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Old 03-18-2018, 12:06 PM   #41
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The final part of our visit takes us to Birkenau camp approx. 8 kilometres away.

Photo's.
1. Self explanatory.

2,3,4 10.Railway entrance to Birkenau.

4,8. Modified cattle wagon with guard post to collect and deliver prisoners.

5.You can see the scale of the operation from these railway sidings which were in constant use.

6, Guard tower, to the left are the women's blocks.

7.Archive photo.

9.Guard post at the entrance to the women's section.

10. Self explanatory.
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:19 PM   #42
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Photo's.
1. This is the men's section of Birkenau camp.
The wooden huts were originally horse stables in Germany, they were taken apart and reassembled here, the prisoners slept in the open until the huts were built. In the distance of this archive photo you can see some trees, among these trees were built 4 extermination chambers who, when in operation worked 24 hours per day 7 days a week.

2.Interior of a block.

3.Latrine block.

4, Entrance to Birkenau.

5.Self explanatory.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:15 PM   #43
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Some facts about the concentration camps.

We've covered Auschwitz, some 1.1 million perished there.

Treblinka.
North of Warsaw was specifically design as an extermination camp. 180,000 perished there as a result of Hitler's Aktion T4 orders.

Belzec.
Opened in 1942 to Germanize this part of Germany's colonial expansion into Poland.
Over 100,000 perished here, mostly non Jewish Poles and Gypsy's.

Majdanek.
Originally built to house 25,000 POW's in anticipation of Germany's invasion of Russia, by March the following year it held 250,000 so it was turned into an extermination camp. 365,000 perished there, including thousands of Germans unwanted by their government.

Chelmno.
Opened as part of 'Operation Reinhardt' to Germanize the area it also received Jewish prisoners from Austria, Bohemia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Moravia.
The camp was primarily an extermination camp but it was here that medical experiments were carried out on prisoners.
The Dr's here developed gas vans, prisoners were seated in converted buses and lorries whose exhaust gases were piped into the rear, when prisoners were being transported it saved time on extermination. Its estimated 340,000 died here.
These buses and vans also took part in 'Operation Barbarossa' the invasion of Russia where they were used extensively, no one is quite sure how many thousands of Russian POW's were killed.

Sobibor.
Built near Wlodwa in Poland, it was used for early experimentation of gassing as a means of extermination. Unfit, handicapped and those unable to work were gassed immediately on arrival here. The rest were worked to death. On the 14th of October the prisoners revolted, 50 escaped, the rest were contained and then put to death.
Some 250,000 died here.

Dachau.
Built near Munich in Germany the first prisoners were dissenters to the Nazi regime, Germans of mixed descent, immigrants, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Dachau administered over 100 sub camps. 243,000 perished here.

Mathausen-Gusen.
Built in upper Austria this was one of the toughest camps for 'Incorrigible enemies of the German Reich', also used to exterminate the intelligentsia through hard labour.
320,000 perished here.

Bergen-Belsen.
Built in lower Saxony in Germany 95,000 were housed there at any time. Many died from malnutrition, lack of medical facilities and disease. Despite the ovens working 24 hours a day when the allies liberated the camp 13,000 corpses were found around the camp.
More than 50,000 perished here.

Buchenwald, (Beech forest).
Built in Weimar, Germany this was one of the first camps to be liberated by the allies.
This camp was built to house communists, homosexuals, Freemasons, common criminals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jewish, Polish, Soviet and Slav prisoners.
Prisoners here worked on arms production for the German forces. Medical experimentations were also carried out.
33,462 died here.

Many of the Nazi hierarchy escaped justice by running to South America.
Many others had false papers and took up civilian life after the war, Ironically those papers were forged along with millions of dollars, German marks and English pounds by Jewish forgers who were prisoners of war.
It's recently been reported (13-3-2018) that the man known as 'The accountant' of Auschwitz camp, Oscar Groening died aged 96.
He was not directly involved in the killing, his sole task was to oversee the collection and valuation of valuables from the prisoners and forward it to Germany.

In 2016 former SS Sergeant Reinhold Hanning was convicted and sentenced on 170,000 counts of murder while serving as a guard at Auschwitz.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:39 PM   #44
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That concludes this blog on German concentration camps.

What now ?

