The largely unknown sister ship of the Titanic has lain, sunken, in the waters of the Aegean Sea. Sunk by a German mine in 1916, the British hospital ship rests 400ft on the bottom of the Mediterranean, off the coast of the island of Kea, and is considered better preserve than the Titanic itself. However, Greek authorities have now begun plans to bring tourists the closest ever to the wreck of HMHS Britannic, turning it into an underwater theme park.
New, previously unseen photographs of the Pentagon in the wake of the 9/11 Terror Attacks have been released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to illustrate the extraordinary scale of destruction wrought by the terrorist hijackers.
With the Vietnam War escalating still further, bombing missions and the poundage used to obliterate South East Asian villages also increased in tandem. In October 1965, in order to commemorate what would be the six millionth pound of ordnance dropped, Commander Clarence J. Stoddard, Attack Squadron 25 (VA-25) added one extra addition to his armaments – a toilet bowl.
Conspiracy theorists worldwide have theorised many outlandish and, frankly, absurd hypotheses concerning the National Socialist regime, both during World War Two and afterwards. One of the more strange, stranger even than a secret Nazi base on Antarctica (see previous post), is that Hitler could have landed himself on the Moon.
The Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids of Giza; architectural marvels all. The big question that has plagued many historians and archaeologists is how an ancient civilization, without the means of modern mechanical technology, were able to transport megalithic structures and stone blocks weighing more than 2.5 tons through the desert. Present day research might now have the answer – the use of water to reduce friction and reduce the workforce required.
Advertisements these days are subjected to such scrutiny and regulation it is a wonder that anything can be aired on prime time television, let alone children’s’ television. There was a time when cigarettes were openly advertised on television. Indeed, there was a time when Winston Cigarettes were advertised, following an episode of The Flintstones.
Executing warfare in the modern world is rarely an honourable enterprise, particularly in the Second World War. Both the Allied and Axis powers would engage in acts deemed unsavoury by today’s standards. Recent studies have revealed the lengths that the British government went to dissuade Franco and the Fascist regime of Spain from allying with Germany and declaring war in turn.
War stories and photographs of the early modern battlefields are fascinating to modern day historians and the public alike. There are cases which are especially interesting and often quite perplexing. This is particularly true in the case of US Civil War soldier, Jacob Miller, who survived being shot in the head. What is truly amazing, however, is the stark reminder afforded to the brave man, who had to live the remainder of his days with the wound ever present in the middle of his forehead.
The prohibition movement of 1920 represented one of the most formidable political organisations in US history. Removing the need for alcohol in American society called for a monumental propaganda campaign. Some of the more outlandish and blatant myths perpetuated by prohibitionists are detailed below.
Alcohol Turns Blood Into Water
The “Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction,” a branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, believed that federal prohibition could eliminate domestic violence. Belief was instilled amongst those that would listen to them that alcohol had a drastic effect on a person’s blood – apparently turning it to water.
Merely Smelling Alcohol Could Deform Unborn Children
In Alfred Ploetz’s pamphlet, The Influence of Alcohol Upon Race, he actually suggested that pregnant mothers could bear “defective offspring” simply by taking in the very scent of alcohol.
Some Bootleg Wines Were Made With Cockroaches
In an effort to slander Madeira Wine, dry preacher T. P. Hunt of Wyoming, Pennsylvania claimed that it was common practice for Portuguese winemakers to “put a bag of cockroaches” into a bottle of ordinary liquor and leave it there until dissolved to create the distinctive flavor.
Most Beer Drinkers Die of Dropsy
Mary Hannah Hanchett Hunt, a former Massachusetts school-teacher, claimed then-recent scientific findings “proved” that the majority of beer drinkers die of dropsy. Though some have recently suggested that alcoholism is indeed linked to the disorder, Hunt’s assertion is, mildly-put, a huge exaggeration.
Alcohol Can Give You a 25-Pound Liver
One prohibitionist claimed that, when drinking, “in some cases the liver reaches an enormous weight, fifteen, and even twenty to twenty-five pounds being not uncommon.”
Drunkards’ Brains Can Be Used As Torches
Prohibitionist George McCandlish claimed to have witnessed the autopsy of a heavy drinker: “After removing the top of the skull, for the purpose of examining the condition of the brain, they tested it for alcohol by holding a lighted match near it, and immediately the brain took fire and burned with a blue flame, like an alcohol lamp.”
