The battle for Berlin lasted more than two weeks. Three and a half million troops from both sides, Soviet and German, took part in the vicious fight. Some ten thousand tanks and eleven thousand aircraft were involved. About 250,000 people were killed, including civilians and soldiers on both sides. To read an eyewitness account: www.elinorflorence.com/blog/berlin-battle.
The three women pictured in this incredible photograph from 1885 -- Anandibai Joshi of India, Keiko Okami of Japan, and Sabat Islambouli of Syria -- each became the first licensed female doctors in their respective countries. The three were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania; one of the only places in the world at the time where women could study medicine.
The Allied bombing of Berlin lasted until March 1945. By then, half the homes in Berlin had been damaged and an estimated 20,000-50,000 civilians had been killed. This number would have been much higher were it not for the city’s excellent bomb shelters, which often became living quarters for the homeless. This photo shows a bombed street in Berlin. To read more: www.elinorflorence.com/blog/berlin-bombing.
These are the mugshots of William West and William West, and they are not related. They were both sent to Leavenworth Prison at the same time, in 1903, and after some confusion, the staff understood they had two different prisoners with the exact same name, who looked exactly alike. They are part of the reason fingerprints are now used as identification.
World War II, 15th June 1944, England, Press Information during the D-Day Invasion of France, The list of accredited correspondents are checked by Junior Commander JH Begg (standing) and two WAAF and CWAC Information Room assistants (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Gerda Kernchen was just 11 years old, living in Berlin with her family when the war began. She describes what life was like for the last couple of years when her city was being bombed almost every night. For the full story: www.elinorflorence.com/blog/berlin-bombing.
Knowledge of the massacre “led to considerable retaliation against German prisoners of war during and after that battle.” Few Waffen-SS soldiers came to be taken prisoner by units such as the 3rd Armored Division. An example of the aftermath of the massacre is the written order from the HQ of the 328th US Army Infantry Regiment, dated December 21, 1944: “No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoner but will be shot on sight.” A possible example of a related large massacre against…
When daylight bombing began in March 1944, the factory workers had to leave their jobs during the day and run to the nearest shelter. The Humboldthain bunker was the biggest one in Berlin, five storeys tall, with room for thousands of people. After the war, it could not be demolished so Berliners piled rubble around it and turned it into a viewpoint. To read more: www.elinorflorence.com/blog/berlin-bombing.