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Germans Invades The Low Countries: 1940. Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

 German soldiers move through Belgium


In a west Belgium town the Germans get a welcome. Is the town Malmedy? May 1940

A German guards Belgian POW

German soldiers cross a Belgian river on a pontoon

German infantry deploys a 20-mm self-propelled gun on the Maastricht-Mopertingen highway

May 11, 1940. Germans capture the Albert Canal in Belgium.

May 16, 1940. A French heavy tank Char B 1 lays destroyed at the Belgian town of Beaumont


The Char B1 was a specialised heavy break-through vehicle, originally conceived as a self-propelled gun with a 75 mm howitzer in the hull; later a 47 mm gun in a turret was added, to allow it to function also as a Char de Bataille, a "battle tank" fighting enemy armour, equipping the armoured divisions of the Infantry Arm. Starting in the early twenties, its development and production were repeatedly delayed, resulting in a vehicle that was both technologically complex and expensive, and already obsolescent when real mass-production of a derived version, the Char B1 "bis", started in the late thirties. Although a second uparmoured version, the Char B1 "ter", was developed, only two prototypes were built.

Among the most powerfully armed and armoured tanks of its day, the type was very effective in direct confrontations with German armour in 1940 during the Battle of France, but slow speed and high fuel consumption made it ill-adapted to the war of movement then being fought. After the defeat of France captured Char B1 (bis) would be used by Germany, with some rebuilt as flamethrowers or mechanised artillery.

 A French Char B 1 tank captured by the Germans in Belgium

Another Char B 1 at Beaumont

A German soldier guards the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael

Germans on the streets of Maastricht, Netherlands. May 10, 1940


Germans inspect the damage to the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael

 A German motorcyclist at West Flanders, Belgium

The German army enters Brussels

 Indian soldiers of the British Army in Belgium in May 1940

After the German ultimatum to the city of Rotterdam ended at 10.30 pm May 14, 1940, at 13.22 hours began the bombing of the city. 814 people died.


Rotterdam after the bombing. View after the German bombing of May 14, 1940 from the White House on Station Exchange, Plan C, the Laurens Church and Town Hall in the background

After signing the capitulation, Dutch General Winkelmann

 Dutch volunteers in German service. Swearing in of the first battalion of the WA Volunteer Regiment at Parliament Buildings in The Hague. Netherlands, 11 October 1941

German people living in Amsterdam greeting the troops

Secretary-General and Commissioner for Administration and Justice Friedrich Wimmer (left), SS officers of State and Commissioner General for Administration and Justice Friedrich Wimmer.

German soldiers on the streets of Rotterdam. May 1940
Streets of Rotterdam

The head of the Dutch Nazi Party, Anton Adrian Mussert

Himmler arrives in Luxembourg

Luxembourg. Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler in a conversation with the officers of the Division "Adolf Hitler " at the "Hotel Brasseur"
In May 1940, after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina was forced to leave the country.   In the UK, she led the Netherlands Government in exile.  While in exile, the queen appeared regularly on British radio addressed to those in the occupied territory in Europe. … Here is the text of one of her performances in 1942: "Today, all subjects of the Netherlands commemorated countless compatriots who died in the streets and squares of Amsterdam, Haarlem ... commemorate those who are tormented and tortured by the fascists in the police cells and concentration camps ... loved ones of those who are no longer with us We convey our deepest sympathy ...

 We raised a rebellion in assistance to Jewish families! Because we - the Dutch, are tolerant people. Jewish children were tortured and killed.  That's why we rebelled! “ "

 In their speeches, the Queen often spoke of Hitler as "the enemy of mankind." Winston Churchill called Queen Wilhelmina, "the only man in the Dutch government."
French troops move into Belgium

After the Belgians had capitulated. German and Belgian officers meet at the Belgian Army headquarters to sign the surrender.

German troops march in front of the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium

German soldiers enjoy the sight on the bank of River Maas

Brussels. Germans with surrendered arms of the Belgian army

The British in their hasty retreat left these behind

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Rare, Funny Images From World War Two

Many of the images are not really funny as war is not a very humorous business. Some pictures are indeed funny. Some are very perceptive cartoons from that era. Overall, a lot of rare unseen pictures that enhance our understanding of World War Two.

