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Brutal Images From Second World War

War is hell. War is man at his worst. Most bestial. Death. Pain. Violence. 

When the dogs of war are unleashed....

 A dead German soldier lies as a crow has a feast



The Prebilovci Massacre was one of many atrocities perpetrated by the Croatian Ustasha regime in the Independent State of Croatia during the World War II persecution of Serbs. Roughly 650 people, women and children, almost the entire population present at the time in the village of Prebilovci, were slaughtered and thrown into natural pits in Herzegovina.

When it came to pure brutality none could beat the Croatian Ustashi. The Germans were saints in comparison. So shocked was Italian general Alexander Lausanne with the ways of the Ustashi that he fell compelled to write a letter to Mussolini about it. (As if Mussolini cared a hoot about such things!)

"Duce! My boundless loyalty to you, I hope, I have the right in some things to deviate from strict military protocol. Therefore, I hasten to describe to you the one event that occurred three weeks ago in which  I was personally.

Circling the district towns Stolac, Chaplin and Ljubinje (between 60 and 130 km. North of Dubrovnik) - I learnt from our intelligence officers that the Ustashi Pavelic committed a crime in one village (Prebilovci) and as this becomes known, the local Serbs are again worried. I have no words to describe what I found there. In a large school office, I found a teacher stabbed to death and 120 of her students killed!  No child was older than 12 years! The crime was not only inappropriate but it transcends all craziness! Many were beheaded and and their heads were placed on the school benches. The Ustashi had ripped up the stomachs dragged the intestines around and hung them like Christmas garlands from the ceiling and hammered them on the wall with nails! Swarm of flies flew around and because of the unbearable stench nobody could not stay long here.

I noticed an open bag of salt in the corner and to my horror found that the children were cut and salt sprinkled on the wound! And, when we were leaving, I heard children from the back benches moan. I sent two soldiers to see what was wrong who brought back one student who was still alive and breathing with a half dissected neck! I took this poor child in my car to our military hospital, brought it to consciousness and learnt from him the whole truth about the tragedy.

The criminals raped the teacher, a Serbian, (her name Stan Arnautovic) and then killed her in front of the children. Then all girls above eight years were raped. All this time the orchestra played forcefully! To our great shame, the Church of Rome - and a man of God, a local priest, took part in all of this!

The boy we rescued recovered quickly. And as soon as the wound healed, he escaped from the hospital and came to his village to find his relatives. We sent a patrol to find him, but to no avail: We found him stabbed on the doorstep! Of the thousands of souls who lived in the village no one survived! On the same day (as we later found out) when the offense was committed in the school, the Ustashi arrested another 700 villagers of Prebilovci and threw all of them into the pit, or were brutally killed on the way to the pit. Only about 300 men: survived only because they were able to break through the Ustashi cordon around the village and flee to the mountains! 

Killing of Serbs reached such proportions that in those places the corpses contaminated water sources. In a field in Popovo red water flowed from the pit into which 4,000 Serbs were dumped. I am personally convinced that all this brutality leaves an indelible stain on Italy and the conscience of our culture. If there is time we should distance ourselves from the Ustashi."

 Death embraced this German on the road to Rome

 The deceased soldier of the Red Army lies on the road in a suburb of Belgrade Topchidere. Yugoslav partisan fighters of People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia pass by in a three wheel truck.

 An US soldier stands besides the bodies of 36 Belgian women and 22 children who were allegedly murdered by the men of the German Waffen SS Divisions Adolph Hitler and Hohenstaufen.

 This Chinese woman was shot by the Japanese

 This Russian was hanged by the Germans as he was allegedly in touch with the partisans. The Germans are grinning....
 German soldiers near the corpses of executed people in the mining town of Lidice in Czechoslovakia (20 km west of Prague). The reason for the massacre was the killing of Reinhard Heydrich, protector of Bohemia and Moravia, by the Czech underground on May 27, 1942 in Prague. By decree of Gruppenfuehrer SS Carl Hermann Frank, the chief of the SS and police in Prague, the villagers were accused of harboring people who had done the assassination and on June 10 troops of the SS Division "Prinz Eugen" surrounded Lidice. All the male population over 16 years (172 people) were shot, all the buildings of the village was burned and razed to the ground. Women (172) were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, 60 of them died in the camp. Of the children those considered suitable for Germanization were sent to Germany. Others (82) were killed in the Chelmno death camp. Photo taken on  10/06/1942 Location: village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia
This image on the surface is hardly sinister. But delve deep and.... The location? Stalingrad airfield. December 1942. A soldier to be evacuated shares a smoke with Luftwaffe pilots.

