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World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The war involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their complete economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Over 70 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.The total financial cost of the war is estimated at about US$1 trillion,making it the most expensive war as well.

The starting date of the war is generally held to be September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by the United Kingdom, France and the British Dominions; some sources use other starting points, including the Mukden Incident, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, and the Attack on Pearl Harbour. The Allies were victorious, and, as a result, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as the world's leading superpowers. This set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The self determination spawned by the war accelerated decolonization movements in Asia and Africa, while Western Europe itself began moving toward integration.

 

The French Resistance

 is the collective name used for the French resistance movements which fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and the collaborationist Vichy Regime during World War II. Resistance groups comprised small groups of armed men and women (referred to as the maquis when based in rural areas), publishers of underground newspapers, and escape networks that helped Allied soldiers. The Resistance was pulled from all layers and groups of French society, from conservative Roman Catholics (including priests), to liberals, anarchists and communists. Although welcoming in the Nazis in 1939, the vast majority of resisters were, after the invasion of the Soviet Union, communists, a fact glossed over with the beginning of the Cold War.

The French Resistance played a valuable role in facilitating the Allies' rapid advance through France following the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 and Provence on August 15, by providing military intelligence on the Atlantic Wall and Wehrmacht deployments and coordinating acts of sabotage on power, transport and telecommunications networks. It was also politically and morally important for France both during the occupation and for decades after as it provided the country with an inspiring example that stood in marked contrast to the collaboration of the Vichy Regime.

After the landings in Normandy and Provence, resistance combatants were organized more formally into units known as the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). Estimated to have a strength of 100,000 in June 1944, the FFI grew rapidly, doubling by the following month and reaching 400,000 in October of that year. Although the amalgamation of the FFI was in some cases fraught with political difficulty, it was ultimately successful and allowed France to re-establish a reasonably large army of 1.2 million men by VE Day in May 1945.

The armband includes  the 'Croix de Lorraine', chosen by General de Gaulle as the symbol of the resistance.

 

D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar terms. The initial D in D-Day has had various meanings in the past, while more recently it has obtained the connotation of "Day" itself, thereby creating the phrase "Day-Day", or "Day of Days".
By far, the best known D-Day is June 6, 1944 the day on which the Invasion of Normandy began commencing the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II. However, many other invasions and operations had a designated D-Day, both before and after that operation.

The terms D-Day and H-Hour are used for the day and hour on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. They designate the day and hour of the operation when the day and hour have not yet been determined, or where secrecy is essential. There is but one D-Day and one H-Hour for all units participating in a given operation.

When used in combination with figures, and plus or minus signs, these terms indicate the point of time preceding or following a specific action. Thus, H−3 means 3 hours before H-Hour, and D+3 means 3 days after D-Day. H+75 minutes means H-Hour plus 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Planning papers for large-scale operations are made up in detail long before specific dates are set. Thus, orders are issued for the various steps to be carried out on the D-Day or H-Hour minus or plus a certain number of days, hours, or minutes. At the appropriate time, a subsequent order is issued that states the actual day and times.

D-Day for the invasion of Normandy by the Allies was originally set for June 5, 1944, but bad weather and heavy seas caused Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower to delay until June 6 and that date has been popularly referred to ever since by the short title "D-Day". (In French, it is called Le Jour J or, occasionally, Le Choc.) Because of this, planners of later military operations sometimes avoided the term. For example, Douglas MacArthur's invasion of Leyte began on "A-Day", and the invasion of Okinawa began on "L-Day".

The Invasion of Normandy was the invasion and establishment of Allied forces in Normandy, France during Operation Overlord in World War II. It covers from the initial landings on June 6, 1944 until the Allied breakout in mid-July.

It was the largest seaborne invasion at the time, involving over 850,000 troops crossing the English Channel from the United Kingdom to Normandy by the end of June 1944.

Allied land forces that saw combat in Normandy on June 6 came from Canada, Free French Forces, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the weeks following the invasion, Polish forces also participated and there were also contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. Most of the above countries also provided air and naval support, as did the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal Norwegian Navy.

The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, an early morning amphibious landing and during the evening the remaining elements of the parachute divisions landed. The "D-Day" forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth

*information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nazi rulers of Germany began World War II by invading Poland in September 1939 and conquered most of Western Europe except for the United Kingdom and Ireland by the summer of 1940. On June 22, 1941, they invaded the Soviet Union and came close to capturing Moscow in December 1941. However, its fortunes in the war declined by late 1942 and early 1943 when the Allies defeated Nazi forces at Stalingrad and at both El-Alamein and Tunisia in North Africa.

 

Tommy Atkins (often just Tommy) is a term for a common soldier in the British Army that was already well established in the nineteenth century, but is particularly associated with World War I. German soldiers would call out to "Tommy" across no man's land if they wished to speak to a British soldier. French and Commonwealth troops would also call British soldiers "Tommies". In more recent times, the term Tommy Atkins has been used less frequently, although the name "Tom" is occasionally still heard, especially with regard to paratroopers.

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