11. The Mine Test
“The Mine Test”. Wehrmacht Soldiers Force a Soviet Civilian to Test the Waters. Soviet Union, 1942.
According to historian Christian Ingrao this technique was first used in Belarussia in 1943 by the infamous 36th SS division “Dirlewanger”, a penal SS unit composed of common law criminals, disgraced SS soldiers, poachers, feeble minded, sociopaths and pedophiles recruited among the inmates of concentration camps and used to hunt partisans in the East.
After they began losing men to mined roads, they took the habit of rounding up local villagers and make them march before them in staggered rows. The tactic was deemed very effective by SS Gruppenfuhrer for Central Russia Curt Von Gottberg who wrote a report on the practice in 1943 saying “The mines set on most road and paths necessitated the use of mine detectors, as per order. The mine detector developed by the Dirlewanger battalion successfully passed the test”. Soon after various non-penal units began using it too. Believe it or not it is far from the worst thing these guys did.
The archives of the 36th SS division stated that this practice caused the death of about 3000 Belarussian civilians for year 1943 alone.
12. Pavlov’s House
During the Battle of Stalingrad, 25 Russian soldiers under the command of Yakov Pavlov defended a building so well that Vasily Chuikov, general of the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, later joked that the Germans lost more men trying to take “Pavlov’s house” than they did taking Paris. 1942.
The building was huge, pic1 and afforded a fantastic perch over the city. Surrounded by miles of rubble, the concrete walls had resisted bombings and artillery.
On September the 18th a small Russian contingent holed up near the top of the tower. As the Germans attacked, with tanks and artillery waiting in support, the Russians fended off waves of infantry. Fighting got worse, the granary in the lower floors was set alight during the fighting, and artillery flew at the tower near constantly. In the chaos of artillery and infantry attacks, fighting went hand to hand in the stairwells and recessed hallways of the building.
The fire, however, got worse and worse by the hour. After 3 days fending off enemies that far, far outnumbered the defenders the situation inside the tower became intolerable. The water in the machine guns evaporated, and two of them were taken out by artillery. Drinking water ran out and eventually the Russian team made their escape under cover of darkness. The fighting moved on to Red Square and the Univermag building within days.
13. Female Officer
A female officer in charge of the range at the CHEN women’s corps camp near Tel Aviv, Israel, gives a demonstration in the handling of a Sten gun during the Arab-Israeli War, June 15, 1948.
Prior to the establishment of the State in 1948, women played a vital role in the underground struggle for independence, participating in signals and combat roles in the Haganah, Palmah, Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi and Lehi.
In 1948, following discussions as to whether women should be integrated into men’s units or whether separate battalions of women should be formed, which would serve in the brigade while remaining independent of it, the second option was chosen. Thus the Women’s Corps (“CHEN”—Hel Nashim) was founded on May 16, 1948.
14. Brighton Swimming Club
Brighton Swimming Club, 1863.
15. Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl
Veronica Foster, popularly known as “Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl” in Toronto, Canada sometime during WWII.
The poster says the the first two sentences of this Churchill quote:
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
The Telefontornet connecting some 5,000 phone lines in Stockholm, 1890.
In the late 19th century, shortly after the patent of the telephone, the race was on to connect everyone to the phone grid. However, due to technical limitations of the earliest phone lines, every telephone required its own physical line strung between a house or business to a phone exchange where the call was manually connected by a live operator. The somewhat quixotic result of so many individual lines was the construction of elaborate and unsightly towers that carried hundreds to thousands of phone lines through the air.
In Stockholm, Sweden, the central telephone exchange was the Telefontornet, a giant tower designed around 1890 that connected some 5,000 lines which sprawled in every direction across the city. Luckily, phone networks evolved so rapidly that by 1913 the Telefontornet was completely decommissioned in favor of much simpler technology. The remaining shell stood as a landmark until it too caught fire in 1953 and was torn down.
17. André Roussimoff
André Roussimoff (later known as the Giant) in Cannes, France, 1967.
As a wrestling fan, I obviously love him. My favorite thing he has done was falling asleep during a match.
18. Freedom 7 Capsule
Alan Shepard being recovered from the Freedom 7 capsule after the first American human spaceflight, May 5, 1961. Here’s one from another angle.
An unknown city in Chechnya under attack, mid-1990’s.
Four Marines recover the body of Marine fire team leader Leland Hammond as their company comes under fire near Hill 484. (1966)
They recalled lucidly the day the photograph was taken. It was Oct. 11, 1966, during a firefight near the southern edge of the Demilitarized Zone. Hoole’s 47-man platoon was ordered to sweep across an open rice paddy to help another squad pinned down by enemy gunfire. Hoole remembers yelling, “That’s suicide!” Indeed, as the platoon moved into the open, a machine gun opened up, killing the point man and wounding Leland Hammond, a card-playing 19-year-old lance corporal from Sumter, S.C. “We pulled his flak jacket off, and there was a hole in the left side of his chest,” recalls Jimenez, who was the first to reach Hammond. “I knew he had a collapsed lung so I slapped a bandage on and then started mouth-to-mouth. I could feel he was dying and I couldn’t figure out why. Later I realized that when he took the first round it spun him about and he got another under his right arm. He got it in both lungs. There was no saving him.” Hoole, Jimenez, O’Connor and Holloway dragged and carried Hammond’s body to a nearby medevac helicopter, as Hoole yelled for the rest of the platoon to fire back. As they carried Hammond, a deck of cards, with the dead Marine’s lucky ace of spades facing out, slipped from his pocket. The night before he had lost $6 to O’Connor. Jimenez remembers screaming at the photographer to get out of the hatchway. (The photographer, Larry Burrows of LIFE, spent nine years in Vietnam. He was killed when his plane was shot down in Laos in 1971.)
13: Tel Aviv is in Israel, not Palestine. The photo itself was taken after the establishment of the state of Israel which was on may 14th the same year. Before that, the area was known as the “British mandate of Palestine”.
Yes, you are right. I have made the required change.
Thank you for the great photos.