We'll drive from Narbonne in the South of France up to the Cherbourg peninsula and take the cruise ferry 'Oscar Wilde' to Ireland for a 2 week mental refit.
On our return we'll visit the D day landing sites and a French village called Ourador, here the Germans killed everyone in the village in reprisals against resistance fighters.
The French president, Charles De Gaulle after the war declared the village a national memorial and forbade anyone to touch anything and so it stays exactly as it was on the day of the massacre.

Our winter's over, summer's on the way, as we're primarily cruising live-aboards we plan to take a 'shakedown' cruise to the Med and spend 2/3 days there while the salt water cleans the bottom of 'Snow Mouse'.
Ever heard of Bordeaux wine ?
That's where were headed with a cruise from the Med to the Atlantic via the canal 'Entre Deux Mer' more commonly known as 'The canal du Midi.

IR.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:32 AM   #45
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Thanks very much for the blog, and taking the time to put it together. It's great to see non nautical interests, that don't revolve around the never ending left/right political nonsense that sometimes seems to pervade this part of the forum.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:59 AM   #46
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Thank you Andy for your kind comments.
You're absolutely right it takes up a fair bit time and research to get it together, I also wasn't sure if it would be an appropriate subject for TF.
My original thinking was that many people don't get the opportunity to see such things and it was as much for educational reasons for others, I don't want folk to think I made as a personal travel blog.
Thanks again.IR.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:10 PM   #47
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I said I would close the blog but events have happened that may change that.
I'll explain.
We're going back home to Ireland for some admin and a mental refit but on the way back some friends have asked if they can return with us.
As such we will taking them to visit the 'D' day beaches, Arromanches and the American memorial, further South is a village called Ourador sur Glane.
Here, as a reprisal against some resistance fighters actions, the German army killed everyone (642) in the village.
After the liberation of France, General De Gaulle decreed that nothing should be touched and it was to be left entirely as it was when the Germans left, as a memorial to those who perished, and a permanent reminder that all it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to stand back and do nothing.


I do not want to turn this into a personal travel blog but if you wish, I will take photo's and post them here for you.


Your comments would be appreciated.
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:37 PM   #48
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I.R. I find your posts very interesting and, as has been said, a nice diversion. Please do post pictures of your future travels.
Thanks
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:34 PM   #49
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Thank you for your kind comments Doug.
I know the posts are off thread but as I've said before many people just read about various things and take them with a pinch of salt but each photograph is better than a thousand words of mine.
I also don't want to abuse my good standing with the TF team by going off thread too much and I'll be happy to post for you.
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:45 PM   #50
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We needed to go back to Ireland to touch base with my family and friends, (us Irish are a close knit bunch) friendships made are generally for life unlike the younger generation of today.
There are also things that I just can't get in France at sensible prices so our visit is a bit of a mental refit, some boat & car parts as well as a foodie re-stock too.

For example, I go to the local car parts shop in France with paint codes for and there's much talk and delay and a very heavy price plus tax. In Ireland I go up, chat about cars and the weather and bingo ! within 15 minutes two aerosol cans of exact match spray paint are on the counter and the man says 'Sure give me 25 Euro and we'll be grand'. Not a mention of invoices or taxes.

We'd left our home port of Narbonne in the South of France and drove North to the tip of the Cherbourg peninsular to catch the cruise ferry to Ireland, this 18 hour crossing is very relaxing after the drive up.
First port of call of course is the bar for a welcome pint of the black stuff with a nice creamy head, Guinness of course. Just the couple to satisfy the homesickness, then a leisurely Irish style cooked meal, we call it (good packing).
A nights sleep before we disembark onto the land of forty shades of green.
It always fills my heart with joy to see the countryside, Frisian cows in the fields munching away at the green grass, the baby lambs frolicking in the fields. It just makes your heart fill with joy.

We have just a couple of weeks to catch up on everything.

First many of you may have a vague idea of where Ireland is
It's an island but divided into two parts.
Northern Ireland is part of, and administered by the United Kingdom.
The Southern part broke away in the 1920's and is correctly called Eire.

Looking at the map below the black line from the South of France is our route by car.
Obviously the red line is by ferry and the line in Ireland is by car.

Our friends have a factory that recycles filters for quarries, trucks, trains etc. and we stayed with them in Carrickmacross, Eire (The pink bit) for a few days before moving to visit Northern Ireland (the light blue bit).

