Monday, February 25, 2013

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Interesting photos from the Vietnam War , taken by photographers of the North Vietnamese Army and  the Viet Cong

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw V "Panther", Ausf G
A late production Panther, most likely photographed in spring or summer 1945. The Panther has been dug into the ground with a tow cable dragged over the hull, suggesting the vehicle had mechanical problems and was used as a static defence weapon. Note how the turret numbers have been painted onto the spare tracks on the turret. The tracks were originally hung from metal supports for quick removal and emergency repairs, but some crews had them welded permanently to the turret to serve as extra protection against anti tank weapons.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

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"Going our way, Mister?.." 

Yes, the blushing schoolgirl had taken a few steps up the evolutionary ladder as the nineteen twenties unfolded. These two young Americans pose confidently as fashionable Flappers outside their school (see the handwritten caption at the bottom), perhaps waiting for a couple of young men to pick them up in their motorcars so they can go and get drunk on Bourbon, dance to the hot tunes of the day playing from a portable gramophone and then jump in for a refreshing swim in an adjourning lake. Then it's off to the big city to find work in one of the booming new industries. Freedom, fun and financial independence at last.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw V Panther, Ausf A
Photographed some time after WWII in a Danish port. Left behind by German forces (most likely 233. Reserve-Panzer-Division), it was taken over by the British Army and shipped off to Old Blighty for tests and examination. Had it stayed in Denmark, I know of at least one danish boy who would gladly have travelled far to marvel at it in a museum.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

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Yes, I'll admit it. I have turned my back on the capitalist oppressor Television, and now only watches film and TV on YouTube, because like all left wing pinko bastards I have no understanding of how economics work and childishly expect everything to be free of charge.

If you are like minded, or just happen to be a fan of Blame Society Films comedian Matt Sloan (of Chad Vader fame) then checketh ye' out his latest endeavor:  Welcome To The Basement, where he watches movies in the basement of his house along with Chad Vader habitué Craig Johnson ("Weird Jimmy")
Venomous wise cracks and sassy put-downs are administered with generous abandon upon movies such as Top Gun, Saturday Night Fever and  Megaforce (this episode alone is almost worth the entire show...), and you'll find yourself wondering "why am I watching two guys watching movies in a basement  - and loving it?!" well, because it's damned funny...and because Sloan and Johnson also find time to include some intelligent conversation about film and film making, the purpose and value of art, and: exploding heads.

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 173 Panzerjäger V "Jagdpanther"
A late model Jagdpanther photographed in the last weeks of WWII. Note the two-tone factory applied camouflage, found on some very late production Panther and Jagdpanther's. The gun mantlet seems to have been blown off and placed on the rear engine deck. The muzzlebrake is also missing from the main gun, suggesting the vehicle was rendered useless by an explosive device placed by the crew before it was abandoned. The colours used in the late war factory applied two-tone scheme are the subject of much debate since only b/w photographs have survived...they could be either brown over green or green over dark yellow. -----

Monday, February 04, 2013

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"Climb!.." it said. Inside my head. I had to climb a mountain.

So I went to the mountain, and it looked very big...in fact, it was so tall it reached all the way up to the clouds, which were completely covering the peak. I couldn't even make out how tall this mountain was! "no way I'm going to climb that, too much trouble!", I thought...but the voice inside my head kept saying "climb it! - there's a reward for you if you do! it's up there, at the top.."
So I got started. Started at the bottom, there was a nice gravel road there, not to steep, going around the mountain. I could take my time, have a few stops along the way as I steadily made it to the top - this was going to be easy! I kept going. At first there were trees all around, giving me shade from the sun, and at night I could sleep underneath them on a soft bed of moss and leaves.Good!
Then after a while, the trees began to disappear...I was so high up they couldn't grow there. But up here, there was a fantastic view. I could see for miles, see a beautiful valley, and other mountains, their tips covered in white snow. I moved on, in high spirits - up here the sun was shining. Shining too much I found out...burning my skin, almost blinding my eyes. And no shade from trees...only small dry plants grew here. I wanted to call it quits...go back to my nice comfortable hotel room down in the valley. But, wait - I had checked out of that Hotel...and spent all of my remaining money on mountaineering boots, and a warm jacket, and besides: I was so high up on the mountain that going back would probably take more time than reaching the top. I had to go on. Keep climbing. There was snow everywhere, covering the road, making walking very difficult, and with more snow coming down. I looked up to see how far there was to the peak, but I couldn't see it...it was all covered in fog and dark grey clouds, with more and more snow coming out of them, falling down on me. I camped for the night under a rock. It was freezing there. I couldn't sleep for more than a few minutes before I woke up again, shivering. Morning came. Again, more snow. I kept going. The road had disappeared. I had to climb on the actual bedrock of the mountain. I cut my hands, legs, fell and hurt my elbow pretty badly. No doctors up here, but the cold numbed out the pain. I kept going. Kept going. Found another shelter for the night. All around me I saw nothing but fog, clouds, whirling snowflakes, I had no food left, no idea of how far I still had to go. I thought: "this is hell..."
I got up the next day. Nothing mattered except to keep going. I had to focus on the reward...somehow I knew it had to be up there. At the peak. Keep going. Can't go back.
Then I reached it - the peak! Suddenly the mountain had just stopped. I was there, at the top!
Snow was still falling. There was an extremely strong wind, I couldn't stay here for long...
But there was nothing up here!..the peak was flat, about the size of a dining table with some rocks on top of it. And some snow. Where was my reward!
I had been fooled...by the voice inside my head, by my own stupid ideas. All of this for nothing.
Then I looked at my legs. They had grown strong and muscular from the climbing. I felt my arms, also strong and muscular...and I thought about all the dangers I had faced...how I had to come up with solutions to problems I could never have imagined...how I had to find the courage and skill to jump from rock to rock, how I had force myself to keep going when I had lost sight of my objective, how I had to shut out the physical pain from cuts and bruises, ignore the scream from my empty stomach.
And then, of course, I realised.

That was the reward.

(And now I had to find a way to get off of that god damned mountain!..)

*****
Panzer: Munitionspanzer auf Fahrgestell Panzer I Ausführung A
About fifty of these turretless Panzer I's were converted from standard production vehicles to be used for supplying ammunition to fast moving units during the heydays of the Blitzkrieg.The wearing of the Panzer beret and the open centered balkenkreuz painted on the panzers would suggest they served during the invasion of the Low Countries or the Battle of France
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