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Non-historical christmas camouflage for Spitfire HF Mk.IXe, made by cambridge79 | download here


Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!

Prepare for various specials through the holiday period in War Thunder, these will be announced later!

Holiday War Thunder Marathon

Preparing for the Holiday Together with War Thunder!


The year 2014 was a big one for War Thunder, and we want to thank each and every one of our players for their continuous support and loyalty. Our game has grown significantly not only in terms of new features and content, but also in the number of players that are regularly enjoying the battles of War Thunder on land and in the air. Cross platforming brought us new friends from the Playstation 4 and Linux platforms to add to the existing PC and Mac player base, welcome guys! We have seen numerous new aircraft for all of the air forces being released, and in May launched Ground Forces with three research trees for the USSR, Germany and recently, the US. The development of the game is continuing to progress at a fast pace, with countless of minor updates and four major updates released this year with many amazing features added, including our Death and Kill cam for ground vehicles,  tow cables, the armour viewer and the x-ray tool for both ground and air vehicles. And this is far from what we have planned, so stick around and enjoy many more years of War Thunder with us!

Happy holidays! o7


Christmas in the Second World War

Christmas is considered a holiday of peace and calm, during which, the whole family comes together over a festive feast to gather around the Christmas tree, give presents to each other, sing carols and otherwise celebrate. It is maybe the most anticipated holiday of the entire year.

 

British soldiers celebrating
Christmas of 1944 in Holland.

Unfortunately, there were times, when Christmas was far less idyllic. Especially for the soldiers fighting in World War 2, regardless their side or nation, who were separated from their families, had maybe the worst conditions for Christmas we can ever imagine. However, even they found a way to celebrate Christmas and to at least find a moment of peace amidst all the death and destruction.

 

„On the evening before the Holy Day, in a hut which was still fairly intact, eleven soldiers celebrated in quiet worship. It was not easy to find them in the herd of the doubting, hopeless, and disappointed. There are many altars in the wide world, but surely none poorer than ours here. Yesterday the box still held anti-aircraft shells; today my hand spread over it the field-grey tunic of a comrade whose eyes I closed last Friday in this very room. I read my boys the Christmas story according to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1-17 and entreated the Lord to have pity on them and to them grace. When it was over, we shook each other's hands, took down addresses, and promised to look up relatives and tell them about our Christmas Eve celebration in 1942, in case one of should return home alive." Their colleagues from LVII. Panzer-Korps, fighting south of Stalingrad, did not have time even for such small celebration, as they spend Christmas Eve in their tanks, trying desperately to break through Soviet encirclement, which was closed at 23th December. Only a handful of tankers from this unit were fortunate enough to have time for erecting the Christmas tree and reading some Christmas mail.

 

Christmas on board
HMS Westminster, 1941.

In similarly harsh conditions, in the sweltering heat of the North African desert, Christmas was celebrated by British and Commonwealth soldiers too. Gilbert Wilson, a British tanker from 10th Royal Hussars, wrote: “Christmas Day 1941’. The day of days — we celebrated it with bacon, sausages and biscuits for breakfast. Toasted the King and loved ones with Rita Lime Juice. The evening was made merry by a singsong with the Officers; I also listened on my tank wireless set to the ‘Old Mother Riley’ programme and the news that the Royal Dragoons had entered Benghazi.“

 

On the other side of the world, American sailors celebrated Christmas too. Jack Gingrich, who served in South Pacific as a signalist on the oil tanker USS Chikaskia, recalled: „We had Christmas dinner, on the deck. We made a Christmas tree out of stuff the deck crew put together. We made do with what we had. We sang carols. I can’t remember  if we had a chaplain, but we had religious services.“ Their American compatriots on British soil in 1942 celebrated too. These Americans were mostly soldiers, engineers and aviators, who had task to prepare facilities for American warplanes and which were first wave of gathering forces for invasion to Europe. Personnel of USAAF base at Shipdham even prepared a large Christmas party for local children. This event, named „Operation Reindeer“, resulted in one hanger decorated by colouring lights, silver bells, sporting a tall Christmas tree decorated with „Chaff“ aluminium strips, otherwise dropped from British bombers over Germany to confuse German radars. The high point of the evening was, when decorated Piper Cub airplane arrived, and Santa Claus stepped out. Children were given whole sacks of candy – and that was done in wartime, when even candy was rationed at eight ounces per two weeks.

 

German soldiers,
celebrating 1939 Christmas.

During the Second World War, no large Christmas truce happened in the same way as famous World War I Christmas truce in 1914, but one similar, albeit a much smaller event happened nevertheless. In December 1944, as the Battle of the Bulge raged on at the Belgium-German borders, a certain German woman, named Elizabeth Vincken, heard a knocking on the door of her cabin. To her surprise, she found three freezing American soldiers, who had lost their way, one of them being seriously injured. Vincken invited them in for Christmas dinner, but some time later, somebody knocked on the door again – four German soldiers were asking for a place to warm themselves a little. Vincken knew, that harboring an enemy is a capital crime punishable by death, but with a crushing honesty, she said to them she had three Americans inside and that Germans are welcomed as long as they leave their weapons outside. The surprised Germans obliged and were allowed to come in. At first, there was tension between the two enemy groups, but soon, both sides forgot their hostility. The Germans produced some bread and wine, and after a delicious Christmas dinner, one of German soldiers – an ex-medical student- treated the injured American, while the leader of Germans, a young corporal, showed the Americans the way back to their lines, and even gave them his compass. Both parties shook hands and then parted ways in peace.

 

Author: Jan "RayPall" Kozák


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