50,000 evacuate German city over unexploded WWII bombs

Al Jazeera

Authorities in Hanover defuse two bombs, while a third requires special equipment to be neutralised.German authorities are under pressure to remove unexploded WWII bombs [Peter Steffen/AFP]

More than 50,000 people were evacuated from Germany’s northern city of Hanover on Sunday in one of the country’s largest post-war operations to defuse unexploded World War II-era bombs.

Residents in a densely populated part of the city were ordered to leave their homes for the operation, planned since mid-April, to remove several recently discovered unexploded bombs.

Authorities had expected to remove at least five explosive devices, but only three were found. Two were defused successfully, while the third required special equipment to be made safe.
Tiếp tục đọc “50,000 evacuate German city over unexploded WWII bombs”

World War II started in 1937 in Asia, not 1939 in Europe, says Oxford historian

Professor Rana Mitter tells Conversation With why the war began with Japan’s conflict with China, not when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, the date most history books use.

However, using recently-released documentation, Oxford University professor of history Rana Mitter argues that the real start of the global conflict was 1937 – when Japan attacked China in what has been called the Marco Polo Bridge incident, outside of Beijing.

Prof Mitter’s book, The Forgotten Ally, points out that the terrible eight-year-long conflict took a massive toll on China, with more than 14 million Chinese dead.

By comparison, military and civilian casualties for the US and United Kingdom combined totaled around 900,000. Tiếp tục đọc “World War II started in 1937 in Asia, not 1939 in Europe, says Oxford historian”

CSIS AMTI Brief – August 13, 2015

AMTI Brief – August 13, 2015

Remembering World War II in Maritime Asia
On August 15, 2015, the world observes the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Pacific Theater. This edition of AMTI commemorates the conclusion of the conflict and its legacy for maritime Asia. Read special features on the strategic role that maritime Asia played for the victorious allies, including the United States, European powers, and the Soviet Union, as the war ended. Below, view 15 maps that help to explain why the Pacific Theater looked the way it did in August 1945, and why the conclusion of the conflict continues to shape geopolitics in East Asia today. [Read On]

Expert Analysis

August 1945: A Snapshot of American Maritime Strategy in the Pacific
When Japan surrendered 70 years ago this month, the United States stood supreme in the Pacific.  Only the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy had surface combatants that could roam freely from the Indian Ocean to the East China Sea and these remained a fraction of the massive “Big Blue Fleet” the U.S. Navy had deployed.  With the exception of Taiwan, parts of the Dutch East Indies, the Japanese archipelago and a smattering of isolated South Pacific atolls, the entire offshore island chain in the Western Pacific was under the control of the United States and its allies. [Read more from Michael Green] 

Calm and Storm: the South China Sea after the Second World War
In the early hours of 4 February 1945 two Australian commandos, Alex Chew and Bill Jinkins, paddled away from an American submarine, the USS Pargo, and landed on Woody Island in the Paracels. In the weeks beforehand, American airmen had reported seeing a French tricolour flying on the island and ‘Z Force’ had been tasked to investigate. Chew and Jinkins discovered there were indeed French people on the island but also Japanese sailors and so retreated to the sub. The Pargo surfaced and shelled the buildings for several minutes. The first ‘Battle of the Paracels’ was a one-sided affair. [Read more from Bill Hayton]

The Legacy of the Soviet Offensives of August 1945
The Second World War was an unparalleled calamity for the Soviet Union. As many as 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died as a result of the conflict that started with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended with the Japanese surrender in August 1945. Consumed by this existential struggle along its western border, the Soviet Union was a comparatively minor factor in the Pacific War until the very end. Yet Moscow’s timely intervention in the war against Japan allowed it to expand its influence along the Pacific Rim. With the breakdown of Allied unity soon heralding the onset of the Cold War, Soviet gains in Asia also left a legacy of division and confrontation, some of which endure into the present. [Read more from Jeff Mankoff]

Featured Maps

Japanese Centrifugal Offensive, December 1941
In December 1941, Japan’s Centrifugal Offensive was launched to gain control of the Western colonies in Southeast Asia and create a defensive perimeter to protect against an Allied offensive. It succeeded in capturing most U.S., British, and Dutch held territory. By the end of February 1942, Tokyo had secured all Western colonial possessions with the exception of part of New Guinea and Macau.


Estimated Japanese Strength on or about August 15, 1945
As fighting concluded in the Pacific Theater, an estimated 4.9 million Japanese soldiers remained stationed throughout the Pacific Islands and Asia.


Areas Under Allied and Japanese Control, August 15, 1945
At the conclusion of the war, Japan was still extended throughout the Pacific as Allied offensives continued to chip away at its holdings.


Territorial Clauses of the Japanese Peace Treaty

Attached to the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, this map illustrates the territory Japan relinquished in the postwar settlement. Chapter II, Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty are included in small print indicating the treaty’s territorial clauses with relevant island groups marked as shown. These include the Kuril Islands/Northern Territories, the Ryukyu Islands (including the Senkakus), and the Spratly and Paracel Islands.