World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

General Reference - This page will be constantly updated, it will never be finished.  

From various sources

Aryan Race
From Wikipedia

The ideology of Nazism was based upon the conception of the Aryan race being a master race. The Nazi conception of the Aryan race arose from earlier proponents of a supremacist conception of the race as described by racial theorist figures such as Arthur de Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. The Nazis were divided on some parts of the constitution of the Aryan race.

Nazi racial theorist Hans F. K. Günther identified the Aryan race in Europe as having five subtype races: Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic. Günther applied a Nordicist conception that Nordics were the highest in the racial hierarchy amongst these five Aryan subtype races. In his book Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (1922) ("Racial Science of the German People"), Günther recognized Germans as being composed of all five Aryan subtypes, but emphasized the strong Nordic heritage amongst Germans. He defined each racial subtype according to general physical appearance and their psychological qualities including their "racial soul" - referring to their emotional traits and religious beliefs, and provided detailed information on their hair, eye, and skin colours, facial structure. He provided photographs of Germans identified as Nordic in places like Bedan, Stuttgart, Salzburg, and Schwaben; and provided photographs of Germans he identified as Alpine and Mediterranean types, especially in Vorarlberg, Bavaria, and the Black Forest region of Baden. Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler read Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes that influenced his racial policy, and with Nazi backing, Günther attained a position in the anthropology department at the University of Jena in 1932 where Hitler attended Günther's inaugural lecture at Jena.

Günther distinguished Aryans from Jews, and identified Jews as descending from non-European races, and particularly what he classified as the Near Asian race (Vorderasiatische) more commonly known as the Armenoid race, and said that such origins rendered Jews as fundamentally different and incompatible with Germans and most Europeans. This association of Jews with the Armenoid type had been utilized by Zionist Jews who claimed that Jews were a group within that type. He claimed that the Near Eastern race descended from the Caucasus in the fifth and fourth millennia BC, and that it had expanded into Asia Minor and Mesopotamia and eventually to the west coat of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Aside from ascribing Armenians and Jews as having Near Eastern characteristics, he ascribed them to several other contemporary peoples, including: Greeks, Turks, Syrians, and Iranians.

In his work Racial Characteristics of the Jewish People, he defined the racial soul of the Near Eastern race as emphasizing a "commercial spirit" (Handelgeist), and describing them as "artful traders" - a term that Gunther ascribed as being used by Jewish racial theorist Samuel Weissenberg to describe contemporary Armenians, Greeks, and Jews. Günther added to that description of the Near Eastern type being commercially spirited and artful traders, that the type held strong psychological manipulation skills that aided them in trade. He claimed that the Near Eastern race had been "bred not so much for the conquest and exploitation of nature as it was for the conquest and exploitation of people".

Hitler's conception of the Aryan race explicitly excluded the vast majority of Slavs from being part of the master race, regarding Slavs as having dangerous Jewish and Asiatic influences, which made them belong to Jewish Bolshevism. The Nazis because of this declared Slavs to be untermenschen (subhumans).

Exceptions were made for certain Slavs who were deemed to have sufficient Aryan characteristics. Hitler described Slavs as "a mass of born slaves who feel the need of a master". Hitler declared that because Slavs were subhumans that the Geneva Conventions were not applicable to them, and German soldiers in World War II were thus permitted to ignore the Geneva Conventions in regards to Slavs.  Hitler called Slavs "a rabbit family" meaning they were intrinsically idle and disorganized. Nazi Germany's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels had media speak of Slavs as primitive animals whom were from the Siberian tundra who were like a "dark wave of filth".

The Nazi notion of Slavs being inferior was part of the agenda for creating Lebensraum ("living space") for Germans and other Germanic people in eastern Europe that was initiated during World War II under Generalplan Ost, millions of Germans and other Germanic settlers would be moved into conquered territories of Eastern Europe, while the original Slavic inhabitants were to be annihilated, removed, or enslaved. Nazi Germany's ally the Independent State of Croatia rejected the common conception that Croats were primarily a Slavic people and claimed that Croats were primarily the descendents of the Germanic Goths. However the Nazi regime continued to classify Croats as "subhuman" in spite of the alliance.

Nazi Germany's policy changed towards Slavs in response to military manpower shortages, in which it accepted Slavs to serve in its armed forces within occupied territories, in spite of them being considered subhuman, as a pragmatic means to resolve such manpower shortages.

