SIGNAL Nazi Germany’s Life Magazine

Nazis seized Seize Greece then Endeavor to Look Helpful

reading_athos_lg

1 August 1943. A helpful German soldier showing a copy of Signal in Greek to an Orthodox resident of the ancient monastic state of Mount Athos. (photo courtesy of Andrew Zoller).

Many organizations in the Third Reich produced publications of every sort. Through late 1944 the Kriegsmarine produced its own highly sophisticated five color magazine. But the best known was the Life Magazine knockoff, Signal which was produced by the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.  This ministry was run by the evil, criminal, and despicable toad, Joseph Goebbels.

Union General U.S. Grant on the cover of a Signal Magazine in Dutch, 1944

 

All propaganda publications in the Third Reich were written by professional journalists and illustrated by professional artists and photographers. Signal was quite a sophisticated publication and presented German soldiers as being tough against their military opponents but gentle and fun with civilians. Lots of photos show German soldiers playing with children who are usually blonde. This type of propaganda tried to counter the reality of the bloody, evil, and murderous nature of the Third Reich.

The famous US publication Life Magazine, whose format was copied by Signal,  was printed on glossy paper. The Germans didn’t have the capacity to produce large amounts of glossy paper for magazines so  Signal was printed on newsprint paper. I have about a dozen different copies I bought over the years mainly as curiosities. However, a number of people collect them and some have amassed every single issue published.

Signal was published from April 1940 through May of 1945. This was a major propaganda effort by the Nazis and the scope of it is revealed in these statistics from the website of Signal researcher and scholar, Andrew Zoller.

Signal was published monthly in 30 languages at its peak, including English.

During the barbarous reign of the Nazi empire, approximately 32,000 news vendors in 20,000 towns and cities and sold Signal.

Peak circulation of 2,426,000 copies came in May 1943.

160,000,000 copies were printed during the years of the magazine’s existence (estimated).

 

signal 6 1940 (2)
Signal Magazine in French 1940 showing German soldiers walking on the beaches of Dunkirk from which the British Expeditionary Force was rescued and taken off at significant loss by the Royal Navy. (Heroic small boats played a role as well but 80% of the troop lift was done by the RN)
+dsc00546
a cover which depicts the takeover of all Europe by the Soviet Union, a fear the Germans constantly reminded Europeans about.
+
Signal Magazine in Russian. I presume this cover shows a Russian soldier in the service of the German Armed forces. Estimates vary of the number of Soviet citizens who fought for the Germans. The low estimate is approximately one million with other estimates going as high as three million. The Ukraine was an especially fertile recruiting ground for the German Army and the SS.

 

Signal_1941-04_french_cover
Signal Magazine in French
P2080196
Those ever friendly U-Boat Men–except when attacking Allied shipping— on cover Signal Magazine from 1943. (collection of author Charles McCain)

“I am tired and sick of war Its glory is all moonshine”

“war is hell”
 Union army General William Tecumseh Sherman

“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”

www.brainyquote.com/william_tecumseh_sherman

” Private Roy Humphrey is being given blood plasma by Pfc. Harvey White, after he was wounded by shrapnel, on 9 August 1943 in Sicily.” (photo courtesy of USNA)

 

Transfer of wounded from USS BUNKER HILL to USS WILKES BARRE, who were injured during a fire aboard carrier following Jap suicide dive bombing attack off Okinawa. May 11, 1945. ( Photo courtesy of USNA)

 

In an underground surgery room, behind the front lines on Bougainville, an American Army doctor operates on a U.S. soldier wounded by a Japanese sniper.” December 13, 1943.  (photo USNA)

 

“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood , for vengeance, for desolation.”

Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman

 

Crewmen lifting wounded gunner Kenneth Bratton out of turret of TBF on the USS SARATOGA after raid on Rabaul.” Lt. Wayne Miller, November 1943. (photo USNA)

 

The crew of the USS SOUTH DAKOTA stands with bowed heads, while Chaplain N. D. Lindner reads the benediction held in honor of fellow shipmates killed in the air action off Guam on June 19, 1944.” July 1, 1944. (Photo US National Archives)

 

WW Two Images Pioneering Female Photographer Margaret Bourke-White

 Margaret Bourke-White, One of the First Women to achieve fame as a photographer took thousands of photographs of world war two on assignment to life magazine.
Rome fell to Allied forces on 4 June 1944 but tis victory was overshadowed by D-Day on 6 June 1944.
Amer. soldiers working on amphibious vehicle in front of bombed-out buildings, during cleanup of damage done by evacuating German demolition teams. Naples, Italy. Photograph by Margaret Bourke-White, October 1943

 

Pioneering female photographer Margaret Bourke-White took some of World War Two’s best photographs which were featured in Life Magazine. This is a series she did of the US Army in Italy in 1943.

