On This Day…December 23rd
No, this is not Louis Gardner’s Iron Works. Real F4U 1 Corsairs being made on the Vought Sikorsky production line on 23rd Dec 1942. Would love to see a colourised version of this.
Santa Claus exchanges his traditional civilian red hat for a soldier’s tin helmet. Regardless of Heinkels, Ju88’s, 109’s and the possibility of friendly fire, the big guy makes it through. Albeit two days ealy in London, December 23rd, 1940.
Curtiss Tomahawk, Egypt 23rd December 1941.
Curtiss P40 ‘Flying Tigers’ being guarded by a Chinese soldier today in 1943.
The next four photos are colourised and from various theatres in WWII at Christmas time.
This cover illustration has the caption, “Aerial lookout in an observatory car suspended from a Zeppelin airship”. December 23rd, 1916. I cannot for a single second imagine being the man in that machine.
The soldier in the centre of the picture was one of a group of ‘infiltrators’ executed after a military trial found them on violation of the Hague convention, article 23: “It’s especially forbidden to make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy”.
Their mission was part of the ‘Operation Greif’ commanded by the infamous Waffen-SS commando Otto Skorzeny during the Battle of the Bulge. The operation was conceived by Adolf Hitler himself with the purpose of capturing one or more of the bridges over the Meuse river before they could be destroyed.
German soldiers, wearing captured British and US Army uniforms and using captured Allied vehicles, caused confusion in the rear of the Allied lines. A lack of resources and equipment limited the operation and it never achieved the aim of securing the Meuse bridges.