The Ahnenpass which was said to be "documented proof of one's Aryan lineage" stated that "wherever they might live in the world" Aryans were "e.g. an Englishman or a Swede, a Frenchman or a Czech, a Pole or an Italian". Hitler often doubted whether Czechs were Aryan or not, he said in his table talk "It is enough for a Czech to grow a moustache for anyone to see, from the way the thing droops, that his origin is Mongoloian.

After the occupation of Poland, most Poles were regarded as untermenschen to be used by Germany as manual labourers. The question of whether Italians were Aryan enough was questioned by the Nazi racial theorists, Hitler viewed northern Italians as strongly Aryan but not southern Italians. The Nazis viewed the downfall of the Roman Empire as being the result of the pollution of blood from racial intermixing, claiming that Italians were a hybrid of races, including black African races. Hitler even mentioned his view of the presence of Negroid blood in the Mediterranean peoples during his first meeting with Mussolini in 1934.

German Interior Ministry official Albert Gorter drafted an official definition of the Aryan Race for the new Civil Service Law that included European Aryans and Asian Aryans of the subtype race known as Irano-Afghan. However Achim Gerke revised Gorter's draft of the Civil Service Law by removing such contemporary Asian people from the definition of the Aryan race, as they were considered too foreign to be connected with the Aryan Race as in Europe.

The idea of the Northern origins of the Aryans was particularly influential in Germany. It was widely believed that the "Vedic Aryans" were ethnically identical to the Goths, Vandals and other ancient Germanic peoples of the Völkerwanderung. This idea was often intertwined with antisemitic ideas. The distinctions between the "Aryan" and "Semitic" peoples were based on the aforementioned linguistic and ethnic history. A complete, highly speculative theory of Aryan and anti-Semitic history can be found in Alfred Rosenberg's major work, The Myth of the Twentieth Century. Rosenberg's account of ancient history, melded with his racial speculations, proved to be very effective in spreading racialism among German intellectuals in the early twentieth century, especially after the First World War.

Semitic peoples came to be seen as a foreign presence within Aryan societies, and the Semitic peoples were often pointed to as the cause of conversion and destruction of social order and values leading to culture and civilization's downfall by proto-Nazi theorists such as Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
These and other ideas evolved into the Nazi use of the term "Aryan race" to refer to what they saw as being a master race, which was narrowly defined by the Nazis as being identical with the Nordic race, followed by other sub-races of the Aryan race. They worked to maintain the purity of this race through eugenics programs (including anti-miscegenation legislation, compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and the mentally deficient, the execution of the institutionalized mentally ill as part of a euthanasia program).

Heinrich Himmler (the Reichsführer of the SS), the person ordered by Adolf Hitler to implement the Final Solution, or The Holocaust, told his personal masseur Felix Kersten that he always carried with him a copy of the ancient Aryan scripture, the Bhagavad Gita because it relieved him of guilt about what he was doing – he felt that like the warrior Arjuna, he was simply doing his duty without attachment to his actions.


Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945 and the second on August 9, 1945.

For six months, the United States had made use of intense strategic fire-bombing of 67 Japanese cities. Together with the United Kingdom, and the Republic of China the United States called for a surrender of Japan in the Potsdam Declaration. The Japanese government ignored this ultimatum. By executive order of President Harry S. Truman, the U.S. dropped the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed by the detonation of "Fat Man" over Nagasaki on August 9. These two events are the only active deployments of nuclear weapons in war. The target of Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance, containing Japan's Second Army Headquarters, as well as being a communications centre and storage depot.

Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total immediate and short-term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.

Six days after the detonation over Nagasaki, on August 15, Japan announced its surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, officially ending the Pacific War and therefore World War II. Germany had signed its Instrument of Surrender on May 7, ending the war in Europe. The bombings led, in part, to post-war Japan adopting Three Non-Nuclear Principles, forbidding the nation from nuclear armament. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the U.S.'s ethical justification for them, as well as their strategical importance, is still debated.

