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People love to read about one of the worst events in history. In a way, this makes no sense—the list below makes for some depressing reading.

But in another way, the list contains reading that is compelling and essential: we need to know our history now, if ever. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser into letting her go to VE-Day. But their targets travel in well-guarded convoys. When contact finally occurs, the hunter quickly becomes the hunted. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams.

Christmas Truce of 1914

But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war…yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.

Full-scale attacks had been driven back. Now they were sending in just five men, each one a specialist in dealing death. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Beyond the prison walls, the war rages.

Inside, a man is found brutally murdered. What follows is a searing portrait of Korea before their civil war, and a testimony to the redemptive power of poetry.

The Biscari Massacre, U.S. War Crime (World War II)

Maximilien Aue has reinvented himself, many years after the war, as a middle-class family man and factory owner in France…Through the eyes of this cultivated yet monstrous man we experience in disturbingly precise detail the horrors of the Second World War and the Nazi genocide of the Jews. And if she can—will she?

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Here they play at being soldiers in what seems to be complete isolation. At its heart is one day in a Japanese slave labour camp in August As the day builds to its horrific climax, Dorrigo Evans battles and fails in his quest to save the lives of his fellow POWs, a man is killed for no reason, and a love story unfolds. This is the story of four Londoners—three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy.

This event was the tipping point for the U. The world was once again at war. With the United States now involved in the war, men were joining the fight by the millions. Women stepped in to fill the empty civilian and military jobs once only seen as jobs for men. They replaced men in assembly lines, factories and defense plants, leading to iconic images like Rosie the Riveter that inspired strength, patriotism and liberation for women.

Women also took part in the war effort abroad, even taking on leading roles behind the camera. She later became the first female war correspondent and the first woman to be allowed to work in combat zones during the war. Army Air Corps, who would later become the famous Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military aviators and helped encourage the eventual integration of the U.

With racial segregation still remaining in U. As the U.

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By the end of the ghetto was sealed off by brick walls, barbed wire and armed guards as other Nazi-occupied Jewish ghettos sprung up throughout Eastern Europe. In April , residents of the Warsaw ghetto staged a revolt to prevent deportation to extermination camps. The Jewish residents were able to stave off the Nazis for an impressive four weeks. However, in the end the Nazi forces destroyed many of the bunkers the residents were hiding in, killing nearly 7, people. The 50, ghetto captives who survived, like this group pictured here, were sent to labor and extermination camps. The photographs that emerged from the Nazi-lead concentration camps are among some of the most horrifying ever produced, let alone during World War II.

This photograph shows a pile of remaining bones at the Nazi concentration camp of Majdanek, the second largest death camp in Poland after Auschwitz. Enemy fire will cut some of them down. Organic injury from blast force? Or neurasthenia, a psychiatric disorder inflicted by the terrors of modern warfare? Yet it was a nervous age, the early 20th century, for the still-recent assault of industrial technology upon age-old sensibilities had given rise to a variety of nervous afflictions.

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As the war dragged on, medical opinion increasingly came to reflect recent advances in psychiatry, and the majority of shell shock cases were perceived as emotional collapse in the face of the unprecedented and hardly imaginable horrors of trench warfare.

There was a convenient practical outcome to this assessment; if the disorder was nervous and not physical, the shellshocked soldier did not warrant a wound stripe, and if unwounded, could be returned to the front. Then when it seemed right on top of us, it did, with a shattering crash that made the earth tremble. It was terrible. The concussion felt like a blow in the face, the stomach and all over; it was like being struck unexpectedly by a huge wave in the ocean. Transferred to a treatment center in Britain or France, the invalided soldier was placed under the care of neurology specialists and recuperated until discharged or returned to the front.

Officers might enjoy a final period of convalescence before being disgorged back into the maw of the war or the working world, gaining strength at some smaller, often privately funded treatment center—some quiet, remote place such as Lennel House, in Coldstream, in the Scottish Borders country. The Lennel Auxiliary Hospital, a private convalescent home for officers, was a country estate owned by Maj. Walter and Lady Clementine Waring that had been transformed, as had many private homes throughout Britain, into a treatment center. The estate included the country house, several farms, and woodlands; before the war, Lennel was celebrated for having the finest Italianate gardens in Britain.

Lennel House is of interest today, however, not for its gardens, but because it preserved a small cache of medical case notes pertaining to shell shock from the First World War. Similarly, 80 percent of U. Army service records from to were lost in a fire at the National Personnel Records Office in St. Louis, Missouri, in Thus, although shell shock was to be the signature injury of the opening war of the modern age, and although its vexed diagnostic status has ramifications for casualties of Iraq and Afghanistan today, relatively little personal medical data from the time of the Great War survives.

The files of the Lennel Auxiliary Hospital, however, now housed in the National Archives of Scotland, had been safeguarded amid other household clutter in the decades after the two world wars in a metal box in the Lennel House basement. In , Maj. The major was in uniform for most of the war, on duty in France, Salonika and Morocco, and it was therefore Lady Clementine who had overseen the transformation of Lennel House into a convalescent home for neurasthenic soldiers.

Generally arriving at Lennel from treatment centers in London and Edinburgh, convalescing officers were received as country house guests. Their common status as officers notwithstanding, the men came from many backgrounds. A number had served at Gallipoli, and all too many had been injured on the Western Front. Life at Lennel was conducted in the familiar and subtly strict routine of the well-run country house, with meals at set times, leisurely pursuits and tea on the terrace. Kept busy throughout the day with country walks, chummy conversation, piano playing, table tennis, fishing, golfing and bicycling, and semiformal meals, each officer nonetheless retired at night to his private room and here confronted, starkly and alone, the condition that had brought him this peaceful interlude in the first place.

Got terribly guilty conscience over having killed Huns. Many treatments abounded for the neurasthenic soldier. The most notorious were undoubtedly Dr. Electric heat baths, milk diets, hypnotism, clamps and machines that mechanically forced stubborn limbs out of their frozen position were other strategies.

As the war settled in, and shell shock—both commotional and emotional—became recognized as one of its primary afflictions, treatment became more sympathetic. Rest, peace and quiet, and modest rehabilitative activities became the established regimen of care, sometimes accompanied by psychotherapy sessions, the skillful administration of which varied from institution to institution and practitioner to practitioner. While the officers at Lennel were clearly under medical supervision, it is not evident what specific treatments they received.

She was, according to her grandson Sir Ilay, an early advocate of occupational therapy—keeping busy.

The Pictures that Defined World War II - HISTORY

Pritchard Taylor, a much-decorated officer, observed. The extent to which blast force was responsible for shell shock is of more than historic interest. According to a Rand Corporation study, 19 percent of U. In , the U.

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The study revealed that limited traumatic brain injury TBI may manifest no overt evidence of trauma—the patient may not even be aware an injury has been sustained. Diagnosis of TBI is additionally vexed by the clinical features—difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, altered moods—that it shares with post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD , a psychiatric syndrome caused by exposure to traumatic events.

So they were ahead of their time. They were betrayed by the stammering and trembling they could not control, the distressing lack of focus, their unmanly depression and lassitude. No list of clinical symptoms, such as the written records preserve, can do justice to the affliction of the shellshocked patient. This is more effectively evoked in the dreadful medical training films of the war, which capture the discordant twitching, uncontrollable shaking and haunting vacant stares.

But we were all brought up to show good manners, not to upset.