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Avoiding Babel

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H/T Beyond The Band Of Brothers.

  Modern simultaneous translation was invented for the Nuremberg Trials.  

At the end of World War II, 24 leading Nazi individuals were tried at the famous Nuremberg Trials for war crimes and participation in the Holocaust. The mission of the International Military Tribunal was to provide “fair and expeditious trials.” Those two adjectives, however, proved to be a massive challenge when it came to translating questions and answers.

In order to make the trials fair, every defendant had to hear everything that was said in their native German. They also had to be given the ability to answer in the same language. Similarly, the judges and prosecutors provided by the Allied nations had to hear and speak everything in their own native languages: English, French and Russian.

Courtroom of the Nuremberg Trials

Spoken interpretation at the time was consecutive: the speaker would deliver a part of his speech, not more than a few minutes, then wait for the interpreter to repeat it in the other language. With four languages in use, however, the process would have taken too long, with everything having to be repeated in three separate translations. The trials would no longer have been “expeditious.”

A sort of simultaneous translation had been in use since ancient times: whispered interpretation, called by its French name chuchotage in the translation trade. The translator would sit close to the listener, listening to the speaker and immediately speaking the translation into the listener’s ear at a low volume. This was uncomfortable and only worked for a single listener at a time, so a modern version was needed that could provide similar translation to a large number of people.

Session of the Sixth Comintern Congress, where an earlier simultaneous interpretation system might have been in use

The idea of technologically assisted simultaneous translation was already in the air. A League of Nations conference in 1927 used a telephone-based system. This, however, wasn’t truly simultaneous: all speeches were submitted in writing beforehand, pre-translated and the interpreters simply read the text at the same time as the speaker was delivering it. Nuremberg required something much less scripted. In the late 1920s, the Soviet Union might have used a sort of simultaneous interpretation system during the Sixth Communist International but descriptions suggest that it didn’t use headphones and the translation might have been broadcast through loudspeakers. In 1935, a physiological conference in Leningrad involved the simultaneous translation of an academician into English, French and German, but the technical details of this were unknown to the organizers of the Nuremberg Trials.

All rise while the judges enter the courtroom. The defendants are on the left side of the picture, defense counsel to the right, interpreters in the booths in the back. Léon Dostert is one of the three monitors (next to the booths), standing in the front row.

The solution was provided by Léon Dostert, a French-born American colonel who spoke English, French and German perfectly, who was a foreign language expert for the U.S. Army. Dostert was convinced that it was humanly possible to listen, translate and speak at the same time. He persuaded the IBM Corporation to develop and provide a system of microphones and headsets that could be used for the purpose. IBM did this for free, only asking that the U.S. government pay the cost of shipping and installation.

Interpreters operating the IBM machinery during a session

The system included six microphones: one for each of the four judges, one for the witness stand, and one for the speaker’s podium. Sound from these was transmitted to the interpreters’ booth, not yet soundproof at the time, located in the corner of the courtroom next to the defendants. Each interpreter heard the speeches over a headset and spoke the translation into their own microphone, which then transmitted it to an appropriate channel and to the listeners’ headphones. A fifth channel was reserved for the original, unaltered speech of whoever was speaking.

The switchboard through which translations were routed

With the help of U.S. Navy Commander Alfred Steer, Dostert recruited three separate teams of interpreters and stenographers for every language that was to be used. Each of the Allied nations participating in the trials provided interpreters for their own language and finding German-speakers was the shared responsibility of the Americans and the British. At any given moment during the trials, two teams for each language were in the translation booths and worked in shifts. The third team was on standby in a separate room, where they listened to a broadcast of the proceedings so they could follow the general sequence of events and be prepared to step in. There was also an additional team for times when witnesses spoke some other language, such as Polish or Yiddish.

The English booth during the trials. Left: Captain Macintosh of the British Army (French to English); center: Margot Bortlin (German to English); right, outside the booth: Lieutenant Ernest Peter Uiberall monitoring the translations

With no previously established training methods for simultaneous interpretation, translators could manage about 60 words a minute. If a speaker spoke too fast, a yellow light warned him to slow down or a red one signified that he should repeat himself.