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Battle of the Bulge - Ardennes Offensive

The Battle of the Bulge (also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Von Rundstedt Offensive)  was a major German offensive (die Ardennenoffensive), which occurred toward the end of World War II (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) in the thickly forested Ardennes Mountains region of Wallonia in Belgium; France and Luxembourg on the Western Front. The Wehrmacht's code name for the battle was Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein ("Operation Watch on the Rhine"), after the German patriotic hymn Die Wacht am Rhein. It was officially known as the Ardennes-Alsace campaign by the American Army, but it was more colloquially known as the Battle of the Bulge, the "bulge" being the initial invasion the Germans put into the Allies' line of advance.

The German invasion was supported by several secondary operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Greif, and Währung. Germany's aim for these operations was to divide the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, and then continue to surround and annihilate four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to agree a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favour.

The attack was planned with the highest secrecy, curtailing radio communication and shifting of troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Although ULTRA suggested a possible attack, and the Third U.S. Army's intelligence staffs forecasted a key German offensive, the Allies were still surprised. This was attained by a blend of Allied overconfidence, worry about their own offensive plans, and poor aerial exploration.

Almost complete surprise against a poorly defended part of the Allied line was achieved during heavy cloudy weather, which grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance, particularly around the town of Bastogne, and topography that favoured the defenders threw the German schedule behind their intended agenda. Allied reinforcements, including General George Patton's Third Army, and recovering weather, which allowed air attacks on German forces and supply lines, sealed the failure of the offensive.

Following the defeat, many German units were left ruthlessly depleted of men and equipment as survivors retreated to the defences of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 500,000 to 840,000 men, and some 70,000 to 89,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed, the Battle of the Bulge was the single largest and bloodiest battle that they fought in World War II.

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British Union of Fascists (BUF)

In 1931 Oswald Mosley founded the New Party. Early supporters included John Strachey, John Becket, Harold Nicholson, Cyril Joad, William Joyce, Mary Richardson, William Allen, Robert Forgan and A. K. Chesterton, but in the 1931 General Election none of the New Party's candidates were elected. In January 1932 Mosley met Benito Mussolini in Italy. Mosley was impressed by Mussolini's achievements and when he returned to England he disbanded the New Party and replaced it with the British Union of Fascists.

The British Union of Fascists was strongly anti-communist and argued for a programme of economic revival based on government spending and protectionism. Mary Richardson later commented: "I was first attracted to the Blackshirts because I saw in them the courage, the action, the loyalty, the gift of service, and the ability to serve which I had known in the suffrage movement". In October, 1932, Mosley published The Greater Britain, his manifesto for a Fascist state.



Mosley attracted members from other right-wing groups such as the British Fascisti, National Fascists and the Imperial Fascist League. By 1934 the BUF had 40,000 members and was able to establish its own drinking clubs and football teams. The BUF also gained the support of Lord Rothermere and the Daily Mail. Oswald Mosley appointed William Joyce as the party full-time Propaganda Director. Joyce, along with Mosley and

Mick Clarke, were the organisations three main public speakers. On 7th June, 1934, the British Union of Fascists held a large rally at Olympia. About 500 anti-fascists including Margaret Storm Jameson, Vera Brittain, Richard Sheppard and Aldous Huxley, managed to get inside the hall. When they began heckling Mosley they were attacked by 1,000 black-shirted stewards.

Several of the protesters were badly beaten by the fascists. Jameson argued in The Daily Telegraph: "A young woman carried past me by five Blackshirts, her clothes half torn off and her mouth and nose closed by the large hand of one; her head was forced back by the pressure and she must have been in considerable pain. I mention her especially since I have seen a reference to the delicacy with which women interrupters were left to women Blackshirts. This is merely untrue... Why train decent young men to indulge in such peculiarly nasty brutality? There was a public outcry about this violence and Lord Rothermere and his Daily Mail withdrew its support of the BUF. Over the next few months membership went into decline.

The popularity of the BUP declined even further after the outbreak of the Second World War. On 22nd May 1940 the British government announced the imposition of Defence Regulation 18B. This legislation gave the Home Secretary the right to imprison without trial anybody he believed likely to "endanger the safety of the realm". The following day, Oswald Mosley was arrested. Over the next few days other prominent figures in the BUF were imprisoned. On the 30th May the BUF was dissolved and its publications were banned.

Norah Elam joined the British Union of Fascist (BUF) in 1934. Later that year she became the BUF County Women's Officer for West Sussex. It was not long before Elam became very close to Oswald Mosley. The author of Femine Fascism: Women in Britain's Fascist Movement (2003) has pointed out: "Elam's status in the BUF and the sensitive tasks with which she was entrusted offer some substance to the BUF's claim to respect sexual equality. While, in principle, the movement was segregated by gender and women in positions of leadership were meant to have authority only over other women. Elam was quite evidently admitted to Mosley's inner circle." 

While, in principle, the movement was segregated by gender and women in positions of leadership were meant to have authority only over other women. Elam was quite evidently admitted to Mosley's inner circle." 

In November 1936 Norah Elam was one of ten women the British Union of Fascists announced would be candidates in the next general election. Elam was selected to fight the Northampton constituency. Mosley used Norah's past as one of the leaders of the Women's Social and Political Union to counter the criticism that the BUF was anti-feminist. In one speech Norah Elam argued that her prospective candidacy for the House of Commons "killed for all time the suggestion that National Socialism proposed putting British women back in the home".

Under the influence of William Joyce the BUP became increasingly anti-Semitic. In December, 1934 it became official policy. The verbal attacks on the Jewish community led to violence at meetings and demonstrations. In November 1936 a serious riot took place when left-wing organisations successfully stopped Mosley marching through the Jewish areas of London.

The activities of the BUF was checked by the passing of the 1936 Public Order Act. This gave the Home Secretary the power to ban marches in the London area and police chief constables could apply to him for bans elsewhere. This legislation also made it an offence to wear political uniforms and to use threatening and abusive words.

The BUP anti-Semitic policy was popular in certain inner-city areas and in 1937 Joyce came close to defeating the Labour Party candidate in the London County Council election in Shoreditch.

Joyce argued that the BUP should take a more extreme position on racial issues. Mosley disagreed and began to feel that Joyce posed a threat to his leadership. He therefore decided to sack Joyce as Propaganda Director. In an attempt to save money another 142 staff members also lost their jobs.

In 1938 several members of the BUF left the organization and founded the National Socialist League. This included John Becket, William Joyce, William Allen, Robert Forgan and A. K. Chesterton.


 Chancellor of Germany

The Chancellor of Germany (known in German as Bundeskanzler ("Federal Chancellor"), or Kanzler for short) is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany. It is historically a continuation of the office of Chancellor (German: Kanzler, later Reichskanzler) that was originally established as the office of Chancellor of the North German Confederation in 1867. The 1949 constitution increased the role of the Chancellor compared to the 1919 Weimar Constitution.[citation needed] The role is generally comparable to that of Prime Minister in other parliamentary democracies.

Chicago's Midway Airport

Chicago Municipal Airport, important to the war efforts in World War II, was renamed Chicago Midway International Airport (or simply Midway Airport) in 1949 in honor of the battle. 

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Fifth Column

People like Archibald Ramsay and Barry Domville were described as members of the Fifth Column (a group within a nation or faction that sympathizes with and works secretly for the enemy). During the Blitz the government began to arrest more and more people they considered to be supporting the enemy. By August 1940 there were over 1,600 people had been arrested and were being held in detention without trial.

People were also persecuted for Fifth Column offences. In June 1940 a school teacher who was imprisoned for "advancing defeatist theories" to his pupils. It was reported that he told his pupils that the Germans would land in Ireland and blockade the United Kingdom, and that the children would be reduced to eating cats and dogs.

In 1940 William Saxon-Steer, a member of the British Union of Fascists, was caught posting details of a Nazi 'New British Broadcasting Station' in a telephone kiosk. He was found guilty and sentenced at the Old Bailey to seven years in prison.

MI5 also infiltrated pacifist groups such as the Peace Pledge Union. In June 1940 six members of the PPU were arrested and charged with causing disaffection by publishing the poster, 'War will cease when men refuse to fight. What are you going to do about it?' The six, Alexander Wood, Morris Rowntree, Stuart Morris, John Barclay, Ronald Smith and Sidney Todd, were defended by John Platts-Mills and he managed to save them from going to prison.

In July 1940 a 25 year old aircraftwoman was arrested for starting false rumours about a German invasion. A man claimed he heard her say in a cafe that German parachutists had landed in England. The woman was guilty and sentenced to three months in prison.

That month also saw the arrest of Marie Louise Ingram and William Swift in Southsea. Ingram, the wife of a senior officer in the Royal Navy, was accused of persuading Swift to recruit Nazi sympathizers into the Home Guard. Ingram and Swift, both members of the British Union of Fascists, were both found guilty of various Defence Regulations charges. Swift was sentenced to fourteen years' imprisonment. Ingram, who had been born in Germany, received ten years.

By the summer of 1941 only 400 people were still being detained under Defence Regulation 18B. In November, 1943, Herbert Morrisoncontroversially decided to order the release of Oswald Mosley from prison. There were large-scale protests and even his sister-in-law, Jessica Mitford, described the decision as "a slap in the face of anti-fascists in every country and a direct betrayal of those who have died for the cause of anti-fascism."

At the end of the Second World War, two prominent supporters of the British Union of Fascists who had fled to Nazi Germany were arrested and tried for treason. John Amery (December, 1945) and William Joyce (January, 1946) were both executed.

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LORENZ

The German Lorenz cipher system

The German Army High Command asked the Lorenz company to produce for them a high security teleprinter cipher machine to enable them to communicate by radio in complete secrecy.

The Lorenz company designed a cipher machine based on the additive method for enciphering teleprinter messages invented in 1918 by Gilbert Vernam in America.

Teleprinters are not based on the 26-letter alphabet and Morse code on which the Enigma depended. Teleprinters use the 32-symbol Baudot code. Note that the Baudot code output consists of five channels each of which is a stream of bits which can be represented as no-hole or hole, 0 or 1, dot or cross.


The Vernam system enciphered the message text by adding to it, character by character, a set of obscuring characters thus producing the enciphered characters which were transmitted to the intended recipient. The simplicity of Vernam's system lay in the fact that the obscuring characters were added in a rather special way (known as modulo-2 addition). Then exactly the same obscuring characters, added also by modulo-2 addtion to the received enciphered characters, would cancel out the obscuring characters and leave the original message characters which could then be printed.

The working of modulo-2 addition is exactly the same as the XOR operation in logic.

If A is the plain-text character, and C the obscuring character, then in the table below, F is the cipher-text character. You can also see from this table that the addition of C to F brings you back to A again:

A + C = F      F + C = A

x + . = x      x + . = x
x + x = .      . + x = x
. + x = x      x + x = .
. + x = x      x + x = .
. + . = .      . + . = .

Vernam proposed that the obscuring characters should be completely random and pre-punched on to paper tape to be consumed character by character in synchrony with the input message characters. Such a cipher system (a 'one-time pad system') using purely random obscuring characters is unbreakable.

The difficulty was how to ensure, in a hot war situation, that the same random character tapes were available at each end of a communications link and that they were both set to the same start position. 

 



The Lorenz company decided that it would be operationally easier to construct a machine to generate the obscuring character sequence. Because it was a machine it could not generate a completely random sequence of characters. It generated what is known as a pseudo-random sequence. Unfortunately for the German Army it was more "pseudo" than random and that was how it was broken.

The amazing thing about Lorenz is that the code breakers in Bletchley Park never saw an actual Lorenz machine until right at the end of the war but they had been breaking the Lorenz cipher for two and a half years. 

The first intercepts

The teleprinter signals being transmitted by the Germans, and enciphered using Lorenz, were first heard in early 1940 by a group of policemen on the South Coast who were listening out for possible German spy transmissions from inside the UK.

Brigadier John Tiltman, one of the top codebreakers in Bletchley Park, took a particular interest in these enciphered teleprinter messages. They were given the code name "Fish". The messages which (as was later found out) were enciphered using the Lorenz machine, were known as "Tunny". Tiltman knew of the Vernam system and soon identified these messages as being enciphered in the Vernam manner.

Because the Vernam system depended on addition of characters, Tiltman reasoned that if the operators made a mistake and used the same Lorenz machine starts for two messages (a depth), then by adding the two cipher texts together character by character, the obscuring character sequence would disappear. He would then be left with a sequence of characters each of which represented the addition of the two characters in the original German message texts. For two completely different messages it is virtually impossible to assign the correct characters to each message. Just small sections at the start could be derived but not complete messages.

The German mistake

As the number of intercepts, now being made at Knockholt in Kent, increased a section was formed in Bletchley Park headed by Major Ralph Tester and known as the Testery. A number of Depths were intercepted but not much headway had been made into breaking the cipher until the Germans made one horrendous mistake. It was on 30 August 1941. A German operator had a long message of nearly 4,000 characters to be sent from one part of the German Army High command to another — probably Athens to Vienna. He correctly set up his Lorenz machine and then sent a twelve letter indicator, using the German names, to the operator at the receiving end. This operator then set his Lorenz machine and asked the operator at the sending end to start sending his message. After nearly 4,000 characters had been keyed in at the sending end, by hand, the operator at the receiving end sent back by radio the equivalent, in German, of "didn't get that — send it again".

They now both put their Lorenz machines back to the same start position. Absolutely forbidden, but they did it. The operator at the sending end then began to key in the message again, by hand. If he had been an automaton and used exactly the same key strokes as the first time then all the interceptors would have got would have been two identical copies of the cipher text. Input the same — machines generating the same obscuring characters — same cipher text. But being only human and being thoroughly disgusted at having to key it all again, the sending operator began to make differences in the second message compared to the first.

The message began with that well known German phrase SPRUCHNUMMER — "message number" in English. The first time the operator keyed in S P R U C H N U M M E R. The second time he keyed in S P R U C H N R and then the rest of the message text. Now NR means the same as NUMMER, so what difference did that make? It meant that immediately following the N the two texts were different. But the machines were generating the same obscuring sequence, therefore the cipher texts were different from that point on.

The interceptors at Knockholt realised the possible importance of these two messages because the twelve letter indicators were the same. They were sent post-haste to John Tiltman at Bletchley Park. Tiltman applied the same additive technique to this pair as he had to previous Depths. But this time he was able to get much further with working out the actual message texts because when he tried SPRUCHNUMMER at the start he immediately spotted that the second message was nearly identical to the first. Thus the combined errors of having the machines back to the same start position and the text being re-keyed with just slight differences enabled Tiltman to recover completely both texts. The second one was about 500 characters shorter than the first where the German operator had been saving his fingers. This fact also allowed Tiltman to assign the correct message to its original cipher text.

Now Tiltman could add together, character by character, the corresponding cipher and message texts revealing for the first time a long stretch of the obscuring character sequence being generated by this German cipher machine. He did not know how the machine did it, but he knew that this was what it was generating!

The dénouement

John Tiltman then gave this long stretch of obscuring characters to a young chemistry graduate, Bill Tutte, who had recently come to Bletchley Park from Cambridge.

Bill Tutte started to write out the bit patterns from each of the five channels in the teleprinter form of the string of obscuring characters at various repetition periods. Remember this was BC, "Before Computers", so he had to write out vast sequences by hand.

When he wrote out the bit patterns from channel one on a repetition of 41, various patterns began to emerge which were more than random. This showed that a repetition period of 41 had some significance in the way the cipher was generated.

Then over the next two months Tutte and other members of the Research section worked out the complete logical structure of the cipher machine which we now know as Lorenz:

This was a fantastic tour de force and at the beginning of 1942 the Post Office Research Labs at Dollis Hill were asked to produce an implementation of the logic worked out by Bill Tutte & Co.

Frank Morrell produced a rack of uniselectors and relays which emulated the logic. It was called "Tunny". So now when the manual code breakers in the Testery had laboriously worked out the settings used for a particular message, these settings could be plugged up on Tunny and the cipher text read in.

If the codebreakers had got it right, out came German. But it was taking four to six weeks to work out the settings. This meant that although they had proved that technically they could break Tunny, by the time the messages were decoded the information in them was too stale to be operationally useful.

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MAGINOT LINE

The Maginot Line was a line of concrete and steel defences that stretched between Luxembourg and Switzerland along France's border with Germany. The defensive system had originally been proposed by Joseph Joffre and was built between 1930 and 1935. It had three interdependent fortified belts with anti-tank emplacements and pillboxes standing in front of bombproof artillery casements. Named after Andre Maginot, the French war minister at the time, it cost 7,000 million francs to build and was claimed at the time to provide an impregnable defence against the German Army.

However, when Adolf Hitler ordered the Western Offensive in the spring of 1940, the German armed forces invaded France through the heavily wooded and semi-mountainous area of the Ardennes, an area, north of the Maginot Line. The French military had wrongly believed that the Ardennes was impassable to tanks. Seven panzer divisions led by Heinz Guderian and Erwin Rommel reached the Meuse River at Dinant on 12th May and the following day the French government was forced to abandon Paris.

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Manhatten Project

The secret U.S. project to create the first atomic weapon was known as the Manhattan Project. Working in collaboration with the United Kingdom and Canada, with their respective projects Tube Alloys and Chalk River Laboratories, the project designed and built the first atomic bombs. The scientific research was directed by American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the overall project was under the authority of General Leslie Groves, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Hiroshima bomb, a gun-type bomb called "Little Boy," was made with uranium-235, a rare isotope of uranium extracted in giant factories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The atomic bomb was first tested at Trinity Site, on July 16, 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The test weapon, "the gadget," and the Nagasaki bomb, "Fat Man," were both implosion-type devices made primarily of plutonium-239, a synthetic element created in nuclear reactors at Hanford, Washington. Preliminary research began in 1939, originally because of fear that Nazi Germany would develop atomic weapons first. By early 1945, the defeat of Germany caused attention to turn to possible use against the Japanese.

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Monte Cassino

The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle for Rome) was a expensive series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies with the aim of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.

Early in 1944, the western section of the Winter Line was being secured by Germans holding the Rapido, Liri and Garigliano valleys and individual surrounding peaks and ridges, collectively known as the Gustav Line. The Germans had not occupied the historic hilltop abbey of Monte Cassino, founded in AD 524 by Benedict of Nursia that dominated Cassino and the accesses to the Liri and Rapido valleys, although they manned defensive positions set into the steep slopes below the abbey walls. On 15 February, the monastery, was destroyed by 1,400 tons of bombs dropped by American bombers. The bombing was based on the fear that the abbey was being used as a lookout post for the German guards. Following the bombing by two days, German paratroopers took up positions in the ruins; the destruction caused by the bombing and the resulting jagged wasteland of rubble gave troops better protection from air and missiles attack, making it a better defensive position.

From 17 January to 18 May, the Gustav defences were assaulted four times by Allied troops. The Allies gathered 20 divisions for a major attack along a twenty mile front and drove the German defenders from their positions, but at a extreme cost.

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The Reichstag

The Reichstag (German for "National Diet" or "Imperial Diet") was the parliament of the North German Confederation (1867–1870), and of the German Reich (1871–1945).
German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. AnotherThe Reichstag (German for "National Diet" or "Imperial Diet") was the parliament of the North German Confederation (1867–1870), and of the German Reich (1871–1945).
German constitution commentators consider only the Reichstag and now the Bundestag the German parliament. Another organ dealt with legislation too, in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat. The Bundesrat or Reichsrat represents the German states.
After the collapse of the Empire in 1806, the term was subsequently used for the Parliament of the 1849 Frankfurt constitution draft that never came into effect, the Parliament of the North German Confederation from 1867–1871 and finally that of the 1871 German Empire. Eligible to vote were all male Germans over 25 years. According to contemporary standards this was considered a modern and progressive parliament.[1] The deputies were chosen in one member constituencies, with majority vote. If necessary, a second vote took place.
The Reichstag had no formal right to install or dismiss the government. Legislation was shared between both the Reichstag and the (then) Bundesrat, which was the council of the reigning princes of the German states.
 organ dealt with legislation too, in 1867-1918 the Bundesrat, in 1919–1933 the Reichsrat and from 1949 on the Bundesrat. The Bundesrat or Reichsrat represents the German states.
After the collapse of the Empire in 1806, the term was subsequently used for the Parliament of the 1849 Frankfurt constitution draft that never came into effect, the Parliament of the North German Confederation from 1867–1871 and finally that of the 1871 German Empire. Eligible to vote were all male Germans over 25 years. According to contemporary standards this was considered a modern and progressive parliament.[1] The deputies were chosen in one member constituencies, with majority vote. If necessary, a second vote took place.
The Reichstag had no formal right to install or dismiss the government. Legislation was shared between both the Reichstag and the (then) Bundesrat, which was the council of the reigning princes of the German states.


The Reichstag Building is a historical edifice in Berlin, Germany, constructed to house the Reichstag, parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire supposedly set by Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe. During the Nazi era, the few meetings of members of the Reichstag as a group were held in the Kroll Opera House. After the Second World War the Reichstag building fell into disuse as the parliament of the German Democratic Republic met in the Palace of the Republic in East Berlin and the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany met in the Bundeshaus in Bonn.

