The aftermath of an air raid.

London was bombed by the Nazis on the 29th of December, 1940. Now world-famous photographer Cecil Beaton took this image after the attack. The bell towers of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City can be seen in the background, showing how close the internationally-renowned building came to being destroyed.

Some of the most famous images of the Second World War (e.g.) involved the cathedral surviving Nazis bombs.

The Western Bell Towers of St Paul’s Cathedral After the Incendiary Raid of 29 December, London.

Cecil Beaton, 'The Western Bell Towers of St Paul's Cathedral After the Incendiary Raid of 29 December, London', 1940.

Advertisements

On this day: Manchester in flames

23rd December 1940: Buildings in Manchester, England burn through the night after a Nazi German air raid. 272 tons of high explosive were dropped on the city that night.

The so-called Manchester Blitz began in August of that year.

Source

Buildings burning in Manchester after a German air raid on the night of 23 December 1940. Second World War Two Black and White Vintage

Vintage Queensland: Labour Day

Labour Day in Australia falls on different dates in different regions. In 2017 the 2nd of October is Labour Day for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia.

These images show celebrations of the day in the state of Queensland.

The Fish Board: Eat More Fish – 1940.

StateLibQld 2 107924 Red Emperor float in the Labour Day procession, Brisbane, 1940. The Fish board - Eat More Fish. Vintage.

State Butcheries: the People’s Business – 1920.

Butchers posing in front of their Labour Day float, Brisbane, 1920 Thomas William Anderson, formerly of Toowoomba, is pictured at the far right.

Brisbane in 1928

StateLibQld_1_104856_Men_posing_next_to_a_Labour_Day_float,_Brisbane,_1938 Men posing next to a Labour Day float, Brisbane, 1938 Queensland Australia Vintage

Preparing a float in Brisbane in 1940.

On this day: a train to Auschwitz

This photograph, dated the 14th of June, 1940, is of mainly political prisoners, as well as both Catholics and Jews, being loaded onto a train in Tarnów, Poland. They were being sent to the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz I.

The first extermination of prisoners at that camp took place in September of 1941.

First_transport_to_Auschwitz_(Tarnów_-_14th_June_1940) Prisoners from the first transport to KL Auschwitz at the train station in Tarnów. The transport was composed mostly of Polish po

On this day: Italy declares war.

Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini stands on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome to declare war on France and Great Britain on the 10th of June, 1940.

Source

Mussolini_DOW_10_June_1940 Italian leader Benito Mussolini delivering his war declaration on France and Great britain from the Palazzo Venezia Balcony in Rome. Fscist dictator.

Meanwhile, in Turin in the north of the country, people gather in a piazza to listen to the declaration on the radio.

Source

Turin-10-6-1940 People in Charles Albert Square, Turin, listening to the radio message of Benito Mussolini from Rome, announcing the italian declaration of war, 10th June 1940.

Wartime Ukrainian Easter

Before, during, and after the Second World War, Ukrainians resisted (often in underground organisations), occupation by both Russia and Germany, as well as military aggression from others including Hungary and Romania. Additionally, the west of Ukraine was under Polish rule before the Soviets invaded. The region suffered heavily during Operation Barbarossa.

These vintage Ukrainian Easter cards are from that turbulent time – note the rifle carried by the man on the horse.

The writing is the typical Easter message for Ukraine, and translates to ‘Christ is Risen’.

American professor Timothy Snyder is a good place to start for information on the most overlooked aspect of the war, particularly his book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.

Easter_card_Ukr_Legion These Easter cards are Ukrainian, and represent the era and the underground forces fighting more than one invader at the same time

Easter_card_ukr_leg These Easter cards are Ukrainian, and represent the era and the underground forces fighting more than one invader at the same time

Mt Vesuvius in 1944

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano on the Gulf of Naples in Italy, had one of its more destructive eruptions in March 1944.

The eruption destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma and Ottaviano. Part of San Giorgio a Cremano was also destroyed.

John Reinhardt, serving in the US Army Air Forces in the Second World War, took this photograph.

mt-vesuvius-erupting-in-march-1944-shot-by-john-reinhardt-b24-tailgunner-is-the-usaaf-in-wwii