Nazi scientists secretly researched the possibility of dropping malaria-infected mosquitoes behind enemy lines during the Second World War, a German academic has claimed. According to reports in The Daily Telegraph, Dr Klaus Reinhardt claims that SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered research into the life spans of different mosquito breeds to try and find one that would remain alive long enough to be dropped into enemy territory. The mosquito research had to remain secret because Germany, alongside the allied nations, had signed up to the 1925 Geneva protocol banning the use of biological and chemical weapons.
Forgotten 19th-century football club uncovered in Manchester
Manchester’s footballing history may have to be rewritten, after the discovery of a long-forgotten football team established nearly 10 years earlier than the region’s oldest known club. Previously it was believed that Turton FC, founded in 1871, was the oldest club in Lancashire, but researcher Gary James has discovered a club named Hulme Athenaeum, established in November 1863.
Life-sized Apollo statue goes missing
A statue thought to be an ancient bronze of Apollo, Greek God of poetry and love, has dropped off the radar after being found in the sea off Gaza last summer and surfacing briefly on eBay. The 2,500-year-old priceless statue was recovered from the seabed by a fisherman, who, unaware of its significance, reportedly transported it home on a donkey cart. People living in the north of the Gaza Strip say it is being held by militants, who have refused to hand it over to the Hamas government.
Tests to be undertaken on American Civil War submarine
Researchers may be on the verge of solving the mystery of what caused American Civil War submarine HL Hunley to sink in 1864. HL Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, but it too sunk during the attack off the coast of South Carolina. Now, a chemical bath will peel away the final layer of sediment that covers the exterior of the hull and the Hunley‘s interior. By removing the material, researchers should be able to undertake more precise analysis of holes in the hull and its condition, as well as the Hunley‘s speed in the Atlantic Ocean.
BBC project to uncover life on the home front during WW1
Untold stories about what life was like in neighbourhoods across the country during the First World War are to be broadcast by the BBC. As part of the World War One at Home project, BBC journalists across the country have for the past 18 months been working with the Imperial War Museums to uncover stories about familiar neighbourhoods where the wounded were treated, crucial front line supplies were made and prisoners of war were held. From Monday 24 February, 1,400 accounts of the war – all linked to specific places across the UK – will be broadcast on local radio and regional television, and made available at the BBC’s online portal, bbc.co.uk/ww1. To see how war-torn neighbourhoods looked then compared to now, click here.