This Russian soldier is doing in 1945 what a German soldier did in 1941 (In an image he climbs atop a statue of Lenin and tweaks its nose. We will include the image soon).


Hitler and his chauffeur ride through the countryside. Suddenly,  the car runs over a hen . "We must tell the owner about it, - said Hitler." Tell him, I did it. I - the Fuhrer, he'll understand." Two minutes later the driver returned, rubbing his sore back. He had got a thrashing from the farmer.
  Some way further down the road, and a pig comes under the wheels of the car. "At this time you must notify the owner," - said the Fuhrer to the driver. He goes and appears only after an hour, laden with baskets of various gifts. Hitler was impressed: "What did you tell him?" The driver replied: "I told him - Heil, Hitler, the pig died!".

Dream of the Axis powers. But history thought otherwise.


Hitler was extremely suspicious and superstitious.

  One day he summoned the soothsayer to find out his future.

  "My Fuhrer, I can see in my books that you will die on the day of the Jewish holiday."


"No matter what day you die, it will be a big Jewish holiday!"

Even tough warriors gotta eat!


Why did Hitler during the demonstrations hold his hands crossed below the waist?

To protect the last of the unemployed in the Third Reich.

This bomb loaded onto a German bomber is for Churchill


If in a bunker Hitler, Goering and Goebbels sit and it is hit by a shell, who is saved?

Churchill meets Rudolf Hess in his office.

"So! It is you the psychopath!"

Hess replies. "No, I am only his deputy"


Question: Who is the greatest farmer?

Answer: Adolf Hitler - he had 65 million sheep and the world's largest piggery!

Boys will be boys! Snatching time for a game in Russia. These German soldiers were literally skating on thin ice in Russia.

This British cartoon tells history succinctly
These men of the Wehrmacht have a sense of humor!
Yippee! These Germans could have been cowboys!
Even the toughest of men sometimes act like children
A photo which the Western media managers forgot to show us. American soldiers unloading donkeys on the beach in France. Soon after D-Day.
This man is thoroughly sloshed!
These guys don't find it least bit funny. They are about to cross a river.
A bestseller in Nazi Germany! But time was not on Hitler's side.
I wonder how the little guys got into the army?
Horsing around in a lighter moment. German soldiers were human too.
Are they Germans or Romans? Caesar would have nodded in approval.
This German officer is going too far!
I wonder if it is after Stalingrad or Berlin in April 1945. It is not a humorous sight. Many brave men died because they were led on a disastrous path.

An American soldier tries to figure out how to defuse this German device ( a remote bomb) which ran on remote. German military technology was way ahead of those of the Americans and Russians.
This German officer did want his feet wet!
Ahhh! Relief!
Ladies of the Hitler Women. One shudders to think what happened to them in 1945.
These Germans have a juvenile sense of humor.
Sleeping with the bombs.
I wonder where they got the umbrellas from?
The Germans used everything they could lay their hands on!

Dark humor. A cartoon by the Russians. In the last year of the war there were few German soldiers left.
Tough guy!

Not a very glamorous sight!

This cartoon shows the last months of the WW2
This British lady in 1940 believes in safety.
Not a very funny sight. These tough Germans have had a rough time. Perhaps in the dying moments of WW2?
These Americans had to make do with these carts!
How on earth did this happen?

This cartoon says it all.

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"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

History Quotes

May 1945 - If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let lose.

- Ludek Pachmann, Czech Chess-Grand Master and publicist, forty years after the fact.

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"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are."

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.


HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
-- Ambrose Bierce

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.


"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past."

"Patriotism ruins history."

Snippets from History

This short but important battle played a key role in the decision to use atomic bombs when attacking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The battle showed just how far Japanese troops would go to defend their country.

Snippets From History

Paulus didn't give the order to 6th Army to surrender, but his troops no longer had much fight left in them. Resistance faded out over the next two days, with the last die-hards finally calling it quits. One Red Army colonel shouted at a group of prisoners, waving at the ruins all around them: "That's how Berlin is going to look!


History is Philosophy teaching by examples.


"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

Points to Ponder: Why Is China Unstable?

The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.

China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.

READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre