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haphazard_history haphazard_history

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Historians Union  Account focusing around WWII and aviation, as well as anything I find interesting from history! Thank you all for the support!

NOVEMBER 18th, 1918 - ARMISTICE DAY: On this day nearly one hundred years ago, World War One ended. Deemed originally "The Great War" and commonly referred to as "The War to End All Wars," the bitter conflict lasted from 1914 to 1918 and ended just as abruptly as it began. After the war, congress deemed this day "Armistice Day" to commemorate the signing of the end to the fighting and to honor the veterans of the war. During President Dwight Eisenhower's presidency in the 1950s, "Armistice Day" was changed to "Veteran's Day" to remember the sacrifices of all veterans of all wars.
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In this picture, a group of American soldiers ride in a truck, waving American flags during an Armistice Day parade in New York City (mashable.com). It is interesting to see these pictures in comparison to those from the end of World War Two. The pictures of people from World War One often seem so "distant" from us since there are no longer any living World War One veterans/people who really remember the war, because people are dressed so differently than they are today, and because of the often poor image quality. Comparing this event to World War Two, however, puts things into better perspective - these people were simply overjoyed by the news that absolutely horrific warfare on a scale never before seen had ended and that they could resume their lives.
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #veteransday #armisticeday #worldwarone #historiansunion #nyc #newyork

NOVEMBER 4th, 1941 - GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA: On this day 76 years ago, Lockheed test pilot Ralph B. Virden was killed while conducting high speed dive tests in the first Lockheed YP-38 Lightning. While conducting a dive, Virden's P-38 approached the "Critical Mach Number," meaning that it was flying at speeds approaching the speed of sound. As the air flowing over the wings accelerated to transonic speeds, it began to form shock waves and buffeting, interrupting lift and causing the tail of the aircraft to become ineffective. The P-38 was equipped with "servo tabs" to help a pilot regain control under these conditions, but the upward force on the elevator caused the P-38's tail to rip off. Virden was killed in the crash of his YP-38, which burst into flames upon impact with the ground. The tail boom was found several blocks away. The above pictures are a newspaper photograph of the wreckage, as well as a photo of the aircraft before it's destruction. Following the crash, the Air Corps and National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (now NASA) went back to the drawing board and the wind tunnels to try to fix this issue. Brave test pilots like Ralph B. Virden are heroes of the aviation community: They paved the way for future improvements of aircraft and new discoveries. Their willingness to "push the envelope" is the reason why we have advanced technology today. The transonic dive was a serious issue in World War Two, but it could have been worse if it was not for the early flight testing of individuals like Virden (thisdayinaviation.com).
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #therightstuff #airforce #lockheed #testpilot

#Repost @911memorial ・・・
Children dressed in firefighter and police officer costumes are trick-or-treating in this @newyorkermag cover published #onthisday in 2001. Titled “Local Heroes,” @peterdeseve's cover evokes the pride the country felt for the courageous first responders who risked their lives to save others on 9/11. This cover is on view in the #911Museum’s Cover Stories exhibition, which features 33 New Yorker covers that commemorate 9/11 and the loss of the #TwinTowers.
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Courtesy of the artist. #TNYCovers

OCTOBER 14th, 1947 - OVER MUROC (now Edwards) AIR FORCE BASE: Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 he dubbed “Glamorous Glennis.” This picture was from an article written in 1950 by Marvin Miles:
Photo Caption -
“Streaking through the thin air at 25,000 feet, an Air Force B-50 Superfortress suddenly discharges, through her huge bomb bay, a little X-1 research plane which, with its powerful rocket engine, soon darts away from mother ship. Times Reporter Marvin Miles is riding in the B-50, the first newsman ever to do so, and Times Photographer Phil Bath is in a third plane, a jet fighter, to make this extraordinary photograph — the first news photographs ever taken of the drop.”
Article excerpt - “‘Five….four….three….two….one….DROP!’
The bomb shackle opens with a sharp click and the Xy-1 rocket plane falls away from the belly of our B-50 Superfortress at 25,000 feet over Muroc.
Capt. Charles (Chuck) Yeager is away on his last flight in the bright orange bullet that on Oct. 14, 1947, carried him streaking through the wall of sound to shatter the legend of sonic invincibility and open a new era in sky history….” (LA Times)
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #therightstuff #airforce

SEPTEMBER 15th, 1940 - “BATTLE OF BRITAIN DAY:” RAF Fighter Command is claiming victory over the Luftwaffe after a day of heavy bombing raids ended in big losses for the enemy. According to the RAF, 176 enemy aircraft were destroyed by fighter planes. At least another nine aircraft were hit by anti-aircraft guns. British casualties were much lighter - only 25 aircraft lost with 13 pilots killed or missing. The Air Ministry says the German losses are the highest since 18 August, five days after the Battle of Britain began in earnest.

Two days later it became clear Hitler had indefinitely postponed Operation Sealion - his plan to invade Britain. British intelligence decoded a message from the German General staff to the officer responsible for loading the transport aircraft earmarked for the invasion ordered him to cease the operation. Without this equipment there could be no invasion.

Air raids continued over London and the south east of England into October and the German bombers inflicted considerable damage and casualties.
But they were also losing planes faster than they could repair or replace them and switched to night-time raids.

As summer gave way to autumn and worsening weather conditions, the Germans realised the RAF could not be beaten in 1940 and as Germany was preparing to attack Russia, Operation Sealion was cancelled.

The actual number of planes lost is far lower than the RAF and Luftwaffe claimed at the time. In fact only 60 German aircraft were shot down on 15 September. In total the RAF claimed to have shot down 2,698 German planes. The actual figure was more like 1,294. The RAF lost 788 planes - far fewer than the 3,058 the Luftwaffe claimed (news.bbc.co.uk)
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The above picture was taken in RAF Fighter Command last year. I had the opportunity to visit the bunker during my trip to Great Britain. The cool thing about the room is that it is set up to look exactly as it did on September 15th, 1940, down to the calendar on the wall and the airfields that were activated that day. If you have the opportunity to go there, I highly recommend you do!
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This post is part of a Battle of Britain timeline series! #haphazardhistory

SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001 - GROUND ZERO, DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN: As a native New Yorker, I felt it necessary to write a brief, albeit late, message about the terrorist attacks of September 11th. To say that the events of that day were a tragedy is an understatement. With no recollection of remembrance of anything other than a dusty construction sight and now the 9/11 Memorial, it is hard for me to fathom that two of the largest buildings in the world once stood in what is now a hole in the skyline. 2,977 innocent lives were taken that day, and since then, hundreds more have perished due to the toxic dust and smoke that they breathed in as they ran toward what others ran from. The picture above is representative of the struggle our first responders faced. In the above picture, the firefighters were standing eighteen feet above the rubble. The two tallest buildings in New York reduced to just eighteen feet. And under that was fire and smoke, and only a handful of survivors.
This picture shows a special significance to me. First, I see the resiliency of America in a very shocking and mournful time. Just like with Pearl Harbor, the "sleeping giant" was awoken. The other significance to this image, on a personal note, is that after seeing this image as a small boy I finally realized what had really happened in Manhattan on that day. In the fall of 2001 or winter of 2002, I went to the grocery store with my mother. The clerk was wearing a button, and on it was the image above. I asked her if I could have it, because, as a three year old, I idolized firefighters. She pulled open a drawer full of these buttons and handed me one. My mother thanked her as I wondered why somebody would have a drawer full of these buttons. It was around this time that I had realized, in my childhood, that things were different; that were damaged as a nation. One of my favorite quotes is, "We weren't old enough to do anything then, but we are old enough to do something now." Learn, educate, remember, and NEVER forget.

AUGUST 25-26, 1940 - BERLIN, GERMANY: As discussed in the last post, on this day, the Royal Air Force bombed Berlin in retaliation for the Luftwaffe attack on London. In the first picture, crews survey the damage to a building in Berlin. In the second picture, Wellington bomber crews are photographed at a press conference after carrying out their mission. It's rather interesting to see the "after" picture from both perspectives (worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com).
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This post is part of a Battle of Britain timeline series!
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #worldwartwo #wwii #military #militaryaviation #airforce #Luftwaffe #Heinkel #dornier #battleofbritain #royalairforceuk #spirfire #hurricane #adlertag #raf #royalairforce

AUGUST 24, 1940 - LONDON, ENGLAND: On this day in 1940, a lost German bomber formation jettisoned its bombs during a night raid on London. Although this appeared to be an accident that occurred in the fog of war, the bombing sparked an immediate counter attack by the British, who bombed Berlin on 25 August. This contributed to the start of London's "blitz," which did not end until 1941. In this picture, taken in the fall of 1940, a milkman is seen walking through rubble, displaying the "Keep calm and carry on" mentality. Although this is an incredible image, it was actually faked. The man in the picture was the camera man's assistant, and he borrowed the milkman uniform from someone. The firefighters and flames in the background are real, however (bentleypriorymuseum.org and rare historical photos.com).
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This post is part of a Battle of Britain timeline series!
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #worldwartwo #wwii #military #militaryaviation #airforce #Luftwaffe #Heinkel #dornier #battleofbritain #royalairforceuk #spirfire #hurricane #adlertag #raf #royalairforce

AUGUST 18th, 1940 - THE HARDEST DAY: On this day, the Luftwaffe tried its utmost to destroy RAF airfields flying 850 sorties involving 2200 aircrew. The RAF resisted with equal vigour flying 927 sorties involving 600 aircrew.

Between lunchtime and teatime, three big Luftwaffe raids were attempted, the first and third by mixed groups of Dornier Do 17, Junkers Ju 88 and Heinkel He 111 bombers, escorted by Messerschmitt Bf 109 and B 110 fighters, and a second by Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers, also escorted by Bf 109s. The targets were the airfields at Kenley, Biggin Hill, Gosport, Ford, Thorney Island, Hornchurch and North Weald, and the radar station at Poling. Although the last wave failed to reach its targets, which were obscured by cloud, the fighting was no less fierce along the route.

The RAF and Fleet Air Arm lost altogether 68 aircraft, 31 in air combat. 69 German aircraft were destroyed or damaged beyond repair (rafmuseum)
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Official photo caption: Soldiers collecting for the Spitfire Fund use the fuselage of a Heinkel He 111 as a focus of interest for locals in a street 'somewhere in south east England', 10 October 1940 (iwm)
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This post is part of a Battle of Britain timeline series!
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #worldwartwo #wwii #military #militaryaviation #airforce #Luftwaffe #Heinkel #dornier #battleofbritain #royalairforceuk #spirfire #hurricane #adlertag #raf #royalairforce

AUGUST 13th, 1940 - SOUTHEAST ENGLAND: On August 13th, Phase Two of the Battle of Britain began - "Adlertag," or "Eagles' Day." As part of this phase, intense Luftwaffe bombing raids focused in on Royal Air Force bases in southeastern England. The end goal, of course, was to knock out the RAF in preparation for a land invasion of Great Britain. Seen in this picture is a Dornier 17 crew receiving a briefing before a mission in the summer of 1940 (picture: ww2today.com).
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This post is part of a Battle of Britain timeline series!
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #worldwartwo #wwii #military #militaryaviation #airforce #Luftwaffe #Heinkel #dornier #battleofbritain #royalairforceuk #spirfire #hurricane #adlertag #raf #royalairforce

JULY 13th, 1977 - THE BLACKOUT OF NEW YORK CITY: On this day 40 years ago, several lightning strikes created a "blackout" of the New York City and most of Westchester County. July 13th is sometimes referred to as "the worst night in New York City's history, as there were thousands of cases of looting and vandalism including arson in the city on the night of the 13th. It took nearly a full day to restore power. "The robbers weren’t shy or afraid of punishment. A lot of different cars were coming close to shops and loading trunks of their cars by stolen goods. On a next day, people can buy a colour TV for 25 dollars or expensive sneakers only for 1 dollar. It was like a nightmare" (newyorkretrospective.com).
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#history #historiansunion #haphazardhistory #dailyhistory #newyorkcity #city #blackout #worldtradecenter #brooklynbridge #manhattan #nyc

JULY 10th, 1940 - LONDON, ENGLAND: The Battle of Britain begins. Over the course of the summer, I will be doing a series of posts to commemorate the Battle of Britain, in an effort to give you an idea of what "the few" and the people they defended went through.
On July 10th, 1940, the Battle of Britain officially began with the first of many German bombing raids. In the above picture, taken on July 14th, a British convoy is bombed on the English Channel. At the outset of the battle, Britain had several advantages: more maneuverable aircraft, an intricate radar system, and the sheer will to protect their homeland. The Germans, however, had more planes, more pilots, and more raw materials such as aluminum. Bombing of convoys like the one in the above picture had a great hand in making precious materials sparse in Britain. The Germans' main goal was to destroy the Royal Air Force in preparation of an invasion of Great Britain by the Wehrmacht. What started with purely strategic attacks eventually turned into attacks meant to break the will of the British people. More on this to follow...
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #worldwartwo #wwii #military #militaryaviation #airforce #Luftwaffe #Heinkel #battleofbritain #royalairforceuk #spirfire #hurricane

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