross Recommendations from the Other Side

Reading time: 7 minutes
Many readers will be familiar with the 1964 epic movie Zulu, which depicts the 1879 landmark Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War. In the film, perhaps the most iconic scene takes place at the end of the movie, whereby the Zulu warriors chant in respectful salutation towards the British soldiers before withdrawing after the battle. Moving, cinematic, and honourable, it’s clear why the scene lives so memorably in the hearts of fans today.

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