The English (front) and French (back) booths, with a monitor off to the side

Though the interpreters all performed the same job, they weren’t paid the same. Each interpreter was on the payroll of their relevant national delegation. Britain, France and the Soviet Union, all having been ravaged by the war, couldn’t afford to pay the same generous wages as the United States. Additionally, even American interpreters weren’t paid uniformly. With no standard salary for the job, all of them received whatever their payment was in their previous employment.

You can learn more about the technologies we take for granted today but which were created in World War II on our historical tours scheduled for 2018 and 2019.

President Trump Pardons Former Sailor

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H/T Deneen Borelli.

Former Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier almost has his life ruined by a mistake while that piece of human excrement Bradley Manning gets a taxpayer funded sex change and a get out of jail free card.                        

President Trump pardoned Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier who was jailed for taking pictures inside a submarine.

Saucier admitted guilt in the matter and was given a 12-month jail sentence.

Politico reports:

Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier pleaded guilty in May 2016 to two felony counts, one for unlawful retention of national defense information and another for obstruction of justice, for taking cellphone pictures inside the Navy vessel and later destroying his own equipment upon learning he was under investigation.

Saucier served on the USS Alexandria and he broke the law when he took pictures in classified areas with his cellphone.

Saucier was released last year after serving his entire sentence.

Earlier this year, President Trump compared the way Saucier was treated to Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin:

Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others

Saucier was interviewed on Fox News’ Fox & Friends.

Well It Finally Happened

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Just as predicted by Abbot and Costello 88 years ago.

For all of the children see the video below.

















California Gov. on DOJ Lawsuit: This Is An Act of War

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These comments by Governor Jerry Moonbeam Brown proves he has no active brain cells.


“An act of war? That’s pretty strong. But I reincorporate that comment,” Brown said.



California Gov. Jerry Brown said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit filed against California over recently passed state laws was an “act of war” during a press conference with the California attorney general on Wednesday.

The DOJ filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, which alleged three recently passed California laws deliberately interfered with federal immigration policies.

“You called this an act of war from the federal government,” a reporter began asking Brown.

Brown seemed to be confused by the reporter’s quote.

“An act of war? That’s pretty strong. But I reincorporate that comment,” Brown responded.

The reporter concluded his question by asking whether California would retaliate against the federal government.

“No, we are state of laws,” Brown answered. “We want to observe the law now. The [U.S.] attorney general has basically thrown the gauntlet down and done it in a highly politicized way.”

“Yeah, this is a very aggressive act on the part of the Trump administration, and it’s not right, and it won’t stand. And as I say, I’m sure this lawsuit will last has more longevity than the Trump administration itself,” Brown concluded.






Commentary: The power of the left-wing propaganda complex

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H/T Deneen Borelli

This is a homerun by Dr. Tom Borelli.

By Dr. Tom Borelli originally posted at Conservative Review.

The deep division in our country can be traced to the power of the left-wing propaganda complex — Democrat politicians, the left-wing media and activists — to control the political debate by twisting facts.

Despite the absence of evidence proving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Democrats and their allies controlled the collusion narrative and whipped up impeachment talk. As the evidence unfolds, the truth quite different: Democrats used a former British spy who obtained unverified and salacious information on President Trump from Russia to influence the election.

The left-wing propaganda complex is flexing its muscles again over the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida. In an amazing display of power, Democrats and their allies turned the massive failure of local and national law enforcement to stop Nikolas Cruz before he killed 17 people into a gun control and NRA issue.

Law enforcement was warned dozens of times that Cruz was dangerous, including specific concerns about a potential school shooting. Last November, a caller informed Broward County Sheriff’s Office that Cruz was a potential “school shooter in the making.” In January, the FBI was told that Cruz mentioned committing a school shooting.

These warnings were not merely red flags; they were blaring alarms that a potential school shooting by a mentally disturbed individual was entirely possible. In a shocking example of incompetence, law enforcement did nothing to blunt the attack. Failure at the local level was compounded during the shooting, as four deputy sheriffs remained outsidewhile Cruz was killing students and faculty members.

In a rational world, public attention would focus on addressing the gaping holes in law enforcement and holding accountable those who failed to protect the students and faculty. Instead, in record time, Democrats exploited the emotion surrounding the shooting and shaped the terms of the debate by calling for gun control and hammering the NRA.

