Archive for July 21, 2010

Connecticut History Online

If you are in need of information about the history of Connecticut as well as photographs, drawings or prints you need to look at a website called Connecticut History Online. It is a joint project of the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut State Library, Mystic Seaport and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center of the University of Connecticut . It is a collection of over 15,000 digital primary sources, together with associated interpretative and educational material. It can be used in a specific way. If you want photographs of Danbury just use the search feature and type Danbury in as your subject. You will get one hundred and forty-two photographs, drawings and prints of Danbury. The first result is an interactive map of Danbury from 1875 drawn by O. H. Bailey. A copy of this map is located in the library near the Local History Room. The record includes a detailed description of the photograph, drawing or print. If you want information on the history of Connecticut just click on the icon Journeys and you will explore the important themes in Connecticut history. It is a great resouce and very user-friendly. Try it.

The Man Who Never Was

July 9 marks the 67th anniversary of the successful invasion of Sicily by Allied forces during World War Two. What really helped to make this invasion so successful was a plot to deceive the Germans into thinking that Sicily would not be the next invasion site for the Allied forces. British military intelligence hatched an elaborate plan of deception called Operation Mincemeat to convince the Germans that Greece and Sardinia were the prime invasion sites for the Allied forces. The plan was the brainchild of Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu who was a Royal Naval Intelligence officer. He used a corpse which was to be dropped into the sea off the coast of Spain. The synthetic identity created for the corpse was Major William Martin who would be carrying secret high level documents which would reveal to German intelligence that Greece and Sardinia would be the targets and not Sicily. Montagu created an elaborate past life for Major Martin and even arranged for him to be listed as casualty in the Times of June 4, 1943 along with the announcement of the actor Leslie Howard’s death in a plane crash. The Germans fell for the ruse and rushed reinforcements to Sardinia and Greece while neglecting Sicily. The plot inspired the movie The Man Who Never Was. Bravo Operation Mincemeat!