The Italian campaign was the longest single campaign of World War Two fought by the Anglo-Americans.  Two armies, one British and Commonwealth and British Indian Army troops, the other American, crawled up the Italian peninsula.

The entire campaign was under the command of the Allied C-in-C Mediterranean, Sir Harold Alexander.

+

 

US Army Capt. Francis A. O’Neill, 46, in charge of ORG. FARM which handles all freight that is unloaded and dispatched to various Army dumps in the city.

 

+

 

US Army engineers running the “GENERAL MARK CLARK SPECIAL” rattling along a newly constructed spur line past a grain elevator and a bombed warehouse along the waterfront.

 

+

 

US Army engineers working on equipment next to a bomb-damaged statue of nude men in a city park where they have chosen to pitch tents for their living quarters.

 

+

 

US Army engineers working on filling holes in street in front of a barrage balloon & the blown-out bldg. of the Port Surgeons office, during cleanup of damage done by evacuating German demolition teams.

 

+

 

American soldiers working on an amphibious vehicle in front of bombed-out buildings, during cleanup of damage done by evacuating German demolition teams.

 

+

 

US Army engineers lolling around a tent in front of a huge bombed-out warehouse which they are reconstructing to be used for their supply storage, during cleanup of damage done by evacuating German demolition teams.

 

+

 

Rome: Three American GIs at liberty, getting their picture taken by an Italian street photographer as 2 sailors look on.

[Images: Life Magazine, Life Magazine, Life Magazine, Life Magazine, Life Magazine, Life Magazine, and Life Magazine.]

Gay Genius Alan Turing Critical to Defeat Nazi Germany

Brilliance of gay man Alan Turing Key in the defeat of nazi germany

Whenever the “Greatest Generation” is mentioned let all LGBTQ people remember Alan Turing, the greatest of them all.

by Charles McCain (c) 2012.

 

ALAN TURING: The Greatest Warrior of Them All

Copyright (c) by Charles McCain. Originally written and published on 7 June 2010 by Charles McCain and reposted by GayPolitics.com. 

In 1952, the man who discovered the Ultra Secret was convicted of “charges of committing acts of gross indecency with another man.” The defendant was a rumpled Cambridge mathematics professor who had done something important in the war. Still did a bit of secret work for the government. He looked a regular sort of chap but he wasn’t – he was a poof, a Nancy boy, a queer.

The judge gave him two choices: prison or chemical castration through the injection of female hormones. This to one of the handful of men responsible for Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two – a man whose ideas changed our world. He chose the humiliation of being injected with estrogen – the doses so high he developed breasts.

Upon conviction, his security clearance was revoked by the British Government and he was dismissed. Men, straight men – the ones who ran the intelligence establishment – were happy to see him go, no doubt. Don’t need that sort around. Did something very hush-hush during the war. Not sure what exactly. Good riddance to bad trash.

Alan Turing

But they couldn’t let this man just wander off. He knew too much – about what, no one actually knew. What this man had done in the war was so beyond ‘top secret’ the British government had created a fourth level of secrecy. Prime Minister Winston Churchill is thought to have said, “this is so secret it must ever be the Ultra Secret.” And Ultra it became, the very highest level of security in Great Britain. Only a very few men in the world knew the entire scope of this mind-boggling secret. Alan Turing was one of those men.

Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in Europe, considered the Ultra Secret, “decisive” to our victory over Nazi Germany. Yet only a few of his subordinates ever saw intelligence from Ultra and while they knew it was absolutely reliable they had no idea where it came from. It was so secret, so critical to victory, we still don’t know the lengths to which the Allies went to protect it.

Did we assassinate men and women in German-occupied Europe who may have known one small detail of the Ultra-Secret? Most certainly. Mount hundreds of military operations to protect the secret by deceiving the Germans as to the origin of our intelligence? Yes.

Did our most senior political and military leaders lie, violate the ‘rules of war’, deceive our own commanders,  authorize the pilfering and reading of diplomatic mail, order the death of anyone who may have been able to tell the Germans we knew the secret? Yes. Do we know the details? No, they have never been released to this day. The only thing we know for certain is this: the Allies did everything and went to every length to protect the Ultra-Secret uncovered by Alan Turing.