We go two both parts on our travels because friendship has no borders.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:27 AM   #51
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One of the seasonal problems in Europe has been a blast of North Eastern cold weather coming down from Siberia and giving the whole of Europe, Britain and Ireland a very late, cold spring.
As we drove North the sky got darker and darker, an omen of things to come.
When we went to visit family and friends in Ireland we took time out to take you to the birthplace of Titanic, the Harland and Wolff shipyard, or at least its remains.
The shipyard is a shadow of its former self but is still working doing ship, oil rig and wind generator assembly and maintenance
Obviously with the success of the Titanic film it has cashed in on it with an exhibition and part of the grounds are used as an outdoor film studio.

Photo's.
1, These two cranes, Samson at 900 tonnes lifting capacity, and Goliath at 950 tonnes were built by Krupp of Germany. Once they started to lift it took 10 minutes to take the stretch out of the steel cables. They were the first to build fully fitted out sections inside the workshops and then transport them to be welded in place.
Harland and Wolff had a dock large enough to build 'Suezmax' ships and built them in this modular style.

2,The futuristic looking museum.

3,Because the Harland and Wolff shipyard was built on an island, called Queens island, the river Lagan on one side and a small tributary on the other, the workers were called islandmen

4, It looks like the letter C is starting to sink !

5,6 Self explanatory.

7,8 Self explanatory.

9,10, Self explanatory.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:46 AM   #52
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Still in the same area.

Photo's.
1, Rear of the Titanic film studios.

2,Tourist train, the small tractor is from Harland and Wolff and was used to tow small trailers around the factory. The carriages depict the old trams that once plied Belfast.

3,4, Self explanatory.

5, For security reasons you can't just go anywhere, this photo shows that Belfast is still a working port.

6,7, On the same Queens island site is a company called Short Brothers and Harland (no connection) who build aircraft. They were the first to design and build a vertical take off aircraft which is now on display in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
Shorts as they are referred to, also built the 'Belfast', for years the largest transport aircraft in the world and some are still in service, they also built the Short Sunderland flying boats.
The offices shown in the photo are the design offices and still working, the company is now owned by Bombardier and build engine nacelles in carbon fibre and complete executive jets.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:26 AM   #53
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Thanks for the pics
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:25 AM   #54
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Your welcome. I wanted more of the verdant countryside but the weather was so bad it was difficult to get good photo's.
Looking on the brightside, I'll have to come back and do it again someday !
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:31 AM   #55
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Photo 1, This is a typical small country market town with a wide main street lined with shops and of course bars. Market days are held and vendors stalls line the sides of the street with local people selling all types of local produce, tools, clothes, shoes, wellington boots, farm supplies etc.

There are some traditions in Ireland that may seem unfamiliar to a stranger.
If you go into a pub and are offered a drink, its normal to return the complement.
If you are in a group, one person will offer to buy a round with a comment like 'What are you's having lads ?'.
If you wish to stay and join in you will be expected when your turn comes to buy a round of drink for your company.
If you don't wish to join in simply say, sorry lads count me out I'm going home for the grub (meal), or count me out I'm driving, sorry lads a bit short (of money) this week. It may seem very crude but to get a laugh you just say 'I'm off on a promise lads !' (to have sex with the wife)

Do not sit and drink the drink everyone has bought for you and when its your turn go and hide in the toilet/make a phone call or you will be given your character in no uncertain terms..
In some countries each person buys their own drink and would be unfamiliar with Irish pub practice.

If you order a pint of Guinness, go back and sit down as the barman will take a dim view of you standing watching him draw your pint. Guinness is drawn slowly and then allowed to settle, then topped up again and served.
The barman will usually give a nod of the head to say its ready for collection.
The correct way to appreciate it is to let the pint glass sit until the liquid is jet black with a creamy head, enjoy.
Some flashy barmen can, after the pint has settled, crack the tap and with the dribble coming out draw you a shamrock or your initials in the creamy head.


Photo 2,
Here are some of the wee folk sitting in the sun outside a shop, some people place these ceramic ones in the garden for good luck.
Leprechauns (wee fairies, little mischievous folk) have long since been established in Irish folklore.
Out in the country side you may pass a large field with a perfect circle of hawthorn bushes in it, whether the field is cultivated or in grass no farmer will ever touch the circle known as 'a fairy ring' as it would bring bad luck.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:11 AM   #56
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The text for pic 1 sounds like the origin of the Australian "shout" practice, where someone is part of a group each member of which "shouts" the group a drink, as in "it`s you shout mate". A common nickname for someone who failed to "shout" was "Snakes",meaning his hand cannot reach money in his pocket as there are snakes in there. Of course Ireland has no snakes as St Patrick evicted them,unfortunately I think they all came here.
Some years ago I did a cycling trip in Ireland starting from Killarney. The hospitality was amazing,especially the pubs,wherever we went. So were some of the hills.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:34 AM   #57
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We've come across a good few 'snakes' in our travels. If you live on a boat people automatically think your loaded, whether you are or not is not their business and does not excuse them from good manners.