Representative Jim Himes, D-Conn., hit the media circuit on the afternoon of the shooting, appearing on CNN to complain about the failure of Congress to pass gun control. Himes ramped up the emotional rhetoric by saying Congress did nothing to stop mass shootings following the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut. Referring to Congress, Himes said, “… 20 dead babies in Connecticut was not enough to move the heart of this place.”

In subsequent media interviews, Himes continued to hammer Congress for not acting on gun control and blamed the NRA for its lobbying power.

The left-wing media stepped in with CNN’s town hall on the school shooting. CNN pitted high school shooting survivors against lawmakers and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch in an emotionally charged arena filled with thousands of grieving community members. The CNN town hall was a nationally broadcast anti-gun rally, with the crowd cheering the students’ demands for gun control and comments slamming the NRA. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel deflected accountability for his department’s failure by throwing gun control red meat to the cheering crowd.

Anti-gun activists also exploited the shooting atrocity. Using Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” anti-gun activists employed rule number 12 to demonize the NRA by isolating the organization for attacks. Using social media, anti-gun activists targeted companies that had business arrangements for NRA members. One by one, companies including Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank, and Delta Airlines, among others, buckled to the #BoycottNRA Twitter hashtag.

In Florida, a political action committee funded a billboard advertising the NRA as a “terrorist organization.” Responding to the anti-gun wave sweeping the nation, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods announced a minimum age of 21 for gun purchases.

In addition to attacking the Second Amendment, anti-gun activists targeted the First Amendment as well. They’re pressuring video streaming service providers such as Apple and Amazon to cease distributing NRATV. A petition urging Amazon to dump NRATV says, “The NRA is a group that’s rotten to the core and a company like Amazon should not be spreading their message.”

Activists are also using #StopNRAmazon and #DumpNRATV hashtags on Twitter to pressure streaming services.

The anti-gun decibel level is so loud that it’s drowning out an honest analysis of how Cruz eluded local and national law enforcement despite warnings. The failure of “See Something, Say Something” is a very serious matter, since it’s the first line of defense in public safety.

Democrats and their allies are only concerned with driving their anti-gun agenda — not with finding the root cause of mass shooters and ways to stop them.

The Left’s stubborn determination to gain power by any means necessary puts Americans at risk.

Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @tomborelli.

Pelosi Saw Both Tillerson’s Hiring and Firing as Proof Trump Obeys Putin

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H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

To paraphrase a quote from Will Rogers “She was born ignorant and been going downhill ever since.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) cast both President Donald Trump’s nomination and firing of outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as evidence of Trump’s acquiescence to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

When Trump first tapped the Exxon Mobil CEO for secretary in December 2016, Pelosi issued a press release attacking the choice, slamming him as “an oil executive friendly with Vladimir Putin.”

“Rex Tillerson’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin is especially alarming in light of his attitude toward sanctions over Russia’s aggressive behavior in Europe, while at the same time the President-elect continues to side with Russia over the judgment of the U.S. intelligence community,” she wrote.

“Fawning over Putin is poor preparation for being the top diplomat of the United States of America,” the statement concluded.

But when Trump fired Tillerson Tuesday, that was also evidence the president was too weak on Russia.

“Secretary Tillerson’s firing sets a profoundly disturbing precedent in which standing up for our allies against Russian aggression is grounds for a humiliating dismissal,” Pelosi wrote. “President Trump’s actions show that every official in his Administration is at the mercy of his personal whims and his worship of Putin.”

“Whenever Tillerson’s successor goes into meetings with foreign leaders, his credibility will be diminished as someone who could be here today and gone tomorrow.  Continuity in our diplomatic personnel and policies are vital for championing American security, values, and interests,” she continued.

While Tillerson was fired the day after accusing Putin of poisoning a U.K. spy, the New York Timeshad been reporting for months that Trump was planning to fire him. The president and Tillerson were reported to have disagreed on a number of key issues, including North Korea, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the removal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement, and the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump’s choice for Tillerson’s replacement, CIA chief Mike Pompeo, is also vocally anti-Putin.

Russia “has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying Ukraine, threatening Europe, and doing nothing to aid in the destruction and defeat of ISIS,” Pompeo said during his confirmation hearing in January of 2017.


Reinhard Heydrich – A Dark Figure In An Even Darker Period Of Wartime History

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H/T War History OnLine.

To call Reinhard Heydrich an evil bastard would be an understatement. 


