Category Archives: World War II

Songs and Music from Auschwitz and Other Concentration Camps

Meagan Flynn, in Washington Post, 17 April 2018, where the title runs thus: “How thousands of songs composed in concentration camps are finding new life”

  Ilse Weber 1903-1944

Ilse Weber, a Jewish poet, was imprisoned at the concentration camp at Terezin in German-occupied Czechoslovakia when she wrote a song called “When I Was Lying Down in Terezin’s Children’s Clinic.” The song was about caring for sick children at the camp where Weber worked as a nurse. She had little-to-no medicine available. But she had her poetry and her music — some of which her husband managed to salvage by hiding the written verses in a garden shed after her death at Auschwitz in 1944.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp 

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A Medical Duo’s Forensic Study of Death in War

R M Coupland 1  and D R Meddings:   “Mortality associated with use of weapons in armed conflicts, wartime atrocities, and civilian mass shootings: literature review,”

9 Aug 14;31999(7207):407-10. 
 doi: 10.1136/bmj.319.7207.407.

Free PMC article

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Aimée  Jonklaas Williams: RAF Pilot in Wartime …. and a Remarkable Life

R.T. conveying a Vale from “City Dweller” …. [it is now revealed that “R.T.” is Roger Thiedeman of Melbourne

In July this year [2000], Aimée  Jonklaas Williams, a woman of Ceylonese birth, died in Spain, just short of her 81st birthday. Her ashes were interred in an English village on July 20. Early in August, in another Sri Lankan newspaper, a close friend using the pseudonym “City Dweller” wrote a moving tribute in celebration of the life of this remarkable woman.

 

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January 6, 2021 · 3:05 pm

Ceylonese Elephants and Labour in Wartime Airfield Construction, 1941-45

Group Captain Kumar Kirinde (SLAF, Retd)

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Epitaphs for War Heroes: The Kranji War Memorial in Singapore

Athanasios Tsakonas has produced a book on the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore entitled In Honour of War Heroes: Colin St Clair Oakes and the Design of Kranji War Memorial ….

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Honouring ALL the Dead in War. Somasiri Devendra’s Ecumenical Epitaph

Somasiri Devendra 

It’s a hundred years since the World War One ended.

It was called “the war to end all wars”, a war “to preserve Democracy”. It was, in fact, fought for nothing more than the needs of a handful of European countries wanting yet bigger pieces of the global pie, fighting each other for it or to deny it to others.

a war cemetery in Europe

British Garrison Cemetery Kandy

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DS Senanayake in the Final Stages of the Independence Struggle

Batapola Man**

Michael, I thought [your article on “Battleships Down: Early Signs in the Decline of British Imperial Power across the Span of the Indian Ocean”] is a very insightful piece that opens up an important and (as far as I know) unexplored dimension of the comparative Lanka-India route to Independence. I am not going to post these comments online because they will just encourage the abusive trolls.

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Pushing the British out of Ceylon, 1918-1956: Issues

Michael Roberts

My essay on “The Basis of British Power” (July 2020) was instigated by articles from Prabath de Silva and Leelananda de Silva on aspects of the Donoughmore Reforms and subsequent developments. Vinod Moonesinghe has seized on secondary dimensions to press some hoary old strands of Trotskyist thinking and to laud (A) the intervention of SWRD Bandaranaike and  the MEP forces for getting rid of British military bases in the 1950s and (B) the radical political messages of the young LSSP politicians who burst onto the scene in the late 1920s and early 1930s.[1] This is linked to the standard Marxist belittling of the achievements of DS Senanayake and associates in the interpretation of the island’s path to independence.

.Vinod RG Senanayake

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Battleships Down: Early Signs in the Decline of British Imperial Power across the Span of the Indian Ocean

Michael Roberts

Prince of Wales (left, front) and Repulse (left, behind) under attack by Japanese aircraft. The destroyer Express in the foreground.

The crew of the sinking Prince of Wales abandoning ship to the destroyer Express. Moments later, the list on Prince of Wales suddenly increased and Express had to withdraw. Observe the barrels of the 5.25 in guns, which were unable to depress low enough to engage attackers due to the list.

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Leadership displayed via Fighting Power … via D-Day And the Normandy Operations

Cross posted at Thoughts on Military History ,  24 September 2011, with this title “Fighting Power as the Arbiter of Leadership Effectiveness”

In an era of fourth generation warfare where the achievement of strategic end-goals lay squarely at the feet of politicians, the application of fighting power as a militaries core war fighting capability is being increasingly questioned with a concentration on Counter Insurgency (COIN) and Peacekeeping Support Operations (PSO). For example, Colonel Gian Gentile has lamented on the death of the US Armor Corps as the US Army moves to an infantry-centric force grounded in population centric COIN.[1] This has left it, in Gentile’s opinion, unable to produce effective fighting power. This raises the important question of how fighting power is defined and how it affects of the study of leadership.

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