Just before we left Ireland we went back to the hire company we bought our cruiser from, its called 'le boat'.
Originally the company was called Emerald Star and owned by Guinness. Guinness was sold to drinks giant Diageo and Emerald star didn't fit their portfolio and it was sold to a German company, TUI who made it into French run company who began buying up other hire boat operators in Europe.
Bigger isn't always better.
The management didn't do a good job with poor judgement and trying to run it on a shoestring, coupled with questionable new boat purchases there was only one outcome.
The group is now owned by an American investment group.

Photo's.
1, Le Boat, emerald star Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland.

2,3, Emerald Star marina in Carrick-on-Shannon.

4, 2 boats owned by Carrick Craft another company based in Carrick-on-Shannon.

5, This is our ride home, the cruise Ferry 'Oscar Wilde' in Rosslare harbour. For security reasons we couldn't walk around to get a better photo.

So we leave Ireland again this time as a passenger with warm wishes for a safe journey and promises to return soon.
After the abrupt change in weather for us, we also came back with a dose of flu !
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:02 PM   #58
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For the next part of our journey I would ask you to do me a favour and download the 60's British film 'The longest Day'.
It will give you a better understanding of the 'D' Day landings than watching 'Saving Private Ryan', parts of which were shot in Ireland ?
The American film 'Enigma' is also factually incorrect, the first enigma machine was captured by Lt Anthony Fasson and an Able Seaman of the British Royal Navy.
Please be assured I am not knocking the sacrifices made by American servicemen, I and my generation are most grateful in the extreme.
All American goods shipped to Britain for the war effort had to be paid for, Britain has only recently finished paying the bill.
The majority of the ships and equipment on lease/lend was dumped after the war as America simply said they didn't want it back.
America also demanded access to all British patents in return for its help, which included the Jet engine, Asdic, Radar and many, many more.

In the next post we'll visit the 'D' day Beaches, Utah, Omaha, June, Gold and Sword.
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:29 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Rambler View Post
For the next part of our journey I would ask you to do me a favour and download the 60's British film 'The longest Day'.
It will give you a better understanding of the 'D' Day landings than watching 'Saving Private Ryan', parts of which were shot in Ireland ?
The American film 'Enigma' is also factually incorrect, the first enigma machine was captured by Lt Anthony Fasson and an Able Seaman of the British Royal Navy.
Please be assured I am not knocking the sacrifices made by American servicemen, I and my generation are most grateful in the extreme.
All American goods shipped to Britain for the war effort had to be paid for, Britain has only recently finished paying the bill.
The majority of the ships and equipment on lease/lend was dumped after the war as America simply said they didn't want it back.
America also demanded access to all British patents in return for its help, which included the Jet engine, Asdic, Radar and many, many more.

In the next post we'll visit the 'D' day Beaches, Utah, Omaha, June, Gold and Sword.
Thanks for sharing my father was just after the Greatest generation (korean war) and then worked a scientist in Aero space industry I know one of the projects he worked with at Nasa was a Rolls Royce patent but they actualy were on the project with him I think

looking forward to the upcoming pictures
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:30 PM   #60
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Thank you for your encouraging words Alan.
The Jet engine was first designed and patented by a British engineer Frank Whittle, at first the British Ministry of Defence in the early stages of the war weren't interested. The moment it was rumoured the German company Messerschmidt was working on one the Ministry quickly changed their mind and accepted his invention.
For this and many other insights into the evolvement of logistics related to military activities go to Amazon, search for 'The Wolf's Lair by Geoff Woolley, its a small book packed with facts and photo's available as a paperback or an e book.
A five star review is all I ask of you.
Apologies for the plug but all this travel and research takes a heck of a lot of time.
And my military interest ? There's always been at least one member of my family serving in the British armed forces at any time since the late 1700's. I joined at 16 years as a boy soldier, I represented Britain in the Army Mountaineering team for 3 years before a stint in the SF, then moving into amphibious Logistics.
2 members of the civilian side of my family currently work in Rolls Royce as master turbine blade polishers/inspectors and I've a Group Captain son serving in the Australian Air Force.
I guess that sums up my interest in things military.
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