By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Unless you are a WWII aficionado, it’s likely you don’t have all the facts about every Nazi official memorized. However, every individual who played a major role in the Nazi regime has a story to be told. Here are a few facts you may not know about high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, a dark figure in an even darker period of wartime history.

1. He had multiple job titles over the course of his life.

Heydrich was known to be one of the main architects of the Holocaust. Appointed by Hitler himself, who called him “the man with the iron heart,” Heydrich was a senior group leader in the SS, as well as the chief of police. He further served as the Deputy or Acting Reich Protector of Moravia and Bohemia (now the Czech Republic).

At one point, he was the reigning president of the International Criminal Police Commission, otherwise known as Interpol today. During the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, he oversaw the final plans to deport and promote the genocide of the Jewish population in Europe.

Reinhard Heyrdich in 1934. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

2. He helped coordinate Kristallnacht.

On November 9-10, 1938, an SA military unit and German civilians banded together to carry out what is called the “Night of Broken Glass,” an attack against Jews in Nazi-led Germany, as well as parts of Austria. Businesses, storefronts, and synagogues had their windows smashed out, causing the streets to be littered with the broken glass that gives this day its name.

This was the beginning of the mass deportation of the Jews and led to the start of the Holocaust. Hundreds of Jews perished in the attacks while over 30,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Heydrich was the main enforcer behind this operation and the preceding events thereafter.

3. He grew up in a house of great financial means and musical appreciation.

Heydrich’s father was Richard Bruno Heydrich, a talented composer and opera singer. His mother, a pianist herself, would teach students at the Halle Conservatory of Music, Theatre, and Teaching, which was founded by Heydrich’s father. Due to this artistic upbringing, he was introduced to music at an early age and took an interest in playing the violin. His talent and love for music impressed many of the society elite that his family grew up in, which seems surprising for a man with such hatred and dark ideas about the world around him in his later military career.

4. He had a troubled childhood.

While a love for music and artistry would seemingly create a happy atmosphere in a family home, Heydrich grew up under strict rules by his father. His brother Heinz and him would practice fencing by inventing pretend duels to learn strategy and sportsmanship.

His father, a German nationalist, was intent on instilling patriotic values in his children as well. While Heydrich was an intelligent and dedicated student, he was bullied by other kids, making him shy and insecure. He was especially unhappy about his high-pitched voice, and other students would tease him about having supposed Jewish ancestry – a factor that may have spawned his hatred for those of Jewish descent.

5. He was dismissed from the German Navy for his romantic affairs.

Heydrich served almost ten years in the Navy, moving his way up the ranks quickly and gaining admiration from his fellow officers. However, he eventually ended up being dismissed for misconduct due to his penchant for female dalliances. In 1930, he met a woman named Lina von Osten, a Nazi Party member he quickly became enamored with, and they were abruptly engaged before long.

Heydrich and Lina von Osten. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

However, apparently Heydrich was already involved in a prior engagement to another woman, and he had broken off their union for his new fiance instead. This act was deemed as more than simple bad behavior, and he was charged in 1931 with “conduct unbecoming to an officer and gentleman” by the Navy administration. He was released by April of the same year, which was a devastating blow to his otherwise upstanding career.

6. Heinrich Himmler was impressed by him immediately

While Himmler was planning a counterintelligence division for the SS unit, he was persuaded by a friend of von Osten’s to interview Heydrich for the job of managing this project. Initially, Himmler canceled the appointment, but von Osten ignored this news and sent Heydrich packing to meet with Nazi officials anyway.

Heydrich and K.-H. Frank in Prague. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Himmler agreed to the interview regardless and was immediately taken by his plans for the new operation. Heydrich was hired in the blink of an eye, and once again made his way up through the rankings quickly and efficiently. Himmler even promoted him to SS Major as a wedding gift.

7. He was assigned to help organize the Berlin Summer Olympics in 1936.

The Nazi party decided using the games as a tool for Nazi propaganda would be a great way to further their plans, and they sent out Goodwill ambassadors to try and promote their cause to those countries who resisted Nazi policies, such as antisemitism. However, anti-Jewish sentiment remained forbidden from the games. Despite this, Heydrich was rewarded for his work in the organization, and he received a German Olympic Games Decoration as a gift for his efforts.

8. He tricked the Czechs into thinking he was on their side.

Reinhard Heydrich in a castle in Prague (Bundesarchiv / CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Reinhard Heydrich in a castle in Prague. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Once Heydrich became the Acting Reich Protector in Prague, he slowly worked his way into the minds of the populace. He arranged events for the workforce, appearing as though he was helping them find work. He would provide food and also free shoes, which were distributed to those who were impoverished.

He increased pension and even enacted “free Saturdays” for the labor force to take time for rest and relaxation with their families. Despite these many signs of goodwill towards the Czechs, Heydrich was underhandedly seeking to eradicate them the entire time. He was hoping to have the entire area to be “Germanized” as quickly as possible.

9. He was assassinated in a Mercedes Benz.

image 3
Mercedes 320 Convertible B; after the 1942 assassination attempt in Prague. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The Czechoslovak government, exiled to London, was intent on taking down Heydrich. So the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) trained a team of assassins to carry out this plan of execution. The team was led by Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik. On May 27, 1942, Heydrich was on his way to meet with Hitler.

As he was rounding a winding curve in the road, Kubis and Gabcik carried out their operation. Gabcik’s gun failed to fire at Heydrich, but they’d been spotted, and Heydrich ordered his driver to stop so he could confront them. While the vehicle was stopped, Kubis threw a bomb that hit the rear of the vehicle, exploding on impact. Heydrich was wounded badly on his left side and taken to a hospital, where he later fell into a coma and died.

10. Heinrich Himmler gave the eulogy at his funeral, and Hitler also attended.

Two funerals were held for Reinhard Heydrich’s death, one in Prague and one later in Berlin. Heydrich had a decorated war record already, but he was awarded the highest grade of the German Order, the Blood Order Medal, by Hitler who left it with his others on his funeral pillow.

Former New York Times Editor Carries ‘Little Plastic Obama Doll’ in Her Purse for ‘Comfort’

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H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

This proves the lame stream media has always been in the tank for Bathhouse Barry Obama.

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson revealed in a column last week that she carries a plastic Barack Obama doll in her purse as a way to comfort herself in the Donald Trump era.

At the conclusion of a Guardian columnexpressing hope for a Democratic wave in 2018 and beyond in response to Trump, Abramson revealed the extent of her Obama fandom.

“It’s easy to look at what’s happening in Washington DC and despair,” she wrote. “That’s why I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse. I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African American president until very recently. Some people find this strange, but you have to take comfort where you can find it in Donald Trump’s America.”

Abramson also wrote in the piece it was “thrilling” to see the signs of a Trump rebellion beginning in Texas after Tuesday’s primary results and pierce the GOP’s hold on the south, where she said “religion, racism and love of guns have advantaged Republicans since Richard Nixon’s election in 1968.”

Her conclusion was curious, given the night was a disappointment for Democrats who have long dreamed of Texas turning blue. Republican primary voters in the gubernatorial and Senate races far outpaced Democratic ones; Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) got roughly twice as many primary votes as Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas).

During her tenure as the New York Times‘ executive editor, Abramson often waved off accusations of its reporting having a liberal tilt. The first woman to have the job, she lasted from September 2011 until her firing in May 2014.

It is unclear when she purchased the Obama therapy doll.

These War Photographers Risked Their Lives To Document The Horrors Of War

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H/T War History OnLine.

These photographers were extremely brave and a touch crazy.

Ernest Brooks use of silhouettes to show anonymous heroes of the war.

Since the invention of photography in the 1800’s, photographers have roamed battlefields and ventured into dangerous situations to capture explosions, devastation, and the many atrocities of war.

From the Crimean War to the conflicts of the present day, photographers have faced illness and injury – sometimes even dying for their work – while attempting to document the brutality, ferocity, and ruthlessness of active combat.

Across the world and throughout the years, from the photographers recording the American Civil War to the brave souls on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings of World War Two, war photography has had a massive impact on the world and the way we view warfare, both past and present.

Roger Fenton

As the Crimean War unfolded, it is believed that Roger Fenton was urged to go to Crimea to document what was happening there. He landed at Balaklava on March 8th, 1855, and stayed until June 22nd. He photographed the conflict in an attempt to change public opinion on the Crimean War, which unpopular with the masses at that time. They were converted to woodblocks and published in the Illustrated London News.