The Reichstag as a parliament dates back to the Holy Roman Empire and ceased to act as a true parliament in the years of the Nazi regime (1933–1945). In today's usage, the German term Reichstag or Reichstagsgebäude (Reichstag building) refers to the building, while the term Bundestag refers to the institution.

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The Siegfried Line

The Siegfried line (German: Siegfriedstellung) was a line of forts and tank defences created by the Germans as a part of the Hindenburg Line 1916–1917 in northern France during World War I. The Siegfried line is more widely recognised as the comparable World War II protective line, built during the 1930s, opposite the French Maginot Line, which served a similar purpose. The Germans called this the Westwall, but the Allies changed it after the First World War. Here, we are to refer to the second Siegfried line.

The Siegfried Line stretched more than 630 km (390 mi) with more than 18,000 bunkers, tunnels and tank traps. It went from Kleve on the border with the Netherlands, along the western border of the old German Empire as far as Weil am Rhein on the border with Switzerland. Adolf Hitler plotted the line from 1936 and had it built between 1938 and 1940. This followed  the breaking of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties the Nazis.

The Siegfried Line was the subject of a popular British song of 1939 which fitted the mood of the time for the troops marching off to France:

We're going to hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line.
Have you any dirty washing, mother dear?
We're gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
'Cause the washing day is here.
Whether the weather may be wet or fine
We'll just rub along without a care.
We're going to hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
If the Siegfried Line's still there ...

 

Americans crossing Siegfried Line


The Siegfried Line was the subject of a popular British song of 1939 which fitted the mood of the time for the troops marching off to France:

We're going to hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line.
Have you any dirty washing, mother dear?
We're gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
'Cause the washing day is here.
Whether the weather may be wet or fine
We'll just rub along without a care.
We're going to hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
If the Siegfried Line's still there ...

Zyklon B is a cyanide-based poisonous gas which interferes with cellular respiration. Specifically, it prevents the cell from producing ATP by binding to the one of the proteins involved in the electron transport chain. This protein, cytochrome c oxidase, contains several subunits and has ligands containing iron groups. At one of these iron groups, heme a3, the cyanide component of Zyklon B can bind, forming a more stabilized compound through metal-to-ligand pi bonding. As a result of this new iron-cyanide complex, the electrons which would situate themselves on the heme a3 group can no longer do so. Instead, because of the new bond formed between the iron and the cyanide, these electrons would actually destabilize the compound (based on molecular orbital theory); thus, the heme group will no longer accept them. Consequently, electron transport is halted, and the cell can no longer produce the energy needed to synthesize ATP. 

Use By The Nazis

Zyklon B was used by Nazi Germany to poison prisoners in the gas chambers of their network of extermination camps throughout Europe. Zyklon B was used at Auschwitz Birkenau, Majdanek, Sachsenhausen and one of the Operation Reinhard camps [which one?]. At the other extermination camps, carbon monoxide from engine exhaust was used in the gas chambers or mobile gas vans. Most of the victims were Jews and the Zyklon B gas became a central symbol of the Holocaust.

Zyklon B was used in the concentration camps also for delousing to control typhus. The chemical used in the gas chambers was deliberately made without the warning odorant. In quantitative terms, more than 95% of the Zyklon B delivered to Auschwitz was used for delousing and less than 5% in the homicidal gas chambers.

In January or February 1940, 250 Gypsy children from Brno in the Buchenwald concentration camp were used as guinea pigs for testing the Zyklon B gas. On September 3, 1941, around 600 Soviet prisoners of war and 250 sick Polish prisoners were gassed with Zyklon B at Auschwitz camp I; this was the first experiment with the gas at Auschwitz. The experiments lasted more than 20 hours.

According to Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz, bunker 1 held 800 people, and bunker 2 held 1,200. Once the chamber was full, the doors were screwed shut and solid pellets of Zyklon B were dropped into the chambers through vents in the side walls, releasing the cyanide gas. Those inside died within 20 minutes; the speed of death depended on how close the inmate was standing to a gas vent, according to Höss, who estimated that about one third of the victims died immediately. Johann Kremer, an SS doctor who oversaw the gassings, testified that: "Shouting and screaming of the victims could be heard through the opening and it was clear that they fought for their lives." When they were removed, if the chamber had been very congested, as they often were, the victims were found half-squatting, their skin coloured pink with red and green spots, some foaming at the mouth or bleeding from the ears.