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The horrors experienced during World War Two are well documented and spanned the entire global theatre of war. Whilst the atrocities experienced on the Eastern Front and during the Holocaust, utterly abhorrent though they were, are the most well-known. What is less acknowledged are the acts perpetrated by the Imperial Japanese military. Principally, there were acts of actual cannibalism on the island of Chichi Jima.
One of the more unfortunate and embarrassing military moments of the British Special Forces was the incident that occurred In 2002. During an amphibious training mission, a unit of 30 British Marines transiting in a landing craft from HMS Ocean, armed in full combat gear and equipment, raided an apparently deserted beach – a beach adjoining the Spanish town of La Linea. Not the intended beach on Gibraltar. Thus prompting an apparent sea invasion of Spain.
One particularly unusual maritime event occurred in June 1983, during which NATO was undertaking various exercises in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Portugal, including aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious, and her fleet of aircraft. Two Sea Harrier VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) jet fighters were ordered to take off and search for a French ship in the vicinity. However, one of the pilots was a relatively inexperienced sub-lieutenant aged 25, named Ian Watson. This was further complicated in that both aircraft had to maintain radio silence, replicating wartime conditions. Watson ran into difficulty, however, resulting in one of the more remarkable air to sea landings in recent military history – on the deck of a passing containership.
Released by Israel in commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a letter has been revealed from the hand of notorious Nazi, Adolf Eichmann. Written on 29 May 1962, Eichmann penned the letter to the then-President of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, begging for his life and the overturning of his death sentence just days before he was due to be hung.
One of the more unusual incidences of the Second World War allegedly occurred on 14 April 1945, 24 days before hostilities ended. Whilst German submarine, U-1206, was cruising at a depth of 200 feet (61 m), 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi) off Peterhead, Scotland, where, owing to misuse of the new toilet facilities, the submarine suffered water ingress, flooding the vessel.
At the end of the 20th century, at the beginning of the new millennium, fears abounded concerning Y2K, the threat that computer systems posed when the calendars rolled from 1999 to 2000. However, as revealed by the testimonies of Sandy Berger, former national security advisor to US president Bill Clinton, the Asian continent was on the brink of nuclear war.
On the 9 November 2015 there was marked the 50th year anniversary since the last death penalty sentence carried out in the United Kingdom. The last condemned to death by hanging being Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen. The most high profile case, however, was that of Ruth Ellis who, in 1955, was found guilty of murdering her husband, a day after he had punched her and causing her to miscarry. This fuelled much disquiet concerning corporal punishment and the morality of condemning a person to death, leading soon after to the abolition executions utterly.
By today’s standards, the idea of hanging is reprehensible, however, it was ever so much worse in times past. Even within recent history. Detailed below are some of the more gruesome methods of execution that persons faced upon being pronounced guilty.
Discovering the wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic in 1985 prompted some astonishing news, answering the question of its final resting place which had been left unanswered for 73 years. The next question, however, was what to do with it now that it has been relocated? Who might have the right to journey down and retrieve certain artefacts or even the wreck itself? Would anybody actually have the right to own the wreck?
For an eternity it seems, historians and the general public have been fascinated with the Ancient Egyptians. Whether it be the fantastic, freestanding monuments to their dead monarchy, the mystic symbolism of hieroglyphic linguistics or the treasure troves unearthed from secret underground crypts, the Egyptians have occupied especial significance in archaeological and historical academic circles. One of the many secrets that still manage to fascinate both students and tourists to this day is the mystery of the missing Sphinx’s nose.
Aside from frequent retellings in alternative history novels, science fiction films and the imaginings of video game studios, the invasion of the United States by Axis forces is consigned to the musings of armchair tacticians and history enthusiast alike, pondering the question, ‘what if?’ Following an attack on Pearl Harbour, an issue of Life magazine from 2 March 1942 sketched out a theoretical strategy for the annexation of North America.
Nuclear testing abounded for many years at the height of the Cold War. Land, sea and air detonation occurred in both the East and the West, by both the US and the USSR, together with the People’s Republic of China and other high power states. Pictures of nuclear explosions are literally seared in the imaginings of those that view the footage or have seen them in person. Space operations are more of an unknown for many others.