Alan Turning MemorialAfter Turing had his security clearance revoked, MI5, the British Internal Security agency, as ignorant as they were small-minded, watched him constantly because he knew the Ultra-Secret – although they didn’t use that term since the designation of Ultra was itself Ultra Secret. They trailed him, harassed him, treated him with the worst kind of contempt – because he was a fruit, a homo, a faggot. Treated him so badly, in fact, that in March of 2009, just over one year ago, then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official apology on behalf of the British Government for the way Alan Turing had been treated simply because he was gay.

Unfortunately, Her Majesty’s Government was fifty-five years too late. On 7 June 1954, police reported that a Cambridge mathematics professor named Alan Turing had committed suicide by biting into an apple laced with cyanide. Was he so depressed he committed suicide? His mother and his brother said no nor did they ever accept the explanation given by the police. So the speculation continues: did he kill himself or was he killed? If so, who killed him?

In 1974 the British government authorized the publication of a book simply titled The Ultra Secret. What the book revealed was so shocking, so incredible, so unimaginable it changed everything we knew about the Second World War. And what it revealed was this: during World War Two the British, and later the Americans, read almost 90% of all top secret German radio traffic – and the Germans used radio as their primary method of communication.

Because of gay activists in London, we also learned something else: the key player in the Ultra Secret was a gay man named Alan Turing.

Enigma MachineAnd this is how it helped us: “During the great campaigns on land or in desperate phases of the war at sea, exact and utterly reliable information could thus be conveyed, regularly and often instantly, mint-fresh, to the Allied commanders.” wrote historian Ronald Lewin in Ultra Goes To War.

Often we decrypted Ultra messages as fast as the Germans did. And what did we learn? Almost everything: battle plans, dates of attack, the position of every ship, plane, U-Boat, soldier – we knew almost all. And we knew it all because of a homosexual named Alan Turing.

To prevent anyone from understanding the secret information they were broadcasting, the German armed forces used a coding machine so complex the British called it the Enigma. It was unbreakable. Completely and totally secure. Only it wasn’t. Why? Because in one of his many flashes of genius, mathematician Alan Turing, who was working for the British military, figured out how to crack messages coded by the Enigma.

There was a small hitch. In order to perform the actions required to crack the Enigma, Turing had to invent a machine of some sort – a machine which had never existed before. The Oxford Companion to World War Two gives this bland explanation: “Turing, Alan (1912-1954). British mathematician whose theories and work … resulted in the modern computer.”

Today, the ‘Nobel Prize’ of the computing world is the Turing Award—so named to honor Alan Turing as the father of the computer age. It is awarded annually by the Association of Computer Manufacturers and carries a prize of $1 million dollars.

He changed the world. Yet few gay men or gay women know of him.

Turing worked for the British military and naturally had clearance for Ultra since he created it. Yet even with Turing on our side, even knowing all we did, it still required the combined might of the three strongest nations in the world – Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union – to defeat Nazi Germany.

What if we hadn’t known as much as we did? What if Alan Turing hadn’t cracked the Enigma, invented the computer, and given us the Ultra-Secret? What if the British military had not hired Turing because of his homosexuality? The alternative is unthinkable.

Somehow gay people are left out when the ‘Greatest Generation’ is honored. Let us therefore insist, beginning from this very moment, that whenever the ‘Greatest Generation’ is remembered, we remember Alan Turing, the greatest of them all.

You can read more about Alan Turing on the BBC here:      BBCAlanTuring

 

[This article first appeared on 7 June 2010 before the repeal of DADT on GayPolitics.com 

[Editor’s note from GayPolitics.com: In light of the ongoing debate over whether openly gay people should be able to serve in the U.S. armed forces, it’s worth remembering that gay people already serve with distinction, and that some of those discharged for being gay may have taken with them extraordinary skills or talents necessary for success in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Author Charles McCain, a World War II expert guest posting here, contributes the following commentary about one such hero, whose incalculable contribution to the Allied effort to defeat Hitler’s Germany is not widely known.]

Images courtesy of TechFest–AV Techonology Blog, and Wikipedia. More information can be found at Alan Turning’s biographer’s website at http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/

Author, financial writer, historian, and speaker, Charles McCain, is an authority on World War Two. As a proud gay man, he often speaks and writes about Alan Turing’s incredible contribution to Allied victory. He is the author of An Honorable German, a World War Two naval epic published by GCP/Hachette in 2009.