Roger Fenton's assistant sitting on his photographic van.
Roger Fenton’s assistant sitting on his photographic van.

Photographic equipment at this time was heavy and cumbersome. He had to rely on a wagon to move the tools of his trade – as well as a personal assistant – and he was only able to photograph posed pictures and stationary shots, due to the long exposure required for each image. He shied away from taking photos of dead or injured soldiers and instead chose to photograph the landscape. An image of a valley – named ‘The Valley of Death’ by soldiers who had been writing home – became particularly famous. Fenton called it ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death’, deliberately quoting Psalm 23 from The Bible.

Fenton suffered for his cause, however. He became ill with cholera and even broke several ribs after falling, but he managed to create over 350 usable negatives of the Crimean War. 312 of these went on to be shown at an exhibition in London and around the UK. The photographs were also shown to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and even Emperor Napoleon III in Paris, but sales of the images fell short of expectations.

World War One

World War One was the first war to be thoroughly documented by photographers and cinematographers throughout its duration. The detonation of the mine at Hawthorn Ridge in the Battle of the Somme was captured by photographer Ernest Brooks and filmed by director Geoffrey Malins.

One of Ernest Brooks photographs of the Hawthorne Ridge explosion in the Somme.
One of Ernest Brooks photographs of the Hawthorne Ridge explosion in the Somme.

Malins said of his experience:

“The ground where I stood gave a mighty convulsion. It rocked and swayed. I gripped hold of my tripod to steady myself. Then for all the world like a gigantic sponge, the earth rose high in the air to the height of hundreds of feet. Higher and higher it rose, and with a horrible grinding roar the earth settles back upon itself, leaving in its place a mountain of smoke.”

Ernest Brooks was the official photographer for the Western Front, and he was given the honorary rank of Second Lieutenant. He was the longest serving British war photographer at the time and took more than 4400 images, detailing active combat and everyday life in the trenches. He was particularly fond of the use of silhouettes in his photographs to illustrate the anonymous heroes of the war.

Robert Capa

An experienced Hungarian war photographer, Robert Capa covered five major conflicts; the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War Two in Europe, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the First Indochina War. During World War Two he documented the effects of the war in London, North Africa, and Italy. Perhaps most famously, he was with the second wave of soldiers that landed on Omaha Beach during D-Day.

In 1936 his photograph the Falling Soldier made him known all over the world. The image showed a man, who had just been shot, falling to the ground the Cordoba Front. Although the authenticity of the photo was later called into question of the location, the identity of the subject and the fact that staged photographs had been taken at the same place and time.

On Omaha Beach Capa took 106 pictures while being under constant fire and bombardment with the rest of the soldiers. The majority of these photographs were destroyed in an accident in the processing lab in London, only eleven remained and these were nicknamed the Magnificient Eleven. The photographs that survived were used as inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan.

On April 18th, 1945, Capa was in Liepzig, Germany, taking photographs, when he captured shots of a fight to secure a bridge. One of these photos was of Raymond J. Bowman’s death, and was featured in a spread on Life magazine with the caption “The picture of the last man to die” which the photograph came to be known us. Initially the magazine did not publish the name of the soldier dying in the shot but members of his family recognised Bowman’s collar pin which bore his initials.

Robert Capa on assignment in May 1937.
Robert Capa on assignment in May 1937.

In 1947 Capa documented the Soviet Union with American writer John Steinbeck. He photographed Moscow, Kiev, and the ruins of Stalingrad. He also toured Israel and from there he stated he was finished with war photography.

In the early 1950’s Life magazine asked him to go to Southeast Asia to document the First Indochina War where the French had been fighting for eight years. On May 25th, 1954, the regiment he was with passed through a dangerous area and were under attack, Capa wanted to photograph the advance and stepped on a landmine.

His left leg was blown apart and he had a serious chest wound but was alive when two Time-Life journalists who were travelling with him found him. Capa was taken to a field hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Capa is just one of the hundreds of war photographers who gave their life to document and report on life on the front lines. In his honour the Robert Capa Gold Medal was created and first awarded in 1955 to award a photographer for the “best published photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise” of the year. It is awarded by the Overseas Press Club of America and was most recently awarded to Reuters photographer Bassam Khabieh for their photograph of a field hospital in Damascus.

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