A Russian soldier who managed to escape from his tank looks helplessly at his captor. June 24, 1941. The Russian POW either starved to death or were used as slave labor in Germany.

 American soldiers shot by a German sniper in the town of Koblenz, Germany, was left lying with a gun and a grenade in his hand, in March 1945.

A Russian POW in 1941. His face says it all. Anguish at losing, anger and hatred for the invaders and the Russian stubbornness and suffer-but-never-give-up attitude. He is wearing a Budenovka helmet.

1941. Russian civilians and POW are watched over by a Waffen SS soldier. One wonders what happened to them....To Germany as slave labor?

 During Barbarossa. Germans apprehend Soviet soldiers.....

 ......And shoot them.

 American soldiers have just shot dead two SS men riding a German staff car at the SS concentration camp in front of the Murnau. April 29, 1945. The German staff car hit a convoy of armored vehicles of the 12th Armored Division, United States Army. The dead Germans are Brigadef├╝hrer SS Fick Ernst (Ernst Fick), and to his right - his driver. Photo taken: 04/29/1945 Location: Murnau, Germany

Germans prepare to execute Russian soldiers in the Kola Peninsula.

This is during Kursk. A dead German soldier lies besides a destroyed German Heavy Assault Gun,'Ferdinand'. July 15, 1943.

 Evacuation of wounded from the front in Russian winter conditions. District of Vitebsk

February 1943. A dead German soldier on the road to Stalingrad. Death of German ambitions too.

Bodies of German soldiers at the Leningrad front.

Russian civilians killed by German artillery fire. Leningrad. 1943.

Berlin defeated and destroyed. 1945

Killed by the Russians

A dejected Albert Speer after he inspected the damage to a metal plant in 1944 by Allied bombings

Mnay German soldiers were massacred at Korsun in 1944. Stalin demanded the Speedy "Liquidation" of the German Forces Trapped at Korsun before relief Could arrive. General Werner Stemmermann and his Remaining units Determined on a Final breakout. At 0200 hours on January 7 February, as a blizzard raged, Stemmermann's Troops Their finished last supplies and Destroyed guns and lorries, Leaving scenes like this one. There was no place in the columns for the wounded, Who Were killed where They Lay. As the German column moved into open Country, Soviet tanks charged straight into it and Cossacks hunted down and massacred fleeing Germans

Battle of Tarawa. A very bloody battle. Bodies of dead Marines litter the beach after the battle. Tarawa is an atoll located approximately 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. It consists of a series of coral islets that stretch through the ocean in a hook-like fashion. The military importance of Tarawa lay in its strategic location at the gateway of the US drive through the central Pacific towards the Philippines. The largest of Tarawa's islets is Betio measuring less than 3 miles in length and 1/2 mile in width. Here, the Japanese built an airstrip defended by 4,700 troops dug into a labyrinth of pillboxes and bunkers interconnected by tunnels and defended by wire and mines. The task of dislodging this force fell to the Marines of the 2nd Division. The resulting struggle produced one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles in Marine Corps. History The landings began on November 20 and immediately ran into trouble. Coming in at low tide, the assault boats were forced to disgorge their men far from shore. Wading through waist-deep water over piercing, razor-sharp coral, many were cut down by merciless enemy gunfire yards from the beach. Those who made it ashore huddled in the sand, hemmed in by the sea to one side and the Japanese to the other. The next morning, reinforcements made the same perilous journey bringing with them tanks and artillery. By the end of the day the Marines were able to break out from the beach to the inland. The fierce combat continued for another two days. The cost of victory was high for the Marines who suffered nearly 3,000 casualties. The toll was even higher for the Japanese. Of the 4,700 defenders, only 17 survived. Their willingness to fight to the last man foreshadowed the fierceness of the battles to come.

Dead German soldiers at Breslau. 1945. Breslau was turned into a fortress and there was fierce fighting in the last days of the war. Karl Hanke the ruthless Nazi Gauleiter adopted very hard tactics to keep his men fighting and Breslau held out till May 6, 1945. Not only because of Soviet aerial and artillery bombardment, but also as a result of the self-destructive actions of the SS and the NSDAP, 80 to 90 per cent of Breslau was destroyed . . . . after the Soviet capture of the Gandauer airfield, the Wehrmacht destroyed many houses and three churches to build a provisional airstrip 200 to 400 meters wide and two kilometers long.

Two Frenchwomen walk pass a dead German soldier in Cherbourg France. 1944

Winter 1941. Battle Of Moscow. Many German soldiers froze to death in the harsh Russian winter just because Hitler thought he would defeat the Russians before the winter set in.

Russia. These dead German soldiers await burial. The local Russians are digging the graves.

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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